THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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A Commentary by the Venerable Master
Hsuan Hua

The Ten Dwellings

Chapter Fifteen

Sutra

At that time, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s awesome power, and entered the Samadhi of a Bodhisattva’s Limitless Skill-In-Means. Through the power of samadhi, in each of the ten directions, beyond world systems as many as motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands, there were Buddhas as many as fine motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands, all with the same name. That name was Dharma Wisdom. They everywhere appeared before him and spoke to Dharma Wisdom, saying, “Good indeed, good indeed good man, that you are able to enter the Samadhi of a Bodhisattva’s Limitless Skill-In-Means!

Commentary:

This chapter speaks about the Ten Dwellings. The Bodhisattva’s Ten Dwellings are discussed in detail in this chapter. This is the fifteenth chapter of the Sutra. The Ten Dwellings, Chapter Fifteen. At that time, that is, when the Fourteenth Chapter had finished being spoken, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva Dharma Wisdom, received the Buddha’s awesome power—he also trusted to and received the great awesome power of the Buddhas of the ten directions--and entered the Samadhi of a Bodhisattva’s Limitless Skill-In-Means.

When a Bodhisattva or a Buddha wants to speak Dharma, first he enters samadhi. Entering, dwelling, and leaving samadhi: samadhi is entered, dwelt in, and left. What is samadhi? It is concentration. It is just entering a state of concentration. When Bodhisattvas are about to speak Dharma, they first enter samadhi and observe the causes and conditions of living beings. In accordance with whatever method should be used to save them, the Bodhisattva speaks the Dharma. For a Bodhisattva, the causes and conditions of speaking Dharma are to first enter samadhi. The Buddha is the same. Before speaking Dharma, he first enters samadhi for awhile.

When people lecture on the Sutras and speak Dharma, it is also best if before hand they could sit for two hours; then whether or not they enter samadhi, they would still have purified their minds and rid themselves of random thoughts. Then when they lecture on the Sutras, their genuine wisdom will manifest. So, if you do not first sit in stillness for awhile before you lecture the Sutras, when you speak, you won’t have any genuine wisdom. Your Sutra lecture will be very dry and uninteresting. If you can enter samadhi, the doctrines you speak will flow from your self-nature, just like water gushing forth without cease. This is an advantage of entering samadhi.

From precepts, samadhi arises, and from samadhi, wisdom comes forth. How do you enter samadhi? First, you must follow rules. Why can’t you enter samadhi? Because you don’t follow the rules, like one of my disciples. If he followed the rules, he would have entered samadhi long ago. He’s been here so long and doesn’t know what entering samadhi is, since he hasn’t ever done it. This is because he is greedy to play. Whenever something fun is going on, he’s happy. But he feels that cultivating the Way is not of any great interest. Bodhisattvas enter the Bodhisattvas’ Limitless Skill-in-Means Samadhi. The Samadhi is the Skill-in Means Samadhi. What is skill-in-means? It is clever, provisional expedient devices: using the Dharma doors that appeal to living beings and speaking Dharma to them accordingly to cause all living beings to be filled with Dharma bliss. There is not just one kind of Dharma door. They are limitless. Provisional means temporary; clever means ingenious—conditional, artful devices to teach all living beings. Through the power of samadhi, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva entered samadhi and used the power of samadhi.

In each of the ten directions, in the other worlds of the ten directions: every direction has countries as numerous as motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands. Beyond world systems as many as motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands; beyond that there are a further one thousand Buddhalands. There were Buddhas, there are so many Buddhas as many as fine motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands, as many as the motes of dust in the thousand Buddhalands gone beyond, all with the same name. And what is the name? That name was Dharma Wisdom. They are all called Dharma Wisdom. There are Buddhas as numerous as the motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands beyond worlds as many as the motes of dust in Buddhalands, and Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva made use of the samadhi power of these Buddhas. With so many additional Buddhalands, and so many Buddhas, the response and the Way intertwine, and that many Buddhas all have the same name.

So somebody wondered how in the Amitabha Sutra two Buddhas could have the same name. Here, not only two, but also Buddhas as many as the motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands all have the same name, Dharma Wisdom. Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva welcomes Dharma Wisdom Buddhas: They everywhere appeared before him. These Buddhas all appeared in front of Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva and spoke to Dharma Wisdom, saying, “Good indeed, good indeed good man, you have entered samadhi and are about to speak Dharma. This is very good, very good indeed, that you are able to enter the Samadhi of a Bodhisattva’s Limitless Skill-In-Means! For the sake of living beings, you have entered this limitless skill-in-means concentration in order to teach and transform them. This is the very best thing—there is nothing finer that you can do than to enter and leave samadhi in order to teach living beings. There is nothing better than this.”

Sutra:

“Good man, in each of the ten directions, Buddhas as many as fine motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands all use their spiritual power and together help you enter it. It is also because of the power of past vows of Vairochana Thus Come One, his awesome spiritual power, and the power of the good roots which you have cultivated, that you enter this samadhi, and that cause you to speak Dharma.

Commentary:

This passage of the Sutra text describes how Buddhas as numerous as the dust motes in one thousand Buddhalands speak to Dharma Wisdom at the same time. What were the causes and conditions that enabled him to enter the Limitless Skill-in-Means Samadhi, dwell in that samadhi, and then leave the samadhi to speak Dharma? The ten directions Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as numerous as fine motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands all come to the Bodhimanda. When the Buddha comes, the Bodhisattvas come along. Each Buddha has Bodhisattvas as numerous as the dust motes in one thousand Buddhalands that follow him to the Bodhimanda.

All these Buddhas simultaneously praise the Bodhisattva Dharma Wisdom, saying, “Good man, in each of the ten directions, Buddhas as many as fine motes of dust in one thousand Buddhalands all use their spiritual power and together help you enter it. We have come here using the great spiritual power cultivated in the past—the power of the wisdom light—which we add to yours, to help you to enter this Limitless Skill-in Means Samadhi. When you leave samadhi and speak the limitless Dharma doors of the ten directions as numerous as the dust motes in one thousand Buddhalands who are helping you, it is also because of the power of past vows of Vairochana Thus Come One. It is also because of the power of the past vows of the clear, pure Dharma-body Vairochana Tathagata—the past vows he made and cultivated. What vows did he make? Vairochana Buddha in the distant past vowed that if anyone was practicing the Bodhisattva path and wanted to enter any kind of samadhi, he would help him to fulfill the power of his samadhi, so that he would be able to enter, dwell in, and leave that samadhi in order to speak Dharma. Vairochana Buddha in limitless aeons past made a vow like this. He also vowed that when each Buddha realized Buddhahood and spoke the Avatamsaka Sutra, he would help all the Bodhisattvas who wanted to enter samadhi and then speak this Dharma to realize the power of their samadhi. So, it says the vows in the distant past.

His awesome spiritual power…It is also Vairochana Thus Come One’s great, awesome spiritual power. And also because of the power of good roots, the strength of the good roots you cultivated in the past, cultivating the Six Perfections and Ten Thousand Conducts, the power of the good roots of blessings and wisdom, the good roots which you have cultivated, that you enter this samadhi, entering the limitless Skill-in-Means Samadhi, and that cause you to speak Dharma,” which cause you to be able to speak Dharma for all living beings in this Avatamsaka assembly.

Sutra:

For the purpose of increasing the wisdom of a Buddha, deeply entering the Dharma Realm, understanding well the realms of living beings, unobstructed entry, unimpeded conduct, attaining unequalled skill-in-means, entering the nature of all-wisdom, awakening to all Dharmas, knowing all faculties, and being able to hold and speak all dharmas, there are said to arise ten kinds of dwellings of all Bodhisattvas.

Commentary:

In cultivation you can’t have the smallest fault, or causes which obstruct the Way will arise. Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva first entered samadhi. His entry was facilitated through the help of all Bodhisattvas. Later he dwelt in samadhi, and that too was through the help of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Later he left samadhi, also through the aid of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The Bodhisattvas in worlds as many as the dust motes of ten thousand lands aided him. It was also his own good roots which he had cultivated and the past vows of Vairochana Buddha which made these feats possible. Various causes and conditions were instrumental in Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva’s speaking the Dharma.

For the purpose of increasing the wisdom of a Buddha. Speaking what dharma? A dharma to cause all living beings to increase in the Buddha’s wisdom. Just to hear the Dharma and become enlightened is to attain the Buddha’s wisdom. Deeply entering the Dharma Realm. All living beings have not united as one with the Dharma Realm. We are a part of the Dharma Realm but haven’t genuinely understood the Dharma nature and the principles of the Dharma Realm. If you can understand those principles, that is to deeply enter the Dharma Realm. Understanding well the realms of living beings—all living beings in the nine Dharma Realms: Bodhisattvas, Sound Hearers, Those Enlightened to Conditions, gods, asuras, human beings, animals, hungry ghosts, hell beings—each has its own nature. Each kind of living being has its own kind of causes and conditions, and retributions.

Unobstructed entry—entering into all true principles without obstruction, understanding all true principles. Unimpeded conduct—there are no obstructions, no obstacles for the living beings in their cultivation. Attaining unequalled skill-in-means—causing all living beings to obtain unsurpassed Skill-in-Means, which go beyond all comparison. Entering the nature of all-wisdom—deeply penetrating the nature of all wisdom and having wisdom like the sea. Awakening to all Dharmas—this is clearly understanding all dharmas. Knowing all faculties—also to know the root nature of all living beings, which living being has which root nature, which living being has which disposition. And being able to hold and speak all dharmas—being able to remember all Buddhadharmas, to maintain and recite and read all dharmas, and to cultivate in accord with Dharma. So it is said--there are said to arise ten kinds of dwellings of all Bodhisattvas, the Dharma doors of the Ten Dwellings of the Bodhisattvas.

Sutra:

“Good man, you should receive the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power and proclaim this Dharma.

Commentary:

The Buddhas in worlds to the number of one thousand Buddhalands’ fine motes of dust all called to Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva saying, “Good man, you should receive the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power. You now receive the aid of the Buddhas. They help you with their mouths by praising you; they help you with their minds so you obtain benefit and all advantages; they help you with their bodies and cause you to obtain the great awesome spiritual power, and proclaim this Dharma. You should obtain the assistance of body, mouth, and mind from the Buddhas. You should speak the wonderful Dharma of the Ten Dwellings and cause all living beings to resolve their minds on Bodhi.”

Sutra:

At that time all the Buddhas gave Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva unobstructed wisdom, unattached wisdom, uninterrupted wisdom, undeluded wisdom, non-differentiating wisdom, unerring wisdom, limitless wisdom, unsurpassed wisdom, non-negligent wisdom, and unarrested wisdom. Why is this? It is because through the power of this samadhi the Dharma is that way.

Commentary:

At that time all the Buddhas…At that time all the Buddhas to the number of dust motes in one thousand Buddhalands simultaneously gave Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva unobstructed wisdom. This refers to the four kinds of unobstructed eloquence: 1) unobstructed phrasing: the expressions and words that are spoken are limitless and boundless; 2) unobstructed meaning: the meanings spoken are eloquent without bounds; 3) unobstructed dharmas: limitless dharmas are spoken with boundless expedient devices; 4) unobstructed delight in speaking: at all times and places he can proclaim the Dharma to cause living beings to hear the Dharma, cultivate, and certify to the result. These four kinds of unobstructed eloquence are called unobstructed wisdom. If you obtain unobstructed wisdom, you can debate with anyone and gain a victory. Unattached wisdom. If you are attached, then you cannot obtain liberation. If you are eloquent, you should not be attached with regard to it. You think you are eloquent and feel everything is too common to merit your attention; you look down on everyone—this is an attachment. With attachment as your state, your territory is still very small. You don’t have boundless and limitless wisdom. Therefore, if you have unattached wisdom, this means you are not attached to the power you have.

Uninterrupted wisdom . Sometimes wisdom is suddenly there; suddenly you are intelligent. Sometimes it is cut off, and you are stupid. Your wisdom does not always manifest. But uninterrupted wisdom continues without cessation. The wisdom is always apparent, never lacking. Undeluded wisdom. Sometimes one has wisdom, and sometimes one is stupid. Undeluded wisdom means that one is always wise—there is no stupidity, no ignorance, and no darkness. At all times the light of wisdom shines. This is undeluded wisdom.

Non-differentiating wisdom. This wisdom is always the same. It does not change. There is no time when it changes or becomes different. Unerring wisdom. This means that you do not make mistakes about anything. What you say is correct. You do not say things which lack principle, which are unreasonable. There are no mistakes and no errors. That is called unerring wisdom.

Limitless wisdom. This wisdom is inexhaustible and unlimited in its function. It never decreases; it is never cut off. Unsurpassed wisdom. This wisdom is the highest and most sublime. It gushes forth like a bubbling fountain. This function of wisdom has five kinds of virtues: a) It is deep like thunder. It can shake the deaf and move the blind. It wakes people up and reverberates like thunder. This is an analogy, of course. b) It is clear and resonant and is heard afar. c) It is a poignant and elegant sound. It causes people to listen with sympathy. Its elegance is like that of the “good-sounding bird” which everyone likes to hear, preferring it to music. Everyone likes it. d) Entering their minds, it can cause living beings to give rise to reverence. e) All who hear this superior wisdom sound never weary of it but listen to it with delight. The more they hear it, the more they want to hear. Non-negligent wisdom. People who have no vigor don’t want to cultivate. They are negligent. If you obtain this wisdom, you are never lazy but are vigorous at all times. And unarrested wisdom. No matter what state you meet with, it cannot take away this wisdom. No state can rob you of this wisdom.

Why is this? Where did these ten wisdoms come from? It is because through the power of this samadhi the Dharma is that way. The Dharma is also like that. He should obtain the Buddhas’ aid and have these ten kinds of wisdom powers as a result, because the Dharma is this way. Before speaking the Ten Dwellings Chapter, it should be like this. That is the rule of the Dharma. That is the way it should be.

Sutra:

At that time, each of the Buddhas extended his right hand and rubbed the crown of Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva’s head. Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva then arose from samadhi.

Commentary:

Then the Buddhas as numerous as dust motes in one thousand Buddhalands came to help Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva and gave him ten kinds of wisdom: unobstructed wisdom, unattached wisdom, uninterrupted wisdom, undeluded wisdom, non-differentiating wisdom, unerring wisdom, limitless wisdom, unsurpassed wisdom, non-negligent wisdom, and unarrested wisdom. Those ten types of wisdom were bestowed upon Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva so he could speak Dharma for all living beings, because the rules of speaking Dharma were thus.

At that time, each of the Buddhas extended his right hand, each Buddha stretched out his right hand, and rubbed the crown of Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva’s head. So many Buddhas extended their hands; how could so many hands all fit on top of Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva’s head? This represents the unobstructedness of one and many. Each Buddha’s right hand personally patted Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva on the crown; there was no one who did it prior or subsequent to any other. They all did it simultaneously. There was no near or far. This is what is meant by unmoving, they arrive; not acting, they accomplish things. Many do not obstruct one; one does not obstruct many. One and many are unobstructed. They mutually benefited and aided Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva. They helped him by rubbing the crown of his head and augmenting his wisdom, by getting rid of his stupidity and causing his good roots to grow, and by eradicating his karmic obstructions. They benefited Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva so that he could in turn benefit all living beings. For all these reasons, they rubbed him on the crown. Whereas before he was in samadhi, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva then arose from samadhi. When they patted him on the head, he was dwelling in samadhi, but after he was rubbed on the crown, he arose from his Limitless Skill-in Means Samadhi.

Sutra:

And spoke to all the Bodhisattvas, saying, “Disciples of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas dwell in places as vast and great as the Dharma Realm and like empty space. Disciples of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas dwell in the household of all Buddhas of the three periods of time.

Commentary:

And spoke to all the Bodhisattvas, saying—Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva arose from samadhi and spoke to all the Bodhisattvas. Why didn’t he speak to all of the Buddhas? It was because the Buddhas don’t have to listen to the Dharma Bodhisattvas speak. They have already transcended the realm of the Dharma spoken by the Bodhisattvas. So Dharma Wisdom spoke to the Bodhisattvas.

“Disciples of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas dwell in places as vast and great as the Dharma Realm and like empty space. What place to Bodhisattvas with the great Bodhi hearts live in? What is their Dharma position? It is vast like the Dharma Realm and like empty space, nothing is bigger. The Bodhisattvas’ Dharma body also fills space and the Dharma Realm.

“Disciples of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas dwell in the household of all Buddhas of the three periods of time. Disciples of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas dwell throughout the ten directions and the three periods of time in the home of all Buddhas. They are the Buddhas’ princes. The Bodhisattvas should glorify the Buddhas’ position and succeed to the position of Unsurpassed Proper and Equal, Right Enlightenment. So the Bodhisattvas dwell in the household of all Buddhas of the three periods of time. The household of all Buddhas refers to the level of fruition of Buddhahood.

Sutra:

“I will now discuss those dwellings of a Bodhisattva. Disciples of the Buddha, there are ten kinds of dwellings of a Bodhisattva which all Buddhas of the past, the future, and the present have discussed, will discuss, and now discuss.

Commentary:

Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva called out, saying, “Disciples of the Buddha.” He said, “I will now discuss those dwellings of a Bodhisattva. I will now speak about the ten kinds of dwellings of a Bodhisattva. All you disciples of the Buddha should know that there are ten kinds of dwellings of a Bodhisattva which all Buddhas of the past, the future, and the present, the Buddhas of the past, the Buddhas of the present, and the Buddhas of the future have already discussed, will discuss, and now discuss. They have already spoken about the ten kinds of dwellings of a Bodhisattva in the past. In the present I will speak about the ten kinds of dwellings of a Bodhisattva, and all of you should be very attentive to what I say to you.”

Sutra:

What are the ten? They are:

The Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve;
The Dwelling of the Ground of Regulation;
The Dwelling of Cultivation.
The Dwelling of Noble Birth;
The Dwelling of Endowment with Skill-in-Means;
The Dwelling of Rectification of the Mind;
The Dwelling of Non-Retreat;
The Dwelling of Pure Youth;
The Dwelling of Dharma Prince;
The Dwelling of Anointment of the Crown.

Those are the names of the Ten Dwellings of a Bodhisattva, which are discussed by all Buddhas of the past, the future, and the present.

Commentary:

What are the ten? In Speaking of the Ten Dwellings of a Bodhisattva, what are the Ten Dwellings? They are as follows:

The Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve; the first is called “Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve,” which means that a Bodhisattva in the past, in cultivating and practicing the six paramitas and ten thousand practices, has planted good roots. When those good roots ripen, he produces a great thought for Bodhi. He dwells within the great thought for Bodhi. And so this dwelling is called The Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve—dwelling in the great thought for Bodhi.

The Dwelling of the Ground of Regulation. This also refers to how in the past a Bodhisattva eliminated all the greed, hatred, and stupidity, the ignorance and affliction in his mind, little by little lessening and never increasing them. Therefore, it is called the Dwelling of the Ground of Regulation. It is not like common people who on the one hand eliminate a little affliction, and on the other hand add a little, so that day by day there is more affliction added than is eliminated. That is not regulating the ground. But he is able to eliminate all the faults in his mind. That is what is meant by The Dwelling of the Ground of Regulation.

The third is The Dwelling of Cultivation. Cultivation is constantly practicing all kinds of doors of conduct. Because you cultivate, you have all kinds of good roots, and as a result you are born into the household of the Buddha. When born into the household of the Buddha, you are both honored and noble. That’s The Dwelling of Noble Birth.

The Dwelling of Endowment with Skill-in-Means. Because of being born into the Buddha’s household, you are therefore endowed with all skill-in-means and have expedient Dharma doors. Therefore, you are endowed to teach and transform living beings.

The Dwelling of Rectification of the Mind. At that time you dwell in the samadhi of proper thought. The Dwelling of Non-Retreat. Non-retreating consists of non-retreating in thought, non-retreating in position, and non-retreating in practice. Non-retreating in thought is not to retreat from the thought for Bodhi. Non-retreating in position is not retreating to the Two Vehicles. Non-retreating in practice means at all times cultivating without retreating, unlike we ordinary people who cultivate a day and then retreat for a few days saying, “I can’t take it; I’ve got to rest.”

The Dwelling of Pure Youth. What is meant by The Dwelling of Pure Youth? It means always being like a child, and never growing up. That is one meaning. You can also say that life after life, one does not marry. One continually protects one’s original face. That means being like a virgin lad or a virgin maiden. In any case, it means not marrying. The boys don’t associate with girls, and the girls don’t associate with boys.

The Dwelling of Dharma Prince. If you can attain the Dwelling of Pure Youth, then you can become a disciple of the Dharma King. The Buddha is the King of Dharma. The Bodhisattva is the disciple of the Buddha, that is, the prince of the Dharma King. Being in line to succeed the Buddha, he can go on to accomplish Buddhahood. That is the dwelling of Dharma Prince.

When you obtain the Dwelling of Dharma Prince, you are about to become a Buddha and attain The Dwelling of Anointment of the Crown. The Buddhas of the ten directions then anoint your crown and aid you. This enables a Bodhisattva to be endowed with the Four Unlimited Minds—kindness, compassion, joy, and renunciation. That’s the Dwelling of Anointment of the Crown. The Buddhas of the ten directions use their right hands to anoint the crown of that Bodhisattva, using the water of the Buddha’s Dharma to anoint the Bodhisattva’s crown. That enables the Bodhisattva to accomplish Buddhahood.

Those are the names of the Ten Dwellings of a Bodhisattva which are discussed by all Buddhas of the past, the future, and the present. All the Buddhas of the past, of the present, and of the future speak this kind of Dharma door for people to hear, enabling all who listen to produce the great thought for Bodhi, and in the future to obtain the ten kinds of dwellings.

I. The Dwelling of First Bringing Forth The Resolve

Sutra:

“Disciples of the Buddha. What is meant by the Bodhisattva dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve? This Bodhisattva, seeing the Buddha, the World Honored One, whose form and countenance are upright and majestic, whose physical characteristics are perfect and delight the viewer, who is difficult to encounter...

Commentary:

Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva said, “Disciples of the Buddha,” all of you disciples of the Buddha, do you know or do you not know What is meant by the Bodhisattva dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve—the first of the Ten Dwellings of a Bodhisattva?

This Bodhisattva, seeing the Buddha, the World Honored One. The Bodhisattva Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve is contingent upon ten kinds of conditions. When a Bodhisattva sees the Buddha whose form and countenance are upright and majestic, the Buddha has thirty-two marks and the eighty subtle characteristics. His form and countenance are upright and adorned. This is the first condition.

Whose physical characteristics are perfect. The second condition is that the Buddha’s physical characteristics are perfect. The Buddha’s face is like the pure, full moon; also like a thousand suns emitting light. His physical appearance is perfect and so the third condition is that his characteristics delight the viewer. Everyone likes to see the Buddha, who is difficult to encounter. The fourth condition is that it is not easy to meet the Buddha, because it is uncertain how many millions of kalpas pass before he enters the world. When he enters the world, it is to benefit living beings, and so it is said that it is not easy to meet the Buddha.

Sutra:

“…and has great awesome powers. Or that Bodhisattva may see the spiritual fulfillments, or hear predictions, or listen to instructions, or see all living beings undergoing intense suffering, or hear the Thus Come One’s vast, great Buddhadharma, and then produce the thought for Bodhi and seek all wisdom.

Commentary:

And has great awesome powers. The fifth condition is that the Buddha has ten powers, ten inconceivable powers, and is fearless—unafraid of anything. The ten powers can subdue heavenly demons and those of outside-way sects. Or that Bodhisattva may see the spiritual fulfillments. The sixth condition is the spiritual fulfillments. The Penetration of Spiritual Fulfillments is also called the spiritual fulfillment “wheel”.

Or hear predictions. The seventh condition is hearing the Buddha confer predictions. Or listen to instructions. The eighth condition is listening to the Buddha’s teaching. Or see all living beings undergoing intense suffering. The ninth condition is that, when seeing living beings undergoing suffering, the Bodhisattva feels compassion and decides to undergo suffering on their behalf. Sometimes people who have never been taught the Dharma do this. They act this way because in the distant past they planted the seeds of great compassion. Or hear the Thus Come One’s vast, great Buddhadharma. This is the tenth condition, with its inconceivable state. And then produce the thought for Bodhi and seek all wisdom. Because of seeing these ten conditions, Bodhisattvas on the First Dwelling resolve their minds on Bodhi, seek the Buddha’s wisdom, and thereby abide in the Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve.

Sutra:

“This Bodhisattva produces the resolve which is conditioned by ten Dharmas that are difficult to obtain. What are the ten? They are: the wisdom of what is and is not the case; the wisdom of the retributions of good and evil karma…

Commentary:

“This Bodhisattva produces the resolve which is conditioned by ten Dharmas. This Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva in the First Dwelling. Conditioned means following, going down the road as it is. According to this road, by means of these conditions, that are difficult to obtain, he abides in the Dwelling of First Bringing Forth the Resolve. What are the ten? They are: the wisdom of what is and is not the case. The wisdom of knowing what is in accord with principle and what is not in accord with principle. What is in accord with principle leads to enlightenment; what is not in accord leads to confusion. In accord means that which transcends the turning of the three worlds. Turning in the three worlds is what is not in accord. Diligently cultivating morality, samadhi, and wisdom is what is in accord. One puts to rest greed, hatred, and stupidity, knowing that they are not in accord.

If you can rely on the four truths, the twelve links of conditioned co-production, the six perfections, and the ten thousand practices to cultivate, that is what is in accord. If you see through it all and put it down, that is in accord. Obtaining self-mastery is to transcend what is not in accord. What is not in accord is the hells, the hungry ghosts, the animals, and the asuras. What are in accord are the Bodhisattvas, the Buddhas, the Sound-Hearers, and those Enlightened to Conditions. If you want to speak in detail, you can go on infinitely, because the doctrines of the Sutras are completely fused and unobstructed. You can explain in many ways, and they all have principle. Wisdom does not need to make discriminations in order to understand. It is understanding what is and what is not in accord without making discriminations.

The wisdom of the retributions of good and evil karma. Good is doing good things—it is what benefits people. What harms people is called evil. If you can do various things to benefit living beings, that is to amass small good acts into a large act of goodness. It is like making a mountain out of motes of dust. Suppose you just need one more clod of dirt to complete a mountain, but at that point, if you quit, the mountain does not get made. If you do good, you must do it completely. If you leave out just a little bit, then it’s not complete.

You should not do even the smallest evil;
You should not fail to do even the smallest good.

Also,

Mt. T’ai does not reject even a single mote of dust.
Although the motes of dust are small, when accumulated,
they become something big.

Mt. T’ai is made of dust motes piled up together. Without the motes of dust, there would be no Mt. T’ai. Though the motes of dust are small, they combine to make Mt. T’ai. Without the motes, Mt. T’ai is level with the ground. So, Mt. T’ai doesn’t reject the motes of dust. Although the motes of dust are small, when accumulated, they become something big. In doing good things you must do them bit by bit. Evil also accumulates bit by bit, so you should not do even a little bit of evil. People hold precepts to prevent evil.

Do no evil, and prevent errors.

That is, do all good deeds. Why should you not do evil and only do good? Because if you do good you get a good reward; if you do evil, you obtain an evil retribution.

The karma accumulated in one thousand
Kalpas does not melt away.
When the causes and conditions rebound,
You undergo the retribution.

So be especially careful! With this wisdom you can commit no evil and can only do acts of good.

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