THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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Volume 6

K4 The mirrors.

Sutra:

Then suspend eight mirrors in the space around the platform so that they are exactly opposite the mirrors on the platform. This will allow the reflections in them to interpenetrate ad infinitum.

Commentary:


Then suspend eight mirrors in the space around the platform so that they are exactly opposite the mirrors on the platform. "How can they be hung in space?" you wonder. Just as one hangs a lamp from the ceiling. How could one hang them in space alone like the sun? That's not what's meant here. The meaning is to hang them so that they are suspended in the space in the room. The mirrors are placed facing one another. This will allow the reflections in them to interpenetrate ad infinitum. That means that the image in one is caught in the other, and within that the image of the interpenetration is shown, and so on, layer
within layer in never-ending succession.

J2 Stages of cultivation and accomplishment.
K1 First three weeks: initial accomplishment of samadhi and wisdom.


Sutra:

During the first seven days, bow sincerely to the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions, to the great Bodhisattvas, and to the names of the Arhats. Throughout the six periods of the day and night, continually recite the mantra as you circumambulate the Platform. Practice the Way with a sincere mind, reciting the mantra one hundred and eight times at a stretch.

Commentary:


During the first seven days, bow sincerely to the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions, to the great Bodhisattvas, and to the names of the Arhats. Throughout the six periods of the day and night, continually recite the mantra as you circumambulate the Platform. "The mantra" here is the entire Shurangama Mantra. Practice the Way with a sincere mind, reciting the mantra one hundred and eight times at a stretch. "A sincere mind" means that you don't think of anything else; you singlemindedly hold to the mantra. Each time you recite, go through the mantra one hundred and eight times without stopping.

Sutra:

During the second week, direct your intent by making the vows of a Bodhisattva. The mind should never be cut off from them. In my vinaya, I have already taught about vows.

Commentary:


During the second week of practice, direct your intent by making the vows of a Bodhisattva. You must be ever more sincere and concentrated. Make the four vast vows of a Bodhisattva:

1. Living beings are boundless; I vow to save them.
2. Afflictions are endless; I vow to cut them off.
3. Dharma-doors are limitless; I vow to study them completely.
4. The Buddha Way is unsurpassed; I vow to accomplish it The mind should never be cut off from them. This means the mind never stops reciting the Shurangama Mantra, and it never ceases to bring forth the four vast vows. In my vinaya, I have already taught about vows. When I spoke the precepts, I taught the practice of making vows.

Sutra:

During the third week, one holds the Buddha's mantra, Bwo Da La, for twelve hours at a time, with a single intent; and on the seventh day, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions will appear simultaneously. Their light will be mutually reflected in the mirrors and will illumine the entire place; and they will rub one on the crown of one's head.

Commentary:


During the third week, one holds the Buddha's mantra, Bwo Da La for twelve hours at a time, with a single intent. One holds and recites the mantra "Syi Dan Dwo Bwo Da La", spoken by the Buddha, that is, the Shurangama Mantra. On the seventh day, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions will appear simultaneously. They will suddenly appear in the bodhimanda all at the same time. Their light will be mutually reflected in the mirrors and will illumine the entire place, and they will rub one on the crown of one's head. You will have the crown of your head rubbed by the Buddhas of the ten directions, and this act will be reflected within the facing mirrors in a bright image which repeats itself ad infinitum.

Sutra:

If one cultivates this samadhi in the bodhimanda, then even in the Dharma-ending Age one can study and practice until one's body and mind are as pure and clear as vaidurya.

Commentary:


If one cultivates this samadhi in the Bodhimanda with a platform as described above, and if the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions appear simultaneously and aid one by rubbing one on the crown of the head, and if in this way one can practice samadhi, cultivating the return of the hearing to hear the self-nature, then even in the Dharma-ending Age one can study and practice until one's body and mind are as pure and clear as vaidurya. One's body and mind will become as transparent as crystal and will shine with light.

K2 After one hundred more days: sudden certification to the sagely fruit.


Sutra:

Ananda, if any one of the bhikshu's precept transmitting masters or any one of the other bhikshus practicing with him is not pure, the Bodhimanda as described will not be successful.

Commentary:

Ananda, if any one of the bhikshu's precept transmitting masters or any one of the other bhikshus practicing with him is not pure, then the Bodhimanda as described will not be successful. Ananda, you should know that if the bhikshu who is cultivating and upholding this method with the Shurangama Mantra had even one precept-transmitting master who was not pure, or if he is cultivating this practice with another bhikshu who is not pure, then the method will not be successful. It won't work if any one of these people is impure, that is, if they don't hold the precepts purely. Perhaps they hold the precepts and yet violate them. One is not supposed to kill, but they have killed; or one is not supposed to steal, but they have stolen; one is not supposed to commit acts of deviant sexual conduct and they have done so; or one is not supposed to lie, but they have lied. The Buddha taught us not to lie, but they dispense with the "not" and just hold to the "lie." If that is how it is, the Bodhimanda will not be successful.

All the work of cultivating, all the mantras you held, will still not bring you success. Therefore, if you practice this dharma and do not get a response from your cultivation, you cannot say, "I cultivated for three weeks, but Shakyamuni Buddha and the Buddhas of the ten directions did not come and rub me on the crown of the head. I didn't even see them. Probably Shakyamuni Buddha was also lying." That is not the case. Perhaps you yourself are not pure, or the teachers from whom you received the precepts were not pure, or any one of the ten people you are practicing this dharma with may not be pure. If there is even one impure person involved, this state will not be accomplished. This is extremely important.

Sutra:

After three weeks, one sits upright and still for a hundred days. Those with sharp faculties will not arise from their seats and will become Shrotaapannas. Although their bodies and minds have not attained the ultimate fruition of sagehood, they know for certain, beyond exaggeration, that they will eventually accomplish Buddhahood.

Commentary:


After three weeks, one sits upright and still for a hundred days. One sits in meditation, but not like some people who sit still for two hours and consider it a superb feat. They consider themselves to be outstanding people, but actually, if we compare that to what is described here, it's like a kitten encountering a lion. "Upright" means that one does not lean to the left or right, or lean forward or back, or get up or stretch out one's legs. It's not sitting there and thinking, "Ah my legs really hurt!" Sitting "still" means that nothing troubles one. Sitting for a hundred days means one does not go eat or even get up to relieve oneself. One simply sits for one hundred days. Those with sharp faculties will not arise from their seats and will become Shrotaapannas. People who are intelligent and have good roots can then sit for one hundred days and be certified to the first stage of arhatship. But now you can't even sit still for one whole day, and yet there are some who think they have reached the fruition of a sage. That's really ridiculous. You have to be able to sit for a hundred days to accomplish firststage arhatship. Although their bodies and minds have not attained the ultimate fruition of sagehood, they know for certain, beyond exaggeration, that they will eventually accomplish Buddhahood. They still have not attained genuine samadhi-power in their cultivation, but they know for a fact that they will certainly become Buddhas. It is definitely not a false notion.

K3 Concludes answer to question.

Sutra:

You have asked how the Bodhimanda is established. This is the way it is done.

Commentary:


This is how you set it up.

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