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Sūtra 34 (posted 06/2012, updated 03/2013)  Book information on Home page
Fascicle 1 (chaps. 1–3)  2 (chaps. 4–8)

菩薩瓔珞本業經
Sūtra of the Garland of a Bodhisattva’s Primary Karmas

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Later Qin Dynasty
by
The Śramaṇa Zhu Fonian from China


Fascicle 1 (of 2)

Chapter 1
The Assembly

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Buddha revisited the bodhimaṇḍa in the kingdom of Magadha, where he had attained perfect enlightenment under the bodhi tree. As he had done then, He sat down there. As He had emitted bright Buddha light then, He emitted forty-two beams of light.1 As His adornment, each beam was a garland of the radiance of His one million asaṁkhyeya merits, shining everywhere in the dharma realm as if through the open sky. Delighting in the ever-abiding dharma nature, with boundless spirit, taking limitless great actions, the Dharma King, master of dharmas, served as the parent of all sentient beings. He sat on a lotus-flower-borne lion throne naturally adorned with hundreds of thousands of jewels, like the thrones on which all past Buddhas had sat. His appearance as sublime as His virtue, He achieved purity in body, voice, and mind, and completed meritorious deeds. His radiance penetrated the vajra store and endlessly illuminated the human world. Unhindered by past, present, and future, He transformed all, delivering sentient beings equally. His perfect enlightenment equaled that of all other Buddhas.
    At that time the Bodhisattvas in this huge assembly were all [on the eleventh ground] in the holy position of waiting to attain Buddhahood in their next life. As their dharma bodies were boundless, they demonstrated their transcendental powers everywhere [in worlds] in the ten directions. They guided and benefited sentient beings by opening the store of the Buddha Dharma and revealing to them their Buddha nature. They instilled in them the essential teachings on nirvāṇa, the wondrous fruit beyond causality, and used their past-life knowledge to transform them. As their minds were boundless, they understood everything, internal and external, from beginning to end. Without differentiating between Buddha Lands, with voices of great compassion, they praised the unexcelled names of Buddhas.
    With a full understanding of the six life-paths taken by sentient beings, wherever they taught, they praised, “Buddhas remember our great aspirations and display to us fine and coarse Buddha Lands. Wherever a Buddha visits, He expounds the Dharma and transforms sentient beings. To open our minds, He uses His radiant spiritual power to reveal the garland of a Buddha’s original karmas: the ten levels of abiding, the ten levels of action, the ten levels of transference of merit, the Ten Grounds, the Stainless Ground, and the Perfect Enlightenment Ground. He teaches us how to end our delusion and doubts. He reveals to us Buddha Lands, Buddha bodies, Buddha spirit, Buddha power, Buddha samādhi, and His inconceivable manifestations. Adorned with the three pure karmas [body, voice, and mind], the Four Immeasurable Minds, the Four Fearlessnesses, the Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas, and immeasurable merit, He gives teachings on the unexcelled Dharma, spreading it everywhere in all worlds in the ten directions.
    “An immeasurable distance east of here is a world called Fragrant Grove, where its Buddha is called Beginning Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Reverence. An immeasurable distance south of here is a world called Joyful Grove, where its Buddha is called Uninterrupted Joy and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Awareness. An immeasurable distance west of here is a world called Flower Grove, where its Buddha is called Learning Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Treasure. An immeasurable distance north of here is a world called Bodhi Grove, where its Buddha is called Making Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Wisdom. An immeasurable distance northeast of here is a world called Blue Lotus, where its Buddha is called Compassionate Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Virtue. An immeasurable distance southeast of here is a world called Gold Grove, where its Buddha is called Best Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Eye. An immeasurable distance southwest of here is a world called Treasure Grove, where its Buddha is called Highest Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Name. An immeasurable distance northwest of here is a world called Vajra Grove, where its Buddha is called One-Vehicle Deliverance and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Dharma. An immeasurable distance toward the nadir is a world called Crystal, where its Buddha is called Great Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Knowledge. An immeasurable distance toward the zenith is a world called Aspiration Grove, where its Buddha is called Ultimate Progress and His foremost Bodhisattva is called Foremost Worthiness. Thus, the radiance of the Dharma pervades all worlds.”
    At that time Śākyamuni Buddha praised the Bodhisattvas [in worlds] in the ten directions. The foremost Bodhisattva in each world, together with innumerable great ones, attended this huge assembly. They bowed their heads down at the Buddha’s feet and sat on lotus flower seats made with a thousand treasures. Then the foremost Bodhisattva [from the east] called Foremost Reverence, through the Buddha’s spiritual power, praised Him, “Come quickly to this assembly. Observe that this Buddha Land where the Tathāgata resides is pure, and that even His Dharma robe is pure. His virtuous training for attaining the wondrous bodhi reveals the forty-two doors of sages and holies [as the forty-two levels of training on the Bodhisattva Way].2 He expounds the Dharma in the sūtras and skillfully delivers countless people in worlds pure or impure. He spreads the Dharma everywhere to transform all. Moreover, Buddhas [in worlds] in other directions also expound the garland of a Buddha’s original karmas. The Dharma they expound is the same as the Dharma Śākyamuni Buddha expounds.”
    Then Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva, through the spiritual power of Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions, roared the lion’s roar and asked for the Vajra Garland Dharma Door in the great ocean of the immeasurable treasure store of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
    At that time Śākyamuni Buddha, under the bodhi tree, observed the capacities and conditions of sentient beings [in worlds] in the ten directions. He emitted vast radiance, illuminating this Buddha Land, from the four heavens [in the formless realm] down to this Dharma assembly, attended by gods from the eighteen heavens [in the form realm] and the six heavens [in the desire realm], including the four god-kings of the first desire heaven.
    Each small world has a Mount Sumeru orbited by the sun and the moon, which shine on the four continents: in the east is Pūrvavideha; in the south is Jambudvīpa; in the west is Aparagodānīya; in the north is Uttarakuru. Surrounding them are immense oceans and the iron mountain range, and above them are twenty-eight heavens. All these constitute a small world, which is surrounded by 100 koṭi small worlds in the ten directions. Śākyamuni Buddha manifested 100 koṭi copies of Himself and illuminated all worlds with Buddha light.
    [In each small world] the twenty-eight heavens include the Four God-Kings' Heaven, Trayastriṁśa Heaven, Yāma Heaven, Tuṣita Heaven, Nirmāṇa-rati Heaven, and Paranirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven [the six desire heavens]; Brahma Multitude Heaven, Brahma Minister Heaven, Great Brahmā Heaven, Limited Light Heaven, Infinite Light Heaven, Pure Radiance Heaven, Limited Splendor Heaven, Infinite Splendor Heaven, Pervasive Splendor Heaven, Cloudless Heaven, Merit Arising Heaven, Massive Fruition Heaven, No Perception Heaven, No Vexation Heaven, No Heat Heaven, Good Appearance Heaven, Good Vision Heaven, and Ultimate Heaven [the eighteen form heavens]; Boundless Space Heaven, Boundless Consciousness Heaven, Nothingness Heaven, and Neither with Nor without Perception Heaven [the four formless heavens]. All these heavens have celestial ponds in which lotus flowers grow, so they are called water heavens. Sentient beings in the formless heavens are reborn there by miraculous formation.3 From there down to the edge of the five wheels [earth, water, wind, space, and vajra], which support a small world, is called a Buddha Land, also called a dharma realm of great endurance of suffering.4 In each small world the Buddha expounds the garland of the primary karmas of sages and holies.
    At that time, to see the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas in this small world, a huge multitude of gods congregated in the silent vajra bodhimaṇḍa under the bodhi tree.

Chapter 2
The Names of Sages and Holies

At that time Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva, through the Buddha’s spiritual power, supported by the multitudes, who are like dragon-kings and lion-kings, and by the god-kings from the twenty-eight heavens, who have great capacities and take great actions, asked the Buddha a small question: “Great Master, how did You train on the holy path to become a Buddha? Your body, voice, and mind are pure and indestructible like vajra, free from fault. Your Buddha nature is radiant and ever-abiding, surpassing those of all Bodhisattvas. You are born with an unsurpassed comely body, perfect, natural, and pure. With the two kinds of dharma bodies,5 You deliver innumerable sentient beings as You appear on their six life-paths. You are revered by the god-king Śakra and Brahma gods. You remove darkness as does lamplight, and illuminate heaven and earth as do the sun and the moon. Like a ship captain, you deliver gods and humans. You have transcended the Three Realms of Existence and become the Honored Enlightened One. What training should one undertake to complete this holy path? What are the names of sages and holies [on this path]?”

The Forty-two Doors of Sages and Holies

Then Śākyamuni Buddha, with His vajra voice, told Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva, “Buddha-Son, hearken, hearken. Ponder well my words and train in accordance with the Dharma. I have already revealed to gods and humans the innumerable action vows of all Bodhisattvas. As Buddhas of the past, present, and future, in worlds in the ten directions, openly pronounce the definitive meaning of the garland of a Buddha’s original karmas, so too I now pronounce this garland to this huge multitude of fourteen koṭi people.6 You all should think of your high aspirations and your great lovingkindness and compassion for all sentient beings in worlds in the ten directions.”
    The Buddha said, “Buddha-Son, to complete this path, one should first rectify one’s three karmas [body, voice, and mind], study the teachings of the Three Jewels, and believe in causality. Then one will find the answers to one’s questions in the teachings of the Buddha. A Bodhisattva will soon attain Buddhahood if he earnestly accepts and learns the definitive meanings of the forty-two doors of sages and holies, which are pronounced without any difference by all Buddhas of the past, present, and future, in worlds in the ten directions.
    “Buddha-Son, the first ten doors are the ten levels of abiding:7 (1) Abiding in Activation of Resolve, (2) Abiding in Development of the Ground, (3) Abiding in Training, (4) Abiding in High Birth, (5) Abiding in Skillful Means, (6) Abiding in the True Mind, (7) Abiding in No Regress, (8) Abiding in Truthfulness of Youth, (9) Abiding in Dharma Princeship, and (10) Abiding in [Blessings with] Nectar Poured on the Head.
    “The second ten doors are the ten levels of action:8 (11) Joyful Action, (12) Beneficial Action, (13) Anger-Free Action, (14) Endless Action, (15) Delusion-Free Action, (16) Well-Displayed Action, (17) Unfettered Action, (18) Respectful Action, (19) Good Dharma Action, and (20) True Reality Action.
    “The third ten doors are the ten levels of transference of merit:9 (21) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Saving All Sentient Beings, (22) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Indestructible Mind, (23) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Becoming an Equal of All Buddhas, (24) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Arriving Everywhere, (25) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Endless Store of Merits, (26) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Confirming the Equality of All Roots of Goodness, (27) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Regarding All Sentient Beings Equally, (28) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Realizing True Suchness, (29) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Liberation from Bondage, and (30) Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Entering the Dharma Realm.
    “The fourth ten doors are the Ten Grounds:10 (31) Joyful Ground [pramuditā-bhūmi], (32) Taint-Free Ground [vimalā-bhūmi], (33) Radiant Ground [prabhākarī-bhūmi], (34) Flaming Wisdom Ground [arciṣmatī-bhūmi], (35) Hard-to-Conquer Ground [sudurjayā-bhūmi], (36) Revealing Ground [abhimukhī-bhūmi11], (37) Far-Going Ground [dūraṁgamā-bhūmi], (38) Motionless Ground [acalā-bhūmi], (39) Good Wisdom Ground [sādhumatī-bhūmi12], and (40) Dharma Cloud Ground [dharmamegha-bhūmi].
    “The door of holies above the tenth ground is called (41) the Stainless Ground. Finally, having completed the path, a Bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, standing on (42) the Unsurpassed Ground [the Perfect Enlightenment Ground].

“Buddha-Son, these forty-two doors encompass all virtuous training. All Bodhisattvas enter these doors to become Buddhas. All transcendental powers, all causations, and all spiritual attainments come through these doors. Buddha-Son, these doors pronounced by the lion’s roar of Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions are the same, neither more nor less. You should vow to accept, recite, and explain their meanings, and wish all sentient beings to follow my Dharma and become Buddhas as I have. You should train in this way.”

Cultivating the Ten Faithful Minds

Then the Buddha told Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva, “Buddha-Son, I now briefly explain a sage’s first training door, called Abiding in Activation of Resolve. Before reaching this level, a Bodhisattva must cultivate the ten faithful minds:13 (1) faith, (2) mindfulness, (3) energetic progress, (4) wisdom, (5) meditative concentration, (6) observance of precepts, (7) transference of merit, (8) protecting the Dharma, (9) relinquishment [almsgiving], and (10) making pure vows. After cultivating these ten minds for one, two, or three kalpas, he can then enter the first level of abiding.

A Bodhisattva Sage at the First Level of Abiding

“At the first level of abiding, he goes through the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas, which are the one hundred minds extended from the ten faithful minds, because each of the ten has its own ten levels. He also makes innumerable great action vows and great no-action vows.14 He then becomes a Bodhisattva sage of the learning character-type and widely carries out his vows.”
    Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

A sage at the first level of abiding
Makes great, vast vows:
“From this life until attainment of Buddhahood,
All vows are encompassed
In my vows,
And I will fulfill them all.
Until I attain Buddhahood,
My vows are my roots.

As I give alms, I wish all sentient beings
To shed the mind of greed and to realize the emptiness of dharmas.
As I observe the precepts, I wish all sentient beings
To restrain their actions without fail and to achieve true liberation.
As I cultivate the six endurances, I wish all sentient beings
To acquire the mind of no dispute and to develop endurance of dharmas.
As I make energetic progress, I wish all sentient beings
To progress without pause and to achieve self-realization.
As I practice meditation, I wish all sentient beings
To acquire the six transcendental powers and to attain peace beyond causality.
As I develop true wisdom, I wish all sentient beings
To enter the flow in the ocean of wisdom and to become Bodhisattvas.
As I carry out my appearance-free vows, I wish all sentient beings
To fulfill all their wishes and to flow into the ocean of Buddhas.
As I acquire skillful means from great wisdom, I wish sentient beings
To encounter no hindrance in the Dharma river and to realize the two truths.15
As I acquire great spiritual power, I wish all sentient beings
To transform themselves and to acquire fearlessness.
As I acquire full wisdom-knowledge, I wish all sentient beings
To gain vajra wisdom and to harvest the fruit in the bodhimaṇḍa.
As I ascend to the Stainless Ground, I wish all sentient beings
To sit under the bodhi tree and to teach and transform all others.

As I attain enlightenment, I wish all sentient beings
To understand the false continuation of dharmas and to end imagining their cessation.
As I illuminate and transform all, I wish all sentient beings
To realize that dharmas are formed through conditions and to end imagining their perpetuity.
As I fully understand the true reality of dharmas, I wish all sentient beings
To understand the relativity of dharmas and to end imagining that they have selves.
As I elicit my unconditional great compassion, I wish all sentient beings
To understand that dharmas arise through causes and conditions and to end accepting the wrong views.
As I attain nirvāṇa, the foremost quietness, I wish all sentient beings
To realize that dharmas depend on conditions and to end accepting the evil precepts.
As I acquire the Ten Powers, I wish all sentient beings
To realize the two truths and to end their wrong views.
As I acquire the vajra power, I wish all sentient beings
To understand the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising and to end their doubts.
As I illuminate all dharmas everywhere, I wish all sentient beings
To recognize the impermanence of dharmas and to end the mind of stinginess.
As I acquire the five eyes and the Three Supreme Clarities, I wish all sentient beings
To develop the Three Clarities and to end the mind of delusion.
As I bring harmony to the world, hindrance free, I wish all sentient beings
To uphold the Three Jewels and to end the mind of anger and dispute.
As I acquire radiant great wisdom, I wish all sentient beings
To realize the emptiness of dharmas and to destroy the store of ignorance.
As I acquire the thirty-two physical marks, I wish all sentient beings
To acquire sublime appearances and to end their karmic requitals.
As I use my response bodies, I wish all sentient beings
To ride the great Dharma ship and to sail the ocean of the Buddha Dharma.

I have completely stated my vows on the cause ground and on the effect ground,
Which encompass all action vows.
These twenty-four vows encompass immeasurable actions.
I begin with faith and vows, and will end with great wisdom.
Before all Buddhas, I make these great vows.
Upon fulfillment of my vows, I will further train in other actions.
After taking such meritorious actions for hundreds and thousands of kalpas,
I will then enter the inconceivable state and relinquish my vows.”

Bodhisattvas who make these vows
Will never fail to enter the ocean of sarvajña.

    “Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva sage at the first level of abiding who has made these great vows surpasses all ordinary beings cultivating the ten faithful minds. Moreover, He acquires immeasurable merit by practicing the ten pāramitās and the Three Samādhis: emptiness, no appearance, and no act. Having mastered observing the emptiness of everything, he discards the view that a sentient being has an autonomous self as its master,16 and discards other wrong views, such as denying that one’s true self is eternal, blissful, and pure.17 He will break the bondage of the Three Realms of Existence as he gradually removes his ignorance [of the truth], and subdues and ends his habitual karmas. He will amass all good dharmas and practice 84,000 pāramitās. His mind will retain all Dharma Doors and remember them, thought after thought.

The Ten Major Precepts

“Buddha-Son, there are ten major precepts and, if violated, none can be restored by repentance. You all should accept and observe them. They are (1) no killing, not even a Buddha, a Bodhisattva, or a god from any of the twenty-eight heavens; (2) no stealing, not even a leaf or a blade of grass; (3) no sex, not even with a nonhuman; (4) no lying, not even to a nonhuman; (5) no selling alcohol; (6) no talking about the faults of a Bodhisattva, monastic or lay; (7) no stinginess; (8) no anger, not even with a nonhuman; (9) no praising oneself and criticizing others;18 (10) no maligning the Three Jewels.
    “Violation of any of the ten major precepts is a parājika sin, and the violated precept cannot be restored by repentance.19 For ten kalpas, every day the sinner will suffer [in hell] in 84,000 ways as he dies and revives 84,000 times. Furthermore, he will lose all his attainment at the first, second, third level of abiding, up to the tenth ground. Therefore, one should not violate any of these precepts.
    “These ten precepts are the roots of all Buddha and Bodhisattva actions. It is utterly wrong to say that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can acquire their holy fruits without going through the Dharma Door of the ten precepts.

“I have briefly explained the characteristics of a Bodhisattva who is of the learning character-type, training at first level of abiding. As the training of those at the next nine levels of abiding gradually expands, so too does the training expand in inconceivable ways at the ten levels of action, the ten levels of transference of merit, the Ten Grounds, and the Stainless Ground. What I have briefly explained is like a drop of water in the ocean.”

Chapter 3
Training of Sages and Holies

At that time Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, how should a Bodhisattva learn the meanings of the names [of Bodhisattvas] and their mind training?”

The Six Character-Types

The Buddha answered, “Buddha-Son, your question is the same as that asked of all Buddhas, who sit in their bodhimaṇḍas in Buddha Lands in the ten directions. The questioners are all called Foremost Reverence. Hearken, hearken! Ponder well the right observations and practice them in accordance with the Dharma.
    “Buddha-Son, as all Buddhas expound the Three Samādhi Doors and the six radiant Bodhisattva character-types, so too I expound them. The six character-types are Bodhisattvas adorned with garlands of their merits, each garland adorning a Bodhisattva’s two kinds of dharma bodies. A Bodhisattva wears the garland of his meritorious actions taken in a million asaṁkhyeya kalpas. It is utterly wrong to say that a Bodhisattva can progress to the next level without his garland of merits.
    “Buddha-Son, the six character-types are the learning character-type, the nature character-type,20 the bodhi character-type, the holy character-type, the virtually perfect enlightenment nature, and the perfect enlightenment nature. They are also called the six firmnesses: firmness in faith, firmness in understanding of dharmas, firmness in training, firmness in virtue, firmness in the highest understanding, and firmness in enlightenment. They are also called the six endurances: endurance in faith, endurance of dharmas, endurance in training, endurance in realization of the truth, endurance in the stainless state, and endurance in omniscience. They are also called the six wisdoms: wisdom from hearing [the Dharma], wisdom from pondering [the Dharma], wisdom from training [in accordance with the Dharma], wisdom of the no appearance of dharmas, wisdom of illuminating silence, and wisdom of silent illumination.21 They are also called the six samādhis: samādhi of learning, samādhi of nature, samādhi of bodhi wisdom, samādhi of differentiating wisdom, samādhi of great wisdom, and samādhi of highest wisdom. They are also called the six observations: observation of abiding in learning, observation of actions, observation of transference of merit, observation of the Ten Grounds, observation that dharmas have no appearance, and observation with omniscience. Buddha-Son, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas make these six illuminating observations in order to go through the definitive Dharma Door of true reality.

Names of Bodhisattvas Adorned with Garlands of Their Merits

“Buddha-Son, you asked earlier about the names of Bodhisattvas. Those adorned with a garland of copper jewels are sages of the learning character-type [at the ten levels of abiding]. Their names are (1) Activation of Resolve Bodhisattva, (2) Development of the Ground Bodhisattva, (3) Training Bodhisattva, (4) High Birth Bodhisattva, (5) Skillful Means Bodhisattva, (6) True Mind Bodhisattva, (7) No Regress Bodhisattva, (8) Truthfulness-of-Youth Bodhisattva, (9) Dharma Prince Bodhisattva, and (10) [Blessings with] Nectar Poured on the Head Bodhisattva.
    “Buddha-Son, those adorned with a garland of silver jewels are sages of the nature character-type [at the ten levels of action]. Their names are (1) Joyful Action Bodhisattva, (2) Beneficial Action Bodhisattva, (3) Anger-Free Action Bodhisattva, (4) Endless Action Bodhisattva, (5) Delusion-Free Action Bodhisattva, (6) Well-Displayed Action Bodhisattva, (7) Unfettered Action Bodhisattva, (8) Respectful Action Bodhisattva, (9) Good Dharma Action Bodhisattva, and (10) True Reality Action Bodhisattva.
    “Buddha-Son, those adorned with a garland of gold jewels are sages of the bodhi character-type [at the ten levels of transference of merit]. Their names are (1) Saving All Sentient Beings Bodhisattva, (2) Indestructible Bodhisattva, (3) Equal of All Buddhas Bodhisattva, (4) Arriving Everywhere Bodhisattva, (5) Endless Store of Merits Bodhisattva, (6) Confirming the Equality of All Roots of Goodness Bodhisattva, (7) Regarding All Sentient Beings Equally Bodhisattva, (8) Realizing True Suchness Bodhisattva, (9) Liberation from Bondage Bodhisattva, and (10) Entering the Dharma Realm Bodhisattva.
    “Buddha-Son, those adorned with a garland of aquamarine [vaiḍūrya] jewels are Bodhisattvas of the holy character-type [on the Ten Grounds]. Their names are (1) Joyful Bodhisattva, (2) Taint-Free Bodhisattva, (3) Radiant Bodhisattva, (4) Flaming Wisdom Bodhisattva, (5) Hard-to-Conquer Bodhisattva [who conquers what is hard to conquer], (6) Revealing Bodhisattva, (7) Far-Going Bodhisattva, (8) Motionless Bodhisattva, (9) Good Wisdom Bodhisattva, and (10) Dharma Cloud Bodhisattva.
    “Buddha-Son, each garland of merits accumulated in one million asaṁkhyeya kalpas adorns a Bodhisattva’s two kinds of dharma bodies. Bodhisattvas with these forty names are learners who enter the Dharma stream22 to steep themselves in its water.
    “Buddha-Son, those adorned with a garland of extraordinary jewels are Bodhisattvas of virtually perfect enlightenment nature [on the eleventh ground]. Their name is Vajra Wisdom Banner. Each of them abides in the Samādhi of Ultimate Silence. Through the power of his great vows, he lives for a hundred kalpas. After attaining a thousand samādhis, he enters the Vajra Samādhi and confirms the truth that the nature of all dharmas that appear upon convergences of causes and conditions is the same. Then, for one thousand kalpas he learns the deportment of a Buddha, gazing about like an elephant-king and walking like a lion-king. He acquires innumerable inconceivable spiritual powers as a means to guide and transform [sentient beings]. Therefore, the entire Buddha Dharma is present in his mind. He enters the place walked by Buddhas,23 sits in the bodhimaṇḍa of a Buddha, and conquers the three māras.24 Then, after living for ten thousand kalpas, he manifests as a Buddha and enters the great silent samādhi. His enlightenment virtually equaling a Buddha’s, he transcends the distinction between the two truths, existence and nonexistence, mind and body, and cause and effect. He appears in the world as did ancient Buddhas, manifests a body and mind, assumes an appropriate name, and teaches and transforms sentient beings. Just as ancient Buddhas did, he upholds the Middle Way.25 In great bliss beyond causality, he displays birth and death. Though not actually a Buddha, he displays a Buddha’s spiritual power while abiding in his own state.
    “Buddha-Son, those adorned with a garland of crystal jewels are of perfect enlightenment nature, radiant and pure, standing on the Omniscience Ground [the Perfect Enlightenment Ground]. Each of them [Buddhas] walks the Middle Way of all dharmas, transcends the four māras and all appearances, and is beyond existence and nonexistence. His great enlightenment is the ultimate spiritual attainment. His two ever-abiding bodies transform those with the right conditions.
    “Buddha-Son, I have briefly pronounced the names of sages and holies. You all should uphold these names and take actions to transform others.

Mind Training at the Ten Levels of Abiding

“Buddha-Son, you asked earlier about one’s mind training. A Bodhisattva sage at each of the ten levels of abiding cultivates the corresponding abiding mind: (1) the mind abiding in activation of resolve, (2) the mind abiding in development of the ground, (3) the mind abiding in training, (4) the mind abiding in high birth, (5) the mind abiding in skillful means, (6) the mind abiding in the true mind, (7) the mind abiding in no regress, (8) the mind abiding in truthfulness of youth, (9) the mind abiding in Dharma Princeship, and (10) the mind abiding in [blessings with] nectar poured on the head. The corresponding mind training at each level is given below.

    “First, he develops all roots of goodness and makes four vast vows to enable those who have not transcended suffering to transcend it, enable those who have not understood that accumulation of afflictions is the cause of suffering to understand it, enable those who have not set forth on the Eightfold Right Path to set forth on it, and enable those who have not attained nirvāṇa to attain it.
    “Second, he takes immeasurable good actions as he practices the Four Abidings of Mindfulness, observing the emptiness of one’s body, sensory experiences, afflictions, and mental objects. Then he shatters the four inverted views: (1) taking one’s body as pure, (2) taking one’s sensory experiences as pleasant, (3) taking one’s mind as permanent, and (4) taking dharmas as having selves. [He sees] the illusion of and the false names of all dharmas, such as the five aggregates—form, sensory reception, perception, mental processing, and consciousness—and the six domains [earth, water, fire, wind, space, and consciousness]. [He sees that] all dharmas are like the open sky, with no distinction between self and others.
    “Third, he learns the Buddha Dharma and observes that the ten things—the six domains and the four colors [blue, yellow, red, and white]—are in the appearance of true suchness.
    “Fourth, he accepts the Dharma before all Buddhas and makes excellent observations. Internally he observes his five aggregates in two ways, extensive and simple; externally he observes sentient beings in two ways, extensive and simple; also he observes the four domains in two ways, extensive and simple. Thus, he observes that all dharmas are empty and [in true reality] have no appearance.
    “Fifth, he does pure dharmas and the eight practices remembered by the great ones:26 (1) have few desires; (2) have much contentment; (1) stay in quietness; (4) make energetic progress; (5) cultivate right mindfulness; (6) attain the right samādhi; (7) develop true wisdom; (8) refrain from dispute. In this way he accommodates all dharmas.
    “Sixth, under the protection of all Buddhas, he achieves the eight liberations [from his greed for rebirth in the form realm or the formless realm]. With wisdom developed from hearing [the Dharma], he achieves the first liberation by observing that internal and external appearances are false and cannot be captured. With wisdom developed from pondering [the Dharma], he achieves the second liberation by observing that the five aggregates and all external dharmas cannot be captured. With wisdom developed from training [in accordance with the Dharma], he achieves the third liberation by observing that the five aggregates and the six sense objects in the form realm are empty. As he successively attains the four formless samādhis, then attains the Samādhi of Total Suspension of Sensory Reception and Perception, he achieves the next five liberations by observing that the five aggregates [in the formless realm] cannot be captured, because all liberations are in the appearance of true suchness.
    “Seventh, to spread the true Dharma, he acquires the six elements of harmony and respect, achieving accord with others in body karmas, voice karmas, mind karmas, precepts, almsgiving, and views. Upon realizing the ultimate emptiness of everything, he abides in the state of no regress.
    “Eighth, he believes and delights in the great dharma of three emptinesses:27 (1) as all causes are empty, they have no act; (2) as all effects are empty, they have no appearance; (3) as both causes and effects are empty, emptiness is also empty, because all dharmas are like the open sky.
    “Ninth, his mind abides in the equality of the Four Noble Truths. To transform sentient beings, he teaches them the Four Noble Truths: (1) transmigration in the Three Realms of Existence is suffering, not pleasure; (2) accumulation of afflictions arising from one’s ignorance of the truth is the cause of endless rebirths; (3) confirming the three emptinesses is the path; (4) nirvāṇa is the cessation of suffering. All four truths come under the one appearance [of no appearance].
    “Tenth, seeking to acquire the merit required to become a Buddha, he holds the six memories: (1) the Buddha, (2) the Dharma, (3) the Saṅgha, (4) the precepts, (5) almsgiving, and (6) heaven. Then, thought after thought, he enters the Illusion Samādhi because he practices what he has learned.

“Buddha-Son, when I was in Trayastriṁśa Heaven [the second desire heaven], I pronounced to gods this training of sages28 at the ten levels of abiding. All Bodhisattvas must enter this door to reach the ocean of sarvajña.

Mind Training at the Ten Levels of Action

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva sage at each of the ten levels of action cultivates the corresponding action mind: (1) joyful action mind, (2) beneficial action mind, (3) anger-free action mind, (4) endless action mind, (5) delusion-free action mind, (6) well-displayed action mind, (7) unfettered action mind, (9) respectful action mind, (10) good dharma action mind, (10) true reality action mind. The corresponding mind training at each level is given below.

    “First, to acquire [sarvajña-jñāna] the knowledge of all knowledge, he engages in the Four Right Endeavors: (1) end forever the existing evil, (2) do not allow new evil to arise, (3) cause new goodness to arise, and (4) expand existing goodness. In this way a Bodhisattva seeks to attain Buddha bodhi.
    “Second, to acquire transcendental powers, he practices the Four Ways to Attain Samādhi: (1) aspiration, (2) energetic progress, (3) memory, and (4) contemplation. He has command of dharmas because his wisdom reveals that they have no birth.
    “Third, to acquire fearlessness, he cultivates the Five Roots: (1) faith, (2) energetic progress, (3) memory, (4) samādhi, and (5) wisdom. All five [in true reality] have no appearance.
    “Fourth, to uphold the Three Jewels, he ponders [the virtues of] the five aspects of the dharma body: (1) precepts end evildoing; (2) samādhi stills the chaotic mind; (3) wisdom removes false perceptions; (4) liberation has no bondage; (5) the knowledge and views of liberation enable one to see that all sentient beings have no bondage and that all dharmas are no different from the open sky.
    “Fifth, to transform all sentient beings, he follows the Eightfold Right Path and learns that (1) the wisdom brought out by teachers is called right views; (2) thinking of the Dharma is called right thinking; (3) training tirelessly is called right effort; (4–6) renouncing family life and learning three bodhi factors are called right speech, right action, and right livelihood; (7–8) realizing the emptiness of dharma nature is called right samādhi and right wisdom.29 Then he realizes that everything that arises upon convergence of causes and conditions has no birth.
    “Sixth, to elicit great lovingkindness and compassion, he trains in the Seven Bodhi Factors: (1) mindfulness, (2) critical examination of theories, (3) energetic progress, (4) joyful mentality, (5) lightness and peacefulness in body and mind, (6) samādhi, and (7) equability. This door leads him to realize the one appearance of dharmas.
    “Seventh, to acquire the Four Kinds of Unimpeded Wisdom-Knowledge, he cultivates the five roots of goodness and does the Four Preparatory Trainings: Warmth, Pinnacle, Endurance, and Foremost in the world. These trainings prepare him to develop great wisdom on the Ten Grounds, where holy Bodhisattvas realize the equality of dharmas in their ultimate emptiness.
    “Eighth, to enter all Buddha Lands to transform sentient beings, he acquires the four transforming abilities:30 to reveal the true reality of dharmas, to explain their meanings, to use all forms of expression, and to teach eloquently. These abilities arise from wisdom and reveal that all dharmas, in the highest truth, have no birth.
    “Ninth, to illuminate all dharmas in one thought, he achieves understanding of the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising, which link one’s past, present, and future lives. The two links, ignorance and karmic actions, in one’s past life lead to one’s present consciousness, name and form, six faculties, contact with sense objects, sensory reception, love, grasping, and karmic force for being. These eight links formed in one’s present life lead to birth, and old age and death, in one’s future life. Each link is a false convergence of causes and conditions, and its true nature cannot be captured.
    “Tenth, to turn the great Dharma wheel with ease, he acquires the three Bodhisattva jewels: understanding the highest meaning of the Middle Way is called the enlightenment jewel; understanding that all dharmas have no birth is called the dharma jewel; repeatedly taking the six life-paths together with sentient beings is called the Saṅgha jewel. Using these jewels, he drives all sentient beings into the Buddha ocean.

“Buddha-Son, when I was in Yāma Heaven [the third desire heaven], I pronounced to gods this training of sages at the ten levels of action. I now have briefly explained to this multitude its essentials, as pronounced by all Buddhas. You all should accept and uphold them.

Mind Training at the Ten Levels of Transference of Merit

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva sage at each of the ten levels of transference of merit cultivates the corresponding transference mind: (1) the mind that transfers his merit to his saving all sentient beings without being attached to their appearances; (2) the mind that transfers his merit to his indestructible mind; (3) the mind that transfers his merit to his becoming an equal of all Buddhas; (4) the mind that transfers his merit to his arriving everywhere; (5) the mind that transfers his merit to his endless store of merits; (6) the mind that transfers his merit to his confirming the equality of all roots of goodness; (7) the mind that transfers his merit to his regarding all sentient beings equally; (8) the mind that transfers his merit to his realizing true suchness; (9) the mind that transfers his merit to his liberation from bondage; (10) the mind that transfers his merit to his entering the dharma realm. The corresponding mind training at each level is given below.

    “First, to learn the highest truth, he upholds the two truths. He observes that all dharma appearances are true suchness, which cannot be captured. He teaches gods in the six desire heavens the Four Immeasurable Minds: lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equability. He shaves his head and dons the robe of the Three Jewels. A Bodhisattva who has renounced family life is no different from the Three Jewels because he is foremost in purity.
    “Second, to acquire the highest wisdom-knowledge, he masters the five transcendental powers of a god, each a different usage of one’s wisdom. With the god-eye, he sees all dharmas, including even tiny things in the past, present, and future. With the god-ear, he hears sounds in the ten directions. With a god’s telepathic wisdom-knowledge, he knows others’ minds. With a god’s past-life wisdom-knowledge, he knows the past lives of himself and others on the six life-paths. With the wisdom-knowledge of no birth, he sees all dharmas.
    “Third, to achieve utmost purity, with the wisdom-knowledge that all dharmas have no birth, he holds indestructible pure faith in the Buddha, the Dharma, the Saṅgha, and the precepts.
    “Fourth, to acquire the power of a Buddha, he penetrates the three appearances: birth, death, and life. Dharmas that appear are given the false name birth. Dharmas that disappear are given the false name death. In between, dharmas are given the false name life. Thus, all dharmas are the same in their emptiness and, in worldly truth, are called empty appearances. Emptiness is the one truth.
    “Fifth, to gauge sentient beings’ capacities, he observes the five aggregates that constitute a sentient being. As a body is an assemblage of certain components and can be disassembled, its appearance is empty. As a mind is an array of thoughts changing from moment to moment, its appearance is empty. Mental functions, such as sensory reception, perception, mental processing, and consciousness, though neither assembled nor disassembled, are processes in the one appearance of no appearance.
    “Sixth, to acquire a Buddha’s power of teaching and transforming sentient beings, he observes the twelve fields of a sentient being. They are the six faculties and the six sense objects. There is no observer inside or outside each of them, or in-between, because each dharma has no self, hence no others.
    “Seventh, to acquire the hindrance-free wisdom-knowledge, he observes the eighteen spheres of a sentient being. They are the six faculties, the six sense objects, and the six consciousnesses. Each of them, as all dharmas do, arises upon convergence of causes and conditions.
    “Eighth, to follow his innate wisdom, he observes cause and effect. Good and evil are called causes; pleasure and pain are called effects. A cause is the reason, and its effect is the result. Both cause and effect, with neither birth nor death, are empty. Each arises upon convergence of causes and conditions.
    “Ninth, to uphold the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha, he delves into the emptiness of duality.31 Because causes and conditions converge, something is said to exist. Because causes and conditions diverge, something is said not to exist. Therefore, both existence and nonexistence are empty. Through prajñā [wisdom], he is liberated from all dual appearances.
    “Tenth, to transform all sentient beings through his innate wisdom, with prajñā he observes that all dharmas are free from duality, in accord with the highest truth in the Middle Way. However, his observations are called the likeness of the observations of the highest truth, not the real observations of the highest truth in the Middle Way. Nevertheless, the wisdom developed from his observations enables him to ascend to a holy ground, the first of the Ten Grounds, in the Dharma stream. Then he is called a Mahāsattva of the holy character-type. He walks the Middle Way, free from perception [or conception] of dual appearances.

“Buddha-Son, when I was in Tuṣita Heaven [the fourth desire heaven], I expounded this training of sages at the ten levels of transference of merit. Under this tree, I now have briefly explained its essentials. You all should accept them and train accordingly.
    “Buddha-Son, the thirty minds [cultivated by mind training at these thirty levels] merge into one’s faith in the One Vehicle. However, the cause for one to ride the One Vehicle is not achieved quickly. To bring it about, one must persistently subdue one’s afflictions with a great mind for three asaṁkhyeya kalpas.
    “Starting with the first ground, a holy Bodhisattva on any ground makes three right observations that enable him to ascend to higher grounds. First, realizing emptiness by observing false dharmas32 is called the observation of their existence or nonexistence. Second, recognizing false dharmas founded on emptiness is called the observation of their equality. Third, through these two skillful observations, with his mind in nirvāṇa he observes the highest truth in the Middle Way, which encompasses the two truths.

Those Who Are Subject to Regress

“Buddha-Son, in regard to a Bodhisattva’s progress or regress, both ordinary beings below the ten levels of abiding who activate the bodhi mind, and sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the Ganges who learn to practice the Buddha Dharma with faith, have roots of goodness subject to regress. These good people must cultivate the ten faithful minds for one, two, or even ten kalpas before entering the first of the ten levels of abiding. From the first to the sixth level of abiding, they practice the six pāramitās. At the sixth level of abiding, as they practice prajñā-pāramitā, they will be enabled to make the right observations, and will be protected by Buddhas, holy Bodhisattvas, and beneficent learned friends. Then they will enter the seventh level of abiding, whence they will never regress [onto the ground of voice-hearers]. Those at the preceding six levels are subject to such regress.
    “Buddha-Son, those at the sixth level of abiding practice prajñā-pāramitā. When they realize that a dharma is empty and that neither a dharma nor a person has a self as master, they will definitely enter the seventh level. However, Buddha-Son, if they fail to encounter beneficent learned friends for one, two, or even ten kalpas, their bodhi mind will regress. For example, in my first assembly, 80,000 among the multitude regressed. For example, the god-son Pure Eye, the king Dharma Wealth, and Śāriputra wished to enter the seventh level of abiding. However, they encountered evil causes and conditions and regressed to the level of ordinary beings who, though neither good nor evil, are not called the learning character-type. If they had become non-Buddhists, for one, two, ten, or even one thousand kalpas, they might have even held enormously evil views and done evil, including the five rebellious acts. Such things are called the sign of regress.

Mind Training on the Ten Grounds

“Buddha-Sons, a holy Bodhisattva on each of the Ten Grounds cultivates the corresponding mind [or minds]: (1) the Four Immeasurable Minds, (2) the ten good minds, (3) the radiant mind; (4) the flaming wisdom mind; (5) the victorious mind; (6) the revealing mind; (7) the no-birth mind; (8) the inconceivable mind; (9) the wisdom light mind; (10) the position-accepting mind. The corresponding mind training on each ground is given below.

    “First, on the Joyful Ground, he abides in the highest truth in the Middle Way, cultivates twenty joyful minds, and makes ten endless vows. He manifests a hundred bodies to teach sentient beings in Buddha Lands in the ten directions, displays the five transcendental powers, enters the Illusion Samādhi, manifests as a Buddha, and accumulates immeasurable merit. Moreover, he no longer receives karmic requitals as he did while an ordinary being in the Three Realms of Existence. Knowing his Buddha mind, he rides the One Vehicle to expound the Four Noble Truths: suffering, accumulation of afflictions, cessation of suffering, and the path. His two kinds of dharma bodies undergo changeable birth and death.33 He cultivates his mind by making the three right observations. He enters the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas, which refer to the ten faithful minds, each with ten levels, totaling one hundred. Through this Dharma Door, he frees himself from the thirteen afflictions. His mind in nirvāṇa naturally flows along the Dharma stream into the ocean of sarvajña [the overall wisdom-knowledge].
    “Second, on the Taint-Free Ground, he acquires Dharma treasures in the ocean of the vajra store by doing the ten good karmas and teaching others to do them. He praises the ten good karmas and their doers, and manifests a thousand bodies to teach sentient beings in Buddha Lands in the ten directions, because he is accomplished in observing that all dharmas have no appearance.
    “Third, on the Radiant Ground, he enters the Illusion Samādhi after doing twelve meditations [the four dhyānas of the form realm, the four samādhis of the formless realm, and the four immeasurable samādhis]. In the first dhyāna, he experiences joy caused by five aspects of his mind, with its sixth aspect, the quiet mind, as the core of meditation. In the second dhyāna, he experiences bliss caused by four aspects of his mind, with its fifth aspect, the quiet mind, as the core of meditation. In the third dhyāna, he experiences subtle joy caused by five aspects of his mind, with its sixth aspect, the quiet mind, as the core of meditation. In the fourth dhyāna, with neither pleasure nor pain, he experiences peace caused by four aspects of his mind, with its fifth aspect, the quiet mind, as the core of meditation. Dhyāna is meditative concentration with many facets, and samādhi is meditative absorption that does not scatter for kalpas. Each of the four samādhis of the formless realm is caused by five aspects of his mind, with its sixth aspect, the quiet mind, as the core of meditation. From these samādhis arise the Four Immeasurable Minds [lovingkindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equability], called the four immeasurable samādhis. He then with ease enters countless samādhis. This holy Bodhisattva manifests as an ordinary being, and teaches and transforms sentient beings in 100,000 Buddha Lands.
    “Fourth, on the Flaming Wisdom Ground, he acquires the entire store of Dharma treasures by completing the Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi: the Four Abidings of Mindfulness, the Four Right Endeavors, the Four Ways to Attain Samādhi, the Five Roots, the Five Powers, the Seven Bodhi Factors, and the Eightfold Right Path. This holy Bodhisattva of great action manifests a koṭi bodies to transform all sentient beings.
    “Fifth, on the Hard-to-Conquer Ground, he acquires wisdom-knowledge of the dharma realm by realizing sixteen truths: existence, nonexistence, the highest truth in the Middle Way, suffering, accumulation of afflictions, cessation of suffering, the path, appearances, differentiations, [mental and physical] makeup, expounding the Dharma, [karmic] events, birth, ending afflictions and karmic rebirths, entering the path, and acquiring the wisdom-knowledge of Tathāgatas. He even accomplishes in one thought the five studies on all dharmas. Transformed by the Buddha Dharma, he manifests innumerable bodies in all Buddha Lands.
    “Sixth, on the Revealing Ground, his wisdom-knowledge arises from his understanding of conditions. By observing the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising, he understands that they arise from ten key factors: (1) the view that one has an autonomous self; (2) the mind; (3) ignorance [of the truth]; (4) karmic action; (5) consciousness; (6) one’s three karmas [body, voice, and mind]; (7) one’s past, present, and future lives; (8) the three kinds of suffering; (9) the emptiness of dharma nature; (10) bondage. Having observed the twelve conditions in the conforming way [to continue the links] and the nonconforming way [to end the links], he manifests innumerable bodies in all Buddha Lands to transform all sentient beings.
    “Seventh, on the Far-Going Ground, he acquires the hindrance-free wisdom-knowledge that ends all his karmic requitals. Using the wisdom-knowledge of the three emptinesses, he observes his two kinds of habits34 in the Three Realms of Existence, and completely ends the requitals for his body and mind karmas. He completes all meritorious deeds that require effort and acquires all the merits needed to ascend to higher grounds. He completes the stage that requires effort to practice the ten pāramitās: (1) almsgiving, (2) observance of precepts, (3) endurance of adversity, (4) energetic progress, (5) meditation, (6) wisdom, (7) skillful means, (8) earnest wishing, (9) power, and (10) wisdom-knowledge. His mind in nirvāṇa, with no act and beyond causality, naturally flows along the Dharma stream into the ocean of sarvajña.
    “Eighth, on the Motionless Ground, he makes inconceivable observations without effort. Armed with skillful means and the great wisdom that dharmas have no appearance, he ends his physical habits and his ignorance [of the truth]. In one thought, without effort he does a million kalpas’ work in countless Buddha Lands. In one thought, without effort he manifests as a Buddha and as sentient beings.
    “Ninth, on the Good Wisdom Ground, he acquires the ultimate wisdom-knowledge of dharmas. He has command of forty eloquences35 and has completed all meritorious actions. His mental habits and his ignorance [of the truth of dharmas] have been removed. In one thought, he opens the store of the entire Buddha Dharma and the store of all spiritual powers. In countless Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold Worlds, he manifests as a Buddha and sentient beings in order to teach and transform innumerable sentient beings.
    “Tenth, on the Dharma Cloud Ground, he acquires the hindrance-free wisdom-knowledge and showers immeasurable Dharma rain upon all sentient beings. Having ended his two kinds of habits caused by his ignorance [of the truth], he receives the great position to become a Buddha. His spiritual power being immeasurable and indescribable, he effortlessly manifests as a Buddha.

“Buddha-Son, all sages must enter this door [of the Ten Grounds] to train for enlightenment. Buddha-Son, I initially expounded in Parinirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven [the sixth desire heaven] the Ten Grounds to guide and transform gods. I now have briefly explained this door for all of you to accept and practice.

Mind Training on the Eleventh Ground

“Buddha-Son, the mind of a Bodhisattva at the forty-first level is called the mind entering the dharma realm. On the Stainless Ground, he goes from the Valiant Subjugation Samādhi into the Dharma Radiance Samādhi. In this samādhi, he practices ten dharmas: (1) learning the inconceivable skillful ways of a Buddha; (2) collecting a Bodhisattva’s [his] retinue; (3) going through again all the Dharma Doors he has gone through; (4) visiting all Buddha Lands to greet all Buddhas; (5) saying farewell to ignorance, the parent of a sentient being repeatedly reborn; (6) entering the double hidden door;36 (7) manifesting as a Buddha and assuming all shapes and forms; (8) revealing his two kinds of dharma bodies; (9) fully shedding his two kinds of habits; (10) ascending to the mountaintop, the highest truth in the Middle Way.
    “Therefore, it takes countless kalpas for a Bodhisattva to progress from abiding in activation of his resolve to becoming a stainless Bodhisattva on this ground, during which time he cultivates the forty minds through Dharma Doors of immeasurable merit. Starting with the Joyful Ground, he takes 100,000 kalpas to fully reveal his two kinds of dharma bodies and to accumulate immeasurable merit. Always taking Buddha actions, he then enters the Appearance-Ending Samādhi and readies himself to possess [sarvajña-jñāna] the knowledge of all knowledge.

“Buddha-Son, when I was in the third dhyāna heaven [in the form realm], I spoke a million koṭi stanzas to 80,000 gods, explaining how a holy Bodhisattva waiting to demonstrate attainment of Buddhahood in his next life enters the Samādhi of Buddha Adornment. I now have briefly explained the meaning of but one stanza to open sentient beings’ minds. You all should accept and uphold it.

The Twelfth Ground, the Buddha Ground

“Buddha-Son, only a Buddha stands on the Perfect Enlightenment Ground, the forty-second and final stage [of the Bodhisattva Way]. His mind is called the nirvāṇa mind abiding in the one appearance. It is boundless like the open sky. His knowledge of all knowledge illuminates the truth that dharmas have no birth and illuminates their [false] beginnings and endings.37 Only a Buddha fully knows sentient beings’ roots [the Tathāgata store] and the eventual ending [of their two types of birth and death], and He clearly sees all their afflictions and karmic requitals. With His one mind38 illuminating the ultimate truth, He knows not only all Buddha Lands, but all Buddhas and all Bodhisattvas, and their manifestations. He alone abides in the inconceivable state, outside the two truths.39
    “Buddha-Son, when I first expounded under this tree the ocean-like dharma realm, 80,000 stainless Bodhisattvas [on the eleventh ground] demonstrated attainment of Buddhahood. I now have briefly explained to this huge multitude the way to achieve the Buddha fruit. You all should accept it with the highest esteem.”

Supra-Worldly Requitals to Holy Bodhisattvas

At that time Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, progressing from the first ground to the last ground, a holy Bodhisattva, because of his good requitals and spiritual powers, reveals his two kinds of dharma bodies, the dharma-nature body and the response and manifested bodies. What are their physical and mental features?”
    The Buddha answered, “Buddha-Son, the supra-worldly requital to a holy Bodhisattva progressing from the first ground to the Buddha Ground is revealment of his two kinds of dharma bodies. The true wisdom arising from his realization of the highest truth of dharma nature is called the dharma body, the essence of dharmas, as a response to his roots of goodness. The dharma body can manifest innumerable inconceivable response bodies as sentient beings, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas, and even as Buddha Lands.
    “Buddha-Son, a land is where all sentient beings, sages, and holies live. Each of them lives in a land as requital for his karma. An ordinary being lives in his body composed of the five aggregates as his main requital land. The mountains, the forests, and the great earth, shared by many are their reliance requital land.
    “A holy Bodhisattva progressing from the first ground [the Joyful Ground] to the eleventh ground [the Stainless Ground] has two kinds of lands, the land of true wisdom and the manifested lands, pure or impure, which are manifested throughout kalpas. The lands where sentient beings live or where holies on the eleven grounds live are their requital lands, not a pure land. Only Buddhas reside in the foremost land of dharma nature, in the Middle Way. Therefore, in the past, in the universal radiance palace hall, I widely expounded to all sentient beings the Dharma Door of the Pure Land.
    “Buddha-Son, a holy Bodhisattva on the first ground, with the dharma body of true wisdom, which has no appearance, in one thought accumulates a million asaṁkhyeya merits. His mind in nirvāṇa illuminates the two truths in the Dharma stream. As a Bodhisattva on the first ground has two kinds of dharma bodies inconceivable to ordinary beings, so does a Bodhisattva on the second through eleventh grounds, and so does a Buddha on the Perfect Enlightenment Ground. While a Bodhisattva on the first ground manifests 100, 1,000, 10,000, or even innumerable response bodies, the dharma body, or his mind in nirvāṇa, sees no Buddha Dharma or good requitals to seek, no ignorance or wrong views to end, and no sentient beings to deliver. Only in response to relative truth does he see Buddhahood to seek, wrong views to end, and sentient beings to deliver.
    “Buddha-Son, as a Bodhisattva sage in any of the three groups of sages [at the ten levels of abiding, the ten levels of action, and the ten levels of transference of merit] trains to become a holy Bodhisattva [on the first ground], his mind in nirvāṇa naturally flows along the Dharma stream into the ocean of perfect enlightenment. Buddha-Son, the names of the three groups of sages and the names of the holies on the Ten Grounds are false names and have no appearance. To deliver sentient beings according to their needs, these names were made up in the Dharma of ancient Buddhas. Buddha-Son, you should accept and uphold the Dharma of all Buddhas equally.

Worldly Requitals to Bodhisattva Sages

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva sage at any of the ten levels of abiding is adorned with a garland of copper jewels. He becomes a Wheel-Turning King equipped with a copper wheel and attended by a hundred worthy sons as his retinue. He is reborn in one Buddha Land to uphold the Buddha Dharma and to teach sentient beings on two [of its four] continents.
    “A Bodhisattva sage at any of the ten levels of action is adorned with a garland of silver jewels. He becomes a Wheel-Turning King equipped with a silver wheel and attended by five hundred worthy sons as his retinue. He is reborn in two Buddha Lands to uphold the Buddha Dharma and to teach sentient beings on three continents in each land.
    “A Bodhisattva sage at any of the ten levels of transference of merit is adorned with a garland of gold jewels. He becomes a Wheel-Turning King equipped with a gold wheel and attended by a thousand worthy sons as his retinue. He visits Buddha Lands in the ten directions to teach all sentient beings on all four continents in each land.

Worldly Requitals to Holy Bodhisattvas

“A holy Bodhisattva on the first ground is adorned with a garland of 100 jewels. He becomes one of the four god-kings of the first desire heaven, equipped with a wheel made of seven treasures and attended by 10,000 god-sons as his retinue. He manifests 100 bodies to deliver all sentient beings on the four continents in each of 100 Buddha Lands in the ten directions.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the second ground is adorned with a garland of 1,000 jewels. He becomes the god-king of Trayastriṁśa Heaven [the second desire heaven], equipped with a wheel made of eight treasures and attended by 20,000 god-sons as his retinue.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the third ground is adorned with a garland of 10,000 jewels. He becomes the god-king of Yāma Heaven [the third desire heaven], equipped with a wheel made of nine treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A holy bodhisattva on the fourth ground is adorned with a garland of a koṭi jewels. He becomes the god-king of Tuṣita Heaven [the fourth desire heaven], equipped with a wheel made of ten treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A Bodhisattva on the fifth ground is adorned with a garland of celestial jewel light. He becomes the god-king of Nirmāṇa-rati Heaven [the fifth desire heaven], equipped with a wheel made of eleven treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the sixth ground is adorned with a garland of extraordinary jewel light. He becomes [the god-king of] Parinirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven [the sixth desire heaven], equipped with a wheel made of twelve treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the seventh ground is adorned with a garland of dragon jewel light in 1,000 colors. He becomes the Brahma-king of the first dhyāna heaven, equipped with a wheel made of thirteen treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the eighth ground is adorned with a garland of lion jewel light. He becomes the god-king of Pure Radiance Heaven [in the second dhyāna heaven], equipped with a wheel made of great wish-fulfilling treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the ninth ground is adorned with a garland of inconceivable jewel light. He becomes the god-king of Pervasive Splendor Heaven [in the third dhyāna heaven], equipped with a wheel of white cloud treasures and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on the tenth ground is adorned with a garland of the jewel light of a million transcendental powers. He becomes the god-king of a pure abode heaven [in the fourth dhyāna heaven], equipped with a wheel of the jewel light of fearlessness and attended by a countless retinue.
    “A Bodhisattva on the eleventh ground is adorned with a garland of jewel light in ten million celestial colors. He becomes the king of the Three Realms of Existence, equipped with a wheel made of the jewel light of enlightenment. His retinue comprises all Bodhisattvas.
    “A Buddha on the twelfth ground [the Perfect Enlightenment Ground] is adorned with a garland of the jewel light of the immeasurable store of merits. He is the king of the dharma realm, equipped with a wheel of thousands of merits. His retinue comprises holy Bodhisattvas [on the eleventh ground] waiting to demonstrate attainment of Buddhahood in their next life.

“Buddha-Son, the garlands and wheels just mentioned are the names of [good] requitals to all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, who constantly carry them as they deliver sentient beings.

Subduing Afflictions, Evil Karmas, and Resulting Requitals

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva sage in any of the three groups [the ten levels of abiding, the ten levels of action, and the ten levels of transference of merit] subdues his afflictions, coarse karmas, and coarse requitals, all of which drive his continued rebirth in the Three Realms of Existence. He does not fuel any coarse afflictions.
    “A holy Bodhisattva on each of the eleven grounds cultivates the corresponding endurance [in retaining the truth]: (1) on the first ground, his joyful endurance in seeing bodhi obliterates his karma of taking any of the three evil life-paths; (2) on the second ground, his endurance in shunning taints obliterates his karma of rebirth as a human; (3) on the third ground, his radiant endurance obliterates his karma of rebirth as a god in any of the six desire heavens; (4) on the fourth ground, his endurance in flaming wisdom obliterates his karma of embracing the wrong views; (5) on the fifth ground, his excellent endurance obliterates his karma of harboring doubts; (6) on the sixth ground, his revealed Endurance in Accord40 prevents the causes of his karmas; (7) on the seventh ground, his Endurance in the Realization of the No Birth of Dharmas eliminates the requitals for his karmas; (8) on the eighth ground, his unshakable endurance obliterates his body karmas; (9) on the ninth ground, his radiant endurance obliterates his mind karmas; (10) on the tenth ground, his silent endurance obliterates the habitual karmas of his body and mind; (11) on the eleventh ground, his stainless endurance eliminates the requitals for his habitual karmas.
    “Although habits have been removed, their effects do not vanish. Therefore, Buddha-Son, while a Bodhisattva sage subdues [his afflictions], a holy Bodhisattva on the first and higher grounds not only subdues but also ends all his afflictions. When he achieves endurance in enlightenment, he immediately ends his root ignorance of the dharma realm, with none of it left.

Rebirth of an Ordinary Being

“Buddha-Son, ignorance means lack of understanding that all dharmas are the one dharma realm. Captivated by the dharma realm, one does karmas and receives corresponding requitals in the Three Realms of Existence. Therefore, I say that from the store of ignorance arise the thirteen afflictions, which include the seven [wrong] views and the six entrapping afflictions. The seven views are (1) the evil view of no causality; (2) the view that a person composed of the five aggregates has an autonomous self; (3) the view of perpetuity of a dharma; (4) the view of cessation of a dharma; (5) the view that wrong causes can bring good effects; (6) the view that evil effects [such as repeated birth and death] are good; (7) the view that one should raise doubts.41 One sees everything through these seven views. From these views arise the six entrapping afflictions: greed, anger, delusion, love, desire,42 and arrogance. They are present and active all the time in the dharma realm [one’s mind].
    “Buddha-Son, these thirteen afflictions are the roots of all afflictions, and ignorance is their root. They bring different requitals in the Three Realms of Existence. Buddha-Son, driven by [wrong] views and entrapping afflictions, one who is captivated by things to do with one’s body and desires is reborn in the desire realm as requital; one who is captivated by things to do with one’s body and mind is reborn in the form realm as requital; one who is captivated by meditative absorption is reborn in the formless realm as requital.
    “Buddha-Son, though in the one dharma realm, sentient beings receive requitals in the Three Realms of Existence. Whether ordinary beings, holy beings, one’s views, or one’s entrapping afflictions, all saṁskṛta dharmas are inside the dharma realm. Only a Buddha is outside the dharma realm.43 However, for the sake of ignorant sentient beings, He returns to the dharma realm and indicates the countless differences in the requitals for their good and evil karmas.

Rebirth of a Bodhisattva Sage or a Holy Bodhisattva

“Buddha-Son, Bodhisattva sages in the three groups remove their ignorance in a coarse way that leads to their rebirths in the Three Realms of Existence. Why? Because their goodness is the seed of rebirth and their love [of being] waters the seed. They stop doing karmas that are bound to the Three Realms of Existence but do not stop using love to bring about their rebirths.
    “Bodhisattvas on the eleven grounds also eliminate their karmic requitals in the Three Realms of Existence. Those on the first seven grounds have completely obliterated their karmas and corresponding requitals in the Three Realms of Existence. Those on the eighth ground have completely ended such karmas and requitals. Those on the eighth or higher grounds can display attainment of Buddhahood, from birth in a royal palace to renouncing family life, to attaining bodhi, to turning the Dharma wheel, and to entering parinirvāṇa. They can also manifest all Buddha Lands. They receive no karmic requitals in the Three Realms of Existence because they no longer have karmic seeds or love [of being], though their habitual ignorance still remains. Through the power of their great vows, they are reborn through miraculous formation. Therefore, in the past I explained to gods the meanings of birth, no birth, karmic rebirth, and rebirth by miraculous formation.
    “Buddha-Son, a holy Bodhisattva does two kinds of karmas, wisdom karmas and merit karmas. Wisdom karmas mean the wisdom-knowledge that dharmas have no birth and no appearance. They are called wisdom karmas because his mind shines without subject and object, in accord with dharma nature. Merit karmas mean that he, with knowledge arising from true wisdom, accumulates a million asaṁkhyeya merits, free from afflictions. A holy Bodhisattva on the first and higher grounds undergoes changeable birth and death because karmic rebirth driven by his afflictions has ended. Through the power of his vows, he lives for billions of kalpas.”

Sūtra of the Garland of a Bodhisattva’s Primary Karmas, fascicle 1
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T24n1485)


Notes


    1. The forty-two beams of light presaged the forty-two levels of attainment on the Bodhisattva Way. (Return to text)
    2. Those at the first thirty levels are sages; those at the last twelve levels are holies. A Bodhisattva’s primary karmas, like a garland, are a Buddha’s original karmas (see “stages of the Bodhisattva Way” in the glossary). (Return to text)
    3. All gods, ghosts, and hell-dwellers are reborn by miraculous formation (see “four modes of birth” in the glossary). (Return to text)
    4. See Sahā World in the glossary. (Return to text)
    5. It is explained later in chapter 3 that the two kinds of dharma bodies are the dharma nature body and the response and manifested bodies. According to text 905, the Chinese version of the Sūtra of the Secret Dhāraṇi of the Three Siddhis, the two kinds of dharma bodies of a Buddha are truth and wisdom, which are one dharma body (T18n0905, 0912a21–27). (Return to text)
    6. In fascicle 1, the figure is fourteen nayuta, but in fascicle 2, it is fourteen koṭi. Here, fourteen koṭi is adopted for consistency because this figure is in the Song, Yuan, Ming editions of the Chinese Canon. (Return to text)
    7. The meanings of the ten levels of abiding given in fascicle 8 of text 945, the Chinese version of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, are summarized as follows. (1) Invoking the ten faithful minds is called Abiding in Activation of Resolve. (2) The radiance of one’s mind is like pure aquamarine inlayed with refined gold. Forming such a mind ground is called Abiding in Development of the Ground. (3) One’s mind traveling unhindered in the ten directions is called Abiding in Training. (4) Being born into the Buddha family is called Abiding in High Birth. (5) Resembling a fully formed fetus is called Abiding in Skillful Means. (6) Resembling a Buddha in body and mind is called Abiding in the True Mind. (7) Uniting one’s body and mind is called Abiding in No Regress. (8) Developing the ten spiritual bodies of a Buddha is called Abiding in Truthfulness of Youth. (9) Being born as a Buddha-son is called abiding in Dharma Princeship. (10) Being assigned administrative affairs, as would a crown prince, is called Abiding in [Blessings with] Nectar Poured on the Head (T19n0945, 0142a25–b8). (Return to text)
    8. The meanings of the ten levels of action given in fascicle 8 of text 945, the Chinese version of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, are summarized as follows. (1) Supporting sentient beings in worlds in the ten directions is called Joyful Action. (2) Proficiently benefiting all sentient beings is called Beneficial Action. (3) Working for self-realization and enlightening others is called Anger-Free Action. (4) Assuming various forms throughout the endless future, everywhere in worlds in the ten directions, is called Endless Action. (5) Entering various Dharma Doors without mistakes is called Delusion-Free Action. (6) Displaying varieties from sameness yet seeing their sameness is called Well-Displayed Action. (7) Manifesting in each dust particle worlds in the ten directions, hindrance free, is called Unfettered Action. (8) Providing ways as the foremost pāramitā for delivering sentient beings is called Respectful Action, (9) Completing the guidelines of Buddhas is called Good Dharma Action. (10) Taking pure actions free from one’s afflictions is called True Reality Action (T19n0945, 0142b9–20). (Return to text)
    9. The meanings of the ten levels of transference of merit given in fascicle 8 of text 945, the Chinese version of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, are summarized as follows. (1) Setting one’s asaṁskṛta mind onto the nirvāṇa road is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Saving All Sentient beings without Being Attached to Their Appearances. (2) Destroying the destructible is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Indestructible Mind. (3) Knowing that one’s original mind equals the Buddha mind is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Becoming an Equal of All Buddhas. (4) Seeing that one’s radiant mind ground equals the Buddha ground is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Arriving Everywhere. (5) Knowing that all worlds interweave with one another, hindrance free, is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Endless Store of Merits. (6) Following the pure causes on the nirvāṇa road is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Confirming the Equality of All Roots of Goodness. (7) Seeing the same nature in all sentient beings is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Regarding All sentient Beings Equally. (8) Accepting dharmas as they appear without being attached to their appearances is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Realizing True Suchness. (9) Realizing that true suchness is unhindered everywhere in the ten directions is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Liberation from Bondage. (10) Perfecting the virtue of one’s nature is called Transference of One’s Merit to One’s Entering the Dharma Realm (T19n0945, 0142b21–c11). (Return to text)
    10. The meanings of the Ten Grounds given in fascicle 8 of text 945, the Chinese version of the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, are summarized as follows. (1) Realizing the true suchness of all dharmas and knowing the state of a Buddha are called the Joyful Ground. (2) Knowing that all differences are sameness in their emptiness is called the Taint-Free Ground. (3) The radiance arising from one’s [Buddha] nature is called the Radiant Ground. (4) The utmost radiance of one’s enlightenment is called the Flaming Wisdom Ground. (5) Realizing that neither the sameness nor the differences of all dharmas can be captured is called the Hard-to-Conquer Ground. (6) Revealment of the asaṁskṛta nature of true suchness is called the Revealing Ground. (7) Realizing true suchness to the extreme is called the Far-Going Ground. (8) One’s mind in true suchness is called the Motionless Ground. (9) Activating the wonderful functions of one’s true mind is called the Good Wisdom Ground. (10) Showering Dharma rain with compassion that covers the nirvāṇa ocean is called the Dharma Cloud Ground (T19n0945, 0142c12–21). (Return to text)
    11. The Sanskrit word “abhimukhī” means turned toward. On the sixth ground, because a Bodhisattva’s main practice is the wisdom pāramitā (prajñā-pāramitā), prajñā and all samādhis are revealed to him. (Return to text)
    12. The Sanskrit word “sādhumatī” means good or honorable intention. However, it is usually translated into Chinese as good wisdom (善慧). (Return to text)
    13. The ten faithful minds are also called the ten minds. Bodhisattvas who are cultivating the ten faithful minds are still ordinary beings on the Bodhisattva Way (see “stages of the Bodhisattva Way” in the glossary). In fascicle 8 of text 945, the Śūraṅgama Sūtra, the ten faithful minds merge into one mind, called the mind abiding in activation of resolve, which is the first of the ten levels of abiding (T19n0945, 0142a25–26). (Return to text)
    14. One makes action vows to transform others by action, and makes no-action vows to realize the emptiness of dharmas. (Return to text)
    15. The two truths are relative truth and absolute truth. Relative truth reveals the dependent arising of existence or nonexistence. Absolute truth reveals the true suchness of everything. (Return to text)
    16. See “four appearances” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    17. According to the Chinese version of the Mahāparinirvāṇa Sūtra (T12n0375), a Tathāgata, characterized by His eternity, bliss, self, and purity, is beyond the concept of eternity and extinction, bliss and suffering, purity and impurity (see “inversion” in the glossary). (Return to text)
    18. According to the Chinese version of The Book of Bodhisattva Precepts (T24n1500), praising oneself and criticizing others are a major sin. However, praising oneself or criticizing others is only a minor sin (Rulu 2012c, 81, 88). (Return to text)
    19. As explained in fascicle 2, chapter 7, although a violated precept cannot be restored by repentance, a Bodhisattva, after earnest repentance, may accept this precept again. (Return to text)
    20. A Bodhisattva at the ten levels of action is of the nature character-type because, not fixated on the emptiness of dharmas, he can differentiate their natures. (Return to text)
    21. The Cao Dong School (曹洞宗) of Chinese Chan Buddhism calls the practice of śamatha-vipaśyanā (stillness and observation) meditation of silent illumination (默照禪). In this sūtra, silent illumination refers to a Buddha’s mind that, without any activity, silently illuminates all dharmas without differentiating between subject and object. See silent illumination and illuminating silence in the next-to-last paragraph of chapter 4, in fascicle 2. (Return to text)
    22. Dharma stream (法流) means that the Buddha Dharma continues like the flow of water (Buddha’s Light Dictionary 1988, 3366c). (Return to text)
    23. Different interpretations of the place walked by Buddhas are found in texts in the Chinese Canon. The place can be taken as the understanding of the Middle Way (T85n2798, 0752b16–17), the ultimate emptiness (T42n1824, 0076c18–25), the Buddha Ground (T33n1708, 0391b18–26), or dharma nature (T37n1751, 0211c6–8). (Return to text)
    24. The first three of the “four māras" in the glossary are the celestial māra, one’s five aggregates, and one’s afflictions. (Return to text)
    25. The Middle Way means that emptiness is non-dual, above the plane of polar opposites, which are illusory appearances of dharmas through illusory causes and conditions, all under false names. Emptiness is also a false name. Although the Buddha often likens emptiness to the open sky, one should not take emptiness as nothingness or as a metaphysical base for saṁskṛta dharmas (Rulu 2012a, 25). (Return to text)
    26. These eight practices are given in the Sūtra of the Eight Memories, which is the 74th sūtra in text 26 (T01n0026), the Chinese version of the Madhyama Āgama (middle-length discourses). A similar set of eight is found in text 779 (T17n0779), the Chinese version of the Sūtra of the Eight Realizations of the Great Ones. (Return to text)
    27. Another three emptinesses are (1) the emptiness of a sentient being (人空) composed of dharmas, such as the five aggregates, and dependent on causes and conditions; (2) the emptiness of a dharma (法空) dependent on causes and conditions; (3) the emptiness of emptiness. (Return to text)
    28. Text 1485 uses the term “ordinary beings.” However, Bodhisattvas training at the ten levels of abiding, the ten levels of action, or the ten levels of transference of merit are considered sages, as indicated elsewhere in this text. (Return to text)
    29. In the glossary, the seventh path of the Eightfold Right Path is right mindfulness and the eighth path is right samādhi. (Return to text)
    30. The four transforming abilities are the Four Kinds of Unimpeded Wisdom-Knowledge in the glossary. (Return to text)
    31. Duality arises from one’s perception or conception of opposites, such as subject and object, right and wrong, good and evil, existence and nonexistence, etc. (Return to text)
    32. Dharmas that appear and disappear through causes and conditions are called false dharmas. (Return to text)
    33. The body of dharma nature has neither birth nor death. See “two types of birth and death” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    34. There are two commentaries on this sūtra, both by unknown authors. According to the first commentary in the Chinese Canon, the Taishō Tripiṭaka, the two kinds of habits are (1) attachment to sense objects and (2) attachment to mental objects (T85n2798, 0757b18–20). According to the second commentary in the Extension of the Chinese Canon, the Shinsan Zokuzōkyō, the two kinds of habits are (1) fixation that a dharma is real and (2) fixation that a sentient being composed of dharmas is real. The former is the cause of the latter (X39n0705, 0242a17–18). (Return to text)
    35. See “unimpeded eloquence” in the glossary. Each of the four eloquences has ten variations, totaling forty. (Return to text)
    36. According to the second commentary on this sūtra, the double hidden door is the emptiness of emptiness [as a concept] (X39n0705, 0242a14–15). (Return to text)
    37. Although in true reality a dharma has no birth, it has the appearances of a beginning (birth) and an ending (death). (Return to text)
    38. According to the 10-fascicle Chinese version of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, the one mind is nirvāṇa, the Tathāgata store (T16n0671, 0519a1–3). (Return to text)
    39. As relative truth and absolute truth make a contrasting pair, a Buddha abides outside such duality. (Return to text)
    40. According to the 80-fascicle Chinese version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (Buddhāvataṁsaka-mahāvaipulya-sūtra), fascicle 37, a Bodhisattva on the sixth ground acquires Endurance in Accord (T10n0279, 0193c15–16). This term is defined in the glossary’s Three Endurances in the Dharma. (Return to text)
    41. Doubt is included as one of the five chronic afflictions (see “affliction” in the glossary). Here, it is classified as a view. (Return to text)
    42. The second commentary on this sūtra explains the differences between desire, greed, and love. Sexual desire is called desire; being captivated by things of the present is called greed; being attached to things of the past or seeking things of the future is called love. Desire and greed are in those in the desire realm; love is in those in the form realm and the formless realm. However, the unknown author of this commentary also claims that greed encompasses desire and love (X39n0705, 0244a8–11). (Return to text)
    43. A Buddha’s ever-abiding wisdom body is neither inside nor outside the dharma realm, and neither departs nor returns. His response and manifested bodies appear or disappear in the dharma realm in response to sentient beings’ needs. (Return to text)

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