Sūtra 37 (posted 05/2013, updated 2/2014) Book information on Home page
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[Samantabhadra Bodhisattva continued] “Buddha-Son, what is a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s Samādhi of the Hindrance-Free Wheel? Buddha-Son, when a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva enters this samādhi, he abides in hindrance-free body karmas, voice karmas, and mind karmas. He lives in a hindrance-free Buddha Land, acquires the hindrance-free wisdom-knowledge to bring sentient beings to [spiritual] achievement, and acquires the hindrance-free wisdom-knowledge to tame sentient beings. He emits hindrance-free radiance, displays a web of hindrance-free radiance, produces hindrance-free manifestations, turns the hindrance-free pure Dharma wheel, and achieves a Bodhisattva’s hindrance-free command. He enters the power of Buddhas, abides in the wisdom-knowledge [jñāna] of Buddhas, does what Buddhas do, purifies what Buddhas purify, displays Their transcendental powers, and delights Them. He takes Tathāgata actions, walks the Tathāgata path, stays close to innumerable Buddhas, does Buddha work, and continues the Buddha line.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi observes [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge, observes it in general and in particulars, follows it, reveals it, holds it, sees it, and sees it in general and in particulars. Without interruption or rest, regress or digression, weariness or boredom, distraction or disorder, he always expands and continues [to train in] Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s vast mind, vast vows, vast actions, vast purposes, vast realizations, vast radiance, vast manifestations, vast protection and concern, and vast path. Why? Because this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, in the midst of dharmas, carries out his great vows, launches the Mahāyāna [Great Vehicle], and enters the ocean of great skillful means within the Buddha Dharma. Through the power of his excellent vows, he develops skill in taking Bodhisattva actions with radiant wisdom. Equipped with a Bodhisattva’s transcendental powers and ability to manifest, he is well able to protect and think of all sentient beings as do all past, present, and future Buddhas. He elicits great compassion for sentient beings and attains a Tathāgata’s changelessness.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, someone places a crystal on his colored clothes. Although the crystal takes on the color of his clothes, it does not abandon its own nature. Likewise, although a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva acquires wisdom and uses it as a jewel of his mind to reveal the overall wisdom-knowledge, he does not abandon Bodhisattva actions. Why not? Because a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva makes a great vow to benefit all sentient beings, comfort all sentient beings, deliver all sentient beings, attend all Buddhas, purify all worlds, and go deep into the Dharma ocean. To purify the realm of sentient beings, he displays great mastery, gives alms to sentient beings, and illuminates the whole world. He enters the Dharma Door of boundless manifestations without regress or digression, weariness or boredom.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, the open sky contains myriad worlds in formation or continuation, without weariness or boredom, debility or decay, dissolution or damage, change or variation, and it does not abandon its own nature. Why not? Because the nature of the open sky is naturally what it is. Likewise a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva makes an immeasurable great vow to deliver all sentient beings, and his mind is never weary or bored.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, innumerable past, present, and future sentient beings pass away into nirvāṇa, never weary or bored. Why not? Because the true nature of all dharmas is purity, called nirvāṇa. How can they tire of it? Likewise a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva appears in the world to deliver all sentient beings. How can his mind be weary?
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, sarvajña [overall wisdom-knowledge] enables all past, present, and future Bodhisattvas to have been born and to be born into the Buddha family, and enables them to attain the unsurpassed bodhi, but it is never weary or bored. Why not? Because the overall wisdom-knowledge is no different from the dharma realm and has no attachment to any dharma. Likewise a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s mind abides in equability and the overall wisdom-knowledge. How can it be weary or bored?
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva has a lotus flower that spans the space to the far reaches of the ten directions. It is adorned with ineffable petals, treasures, and fragrances. The ineffable treasures each manifest various treasures, which are pure, wonderful, and secure. This flower always emits colorful radiance, illuminating all worlds in the ten directions, hindrance free. Covering this flower is a net made of pure gold. Jeweled bells sway gently and emit wonderful sounds that expound the overall wisdom-knowledge. This vast lotus flower is adorned with a Tathāgata’s purity and majesty. It is born from all roots of goodness as an auspicious display. It is manifested by spiritual power and has 10,000 asaṁkhyeya pure virtues. It is produced by the wonderful Bodhisattva Way and flows from the mind with the overall wisdom-knowledge. It displays the reflections of Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions. The world reveres this flower as a Buddha pagoda, and all sentient beings pay homage to it. It is born from the true Dharma, which contains teachings to discern illusions. It is beyond all analogies in the world.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva sits cross-legged on this flower, and his body size matches the flower’s. Supported by the spiritual power of all Buddhas, each of his pores emits beams of light as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each beam manifests jewels as numerous as the dust particles of a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. These jewels are all called the Store of Universal Radiance. They are formed by immeasurable virtues and adorned with various colors and splendors. They are covered by nets of jewels and flowers, which waft 100,000 koṭi nayuta superb fragrances. Their various colors and splendors manifest inconceivable jeweled canopies hovering above them.
“Each jewel manifests towers as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each tower manifests lion thrones as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each lion throne emits beams of light as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each beam of light manifests colors as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each color manifests orbs of radiance as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each orb manifests sunshiny jeweled flowers as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each jeweled flower manifests platforms as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each platform manifests Buddhas as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each Buddha manifests in ways as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each manifestation purifies multitudes as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each multitude manifests Buddha commands as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each Buddha command rains down Buddha Dharmas as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each Buddha Dharma contains sūtras as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each sūtra pronounces Dharma Doors as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each Dharma Door leads to Dharma wheels as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Such Dharma wheels, accessed through vajra wisdom-knowledge, expound the Dharma with different words. Each Dharma wheel brings to [spiritual] maturity realms of sentient beings, which are as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. Each realm contains sentient beings as numerous as the dust particles in a million koṭi nayuta ineffable Buddha Lands. These sentient beings are tamed through the Buddha Dharma.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi displays such states of transcendental powers in countless variations. Knowing that they are illusory, he has no attachment to them. He abides in the boundless and ineffable Dharma, the purity of true nature, the true reality of the dharma realm, the Tathāgata character-type, and the hindrance-free state, which is neither coming nor going, neither before nor after. Although it is bottomless, it can be attained by direct measure through wisdom, without others’ help. His mind free from confusion and differentiation, he is praised by past, present, and future Buddhas. He flows from the power of Buddhas and enters Their realm. His nature accords with true reality, his pure eye sees [the true reality of dharmas], and his wisdom-eye sees everything. He acquires the Buddha-eye and becomes a bright lamp for the world. He walks in the realm seen by his wisdom-eye and widely expounds the wondrous Dharma Doors. He activates the bodhi mind and heads forward to become a great man. With no hindrance in any situations, he enters the wisdom character-type and brings out all wisdom-knowledge. He discards the worldly modes of birth and manifests his rebirths. Using transcendental powers and manifestations, he tames sentient beings by skillful means. Whatever he does is done skillfully, and his virtues, understandings, and purposes are pure, wondrous, complete, and perfect. His wisdom is vast, like the open sky, and he excels in observing the states of holy ones. His faith, his actions, and the power of his vows are strong and unwavering, and his endless virtues are praised by the world.
“He gathers wondrous treasures from the store observed by all Buddhas, from the place of great bodhi, and from the ocean of the overall wisdom-knowledge. He becomes a man of great wisdom, whose nature is pure, like a lotus flower, and those who see him are delighted and receive benefits. The radiance of his wisdom shining everywhere, he sees innumerable Buddhas and purifies all dharmas. His actions being quiet, he has no hindrance to mastering the Dharma of Buddhas. He always uses skillful means to abide in Buddha bodhi, and is born from virtuous actions. Equipped with Bodhisattva wisdom-knowledge, he is a leader of Bodhisattvas, and receives the protection and concern of all Buddhas. He acquires a Buddha’s awesome spirit and realizes a Buddha’s dharma body. With inconceivable mindfulness, he holds one object in his mind as if holding no object. His actions are wide ranging, free from appearances and hindrances, and are equal to the measureless and boundless dharma realm. The bodhi he has attained is like the open sky, unfettered and boundless.
“He brings to the whole world great benefits, which flow from the ocean of the overall wisdom-knowledge and his roots of goodness. He fully understands immeasurable meditation states and is accomplished in pure almsgiving. Abiding in the Bodhisattva mind, he purifies Bodhisattva seeds, which then produce Buddha bodhi. He skillfully achieves understanding of the Buddha Dharma and takes wondrous actions, which become an enduring power. He knows the freedom and awesome spirit of all Buddhas, which sentient beings find hard to comprehend. He enters the door of non-duality [freedom from dichotomy, such as subject and object] and abides in the no appearance [of dharmas]. Although he has forever abandoned all appearances, he can widely expound various teachings of the Dharma to sentient beings according to their preferences, purposes, and understandings, in order to tame and delight them. Free from differentiation, he uses the dharma realm as his body, and the realm of his wisdom is boundless. While his aspirations are always boldly valiant, his mind abides in equability. He sees the ultimate scope of the virtues of all Buddhas, and knows the order of all kalpas. He expounds the entire Dharma, abides in all worlds, and purifies and adorns all Buddha Lands. He displays the radiance of the entire Dharma and expounds the Dharma of all past, present, and future Buddhas. He indicates where Bodhisattvas reside and becomes a bright lamp for the world. He develops roots of goodness, forever transcends the world, is always born in places where Buddhas are, and acquires a Buddha’s foremost wisdom and understanding. Drawn in by all Buddhas, he has joined future Buddhas.
“He is born from [teachings of] beneficent learned friends, and his aspirations never fail to bear fruit. With great awesome virtues, he abides in the higher mind. He can explain whatever he has heard, and advocate developing roots of goodness by hearing the Dharma. He abides in true reality, and his mind is unhindered by dharmas. Not abandoning actions, he makes no differentiations, and his mind does not produce thoughts of dharmas. The radiance of his wisdom dispels the darkness of ignorance and illuminates the entire Buddha Dharma. Not destroying things in existence, he is born amid them. He knows all things in existence have always had no action.
“His body, voice, and mind karmas are boundless. Although he follows the worldly ways to use countless words, he never destroys that which is beyond words. Going deep into the ocean of Buddhas, he knows that all dharmas have only false names. He has no attachment to any dharma because he understands that all dharmas are empty, nonexistent in true reality. His actions are born from the dharma realm, which is like the open sky with no shape and no appearance. He goes deep into the dharma realm, and reveals that the overall wisdom-knowledge arises through meditating on one object. He observes the ground of the Ten Powers and trains for them with wisdom-knowledge [jñāna], which is the bridge to sarvajña. Using his wisdom-eye, he sees that dharmas are hindrance free. He enters the grounds [on the Bodhisattva Way] and knows various meanings [of the Dharma]. He knows every Dharma Door, and all his great vows come to fulfillment.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva expounds that all Tathāgatas are no different. He pronounces what is the door of hindrance-free skillful means; what can bring assemblies of Bodhisattvas; what is a state of samādhi; what can lead to sarvajña; what can reveal samādhi doors; what can enter all worlds hindrance free; what can tame all sentient beings; what can abide in the realm of no sentient beings; what can reveal the entire Buddha Dharma; what does not capture any meditation states.
“Although he teaches all the time, he is free from differentiating thoughts. Although he knows that dharmas have no action, he can display doing karmas. Although he knows that Buddhas are no different, he can manifest all Buddhas. Although he knows that there are no five aggregates—form, sensory reception, perception, mental process, and consciousness—he explains them all, because he uses the Dharma wheel to explain everything. Although he knows that dharmas have no birth, he constantly turns the Dharma wheel. Although he knows that dharmas are no different [in their emptiness], he explains their differences. Although he knows that dharmas have neither birth nor death, he describes all their appearances of birth and death. Although he knows that dharmas are neither coarse nor fine, he explains their appearances of coarseness and fineness. Although he knows that dharmas cannot be classified as high, middle, and low, he expounds the highest truth [paramārtha]. Although he knows that dharmas are indescribable, he expounds them with pure words. Although he knows that dharmas are neither inside nor outside, he explains all internal and external dharmas. Although he knows that dharmas are unknowable, he teaches observing dharmas with wisdom. Although he knows that dharmas are illusory, he indicates the path to true reality. Although he knows that dharmas are ultimately endless, he expounds ending one’s afflictions. Although he knows dharmas are not contradictory or contentious, he recognizes their differences among one another. Although he knows that dharmas cannot be taught by a teacher, he always respects all teachers and elders. Although he knows that realization of the truth is not given by another, he always respects beneficent learned friends.
“Although he knows that dharmas never change, he turns the Dharma wheel. Although he knows that dharmas do not arise, he indicates the causes and conditions [of their arising]. Although he knows that dharmas have no past, present, or future, he thoroughly explains their past, present, and future. Although he knows that dharmas have no doer, he explains the doing of karmas. Although he knows that dharmas have no causes and conditions, he explains the convergence of causes and conditions. Although he knows that dharmas cannot be compared, he explains the path of equality and the path of inequality. Although he knows that dharmas speak no words, he explains past, present, and future dharmas. Although he knows that dharmas have no reliance, he teaches relying on good dharmas to transcend the world. Although he knows that the dharma body is no body, he thoroughly describes the dharma body. Although he knows that past, present, and future Buddhas are innumerable, he declares that there is only one Buddha. Although he knows that dharmas have no form, he manifests their various forms. Although he knows that dharmas have no views, he thoroughly expounds various views. Although he knows that dharmas have no appearance, he describes their various appearances. Although he knows that dharmas have no states, he describes the states of wisdom. Although he knows that dharmas have no difference, he explains different actions and their different results. Although he knows that dharmas have no liberation, he teaches pure actions for liberation. Although he knows that dharmas have always been ever-abiding, he describes their changes. Although he knows that dharmas have no illumination, he thoroughly describes illuminating dharmas.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who acquires the wisdom-knowledge of such a mighty and virtuous samādhi can enter the entire Buddha Dharma and can understand, accumulate, elucidate, abide in, and carry out [its teachings], in accord with the true nature of all dharmas. However, he does not think about how many Bodhisattvas there are, how many Bodhisattva teachings, how many ultimate states of a Bodhisattva, how many ultimate states of an illusion, how many ultimate states of a manifestation, how many kinds of transcendental powers to acquire, how many kinds of wisdom-knowledge to acquire, how many kinds of contemplation, how many realizations, how many aspirations, how many meditation states.
“Why not? Because such is the essence, the boundlessness, and the excellence of this Bodhisattva samādhi. This samādhi has various states, various powers, and various depths. It enters the door of ineffable wisdom-knowledge; enters the majesty of making no differentiations; enters immeasurable excellent pāramitās; enters countless samādhis; enters 100,000 koṭi nayuta ineffable kinds of vast wisdom-knowledge; enters the sight of the inexhaustible excellent treasure stores of Buddhas; enters meditation states without rest; enters the elements of bodhi with pure faith and understanding; enters the great transcendental powers of his keen faculties; enters meditation states with no hindrance in his mind; enters the eye that sees the equality of Buddhas; enters accumulation of universally worthy aspirations; enters the god-king Nārāyaṇa’s body of wonderful wisdom-knowledge; enters the ocean that reveals Tathāgata wisdom; enters manifestations that bring immeasurable freedom and ease; enters the door that leads to the endless wisdom-knowledge of all Buddhas; enters the state of seeing the presence of all Buddhas; enters Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s wisdom-knowledge of freedom and ease; enters the wisdom-knowledge of the unequaled universal door; enters the wisdom-knowledge of all subtle states in the dharma realm; enters the manifestations of all subtle states in the dharma realm; enters the radiance of all excellent wisdom-knowledge; enters ultimate freedom and ease; enters the Dharma Door of all eloquence; enters the wisdom body that pervades the dharma realm; enters the pervasive path of achievement everywhere; enters proficiency in abiding in all different samādhis; enters the wisdom-knowledge of the minds of all Buddhas.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva trains in universally worthy actions and, thought after thought, enters a million ineffable samādhis. However, he does not see the past adorned by Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s samādhi and a Buddha’s state. Why not? Because he knows that ultimately all dharmas are endless, all Buddha Lands are countless, the realm of all sentient beings is inconceivable, the past has no beginning, the future has no ending, the present that pervades the open sky and the dharma realm is ineffable, the state of all Buddhas is inconceivable, Bodhisattva actions are countless, the states eloquently described by all Buddhas are ineffable and boundless, and the objects in all illusory minds are immeasurable.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, the wish-fulfilling jewel fulfills all wishes of countless wishers to their satisfaction, and its power is never exhausted. It is similar for the mind. A Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi knows that the mind is illusory, and that it ceaselessly produce all dharmas in various states everywhere, never lacking any power. Why? Because he has acquired the wisdom-knowledge of universally worthy hindrance-free actions. He observes immeasurable vast illusions, like reflections without increase or increase.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, an ordinary being’s mind rises endlessly. It rose, is rising, and will rise without limits, interruption, or an end. The continuity of the flowing mind is inconceivable. It is similar for this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva. He enters the Samādhi of the Door of Universal Illusion, which is boundless and immeasurable. Why? Because he knows immeasurable dharmas through Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s door of universal illusion.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, the dragon-kings Nanda, Upananda, and Manasvati, and other great dragons pour down rains [from cloudes]. Although the raindrops fall like axles revolving without bounds, the clouds are not used up by such rains. It is similar for a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi. He enters Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s door of samādhis, door of wisdom-knowledge, door of dharmas, door to see Buddhas, door to go places, door of the free mind, door of support, door of manifestations, door of transcendental powers, door of illusions, door of illusion-like dharmas, door filled with an ineffably ineffable number of Bodhisattvas, door to stay close to Tathāgatas as numerous as the dust particles in an ineffably ineffable number of Buddhas Lands, door of ineffably ineffable, vast webs of illusions, door of knowing an ineffably ineffable number of different vast Buddha Lands, door of knowing an ineffably ineffable number of worlds with or without substance, door of knowing the perceptions of an ineffably ineffable number of sentient beings, door of knowing ineffably ineffable different times, door of knowing the formations and destructions of an ineffably ineffable number of worlds, and door of knowing an ineffably ineffable number of Buddha Lands facing up or down. In one thought, he knows all these things as they truly are.
“When he enters a door, he sees no boundary and no end. He trains without interruption or rest, weariness or boredom, regress or failure. In the midst of dharmas, he does not abide in the wrong places. He always ponders properly, his mind neither sluggish nor restless. He seeks [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge, never regressing or giving up. Serving as a bright lamp that illuminates all Buddha Lands, he turns the ineffably ineffable Dharma wheel. He eloquently asks Tathāgatas questions without end. He explains that attainment of Buddhahood is boundless, and tames sentient beings, never abandoning them. He diligently carries out his universally worthy action vows without rest. He ceaselessly manifests countless ineffably ineffable physical bodies.
“Why? As an analogy, when fire is ignited, it continues to burn through [required] conditions. It is similar for this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva. He observes that the realm of sentient beings, the dharma realm, and worlds are boundless, like the open sky. In one thought, he can go to Buddhas as innumerable as the dust particles in an ineffably ineffable number of Buddha Lands. Under every Buddha, he enters various dharmas that arise from his ineffably ineffable overall wisdom-knowledge. He enables sentient beings in their ineffably ineffable realm to renounce family life to train for bodhi, develop roots of goodness, and achieve ultimate purity. He enables an ineffably ineffable number of Bodhisattvas who are indecisive about making the universally worthy action vows, to decide to enter the universally worthy door of wisdom.
“Using countless skillful means, he enters the ineffably ineffable different kalpas of worlds in formation, continuation, and destruction, in the past, present, and future. In different worlds in ineffably ineffable stages of formation, continuation, and destruction, he elicits great compassion for innumerable sentient beings and makes great vows to tame all of them without omission. Why? Because this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, who is resolved to deliver all sentient beings, trains in universally worthy actions, acquires universally worthy wisdom-knowledge, and fulfills all universally worthy action vows.
“Therefore, every Bodhisattva should diligently train in such actions and enter such vast meditation states, such immeasurability, such inconceivability, such universal illumination, such sight of the presence of all Buddhas, such protection and concern of all Tathāgatas, such completion of past roots of goodness, and such a mind that abides in samādhi motionless and hindrance free. He should diligently train without weariness or boredom, and leave behind burning afflictions, never to regress. He should make a profound resolve with bold valor and fearlessness, and follow the states of this samādhi onto the ground of inconceivable wisdom-knowledge. He should not rely on words, nor should he have any attachment to the world. He should neither grasp dharmas nor differentiate them. Untainted by worldly matters, he should not differentiate their states. He should abide in his wisdom-knowledge of dharmas, but not measure it. This means that he should abide in the overall wisdom-knowledge, attain Buddha bodhi, acquire the radiance of the Dharma, and give his roots of goodness to all sentient beings. He should rescue them from the dominion of māras and enable them to enter the realm of the Buddha Dharma, to walk the path of liberation, to expand their pure states, to achieve the pāramitās, to acquire profound faith in and understanding of all Buddhas, and never to abandon their great vows.
“Every Bodhisattva should always observe the nature of all dharmas without stopping even temporarily; should know the equality of his own nature and that of dharmas; should understand the worldly ways and impart wisdom and skillful means in accord with Dharma; should always make energetic progress without rest; should regard his roots of goodness as few and diligently increase others’ roots of goodness; should train on the path of the overall wisdom-knowledge; should diligently expand Bodhisattva states; should delight in staying close to beneficent learned friends; should unite with those walking the same path; should not differentiate among Buddhas; should not abandon mindfulness; should abide in the dharma realm of equality; should know that all states of the mind and consciousness are illusory; should know that all processes in the world are like dreams; should know that Buddhas’ appearances through the power of Their vows are like reflections; should know that all vast karmas are like manifestations; should know that all words are like echoes; should observe that dharmas are illusory; should know that all dharmas that undergo birth and death are like sounds; should know that all Buddha Lands have no self-essence; should ask Tathāgatas for the Buddha Dharma without tiring; should diligently teach all in the whole world to enlighten them, never abandoning them; should expound the Dharma at the right times to tame all sentient beings without rest.
“Buddha-Son, in this way, every Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva should train in universally worthy actions, perfect his Bodhisattva states, understand the path of liberation, and accept and uphold the past, present, and future Buddha Dharma. In this way, he should observe the door of the overall wisdom-knowledge, ponder the truths that never change, purify his higher aspirations, believe in and understand all Tathāgatas, know the vast power of Buddhas, uncover the hindrance-free mind, and draw in all sentient beings.
“Buddha-Son, when a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva enters Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s samādhi of such great wisdom, there are an ineffably ineffable number of worlds in the ten directions, and each world has names of Tathāgatas as numerous as the dust particles in an ineffably ineffable number of Buddha Lands. Each name is also assumed by Buddhas as numerous as the dust particles in an ineffably ineffable number of Buddha Lands. They all appear before him and give him a Tathāgata’s power of mindfulness, enabling him never to forget a Tathāgata’s states. They give him the ultimate wisdom of all dharmas, enabling him to enter the overall wisdom-knowledge and realize the dharma realm. They give him the wisdom of definitive meanings of all dharmas, enabling him to accept and retain the entire Buddha Dharma, hindrance free. They give him the unsurpassed Buddha bodhi, enabling him to enter the overall wisdom-knowledge and enlighten [all sentient beings in] the dharma realm. They give him a Bodhisattva’s ultimate wisdom, enabling him to acquire the radiance of the entire Dharma, free from darkness. They give him the wisdom-knowledge of [avinivartanīya] no regress, enabling him to tame sentient beings by skillful means when they are ready to be tamed. They give him a Bodhisattva’s unimpeded eloquence, enabling him to understand the boundless Dharma and ceaselessly expound it. They give him transcendental powers to produce manifestations, enabling him to manifest an ineffably ineffable number of bodies with countless different appearances to enlighten sentient beings. They give him a perfect voice, enabling him to produce ineffably ineffable different sounds and words to enlighten sentient beings. They give him powers that are never futile, enabling those who see him or hear the Dharma from him to come to [spiritual] achievement without fail.
“Buddha-Son, because a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva completes universally worthy actions in this way, he acquires a Tathāgata’s power, purifies the path of liberation, and fully acquires the overall wisdom-knowledge. Using unimpeded eloquence and displays of transcendental power, he ultimately tames all sentient beings. Equipped with a Buddha’s awesome virtues, he purifies universally worthy actions, walks the universally worthy path, and turns the wondrous Dharma wheel of Buddhas in order to tame all sentient beings, throughout the endless future. Why? Buddha-Son, because in this way this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva carries out excellent great vows and Bodhisattva actions.
“Then he becomes a Dharma master of the whole world; the Dharma sun of the whole world; the wisdom moon of the whole world; Mount Sumeru, the king of mountains, which towers over the whole world and firmly stands still; an ocean of boundless wisdom-knowledge in the whole world; a bright lamp of the true Dharma for the whole world, continuously shining everywhere. He displays boundless pure virtues to all sentient beings, enabling them to abide in their virtues and roots of goodness. Following his overall wisdom-knowledge and his great vow of equality, he trains in universally worthy vast actions, and always teaches and inspires innumerable sentient beings. Abiding in this ineffably ineffable samādhi of vast actions, he displays great freedom and ease.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva acquires such wisdom-knowledge and attains such a samādhi. As he abides in such a samādhi, he sees everything with clarity and acquires such spiritual power. He abides in such meditation states, produces such manifestations, and displays such transcendental powers. He always abides in great compassion, benefits sentient beings, shows them the safe right path, and erects the radiant banner of merit and wisdom. He achieves inconceivable liberation, abides in it with his overall wisdom-knowledge, and arrives at the shore of liberation, as do Buddhas. He has come to achievement through the door of inconceivable liberation and skillful means, and enters without error the door of differentiation in the dharma realm. He enters Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s ineffably ineffable samādhi with playfulness and ease, and abides in the wisdom-knowledge of the Samādhi of a Lion’s Thrust, with no hindrance in his mind.
“His mind constantly abides in ten great dharma stores. What are these ten? They are (1) thinking of all Buddhas; (2) thinking of the entire Buddha Dharma; (3) great compassion to tame all sentient beings; (4) wisdom-knowledge to display inconceivable pure Buddha Lands; (5) definitive understanding of the profound realm of Buddhas; (6) equal bodhi of all past, present, and future Buddhas; (7) a hindrance-free and attachment-free state; (8) the appearance-free nature of all dharmas and the equal roots of goodness of all past, present, and future Buddhas; (9) guiding wisdom-knowledge of the differentiation-free body, voice, and mind karmas of all past, present, and future Buddhas; (10) the observation [of the events in the lives] of all past, present, and future Buddhas, which transpire in a kṣaṇa, as Buddhas each are born, renounce family life, visit the bodhimaṇḍa, attain perfect enlightenment, turn the Dharma wheel, and enter parinirvāṇa. Buddha-Son, these ten great dharma stores are vast, measureless, countless, indefinable, inconceivable, ineffable, endless, and hard to maintain. They cannot be described by any worldly knowledge.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva has arrived at the opposite shore through his universally worthy actions, and achieved purity through the power of his great aspirations. He reveals to sentient beings their countless roots of goodness and increases Bodhisattvas’ powers. In one thought after another, he perfects all Bodhisattva virtues and completes all Bodhisattva actions. He acquires dhāraṇīs from all Buddhas, and accepts and upholds Their words. Although he constantly abides in true suchness, he follows worldly words and tames all sentient beings. Why? Because a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi naturally does so.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, through this samādhi, acquires the vast wisdom-knowledge of all Buddhas, the eloquence to describe skillfully the vast freedom of all dharmas, the most excellent and pure fearlessness in the whole world, the wisdom-knowledge to enter all samādhis, the skillful means of all Bodhisattvas, and the illumination door of the entire Dharma. He arrives at the opposite shore to comfort the whole world. He delivers sentient beings when they are ready to be delivered, and shines everywhere in worlds in the ten directions. He enables all sentient beings to acquire excellent wisdom-knowledge and serves as the unsurpassed teacher in the whole world. He abides in all virtues and imparts pure samādhis to sentient beings, enabling them to acquire supreme wisdom-knowledge. Why? Because a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva does such training to benefit sentient beings, increase his great compassion, stay close to his beneficent learned friends, see all Buddhas, know all dharmas, visit worlds, go to all places, enter the whole world, realize the equality of all dharmas, know the equality of all Buddhas, and abide in the overall wisdom-knowledge. Thus, he does these karmas, not other karmas. He abides in a mind that is neither complacent nor chaotic. He abides in single-mindedness, diligence, resolve, and persistence. In this way, he ponders and does karmas, training for his ultimate enlightenment.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva speaks no contradictory words and takes no contradictory actions. He speaks consistent words and takes consistent actions. Why? Vajra is known for its indestructibility, and it never abandons its indestructibility. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for his actions, and he never abandons his actions. Pure gold is known for its wonderful color, and it never abandons its wonderful color. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for his good karmas, and he never abandons his good karmas. The sun is known for its radiant orb, and it never abandons its radiant orb. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for his wisdom light, and he never abandons his wisdom light. Mount Sumeru, the king of mountains, is known for its four peaks that rise high above the ocean, and it never abandons its four peaks. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for his roots of goodness, which are exalted in the world, and he never abandons his roots of goodness. The great earth is known for bearing everything, and it never abandons this ability. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for delivering all sentient beings [with compassion], and he never abandons his great compassion. The immense ocean is known for its water, and it never abandons its water. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for his great vow to deliver sentient beings, and he never abandons his vow. A military general is known for his practice of fighting skills, and he never abandons his practice. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is known for his practice of this samādhi until acquiring [sarvajña-jnāna] the knowledge of all wisdom-knowledge, and he never abandons his practice. A Wheel-Turning King who rules a world comprising four continents diligently protects all sentient beings, keeping them from accidental deaths and giving them happiness. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, who enters great samādhis such as this one, diligently delivers all sentient beings, enabling them to achieve ultimate purity. A seed sown below ground can grow stems and leaves. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, who trains in universally worthy actions, can enable all sentient beings to increase their good dharmas.
“A huge cloud pours down great rains in hot summer months, enabling all seeds to grow. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, who enters great samādhis such as this one, trains in Bodhisattva actions and showers down great Dharma rains, enabling all sentient beings to achieve ultimate purity and to attain nirvāṇa and peace. He enables them ultimately to arrive at the opposite shore, acquire joy, and resolve their doubts. He becomes the ultimate fortune field of sentient beings and purifies their almsgiving. He enables them to walk the path of no regress and acquire the knowledge of all wisdom-knowledge. He enables them to transcend the Three Realms of Existence and acquire ultimate wisdom-knowledge. He enables them to acquire the ultimate teachings of Buddha-Tathāgatas and places them in the sphere of the overall wisdom-knowledge.
“Why? Because a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who has attained this samādhi has wisdom and clear understanding. He enters the door of the dharma realm and purifies a Bodhisattva’s countless inconceivable actions. This means that he can purify wisdom-knowledge because he follows his overall wisdom-knowledge; he can purify sentient beings because he tames them; he can purify worlds because he always transfers his merits; he can purify dharmas because he knows them all; he can purify fear because he has no timidity; he can purify his unimpeded eloquence because he speaks with skillfulness; he can purify dhāraṇīs because he has command of dharmas; he can purify his closeness with Buddhas because he always sees Them appearing in the world.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi acquires 100,000 koṭi nayuta such ineffably ineffable pure virtues because he has mastered such states of samādhi; because he is supported by all Buddhas; because his virtues flow from his own roots of goodness; because he enters the wisdom ground with awesome power; because he has the guiding power of beneficent learned friends; because he subjugates the power of all māras; because he uses the pure power of his roots of goodness shared with others, the power of his vast vows and aspirations, and the power of the capability of his roots of goodness; because he transcends the endless fortunes in the world without any opposing force.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi does ten things, as do all past, present, and future Buddhas. What are these ten? First, he acquires excellent appearances and adornments, as do Buddhas. Second, he emits vast pure radiance like a web, as do Buddhas. Third, he displays transcendental powers and produces manifestations, as do Buddhas. Fourth, he acquires a boundless physical body and a pure and perfect voice, as do Buddhas. Fifth, he displays pure Buddha Lands according to sentient beings’ karmas, as do Buddhas. Sixth, he retains all sentient beings’ words without forgetting or losing them, as do Buddhas. Seven, he uses endless eloquence to turn the Dharma wheel according to sentient beings’ minds, in order to bring out their wisdom, as do Buddhas. Eighth, he roars a lion’s roar without fear and uses the immeasurable Dharma to enlighten sentient beings, as do Buddhas. Ninth, he uses great transcendental powers to enter in one thought the past, present, and future. Tenth, he displays to all sentient beings the majesty of Buddhas, Their awesome power, and Their states, as do Buddhas.”
Then Universal Eye Bodhisattva asked Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, “Buddha-Son, if this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva has done these ten things, as do Tathāgatas, why is he not called a Buddha? Why is he not called [one who has] the Ten Powers? Why is he not called [one who has] all wisdom-knowledge? Why is he not called one who has attained bodhi amid all dharmas? Why is he not called [one with] the universal eye? Why is he not called a hindrance-free seer of all things? Why is he not called one who has realized [the true reality of] all dharmas? Why is he not called one who abides in the same way as do past, present, and future Buddhas? Why is he not called one who abides in true reality? Why does he still train in universally worthy actions without rest? Why can he not encompass the dharma realm and abandon the Bodhisattva Way?”
Then Samantabhadra Bodhisattva told Universal Eye Bodhisattva, “Very good. Buddha-Son, indeed as you ask, if this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is the same as all Buddhas, why is he not called a Buddha, and why can he not abandon the Bodhisattva Way?
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva is already able to carry out the various action vows of all past, present, and future Bodhisattvas. He who enters the sphere of all wisdom-knowledge is called a Buddha. He who without rest does Bodhisattva training under Tathāgatas is called a Bodhisattva. He who has acquired a Tathāgata’s powers is called [one who has] the Ten Powers. He who, though he has acquired the Ten Powers, without rest takes universally worthy actions is called a Bodhisattva. He who knows the entire Dharma and can expound it is called [one who has] all wisdom-knowledge. He who, though he can expound all dharmas, without rest skillfully ponders every dharma is called a Bodhisattva. He who knows that all dharmas have the same appearance is called one who has realized [the true reality of] all dharmas. He who skillfully observes the differences between dual and non-dual dharmas, and without rest expands his observations is called a Bodhisattva. He who clearly sees the objects of the universal eye is called [one with] the universal eye. He who, though he can see the objects of the universal eye, without rest enhances his sight, thought after thought, is called a Bodhisattva. He who clearly sees all dharmas hindrance free is called a hindrance-free seer. He who diligently thinks of his hindrance-free seeing is called a Bodhisattva. He who has acquired the wisdom-eye of Buddhas is called one who has realized [the true reality of] all dharmas. He who observes with self-discipline Tathāgatas’ wisdom-eye of true enlightenment is called a Bodhisattva. He who abides where Buddhas abide and is no different from Them is called one who abides in the same way as do Buddhas. He who is drawn in by Buddhas to develop wisdom is called a Bodhisattva. He who has verified the true reality of the whole world is called one who abides in true reality. He who, though he always observes the true reality of dharmas, neither verifies nor abandons it is called a Bodhisattva. He who forever ends differentiation, such as neither coming nor going, neither same nor different, is called one who has laid his vows to rest. He who trains to completion in vast areas and never regresses is called one who has not laid his universally worthy vows to rest. He who, though he knows that the dharma realm is boundless, perceives various appearances of dharmas and, without weariness or boredom, elicits great compassion to deliver sentient beings throughout the endless future without weariness or boredom, is called Samantabhadra Bodhisattva.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, the elephant-king Airāvaṇa lives on the Golden Flank Mountain, in a cavern laden with the seven treasures. This cavern is surrounded by a fence made of the seven treasures and by rows of jeweled tāla [palm] trees, covered by a net made of pure gold. This elephant’s body is white as snow, and carried on its back is a golden cylindrical banner. It wears a gold chaplet, and covering its trunk is a jeweled net with hanging jeweled bells. It has seven limbs and six tusks. It looks so majestic and proper that all beholders are delighted. Good natured and tame, it is never unruly. When the god-king Śakra wants to travel, this elephant-king immediately knows his intention. Then it disappears from its treasure cavern and appears before Śakra, god-king of Trayastriṁśa Heaven [the second desire heaven]. Through its transcendent powers, it manifests thirty-three heads; each head manifests seven tusks; each tusk manifests seven ponds; each pond contains seven lotus flowers; each flower seats seven exquisite maidens, who simultaneously play 100,000 kinds of celestial music.
“Then the god-king Śakra rides this precious elephant from his unexcelled palace to his flower garden, which is filled with puṇḍarīka [large white lotus] flowers. Upon arrival at this flower garden, he dismounts and enters a hall adorned with all kinds of treasures. He is attended by innumerable exquisite maidens, who sing and play music for his enjoyment. Then this elephant-king uses its transcendental powers to hide its elephant’s body and appears, in this garden of puṇḍarīka flowers, in a god’s body to frolic with gods and exquisite maidens of the Thirty-three Heavens [Trayastriṁśa Heaven]. Its manifested appearance, radiance, clothes, deportments, talks, smiles, and gazes are like a god’s, and no difference can be found. This elephant looks like a god.
“Buddha-Son, when this elephant-king Airāvaṇa stays on the Golden Flank Mountain, in its cavern laden with the seven treasures, it does not change its form. However, when it appears in the Thirty-three Heavens to make offerings to the god-king Śakra, it manifests various pleasurable things and enjoys celestial happiness, the same as a god does.
“Buddha-Son, it is similar for this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva. He trains in Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s actions and samādhis, using them as adornments made of treasures. He uses the Seven Bodhi Factors as his body; he emits radiance to form a jeweled net; he erects the great Dharma banner, rings the great Dharma bell, and uses great compassion as his cavern; he uses his firm vows as his tusks.
“He has wisdom and a lion’s fearlessness, and ties a Dharma scarf around his head. He reveals the secret of arriving at the opposite shore in fulfillment of Bodhisattvas’ action vows. To be seated in a bodhi seat, he acquires the overall wisdom-knowledge and attains the supreme enlightenment. Never regressing or resting, he expands his universally worthy vast action vows. Never ending or abandoning his great compassion, he makes energetic progress in delivering suffering sentient beings, throughout the endless future. Never abandoning the universally worthy path, he demonstrates attainment of true enlightenment.
“He reveals the ineffably ineffable door of attaining true enlightenment, the ineffably ineffable door of turning the Dharma wheel, and the ineffably ineffable door of abiding in the profound mind. In ineffably ineffable, vast worlds, he reveals the door of nirvāṇa and manifestation. In ineffably ineffable different worlds, he manifests his rebirths to train in universally worthy actions, and manifests as ineffably ineffable Tathāgatas. In ineffably ineffable, vast worlds, under every bodhi tree he demonstrates attainment of the supreme enlightenment, surrounded by ineffably ineffable multitudes of Bodhisattvas.
“Whether for one thought or a short while, whether for one four-hour period, one day, a half month, or a whole month, whether for one year or countless years, whether for one kalpa or an ineffably ineffable number of kalpas, he trains in universally worthy actions and attains true enlightenment. In all Buddha Lands, he becomes a leader, stays close to Buddhas, makes obeisance and offerings to Them, and asks Them about observing illusory states. He trains in a Bodhisattva’s immeasurable actions with purity, and trains to produce various manifestations and to acquire countless kinds of wisdom-knowledge, various awesome virtues, various kinds of wisdom, various meditation states, various transcendental powers, various freedoms, various liberations, various dharma illuminations, and various ways to teach and tame sentient beings.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva manifests such amazing things everywhere through the power of his action vows, but his body does not perish. Why? Because he wants to use his universally worthy effortless spiritual power to tame all sentient beings; because he wants an ineffably ineffable number of sentient beings to achieve purity; because he wants to enable them to end forever their cycles of birth and death; because he adorns vast worlds; because he sees all Tathāgatas; because he goes deep into the Dharma stream of all Buddhas; because he thinks of the seeds of past, present, and future Buddhas; because he remembers the Dharma and the dharma bodies of all Buddhas in worlds in the ten directions; because he trains in all Bodhisattva actions to complete them; because he enters the universally worthy stream with ease and can acquire the overall wisdom-knowledge.
“Buddha-Son, you should observe that this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva never abandons universally worthy actions or the Bodhisattva Way. He sees all Buddhas, acquires all wisdom-knowledge, and uses it with ease. As an analogy, the elephant-king Airāvaṇa does not abandon its elephant’s body. Summoned by the god-king, it goes to the Thirty-three Heavens. Then it enjoys celestial happiness and frolics, attends the god-king, and plays with celestial maidens, no different from a god.
“Buddha-Son, it is similar for this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva. He abandons neither universally worthy Mahāyāna actions nor his vows, and he acquires a Buddha’s freedom, overall wisdom-knowledge, and liberation, hindrance free. Having achieved purity, he has no attachment to any world and does not differentiate [the teachings of] the Buddha Dharma. Although he knows that dharmas are equal and have the same appearance, he clearly sees that all worlds are different. Although he is the [virtual] equal of past, present, and Buddhas, he continues to train in Bodhisattva actions without interruption.
“Buddha-Son, know that a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in his universally worthy vast action vows has acquired a pure mind. This is a description of a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s tenth great samādhi, the Samādhi of the Hindrance-Free Wheel, and his excellent mind and vast wisdom-knowledge.
“Buddha-Son, these are the ten great samādhis of a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who always takes universally worthy actions.”
1. See “four modes of birth” in the glossary. (Return to text)
2. See “dharma body” defined in the glossary’s “three bodies of a Buddha.” (Return to text)
3. See “no action” defined in the glossary’s Three Liberation Doors. (Return to text)
4. The often-cited universally worthy action vow taught by Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is contained in fascicle 40 of the 40-fascicle Chinese version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (T10n0293). It comprises ten vowed actions (Rulu 2012b, 107). (Return to text)
5. The shore of liberation is that shore of nirvāṇa, opposite this shore of saṁsāra. (Return to text)
6. See “three fortune fields” in the glossary. (Return to text)
7. The Golden Flank Mountain means the flank of one of seven gold mountains encircling Mount Sumeru. According to the Sūtra of the Upāsaka Precepts, fascicle 1, Airāvaṇa, the god-king Śakra’s elephant, lives on the Gandha [fragrance] Mountain (Rulu 2012c, 137). The full Sanskrit name of this mountain given in the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment, fascicle 39, is Gandhamādana (Rulu 2013, 237). (Return to text)
8. Dharma illumination (法明) means wisdom-knowledge of dharmas and their differences. (Return to text)