THE FIVE 500 YEAR PERIODS OF SHAKYAMUNI'S DHARMA
(from "Moon-Repository Assembly Sutra" Ch 17. probably composed in the 2nd period)
Anybody familiar with Buddhist literature knows that "500" does not mean the exact number, as distinguished from 499 or 501, but rather means "lots and lots." But just for fun, that is, 'fun' if you are a number cruncher, here are the dates if you take "500' as an exact number.
1st Period: 483BC-17AD
Those who follow the right Dharma will attain liberation for sure
2nd Period: 17AD-517AD
They will attain samadhi for sure
3rd Period: 517AD-1017AD
They will read and recite the Sutras
4th Period: 1017AD-1517AD
They will build temples and pagodas
5th Period: 1517AD-2017AD
They will argue among themselves and bring ruin to the Dharma
One point of interest here is the ending date 2017, a year not far ahead. If it were, say, 1997AD or 2117AD nobody would care. Then, if you consider this present 5th period, it seems this is a valid capsule statement of what we witness. We still see some Buddhists with a narrow vision, unaware of the miracle of the Buddha, their conception of the Buddha limited to an 80-year lifespan 2500 years ago, spending their energy writing that Mahayana Sutras are false because they claim to be written by Shakyamuni Buddha.