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Introduction:  Importance of the Sutra   *   Ultimate Extinction of the Dharma

Chapter 7

"Ananda, when these good men replete with spiritual penetrations, have done the Buddhas’ work, are totally pure and absolutely true, and remain distant from obstacles and calamities, then they take living beings across while casting aside the appearance of taking them across. They transform the unconditioned mind and go toward the path of Nirvana. This is called the Transference of Saving and Protecting Living Beings, while apart from the Appearance of Living Beings. 7:55

”To destroy what should be destroyed and to remain far removed from what should be left behind is called the Transference of Indestructibility. 7:57

”Fundamental enlightenment is profound indeed, an enlightenment equal to the Buddhas’ enlightenment. This is called the Transference of Sameness with All Buddhas. 7:58

”When absolute truth is discovered, one’s level is the same as the level of all Buddhas. This is called the Transference of Reaching All Places. 7:58

”Worlds and Thus Come Ones include one another without any obstruction. This is called the Transference of a Treasury of Inexhaustible Merit and Virtue. 7:58

”Since they are identical with the Buddha-ground, they create causes which are pure at each and every level. Brilliance emanates from them as they rely on these causes, and they go straight down the path to Nirvana. This is called the Transference of Following in Accord with the Identity of All Good Roots. 7:60

”When the true roots are set down, then all living beings in the ten directions are my own nature. Not a single being is lost, as this nature is successfully perfected. This is called the Transference or Contemplating All Living Beings Equally. 7:61

”All dharmas are themselves apart from all appearances, and yet there is no attachment either to their existence or to separation from them. This is called the Transference of the Appearance of True Suchness. 7:62

”That which is thus is truly obtained, and there is no obstruction throughout the ten directions. This is called the Transference of Unfettered Liberation. 7:63

”When the virtue of the nature is perfectly accomplished, the boundaries of the dharma realm are destroyed. This is called the Transference of the Limitlessness of the Dharma Realm. 7:63

”Ananda, when these good men have completely purified these forty-one minds, they further accomplish four kinds of wonderfully perfect additional practices. 7:64

”When the enlightenment of a Buddha is just about to become a function of his own mind, it is on the verge of emerging but has not yet emerged, and so it can be compared to the point just before wood ignites when it is drilled to produce fire. Therefore it is called the Level of Heat. 7:65

”He continues on with his mind, treading where the Buddhas tread, as if relying and yet not. It is as if he were climbing a lofty mountain, to the point where his body is in space but there remains a slight obstruction beneath him. Therefore it is called the Level of the Summit. 7:65

”When the mind and the Buddha are two and yet the same, he has well obtained the Middle Way. He is like someone who endures something when it seems impossible to either hold it in or let it out. Therefore it is called the Level of Patience. 7:66

”When numbers are destroyed, there are no such designations as the Middle Way or as confusion and enlightenment; this is called the Level of Being First in the World. 7:67

”Ananda, these good men have successfully penetrated through to Great Bodhi. Their enlightenment is entirely like the Thus Come One’s. They have fathomed the state of Buddhahood. This is called the Ground of Happiness. 7:68

”The differences enter into identity; the identity is destroyed. This is called the Ground of Leaving Filth. 7:69

”At the point of ultimate purity, brightness comes forth. This is called the Ground of Emitting Light. 7:70

”When the brightness becomes ultimate, enlightenment is full. This is called the Ground of Blazing Wisdom. 7:70

”No identity or difference can be attained. This is called the Ground of Invincibility. 7:70

”With unconditioned True Suchness, the nature is spotless, and brightness is revealed. This is called the Ground of Manifestation. 7:71

”Coming to the farthest limits of True Suchness is called the Ground of Traveling Far. 7:72

”The single mind of True Suchness is called the Ground of Immovability. 7:72

”Bringing forth the function of True Suchness is called the Ground of Good Wisdom. 7:73

”Ananda, all Bodhisattvas at this point and beyond have reached the effortless way in their cultivation. Their merit and virtue are perfected, and so all the previous positions are also called the Level of Cultivation. 7:73

”Then with a wonderful cloud of compassionate protection one covers the Sea of Nirvana. This is called the Ground of the Dharma Cloud. 7:74

”The Thus Come Ones counter the flow as the Bodhisattvas thus reach this point through compliance with practice. Their enlightenments intermingle; it is therefore called Equal Enlightenment. 7:75

”Ananda, the enlightenment which encompasses the mind of dry wisdom through to the culmination of Equal Enlightenment is the initial attainment of the Vajra Mind. This constitutes the level of Initial Dry Wisdom. 7:76

”Thus there are totals of twelve single and grouped levels. At last they reach Wonderful Enlightenment and accomplish the Unsurpassed Way. 7:77

”At all these levels they use vajra contemplation of the ten profound analogies for the ways in which things are like an illusion. In Shamatha they use the Thus Come Ones’ Vipashyana to cultivate them purely, to be certified to them, and to gradually enter them more and more deeply. 7:78

”Ananda, because they put to use the three means of advancement throughout all of them, they are well able to accomplish the fifty-five stages of the True Bodhi Path. 7:80

”This manner of contemplation is called ‘proper contemplation.’ Contemplation other than this is called ‘deviant contemplation.’” 7:80

Then Dharma Prince Manjushri arose from his seat, and in the midst of the assembly he bowed at the Buddha’s feet and said to the Buddha, “What is the name of this sutra and how should we and all living beings uphold it?” 7:82

The Buddha told Manjushri, “This sutra is called ‘The Summit, Syi Dan Dwo Bwo Da La, and Unsurpassed Precious Seal of the Seal of the Great Buddha, and the Pure, Clear, Ocean-Like Eye of the Thus Comes Ones of the Ten Directions.” 7:83

”It is also called ‘The Cause for Saving a Relative’: to rescue Ananda and the Bhikshuni Nature, who is now in this assembly, so that they obtain the Bodhi mind and enter the sea of pervasive knowledge. 7:83

”It is also called ‘The Tathagata’s Secret Cause of Cultivation, His Certification to the Complete Meaning.’ 7:84

”It is also called ‘The Great Pervasive Method, the Wonderful Lotus Flower King, the Dharani Mantra which is the Mother Of All Buddhas Of the Ten Directions.’ 7:84

”It is also called ‘The Foremost Shurangama, Sections and Phrases for Anointing the Crown of the Head, and All Bodhisattvas’ Myriad Practices.’ 7:85

”Thus should you respectfully uphold it.” 7:86

After this was said, Ananda and all in the great assembly immediately received the Thus Come One’s instruction in the secret seal, the meaning of Bwo Da La, and heard these names for the complete meaning of this sutra. 7:86

They were suddenly enlightened to dhyana, advanced in their cultivation to the sagely position, and increased their understanding of the wonderful principle. Their minds were focused and serene. 7:87

Ananda cut off and cast aside six sections of subtle afflictions in his cultivation of the mind in the Triple Realm. 7:87

He arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, placed his palms together respectfully, and said to the Buddha, “The Great, Awesome and Virtuous World Honored One, whose compassionate sound knows no limit, has well instructed living beings as to their extremely subtle submersion in delusion and has caused me on this day to become blissful in body and mind and to obtain enormous benefit. 7:88

”World Honored One, if the wonderful brightness, of this truly pure and wonderful mind is basically all-pervading, then everything on the great earth, including the grasses and trees, the wriggling worms and tiny forms of life are originally True Suchness and are themselves the Thus Come One - the Buddha’s true body. 7:89

”Since the Buddha’s body is true and real, how can there also be hells, hungry ghosts, animals, asuras, humans, gods, and other paths of rebirth? World Honored One, do these paths exist naturally of themselves, or are they created by living beings’ falseness and habits? 7:90

”World Honored One, the bhikshuni Precious Lotus Fragrance, for example, received the Bodhisattva Precepts and then indulged in lustful desire, saying that sexual acts did not involve killing or stealing and that they carried no karmic retribution. But after saying this, her female organs caught fire, and then the raging blaze spread throughout all her joints as she fell into the Unintermittent Hell alive. 7:90

”And there were the Mighty King Crystal and the Bhikshu Good Stars. Crystal exterminated the Gautama clan and Good Stars lied and said that all dharmas are empty. They both sank into the Unintermittent Hell alive. 7:93

”Are these hells fixed places, or do they arise spontaneously? Is it that each individual undergoes whatever kind of karma he or she creates? I only hope the Buddha will be compassionate and instruct those of us who do not understand this. May he cause all beings who uphold the precepts to positively and respectfully receive this determination upon hearing it and be careful and clear, free from any violations.” 7:96

The Buddha said to Ananda, “What a good question! You want to keep all living beings from entering into deviant views. You should listen attentively now and I will explain this matter for you. 7:97

”Actually, Ananda, all living beings are fundamentally true and pure, but because of their false views they give rise to the falseness of habits, which are divided into an internal aspect and an external aspect. 7:97

”Ananda, the internal aspect refers to what occurs inside living beings. Because of love and defilement, they produce the falseness of emotions. When these emotions accumulate without cease, they can create the fluids of love. 7:98

”That is why living beings’ mouths water when they think about delicious food. When they think about a deceased person, either with fondness or with anger, tears will flow from their eyes. When they are greedy for wealth and jewels, a current of lust will course through their hearts. When confronted with a smooth and supple body, their minds become attached to lustful conduct and from both male and female organs will come spontaneous secretions. 7:98

”Ananda, although the kinds of love differ, their flow and oppression is the same. With this moisture, one cannot ascend, but will naturally fall. This is called the ‘internal aspect.’ 7:99

”Ananda, the external aspect refers to what happens outside living beings. Because of longing and yearning, they invent the fallacy of discursive thought. When this reasoning accumulates without cease, it can create ascending vapors. 7:100

”That is why when living beings uphold the prohibitive precepts in their minds, their bodies will be buoyant and feel light and clear. When they uphold mantra seals in their minds, they will command a heroic and resolute perspective. When they have the desire in their minds to be born in the heavens, in their dreams they will have thoughts of flying and ascending. When they cherish the Buddhalands in their minds, then the sagely realms will appear in a shimmering vision, and they will serve the good and wise advisors with little thought for their own lives. 7:100

”Ananda, although the thought varies, the lightness and uplifting is the same. With flight and ascension, one will not sink, but will naturally become transcendent. This is called the ‘external aspect.’ 7:102

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