The Ten Grounds
Chapter Twenty-Six -------------
The Fourth Ground
Buddha’s disciples having heard this vast, great conduct, the agreeable, deep, wondrous, supreme ground, in their hearts rejoiced and were greatly delighted, and universally scattered flowers as offerings to the Buddhas.
At the time of proclamation of such wondrous Dharma, the great earth and the seas-waters all trembled and quaked. All the heavenly goddesses rejoiced in delight, and together sang out wondrous sounds in praise.
The Heavenly King of Comfort was greatly happy, and rained down mani jewels as offerings to the Buddhas, saying in praise: “Buddha has for our sakes, appeared, and proclaims the foremost conduct and merit and virtue.”
“All the wise ones’ Grounds’ meanings such as these, in a hundred thousand kalpas are very hard to obtain. Now we suddenly have a chance to hear the wondrous d Dharma sound of Bodhisattvas’ conduct supreme. We hope the brightly wise one will go on to proclaim the next Ground’s Way decisive, with nothing left out, for the benefit of every single god and human. These disciples of the Buddha, all would like to hear.”
Heroically Great-Hearted Moon of Liberation requested Vajra Treasury saying:
“Disciple of the Buddha,
From here, in turn, to enter into the Fourth Ground,
All the marks of practice
We wish you would proclaim.”
At that time, Vajra Treasury Bodhisattva addressed Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva saying: "Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva who has already purified the Third Ground and who wishes to enter the Fourth, the Ground of Blazing Wisdom, should cultivate ten doors for understanding the Dharma. What are the ten? They are: contemplating realms of living beings, contemplating realms of Dharma, contemplating realms of worlds, contemplating realms of empty space, contemplating realms of desire, contemplating realms of form, contemplating realms of formlessness, contemplating realms of vast minds , ’ faith and understanding. The Bodhisattva, using these ten kinds of doors for understanding Dharma, obtains entry to the Fourth Ground, that of Blazing Wisdom.”
“Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva, while dwelling on this, the Ground of Blazing Wisdom, then can, by using ten kinds of wisdom for maturing dharmas, obtain those internal dharmas and be born in the Thus Come One’s household. What are the ten? They are: by having a deep mind that does not retreat; by giving rise to pure faith in the Triple Jewel which is ultimately indestructible; by contemplating the production and extinction of all activities; by contemplating the non-production of the self-nature of all dharmas; by contemplating the comings into being and destructions of world realms; by contemplating how there is production because of karma; by contemplating birth and death and Nirvana; by contemplating the karma of living beings and countries; by contemplating the boundary of before and the boundary of afterwards; by contemplating what has no exhaustion. Those are the ten.”
“Disciples of the Buddha, the Bodhisattva who dwells upon this, the Fourth Ground, contemplates inside his body, making a methodical contemplation of the body, diligently and heroically is mindful of wisdom and expels worldly greed and worry.”
“He contemplates outside his body, making a methodical contemplation of the body, diligently and heroically is mindful of wisdom, and expels worldly greed and worry. He contemplates inside and outside his body, making a methodical contemplation of the body, diligently and heroically is mindful of wisdom, and expels worldly greed and worry.”
“In that way, he contemplates inner feelings, outer feelings, inner and outer feelings, making a methodical contemplation of feelings. He contemplates the inner mind, the outer mind, the inner and outer mind, making a methodical contemplation of the mind. He contemplates inner dharmas, outer dharmas, inner and outer dharmas, making a methodical contemplation of dharmas, diligently and heroically is mindful of wisdom, and expels worldly greed and worry. ”
“Furthermore, to prevent all evil and unwholesome dharmas which have not yet arisen from arising, that Bodhisattva wishes to bring forth diligent vigor and makes up his mind to properly cut them off. To cut off all evil and unwholesome dharmas which have already arisen, he wishes to bring forth diligent vigor and makes up his mind to properly cut them off. In order to cause all wholesome dharmas which have not yet arisen to arise, he wishes to bring forth diligent vigor, and makes up his mind to properly cultivate them. In order to cause all wholesome dharmas which have already arisen to remain and not be lost, he cultivates to increase and extend them. He wishes to bring forth diligent vigor, and makes up his mind to properly cultivate them.”
“Moreover, this Bodhisattva cultivates the samadhi of zeal, cutting off activities and accomplishes the basis of psychic power, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation. He cultivates the samadhi of vigor, the samadhi of thoughts, and the samadhi of contemplation, cutting off activities, and accomplishes the Bases of Psychic Power, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation.”
“Furthermore, this Bodhisattva cultivates the root of faith, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation. He cultivates the root of vigor, the root of mindfulness, the root of samadhi, and the root of wisdom, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation.”
“Furthermore, this Bodhisattva cultivates the power of faith, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation. He cultivates the power of vigor, the power of mindfulness, the power of samadhi, and the power of wisdom, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation.”
“Furthermore, this Bodhisattva cultivates the enlightenment share of mindfulness, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation. He cultivates the enlightenment share of selecting a Dharma, the enlightenment share of vigor, the enlightenment share of joy, the e enlightenment share of casting out, the enlightenment share of samadhi, and the enlightenment share of renunciation, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation.”
“Furthermore, this Bodhisattva cultivates proper views, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation. He cultivates proper thought, proper speech, proper actions, proper livelihood, proper vigor, proper mindfulness, and proper samadhi, relying on disgust, relying on leaving, relying on extinction, and makes transference to renunciation.”
“The Bodhisattva cultivates such merit and virtue in order not to abandon any living being, through the maintaining of his original vows, because he takes great compassion as foremost, due to the accomplishment of great kindness.”
“Because he remembers and ponders the wisdom of All Wisdom; in order to bring about the adornment of Buddhalands; to become perfectly endowed with the powers, fearlessnesses, uncommon Buddhadharmas, marks, characteristics, and sounds of a Thus Come One; because he seeks the very highest, most supreme Way; because he follows in accord with the deeply profound liberations of a Buddha he has heard; and because he thinks of clever expedients of great wisdom.”
“Disciples of the Buddha, when this Bodhisattva dwells upon the Ground of Blazing Wisdom, he makes all views of a body his primary consideration. That is because with regard to a self, others, living beings, ones with lifespans, skandhas, realms and locations as arising, being attached to, made to appear and disappear, thought about, contemplated, or regulated, and because with regards to anything as belonging to a self, wealth and possessions and places of attachment, he can become completely free.”
“If this Bodhisattva sees karmic actions that have been reproved by the Thus Come One and are defiled by afflictions, he abandons them all. He sees karmic actions that accord with the Bodhisattva Way and have been praised by the Thus Come One, he completely cultivates them.”
“Disciples of the Buddha, through the wisdom of expedients to which this Bodhisattva gives rise and his cultivation of the Way and the shares that aid the Way, he thus obtains a kind and nourishing mind; a compliant and yielding mind; a mind of blending and according; a mind of bringing benefit and making happy; an undefiled mind; a mind of seeking the very highest, supreme Dharma; a mind of seeking most supreme wisdom; a mind of rescuing all world; a mind of revering Honored Virtuous Ones and not opposing teachings and instructions; and a mind of according with the Dharma he has heard and well cultivating it all.”
“This Bodhisattva knows kindness done for him, and knows to repay that kindness. His mind is well-disposed for the good, and he is pleasant to associate with. He is upright and gentle, not acting like a dense thicket. He is free from pride, well accepts teachings and advice, and well grasps the intention of what is said.”
“The Bodhisattva in that way, becomes accomplished in patience, and in that way becomes accomplished in self-control, compliance, and still extinction. In that way, being accomplished in patience, self-control, compliance, and still extinction, he purifies and regulates the karmic actions of the next Ground. When he sets his mind on cultivating and maintaining, he attains to unresting vigor; unmixed, undefiled vigor; non-retreating vigor; vast, great vigor; boundless vigor; blazing vigor; incomparable vigor; indestructible vigor; vigor to bring all living beings to maturation; and vigor that well distinguishes what is and what is not the Way. ”
“The realm of this Bodhisattva’s mind is pure. His deep resolve is never lost. His enlightened understanding is clear and keen. His good roots increase and grow. He leaves behind worldly filth and turbidity. He cuts off all doubts and delusions. He is endowed with perfect clarity of severance, and his joy is full. The Buddhas draw near to and mindfully protect him. His limitless resolutions and inclinations all become accomplished.”
“Disciples of the Buddha, when this Bodhisattva dwells upon this Ground of Blazing Wisdom, through the power of his vows, he comes to see many Buddhas. That is, he comes to see many hundreds of Buddhas, sees many thousands of Buddhas, up to and including seeing many hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of Buddhas. He reveres and honors them all, attends upon them, and makes offerings to them, completely offering up all the necessities of life-clothing, bedding, food and drink, and medicines. He also makes offerings to all the multitudes of the Sangha, and completely transfers those good roots to Anuttarasamyaksambodhi. In the presence of those Buddhas, he reverentially listens to the Dharma, and having heard it, he himself accepts and maintains it and perfectly cultivates it.”
“Moreover, within all those Buddhas’ Dharma, he leaves the home-life to cultivate the Way. He then even more cultivates and regulates his deep mind of faith and understanding. Passing though limitless hundreds of thousands of millions of nayutas of kalpas, he causes all of his good roots to become increasingly bright and pure. Disciples of the Buddha, it is just as when a goldsmith smelts and refines true gold, making it into ornaments: no other gold is able to match it. The Bodhisattva Mahasattva is also that way. When he dwells upon this Ground, all of his good roots cannot be matched by any of the good roots of the Grounds below. It is just like a mani jewel, whose pure and luminous orb is able to send out light which no other jewels can match, and no factors such as wind or rain and so forth are able to destroy. The Bodhisattva Mahasattva also is that way. When he dwells upon this Ground, the Bodhisattvas of the Grounds below are not able to match him, and the hordes of demons and afflictions all cannot destroy him.”
“This Bodhisattva, among the Four Dharmas of Attraction, emphasizes similar work. Among the Ten Paramitas he emphasizes vigor. It is not that he fails to cultivate the others, but he only does so according to his strength and proportionately.”
“Disciples of the Buddha, this is called general discussion of the Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s Fourth Ground, that of Blazing Wisdom. When the Bodhisattva dwells upon this Ground for the most part he becomes King of the Suyama Heaven. Using skillful expedients, he can make living beings expel their delusions, such as the view of a body, and so forth, and cause them to dwell in proper views. In giving, kind words, beneficial conduct, and similar work, all of the karmic actions he performs are not separate from mindfulness of the Buddha, not separate from mindfulness of the Dharma, not separate from mindfulness of the Sangha, up to and including not being separate from mindfulness of endowment with the wisdom of the wisdom of all modes.”
“He further makes the following reflection, ‘I should among all living beings be a leader, be supreme, be especially supreme, be wonderful, be subtle and wonderful, be superior, be unsurpassed, up to and including being one with the wisdom of all wisdom upon whom one may rely.’ ”
“This Bodhisattva, if he brings forth diligence and vigor, within the space of a though enters a hundred million samadhis. He comes to see a hundred million Buddhas. He comes to know a hundred million Buddhas’ spiritual powers. He is able to quake a hundred million world-systems, up to and including being able to manifest a hundred million bodies, and with each and every body being able to manifest a hundred million Bodhisattvas as his retinue.”
“If he employs especially supreme power of Bodhisattva vows to manifest at ease, he surpasses that number. In a hundred kalpas, a thousand kalpas, up to and including a hundred thousands millions nayutas of kalpas, the number could not be counted or known.”
At that time, Vajra Treasury Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, spoke verses, saying:
“The Bodhisattva who has already purified the Third Ground
Then contemplates realms of beings, worlds, and Dharma,
The realm of space, the realms of consciousness, and the Three Realms,
Minds’ understandings, thoroughly, and can tend towards and enter them.
He first ascends to the Fourth Ground, increasing strength and might,
Is born in the Thus Come One’s family, and never retreats.
Towards Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha his faith cannot be destroyed.
He contemplates Dharmas as impermanent and having no arisal.
He contemplates worlds’ becomings and decayings as produced from karma,
Birth, death, Nirvana, and kshetras as equally from karma,
Contemplates before and after’s bounds, and contemplates their exhaustion-
That is how he cultivates to be born in the Buddha’s household.
Having obtained this Dharma, he increases in sympathy and kindness,
And with ever-increasing diligence cultivates the Four Stations of Mindfulness.
Body, feelings, thoughts, and dharmas inside and outside contemplating,
Worldly greed and worries in that way are all expelled.
The Bodhisattva cultivates the Four Right Efforts Conduct.
Evil dharmas are extinguished, and the good increased.
The Bases of Psychic Power, the Roots, the Powers he all well cultivates.
The Seven Enlightenment Shares, the Eightfold Path are also that way.
To rescue living beings, he cultivates those conducts,
Protected by his basic vows, with compassion foremost.
He seeks all wisdom and the Buddha countries,
And is mindful of Thus Come Ones’ Ten Kinds of Powers.
The Four Fearlessnesses and the Uncommon Dharmas,
The most special marks and characteristics, the deep, beautiful, sounds.
He also seeks the wondrous Path, the Stations of Liberation,
Along with great expedients-he cultivates these.
With view of body as the first, the sixty-two views,
Of self and what belongs to self, of limitless kinds,
Of skandhas, realms, locations, all attachment to such,
Upon this, the Fourth Ground, all is left behind.
Afflicted types of behavior reproved by the Thus Come One ,
As non-beneficial are completely cut off.
What the wise one cultivates is purified karma,
To save living beings, there is none not performed.
The Bodhisattva diligently cultivates and is never lax or lazy.
He right away obtains Ten Minds, all of them perfected.
Intently seeking Buddhahood, he never tires or wearies,
Determined to take office to rescue living beings.
He reveres Honored Virtuous Ones, and cultivates their Dharmas,
Knows kindness, is easily instructed, and without exasperation.
He abandons pride, does not flatter, his mind is tamed and compliant.
He increases in vigor and is irreversible.
When the Bodhisattva dwells upon this Ground of Blazing Wisdom,
His mind is purified, and it is never lost.
His enlightened understanding is decisive, his good increases and grows.
The net of doubts, turbidities, he completely leaves behind.
This Ground’s Bodhisattva among people is supreme,
And has made offerings to limitless nayutas of Buddhas.
Upon hearing proper Dharma, he also leaves home,
And is as indestructible as genuine gold.
The Bodhisattva dwelling here has merit and virtue.
Using wisdom and expedients, he cultivates the Way.
In spite of hordes of demons, his mind does not retreat,
The way a wondrous jewel cannot be destroyed.
Dwelling here one mostly is a Suyama Heaven King,
Has self-mastery of Dharmas, and is revered by multitudes,
Universally teaches flocks of beings to expel evil views,
Intently seeking Buddha’s wisdom and practicing good karma.
The Bodhisattva with diligence adds to power of vigor,
Acquires samadhis and so forth, numbering in the hundred millions.
If he uses power of vows and wisdom to enact them,
It exceeds that number by amounts one cannot know.
As it is upon the Fourth Bodhisattva Ground,
The purified, subtle, and wonderful Way cultivated,
Its merit, virtue, and interactions of aspiration and wisdom,
I, for Buddha’s disciples, have already proclaimed.
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