C H A P T E R    T W E N T Y - F O U R

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Praises in the Tushita Heaven Palace

At that time, because of the Buddha’s spiritual power, in each of the ten directions there was a Great Bodhisattva, each of whom was accompanied by Bodhisattvas as many as dust motes in ten thousand Buddha kshetras. They were from worlds beyond lands to the number of dust motes in ten thousand Buddha kshetras, and they all came to the Buddha’s place.

Their names were: Vajra Banner Bodhisattva, Solid Banner Bodhisattva, Courageous Banner Bodhisattva, Bright Light Banner Bodhisattva, Wisdom Banner Bodhisattva, Jeweled Banner Bodhisattva, Vigorous Banner Bodhisattva, Apart-From-Filth Banner Bodhisattva, Constellation Banner Bodhisattva, and Dharma Banner Bodhisattva.

And the countries from which they came were called: Wonderful Jeweled World, Wonderful Bliss World, Wonderful Silver World, Wonderful Gold World, Wonderful Mani World, Wonderful Vajra World, Wonderful Padma World, Wonderful Utpala World, Wonderful Chandana World, and Wonderful Fragrance World.

Each of them had purely cultivated Brahma Conduct in the presence of the Buddhas, specifically: Inexhaustible Banner Buddha, Wind Banner Buddha, Liberation Banner Buddha, Awesome Manner Banner Buddha, Bright Mark Banner Buddha, Constant Banner Buddha, Most Supreme Banner Buddha, Comfortable Banner Buddha, Brahma Banner Buddha, and Contemplating Banner Buddha.

All of these Bodhisattvas, having arrived at the Buddha’s place, bowed at the Buddha’s feet. Then using the Buddha’s spiritual power, they created by transformation wonderful jeweled treasury lion thrones. Jeweled nets covered and encircled them, filling every part. All of the multitudes of Bodhisattvas, according to the direction from which they came, sat on them in full lotus.

Their bodies all emitted hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of asamkhyeyas of pure bright light. This measureless light had arisen from the great vows of the Bodhisattvas’ pure mind-jewel, which is apart from the host of transgressions and evils.

They displayed all of the Buddhas’ comfortable, pure Dharmas. Using all the Bodhisattvas’ level and equal power of vows, they were able to universally save and protect all living beings. All in the world were happy to see them. And their seeing was not in vain, for they all became subdued.

These multitudes of Bodhisattvas had already accomplished measureless merit and virtue, which is to say, they could pervasively roam throughout all Buddhas’ countries without obstruction. They could see the pure Dharma body which was without reliance. By means of the wisdom body, they manifested measureless bodies. They pervaded the ten directions to serve all Buddhas, and entered into all Buddhas’ measureless, boundless, inconceivable, Dharmas of self-mastery. They dwelt in measureless doors of All-Wisdom. With the bright light of wisdom they understood well all Dharmas. In the midst of all dharmas they attained fearlessness, and accordingly proclaimed the Dharma with unending eloquence, to the exhaustion of the boundaries of the future. By means of great wisdom, they opened Dharani doors.

With the pure wisdom eye, they entered the profound Dharma Realm. Their states of wisdom had no boundaries, being ultimately pure, like empty space.

Just as it is in the Tushita Heaven Palace of this world where all of the multitudes of Bodhisattvas came and assembled in this way, so too, in all of the Tushita Heaven Palaces of the ten directions, all those Bodhisattvas having the same name also came and assembled together. And in those countries from where they came, all the Buddhas’ names were identical with these, without any discrimination

At that time, from the wheels of the World Honored One’s two knees, there was emitted hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of bright light, which universally illumined all worlds in the ten directions, to the exhaustion of the Dharma Realm and the realm of empty space. In all worlds, all those Bodhisattvas could see the appearance of this Buddha’s spiritual transformations, and all these Bodhisattvas could also see the appearance of the spiritual transformations of all those Thus Come Ones.

All of these Bodhisattvas had, in the past together with Vairochana Thus Come One, planted identical good roots, and cultivated the Bodhisattva conduct. They had already awakened to and entered all Buddhas’ comfortable, most profound liberation, and had attained the non-discriminating body of the Dharma Realm.

They entered all lands, without having a place of dwelling. They saw measureless Buddhas and went to serve them all. Within a single thought, they traveled throughout the Dharma Realm, comfortably and without obstruction. Their minds and thoughts were pure, like priceless jewels. All the measureless, numberless Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, constantly aided them with protective mindfulness, and together endowed them with strength. They had ultimately reached the foremost other shore.

Constantly, by means of pure mindfulness, they dwelt in Unsurpassed Enlightenment. In thought after thought they constantly entered the places of All-Wisdom. By means of the small they entered the great. By means of the great, they entered the small, having completely attained self-mastery and unobstructed penetration. Having already attained the Buddha’s body, they dwelt together with the Buddhas.

They had obtained All-Wisdom. Their bodies had come forth from All-Wisdom. They were all able to accordingly enter the places of all Thus Come Ones’ practices. They opened and revealed measureless Dharma doors of wisdom. They reached the other shore of Vajra Banner’s great wisdom. They obtained the Vajra Samadhi and cut off all doubts and delusions. Having already attained all Buddhas’ self mastery of spiritual penetrations, everywhere in all countries of the ten directions they taught, transformed, and subdued incalculable hundreds of thousands of billions of living beings, and although they were not attached to any of these numbers, nonetheless, they were well able to cultivate, study, bring expedient means to ultimate perfection, and securely establish all Dharmas.

In this way, hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas of ineffable, inexhaustibly pure Bodhisattva multitudes who were storehouses of all measureless merit and virtue throughout the three periods of time, all came and assembled at the Buddha’s place. Because of this light, they could see all Buddhas’ places in the same way.

At that time, Vajra Banner Bodhisattva, receiving the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions and spoke these verses:

“The Thus Come Ones do not appear in the world.
Moreover, there is no Nirvana.
By means of the power of original great vows,
They manifest the Dharma of self-mastery.

This Dharma is difficult to conceive of;
It is not located in the mind’s workings.
When wisdom has arrived at the other shore,
One sees all Buddhas’ states.

The form-body is not the Buddha;
The same is also true of sound.
Yet it is not apart from forms or sounds
That one sees the Buddha’s power of spiritual penetrations.

One with little wisdom is unable to know
All Buddhas’ true and actual states.
When one has cultivated pure karma for a long time,
Then one is able to understand this.

The ones of proper enlightenment have no place they come to,
Nor is there anywhere they go.
Their pure and wonderful form-bodies
Manifest because of spiritual penetrations.

Within measureless world systems,
The Thus Come Ones’ bodies manifest.
While extensively speaking the subtle, wonderful Dharma,
Their minds are without any attachments.

With wisdom which is boundless
They thoroughly understand all Dharmas;
Universally entering into Dharma Realms,
They manifest the power of self-mastery.

Living beings as well as all Dharmas
Are thoroughly understood without obstruction.
They universally manifest a multitude of forms and images,
And pervade all kshetras.

If one wishes to seek All-Wisdom,
And quickly accomplish Unsurpassed Enlightenment,
One should used the pure and wondrous mind
To cultivate the practices for Bodhi.

If there is one who sees the Thus Come Ones’
Powers of awesome spirit such as these,
One should make offerings to the most supreme Honored Ones,
And not have any doubts.”

At that time, Solid Banner Bodhisattva, receiving the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions and spoke these verses:

“The Tathagatas are superior beyond compare;
Inexpressible, deep and profound.
They transcend the path of words and language,
And are pure like empty space.

You should contemplate these lions among men,
With their powers of comfortable, spiritual penetrations,
Who are already apart from discriminations,
Yet able to cause those who discriminate to see them.

The Guiding Masters proclaim
The most profound, subtle, and wonderful Dharma.
And according to the causes and conditions,
They manifest incomparable bodies.

This is great wisdom:
The place of all Buddhas’ practices.
If one wishes to understand,
Then one should constantly draw near the Buddhas.

With mind karma constantly pure,
One makes offerings to all Tathagatas.
One’s mind is never weary
And one is able to enter the Buddha’s Way.

Replete with merit and virtue inexhaustible,
One firmly dwells in the Bodhi mind.
Thus one casts out the net of doubts
And contemplates the Buddhas without growing tired.

Thoroughly penetrating all Dharmas,
One is a true disciple of the Buddha.
Such a one is able to understand and know
All Buddhas’ powers of sovereignty.

This is what vast and great wisdom proclaims:
Desire is the origin of all Dharmas.
One should give rise to supreme hopes and expectations,
And with determination, seek the Unsurpassed Enlightenment.

If there is one who is respectful of the Buddha,
And mindful to repay the Buddha’s kindness,
That one will never be apart
From dwelling with all Buddhas.

How could a person with wisdom
Having seen or heard the Buddha,
Not cultivate pure vows
And walk the Buddha’s path?”

At that time, Courageous Banner Bodhisattva, receiving the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“Just like clear and pure eyes
Which, because of the sun, can see a multitude of forms,
So too, the pure mind in the same way
Can see the Tathagata by means of the Buddha’s power.

Just as with the power of vigor
One is able to fathom the source of the sea,
So too, the power of wisdom
Enables one to see measureless Buddhas.

Just as a rich, fertile field
Will certainly nourish and make grow what is planted in it,
So too, the pure mind ground
Produces all Buddhadharmas.

Just as a person who obtains a store-house of jewels
Leaves the bitterness of poverty forever,
The Bodhisattva who obtains the Buddhadharma
Is apart from filth and purifies his mind.

Just as agada medicine Is able to eradicate all poisons,
So too, the Buddhadharma in the same way
Eradicates the distress of all afflictions.

A true and actual Good Knowing Advisor
Is one whom the Thus Come Ones praise,
For it is because of his awesome spirit
That one gets to hear all Buddhadharmas.

Throughout numberless kalpas
One might offer wealth and jewels to the Buddha,
But if one does not know the Buddha’s actual mark,
One still cannot be said to be truly giving.

A multitude of measureless forms and marks
Adorns the Buddhas’ bodies.
Yet it's not by means of forms or marks
That one is able to see the Buddhas.

The Thus Come Ones of Equal and Proper Enlightenment
Are tranquil and constantly unmoving
Yet they are able to universally manifest bodies
Which pervasively fill up realms in the ten directions.

Just as the realm of empty space
Is neither produced nor extinguished,
So too, all Buddhas’ Dharmas
Ultimately are not produced or destroyed.”

At that time, Bright Light Banner Bodhisattva, receiving the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“In the world of humans and in the heavens above
In all the world-realms there are
One can universally see the Thus Come Ones’
Pure and exquisite form bodies.

Just as the power of a single mind
Is able to produce all kinds of thoughts,
So too, the Buddha’s single body
Universally manifests all Buddhas.

Bodhi is a non-dual Dharma.
Furthermore, it is without any marks.
Yet within the midst of dual Dharmas,
There manifest the marks of the adorned body.

Upon understanding the Dharma nature is empty and still,
And arises like an illusion,
Then that which one practices is without exhaustion:
In this way, the Guiding Master appears.

All Buddhas of the three periods of time
Have Dharma bodies which are completely pure.
According to those who should be transformed,
They can universally manifest wonderful form bodies.

The Thus Come One doesn't think to himself,
" 'I will make a body like this.' "
Rather it naturally reveals itself,
And he never gives rise to distinctions.

He makes no discrimination about the Dharma Realm,
And also does not rely on it.
Yet, in the midst of the mundane world,
He manifests measureless bodies.

The Buddha’s body is changeless.
However, it does transform.
For in the midst of the unchanging Dharma
He makes appear shapes by transformation.

Proper Enlightenment cannot be measured.
It is equal to the Dharma Realm and empty space.
Unfathomable in its depth and vastness,
It is completely cut off from the path of words and language.

The Thus Come One is skillfully able to penetrate;
He practices the Way in every place.
He can travel without obstruction
To the multitudes of countries in the Dharma Realm.”

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