Chapters: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   Contents   previous   next

The Manifestations of the Thus Come One

Chapter Two




Sutra:

Southeast of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Adorned with Gold and Universally Illuminated by Vaidurya Light. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Pure Fragrance and Light. The Buddha there was named King of Universal Joy and Profound Faith.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Universally Bright Lamp of Wisdom. 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 banners made of wish-fulfilling mani gems, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Commentary:

To the southeast of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Adorned with Gold and Universally Illuminated by Vaidurya Light. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Pure Fragrance and Light. The Buddha there was named King of Universal Joy and Profound Faith.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva , a great Bodhisattva among Bodhisattvas, named Universally Bright Lamp of Wisdom. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was. He and Bodhisattvas from other worlds as numerous as motes of dust all came to the base of the bodhi tree, where Shakyamuni Buddha had just realized Buddhahood.  

Each Bodhisattva displayed in infinitely many layers ten clouds of banners made of all kinds of wish-fulfilling mani gems, which filled all of space and did not disperse. These clouds of mani banners lingered in the air as an offering to the Buddha.

Sutra:

They further displayed ten clouds of banners adorned with sapphires and all kinds of flowers. They further displayed ten clouds of mani banners of all kinds of fragrances. They further displayed ten clouds of banners made of blazing, jeweled lamps. They further displayed ten clouds of supreme mani banners showing the Buddhas' spiritual powers and speaking of Dharma. They further displayed ten clouds of mani banners made of all kinds of garments for adorning the body. They further displayed ten clouds of luminous banners made of clusters of precious flowers. They further displayed ten clouds of banners of tinkling sounds from bells hung in a jeweled net. They further displayed ten clouds of banners made of mani daises and lotus nets. They further displayed ten clouds of banners showing all kinds of inconceivable adornments and images.  

Clouds of precious banners 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 southeast, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne from a profusion of precious lotuses, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

They , these Bodhisattvas as numerous as dustmotes, further displayed ten clouds of banners adorned with sapphires and all kinds of wonderful flowers. Sapphires refer to the blue gems owned by the Jade Emperor. They further displayed ten clouds of mani banners of all kinds of rare fragrances. They further displayed ten clouds of banners made of blazing, jeweled lamps, burning lamps adorned with various precious gems. They further displayed ten clouds of supreme mani banners showing the Buddhas' spiritual powers and speaking of Dharma. These clouds showed the Buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time using spiritual powers and speaking Dharma to teach living beings. They further displayed ten clouds of mani banners made of all kinds of superb garments for adorning the body. They further displayed ten clouds of luminous banners made of clusters of precious flowers. These numerous flowers radiated a banner of bright light. They further displayed ten clouds of banners made of tinkling sounds from bells hung in a jeweled net. The net was made of the seven precious things. They further displayed ten clouds of banners made of mani daises and lotus nets. They further displayed ten clouds of banners showing all kinds of inconceivable adornments and images.  

Clouds of precious banners 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 their bows and of the precious clouds. Then, in the southeast in his own land, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne from a profusion of precious lotuses, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Sutra:

Southwest of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Universally Shining Sunlight. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Lion Sunlight. The Buddha there was named Luminous Sound of Universal Wisdom.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Exquisite Light Universally Blazing Forth from the Cowl. 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 precious canopies made of a plethora of exquisite ornaments, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Commentary:

Southwest of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Universally Shining Sunlight. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Lion Sunlight. The Buddha there , the teaching host of that land, was named Luminous Sound of Universal Wisdom.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva , a great leader of Bodhisattvas, named Exquisite Light Universally Blazing Forth from the Cowl. He and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was. All of those numerous Bodhisattvas gathered at the foot of the bodhi tree. 

Each Bodhisattva displayed their own ten clouds of precious canopies made of a plethora of exquisite ornaments, which filled all of space and did not disperse.  

Sutra:

They further displayed ten clouds of floral canopies adorned with lights. They further displayed ten clouds of treasuries of pearl canopies of boundless colors. They further displayed ten clouds of supreme mani canopies uttering all Bodhisattvas' sounds of compassion and empathy. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies of garlands made from beautiful, glowing jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies of chimes suspended from nets and embellished with beautiful gems. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies adorned with mani tree branches. They further displayed ten clouds of supreme mani canopies of universally shining sunlight. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies made of fragrant ointments and burning incense. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies made of an abundance of chandana. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies adorned with the universal light of the magnificent state of the Buddhas.  

Commentary:

They further displayed ten clouds of floral canopies adorned with lights. They further displayed ten clouds of treasuries of pearl canopies of boundless colors. They further displayed ten clouds of regal mani canopies uttering all Bodhisattvas' sounds of compassion and empathy . They further displayed ten clouds of canopies of garlands made from beautiful, glowing jewels. These canopies were made of flames from jewels in the form of flower garlands. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies of chimes suspended from nets and embellished with beautiful gems. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies adorned with mani tree branches. They further displayed ten clouds of supreme mani canopies of universally shining sunlight. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies of fragrant ointments and burning incense. They further displayed ten clouds of precious canopies made of an abundance of chandana incense. They further displayed ten clouds of canopies adorned with the universal light of the magnificent state of the Buddhas.  

Sutra:

Clouds of precious canopies 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 southwest, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne richly adorned with glowing sapphire, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

Clouds of precious canopies such as those, as numerous as the dustmotes in a sea of worlds, completely filled the air and did not disperse. Each of the clouds manifested by the Bodhisattvas pervaded all of space, and yet they did not impede one another. And each of the clouds remained distinct from the others. They were not all mixed up in disarray. None of the clouds dispersed. Having displayed those clouds, the Bodhisattvas bowed to the Buddha and offered them to him. All the Bodhisattvas made obeisance to the Buddha and offered the clouds of precious canopies to him. Then, in the southwest, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne richly adorned with glowing sapphire—the imperial gem of Lord Shakra—and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture. The Bodhisattvas did not come to the Saha world, and the Buddha did not go to all those lands as numerous as dustmotes. Yet they were as if face-to-face. The Bodhisattvas each sat in full lotus posture and practiced their own dharma doors. 

Sutra:

Northwest of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Dazzling Light of Jewels. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Adorned with All Fragrances. The Buddha there was named Luminous Ocean of Limitless Merit and Virtue.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Infinitely Bright, Supreme Mani. 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 perfect light from all jewels, which filled all of space and did not disperse. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from all glowing jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from all gorgeous flowers. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from all transformation Buddhas. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from the Buddhalands in the ten directions. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from jeweled trees, with roaring thunder from the realm of Buddhas.  

Commentary:

Northwest of this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Dazzling Light of Jewels. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Adorned with All Fragrances. All the beings in that land had a natural fragrance about them. The Buddha there was named Luminous Ocean of Limitless Merit and Virtue. That was the name of the Dharma King who taught beings in that land. 

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva , a great Bodhisattva with a great resolve, named Infinitely Bright, Supreme Mani. The light of that Bodhisattva was inexhaustible. He, a leader of Bodhisattvas, and as many Bodhisattvas as dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was. Coming before the Buddha, who was seated upon a precious vajra throne beneath the bodhi tree, each Bodhisattva displayed ten clouds of perfect light from all jewels, which filled all of space and did not disperse. They further displayed not just one, but ten clouds of perfect light from all glowing jewels. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from all gorgeous flowers, the most beautiful and exquisite flowers there were. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from all transformation Buddhas. The transformation Buddhas appeared within the light and also emitted light themselves. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from the Buddhalands in the ten directions. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from jeweled trees, with roaring thunder from the realm ofBuddhas.  

Sutra:

They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from vaidurya gems and supreme mani. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light manifesting boundless beings in a single thought. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light that proclaim the great vows of all Thus Come Ones. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light that utter sounds to teach all beings.  

Clouds of perfect light 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 northwest, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne from the infinite light of abundant, awesome virtue, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture.  

Commentary:

They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light from vaidurya gems and supreme mani. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light manifesting boundless beings in a single thought. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light that proclaim the great vows of all Thus Come Ones of the past, present, and future pervading space and the Dharma Realm. They further displayed ten clouds of perfect light of supreme mani that utter sounds to teach all beings. These clouds emanated the sounds made by the Buddha in speaking to and teaching all living beings, and also the sounds of living beings requesting Dharma. 

Clouds of perfect light 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 reverently to the Buddha and offered them to him. They presented their bows and the clouds of light to the Buddha as offerings. Then, in the northwest, each Bodhisattva created a lion's throne from the infinite light of abundant, awesome virtue, and seated himself upon that throne in full lotus posture. Each of the Bodhisattvas sat in full lotus and cultivated the Four Limitless States of Mind—kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. 

Sutra:

Below this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Lotus Fragrance Treasury of Wonderful Virtues. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Dazzling Light of a Jeweled Lion. The Buddha there was named Light of the Dharma Realm.  

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

Each Bodhisattva displayed ten brilliant clouds produced from a profusion of mani, which filled all of space and did not disperse. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds full of all kinds of incense. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds of the effulgence of all jewels.  

Commentary:

Below this sea of worlds of the Flower Treasury, there was another sea of worlds called Lotus Fragrance Treasury of Wonderful Virtues. Within the seed of those worlds there was a land called Dazzling Light of a Jeweled Lion. The Buddha there was named Light of the Dharma Realm.  

Within the great sea-like assembly of that Thus Come One, that King of Dharma, was a Bodhisattva Mahasattva named Flaming Wisdom of the Light of the Dharma Realm. He and as many Bodhisattvas as there are dustmotes in a sea of worlds all came to where the Buddha was, at his vajra seat beneath the bodhi tree. 

EachBodhisattva displayed ten brilliant clouds produced from a profusion of mani, which filled all of space and did not disperse. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds full of all kinds of incense. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds of the effulgence of all jewels.  

Sutra:

They further displayed ten brilliant clouds that issued sounds of all Buddhas speaking the Dharma. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds manifesting the adornments of all Buddhalands. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds produced from towers of splendid blossoms. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds showing the Buddhas teaching beings throughout all eons. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds containing infinitely many jeweled flower buds. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds of lavishly ornamented thrones.  

Commentary:

They further displayed ten brilliant clouds that issued sounds of all Buddhas speaking the Dharma. Buddhas speaking Dharma could be seen within the light. They proclaimed the Dharma continuously without cease. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds manifesting the adornments of all Buddhalands, All the pure, adorned, bright and wondrous characteristics of those lands appeared within the clouds of light. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds produced from towers of splendid blossoms. All kinds of flowers and towers appeared in the light. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds showing the Buddhas teaching beings throughout all eons. The clouds showed how each Buddha spoke the Dharma and expounded the sutras in order to teach beings. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds containing infinitely many jeweled flower buds. Endless layers of floral canopies appeared in the air. They further displayed ten brilliant clouds of lavishly ornamented thrones. These clouds displayed ornate Dharma seats.

The above passage of the sutra described various kinds of brilliant clouds. Basically, everyone probably understands the meaning of the text. However, according to the rules of lecturing on sutras, one should explain the passage once even if everyone already understands. And of course if people don’t understand, it’s even more critical that one explains it. Whether or not one lectures well, and whether or not people understand it, one should explain it.

You can’t say, “This passage is very clear and all of you understand it, so there’s no need for me to explain it.” That’s cheating. If there’s no need to explain it, then why are you lecturing in the first place? How do you know everyone understands it? If someone doesn’t understand, then he or she will be confused. Even if everyone already understands, if you explain it again, it will plant another seed in their eighth consciousness, which is very good. Why don’t you want to explain it? It must be because you yourself don’t understand the sutra’s meaning. And so you try to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

As for me, I explain whatever I know. If I don’t understand something, then I don’t explain it. I don’t say, “Oh, you all understand, so I don’t need to explain it.” If I don’t explain something, it’s because I don’t understand it either, so I have no way to explain it. Sometimes I don’t care whether I understand or not; I just explain the meaning the way I see it. If you can give a better explanation, then that’s very good.

In explaining sutras, the wise see wisdom, and the humane see humaneness. The profound see what is profound, and the shallow see what is shallow. And so one must take into account the level of understanding of one’s audience. If one speaks elegantly but people don’t understand, it’s not much use. In studying the Buddhadharma, we have to really understand the principles in the sutras.

When I explain sutras, I encourage people to put the principles into practice. If you understand but don’t practice, it’s useless. If you don’t understand but you can practice, you’ll certainly succeed; you’ll surely realize the fruition of sagehood. Don’t just concentrate on intellectual Chan and literary wisdom. To be a Dharma Master, it’s not enough to read a few commentaries and memorize them. That is merely intellectual wisdom.

previous   next   Contents

Chapter 2 pages:   1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14

return to top