C H A P T E R    T W E N T Y - E I G H T

Chapters:  1   2   3   4   5           10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40    Contents    previous    next

Ten Spiritual Powers

Disciples of the Buddha! With the wisdom-based spiritual power of clearly discerning sentient beings’ words and voices, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva understands the various spoken words of sentient beings in worlds as many as dust motes in ineffably ineffable Buddhalands.

He understands the language of sages, the language of those who are not yet sages, the language of heavenly beings, the language of dragons, language of yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans and nonhumans, and so forth to the languages of ineffably ineffable sentient beings. He understands all their individual expressions and distinctions.

In any world that this Bodhisattva enters, he discerns the dispositions and desires of all beings therein. He communicates in ways suited to these beings' dispositions and desires so that they completely understand without a doubt. Just as sunshine appears to illumine all forms so that those with eyes will see clearly, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva is the same way. With the ability to proficiently differentiate all spoken words, he deeply enters all clouds of verbal communication. All of his speech aims to ensure that those intelligent and wise in the world understand.

This is called a Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s seventh wisdom-based spiritual power of clearly discerning all words and phrasing.

Disciples of the Buddha! With the wisdom-based spiritual power of producing infinite asankheyas of adorned physical bodies, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva knows that all dharmas are apart from characteristics of form, being free from distinctive characteristics, various characteristics, limitless characteristics, and differentiated characteristics, and not being characterized as green, yellow, red, or white.

A Bodhisattva who enters the Dharma Realm in this way manifests a body that takes on various forms—boundless forms, infinite forms, pure forms, adorned forms, all-pervasive forms, incomparable forms, all-illumining forms, enhanced forms, harmonious forms, forms replete with various features, forms removed from all vice, forms of awesome impact, honorable forms, inexhaustible forms, forms of  intermingling wonders, extremely stately forms, incalculable forms, well-guarded forms, forms capable of maturation, forms that adapt and transform, unobstructed forms, thoroughly lucid forms, unsullied forms, extremely translucent forms, forms of courageous might, forms of inconceivable expedience, incorruptible forms, flawless forms, unclouded forms, well-settled forms, magnificently ornamented forms, forms with various stately features, various forms of subsidiary fine characteristics, forms of dignified nobility, forms of marvelous states, well-polished and glistening forms, forms of a pure and profound mind, forms of blazing luster, forms of supreme grandeur, uninterrupted forms, independent forms,

matchless forms, forms filling inexpressibly many Buddhalands, increasing forms, steadfast and receptive forms, forms of supreme virtue, forms complying with the heart’s joy, forms of pure understanding, forms of collected wonders, forms of adroit determination, unimpeded forms, forms of spacious clarity, delightfully pure forms, forms apart from defilement, immeasurable forms, forms wondrous to behold, forms pervasively seen, forms appearing according to the time, tranquil forms, forms that abandon greed, forms of true fields of blessings, forms capable of creating peace, forms removed from fear, forms apart from foolish actions, forms of wisdom and courage, forms of unhampered physical characteristics, forms traveling everywhere, forms with minds relying on nothing, forms created by great kindness, forms manifested by great compassion, forms of impartial transcendence, forms replete with blessings and virtues, forms according to the thoughts in the mind, forms of boundless splendid jewels, forms of brilliance from treasure troves, forms inspiring faith and delight in sentient beings, forms in which all wisdom appears,

forms with happy eyes, forms foremost in the ornamentation of jewels forms without location, forms that manifest at will, forms of various spiritual powers, forms of those born in the family of Tathagatas, forms that surpass all analogies, forms pervading the Dharma Realm, forms of those to whom the masses flock seeking instruction, various forms, accomplished forms, forms of transcendence, forms of awesome deportment appropriate to those he teaches, forms that others never tire of seeing, various forms of luminous purity, forms that emanate countless webs of light, forms of an untold variety of radiance, forms with inconceivable fragrances and light beyond the three realms, forms of solar orbs that shine with infinite brightness, forms that reveal incomparable lunar orbs, forms of immeasurable delightful flower-shaped clouds, adorned forms that produce various clouds of lotus garlands, forms of fragrant flames beyond all worlds perfuming everywhere, forms that generate all Tathagatas’ Treasury, forms with  indescribable voices that fluently reveal and explain all dharmas, forms that fulfill all the practices of Universal Worthy.

Disciples of the Buddha! The Bodhisattva Mahasattva deeply enters this formless Dharma Realm and manifests various physical bodies such as these, causing those he wishes to transform to see and to think of him. He turns the Dharma wheel for those to be transformed according to their time and according to their characteristics so that they draw close to the Bodhisattva and become enlightened. The Bodhisattva uses various spiritual powers, manifests various kinds of freedom and ease, and employs diverse abilities for those to be transformed.

This is called a Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s eighth wisdom-based spiritual power by which he diligently practices and perfects countless physical bodies in order to take beings across.

Disciples of the Buddha! With the wisdom-based spiritual power of knowing all dharmas, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva knows that all dharmas are nameless, without a seed-nature, without coming or going, neither different nor similar, neither diverse nor lacking diversity, neither dual nor nondual, without self-existence, incomparable, neither arising nor ceasing, neither in motion nor destructible, neither solid nor void, neither of one characteristic nor without characteristics, neither nonexistent nor existent, neither dharma nor nondharma, neither compliant with worldly conventions nor not compliant with worldly conventions, neither karma nor not karma, neither retribution nor an absence of retribution, neither conditioned nor unconditioned, neither truth in the primary sense nor not truth in the primary sense, neither the Path nor not the Path, neither transcending nor nontranscending, neither quantifiable nor nonquantifiable, neither of this world nor world-transcendent, neither arising from causes nor not arising from causes, neither determinate nor indeterminate, neither realized nor unrealized, neither emergent nor nonemergent, neither differentiated nor undifferentiated, neither reasonable nor unreasonable.

This Bodhisattva does not grasp at mundane truth, does not dwell in truth in the primary sense, does not differentiate among dharmas, does not establish words, complies with the nature of quiescence, and does not forsake any vows. Because he perceives the principles and understands the Dharma, he can spread clouds of Dharma and send down a shower of Dharma rain.

Although he knows that the ultimate reality is beyond words, he nevertheless applies boundless eloquence and expedients to sequentially explain it according to the Dharma and principles. Because he has skillfully mastered all dharmas, words and oratory, and he has purified his immense kindness and compassion, he creates words for dharmas that are beyond words, which correspond to, rather than contradict, the Dharma and principles. He explains that all dharmas arise from conditions.

Although he engages in speech, he has no attachments. With his boundless eloquence, he proclaims all dharmas. He distinguishes, establishes, instructs, and guides to ensure that the nature of all dharmas is totally evident, severing all beings’ webs of doubt so that they become pure.

Although he gathers in sentient beings, he does not lose touch with ultimate reality, becomes irreversible in the practice of nonduality, and always expounds practices for entering nonobstruction. By means of myriad wondrous sounds, he never misses an opportunity to send down a universal rain of Dharma that accords with the minds of sentient beings.

This is called a Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s ninth wisdom-based spiritual power regarding all dharmas.

Disciples of the Buddha! With the wisdom-based spiritual power of the Samadhi of extinction of all dharmas, a Bodhisattva Mahasattva in thought after thought enters the Samadhi of extinction of all dharmas yet does not retreat from the Bodhisattva Path, abandon the work of a Bodhisattva, or relinquish the heart of great kindness and compassion. He practices the paramitas without rest and tirelessly contemplates all Buddhalands. He does not relinquish the vows of saving sentient beings nor does he cease the work of turning the Dharma wheel.

He does not abandon the work of teaching sentient beings nor does he renounce the practice of making offerings to all Buddhas. He does not renounce entry into the self-mastery of all dharmas nor does he renounce constantly seeing all Buddhas or constantly listening to all dharmas.

Knowing that all dharmas are equal and unimpeded, he effortlessly realizes all of the Buddhadharma and perfects all of his supreme vows. He comprehends the differences among all lands, enters the Buddhas’ seed-nature, and arrives at the other shore. In every world, he learns all dharmas, apprehending that dharmas are without characteristics. He knows that all dharmas arise from conditions and are without a substance or nature; nevertheless, he expediently explains them according to worldly conventions. Though his mind does not dwell upon any dharma, nevertheless, as an expedient he explains various dharmas according to sentient beings’ dispositions and desires.

When this Bodhisattva abides in Samadhi, he may stay for one eon, a hundred eons, a thousand eons, a million eons, a hundred million eons, a billion eons, a hundred billion eons, a million nayuta eons, a hundred million nayuta eons, a billion nayuta eons, a hundred billion nayuta eons, countless eons, measureless eons, even ineffably ineffable eons if he wishes. When a Bodhisattva enters this Samadhi of extinction of all dharmas, he may pass through that many eons, yet his body does not disintegrate, waste away, or change. He is neither visible nor invisible. He does not pass away, decay, tire out, or become lax; his endurance is inexhaustible. Although he makes no effort within existence or nonexistence, he accomplishes all the deeds of a Bodhisattva. That is to say, he never abandons sentient beings. He never misses an opportunity to teach and discipline them. He ensures that they grow in all aspects of the Buddhadharma and perfect all the practices of a Bodhisattva.

He utilizes his miraculous powers of spiritual transformation to benefit all sentient beings without ever pausing to rest. For example, he manifests everywhere like light and shadows yet remains still and quiet in Samadhi.

This is called a Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s tenth wisdom-based spiritual power of entering the Samadhi of the extinction of all dharmas. 

Disciples of the Buddha! A Bodhisattva Mahasattva abiding in these ten kinds of spiritual powers is inconceivable to any heavenly being, inconceivable to any sentient being, any Hearer, any Solitarily Enlightened Sage, and the rest of the Bodhisattvas. None of them can conceptualize his state. This Bodhisattva’s body karma is inconceivable, his speech karma is inconceivable, his mental karma is inconceivable, his self-mastery within Samadhi is inconceivable, and his states of wisdom are inconceivable. Other than Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas who have attained this spiritual power, no one else can tell, extol and praise the merit and virtue of this Bodhisattva.

Disciples of the Buddha! These are the ten spiritual powers of a Bodhisattva Mahasattva. If a Bodhisattva Mahasattva abides in these spiritual powers, then he attains all the unobstructed wisdom-based spiritual powers of the three periods of time.

previous   next   Contents

return to top