C H A P T E R    T H I R T Y - N I N E

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Entering the Dharma Realm Part 1

Disciples of the Buddha, it is like all along the shores of the River Ganges there are hundreds, thousands, tens of millions of hungry ghosts who are all naked, hungry and thirsty. Their entire bodies are scorched and blazing. Ravens, eagles and wolves all rush to seize and grab them. These ghosts are oppressed by great thirst and wish for water to drink. Yet although they live right by the side of the river, they cannot see the river. And if they do see the river, upon seeing the river, the river will dry up. Why is this? This is due to the covering by their deep and heavy karmic obstacles.

All the Sound Hearers were the same way. Although they dwelt in the midst of the Jeta Grove, they could not see the Thus Come One’s vast, great, spiritual powers. This is because they had renounced All-Wisdom, and their eyes were covered by the cataract of ignorance.

It is also because they had not planted the good roots of the grounds of Sarvajna. It is as when there is a person within the assembly who is sound asleep, and who suddenly dreams of seeing on the summit of Mount Sumeru the great city of Good View, where Lord Shakra dwells. He dreams of palaces, groves, parklands, and all sorts of ornaments, also of gods and goddesses, hundreds of thousands of millions of them, who are universally scattering heavenly flowers that cover the ground; all sorts of trees of garments sprout forth wonderful robes; all sorts of blossoming trees that burst forth in luxuriant bloom; all sorts of musical trees are playing heavenly music. All the heavenly maidens chant in sonorous choruses, and an immeasurable number of gods are playing and frolicking in the midst of this. This person sees himself dressed in heavenly robes, universally traveling to all of these places, stopping and mingling among them.

All of the other people within the great assembly, although in the same place, do not know of or see these things. Why is this? Because what is seen in the dream is not something that the great assembly can behold.

All Bodhisattvas and kings of the world are just like this. They have long accumulated the power of good roots. They have brought forth vast great vows of All-Wisdom. They have studied the merit and virtue of all Buddhas. They have cultivated the adorned path of a Bodhisattva. They have perfected the Wisdom-Dharma of All-Wisdom. They have perfected all the conduct and vows of Universal Worthy. They have entered the wisdom-grounds of all Bodhisattvas. They have playfully roamed in the samadhis in which all Bodhisattvas dwell. They can contemplate all of the Bodhisattvas' states of wisdom without any obstruction.

For such reasons all of them behold the World Honored One's inconceivable spiritual transformations of self-ease. All the great disciples, the Sound Hearers, could not see, could not know, because they lacked the Bodhisattvas' pure eyes. It is as in the snowy mountains where there is a multitude of medicinal herbs. A good physician who goes there can distinguish all of them. Yet the hunters and herdsmen who constantly dwell on the mountain cannot see the medicine. This is just the same way.

All of the Bodhisattvas enter the states of wisdom, become replete with the power of self-mastery, and can perceive the Thus Come One’s great spiritual transformations. However, all of the great disciples knew only of benefiting themselves, and did not wish to benefit others. Seeking only for their own tranquility, they did not wish for others’ tranquility, which is why although they were right inside the Grove, they could not know or see.

It is as in the center of the earth, there are many jewel caches, which are filled with all sorts of valuable and rare gems. There is a great hero, wise and understanding, well adept at discriminating all the hidden caches. This person possesses the power of great blessings and virtue, and according to his wishes can chose whatever he like to make offerings to provide for his parents and to foster his retinue – the aged, sick and impoverished – all of whom he supplies equally.

Whereas a person of no wisdom, lacking in blessings and virtue, although he may go to the jewel caches, will still not know of them, not see them, or obtain their benefits. This is just the same way. The great Bodhisattvas obtain and possess the pure wisdom-eye. They can enter into the Thus Come One’s inconceivable profound states. They can see the Buddha's spiritual powers. They can enter into all Dharma doors. They can course in the seas of Samadhis.

They can make offerings to the Buddhas. They can use the Proper Dharma to enlighten living beings. They can use the Four Dharmas of Attraction to gather in living beings. All the great Sound Hearers could not see the Thus Come One’s spiritual powers, nor could they see the Bodhisattva assemblies.

It is as when a blind man arrives at a great jeweled continent, but whether walking, standing, sitting or reclining he cannot see all the treasures. Because he cannot see them, he cannot collect them or make use of them. It was just the same way with the great disciples.Although they were situated within the grove and drew near to the World Honored One, they could not see the Thus Come One’s spiritual powers of self-mastery. Nor could they see the great assembly of Bodhisattvas. Why is this? Because they lacked the Bodhisattvas' unobstructed pure eyes, and could not respectfully enlighten to and enter into the Dharma Realm and behold the Thus Come One’s self-mastery.

It is as when someone has obtained the pure eye called light of leaving filth. None of the dark shadowy places can obstruct him. Then if this person is situated in a dark or shadowy place in the midst of hundreds of thousands of millions of people, whether he be walking, standing, sitting or reclining, there is none of these peoples' shapes or forms or comportments that this bright-eyed person cannot see. But as to this bright-eyed person's own comportment and his comings and goings -- there is not one of these people who can perceive them.

The Buddha is the same way. In accomplishing the pure unobstructed wisdom-eye, he can clearly see all worlds, the spiritual penetrations, changes and transformations, and the assembly of great Bodhisattvas who surround him. All the great disciplescould not see any of these.

It is as when there are bhikshus within the great assembly who enter into the All-Pervasive Samadhis; specifically, the All-Pervasive Earth Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Water Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Fire Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Wind Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Blue Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Yellow Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Red Samadhi, the All-Pervasive White Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Heaven Samadhi, the All-Pervasive Samadhi of Various Living Beings' Bodies, the All-Pervasive Samadhi of All Languages and Sounds, and the All-Pervasive Samadhi of That Which is Conditioned.

Those who enter these samadhis can perceive these conditions. But the rest of the great assembly cannot see any of these, with the exception of others who are also dwelling in these samadhis.

The inconceivable states of the Buddha manifested by the Thus Come One are just like this. All of the Bodhisattvas could behold them. But the Sound Hearers could not perceive them.

It is as when there is a person who smears a potion of invisibility on his own eyes, so that in the assembly, in his comings and goings, sitting or standing, no one can see him. And yet he can see all that happens within the assembly. You should know that the Thus Come One is just like this. He has transcended the world and yet universally sees the world.

None of Sound Hearers could perceive any of this; only the Bodhisattvas who tend toward the states of All-Wisdom can see. It is as when there is a person who from the time of his birth is accompanied by two gods.

One of them is called "Like-Birth", the other is called "Like-Name". The gods can always see the person, but the person cannot see the gods. You should know that the Thus Come One is just like this. Within the great assemblies of the Bodhisattvas, he manifested vast spiritual penetrations and the great Sound Hearers could not behold any of this.

It is as when there is a bhikshu, who upon attaining the self-mastery of his own mind enters into the Samadhi of Extinction. The karma of his six organs is inactive, and he is unaware of all language and speech. Due to the aid of samadhi, he does not enter into Parinirvana.

All the Sound Hearers were like this. Although they dwelt at the Jeta Grove and were replete with the six organs, they could not know, could not see, could not understand, could not enter into the Thus Come One’s self-mastery and all of the Bodhisattva assemblies.

Why is this? The Thus Come One’s state is very profound, vast and great, difficult to see, difficult to know, difficult to gauge, difficult to measure. Transcending all worlds, it is inconceivable, it cannot be destroyed, and it is not the state of any of the Two Vehicles.

That is why the Thus Come One’s spiritual powers of self-mastery, the Bodhisattva assemblies, and the Jeta Grove universally pervaded everywhere throughout all the pure worlds – and yet none of these events could be known or seen by the great Sound Hearers. They were beyond their capacity.

At this time Vairochana Vow Brightness Bodhisattva, aided by the Buddha's spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions and spoke verses:

You should contemplate
The inconceivable Buddha Way.
Inside this Jeta Grove
The power of spiritual penetrations appears.

The awesome spiritual strength of the Well-Gone One
Manifests that which is without measure.
All of those in the world
Are confused, deluded; they cannot understand.

The Dharma King's profound, wonderful Dharma
Is measureless, hard to conceive.
The spiritual penetrations, which he manifests,
None in the world can fathom.

He understands that dharmas are without an mark,
Which is why he is called the Buddha.
He is replete with the adorning characteristics,
His praises and proclamations are without exhaustion.

And now, within this grove,
He manifests vast spiritual powers.
Profound he is, to depths without bounds
And that which words cannot dispute!

Contemplate those of great awesome virtue,
Measureless Bodhisattvas assemblies who,
From countries in the ten directions,
Have come to behold the World Honored One.

Their vows are all completed,
Their practices unobstructed,
In all the world
None can gauge or measure them.

All the ones Enlightened to Conditions,
And the great Sound Hearers,
Cannot know of this
State of the Bodhisattvas' practices.

The Bodhisattvas' great wisdom
Is the ultimate state of all the Grounds.
Loftily erecting the banners of courage,
Invincible, they are hard to move.

These knights of great renown,
With power of measureless samadhi,
Manifest spiritual transformations
Which fill up all of the Dharma Realm.

At that time, Indestructible Vigor King Bodhisattva, aided by the Buddha's spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions and spoke verses, saying:

Contemplate all the Buddha's disciples,
Treasuries of wisdom and meritorious virtue;
Having reached the ultimate of Bodhi's practices,
They bring peace and calm to all worlds.

Their minds, inherently bright and understanding,
Are adept at entering the samadhis.
Their wisdom is boundless,
Their states immeasurable.

And now within the Jeta Grove,
With everything adorned,
Cloud-like assemblies of Bodhisattvas gather,
Drawing near to the Thus Come One’s dwelling.

Contemplate their non-attachment,
These measureless oceans of great assemblies!
Arriving from the ten directions,
They're seated upon jeweled lotus thrones.

With no coming and no dwelling,
No relying and no idle dispute,
Leaving filth, their minds are unobstructed,
They are ultimate in the Dharma Realm!

Erecting the banner of wisdom,
Firm, solid and unmoving,
They know that dharmas are without transformation,
And yet manifest events of transformations.

From the measureless kshetras of the ten directions,
From all of the Buddha's places,
Simultaneously they arrive,
And yet do not divide their bodies.

Contemplate the Lion Shakyamuni,
His power of self-ease and spiritual penetrations,
Who can cause the Bodhisattvas multitudes
To assemble all together.

All of the Buddha-dharma
Is level and equal in the Dharma Realm.
Though words and speech are different,
This assembly penetrates them all.

The Buddhas always peacefully dwell
In the Dharma Realm's limit of equality.
Proclaiming a variety of dharmas,
Their words and languages have no exhaustion.

At the time, Universal Supreme Unsurpassed Awesome Virtue King Bodhisattva, aided by the Buddha's spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions and spoke verses saying:

Contemplate the Unsurpassed Knight,
Whose vast, great perfect wisdom
Is adept at knowing what is the right time and what is not,
As he proclaims the Dharma for the multitudes.

He conquers and subdues the external paths
And all their bizarre theories,
Universally according with living beings’ minds
He manifests the power of spiritual penetrations.

Proper Enlightenment has no measure,
Yet it is not without a measure.
Whether it has measure or no measure,
The Muni has transcended it entirely.

As the sun in empty space
Illumines all places,
So too the Buddha's wisdom,
Penetrates the dharmas of the three periods of time.

As on the night of the fifteenth of the month,
The moon has no defect,
The Thus Come One, too, is just this way:
His pristine dharmas are all perfected.

As the sun in the sky,
Which courses along without a moment's hesitation,
The Thus Come One too is just like this:
His spiritual changes are eternally continuous.

The kshetras of the ten directions
Are unobstructed emptiness.
Yet the Lamp of the World makes appear transformations:
In the world it is like this too.

As the earth of the world
Is a place of reliance for the multitudes,
The Dharma Wheel of the Lamp that Illumines the World,
Serves as a reliance in the same way.

As a strong swift wind
Whips along unobstructed,
So too does the Buddha-dharma
Quickly pervade the world.

As the great water wheel
Is what the world relies and dwells on,
The Wisdom Wheel in the same way
Is that no which the Buddhas of the three periods of time rely.

At that time, Unobstructed Supreme Treasury King Bodhisattva, aided by the Buddha's spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions and spoke verses saying:

As a great jewel mountain
Benefits all sentient beings,
The Buddha-Mountain is this way too:
It universally benefits the world.

As the great ocean water is
Lucid, pure and without filth or mud,
To see the Buddha is like this too:
It purges one of all thirsty love.

As Mount Sumeru
Rises from the great ocean,
The World's Lamp is like this:
It arises from the Dharma sea.

As the ocean is replete with various jewels
Which satisfy all seekers,
Wisdom not requiring a teacher is the same way:
The beholder can become enlightened.

The Thus Come One’s most profound wisdom
Is measureless and incalculable,
Therefore this power of spiritual penetration
Can manifest the inconceivable.

As a skilled illusionist
Can manifests a myriad phenomena,
So too, the Buddha's wisdom,
Manifests the power of all self-mastery.

As the as-you-will gem
Can fulfill all wishes,
The Most Supreme One is also able
To fulfill all vows of purity.

As a bright pure jewel
Can universally illumine all things,
The Buddha's wisdom also in this way,
Universally illumines all creatures' minds.

As an eight-faceted jewel
Can equally reflect all directions,
The Unobstructed Lamp in this way
Universally illumines the Dharma Realm.

As the water-clearing pearl
Can clarify all turbid water,
To see the Buddha is the same way –
All of one's organs are purified.

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