THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

Sutra:

“Moreover, Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, in the future there may be people whose food and clothing are insufficient, who find their efforts thwarted, who endure much sickness or misfortune, whose families are not peaceful, whose relatives are scattered, who are accident-prone, or who are often startled in their sleep by dreams. Upon hearing Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name and seeing his image, such people should recite his name a full ten thousand times with extreme sincerity and respect. Those inauspicious circumstances will gradually disappear, and they will find peace and happiness. Their food and clothing will be abundant, and even in their dreams they will be peaceful and happy.

Commentary:

“Moreover, Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, in the future there may be people whose food and clothing are insufficient . They have no money to buy new clothes even if they want them. They may be willing to wear used clothing, but that kind of clothing is ragged or cannot be found. They get a good meal one day but only after a number of days do they get their next meal. Who find their efforts thwarted. Whatever they want, they do not get, including food and clothing. Not to mention others things. Things go against their wishes. Who endure much sickness. They may be sick often. Perhaps they work, do business or think of some way to earn money that is supposed to last a few months, but then they get sick unexpectedly. Their illnesses require money to pay for doctor visits, medicine and hospitalization. Since there was no fund to purchase health insurance, they do not have insurance. Their illness uses up what little money they had. When they recover, their money is used up. Once they recover, they have to find some way to earn more money. When money comes, they get sick again. Why is this? This is karmic obstruction. Or misfortune. Inauspiciousness that makes everything worse. Whose families are not peaceful. It is not the house but it is the people in the house who are unpeaceful. Whose relatives are scattered. Family members split up and do not get together often. Who are accident-prone. Things hard on the body occur often. For example, if you want to be healthy, you get sick. Or who are often startled in their sleep by dreams. For instance, we were talking about dreams a few days ago about how some dream of assassinations by shooting or near hits by large stones weighing several hundred or several thousand tons rolling down from a mountain and down to the valley where they are. Or they dream about walls next them collapsing and nearly crush them to death. Their whole body breaks out in sweats from their frightening nightmares.

Upon hearing Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name and seeing his image, such people should recite his name a full ten thousand times with extreme sincerity and respect. Those inauspicious circumstances will gradually disappear, and they will find peace and happiness. Their unhappiness turns into joy because they have recited Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name 10,000 times. Their food and clothing will be abundant. They used to be short of clothing and food, but now they have an abundance of clothing and food. They have enough of everything. And even in their dreams they will be peaceful and happy.

Sutra:

“Moreover, Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, in the future good men or women may have to enter mountain forests, cross rivers, seas, or other large bodies of water, or take dangerous routes either for the sake of earning their own livelihood, or for public or personal affairs, matters of life and death, or other urgent business. Such people should first recite the name of Earth Store Bodhisattva a full ten thousand times. The ghosts and spirits of the lands they pass through will then guard and protect them in their walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. The peace and happiness of those people will constantly be preserved, so that even if they encounter tigers, wolves, lions, or any other harmful or poisonous creatures, they will not be harmed.”

Commentary:

“Moreover, Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, in the future good men or women may have to enter mountain forests, cross rivers, seas, or other large bodies of water, or take dangerous routes where there are wolves, tigers, leopards or bandits, either for the sake of earning their own livelihood, or for public or personal affairs, matters of life and death that require them to send notices to another person, or other urgent business, emergencies. Such people should first recite the name of Earth Store Bodhisattva a full ten thousand times. The ghosts and spirits of the lands they pass through will then guard and protect them in their walking, standing, sitting, and lying down. The peace and happiness of those people will constantly be preserved. As you head to Taiwan now, do not be afraid. Your flight will be safe. I will guarantee your safety as long as you practice the 42 Hands and Eyes and the name of Earth Store King Bodhisattva. I accept insurance at any price. So that even if they encounter tigers, wolves, lions, the likes of ferocious beasts that eat people. Or any other harmful or poisonous creatures, they will not be harmed.”

Sutra:

The Buddha told Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, “Earth Store Bodhisattva has deep affinities with beings in Jambudvipa. Hundreds of thousands of eons would not be time enough to describe the benefits derived by beings who see this Bodhisattva and hear his name. Therefore, Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, you should use your spiritual powers to propagate this sutra, thus enabling beings in the Saha world to enjoy peace and happiness always, throughout hundreds of millions of eons.”

Commentary:

The Buddha told Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, “Earth Store Bodhisattva has this type of cause, this kind of deep affinities with all beings in Jambudvipa. Hundreds of eons, thousands of eons, tens of thousands of eons, and hundreds of thousands of eons would not be time enough to describe in detail the benefits derived by beings who see this Bodhisattva and hear his name. Therefore, Contemplator of the World’s Sounds Bodhisattva, you should use your spiritual powers to propagate this Earth Store Sutra, thus enabling beings in the Saha world to enjoy peace and happiness always, throughout hundreds of eons, thousands of eons, tens of thousands of eons and hundreds of millions of eons.”

Sutra:

At that time the World-Honored One spoke verses, saying:

I observe that Earth Store’s awesome spiritual strength
Could not be described in eons numerous as Ganges sands.
Seeing, hearing, beholding and bowing to him even once
Benefits people and gods in endless numbers of ways.

Men and women, gods and dragons, near the end
Of their rewards and doomed to fall into the Evil Paths.
Can sincerely take refuge with this Great Being,
Thereby lengthening their lives and dispelling offenses

Commentary:

At that time the World Honored One spoke verses, saying. . . At that point in time, the World Honored One was afraid that most people did not understand everything clearly, so he repeated what he said in verses.

I observe that Earth Store’s awesome spiritual strength . Shakyamuni Buddha told Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, that I noticed the awesome virtue of Earth Store and the strength of his spiritual powers.

Could not be described in eons numerous as Ganges sands. Even if I were to take as long a time as it takes to count all the grains of sand in the Ganges to describe the power of his might, I could not do it.

Seeing, hearing, beholding and bowing to him even once. Seeing Earth Store Bodhisattva’s image and hearing Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name, by being respectful in a matter of a thought,

benefits people and gods in endless numbers of ways. The respect in one thought will earn them future benefits. They may become born in the heavens or the human realm. They may acquire an infinite number of benefits.

Men and women, gods and dragons, near the end o f their rewards and doomed to fall into the Evil Paths. When their bodies, their retribution proper, disintegrate and their lives come to an end, they should fall into the Three Evil Destinies.

Can sincerely take refuge with this Great Being, Earth Store Bodhisattva;

Thereby lengthening their lives and dispelling offenses. They will live longer and their obstructions vanish.

Sutra:

Sometimes youngsters lose their kind and loving parents
And do not know what paths they are now on.
Quite often lost brothers, sisters, and other kin
Were never known to their surviving relatives.

By sculpting or painting this Bodhisattva’s image
And then beseeching, gazing at, and bowing to him,
And holding his name in mind a full three weeks,
Those relatives may see the Bodhisattva’s body.

The Bodhisattva may show them where those kin were born
And even quickly free those in bad destinies.
If those praying can sustain their initial resolve,
Crowns may be rubbed; sagely predictions given.

Commentary:

Sometimes youngsters lose their kind and loving parents . They may have lost their father, mother or sibiling at a young age. They did not grow up in a loving family.

And do not know what paths they are now on. When they grow up and wonder where their family members’ souls are, in which realm.

Quite often lost brothers, sisters, and other kin.

Were never known to their surviving relatives. They had never met when they were alive.

By sculpting or painting this Bodhisattva’s image . Perhaps they use plaster, wood, stone, copper, metal, gold, silver and other material to make images of Earth Store Bodhisattva. Or they draw on paper an image of Earth Store Bodhisattva.

And then beseeching, gazing at, and bowing to him . They grow sad at being so attached to gazing and worshipping Earth Store Bodhisattva. Consequently, they always bow to images of Earth Store Bodhisattva.

And holding his name in mind a full three weeks,

Those relatives may see the Bodhisattva’s body. Earth Store Bodhisattva will manifest infinite Dharma bodies.

The Bodhisattva may show them where those kin were born . He points out where their parents or siblings were reborn.

And even quickly free those in bad destinies. Even if they were to fall into any of the four evil realms, they will exit it soon.

If those praying can sustain their initial resolve,

Crowns may be rubbed; sagely predictions given. Earth Store Bodhisattva will rub them on the crown of their heads and bestow predictions at that time.

Sutra:

Those determined to cultivate unsurpassed Bodhi
And escape the suffering here in the Three Realms
Should let their greatly compassionate hearts unfold,
As they first behold and bow to this Great Being.

Then every vow they make will soon be fulfilled
And no bad karma will ever hinder or stop them.
Some people may resolve to read the Sutra texts
Hoping to help confused beings reach the other shore.

Although the vows they make are quite remarkable,
Try as they may, they cannot remember what they read.
Because of their karmic obstacles and delusions,
Those people cannot memorize the Mahayana Sutras.

But they can offer incense and flowers to Earth Store,
And give him clothes, food, and other beloved material objects.
They can set pure water on the Bodhisattva’s altar,
Leaving it there a day and night before they drink it.

They should rigorously abstain from pungent plants,
Alcohol, meat, improper sex, and false speech.
For three weeks they should not kill any creature,
While being mindful of the name of that Great Being.

Then, in a dream, their vision may become boundless.
Awakening, they may find that they now have keen ears.
After that, when they hear the teachings of the Sutras,
They will never forget them for millions of lives.

How inconceivable is this Bodhisattva
In helping people like that gain such wisdom!

Commentary:

Those determined to cultivate unsurpassed Bodhi. People who want to practice to realize unsurpassed enlightenment.

And escape the suffering here in the Three Realms . They may even want to make the resolve to transcend the insufferable distress of the Triple Realm -- the realms of desire, form and formlessness.

Should let their greatly compassionate hearts unfold . Having bought forth great kindness and great compassion.

As they first behold and bow to this Great Being. They should first feel a sense of respect before an image of Earth Store King Bodhisattva.

Then every vow they make will soon be fulfilled. All your wishes will be realized soon, fulfilled quickly.

And no bad karma will ever hinder or stop them. No karmic obstruction will ever prevent you from cultivating.

Some people may resolve to read the Sutra texts . Some develop the resolves of Mahayana Bodhisattvas who wish to read and recite Mahayana sutras.

Hoping to help confused beings reach the other shore. Why read sutras? It is because they wish to save all lost beings so that they transcend the Triple Realm and reach the other shore.

Although the vows they make are quite remarkable . Although they made such inconceivable vows.

Try as they may, they cannot remember what they read. They read Mahayana sutras once and they cannot remember. They read them twice and forget again. They forget as soon as they read them. They can never remember the words and phrases of sutras. They may look right at texts and read them incorrectly, not to mention recalling them.

Because of their karmic obstacles and delusions. Why are people like this? They have tremendous karmic obstruction that prevents them from memorizing the sutras.

Those people cannot memorize the Mahayana Sutras. No matter how hard they try, they cannot recall and cannot commit them to memory.

But they can offer incense and flowers to Earth Store . What can they do about this? They should make offerings of incense, flowers, lamps, candles and fruits to Earth Store Bodhisattva.

And give him clothes, food, and other beloved material objects. Perhaps make offerings of new clothing, fresh food and all kinds of toys to Earth Store Bodhisattva.

They can set pure water on the Bodhisattva’s altar . Place a bowl of clean water before an image of Earth Store Bodhisattva.

Leaving it there a day and night before they drink it. After 24 hours, kneel before the Buddha or Earth Store Bodhisattva. Bow then drink this water while facing the south.

They should rigorously abstain from pungent plants . Be especially sincere, not casual. Do not eat the five pungent plants: onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, and chives. Eating any of these things leaves your mouth with a strange taste, which is disrespectful to reading the sutras and Buddhas, so avoid them.

Alcohol, meat, improper sex, and false speech. Avoid alcohol, meat, sexual misconduct and dishonesty. Observe the five precepts against killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and taking intoxicants.

For three weeks they should not kill any creature, should not steal, should not engage in sexual misconduct, should not lie, and should not take intoxicants.

While being mindful of the name of that Great Being. Be utmost in being mindful of the name of Earth Store Bodhisattva and contemplate the vows and behavior of Earth Store Bodhisattva. Utmost mindfulness means entertaining no other thoughts.

Then, in a dream, their vision may become boundless. They are extremely sincere to the point that they see Earth Store Bodhisattva and his boundless Dharma body in their dreams.

Awakening, they may find that they now have keen ears. When they wake up from their dream, their ears are smart and keen. They do not forget anything if they hear it just once.

After that, when they hear the teachings of the Sutras . All the Mahayana sutras that they read only need to be heard once.

They will never forget them for millions of lives. They will not forget for tens of millions of lives, not to mention this mere lifetime. For tens of millions of lives, they will remember the meanings contained in these sutras.

How inconceivable is this Bodhisattva . The various conditions described earlier occur because of Earth Store Bodhisattva’s inconceivable states and spiritual powers.

In helping people like that gain such wisdom! He can help those with poor memory develop excellent memory, those with feeble mind become intelligent. He has the spiritual power to enjoy an intertwining of responses and the spiritual.

Sutra:

Beings may be impoverished or plagued with disease,
Their homes may be troubled, their relatives scattered.
They may find no peace even in sleep or dreams.
Their efforts may be totally thwarted.

But beholding and bowing to Earth Store’s image
Can cause all those evils to simply disappear.
Dreams will become entirely peaceful,
Food and clothes ample; spirits and ghosts now guardians.

Commentary:

Beings may be impoverished or plagued with disease,

Their homes may be troubled or disaster-stricken, corroding and crumbling, their relatives scattered.

They may find no peace even in sleep or dreams. They have violent nightmares.

Their efforts may be totally thwarted. Things go against their wishes and do not get their wishes met. Even what they wish for in their dreams, they do not get.

But beholding and bowing to Earth Store’s image . Regardless of the difficulty, simply bow and pay respects to images of Earth Store Bodhisattva most sincerely, keeping in mind this idea, intent or wish.

Can cause all those evils to simply disappear and go far away without you realizing it.

Dreams will become entirely peaceful and auspicious.

Food and clothes ample; spirits and ghosts now guardians. They are not short of any clothes or food. Spirits and ghosts protect those who gaze at and pay respects to Earth Store Bodhisattva so that everything goes as they wish, happy and lucky.

Sutra:

When people need to pass through mountain forests, cross the seas,
Or go among evil birds and beasts, evil people,
Evil spirits, evil ghosts, and even evil winds
Or to put themselves in other difficult situations,
They need only gaze in worship and make offerings
To an image of the mighty Earth Store Bodhisattva.

In response, all the evils in those mountain forests
And on those vast seas will simply disappear.

Commentary:

When people need to or want to pass through mountain forests, cross the seas,

Or go among evil birds and beasts, evil people. There are scoundrels and robbers hiding in the mountain forests. Venomous dragons, ferocious beasts, tigers and leopards, as well as scoundrels make the paths you travel, over seas or mountains, dangerous.

Evil spirits, evil ghosts, and even evil winds . Do not consider all spirits good. There are good spirits and evil spirits. There are also good ghosts and evil ghosts. There are also evil winds. Evil winds are the stirrings of monsters and demons, ghosts and goblins.

Or to put themselves in other difficult situations such as all kinds of catastrophes and miseries.

They need only gaze in worship and make offerings to Earth Store Bodhisattva.

To a holy image of the mighty Earth Store Bodhisattva.

In response, all the evils in those mountain forests , such as scoundrels, evil beasts, evil fowl

And evil dragons, evil ghosts and evil spirits on those vast seas will simply disappear. All such evil will disappear into the thin air.

Sutra:

Contemplator of Sounds, listen well to what I say.
Earth Store Bodhisattva is an unending wonder!
Hundreds of millions of eons is time too brief
To fully describe the powers of this Great Being.

If people can but hear the name “Earth Store,”
Bow to his image, revere and worship him;
Offer incense, flowers, clothes, food, and drink;
Such acts will bring them thousands of joys.

If they can dedicate such merit to the Dharma Realm,
They will become Buddhas, ending birth and death.
Contemplator of Sounds, know this well
And tell everyone everywhere in lands as many as Ganges sands.

Commentary:

Contemplator of Sounds, listen well to what I say.

Earth Store Bodhisattva is an unending wonder! All of Earth Store Bodhisattva’s awesome spirit and vows are inconceivable, unthinkable and ineffable.

Hundreds of millions of eons is time too brief . Do not tell me that this is a short period of time. Even if it is as long as billions of eons in time, I cannot finish.

To fully describe the powers of this Great Being , to explain in detail the spiritual power of Earth Store Bodhisattva.

If people can but hear the name “Earth Store,” or beyond hearing Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name,

Bow to his image, revere and worship him;

Offer a wide array of incense, flowers, clothes, food, and drink as offerings for Earth Store Bodhisattva,

Such acts will bring them thousands of joys. Offerings to Earth Store Bodhisattva are more supreme than offerings to billions and billions of other Bodhisattvas. They will definitely enjoy supremely wonderful bliss in the future.

If they can dedicate such merit from making offerings to Earth Store Bodhisattva, bow to Earth Store Bodhisattva or recite Earth Store Bodhisattva’s name to all beings of the Dharma Realm.

They will definitely become Buddhas, ending birth and death.

Contemplator of Sounds, know this well

And tell everyone everywhere in lands as many as Ganges sands. You must go and proclaim the merit and virtue, wonderful uses of spiritual powers of Earth Store Bodhisattva. Notify all beings throughout as many countries as the number of sand grains in the Ganges River. This is what you should do to propagate the vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva.

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