THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Contents * Door 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6* 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * previous * next ***Preface

Prologue:

Furthermore, this benefit individually pairs with the previous nine, making up ten benefits. They are: One, hearing that the Dharma is that way, one knows that it is constant and pervasive, and accomplishes the benefit of seeing and hearing. Two, hearing of original conduct and vows, one studies the Buddha and makes the resolve, and accomplishes the benefit of bringing forth the resolve. Three, hearing of response in accordance with potentials, one knows that Dharmas arise because of the good, and accomplishes the benefit of starting to practice. Four, hearing that it acts as the root, one knows that its meanings are perfect, and accomplishes the benefit of sudden attainment.

Commentary:

Furthermore, this benefit individually pairs with the previous nine. This benefit, the Tenth Cause, pairs with each of the previous nine Causes:

One, because the Dharma should be that way.
Two, because of the fulfillment of past causes.
Three, because of according with the stimulus of potentials.
Four, to act as the root of the Teaching.
Five, in order to display the virtues of the fruit.
Six, in order to discuss the positions.
Seven, in order to speak of supreme conduct.
Eight, in order to set forth true Dharma.
Nine, in order to reveal the causal nature.
(Ten, to benefit the present and the future.)

Making up ten benefits. They are: One, hearing that the Dharma is that way, one knows that it is constant and pervasive. Upon hearing that the Dharma is just thus, one then know that every dharma is constant and all-pervasive, and accomplishes the benefit of seeing and hearing, benefit from seeing and hearing. Two, hearing of original conduct and vows, one studies the Buddha and makes the resolve. Upon hearing how the causes from cultivation in past lives were deep and thick, one wishes to imitate the Buddha and brings forth the Great Vehicle resolve for Bodhi, and accomplishes the benefit to brining forth resolve.

Three, hearing of response in accordance with potentials, the principle of response according with potentialities, one knows hat Dharmas arise because of the good. One realizes that all merit and virtue are founded on what’s wholesome, and accomplishes the benefit of starting to practice. One sets about practicing what one had not practiced before, and there is that benefit. Four, hearing that it acts as the root, the root of the teaching, one knows that its meanings are perfect, that its principles are perfectly fused without obstruction, and accomplishes the benefit of sudden attainment. One achieves the sudden attainment of that benefit, because when one knows the perfection of meanings, one can obtain that benefit very fast.

Prologue:

Five, hearing of the virtues of the fruit, one then believes, rejoices in, and vows to equal them, and accomplishes the benefit of destroying obstacles. Six, hearing of the positions, one looks forward to achieving entry to them, and accomplishes the benefit of gathering in the positions. Seven, hearing of conducts, one resolves to cultivate, and accomplishes the benefit of the arisal of conduct. Eight, hearing of Dharma, one certainly must understand it, and accomplishes the benefit of congruence with the nature. Nine, hearing of the cause, one knows that all have it, and accomplishes the benefit of passing on the benefits. Ten, one takes the previous nine together, and accomplishes the benefit of rapid certification. Therefore, the previous nine causes all constitute present benefit.

Commentary:

Five, the fifth kind of benefit, is hearing of the virtues of the fruit. When the virtues of the fruit of Buddhahood are displayed, one then believes, rejoices in, and vows to equal them, and accomplishes the benefit of destroying obstacles. Because one believes in them oneself, is pleased with them, and vows to reach the same position as the Buddha, one obtains the benefit of being able to have one’s karmic obstacles destroyed. Six, hearing of the positions, one looks forward to achieving them. Having heard the positions discussed, one brings forth the Bodhi resolve to attain those positions, and accomplishes the benefit of gathering in the positions. Seven, hearing of supreme conduct, one resolves to cultivate according to that supreme conduct, and accomplishes the benefit of the arisal of conduct. One achieves the benefit of bringing forth the cultivation of that conduct. Eight, hearing of Dharma, hearing about true and actual Dharma, one certainly must understand it. One then understands it very well, because one is certain, has no doubts about it, and accomplishes the benefit of congruence with the nature. One then brings about the benefit of merit and virtue arising from congruence with the nature.

Nine, hearing of the cause, when the causal nature is revealed, one knows that all have it, that all living beings have the Buddha-nature, the wisdom of a Buddha, and one accomplishes the benefit of passing on the benefits. One then passes them on, wishing to teach and transform living being, so they all obtain that benefit too. Ten, one takes the previous nine together. To make the tenth, one combines the previous nine kinds of benefits, and accomplishes the benefit of rapid certification. One can very quickly certify to the attainment of the fruit of Buddhahood. Therefore, the previous nine causes all constitute present benefit. All the nine benefits that came before make up the benefit of rapid certification with the hope that all of us will quickly attain Anutarasamyaksambodhi.

The second summer session (1971) is about to begin. No matter how many people attend, our schedule is just as busy. We still bow the Great Compassion Repentance in the afternoon. The merit and virtue of the Great Compassion Repentance is inconceivable, and those of you bowing it should be very sincere, and transfer merit to those not bowing the repentance. Now among the Dharma protectors in the Buddha hall some are having karmic obstacles appear, so they’re always having lots of false thinking. These are not false thoughts they wish to have, but karmic obstacles disturbing their cultivation. So when we bow the repentance we should do so on their behalf, hoping Kuan Yin Bodhisattva will aid those with karmic obstacles so they attain purity of body and mind, and don’t have so many afflictions. That is the Bodhisattva conduct of benefiting self and others. We who study the Buddha wish others well and free of karmic obstacles, so you should decide to transfer merit to those who have karmic obstacles.

If you want others to attain purity of body and mind, you yourself are certain to attain it too. Helping others is just helping yourself, and helping yourself is helping others. There’s that interconnection. Now we have come together because we have affinities with each other, and so we should have the harmonious union of self and others, and save each other, helping each other out. You should make that kind of Bodhi resolve, which is the door of practice for rapid certification.

Matched couplets are very current in Chinese, especially among the learned, some of whom write them very well with lots of meaning. Here is one that is very well put:

A petty person tells lies,
And shifts from red to green,
Trading faces trying to pass for a gentleman.
When a great person speaks
It is like dying white cloth black.
Changing one’s words does not make for a hero.

A person of small stature enjoys talking wildly and lying. Something will be red for awhile, and then suddenly become green. He’ll be saying one thing, and pretty soon it’s changed into something else. He trades his face of a petty person, putting on a masque and pretending to be a superior person. But when someone of great stature talks, it’s like dying a piece of white material black. To alter what one has said is not heroic.

Prologue:

It is also possible to derive ten benefits from each of the previous doors, which can be arrived at by reflection.

Due to the ten causes stated above, this teaching flourishes. In the chapter on Brining Forth the Resolve there are ten causal factors. It says, “Because of the Buddha’s awesome spiritual might; because of the original vows of the World Honored One;” and so forth. Causes and conditions interact, and the correspondence of causes with conditions can be arrived at by reflection.

Commentary:

It is also possible to derive ten benefits from each of the previous doors, which can be arrived at by reflection. That is, each of the ten doors that were talked about before can be explained as having ten kinds of benefits. You can figure them out for yourself. Due to the ten causes stated above, this teaching flourishes. The Ten Causes just discussed are the reasons why the Buddhadharma is able to arise and prosper. In the chapter on bringing forth the resolve there are ten causal factors. Here only two of the ten reasons are quoted. It says, in the Chapter on Bringing Forth the Resolve, “Because of the Buddha’s awesome spiritual might,” that is, the power of the Buddha’s spiritual penetrations. It also says, “Because of the original vows of the World Honored One.” Another reason is because of the vows originally made by the World Honored One, Shakyamuni Buddha. The rest of the reasons given in that Chapter are:

In order to reveal (to point out and explain) the Buddhadharma.
In order to bring about universal illumination (of all living beings) by the light of wisdom.
In order to set forth true meaning (true and actual principle.)
In order to bring about (all living beings’) certification to the Dharma-nature.
In order to delight the multitudes in the (Dharma) assembly.
In order to reveal the causes of the Buddhadharma.
In order to obtain the impartiality of all Buddhas.
In order to understand the non-duality of the Dharma Realm.

In the Sutra there are those Ten Causes, the two mentioned in the Prologue text, and these eight, which the Prologue summarizes by saying and so forth.

Causes and conditions interact. There are conditions within causes, and causes inside of conditions, causally conditioning each other as they interact; and the correspondence of causes with conditions can be arrived at by reflection. If you understand the causes, then you can understand the conditions, and vice versa, for the correspond with each other, which is just another way of saying they interact. If you think this over, you will understand it. Above, the Ten Causes in the First Door, The Causes and Conditions for the Arisal of the Teaching, have been presented and explained. Now the Ten Conditions within that First Door will be given.

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