THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Raindrops...

The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra:

A thick cloud spreads out, covering the three thousand great thousand worlds, raining on them equally everywhere at the same time, its moisture reaching every part. The grasses, trees, forests and medicinal herbs - those of small roots, small stalks, small branches and small leaves, those of medium-sized roots, medium-sized stalks, medium-sized branches, medium-sized leaves or those of large roots, large stalks, large branches, and large leaves and also all the trees, whether great or small according to their size, small, medium, or large, all receive a portion of it. From the rain of the one cloud each according to its nature grows, blossoms, and bears fruit.

Just as that great cloud rains down on all the grasses, trees, forests, and medicinal herbs and each, according to its nature, fully receives the moisture and grows...

Commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

A thick cloud spreads out, a large, dense cloud spreads out, covering the three thousand great thousand worlds, raining on them equally everywhere at the same time, its moisture reaching every part. It does not make discriminations. The grasses, trees, forests and medicinal herbs - those of small roots, small stalks, small branches and small leaves. This represents those of the Small Vehicle. Those of medium-sized roots, medium-sized stalks, medium-sized branches, medium-sized leaves, those of the Middle Vehicle, those of large roots, large stalks, large branches, and large leaves, those of the Great Vehicle.

And also all the trees, whether great or small according to their size, small, medium, or large, all receive a portion of it. From the rain of the one cloud each according to its nature grows, blossoms, and bears fruit. The smaller ones receive a smaller amount. The middle-sized ones get a medium amount, and the large ones get a lot of rain.

Just as that great cloud rains down on all the grasses, trees, forests, and medicinal herbs. The various types of vegetation represent the various kinds of living beings. There are Bodhisattvas, Hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, gods, people, hell-beings, hungry ghosts, and animals. And each, according to its nature. Each living being accepts that dharma which they can accept, and each grows accordingly. Fully receives the moisture and grows. The larger ones get more; the smaller ones get less. Those who are wise get more wisdom; those with little wisdom, get less. But, whether they get more or less they all get some and they all grow…

... Refreshing the earth. This is also an analogy. It represents the Buddha using the clear, pure refreshing wisdom to cool off the earth’s ninety-eight kinds of afflictions. The cloud lowers and expands. Dense and profuse clouds colored the sky. Draped across are billows of clouds so thick that you could touch it with the reach of your hand. As if one could reach out and touch it, it rains equally everywhere. The wisdom of the Buddha’s words of Dharma universally moistens all living beings. Falling alike in the four directions. This represents the Eight Sounds and Four Types of Eloquence of the Buddha. Pouring without measure, saturating all the lands. In the Four Books, there is the saying:

Everything under heaven is the land of the king.
Every body of water is a minister to the king.

Everywhere all the land receives moisture, just as all living beings receive the moisture of the Buddhadharma…

The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra:

In the mountains, streams and steep valleys,
In deep recesses, there grow
Grasses, trees, and herbs,
And trees, both great and small,
The grains, shoots, and plants,
The sugar cane and the grape vine;
All are nourished by the rain,
And none fail to be enriched.
The parched ground is soaked,
The herbs and trees together flourish,
Issuing from that cloud
Water of a single flavor
Moistens grasses, trees and forests
Each according to its measure.
All of the trees,
Great, medium and small,
According to their size
Can grow and develop.
When reached by that single rain
The roots, stalks, branches, and leaves,
Flowers and fruits will luster and color,
All are fresh and shining.

Commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

In the mountains, streams and steep valleys, the streams represent the Great Bodhisattvas. The streams represent all the great disciples. In deep recesses, there grow grasses, trees, and herbs. The analogy gives the three kinds of grass and two kinds of trees. The three kinds of grass are: the Vehicle of People, the Vehicle of Gods, and the Vehicles of the Hearers and Condition-enlightened Ones. The two kinds of trees are the Bodhisattvas of Intermediate Teachings and Differentiated Teachings. Bodhisattvas of the Differentiated Teachings are great trees while Bodhisattvas of the Intermediate Teachings are small trees. And trees, both great and small, the grains, shoots, and plants.

The text says literally, “The hundred grains”. The word “hundred” represents the ten good deeds, each of which is multiplied by ten, making a hundred good deeds. The shoots and plants are all the living beings. The sugar cane and the grape vine. Sugar cane grows in stalks which represent both dhyana samadhi and the spiritual powers derived from it. Grapes grow in clusters, representing the use of a single wisdom door of prajna to cut off many, many doubts. All are nourished by the rain, and none fail to be enriched. They all grow. They each receive the share of rain that they should receive. The parched ground is soaked. “Parched ground” refers to living beings who have not planted good roots, who have not heard the Buddhadharma. These living beings are also nourished by the Dharma-rain and gain advantage.

The herbs and trees together flourish. They grow and flourish. Issuing from that cloud water of a single flavor. The One Vehicle Buddhadharma Moistens grasses, trees and forests. All living beings each according to its measure. They receive the benefit they deserve. All of the trees, great, medium and small, according to their size can grow and develop. When reached by that single rain the roots, stalks, branches, and leaves, flowers and fruits will luster and color, all are fresh and shining. They are fresh, sparkling, and beautiful…

Commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua:

...In this way, Kashyapa, the things I have just told you about the three grasses and the two trees; The Dharma spoken by the Buddha is like that great cloud. The wonderful Dharma of One Vehicle is used to teach and transform living beings with rain of a single flavor, it moistens all the people and flowers, so each one bears fruit, and in the future realizes Buddhahood.

Kashyapa, you should know that by using causes and conditions and various analogies I demonstrate and reveal the Buddha Path. The Buddha uses all kinds of causes, conditions, and analogies to instruct living beings in the pathway to Buddhahood.

Dew and dewdrops

Water

Frost

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