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 12: Devadatta
With Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

Before he had finished speaking, countless Bodhisattvas sitting upon jeweled lotuses rose up out of the sea, went to Magic Vulture Mountain and hovered there in space. These Bodhisattvas had been taught and crossed over by Manjushri Bodhisattva. All of them had perfected the Bodhisattva practices and were discussing among themselves the Six Paramitas. Those who had been Hearers were in empty space expounding upon the practices of Hearers. All of them were now cultivating the principle of emptiness of the Great Vehicle.

Outline:

H2. Recipients of the benefit gather together as proof.


Commentary:

Before he had finished speaking, countless Bodhisattvas, Great Vehicle Bodhisattvas sitting upon jeweled lotuses rose up out of the sea, went to Magic Vulture Mountain and hovered there in space. Manjushri had not even finished saying that the number of living beings he had taught in the Dragon Palace were uncountable in number, and totally unfathomable. He was just saying, “Wait and you will see for yourself,” and right while he was saying that, all those countless Bodhisattvas emerged from the sea. They all took off for Magic Vulture Mountain, the Bodhimanda of Shakyamuni Buddha. When they arrived, they used the wondrous function of their spiritual powers and just stayed there in space.

These Bodhisattvas had all been taught and crossed over by Manjushri Bodhisattva in the ocean. All of them had perfected the Bodhisattva practices, the Bodhisattva Path and were discussing among themselves the Six Paramitas. They were investigating the Six Perfections. We see that the Bodhisattvas discuss and investigate the Six Perfections, and study them carefully. How much the more so should we common folks work on them! And yet we hear a few lectures and think, “I know all about the Six Perfections!”

That is ridiculous! Understanding of the Six Perfections is not gained from listening to a couple of lectures. It is only gained through the practice of the Bodhisattva conduct. Thus, all the Bodhisattvas were together studying the Dharma of the Six Perfections. Those who had been Hearers and who had subsequently brought forth the Great Vehicle Bodhisattva-mind were in empty space expounding upon the practices of the Hearers. Some of them had not completely understood the Bodhisattva Path, but still remembered Hearer Dharma-doors like the Four Truths and the Twelve Causes and Conditions, and so they were talking about them. All of them were now cultivating the principle of emptiness of the Great Vehicle. Regardless of whether they were Bodhisattvas or Hearers, they were cultivating the principle of emptiness of the Great Vehicle. And what is that principle? It is the Real Mark. They cultivated the Dharma-door of Real Mark.

Sutra:

Manjushri Bodhisattva said to Wisdom Accumulation, “Such is the work of teaching and transforming that I have done within the sea.”

Outline:

H3. Manjushri Bodhisattva’s conclusion.

Commentary:

Manjushri Bodhisattva said to Wisdom Accumulation, “Such is the work of teaching and transforming that I have done within the sea.” You asked me how many creatures I had taught and transformed? Well, take a look at the present company. That is about the size of it. What do you think?

Sutra:

At that time, Wisdom Accumulation spoke these verses of praise:

“O greatly wise, virtuous and courageous one,
You have taught and saved countless beings.
Now this great assembly and I have seen this for ourselves.
Proclaiming the Real Mark’s principle,
Opening the Dharma of One Vehicle,
You are a guide for all living beings
Leading them quickly to Bodhi’s realization.”

Outline:

H4. Wisdom Accumulation’s praises.


Commentary:

At that time when Wisdom Accumulation saw all the limitless, countless Bodhisattvas that Manjushri had taught—the Bodhisattvas and Hearers discussing the Great Vehicle’s principle of emptiness—Wisdom Accumulation spoke these verses of praise. All of you should remember to praise people when you see them. Give them high hats! Ha! Give them several high hats! It does not cost you anything. Wisdom Accumulation praised Manjushri Bodhisattva, saying, O greatly wise, virtuous and courageous one, you have taught and saved countless beings. You have great wisdom, great virtuous practice and great courage. And you go forward with vigor. You are really a heroic general! You can practice the Bodhisattva path and save limitless number of beings.

Now this great assembly and I have seen this for ourselves! The Dharma Flower Assembly of Shakyamuni Buddha, and I myself, have seen all the many beings you have taught. Proclaiming the Real Mark’s principle, opening up and revealing the Dharma of One Vehicle, you are a guide for all living beings, leading them quickly to Bodhi’s realization. The One Vehicle, the “wonderful” Dharma! The One Buddha Vehicle! “There are no other vehicles. There is only the One Buddha Vehicle.” (Chapter II; Expedient Devices; Dharma Flower Sutra) On a vast scale, you lead living beings to realize their resolve for Bodhi.

Sutra:

Manjushri said, “while in the sea, I have proclaimed and taught only The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra!

Outline:

F2. The nine benefits.
G1. Manjushri’s statement.


Commentary:

Manjushri said, “while in the sea, I have proclaimed and taught only The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra! While staying in the salty sea, you know what Dharma I spoke? I will tell you: It was only The Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra. I did not lecture on any other Sutras.

Sutra:

Wisdom Accumulation asked Manjushri, “This Sutra is extremely profound and subtle. Among all the Sutras, it is a jewel rarely found in the world. Is there any living being who can, through diligence and vigor, cultivate this Sutra and quickly gain Buddhahood?”

Outline:

G2. Wisdom Accumulation’s question.


Commentary:

When Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva heard Manjushri Bodhisattva say that he only lectured on The Dharma Flower Sutra, he had some doubts and so he asked Manjushri, “This Sutra is extremely profound. Can the creatures in the sea understand it? This Sutra is extremely profound and subtle. It is lofty, profound, and inconceivable. Among all the Sutras, it is a jewel rarely found in the world. You seldom meet up with it. Is there any living being who can, through diligence and vigor, cultivate this Sutra and quickly gain Buddhahood?

Sutra:

Manjushri said, “There is a dragon king’s daughter who is just eight years old. She is wise, with sharp faculties. She well knows the faculties, conducts, and karmas of living beings and has attained Dharani. She is able to receive and uphold the entire storehouse of extremely profound secrets spoken by the Buddha. She has deeply entered dhyana samadhi and thoroughly penetrated all Dharmas. In the space of a kshana she brought forth the Bodhi mind and attained to irreversibility. Her eloquence is unobstructed and she is compassionately mindful of all living beings as if they were her children. Her merit and virtue is complete. The thoughts of her mind and the works from her mouth are subtle, wonderful, and expansive. She is compassionate, humane, and yielding; harmonious and refined in mind and will, and she is able to arrive at Bodhi.”

Outline:

G3. Manjushri’s answer.


Commentary:

Manjushri said, “There is a dragon king’s daughter who is just eight years old. Even though she is young, her wisdom is great. She is wise, with sharp faculties. She is extraordinarily intelligent. At the tender age of eight, she well knows the faculties, conducts, and karmas of living beings and has attained Dharani. “Dharani” is a Sanskrit word, and it means “to unite all Dharmas and uphold limitless meanings.” It also means to “maintain purity in body, mouth, and mind.”

She is able to receive and uphold the entire storehouse of extremely profound secrets spoken by the Buddha. She understands all the dharanis and secret treasuries of the Buddha. “Secret” means that they are spoken for one person, but another person would not understand them. Perhaps the same words are understood by different people at different levels, some more profound than others are. This eight-year-old girl is able to receive, uphold, read and recite them, and understand them fully.

She has deeply entered dhyana samadhi and not only that, she has thoroughly penetrated all Dharmas, understands them all. In the space of a kshana in less than a split second, she brought forth the Bodhi mind and attained to irreversibility, that position. Her eloquence is unobstructed. She really knows how to talk! She can talk dead people back to life! That is how wonderful her eloquence is. How can she do this? The dead people get interested in hearing what she has to say, and so they come back to life and listen! Wouldn’t you say that was wonderful?”

And she is compassionately mindful of all living beings as if they were her children. She is considerate towards living beings, and is always looking out for them, like a mother watches over her sons and daughters.

We also say that the Buddha is our compassionate father and we are all his children.

Her merit and virtue is complete. The thoughts of her mind and the words from her mouth are subtle, wonderful, and expansive. She is compassionate, humane, and yielding. The Dharma she speaks is subtle and vast. The thoughts in her mind are compassionate and gentle. “Compassionate” means that she bestows happiness on living beings, and rids them of their sufferings. “Humane” means that she is protective and kind towards everyone. This kindness is pure. It is not mixed with any defiled dharmas. “Yielding” means that even though she possesses the merit and virtue required to fill a very high position, she defers to others. She is harmonious and refined in mind and will, and she is able to arrive at Bodhi. She is able to become a Buddha very quickly.

Sutra:

Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva said, “I have seen the Thus Come One Shakyamuni practicing difficult ascetic practices throughout limitless eons, accumulating merit and virtue as he sought Bodhi without ever resting. As I observe the three thousand great thousand worlds, there is no place, not even one the size of a mustard seed, where as a Bodhisattva he did not renounce his life for the sake of living beings. Only after that did he attain the Bodhi Way. I do not believe that this girl can accomplish Proper Enlightenment in the space of an instant.”

Outline:

G4. Wisdom Accumulation’s attachments and doubts.


Commentary:

Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva had a reply to that. When Manjushri Bodhisattva said that the Dragon Girl could realize Buddhahood very quickly, Wisdom Accumulation started having even more doubts. He said, “I have seen the Thus Come One Shakyamuni practicing difficult ascetic practices throughout limitless eons; for limitless kalpas. Shakyamuni Buddha practiced those ascetic practices that others could not practice. He was not doing it to show off, either. He did not even think of them as “difficult ascetic practices.” He just did them as if he were not doing them at all.

Most people do some ascetic practice and think, “I eat once a day. I sleep under a tree. I never lie down to sleep. This is truly difficult!” He did not think of his practices as difficult. He looked upon them as being something he was supposed to be doing. He does not give up merit as little as an amount of hair. Not neglecting the smallest good deed, his merit piled up until it was very great. He was accumulating merit and virtue as he sought Bodhi without ever resting. Why did he suffer so much hardship? It is because he sought the Way of Enlightenment. He wanted genuine understanding, and so he was never lazy, and he never took breaks. He never thought, “There is no one around; I think I will take a nap. Tomorrow when some people show up I will conduct a rap session.” He never did things like that.

As I observe the three thousand great thousand worlds, there is no place, not even one the size of a tiny mustard seed, or a mote of dust where as a Bodhisattva (Shakyamuni Buddha) when practicing the Bodhisattva path, he did not renounce his life for the sake of living beings. In the entire universe there is not one place where he did not give up his body, mind, and life. Only after that, after cultivating these difficult ascetic practices, did he attain the Bodhi Way.I most certainly do not believe that this little girl, the daughter of the dragon king, can accomplish Proper Enlightenment in the space of an instant. I do not believe it.

Sutra:

They had not yet finished their discussion when the dragon king’s daughter suddenly appeared before them, bowed with her head at their feet, and withdrew to one side to speak these verses:

“Having deeply understood the marks of offenses and blessings,
By shining throughout the ten directions,
Now the wondrous, pure Dharma body
Is complete with the thirty-two marks
And the eighty minor characteristics.
The adorned Dharma body is honored
And looked up to by gods and humans
And revered by all the dragons and spirits.
Of all the varieties of beings,
None fail to respect and revere it.
Hearing about the realization of Bodhi,
Which only a Buddha can certify to,
I proclaim the Great Vehicle Teaching,
Which liberates suffering living beings.”

Outline:

G5. The Dragon Girl clears up the doubts.


Commentary:

Manjushri and Wisdom Accumulation were still talking. They had not yet finished their discussion when the dragon king’s daughter suddenly appeared before them, and bowed with her head at their feet. She bowed to Shakyamuni Buddha, Many Jewels Buddha, Manjushri Bodhisattva, and Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva, and withdrew to one side to speak these verses:

Having deeply understood the marks of offenses and blessings by shining throughout the ten directions, now the wondrous, pure Dharma body is complete with the thirty-two marks. Thoroughly understanding the “marks of offenses and blessings,” one does not commit offenses, but cultivates blessings. In this way one obtains the marks of “neither offenses nor blessings,” transcends the mundane, and becomes a Buddha. Buddhas transcend the marks of offenses and blessings. And the eighty minor characteristics adorning the Dharma body. Because one has perfected the Six Perfections, one is endowed with the thirty-two hallmarks and the eighty minor characteristics as well as the myriad conducts. The adorned Dharma body then is honored and looked up to by gods and humans, and revered by all the dragons and spirits.

The Buddha, the Dharma Body of all Buddhas, is honored by the gods. The dragons and spirits also revere the Buddha. Of all the varieties of beings, none fail to respect and revere it. All beings worship the Buddha. Hearing about the realization of Bodhi, and how living beings who cultivate can attain Buddhahood, which only a Buddha can certify to, and also only a Buddha can certify a living being’s attainment of Buddhahood, I proclaim the Great Vehicle Teaching, which liberates suffering living beings. It is my wish to rescue living beings from the sea of suffering.

Sutra

At that time, Shariputra spoke to the Dragon Girl, saying, “You claim quick attainment to the supreme path. This is difficult to believe. Why? The body of a woman is filthy and not a vessel for the Dharma. How can you attain to supreme Bodhi? The Buddha Path is remote and distant. Only after one has passed through limitless eons, diligently bearing suffering and accumulating one’s conduct, perfecting one’s cultivation of all Paramitas, can one then attain realization. What is more, a woman’s body has five obstacles: one, she cannot become a Brahma Heaven King; two, she cannot become Shakra; three, she cannot become a Mara King; four, she cannot become a Wheel-turning sage king; five, she cannot become a Buddha. How can a woman quickly realize Buddhahood?”

Outline:

G6. Shariputra cites the Tripitaka to bring up the difficulties.


Commentary:

After the Dragon Girl finished speaking her verses, at that time, the Greatly Wise Shariputra spoke to the Dragon Girl, saying, “You claim quick attainment to the supreme path. This is difficult to believe. I do not believe it at all. Why? The body of a woman is filthy and not a vessel for the Dharma. You are a woman, and women’s bodies are unclean—very dirty. They are not vessels appropriate for realizing Buddhahood. How can you attain to supreme Bodhi? You are a woman, so how can you say that you can attain Buddhahood so fast?

The Buddha Path is remote and distant. Shakyamuni Buddha cultivated blessings and wisdom for three great asamkhyeya eons, and perfected the fine marks for a hundred kalpas. It took him who knows how long to realize Buddhahood. Only after one has passed through limitless eons, diligently bearing suffering and accumulating one’s conduct, piling up merit and virtue, perfecting one’s cultivation of all Paramitas, can one then attain realization. Only after such bitter cultivation can one become a Buddha.

What is more, a woman’s body has five obstacles: one, she cannot become a Brahma Heaven King; two, she cannot become Shakra; three, she cannot become a Mara King; four, she cannot become a Wheel-turning sage king; five, she cannot become a Buddha. How can a woman quickly realize Buddhahood?”

Sutra:

Now the Dragon Girl had a precious pearl, its worth equal to the entire system of three thousand great thousand worlds, which she took before the Buddha and presented to him. The Buddha immediately accepted it. The Dragon Girl said to Wisdom Accumulation and the Venerable Shariputra, “I just offered up this precious pearl and the World Honored One accepted it. Was that quick or not?”

“Very quick!” they answered.

The girl said, “With your spiritual powers, watch as I become a Buddha even more quickly than that!” At that moment, the entire assembly saw the Dragon Girl suddenly transform into a man and perfect the Bodhisattva conduct. Instantly she went off to the south, to The World Without Filth, where, seated on a jeweled lotus, she accomplished equal and proper enlightenment and embodied the thirty-two marks and eighty minor characteristics. There, for the sake of all living beings throughout the ten directions, she proceeded to proclaim the wonderful Dharma.

Outline:

G7. The Dragon Girl shows the facts and dispels doubts.


Commentary:

It is clear in The Vimalakirti Sutra that the Venerable Shariputra already knew that the mark of male and female was ultimately unobtainable. Why then, in The Dharma Flower Sutra did he have doubts about the Dragon Girl being able to become a Buddha? Actually, the doubts were not Shariputra’s or Wisdom Accumulation’s. Shariputra and Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva were not attached to the mark of male or female. They merely asked these questions on behalf of living beings, fearing that some living beings might have doubts and not believe The Dharma Flower Sutra. That is why they brought up the point that women cannot become Buddhas.

Common people see and think in terms of male and female. Sages who have certified to the fruit have gone beyond concepts of male and female. Just because Shariputra brought up these points to challenge the Dragon Girl, you should not think that Shariputra really did not understand or that he was trying to pick a fight. As far as the obstacles of a woman not being able to become a demon king, as far as I am concerned, that is great. It is not such a bad obstacle, really.

Now the Dragon Girl had a precious pearl, its worth equal to the entire system of three thousand great thousand worlds, which she took before the Buddha and presented to him. Every dragon has a pearl, and treasures it above everything else. The Dragon Girl’s pearl was very valuable, but she offered it to the Buddha, and the Buddha took it and put it into his pocket. Well, the Buddha did not have pockets, but you get the general idea. He did not say, “I do not want your ‘crummy’ pearl!” The Buddha immediately accepted it. The Dragon Girl then said to Wisdom Accumulation and the Venerable Shariputra, “Intelligent Ones, I just offered up this precious pearl and the World Honored One accepted it. Was that quick or not?” What do you think? Was it not quick?

“Very quick!” they answered.

The girl said, “With your spiritual powers, Wisdom Accumulation and Shariputra, with your inconceivable powers, take a look. Watch as I become a Buddha even more quickly than that! I will become a Buddha in less that the time it took to present my pearl to the Buddha.” At that moment, the entire assembly saw the Dragon Girl suddenly transform into a man. This all happened faster than her giving the pearl to the Buddha. When she gave the Buddha her pearl she had to polish it up a bit, or maybe dig it out of her purse, bow to the Buddha, put it up to her forehead and probably took from three to five minutes at least. But now, she immediately became a man and just that fast was able to perfect the Bodhisattva conduct. Instantly she went off to the south, to the world without filth, where, seated on a jeweled lotus, she accomplished equal and proper enlightenment. She was born by transformation from a Lotus flower.

It is not that easy to be reborn by transformation from a Lotus. You have to cultivate a lot of ascetic practices that others cannot cultivate. There are eight causes and conditions for being born that way:

Eight Causes and Conditions for Being Born in a Lotus

1. One would rather give up one’s life than speak about the faults of others. Let us say you were in a position where you were going to get your head chopped off, and, if you simply said, “It is not my fault! So and so did it, not me. They told me to do it. It was not my idea…” you could escape. You still would not say it. If you would rather lose your life than talk about other’s faults then you have fulfilled the first condition for being born in a Lotus.

Can any of you do this? If you gossip all day long, how can you be born in a Lotus? Ha! I do not care if you gossiped before. That does not count as long as you do not gossip anymore. Now that I have taught you not to, I will certify that your past offenses do not count, as long as you reform in the future. It will hold if you do it again though.

2. One teaches people to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. Not only do you influence people to take refuge and practice the Bodhisattva Path, but even to animals.

3. One brings it all back to the Bodhi heart. All your good deeds should be put in trust to bringing forth the Bodhi heart.

4. One practices undefiled Brahma conduct. Brahma conduct is pure conduct. It means being without greed, hatred, or stupidity. This means you get rid of your greed forever. You cannot think you are doing okay because you are not greedy during lectures, and then get greedy as soon as you leave the lecture hall! Perhaps even while the lecture is in progress you are thinking, “Arrgh! What nonsense! I like being greedy! Why do we have to keep hearing about that!” Then you get angry and then you do not listen anymore. You take a nap instead. See? Pure Brahma conduct means not having even the subtlest forms of greed. If someone leaves a bag of garbage around, you cannot go looking through it for gold pieces! That is worthless!

5. One makes Buddha images and places them on Lotus pedestals.

6. One dispels the troubles of living beings. Living beings are always worrying. “What am I going to do? I cannot solve my problems!” So you think of a solution for them. But you cannot expect a lot of gratitude; you must do it and forget it, that’s all.

7. One is humble towards arrogant people. People who are arrogant are always fighting to be the number one. Toward such people you should be humble and compliant.

8. One does not give trouble to others. You cannot order people around and tell them what to do! Especially Americans! American husbands cannot even tell their wives what to do! It will not work. When I was in Hong Kong and Manchuria, I was much more into the role of being the teacher. If I suspected that something should be done and it was not, I would get very upset. Now I have come to America, and I see that here, fathers do not give orders to their children and teachers do not give orders to their students. I figure that as a teacher of Buddhism, I should be more democratic. Therefore, you students must be even more democratic! We shall practice the genuine Buddhadharma in the context of true democracy, and it will be wonderful!

Soon we are going to have another liberation of life ceremony, but this time we are going to choose the master of ceremonies democratically. There are three candidates and so as to avoid having to make the decision myself and thereby cause two of them to be unhappy, they will draw straws. The long straw wins! That way, no one will have any grievances. Do not worry about it! If you worry, you are just indulging in false thinking. Those of you with false thinking should get rid of it, and those without it should get some! That is where the wonderful is!

She accomplished equal and proper enlightenment. “Proper enlightenment” is the true enlightenment of the Buddha; there is nothing false within it. And embodied the thirty-two marks and eighty minor characteristics. There, for the sake of all living beings throughout the ten directions, she proceeded to proclaim the wonderful Dharma. The Dragon Girl was speaking the wonderful Dharma for the living beings in the world to the south called, “Without Filth,” and also for the living beings in all the other nine directions. The “wonderful Dharma” is inconceivable. It is just a matter of not having false thinking. If you do not have false thinking, it is wonderful Dharma. If you do, it is not!

Sutra:

While the Bodhisattvas, Hearers, gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division, both humans and non-humans in the Saha World all watched from a distance as the Dragon Girl became a Buddha and spoke the Dharma for all the gods and humans. They rejoiced exceedingly and reverently made obeisance from afar. Hearing that Dharma, limitless living beings understood and awoke, attaining to irreversibility. Countless living beings received predictions of the Way. The World Without Filth quaked in six ways, while in the Saha World, three thousand living beings came to dwell on the ground of irreversibility, and three thousand living beings brought forth the Bodhi mind and gained predictions.

Outline:

G8. Benefits gained by the multitudes who saw and heard.


Commentary:

While the Bodhisattvas, Hearers, gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division, both humans and non-humans in the Saha World all watched from a distance as the Dragon Girl became a Buddha and spoke the Dharma for all the gods and humans. They rejoiced exceedingly and reverently made obeisance from afar. “Saha” is a Sanskrit word, which means “worthy of being endured.” It is the world we live in and it is filled with all kinds of suffering that living beings find hard to endure. When those witnessing the event saw the Dragon Girl become a Buddha they were filled with the bliss of Dharma joy and were happy at heart. Hearing the Dharma, which the Dragon Girl spoke as the Buddha she had instantaneously become, limitless living beings understood and awoke, they become enlightened, attaining to irreversibility. Countless living beings received predictions of the Way, predictions of Buddhahood. The World Without Filth, the world where the Dragon Girl was, quaked in six ways:

1. Banging,
2. Roaring,
3. Cracking.

These three are descriptive of sound. Then

4. Shaking,
5. Rising,
6. Surging

These three are descriptive of visible appearance.

Banging is the sound of the earth quaking.

Roaring is a louder sustained sound.

Cracking is like the sound of two mountains being smashed against one another or the earth opening up and banging against itself.

Shaking is the moving of the earth. It is not necessarily very violent.

Rising means that the earth erupts into the air. Suddenly a mountain appears on what was a flat plain.

Surging means the entire stretch of the earth soars into the air.

The six types of earthquakes represent the “quaking” of our six sense organs: eyes, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind. When you cultivate the Way, sometimes you may feel as if you are trembling, or even roaring, or cracking. Sometimes when you meditate you may suddenly move involuntarily or feel as if you are rising up into empty space, or surging up into the air. Now, in the world called “Without Filth” the six types of earthquakes manifested to represent that the limitless living beings had certified to the fruit.

Each of the six types of earthquakes has three divisions, making eighteen in all, representing the eighteen realms of sense.

There may be said to be Eighteen Types of Earthquakes by virtue of the fact that each of the six has three applications. Three times six, of course, is eighteen, and they represent the eighteen realms of sense. The eighteen realms of sense are composed of the Six Sense Organs, the Six Sense Objects, and the Six Consciousnesses.

How does each of the Six Types of Earthquakes turn into three?

Let us take the fourth, shaking, for example: the first is shaking; the second is universal shaking, and the third is everywhere universal shaking. That is three. Banging works the same way: banging, universal banging, and everywhere universal banging. There is also roaring, universal roaring, and everywhere universal roaring as another three. Crackling, universal crackling, and everywhere universal crackling. Rising, universal rising, and everywhere universal rising are another three. Surging, universal surging and everywhere universal surging are yet another three. That makes eighteen in all.

What is meant by the set of three?

“Shaking” refers to shaking in one particular place. “Universal shaking” is the shaking in one set of the Four Continents: Jambudvipa in the south, Uttarakuru in the north, Aparagondaniya in the west, and the Purvavideha in the east. When the set of four great continents shake, that is termed “universal shaking.”

However “universal shaking” refers only to one of the four continents. “Everywhere universal shaking” refers to shaking throughout the entire three thousand great thousand worlds; they all shake.

The Six Types of Earthquakes—sounds and movement—take place to the end of empty space and the Dharma Realm. The Six Types of Earthquakes also represent the four levels: the Ten Dwellings, the Ten Practices, the Ten Transferences, and the Ten Grounds, with the addition of Equal Enlightenment and Wonderful Enlightenment, a total of six position.

What does the quaking represent?

It represents the breaking up of ignorance, because as you pass through six levels, the six positions, you break through ignorance six times. Each time you break through it, it diminishes. Thus they are called the Six Types of Earthquakes.

While in the Saha World, three thousand living beings came to dwell on the ground of irreversibility, attaining to the result. And three thousand living beings brought forth the great Bodhi mind and gained predictions.

Sutra:

Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva, Shariputra, and the entire assembly silently believed and accepted.

Outline:

G9. Wisdom Accumulation and Shariputra silently believed and accepted.

Commentary:

Wisdom Accumulation Bodhisattva, Shariputra, and the entire assembly silently believed and accepted. They had no further doubts. They had nothing to say, because they fully believed and had no question remaining.

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