THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Chapters: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20

The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra

Chapter 1: Introduction
With Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

The light illumined to the east
Eighteen thousand Buddha lands,
Revealing the places of living beings’
Karmic retributions of birth and death.
Seen, too, were Buddha lands adorned
With a multitude of gems,
The color of lapis lazuli and crystal,
Illumined by the Buddha’s light.
Seen as well were gods and people,
Dragons, spirits, and Yaksha hordes,
Gandharvas and Kinnaras,
Each making offerings to the Buddha.

Thus come ones, too, all were seen
As they naturally accomplished the Buddha Way,
Their bodies’ hue like mountains of gold,
Upright, serene, subtle, and fine,
As, within pure lapis lazuli
Would appear an image of real gold.
The World Honored Ones in those assemblies
Proclaimed the profound principle of the Law.
In all the Buddhas’ lands,
Were Shravaka hosts, uncountable;
Through the illumination of the Buddha’s light
Those assemblies all were fully seen.
There were also Bhikshus who,
Dwelt within the mountain groves,
Vigorously upholding the pure precepts
As if guarding brilliant pearls.
Also seen were Bodhisattvas
Practicing giving, patience, and so forth,
Their number like the Ganges’ sands,
Illumined by the Buddha’s light.
Seen too were Bodhisattvas who
Had deeply entered Dhyana Samadhi,
With bodies and minds still and unmoving
They sought the Way unsurpassed.
Bodhisattvas, too, were seen who knew
The Mark of Dharmas’ still extinction;
Each one within his Buddhaland
Spoke Dharma, seeking the Buddha’s path.

Outline:

J2. similarity of the six portents in other worlds

Commentary:

The light illumined to the east, the light shone into the eastern direction. How far did it shine? Eighteen thousand Buddha lands. The eighteen thousand Buddha lands represent the eighteen realms of sense. Revealing the places of living beings’. The Buddha pointed out the places of all living beings’ karmic retributions of birth and death, where they were born and died, died and were reborn, the karmic retributions of their births and deaths.

Why is there karmic retribution?

It is because we people give rise to delusion. Giving rise to delusion is the production of ignorance. Once there is ignorance, then there is karmic activity, and karma is created. After karma has been created, one necessarily undergoes retribution. In the light of the Buddha these various circumstances appeared.

Seen, too, were Buddha lands adorned.Some people saw other Buddha lands decorated with a multitude of gems, various kinds of treasures were used to ornament the Buddhalands. The color of lapis lazuli and crystal. Some of the lands were adorned with lapis lazuli and others with crystal illumined by the Buddha’s light. It was through the illumination of the Buddha-light that these things were revealed.

Seen as well were gods and people.
Not only were all the lands with their splendid and beautiful adornments seen, but also seen were all the gods in the heavens, dragons, spirits, and Yaksha hordes. The dragons were there, and the spirits and the ghosts and so forth. Gandharvas and Kinnaras,the two classes of musical spirits, each making offerings to the Buddha. The gods, dragons and the rest of the eight-fold division all brought forth their hearts to present offerings and make offerings to the Buddha.

Thus come ones, too, all were seen. Also seen were all the Buddhas in other lands as they naturally accomplished the Buddha Way, they brought forth the Bodhi-heart, good in the beginning, good in the middle and good at the end, right up until they became Buddhas, naturally realizing the Buddha path. Their bodies’ hue like mountains of gold. Their bodies were the color of golden mountains, the color of burnished, purple-gold. Upright, serene, subtle, and fine. The Buddha has thirty-two marks and eighty minor characteristics and is very majestic and fine. As, within pure lapis lazuli, it is just like within a pure cylinder of lapis lazuli would appear an image of real gold.

The World Honored Ones in those assemblies,
all the limitless Buddhas in the assemblies in the other Buddhalands proclaimed the profound principle of the Law. They set forth and make known the extremely deep purport of the Dharma in all the Buddhas’ lands.In all the Buddha lands in other worlds were Shravaka hosts, uncountable, through the illumination of the Buddha’s light. Because the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp emitted the white hair-mark light illumining them, those assemblies all were fully seen.

There were also Bhikshus who, there were those who had left home, Bhikshus or Bhikshunis dwelt within the mountain groves. They lived in the mountains, deep in the woods, in secluded valleys--places where no one ever goes--vigorously upholding the pure precepts. They were vigorous day and night. Day and night, they never rested. In what way were they vigorous? They forgot about eating; they forgot about sleeping; they forgot about wearing clothes.

Then what did they think of? They only thought to cultivate the Way with vigor. They were perpetually vigorous in the six periods of the day and night--always vigorous.

What are the six periods of the day and night? During the day, there are three: the beginning of the day, the middle of the day and the end of the day. During the night, there are also three: the beginning of the night, the middle of the night, and the end of the night.

In the six periods of the day and night, they cultivated. They vigorously upheld the pure precepts, the clear, pure precious precepts as if guarding brilliant pearls. The kept the clear, pure brilliant vajra precepts just like the dragon stands guard over his dragon pearl.

Those who have left home who uphold the precepts 1% have 1% of light; those who hold them 10% have 10% of light. If you hold them a full 100%, you will have 100% of light. The light is produced through the precepts, through Samadhi, and through wisdom. If you don’t hold the precepts, you will have no light. If you would like to have light, you must hold the precepts. Cultivating is not simply done to obtain light, but even up to the realization of Buddhahood, unless you keep the precepts, you won’t be able to realize Buddhahood. Therefore, if you would like to become a Buddha, you must keep the precepts. The precepts are the most important thing.

There are Ten Shramanera Precepts and Two Hundred and Fifty Bhikshu Precepts. The study of the precepts is the most important. Those who have left home absolutely must follow the precepts. If they do not, they are no different from lay people. Therefore, if you wish to realize the Buddha Way, you must start out by holding the precepts. That is why, in The Dharma Flower Sutra a great emphasis is placed upon the precepts. The precepts prohibit one from talking casually or in a confused manner, speaking in terms of right and wrong. You cannot, through your speech, cause living beings to become afflicted. It is said,

Guard your mouth, collect your thoughts
And with your body, don’t transgress.
Don’t cause trouble for any living thing.
Stay far away from useless bitter practices.
A cultivator like this can save the world.

You should guard your mouth:

“How do I do that?” you ask.

Just don’t confusedly prattle. Keep your mouth shut like a bottle. Don’t talk all day, talking about the useful and talking about the useless. If you do that, you are not guarding your mouth.

Collect your thoughts: If you collect your thoughts, then not only will you never say harmful things, but you will not even have evil thoughts within your mind. Your mind won’t think about other people’s rights and wrongs and your mouth won’t agitate about them. Your mind will not think about “right and wrong”.

With your body, don’t transgress: You cannot break the precepts with your body.

Don’t cause trouble for any living thing: You should not hinder any living being in the world. To say nothing of people, you shouldn’t even cause trouble for an animal or an insect.

Stay far way from useless bitter practices: Don’t adopt bitter practices which are unbeneficial to you, to society, or to the world in general.

A cultivator like this can save the world: One who cultivates like this can teach and transform living beings.

Therefore, they keep and hold the precepts just as they would guard a precious jewel. Perhaps you have a precious pearl, or perhaps a night-light pearl, or a wind-proofing pearl, or a water-proofing pearl, or a fire-proofing pearl. If you have a wind-proofing pearl you will not be bothered by windstorms. With the water-proofing pearl, the floods won’t come, and with the fire-proofing pearl then everyone in your neighborhood will be able to borrow its light and their houses will not catch on fire. If you had such a precious gem, wouldn’t you take special care of it? You would always protect that jewel. Holding the precepts is just like guarding such a precious gem and so the text says, “As if guarding brilliant pearls.”

Also seen were Bodhisattvas, within the white hair-mark light emitted by the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp, all the Bodhisattvas were seen, a great many of them, practicing giving, patience, and so forth. They cultivated the Six Perfections. The previous verse spoke of the Bhikshus practicing the Perfection of Morality. Now, the Perfections of Giving and Patience are mentioned. “And so forth,” refers to the remaining Perfections, that is, Dhyana Samadhi, Vigor and Prajna--all six are included.

Giving is of three kinds: the giving of wealth, the giving of Dharma, and the giving of fearlessness. If you have money, you may give money, if you understand the Buddhadharma, you can give Buddhadharma. If you help others, causing them to get rid of the fear in their hearts, that is called the giving of fearlessness. Patience is also of three kinds: Patience with production, patience with dharmas and patience with the non-production of dharmas. And so forth…all the perfections were practiced. Their number like the Ganges’ sands. How many Bodhisattvas were there practicing the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand Conducts? There were as many as the grains of sand in the Ganges River. They gave away their kingdoms, cities, wives and children.

Now, when I was lecturing this Sutra three weeks ago, I said that someone had given his wife away and there was a wife who asked me, “If someone was able to give his wife away, wouldn’t it be possible to give one’s husband away?” I told the questioner, “You should go at this gradually. Don’t be so nervous.” This problem is very difficult to solve, however, and so I told her, “If you want to give away your husband, you’ll first have to find someone who wants to take him. If someone wants him, you can give him away; but if no one wants him, who are you going to give him to?” To date, she hasn’t found anyone to take him. In the future, if she finds someone, she can give him away. For now, she’ll just have to wait.

No doubt from ancient times until the present day, this is the first person who has ever wanted to give away her husband. And just who is this person? I don’t know either! But I thought I’d tell you about it anyway.

So there were as many Bodhisattvas as the grains of sand in the Ganges River, and they were illumined by the Buddha’s light. Because the light of the Buddha shone on them, all these states were visible.

Seen too were Bodhisattvas who, not just all the ones mentioned above, but again there were seen Bodhisattvas who had deeply entered Dhyana Samadhi. What is meant by “deeply entering?” It means that, with their full attention devoted to their work, they meditated throughout the six periods of the day and night. If you don’t meditate throughout the six periods of the day and night, then you haven’t deeply entered. Those who cultivate the Way must do it with a true heart. Without a true heart, how can you expect to attain the Way? You must offer up your true heart and then not only can you attain the Way, but you can become a Buddha. So bring forth your heart and make it solid, sincere and constant.

Your heart must be solid. You can’t say, “Today, I have a solid heart, but tomorrow I’m likely to change.” When tomorrow comes and you have changed, you are not longer solid. A sincere heart means that you actually and responsibly do the work. Constant means that you must persevere. It’s not just a matter of day and night, but at all times, constantly, you must be the same.

Last summer, during the study and meditation session, many were very sincere in their study of the Buddhadharma. They were sincere to the point that they even studied when it was time to sleep. The summer session was a very short period of time. You brought forth the heart to cultivate the Way for that time, but you must cultivate and study the Buddhadharma like that forever. That counts as being true. Deeply entering Dhyana Samadhi means to work hard at one’s cultivation, constantly. With bodies and minds still and unmoving. Still and unmoving means that they had entered Samadhi. They didn’t fret, thinking, “My legs hurt!” and then rearrange them, or “My back aches,” and then lean backwards against the wall. They didn’t do anything like that because their bodies and minds were still and unmoving. They sought the Way unsurpassed. They used determination and skill like this to seek the supreme path.

Bodhisattvas, too, were seen who knew, the Mark of Dharmas’ still extinction; also seen were very many Bodhisattvas who understood the mark of the still extinction of dharmas; the mark of still extinction is just the mark of Nirvana. Nirvana is just still extinction and still extinction is just Nirvana. They knew the wonderful aspect of Nirvana. Each one within his Buddhaland, each one of the Bodhisattvas within his own land, spoke Dharma, seeking the Buddha’s path. They taught and proclaimed the Buddhadharma. By speaking the Dharma, one increases one’s blessings and wisdom, and they dedicated the merit and virtue thus accrued to the Buddha Way.

Sutra:

Then the four-fold multitudes
Seeing the Buddha Sun-Moon-Lamp
Manifest great and powerful spiritual penetrations,
In their hearts all rejoiced,
And inquired, each of the other,
"What is the reason for these events?"

Outline:

I2. similarity of the doubtful thoughts

Commentary:

Then the four-fold multitudes, at that time the Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas, seeing the Buddha Sun-Moon-Lamp; when they saw the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp manifest great and powerful spiritual penetrations; reveal the strength of his majestic spiritual penetrations and wonderful functions, in their hearts all rejoiced. All their hearts were happy; this represents the portent of happiness. And inquired, each of the other,each of them had his own doubts and so they asked each other, "What is the reason for these events?" Just what is this all about? What’s happening?

Sutra:

The Honored One, revered by gods and humans,
Just then from Samadhi did arise,
And praised the Bodhisattva Wondrous Light:
"You act as eyes for the world,
All return to you in faith; you are
Able reverently to hold the Dharma-store.
Dharma such as I do speak--
You alone can certify to its understanding."
The World Honored One having praised him,
And caused Wondrous Light to rejoice,
Then spoke the Sutra of the Dharma Flower.

Outline:

H3. similarity of what was seen in the past with what is about to happen in the present

I1. similarity of the persons for whom the Dharma was spoken

Commentary:

The Honored One, revered by gods and humans, that is, the Buddha, just then from Samadhi did arise. He was very tranquil, very comfortable, and then he emerged from Samadhi. What Samadhi did he emerge from? The Samadhi of the station of limitless principles. “Arise” means that he came out of Samadhi. And praised the Bodhisattva Wondrous Light. The Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp praised him saying, "You act as eyes for the world.” You are the eyes of the people in the world. You are the world’s bright-eyed learned advisor. You are the eyes for everyone and everyone relies upon you, Wondrous Light, to be their eyes. Why? All return to you in faith; you are. Everyone in the world finds refuge in you, pays respect to you and has faith in you. They look up to you. And why? Able reverently to hold the Dharma-store. It is because you can uphold the treasury of the Buddha’s Dharma and cultivate according to the Dharma, propagate the Dharma, and teach and transform living beings according to the doctrines the Buddha taught in the Sutras.

Dharma such as I do speak--the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra which I speak, you alone can certify to its understanding. Only you, Bodhisattva Wondrous Light, can understand and certify to this kind of wisdom and know of the wonderful points found within the Sutra. The World Honored One having praised him, the World Honored One Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp, having thus praised the Bodhisattva Wondrous Light and caused Wondrous Light to rejoice, He caused the Bodhisattva Wondrous Light to become very happy. So you see, Bodhisattvas also like to be praised. So, no matter who it is, take care not to speak ill of them. You should say things like, “You are truly fine. Your heart is good, and you are nice looking too.” No matter how ugly they are, don’t just blurt out things like, “You’re really ugly!” If you do that, they’ll detest you. Even though they are ugly, if you bring it up, they aren’t going to like it. If you don’t mention it, there won’t be anything they can do. After all, they were born looking like that and there’s no place they can go to complain about it. But if you say, “You’re grotesque!” they will most certainly get angry at you. “Oh, yeah? Well, I’ve got something to say about that,” they’ll sputter. “I’ve got a belly full of temper and nowhere to put it. Since you say I’m ugly you can just take that, Buddy!!” And so the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp praised the Bodhisattva Wondrous Light and then spoke the Sutra of the Dharma Flower.

Sutra:

For a full sixty minor aeons
He did not rise from his seat.
The supreme and wondrous Dharma that he spoke,
The Dharma Master Wondrous Light
Was fully able to receive and hold.

Outline:

I2. similarity of the time

Commentary:

For a full sixty minor aeons, the Buddha Brightness Sun-Moon-Lamp spoke The Dharma Flower Sutra for a full sixty small aeons, during which time he did not rise from his seat. He didn’t get up from the Dharma seat for sixty small aeons while he spoke the Sutra. The supreme and wondrous Dharma that he spoke, the most supreme, unsurpassed, deep, subtle and fine Dharma the Dharma Master Wondrous Light was fully able to receive and hold. He understood all the doctrines in the Sutra. He relied upon that Dharma to cultivate, accepted it, maintained it, and accordingly taught it to others.

Sutra:

The Buddha, having spoken The Dharma Flower,
And caused the assembly to rejoice,
Later, on that very day,
Announced to the host of gods and humans;
"The meaning of the real mark of all Dharmas
Has already been spoken for all of you,
And now at midnight,
I
shall enter into Nirvana.
You should single-heartedly advance with vigor,
And avoid laxness, for
Buddhas are difficult indeed to meet,
Encountered but once in a million aeons."

Outline:

I3. similarity of announcement of Nirvana

Commentary:

The Bodhisattva Manjushri said, “The Buddha, having spoken The Dharma Flower, after the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp had spoken the Sutra and caused the assembly to rejoice, and caused those assembled to be filled with the bliss of Dharma and gain unbounded happiness, later, on that very day, “later” means not long after that, very shortly after that, on that very same day. Which day? The day when he finished speaking The Dharma Flower Sutra. Announced to the host of gods and humans; he told those in the heavens and those among the humans as well as those of the entire eightfold division, "The meaning of the real mark of all Dharmas”, “All dharmas” means every dharma, all the eighty-four thousand Dharma-doors which the Buddha taught. All dharmas, as I often say, can be interpreted to mean “one single dharma,” in this case “all dharmas” because if there are too many, one can’t remember them clearly. It would be better for me to explain it as “one kind of dharma.” Then if you remember one kind of dharma:

One is just the limitless.

If you understand the one kind of dharma, then you can hear one and understand ten, and you will be able to understand the other eighty-four thousand Dharma-doors as well:

Understanding one, all are understood--
Clear about one, clear about all.

If you can’t understand that one dharma, how are you going to be able to understand a lot of them?

Someone once asked me, “Of the eighty-four thousand Dharma-doors taught by the Buddha, which is the most lofty? Which Dharma-door is number one? Which is most important?”

You could say this question is problematical; you could also say that it isn’t. If you don’t understand, it’s problematical. If you understand the Dharma, then it’s no problem! When he asked, I answered him in terms of his question and said, “Of the eighty-four thousand Dharma-doors, eighty-four thousand are the most lofty, eighty-four thousand are number one and eighty-four thousand are the most important.” Why did I say that?

Of the eighty-four thousand Dharma-doors, there is not one which is not for the purpose of curing the eighty-four thousand sicknesses of living beings. You need only apply that one Dharma-door which will effectively cure your sickness and that Dharma-door becomes number one, the most lofty and the most important. Why? Because it is useful to you. If it was of no use to you, suited for an illness other than the one you had, it would then become unimportant. It would not be number one, it would not be the most lofty Dharma-door. Now, speaking in terms of the real mark of all dharmas: What is it? The real mark of all dharmas is the real mark of the number one dharma, the real mark of that most lofty, importrant dharma.

And what is the real mark?

The real mark is no mark. There is no mark. If you have a mark, then it is not the real mark. The real mark is not marked, and yet there is nothing unmarked. All marks are born from the real mark. Although they are born from the real mark, the real mark itself, in its basic substance, is without a mark. Because in its basic substance, it is unmarked, it is therefore able to give birth to all marks. If it had a mark, then it could not be considered the real mark, for it would be empty and false. The Vajra Sutra says, “All with marks is empty and false. If you can see all marks as no marks, then you see the Thus Come One.” That is why we say that the real mark is unmarked and yet there is nothing which is not marked by it. This means that all dharmas are just that dharma. So the word “all” can be considered as an auxiliary particle, not as meaning “many”. This way only one dharma is referred to. Which one? The meaning of the real mark, the doctrine of the real mark. The Dharma Flower Sutra speaks the Dharma-door of the doctrine of the real mark.

The meaning of the real mark of all Dharmas, has already been spoken for all of you.
The Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp said, “Now I have already spoken to you the doctrine of the real mark of all dharmas. I’m done speaking. And now at midnight, I; “I” says the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp, referring to himself, “now, in the middle of the night, shall enter into Nirvana. I have done what I had to do and so I should assume the position of permanence, happiness, true self, and purity. I should enter Nirvana.”

Why did the Buddha enter Nirvana? There were many reasons. The most important reason was to prevent people from becoming dependent upon him. The Buddha could have postponed his entry into Nirvana indefinitely except for the fact that his disciples followed him, studying the Dharma under him everyday, and some of them might have become jaded. How? They might have gotten lazy, remiss, and thought, “It doesn’t matter whether I cultivate or not because I can be with the Buddha everyday.”

For example, I am now lecturing the Sutras to you everyday and you can see your Master here everyday. You think, “When the Master lectures Sutras, I take notes, but I don’t have to study them now. I’ll wait until I have more time and then read them again.” You take notes but you don’t study them, you put them high on the shelf for safe-keeping. However, after a time, you forgot all about them until the time comes when…you’ve completely forgotten!

However, in the human sphere there is “grief and joy, separation and reunion.” If I, for special reasons, should have to leave all of you, at that time you may want to listen to the Sutras, but you won’t be able to. You will wish to study the Buddhadharma and you will then realize how difficult it is and you’ll get out your old notes and review them, going over all the doctrines in the Sutras which the Dharma Master had taught you in the past. If I had never left, you would never have looked at your notes. Shakyamuni Buddha spoke the Dharma for forty-nine years and some of his disciples may have grown lax. This was not the case for Shakyamuni Buddha alone; every single Buddha, when he sees that some of his disciples have become dependent upon him will leave them and enter Nirvana. In this way, they don’t become dependent upon him. It is a method for teaching living beings. Therefore, he charged them saving, “You should single-heartedly advance with vigor.” Just because he was afraid they would get lazy, he exhorted them, saying, “You who cultivate the Way, Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas and Upasikas should concentrate singlemindedly and be vigorous. Don’t be lax and don’t be lazy. Cultivate the Way with a single thought. Don’t strike up false thinking. Don’t have a divided mind. That’s what is meant by single-heartedly advancing with vigor. Be vigorous by day and vigorous by night; day and night, always, always be vigorous. Cultivate and work hard. Hard work is cultivation and cultivation is hard work. Be vigorous and single-hearted. And avoid laxness, for you must not be lazy! Little Shramaneras, Big Shramaneras, Bhikshus of the Sangha, Bhikshunis of the Sangha: do not be lax! Do not be lazy! Do not leave home and fail to cultivate. To leave home and not to cultivate is to neglect the Dharma; it is then just as if you had never left home. The ancients said,

All day long, you can count up others wealth,
When you haven’t got half a cent yourself;
If the Dharma you fail to cultivate,
You’re making the exact same mistake.

Bank-tellers, for example, handle other people’s money all day, counting it up, “One thousand, two thousand, ten, twenty thousand, thirty thousand, fifty thousand, one hundred thousand, two hundred thousand, one million, ten million, one hundred million--too much money!” But none of it belongs to them. They just count it up for other people.

If you do not cultivate the Buddhadharma, it’s just like counting other people’s money.

Those who have left home must cultivate the Way. If you do not cultivate and insist upon being lazy, then do not leave home. Now, we are vigorous in the day and night. In the morning people recite Sutras and at night they recite Sutras, such as The Vajra Sutra. This is a very good idea because you should cultivate and you should not be lazy! You should think over the doctrine presented here in the Sutra: You should single-heartedly advance with vigor and avoid laxness, for laxness just means being lazy and not cultivating.

Buddhas are difficult indeed to meet.The Buddhas, all of them, are extremely difficult to encounter. Encountered but once in a million aeons. It says a million aeons but it may be several thousand, ten thousand millions of aeons before you meet with a Buddha appearing in the world.

Sutra:

All of the disciples of the World Honored One
Hearing of the Buddha’s entry into Nirvana,
Each harbored grief and anguish,
"Why must the Buddha take extinction so soon?"
The sagely Lord, the Dharma King,
Then comforted the limitless multitude:
"After my passage into extinction,
None of you should worry or fear,
For the Bodhisattva Virtue Treasury,
With respect to the non-outflow mark of reality,
In heart has penetrated it totally;
He will next become a Buddha,
By the name of Pure Body, and
Will also save uncounted multitudes.

Outline:

I4. similarity of giving predictions

Commentary:

All of the disciples of the World Honored One, the eight sons of the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp, hearing of the Buddha’s entry into Nirvana, when they heard that the Buddha was about to enter Nirvana, each harbored grief and anguish. Basically, they all had a great deal of Samadhi-power, but blood is thicker than water; because they had the relationship of father and son, master and disciple with the Buddha, they were struck with grief and anguish. Each one of them wept. They felt anguish and this means that they grew afflicted. The fact that they did so inwardly is indicated by the word “harbored”. They did not let their grief show. They kept it within their hearts. The tears fell inside their hearts. They most certainly didn’t let it show. Why not? Because the word “harbored” proves that they kept it inside. Although their hearts were filled with sorrow, it didn’t show. It wasn’t like people now who cry so that the tears fall and their noses run. Their tears fall and their noses run, but it’s of no use whatsoever. That is why the eight royal sons harbored grief and anguish and thought, "Why must the Buddha take extinction so soon?" Why must he enter Nirvana so quickly? Who are we going to cultivate under now? We assumed that our father, the Buddha, would stay in the world forever and at times we were lazy and snuck off to take it easy. We didn’t cultivate vigorously and now, as they say, ‘What a mess!’ It may be a mess, but there’s nothing we can do about it, now!”

They knew that their past actions were wrong. The sagely Lord, the Dharma King, the Buddha is called the Sagely Lord and also called the Dharma King, then comforted the limitless multitude. When the Buddha Brightness of Sun-Moon-Lamp saw his sons weeping within their hearts and saw that some of the other people were crying outwardly, painfully weeping bitter tears, his compassionate heart couldn’t bear it, and so he comforted everyone by saying, “Don’t cry, everyone. Don’t grieve and don’t mourn. Don’t be so upset. Although I’m going to enter Nirvana, after my passage into extinction, in the future, none of you should worry or fear. Don’t worry, don’t fret, or be afraid. Why? For the Bodhisattva Virtue Treasury, with respect to the non-outflow mark of reality, with respect to the Dharma-door of the non-outflow real mark, in heart has penetrated it totally. His heart has penetrated to the absence of outflows and understood the Dharma-door of the real mark.

What is meant by no-outflows? It just means not flowing out! It means having no faults. Get rid of all your bad habits, your faults, your greed, hatred and stupidity, pride and doubt, and break through ignorance. Once you have broken through ignorance there are no outflows. If you haven’t broken through ignorance, then you still have outflows.

How does one break through ignorance?

By studying the Buddhadharma. If you study the Buddhadharma until you understand it, then you will have no more ignorance. Why do you still have ignorance? It is just because you don’t understand the Buddhadharma. When something happens, you lose your temper and you get afflicted. When the state arrives, you can’t take it. Why can’t you take it? Because you don’t understand the Buddhadharma. If you understood the Buddhadharma, ignorance would be broken and the Dharma nature would manifest. You would be far removed from all afflictions. There would be nothing good and nothing bad, no success and no failure. This is the wind and light of your native ground, your own family’s treasure. When you have obtained it, you will have no more ignorance. If you have no ignorance, you will have no outflows. If you have no outflows you obtain the real mark. You haven’t obtained no-outflows? Then you haven’t got the real mark. You don’t understand the real mark. The Bodhisattva Virtue Treasury, however, has in heart, penetrated the non-outflow real mark. Don’t think you are so outstanding. Take a look at the Bodhisattva Virtue Treasury. He has already completely understood the non-outflow reality mark.

He will next become a Buddha. After I have passed into extinction and entered Nirvana, he will become a Buddha by the name of Pure Body. His name will be Pure Body Thus Come One and will also save uncounted multitudes. He will also cross over and release an unlimited number of living beings.

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