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The Manifestations of the Thus Come One

Chapter Two


III. Those summoned gather like clouds
A. Congregating in the bodhimanda

Sutra:

At that time, every assembly in all the seas of worlds of the ten directions, awakened by the Buddha’s light, collectively approached the Thus Come One Vairochana, drawing near to make offerings.  

For example, east of this sea of worlds called Adornments of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Adornment with Pure and Radiant Lotuses. Within the seed of those worlds, there was a land called Vajra Treasury of Strands of Mani. The Buddha there was named Infinite King of Dharma Water Awakening Space. Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Lotus Banner Contemplating the Supreme Dharma. He and Bodhisattvas as numerous as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha [Shakyamuni] was. Each Bodhisattva displayed ten clouds of characteristics of bodies of Bodhisattvas, which filled all of space and did not disperse.

They further displayed ten clouds of light raining down myriads of precious lotus blossoms. They further displayed ten clouds of jeweled summits of Sumeru. They further displayed ten clouds of sunlight. They further displayed ten clouds of jeweled flower garlands. They further displayed ten clouds of every kind of music. They further displayed ten clouds of trees of powdered incense. They further displayed ten clouds of fragrant ointments and burning incense of every form and color. They further displayed ten clouds of trees of assorted fragrances. Clouds of offerings such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completed filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Then, in the east, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from a profusion of luminous lotuses, and then seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

At that time, every assembly in all the seas of worlds of the ten directions responded. In every world, there was a Buddha seated in a bodhimanda surrounded by an assembly. These assemblies, awakened by the verse of Dharma which was spoken from within the Buddha’s light—emitted from Shakyamuni Buddha’s teeth—collectively approached the bodhi tree in the Saha world, where Shakyamuni Buddha, manifesting as the Thus Come One Vairochana, was, drawing near to make offerings.  

For example, east of this sea of worlds called Adornments of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Adornment with Pure and Radiant Lotuses. Within the seed of those worlds, there was a land called Vajra Treasury of Strands of Mani. Worlds also have seeds, which make it possible for new worlds to come into being. The Buddha there was named Infinite King of Dharma Water Awakening Space. Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One, the Buddha Infinite King, was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Lotus Banner Contemplating the Supreme Dharma. He and Bodhisattvas as numerous as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha Shakyamuni was.  

Each Bodhisattvadisplayed ten inconceivable clouds of characteristics of bodies of Bodhisattvas, which filled all of space and the Dharma Realm, and did not disperse. They appeared clearly in the air. They further displayed ten clouds of light raining down myriads of precious lotus blossoms. They further displayed ten clouds of jeweled summits of Sumeru—wonderfully high summits. They further displayed ten clouds of sunlight. They further displayed ten clouds of jeweled flower garlands.

They further displayed ten clouds of every kind of music. Music was made in the clouds. They further displayed ten clouds of trees of powdered incense. They further displayed ten clouds of fragrant ointments and burning incense of all wondrous colors and appearances. They further displayed ten clouds of trees of assorted fragrances. Clouds of offerings such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completed filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. They offered all those clouds of light to the Buddha. Then, in the east, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from a profusion of luminous lotuses, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture. They all sat upon their thrones and entered samadhi.  

Sutra:

South of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Exquisite Treasury of All Jeweled Moonlight. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Boundless Light Perfect and Adorned. The Buddha there was named King Sumeru of Universal Wisdom and Radiant Virtue.  

Commentary:

South of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Exquisite Treasury of All Jeweled Moonlight. Within the seed of those worlds to the south, there was a land called Boundless Light Perfect and Adorned. The light shined everywhere, full and magnificent. The Buddha there was named King Sumeru of Universal Wisdom and Radiant Virtue. That Buddha’s wisdom pervaded space and the Dharma Realm. He had a great radiance that emanated from his virtuous conduct. Sumeru is Sanskrit and means “wonderfully high,” so he was the Buddha King Wonderfully High.  

Sutra:

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Wisdom that Universally Illumines the Sea of Dharmas. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was.  

Each Bodhisattva displayed ten supreme mani clouds of a treasury of light from all adornments, which filled all of space and did not disperse. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds that rained down exquisite ornaments and illuminated everywhere. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds with blazing jewels praising the epithets of Buddhas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds that expounded all Buddhadharmas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of multitudes of beautiful trees adorning bodhimandas.

They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of jeweled light shining everywhere revealing multitudes of transformation Buddhas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds universally showing all of the adorned images in bodhimandas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of mysteriously blazing lamps describing all Buddhas’ states. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of images in palaces in inconceivably many Buddhalands.

They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds universally showing the bodies of the Buddhas of the three periods of time. Supreme mani clouds such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Then, in the south, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from a profusion of lotuses of sapphire and jambunada gold, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One , the Buddha namedKing Sumeru of Universal Wisdom and Radiant Virtue, was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Wisdom that Universally Illumines the Sea of Dharmas. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was beneath the bodhi tree. 

Each Bodhisattvadisplayed in infinite profusion ten supreme mani clouds of a treasury of light from all adornments, which filled all of space and did not disperse. Although the ten clouds manifested by every Bodhisattva filled space, these clouds did not impede each other. They reflected one another as they remained in space, clearly seen by all. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds that rained down exquisite ornaments and illuminated everywhere. All kinds of precious ornaments rained down from the clouds, which pervasively illuminated all of space and the Dharma Realm.

They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds with blazing jewels praising the epithets of the Buddhas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds that expounded all Buddhadharmas. The clouds themselves could proclaim the wonderful meaning of all Buddhadharmas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of multitudes of beautiful bodhi trees adorning bodhimandas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of jeweled light shining everywhere in the Dharma Realm and revealing multitudes of transformation Buddhas.

They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds universally showing all the adorned images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in bodhimandas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of mysteriously blazing lamps describing all Buddhas’ states. This kind of lamplight proclaims the inconceivable state of the Buddhas. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds of Buddha images in palaces in inconceivably, ineffably many Buddhalands. They further displayed ten supreme mani clouds universally showing the bodies of the Buddhas of the three periods of time and in the ten directions. 

Supreme mani clouds such as those mentioned above, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Their bowing was also a way of making offerings to the Buddha. Then, in the south, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from a profusion of lotuses of sapphire and jambunada gold, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture. Lord Shakra has a kind of blue jewel, which is very precious. In southern Jambudvipa, there is a jambu tree whose leaves turn to gold when they fall into the water. That kind of gold is much more precious than ordinary gold. All the Bodhisattvas sat upon their lion thrones in full lotus posture and appeared to be in a state of samadhi as they single-mindedly listened to the Buddha speaking Dharma.

Sutra:

West of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Delightful Jewel Light. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Producing Supreme Life-Sustenance. The Buddha there was named Precious Adornment with Merit and Virtue Resembling Fragrant Flames.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Universal Adornment with Moonlight’s Fragrant Flames. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was.  

Each Bodhisattva displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of precious fragrant flowers, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Commentary:

To the west of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Delightful Jewel Light. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Producing Supreme Life-Sustenance. This land naturally produced sources of sustenance, such as various fruits and grains, material for making clothing, and other necessities that sustain human life in the world. These materials were of the finest quality. In that land, there was a Buddha speaking Dharma. The Buddha there was named Precious Adornment with Merit and Virtue Resembling Fragrant Flames.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva , a great Bodhisattva among Bodhisattvas, named Universal Adornment with Moonlight’s Fragrant Flames. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha Shakyamuni was under the bodhi tree. 

Each Bodhisattvadisplayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of precious fragrant flowers, which filled all of space and did not disperse. They stayed there forever, without scattering. 

Sutra:

They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of all kinds of magnificent jewels of boundless colors and forms. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of the fragrant flames of jeweled lamps. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of pearls. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of precious flowers. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions adorned with jeweled necklaces. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions showing splendid light from all ornaments in the ten directions.

They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions adorned with the dust of various precious stones blended together. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions adorned with multitudes of jewels from throughout the ten directions. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of all kinds of flowers, door chimes, and nets. Clouds of pavilions such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Then, in the west, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from a great profusion of gold leaves, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions built of all kinds of magnificent jewels of boundless colors and forms. These wondrous forms included the Thirty-two Hallmarks and Eighty Subsidiary Characteristics [of a Buddha]. Such colorful clouds of pavilions built, appeared in the air. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of the fragrant flames of jeweled lamps. All kinds of jeweled lamps, flowers, and flames appeared in space. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of all kinds of pearls. These pavilions were inlaid with pearl.

They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of precious flowers and jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions adorned with jeweled necklaces. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions showing splendid light from all wondrous jewels and ornaments in the ten directions. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions adorned with the dust of various precious stones of many colors blended together and reflecting each other. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions adorned with multitudes of jewels from throughout the ten directions. They further displayed ten clouds of pavilions composed of all kinds of flowers, door chimes, and various jeweled nets.  

Clouds of precious jeweled pavilions such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air. Each kind of cloud filled up all of space, and yet the clouds did not get in the way of each other. They appeared distinctly, layer upon layer in infinite profusion. That’s what a wonderful state it was. And they did not disperse; they would always be there in space. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas circled the Buddha three times to the right, bowed to the Buddha, and offered them to him. They used both the clouds and the bows as offerings to the Buddha. 

Then, in the west, those Bodhisattvas, who were in the west to begin with, stayed there. The Buddha’s state is inconceivable, so the Bodhisattvas didn’t have to come to the Buddha and the Buddha didn’t have to go to the west where they were. Although they didn’t come and the Buddha didn’t go, it was as if they were all together in one place, face-to-face. There in the west, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from a great profusion of gold leaves, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture, waiting for the Buddha to speak Dharma. 

Sutra:

North of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Perfect Treasury of Vaidurya Lotus Light. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Adorned with Utpala Flowers. The Buddha there was named King of Sound of the Banner of Universal Wisdom.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Lion-Sprint Light. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was.  

Each Bodhisattva displayed ten clouds of wondrous trees of all kinds of fragrance and mani, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Commentary:

To the north of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Perfect Treasury of Vaidurya Lotus Light. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Adorned with Utpala Flowers. The Buddha there was named King of Sound of the Banner of Universal Wisdom. His wisdom was comparable to a jeweled banner.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Lion-Sprint Light. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was. All the Bodhisattvas came to the splendid Dharma assembly held upon Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment under the bodhi tree. 

Each Bodhisattvadisplayed in space ten clouds of wondrous trees of all kinds of fragrance and mani,adornments of incense and precious gems, which filled all of space and did not disperse. These clouds lingered in the air without scattering. 

Sutra:

They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with dense foliage of sublime fragrance. They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with trees of boundless colors and forms that magically appeared. They further displayed ten clouds of trees that were everywhere adorned with flowers. They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with the perfect light of dazzling jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with Bodhisattva bodies manifesting in the midst of chandana incense. They further displayed ten clouds of trees revealing inconceivable adornments in bodhimandas of the past. They further displayed ten clouds of trees made of myriad jeweled garments as bright as the sun. They further displayed ten clouds of trees that universally made all delightful sounds.  

Clouds of trees such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Then, in the north, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from mani lamps and lotuses, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

The previous section said that the Bodhisattvas made appear clouds of wondrous trees, which filled all of space. What clouds of trees were there? They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with dense foliage—lots of leaves—of sublime fragrance. These trees were extremely beautiful. They further made appear ten kinds of clouds of trees adorned with trees of boundless colors and forms that magically appeared. These trees were especially adorned and splendidly colorful. They further displayed ten clouds of trees that were everywhere adorned with flowers. The trees were covered with numerous blooming flowers.

They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with the perfect light of dazzling jewels. The jewels gave off a fiery light. They further displayed ten clouds of trees adorned with Bodhisattva bodies manifest ing in the midst of chandana incense. Within the incense, many Bodhisattva bodies came into being by transformation. They further made appear ten clouds of trees revealing inconceivable adornments in bodhimandas of the past, bodhimandas where the Buddha had cultivated, had made offerings to all Buddhas, and had spoken Dharma. They further displayed ten clouds of trees made of myriad jeweled garments as bright as the sun. The clothing was made with gems as bright as sunlight. They further displayed ten clouds of trees that universally made all delightful sounds. Whoever heard those sounds felt happy. It was a natural kind of music. 

Clouds of trees such as those described above, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air throughout the Dharma Realm and did not disperse. Having displayed those wondrous clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Then, in the north, each Bodhisattva created a lion’s throne from precious mani lamps and lotuses, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture. Each Bodhisattva sat on his lion throne and cultivated his own samadhi. 

Sutra:

Northeast of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Banner of Jambunada Gold and Crystal Hues. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Adorned with Multitudes of Jewels. The Buddha there was named Lamp of Fearlessness Regarding All Dharmas.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Inexhaustible Treasury of Merit and Virtue of the Lamp of Supreme Light. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was.  

Each Bodhisattva displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a profusion of precious lotuses of boundless colors and forms, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Commentary:

To the northeast of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Banner of Jambunada Gold and Crystal Hues. Within the seed of those worlds there was a country called Adorned with Multitudes of Jewels. The Buddha there was named Lamp of Fearlessness Regarding All Dharmas. He was turning the Dharma wheel and teaching living beings in that land. 

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Inexhaustible Treasury of Merit and Virtue of the Lamp of Supreme Light. That Bodhisattva didn't come alone. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was seated upon his precious vajra throne at the base of the bodhi tree. 

Each Bodhisattvadisplayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a profusion of precious lotuses of boundless colors and forms, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Sutra:

They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of the brilliant light of supreme mani. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of assorted ornaments and decorations. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of jeweled garlands and blazing lanterns. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones that rain down strands of jewels everywhere.

They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a profusion of incense, flowers, and strands of jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a plethora of supreme mani revealing the adornments of the thrones of all Buddhas. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones adorned with doors, windows, steps, beads, and other ornaments. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of the jeweled branches and trunks of mani trees. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a blend of jewels and incense and shining as brilliantly as sunlight.  

Clouds of lion thrones such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. Then, in the northeast, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne from an abundance of precious lotuses and luminous mani banners, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

A few days ago at the World Peace Conference in Seattle, as we were all reciting the Spiritual Mantra for Quelling Disasters and Bringing Auspiciousness, a white cloud appeared in the air, and the cloud gave off white light. The cloud stayed for about two hours; it didn't disperse until after our lectures were over. I don't know if you were aware of this. Several others did take notice of this even. It was a very propitious omen. That was an auspicious cloud, a response to our prayers for world peace. The cloud appeared like a Dharma-protecting dragon.When the Buddha attained Buddhahood, the Bodhisattvas of the ten directions also made auspicious clouds appear in the air as an offering to the Buddha. At this point in the sutra, the Bodhisattvas made clouds of lion thrones appear.  

They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of the brilliant light of supreme mani. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of assorted ornaments such as lamps, censor, bells, and so forth—all the objects that beautify the altar that are placed before the Buddha; and decorations, such as carvings, flowers, and so forth, which embellish the temple. For example, the other day someone brought in several dozen sheets on which she had written “Om Mani Padme Hum.” Those are also decorations. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones of jeweled garlands and blazing lanterns. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones that rain down strands of jewels everywhere. Within the clouds appear lion thrones adorned with strands of jewels.

They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a profusion of incense, flowers, and strands of jewels. These lion thrones were made of all kinds of incense, flowers, and jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a plethora of supreme mani revealing the adornments of the thrones of all Buddhas. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones adorned with doors, windows, brick or stone steps, beads, and other ornaments. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of the jeweled branches and trunks of mani trees. They further displayed ten clouds of lion thrones made of a blend of all kinds of jewels and incense and shining as brilliantly as sunlight.  

Clouds of lion thrones such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. They made an offering to the Buddha of all those clouds of lion thrones. Then,in the northeast, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne from an abundance of precious lotuses and luminous mani banners, and seated himself upon his throne in full lotus posture. Although the Buddha didn't go to the northeast and the Bodhisattvas didn't come to the Buddha, they were as if face-to-face. Each Bodhisattva sat in full lotus posture and cultivated Contemplative Prajna in order to realize the wisdom of the ultimate reality.

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