THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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The Ten Grounds

Chapter Twenty-Six -------------

The Second Ground

The Bodhisattvas, upon hearing this most supremely subtle, wonderful Ground, in their minds thoroughly were pure, and were happy, each and every one. They all, arising from their seats, soared up and dwelt in empty space, everywhere scattered wondrous, flowers, and simultaneously spoke these words of praise. “Good, indeed, O Treasury of Vajra, greatly wise and who has no fear, well have you spoken of this Ground’s Dharmas practiced by the Bodhisattvas!” Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva, knowing the assembly’s minds were pure, and that they wished to hear the Second Ground, all the characteristics of its conducts, right then requested Vajra Treasury, “Greatly Wise One, we wish that you would speak, disciples of the Buddha all would like to hear, about the dwelling on the Second Ground.”

At that time, Vajra Treasury Bodhisattva addressed Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva, saying:“Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva who has already cultivated the First Ground and who wishes to enter the Second Ground should give rise to ten kinds of profound minds, what are they? They are: a proper and upright mind, a compliant and yielding mind, a mind able to endure, a tamed and subdued mind, a still and quiet mind, a completely good mind, an unmixed and unscattered mind, a mind with no hankering or yearning, a vast mind, a great mind. The Bodhisattva, using those ten minds, attains entry to the Second Ground of Leaving Filth.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, when the Bodhisattva dwells upon the Ground of Leaving Filth, his nature of itself leaves all killing far behind. He does not collect knives or staves. He does not cherish resentment or hatred. He has shame and he has remorse. He is endowed with humaneness and reciprocity. Towards all living beings who have a life, he always brings forth thoughts of benefit and kindly mindfulness. This Bodhisattva would not with evil mind even trouble living beings, how much the less give rise to heavy intent and actually kill or harm any whom he realizes are living beings.”

“His nature does not steal. The Bodhisattva is always content with his own possessions. He is always kind and forgiving towards others and does not wish to encroach upon them. If an item belongs to someone else, he gives rise to the thought that it is someone else’s item and would never consider stealing it, down to a blade of grass or a leaf - if not given, he does not take it - how much the less any other of the necessities of life.”

“His nature does not engage in sexual misconduct. The Bodhisattva is content with his own wife and does not seek the wives of others. Towards the wives and concubines of others, the women protected by others, by relatives or those betrothed, and those protected by the law, he does not even give rise to a thought of greedy defilement, much the less follow it into action, and much the less give himself over to what is not the Way.”

“His nature does not lie. The Bodhisattva always utters true speech, actual speech, and timely speech, to the point that even in a dream, he would not consent to utter covering, hiding speech. He would never think of wanting to do so, much the less deliberately commit violations.”

“His nature does not engage in double-tongued speech. The Bodhisattva, towards all living beings, has no thought of dividing them against each other. He has no thought of troubling or harming. He does not report the speech of one person, to break him off from a second person, to that second person, nor does he report the speech of the second person, to break him off from the first person, to the first person. If people have not already broken with each other, he does not increase the break. He does not enjoy dividing people against each other, nor is he happy when people are divided against each other. He does not utter speech that would divide people against each other, nor does he report speech that would divide people against each other-regardless of whether it is true or false.”

“His nature does not engage in harsh speech, that is, cruel, malicious speech, coarse, wild speech, speech that brings suffering to others, speech that provokes anger and hatred in others, blunt speech, furtive speech, vile and evil speech, cheap and vulgar speech, speech unpleasant to hear, speech that does not delight the listener, angry, hateful speech, speech that burns the heart like fire, speech bound up in resentment, heated irritating speech, disagreeable speech, displeasing speech, speech that can destroy oneself and others-all such types of speech as those he completely abandons. He always utters kind, encouraging speech, soft and gentle speech, speech that delights the mind, speech pleasant to the listener, speech that makes the listener happy, speech that well enters into people’s hearts, elegant and refined speech, speech agreeable to most people, speech that gladdens most people, and speech that brings joy to body and mind.”

“His nature does not engage in loose speech. The Bodhisattva always delights in thoughtful, examined speech, in appropriate speech, in true speech, meaningful speech, lawful speech, speech that accords with Way-principle, skillfully taming and regulating speech, speech reckoned and measured according to the time and which is decisive. This Bodhisattva even when making jokes, always weighs his words, so how much less would he deliberately pour out scattered and abandoned talk.”

“His nature does not engage in greed. The Bodhisattva, concerning others’ wealth and property, as well as things owned and used by others, does not give rise to greed. He does not wish for them or seek them.”

“His nature is free from anger and hatred. The Bodhisattva, towards all living beings, constantly brings forth a mind of kindness; a benefitting mind; a mind of pity and sympathy; a happy mind; a compatible mind; a mind of accepting and gathering them in. He once and for all abandons anger, hatred, resentment, malevolence, rage, and irritation. He is always considerate and cooperative in his conduct, humane, kind, and helpful. ”

“He is, further, free from deviant views. The Bodhisattva dwells in the proper paths, he does not practice astrology or divination. He does not grasp at evil precepts. His mind’s views are proper and upright. He does not deceive, he does not flatter. Towards the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha he brings forth decisive faith.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva, Mahasattva, in this way protects and maintains the Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths constantly without interruption. He further makes the following reflection:
‘All living beings who fall into the evil destinies, without exception, do so because of the Ten Unwholesome Karmic Acts. Therefore, I should , myself , practice proper conduct. Why is that? If I, myself, am not able to cultivate proper conduct, it would be impossible to make others cultivate it. ’”

“Disciples of the Buddha, this Bodhisattva, Mahasattva, further makes the following reflection: ‘The Ten Unwholesome Karmic Paths are causes for undergoing rebirth in the hells, as an animal, or as a hungry ghost. The Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths are causes for receiving birth as a person or as a god, up to the station of the summit of existence.’”

“Furthermore, when the supreme grade of these Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths is cultivated by means of wisdom, and when one’s mind is low and inferior, and when one fears the three realms, and because one is deficient in great compassion, and when one’s understanding comes from hearing the sounds of others, one accomplishes the vehicle of a Sound Hearer. ”

“Furthermore, when the supreme grade of these Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths is cultivated to purity, and when one has not been taught by others but becomes enlightened on one’s own, when one is not fully endowed with great compassion or expedient means, when one is enlightened through understanding of profound Dharmas of causes and conditions, one accomplishes the vehicle of those Solitarily e Enlightened. ”

“Furthermore, when the supreme grade of these Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths is cultivated to purity, and when one’s mind is vast and limitless, when one is endowed with compassion and sympathy, when one uses expedient means to gather in beings, when one brings forth great vows, when one does not abandon living beings, when one seeks the great wisdom of all Buddhas, when one purifies and regulates all the Bodhisattva Grounds, when one purely cultivates all the paramitas, one accomplishes the vast, great conduct of a Bodhisattva.”

“Furthermore, as to the most supreme grade of these Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths, when one has purified all modes, up to and including certifying to the ten powers and the four fearlessnesses, then one accomplishes all Buddhadharmas. Therefore, I now equally cultivate the Ten Wholesome Paths, and I should bring them all to perfect purity.”

“The Bodhisattva should study such expedient means as those.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, this Bodhisattva, Mahasattva, further makes the following reflection, “Of the Ten Unwholesome Karmic Paths, the most severe are causes for the hells, the average degrees are causes for the animals, and the least severe are causes for the hungry ghosts.’”

“Among them, the offense of killing can cause living beings to fall to the hells, animals, and hungry ghosts. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, a short life; two, many illnesses. The offense of stealing also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have t wo kinds of retribution: one, they are poor; two, their wealth is held in common, and they do not have free use of it.”

“The offense of sexual misconduct also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, their wives will not be good or faithful; two, they will not have a retinue that accords with their intent. The offense of lying also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, they will be slandered a lot; two, they will be deceived by others. The offense of double tongue also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, their retinue will be separated; two, their caste will be base. The offense of harsh speech also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, they will always hear disagreeable sounds; two, they will be involved in many lawsuits.”

“The offense of loose speech also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one people will not accept what they say; two, their speech will not be clearly understood. The offense of greed and desire also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, their minds will never know contentment; two, they will have much desire which will never be satisfied. The offense of anger and hatred also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, other people will always find fault with them; two, they will constantly be troubled and harmed by others.”

“The offense of deviant views also causes living beings to fall into the three evil paths. If they are born among people, they have two kinds of retribution: one, they will be born in a family holding deviant views; two, their minds will be flattering and crooked.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, the Ten Unwholesome Karmic Paths can bring forth the multitude of great masses of suffering as limitless and boundless as these.”

“Therefore, the Bodhisattva makes the following reflection: ‘I should leave the Ten Unwholesome Karmic Paths far behind. I should consider the Ten Wholesome Paths as a garden of Dharma, and delight in dwelling within them.’ ”

“I, myself, should dwell within them, and I should encourage other people to dwell within them, too.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, this Bodhisattva, Mahasattva, further, towards all living beings, brings forth the thought to benefit them, the thought of making them happy, the thought of kindness, the thought of compassion, the thought of sympathy, the thought of gathering them in, the thought of protecting them, the thought of them being oneself, the thought of being their teacher, the thought of being their great teacher.”

“He makes the following reflection, saying, ‘Living beings are pitiful. They fall into deviant views, evil wisdom, evil desires, and the thick forest of the evil destinies. I should cause them to dwell in proper views, and cultivate the true and actual Way.’ ”

“He further makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings make distinctions between self and others and mutually destroy each other. Their fighting and enmity rage without cease. I should cause them to dwell in unsurpassed great kindness.’

“He further makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings greedily grasp without satiation. They only seek wealth and profit. They sustain themselves through deviant livelihoods. I should cause them to dwell in the dharmas of proper livelihood, in purity of the karmas of body, speech, and mind!’ ”

“He further makes the following reflections: ‘All living beings constantly pursue the three poisons, and the various afflictions accordingly rage. They do n not understand how to seek with determination the expedients essential for escape. I should cause them to extinguish the great blaze of afflictions and settle in the place of pure coolness of Nirvana.’ ”

“He furthermore makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings are covered with the heavy darkness of stupidity and the thick membrane of false views, and so they enter the dense shade of the thick forest and lose the light of wisdom. They travel on dangerous roads in the wilderness and give rise to evil views. I should cause them to obtain the unobstructed, pure wisdom eye, so they know the real mark of all d Dharmas, and do not follow others’ teachings.’ ”

“He further makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings are within the dangerous roads of birth and death and are about to fall into the hells, animals, and hungry ghosts. They enter the net of evil views. They are confused by the thick forest of stupidity. They follow deviant paths and practice inverted conduct. They are like blind people who do not have guides. Roads which do not lead to escape, they think lead to escape. They enter into the states of demons and are seized by evil bandits. They accord with the demons’ mind and become far removed from the Buddhas’ intentions. I should pull them out of such danger and difficulty and cause them to dwell in the City of the Fearlessness of All Wisdom.’ ”

“He further makes the following reflection, ‘All living beings are swallowed up in the great torrent’s waves. They enter the flow of desire, the flow of existence, the flow of ignorance, and the flow of views. They revolve in the whirlpool of birth and death. They toss and turn in the river of love. They are carried away by the galloping flood, and have no leisure to contemplate. They follow after awakenings to desire, awakenings to hatred, awakenings to harming, and do not give them up. In the midst of that they are seized by the rakshasas of the view of a body. They are on the point of eternal entry to the dense forest of love and desire. They bring forth deep defiled attachment towards what they greedily love. They dwell in the fertile plain of pride. They settle in the town of the six places. They have no one good to save them. They have no one to rescue them.’ ”

“I should bring forth the thought of great compassion towards them, and use all my good roots to rescue and save them, so they have no calamities or disasters, leave defilement, are at peace, and dwell on the jeweled island of All Wisdom.”

“He also makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings live in the prison of the world. They have many sufferings and troubles. They constantly cherish love and hate. For themselves they become worried and afraid. They are bound by the heavy fetters of greed and desire. They are blocked and obstructed by the thick forest of ignorance. Form within the three realms, not one can by himself escape. I should cause them to leave behind the Three Existences forever, and dwell within the non-obstruction of great Nirvana.’ ”

“He further makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings are attached to a self. They are in the cave-dwelling of all the Skandhas, and do not seek to escape. They rely upon the empty mass of the six places. They give rise to the four kinds of upside-down conduct. They are invaded by the poisonous snakes of the Four Elements. They are harmed and killed by the vengeful thieves of the Five Skandhas. They undergo limitless suffering. I should cause them to dwell in the most supreme place of non-attachment, that is, in unsurpassed Nirvana where all obstructions are destroyed.’ ”

“He further makes the following reflection: ‘All living beings have minds that are base and narrow. They do not walk the most supreme path of all knowledge. Although they may wish to escape, they merely like the vehicle of Sound Hearers and Pratyekabuddhas. I should cause them to dwell in vast, great Buddhadharma’s vast, great wisdom.’ ”

“Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva in that way protects and maintains the precepts, and is well able to increase his thought of kindness and compassion.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva who dwells on this, the Ground of Leaving Filth, because of the power of his vows, comes to see many Buddhas. That is, he sees many hundreds of Buddhas, many thousands of Buddhas, many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, many millions of Buddhas, many hundreds of millions of Buddhas, many thousands of millions of Buddhas, many hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas, and so forth up to and including seeing many hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of Buddhas. In the presence of all Buddhas he, with a vast, great mind, a deep mind, a reverent and respectful mind, serves and makes offerings to them by respectfully giving them clothing, food and drink, bedding, and medicines, and all the necessities of life. He also makes offerings to all the assembled Sangha, and he transfers those good roots to Anuttarasamyaksambodhi. In the presence of all Buddhas, with a reverent mind, he further receives and practices the Dharmas of the Ten Wholesome Paths. He follows what he has received even up to Bodhi, and never forgets or loses it.”

“Because this Bodhisattva, throughout limitless hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of kalpas leaves far behind the filth of stinginess, jealousy, and breaking precepts, he purifies giving and holding precepts to perfection. He is like true gold, which, when in metallic compounds can be smelted in accordance with a method until it is free of all impurities and becomes bright and pure. The Bodhisattva who dwells upon this Ground of Leaving Filth also in that way, throughout limitless hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of kalpas leaves far behind the filth of stinginess, jealousy and breaking precepts, and purifies giving and holding precepts to perfection.”

“Disciples of the Buddha, among the Four Dharmas of Attraction, this Bodhisattva stresses kind words. Among the Ten Paramitas, he stresses holding precepts. It is not that he fails to practice the others, but he only does so according to his power and proportionately. Disciples of the Buddha, this is called a general discussion of the Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s Second Ground of Leaving Filth.”

“The Bodhisattva who dwells upon this Ground of Leaving Filth for the most part becomes a Wheel-Turning Sage King, a great host of the Dharma endowed with the seven jewels who has sovereign power. He is able to eradicate all living beings’ filth of stinginess, greed, and breaking precepts. Using wholesome expedients, he causes them to dwell secure within the Ten Wholesome Karmic Paths. He is a great donor, and everywhere he gives without end. In giving, kind words, beneficial conduct, and identical actions - in all such deeds that are done - none is separate from mindfulness of the Buddha, none is separate from mindfulness of the Dharma, none is separate from mindfulness of the Sangha, up to and including not being separate from mindfulness of endowment with the wisdom of the knowledge of all modes.”

“He also makes the following reflection, ’I should among all living beings be a leader, be supreme, be most supreme, be wonderful, be subtly wonderful, be superior, be unsurpassed, up to and including being one with the wisdom of all wisdom upon whom others can rely. If this Bodhisattva wishes to renounce the home life, and within the Buddhadharma diligently cultivates with vigor, then he will be able to renounce his household, his wife and children, and the five desires.”

“After he leaves home, he diligently cultivates with vigor. In a single instant of thought he obtains a thousand samadhis. He comes to see a thousand Buddhas. He knows a thousand Buddhas’ spiritual powers. He can quake a thousand worlds; up to and including being ba ble to make appear a thousand bodies, and with each an d every body being able to make appear a thousand Bodhisattvas acting as his retinue.”

“If he uses the most supreme vow-power of a Bodhisattva, then his manifestations of self-mastery surpass that number, so that in a hundred kalpas, a thousand kalpas, up to and including a thousand, million nayutas of kalpas they could not be counted or known.”

At that time, Vajra Treasury Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning spoke verses saying:

"Upright, compliant, along with capable,
Subdue, quiet, and completely good,
Quickly leaving birth and death, of vast, great intent
He uses those ten minds to enter the Second Ground.

Dwelling in these, he accomplishes the
Merit and virtue of precepts.
He leaves far behind all taking life,
And does not vex or harm.

He is also free from stealing,
And from deviant sex,
From lying, harsh, perverse, divisive
Kinds of meaningless talk.

He has no greed for wealth and things,
Always kind and sympathetic.
Of proper ways and upright mind,
He has no flattery or deceit.

He is free from cruelty, pride renounced.
He is ultimately subdued.
He practices as he has been taught.
And is never lax.

“Hell-beings and animals
Undergo amassed suffering.
Hungry ghosts are on fire,
And give off a raging blaze.

All of this occurs
Because of their offenses.
I should take them out
To dwell in actual Dharmas.”

Among people as he pleases,
He undergoes birth.
Up to Heaven’s Summit.
The bliss of dhyana samadhi.

Paths of Lone-Enlightened,
Sound-Hearers and Buddha Vehicles,
Are all brought about
Because of the Ten Goods.”

In that way he reflects,
And is never lax.
He himself holds pure precepts,
And teaches others to protect them.

He further sees the flocks of beings
Receiving many sufferings,
And he even more increases, his
His great compassionate mind to aid them.

“Those common, stupid, with deviant wisdom,
Who do not properly understand,
Constantly cling to their hatred,
And do much arguing and fighting.

In their state of greedy seeking,
They know no satiation:
I should cause them to eradicate ,
All of the Three Poisons.

“Fettered and covered,
By the great
Darkness of stupidity,
They enter paths of great danger,
And nets of deviant views.

In the care of birth and death,
By hatred they are detained:
I should cause them to disperse
The demonic thieves.”

Tossed about in the Four Floods,
Their minds sink and drown.
With the Three Realms scorching them,
Such sufferings are limitless.

They take the skandhas as their home,
Their egos dwell within it.
Because I want to save them,
I diligently cultivate the Way.

“Should they be seeking to escape,
Their minds inferior and low,
And renounce the most Superior
Wisdom of the Buddha.

I wish to cause them all,
To dwell in the Great Vehicle,
To bring forth diligent vigor,
And not feel tired or weary.”

The Bodhisattva dwelling here ,
Amasses merit and virtue.
He sees limitless Buddhas,
And makes offerings to them all.

In millions of kalpas’ cultivation,
His good is ever bright,
In the way metallic compounds
Are used to smelt true gold.

The Buddha’s disciple dwelling here ,
Acts as a Wheel-Turning King,
Universally teaching living beings ,
To practice the Ten Goods.

All of the good d Dharmas ,
Which he cultivates in practice ,
Are to seek the ten-fold powers,
And then save the world.

He willingly forsakes,
Kingship, wealth, and jewels,
Abandons household life,
And relies on the Buddha’s teaching.

With courageous vigor,
Inside a single thought,
He obtains a thousand samadhis,
And sees a thousand Buddhas.

All of the various powers,
Of spiritual penetrations,
The Bodhisattva on this Ground,
Is able to manifest.

If he acts through power of vows,
It surpasses even these,
And with limitless sovereign ease,
He saves the flocks of beings.

Of the ones who help and aid,
Each and every world-
The most supreme Bodhisattva practices ,
Which they cultivate.

Such merit and virtue as that,
Upon the Second Ground,
For all disciples of the Buddha,
I have now proclaimed."

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