(Amateur) translation and exploring the āgamāḥ are a bit of a hobby of mine. I am particularly interested in Buddhist Hybrid Chinese and its relations to traditional Classical Chinese.
The following is not a translation of Buddhadharma (well, it technically is). I say that because the purposes of this translation are not to expound Dhamma (there are much more qualified people able to do that!). Rather, this is a partial (to be updated), attempt, to render as literally as possible, word-for-word, the structure and rhythms of the Chinese into English, that the rhetorical force of these phrases might be grasped by someone unable to read the text.
This is an account of the miracle at Gayāsīsa, which introduces the āgama recension of the Fire Sermon. I have also included Ven Ānalayo’s professional translation for some context.
Like this I heard:
(Bhikkhu Anālayo) Thus have I heard.
One day, the Buddha dwelt on his travels with monks at the Gayāsīsa stupa,
At one time the Buddha was staying at the cetiya at Gayāsīsa
and one thousand there were, by that time on the hill gathered[,] all of them former tangled-haired Brahmīṇi.
together with a thousand monks, who were all former matted-hair brahmins.
At that time, the Bhagavān[,] for these thousand monks[,] established to happen three kinds of miraculous manifestations for their conversion.
At that time the Blessed One taught the thousand monks by way of performing the three type of miracles.
Which three? A divine-attainment-impermanence-transformation manifestation, an “other mind” [telepathy] manifestation, and a persuasion manifestation.
What are the three? They are the miracle of psychic power, the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction.
This was the manifestation of divine attainment [that the Buddha caused to happen],
For the miracle of psychic power,
The Bhagavān, right where he was in that moment, thus manifested the entering into the cessation of sensations meditation, rose into the sky toward the east, and performed the four comportments,
the Blessed One entered into an attainment of concentration appropriate for the manifestation of his ascent into the air towards the east to perform [the miracle of psychic power] in the four postures of
he walked, he was still, he sat, he lay down, and entered fire-samādhi, issued varieties of fire and light: green, yellow, red, and white, in crystalline form, water and fire appeared both together,
walking, standing, sitting, and reclining. He entered into concentration on fire and various type of flames emerged in blue, yellow, red, white, crimson, and crystal colours. He manifested fire and water concurrently.
among these miraculous occurrences, the lower body issued forth fire, the upper body issued forth water, the upper body issued forth fire, the lower body issued forth water, all-circularly, in all four directions, just like that.
The lower part of his body emitted fire and the upper part of his body emitted water, or else the upper part of his body emitted fire and the lower part of his body emitted water. In the same way he kept going around the four directions.
At that time, the [time that the] Bhagavān executed myriad numerous miraculous transformations[,] afterwards, amongst them[, the monks,] he again sat, this was the manifestation of divine attainment.
Then, having performed various miracles, the Blessed One sat among the assembly. This is called the miracle of psychic power.
[For the] other mind manifestation, in accordance with that [other] mind, in accordance with that [other?] volition, in accordance with that [other?] knowledge,
For the miracle of telepathy, [the Blessed One knew] such is the other one’s mind, such is the other one’s intention, such is the other one’s consciousness;
that [other] should do as such notions, should not do as such notions, these notions[, ] as such are abandoned,
the other one should think like this and should not think like that, the other one should give up like this,
that [other] should do as such to embody adhigama (realization) dwelling, that was called the other mind manifestation.
the other one should be established in direct realization like this. This is called the miracle of telepathy.
[The] persuasion manifestation was thus, so the Bhagavān spoke:
For the miracle of instruction, the Blessed spoke thus:
"Myriad monks! All is burning as such. To speak of what all that is burning so?
“Monks, all is on fire. What is all on fire?
To say the eye burns so, as appearances, cakṣurvijñāna, the eye['s] touching,
That is, the eye is on fire, forms, eye-consciousness, eye-contact,
the eye['s] touching['s] causal predestination[, the] development [of that,] if bitter, if pleasurable,
and feeling arisen in dependence on eye-contact, be it painful, pleasant,
with neither bitterness nor pleasure, that also burns so.
or neutral, that is also on fire.
Thus so it is definitively, the nose, tongue, body, the idea burns so, dharmāḥ, manovijñāna, the idea['s] touching, the idea['s] touching['s] causal predestination['s] development [of] feelings,
“In the same way the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind is on fire, mental objects, mind-consciousness, mind-contact, and feeling arisen in dependence on mind-contact, be it painful, pleasant, or neutral,
if bitter, if pleasurable, neither bitter nor pleasurable, that also burns so, because of what does it burn so,
that is also on fire. With what is it on fire?
greed fires burn so, rage fires burn so, delusion fires burn so,
it is on fire with the flames of delusion, and it is on fire with the flames of birth,
jāti, age, sickness, death, worry, sorrow, anger, bitterness fires burn so."
old age, disease, death, worry, sorrow, vexation, and pain.”
At that time, the thousand monks heard the Buddha say this, without constructing myriad outflows (“āsrava”), their minds attained understanding of liberation, Buddhavacana this sūtra was thereafter, many monks heard the Buddha teach it, joyfully they practiced [it].
At that time, hearing what the Buddha had said, by not clinging the minds of the thousand monks were liberated from the influxes. When the Buddha had spoken this discourse, hearing what the Buddha had said the monks were delighted and received it respectfully.