THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 5

M5 He concludes his answer.

Sutra:

As the Buddha, the World Honored One, requested,
I choose sincerely a skill-in-means,
One to save those in the final aeon
Who seek to escape the mundane world,
And perfect the heart of nirvana:
The best way is to contemplate the sounds of the world.

Commentary:


As the Buddha, the World Honored One, requested / I choose sincerely a skill-in-means. Buddha, I speak the truth, I say what is really so. The method which is the one to save those in the final aeon / Who seek to escape the mundane world / And perfect the heart of nirvana. Of the eighteen realms and the seven elements, which dharma-door is the most perfectly penetrating? Which one is most appropriate for living beings in the Dharmaending Age? Some will want to get out of the world and seek transcendence. How can they fulfill their vow to cultivate the Way and reach nirvana? The best way is to contemplate the sounds of the world. Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, here in the Saha world, got the best response from this method. This method is the most
appropriate one. It tallies best with the causes and conditions of most people.

Sutra:

All the other kinds of expedients
Require the awesome spirit of the Buddha.
In some cases they bring immediate transcendence,
But they are not the customary means of practice,
Spoken for those of shallow and deep roots alike.

Commentary:


All the other kinds of expedients / Require the awesome spirit of the Buddha. In cultivating any of the other expedient dharma-doors besides that of the ear, one needs the Buddha's aid in order to succeed. Without the Buddha's support, one cannot accomplish anything through them. In some cases they bring immediate transcendence / But they are not the customary means of practice / Spoken for those of shallow and deep roots alike. Although some used these methods to get out of the wearisome mundane dust and false thinking, they are not dharmadoors which just anyone can use. In speaking dharma, one must look at the causes and conditions. I must observe the person. For someone with wisdom, one should speak more profound dharma. For stupid people, one should explain simple dharmas. The dharma cannot always be expressed in the same way. Only the organ of the ear is a perfect method which anyone can study. I think this dharma-door is the most perfectly penetrating.

M6 He seeks aid and generally concludes.

Sutra:

I bow to the Ones Come Thus and the Tripitaka,
And to those inconceivable ones with no outflows,
Trusting they will aid those in the future,
So that no one will doubt this dharma-door.
It is an expedient easy to master;
An appropriate teaching for Ananda
And for those immersed in the final age.
They should cultivate this organ of hearing,
A perfect penetration that surpasses all others.
It is the way to the true mind.

Commentary:


After Manjushri Bodhisattva finished speaking this verse, he made obeisance to the Triple Jewel. I bow to the Ones Come Thus and the Tripitaka. The "Ones Come Thus" are the Buddhas. The "Tripitaka" is the dharma. And to those inconceivable ones with no outflows. "Those" refers to the Sangha. The Bodhisattvas and Arhats with no outflows have attained a state which is inconceivable and ineffable. Their spiritual penetrations and wonderful functions are difficult to comprehend. He bows to the sages and saints of the Sangha, trusting they will aid those in the future / so that no one will doubt this dharma-door. I hope you will help all living beings of the future, so that they won't have any doubts about the dharma-door of returning the hearing to hear the self-nature. It is an expedient easy to master / An appropriate teaching for Ananda. This dharma-door is both easy to cultivate and easy to be successful with. It is the best method for Ananda to use. There is none better. And for those immersed in the final age / They should cultivate this organ of hearing. Not only will this dharmadoor bring a response to Ananda, it is also right for beings who will fall into the Dharma-ending Age. Just use the method of cultivating with the organ of the ear. A perfect penetration that surpasses all others / It is the way to the true mind. This dharma-door of perfect penetration goes beyond the other twenty-four expedient methods. It is a lot easier and brings surpassing results. The true and actual mind found through this dharma-door is as I have explained above.

H3 Based on the instruction, the great assembly becomes enlightened and accomplishes entry.
I1 Ananda and those like him become enlightened.

Sutra:

Thereupon, Ananda and all in the great assembly experienced a clarity of body and mind. Having attained such profound instruction, they contemplated the Buddha's Bodhi and Parinirvana like someone who, having traveled far on business, knows that he is on the road home, though he has not returned completely.

Commentary:

Thereupon, Ananda and all in the great assembly experienced a clarity of body and mind. They had gained tremendous understanding. Having attained such profound instruction, they contemplated the Buddha's Bodhi and Parinirvana. They had received magnificent teaching from both the Buddha and Manjushri Bodhisattva. They looked upon the doctrines of Bodhi and nirvana like someone who, having traveled far on business, knows that he is on the road home, though he has not returned completely. This person has had to go away on business and hasn't arrived back home yet. But he's gone far enough to recognize that he's on the way to his house. The meaning is that although the members of the great assembly and Ananda had not actually been certified as having attained the second, third, or fourth fruitions of arhatship, now at least they understood the theory, the doctrine.

I2 Matangi's daughter and those like her accomplish entry.

Sutra:

Throughout the entire assembly, the gods, dragons, and all the eightfold division, those of the two vehicles who were not yet beyond learning, as well as all the Bodhisattvas of initial resolve, as numerous as the sands in ten Ganges Rivers, found their fundamental mind and, far removed from dust and defilement, attained the purity of the dharma eye.

Commentary:


Throughout the entire assembly, the gods, dragons, and all the eightfold division of ghosts and spirits: the eightfold division includes gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, and non-humans, as well as the dragons. Those of the two vehicles who were not yet beyond learning refers to the soundhearers and those enlightened to conditions. Together with all the Bodhisattvas of initial resolve, as numerous as the sands in ten Ganges Rivers, they found their fundamental mind. It was not like before, when they didn't even recognize their own mind. They were far removed from dust and defilement, and so they attained the purity of the dharma eye.

Sutra:

The bhikshuni named "Nature" attained arhatship after hearing this verse.

Commentary:


The bhikshuni named "Nature" was Matangi's daughter. She attained arhatship after hearing this verse spoken by Manjushri Bodhisattva. At this point she surpassed Ananda by being certified to the second stage of arhatship. Ananda was still a first-stage sage.

Sutra:

And limitless beings brought forth a matchless, unequalled resolve for Annuttarasamyaksambodhi.

Commentary:

At that time, there were also limitless, boundless, uncountable beings in the dharma assembly who brought forth a matchless, unequalled resolve for Annuttarasamyaksambodhi. There was nothing that could compare with the extent of their resolve. It was totally genuine. "Anuttarasamyaksambodhi" means the "unsurpassed proper and equal right enlightenment." Anuttara is unsurpassed; samyak is proper and equal; and sambodhi is right enlightenment. Their intention was to become Buddhas.

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