THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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The Coming into Being of Worlds

Chapter Four--------------

At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva further told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha, you should know that the seas of worlds are composed of various substances. That is, they may be composed of the adornments of myriad jewels, or of various adornments of a single type of jewel. They may be composed of light from myriad jewels, or of light of various colors. They may be composed of radiance from all adornments, or of indestructible vajra. They may be composed of the Buddhas’ sustaining power, or of the characteristics of lovely gems. They may be composed of the Buddhas’ transformations, or of sun-mani wheels. They may be composed of extremely tiny jewels, of the shining brilliance of jewels, of various kinds of incense, or of a crown of jeweled flowers. They may be composed of the reflections of jewels, of a display of myriad ornaments, of a state pervasively manifested by a single thought, of jewels in the form of Bodhisattvas, of jeweled flower stamens, or of the sound of a Buddha’s voice.

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses.

Perhaps there are seas of worlds
Composed of clusters of wondrous gems,
Solid, adamant, and indestructible,
Peacefully dwelling on jeweled lotus flowers.

Perhaps there is pure brightness
From which emerge unknowable
Myriad adorning lights
Shining in empty space.

Some lands are composed of pure radiance
And exist within bright light.
Luminous clouds embellish those lands,
As Bodhisattvas wander in their midst. 

There may be seas of Kshetras
Born from the power of vows.
Like reflections they abide,
Beyond apprehension and speech.

Some may be fashioned from mani,
Everywhere shining like the sun.
Wheels of pearls adorn their ground.
Bodhisattvas fill these lands.

Some lands from jeweled flames are made,
With blazing clouds hovering above
And myriad gems exquisitely glowing.
Such are the results of karma.

Some lands arise from the wondrous hallmarks.
Myriad forms adorn their terrain,
Like crowns worn at the same time.
These are the Buddhas’ creations.

Some arise from the ocean of the mind,
And according to the mind’s understanding they dwell.
Illusory, they have no fixed abode,
Since everything is made from discriminations.

Lands may be composed of the Buddhas’ brilliance
Or formed of the light of mani.
The Buddhas appear in their midst,
Each using his spiritual powers.

Perhaps Universal Worthy Bodhisattva
Transformationally creates the seas of lands.
Adorned by the power of his vows,
Everything is rare and exquisite.
                                                                   
At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva further told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha, you should know that the seas of worlds have various kinds of adornments. Perhaps they are adorned by splendid, wondrous clouds emerging from amidst myriad ornaments.

Perhaps they are adorned by the proclamation of the Bodhisattvas’ meritorious virtues. Perhaps they are adorned as expressions of the karmic retributions of beings. Perhaps they are adorned by the appearance of the Bodhisattvas’ seas of vows. Perhaps they are adorned by the displayed images of all Buddhas of the three periods of time. Perhaps they are adorned by the states of spiritual penetrations that manifest boundless eons in the space of a single thought.

Perhaps they are adorned by the appearance of Buddhas’ bodies. Perhaps they are adorned by the appearance of clouds of incense and jewels. Perhaps they are adorned by the dazzling radiance of rare, exquisite objects appearing in all bodhimandas. Perhaps they are adorned by the revelation of the practices and vows of every Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. Such adornments are as numerous as the fine motes of dust in an entire sea of worlds.

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate these principles, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses.

The vast sea of Kshetras, a boundless expanse,
Comes into being from pure karma.
Varied in adornment and location,
They completely pervade the ten directions.

Precious, blazing clouds, infinite in hue and form,
Magnificently adorn in more ways than one.
Constantly appearing in the ten directions’ seas of Kshetras,
Their wondrous sounds everywhere pronounce the Dharma.

The Bodhisattvas’ sea of boundless merit and virtue,
By their various great vows is adorned.
Their wondrous voices constantly resound in these lands,
Sending reverberations through the ten directions’ net of worlds.

The sea of beings’ karma is vast and boundless.
Their individual retributions are not the same.
From within the adornments of every location,
The Buddhas proclaim all such phenomena.

Every Thus Come One of the three periods of time
Displays his spiritual powers throughout the seas of worlds.
Every Buddha involved in every such instance--
Contemplate how each adorns and purifies.

The magnificent adornments
Of eons past, present, and future,
Throughout the lands of the ten directions,
Are beheld in this land, one and all.

Amidst all phenomena are limitless Buddhas,
Equal in number to all beings throughout the worlds.
Using their spiritual powers to tame those beings,
They thereby adorn the seas of lands.

Every ornament emits wondrous clouds:
Assorted clouds of flowers, clouds of blazing incense,
And clouds of mani gems constantly appearing,
All serving to embellish the seas of Kshetras.

Wherever the Way is realized in the ten directions
Myriad adornments are perfected
And colorful clouds of swirling light
Are seen throughout the seas of Kshetras.

Disciples of the Buddha,

For eons as numerous as beings, diligently practice
Universal Worthy’s conduct and vows.
Limitless lands, fully adorned,
Manifest in every place.

At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva further told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha! You should know that the seas of worlds have seas of pure expedient means as numerous as motes of dust in the seas of worlds. That is to say, Bodhisattvas draw near to all good advisors with whom they share good roots in common; their extensive cloud of merit and virtue grows until it pervades the Dharma Realm; they purely cultivate magnificent, sublime liberations; they contemplate and abide in the states of all Bodhisattvas; they cultivate all paramitas to perfection; they contemplate all Bodhisattva grounds, entering and dwelling within them; they give rise to a sea of pure vows; they cultivate all practices leading to liberation; they enter the sea of all adornments; and they achieve the power of pure expedient means. Such pure expedient means are as numerous as dust motes in the seas of worlds.”

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses.

The adornments throughout all seas of worlds
Emerge from innumerable expedients and power of vows.
The seas of Kshetras, ever luminous and bright,
Arise from the power of infinite pure karma.

Since long ago, Bodhisattvas have drawn near good advisors,
Together cultivating wholesome karma, completely pure.
Vast kindness and compassion extends to all beings:
With these the seas of Kshetras are adorned.

All methods of practice as well as samadhis,
Dhyana concentrations, liberations, and expedient grounds
Are cultivated in the presence of Buddhas,
Thereby giving rise to seas of Kshetras.

As Bodhisattvas gain limitless, decisive understanding,
Their comprehension fully matches the Thus Come Ones’.
Having cultivated a sea of patience and skill-in-means,
They adorn and purify boundless Kshetras.

Cultivating sublime practices to benefit beings,
Their vast blessings and virtue constantly grow.
Like clouds spreading across the skies,
All seas of Kshetras are perfected.

Limitless perfections, numerous as dust motes in a Kshetra,
Have already been cultivated to completion.
The infinite paramita of vows
Gives birth to oceans of pure kshetras.

Pure cultivation of peerless dharmas
Initiates boundless transcendent practices.
By transforming beings with sundry skill-in-means,
Bodhisattvas thereby adorn the oceans of lands.

By practicing and adorning the grounds of expedients,
They enter the sea of methods derived by the Buddhas’ merit and virtue.
When beings’ sufferings are exhausted,
Vast, pure Kshetras come into being.

Vast and peerless, the sea of powers
Causes all beings to plant good roots,
Make offerings to all Thus Come Ones,
And purify boundless lands.

At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva further told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha, you should know that each and every sea of worlds has Buddhas in different manifestations as numerous as the motes of dust in the seas of worlds. These Buddhas may manifest in small or large bodies; they may manifest short or long life spans; they may adorn and purify only one land or limitless Buddhalands; they may reveal the Dharma wheel of the One Vehicle or the Dharma wheels of inconceivably many vehicles; they may manifest the taming of a few beings or of boundless beings. Such manifestations are as numerous as the motes of dust in the seas of worlds.”  

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses.

The Buddhas’ diverse expedient means
Give rise to all seas of Kshetras,
Totally delighting sentient beings.
This is the Thus Come One’s power of skillful versatility.

The Dharma body of all Buddhas is inconceivable—
Devoid of form, shape, or appearance.
Yet for beings it manifests in myriad forms,
Which beings perceive according to their wishes.

Perhaps they manifest a short life span for beings,
Or perhaps enjoy a long life of limitless eons.
The Dharma body manifests throughout the ten directions,
Appearing in worlds at opportune times.

Perhaps they adorn and purify inconceivable
Seas of all lands throughout the ten directions.
Or perhaps they adorn and purify only one land,
Manifesting in that single land and no other.

Perhaps, depending on what beings delight in,
They display an unimaginable array of vehicles.
Or they may proclaim the Dharma of the One Vehicle,
Expediently revealing limitless means within the One.

Perhaps they naturally gain Right Enlightenment
And guide a few beings to dwell in the Way.
Or perhaps in the space of a single thought,
They enlighten confused beings beyond number.

Perhaps magical clouds issue from their pores,
Revealing limitless, boundless Buddhas.
Everyone in the worlds sees these Buddhas
Saving beings with various skillful means.

Perhaps the sound of their voices pervades everywhere
As they speak Dharma to delight the hearts of beings.
For inconceivable numbers of great eons
They temper and subdue limitless seas of beings.

Perhaps in countless splendid lands
Seated majestically in pure assemblies
Are Buddhas like clouds hovering above,
Pervading every sea of lands in the ten directions.

With inconceivable skills-in-means, the Buddhas
Manifest before beings according to their thoughts.
Pervasively dwelling in diverse adorned Kshetras,
They encompass all lands everywhere.

At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva further told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha, you should know that the durations of existence of seas of worlds are as numerous as the motes of dust in the seas of worlds. That is to say, they may exist for asamkhyeya eons; they may exist for limitless eons; they may exist for boundless eons; they may exist for unequaled eons; they may exist for innumerable eons; they may exist for inexpressible eons; they may exist for inconceivable eons; they may exist for unreckonable eons; they may exist for ineffable eons; they may exist for ineffably ineffable eons. The different durations of existence are as numerous as the motes of dust in seas of worlds.”

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses.

The seas of worlds with their various different eons
Are adorned by vast, expansive expedient means.
The lands of the ten directions are completely seen,
Their numbers and differentiations clearly known.

I behold the seas of worlds of the ten directions
Through measureless eons equal to the number of beings.
They may be long or short or boundless.
I now proclaim them with the Buddhas’ voice.

I gaze upon the oceans of lands of the ten directions:
Some abide for eons as numerous as dust motes in lands.
Some dwell for one eon, others for countless eons.
Because of different vows, they are not the same.  

They may be completely pure or completely defiled,
Or perhaps a mixture of purity and defilement.
Established by oceanic vows, each and every one different,
They dwell in the thoughts of beings’ minds.

Past cultivation for eons as numerous as dust motes in kshetras
Results in magnificent, pure seas of worlds.
The states of all Buddhas, fully adorned,
Endure perpetually for vast and boundless eons.

Some are named Light of Myriad Jewels;
Others, Equal Sound Flaming Eye Treasury;
And yet others, Immaculate Light or Worthy Eon.
This pure kalpa gathers them in, one and all.

A single Buddha may appear in some pure kalpas;
Or boundless Buddhas may appear in a single kalpa.
With infinite expedients and magnificent vows,
They enter into different types of kalpas.

Perhaps measureless kalpas enter one kalpa;
Perhaps one kalpa enters many kalpas.
The different entrances into all seas of kalpas
Appear distinctly in the ten directions’ lands.

Perhaps the adornments of all kalpas
Are completely visible in a single kalpa.
Perhaps adornments from a single kalpa
Universally appear in boundless kalpas.

From a single thought and to an entire kalpa— 
All are produced from the thoughts of beings.
The boundless kalpas of all seas of kshetras
Are completely purified by a single expedient.

At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha, you should know that the seas of worlds evolve through distinct stages as numerous as motes of dust in the seas of worlds.

“Specifically, due to the Dharma being thus, seas of worlds evolve through limitless stages of formation and destruction. By being inhabited by defiled beings, seas of worlds evolve through stages of defilement. By being inhabited by beings who vastly cultivate blessings, seas of worlds evolve through stages of defilement and purity.  By being inhabited by Bodhisattvas of faith and understanding, seas of worlds evolve through stages of defilement and purity.

Because measureless beings bring forth the bodhi resolve, seas of worlds evolve through stages whereby they become totally purified. Because each and every Bodhisattva travels throughout all worlds, seas of worlds evolve through stages of boundless adornments. Because all Bodhisattvas assemble like clouds from the seas of worlds of the ten directions, seas of worlds evolve through stages of infinite and magnificent adornments.

Because all Buddhas, World Honored Ones, enter nirvana, seas of worlds evolve through stages of solemn tranquility. Because all Buddhas appear in the world, all seas of worlds evolve through stages whereby they become expansive, majestic, and purified. Because of the transformations of the Thus Come Ones’ spiritual penetrations, seas of worlds evolve through stages whereby they universally become purified. They evolve through stages as numerous as motes of dust in the seas of worlds.”

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses.

Every land and country
Is born through karma’s power.
All of you should contemplate
The characteristics of its evolution.

Defiled and turbid beings
Are fettered by fearsome karma and delusion.
By their thoughts, the oceans of lands
Are completely polluted.

If pure-minded beings
Cultivate deeds of blessings and virtue,
Their thoughts cause the seas of lands
To be partly pure and partly polluted.

Bodhisattvas of faith and understanding
Born in the midst of those kalpas.
Perceive defilement or purity
Depending on their thoughts.

When numberless beings
Make the resolve for bodhi,
Their thoughts make the oceans of lands
Abide in eons of constant purity.

Limitless kotis of Bodhisattvas
Roam the ten directions.
Their adornments, though not different,
Are perceived differently through the kalpas.

Each and every mote of dust
Contains Buddhalands in number like motes of dust.
Bodhisattvas gather like clouds,
And all countries become pure.

When the World Honored Ones enter nirvana,
The adornments disappear from their lands.
When beings lack a vessel for Dharma,
The world becomes a mass of pollution.

If a Buddha appears in the world,
Everything becomes splendid and fine,
As beings’ thoughts are purified,
All adornments come to be.

The Buddhas’ spiritual powers
Manifest inconceivable states.
At that time the oceans of lands
Become totally pure and clean.

At that time, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva told the great assembly, “Disciples of the Buddha, you should know that the ways in which the seas of worlds are undifferentiated are as numerous as motes of dust in the seas of worlds.

“Specifically, within each and every sea of worlds, there are worlds as numerous as dust motes in the seas of worlds, and they are undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, the awesome power of all Buddhas’ appearances is undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, all the bodhimandas that pervade the dharma realms of the ten directions are undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, the assemblies of all Thus Come Ones’ bodhimandas are undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, the light of all Buddhas that pervades the Dharma Realm is undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, all Buddhas’ transformations and titles are undifferentiated.

 “Within each and every sea of worlds, the voices of all Buddhas, which pervade the seas of worlds for boundless eons, are undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, the expedients of the Dharma wheel are undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, the ability for all seas of worlds to enter a single dust mote is undifferentiated. Within each and every sea of worlds, the manifestation in every single mote of dust of the vast realm of all Buddhas, World Honored Ones, of the three periods of time is undifferentiated.

“Disciples of the Buddha, this is a general explanation of the ways in which the seas of worlds are undifferentiated. If one were to extensively speak about them, the ways in which they are undifferentiated are as numerous as motes of dust in the seas of worlds.”

Then Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, wishing to restate his meaning, received the Buddhas’ awesome spiritual power, contemplated the ten directions, and spoke verses. 

A single dust mote holds many seas of Kshetras,
Each splendid, pure, and distinctly placed.
Thus the measureless enter the one,
Yet the separate entities do not mix.

In each and every dust mote, inconceivable Buddhas
Manifest everywhere according to beings’ thoughts.
Their presence pervades all seas of Kshetras:
Such expedient means are undifferentiated.

In each and every mote of dust are Kings of Trees,
Draped with myriad adornments.
The lands of the ten directions simultaneously appear,
Yet there is no differentiation among them.

In every dust mote are multitudes in dust motes
Surrounding the Lord of Humans.
He transcends everything and pervades all worlds
Without cramming or disarray.

In each and every dust mote, infinite light
Pervades the lands of the ten directions.
It reveals the Buddhas’ practices for bodhi,
Undifferentiated throughout all seas of lands.

In each and every dust mote are infinite bodies
With cloudlike transformations pervading everywhere,
Using the Buddhas’ spiritual penetrations to guide beings.
It is no different in the lands of the ten directions.

Myriad dharmas are pronounced in every mote of dust.
Such dharmas are pure, like revolving wheels.
Various free and easy expedient methods
Are expressed without differentiation.

In a single mote of dust all Buddhas’ sounds are proclaimed,
Filling up beings, who are vessels for the Dharma.
Pervading oceans of lands for countless eons
Such sounds are also undifferentiated.

The infinite, wondrous adornments of oceans of lands
Enter into every single mote of dust.
Such spiritual powers of the Buddhas
Arise from the nature of karma.

In every dust mote, the Buddhas of the three periods of time
Manifest all the sights that delight beings.
Neither arriving nor departing in essence,
They pervade all worlds by the power of their vows.

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