THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 5

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N2 Universal Worthy: the ear consciousness.

Sutra:

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."

Commentary:


Universal Worthy Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva of great conduct. He has ten great, royal vows which we recite at morning recitation. They are:

1) To worship and respect all Buddhas.
2) To praise the Thus Come Ones.
3) To cultivate the giving of offerings.
4) To repent and reform all karmic faults.
5) To compliantly rejoice in merit and virtue.
6) To request the turning of the dharma wheel.
7) To request that the Buddha remain in the world.
8) To always follow the Buddhas in study.
9) To forever accord with living beings.
10)To universally transfer all merit and virtue.


These are called the Ten Kings of Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. In the Avatamsaka Sutra there is an entire chapter called, "The Conduct and Vows of Universal Worthy." His practices and the power of his vows are especially great, and so he has a lot of affinities with living beings. He rides a six-tusked white elephant. The color white represents the one Buddha vehicle, and the six tusks represent the six paramitas.

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. In the past, with that many Buddhas, I have been a disciple of the Dharma King. The Thus Come Ones of the ten directions tell their disciples who have the roots of a Bodhisattva, that is, if they have the propensity for Bodhisattvahood, to cultivate the Universal Worthy conduct. They should cultivate the Ten Kings of Vows. This conduct is one which is named after me."

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:


World Honored One, I use my mind to listen, I don't use the organ of the ear to hear with; I use my mind, and distinguish the knowledge and views of living beings. When I make distinctions about living beings, it is not with the discriminating mind, but with the true mind, to determine the faculties of all living beings. I do this not only in this world, but even in other regions as many realms away as there are sands in the Ganges, even in places very, very far away from here. If there is any living being who discovers and wants to cultivate 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. I make myriad transformation bodies and go to those places. Although their obstacles may be so heavy that they do not see me, I still give to that person. I secretly rub their crowns, invisible to them though I may be.

People who cultivate the dharma sometimes will feel as if there were a bug crawling on the top of their head or as if someone were patting them on the head. Sometimes one will feel as though there were an insect crawling on one's face. When this happens, you should not try to brush the feeling away with your hand. The reason is that it is actually a Buddha or Bodhisattva rubbing you on the crown. If you are attentive, you will notice it. They are blessing us, so you should not try to brush them away. If you are sincere, you can experience this feeling.

I protect and comfort them, and help them be successful. I help them become accomplished in their cultivation.

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:


The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. The basic cause I speak of in my case is the experience I had on the cause-ground. It is listening with the mind to discover and distinguish at ease. I listen in order to discover the knowledge and views of living beings. These discriminations of the true mind are done with ease, and I have obtained self-mastery. This is the foremost method, I consider this dharma door the best.

People should not get angry, because if they do, demonic obstacles can arise. Be a little less fiery and a little more intent upon your study of the Buddhadharma.

N3 Sundarananda: the nose consciousness.


Sutra:

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."

Commentary:


There was Nanda, Ananda, and Sundarananda. Sundarananda was the Buddha's cousin. The first part of his name is Sundari, after his wife; "Sundari" means "beautiful." She was captivating. "Nanda," the latter part of his name, means "happiness" (xi). Since there were several disciples with similar names, he was referred to as Sundari's Nanda. 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. I cultivated the Way with the Buddha and I carefully observed the precepts, but my samadhi-power was not sufficient. My mind was always on the move. I could not accomplish the level of being without outflows. The World Honored One taught Kaushthila and me to contemplate the white spot at the tip of our noses. Because I was so scattered, the Buddha taught me and also taught Shariputra's uncle, Mahakaushthila, to look at the tips of our noses and regard the little white spot that appears when both eyes stare there."

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:

He goes on to say: When I cultivated according to this method and developed my skill, 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. I regarded the white spot at the tip of my nose with great concentration. After twenty-one days, my breath looked like smoke. My body and mind became bright inside, and I perfectly understood the external world. Inside there was light, and I was clear about what was going on in all the worlds, to the point that everything became empty and pure, like crystal. My body, mind, and the world became emptiness and was pure in substance. It was all as clear as crystal. The breath in my nostrils had become like smoke, but this subsided. The smoky appearance gradually disappeared, and the breath in my nostrils became white. From daily contemplation like this, my breath became white like the white spot at the tip of my nose.

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:

My mind opened and my outflows were extinguished. When my breath became white, my mind suddenly opened to enlightenment and I put an end to all outflows. Every inhalation and exhalation of breath was transformed into light which illumined the ten directions, and I attained arhatship. First my breath looked smoky, then it became white like the tip of my nose, and finally it turned into light! The light shone on everything in the dharma-realm of the ten directions. The World Honored One predicted that in the future I would obtain Bodhi. He said that in the future I would certainly become a Buddha.

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:

Sundarananda says that he thinks cultivation of the nose-consciousness is extremely important. For him, it was the best dharma-door.

N4 Purnamaitreyaniputra: the tongue consciousness.

Sutra:

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."

Commentary:


Purnamaitreyaniputra is named after his father and mother. "Purna," which means "completeness" (man) was his father's name. "Maitreyani," which means "compassion" (ci), was his mother's name. "Putra" means "son" (zi). So he was the "son of completeness and compassion." He arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha's feet, and said to the Buddha, "For vast kalpas I have possessed unobstructed eloquence." There are four kinds of eloquence:

1) Unobstructed eloquence with dharmas.
2) Unobstructed eloquence in meaning.
3) Unobstructed eloquence in phrasing.
4) Unobstructed eloquence with delight in speaking.

No matter what dharma he discussed, he could explain it very clearly. Not only that, but he brought forth the meaning in just a sentence or two. His skill in phrasing was such that he could say a few words that would encompass infinitely many meanings. He was brief and to the point. No matter what you wanted explained, he thoroughly enjoyed doing it. He was not like Kshudrapanthaka, who refused to speak the dharma when he was a dharma master, and as a result ended up being terribly stupid. Purna liked to speak the dharma. When I discuss suffering and emptiness I penetrate deeply into the actual appearance. He would tell how all things are suffering, are empty, are impermanent, and lack self. But when he did so, his explanation of this doctrine reached all the way through to the doctrine of the actual appearance, where there is no appearance, and yet there is nothing which does not have an 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. He was able to discuss the most esoteric doctrines and reveal them to living beings by means of subtle principles. I have also obtained fearlessness. I have obtained unobstructed eloquence and the
power of fearlessness.

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:


Purna accomplished the Way by means of the tongue-consciousness. He did it by speaking dharma. So you see, it is possible to become enlightened and to be certified to the fruition by speaking the dharma. All you need to do is to deeply enter one door in your cultivation. Decide on one and then cultivate it. Don't be scattered in your practice, doing one dharma today, switching to another one tomorrow, and changing your mind again the day after. When you change around like that you waste your time, and you never master any dharma. You have to choose one and vigorously develop your skill in it.

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. No one could outdebate Purna. When he spoke the dharma, his voice was full and resonant and powerful. In a gathering of a thousand or even ten thousand people, there would have been no need for him to use a microphone or amplifying system. He could be heard easily. "The Buddha taught me to lecture the sutras and speak dharma. I joined the Buddha to help him turn the wheel. I accomplished arhatship through the lion's roar. I would represent the Buddha in speaking the dharma, and my voice became like the lion's roar." When the lion roars, the myriad creatures cower. When the heavenly demons and adherents of external paths heard his voice, they were subdued. The World Honored One certified me as being foremost in speaking dharma.

Sutra:

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.

Commentary:

The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. With my tongue I proclaimed the sound of dharma to subdue demons and adversaries. I tamed the heavenly demons and controlled the five adversary desires: wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep. These five desires are hostile thieves that steal people's treasures. In this way I was able to melt away my outflows. This is the foremost method. I used the tongue-consciousness and proclaimed the wonderful dharma. This is the best method.

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