THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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The Ten Dwellings ___

Chapter Fifteen. A Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

Within their bodies and what their bodies do—
Their spiritual penetrations and transformations--
All are difficult to fathom.
All the states in Buddhalands throughout the three periods of time,
Even the Prince cannot understand.

The wisdom of those who view the three periods of time,
The wisdom that clearly understands all Buddhadharmas,
The unobstructed and boundless wisdom of the Dharma Realms,
The wisdom that completely fills all worlds,
The wisdom that illumines and sustains the worlds,
The wisdom that knows all dharmas of living beings,
And the wisdom that knows proper enlightenment without bounds.

The Thus Come One speaks exhaustively of them all.
In this way all Bodhisattvas of the Ten Dwellings
Are transformationally born from the Thus Come One’s Dharma.
Accordingly, the merit and virtue of their practices
Cannot be fathomed by either gods or people.

In the past, future, and present times,
Their resolve to seek Buddhahood has no bounds.
Filling the countries of the ten directions,
None will fail to accomplish All-Wisdom.

Commentary:

Within their bodies and what their bodies do—the kinds of body karma enacted by Bodhisattvas on the Tenth Dwelling, Anointment of the Crown, and by Dharma Kings-- their spiritual penetrations and transformations all are difficult to fathom. Their cultivation of karma and their spiritual penetrations and transformations are all inconceivable. All the states in Buddhalands throughout the three periods of time—in the past, present, and future, all Buddhalands are not the same, and so the states in all those lands are different-- even the Prince cannot understand. Not to speak of common people, even Bodhisattvas on the level of Dharma Prince cannot understand these states, but the Bodhisattva Dwelling in Anointing the Crown has sufficient wisdom to understand them.

The wisdom of those who view the three periods of time—those with vision use the Wonderful Contemplative Wisdom to know the wisdom of all Buddhas; The wisdom that clearly understands all Buddhadharmas—the Buddhadharma is as deep as the great sea; it is not easy to deeply enter the Sutra Store and clearly understand all Buddhadharma. If you have that bright wisdom, you can illumine and understand all dharmas; The unobstructed and boundless wisdom of the Dharma Realms—you can use the interpenetrating wisdom to contemplate the Dharma Realm; The wisdom that completely fills all worlds—you also use the wisdom that can permeate all realms.

The wisdom that illumines and sustains the worlds—you have wisdom and light that illumines all worlds and sustains the Buddhadharma; The wisdom that knows all dharmas of living beings—you also understand cause and effect: how beings give rise to delusion, create karma, and undergo retribution; And the wisdom that knows proper enlightenment without bounds—the boundless wisdom that understands Proper Enlightenment-- The Thus Come One speaks exhaustively of them all. The Buddha speaks of this wisdom so that all Bodhisattvas may understand.

In this way all Bodhisattvas of the Ten Dwellings—all the Bodhisattvas of the Ten Dwellings--are transformationally born from the

Thus Come One’s Dharma. They are all transformed from the Dharma spoken by the Buddha. They are born from the Buddha’s mouth and transformationally born from the Dharma. Therefore, they are called Dharma Princes. Accordingly, the merit and virtue of their practices—all the meritorious and virtuous practices of the Bodhisattvas--cannot be fathomed by either gods or people. All the gods and people cannot understand the conduct of merit and virtue of these Bodhisattvas.

In the past, future, and present times—the three periods of time--their resolve to seek Buddhahood has no bounds. They resolve to seek the unsurpassed Buddha Way, and the kinds of cultivation and practices involved in doing so are limitless and boundless, filling the countries of the ten directions. The countries of the ten directions are all filled with the merit and virtue of the Dharma doors of the Tenth Dwelling Bodhisattvas. None will fail to accomplish All-Wisdom. They should quickly accomplish all wisdom and perfect the Buddha fruit.

Sutra:

All of the countries are unbounded;
the world realms, living beings, and dharmas are also that way.
Delusions, karma, and what the mind delights in, each are different—
Based on that, they bring forth the intent for Bodhi.

Commentary:

All of the countries are unbounded. Our Saha world contains the four great continents. They are;

  • Purvavideha-Eastern continent.
  • Jambudvipa-Southern continent.
  • Apara-Godaniya- Western continent.
  • Uttarakuru-Northern continent.

That is called “One set of four under heaven”, and within it there are many lands, called countries. Ours is just one world, comprised of one Mount Sumeru, one sun and moon, and one set of four great continents. That’s one planet. Ultimately, how many other worlds, other planets are there? Limitless and boundlessly many—more than can be counted. So it says that all of the countries are unbounded. They have no known number, because they are unbounded. The world realms, living beings, and dharmas are also that way. The countries are unbounded and so are the worlds, as are the living beings and the Buddhadharma. So, living beings’ dharmas, the Buddhadharmas, and mind dharmas are all without limit and bounds.

Delusions, karma, and what the mind delights in, each are different—delusion is living beings’ ignorance which, once arisen, gives rise to three subtle marks: the mark of karma—giving rise to delusion and creating karma; the mark of manifesting—the mark of karma’s appearance; and the mark of the turning—the turning, or revolution, of the mark of karma. We give rise to delusion, create karma, and receive retribution. All living beings are just as different as all people who have different faces. What they like is also different. Based on that, they bring forth the intent for Bodhi. If, during the process of giving rise to delusion, creating karma, and undergoing retribution, you awaken and bring forth the thought of enlightenment and think of a way to cultivate the Way, in the future you’ll return to the root, go back to the source, turn away from delusion, and go to enlightenment; and you won’t be confused again.

Sutra:

As to the very first thought of seeking the Buddha Way,
Worldly ordinary beings and those of the two vehicles
Cannot even know what it is like,
How much less the remaining conduct of merit and virtue!

All the worlds in the ten directions
Can be raised up by a single hair.
The person who can know them is a disciple of the Buddha;
He tends toward the Tathagata’s conduct of wisdom.

Commentary:

As to the very first thought of seeking the Buddha Way—the first thought of seeking the Buddha Way, the Worldly ordinary beings and those of the two vehicles—all the living beings and the Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas--cannot even know what it is like. As to the first thought of the Bodhi mind, all of the living beings, Shravakas and Pratyekabuddhas have no way to know the power of that first thought, How much less the remaining conduct of merit and virtue!—how much less the merit and virtue derived from that one thought: they do not know that either.

All the worlds in the ten directions. This, that, and unlimited worlds in the ten directions and the three periods of time can be raised up by a single hair. All the Bodhisattvas with spiritual penetrations can use one hair to pick up all the worlds in the ten directions, collect them together, and arrange them there. The person who can know them is a disciple of the Buddha. One with that spiritual penetration, a Bodhisattva on the Tenth Dwelling, can know the Buddhas’ disciples’ merit and virtue.

He tends toward the Tathagata’s conduct of wisdom. He can go towards the wisdom, the perfect enlightenment of the Tathagatas, which is the result of his practice.

Sutra:

In the ten directions, all of the great seas,
Can be dipped out completely with a single strand of hair.
The person who can know them is a disciple of the Buddha.
Who, with one mind cultivates the conduct of merit and virtue.

If all world-realms were ground up into dust,
He could discriminate them all and know their number.
A person like that can also see,
The paths that all Bodhisattvas travel.

Past, future, and present Buddhas of the ten directions,
All Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and all Sound Hearers
Completely with varieties of wonderful eloquence,
Teach beings to first bring forth the thought for Bodhi.

The merit and virtue of bringing forth the resolve cannot be measured;
It completely fills all the realms of living beings.
With a multitude of wisdom, in speech one could not exhaust it,
Much less all of the remaining wonderful conducts!

Commentary:

In the ten directions, all of the great seas. To the end of space and Dharma realms, all the great seas in the ten directions which are without limit, can be dipped out completely with a single strand of hair. The Bodhisattva has spiritual penetration such that with one hair he can dip out all the water in the seas of the ten directions until it is all gone. The person who can know them is a disciple of the Buddha. Who, with one mind cultivates the conduct of merit and virtue. He can know the merit and virtue accomplished and the practices involved in that first thought to cultivate.

If all world-realms were ground up into dust. He could grind all the worlds into dust, and he could discriminate them all and know their

number. The Bodhisattva could discriminate and know how many motes of dust there are. A person like that can also see—only a Bodhisattva with that spiritual power can see-- the paths that all Bodhisattvas travel. This is the path cultivated by all Bodhisattvas. Past, future, and present Buddhas of the

ten directions—the ten direction Buddhas of the past, present, and future- all Solitarily Enlightened Ones, and all Sound Hearers. All the Solitarily Enlightened Ones are ones who, when there is no Buddha in the world, cultivate and attain the Way. Completely with varieties of wonderful

eloquence—the Buddhas throughout the ten directions, the Sound Hearers, and the Pratyekabuddhas, all use their wonderful eloquence and teach beings to first bring forth the thought for Bodhi. They teach and instruct all living beings to bring forth the Bodhi heart. The Bodhi heart is the enlightened mind.

The merit and virtue of bringing forth the resolve cannot be measured. The merit and virtue of the First of the Ten Dwellings is measureless, to say nothing of the merit and virtue of the other nine. It completely fills all the realms of living beings. Throughout all Dharma Realms, it universally pervades the realm of living beings. With a multitude of wisdom, in speech one could not exhaust it. All beings, Bodhisattvas, if they spoke together of the merit and virtue of the Ten Dwellings, would never finish, much less all of the remaining wonderful conducts! To say nothing of the other wonderful practices: how much less could they ever be fully explained!

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