Sūtra 37 (posted 05/2013, updated 02/2014) Book information on Home page
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At that time the World-Honored One attained perfect enlightenment in the bodhimaṇḍa [bodhi place] in an araṇya [wilderness] in the kingdom of Magadha. Then, in the Universal Radiance Palace Hall, He entered the Buddha Samādhi of a Kṣaṇa. Using the transcendental power of His [sarvajña] overall wisdom-knowledge, He revealed a Tathāgata’s body, which is pure, hindrance free, reliance free, and not attached to anything. Abiding in the quietest śamatha, with awesome virtue and without taints, He enabled all beholders to come to spiritual realization. He appeared to them in suitable and timely ways, as He abided in the one appearance of no appearance.
He was with Bodhisattvas as numerous as the dust particles in ten Buddha Lands. They all had received [on the tenth ground] blessings with nectar poured on their heads. Their Bodhisattva actions were as measureless and boundless as the dharma realm. They attained the Bodhisattva Samādhi of the Universal Sight. With great compassion, they brought peace and calm to all sentient beings. Their command of transcendental powers equaled that of Tathāgatas. With profound wisdom, they expounded the true meanings [of the Dharma]. Equipped the overall wisdom-knowledge, they subjugated the māras. As they walked in the world, their minds were always quiet, abiding in the Bodhisattva liberation, which abides nowhere.
Such Bodhisattvas included Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva, Unequaled Wisdom Bodhisattva, Meanings and Words Wisdom Bodhisattva, Supreme Wisdom Bodhisattva, Equability Wisdom Bodhisattva, Dragon Wisdom Bodhisattva, Achievement Wisdom Bodhisattva, Harmony Wisdom Bodhisattva, Powerful Wisdom Bodhisattva, Inconceivable Wisdom Bodhisattva, Unhindered Wisdom Bodhisattva, Higher Wisdom Bodhisattva, Universal Offering Wisdom Bodhisattva, In Accord with the Truth Wisdom Bodhisattva, Skillful Wisdom Bodhisattva, Mastery of the Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva, Silent Wisdom Bodhisattva, Open Sky Wisdom Bodhisattva, One Appearance Wisdom Bodhisattva, Good Wisdom Bodhisattva, Illusion Wisdom Bodhisattva, Vast Wisdom Bodhisattva, Powerful Wisdom Bodhisattva, Worldly Wisdom Bodhisattva, Buddha Ground Wisdom Bodhisattva, True Wisdom Bodhisattva, Superb Wisdom Bodhisattva, Knowledge Light Wisdom Bodhisattva, Boundless Wisdom Bodhisattva, Mindfulness as Adornment Bodhisattva, Reaching the Limit of Emptiness Bodhisattva, Nature as Adornment Bodhisattva, Profound State Bodhisattva, Understanding Right or Wrong Bodhisattva, Great Radiance Bodhisattva, Constant Radiance Bodhisattva, Understanding the Buddha-Character Bodhisattva, Mind King Bodhisattva, One Action Bodhisattva, Displaying Transcendental Powers Bodhisattva, Wisdom Sprout Bodhisattva, Merit Place Bodhisattva, Dharma Lamp Bodhisattva, Illuminating the World Bodhisattva, Upholding the World Bodhisattva, Best Peace and Stability Bodhisattva, Supreme Bodhisattva, Unexcelled Bodhisattva, Unequaled Bodhisattva, Peerless Bodhisattva, Unhindered Action Bodhisattva, Radiant Flame Bodhisattva, Moonlight Bodhisattva, One Dust Particle Bodhisattva, Staunch Action Bodhisattva, Pouring the Dharma Rain Bodhisattva, Superb Banner Bodhisattva, Universal Adornment Bodhisattva, Knowledge Eye Bodhisattva, Dharma Eye Bodhisattva, Wisdom Cloud Bodhisattva, Total Retention King Bodhisattva, Wishing to Abide Nowhere Bodhisattva, Knowledge Store Bodhisattva, Mind King Bodhisattva, Inner Awareness Wisdom Bodhisattva, Abiding in Buddha Wisdom Bodhisattva, Vigorous Power of Dhāraṇī Bodhisattva, Power to Sustain the Earth Bodhisattva, Wonderful Moon Bodhisattva, Sumeru Summit Bodhisattva, Jewel Crest Bodhisattva, Universal Illumination Bodhisattva, Awesome Virtue King Bodhisattva, Knowledge Wheel Bodhisattva, Mighty Virtue Bodhisattva, Great Dragon Appearance Bodhisattva, Upright Action Bodhisattva, No Regress Bodhisattva, Upholding the Dharma Banner Bodhisattva, No Memory Loss Bodhisattva, Assisting Life Journeys Bodhisattva, Inconceivably Resolute Wisdom Bodhisattva, Boundless Knowledge to Be Playful Bodhisattva, Endless Dharma Store Bodhisattva, Knowledge Sun Bodhisattva, Dharma Sun Bodhisattva, Knowledge Store Bodhisattva, Knowledge Pool Bodhisattva, Universal Sight Bodhisattva, View of Dharmas Being Not Empty Bodhisattva, Vajra Passage Bodhisattva, Vajra Knowledge Bodhisattva, Vajra Flame Bodhisattva, Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva, Universal Eye Bodhisattva, Buddha Sun Bodhisattva, Holding a Buddha’s Vajra Secret Bodhisattva, Adorned with the Knowledge of the Universal Eye Bodhisattva, and other Bodhisattvas.
Such Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas were as numerous as the dust particles in ten Buddha Lands. In the past, together with Vairocana Tathāgata, they all had taken Bodhisattva actions to develop their roots of goodness.
Then Universal Eye Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, through the spiritual power of the Buddha, rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, and knelt his right knee on the floor. Joining his hands, he asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, I have some questions to ask the Tathāgata, the Samyak-Saṁbuddha. May I have Your permission?”
The Buddha answered, “You may ask any questions you wish. I will answer them to make you happy.”
Universal Eye Bodhisattva asked, “How many samādhis are attained by Samantabhadra Bodhisattva and Bodhisattvas who constantly carry out his universally worthy action vows? How do they enter, exit, or abide in their great samādhis? If a Bodhisattva excels in entering and exiting inconceivable great samādhis, he achieves command of all samādhis and displays transcendental powers without rest.”
The Buddha answered, “Very good! Universal Eye, you ask about these meanings to benefit past, present, and future Bodhisattvas. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, who is rarely encountered, is here now. He has achieved inconceivable command of transcendental powers, surpassing all other Bodhisattvas. He is born from immeasurable Bodhisattva actions. He has purified his great Bodhisattva vows, and his actions never regress. He has acquired immeasurable pāramitā doors, dhāraṇī doors, and eloquence doors, all of which are pure and hindrance free. Through the power of his original vows, he tirelessly benefits all sentient beings with great compassion throughout the endless future. You should ask him to describe his samādhi, mastery, and liberation.”
When the Bodhisattvas in the assembly heard Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s name, they immediately attained countless inconceivable samādhis, and their minds became quiet, motionless, and hindrance free. Their wisdom vast and immeasurable, and their profound state unexcelled, they all saw innumerable Buddhas present before them and acquired the powers of Tathāgatas. With the same Tathāgata nature, they clearly saw into past, present, and future. They acquired endless merits and full transcendental powers. With reverence for Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, these Bodhisattvas longed to see him. They looked all around the assembly but could see neither him nor his seat. This was caused by the Tathāgata’s spiritual power as well as by Samantabhadra’s transcendental power.
Then Universal Eye Bodhisattva asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, where is Samantabhadra Bodhisattva now?”
The Buddha answered, “Universal Eye, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is now amid the multitude in this bodhimaṇḍa. He is near where I am and has not moved.”
Then Universal Eye and the other Bodhisattvas again scanned the assembly in this bodhimaṇḍa, looking for him everywhere. They said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, we still cannot see Samantabhadra Bodhisattva or his seat.”
The Buddha said, “Indeed. Good men, why can you not see him? Good men, because Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s attainment is profound and indescribable. He has acquired the boundless wisdom door and entered the Samādhi of a Lion’s Thrust. He has achieved unsurpassed command of uses [of his wisdom] and entered the pure and hindrance-free state. He produces a Tathāgata’s Ten Powers, uses the dharma realm as his body, and receives the protection and concern from all Tathāgatas. In one thought he can access the differentiation-free wisdom-knowledge of past, present, and future Buddhas. That is why none of you can see him.”
Upon hearing the Tathāgata’s description of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s pure virtues, Universal Eye Bodhisattva attained 10,000 asaṁkhyeya samādhis. Using the power of samādhi, he again scanned everywhere, anxious to see Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Yet he still could not see him, nor could the other Bodhisattvas.
Then Universal Eye Bodhisattva rose from his samādhi and said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, I entered 10,000 asaṁkhyeya samādhis, seeking to see Samantabhadra, but still could not see him. Nor could I perceive his body and body karmas, his voice and voice karmas, or his mind and mind karmas. Nor could I see his seat or his place.”
The Buddha said, “Indeed, indeed! Good man, know that Samantabhadra Bodhisattva abides in the power of inconceivable liberation. Universal Eye, what is your opinion? Can anyone describe the places of the illusions given in a book of magic?”
“No, no one can.”
The Buddha said, “Universal Eye, if even the appearances of illusions cannot be described, how can anyone enter and see Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s secret states of body, voice, and mind? Why not? Because Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s attainment is profound, inconceivable, immeasurable, and beyond measure. In all, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, with his vajra wisdom, enters everywhere in the dharma realm, but neither walks nor abides in any world. He knows that, neither coming nor going, the bodies of sentient beings [in true reality] are no body. He has achieved command of indestructible and differentiation-free transcendental powers. With no reliance, no action, and no motion, he has reached the ultimate edge of the dharma realm.
“Good man, whoever comes to see Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, hear his name, attend him, ponder his teachings, think of him, elicit faith in [the Dharma] and acquire an understanding of it, make observations, seek or find the right directions, or make vows endlessly, will receive benefits. His effort will never be futile.”
Then Universal Eye and the other Bodhisattvas, who admired Samantabhadra Bodhisattva and longed to see him, said: “Namo [homage to] all Buddhas! Namo Samantabhadra Bodhisattva!” Three times they spoke these words as they bowed their heads down to the floor.
Then the Buddha told Universal Eye Bodhisattva and the other Bodhisattvas in the assembly: “Buddha-Sons, you all should bow to Samantabhadra and earnestly beseech him. You should also intently observe in the ten directions, visualize Samantabhadra appearing before you, and think that he is everywhere in the dharma realm. With profound faith and understanding, you should discard everything and resolve to make the same action vows as Samantabhadra’s: To enter into the truth that dharmas are non-dual [free from dichotomy, such as subject and object], to manifest bodies in all worlds, to know sentient beings’ diverse capacities, and to collect the universally worthy ways everywhere. If you make such a great vow, you will come to see Samantabhadra Bodhisattva.”
Following the Buddha’s words, Universal Eye and the other Bodhisattvas all made prostrations, beseeching to see the great one, Samantabhadra.
Then Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, using the transcendental power of liberation, responded by revealing his body. He enabled all Bodhisattvas there to see that he was near the Tathāgata and was seated on a lotus flower amid the Bodhisattvas. They also saw him coming from where all Buddhas were in other worlds. They also saw him, in places where all Buddhas were, expound all Bodhisattva actions, indicate the path of [sarvajña-jñāna] the knowledge of all wisdom-knowledge, explain all Bodhisattva transcendental powers, differentiate the awesome virtues of all Bodhisattvas, and manifest as all past, present, and future Buddhas.
Upon seeing these spiritual displays, Universal Eye Bodhisattva and the other Bodhisattvas felt exuberance and great joy in their hearts. They all bowed down to Samantabhadra Bodhisattva with great respect, as if seeing all Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions.
Then, through the awesome spiritual power of the Buddha, the power of faith and understanding of the Bodhisattvas, and the power of the original vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, from 10,000 kinds of clouds, the sky rained down flowers, chaplets, incense, powdered incense, canopies, garments, ornaments, jewels, burning incense, and colorful fabrics. Countless worlds quaked in six different ways. Celestial music played and was heard in countless distant worlds. Vast radiance illuminated countless worlds, purifying them all, ending the three evil life-journeys, and enabling innumerable Bodhisattvas to begin their universally worthy actions, to complete their universally worthy actions, and to fulfill their universally worthy action vows and attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.
Then Universal Eye Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is one who abides in great awesome virtues, in being unequaled, in being unexcelled, in having [avinivartanīya] no regress, in the equality [of dharmas], in indestructibility, in differentiated dharmas, in undifferentiated dharmas, in the realm of all sentient beings’ skillful minds, and in the Samādhi of the Innate Liberation of All Dharmas.”
The Buddha said, “Indeed, indeed! Universal Eye, as you say, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva has an asaṁkhyeya pure virtues, such as unequaled majestic virtues, immeasurable precious virtues, inconceivable ocean-like virtues, immeasurable appearances of virtues, boundless cloud-like virtues, limitless praiseworthy virtues, endless dharma virtues, ineffable virtues, all Buddha virtues, and virtues whose praises cannot end.”
Then the Tathāgata told Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, “Samantabhadra, you should expound the ten great samādhis to Universal Eye and the other Bodhisattvas in the assembly, enabling them to enter them and fulfill all their universally worthy action vows. A description of these ten great samādhis by Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas enabled past Bodhisattvas to transcend the world, enable present Bodhisattvas to transcend the world, and will enable future Bodhisattvas to transcend the world. What are these ten great samādhis? They are (1) Samādhi of Universal Radiance, (2) Samādhi of Wondrous Radiance, (3) Samādhi of the Transcendental Power to Go to All Buddha Lands, (4) Samādhi of Pure and Profound Mental Abilities, (5) Samādhi of the Knowledge of the Store of Past Adornments, (6) Samādhi of the Store of Wisdom Light, (7) Samādhi of the Knowledge of Buddha Adornments in All Worlds, (8) Samādhi of Sentient Beings’ Diverse Bodies, (9) Samādhi of Command in the Dharma Realm, and (10) Samādhi of the Hindrance-Free Wheel.
“Only great Bodhisattvas can excel in entering these ten great samādhis. Past, present, and future Buddhas pronounced, do pronounce, and will pronounce them. A Bodhisattva who appreciates and values them, and practices them without indolence, will attain them. Such a one is called Buddha, Tathāgata, one who has acquired the Ten Powers, guiding teacher, great guiding teacher, all-seeing one, one with [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge, with command of all dharmas, and without hindrance, and one who knows all things.
“Such a Bodhisattva enters all worlds but has no attachment to any world. He enters the realm of all sentient beings but takes nothing from them. He enters all bodies hindrance free. He enters all dharma realms and knows that each has no bounds. He stays close to all past, present, and future Buddhas, and clearly sees Their Dharma. He uses all words skillfully and knows all false names. He completes the pure Bodhisattva Way and takes all Bodhisattva actions. In one thought he acquires all past, present, and future wisdom-knowledge [jñāna]. He knows all past, present, and future dharmas. He widely expounds all Buddhas’ teachings and turns the no-regress Dharma wheel. In each of his past, present, and future lives, he walks all bodhi paths. On every bodhi path, he fully understands all Buddhas’ words.
“[These ten great samādhis] are the Bodhisattva door of penetrating dharma appearances, the Bodhisattva door of wisdom and enlightenment, the unexcelled door of [sarvajña-jñāna] the knowledge of all wisdom-knowledge, the door of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s action vows, the wish-fulfilling door of keen transcendental powers, the door of eloquence and total retention [of the Dharma], the door of differentiating past, present, and future dharmas, the door of all Buddhas’ appearances in worlds, the door of establishing all sentient beings in sarvajña, the door of purifying all worlds by a Buddha’s spiritual power.
“If a Bodhisattva enters these samādhis, he acquires the endless power of the dharma realm and walks across the open sky hindrance free. He acquires with immeasurable ease the position of a Dharma king, like being enthroned in the world through a ceremony with water poured on his head. He acquires boundless wisdom-knowledge of all things, and great power in ten fulfilling ways. He acquires the mind of no contention and enters quietness [nirvāṇa]. He has great compassion and is fearless like a lion. He becomes a man of wisdom and kindles the bright lamp of the true Dharma. No one can finish praising his virtues, which are beyond the imagination of voice-hearers and Pratyekabuddhas.
“He acquires the wisdom-knowledge of the dharma realm and, as he abides in quietness, he expounds the Dharma, following the ways of the world. He abides in [the truth that dharmas have] no appearance and excels in differentiating their appearances. He acquires the pure store of his true nature [the Tathāgata store] and is born into the Tathāgata family. He opens various doors to differentiating dharmas, using the wisdom that [in true reality] they are no different. He knows the right timing to give the Dharma as alms to enlighten all. He is called a wise one who excels in drawing in sentient beings to make them pure. Using applied wisdom-knowledge, he manifests attainment of Buddhahood but continues to train endlessly on the Bodhisattva Way. He abides in the overall wisdom-knowledge and uses skillful means to display various great transcendental powers. Therefore, Samantabhadra, you should expound in detail the ten great samādhis of all Bodhisattvas. All in this assembly wish to hear you.”
Then Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, at the Tathāgata’s command, looked upon Universal Eye and the other Bodhisattvas, and said, “Buddha-Son, what is a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s Samādhi of Universal Radiance? A Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi has endless wisdom-knowledge of ten dharmas. What are these ten? They are (1) endless wisdom-knowledge of the appearances of Buddhas, (2) endless wisdom-knowledge of the changes of sentient beings, (3) endless wisdom-knowledge that the world is illusory like a reflection, (4) endless wisdom-knowledge to enter deep into the dharma realm, (5) endless wisdom-knowledge to assist Bodhisattvas, (6) endless wisdom-knowledge to enable Bodhisattvas not to regress, (7) endless wisdom-knowledge to observe the meanings of all dharmas, (8) endless wisdom-knowledge to sustain his mental power, (9) endless wisdom-knowledge to abide in the vast bodhi mind, and (10) endless wisdom-knowledge to use the power of his vows to abide in the entire Buddha Dharma and the overall wisdom-knowledge. Buddha-Son, these are called a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s [endless wisdom-knowledge of] ten dharmas.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva activates ten boundless minds. What are these ten? They are (1) the boundless mind to deliver all sentient beings, (2) the boundless mind to attend all Buddhas and make offerings to Them, (3) the boundless mind to see all Buddhas everywhere, (4) the boundless mind to receive and retain the entire Buddha Dharma and never to forget any of it, (5) the boundless mind to display the immeasurable spiritual powers of all Buddhas, (6) the boundless mind to acquire a Buddha’s power and never to abandon the training for bodhi, (7) the boundless mind to enter the realm of the overall wisdom-knowledge and expound the entire Buddha Dharma, (8) the boundless mind to enter a Buddha’s inconceivable and vast state, (9) the boundless mind to aspire to a Buddha’s eloquence and accept the Buddha Dharma, and (10) the boundless mind to manifest various bodies with ease and enter the assemblies in all Tathāgatas’ bodhimaṇḍas. These are the ten.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva has the wisdom-knowledge to enter this samādhi in ten different ways. What are these ten? They are (1) entering it in the east and exiting it in the west, (2) entering it in the west and exiting it in the east, (3) entering it in the south and exiting it in the north, (4) entering it in the north and exiting it in the south, (5) entering it in the northeast and exiting it in the southwest, (6) entering it in the southwest and exiting it in the northeast, (7) entering it in the northwest and exiting it in the southeast, (8) entering it in the southeast and exiting it in the northwest, (9) entering it below and exiting it above, and (10) entering it above and existing it below. These are the ten.
“Buddha-Son, this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva has ten kinds of useful wisdom-knowledge to enter this great samādhi. What are these ten? First, he uses a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World as a lotus flower. Second, he manifests a body seated cross-legged on the entire lotus flower. Third, he manifests inside this body a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Fourth, this World contains 100 koṭi small worlds, each comprising four continents. Fifth, in each small world, he manifests 100 koṭi bodies. Sixth, each body enters hundreds of koṭis of Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold Worlds. Seventh, in each small world contained in those Worlds, he manifests hundreds of koṭis of Bodhisattvas training for bodhi. Eighth, through training, each Bodhisattva acquires hundreds of koṭis of clear understandings. Ninth, each understanding fulfills hundreds of koṭis of his capacities. Tenth, each of his capacities does hundreds of koṭis of Bodhisattva karmas that never regress. All manifested bodies are neither one nor many, and enter and exit this samādhi without any confusion.
“Buddha-Son, for example, the asura-king Rahula has a body 700 yojanas tall and can manifest a body 168,000 yojanas tall. Rising above the ocean, the top half of this body is as tall as Mount Sumeru. Buddha-Son, when that asura-king manifests a 168,000-yojana-tall body, it does not destroy his original body. The components of his original body, such as the five aggregates, the twelve fields, and the eighteen spheres, remain the same. His mind is not confused. He does not think that his manifested body is someone else, nor does he think that his original body is no longer himself. As the body he is born with continues to enjoy pleasures, his manifested body continues to display various transcendental powers with ease.
“Buddha-Son, an asura-king has greed, anger, and delusion, as well as arrogance. However, even he can manifest bodies, not to mention a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who has a deep understanding that mental activities are like illusions, all things in the world are like dreams, the appearances of Buddhas in worlds are like reflections, all worlds are like manifestations, and spoken words and other sounds are like echoes. When he sees seemingly real dharmas, he uses them as his body. He knows that all dharmas are inherently pure, and that body and mind have no substance. As his body everywhere abides in an immeasurable state, he uses the vast radiance of Buddha wisdom to do all trainings for bodhi.
“Buddha-Son, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi transcends the world and has no attachment to it. Nothing can disturb him and no one can surpass him. For example, as a bhikṣu visualizes the impurities inside his body, he sees his body filled with impurities. Likewise, as a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva abiding in this samādhi observes his dharma body, he sees all worlds entering his body. Although he clearly sees in his body all worlds and their adornments, he has no attachment to them. Buddha-Son, this is a description of a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s first great samādhi, the Samādhi of Universal Radiance, and his useful wisdom-knowledge.
“Buddha-Son, what is a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s Samādhi of Wondrous Radiance? A Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this samādhi can enter worlds as numerous as the dust particles in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. In each world, he manifests bodies as numerous as the dust particles in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Each body emits beams of light as numerous as the dust particles in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Each beam displays colors as numerous as the dust particles in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. Each color illuminates worlds as numerous as the dust particles in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World and tames sentient beings as numerous as the dust particles in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World. This Bodhisattva knows all these worlds and their differences, such as impurities, purities, causes, formations, continuations, radiant colors, and comings and goings. As this Bodhisattva enters all these worlds, likewise they enter his body. Yet they do not become chaotic, and their various adornments are not destroyed.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, the sun rises, revolves around Mount Sumeru, and shines on the seven treasure mountain ranges, which encircle Mount Sumeru. The sun shines on these seven treasure mountain ranges and casts its reflection in each ocean between every two mountains. As the sun shining on the seven treasure mountain ranges casts its reflections in the seven oceans, these reflections shine on the seven treasure mountain ranges. One can say that the sun rises at the seven treasure mountain ranges or the seven oceans. One can also say that the sun enters the seven treasure mountain ranges or the seven oceans. However, there are no boundaries between the sun’s appearances and its reflections. They have neither substance nor no substance. They neither abide in the mountain ranges nor are apart from them; they neither abide in the water nor are apart from it.
“Buddha-Son, likewise a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this great Samādhi of Wondrous Radiance destroys neither the established worldly dharmas nor their appearances. He abides neither inside nor outside the world. He neither differentiates nor destroys the appearances of worldly dharmas. He observes that all dharmas abide in the one appearance of no appearance but do not lose their own appearances. He abides in true suchness of dharma nature, never leaving it.
“Buddha-Son, as an analogy, a magician versed in the art of illusion performs tricks at crossroads. He changes the present day or moment into a day or a night, seven days or seven nights, a half month or a whole month, a year or a hundred years. He can conjure up things at will, such as cities, villages, springs, streams, rivers, seas, the sun, the moon, clouds, rains, palaces, and houses. The long duration of the conjured years does not destroy the actual day or moment, and the short duration of the actual day or moment does not preclude the conjured days, months, or years. As the conjurations appear, the actual time scale is not destroyed.
“Likewise, a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who abides in this great Samādhi of Wondrous Radiance manifests an asaṁkhyeya worlds that enter one world. Each of these worlds has earth, water, fire, and wind [the four domains], and is complete with various adornments, such as oceans, mountains, cities, villages, gardens, houses, and palaces of gods, dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṁnaras, and mahoragas. Each world comprises the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm [the Three Realms of Existence], as well as the small thousandfold world and the large thousandfold world. Sentient beings receive requitals for their karmas, as they die in one place and are reborn in another place. Each world has its time scales, such as a moment, a day and a night, a half month, a whole month, a year, a hundred years, the formation kalpa, and the destruction kalpa. Each world can be an impure land, a pure land, a vast land, or a small land. Buddhas appear in pure Buddha Lands and are surrounded by Bodhisattvas in their assemblies. Buddhas display commanding spiritual powers, and teach and transform sentient beings. Wherever a world is, it is filled with innumerable sentient beings in diverse shapes, making different life-journeys. These sentient beings are innumerable, countless, and inconceivable. Through the power of their past, present, and future pure karmas, immeasurable treasures appear. This Bodhisattva manifests all such things. When he enters one world, he sees all things clearly. When he enters all worlds, using his endless wisdom-knowledge he observes, ponders, and knows all things as they truly are. The multiplicity of worlds does not destroy a single world, and the singularity of a world does not destroy multiple worlds.
“Why? Because this Bodhisattva knows that every dharma has no self, he is called one who enters no lifespan and no action. Because he trains in having no contention in the world, he is called one who abides in having no self. Because he truly sees that all bodies arise from conditions, he is called one who abides in being no sentient being. Because he knows that all dharmas undergoing birth and death arise through causes and conditions, he is called one who abides in being no pudgala [an individual that transmigrates]. Because he knows that all dharmas are equal [in their emptiness], he is called one who abides in having no intention to be reborn and abides in having no mānava [supreme self]. Because he knows that all dharmas are quiet by nature, he is called one who abides in nirvāṇa. Because he knows that all dharmas have the one appearance [of no appearance], he is called one who abides in making no differentiations. Because he knows that the dharma realm has no differentiated dharmas, he is called one who abides in inconceivable dharmas. Because he diligently trains to acquire all skillful means to tame sentient beings, he is called one who abides in great compassion.
“Buddha-Son, thus this Bodhisattva can put an asaṁkhyeya worlds into one world, know the various differences among sentient beings, see innumerable Bodhisattvas each setting off on the Way, observe that innumerable Buddhas appear everywhere, see that each Tathāgata expounds the Dharma, which is accepted by Bodhisattvas, and see himself training amid them. However, he does not leave this place to see that place, nor does he leave that place to see this place. There is no difference between his body there and his body here, because both are in the dharma realm. He diligently makes observations without rest and never abandons his wisdom, which never regresses.
“As an analogy, when a magician performs tricks in an actual place, his conjured place does not destroy the actual place, and his conjured day does not destroy the actual day. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva manifests a world where there is no world, and manifests the disappearance of an existing world. He manifests sentient beings where there is no sentient being, and manifests the disappearance of existing sentient beings. He manifests forms where there is no form, and manifests the disappearance of existing forms. How things were before does not disrupt how they appear later; how things appear later does not disrupt how things were before.
“This Bodhisattva knows that all worldly dharmas are like illusions. Knowing that dharmas are illusory, he knows that knowledge is illusory. Knowing that knowledge is illusory, he knows that karmas are illusory. Knowing that knowledge and karmas are illusory, he acquires the wisdom-knowledge of illusion. An illusion is not displayed outside a place, and a place is not outside an illusion. Likewise a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva does not enter a world from outside the open sky, nor does he enter the open sky from outside a world. Why? Because there is no difference between the world and the open sky. As he abides in the world, so too he abides in the open sky. A Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva in the open sky can see and do diverse magnificent karmas in the world. In one thought he can know countless worlds in formation or destruction, as well as the succession of kalpas. In one thought he can manifest countless kalpas without lengthening that thought.
“A Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who acquires the wisdom-knowledge of inconceivable liberation from illusions arrives at the opposite shore. Abiding in the understanding of illusion, he enters worldly illusions and ponders that all dharmas are illusory. Not going against the illusory world, he applies his wisdom-knowledge of illusion. He knows that past, present, and future are but illusions, and that the mind is boundless. As Tathāgatas abide in the wisdom-knowledge of illusion with Their minds in equability, likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva knows that all worldly things are illusory. With no fixation on having a self and its belongings, he has no attachment to any place. When a magician performs tricks, he does not live with his conjurations, nor is he captivated by them. Likewise this Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva knows that all dharmas are already on the opposite shore. He does not need to calculate in order to enter dharmas, nor does he become confused by them. This is a description of a Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva’s second great samādhi, the Samādhi of Wondrous Radiance, and his useful wisdom-knowledge.”
1. The Universal Radiance Hall, also called Universal Radiance Dharma Hall, is near the bodhimaṇḍa where the Buddha attained perfect enlightenment, after which He gave teachings in nine assemblies. The second, seventh, and eighth assemblies were convened in this hall. His teachings contained in chapters 27–37 of the 80-fascicle Chinese version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (T10n0279) were given in the seventh assembly. (Return to text)
2. Though defined as a nanosecond in the glossary, a kṣaṇa here means an instant that encompasses and is beyond past, present, and future. (Return to text)
3. Here, śamatha implies samādhi, attained through practicing śamatha. (Return to text)
4. Vairocana is the name of the dharmakāya or saṁbhogakāya of a Buddha. See Vairocana and “three bodies of a Buddha” in the glossary. (Return to text)
5. Samantabhadra means universally worthy. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva exemplifies a Bodhisattva’s universally worthy vows and actions that arise from wisdom, and sets an example of fulfilling all universally worthy vows by taking universally worthy actions. (Return to text)
6. The often-cited universally worthy action vow taught by Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is contained in the 40-fascicle Chinese version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (T10n0293), fascicle 40. It comprises ten vowed actions (Rulu 2012b, 107). (Return to text)
7. Bodhisattvas on the first through tenth grounds take universally worthy actions to benefit themselves and others. However, Bodhisattvas on the eleventh ground take these actions mainly to benefit others. Those on the tenth ground cannot see Samantabhadra Bodhisattva because they are not yet on the eleventh ground. (Return to text)
8. The Sanskrit name of this samādhi is “siṁha-vijṛmbhita-samādhi,” where “siṁha” means lion, and “vijṛmbhita” means yawning or coming out. Samantabhadra’s actions to benefit all sentient beings are fearless and forceful, like a lion’s thrust. (Return to text)
9. A Buddha’s Ten Powers are produced by taking universally worthy actions while a Bodhisattva. (Return to text)
10. See “no action” and “no wish” defined in the glossary’s Three Liberation Doors. (Return to text)
11. See “applied wisdom-knowledge” defined in the glossary’s “two kinds of wisdom-knowledge.” (Return to text)
12. See “dharma body” defined in the glossary’s “three bodies of a Buddha.” (Return to text)
13. Mount Sumeru is encircled by seven mountain ranges made of treasures, such as gold. They are also called the seven gold mountain ranges, whose names vary in different sūtras. Including Mount Sumeru in the center, these eight mountains are separated by seven oceans, one between every two mountains. An eighth ocean separates the seventh mountain range from the iron mountain range (Cakravāḍa-parvata), the outer most mountain range. In fascicle 39 of the 80-fascicle Chinese version of the Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment (T10n0279), ten mountains are given (Rulu 2013, 237). (Return to text)
14. The open sky symbolizes the emptiness of all dharmas. (Return to text)
15. The opposite shore is that shore of nirvāṇa, opposite this shore of saṁsāra. (Return to text)