THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Praises in the Tushita Heaven Palace

Chapter Twenty-Four -------------

At that time, Wisdom Banner Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“If a person can believe and receive
All-Wisdom without obstruction.
And if he cultivates Bodhi practices,
His mind will be limitless.

Within all countries
The Buddha universally manifests measureless bodies.
Yet these bodies do not have a location.
Nor do they dwell in Dharmas.

Each and every Tathagata
Makes appear bodies by means of spiritual powers.
Throughout inconceivable kalpas,
No calculations or reckonings can reach their end.

As to all living beings of the three periods of time,
Their number can completely be known,
But the number of bodies revealed by the Thus Come Ones,
Cannot be ascertained.

Sometimes they manifest one or two;
At other times, limitless bodies.
Although universally manifesting in lands of the ten directions,
In fact, they are not two kinds.

Consider for instance, the pure, full moon,
Which everywhere appears in all waters.
Although its reflections are infinite,
Originally, the moon isn’t two.

The same is true for one with unobstructed wisdom,
Who accomplishes Equal, Proper Enlightenment.
Although he universally appears in all lands,
The Buddha’s substance is non-dual.

It is neither one, nor two;
It is also not limitless,
But merely accords with those who should be transformed
To display limitless bodies.

The Buddha’s body is not of the past,
Nor is it of the future.
In a single thought it presently appears,
Accomplishing the Way and entering Nirvana.

Like forms conjured from an illusion,
Which are not produced and which do not arise,
The Buddha’s body is also this way:
It manifests without having been produced.”

At that time, Jeweled Banner Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“The Buddha’s body has no limit,
Yet it can manifest bodies that have a limit.
According to what should be seen,
The Guiding Master Thus appears.

The Buddha’s body has no location,
Yet it fills up all locations,
Like emptiness, it has no boundaries.
Thus it is difficult to conceive of.

It is not the place of the mind’s workings,
Nor does the mind arise within it.
Within the states of all Buddhas,
Ultimately, there is neither production nor extinction.

A cataract that covers the eye
Is neither within nor without
Those in the world who see the Buddha
Should know he is also like this.

In order to benefit living beings,
The Thus Come One comes into the world.
Living beings perceive his coming,
But in actuality, he does not appear in the world.

It cannot be that one perceives the Buddha
In a certain country, or on a certain day or night.
Nor is it possible to delineate him
In terms of years, months, or a single kshana.

Living beings say:
“On such and such a day, the Buddha accomplished the Way”;
Yet the Tathagata’s attainment of Bodhi
Is actually not fixed to a certain day.

The Thus Come One is apart from discriminations;
He is not of this world and transcends all calculations.
All Guiding Masters of the three periods of time
Appear in this way.

Consider how, although the pure solar orb
Actually does not unite with the dark of night,
We still make reference to “day and night” together;
So, too, do we treat the Dharmas of all Buddhas.

All kalpas in the three periods of time
Do not unite with the Thus Come Ones.
Yet we speak of the Buddhas of the three periods of time,
And also regard the Dharma of the Guiding Master like this.”

At that time, Vigorous Banner Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“All Guiding Masters’ bodies are the same, and
So too are their meanings.
Universally in the lands of the ten directions,
According to potentials, they appear in various ways.

You should contemplate the Honored Muni:
That which he does is extremely rare and special.
He completely fills the Dharma Realm,
And there is nothing left out.

The Buddha’s body is not within,
Nor is it without.
Because of spiritual power it is revealed;
The Dharma of the Guiding Master is just like this.

According to the categories of living creatures,
And the karma they accumulate from previous lives,
Various kinds of bodies appear,
And each one of them is different.

The bodies of all Buddhas are like that--
Limitless and unreckonable.
With the exception of the Greatly Enlightened Honored Ones,
No one else can conceive of them.

Just as the self is difficult to conceive of,
And the mind and its karma cannot be grasped;
So too, the Buddha is difficult to conceive of,
It is not through the mind’s karma that he appears.

Just as lands cannot be conceived of,
Yet their pure adornments can be seen;
So too, the Buddha is difficult to conceive of,
Yet all of his wonderful marks appear without exception.

Just as all Dharmas
Arise from a number of conditions,
So too is seeing the Buddha
Dependent on a myriad of good karma.

Just as an As-You-Will pearl
Can fulfill the minds of living beings,
So too can the Buddhadharma
Completely fulfill all your wishes.

Within limitless countries
The Guiding Masters appear in the world.
Because of the power of their vows
They respond everywhere throughout the ten directions.”

At that time, Apart-From-Filth Banner Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“The Tathagata’s great wisdom-light
Universally purifies all worlds.
Once these worlds have been purified,
He explains the Buddhadharma.

Supposing there are people who wish to see
Buddhas equal in number to living beings;
They will certainly all appear in response to such thoughts;
Yet there’s actually no place they come to.

One who takes the Buddhas’ state as one’s own,
And concentrates one’s mind without rest,
Is one who will get to see Buddhas
Equal in number to one’s thoughts.

Accomplishing pristine, pure Dharmas,
Perfecting all merit and virtue,
One has total concentration
And never lets one’s mind forsake All-Wisdom.

The Guiding Master, for the sake of living beings,
Explains the Dharma in accord with what ought to be spoken.
Complying with potentials which can be transformed,
He universally manifests most supreme bodies.

The Buddha’s body and those of beings in the world
Are all without a self.
Awakening to this, one can accomplish Proper Enlightenment;
And moreover, proclaim it for living beings.

The lion among men,
With measureless power of self-mastery,
Manifests bodies in number equal to minds;
And these bodies are each different.

The bodies of those in the worlds
Are the same as Buddhas’ bodies.
One with complete understanding of the self-nature
Is called a Buddha.

The Thus Come One has universal knowledge and views,
And completely understands all Dharmas.
But as to the Buddhadharma and Bodhi,
Neither one can be obtained.

The Guiding Master has no coming or going;
Moreover, he has no dwelling place.
Far apart from all upside-downness,
He is called one of Equal and Proper Enlightenment.”

At that time, Constellation Banner Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“The Thus Come One has no dwelling place,
And yet universally dwells in all countries.
Traveling to all lands
He can be seen in all places.

The Buddha accords with the minds of living beings
And everywhere reveals all bodies.
He accomplishes the Way, turns the Dharma wheel,
And then enters parinirvana.

All Buddhas are inconceivable.
Who is able to conceive of the Buddha?
Who is able to perceive Proper Enlightenment?
Who is able to manifest the most supreme body?

All Dharmas are Thus;
So too are the states of all Buddhas,
Even to the point that there is not a single Dharma
Which is subject to production and extinction in the midst of thusness.

Living beings falsely discriminate:
This is the Buddha, this is the world.
For one who completely penetrates the nature of Dharmas,
There is no Buddha and no world.

The Tathagata universally appears before us,
Causing living beings to believe and be happy.
The Buddha’s substance cannot be obtained;
Neither can it be seen.

If you can, while within the world,
Be far apart from all attachments,
And be happy and unobstructed in mind,
Then you’ll enlighten to the Dharma.

What appears through spiritual powers
Is called the Buddha.
At all times throughout the three periods
He may be sought; but he does not exist.

If one can know this,
Then the mind and all Dharmas
Are completely known and perceived;
And one can quickly become a Tathagata.

Within words and language is revealed
The self-mastery of all Buddhas.
Proper Enlightenment transcends words and language;
Yet words and language are falsely used to express it.”

At that time, Dharma Banner Bodhisattva received the Buddha’s spiritual power, universally contemplated the ten directions, and spoke these verses:

“It would be better to constantly and completely endure
All of the world’s suffering,
Than to ever be apart from the Tathagatas
And not see their power of self-mastery.

If there are living beings
Who have not brought forth the resolve for Bodhi,
Upon once hearing the Buddha’s name,
They will certainly accomplish Bodhi.

If there is a person of wisdom
Who in a single thought, can bring forth a mind for the Way,
He will certainly become an Unsurpassed Honored One;
But he must be cautious not to produce doubts or delusions.

The Tathagata’s power of ease and comfort
Is difficult to meet in measureless kalpas.
If one produces a single thought of faith,
One will quickly certify to the Unsurpassed Way.

Supposing within thought after thought,
One makes offerings to limitless Buddhas
And yet fails to know the true and actual Dharma:
Then one cannot be said to be making offerings.

If one hears such Dharmas
From which all Buddhas are born,
Although one passes through limitless sufferings,
Still one does not renounce the practice of Bodhi.

Upon once hearing of great wisdom,
This Dharma which all Buddhas enter,
Universally throughout the Dharma Realm,
One becomes a Guiding Master of the three periods of time.

Although one may exhaust the bounds of the future,
Pervasively roaming throughout all Buddha lands;
If one does not seek this wonderful Dharma,
One will never be able to accomplish Bodhi.

From beginningless time onward, living beings
Have long revolved in birth and death,
Not understanding the true and actual Dharma.
Because of this, all Buddhas come into the world.

All Dharmas are indestructible;
Nor is there any one who can destroy them.
This comfortable, great, bright light
Universally appears in the world.”

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