THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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The Names of the Thus Come Ones

Chapter Seven. A Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

And then speak of the Thus Come Ones’ Grounds, the Thus Come Ones’ States, the Thus Come Ones’ Spiritual Powers, the Thus Come Ones’ Conduct, the Thus Come Ones’ Powers, the Thus Come Ones’ Fearlessnesses, the Thus Come Ones’ Samadhis, the Thus Come Ones’ Spiritual Penetrations, the Thus Come Ones’ Comfort, and the Thus Come Ones’ Unobstructivenesses. Also, the Thus Come Ones’ Eyes, the Thus Come Ones’ Ears, the Thus Come Ones’ Noses, the Thus Come Ones’ Tongues, the Thus Come Ones’ Bodies, the Thus Come Ones’ Intents, the Thus Come Ones’ Eloquences, the Thus Come Ones’ Wisdom, and the Thus Come Ones’ Supremacy. We hope that the Buddha, the World Honored One, will speak about these for us.

Commentary:

The Bodhisattvas are asking that the Buddhas will then speak of the Thus Come Ones’ Grounds, the Thus Come Ones’ States, the Thus Come Ones’ Spiritual Powers, and the Thus Come Ones’ doors of Conduct which they cultivate. Please speak about the Thus Come Ones’ ten kinds of Powers, the Thus Come Ones’ Fearlessnesses, the Thus Come Ones’ Samadhis, and the Thus Come Ones’ Spiritual Penetrations. And then speak about how to obtain the Thus Come Ones’ Comfort, and the Thus Come Ones’ Unobstructivenesses—all of the unobstructed states of the Buddhas.

Also, please speak about what is meant by the Thus Come Ones’ Eyes, the Thus Come Ones’ Ears, how the Thus Come Ones’ Noses are constituted, as well as the Thus Come Ones’ Tongues. Speak about what the Thus Come Ones’ Bodies are like, and what the Thus Come Ones’ Intents are like. In their reflections, the Bodhisattvas thought of all these kinds of questions.

The Bodhisattvas also wanted to know about the Thus Come Ones’ Eloquences and how one obtains the Thus Come Ones’ Wisdom. And what is the Thus Come Ones’ Supremacy like? What are all of these extremely superior states about? We now hope that the Buddha, the World Honored One, will for all of us successor position Bodhisattvas in the Assembly, speak about these states, for us.

Sutra:

At that time, the World Honored One knew what was being thought in the minds of all Bodhisattvas and according to each in kind, he manifested spiritual penetrations. After he had manifested spiritual penetrations, from the East passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Golden Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Unmoving Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Manjushri. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the eastern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Commentary:

Each of the successor Bodhisattvas, the Equal Enlightenment Bodhisattvas, requested that the Buddha speak the Dharma. It was at that time, that the mind of the World Honored One and the minds of all the great Bodhisattvas mutually penetrated each other. How were they able to mutually penetrate each other? It was because the Buddha is complete with the Five Eyes and the Six Spiritual Penetrations. The Five Eyes are:

  • The Buddha Eye
  • The Dharma Eye
  • The Wisdom Eye
  • The Heavenly Eye
  • The Flesh Eye

The Six Spiritual Penetrations are:

  • The penetration of the heavenly eye
  • The penetration of the heavenly ear
  • The penetration of the knowledge of others’ thoughts
  • The penetration of the extinction of outflows
  • The penetration of spiritual fulfillment
  • The penetration of past lives.

Since the Buddha is endowed with the knowledge of the penetration of others’ minds, he quite naturally knew what was being thought in the minds of all Bodhisattvas.

All the thoughts in the minds of living beings,
The Thus Come One knows and sees completely.

The Buddha totally knows whatever these Great Bodhisattvas were thinking, their reflections and thoughts.

He knew what was being thought in the minds of all Bodhisattvas and according to each in kind, he manifested spiritual penetrations.

According to potentials,
He appears in response,
To transform and take living beings across.

Therefore, the Buddha is able to use the wonderful functions of his spiritual penetrations in order to teach and transform living beings. Every single living being feels that the Buddha is in front of him speaking the Dharma. Therefore it says that according to their kind he manifests all sorts of spiritual penetrations. Why does the Buddha manifest spiritual penetrations? It is in order to cause living beings to separate from suffering and to attain bliss, to end birth and cast out death, to turn away from confusion and return to enlightenment, and to return to the root and go back to the source. Therefore, the Buddha manifests spiritual penetrations to cause living beings to bring forth the Bodhi Mind and accomplish the Fruition of Bodhi.

After he had manifested spiritual penetrations, from the East passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Golden Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Unmoving Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world. In the world called Golden Color, there was a Buddha called Unmoving Wisdom. Unmoving Wisdom Buddha is a Buddha whose name we often recite. He is Akshobhya Buddha. This Golden Color World belongs to the Vajra Division. Within the Secret School he is called Akshobhya Buddha of the Eastern Direction who rules over the Vajra Division. His name means Unmoving Wisdom. Unmoving Wisdom is Vajra. Another name for this Buddha is Medicine Master Buddha who Dispels Calamities and Lengthens Life, and we often recite his name. Why is he able to lengthen life? This is because in order to dispel calamities and lengthen life you must be like Vajra. Therefore, this Buddha can dispel calamities and lengthen life. One must be like Vajra and then one can have unmoving wisdom.

From the world called Golden Color, which is also called the Eastern Vaidurya World, there came a Great Bodhisattva, a foremost leader among Bodhisattvas who was named Manjushri. This Bodhisattva’s name means “Wonderfully Lucky”. Together with Bodhisattvas—his Bodhisattva retinues--as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was—to his Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance. All of them bowed before the Buddha. And in the eastern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus. Each sat in full lotus upon a lion’s throne. Why did they decide to sit in full lotus? It’s because by sitting in full lotus, one can both subdue demons and protect one’s samadhi. Therefore, people who cultivate the Way, especially those who want to be like the Buddha, should pay attention to perfecting sitting in full lotus.

When you sit in meditation, not a single thought should arise;

If a single thought is not produced,
The entire substance manifests.

When a single thought does not arise, your inherent wisdom appears.

With the sudden movement of the six organs,
You are covered over by clouds.

When your six organs of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind move just slightly, it is just like when clouds appear in the sky and obscure the light of the sun. The sunlight is likened to our Buddhanature. Our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind—the six organs—produce the six dusts of:

  • forms
  • sounds
  • smells
  • tastes
  • objects of touch
  • dharmas (objects of the mind)
As soon as these six dusts arise, they are like the clouds that appear

in the sky and obscure the sunlight. So you must especially perfect sitting in full lotus. Always practice it. Enter the durable samadhi with your six organs unmoving and your wisdom will very quickly manifest.

Sutra:

From the South, passing through worlds as many as fine motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Wonderful Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Unobstructed Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Enlightened Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the Southern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

From the West, passing through worlds as many as fine motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Lotus Flower Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Wisdom that Extinguishes Darkness. There came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Wealthy Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the Western direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Commentary:

From the South, passing through worlds as many as fine motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, came more Bodhisattvas. The Southern direction corresponds to the Jeweled Production Division (or Ratnasambhava Division).

In the Jeweled Production Division the Buddha Unobstructed Wisdom is the Dharma Speaking host. “Passing through worlds as many as fine motes of dust in ten Buddhalands”, the Bodhisattvas came from a world called Wonderful Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Unobstructed Wisdom. His wisdom has no obstacles. From this world there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Enlightened Leader. He is the first Bodhisattva in the Southern division to attain enlightenment, therefore, he is called “leader”. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. He came to Shakyamuni Buddha’s Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance. They circumambulated the Buddha three times and afterward bowed to the Buddha. After bowing to him they withdrew to the south and in the Southern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats. When they withdrew, there spontaneously manifested lotus seats. And they sat in full lotus.

From the West, passing through worlds as many as fine motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, more Bodhisattvas come. In the Flower Adornment Sutra the number ‘ten’ always occurs. This number ‘ten’ symbolizes the principle of multi-layered inexhaustibility.

The Bodhisattvas come from a world called Lotus Flower Color, which is the same as the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Wisdom that Extinguishes Darkness. This is Limitless Life Buddha, or Limitless Light Buddha, that is to say, Amitabha Buddha. Why do we say that Amitabha Buddha is called Wisdom that Extinguishes Darkness Buddha? It’s because he has limitless light. Limitless light means he doesn’t have any darkness. So although the names are different, the Buddha being referred to is the same. You mustn’t think, “Oh, the Buddha Wisdom that Extinguishes Darkness is not Amitabha Buddha.” Actually, Amitabha Buddha is identical with the Buddha Wisdom that Extinguishes Darkness. You mustn’t fail to recognize him just because his name has been changed.

From this world there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Wealthy Leader. This Bodhisattva is extremely rich; he has a lot of money. What kind of money does he have? He has Dharma Treasures. What Dharma Treasures? Everything! He has all of them. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. He and his retinue came to the place where Shakyamuni Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance. They circumambulated the Buddha three times and bowed to the Buddha. Then they withdrew to the west and in the Western direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Sutra:

From the North, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Champaka Flower Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Awesome Deportment Wisdom Buddha, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Jeweled Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the northern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Commentary:

The eastern direction, the southern direction, and the western direction have already been presented. The five directions correspond to the five elements. The eastern direction corresponds to the element of wood, the southern direction corresponds to fire, the western direction corresponds to metal, the central direction corresponds to the element earth, and the northern direction corresponds to water.

From the North, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, there are more Bodhisattvas that come. A Buddhaland is a world realm. These ten Buddhalands are ten world realms, which together have ten Mount Sumerus, ten suns, ten moons, and ten sets of the four great continents—Uttarakuru in the north, Apara-godaniya in the east, Purva-videha in the west, and Jambudvipa in the south. These comprise one set of four continents. Within each Buddhaland there are dust motes. The dust motes in every Buddhaland are countless, and there are worlds as many as ten Buddhalands’ countless dust motes, which these Bodhisattvas pass through to come to Shakyamuni Buddha’s Way Place. From a world called Champaka Flower Color they came en masse. The Champaka Flower resembles a grape blossom. In that world dwelt a Buddha named Awesome Deportment Wisdom Buddha. This is the host Accomplishment Buddha of the northern direction. He is attentive to all aspects of awesome deportment and so he is called Awesome Deportment Wisdom Buddha. From this world there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Jeweled Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. This great Bodhisattva among Bodhisattvas, together with Bodhisattvas to the number of motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, came to Shakyamuni Buddha’s Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the northern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Sutra:

From the Northeast, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Utpala Flower Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Understanding Marks Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Merit and Virtue leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the northeastern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

From the Southeast, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Golden Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Ultimate Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Eye Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there, he and his retinue made obeisance and in the southeastern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Commentary:

We have already finished speaking about the four worlds of the four cardinal directions with their Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Next we shall speak about the four intermediary directions.

From the Northeast, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, more Bodhisattvas arrived. Passing through this many world realms, they came from a world called Utpala Flower Color. An utpala flower is a blue lotus flower. The Buddha who teaches and transforms living beings there is named Understanding Marks Wisdom. In this world named Utpala Flower Color there is a Buddha named Understanding Marks Wisdom. There came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Merit and Virtue leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands—these are all Bodhisattvas with virtuous practices and wisdom--he came to where the Buddha was, to the Buddha’s Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the northeastern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus. Upon arriving at this place, they bowed to the Buddha and in the Northeast, these superior people sat in full lotus on the transformationally created lion jeweled seats.

From the Southeast, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, Bodhisattvas came from a world called Golden Color. Before, in the eastern direction, there also was a world called Golden Color. In this southeastern world was the Buddha named Ultimate Wisdom. There came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Eye leader, a great Bodhisattva of awesome leadership. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. They came to the Buddha’s Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there, he and his retinue made obeisance and in the southeastern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Sutra:

From the Southwest, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Jeweled Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Superior Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Vigorous Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the southwestern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

From the Northwest, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Vajra Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Comfortable Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Dharma Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the northwestern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Commentary:

From the Southwest, passing through worlds as many as fine motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Jeweled Color, more Bodhisattvas came. Living beings are taught and transformed in this Jeweled Color world by a Buddha named Superior Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Vigorous Leader. This Bodhisattva took vigor as his foremost practice. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the southwestern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus. They arrived at the Buddha’s Bodhimanda and as soon as they got there, they bowed to the Buddha.

From the Northwest, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Vajra Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Comfortable Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Dharma Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance—when they got there they made obeisance, bowing before the Buddha. And in the northwestern direction transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Sutra:

From the direction below, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Crystal Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Brahma Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Wisdom Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the direction below transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

From the direction above, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Equal Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Contemplating and Investigating Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Worthy Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the direction above transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

Commentary:

From the direction below, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands—before, we were talking about the four cardinal points and the four intermediary points which make up the eight directions; now we are talking about the upper and lower directions which make the ten directions-- from a world called Crystal Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Brahma Wisdom. Brahma means pure. Here in this world, Brahma Wisdom Buddha teaches and transforms living beings. There came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Wisdom Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. At this time, they arrived at the Buddha’s Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance. When they arrived they circumambulated the Buddha three times, and then they bowed. And in the direction below transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus.

From the direction above, passing through worlds as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, from a world called Equal Color, wherein dwelt a Buddha named Contemplating and Investigating Wisdom, there came a Bodhisattva who dwelt in that world who was named Worthy Leader. Together with Bodhisattvas as many as motes of dust in ten Buddhalands, he came to where the Buddha was. They came before Shakyamuni Buddha, to his Bodhimanda. Upon arriving there he and his retinue made obeisance and in the direction above transformationally created lotus flower treasury lion seats and sat in full lotus. They bowed before the Buddha, and then they sat in full lotus on the transformationally created Jeweled Lion Seats and they waited for the Buddha to speak the Dharma.

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