The Merit and Virtue from First Bringing Forth the Mind
Chapter Seventeen --------------
Disciple of the Buddha, putting this analogy aside, suppose there is a second person who within a single thought, is able to do what the person before him did, as well as the acts of making offerings which all the living beings in countless world systems performed throughout countless kalpas. In thought after thought like this, he uses limitless kinds of articles of offerings, to make offerings throughout limitless kalpas to limitless Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, as well as to all of the living beings in limitless world systems.”
“Further, suppose there is a third person, up to the point that there is a tenth person, and they are all like this; within a single thought they make all the offerings which the person before them made in thought after thought. They use boundless, unequalled, uncountable, inestimable, inconceivable, immeasurable, ineffable, ineffably ineffable articles of offerings, to make offerings to boundless, up to and including ineffable Buddhas, as well as all the living beings in those world systems, doing so for boundless kalpas. And after those Buddhas’ extinction, they erect a stupa for each one of them, each stupa is high and vast, and in the same way, abiding for kalpas.”
“Disciple of the Buddha, the aforementioned merit and virtue when compared with the merit and virtue of the Bodhisattva who first brings forth the mind, does not equal a hundredth part, nor a thousandth part, nor a hundred thousandth part, up to and including it does not equal one part in an Upanishad.”
“Why is this? Disciple of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva has no uniform limit. He brings forth the mind for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi only for the sake of making offerings to those Buddhas. He brings forth the mind of Anuttarasamyaksambodhi to make offerings to all of the limitless, ineffably ineffable Buddhas, exhausting the Dharma Realm and the realm of space, throughout the ten directions, in the past, present, and future.”
“After bringing forth this mind, he is able to know the first realization of the right enlightenment up to the nirvana of the Buddhas of the past. He is able to believe in all of the good roots of all Buddhas of the future. And he is able to know all of the wisdom of all Buddhas of the present. This Bodhisattva is able to believe in the merit and virtue of those Buddhas. He is able to accept it, cultivate it, obtain it, know it, be certified to it, and perfect it. He is able to be of an equal, single nature with all Buddhas.”
“Why is this? The Bodhisattva brings forth the mind so that the seed nature of all Thus Come Ones is not cut off. He brings forth the mind in order to fill up all world systems. He brings forth the mind in order to cross over and liberate the living beings of all world systems. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the coming into being and destruction of all world systems. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the defilement and purity of all living beings. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the purity of all world systems in the three realms of existence. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the pleasures, afflictions and habits in the minds of all living beings. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know about the death in one place and rebirth elsewhere of all living beings. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the expedient methods of all living beings’ faculties. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the activities in the minds of all living beings. He brings forth the mind in order to totally know the wisdom of the three periods of time.”
“Because he brings forth the mind, all the Buddhas in the three periods of time are mindful of him. He will obtain the unsurpassed Bodhi of all Buddhas of the three periods of time, and then all Buddhas of the three periods of time will bestow upon him the wondrous Dharma. He will have an equal substance and nature with all Buddhas of the three periods of time. He has already cultivated the Dharmas which aid the path of all Bodhisattvas of the three periods of time, so he accomplishes the powers and fearlessnesses of all Bodhisattvas of the three periods of time. He adorns the uncommon Buddhadharmas of all Bodhisattvas of the three periods of time. He completely attains the wisdom of all Bodhisattvas speaking the Dharma in the Dharma Realm.”
“Why is this? He will become a Buddha by bringing forth the mind. You should know that this person is equal with all Buddhas in the three periods of time. He is equal with the states of all Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, of the three periods of time. And he is equal with the merit and virtue of all Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, of the three periods of time. He obtains the Thus Come Ones’ single body and limitless bodies, and the ultimately equal, true and actual knowledge and wisdom.”
“Upon bringing forth the mind, all Buddhas of the ten directions simultaneously praise him. Immediately he is able to speak the Dharma to teach, transform, regulate, and subdue all the living beings in all world systems. He is able to shake all world systems. He is able to shine his light upon all world systems. He is able to eliminate the evil paths of suffering of all world systems. He is able to adorn and purify all lands. And within all world systems he is able to manifest the realization of Buddhahood.”
“He is able to cause all living beings to obtain happiness. He is able to enter the nature of all Dharma Realms. He is able to uphold the seed nature of all Buddhas. He is able to obtain all Buddhas’ light of wisdom. There is not the smallest thing in the three periods of time which this Bodhisattva who first brings forth the mind does not obtain. That is to say, whether it be Buddhas or Buddhadharmas; Bodhisattvas or Bodhisattva Dharmas; Solitarily Enlightened Ones or the Dharmas of Solitarily Enlightened Ones; Sound Hearers or the Dharmas of Sound Hearers; that which belongs to the world or worldly Dharmas; that which is transcendental or transcendental Dharmas; or, living beings or the Dharmas of living beings. He only seeks all wisdom, and towards all Dharma Realms his mind is without attachment.”
“At that time, because of the Buddha’s spiritual power, world systems as many as the dustmotes in ten thousand Buddha kshetras in each of the ten directions shook in six ways, which are: shaking, pervasive shaking, and equal pervasive shaking; surging, pervasive surging, and equal pervasive surging; rising, pervasive rising, and equal pervasive rising; quaking, pervasive quaking, and equal pervasive quaking; roaring, pervasive roaring, and equal pervasive roaring; crashing, pervasive crashing, and equal pervasive crashing. Further, there rained down a multitude of heavenly flowers, heavenly incense, heavenly powdered incense, heavenly flower garlands, heavenly garments, heavenly jewels, and articles of heavenly adornment. Heavenly music was played and there was emitting of heavenly light, as well as heavenly sounds.”
“At that time, passing beyond world systems as numerous as dustmotes in ten Buddha kshetras in each of the ten directions, were Buddhas as numerous as dustmotes in ten thousand Buddha kshetras, who all had the same name, Dharma Wisdom. Each manifested a body before Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva and spoke these words, 'Good indeed, good indeed, Dharma Wisdom! You now are one who is able to speak this Dharma. We, Buddhas as numerous as the dustmotes in ten thousand kshetras in each of the ten directions, also speak this Dharma. All Buddhas speak in this way, too. At the time you spoke this Dharma, there were Bodhisattvas as numerous as the dustmotes in ten thousand Buddha kshetras who brought forth the Bodhi mind. We now all confer upon them a prediction that in the future, beyond one thousand ineffable, boundless kalpas, within the same kalpa, they will become Buddhas, appear in the world, and they will all have the title, Pure Mind Thus Come One'.
“The world systems in which they dwell will each be different. We all uphold this Dharma to cause all Bodhisattvas in future worlds who have never heard it before to all hear it. As this Dharma is spoken on the summit of Mount Sumeru in this Saha World, within the four continents under heaven, thus causing all living beings to hear it and afterwards be transformed by it. So too, throughout the ten directions, in hundreds of thousands of millions, nayutas, countless, limitless, boundless, unequalled, uncountable, inestimable, inconceivable, immeasurable, ineffable world systems which exhaust the Dharma Realm and the realm of empty space, this Dharma is also spoken to teach and transform living beings. The ones who speak this Dharma have the same name, Dharma Wisdom.”
“Because of the Buddhas’ spiritual power; because of the power of the World Honored Ones’ basic vows; in order to reveal the Buddhadharma; in order that the light of wisdom shines everywhere; because of the desire to explain true principles; in order to effect the certification to the Dharma nature; in order to cause the assembly to all be happy; because of the desire to reveal the causes of the Buddhadharma; in order to obtain all Buddhas’ equality; and in order to comprehend that Dharma Realms are without non-duality, they speak the Dharma like this.”
At that time, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva universally contemplated, exhausting the realm of space, all the multitudes of assemblies in the lands of the ten directions. Because he desired to bring all living beings to accomplishment; because he desired to totally purify all karmic retribution; because he desired to totally reveal the purity of the Dharma Realm; because he desired to pull out the fundamental root of defilement; because he desired to increase vast great faith and understanding; because he desired to bring about the knowledge of all the roots of limitless living beings; because he desired to bring about the knowledge of the equality of Dharmas of the three periods of time; because he desired to bring about the contemplation of the realm of Nirvana; and because he desired to increase his own good roots of purity, he received the Buddhas’ awesome power and spoke these verses, saying:
In order to benefit the world, he brings forth the great mind.
This mind pervades everywhere in the ten directions:
The Dharmas of living beings, lands, and the three periods of time,
Also , the most supreme sea of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Ultimately like space and equal to the Dharma Realm,
Are all the world systems which exist.
He goes to wherever there is the Buddha and the Dharma.
In this way he brings forth the mind without ever retreating.
He is kindly mindful of living beings, without forsaking them for a moment.
Leaving afflictions and harm, he universally benefits them.
His light shines upon the world as a place of refuge;
The protective mindfulness from the ten powers is difficult to conceive of.
The ten directions’ countries he completely enters;
All forms and shapes are totally made manifest.
Just as the Buddhas’ blessings and wisdom are vast and boundless,
So he accordingly cultivates their causes without any attachments.
There are abiding kshetras facing upwards, or facing downwards;
Coarse, wondrous, or wide, of limitless kinds.
The Bodhisattva who first brings forth the most supreme mind,
Is able to go to all of them without obstruction.
The Bodhisattva’s superior conducts are ineffable.
He cultivates all of them without dwelling anywhere.
He sees all Buddhas and is continuously blissful.
And universally enters the most profound ocean of Dharma.
With pity for the flocks of beings in the five destinies,
He causes them to eradicate their defilements and be universally pure.
So that the Buddha seed continues to flourish without being cut off,
He destroys the demons’ palaces without remainder.
He already abides in the level nature of the Thus Come Ones.
He well cultivates the path of the subtly wondrous skill-in-means.
Towards the state of the Buddhas, he gives rise to a heart of faith,
And he receives the Buddhas’ anointing his crown, with a mind devoid of attachments.
At the place of the Doubly Perfected Honored Ones,
He is mindful of repaying their kindness.
He mind is like Vajra--indestructible.
He can clearly comprehend the Buddhas’ conduct,
And spontaneously cultivates the conduct of Bodhi.
All the destinies are different, with thoughts measureless.
The karmic results and minds are also not of one kind.
Up to and including the various differentiations of the root natures:
Upon first bringing forth the great mind, one can clearly see them all.
The mind is vast and expansive, equal to the Dharma Realm,
Without reliance and unchanging like space.
One tends toward the Buddha’s wisdom without any grasping,
And comprehends the limits of reality, without discriminations.
He knows the minds of living beings, without the thoughts of living beings.
He penetratingly understands Dharmas without having thoughts of Dharmas.
Although there are differences, everywhere he is without discriminations,
As he travels to all the millions of nayutas of kshetras.
With the treasury of the wondrous Dharmas of limitless Buddhas,
He accords, contemplates, and enters.
He knows all living beings’ basic practices, and
Reaches a place like that of the World Honored One
With pure, great, and appropriate vows,
He delights in making offerings to the Thus Come Ones without retreating.
People and gods never grow weary of seeing him. And he is always one of whom
the Buddhas are protective and mindful.
His mind is pure and does not rely on anything.
Although he contemplates profound Dharmas, he does not grasp at them.
He considers them like this for limitless kalpas.
In the three periods of time, he is without any attachments.
His mind is solid and difficult to defeat.
He tends toward Buddha’s Bodhi without obstruction.
He resolutely seeks the wondrous path which dispels delusions,
And he travels throughout the Dharma Realm without mentioning his toil.
He knows that the Dharmas of speech are still and extinct.
He only enters true suchness to cut off wrong understanding.
He accordingly contemplates the states of all Buddhas,
And penetrates the three periods of time with a mind which is without obstructions.
The Bodhisattva upon first bringing forth the great mind,
Is immediately able to travel to kshetras everywhere in the ten directions.
Dharma doors are limitless and ineffable;
His wisdom light universally illumines so that all is understood by him.
Great compassion which widely takes beings across is most incomparable.
His kind heart pervades everywhere and is equal to space,
Yet he does not discriminate between living beings.
With purity like this, he travels in the worlds.
He pacifies all living beings of the ten directions.
All that he does is true and actual.
He always has a pure mind and does not use wrong speech,
And is constantly aided and protected by all Buddhas.
He is completely mindful of everything in the past,
He totally differentiates everything in the future;
Universally he enters the worlds of the ten directions,
In order to rescue living beings and effect their escape.
The Bodhisattva perfects the wondrous wisdom light,
And well comprehends causes and conditions without any doubts.
All confusion and delusion are completely cut off:
In this manner he travels throughout the Dharma Realm.
The palaces of demon kings are all broken up.
The obscuring cataract of living beings is extinguished.
He leaves discriminations and has an unmoving mind,
And well comprehends the state of the Thus Come Ones.
The net of doubts of the three periods of time has already been obliterated.
In the presence of the Thus Come Ones, he gives rise to pure faith.
By means of faith, he realizes unmoving wisdom.
Because of the purity of his wisdom, he understands the true and actual.
In order to cause living beings to escape,
He universally benefits them, exhausting the boundaries of the future.
For a long time he toils, yet his mind is without repulsion,
To the extent that he also calmly endures the hells.
His blessings and wisdom are limitless and totally perfected.
The roots and desires of living beings are all known to him,
As well as all of their karma and actions.
He speaks the Dharma for them as they like it.
He understands that everything is empty and without a self.
He has kind thoughts for living beings without ever forsaking them.
He enters the world everywhere and proclaims
A single, subtly wondrous sound of great compassion.
He emits great light of various colors,
Which universally shines upon living beings and eradicates their darkness.
Within the light are Bodhisattvas seated upon lotus flowers,
Who for the sake of the multitudes, proclaim Dharmas of purity.
On the tip of a single hair he manifests a multitude of kshetras,
And all the great Bodhisattvas fill them up.
The wisdom of the assemblies are each different;
All are able to clearly comprehend the hearts of living beings.
The world systems of the ten directions are ineffable.
In a single thought he pervasively travels to them without exception.
Benefitting living beings and making offerings to the Buddhas,
At the Buddhas’ places he asks about the profound meanings.
He thinks of all Thus Come Ones as a father,
And for the sake of living beings he cultivates the conduct of awakening.
His wisdom and skillful means penetrate the treasury of Dharmas,
And he enters the place of profound wisdom without any attachments.
Complying with their thoughts he speaks of the Dharma Realm,
Passing through limitless kalpas which cannot be exhausted.
Although his wisdom well enters, he is without a dwelling place,
Without weariness, satiation, or attachments.
He is born in the family of the Buddhas of the three periods of time,
And is certified to the Thus Come Ones’ wondrous Dharma body.
Universally for the sake of the flocks of beings, he appears in many forms.
Just like magician, there is nothing he cannot do.
Perhaps he manifests to be beginning his cultivation of the most supreme conducts.
Or maybe he manifests birth, or leaving home.
Or he manifests realizing Bodhi under the tree.
Or for the sake of living beings, he manifests entry into Nirvana.
The Bodhisattva abides in rare Dharmas;
They are solely the states of the Buddha, not that of the two vehicles.
His body, mouth and mind have been completely renounced.
According to various kinds of opportunities, he is able to manifest.
The Buddhadharmas which the Bodhisattva has obtained:
If living beings would try to consider them, they would go mad.
His wisdom enters ultimate reality and his mind is without obstruction.
He universally manifests the Thus Come Ones’ power of comfort and ease.
In the world he is unequalled,
How much the more his ever-increasing supreme conduct!
Although he has not perfected all wisdom,
Yet he has already attained the Thus Come Ones’ power of self-mastery.
He already abides in the ultimate path of the one vehicle,
And deeply enters the subtly wondrous and most superior Dharma.
He knows well what is and is not appropriate for living beings.
In order to benefit them he manifests spiritual penetrations.
His division bodies pervasively fill up all kshetras,
Emitting pure bright light which dispels the world’s darkness,
Just like a dragon king who raises a great cloud,
Everywhere raining down a wondrous rain so all are satisfied.
He knows living beings are like an illusory dream;
Because of the force of karma they always flow and turn.
With great compassion and pity he rescues and pulls them out.
For their sakes he explains the unconditioned pure Dharma nature.
The Buddha’s power is limitless and his is the same way;
Just like space, it has no boundaries.
In order to cause living beings to obtain liberation,
For a million kalpas he diligently cultivates, yet does not become weary.
With all kinds of meditation’s wondrous merit and virtue,
He well cultivates the unsurpassed, foremost karma.
Never renouncing all supreme conduct,
He fixes his thoughts on the achievement of all wisdom.
One body manifests measureless bodies,
Which totally pervade all world systems.
His mind is pure, without discriminations:
One thought of his power which is difficult to conceive of, is like this.
With respect to all worlds he does not discriminate.
Regarding all Dharmas he is without false thinking.
Although he contemplates all Dharmas, he does not grasp at them.
He always rescues living beings, yet none are crossed over.
All worlds are only thoughts:
Within each of them are all kinds of differences.
He knows that the state of thoughts is dangerous and deep,
And manifests spiritual penetrations to rescue beings.
Just like the free and easy power of a magician,
So too are the Bodhisattva’s spiritual transformations.
His body pervades the Dharma Realm and space;
According with the minds of living beings, none do not see him.
He is apart from the differentiations of subject and object,
And there is no grasping at defilement or purity.
Whether bound up or liberated, his wisdom is totally forgotten.
He only wishes to bestow happiness on living beings everywhere.
All worlds are only the force of thoughts;
With wisdom he enters them with a fearless heart.
He considers all Dharmas in the same way:
Investigating throughout the three periods of time, there is nothing which can be obtained.
He’s able to enter the past and exhaust the boundary of before,
He’s able to enter the future and exhaust the boundary of afterwards.
He’s able to enter all places in the present,
Constantly and diligently observing them as being non-existent.
He goes along with the still extinct Dharma of Nirvana,
Dwelling without striving and without any reliance.
His mind, like ultimate reality, is unequalled.
He only goes towards Bodhi without ever retreating.
He cultivates supreme conduct without turning back in fear;
He is established in Bodhi and unmoving.
The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the worlds
Exhaust the Dharma Realm, so everything is understood.
He wishes to obtain the most supreme, foremost path,
And acts as the king of liberation of all wisdom.
He must quickly bring forth the Bodhi mind,
And forever exhaust all outflows and benefit the flocks of beings.
He tends towards Bodhi with a mind of purity,
His merit and virtue is expansive, great and ineffable,
Which in order to benefit living beings, he names and describes in detail.
All of you worthy ones should well listen to him.
Rendering all measureless world systems into dust;
Within each particle of dust are measureless kshetras.
Within each of these are all the measureless Buddhas:
He is able to clearly see them all without any grasping.
Knowing well living beings, without giving rise to thoughts;
Knowing well speech, without thoughts of speech,
In all worlds his mind is without obstruction,
And all is understood well without any attachment.
His mind is vast like space,
The affairs of the three periods of time are all clearly penetrated.
All doubts and delusions are totally annihilated,
And he properly contemplates the Buddhadharma without any grasping.
To all the limitless lands of the ten directions,
In a single thought he goes with an unattached mind.
He penetrates the multitude of Dharmas of suffering in the world,
And totally abides in the unproduced, ultimate reality limit.
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