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Medicinal Herbs

Chapter 5


At that time the World Honored One, wishing to restate this meaning spoke verses, saying:

"Destroyer of existence, the Dharma King
Manifests within the world;
According to living beings’ desires,
He teaches the Dharma in various ways.

The Thus Come One, out of veneration
For this wisdom, deep and far-reaching,
Has long remained silent on this important matter,
Being in no hurry to set it forth.

Those with wisdom, if they heard it,
Would be able to believe and understand it,
But those lacking wisdom would doubt it
And thereby lose it for a long time
For this reason, Kashyapa,
It is spoken in accord with their powers
Employing various conditions
To lead them to the right view.

Kashyapa, you should know
It is like a great cloud
Rising above the world
And covering all
A wisdom cloud filled with moisture
Illuminated with lightening flashes
And vibrating with thunderous roars
It brings delight to all,
Obscuring the light of the sun,
Refreshing the earth
The cloud lowers and expands
As if one could reach out and touch it,
It rains equally everywhere
Falling alike in the four directions
Pouring without measure
Saturating all the lands.

In the mountains, streams and steep valleys,
In deep recesses, there grow
Grasses, trees, and herbs,
And trees, both great and small,
The grains, shoots, and plants,
The sugar cane and the grape vine;
All are nourished by the rain,
And none fail to be enriched.

The parched ground is soaked,
The herbs and trees together flourish,
Issuing from that cloud
Water of a single flavor
Moistens grasses, trees and forests
Each according to its measure
All of the trees,
Great, medium and small,
According to their size
Can grow and develop.
When reached by that single rain
The roots, stalks, branches, and leaves,
Flowers and fruits with luster and color,
All are fresh and shining.

According to their substance and marks,
And natures, either great or small
They alike receive moisture
And each one flourishes.

The Buddha, in the same way
Manifests within the world
Just like a great cloud
Covering over everything.

Having come into the world
For the sake of living beings,
He discriminates and expounds
The reality of all dharmas.

The Great Sage, the World Honored One,
In the midst of the multitudes
Of gods and humans
Proclaims these words saying:
“I am the Thus Come One
The doubly complete honored one.
I appear within the world
Like a great cloud
Moistening all
The dried-out living beings,
So they all leave suffering
And gain peace and bliss
Worldly joy
And the joy of Nirvana.

All gods and humans assembled here
Listen singlemindedly and well.
You should all come here
To behold the Unsurpassed Honored One,
I am the World Honored One,
The one beyond compare.

To bring peace and ease to living beings
I manifest within the world
And for the sake of the assembly speak
The sweet dew of pure Dharma
The Dharma of a single flavor,
That of liberation and Nirvana.
Using a single wondrous sound
I proclaim this principle
Constantly creating the causes and conditions
For the Great Vehicle.

I contemplate all
Everywhere as equal,
Without “this” or “that”
And without thoughts of love or hate.

I have no greed or attachment,
And no limitations or obstacles.
Constantly for everyone,
I speak the Dharma, equally.

Speaking for a single person,
As I would for the multitudes.
I constantly expound and proclaim the Dharma
And have no other work.

Coming, going, sitting and standing
I never grow weary,
Filling the entire world,
Like the moisture of the universal rain.

For the noble, the lowly, the superior and inferior,
Those who keep precepts
And those who break them,
Those with perfect awesome manner
And those not perfect,
Those with right views and those with deviant views
The sharp rooted, the dull rooted
I send down equally the Dharma rain
And never grow weary.

All living beings
Who hear my Dharma
Receive it according to their power
And dwell on various levels.

They may dwell among humans or gods,
Or Wheel-turning sage kings,
Shakra or Brahma Kings.
These are the small herbs.

Those who know the non outflow Dharma,
Those who can attain Nirvana,
Giving rise to Six Spiritual Penetrations
And attaining the Three Clarities,
Dwelling alone in mountain groves
Ever practicing Chan samadhi
Attaining certification to condition-enlightenment :
These are the middle-sized herbs.

Those who seek the place of the World Honored One
Saying, “We will become Buddhas.”
Vigorously practicing concentration,
These are the superior herbs.

Further, those disciples of the Buddha
Who turn their minds to the Buddha Way
Always practising compassion
Knowing they will become Buddhas,
For sure, without doubt:
These are called the small trees.

Those who dwell in spiritual penetrations,
Turning the irreversible wheel,
Saving limitless hundreds of thousands
Of millions of living beings-
Such Bodhisattvas as these
Are called great trees.

The Buddha speaks equally,
Like the rain of a single flavor.
According to living beings’ natures
They receive it differently,
Just as those herbs and trees
Each receives a different measure.

The Buddha uses this analogy
To instruct expediently.
With various phrases, he
Expounds and proclaims a single Dharma which
In the Buddha’s wisdom is
Like a drop within the sea.

I send down the rain of Dharma
Filling all the world
The Dharma of one taste is
Cultivated according to their power
Just like those forest groves
All the herbs and trees
According to their size
Grow and flourish well.

The Dharma of all the Buddhas
Is always of a single taste
It causes all the world
To attain perfection.

Through its gradual cultivation
All attain the fruits of the Way.
The Hearers, those enlightened to conditions
Dwelling in mountain groves
Living in their final bodies
Hearing the Dharma, gain the fruit;
They are called the herbs,
And each one does grow.

If there are Bodhisattvas,
Whose wisdom is firm and solid,
Who thoroughly comprehend the triple world
And seek the supreme vehicle;
They are called small trees,
And each one does grow.

Further, those who dwell in Chan
Attaining spiritual powers,
Who hear the dharma of emptiness
And rejoice within their minds,
Emitting countless lights
Crossing over all beings;
They are called the large trees,
And each one does grow.

In this way, Kashyapa,
The Dharma spoken by the Buddha
Is like that great cloud.
With rain of a single flavor,
It moistens all the people and flowers,
So each one bears fruit.

Kashyapa, you should know
That by using causes and conditions
And various analogies
I demonstrate and reveal the Buddha Path.
These are my expedients
And other Buddhas are also thus.

Now, for your sake,
I speak of this true matter;
All of you Hearers,
None of you have reached extinction.
What you now are walking
That is the Bodhisattva Path.
Gradually, gradually, cultivate and study,
And you will all accomplish Buddhahood.”

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