Mahâ-Kâsyapa said to him: Lord, if there are not three vehicles, for what reason then is the designa- tion of disciples (Srâvakas), Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas kept up in the present times?
On this speech the Lord answered the venerable Mahâ-Kâsyapa as follows : It is, Kâsyapa, as if a potter made different vessels out of the same clay. Some of those pots are to contain sugar, others ghee, others curds and milk; others, of inferior quality, are vessels of impurity. There is no diversity in the clay used; no, the diversity of the pots is only due to the substances which are put into each of them. In like manner, Kâsyapa, is there but one vehicle, viz. the Buddha-vehicle; there is no second vehicle, no third.
The Lord having thus spoken, the venerable Mahâ-Kâsyapa said: Lord, if the beings are of different disposition, will there be for those who have left the triple world one Nirvâna, or two, or three? The Lord replied: Nirvâna, Kâsyapa, is a consequence of understanding that all laws (things) are equal. Hence there is but one Nirvâna, not two, not three. Therefore, Kâsyapa, I will tell thee a parable, for men of good understanding will generally readily enough catch the meaning of what is taught under the shape of a parable.
It is a case, Kâsyapa, similar to that of a certain blind-born man, who says: There are no handsome or ugly shapes; there are no men able to see handsome or ugly shapes; there exists no sun nor moon; there are no asterisms nor planets; there are no
- Cf. Ecclesiastes ix. 2: 'All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean.'