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The Manifestations of the Thus Come One

Chapter Two


V.B.3. Fragrant Effulgence of Universally Bright Wisdom Bodhisattva of the West

Sutra:

Then in the assembly’s midst, another Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Fragrant Effulgence of Universally Bright Wisdom received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke a verse.  

All the Bodhisattvas in this gathering
Have entered the Buddhas’ inconceivable realm.
Each of them can observe
The spiritual powers of all Buddhas.  

His wisdom body can pervasively enter
Lands as numerous as dustmotes.
Seeing his body appear among them,
Beings can behold all Buddhas.  

Commentary:

Then in the assembly’s midst, another Bodhisattva Mahasattva , another great Bodhisattva, named Fragrant Effulgence of Universally Bright Wisdom received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions of the Dharma Realm, and spoke a verse to elaborate on the principles. 

All the great Bodhisattvas in this Dharma gathering / Have entered the Buddhas’ inconceivable realm. They have all attained the Buddhas’ position, which is hard to conceive of. Each of them can observe / The spiritual powers of all Buddhas.  

His, theBuddha’s, prajna-wisdom body can pervasively enter into the minds of all beings in lands as numerous as dustmotes. /Seeing his body appear among them, / Beings can behold all Buddhas. Each being can see the Buddha appear in his own world. They come face-to-face with the Buddha and hear him speak the Dharma for them. 

Sutra:

Like a shadow his body appears in every land,
In the place of every Thus Come One.
In the midst of all beings,
It manifests feats of spiritual powers.  

Universal Worthy’s conduct and vows
Have been cultivated to gleaming purity.
In every land, one observes universally
The Buddha’s spiritual transformations.  

His body dwells everywhere,
Completely impartial towards all.
The wise can practice in this way
And enter the state of the Buddhas.  

Having realized the Thus Come One’s wisdom,
They shine equally throughout the Dharma Realm,
Entering every pore of the Buddha
And every ocean of lands.  

In every Buddha’s land,
They manifest spiritual powers.
Appearing in various bodies,
They assume various names.  

In the space of a single thought,
They display all spiritual transformations.
In the bodhimanda, they realize proper enlightenment
And turn the wonderful Dharma wheel.  

All lands vast and great,
And inconceivable billions of eons—
Bodhisattvas, in samadhi,
Can manifest in a single thought.  

In every Buddhaland,
All the Bodhisattvas,
Boundless and without end,
Can enter into the Buddha’s body.  

Commentary:

Like a shadow his body appears in every land, / In the place of every Thus Come One. The Buddha’s Dharma-body, like a shadow, appears in the bodhimandas of all Buddhas. In the midst of all beings, / It manifests feats of spiritual powers to teach them. 

Universal Worthy’s conduct and vows, the ten great kings of vows he made and all the various practices he cultivated, have been cultivated to gleaming purity. The Bodhisattvas have all cultivated them to perfection and purity. In every Buddhaland, one observes universally / The Buddha’s spiritual powers and transformations.  

His body dwells everywhere / Completely impartial towards all. The Buddha’s body is in all places, and all beings equally receive the universal illumination of the Buddha’s light. The wise can practice in this way. All Bodhisattvas, with the Buddha’s wisdom, can cultivate in this way, teach beings, and enter the state of the Buddhas. 

Having realized the Thus Come One’s wisdom, / They , the Bodhisattvas, shine equally throughout space and the Dharma Realm, / Entering every pore of the Buddha / And every dustmote in an ocean of lands.  

In every Buddha’s land, / They manifest spiritual powers, / Appearing in various bodies / They , the Buddhas, assume various names.  

In the space of a single thought, / They display all spiritual transformations, /

In the bodhimanda, they realize proper enlightenment / And turn the wonderful Dharma wheel. Seated under the bodhi tree, the Buddha realized the unsurpassed proper and equal, right enlightenment, and then turned the wheel of wonderful Dharma.  

All lands , limitless, vast and great, / And inconceivable billions of eons, / Bodhisattvas, in samadhi, / Can manifest in a single thought. All the samadhis, or concentrations, that the Bodhisattvas should attain, are manifested in the space of a single thought. 

In every Buddhaland, / All the Bodhisattvas, / Boundless and without end, / Can enter into the pores on the Buddha’s body. How many Bodhisattvas are there? An infinite number.  

V.B.4. Lion-Sprint Wisdom Light Bodhisattva of the North

Sutra:

Then in the assembly’s midst, another Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Lion-Sprint Wisdom Light received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke a verse.

The Buddha Vairochana
Can turn the wheel of Proper Dharma.
Cloud-like, his presence pervades
All lands of the Dharma Realm.  

In the great seas of worlds
Throughout the ten directions,
By the Buddha’s spiritual powers and vows
The Dharma wheel everywhere turns.  

In each and every land,
Amidst vast assemblies,
Buddhas, their names each different,
Proclaim the wondrous Dharma as appropriate.  

The Thus Come One achieved his awesome power
Through Universal Worthy’s vows.
In every land and country,
His wondrous voice is heard.  

Commentary:

Then in the Dharma assembly’s midst, another Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Lion-Sprint Wisdom Light received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated everywhere in the ten directions, and spoke a verse.

The Buddha Vairochana / Can turn the wheel of Proper Dharma. Vairochana Buddha is the one who is truly able to propagate the Proper Dharma. Cloud-like, his presence pervades / All lands of the Dharma Realm. The Buddha resembles a cloud spreading through all Buddhalands. 

In the great seas of worlds / Throughout the ten directions. All the worlds in the ten directions are brought into being by the power of the Buddha’s spiritual powers and the vows he made in his past cultivation. The Dharma wheel everywhere turns. In every place there is a Buddha turning the Dharma wheel to teach beings. 

In each and every Buddhaland,amidst vast Dharma assemblies of limitless beings, Buddhas, their nameseach different, / Proclaim the wondrous Dharma as appropriate, in accord with beings’ conditions. 

The Thus Come One achieved his awesome power / Through Universal Worthy’s vows. / In every land and country / His wondrous voice is heard. The Buddha’s subtly wonderful sound pervades every land. 

Sutra:

The Buddha’s bodies, numerous as dustmotes in lands,
Everywhere send down the rain of Dharma.
Beyond birth and discrimination,
He appears in all worlds.  

Through countless billions of eons,
In lands as numerous as dustmotes,
All the past deeds of the Buddha
Are told in full with wondrous sound.  

Lands many as dustmotes in the ten directions
Are completely suffused with radiant nets.
Every luminous ray reveals a Buddha
Teaching all sentient beings.  

The Buddha’s body, undifferentiated,
Fills the entire Dharma Realm,
Beings who see his physical form
Are skillfully subdued according to their capacities.  

In all lands throughout the three periods of time,
The guiding teachers of beings,
Their names various and unique,
Speak for them and enable them to see.  

The wondrous Dharma wheel
Turned by all Thus Come Ones
Of the past, present, and future
Can be heard in this assembly.  

Commentary:

The Buddha’s bodies, numerous as dustmotes in lands, / Everywhere send down the rain of Dharma. The manifestations of the Buddha’s Dharma body are as numerous as the dustmotes in countless Buddhalands. In order to teach and transform beings, the Buddha sends down the great Dharma rain everywhere. Beyond birth and discrimination, / He appears in all worlds. The Buddha is unborn and undying, and does not make any discriminations. He appears everywhere in the worlds of the ten directions. 

Through countless billions of oceans of eons, / In lands as numerous as dustmotes, / All the past deeds of the Buddha, all the states of the Buddha’s past cultivation, are told in full with wondrous Dharma sound, in a great shower of Dharma rain. 

Lands many as dustmotes in the ten directions / Are completely suffused with radiant nets . The light put forth by the Buddhas pervades all Buddhalands. Every luminous ray reveals a Buddha appearing and teaching all sentient beings.  

The Buddha’s body, undifferentiated, / Fills the entire Dharma Realm. The Buddha has only a single, nondual Dharma body, yet it fills the Dharma Realm. Beings who see his physical form / Are skillfully subdued according to their capacities. Through expedient and skillful means, the Buddha tames and subdues obstinate and unruly beings. 

In all lands throughout the three periods of time —the past, present, and future, the guiding teachers of beings—the Buddhas are the guiding teachers of beings—their names various and unique, / Speak Dharma for them and enable them to see the Buddha’s wondrous physical form. 

The wondrous Dharma wheel / Turned by all the Thus Come Ones / Of the past, future, and present / Can be heard in this assembly. The inconceivably wonderful Dharma wheel turned by the Buddhas of the three periods of time and the ten directions can be heard by all those gathered around Shakyamuni Buddha in the bodhimanda beneath the bodhi tree.

V.B.5. Dharma Sea Wisdom Bodhisattva of the Northeast

Sutra:

Then in the assembly’s midst, another Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Meritorious Treasury of Dharma Sea Wisdom received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke a verse.  

The disciples of the Buddha in this assembly
Skillfully cultivate multi-faceted wisdom.
These individuals can already enter
Expedient means such as these.  

In every country and land,
They proclaim with mighty voices.
The Buddha’s practices of which they speak
Are heard widely in the lands of the ten directions.  

In each thought of their minds,
They contemplate all dharmas.
Dwelling fast in true thusness,
They comprehend the ocean of all dharmas.  

Commentary:

Then in the assembly’s midst, another Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Meritorious Treasury of Dharma Sea Wisdom received the Buddha’s awesome spiritual power, contemplated the beings in the ten directions of the Dharma Realm, and spoke a verse about this dharma door. 

The disciples of the Buddha in this assembly beneath the bodhi tree skillfully cultivate the myriad kinds of wisdom. They are very good at cultivating the dharma door of Prajnaparamita, the perfection of wisdom. These individuals can already enter the door of wisdom. They all understand doors of wisdom and expedient means such as these.  

In every country and land where a Buddha teaches beings, they proclaim with inconceivably mighty voices, / The Buddha’s practices of which they speak, how the Buddha cultivated, made vows, and attained to Buddhahood, are heard widely, all over the place, in the Buddhalands of the ten directions.  

In each thought of their minds and of each being’s mind, they contemplate and understand all dharmas. / Dwelling fast in the true thusness of the Dharma nature, they comprehend the ocean of all dharmas, the sea of the reality of all dharmas. 

Sutra:

The Buddha, in each and every body,
Spanning inconceivable billions of eons,
Cultivated the paramitas,
And adorned and purified lands.  

In each fine mote of dust,
He certified to all dharmas.
In this way, unimpeded,
He traveled the lands of the ten directions.  

He went to every Buddhaland,
Missing not a single one.
Observing the Buddhas’ spiritual powers,
He entered their practices.  

The Buddhas’ magnificent voice
Is heard throughout the Dharma Realm.
Bodhisattvas can know and understand,
And skillfully enter the ocean of sounds.  

For oceans of eons, he utters wondrous sounds,
His voice impartial and undiscriminating.
Those whose wisdom penetrates the three periods
Enter the realm of his sound.  

Commentary:

The Buddha, in each and every body manifests infinite numbers of Buddhalands in every pore, spanning inconceivable billions of eons. The Buddha cultivated inconceivable practices in the past, is speaking inconceivably wonderful Dharma in the present, and will liberate inconceivable numbers of beings in the future. He cultivated the paramitas, / And adorned and purified lands. In his past lives, the Buddha cultivated limitless paramitas and boundless practices, such as making offerings to the Buddhas and adorning Buddhalands. 

In each fine mote of dust, manifesting the small within the great, he certified to all dharmas and was able to expound all Buddhadharmas. In this way, unimpeded, in this unobstructed realm, which is beyond the understanding of ordinary people, he traveled the lands of the ten directions to teach beings. 

He went to each Buddhaland to teach beings, missing not a single one. / Observing the Buddhas’ spiritual powers, / He entered their practices, the dharma doors cultivated by the Buddhas.  

The Buddhas’ magnificent voice / Is heard throughout the Dharma Realm. The Buddha doesn’t need to use a microphone, because his voice carries throughout the Dharma Realm, and all beings can hear him speaking Dharma. Bodhisattvas can know and understand the realm of the Buddhas, and skillfully enter the ocean of sounds. They can understand and accept the wondrous Dharma that the Buddhas speak. 

For oceans of eons, he utters wondrous sounds, / His voice impartial and undiscriminating. For limitless ages, the Buddha continuously proclaims the wonderful Dharma. His speaking of Dharma is impartial and undiscriminating, like rain falling from the skies and moistening all beings, allowing them to each receive as much rain as they need. Those whose wisdom penetrates the three periods, who understand why the past is past, the present is present, and the future is future, enter the realm of his sound. Those whose wisdom penetrates the past, present, and future without obstruction can enter the state of the Dharma spoken by the Buddha.

What is the daily work of all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Hearers, and Those Enlightened to Conditions? First of all, they constantly dwell in and cultivate samadhi. Secondly, they always recite sutras in order to cultivate wisdom. “Do Buddhas still have to cultivate samadhi and wisdom?” you ask. Although the Buddhas have basically perfected their samadhi and wisdom, they still increase them a little bit daily. The Buddhas enter into samadhi in every place throughout space and the Dharma Realm, and they recite the sutras and mantras at all times. For example, Buddhas as many as the sands in ninety-nine hundred million Ganges rivers attained Buddhahood through cultivating the dharma door of the Great Compassion Mantra. Now we are also cultivating it. Eighty-four thousand Vajra Treasury Bodhisattvas made vows to protect the Shurangama Mantra. And all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas recite it constantly.

When Buddhism first spread to China, there were some people with “wild wisdom” who were so “smart” that they didn’t recite the Buddha’s name or any mantras. They didn’t do ceremonies or bow to the Buddha, either. They were just like certain people nowadays who say, “What’s the use of reciting sutras or bowing to the Buddha?” They considered these useless. They mixed up good and evil, saying, “What’s wrong with falling into the hells? I don’t want to go to the heavens anyways. I don’t want to become a Buddha. I’d rather be a hungry ghost. Being a hungry ghost and being a Buddha are just the same.” Since they harbored wrong views of that sort, none of them went to the Buddha Hall to do the ceremonies. They were lazy bums who ended up in the hells, as hungry ghosts, and as animals. Some clear-sighted wise advisors, seeing what was going on, thought, “This is too dangerous. We can’t let this go on.” And so they set forth the morning and evening ceremonies as the minimum requirements for cultivation. That’s how the morning and evening ceremonies came to be.

Now there are some misguided people who are telling people in America that it’s not necessary to do the morning and evening ceremonies. They say, “All you have to do each day is eat and sleep. Now don’t you think it’s wonderful?” You should realize that if you have it wonderful now, it won’t be so wonderful in the future.

Sutra:

Every sound that beings make
And the Buddhas’ sovereign sound—
One can understand them all,
Upon gaining the wisdom of sound,  

From one ground one attains to the next,
Until one dwells in the ground of the powers.
Diligently cultivating for billions of eons,
One obtains dharmas such as these.  

Commentary:

Every sound that beings make, / And the Buddhas’ sovereign sound. The Buddha speaks the Dharma with a single voice, and beings understand it according to their kind. When the Buddha speaks Dharma in every being’s language, every being can understand it. That is to say, the Buddha can speak the languages of all beings. The sound of the Buddha speaking Dharma is a sound of self-mastery. Every being, no matter what kind of being it is, hears it and obtains self-mastery. One can understand them all,/ Upon gaining the wisdom of sound. Upon hearing the sound of the Buddha’s Dharma, beings attain wisdom with regard to languages. With the wisdom of languages, all beings can understand and deeply enter the Dharma that the Buddha speaks.  

From one ground one attains to the next. From the First Ground, one can attain to the states of all the rest of the grounds, until one dwells on the ground of the powers—the ground of the Buddha’s Ten Powers, which is the position of Buddhahood. Diligently cultivating for billions of eons, cultivating at all times without getting lazy or retreating, one obtains dharmas such as these. Diligently cultivating the Way for such a long time, one is able to understand all dharmas and attain All-Wisdom. One obtains the inconceivable dharmas described previously.

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