THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Aniruddha arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “When I first left home, I was fond of sleeping all the time. The Thus Come One scolded me and said I was no better than an animal. When I heard the Buddha’s scolding, I wept and upbraided myself. For seven days I did not sleep, and I lost the sight in both my eyes. 5:44

”The World Honored One taught me the Vajra Samadhi of the Delightful Seeing, which illumines and is bright. Although I had no eyes, I could contemplate the ten directions with true and penetrating clarity, just as if I were looking at a piece of fruit in the palm of my hand. The Thus Come One certified me as having attained Arhatship. 5:45

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, returning the seeing back to its source is the foremost method.” 5:45

Kshudrapanthaka arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: 5:46

”I am deficient in the ability to memorize and do not have much innate intelligence. When I first met the Buddha, I heard the dharma and left the home-life. But, when I tried to remember one line of a verse by the Thus Come One, I went through a hundred days remembering the first part and forgetting the last, or remembering the last and forgetting the first. 5:49

”The Buddha took pity on my stupidity and taught me to relax and regulate my breath. I contemplated my breath thoroughly to the subtle point in which arising, dwelling, change, and extinction happen in every kshana. 5:51

”My mind suddenly attained vast non-obstruction, until my outflows were extinguished and I accomplished Arhatship. Beneath the Buddha’s seat I was sealed and certified as being beyond learning. 5:52

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, turning the breath back to emptiness is the foremost method.” 5:54

Gavampati arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I have mouth-karma created from a past offense. I slighted a Shramana, and in life after life I’ve had this cow-cud sickness. 5:55
”The Thus Come One taught me the mind-ground dharma-door of the purity of a single flavor. My thought was extinguished, I entered samadhi, and contemplated the awareness of flavor as not having a substance and not being a thing. As a result, my mind transcended all worldly outflows. 5:56

”Internally I was freed of body and mind, and externally I abandoned the world. I left the three existences far behind, just like a bird released from its cage. I separated from filth and wiped out defilements, and so my Dharma Eye became pure, and I accomplished Arhatship. The Thus Come One certified me in person as having ascended to the Path Beyond Learning. 5:56

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, returning flavor and turning awareness around is the superior method.” 5:57

Pilindavatsa arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: 5:57

”When I first left home to follow the Buddha and enter the way, I often heard the Thus Come One explain that there is nothing in this world that brings happiness. Once, when I was begging in the city, I was reflecting on this Dharma-door and did not notice a poisonous thorn on the road until it had pricked my foot. My entire body experienced physical pain, but my mind also had an awareness: though it was aware of strong pain and recognized the feeling of pain, I knew that in my pure heart, there was neither pain nor awareness of pain. 5:58

”I also thought, ‘Is it possible for one body to have two awarenesses?’ Having reflected on this for a while, my body and mind were suddenly empty. After twenty-one days, my outflows disappeared. I accomplished Arhatship and received certification in person and a confirmation that I had realized the level beyond learning. 5:59

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, purifying the awareness and forgetting the body is the superior method.” 5:60

Subhuti arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “From distant kalpas until now, my mind has been unobstructed. I remember as many of my past lives as there are sands in the Ganges River. From the beginning, in my mother’s womb, I knew emptiness and tranquility, to the extent that the ten directions became empty and I caused living beings to be certified to the nature of emptiness. 5:60

”Having received the Thus Come One’s revelation that the enlightened nature is true emptiness - that the nature of emptiness is perfect and bright - I attained Arhatship and suddenly entered into the Thus Come One’s sea of magnificent, bright emptiness. With knowledge and views identical with the Buddha, I was certified as being beyond learning. In the liberation of the nature of emptiness, I am unsurpassed. 5:61

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, all appearances enter into nothingness; nothingness and what becomes nothingness both disappear. Turning dharmas back to the void is the foremost method.” 5:61

Shariputra arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “From distant kalpas until the present, my mind and views have been pure. In this way I have undergone as many births as there are grains of sand in the Ganges. As to the various transformations and changes of both the mundane and the transcendental, I am able to understand them at one glance and obtain non-obstruction. 5:63

”Once I met the Kashyapas on the road, and I walked along with the brothers. They spoke about causes and conditions, and I awakened to the boundlessness of my mind. 5:64

”I followed the Buddha and left the home life. My seeing-awareness became bright and perfect, I obtained fearlessness and became an Arhat. As one of the Buddha’s elder disciples, I am born from the Buddha’s mouth, transformationally born from the Dharma. 5:66

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, for the mind and the seeing to emit light and for the light to reach throughout knowing and seeing is the foremost method.” 5:66

Universal Worthy Bodhisattva arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I have been a Dharma Prince with as many Thus Come Ones as there are sands in the Ganges. The Thus Come Ones of the ten directions tell their disciples who have the roots of a Bodhisattva to cultivate the Universal Worthy conduct, which is named after me. 5:66

”World Honored One, I use my mind to listen and distinguish the knowledge and views of living beings. In other regions as many realms away as there are sands in the Ganges, if there is any living being who discovers the conduct of Universal Worthy, I immediately mount my six-tusked elephant and create hundreds of thousands of reduplicated bodies which go to those places. Although their obstacles may be so heavy that they do not see me, I secretly rub their crowns, protect and comfort them, and help them be successful. 5:68

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. The basic cause I speak of in my case is listening with the mind to discover and distinguish at ease. This is the foremost method.” 5:69

Sundarananda arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “When I first left home and followed the Buddha to enter the Way, I received the complete precepts, but my mind was always too scattered for samadhi, and I could not attain the state of having no outflows. The World Honored One taught Kaushthila and me to contemplate the white spot at the tip of our noses. 5:69

”From the first, I contemplated intently. After three weeks, I saw that the breath in my nostrils looked like smoke when I inhaled and exhaled. My body and mind became bright inside, and I perfectly understood the external world, to the point that everything became empty and pure, like crystal. The smoky appearance gradually disappeared, and the breath in my nostrils became white. 5:70

”My mind opened and my outflows were extinguished. Every inhalation and exhalation of breath was transformed into light which illumined the ten directions, and I attained Arhatship. The World Honored One predicted that in the future I would obtain Bodhi. 5:71

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I did it by means of the disappearance of the breath, until eventually the breath emitted light and the light completely extinguished my outflows. This is the foremost method.” 5:71

Purnamaitreyaniputra arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “For vast kalpas I have possessed unobstructed eloquence. When I discuss suffering and emptiness I penetrate deeply into the actual appearance, and in the same way, I give subtle, wonderful instruction to the assembly concerning the secret Dharma doors of as many Thus Come Ones as there are sands in the Ganges. I have also obtained fearlessness. 5:72

”The World Honored One knew that I had great eloquence, and so he made use of my voice in turning the wheel of the Dharma. He taught me how to disseminate it. I joined the Buddha to help him turn the wheel. I accomplished Arhatship through the lion’s roar. The World Honored One certified me as being foremost in speaking Dharma. 5:73

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I used the sound of Dharma to subdue demons and adversaries and melt away my outflows. This is the foremost method.” 5:74

Upali arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I followed the Buddha in person when he fled the city and left the home-life. I observed the Thus Come One endure six years of diligent asceticism. I watched the Thus Come One subdue all the demons, control adherents of external paths and become liberated from all outflows which were based on worldly desire and greed. 5:74

”I based myself on the Buddha’s teaching of precepts, encompassing the three thousand awesome deportments and the eighty thousand subtle aspects. Both my direct karma and my contributing karma became pure. My body and mind became tranquil, and I accomplished Arhatship. 5:81

”In the Thus Come One’s assembly, I am a governor of the law. The Buddha himself certified my mind’s upholding of the precepts and my genuine cultivation of them. I am considered a leader of the assembly. 5:87

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I disciplined the body until the body attained ease and comfort. Then I disciplined the mind until the mind attained penetrating clarity. After that, the body and mind experienced keen and thorough absorption. This is the foremost method.” 5:88

Great Maudgalyayana arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “Once when I was out on the road begging for food, I met the three Kashyapa brothers - Uruvilva, Gaya, and Nadi - who proclaimed for me the Thus Come One’s profound principle of causes and conditions. I immediately brought forth resolve and obtained a great understanding. 5:89

”The Thus Come One accepted me, and the kashaya was on my body and my hair fell out by itself. I roamed in the ten directions, having no impeding obstructions. I discovered my spiritual penetrations, which are esteemed as unsurpassed, and I accomplished Arhatship. 5:90

”Not only the World Honored One, but the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions praise my spiritual powers as perfectly clear and pure, masterful, and fearless. 5:91

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. By means of a spiral-like attention to the profound, the light of my mind was revealed, just as muddy water clears. Eventually it became pure and dazzling. This is the foremost method.” 5:91

Ucchushma came before the Buddha, put his palms together, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I can still remember how many kalpas ago I was filled with excessive greed and desire. There was a Buddha in the world named King of Emptiness. He said that people with too much desire turn into a raging mass of fire. He taught me to contemplate the coolness and warmth throughout my entire body. 5:92

”A spiritual light coalesced inside and transformed my thoughts of excessive lust into the fire of wisdom. After that, when any of the Buddhas summoned me, they used the name ‘fire-head.’ 5:94

”From the strength of the fire-light samadhi, I accomplished Arhatship. I made a great vow that when each of the Buddhas accomplishes the way, I will be a powerful knight and in person subdue the demons’ hatred. 5:94

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I used attentive contemplation of the effects of heat in my body and mind, until it became unobstructed and penetrating and all my outflows were consumed. I produced a blazing brilliance and ascended to enlightenment. This is the foremost method.” 5:94

The Bodhisattva, “Maintaining the Ground,” arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I remember when Universal Light Thus Come One appeared in the world in the past. I was a Bhikshu who continually worked on making level the major roads, ferry-landings, and the dangerous spots in the ground, where the disrepair might hinder or harm carriages or horses. I did everything from building bridges to hauling sand. 5:95

”I was diligent in this hard labor throughout the appearance of limitless Buddhas in the world. If there were beings at the walls and gates of the cities who needed someone to carry their goods, I would carry them all the way to their destination, set the things down, and leave without taking any recompense. 5:96

”When the Buddha Vipashyin appeared in the world, there was a world-wide famine. I would carry people on my back, and no matter how far the distance, I would only accept one small coin. If there was an ox-cart stuck in the mud, I would use my spiritual strength to push the wheels and get it out of difficulty. 5:96

”Once a king asked the Buddha to accept a vegetarian feast. At that time, I served the Buddha by leveling the road as he went. Vipashyin Thus Come One rubbed my crown and said, .You should level your mind-ground, then everything else in the world would be level.” 5:97

”Immediately my mind opened up and I saw that the particles of earth composing my own body were no different from all the particles of earth that made up the world. The nature of those particles of dust was such that they did not connect with one another nor could they be touched by the blade of a sword. 5:98

”Within the dharma-nature I awakened to the patience with the non-production of dharmas and accomplished Arhatship. I brought my mind back, to the extent that I have now entered the ranks of the Bodhisattvas. Hearing the Thus Come One proclaim the Wonderful Lotus Flower, the level of the Buddha’s knowledge and vision, I have already been certified as having understood and am a leader in the assembly. 5:98

”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. Upon attentive contemplation of the body and the environment, I saw that these two dusts are exactly the same - that, fundamentally, everything is the Treasury of the Thus Come One, but that an empty falseness arises and creates the dust. When the dust is eliminated, wisdom is perfected, and one accomplishes the unsurpassed Way. This is the foremost method.” 5:99

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