THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Universal Worthy's Conduct __

Chapter Thirty-Six. A Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

Limitless disciples of the Buddha
Well learn to enter the Dharma realm,
And with self-masteries of spiritual penetrations,
Universally pervade the ten directions.

Through kalpas equal in amount to living beings,
If the names of their world-systems were spoken,
They also would not come to an end,
Unless the Buddha were to state them.

Commentary:

All of you Limitless disciples of the Buddha, if you Well learn the Dharma spoken by all Buddhas, you will be able to enter the Dharma realm. You will certify to wisdom and the principles of the Dharma Realm, And with the attainment of all the self-masteries of spiritual penetrations, Universally go and pervade the ten directions. Through kalpas equal in amount to living beings--as many kalpas as there are living beings--If the names of their exceedingly many world-systems were spoken, They also would not come to an end, Unless the Buddha were to state them for us, and then we could know.

--Explaining the Secret Workings of the Buddha-Mind

Sutra:

Of world-systems and Thus Come Ones,
The various names and titles,
Passing through limitless kalpas,
Could not be exhaustively spoken.

How much more does that hold true for surpassing wisdom,
The Dharmas of all Buddhas of the three periods of time,
Which arise directly from the Dharma Realm,
And permeate the Thus Come One’s ground.

With mindfulness that is pure and unobstructed,
And boundless unobstructed wisdom,
Speaking in detail of Dharma Realms,
Their other shore could be attained.

Commentary:  

Of world-systems and Thus Come Ones, the various names and titles, passing through limitless kalpas, could not be exhaustively spoken. There are so many names of World-Systems and Buddhas that even if one were to list them for limitlessly many Kalpas, they could not all be spoken clearly. How much more does that hold true for most surpassing wisdom, the spoken Dharmas of all Buddhas of the three periods of tome, which arise directly from the Dharma Realm, and permeate the Thus Come One’s ground, the position to which Buddhas certify. With mindfulness that is pure and unobstructedand boundless unobstructed pure wisdom, speaking in detail of all Dharma Realms whatsoever, Their other shore could be attained. One could reach the other shore of ultimate Nirvana.

--All Buddhas of the Three Periods of Time’s Conduct of Gathering in and Transforming Beings

Sutra:

All the world-systems in the past,
Vast and great or else minute and subtle,
Which have been adorned through cultivation
In one thought can thoroughly be known.

In their midst the lions among people
Cultivated various Buddha conducts,
Accomplished equal and proper enlightenment,
And manifested all of the self-masteries.

In the same way in the future times,
Successively through kalpas without limit,
The Bodhisattvas can completely know
All the honored ones of humankind,
And all their conduct and their vows,
As well as all their states,
How diligent they were in cultivation,
Therein achieving Right Enlightenment,
And know the multitudes of their assemblies,
Their life spans as they transform living beings

Using all of these portals of Dharma,
Turning Dharma wheels for living beings.
When the Bodhisattvas know in that way,
They dwell on Universal Worthy’s conduct ground,
With its wisdom of total comprehension
Which produces each and every Buddha.

All included in the present time,
Each one of the many Buddha lands,
Deeply enters all of these kshetras,
And penetrates throughout the Dharma realm.

Within every one of those world-systems,
Each and every Buddha of the present,
Having obtained mastery of the Dharma,
Proclaims without obstruction whatsoever.

They also know the multitudes of their assemblies,
Their pure lands and powers of responsive transformation,
And how, exhausting limitless ten millions of kalpas,
They constantly consider those affairs.

Of taming masters, honored by the world,
All their awesome spiritual might
And inexhaustible treasuries of wisdom
Are every bit completely known to them.

Commentary: 

Basically, there is no past time, and there isn’t any future or present time either. So why then does the Sutra text say All the world-systems in the past, and go on to talk about the future and the present? It’s because living beings have those kinds of discriminations into three periods of time in their minds. The world-systems in the past many have been Vast and great or else they were minute and subtle world-systems, both of Which have been adorned and brought about through cultivation on the part of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The world-systems also came into being due to the accumulated false thinking done by living beings. In one thought all of their causes and conditions can thoroughly be known by the Bodhisattvas.

In their midst the lions among people , who dwelt in every world, in the past all Cultivated the various different kinds of doors of Buddha conducts. As living beings they cultivated, Accomplished equal and proper enlightenment, And, having become Buddhas, taught and transformed living beings. To do so they manifested all the Dharma doors of the self-masteries of spiritual penetrations.

In the same way for the world-systems in the future times, Successively in very orderly procession through boundless kalpas without limit, the Bodhisattvas can completely know about All the Buddhas, the honored ones of humankind. And they can know about all their cultivation of every conduct and their making and fulfilling vows, As well as all their states and How diligent they were in cultivation of the various doors of practice, Therein, within those world-systems, achieving Right Enlightenment, And the Bodhisattvas can know how many living beings there will be in the multitudes of their assemblies after they become Buddhas. They can also know about Their life spans, how long those Buddhas will remain in the world as they teach and transform living Beings Using all of these portals of Dharma--Dharma doors--Turning the great Dharma wheels for the sake of all living beings.

When the Bodhisattvas know in that way , when they thus know and thus see all the previously discussed dharmas, They dwell on Universal Worthy’s conduct ground. They cultivate the Dharma-doors of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s great conduct and great vows With its wisdom of total comprehension. When one cultivates the doors of practice of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, one acquires the kind of wisdom that Universal Worthy Bodhisattva has, Which produces each and every Buddha. The wisdom of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, since it brings about all Buddhas, is the mother of all Buddhas.

All included in the present time, the world-systems of the present, Each one of the many Buddha lands, deeply enters all of these Buddha kshetras, and penetrates throughout the Dharma realm, penetrating the principle and substance of the Dharma Realm. Within every one of those world-systems, each and every Buddha of the present now propagating the Dharma, Having obtained mastery of all of the Buddha Dharmas, skillfully Proclaims without any obstruction whatsoever. They also know the great multitudes of their sea-like assemblies, their pure lands and powers of responsive transformation--the Pure Lands of all the Buddhas and their power to teach living beings who should be transformed--And how, exhausting limitless ten millions of kalpas, they constantly consider those affairs. For that long a time they constantly reflect upon how to teach and transform living beings.

Of taming masters, honored by the world --the Teachers of humans and gods who are honored within the world and beyond the world--All their awesome spiritual might and inexhaustible treasuries of wisdom are every bit completely known to them.

--The Unobstructed Conduct of the Six Sense Organs

Sutra:  

They bring forth the unobstructed eye,
Unobstructed ear and nose and body,
And an unobstructed vast long tongue,
Bringing happiness to living beings.

Their unobstructed mind, the most supreme,
Of vast, great, universal purification,
With wisdom which is everywhere pervasive
Knows all Dharmas of the three periods of time.

--The Conduct of Unending Transformations

They well learn about all transformations,
Transformations of kshetras, transformations of living beings,
Transformations of worlds, and transformations of subduing,
And ultimate transformation to reach the other shore.

The various distinctions of world-realms
All remain and dwell because of thought.
Upon entering expedient wisdom of a Buddha
This is all entirely understood.

In ineffably many multitudes of assemblies
They make appear a body for each one,
Enabling them to all see the Thus Come ones
Rescuing and saving boundless living beings.

Commentary: 

They are able to bring forth the unobstructed eye, unobstructed ear and nose and tongue and body and mind, And an unobstructed vast long tongue, bringing happiness to living beings. Their unobstructed mind, the most supreme is the unobstructed mind-faculty among the six faculties. This mind Of vast, great, universal purification--so all living beings are made pure--With wisdom which is everywhere pervasive throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm, Knows all Dharmas of the three periods of time, the past, the present, and the future.

They well learn about all Buddhas’ Dharmas, and so they understand how all transformations are brought about. They understand Transformations of kshetras, and how to effect transformations of the living beings within those Kshetras. They also understand Transformations of worlds, and transformations of subduing, how to teach and transform living beings in all worlds so those beings become tamed and subdued, And ultimate transformation of living beings to quickly reach the other shore.

The various distinctions of world-realms all remain and dwell because of false thought on the part of living beings. Upon entering and obtaining expedient wisdom of a Buddha, this--all of these causes and conditions--is all entirely and clearly understood. In ineffably many multitudes of assemblies of living beings, They make appear a body for each one of those living beings which manifests and speaks Dharma for that living beings, Enabling those living beings, all of them to all see the Thus Come Ones, the Buddhas, Rescuing and saving all the limitless and boundless living beings. That’s why we make the vow:

Living beings are boundless,
I vow to save them all.

--The Conduct of Self- Mastery in the Three Periods of Time

Sutra:  

The deep and profound wisdom of all Buddhas
Is like the sun arising in the world.
In each and every one of the countries
It universally appears without resting,
Penetrating all in the world
As being false names with no true actuality.
Living beings as well as the world-realms
Are like dreams and also just like shadows.

Regarding all the worldly Dharmas
Buddhas do not bring forth views of discriminations,
And those who are well free of discriminations,
Also do not see discriminations.

Limitless and boundlessly many kalpas
They understand to be a single thought,
And they also know that thought is without thought.
That is how they see the world.

All the lands and countries without limit
In one thought are entirely transcended,
Yet passing through limitlessly many kalpas
They do not move from their original place.

For them all the ineffably many kalpas
Are just the shortest possible interval.
They do not see long or short duration
But make ultimate the Dharma of a kshana.

Their mind dwells within world-systems,
And world-systems dwell in their mind,
But towards this they do not falsely give rise
To discriminations of dual and non-dual.

Living beings and worlds as well as kalpas,
All Buddhas and all Buddhas’ Dharmas,
Are all like illusory transformations,
The Dharma Realm being totally one sameness.

Universally in kshetras of the ten directions
They make appear limitlessly many bodies,
Yet they know the bodies arise out of conditions,
And are ultimately without attachment to them.

Based upon non-dual wisdom,
There appear lions among people,
Who are not attached to there being no duality,
Knowing there is neither duality nor non-duality.

Commentary: 

The deep and profound wisdom of all Buddhas is like the sun arising in the sky in the world, so all living beings see the sun whose light shines everywhere in the world. In each and every one of the countries in all the worlds It universally appears without resting. No matter what country it is, the sun shines there. So, too, the Buddhas’ wisdom shines, Penetrating all in the world as being nothing at all but false names with no true actuality whatsoever. Living beings as well as the world-realms Are all like dreams and also just like shadows where there is light.

Regarding all the worldly Dharmas Buddhas do not bring forth views or knowledge of discriminations, and those kinds of people who have wisdom and who are well free of all discriminations, also do not see discriminations. Not only do they not discriminate, they don’t even think in terms of discriminations; they don’t have any outlook that involves discriminations at all. Limitless and boundlessly many kalpas they understand to be a single thought. Although we speak of there being such a limitless stretch of time as that many kalpas, when they are understood, they are all within a single thought. And they also know that thought is without thought. An instant of thought is no thought. That is how they see the world. Once they are able to look upon worldly dharmas in that way, then All the lands and countries without limit, in one thought are entirely transcended. The Buddhas overpass them all in just one instant of thought.

Yet passing through limitlessly many kalpas they are constantly in samadhi. Nonetheless, right within samadhi each Buddha is able to go throughout the world-systems of the ten directions to teach and transform living beings. But even though they are teaching and transforming living beings, They still remain in samadhi and do not move from their original place.

Without moving from where they originally are,
Their response penetrates in accord to teach and transform living beings.  

For them all the ineffably ineffably many great kalpas that go by, Are just like the shortest possible interval of time that has passed. However, in the world one knows not how many thousands of years of time have gone by. What is the principle behind this? It’s because one is in samadhi, and therefore the passing of thousands of years is experienced only as a split second of time, the shortest possible interval of time. That happened to the Venerable Master Hsu Yun when he was dwelling in a small hut on Chung Nan Mountain. He put on some potatoes to cook and then went to sit in meditation and entered samadhi. When he came out of samadhi and looked in the pot, he saw that the potatoes had all sprouted long hairs of mold. Then he asked other people and fond out that more than twenty days had passed.

In samadhi the shortest possible interval
Is several thousand kalpas in the world.

In this case, many thousands of great kalpas go by. Moreover, They do not see long or short duration. You shouldn’t use your false views and make relative comparisons saying one interval is long in relation to another which is short, But make ultimate the Dharma of a kshana. If you can reach the ultimate of having to false thoughts, you can penetrate even the space of a kshana. One kshana is basically very short, but 900 productions and extinctions still take place within the interval of a kshana. So if you understand the question of time, going from birth through old age and death all happens in the space of a kshana. Mayflies are born in the morning and die in the evening, yet they feel that the time has been very long. There are bacteria which go through their entire lifespans in what for us is the blink of an eye, but for them it is very long. On the other hand, fifty years among humans is just one day and night in the Heaven of the Four Heavenly Kings, while one day and night among humans is fifty years for beings in the hells. That is, when people are experiencing happiness, they feel the time is short, but when they are afflicted they feel the time is long.

As for all Buddhas, Their mind dwells within world-systems, and world-systems dwell in their mind. They keep the worlds always in mind, But towards this they do not falsely give rise To discriminations of dual and non-dual. Basically:

Inside there is no body and mind,
Outside there is no world.

So one shouldn’t falsely give rise to all those kinds of discriminations about whether the mind and world-systems are dual or non-dual.

Living beings and worlds as well as kalpas, all Buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time and all Buddhas’ Dharmas--the three Stores and Twelve Divisions of the Canon spoken by the Buddhas--should not be considered to be actual. They Are all like dreams and like illusory transformations, the Dharma Realm and empty space being totally one sameness. Universally in kshetras of the ten directions they--the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas--make appear limitlessly many bodies. It’s not knows how many. Yet they know the bodies arise out of causes and conditions, And are ultimately without attachment to them. Speaking in ultimate terms, there should be no attachments to worlds or bodies.

Based upon non-dual wisdom , truth in the primary sense, wisdom of the primary meaning, There appear lions among people in the world who accomplish Buddhahood and teach and transform living beings, Who are not attached to there being no duality. They do not become attached to the Dharma door of there being duality. Why not? It’s form Knowing there is neither duality nor non-duality. They know that since there is no duality, there is no negation of duality possible. Basically there isn’t even one, so how could there further be two?

When not a single dharma is established,
The myriad dharmas all are empty.

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