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Universal Worthy’s Samadhi

Chapter Three


III. Universal Worthy rises from samadhi

A. This world

3. The great assembly gains benefit

B. It is the same throughout the ten directions

Sutra:

When Universal Worthy Bodhisattva rose from all such entrances into samadhi, all of those Bodhisattvas individually attained clouds of seas of samadhis as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; clouds of seas of dharanis as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; clouds of seas of all Dharma expedients as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds;

clouds of seas of entrances into eloquence as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; clouds of seas of practices as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; clouds of seas of wisdom lights from all Thus Come Ones’ treasury of merit and virtue, as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds, universally shining throughout the Dharma Realm; clouds of seas of all Thus Come Ones’ powers, wisdoms, and expedients of nondifferentiation as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds;

clouds of seas of all Thus Come Ones, each manifesting in every pore multitudes of lands as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; and clouds of seas of Bodhisattvas as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds, each manifesting descent from the palace of the Tushita Heaven, being born, becoming a Buddha, turning the wheel of proper Dharma, entering parinirvana, and so forth.  

Just as in this world Universal Worthy Bodhisattva rose from samadhi and all the multitudes of Bodhisattvas obtained such benefits, so too, in all seas of worlds, in each and every mote of dust in all the dust motes in all those seas of worlds, it was just the same way.  

Commentary:

When Universal Worthy Bodhisattva , the Bodhisattva of Great Conduct, rose from all such entrances into samadhi, the ten samadhi entrances previously mentioned, all of those Bodhisattvas attained benefit as well. Because Universal Worthy Bodhisattva demonstrated this kind of samadhi, entering this samadhi and then leaving it, the other Bodhisattvas were influenced as well. Upon seeing these samadhis, they obtained the benefits of these samadhis. Each of the Bodhisattvas individually attained clouds of seas of samadhis as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds. They obtained these auspicious clouds and these benefits.

“Seas of worlds” expresses how vast a number of worlds there are; “as numerous as the fine dust motes” expresses a number that is even greater than the number of worlds. The Bodhisattvas further attained clouds of seas of dharanis as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds. Dharani is a Sanskrit word that means “uniting and upholding.” That is, it unites all dharmas and upholds limitless meanings. The Bodhisattvas also manifested clouds of seas of all Dharma expedients as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds. They also made appear clouds of seas of entrances into eloquence as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds;

clouds of seas of practices as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; clouds of seas of wisdom lights from all Thus Come Ones’ treasury of merit and virtue, as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds, universally shining throughout the Dharma Realm; clouds of seas of all Thus Come Ones’ powers, wisdoms, and expedients of nondifferentiation as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; clouds of seas of all Thus Come Ones, all the Buddhas, each manifesting in every pore boundless multitudes of lands as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds; and clouds of seas of Bodhisattvas as numerous as the fine dust motes in a sea of worlds, each manifesting the Eight Signs of Realizing the Way: the descent from the palace of the Tushita Heaven, being born, becoming a Buddha, turning the wheel of proper Dharma, entering maha-parinirvana, and so forth.  

Just as in this world Universal Worthy Bodhisattva rose from samadhi and all the multitudes of Bodhisattvas obtained such benefits , so too, in all the other worlds the Universal Worthy Bodhisattvas also rose from samadhi, and in all the seas of worlds, in each and every mote of dust in all the dust motes in all those seas of worlds, it was just the same way. There were the same kinds of states as mentioned previously.  

IV. Portents manifest as certification  

Sutra:

At that time, through the awesome spiritual might of all Buddhas and the power of samadhi of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, all the seas of worlds throughout the ten directions subtly quaked. Each and every world became adorned with multitudes of jewels and sent forth wondrous sounds that proclaimed all dharmas. Moreover, in the seas of assemblies in the bodhimandas of all Thus Come Ones, there universally rained down ten kinds of immense clouds of splendid mani.

What were the ten? They were splendid mani clouds of wondrous golden star banners; splendid mani clouds of luminous brilliance; splendid mani clouds of precious orbs trailing down; splendid mani clouds of treasuries of jewels displaying images of Bodhisattvas; splendid mani clouds extolling the names of Buddhas; splendid mani clouds of blazing light that universally illumined the bodhimandas in all Buddhas’ lands; splendid mani clouds of light illumining the myriad transformations in the ten directions; splendid mani clouds praising the meritorious qualities of all Bodhisattvas; splendid mani clouds as resplendently bright as the sun; and splendid mani clouds of mellifluous music heard throughout the ten directions.  

Commentary:

At that time, through the awesome spiritual might of all Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time and the power of samadhi of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, the power derived from the samadhi of the seed body of a Thus Come One , that is Vairocana, all the seas of worlds throughout the ten directions subtly quaked. It was a very fine and subtle quaking, not like a great big earthquake. The purpose of the subtle quaking was to wake beings up; to cause them not to be so confused; to let them know that this world is impermanent and that it will be destroyed eventually; to cause beings to become enlightened more quickly.

Each and every world became adorned with multitudes of jewels and sent forth wondrous and delightful sounds that proclaimed all the various kinds of dharmas. Moreover, in the seas of assemblies in the bodhimandas of all Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, there universally rained down ten kinds of the most beautiful, splendid, immense clouds of splendid mani. What were the ten? What were their names?

They were splendid mani clouds of wondrous golden star banners; splendid mani clouds of luminous brilliance; splendid mani clouds of precious orbs trailing down; splendid mani clouds of treasuries of jewels displaying images of Bodhisattvas; splendid mani clouds extolling the names of Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time; splendid mani clouds of blazing light resembling fire that universally illumined the bodhimandas in all Buddhas’ lands in the ten directions pervading space and the Dharma Realm; splendid mani clouds of light illumining the myriad transformations in the ten directions; splendid mani clouds praising the meritorious qualities of all Bodhisattvas.These clouds would praise whatever merit and virtue a certain Bodhisattva has.

For example, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World, teaches and transforms beings with sincere, great compassion; Manjushri Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom is foremost in wisdom; Universal Worthy Bodhisattva of Great Conduct is foremost in conduct; Earth Store Bodhisattva of Great Vows is foremost in the power of vows. These clouds praise all the meritorious qualities of the Bodhisattvas. There were also splendid mani clouds as resplendently bright as the sun; these clouds shone as brightly as the sun; and splendid mani clouds of mellifluous music heard throughout the ten directions of the Dharma Realm. Anyone who heard these sounds felt happy.  

V. Light streams from pores, praising Universal Worthy’s virtues

Sutra:

After those ten kinds of immense clouds of splendid mani universally rained down, bright light streamed forth from all the pores of all those Thus Come Ones. The following verses were spoken within the light.  

Universal Worthy dwells in every land.
The multitudes see him seated on a precious lotus.
He displays every spiritual penetration

And enters countless samadhis.  

With various bodies, Universal Worthy constantly
Travels throughout the Dharma Realm, filling it entirely.
Such are his samadhi, spiritual power, skillful means.
His perfect voice proclaims principles without obstruction.  

At every Buddha’s dwelling place within each land,
His spiritual powers are revealed through his samadhis.
And each and every spiritual power extensively pervades
Absolutely every country of the ten directions.  

As this happens in every land where the Thus Come Ones are,
So, too, does it happen in every dust mote of those lands.
Samadhi , spiritual power, and such phenomena
Appear because Vairocana has made his mighty vows.  

Commentary:

After those ten kinds of auspicious, immense clouds of splendid mani universally rained down, bright light streamed forth from all the pores of all those Thus Come Ones. All the Buddhas emitted bright light from every pore of their bodies, and the following verses were spoken within the light.

The power of the practice and vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva extends to the ends of space and pervades the Dharma Realm. Everywhere is filled with the power of his vows and entrances into practice. Thus the text says: Universal Worthy pervasively dwells in every land. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva is teaching and transforming beings in all the Buddhalands as numerous as fine dust motes throughout space and the Dharma Realm in the ten directions and the three periods of time. The multitudes see him seated on a precious lotus. Within each of the bodhimandas, he appears in person, sitting on a great, jeweled lotus lion’s throne. All beings who have an affinity with him can see him. He displays every spiritual penetration. Because Universal Worthy Bodhisattva enters the samadhi that is the seed body of the Thus Come Ones, common to all Buddhas, that is Vairocana, he is able to manifest all spiritual powers, and he enters countless samadhis. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva can enter all samadhis. 

With various bodies, Universal Worthy constantly / Travels throughout the Dharma Realm, filling it entirely. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva constantly uses all kinds of different bodies to teach and transform beings. He roams everywhere doing that, completely filling space and the Dharma Realm. Such are hissamadhi, spiritual power, and strength of skillful means. His perfect voice proclaims principles without obstruction. When he speaks the Dharma, his voice is always perfect and full. He “brings forth the appearance of a vast and long tongue” and for beings speaks the wonderful Dharma without any obstructions. 

At every Buddha’s dwelling place within each Buddha-land, the bodhimandas of all Buddhas throughout the ten directions and the three periods of time, to the ends of space and the Dharma Realm, his spiritual powers are revealed through hissamadhis. And each and every spiritual power extensively pervades the Dharma Realm, reaching to absolutely everycountry of the ten directions. There is not a single country where Universal Worthy does not use his spiritual powers to fill the Dharma Realm.  

As this happens in all the seas of worlds, in every land where the Thus Come Ones are, / So, too, does it happen in every dust mote of those lands. There are Buddhas there turning the Dharma wheel, teaching and transforming beings. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva is there also, manifesting great spiritual powers. Samadhi, spiritual power, and such phenomena / Appear because Vairocana has made his mighty vows. The samadhis manifested by Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, as well as the spiritual powers—all of these events—are realized on the one hand by the power of Vairocana Buddha’s vows, and on the other hand by Universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s own vigorous cultivation of the practices and vows of all Buddhas. And so he has such power of wonderful spiritual functions and endless transformations.

Sutra:

Universal Worthy’s body is as the void.
He resides in truth, not in a land.
According with the wishes of every being,
His universal body equally appears to all.  

Universal Worthy, by abiding in great vows,
Attained these limitless spiritual powers.
For every Buddha’s body and every land,
He manifests his form and journeys to that place.  

The ocean of all beings is utterly unbounded,
And his division bodies dwell there, likewise measureless.
All the lands he manifests are splendid and pure;
And in a single instant he can see for many eons.  

Universal Worthy dwells in every land,
Displaying spiritual powers, excellent beyond compare.
The quaking of the earth extends in all the ten directions,
And all who contemplate can see him.  

Commentary:

Universal Worthy’s body is as the void. The Dharma body of the Buddha is the same as space; and the Dharma body of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva is also the same as space. He resides in truth, not in a land. His Dharma body dwells in True Suchness. He does not live in any particular country. His body is nowhere present, yet nowhere absent. According with the wishes of every being, / His universal body equally appears to all. According to what beings want, whatever makes them happy, he is able to fulfill all their wishes. Whatever request they may have, he will manifest this universal body in order to fulfill their hearts’ desires.

Although he is able to satisfy the wishes of all beings, sometimes their wishes are too incredible and inconceivable, too hard to fulfill. For example, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva manifested a transformation body once and went to a large monastery, a Way-place of the ten directions. He went there to serve in the dining hall. When everyone was eating, he would go around with a pot full of rice and vegetables and serve people. All the old cultivators liked something different. Some liked to eat hard food, and other preferred soft food. Some liked salty food; others liked their food bland. Some liked to eat hot food and some liked sour food. And so as Universal Worthy Bodhisattva was serving people, he would carry a lot of bottles around his waist. These bottles contained all different kinds of seasonings: salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, and so on.

In general, he had all of the flavors—sour, sweet, bitter, hot, and salty. Whatever flavor people wanted, he would give them that kind of seasoning. Sometimes, however, people would deliberately give him trouble. They wouldn’t tell him what flavor they wanted and after he put something on, they would tell him it was not what they wanted and yell at him. So Universal Worthy Bodhisattva also had to be patient and endure this kind of heckling. He had to have the power of patience—he practiced the paramita of patience.

Thus Universal Worthy Bodhisattva sometimes finds it difficult to fulfill the wishes of beings, because beings are just too strange. Take, for example, the matter of men and women: when they don’t have children, they all want children. If they already have a son, then they want a daughter. Then they get a daughter, and then their sons and daughters grow up and they in turn have to go and find a man or a woman of their own. In general the desires of beings are limitless and unending and not at all easy to fulfill. So, although Universal Worthy Bodhisattva made such great vows, there are times when it is not easy to fulfill beings’ wishes.

Universal Worthy cultivated by abiding in great vows. This refers to the Ten Great Kings of Vows:

The first is to worship and respect all Buddhas;

Second is to make praises to the Thus Come Ones;

Third is to practice profoundly the giving of offerings;

Fourth to repent and reform all karmic hindrance;

Fifth to rejoice and follow in merit and virtue;

Sixth is to request that the Dharma wheel be turned;

Seventh, request that the Buddhas remain in the world;

Eighth is to follow the Buddhas’ teaching always;

Ninth is to constantly accord with all beings;

Tenth to transfer all merit and virtue universally.

By dwelling in the Ten Great Kings of Vows, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva attained these limitless and boundless spiritual powers explained in the prose section previously. For every Buddha’s body and every land, / He manifests his form and journeys to that place. Wherever there is the body of a Buddha, a Buddha’s bodhimanda, or a Buddhaland, Universal Worthy manifests a body and goes to those places to “practice profoundly the giving of offerings.”  

The ocean of all beings is utterly unbounded . The seas of beings and the seas of worlds are limitless and boundless. And his division bodies dwell there, likewise measureless. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva accordingly sends a limitless number of division bodies to those limitless numbers of places. All the lands he manifests by the power of his vows are splendid and pure; / And in a single instant he can see for many eons. In the short space of a ksana, he can see as long a time as measureless great kalpas.  

Universal Worthy dwells in every Buddha’s land by the power of his vows, displaying spiritual powers, excellent beyond compare, surpassing those of all the other Bodhisattvas. The quaking of the earth extends in all the ten directions. By means of his spiritual powers, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva can cause shaking and quaking throughout the ten directions to the ends of space, pervading the Dharma Realm, leaving no place unaffected. And all who contemplate can see him. All beings who have affinities with Universal Worthy Bodhisattva and who contemplate him, can feel the quaking in the worlds, as well as see his Dharma body.

Sutra:

All Buddhas’ wisdoms and their strength of meritorious virtue,
And all their various, great dharmas, he has perfected.
By means of these samadhis and skillful means,
He manifests his past practices for bodhi.  

Such inconceivable self-mastery as this
He displays in all lands of the ten directions.
To elucidate his universal entry into all samadhis,
Buddhas in clouds of light praise his merit and virtue.  

Commentary:

All Buddhas’ wisdoms and their strength of meritorious virtue, / And all their various, great dharmas, he has perfected. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva is replete with the power of all the Buddhas’ wisdom, merit, and virtue. He has already practiced and accomplished all the great dharmas of all Buddhas. By means of these samadhis and skillful means, / He manifests his past practices for bodhi. Using all samadhis and the dharmas of expedient means, he shows how in the past he cultivated practices for attaining bodhi, or enlightenment.  

Such inconceivable self-mastery as this / He displays in all lands of the ten directions. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s self-mastery and spiritual powers are inconceivable, and he manifests them in all the lands of the ten directions of the Dharma Realm. In order to elucidate his universal entry into all samadhis, all the Buddhas, in clouds of light emitted by them, praise his merit and virtue.  

VI. The assembly acclaims and requests [Dharma]

Sutra:

At that time, the multitudes of Bodhisattvas gazed upward at Universal Worthy Bodhisattva with palms joined. Receiving the Buddha’s spiritual power, they spoke praises in unison:  

Born from the Dharma of all Buddhas,
And arising from the vows of Thus Come Ones,
You are one with True Suchness, impartial as empty space.

Commentary:

At that time, after the Buddhas’ light had praised the merit and virtue of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, the multitudes of Bodhisattvas, as many as the dust motes in a sea of worlds, gazed upward at Universal Worthy Bodhisattva very respectfully with palms joined, their eyes not leaving him for a moment. Receiving the Buddha’s awesome, spiritual power, they spoke praises of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva in unison:  

Sutra:

In all assemblies in every Buddhaland,
Universal Worthy pervasively dwells.
The radiant one of merit, virtue, and wisdom like the sea
Illumines the ten directions equally so none fail to see.  

Ocean-vast is Universal Worthy’s meritorious virtue.
He draws near to Buddhas throughout the ten directions.
To every land within each fine mote of dust,
He journeys and makes himself clearly visible.  

Disciple of the Buddha! We all constantly observe you
Drawing near to all Thus Come Ones,
Dwelling in samadhi, in this state of true reality,
For eons numerous as the motes of dust in every land.  

Disciple of the Buddha, with your universal body,
You pervade all lands in the ten directions.
The great sea of beings is rescued and liberated,
As you enter every dust mote of the Dharma Realm.  

And entering into every dust mote of the Dharma Realm,
Your body is inexhaustible, undifferentiated,
Being all-pervasive, like the emptiness of space.
You speak the Dharma, vast and great, of all Tathagatas.  

Commentary:

In all assembliesin the bodhimandas of every Buddhaland, / Universal Worthy pervasively dwells. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva goes to join all the Dharma assemblies in all the Buddhalands. The bright radiant one of perfect merit and virtue, and wisdom like the sea. Who is this speaking of? This is Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, who illumines the ten directions equally so none fail to see him.  

Ocean-vast is Universal Worthy’s meritorious virtue is measureless and boundless, resembling the great ocean. Hedraws near and makes offerings to all Buddhas throughout the Buddhalands of the ten directions.

To every land within each fine mote of dust, / He journeys and makes himself clearly visible. In every fine mote of dust there are lands numerous as the fine motes of dust in a sea of worlds, and Universal Worthy Bodhisattva can go to all those places and appear before the people there, causing them to clearly behold him.

Disciple of the Buddha! We all constantly observe you . The phrase “disciple of the Buddha” refers to Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, and “we all” is all of us Bodhisattvas, that is, all the Bodhisattvas in the assembly. They say, “We always see you drawing near to all Thus Come Ones. In every place where there is a Buddha, you join in; you go there and draw near to the Buddhas, and so your merit and virtue are measureless and boundless. We see you dwelling in samadhi, in this state of true reality. You dwell in this samadhi, which is a state of true reality, for eons numerous as the motes of dust in every land, in order to teach and transform beings.  

Disciple of the Buddha, with your universal, all-pervasive Dharma body, / You pervade all Buddhalands, in the ten directions. / The great sea of all beings is rescued and liberated. Among the great sea of beings, you constantly go to rescue and deliver them. And you enter every dust mote of the Dharma Realm. You enter into every single mote of dust in the Dharma Realm, where you turn the great Dharma wheel to teach and transform beings.  

And entering into every dust mote of the Dharma Realm, / Your body is inexhaustible, undifferentiated. Your body is infinite and endless, and there’s no discriminating it. Your Dharma body is all pervasive, like the emptiness of space.You speak the Dharma, vast and great, of all Tathagatas. You constantly expound all Buddhas’ vast, great entrances to the Dharma.”

Sutra:

Brilliant Radiant One, replete with meritorious virtue,
Your all-surpassing powers, vast and great, spread like a cloud.
Within the sea of beings, you journey everywhere
And speak the peerless Dharma cultivated by the Buddhas.  

Liberating beings throughout oceans of eons,
You cultivate Samantabhadra’s practices supreme;
Expounding each and every Dharma like a thundercloud,
Vast and great your voice resounds so all can hear:  

How have all the lands come into being?
And by what means do all Buddhas appear,
Along with the oceans of all beings?
We hope you will speak these truths as they are.  

All within this limitless, great assembly, vast as the sea,
Are here before you, Honored One, respectfully.
And as you turn the wheel of Dharma, wondrous, clear and pure,
All the Buddhas are accordingly delighted.  

Commentary:

The Bodhisattvas continue to praise Universal Worthy Bodhisattva: Brilliant Radiant One, replete with every meritorious virtue, you are endowed with all kinds of wisdom-light. Your all-surpassing powers are vast and great, supreme beyond the ordinary, and spread like a cloud. Within the sea of beings, you journey everywhere, / And for the sakes of beings you speak the peerless Dharma cultivated by all the Buddhas. These are incomparable dharma-methods; nothing can compare to this unsurpassed Dharma.  

For the sake of extensively liberating and rescuing beings throughout the seas of measureless great eons, / You cultivate to perfection Samantabhadra’s practices supreme./ Expounding each and every Dharma like a thundercloud, / Vast and great your voice resounds so all can hear. You proclaim all the Buddhas’ Dharma like a great cloud, with a sound so immense that there is not one land where it cannot be heard.  

Universal Worthy Bodhisattva can explain how all the lands have come into being. / And he also knows by what means do all Buddhas appear, / Along with the oceans of all beings. Although the categories of beings are as profuse as an ocean, we hope you will speak these truths as they are. We hope you will “constantly accord with all beings” and elucidate these principles according to reality.  

All within this limitless, great assembly, vast as the sea, all the multitudes of beings to the ends of space and pervading the Dharma Realm, are here before you, Honored One, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, respectfully gazing up and waiting for you to speak Dharma for them. They hope you will turn the wheel of pure, wonderful Dharma on a vast scale. And as you turn the wheel of Dharma, wondrous, clear and pure, / All the Buddhas are accordingly delighted. Then not only will we Bodhisattvas be happy, but all the Buddhas of the ten directions will come to your bodhimanda and join in your splendid assembly; they’ll all be delighted.

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