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The Wondrous Adornments of the Rulers of the Worlds

Chapter One, Part Three



Night-ruling Spirit Joy of Playful Roaming gained a passage into liberation of using boundless kindness that rescues and protects beings.  


The next Night-ruling Spirit is named Joy of Playful Roaming. This suggests both happily playing and the putting on a play, and also indicates a type of amusement. The play that one performs is a lot of fun, and also the things one does are a lot of fun. For example, a child runs and jumps around, and thinks that’s a lot of fun. That’s called playfully roaming, and the place where it happens is called a playground. These children (at the lecture) come here and play, and whether they listen to the Sutras or not, they come here and run around and make a ruckus. That’s playfully roaming, and it’s joyful. See how the kids become happy when they run around. That’s joy. We sentient beings in this world are that way, too. All the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas look upon us as children who are hopping and skipping around and stirring up a ruckus, as it were, running around all upside-down. But we think we’re happy.

Because sentient beings like the joy of playful roaming, this Night-ruling Spirit uses the joy of playful roaming to teach and transform sentient beings. She gained a passage into liberation of using boundless kindness that rescues and protects beings. She uses boundless kindness to gather in all children, and to cherish and protect them.

This Night-ruling Spirit’s boundless kindness is such that, no matter how wrong someone is, she still forgives him. Therefore, when a child cries, you don’t need to hit him or scold him. He will gradually stop crying. That’s boundless kindness.


Night-ruling Spirit Perpetually Blissful Faculties gained a passage into liberation of possessing great compassion that displays adornments everywhere.  


The next Night-ruling Spirit is named Perpetually Blissful Faculties. The faculties include the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. They are perpetually blissful, which means they are constantly filled with the bliss of Dharma. The eyes are filled with bliss of Dharma, and so are the ears. The eyes see the Dharma and are filled with bliss of Dharma. The ears hear the Dharma and are filled with Dharma bliss. The nose smells the aroma of the Dharma and is filled with Dharma bliss. The tongue tastes the flavor of Dharma and is filled with Dharma bliss. The body comes into contact with the flavor of Dharma and is filled with Dharma bliss. The mind thinks of Dharma and is filled with Dharma bliss. That is why this Night-ruling Spirit has the name Perpetually Blissful Faculties.

This Night-ruling Spirit is always teaching and transforming sentient beings. During the night she makes gifts of Dharma to sentient beings, and blesses them. The sentient beings may obtain the benefits of her giving of Dharma in their sleep and dreams; or they may obtain the advantages of the Dharma bestowed while they are seated or lying down. This Night-ruling Spirit is happy when she sees good sentient beings, and she is also happy when she sees evil sentient beings. She bestows the Dharma equally upon all sentient beings, whether good or evil, helping them to bring forth the resolve for bodhi, change their bad ways and reform for the better. That’s why she is called the Night-ruling Spirit Perpetually Blissful Faculties.

Faculties” may be interpreted as referring to a single faculty, as one might describe the eyes as always being happy. Earlier we said that “faculties” means the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, so how could this also just be the visual faculty? That’s because “all” is taken as meaning “each.” If it’s a single faculty, it’s talking about the eyes, and the eyes always being happy.

This Night-ruling Spirit works at night. What work does she do? She bestows the Dharma upon sentient beings. Since she works during the night, she is called a Night-ruling Spirit.

What did this Night-ruling Spirit obtain? She gained a passage into liberation of possessing great compassion that displays adornments everywhere. Displaying adornments everywhere means not just in a single place, but rather in limitlessly many locations. In boundless, countless and limitlessly many sites she adorns all Buddhalands. She transfers the merit from what she does to the lands of all Buddhas throughout the ten directions, to adorn all Buddhalands throughout the ten directions, so there are adornments within adornments in those lands of all Buddhas of the ten directions. That’s known as using the Buddhas’ adornments as one’s own adornments. When you adorn the lands of all Buddhas, you are adorning your own Buddhaland.

In the future, when you become a Buddha, the adornment of your Buddhaland will be far more fabulous than those of any other Buddhas of the ten directions, and much more beautiful. Why is that? It’s because the resolve you brought forth was vast, great, limitless, boundless, unreckonable, ineffably ineffable, inexhaustible and infinitely great, and so you obtain inexhaustible, infinite, limitless, numberless and boundless adornments. She also uses great compassion to save all sentient beings. Great compassion eradicates the suffering of sentient beings, enabling them to leave suffering and attain bliss. That is the great compassion referred to here. Who attained that passage into liberation of great compassion? It was this very Night-ruling Spirit Perpetually Blissful Faculties. She understood that kind of state.


Night-ruling Spirit Displaying Pure Blessings gained a passage into liberation of universally fulfilling the wishes of all sentient beings.  


“Displaying” can be interpreted as pointing out and as manifesting, either as one idea or as two. To point out is as, for example, when you point with your finger and say, “Do you see? It’s over there.” That’s displaying in the sense of indicating and pointing out. Displaying can also mean manifesting something that didn’t exist before. To start with, it wasn’t there, but now it is. What is displayed in this case? It is pure blessings and virtue. Pure lands are displayed, along with sentient beings who have blessings and virtue. Living beings who have blessings and virtue can be saved, and pure lands can manifest.

If sentient beings who have blessings and virtue can be saved, what about sentient beings who lack blessings and virtue? Can they be saved or not? They are saved, too, but somewhat later. They aren’t rescued at the same time. Night-ruling Spirit Displaying Pure Blessings first rescues sentient beings who have virtuous natures, and once they have been rescued, she goes on to rescue sentient beings who are average. After saving the average beings, she then rescues the inferior ones. The superior grade is rescued first, and afterwards the average. The inferior ones come last. The manifesting works that way, too. First she displays pure lands, then lands that are half defiled and half pure, and finally she manifests the evil worlds of the five turbidities. Our world now is an evil world of five turbidities. It has the turbidity of the eon, the turbidity of views, the turbidity of afflictions, the turbidity of sentient beings, and the turbidity of life spans. Our world is particularly defiled with those five kinds of impurities. Those five kinds of impurity influence people to be unclean.

But now this Night-ruling Spirit displays great spiritual powers. She has gained a passage into liberation of universally fulfilling the wishes of all sentient beings. On a universal scale, whenever she sees any sentient beings whose faculties are ripe, she goes to save those sentient beings. And when any sentient beings’ faculties are not yet mature, she waits for them. She waits a minute. She waits until the very end to rescue the sentient beings whose dispositions are most base. That’s known as universally fulfilling the wishes of all sentient beings.It’s only to be feared that you don’t like anything. If you like something, she will endow you with it. If you happen to like a dog, this Night-ruling Spirit finds a way to present a dog to you. You take walks all over with the dog on a leash. After many strolls, you reach the door of a Way-place, and the dog wants to go in. You can’t hold the dog back, and so you go in, too. Once you hear what is said inside, you become enlightened! So you see, because you liked a dog, the dog could lead you to enlightenment.

This too is having one’s wishes fulfilled. If you like to raise cats, the Night-ruling Spirit may give you a cat. You may ask, “What kind of Dharma is this Dharma Master speaking?” I’m speaking the Dharma of dogs and cats. If you can’t rescue people, saving a dog or a cat is pretty good, too. Don’t look down on cats and dogs. Sãkyamuni Buddha in his previous lives was a cat and a dog, and he was a deer. That’s why there is the Deer Wilds Park in India . There are reasons for all of this. Don’t look down on any sentient being. All sentient beings have the Buddha-nature. They are all capable of becoming Buddhas.

When their wishes are fulfilled, they are delighted. I’m not joking. People in the world are happy when they get what they want and upset when they don’t get what they want.

Suppose a particular person likes money, or gold, or silver, or diamonds; as he goes out the door, he trips, and as he stretches out his hand, he touches an enormous diamond, of more than 120 carats. Would you say that was strange or not? He brings it in and becomes rich. That’s another example getting one’s wish fulfilled. The diamond had been lying there for ages, but no one had caught sight of it. Then this person stumbles and happens to touch it with his hand. Is that strange or not? You may say, “That kind of thing never happens.” Of course, since it hasn’t happened to you, you say it can’t be. But if it happened to you, it would be something that had happened.

Don’t pay attention to whether this sort of thing could happen or not. Just try it out. Try tripping as you go out, and see what the result is. But I take that back. If, after hearing me talk about it, you trip on purpose, it won’t happen to you. It has to be unintentional. If you are not trying to make it happen, it can happen. But if you’re trying to make it happen, it won’t happen. Things in the world are just that strange. A girl would like to have a boyfriend, but for all her wishing, she doesn’t get one. And a boy would like to have a girlfriend, but for all his yearning, he doesn’t get one either. This is all false thinking. No reality will issue forth from it. But now this Night-ruling Spirit fulfills the wishes of sentient beings. If you have certain false thoughts, and your false thoughts are not becoming reality, go ask the Night-ruling Spirit Perpetually Blissful Faculties, “You are supposed to be fulfilling sentient beings’ wishes, so why haven’t you fulfilled mine?” The Night-ruling Spirit will ask, “Aren’t you counted among sentient beings?” She attained this passage into liberation, and it’s a pretty fine passage into liberation, don’t you think?


At that time, Night-ruling Spirit Pure Light of Universal Virtue received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the multitudes of Night-ruling Spirits, and spoke the following verse.  

At that time, right after the Night-ruling Spirit Displaying Pure Blessings finished speaking the previous section of prose, Night-ruling Spirit Pure Light of Universal Virtue received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the assembled multitudes of Night-ruling Spirits, and spoke the following verse. Adapting to the potentials of that assembly of Night-ruling Spirits, she composed lines of verse in praise of the Buddha.


You should contemplate the Buddha’s practices:
They are vast like space, characterized by stillness.
He has completely purified the shoreless ocean of desires:
Immaculate and adorned, he illumines the ten directions.  


Night-ruling Spirit Pure Light of Universal Virtue Pure Light is one of the Youth Good Wealth’s kalyana-mitra, “good friends,” the Good Friend upon the Ground of Leaving Filth. She addresses all the multitudes of night-ruling spirits saying: You should contemplate the Buddha’s practices.That is, “All of you Night-ruling Spirits ought to carefully observe the dharma doors practiced by the Buddha, and the Way traveled by the Buddha.” The dharma doors cultivated by the Buddha involve practicing what is virtually impossible to practice, enduring the unendurable. He could stand sufferings that most people cannot stand, and cultivate methods of cultivation that others cannot cultivate. For that reason, you should contemplate the incredibly difficult ascetic practices that the Buddha cultivated. But it’s not enough just to observe them. You must cultivate in accord with those dharmas. Ask yourself, “The Buddha could practice such rigorous asceticism. Can I practice it or not?” You’re not finished after you’ve made the contemplation. You need to emulate the dharma doors practiced by the Buddha. If you can’t cultivate in accord with the Dharma, you should be very repentant.

They are vast like space, characterized by stillness. The practices cultivated by the Buddha are extremely vast and extensive, comparable to space, which is still and quiet. Is there any sound that comes from space? Space is empty. Space is characterized by stillness. Space has vastness and stillness as its characteristics, and so do the dharma doors cultivated by the Buddha. He practices as if he weren’t doing anything, without any attachments. He cultivates without there being any cultivation, and realizes the fruition without there being any realization. For him there is no cultivation and no realization, because he has no attachments. For that reason, it is like space. Space has no characteristics, yet it is not apart from all characteristics. Another way of describing this is that right within dharmas one is free of all marks.

He has completely purified the shoreless ocean of desires. People have boundless desires. Their desires are never satisfied. Thoughts of desire never cease. Desires are like an immense, shoreless ocean. Nonetheless, even though the ocean of desires has no shores, the Buddha uses the previously mentioned dharma doors to regulate the ocean of desires so they are purified. That is, he returns to the original source and enlightens to everything. That’s what’s meant by completely purifying.

Immaculate and adorned, he illumines the ten directions. The Buddha is the pure and immaculate Dharma body. The Thirty-two Hallmarks and Eighty Subsidiary Characteristics adorn his body. The light of the Buddha’s wisdom shines everywhere throughout the ten directions of the Dharma Realm. Right now as we lecture sutras and speak Dharma here, that too can be called the light of the Buddha’s wisdom universally illumining the ten directions.


All beings in all worlds delight in seeing him,
Though in an ocean of countless eons, he may be seen but once.
With great compassion, he’s mindful of all beings, never failing to reach anyone.
This passage to liberation Observing the World perceives.  


All beings in all worlds delight in seeing him. "All beings in all worlds" means all sentient beings in the lands of the ten directions. Every single one of them likes to see the Buddha. Though in an ocean of countless eons, he may be seen but once. During an ocean-like time of limitless, boundless, and countless great eons, occasionally one might meet the Buddha. One can’t do so all the time.

With great compassion, he’s mindful of all beings, never failing to reach anyone. The Buddha uses great compassion to teach and transform sentient beings. He keeps sentient beings in mind and rescues them. His greatly compassionate mind is always on sentient beings. He never fails to reach any. The Buddha keeps sentient beings of all locations in mind. This passage to liberation Observing the World perceives. This is what the Night-ruling Spirit Observing the World sees and understands.

This second stanza pertains to the Ground of Emitting Light, and this Night-ruling Spirit is the Youth Good Wealth’s good friend upon the Ground of Emitting Light.

In cultivation, one must be more vigorous, more sincere, and more repentant every day. If you become lazier, more lax, and sloppier daily, you will never succeed in your cultivation. As long as you are lax, you will never make progress. In cultivation of the Way, at all times you need to keep your thoughts under control, and not let false thoughts or thoughts of desire arise. To prevent the arising of false thinking and desire, you must start by following the rules. The rules are not just one person’s rules. They are the community’s rules, the rules that everyone in the group should follow. Why is that? Without a compass and a straightedge, you can’t make circles and squares. In other words, rules are necessary. Consequently, any cultivator who doesn’t respect the rules is the worst sort of person. If you lack respect for your teacher and look lightly on the Way, you are “like rotten wood that cannot be carved, and like a wall of dung that no painting can change.” No matter how pretty a picture you paint on a wall of dung, it’s still excrement, even if it looks attractive. This is especially true if the sloppy and unruly person is a Bhikshu—a fully ordained monk. There is no value at all in being such a Bhikshu. If even the Bhikshus don’t follow the rules, then the laypeople, who learn the Buddhadharma from the Bhikshus, will follow the rules even less. In everything you say and do, you should act as a model for others.


The Guiding Master saves and protects all in the worlds.
Sentient beings see him right before their eyes.
He helps those in all destinies become pure:
Protecting the World contemplates thus. 


The Guiding Master saves and protects all in the worlds. A Guiding Master is one who leads and trains; this Guiding Master refers to the Buddha. The Buddha referred to here is Sãkyamuni Buddha, not all the Buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time. However, all the Buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time save and protect all in the worlds just as Sãkyamuni Buddha does.

He saves and rescues sentient beings from the sea of suffering, and brings them to accomplishment. He also guards and protects all sentient beings, all members of the world of sentience. That’s why the text says, “The Guiding Master saves and protects all in the worlds.”

Sentient beings see him right before their eyes. When the Buddha appears in the world, each and every sentient being sees the Buddha right in front of him, speaking Dharma for that being. What is this like? When the moon shines, it is reflected in every body of water. Are there that many moons? No, there is just one. A single moon is universally reflected in every place where there is water, and all the moons in those bodies of water derive from that one moon. When the Buddha appears before sentient beings, sentient beings are comparable to the bodies of water, and the Buddha is like the moon appearing in the water of the minds of all sentient beings. There is a saying:

The Buddha is like a clear, cool moon
Always roaming in space.
If the water of the mind of a sentient being is pure,
Bodhi is reflected in it.

This verse compares the Buddha to a clear, cool moon that is always travelling in space. If the water in the mind of sentient beings is pure, then enlightenment appears within the water of the mind.

Therefore the text goes on to say: He helps those in all destinies become pure. He can help all sentient beings within the five evil destinies to achieve purity. Their offenses are eradicated and blessings are created. Their karma is ended, and their emotions are emptied. Since their offenses are eradicated, they are pure. Since they are empty of emotion, they are even purer. As a result, all destinies are purified. Protecting the World contemplates thus. Night-ruling Spirit Protecting the World’s Essence and Energy understands the state of that passage into liberation.

The third stanza is that of the Youth Good Wealth’s good friend on the Ground of Blazing Wisdom. She and Good Wealth are good friends. They encourage each other to cultivate the Way, to improve and perfect themselves in their study of the Buddhadharma, so that they can advance together.  


In the past the Buddha cultivated an ocean of joy–
Immense, boundless, and unfathomable.
Therefore those who see him all rejoice:
Tranquil Sound understands thus.


In the past the Buddha cultivated an ocean of joy . The Buddha is Sãkyamuni Buddha, and the past spans a period from limitless eons ago up to now. Cultivation involves practice and discipline. Practice is quite natural, whereas there is some forcing involved in discipline. As it is said: “Things are forced in the beginning, but in time come naturally.” It’s hard when you first start.

He cultivated an ocean of joy through the practice of happiness. As it’s said: “The spirits and immortals from of old had no other method: they were immensely happy and never worried.” Immortals, who have not yet ended birth and death, all cultivate a happy attitude. How much the more so does the Buddha cultivate that.

The practice of happiness involves being happy with people no matter how badly they treat you. This practice cannot be perfected in just one, two, three, five, ten or twenty days. You must cultivate it in life after life for limitless eons. It means not getting angry or afflicted at people and making progress without retreating. You have to go forward in your cultivation and never turn back. You must strive to be ever more vigorous and courageous in your cultivation of happiness. No matter who treats you badly, you must maintain your happy state and not get afflicted. You cannot have a temper. Sãkyamuni Buddha cultivated thus in the past. We, as disciples of the Buddha, should base our own cultivation on the practices cultivated by our fundamental teacher, Sãkyamuni Buddha.

A work called Vegetable-Root Discourses puts it very well:  

When breezes are gentle and the moon unclouded, plants and trees are joyful;
But when the rains are fierce and the winds wild, then the birds cry out. Heaven and earth need to remain in harmony at all times.
And the spirit of happiness should never leave people’s minds.

What is this describing? When there are gentle breezes, there isn’t any strong wind. “An unclouded moon” means the moon is clear and beautiful. The plants and trees are so joyful they laugh. As the saying goes: “When trees are joyful, they flourish.” The plants and trees are all happy in the springtime when the weather is mild and the days are warm. But when the rain strikes out like someone getting angry, and the wind becomes overpowering, the birds are miserable and make sounds as if they were crying. You may have noticed how the birds cry out on a day when it’s going to rain. They cry because they know it’s going to rain and they won’t find things to eat.

For that reason, heaven and earth need to maintain an atmosphere of harmony, in which there are no storms or dark clouds covering the sun. And people’s minds need to retain the spirit of happiness. People should keep a spirit of joy kindled in their hearts. Don’t have a spirit that brings death. When a person is about to die, a very inauspicious kind of spirit will appear. The spirit of joy is auspicious. Consequently, cultivators of the Way should always be happy. It should not be that the more you study, the greater your temper is. That’s useless. You should always be good to everyone. I don’t mean the emotion-based goodness shown by people in the world. I mean treating people well in a pure way. Towards everyone, you should have a good feeling that is pure and not defiled.

The Buddha in the past cultivated an ocean of joy that was immense, boundless and unfathomable. That ocean was so enormous that it had no borders, and could not be sounded to its depths. There’s no way to say how big it was. Therefore those who see him all rejoice. All sentient beings who see the Buddha become joyful and happy. Tranquil Sound understands thus. Night-ruling Spirit Sound of the Tranquil Sea understands this state and passage into liberation. This stanza represents the Youth Good Wealth’s Good Friend on the Fifth Ground, the Ground of Difficult Conquest. The four Grounds prior to it are not as outstanding, which is why the Fifth Ground is said to be hard to surpass.


The Tathagata’s realm cannot be measured.
Though silent, he speaks throughout the ten directions.
He causes purity to rise in the minds of all beings:
The Night Spirit Sri hears and rejoices thus.


The Tathagata , the “Thus Come One,” does not come from anywhere, nor does he go anywhere, and so he is called the One Come Thus. The Thus Come One seems to come, yet doesn’t come. Then does he go somewhere? No. Since he neither comes nor goes, he is said to be Thus Come. “Thus Come One” is one of the ten titles of the Buddha. That being the case, this line refers to the Buddha. The Tathagata is the Buddha, and the Buddha is the Tathagata.

People who don’t understand the Buddhadharma say, “Tathagata Buddha,” but that’s just saying, “Buddha Buddha.” The Way of all Buddhas is the same. All Buddhas are alike. All Buddhas are one, just as all lights are identical in their luminescence. There are no lights that lack brightness. However, there are black lights, as well as red, yellow, white, and purple ones. Even though there are so many kinds of light, all lights are mutually harmonious. In the same way, there are no distinctions between Buddhas. That’s why it’s said that the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time have one and the same Dharma body. Their Dharma body is one, that is, one light. Since the Buddhas are a single light, why don’t we people want to be a single light? Even though people aren’t one light, people’s tempers are one and the same. You, I, and others all have tempers. If we can turn those tempers into light, everything will be fine. That’s known as “smelting down spears and making them into plowshares.” If you can get rid of your temper, then you will be left with light and wisdom.

Why are you deluded? It’s because you have a temper. Temper results from accumulated ignorance and afflictions. It’s truly pitiable. As soon as you have a temper, anger arises. And when anger arises, so does the wish to kill. Killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and the taking of intoxicants are the outcomes of ignorance, afflictions, and temper. That’s why I said that what’s identical about people is their temper.

What is more, I am a left-home person with tremendous greed. What am I greedy for? I’m greedy for people’s tempers. I want everyone to give his or her temper to me. However, you people can’t part with your tempers. You hang onto them as if they were more precious than pearls or diamonds. You can’t give your tempers away. Even so, you have to part with them. It will never do not to renounce them. Unless you give them up, you can’t become a Buddha. You can become a Buddha only if you part with them. All sentient beings have the Buddha nature, yet all sentient beings have potentially demonic natures, too. The demonic nature is their temper. If you don’t believe it, think it over. If you have a temper, you can become a demon. But without a temper, you return to the source and manifest a great treasury of light. Your prajña wisdom appears.

As I talk, I forget the time and the topic, but I haven’t strayed too far. Now I can come back. Where do I return to? To the Buddha’s realm. You may ask, “Do you understand the Buddha’s realm?” I understand it a little bit, not a lot. Why do I say I just understand a little? It’s because the Buddha’s realm cannot be measured. It is infinite, beyond numerical measure. And it is boundless. It has no boundaries. It’s also ineffably ineffable. Since it has that ineffability, I understand it is indescribable. The state of its being indescribable is what I understand. You ask me, “What is it like?” Well, it’s indescribable, so why do you want me to describe it? I can’t describe it, and you shouldn’t ask about it either. Just what you shouldn’t ask about isthe Buddha’s realm. And what I cannot describe is the Buddha’s realm as well.

If you know that little bit, then you’ve just about got it. You shouldn’t know too much. It’s too much trouble to know too much. If you just know that little bit, then what? You break through ignorance, and the Dharma nature manifests. When you smash through ignorance, then the Dharma nature will appear. That’s a little bit about the Buddha’s realm, but even that little bit does not exist. And since it does not exist, it cannot be measured. Do you say it exists? Then pick it up and show it to me. Everything whatsoever is the Buddha’s realm. If you understand, then everything is the Buddha’s realm. If you don’t understand, it’s still the Buddha’s realm—only you don’t know and haven’t understood yet. That’s how the Buddha’s realm cannot be measured and has no numerical limits.

Though silent, he speaks throughout the ten directions. The Buddha’s realm is still, silent, and unmoving. Even so, he responds to sentient beings. He is still and quiescent without being characterized by stillness. He responds without being characterized by movement. That’s why the text says, “Though silent, he can speak throughout the ten directions.” Without moving from the Way-place, he extends throughout the Dharma Realm. He extends throughout the Dharma Realm, and yet does not move from the Way-place. Why is that? It’s because even though he is silent, he can speak. Right within the state of silence and stillness, he can speak wonderful Dharma for all the sentient beings of the dharma realms of the ten directions.

Even though he proclaims wonderful Dharma, he is not like ordinary people such as ourselves. When we are in this place, then we are not in that place. And when we are in that other place, we are no longer in this place. The reason is that we cannot divide our bodies. We don’t have billions of transformation bodies, so we can’t be still and yet speak. We have to move to speak. We might move by taking an airplane to New York or a boat to London . Those are examples of moving. If you can be still and yet speak, however, you don’t need to purchase an airplane ticket or buy a ticket for a boat. You will pervade the Dharma Realm. You may say, “That’s too mysterious. We’re in the Scientific Age, and you’re still spouting such vacuous talk. None of that is factual.” Well, if you claim this is obscure and not factual, then look for something that is factual. I don’t believe you will find any such thing.

Your own nature has that kind of wonderful functioning; it’s just that you don’t understand it. This is comparable to having a precious wish-fulfilling pearl right within your clothing. Since you don’t know how to use it, it’s as if you didn’t have it. If you can use it, however, you conjure up all kinds of transformations at will. The essential thing is that you know how to make the pearl function. If you can’t use it, although it could fulfill your wishes, it doesn’t. If you do know how to use it, then what originally went against your wishes will end up fulfilling your wishes.

So, even though he is still and silent, he can speak throughout the ten directions. He reaches all dharma realms throughout the ten directions—doing what? The next line explains that he causes purity to rise in the minds of all beings.Why is it that we have tempers, afflictions, and ignorance? It is because our minds are not yet purified. If our minds were pure, our ignorance would be demolished, and our afflictions would be cut off. And yet, afflictions cannot be cut off; they can only be transformed. Into what? Turn afflictions into bodhi, and smash ignorance into wisdom. If you insist on cutting off afflictions, once severed, how can they become bodhi? Therefore, you shouldn’t cut them off, but instead retain a tiny amount of them to change into bodhi. People develop afflictions because they don’t understand, whereas bodhi arises from understanding. That’s why I was wrong just now when I said to cut off afflictions. If afflictions are severed and ignorance demolished, how can you turn them into bodhi?

Here’s an analogy. Ice is equivalent to afflictions, and bodhi equals water. The meaning of cutting off afflictions is not that the ice should be heated to the drying point so that it evaporates and leaves no water. Rather, you should melt the ice so that it changes into water. Ice is water, and water is ice. Afflictions are bodhi, and bodhi is afflictions. If you understand, then it’s bodhi; but when you are muddled, it’s afflictions. Afflictions and bodhi are not two different things. That being the case, you should not add a head on top of the head you already have by looking for bodhi apart from afflictions.

Now, there is pervasion of the ten directions. Afflictions extend throughout the ten directions, and so does bodhi. The light of the Buddha’s wisdom also shines everywhere in the ten directions. These are all linked. You may ask, “Why do you say afflictions, ignorance, and temper all pervade the ten directions?” It’s very simple. You tell me: Are there or are there not sentient beings in the ten directions? “There are,” you reply. Well, if there are sentient beings, then there must be tempers, afflictions and ignorance, right? So how could they not pervade the ten directions? Bodhi is like that too; it also extends throughout the ten directions. Where there are sentient beings, there is bodhi—the nature of bodhi, the Buddha-nature.

The more I talk today, the farther I stray from the topic. Dharma Master Ren Jun must be smiling to himself, thinking that this Dharma Master will never finish. Well, let me say a little more. “If someone wishes to understand the Buddha’s state, he should purify his mind so it is like space.” Those are lines of verse from the Flower Adornment Sutra. If you want to understand what the Buddha’s state is like, you have to make your mind pure, just as pure as space. “But,” you may protest, “these days the atmosphere is polluted with smog.” Although it’s temporarily polluted, it will slowly become pure. Don’t worry. Air pollution can clear up with time. It’s not irreversible.

Night Spirit Sri hears and rejoices thus. “Sri” means “auspiciousness.” As soon as the Night-ruling Spirit Universally Manifesting Good Auspices heard about this kind of state, this wonderful and inconceivable principle, she was so delighted she jumped for joy. See how the Night-ruling Spirit, upon hearing the Dharma, started dancing! That Night-ruling Spirit was not alone. You may recall how the Patriarch Mahakäsyapa, long-term cultivator and ascetic that he was, also got up and danced when he heard music chanted well. That indicates how the wonderful Dharma makes people so happy they forget themselves and others. They forget themselves and don’t know where they are. That’s being filled with the bliss of Dharma.

I don’t know if the principles which I have spoken for all of you Good Advisors today are correct or not. I have simply been talking with you in a very casual manner. If any of you feel the principles were incomplete, you can use the wisdom of your own nature to illumine them, and then bring this up for all of us to investigate together. We must discover the Buddha’s mind, the Buddha’s intent, what the Buddha originally hoped for when he first spoke this sutra. We shouldn’t use our own personal opinions, but should instead employ the Buddha’s viewpoint. We ought to take the Buddha’s mind as our own mind and the Buddha’s intent as our own intent. We need to understand what the Buddha’s original intention was when he spoke the Flower Adornment Sutra. Each one of us should deeply understand the meaning of the sutra text.

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