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Sūtra 35 (posted 11/2012, updated 03/2013)  Book information on Home page
fascicle 34  fascicle 35  fascicle 36  fascicle 37  fascicle 38  fascicle 39

大方廣佛華嚴經十地品第二十六
Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment
Chapter 26   The Ten Grounds

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by
The Tripiṭaka Master Śikṣānanda from Yutian


Fascicle 34 (of 80)

The Assembly

At that time the Bhagavān [on the fourteen day after His attainment of bodhi[1]] visited Paranirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven[2] [the sixth desire heaven]. He stayed in its god-king’s gem-laden palace hall, together with an innumerable multitude of great Bodhisattvas who all came from worlds in other directions.
    These Bodhisattvas would never regress from the anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi mind. They abided in the realm of Bodhisattva wisdom and could enter the realm of Tathāgata wisdom. They excelled in displaying all kinds of transcendental powers. What they did to teach and transform sentient beings was always timely. To fulfill all their great Bodhisattva vows, without rest they trained all their lives in countless worlds for countless kalpas.
    They were adorned with merit and wisdom on their Way to bodhi, and universally benefited sentient beings without reservation. Having arrived at the shore of Bodhisattva wisdom and skillful means, they revealed the door of saṁsāra and the door of nirvāṇa, never neglecting their Bodhisattva training. Having mastered Bodhisattva meditation, liberation samādhi,[3] and samāpatti, and being equipped with spiritual power and radiant wisdom, they did their work with ease. Using their transcendental powers, in one thought, without any effort they could visit all Buddha assemblies in worlds in the ten directions. There, as leaders of the multitudes, they would beseech Buddhas to expound the Dharma. They protected and upheld the Dharma wheel of Buddhas and, with a magnanimous and profound mind, made offerings to all Buddhas and attended Them. They diligently engaged in all Bodhisattva works. Their bodies appeared in countless worlds; their voices reached dharma realms in the ten directions; their hindrance-free minds clearly saw everything in the past, present, and future. The merit they had accumulated from their Bodhisattva actions was complete, and it could not be fully described in countless kalpas.
    In this multitude were Vajra Store Bodhisattva, Treasure Store Bodhisattva, Lotus Store Bodhisattva, Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Lotus Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Sun Store Bodhisattva, Moon Store Bodhisattva,[4] Stainless Moon Store Bodhisattva, Displaying in All Worlds Adornment Store Bodhisattva, Vairocana Wisdom Store Bodhisattva, Wonderful Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Sandalwood Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Flower Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Kusuma Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Utpala Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Divine Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Fortune Store Bodhisattva, Hindrance-Free Pure Wisdom Store Bodhisattva, Merit Store Bodhisattva, Nārāyaṇa Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Stainless Store Bodhisattva, Untainted Store Bodhisattva, Eloquence Adornment Store Bodhisattva, Web of Radiance Store Bodhisattva, Pure and Awesome King of the Radiance Store Bodhisattva, Gold Adorning the King of Radiance of the Great Virtue Store Bodhisattva, All Appearances Adorning the Pure Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Vajra Flame of the Virtue Adornment Store Bodhisattva, Radiant Flame Store Bodhisattva, Constellation King of the Radiance Store Bodhisattva, Unhindered-Sky Wisdom Store Bodhisattva, Unhindered Wonderful Sound Store Bodhisattva, Merit of Dhāraṇi Retaining the Deliverance-of-Sentient-Beings Vow Store Bodhisattva, Ocean Adornment Store Bodhisattva, Sumeru Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Purifying All Merit Store Bodhisattva, Tathāgata Virtue Store Bodhisattva, Buddha Virtue Store Bodhisattva, and Liberation Moon Bodhisattva.
    Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas such as these were inconceivable, indescribable, innumerable, and beyond reckoning. Their leader was Vajragarbha, Vajra Store Bodhisattva.

The Samādhi of Mahāyāna Radiance

Then Vajra Store Bodhisattva, through the spiritual power of the Buddha, entered the Bodhisattva samādhi, called Mahāyāna Radiance.[5] In the ten directions, beyond worlds as numerous as the dust particles in ten koṭi Buddha Lands, there were Buddhas as numerous as the dust particles in ten koṭi Buddha Lands, and they all were called Vajra Store. They all revealed themselves and praised him, “Very good! Very good! Vajra Store, you can enter this Bodhisattva Samādhi of Mahāyāna Radiance because you are supported by the power of Buddhas as numerous as the dust particles in ten koṭi Buddha Lands; by the power of the original vows of Vairocana Tathāgata, the Samyak-Saṁbuddha; and by the power of your own excellent wisdom.
    “You are thus enabled to reveal to all Bodhisattvas the radiance of the inconceivable Buddha Dharma. It will enable them to enter the wisdom grounds; to develop all roots of goodness; to select the teachings in the Buddha Dharma; to know a wide range of dharmas; to excel in expounding the Dharma; to achieve purity by acquiring the differentiation-free wisdom-knowledge; to remain untainted by worldly dharmas; to achieve purity by developing supra-worldly roots of goodness; to acquire inconceivable wisdom and even Buddha wisdom; to complete the ten Bodhisattva grounds from start to finish; to explain correctly the differences between the ten Bodhisattva grounds; to ponder the entire Buddha Dharma; to learn and differentiate dharmas that are free from one’s afflictions; to adorn themselves with the radiance of great wisdom; to enter the definite door of wisdom-knowledge; to expound the Dharma systematically and fearlessly at their spiritual levels; to acquire the radiance of unimpeded eloquence; to abide on the ground of unimpeded wisdom-knowledge; to retain the bodhi mind and never to lose it; to bring sentient beings to [spiritual] maturity; to be present everywhere; and definitely to attain enlightenment.
    “Good man, you should skillfully differentiate the [ten Bodhisattva grounds as] Dharma Doors because you are supported by the spiritual power of Buddhas; because you are blessed by the wisdom light of Tathāgatas; because you have purified your roots of goodness; because you universally purify the dharma realm; because you universally benefit all sentient beings; because you reveal the dharma body, the wisdom body; because Buddhas have poured the water of wisdom on your head; because you have assumed the hugest body in the world; because you have transcended all worldly paths; because you have pure supra-worldly roots of goodness; because you fully qualify to acquire [sarvajña-jñāna] the knowledge of all knowledge.”
    Then Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions bestowed upon Vajra Store Bodhisattva the unexcelled body; the unimpeded eloquence; the pure differentiating wisdom-knowledge; the power of mindfulness and unfailing memory; the radiant wisdom to understand everything; the wisdom-knowledge to be present everywhere and definitely to attain enlightenment; the commanding power to attain bodhi; the fearlessness of Tathāgatas; the wisdom-knowledge of Buddhas to examine and differentiate Dharma Doors; the sublime body, voice, and mind that adorn all Tathāgatas.
    Why? Because this Bodhisattva has naturally attained the Samādhi of Mahāyāna Radiance, and because of his original vows, his pure mind, his pure wisdom, his good training to complete the elements of bodhi,[6] his good rectification of his karmas, his being an immeasurable Dharma vessel, his pure faith in and understanding of [the Dharma], his unadulterated [dhāraṇī] total retention of the Dharma, and his sanctifying of his wisdom-knowledge of the dharma realm as a seal.

Pronouncing the Names of the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds

Then Buddha-Bhagavāns [in worlds] in the ten directions extended their right hands and rubbed the crown of Vajra Store Bodhisattva’s head. Then Vajra Store Bodhisattva rose from his samādhi. He told all the Bodhisattvas in the multitude: “Buddha-Sons, Bodhisattva vows are a crucial resolve. Unadulterated and invisible, they are as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky. Throughout the endless future, Bodhisattvas will rescue and deliver all sentient beings in all Buddha Lands. Protected by all Buddhas, they will enter the wisdom ground of Buddhas of the past, future, and present.
    “Buddha-Sons, what are the wisdom grounds of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas? There are ten wisdom grounds. As they were pronounced by Buddhas of the past, will be pronounced by Buddhas of the future, and are pronounced by Buddhas of the present, so I now pronounce them. What are these ten? They are called (1) Joyful Ground [pramuditā-bhūmi], (2) Taint-Free Ground [vimalā-bhūmi], (3) Radiant Ground [prabhākarī-bhūmi], (4) Flaming Wisdom Ground [arciṣmatī-bhūmi], (5) Hard-to-Conquer Ground [sudurjayā-bhūmi], (6) Revealing Ground [abhimukhī-bhūmi[7]], (7) Far-Going Ground [dūraṁgamā-bhūmi], (8) Motionless Ground [acalā-bhūmi], (9) Good Wisdom Ground [sādhumatī-bhūmi[8]], and (10) Dharma Cloud Ground [dharmamegha-bhūmi].
    “Buddha-Sons, these ten Bodhisattva grounds were pronounced by Buddhas of the past, will be pronounced by Buddhas of the future, and are pronounced by Buddhas of the present. Buddha-Sons, I have never seen any Buddha Land where the Tathāgata does not expound these ten grounds. Why not? Because they are the supreme Bodhisattva Way to bodhi, and are the illumination door of the pure Dharma. Buddha-Sons, to expound and differentiate these Bodhisattva grounds is inconceivable because the Bodhisattva wisdom developed on each ground is inconceivable.”
    After pronouncing the names of the ten Bodhisattva grounds, Vajra Store Bodhisattva fell silent. He did not explain their meanings.

Liberation Moon’s Request for an Explanation of the Ten Grounds

At that time all Bodhisattvas in the multitude heard the names of the ten Bodhisattva grounds but not their explanations, and they were filled with longing. They thought, “Why did Vajra Store Bodhisattva only pronounce the names of the ten Bodhisattva grounds but not explain them?”
    Then Liberation Moon Bodhisattva, knowing the thoughts of the multitude, asked Vajra Store Bodhisattva in verse:

Why did the pure enlightened one, who is
Equipped with mindfulness, wisdom, and merit,
Pronounce the names of the wondrous grounds
But not explain them, though he can?
Resolute in everything,
He is valiant and fearless.
Why did he pronounce the names of the grounds
But not expound their meanings?

This multitude wishes to hear
The profound meanings of the grounds.
Their minds are not timid,
And they pray that you will explain to them.
This multitude is pure,
Disciplined, and free from indolence.
Unwavering in their solid training,
They are adorned with merit and wisdom.

Gazing with reverence,
They all look up to you,
Like bees thinking of pure honey,
And like the thirsty longing for sweet dew.

    Vajra Store Bodhisattva, the fearless one with great wisdom, heard these stanzas. To delight the multitude, he spoke in verse:

The training of a Bodhisattva on each ground
Is the supreme root of a Buddha.
A detailed explanation
Is hard in the extreme.
Such an explanation is subtle and hard to grasp,
Beyond one’s thinking mind.
As it arises from Buddha wisdom,
The hearer will be bewildered.

Only those who hold their minds like a vajra,
Have profound faith in Buddha wisdom, and
Know that one’s mind ground
Has no self [as master],
Can hear such superb teachings, which are
Like pictures or the wind
In the open sky.

Such is Buddha wisdom,
A description of which is too hard to comprehend.
Knowing that Buddha wisdom is
Supreme and inconceivable, and that
No one in the world can accept it,
I choose to remain silent.


    Having heard these words, Liberation Moon Bodhisattva said to Vajra Store Bodhisattva, “Buddha-Son, this multitude of Bodhisattvas has congregated. They excel in purifying their minds and thoughts. They excel in training to complete the elements of bodhi. They have attended 100,000 koṭi Buddhas, developed innumerable roots of goodness, and acquired immeasurable merit. They have discarded their doubts and afflictions. With deep faith in and understanding of the Buddha Dharma, they do not need to be taught. Very good! Buddha-Son, through the spiritual power of the Buddha, you should expound to them. These Bodhisattvas can carry out your profound teachings.”
    Then, to restate his meaning, Liberation Moon Bodhisattva spoke in verse:

I pray that you will expound
The supreme and most steadfast training of a Bodhisattva.
Your explication of the Bodhisattva grounds
Will lead them to pure wisdom and true enlightenment.
This multitude of Bodhisattvas, who are free from afflictions,
Abide in pure faith and understanding,
And have attended innumerable Buddhas,
Can understand the meanings of the Ten Grounds.

    Then Vajra Store Bodhisattva replied, “Buddha-Son, although this multitude has pure thoughts, has discarded delusions and doubts, and does not need to be taught the profound Dharma, there are sentient beings with inferior intellect. If they hear this profound and inconceivable training, they will harbor doubts and will be distressed in the long night. Out of pity for them, I remain silent.”
    Then, to restate his meaning, Vajra Store Bodhisattva spoke in verse:

This multitude has vast pure wisdom,
Which is profound, keen, and capable of making right choices,
And has a mind unwavering, like the king of mountains,
And indestructible, like the immense ocean.
Yet there are beginners whose comprehension is deficient.
They follow their consciousness, not their wisdom.
If they hear my teachings, they will harbor doubts that will cause them to go down the evil life-paths.
Out of compassion for them, I do not explain.

    Liberation Moon Bodhisattva again asked Vajra Store Bodhisattva, “Buddha-Son, I pray that, through the spiritual power of the Buddha, you will give this inconceivable teaching. The hearers, because of the Buddha’s protection and concern, will believe and accept it. Why? Because when the Ten Grounds are pronounced, all Bodhisattvas naturally receive the Buddha’s protection and concern. Then they will enter the wisdom grounds with boldness. Why? Because these grounds provide Bodhisattvas with the basic training to master the entire Buddha Dharma. .
    “As an analogy, writing and numbering are based on the alphabet. They cannot be done without the alphabet. Buddha-Son, [learning] the Buddha Dharma relies on the Ten Grounds. One must complete one’s training on the Ten Grounds to acquire [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge. Therefore, Buddha-Son, I pray that you will expound the Ten Grounds. All hearers will be protected by the Tathāgata, who will enable them to believe and accept your teachings.”
    To restate his meaning, Liberation Moon Bodhisattva spoke in verse:

Very good! Buddha-Son, I pray that you will expound
A Bodhisattva’s training on the Ten Grounds to head for bodhi.
All Buddhas in worlds in the ten directions
Protect and care for the roots of wisdom.
The Ten Grounds are the ultimate training place for wisdom,
From which arises the entire Buddha Dharma.
As writing and numbering are based on the alphabet,
Likewise [acquiring] the Buddha Dharma relies on [training on] the grounds.

Joint Request of the Multitude

At that time the multitude of great Bodhisattvas, with one voice, spoke to Vajra Store Bodhisattvas in verse:

Equipped with the excellent stainless wisdom-knowledge
And the immeasurable eloquence to explicate dharmas,
You can speak profound and beautiful words
In accord with the highest meaning.
You take pure actions with mindfulness,
Accumulate merit through your ten powers,[9]
And explicate meanings with eloquence,
So you can expound the supreme grounds.

Having trained our minds with precepts and meditation,
Having discarded our arrogance and wrong views,
This multitude harbors no doubts
But wishes to hear your profound words.
As the thirsty long for cool water,
Likewise the hungry yearn for warm food.
As bees covet pure honey,
Likewise the ill seek strong medicine.
In the same way,
We wish to taste the sweet dew of the Dharma.

Great is the one with vast wisdom-knowledge!
We pray that you will reveal how to enter the Bodhisattva grounds,
In order to acquire the Ten Powers [of a Buddha] hindrance free
And take all the actions of the Sugata.[10]

Support from Buddhas

At that time the World-Honored One emitted from between His eyebrows a beam of pure light, called Flaming Radiance of the Power of Bodhisattvas, accompanied by 100,000 asaṁkhyeya beams as its retinue. It shone everywhere in all worlds in the ten directions. Sentient beings on the three evil life-paths were given a respite from their suffering. It also illuminated all Tathāgata assemblies, revealing the inconceivable power of Buddhas. It also illuminated all Bodhisattvas in all worlds in the ten directions, who were expounding the Dharma with the support of Buddhas. Then the radiance formed a huge platform of radiance in the sky, like a web of radiant clouds.
    Meanwhile Buddhas in worlds in the ten directions did the same. They too emitted beams of pure light from between Their eyebrows. The names, the retinues, and the actions of these beams were the same as those just described. These beams also illuminated the Buddha and the huge multitude in this Sahā World, as well as Vajra Store Bodhisattva on his lion throne. Then the radiance formed a huge platform of radiance in the sky, like a web of radiant clouds. From this platform of radiance, through the spiritual power of Buddhas, a voice spoke in verse:

The Buddha is as unequaled as the open sky.
Adorned with immeasurable merit and the Ten Powers.
The Śākya lion, the supreme one in the world,
Will support you. Buddha-Son, through the power of the Buddha,
You should open the greatest treasury of this Dharma king.
Through the spiritual power of the Buddha, you should explain
The superb training on all wisdom grounds.
The hearers, supported by the power of the Sugata,
Will accept the Dharma treasure into their minds.
After they have completed purifying the Ten Grounds one by one,
They will acquire the Ten Powers of a Tathāgata.
Those with doubts and disbelief
Will never hear such meanings.
Those capable of accepting them will definitely hear them
Even if they live in the water and fire at the end of a kalpa. You should expound the grounds as the excellent wisdom path
For them to train step by step,
In order to develop their wisdom through their training
And benefit all sentient beings.

The Request Granted

Then Vajra Store Bodhisattva observed everywhere in the ten directions. To strengthen the faith of the multitude, he spoke in verse:

The bodhi attained by the Tathāgata, the holy master,
Is wondrous and hard to know.
It is beyond thinking and apart from thoughts,
Impossible to be captured by one’s perception.
With neither birth nor death,
Its nature is forever pure and quiet.
One who is wise and free from afflictions
Knows that wisdom is
Empty and quiet in nature, as well as
Non-dual and endless.
It enables one to liberate oneself from making repeated life-journeys
And to abide in the equality of nirvāṇa.
With no beginning, middle, or ending,
It cannot be described by words.
It transcends past, present, and future,
And appears like the open sky.

The attainment of a Buddha is nirvāṇa,
Which is beyond the description of words.
Likewise is one’s training on the Bodhisattva grounds,
Which is hard to describe and hard to accept.
Apart from thinking and mental functions,
One’s wisdom [developed on the grounds] leads to Buddha wisdom.
Not in the realm of one’s five aggregates, twelve fields, and eighteen spheres,
It is beyond one’s conscious mind.
As bird tracks in the sky
Are hard to indicate,
Likewise the meanings of the Ten Grounds
Are hard for one’s mind to comprehend.

Equipped with lovingkindness, compassion, and the power of one’s vows,
One can enter the Bodhisattva grounds to train.
As one completes one’s training from one ground to another,
One’s development of wisdom, beyond one’s conscious mind,
Is a process hard to see.
It can be known but not described.

Through the power of the Buddha, I will expound it, and
You should reverently accept it.
The training for wisdom
Cannot be explained in a koṭi kalpas.
I now will describe it briefly,
Revealing its true meanings without omission.
You should wait with reverence and a single mind
For me to speak, through the power of the Buddha,
Wondrous tones of the true Dharma that express
Words and analogies in accord with their meanings.

May the immeasurable spiritual power of the Buddha
Enter into my body.
What is hard to expound
I now will reveal in brief.

The First Ground, the Joyful Ground

Activating the Bodhi Mind

“Buddha-Son, if sentient beings persistently develop their roots of goodness, gather provisions for the spiritual journey, do good training, make offerings to Buddhas, do good karmas, are protected by beneficent learned friends, cultivate a pure and profound mind, raise great aspirations, achieve profound understanding [of the Dharma], and elicit lovingkindness and compassion, then they can activate the anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi mind. They activate the bodhi mind because they seek to acquire Buddha wisdom; to acquire the Ten Powers; to acquire fearlessness; to master the Buddha Dharma founded on equality; to purify their lovingkindness and compassion; to rescue all in the world; to acquire all possible wisdom-knowledge from the ten directions; to purify all Buddha Lands hindrance free; to know in one thought everything in the past, present, and future; to turn the great Dharma wheel without fear.
    “Buddha-Son, the bodhi mind is led by great compassion, ruled by wisdom, assisted by skillful means, and sustained by the supreme profound mind. It draws upon the immeasurable power of Tathāgatas and can observe and differentiate dharmas. Using the wisdom-knowledge of unhindered power, it follows one’s innate wisdom and can accept the wisdom contained in the entire Buddha Dharma. The bodhi mind is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky, throughout the endless future.
    “Buddha-Son, as soon as someone activates the bodhi mind, he immediately transcends the ground of ordinary beings and becomes a Bodhisattva. [Spiritually] he is born into the Tathāgata family, and no one can scorn his family name. He leaves worldly paths, enters the supra-worldly path, and acquires the Bodhisattva Dharma. As a Bodhisattva, he realizes the equality of past, present, and future. As a Bodhisattva of the Tathāgata character-type, he will definitely attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. A Bodhisattva abiding in these dharmas is called abiding on the first ground, the Joyful Bodhisattva Ground [pramuditā-bodhisattvabhūmi], because he is unwavering.

Reasons to Be Joyful

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva abiding on this Joyful Ground has much joy, much pure faith, much delight, much comfort, much enjoyment, much exuberance, and much valor. He has no aggression, no spite, and no anger.
    “Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva abiding on this Joyful Ground is joyful because he thinks of Buddhas; because he thinks of the Buddha Dharma; because he thinks of Bodhisattvas; because he thinks of Bodhisattva actions; because he thinks of the purity of the pāramitās; because he thinks of the excellence of the Bodhisattva grounds; because he thinks of the indestructibility of Bodhisattvas; because he thinks of Tathāgatas teaching and transforming sentient beings; because he thinks of giving benefits to sentient beings; because he thinks of acquiring the wisdom and skillful means of all Tathāgatas.
    “He also thinks, ‘I am joyful because I have left all worldly things behind; because I am close to all Buddhas; because I have left the ground of ordinary beings far behind; because I am near the wisdom ground; because I have forever ended taking the evil life-paths; because I am a refuge for all sentient beings; because I see all Tathāgatas; because I am born in the realm of Buddhas; because I join all Bodhisattvas as their equal; because I stay far away from all terrifying things that cause my hair to stand on end.’
    “Why? Because a Bodhisattva abiding on the Joyful Ground has left behind all his fears, such as (1) fear of his inability to survive, (2) fear of a bad name, (3) fear of death, (4) fear of the evil life-paths, and (5) fear of the overwhelming presence of multitudes. He has discarded all such fears. Why? Because this Bodhisattva has no perception of having a self.
    “He does not cherish even his body, much less his assets; therefore, he has no fear of his inability to survive. He does not seek to receive offerings but gives alms to all sentient beings; therefore, he has no fear of a bad name. He has neither self-view nor perception of having a self; therefore, he has no fear of death. He knows that, after death, he will never be separated from Buddhas or Bodhisattvas; therefore, he has no fear of the evil life-paths. He knows that his aspirations are unequaled, much less surpassed, in the world; therefore, he has no fear of the overwhelming presence of multitudes. Thus this Bodhisattva stays far away from all terrifying things that cause his hair to stand on end.

Purifying and Cultivating the Ground

“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva is led by his great compassion, and his great resolve is indestructible. Diligently developing his roots of goodness, he comes to achievement in faith because his faith is excellent, pure, and firm, out of pure understanding; because he elicits lovingkindness and compassion; because he has a tireless mind; because he adorns himself with a sense of shame and dishonor; because he endures adversity with a gentle mind; because he esteems and follows the Buddha Dharma.
    “He comes to achievement in training because day and night he tirelessly develops his roots of goodness; because he stays close to beneficent learned friends; because he delights in the Dharma and seeks to hear more of it, never satiated; because he makes right observations after hearing the Dharma; because his mind is not attached to anything, such as benefits, fame, or worship; because he does not seek to be offered life-supporting things; because he tirelessly seeks to realize his true mind.
    “He comes to achievement in transferring his merit[11] because he seeks the ground of [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge; because he seeks to acquire a Tathāgata’s Ten Powers, Four Fearlessnesses, and Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas; because he practices the pāramitās in order to attain bodhi; because he shuns sycophancy and deceit; because he honors his words with actions; because he protects truthful words; because he never tarnishes the Tathāgata family; because he never abandons the Bodhisattva precepts; because he seeks the overall wisdom-knowledge with an unwavering mind like the king of mountains; because he walks the supra-worldly path without relinquishing worldly matters; because he tirelessly trains to complete the elements of bodhi; because he constantly seeks the supreme path to bodhi.
    “Buddha-Son, when a Bodhisattva purifies and cultivates the ground in this way, it is called abiding on the Joyful Bodhisattva Ground.

Making Ten Great Vows

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva abiding on the Joyful Ground makes great vows with such great boldness and such great purpose.
    “First, with profound, pure, and definite understanding [of the Dharma], he vows to make all possible offerings reverently to all Buddhas without omission. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Second, he vows to accept the Dharma wheel of all Buddhas, to protect the teachings of all Buddhas, to uphold the Dharma of all Buddhas, and to attain Buddha bodhi. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Third, he wishes Buddhas to appear in all worlds. Each Buddha disappears from Tuṣita Heaven [the fourth desire heaven], enters His mother’s womb, stays in the womb, is born, renounces family life, attains bodhi, expounds the Dharma, and demonstrates entering parinirvāṇa. He vows to visit them all simultaneously wherever they are, to stay close to them and make offerings to them, to accept and practice the true Dharma, and to be the leader of multitudes. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Fourth, he wishes all Bodhisattva actions to be vast, immeasurable, indestructible, and unadulterated, to include the pāramitās, and to purify and cultivate the Bodhisattva grounds. He vows to explain truthfully the features of all Bodhisattva actions—general or particular, same or different, completed or undone—teaching all to take these actions and expand their minds. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Fifth, he vows to teach all sentient beings that transmigrate through the six life-paths in the Three Realms of Existence. Each composed of name and form[12] [mind and body], sentient beings are with or without form, with or without perception, not with or not without perception, born from the egg, womb, or moisture, or by miraculous formation. He vows to teach and transform them all, and to set them on the path to [sarvajña-jñāna] the knowledge of all knowledge, enabling them to enter the Buddha Dharma and end their worldly life-journeys forever. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Sixth, he vows to acquire wisdom to see all worlds in the ten directions and to know their innumerable differences—coarse or fine; upright, inverted, or unfixed; coming, going, or wandering—like those displayed by the god-king Indra’s net. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Seventh, he wishes to see that all worlds are encompassed in one world, that one world is encompassed in all worlds, and that countless worlds are pure and adorned with radiance. He vows to eradicate all his afflictions, to walk the pure path together with innumerable wise sentient beings, and to enter the vast realm of Buddhas, which is displayed at sentient beings’ wishes and pleasures. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Eighth, he wishes all Bodhisattvas to train in the same way with the same aspirations; to develop their roots of goodness without jealousy; always to congregate as equals, never abandoning one another; to manifest at will as Buddhas and know the power and wisdom of all Tathāgatas; to acquire transcendental powers that never regress, in order to visit all worlds at will, appear in all assemblies, and be reborn wherever they can be reborn; to uphold the inconceivable Mahāyāna; to complete all Bodhisattva training. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Ninth, he vows to ride the wheel of no regress to take Bodhisattva actions, so that his body, voice, and mind karmas never go to waste. Those who see him, however briefly, will definitely enter the Buddha Dharma; those who hear his voice, however briefly, will acquire true wisdom. As soon as they elicit pure faith, they end their afflictions forever and take all Bodhisattva actions, as if they had acquired the wish-fulfilling jewel or the king of medicinal trees. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.
    “Tenth, he vows to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi in all worlds on the tip of a hair [in space]; to display, in all worlds on the tips of all hairs [throughout space], his birth, sitting in his bodhimaṇḍa, attaining Buddhahood, turning the Dharma wheel to deliver sentient beings, and entering parinirvāṇa; to acquire great wisdom in the realm of Buddhas; to enable sentient beings to attain nirvāṇa by displaying his attainment of Buddhahood in a manner suitable for their minds; to know in his [saṁbodhi] true enlightenment that all dharmas are appearances of nirvāṇa; to expound the Dharma with one tone to delight all sentient beings; to demonstrate entering parinirvāṇa without interrupting his Bodhisattva training; to reveal the ground of great wisdom to establish all dharmas; to acquire the dharma wisdom-knowledge;[13] to use his transcendental powers to perform magical acts everywhere in the world. Throughout all future kalpas without rest, he honors this vow, which is as vast as the dharma realm and as ultimate as the open sky.

The Ten Impossible Endings

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva abiding on the Joyful Ground makes such great vows with such great boldness and such great purpose. Led by these ten great vows, he fulfills a million asaṁkhyeya great vows. Buddha-Son, these ten great vows are established with ten impossible endings. What are these ten? They are (1) ending of the realm of sentient beings, (2) ending of the world, (3) ending of the domain of space, (4) ending of the realm of dharmas, (5) ending of the realm of nirvāṇa, (6) ending of appearance of Buddhas, (7) ending of the realm of Tathāgata wisdom, (8) ending of the realm of one’s mental objects, (9) ending of the realm of Buddha wisdom, and (10) ending of the realm of changes in worlds, dharmas, and knowledge. He declares, ‘My vows would end only if all these ten things ended. As these ten, from the realm of sentient beings to the realm of the three kinds of changes have no end, so my great vows arising from my roots of goodness have no end.’

Acquiring Ten Dharmas

Faith
    “Buddha-Son, having made such great vows, this Bodhisattva acquires ten minds: the benevolent mind, the gentle mind, the compliant mind, the quiet mind, the tame mind, the mind in nirvāṇa, the humble mind, the nurturing mind, the unwavering mind, and the clear mind. He thus elicits pure faith in the original training of Tathāgatas, in achieving the pāramitās, in entering the superb Bodhisattva grounds, in acquiring the Ten Powers, in achieving the Four Fearlessnesses, in acquiring the indestructible Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas, in the inconceivable Buddha Dharma, in a Tathāgata’s realm that has neither middle nor sides, in entering a Tathāgata’s immeasurable state, and in achieving the holy fruit. He has faith in all Bodhisattva actions and all teachings on the wisdom ground of Tathāgatas.

Compassion and Lovingkindness
    “Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva thinks, ‘The true Dharma of Buddhas is in nirvāṇa, and it is profound, quiet, untainted, immeasurable, and vast. It enables one to see the emptiness of dharmas and liberates one from one’s attachment to their appearances and one’s wish for rebirth.[14] However, ordinary beings, shrouded by ignorance, embrace the wrong views. They raise the banner of arrogance, fall into the net of thirsty love [of being], and enter into the dense forest of sycophancy and deceit, unable to find an exit. Their minds never discard stinginess and jealousy, and they create the causes and conditions for repeated birth and death through the six life-journeys. The karmas done by their greed, anger, and ignorance increase day and night. The wind of their anger blows on the fire of their consciousnesses, and their karmas accord with their inverted views. The stream of their desire, existence, ignorance, and wrong views waters the seeds of their consciousnesses—ālaya consciousness, manas consciousness, and mental consciousness—which germinate buds of suffering in the Three Realms of Existence. Each sentient being is born with name and form, which develop the six faculties. Contact of these faculties with their corresponding objects produces sensory reception. [Pleasant] sensory experiences spark love of sense objects. Growing love leads to grasping, and grasping fuels the karmic force for being. Then birth is followed by old age and death, with anxiety, sorrow, pain, and distress.
    “‘However, each sentient being, as an aggregate of suffering, is empty, without a self with its belongings. It has no doer, no recipient, no perceiver, and no knower, like a plant or stone wall, and like a reflection. However, each suffering sentient being neither perceives nor knows its state.’
    “This Bodhisattva sees sentient beings living in suffering, unable to escape, so he elicits great compassion with radiant wisdom. He thinks, ‘I should rescue these sentient beings and put them in a peaceful and joyful place.’ Then he elicits great lovingkindness with radiant wisdom.

Relinquishment
    “Buddha-Son, as this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva abides on the first ground with a profound mind, he follows his great lovingkindness and great compassion, and never begrudges anything. Seeking to acquire the great wisdom of a Buddha, he can give away everything as alms, such as grain and warehouses; gold, silver, jewels, pearls, aquamarine, conch shells, jade, corals, precious collectibles, and ornaments, including necklaces; elephants, horses, and vehicles; cities, villages, gardens, and mansions; wives, retinues, slaves and servants, men and women, and people; even his head, eyes, hands, feet, bone marrow, and other body parts. He gives them all away as alms without begrudging them because he seeks to acquire the great wisdom of a Buddha. This is called achieving great relinquishment [almsgiving] on the first ground.

Tirelessness
    “Buddha-Son, out of lovingkindness, compassion, and generosity, to rescue all sentient beings, this Bodhisattva tirelessly does worldly and supra-worldly things to benefit them. Thus he acquires the tireless mind.

Wisdom-knowledge, Worldly Knowledge
    “With a tireless mind, he is not too timid to study scriptural texts. Without timidity, he acquires wisdom-knowledge from scriptural texts. With wisdom-knowledge, he determines what he should or should not do for sentient beings of high, middling, and low capacities, according to their needs, abilities, and backgrounds. Thus this Bodhisattva acquires worldly knowledge.

A Sense of Shame and Dishonor, The Power of Persistence
    “With worldly knowledge, knowing the right time and measure, he adorns himself with a sense of shame and dishonor, as he trains to benefit himself and others. Thus he fully develops a sense of shame and dishonor. Then he diligently trains to transcend the world, never to regress or digress from his path. Thus he acquires the power of persistence.

Making Offerings to Buddhas, Carrying Out Their Teachings
    “With the power of persistence, he diligently makes offerings to Buddhas and carries out Their teachings.

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva thus acquires these ten dharmas that purify the Bodhisattva grounds. They are (1) faith, (2) compassion and lovingkindness, (3) relinquishment [almsgiving], (4) tirelessness, (5) wisdom-knowledge from scriptural texts, (6) understanding of worldly dharmas, (7) a sense of shame and dishonor, (8) the power of persistence, (9) making offerings to Buddhas, and (10) carrying out Their teachings.

Training under All Buddhas

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva abiding on the first ground, through the power of his great vows, comes to see many Buddhas: hundreds of Buddhas, thousands of Buddhas, hundreds of thousands of Buddha, koṭis of Buddhas, hundreds of koṭis of Buddhas, thousands of koṭis of Buddhas, hundreds of thousands of koṭis of Buddhas. koṭis of nayutas of Buddhas, hundreds of koṭis of nayutas of Buddhas, thousands of koṭis of nayutas of Buddhas, and even hundreds of thousands of koṭis of nayutas of Buddhas.
    “With a magnanimous and profound mind, he reveres, honors, and attends all Buddhas, and makes offerings to Them. He offers Them life-supporting things, including clothing, food and drink, beds and bedding, and medicine. He also makes these offerings to all monks. Then he transfers his roots of goodness to his attaining the unsurpassed bodhi.
    “Buddha-Son, because he makes offerings to Buddhas, this Bodhisattva acquires skillful means to teach and transform sentient beings. Of the Four Drawing-in Dharmas [almsgiving, loving words, beneficial actions, and collaborative work], he mainly employs the first two, almsgiving and loving words, to draw in sentient beings. He has faith in and understanding of the last two, but his practice of them is not yet proficient. Of the ten pāramitās, he mainly practices the first pāramitā, the almsgiving pāramitā [dāna-pāramitā]. It is not that he refuses to practice the other nine pāramitās, but that he practices them according to his ability and at his discretion.
    “Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva makes offerings to Buddhas, and teaches and transforms sentient beings, as he trains to purify this ground. Buddha-Son, as an analogy, a goldsmith who is skilled in refining gold fires the gold time and again. More and more, the gold becomes lustrous, pure, soft, and usable. Likewise this Bodhisattva makes offerings to Buddhas, and teaches and transforms sentient beings, in order to purify the ground. As he transfers all his roots of goodness to his acquiring [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge, they become more and more radiant, pure, gentle, and capable.

Preparing for All Ten Grounds

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva abiding on the first ground should tirelessly ask Buddhas, [higher] Bodhisattvas, and beneficent learned friends about the features and fruit of the first ground because he wishes to complete his training on this ground. He should also tirelessly ask them about the features and fruit of each of the next nine grounds because he wishes to complete his training on all ten grounds. For each ground, this Bodhisattva should know its hindrances and their remedy, its formation and destruction, its features and fruit, its purity, and his arrival and departure. He should know how to progress from one ground to the next, the right or wrong place of each ground, the excellent wisdom developed on each ground, [the fact that] each ground is a stage of no regress, how to purify and cultivate all these grounds, and how finally to enter the wisdom ground of Tathāgatas.
    “Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva’s wisdom-knowledge of the features of each ground is uninterrupted, from the first through tenth grounds. Because of the radiance of his wisdom developed on all Bodhisattva grounds, he acquires the radiance of Tathāgata wisdom.
    “Buddha-Son, suppose a wise merchant leader plans to take a group of merchants to a big city. Before they set off, he asks about the roads, their advantages and disadvantages, the safety and dangers of the stops on the way, and the faults of turning back. He then prepares for the journey accordingly. Buddha-Son, before they set off, that merchant leader already knows all the safe and treacherous things on the journey. He ponders and plans the journey with wisdom, and gathers the needed provisions. He then takes the group safely to the great city. Thus he and his companions are free from anxiety and distress.
    “Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva is like that merchant leader. Though abiding on the first ground, he knows well how to remove the hindrances on all Bodhisattva grounds, and how to purify these grounds, in order to ascend to the wisdom ground of Tathāgatas. Then, equipped with great merit and wisdom as provisions, he takes all sentient beings across the treacherous wilderness of repeated birth and death to arrive safely in the city of sarvajña. Thus he and sentient beings do not undergo tribulations. Therefore, a Bodhisattva should diligently do excellent pure karmas on all grounds, in order to enter the wisdom ground of Tathāgatas.

“Buddha-Son, this is a brief description of a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva training on the first ground. An extensive explanation would include immeasurable, boundless hundreds of thousands of asaṁkhyeyas of different things.

Becoming the King of Jambudvīpa

“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva abiding on the first ground usually becomes the king of Jambudvīpa [the southern continent]. Noble and commanding, he protects the true Dharma. He gives great alms to draw in sentient beings. He excels in removing sentient beings’ stinginess by endlessly giving them great alms. As he does good karmas, such as almsgiving, loving words, beneficial actions, and collaborative work [the Four Drawing-in Dharmas], he constantly thinks of the Buddha, the Dharma, the Saṅgha, Bodhisattva companions, Bodhisattva actions, the pāramitās, the Bodhisattva grounds, the Ten Powers, the Four Fearlessnesses, and the Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas, and even of acquiring sarvajña-jñāna, the knowledge of all knowledge.
    “He thinks, ‘Among all sentient beings, I should be excellent, especially excellent; wonderful, especially wonderful; superb, especially superb. To all sentient beings, I should be leader, guide, general, and teacher. I should even be the reliance for those who seek the knowledge of all knowledge.’
    “If this Bodhisattva wishes to renounce family life in order to make energetic progress in learning the Buddha Dharma, he can relinquish his wife and family life, and discard the five desires, to head for bodhi, following the teachings of Tathāgatas. After renouncing family life, if he makes energetic progress, in one thought he enters 100 samādhis, sees 100 Buddhas, and knows the spiritual power of 100 Buddhas. He can move, visit, and illuminate 100 Buddha Lands, and teach sentient beings in 100 Buddha Lands. He can live for 100 kalpas and know all things in 100 past and future kalpas. He can enter the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas. He can manifest 100 bodies; each body can manifest 100 Bodhisattvas as its retinue. Through the power of his excellent vows, what this Bodhisattva can do with ease far exceeds these things. It cannot be known by figuring for 100, 1,000, or 100,000 kalpas, or even 100,000 koṭi nayuta kalpas.”

Summarizing Stanzas

Then, to restate his meaning, Vajra Store Bodhisattva spoke in verse:

Suppose someone accumulates myriads of goodness,
Does all good dharmas,
Makes offerings to the one honored by gods and humans,
And follows the path of lovingkindness and compassion.
With great faith and understanding,
And pure aspirations,
Seeking to acquire Buddha wisdom,
He activates the unsurpassed bodhi mind.

To acquire the power of all wisdom-knowledge
And fearlessness,
To master the Dharma of Buddhas
And rescue all sentient beings,
To acquire great lovingkindness and compassion
And turn the superb Dharma wheel, and
To adorn and purify all Buddha Lands,
He activates the unsurpassed bodhi mind.

In one thought he knows everything in the past, present, and future,
Without making differentiations.
But he can indicate to the world
The differences of time
And explain how to acquire
All the excellent merits adorning Buddhas.

The great bodhi mind is
As vast as the domain of space.
It is led by compassion and ruled by wisdom,
And assisted by skillful means.
With pure faith and understanding,
Through the immeasurable power of Tathāgatas,
When the hindrance-free wisdom arises,
Without anyone’s help, one attains self-realization
Equal to that of Tathāgatas.
So one should activate this supreme bodhi mind.

As soon as a Buddha-son activates
This wonderful precious mind,
He transcends the ground of ordinary beings
And enters the place walked by Buddhas.
He is born into the Tathāgata family,
Acquiring a stainless family name.
He will definitely attain the unsurpassed bodhi
Equal to that of Buddhas.

As soon as he activates this mind,
He enters the first Bodhisattva ground.
His resolve is unwavering,
Like the great king of mountains.
He has much joy and delight,
As well as much pure faith.
With the mind of bold valor
And the mind of exuberance,
He shuns aggression,
Spite, and anger.
With respect, uprightness, and a sense of shame,
He protects [the purity of] his faculties.
He aspires to rescue all sentient beings in the world
And to acquire all wisdom-knowledge.
His aspirations bring him much joy,
And he knows that he will fulfill them.

As soon as he enters the first Bodhisattva ground,
He discards five fears:
Inability to survive, a bad name, death,
The evil life-paths, and the overwhelming presence of multitudes.
Discarding his fixation on having a self
With its belongings,
This Buddha-son
Is free from fears.

Eliciting great lovingkindness and compassion,
With faith and reverence,
And the virtue of knowing shame and dishonor,
He does good dharmas day and night.
He appreciates the benefits of the Dharma
And loathes the bondage of desires.
He ponders the Dharma he has heard
And shuns acts driven by grasping and attachment.
Never coveting benefits or worship,
He only delights in attaining Buddha bodhi.
Seeking Buddha bodhi single-mindedly,
He is fully focused, without second thoughts.

He practices the pāramitās
And shuns sycophancy and deceit.
He trains according to the teachings
And abides in truthful words.
He never tarnishes the Buddha family,
Nor does he abandon the Bodhisattva precepts.
He does not enjoy worldly matters
But seeks to benefit the world.
As he tirelessly does good,
He seeks the excellent path.
The good dharmas he does
Accord with the meaning of merit.

Constantly making great vows,
He vows to see Buddhas,
To protect and uphold the Dharma of Buddhas,
And to follow Their great path.
Constantly making great vows,
He vows to undergo the supreme training,
To bring sentient beings to [spiritual] maturity,
And to adorn and purify Buddha Lands.

He wishes that Buddha-sons in
All Buddha Lands
Have the one mind of equality,
That their endeavor never goes to waste,
And that they attain true enlightenment simultaneously
[In worlds] on the tips of all hairs [throughout space].

Such great vows are
Immeasurable and boundless, as endless as
The domain of space, the realm of sentient beings,
The realm of dharmas, the realm of nirvāṇa,
The appearance of Buddhas in all worlds,
The realm of Tathāgata wisdom, and the realm of one’s mental objects.
[He declares] “My vows would end only if Tathāgata wisdom
And the three kinds of changes ended.
As they have no end,
So my vows have no end.”

Having made such great vows,
He acquires the gentle mind and the compliant mind.
He thus has faith in the merits adorning Buddhas.
Observing the suffering of sentient beings,
He realizes that everything arises through causes and conditions.
He then elicits lovingkindness and compassion [as he declares]
“These suffering sentient beings
I now should rescue.”
To these sentient beings,
He gives all kinds of alms,
Giving away his kingship and treasures;
Elephants, horses, and vehicles;
His head, eyes, hands, and feet;
Even his body, blood, and flesh.
He can give away everything as alms
Without anxiety or regret.
He seeks wisdom-knowledge from scriptural texts
With a tireless mind.
He excels in understanding their meanings
And in following the worldly ways.
As he adorns himself with a sense of shame and dishonor
His training becomes more solid.
He reveres and honors innumerable Buddhas,
And makes offerings to Them all.

As he trains in this way tirelessly
Day and night,
His roots of goodness become radiant and pure,
Like genuine gold refined by fire.
Abiding on this ground,
This Bodhisattva prepares for his training on all ten grounds.
His spiritual training has no hindrance
And continues without interruption.

As an analogy, a great merchant leader,
To benefit his group of merchants,
Asks about the safety and treachery of the roads,
In order to lead the group safely to a great city.
A Bodhisattva abiding on the first ground
Should know to do the same,
In order to arrive at the tenth ground,
Boldly valiant and hindrance free.

Abiding on the first ground,
A Bodhisattva usually becomes a king who does great meritorious deeds.
He transforms sentient beings by giving them the Dharma
With lovingkindness and without harm.
He rules the continent of Jambudvīpa
And transforms sentient beings everywhere,
Teaching them to give alms
And to seek Buddha wisdom.

Seeking the supreme path,
He relinquishes his kingship
And boldly trains
In accordance with the Buddha Dharma.
He then enters 100 samādhis,
Sees 100 Buddhas,
Moves 100 worlds,
And illuminates 100 worlds.
He transforms sentient beings in 100 worlds,
Enters the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas,
And knows all things in 100 past and future kalpas.
He manifests 100 bodies,
Each body manifesting 100 Bodhisattvas as its retinue.
Through the power of his vows,
What he can do far exceeds these things and is immeasurable.

I have described [a Bodhisattva’s training] only briefly
In my explanation of the meaning of this ground.
An extensive explanation
Cannot be finished in a koṭi kalpas.
The supreme Bodhisattva Way
Benefits all sentient beings.
Thus I have finished describing
The first ground.

Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment, fascicle 34
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T10n0279)


Notes

    1. This phrase is based on text 287, which begins with “Thus I have heard: At one time the Bhagavān, on the fourteen day after His perfect enlightenment, . . .” (T10n0287, 0535a29). Text 287 is the third of the three Chinese versions (T10n0285–87) of the Sūtra of the Ten Grounds, which was translated from Sanskrit during the Zhenyuan years (貞元, 785–805) of the Tang Dynasty (618–907) by Śīladharma (尸羅達摩, 8th century) from Yutian. (Return to text)
    2. Para-nirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven translates into Chinese as Heaven of Commanding Others’ Conjurations. Gods in this heaven command others to conjure pleasure objects for their enjoyment. (Return to text)
    3. See Three Liberation Doors in the glossary. (Return to text)
    4. Text 279 (T10n0279) gives the name Sūrya Store Bodhisattva, which is a repetition of the preceding name, Sun Store Bodhisattva, because the Sanskrit word “sūrya” means the sun. Here the name Moon Store Bodhisattva is based on text 286 (T10n0286), the second of the three Chinese versions (T10n0285–87) of the Sūtra of the Ten Grounds, though its Chinese title is Sūtra of the Ten Abidings. It was translated from Sanskrit in the Later Qin Dynasty (後秦, 384–417) by Kumārajīva (鳩摩羅什, 344–413) from Kucha. (Return to text)
    5. In texts 279 and 286, the name of this samādhi is Radiance of Great Wisdom (T10n0279, 0179a8–9; T10n286, 0498a14–15). In texts 287 and 1522, it is Mahāyāna Radiance (T10n0287, 0535c12–13; T26n1522, 0124a29–b1). Here the latter is adopted because this name also appears in other texts in the Chinese Canon. (Return to text)
    6. See Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi in the glossary. (Return to text)
    7. The Sanskrit word “abhimukhī” means turned toward. On the sixth ground, because a Bodhisattva’s main practice is wisdom pāramitā (prajñā-pāramitā), prajñā and all samādhis are revealed to him. (Return to text)
    8. The Sanskrit word “sādhumatī” means good or honorable intention. However, in text 279 it is translated into Chinese as good wisdom (善慧), which is also used in several other texts in the Chinese Canon. (Return to text)
    9. The Ten Powers of a Buddha, included in His Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas, are in the glossary. The ten powers of a holy Bodhisattva are given in several texts. For example, according to text 642, the Chinese version of the Sūtra of the Śūraṅgama Samādhi, they are (1) firmness in retaining the bodhi mind, (2) profound faith in the Buddha Dharma, (3) memory after hearing the Dharma, (4) tirelessness in undergoing repeated birth and death [as he delivers sentient beings], (5) great compassion for sentient beings, (6) relinquishment [almsgiving], (7) virtue through observance of precepts, (8) endurance of adversity, (9) wisdom indestructible by māras, and (10) faith and delight in the profound Dharma (T15n0642, 0643a23–b3). (Return to text)
    10. Sugata, or the Well-Gone One, is one of the ten epithets of a Buddha. (Return to text)
    11. According to text 1522, this Bodhisattva develops his roots of goodness and comes to achievement in three things: faith, training, and transferring his merit (T26n1522, 0137a15–17). Text 1522 is the Chinese version of the Treatise on the Sūtra of the Ten Grounds, written by Vasubandhu (世親, circa 320–80) and translated from Sanskrit in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534) by Bodhiruci (菩提留支, 5th–6th centuries) from India. (Return to text)
    12. See “name and form” defined in the glossary’s “five aggregates.” (Return to text)
    13. Dharma wisdom-knowledge (dharma-jñāna, 法智) is the wisdom-knowledge that accords with the Four Noble Truths and ends one’s desire-realm afflictions. (Return to text)
    14. Emptiness is the first of the Three Liberation Doors. (Return to text)


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