THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Vairochana _____________

Chapter Six. A Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

You have embarked upon my practices of Bodhi
And the sea of fundamental expedient deeds from days of old.
Like me, you cultivate all pure disciplines.
Wonderful conduct such as that you have fully realized.

I have, through all the limitless kshetras,
Made manifold offerings to the oceans of Buddhas.
I’ve attained the fruition from identical practice,
And you can comprehensively see such adornments.

Throughout the vast, expansive, boundless sea of time and
within all worlds, cultivating pure conduct and persevering in resolute, inconceivable vows,
you will attain the spiritual power of a Thus Come One.
Exhaustively making offerings to Buddhas, without exception,
adorning their lands and making them completely pure,
and cultivating through kalpas of time extraordinary practices,
you shall accomplish the Buddhas’ supreme merit and virtue.

Commentary:

You, Great Awesome Light, already have embarked upon the sea of my practices of Bodhi conduct and the sea of fundamental expedient deeds—the skill-in-means that I cultivated—from day of old. Like me, you cultivate all pure disciplines. You cultivate the same Dharma-doors of pure discipline that I cultivated in past lives. Wonderful conduct such as that you have fully realized. You can understand and cultivate those inconceivable practices the same as I.

I have, through all the limitless kshetras, made manifold offerings to the oceans of Buddhas, continues Good King Adorned With Eyes of Prajna Thus Come One. He says of himself: In the past, throughout limitless kshetra seas, I made all kinds of offerings, adorning the seas of all Buddhas. There was not a single Buddha whom I did not make offerings to. I drew near them with utmost reverence. I’ve attained the fruition that all Buddhas attain from identical practice, cultivating in the same way as those Buddhas did before me. And you can comprehensively see all such adornments. Right at this moment you are able to see all the various causes and conditions revealed within all of those states.

Throughout the vast, expansive, boundless sea of time and within all worlds, cultivating pure conduct and persevering in resolute, inconceivable vows, you will attain the spiritual power of a Thus Come One. The realm of that sea of time cannot be fathomed; it is somply too vast. In the very presence of all Buddhas, the Dharma Prince Great Awesome Light cultivated all those doors of pure practice. He has been resolute and constant in holding to his vows.

We need to be firm and solid in the vows we make. You shouldn’t bring forth the Bodhi resolve today and tomorrow think about turning back. That’s to retreat from the Bodhi resolve. The kind of vow-power referred to here is substantial, unalterable, and inconceivable. Because Prince Great Awesome Light was resolute in that way, the Buddha now assures him that he will accomplish the Thus Come Ones’ spiritual powers.

Exhaustively making offerings to Buddhas, without exception, adorning their lands and making them completely pure, and cultivating through kalpas of time extraordinary practices, you shall accomplish the Buddhas’ supreme merit and virtue. In the past, Prince Great Awesome Light also made offerings to all Buddhas, with none remaining. He used extraordinary adornments and completely purified Buddhalands. Since he has perfected his merit and virtue, he will certainly accomplish Buddhahood.

Sutra:

“Disciples of the Buddha, after the Thus Come One Good King Adorned with Eyes of Prajna entered nirvana, the King Happy Views Wholesome Wisdom Departed from that World, and the pure Youth Great Awesome Light succeeded to the position of wheel-turning king. And then, within that great forest, Wheels of Blossoming Mani Branches, a third Thus Come One appeared in that world. His name was, Ocean of Most Victorious Merit and Virtue.

“At that time, Great Awesome Light Wheel-turning sage king witnessed the Thus Come One accomplish the marks of a Buddha, and together with his retinue, four massive throngs in all, and all the populace from the cities, towns, and villages, carrying with them the seven jewels, went en masse to where that Buddha was. Using all manner of grand pavilions, which were adorned with fragrant mani, they respectfully made offerings to the Buddha.

Commentary:

Universal Worthy Bodhisattva once more calls out with a single sound, “Disciples of the Buddha, after the Thus Come One Good King Adorned with Eyes of Prajna entered nirvana, the King Happy Views Wholesome Wisdom departed from that world. When the first Buddha was in the world, he lived for fifty kotis of years. The text does not mention how long this second Buddha remained in the world, but his lifespan must have been equal to that of the first Buddha. The King Happy Views Wholesome Wisdom was also endowed with a long lifespan; we can assume it was also fifty kotis of years, since he and the second Buddha were contemporaries. And thus the King also passed away from that world.

Now among the King Happy Views Wholesome Wisdom’s five hundred sons, the Pure Youth Great Awesome Light was the leader. By this time, he too, had become quite advanced in age, but he is still referred to here as a “pure youth.” Since he was the Crown Prince, the heir apparent, he succeeded to the position of wheel-turning king.

Great Awesome Light Wheel-Turning King had the seven jewels all wheel-turning kings possess: the gold wheel jewel, the white elephant jewel, the steed jewel, the jewel of the divine pearl, the jewel of able ministers, the jewel of the jade maiden, and the jewel of generals.

“At that time, Great Awesome Light Wheel-Turning Sage King witnessed the Thus Come One accomplish the marks of a Buddha, and he went together with his retinue of which there were four massive throngs in all—one legion at the front of the entourage, one legion at the rear, one legion to the left, and one to the right. With him was also all the populace from the cities, towns, and villages, and everyone was carrying with them the seven jewels: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of-pearl, red pearl, and carnelian. Bearing all those elegant, luminescent gems, they went en masse to where that Buddha was. As a single party they traveled to the Way-place of Ocean of Most Victorious Merit and Virtue Buddha, and using all manner of grand pavilions, which were adorned with fragrant mani, they respectfully made offerings to the Buddha.”

Sutra:

“Then, in the midst of that forest, the Thus Come One spoke the Sutra of the Light of Conduct of the Bodhisattva’s Universal Eye, along with Sutras as many as there are dust motes in worlds, which serve as its retinue.

“As soon as Great Awesome Light Bodhisattva heard that Dharma, he obtained the samadhi called ‘Universal Light of Abundant Blessings and Virtue.’ Because he attained that samadhi, he was able to completely know and understand all Bodhisattvas, all living beings, and the sea of their blessings and ill fortunes of the past, present, and future.

“Then, for the sake of Great Awesome Light Bodhisattva, that Buddha spoke verses saying:

Good indeed, blessed and virtuous Great Awesome Light!
You have now come here to where I am.
And from a thought of sympathy for the sea of beings,
You have given rise to the great resolve for Bodhi.

For the sake of suffering beings, you have brought forth
The great, compassionate thought to effect their liberation.
One who the confused masses can draw near to and rely on,
is known as a Bodhisattva who practices expedients.

Commentary:

“Then, in the midst of that forest, wheels of Blossoming Mani Branches, the Thus Come One, ocean of Most Victorious Merit and Virtue, spoke a lecture on the Sutra of the Light of Conduct of the Bodhisattva’s Universal Eye, and also lectured on the sutras as many as there are dust motes in worlds, which serve as its retinue.

As soon as Great Awesome Light Bodhisattva heard that dharma-door, The sutra of the Light of Conduct of the Bodhisattva’s Universal Eye, He immediately obtained the samadhi, a kind of proper concentration, called ‘Universal Light of ‘Abundant Blessings and Virtue.’ Because he attained that samadhi, he was able to completely know and understand, reflect upon and be mindful of all Bodhisattvas of the past, present, and future, and the various doors of practice that they cultivated; he could also know the thoughts in the minds of all living beings—past, present, and future—and the sea of their blessings and ill fortune of the past, present and future. He reached the state where he fully comprehended all the various causes and conditions of the blessings that those people created and the fruits of retribution they reaped.

“Then, for the sake of Great Awesome Light Bodhisattva, that Buddha, ocean of Most Victorious Merit and Virtue, spoke verses saying:

Good Indeed, blessed and virtuous Great Awesome Light! He said: Really good! Excellent! You, Great Awesome Light, have blessings and virtue which are exceedingly abundant—as deep and vast as the sea. You have now come here to where I am. You have arrived here at my Way-place with your retinue, your close and extended damily and all the citizens of your country. And from a thought of sympathy in reflecting on the causes and conditions of the sea of beings, you have given rise to the extraordinarily supreme and great resolve for bodhi.

For the sake of suffering beings—you wish to come to their aid, and so—you have brought forth the great, compassionate thought to effect their liberation. Now you have become one who the confused masses can draw near to and rely on. You should regard them all just as you do your mother and father, and be the kind of person that all living beings can depend on. Such a person is known as a Bodhisattva who practices expedients.

Sutra:

Bodhisattvas who cultivate superior practices,
Decisively, dauntlessly, and are never weary or lax,
A most supreme and most victorious, unobstructed liberation
Such wondrous wisdom as that—they surely will attain.

The light from your blessings and virtueis that of an auspicious banner.
The domain of your blessings and virtue is that of an auspicious sea.
All Universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s vows
You, Great Awesome Light, can aspire to and enter.

You are already able to use the vast, great vows
To enter the inconceivable sea of all Buddhas.
The sea of the Buddhas’ blessings has no bounds
Through wonderful liberation, you can entirely view it.
You, throughout all worlds in the ten directions,
Can totally perceive the limitless, boundless Buddhas
And the extensive sea of all their former practices:

All such things as those, you can see entirely.
One who abides on that sea of expedients will certainly enter the grounds of wisdom.
Thus is accord with all Buddhas in study,
One certainly will accomplish all-wisdom.

Commentary:

Bodhisattvas who cultivate superior practices, decisively, dauntlessly, and are never weary or lax. If they can bring forth the Bodhi resolve and reliably practice those doors of conduct and that strength of vows, they’ll never get tired or be lazy and remiss. And then a most supreme and most victorious, unobstructed liberation—such unsurpassed, wondrous wisdom as that—you surely will attain.

The light from your blessings and virtue is that of an auspicious banner. You meritorious conduct has endowed you with an aureole which resembles a resplendent curtain of blessings and virtue. The domain of your blessings and virtue is that of an auspicious sea. All the places where people abide within that great sea of blessings and virtue are adorned, and those people, too, are replete with merit and virtue.’

All Universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s vows are what you model yourself after. It was by cultivating those doors of practice of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva and by bringing forth his great vows that you and all those people have accomplished such blessings and virtue. You, Great Awesome Light, can aspire to and enter all that conduct and those vows. You have now become a Bodhisattva and are able to reach the level of fruition accomplished by Universal Worthy Bodhisattva himself.

You are already able to use the vast, Great Vows to enter the inconceivable sea of the states of all Buddhas. The sea of the Budhas’ blessings has no bounds; through wonderful liberation, you can entirely view it. You havegained the liberation of wonderful wisdom and wonderful enlightenment, and by means of that you are able to thoroughly see and understand it.

You, throughout all worlds in the ten directions, can totally perceive the limitless, boundless Buddhas. You are able to see each one face-to-face. The extensive sea of all their former door of practice. All such things as those just mentioned, you can see entirely.

One who abides on that sea of expedients will certainly enter and attain all the grounds of wisdom. Thus in accord with all Buddhas’ door of cultivation in study, one certainly will accomplish all-wisdom.

Sutra:

You have, amidst the seas of all worlds,
and through oceans of kalpas as many as dust motes,
studied the Thus Come Ones’ sea of practices.
You shall certainly accomplish Buddhahood.

The oceans of worlds which you see throughout the ten directions
are ultimately adorned and purified;
So, too, is your own land adorned and pure:
Limitless vows you will certainly fulfill.

Commentary:

You, Great Awesome Light Bodhisattva, have, amidst the seas of all worlds—the Buddhalands throughout the Dharma Realm of the ten directions—and through oceans of kalpas as many as dust motes, studied each and every one of the Thus Come Ones’ sea of practices and their doors of conduct; you have extensively cultivated the Buddhadharma.

You shall certainly accomplish Buddhahood. You have already perfected your study and practice of the Bodhi Way, and you should of continue to do so for limitless kalpas to come. Your blessings and wisdom are full and complete; you shall certainly accomplish Buddhahood.

The oceans of worlds which you see throughout the ten directions, are ultimately adorned, beautiful, and purified; so, too, is your own land adorned and pure. In the past you cultivated the Six Paramitas and Ten Thousand Conducts to perfection; thus you have attained your own land, which is as adorned and pure as the Buddhalands of the ten directions. Limitless vows you will certainly fulfill. It is because you have consistently brought forth limitless and boundless vows for Bodhi throughout all your past lives, that you are now able to obtain a land as adorned and pure as the Buddhalands. That is your reward.

Sutra:

The sea-wide assembly now at this way-place
Delights in hearing of the vows you have made.
They all climb aboard Universal Worthy’s vast, great vehicle,
And bring forth the mind of transference to Bodhi.

Commentary:

The sea-wide assembly, which has congregated now at this Buddha’s way-place in the Great Forest Wheels of Blossoming Mani Branches, consists of people who have come from among the living beings throughout the ten directions, their number so vast that it can only be likened to a sea. Delights in hearing of the vast vows for Bodhi, which you have made during your past lives. They are all overjoyed, ecstatic and they climb aboard Universal Worthy’s vast, great vehicle. They’ve also attained his great doors of practice and the principles of the Great Vehicle, and bring forth the mind of transference to Bodhi. They, too, have brought forth the mind of transference to Bodhi, transferring from the small to the Great, from self to others, from the cause to the fruition, from specifics to principle, making transference to the unsurpassed Bodhi Way.

Sutra:

Within every one of the limitless lands, and
through oceans of kalpas, you’ve penetrated all practices.
Now, by the power of your vows,
You perfect the conduct of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva.

Commentary:

Within each and every one of the limitless lands, all the worlds, and through oceans of kalpas – as many as there are motes of dust—you’ve penetrated all practices. Now, by using the power of your vows, you perfect the Bodhi conduct of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. All the practices and vows of Universal Worthy which are brought forth can be fulfilled.

Sutra:

“Disciples of the Buddha, within that forest, Wheels of Blossoming Mani Branches, yet another Buddha entered the world. His name was Lotus Eyes Banner. His renown is universal. That was the time when Great Awesome Light passed from that life to be reborn as a great heavenly king in the still, quiet, jeweled palace of the heavenly city situated on top of Mount Sumeru. His name was Banner of Blessings and Virtue Apart from Filth. And together with all the heavenly citizens, he arrived at that Buddha’s place, where they rained down precious flowers as offerings.

“Then the Thus Come One spoke for him the Vast, Great, Expedient Universal Door Pervasively Shining Sutra, along with Sutras as many as there are motes of dust in seas of worlds, which serve as its retinue.” When that heavenly king and his devas heard that Sutra, they attained the samadhi called, ‘The Treasury of the Universal Door of Happiness,’ and by the strength from that samadhi, they were able to enter the sea of the true mark of all Dharmas.

“Once having obtained such benefit, they departed from that Way-place and returned to their place of origin.”

Commentary:

Universal Worthy again calls out, “Disciples of the Buddha, within that forest, wheels of blossoming mani branches, yet another Buddha entered and manifested in the world. His name was Lotus Eyes Banner Buddha. His renown is universal. His fame is spread far and wide, reaching to all worlds. That was the time when great awesome light passed from that life to be reborn as a great heavenly king in the especially still, quiet, jeweled palace of the heavenly city situated on top of mount sumeru. At that time, when this fourth Buddha entered his world, the life of Bodhisattva Great Awesome Light Wheel-turning King reached its end, and he was reborn as a Great Heavenly King. His name was Banner of Blessings and Virtue apart from filth. And together with his entire retinue and all the heavenly citizens, he arrived at that Buddha’s Lotus Eyes Banner’s, Wayplace, where they rained down precious flowers as offerings. All the jeweled flowers that those gods scattered resembled a billowing tapestry of variegated, bright colors. They used that kind of adornment to make offerings to Lotus Eyes Banner Buddha.

Then, the Thus Come One spoke a lecture for him, the Heavenly King Banner of Blessings and Virtue Apart from Filth, on the vast, great, expedient universal door pervasively shining sutra, along with sutras as many as there are motes of dust in seas of worlds, which serve as its retinue. Those works together make a Sutra Canon. When that heavenly king and his devas, all those heavenly beings, heard that sutra, they attained the samadhi – a kind of proper concentration—called, ‘The Treasury of the Universal Door of Happiness,’ and by the strength from that samadhi, they were able to enter, to penetrate and understand, the sea of the true mark of all dharmas.

“Once having obtained such wholesome benefit, they departed from that Way-place and escorted their Heavenly King as they returned to their place of origin, the Heavenly Jeweled palace.”

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