THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

Sutra:

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, leaders of nations, Brahmans, and others may have compassionate thoughts upon seeing the old, the sick, or women in childbirth, and may provide them with medicinal herbs, food, drink, and bedding so as to make them peaceful and comfortable. The blessings and benefits derived from doing that are quite inconceivable. For one thousand eons they will always be lords of the Pure Dwelling Heavens. For two hundred eons they will be lords in the Six Desire Heavens, and they will ultimately attain Buddhahood. They will never fall into the Evil Paths, and for hundreds of thousands of lives they will hear no sounds of suffering.

“Moreover, Earth Store, if in the future, leaders of nations, Brahmans, and others can give in that way, they will receive limitless blessings. If, in addition, they are able to dedicate that merit, be it great or small, they will ultimately attain Buddhahood. How much more easily will they be able to attain the rewards of becoming Shakra, Brahma, or a Wheel-Turning King. Therefore, Earth Store, you should urge beings everywhere to learn to give in those ways.

Commentary:

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, leaders of nations, the most powerful Brahmans, and others may have compassionate thoughts, not just a bit of compassion, but great, perfected compassion, upon seeing the old, the sick, or women in childbirth, and may provide them with medicinal herbs, food, drink, and bedding …or some money… so as to make them peaceful and comfortable in times of utter discomfort. The blessings and benefits derived from doing that are quite inconceivable. For one thousand eons they will always be lords of the Pure Dwelling Heavens. For two hundred great eons they will be lords in the Six Desire Heavens, and they will ultimately attain Buddhahood. They will never fall into the three Evil Paths, and for hundreds of thousands of lives they will hear no sounds of suffering.

“Moreover, let me describe in detail, Earth Store Bodhisattva, if in the future, leaders of nations, Brahmans, and others can give in that way , the way that was described earlier , they will receive limitless blessings. If, in addition, they are able to dedicate that merit to the Dharma Realm and all beings, be it great or small, no matter the quantity, they will ultimately attain Buddhahood. How much more easily will they be able to attain the rewards of becoming Shakra, Brahma, or a Wheel-Turning King? Therefore, Earth Store, you should urge beings everywhere to learn to give generously in those ways .

Sutra:

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, if good men or women manage to plant only a few good roots within the Buddhadharma, equivalent to no more than a strand of hair, a grain of sand, or a mote of dust, they will receive incomparable blessings and benefits.

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, good men or women, upon encountering images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, or Wheel-Turning Kings, may give gifts or make offerings to them. Such persons will obtain limitless blessings and will always enjoy supremely wonderful bliss among people and gods. If they can dedicate that merit to the Dharma Realm, their blessings and benefits will be beyond compare.

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, good men or women, upon encountering Great Vehicle sutras or upon hearing but a single gatha or sentence of them, may be inspired to praise, venerate, give gifts, and make offerings to them. Those people will obtain great limitless and unbounded rewards. If they can dedicate that merit to the Dharma Realm, their blessings will be beyond compare.

Commentary:

“Moreover , Shakyamuni Buddha said, let me tell you more, Earth Store Bodhisattva, in the future, if good men or women manage to plant only a few good roots within the Buddhadharma. No need to sow much, just a small quantity. How much? An amount equivalent to no more than a strand of hair, a grain of sand, or a mote of dust, a most minute amount, they will receive incomparable and ineffable blessings and benefits.

“Moreover, Earth Store Bodhisattva, let me tell you again, in the future, good men or women …if men or women who have taken the Five Precepts and the Ten Good Deeds… upon encountering images of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Pratyekabuddhas, or Wheel-Turning Kings, may give gifts or make offerings to them. Such persons will obtain limitless blessings and will always enjoy supremely wonderful bliss among people and gods…always enjoying the most of happiness among the peoples or the heavens… If they can dedicate that merit to the Dharma Realm, their blessings and benefits will be beyond compare , beyond words and beyond analogies.

“Moreover …let me explain this in more detail, Earth Store Bodhisattva, in the future, good men or women, upon encountering Great Vehicle sutras, such as the Earth Store Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Varja Sutra, and the Dharma Flower Sutra. Considering all these are Mahayana sutras we have encountered, all of you must have good roots. Those without good roots cannot even hear the names of such Mahayana sutras. Count up all the people in the world who do not understand Buddhism and have not heard of the names of Mahayana sutras. How many are there? Some run away after listening once. Why? They do not have these good roots. When I was eating lunch I told all of you, do not think you are Americans. Many of you were actually Chinese who came to the United States. You made vows in lives past that you will help me propagate the Buddhadharma. Look at my disciple, he looks Chinese because he had not forgotten the causes and conditions of his past lives. Similarly, this is why he is especially interested in Chinese and will be marrying a Chinese woman. Since you have not acquired the Heavenly Eye, you do not know the connections here. If you were to have it, you would know how things are.

Or upon hearing but a single gatha or sentence of the Mahayana Sutras. T he Sixth Patriarch, for instance, heard this sentence, “One’s mind should abide nowhere,” and became enlightened instantly. One may be inspired ; earnest and respectful, one thinks, “Ah, t his sutra is truly excellent. I will definitely study this sutra diligently and respect the Buddhahdarma. To praise, venerat e …the Buddhadharma is truly difficult to encounter for hundreds and thousands of eons. So-and-so, for example, knows to say, “The unsurpassed, profound, and wonderful Dharma, is difficult to encounter in hundreds of millions of eons” before his lectures, an indicator of his wisdom. I have been observing his words and actions, he chases away the “guest dusts”, which is not an easy task. . . give gifts, and make offerings to them …and respect the Great Vehicle sutras. So-and-so, for example, bows to the Mahayana sutra, Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra. It is an inconceivable state to be making offerings to Mahayana sutras . Those people will obtain great limitless and unbounded rewards , the greatest reward being future Buddhahood. I f they can, without a trace of selfishness, transfer this kind of merit to all beings throughout the Dharma Realm, their blessings will be beyond compare. It would be impossible to tell all of them, even through analogies.

Sutra:

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, good men or women, upon encountering new Buddhist stupas, monasteries, or sutras of the Great Vehicle, may give gifts and make offerings to them, gaze at them in worship, and respectfully make praises with joined palms. Upon encountering old stupas, monasteries, or sutras, or those that have been destroyed or damaged, they may either do the repairing and rebuilding themselves or encourage others to help them. Those who help will become leaders of small nations for thirty successive lives. The donors themselves will always be Wheel-Turning Kings who will use the good Dharma to teach and transform those leaders of small nations.

“Moreover, Earth Store, in the future, good men or women may plant good roots in the Buddhadharma by giving, making offerings, repairing stupas or monasteries, rebinding sutras, or doing other good deeds amounting to no more than a strand of hair, a mote of dust, a grain of sand, or a drop of water. Merely by transferring the merit from such deeds to the dharma realm, the merit and virtue that those people will create will cause them to enjoy superior and wonderful bliss for hundreds of thousands of lives. But if they dedicate the merit only to their immediate or extended families or to their own personal benefit, then the rewards received will be only three lives of happiness. By giving up one, a ten-thousand fold reward is obtained. So it is, Earth Store. The circumstances involved in the causes and conditions of giving are thus.”

Commentary:

“Moreover , let me tell you once again, Earth Store Bodhisattva, in the future, good men or women, upon encountering new Buddhist stupas, monasteries, or sutras of the Great Vehicle, may give gifts and make offerings to them, gaze at them in worship …bow and praise the Triple Jewel—the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha -- and respectfully make praises with joined palms. Upon encountering old stupas, monasteries, or sutras, or those that have been destroyed or damaged, they may either do the repairing and rebuilding themselves if they have the money or strength to do it alone. Or encourage others to help them. People like this and those who help will become leaders of small nations for thirty successive lives. The donors who wish to become emperors of small empires will if they had donated to building stupas or temples. Conversely, those who had not may not have their wish come true. People who contribute dana will always be Wheel-Turning Kings who will use the good Dharma such as the Five Precepts, the Ten Good Deeds and others to teach and transform those leaders of small nations.

“Moreover, E arth S tore Bodhisattva, in the future, good men or women may plant good roots in the Buddhadharma by giving, making offerings, repairing stupas or monasteries, rebinding sutras, mend the sutras when they are damaged, or doing other good deeds amounting to no more than a strand of hair, a mote of dust, a grain of sand, or a drop of water. Merely by transferring the merit from such deeds to the dharma realm, the merit and virtue that those people will create will cause them to enjoy superior and wonderful bliss for hundreds of thousands of lives. But if they dedicate the merit only to their immediate or extended families or to their own personal benefit, then the rewards received will be only three lives of happiness. By giving up one, a ten-thousand fold reward is obtained , receiving a ten-thousand-fold reward for giving away a penny. So it is E arth S tore Bodhisattva, you must know the circumstances involved in the causes and conditions of giving are thus , the blessings that result are just as described earlier.”

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