The Merit and Virtue from First Bringing Forth the Mind
Chapter Seventeen --------------
To the measureless and difficult to conceive of places
of the Buddhas’ assemblies,
He goes and pays homage.
He is always a superior leader who inquires of the Thus Come Ones,
About all the vows and practices cultivated by the Bodhisattva
He always recollects the Buddhas of the ten directions,
Yet he is without any reliance or grasping.
He forever exhorts living beings to plant good roots,
Adorning countries and causing them to be pure.
All the destinies of birth in the three states of existence,
He contemplates with the eye of non-obstruction.
The nature of all of their habits, roots and understandings,
Which are measureless and boundless, are all clearly seen.
The delight of the hearts of living beings are all clearly known;
In this way he accords with the opportunities to speak Dharma.
Defilement and purity he totally penetrates,
Causing beings to cultivate and enter the path.
All measureless and countless samadhis:
The Bodhisattva in a single thought is able to enter.
From them, his thoughts of wisdom and that which is conditioned,
Are all well understood, and he obtains freedom and ease.
The Bodhisattva attains this vast, great wisdom,
And swiftly goes toward Bodhi without any obstruction.
Because he wishes to benefit the flocks of beings,
In every place he propagates the Dharma of great heroes.
He well knows long and short kalpas of the worlds,
A single month, or half a month, down to a day and night.
Countries are each different, but their natures are level and equal;
He constantly contemplates them diligently without becoming lax.
He universally reaches all the worlds of the ten directions,
Yet he does not grasp at any location.
He adorns and purifies lands totally without remainder,
Any yet has never given rise to discriminations of purity.
Living beings, whether in good places or bad places,
With all their different karma, influences, and retributions:
Complying with them, considering them, he enters the Buddha’s powers,
Completely comprehending them all.
The various different natures of all those in the world,
Their various activities while dwelling in the three states of existence,
Sharp roots, mediocre roots and inferior roots:
In this way all are completely contemplated.
The pure and impure, and all kinds of understandings,
Superior, inferior, and mediocre--all are clearly perceived by him.
As for the activities of living beings which lead to various places,
He can completely explain their continuation in the three states of existence.
Dhyana concentrations, liberations and all samadhis,
Defiled and pure, their causes and arisal each are different;
Also included are the different sufferings and pleasures from the past.
He purely cultivates the Buddha’s power so all of these can be perceived.
Living beings’ karma and delusions continue in all destinies.
Cutting of all destinies, one obtains still extinction.
Whereupon all kinds of outflowing Dharmas will never again arise.
The seeds of these habits are all clearly known.
The Thus Come One has totally put an end to afflictions.
His great wisdom light shines upon the world.
With respect to the Buddha’s ten powers,
Although the Bodhisattva has not yet been certified to them, nonetheless he does not doubt them.
The Bodhisattva in a single hair pore,
Universally makes appear the measureless kshetras of the ten directions.
Whether they have defilement or purity,
All the various kinds of karma created are all understood by him.
Within a single particle of dust are measureless kshetras,
And measureless Buddhas and disciples of the Buddhas.
All the kshetras are different but not jumbled.
As with one, so too, all are clearly perceived.
Within a single hair pore are seen the ten directions,
And all worlds exhausting the realm of space.
There is not a single place which is empty without a Buddha.
In this way, the Buddha kshetras are totally purified.
Within a single hair pore are seen Buddha kshetras,
And also are seen all living beings.
The six paths of the three periods of time are each different.
In the time of days, nights, and months, they are liberated or bound.
In this way the Bodhisattvas of great wisdom,
Singlemindedly tend towards the position of Dharma king.
They compliantly consider where the Buddhas dwell,
And obtain boundless, great happiness.
The Bodhisattva’s division bodies, measureless millions,
Make offerings to all Thus Come Ones.
With spiritual penetrations which transformationally appear, supreme and unequalled,
He is able to dwell in all the places where the Buddhas practice.
Measureless Buddhas’ places are all penetrated and gazed upon.
All the treasury of Dharmas are doted upon and savored.
He sees the Buddhas, hears the Dharmas and diligently cultivates.
As if drinking sweet dew, his heart is delighted.
He has already obtained the Thus Come One’s supreme samadhis.
He well enters all Dharmas and his wisdom increases.
With a heart of faith, unmoving like Sumeru,
He acts as a treasury of merit and virtue for living beings everywhere.
His kind heart is vast and pervades living beings.
He vows that they will quickly realize all wisdom,
Yet, he is always without attachment or a place of reliance.
Apart from all afflictions, he has obtained freedom and ease.
He sympathizes with living beings, using vast wisdom,
And everywhere gathers in all the same as himself.
He knows they are empty, without appearances or actuality,
Yet he cultivates, and his mind neither becomes lax nor retreats.
The measure of the merit and virtue of a Bodhisattva’s bringing forth the resolve,
Cannot be completely lauded, even for millions of kalpas.
Because it produces all Thus Come Ones,
The Solitarily Enlightened Ones and Sound Hearers are peaceful and happy.
All living beings in the lands of the ten directions,
Are all given peace for measureless kalpas.
He exhorts them to uphold the five precepts and the ten goods,
And the four dhyanas and the stations of the other four concentrations.
Moreover, for many kalpas he bestows peace and happiness,
Causing them to sever delusions and become Arhats.
Although that collection of blessings is measureless,
It does not compare to the merit and virtue from bringing forth the mind.
He also teaches the millions of multitudes to become enlightened to conditions,
So they obtain the practice of non-contention of the subtly wondrous path.
If that were used to gauge the Bodhi mind,
Neither calculations nor analogies could compare to it.
Within a single thought he is able to traverse kshetras as numerous as dust motes;
In this way he passes through measureless kalpas.
The numbers of these kshetras can still be measured,
But the merit and virtue from bringing forth the mind cannot be known.
In the past, future and present,
The number of all kalpas is without limit or measure.
The number of these kalpas can still be known,
But the merit and virtue from bringing forth the mind is unfathomable.
Using the Bodhi mind to pervade the ten directions,
There are no differentiations which are not known.
In a single thought the three periods of time are all clearly penetrated.
Thereby he benefits measureless living beings.
The living beings of the world systems of the ten directions,
Their desires, understandings, expedient methods, intentions, and what they do,
As well as the bounds of space, can still be fathomed,
But the measure of the merit and virtue from first bringing forth the mind is hard to know.
The Bodhisattva’s vows are equal to the ten directions,
His kind heart permeates the flocks of beings everywhere.
All are cause to cultivate and accomplish the Buddha’s merit and virtue,
Therefore his power is boundless.
Living beings’ desires, understandings, and what delights their hearts,
Their roots, and the expedient methods they practice, are each different.
Within a single thought all are understood.
All wisdom and the wisdom-mind are equal and the same.
All living beings’ delusions and karma continue throughout the three realms
without momentary interruption.
The limits of these can still be known,
But the merit and virtue from bringing forth the mind is difficult to conceive.
By bringing forth the mind, one is able to separate from the afflictions of karma,
And make offerings to all Thus Come Ones.
When karma and delusion are left behind and the continuity is severed,
Everywhere throughout the three periods of time, one is liberated.
In a single thought he makes offerings to boundless Buddhas,
And also makes offerings to numberless living beings.
He uses incense, flowers and wondrous garlands,
Jeweled banners, flags, canopies, and superior garments.
Flavorful food, thrones of gems, and promenades:
All kinds of palaces are totally adorned.
There are Vairochana wondrous precious pearls,
And as-you-will manis which produce dazzling light.
In thought after thought like this, he presents them as offerings,
Passing through measureless kalpas which are ineffable.
This person’s accumulation of blessings, though great,
Is not as great as the merit and virtue from bringing forth the mind.
Of all the various analogies which can be spoken,
None are able to reach the Bodhi mind.
The honored ones among humans in the three periods of time,
Are all born from bringing forth the resolve.
Bringing forth the mind is without obstruction and without a particular limit;
Those wishing to find its measure cannot attain it.
He vows to certainly perfect the wisdom of all wisdom,
So all living beings are crossed over forever.
Bringing forth the mind is like empty space.
It produces merit and virtue which is the same as the Dharma Realm.
All that is done pervades everywhere without difference.
Forever separating from the multitude of attachments, he is equal to the Buddha.
Of all Dharma doors, none are not entered.
He is able to go to all lands.
The states of all wisdom are totally penetrated,
As all merit and virtue he perfects.
He is able to renounce everything, continuously and forever
He is pure in the categories of precepts and without any attachments.
Replete with unsurpassed, great merit and virtue,
He is always diligent and vigorous without retreating.
He enters profound dhyana concentration and is always meditating;
His vast wisdom mutually responds.
This is the Bodhisattva’s most supreme ground,
Which produces all the paths of Universal Worthy.
Of all the Thus Come Ones of the three periods of time,
There are none who are not mindfully protective of one who first brings forth the mind.
Completely, by means of samadhi, dharani,
Spiritual penetrations and transformations, he is adorned.
Living beings of the ten directions are without measure;
World systems and empty space are also like this.
Bringing forth the mind is without measure and surpasses them,
Therefore it is able to produce all Buddhas.
The Bodhi mind is the basis of the ten powers,
It is also the foundation of the four eloquences and fearlessnesses.
The eighteen uncommon (Dharmas) are also like this;
There are none which are not obtained from bringing forth the mind.
The characteristics of the Buddhas’ from, their bodies of adornment,
As well as their equal and wondrous Dharma body;
Wisdom, non-attachment, and the one who is worthy of offerings:
All by means of bringing forth the mind come to be.
The vehicles of all the Solitary Enlightened Ones and Sounds Hearers,
The bliss of dhyana samadhi of the form realm,
As well as the samadhis of the formless realm:
Bringing forth the mind acts as the basis for all of them.
The free and easy bliss of humans and gods,
As well as the various joys of all the destinies,
And the multitude of happiness from the roots and powers of vigor, concentration, and the others;
All of those come from bringing forth the mind.
By means of the cause of bringing forth the vast mind,
One is then able to cultivate the Six Paramitas,
Encouraging all beings to practice proper conduct,
And to receive peace and happiness within the triple realm.
Dwelling in the Buddhas’ unobstructed wisdom of the genuine meaning,
All wondrous karma is completely proclaimed.
He is able to cause measureless living beings,
To totally cut off delusion and karma, and to go towards Nirvana.
His wisdom light is like the pure sun,
His many practices are perfect like the full moon,
His merit and virtue is always overflowing like the great ocean,
He is undefiled and unobstructed, just like empty space.
Everywhere producing vows of limitless merit and virtue,
All of which bestow happiness upon all living beings;
Exhausting the boundaries of the future, relying on vows to practice,
He always diligently cultivates to cross over living beings.
His measureless great vows are difficult to conceive,
He vows to cause living beings to be completely pure.
His vows are empty, without appearances or a place or reliance;
Because of the strength of his vows, everything clearly manifests.
He comprehends that the self-nature is like empty space,
Still and extinct, and totally equal.
Dharma doors are numberless and ineffable,
For the sake of living beings, he proclaims them without any attachments.
All the Thus Come Ones of the world systems of the ten directions,
Altogether laud bringing forth of the mind.
This mind is measureless and adorned with virtue;
It is able to arrive at the other shore, the same as the Buddha.
Throughout kalpas as numerous as living beings--
In speaking of its merit and virtue--still it cannot be exhausted.
It abides in the vast household of the Thus Come Ones;
No Dharmas of the triple realm can compare with it.
Desiring to know all Buddhadharmas,
One should quickly bring forth the Bodhi mind!
This mind amongst all merit and virtue, is the most supreme.
One will certainly obtain the Thus Come One’s unobstructed wisdom.
The activities in the minds of living beings can be calculated and known;
Lands’ particles of dust are the same way.
The limits of space can readily be measured,
Yet the merit and virtue from bringing forth the mind cannot be fathomed.
It produces all Buddhas of the three periods of time;
It achieves all the happiness of the worlds.
Increasing all supreme merit and virtue,
It forever cuts off all doubts and delusions.
Revealing and proclaiming all wondrous states,
Exhaustively doing away with all obstructions,
It brings to completion all pure kshetras,
And produces the wisdom of all Thus Come Ones.
If one wishes to see all Buddhas of the ten directions,
If one wishes to give an inexhaustible treasury of merit and virtue,
And if one wants to put an end to living beings’ sufferings and afflictions,
One should quickly bring forth the Bodhi mind!
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