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

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

The Ten Patiences

Just as a person of great blessings who
Acquires a treasury of fine gold
Carries the gold with him,
Fashioning it into ornaments.

In the same way, the Bodhisattva.
Hearing the Dharma’s profound meaning,
Ponders it, expanding his oceanic wisdom,
And cultivates the dharma of compliance.

He understands to accord with the existence of dharmas.
He understands to accord with the nonexistence of dharmas.
In this way he tallies with every dharma,
Thus achieving an understanding of all dharmas.

Accomplishing the pure mind
Brings thorough understanding and great joy.
Knowing that dharmas arise from conditions,
He cultivates with diligent zeal.

Impartially contemplating all dharmas,
He comes to know their inherent nature.
Not opposing the treasury of Buddhadharma,
He awakens universally to all dharmas.

Constantly fortifying his resolve with joy,
He thereby purifies and adorns the Buddhas' bodhi;
Immovable as Mount Sumeru,
He single-mindedly quests for Right Enlightenment.

With vigorous resolve,
He cultivates the path of Samadhi.
Through measureless eons of diligent practice,
He never retreats or falters. 

The Dharma the Bodhisattva enters
Is what is practiced by the Buddhas.
Comprehending this principle,
His mind never grows weary or lax.

As the Peerless One taught,
He regards all dharmas impartially.
Bearing everything equally with patience,
He is able to achieve the wisdom of impartiality.  

Following what the Buddhas taught,
He accomplishes the dharma of patience.
Understanding the dharmas in accord with Thusness,
He does not differentiate among them.

In the Heaven of the Thirty-three,
All the celestial princes
Share a single vessel of food--
Yet every prince’s food tastes different. 

The various foods that are eaten
Do not come from the ten directions.
According to the karma of their cultivation,
These foods naturally appear in the vessel.

A similar thing happens to Bodhisattvas
As they contemplate all dharmas,
Which arise from causes and conditions
Yet do not come into being or cease to be.

Since they do not cease to be, they have no end.
Since they have no end, they are free of defilement.
Thus, regarding the ever-changing worldly dharmas,
The Bodhisattva knows them to be beyond change.

Without change, there is no location.
Without a location, there is quiescence.
With his mind undefiled by attachments,
He vows to liberate all sentient beings.

Concentrating on the Buddhadharma,
He is never distracted or moved.
With a heart of compassionate vows,
He acts expediently in the world.

Diligent in his quest for the Ten Powers,
He abides in the world but does not dwell.
Neither going nor coming,
He expediently and skillfully expounds the Dharma.

This patience is supreme.
Understanding that dharmas are endless,
He enters the true Dharma Realm
Without actually entering anything.

The Bodhisattva dwelling in this patience
Universally sees all Thus Come Ones
Simultaneously bestowing a prediction upon him.
This is called being offered a position by the Buddhas. 

Comprehending that dharmas in the three periods of time
Are characterized by stillness and purity,
He is able to transform sentient beings
And set them in a wholesome path.

All the various dharmas in the world
Are nothing more than illusions.
Once the Bodhisattva can understand them thus,
His mind will not be swayed.

All karma is born from the mind.
But since the mind is said to be like an illusion,
If one leaves these discriminations,
All paths of existence will be extinguished.

The mind is like a magician
Who conjures up every image,
Causing the crowd to crave them with delight.
Ultimately there is nothing there.

The world is also thus.
All things are illusions— 
Without a nature or an origin,
In spite of their manifold appearances.

The Bodhisattva liberates sentient beings,
Leading them to realize that dharmas are illusory.
Beings are no different from illusions.
Once illusion is understood, there are no beings.

Sentient beings, countries,
And all dharmas in the three periods of time,
Are, without exception,
No more than illusions.

The mind conjures up illusory men and women,
Elephants, horses, oxen, sheep,
Cottages, pools, springs, and such,
Groves, flowers, fruits, and the like.

These illusory things have no sentience,
Nor any place where they dwell.
Characterized by ultimate quiescence,
They manifest in response to discriminations.

The Bodhisattva in this way
Contemplates all in the world.
All dharmas, conditioned or unconditioned,
He understands to be illusory. 

Sentient beings and lands
Are created by various kinds of karma.
Entering the illusion-like realm,
The Bodhisattva relies on and attaches to nothing.

Attaining skillful means in this way,
The Bodhisattva is tranquil and free from sophistry.
Dwelling on the ground of nonobstruction,
He universally displays magnificent might. 

Courageous disciples of the Buddha!
Comply with and enter the wonderful Dharma.
Deftly observe how every thought
Traps and entangles one in the world.

The myriad thoughts resemble mirages,
Causing beings to be confused.
The Bodhisattva recognizes the true nature of thoughts
And leaves all confusion far behind.

Sentient beings are each distinct,
Their forms and kinds not the same.
Realize that everything comes from thought.
There is no reality to anything.

Sentient beings in the ten directions
Are all obscured by their thoughts.
If they could renounce confused perceptions,
All worldly thoughts would cease to be.

All beings in the world resemble mirages.
They vary only according to thoughts.
Knowing that the world is based on thoughts,
One departs from the three kinds of confusion.

Take the analogy of a mirage on a hot day:
Most people perceive it as water.
In actuality there is no water at all,
And the wise do not seek water there.

For sentient beings it is that way, too.
Their mundane inclinations are mirages,
Figments of their minds,
Yet the state of their minds is unobstructed.

As one transcends thoughts,
One also abandons fallacious arguments.
Then one becomes able to liberate
Those who foolishly cling to thoughts.

Removed from arrogance,
Devoid of worldly thoughts,
One dwells in a realm both finite and infinite:
These are a Bodhisattva’s expedients.

previous   next   Contents

Chapter 29 pages:  1    2    3    4    5

return to top