THE AVATAMSAKA SUTRA, ”THE TEN GROUNDS,” CHAPTER 26

Commentary by the Venerable Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
Translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society 

      AT THAT TIME, ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS ALL EXTENDED THEIR RIGHT HANDS, AND RUBBED STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA ON THE CROWN. AFTER THEY HAD RUBBED HIS CROWN, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA AROSE FROM SAMADHI, AND UNIVERSALLY TOLD ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF BODHISATTVAS, "DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, ALL BODHISATTVAS' VOWS ARE WELL-DECIDED. THEY ARE UNADULTERATED, IMPERCEPTIBLE, VAST AND GREAT LIKE THE DHARMA REALM, REACHING THE ULTIMATE LIMITS OF EMPTY SPACE, EXHAUSTING THE BOUNDARIES, OF THE FUTURE. THEY PERVADE ALL BUDDHALANDS, AND RESCUE AND PROTECT ALL LIVING BEINGS. THEY ARE PROTECTED BY ALL BUDDHAS. THEY ENTER THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM OF ALL BUDDHAS OF THE PAST, THE FUTURE AND THE PRESENT.

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM OF THE BODHISATTVAS, MAHASATTVAS? DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM OF THE BODHISATTVAS, MAHASATTVAS, ARE OF TEN KINDS, WHICH ALL BUDDHAS OF THE PAST, THE FUTURE AND THE' PRESENT. HAVE SPOKEN, WILL SPEAK AND ARE SPEAKING. I ALSO SPEAK THEM THUS.

Commentary:

AT THAT TIME, after the Buddhas of the ten directions had praised Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, it was then that ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS, the Buddhas from above, below. East, West, South and North—the six directions—with the addition of the four intermediate points making ten directions ALL EXTENDED THEIR RIGHT HANDS, each Buddha extending his right hand, AND RUBBED STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA ON THE CROWN. They rubbed the crown of the great Bodhisattva Store of Vajra. AFTER THEY HAD RUBBED HIS CROWN, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA AROSE FROM SAMADHI. After he had been rubbed on the crown. Store of Vajra Bodhisattva came out of samadhi, AND UNIVERSALLY TOLD ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF BODHISATTVAS, saying to all the Bodhisattvas everywhere, "DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA." He addressed them as disciples of the Buddha and said, "ALL BODHISATTVAS' VOWS ARE WELL-DECIDED." He told them that all the great vows made by all Bodhisattvas are decisive, and that. THEY ARE UNADULTERATED, they have no admixture, and are IMPERCEPTIBLE. The vows made by Bodhisattvas cannot be seen. If you try to look at them, you cannot see them, and yet they are VAST AND GREAT LIKE THE DHARMA REALM. Their great Dharma is as great as the Dharma Realm, REACHING TO THE ULTIMATE LIMITS OF EMPTY SPACE. At their ultimate point they are like empty space: you cannot find their limits, EXHAUSTING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FUTURE, to the ends of future bounds. THEY PERVADE ALL BUDDHALANDS, the countries of all Buddhas, AND RESCUE AND PROTECT ALL LIVING BEINGS, having the ability to save all beings. THEY ARE PROTECTED BY ALL BUDDHAS. All the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time constantly protect and recollect them. THEY ENTER THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM OF ALL BUDDHAS OF THE PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT. They certify to the grounds of wisdom of all Buddhas of the past, the future and the present.

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, all of you Buddhist disciples, WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM OF THE BODHISATTVAS, MAHASATTVAS? What are the grounds of wisdom of all the great Bodhisattvas among Bodhisattvas, who cultivate and accumulate various kinds of good roots, and the grounds of wisdom of all the Buddhas? What are they? DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM OF THE BODHISATTVAS, MAHASATTVAS, ARE OF TEN KINDS. The grounds of wisdom of the great Bodhisattvas who cultivate the conduct of Bodhisattvas and accumulate all kinds of good roots, if described in detail, are ten in number. If spoken in even further detail, there are limitless and boundlessly many kinds, WHICH ALL BUDDHAS OF THE PAST, THE FUTURE AND THE PRESENT HAVE SPOKEN, WILL SPEAK AND ARE SPEAKING. The Buddhas of the past, the future and the present have spoken, will in the future speak, and right now are speaking them. I ALSO SPEAK THEM THUS. I, too, just like the Buddhas of the past, the future and the present, will speak the ten kinds of grounds of wisdom of the Bodhisattvas."

SUTRA:

WHAT ARE THE TEN? ONE, THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS; TWO, THE GROUND OF LEAVING FILTH; THREE, THE GROUND OF EMITTING LIGHT; FOUR, THE GROUND OF BLAZING WISDOM; FIVE, THE GROUND OF DIFFICULT CONQUEST; SIX, THE GROUND OF MANIFESTATION; SEVEN, THE GROUND OF TRAVELLING FAR; EIGHT, THE GROUND OF IMMOVABILITY; NINE, THE GROUND OF GOOD WISDOM; TEN, THE GROUND OF THE DHARMA CLOUD.

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, THESE TEN GROUNDS HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED, WILL BE EXPLAINED AND ARE BEING EXPLAINED BY ALL BUDDHAS OF THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME. DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, I HAVE NOT SEEN THUS COME ONES IN ALL THE BUDDHALANDS WHO DO NOT ALL SPEAK THESE TEN GROUNDS. AND WHY? THEY ARE THE BODHISATTVAS, MAHASATTVAS', MOST SUPERIOR PATH TO BODHI. THEY ARE ALSO DOORS OF PURE DHARMA LIGHT, NAMELY THE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' GROUNDS. DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, THIS PLACE IS INCONCEIVABLE, NAMELY THE WISDOM ACCORDINGLY CERTIFIED TO BY BODHISATTVAS.

AT THAT TIME, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, AFTER HE HAD FINISHED SPEAKING THE NAMES OF THE TEN GROUNDS, REMAINED SILENT AND DID NOT FURTHER DISTINGUISH THEM. THEREUPON ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF BODHISATTVAS, UPON HEARING THE NAMES OF THE BODHISATTVAS' TEN GROUNDS, BUT NOT HEARING THEIR EXPLANATION, ALL LOOKED UP IN THIRST AND HAD THIS THOUGHT, "WHAT IS THE CAUSE, AND WHAT IS THE REASON, THAT STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA ONLY SPEAKS THE NAMES OF THE BODHISATTVAS' TEN GROUNDS, AND DOES NOT EXPLAIN THEM?" MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, KNOWING WHAT WAS BEING THOUGHT IN THE MINDS OF ALL THE GREAT ASSEMBLY, USED VERSES TO QUESTION STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, SAYING:

WHY IS IT THAT THE PURE ENLIGHTENED PERSON,

REPLETE WITH MINDFULNESS, WISDOM AND VIRTUE,

SPEAKS OF THE SUPERIOR, WONDROUS GROUNDS, YET

WITH POWER TO DO SO STILL DOES NOT EXPLAIN THEM?

Commentary:

      WHAT ARE THE TEN? What are the ten grounds called? Their names are as follows: ONE, THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS. Upon arriving at this ground, one is very happy. TWO, THE GROUND OF LEAVING FILTH. At the Second Ground, the name of which is Leaving Filth, all filth of false thinking is cut off, that is, all view delusions, thought delusions and delusions like dust and sand.  THREE, THE GROUND OF EMITTING LIGHT. The Third Ground is called that of Emitting Light because one eliminates all the dust fatigue of false thinking, and the light of one's own original wisdom manifests. FOUR, THE GROUND OF BLAZING WISDOM. At the Fourth Ground, no only does one emit light, but one even blazes with the flaming light of wisdom. FIVE, THE GROUND OF DIFFICULT CONQUEST. It is hard to cultivate to this position. It is not at all easy to attain to the Ground of Difficult Conquest. SIX, THE GROUND OF MANIFESTATION. At this Ground, all wisdom manifests. SEVEN, THE GROUND OF TRAVELLING FAR. At the Seventh Ground, one can fly and do transformations. EIGHT, THE GROUND OF IMMOVABILITY. At the Eighth Ground, without moving from the Bodhimanda, one travels pervasively throughout the ten directions. NINE, THE GROUND OF GOOD WISDOM. Upon arriving at this Ground, one has the best of wisdoms. TEN, THE GROUND OF THE DHARMA CLOUD. The Dharma cloud universally shades all living beings.

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA—Store of Vajra again calls out, "All you disciples of the Buddha, THESE TEN GROUNDS HAVE BEEN EXPLAINED, WILL BE EXPLAINED AND ARE BEING EXPLAINED BY ALL BUDDHAS OF THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME." He said to them that the names of the Bodhisattvas' Ten Grounds had already been spoken by the Buddhas of the ten directions of the past, will be spoken by all future Buddhas, and are now being spoken by the Buddhas of the present. DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, I HAVE NOT SEEN THUS COME ONES IN ALL THE BUDDHALANDS WHO DO NOT ALL SPEAK THESE TEN GROUNDS. He said, "I have never seen any Buddha in all the Buddhalands, any Thus Come One, who fails to speak the doctrines of the Ten Grounds. They all speak them. AND WHY? THEY ARE THE BODHISATTVAS', MAHASATTVAS', MOST SUPERIOR PATH TO BODHI. These Dharma doors are, for the great Bodhisattvas among Bodhisattvas, the most superior path for cultivating for Bodhi. THEY ARE ALSO DOORS OF PURE DHARMA LIGHT. The Ten Grounds are also the Dharma doors of the light of pure Dharma wisdom, NAMELY THE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF ALL BODHISATTVAS GROUNDS. That is, the detailed explanation of the grounds of wisdom of all Bodhisattvas. DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, all you, the Buddha's disciples, THIS PLACE IS INCONCEIVABLE, these doctrines of the Ten Grounds are inconceivable, NAMELY THE WISDOM ACCORDINGLY CERTIFIED TO BY BODHISATTVAS. All Bodhisattvas accordingly cultivate and certify to this wisdom.

AT THAT TIME, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, then the Bodhisattva Store of Vajra, AFTER HE HAD FINISHED SPEAKING THE NAMES OF THE TEN GROUNDS, after giving the names of the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds, REMAINED SILENT AND DID NOT FURTHER DISTINGUISH THEM. He did not open his mouth. He remained silent, said nothing, and did not explain the Ten Grounds any further. THEREUPON ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF BODHISATTVAS, all the great Bodhisattvas who had come there from the ten directions, UPON HEARING THE NAMES OF THE BODHISATTVAS' TEN GROUNDS, after they had heard the names of the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds, BUT NOT HEARING THEIR EXPLANATION, when they did not hear Store of Vajra. Bodhisattvas give any deeper explanation of their principles, ALL LOOKED UP IN THIRST. They looked up as if they were thirsty to drink water, turning up their heads and waiting for Store of Vajra Bodhisattva to explain, AND HAD THIS THOUGHT. They all had the same thought, "WHAT IS THE CAUSE, AND WHAT IS THE REASON, for what causes and conditions, is it THAT STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA ONLY SPEAKS THE NAMES OF THE BODHISATTVAS' TEN GROUNDS, AND DOES NOT EXPLAIN THEM?" Why was he only speaking the names of the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds, with no commentary or explanation? MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, KNOWING WHAT WAS BEING THOUGHT IN THE MINDS OF ALL THE GREAT ASSEMBLY, since he knew what thoughts all the Bodhisattvas were thinking in their minds, USED VERSES TO QUESTION STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA. He used verses to ask the Bodhisattva Store of Vajra, SAYING: "WHY IS IT THAT THE PURE ENLIGHTENED PERSON, why do you, a Bodhisattva of pure Enlightenment, REPLETE WITH MINDFULNESS, WISDOM AND VIRTUE, who has perfected pure mindfulness, wisdom light and all meritorious qualities, who SPEAKS OF THE SUPERIOR, WONDROUS GROUNDS--you give the names of the Ten Grounds—YET WITH POWER TO DO SO STILL DOES NOT EXPLAIN THEM. Why is it that even though you have the power to explain them in detail, you do not do so for all of us?"

SUTRA:

ALL HAVE DECISIVENESS AND JUDGEMENT,

COURAGEOUS THEY ALL ARE, AND NOT WEAK-WILLED;

WHY DO YOU ONLY NAME THE GROUNDS,

WITHOUT GOING ON THEN TO DISCUSS THEM?

THE WONDERFUL DOCTRINES OF THE GROUNDS

ALL THOSE ASSEMBLED WISH TO HEAR;

THEIR MINDS ARE NOT THE MINDS OF COWARDS,

THEY WISH YOU TO SPEAK THEM IN DETAIL.

THE MULTITUDES ASSEMBLED ARE ALL PURE,

DEVOID OF LAXNESS, STERN THEY ARE AND CLEAR,

ABLE TO BE SOLID AND UNMOVING,

WITH MERIT, VIRTUE, WISDOM ALL ENDOWED.

MUTUALLY THEY LOOK TO YOU IN REVERENCE,

ALL OF THEM INTENT WITH UPWARD GAZE,

LIKE BEES THAT ARE MINDFUL OF THEIR HONEY,

LIKE THIRSTY PEOPLE THINKING OF SWEET DEW.

Commentary:

Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva went on to say to Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, "ALL HAVE DECISIVENESS AND JUDGEMENT, all the Bodhisattvas have the wisdom to under stand right and wrong, have decisive wisdom. COURAGEOUS THEY ALL ARE, AND NOT WEAK-WILLED. They all cultivate the Bodhisattva Way with courageous vigor, and are not afraid of anything. WHY DO YOU ONLY NAME THE GROUNDS? Why did you just speak the names of the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds, WITHOUT GOING ON THEN TO DISCUSS THEM? Why did you not explain them for everyone, expounding them to make them clear?

THE WONDERFUL DOCTRINES OF THE GROUNDS—each of the Grounds is sure to have very inconceivable and subtle doctrines—ALL THOSE ASSEMBLED WISH TO HEAR. Right now all of the multitudes in the Dharma Assembly wish to hear those doctrines. THEIR MINDS ARE NOT THE MINDS OF COWARDS. The hearts of all the great Bodhisattvas have no fear whatsoever. THEY WISH YOU TO SPEAK THEM IN DETAIL. If you would just speak this Dharma, they would all like to hear it.

THE MULTITUDES ASSEMBLED ARE ALL PURE. All of the great Bodhisattvas who are present right now in the assembly of the Bodhimanda are pure. DEVOID OF LAXNESS, STERN THEY ARE AND CLEAR. They are not at all lazy, but all of them are courageously vigorous, stern, strict and pure; and they are ABLE TO BE SOLID AND UNMOVING. Their great resolve for Bodhi is solid and unmoving, and they are WITH MERIT, VIRTUE, WISDOM ALL ENDOWED. They also all have great merit and virtue, and great wisdom.

MUTUALLY THEY LOOK TO YOU IN REVERENCE. They are all now mutually looking towards you, and are waiting with much respect for you, oh Bodhisattva, to speak to them, ALL OF THEM INTENT WITH UPWARD GAZE. All the great Bodhisattvas are gazing towards you single-minded, thirsty for the explanation, LIKE BEES THAT ARE MINDFUL OF THEIR HONEY. What are they like? They are like bees waiting for their honey to be ready, that sincere, and LIKE THIRSTY PEOPLE THINKING OF SWEET DEW. They are all like thirsty people who wish to drink the water of sweet dew. They are waiting just that sincerely in single-minded, anxious anticipation.

SUTRA:

AT THAT TIME, THE GREATLY WISE AND FEARLESS BODHISATTVA STORE OF VAJRA, HAVING HEARD WHAT WAS SAID, AND WISHING TO MAKE THE ASSEMBLED MULTITUDES HAPPY, FOR ALL DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA USED VERSES AND SAID:

Commentary:

AT THAT TIME, right then, THE GREATLY WISE/If you have great wisdom then, no matter what happens, you have no problems. People who lack wisdom, however, have problems no matter what happens. AND FEARLESS/To be fearless means to have nothing which one fears. You should not be afraid of people, but you also must not go around bullying people. Fearing and bullying people amount to the same thing. To be fearless does not mean to beat up on people or to argue with them. It is just that, as a result of being yourself in the possession of great wisdom, there is nothing that you fear. BODHISATTVA STORE OF VAJRA/Who was it who was greatly wise and fearless? It was Store of Vajra Bodhisattva who, HAVING HEARD WHAT WAS SAID, after he had heard those verses Spoken, AND WISHING TO MAKE THE ASSEMBLED MULTITUDES HAPPY, with the desire to cause the great multitudes in the Dharma Assembly all to be happy, FOR ALL DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, for all the great Bodhisattvas, USED VERSES AND SAID, spoke in verse for all the Bodhisattvas.

SUTRA:

THE DEEDS OF BODHISATTVAS’ GROUNDS OF PRACTICE,

ARE SOURCES MOST SUPREME OF BUDDHAS ALL;

CLEAR DISCUSSION OF THEM IN DETAIL

IS FOREMOST, RARE AND HARD TO COME UPON.

THEIR SUBTLETIES ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE,

THEY LEAVE THOUGHT AND TRANSCEND THE GROUND OF MIND;

THE STATES AND REALMS OF BUDDHAS THAT APPEAR,

CAUSE THOSE WHO HEAR TO BE CONFUSED AND DOUBT.

Commentary:

THE DEEDS OF BODHISATTVAS' GROUNDS OF PRACTICE/Bodhisattva Store of Vajra said that the times when a Bodhisattva is cultivating the causal ground, by which he also meant the events on the Ten Bodhisattva Grounds, ARE SOURCES MOST SUPREME OF BUDDHAS ALL. There is nothing higher then they are, and they are the basic Dharma doors for accomplishing Buddhahood. CLEAR DISCUSSION OF THEM IN DETAIL, for them to be very clearly explained in great detail, IS FOREMOST, RARE AND HARD TO COME UPON. That is something which is foremost, most rare and most difficult to encounter, hard to meet.

THEIR SUBTLETIES ARE DIFFICULT TO SEE. The practices of Bodhisattvas have very subtle, fine points which are not easy to understand or to see.   THEY LEAVE THOUGHT AND TRANSCEND THE GROUND OF MIND. These kinds of Dharma doors are such that the path of language is cut off, and the place of the mind's workings is extinguished, which is why they are said to leave thought- and transcend the ground, of mind. They go beyond all reflection and deliberation. THE STATES AND REALMS OF BUDDHAS THAT APPEAR—all that manifest are the Buddhas' states—CAUSE THOSE WHO HEAR TO BE CONFUSED AND DOUBT. It is very hard for those who hear of these Dharma doors to understand them, and it is very easy for them to give rise to doubts and confusion.

SUTRA:

IF ONE HOLDS THE MIND LIKE VAJRA,

WITH DEEP FAITH IN THE BUDDHAS' WISDOM SUPREME

KNOWING THAT THE MIND GROUND LACKS A SELF,

ONE CAN HEAR THESE DHARMAS MOST SUPREME.

LIKE PICTURES THAT ARE PAINTED IN THE AIR,

LIKE TRACES OF THE WIND IN EMPTY SPACE,

THE WISDOM OF THE MUNI IS THAT WAY,

ITS DISTINCTIONS VERY HARD FOR ONE TO SEE.

I AM MINDFUL THAT THE WISDOM OF THE BUDDHAS,

IS MOST SUPREME AND TO CONCEIVE OF HARD;

THE WORLD'S THEREFORE UNABLE TO RECEIVE IT.

SILENT THEN AM I AND DO NOT SPEAK. 

Commentary:

IF ONE HOLDS THE MIND LIKE VAJRA/The reason that they give rise to doubts and confusion is that living beings have no wisdom, and they cannot understand these most superior Dharma doors. If they can hold onto their minds with vajra-like solidity, WITH DEEP FAITH IN THE BUDDHAS' WISDOM SUPREME/and lust have an attitude of deep faith in the Buddhas' superior wisdom, KNOWING THAT THE MIND GROUND LACKS A SELF/and know that the Dharma doors of the mind ground are necessarily devoid of any mark of self, ONE CAN HEAR THESE DHARMAS MOST SUPREME. Then they will be able to hear these most supreme Dharmas,

LIKE PICTURES THAT ARE PAINTED IN THE AIR/One should not become attached upon hearing of these most supreme Dharmas. They are all like paintings painted in space, with no shape or characteristics, and LIKE TRACES OF THE WIND IN EMPTY SPACE/They are also like the wind which also lacks shape or characteristics. THE WISDOM OF THE MUNI IS THAT WAY/Sakyamuni Buddha's wisdom is also like that, ITS DISTINCTIONS VERY HARD FOR ONE TO SEE. No matter how hard you try to discriminate and understand it, it is not easily understood or seen.

I AM MINDFUL THAT THE WISDOM OF THE BUDDHAS/I think about the wisdom of the Buddhas, and I know that it IS MOST SUPREME AND TO CONCEIVE OF HARD/It is supremely excellent, and it is not easy to conceive of. THE WORLD'S THEREFORE UNABLE TO RECEIVE IT/No one in the world can understand this Dharma. No one can accept these principles. SILENT THEN AM I AND DO NOT SPEAK. Therefore I remain silent and do not explain them for everyone.

SUTRA:

AT THAT TIME, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, WHEN HE HAD HEARD-WHAT WAS SAID, ADDRESSED STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, SAYING, "DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, THE ASSEMBLED MULTITUDES ARE NOW GATHERED ALL TOGETHER. THEY ALL HAVE WELL PURIFIED THEIR PROFOUND MINDS, AND HAVE WELL PURIFIED THEIR THOUGHTS. THEY HAVE WELL CULTIVATED ALL PRACTICES. THEY HAVE WELL ACCUMULATED THE AIDS TO THE PATH. THEY HAVE BEEN WELL ABLE TO DRAW NEAR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS OF BUDDHAS. THEY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED LIMITLESS GOOD ROOTS OF MERIT AND VIRTUE. THEY HAVE CAST OFF ALL STUPIDITY AND DOUBT. THEY HAVE NO DEFILEMENTS. THEY HAVE DEEP MINDS OF FAITH AND UNDERSTANDING. WITHIN THE BUDDHADHARMAS, THEY DO NOT FOLLOW OTHER TEACHINGS. GOOD INDEED, DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA. YOU SHOULD RECEIVE THE BUDDHAS' SPIRITUAL POWER AND SPEAK. ALL THESE BODHISATTVAS, WITH RESPECT TO ALL OF THOSE PROFOUND PLACES, WILL BE ABLE TO CERTIFY AND KNOW THEM."

AT THAT TIME, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, WISHING TO RESTATE HIS MEANING, SPOKE VERSES, SAYING:

Commentary:

AT THAT TIME, right then, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA/there was the Bodhisattva called Moon of Liberation, who, WHEN HE HAD HEARD WHAT WAS SAID, after he had heard Store of Vajra Bodhisattva finish speaking his verses, ADDRESSED STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, SAYING/He then said to Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, "DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, you are a great disciple of the Buddha. THE ASSEMBLED MULTITUDES ARE NOW GATHERED ALL TOGETHER. Now in this great Dharma Assembly, everyone is together. THEY ALL HAVE WELL PURIFIED THEIR PROFOUND MINDS. They all are good at purifying their deepest minds of faith, AND HAVE WELL PURIFIED THEIR THOUGHTS. Their thoughts and reflections are also all pure. THEY HAVE WELL CULTIVATED ALL PRACTICES. They are all good at cultivating all practices. THEY HAVE WELL ACCUMULATED THE AIDS TO THE PATH. They are also good at accumulating all the aids to the path. THEY HAVE BEEN WELL ABLE TO DRAW NEAR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MILLIONS OF BUDDHAS. They have all already drawn near as many as hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas. THEY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED LIMITLESS GOOD ROOTS OF MERIT AND VIRTUE. They have already obtained very, very many good roots. THEY HAVE CAST OFF ALL STUPIDITY AND DOUBT. All of them have already done away with ignorance and confusion. THEY HAVE NO DEFILEMENTS, are undefiled and have no filth. THEY HAVE DEEP MINDS OF FAITH AND UNDERSTANDING. They use their deep minds to believe in and understand the Buddhadharmas, and WITHIN THE BUDDHADHARMAS, THEY DO NOT FOLLOW OTHER TEACHINGS. They always study and practice Buddhadharma, and do not follow other teaching methods of side doors and outside ways. GOOD INDEED, DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA." He said, "You are really good. Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, great disciple of the Buddha. YOU SHOULD RECEIVE THE BUDDHAS' SPIRITUAL POWER AND SPEAK. You should receive the Buddhas' great, awesome, spiritual might and, for this great Assembly, speak the Buddhadharma. ALL THESE BODHISATTVAS, in this Assembly, all the Bodhisattvas, WITH RESPECT TO ALL OF THOSE PROFOUND PLACES, with respect to the profound Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, WILL BE ABLE TO REALIZE AND KNOW THEM.  They are all capable of realizing and understanding them."

AT THAT TIME, thereupon, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, WISHING TO RESTATE HIS MEANING, in order to reiterate what he meant, SPOKE VERSES, SAYING: He used verses to state his meaning once again.

SUTRA:

WE WISH YOU TO SPEAK OF THE MOST TRANQUIL,

BODHISATTVAS' PRACTICES UNSURPASSED,

DISCRIMINATING EACH AND EVERY GROUND,

WISDOM PURE, AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF PROPER ENLIGHTENMENT.

THIS ASSEMBLY IS FREE FROM ALL DEFILEMENTS,

THEIR DETERMINATION AND UNDERSTANDING ARE BRIGHT AND PURE.

THEY HAVE SERVED LIMITLESS BUDDHAS:

THEY CAN KNOW THE MEANING OF THESE GROUNDS.

AT THAT TIME, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA SAID, "DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, ALTHOUGH THE ASSEMBLY GATHERED HERE ALL HAVE WELL PURIFIED THEIR THOUGHTS, HAVE CAST OFF STUPIDITY AND DOUBT, AND IN THE DEEPLY PROFOUND DHARMA THEY DO NOT FOLLOW OTHERS' TEACHINGS, THERE ARE STILL OTHER LIVING BEINGS WITH DEFICIENT WISDOM, WHO, UPON HEARING THESE PROFOUND AND DIFFICULT-TO-CONCEIVE-OF MATTERS, WOULD GIVE RISE TO MORE DOUBTS, AND, IN THE LONG NIGHT, THEY WOULD SUFFER MUCH DISTRESS. I TAKE PITY UPON THEM AND THEREFORE REMAIN SILENT."

AT THAT TIME, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, WISHING TO RESTATE HIS MEANING, SPOKE VERSES, SAYING:

Commentary:

WE WISH YOU TO SPEAK OF THE MOST TRANQUIL/Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva said, "I wish that you, great Bodhisattva, would speak these most peaceful dharmas, BODHISATTVAS' PRACTICES UNSURPASSED/the bodhisattvas' most superior Dharma doors of cultivation, DISCRIMINATING EACH AND EVERY GROUND/ and analyze and explain the principles of the Ten Grounds, WISDOM PURE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT OF PROPER ENLIGHTENMENT/causing all living beings to obtain pure wisdom, and in the future to become Buddhas. THIS ASSEMBLY IS FREE FROM ALL DEFILEMENTS"/He said, "All who are now present in the great Dharma Assembly have put an end to all defilements. THEIR DETERMINATION AND UNDERSTANDING ARE BRIGHT AND PURE/Their resolution and their comprehension are both very, very pure. THEY HAVE SERVED LIMITLESS BUDDHAS/They have already attended upon and made offerings to limitlessly many Buddhas. THEY CAN KNOW THE MEANING OF THESE GROUNDS They can all understand the meaning of the Ten Grounds.

AT THAT TIME, right after that, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA SAID, "DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, ALTHOUGH THE ASSEMBLY GATHERED HERE, although the multitudes of this Dharma Assembly have all come together, and ALL HAVE WELL PURIFIED THEIR THOUGHTS, they well purify their reflections, and the HAVE CAST OFF STUPIDITY AND DOUBT, gotten rid of stupidity and doubt, AND IN THE DEEPLY PROFOUND DHARMA THEY DO NOT FOLLOW OTHERS' TEACHINGS, they are not turned by the externalist teachings of side doors and outside ways, THERE ARE STILL OTHER LIVING BEINGS WITH DEFICIENT WISDOM, still there are other living beings besides them who do not understand, WHO, UPON HEARING THESE PROFOUND AND DIFFICULT-TO-CONCEIVE-OF MATTERS, when they hear these kinds of unsurpassed, deeply profound, subtle and wonderful dharmas, WOULD GIVE RISE TO MORE DOUBTS. They would easily produce doubts, AND, IN THE LONG NIGHT, within the long night of ignorance and stupidity, THEY WOULD SUFFER MUCK DISTRESS. They themselves would constantly be unable to see through it all, put it all down, and would not obtain comfort, but would undergo vexation. I TAKE PITY UPON THEM AND THEREFORE REMAIN SILENT. Since I pity those kinds of living beings, therefore I am silent and do not speak."

AT THAT TIME, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, WISHING TO RESTATE HIS MEANING, SPOKE VERSES, he used verses to explain again, SAYING:

SUTRA:

ALTHOUGH THESE MULTITUDES HAVE PURE, VAST WISDOM,

            AND THEIR PROFOUND AND SHARP UNDERSTANDING CAN MAKE DECISIVE CHOICES,

THEIR MINDS UNMOVING LIKE THE KING OF MOUNTAINS,

AND THEY CANNOT BE OVERTURNED, LIKE THE GREAT SEA,

THERE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT PRACTICED LONG, AND WHO HAVE NOT OBTAINED 

WISDOM.

THEY PRACTICE ACCORDING TO CONSCIOUSNESS AND NOT ACCORDING TO WISDOM.

HEARING THIS THEY WILL GIVE RISE TO DOUBTS AND FALL INTO BAD PATHS.

I TAKE PITY ON THEM, AND THEREFORE DO NOT SPEAK.

Commentary:

ALTHOUGH THESE MULTITUDES HAVE PURE, VAST WISDOM/Store of Vajra Bodhisattva says, "Although all the great multitudes in this Dharma Assembly are pure, and undefiled and have great wisdom, AND THEIR PROFOUND AND SHARP UNDERSTANDING CAN HAKE DECISIVE CHOICES/They also have the capacity for understanding derived from deep, profound Prajna wisdom, THEIR MINDS UNMOVING LIKE THE KING OF MOUNTAINS/Each one of the Bodhisattvas has a mind which does not move, like Mount Sumeru, the King of Mountains, AND THEY CANNOT BE OVERTURNED, LIKE THE GREAT SEA/They cannot be turned over, in the same way that no one is able to overturn the ocean. However, THERE ARE THOSE WHO HAVE NOT PRACTICED LONG/Within the Great Assembly there are also those who have not been practicing for a long time. They first gave rise to the thought for Bodhi perhaps ten or twenty years ago, which is a very short time, AND WHO HAVE NOT OBTAINED WISDOM. They have not yet attained to the wisdom of understanding. THEY PRACTICE ACCORDING TO CONSCIOUSNESS AND NOT ACCORDING TO WISDOM/They go along with their consciousness, and employ that discriminating consciousness in what they do, and do not use wisdom. To use wisdom is to recognize all states. If one employs consciousness, one merely discriminates states, and does not recognize them. HEARING THIS THEY WILL GIVE RISE TO DOUBTS AND FALL INTO BAD PATHS/As soon as they hear about the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, they will have doubts and will either fall into the hells, the hungry ghosts or the animals, the three evil destinies. I TAKE PITY ON THEM, AND THEREFORE DO NOT SPEAK. Since I pity the living beings who are like that, therefore I don't speak, for if I did speak, they would doubt and disbelieve. That would be the cause of their falling into the three evil paths, because you cannot slander the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds or you will fall into the three evil destinies.

SUTRA:

AT THAT TIME, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA AGAIN ADDRESSED STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, SAYING, "DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, I HOPE YOU WILL RECEIVE THE BUDDHAS' SPIRITUAL POWER AND EXPLAIN IN DETAIL THESE INCONCEIVABLE DHARMAS. THESE PEOPLE SHOULD OBTAIN THE THUS COME ONES' PROTECTION AND MINDFULNESS, AND GIVE RISE TO FAITH AND RECEPTIVITY. AND WHY? WHEN ONE EXPLAINS THE TEN GROUNDS, FOR ALL BODHISATTVAS, THE DHARMA IS THAT WAY, THAT THEY OBTAIN THE BUDDHAS' PROTECTION AND MINDFULNESS. BECAUSE THEY OBTAIN THE BUDDHAS' PROTECTION AND MINDFULNESS, WITH REGARD TO THESE GROUNDS OF WISDOM THEY CAN BE COURAGEOUS. AND WHY? THESE ARE THE BODHISATTVAS' MOST INITIAL PRACTICES FOR ACCOMPLISHING ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS.

JUST AS IN WRITING WORDS WHICH SAY NUMEROUS THINGS, ALL ARE BASED UPON THE ALPHABET. THE ALPHABET IS ULTIMATE, AND NONE OF THEM DEPARTS FROM THE ALPHABET IN THE SLIGHTEST. DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS TAKE THE TEN GROUNDS AS THEIR BASIS. THE TEN GROUNDS ARE ULTIMATE. BY CULTIVATING AND ACCOMPLISHING THEM, ONE OBTAINS ALL WISDOM. THEREFORE, DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, I WISH YOU WOULD EXPLAIN THEM. THESE PEOPLE WILL CERTAINLY BE PROTECTED BY THE THUS COME ONES, AND CAUSED TO BELIEVE AND RECEIVE THESE DHARMAS."

AT THAT TIME, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, WISHING TO RESTATE HIS MEANING, SPOKE VERSES, SAYING:

Commentary:

AT THAT TIME, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA AGAIN ADDRESSED STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA, the Bodhisattva Moon of Liberation said something else to the Bodhisattva Store of Vajra, SAYING, "DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, I HOPE YOU WILL RECEIVE THE BUDDHAS' SPIRITUAL POWER. Disciple of the Buddha, I wish that you would receive the power of spiritual penetrations of the Buddhas of the ten directions and of Sakyamuni Buddha, AND EXPLAIN IN DETAIL THESE INCONCEIVABLE DHARMAS, in very great detail analyze and describe these inconceivable Dharma doors THESE PEOPLE SHOULD OBTAIN THE THUS COME ONES' PROTECTION AND MINDFULNESS. All the people who are here in this Dharma Assembly should obtain being protected and remembered by all Buddhas, AND GIVE RISE TO FAITH AND RECEPTIVITY. They will have faith. AND WHY? What is the reason for that? WHEN ONE EXPLAINS THE TEN GROUNDS, at the time when one is explaining the Ten Grounds, FOR ALL BODHISATTVAS, THE DHARMA JS THAT WAY, THAT THEY OBTAIN THE BUDDHAS' PROTECTION AND MINDFULNESS. When all Bodhisattvas hear the Dharma, they all should be that way; they all should obtain the Buddhas' coming to protect and remember them. BECAUSE THEY OBTAIN THE BUDDHAS' PROTECTION AND MINDFULNESS, because the come to be protected and remembered by the Buddhas, WITH REGARD TO THESE GROUNDS OF WISDOM, THEY CAN BE COURAGEOUS. They can give rise to great courage. AND WHY? Why is it that way? THESE ARE THE BODHISATTVAS' MOST INITIAL PRACTICES. It is because these are Dharma doors, which Bodhisattvas cultivate at the very beginning, FOR ACCOMPLISHING ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS, since they can accomplish the Dharmas spoken by all Buddhas. The Dharmas spoken by all Buddhas are produced within the Ten Grounds.

JUST AS IN WRITING WORDS WHICH SAY NUMEROUS THINGS, just as when writing words, the ways in which they are written ALL ARE BASED UPON THE ALPHABET. They all need a basic alphabet. THE ALPHABET IS ULTIMATE, AND NONE OF THEM DEPARTS FROM THE ALPHABET IN THE SLIGHTEST. In the final analysis, not even a minute portion of them is not of the alphabet, nor does it depart from the alphabet. DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS TAKE THE TEN GROUNDS AS THEIR BASIS. The Dharmas spoken by all Buddhas all take the Ten Grounds as their basis. THE TEN GROUNDS ARE ULTIMATE. BY CULTIVATING AND ACCOMPLISHING THEM, ONE OBTAINS ALL WISDOM. If you cultivate the Ten Grounds to the ultimate point, and accomplish the wisdom of the Ten Grounds, you obtain all wisdom, give rise to all wisdoms. THEREFORE, DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, I WISH YOU WOULD EXPLAIN THEM. Due to that, great disciple of the Buddha, we all want you to explain them for US. THESE PEOPLE WILL CERTAINLY BE PROTECTED BY THE THUS COME ONES. The people who hear these Dharmas will definitely be protected and remembered by the Buddhas, AND CAUSED TO BELIEVE AND RECEIVE THESE DHARMAS. Those people will all be caused to believe and accept them and to offer up their conduct according to them. AT THAT TIME, MOON OF LIBERATION BODHISATTVA, that Bodhisattva, WISHING TO RESTATE HIS MEANING, because he wished to repeat what he had to say, SPOKE VERSES, used verses to restate it, SAYING:

SUTRA:

GOOD INDEED, DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, I WISH YOU WOULD PROCLAIM;

ALL THE GROUNDS OF PRACTICE TO APPROACH AND ENTER BODHI;

OF ALL THE COMFORTABLE HONORED ONES THROUGHOUT THE TEN DIRECTIONS,

NONE IS NOT PROTECTIVE OF AND MINDFUL OF THE BASIC ROOTS OF WISDOM.

SECURED IN THEM, THAT WISDOM IS ALSO ULTIMATE;

ALL THE BUDDHAS' DHARMAS ARE PRODUCED FROM THEM;

JUST AS WRITTEN WORDS ARE ALL COMPRISED BY ALPHABETS,

SO TOO THE BUDDHAS' DHARMAS ARE BASED UPON THESE GROUNDS.

Commentary:

GOOD INDEED, DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA/Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva said, "Good indeed, you are the Buddha's great disciple. I WISH YOU WOULD PROCLAIM, I wish you would take pity on all living beings and speak the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, ALL THE GROUNDS OF PRACTICE TO APPROACH AND ENTER BODHI, the practices of all the grounds whereby one may tend towards and enter, go along and cultivate the Bodhisattvas' path of Enlightenment. OF ALL THE COMFORTABLE HONORED ONES THROUGHOUT THE TEN DIRECTIONS, all Buddhas of the ten directions--the "Comfortable Honored Ones" are the Buddhas--NONE IS NOT PROTECTIVE OF AND MINDFUL OF THE BASIC ROOTS OF WISDOM. They always wish to aid and uphold, protect and remember people who hear the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, and who cultivate the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, because the Ten Grounds are the basic root of wisdom. SECURED IN THEM, THAT WISDOM IS ALSO ULTIMATE. The wisdom from cultivating the Ten Grounds, upon the Ten Grounds, is also ultimate wisdom. ALL THE BUDDHAS' DHARMAS ARE PRODUCED FROM THEM. Why are the Ten Grounds called "Grounds?" It is because all Dharmas spoken by all Buddhas arise from the Ten Grounds. JUST AS WRITTEN WORDS ARE ALL COMPRISED BY ALPHABETS; just as when one writes words or characters, they are all based either upon an alphabet or syllabary like "A, B, C;" or upon radicals as, for example, for Chinese characters the three drops of water (), the simple standing man radical(), or the double standing man radical(), etc.. "Alphabet" stands for all of those, which are the basis of written words. SO TOO THE BUDDHAS' DHARMAS ARE BASED UPON THESE GROUNDS, because the Buddhas' Dharmas are all produced from the Ten Grounds, in the same way as all written words are based upon the alphabet.

SUTRA:

AT THAT TIME, ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF GREAT BODHISATTVAS, SIMULTANEOUSLY AND WITH A 

SINGLE SOUND, TURNED TOWARDS STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA AND SPOKE VERSES, SAYING:

YOU OF SUPERIOR, WONDROUS WISDOM UNDEFILED,

OF BOUNDLESS DISCRIMINATING ELOQUENCE,

PLEASE PROCLAIM PROFOUND AND WONDERFUL WORDS,

ASSOCIATED WITH THE FOREMOST MEANING.

Commentary:

      AT THAT TIME, ALL THE ASSEMBLY OF GREAT BODHISATTVAS/After Moon of Liberation Bodhisattva had finished speaking his verses, at that time, all the great Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, limitless like fine motes of dust, SIMULTANEOUSLY AND WITH A SINGLE SOUND, all at one and the same time brought forth the same sound, TURNED TOWARDS STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA AND SPOKE VERSES. They used verses to request Dharma from Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, SAYING: YOU OF SUPERIOR, WONDROUS WISDOM-UNDEFILED. They said, "Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, great disciple of the Buddhas that you are, you have already certified to the attainment of the most superior, subtle and wonderful wisdom that is pure and free from defilement. You OF BOUNDLESS DISCRIMINATING ELOQUENCE, your eloquence is limitless and boundless, eloquence to speak in great detail and with a great deal of principle. PLEASE PROCLAIM PROFOUND AND WONDERFUL WORDS. Right now we would like you to pronounce and proclaim profound and wondrous words, the unsurpassed, deeply profound, subtle and wonderful principles of the Ten Grounds, ASSOCIATED WITH THE FOREMOST MEANING, expressing the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, which are very interactive with the Primary Truth.

SUTRA:

MINDFULLY MAINTAINING OF PURE CONDUCT,

FROM THE TEN POWERS WITH MERIT AND VIRTUE AMASSED,

WITH ELOQUENCE TO DISCRIMINATE THE MEANINGS,

PLEASE EXPLAIN THE MOST SUPERIOR GROUNDS.

 WITH SAMADHI, PRECEPTS AMASSED, AND PROPER MINDS,

FREE FROM ARROGANCE .AS WELL AS DEVIANT VIEWS,

THIS ASSEMBLY HAS NO DOUBTING THOUGHTS,

AND ONLY WANTS TO HEAR THEM WELL EXPLAINED.

AS ONE THIRSTY THINKS OF ICY WATER,

AS ONE HUNGRY DREAMS ABOUT GOOD FOOD,

AS ONE SICK REFLECTS ON WHOLESOME MEDICINE,

AS A BEE IS GREEDY FOR GOOD HONEY,

SO TOO DO WE IN JUST THAT WAY

WISH TO HEAR THESE DHARMAS OF SWEET DEW.

GOOD INDEED, ONE OF WISDOM VAST AND GREAT,

WE WISH YOU WOULD SPEAK ENTRY TO ALL GROUNDS,

ACCOMPLISHING TEN POWERS WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION,

AND THE WELL-GONE ONES PRACTICES ONE AND ALL.

 

Commentary:

      MINDFULLY MAINTAINING OF PURE CONDUCT/All of these people are mindful of and cultivate all pure practices, FROM THE TEN POWERS WITH MERIT AND VIRTUE AMASSED/They all cultivate the Buddhas' ten kinds of powers, and are replete with all kinds of merit and virtue, WITH ELOQUENCE TO DISCRIMINATE THE MEANINGS/All have great eloquence, and can discriminate all meanings. PLEASE EXPLAIN THE MOST SUPERIOR GROUNDS/We request the great Bodhisattva to speak these most superior Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds. WITH SAMADHI, PRECEPTS AMASSED, AND PROPER MINDS/All of those listening cultivate samadhi and hold precepts, and they all have proper knowledge and proper views. FREE FROM ARROGANCE AS WELL AS DEVIANT VIEWS/They have no overbearing pride or arrogance, nor any considerations of deviant views. THIS ASSEMBLY HAS NO DOUBTING THOUGHTS/Those in the Great Assembly now have no doubts about the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds AND ONLY WANTS TO HEAR THEM WELL EXPLAINED/ They all wish the Bodhisattva would speak -the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds.

AS ONE THIRSTY THINKS OF ICY WATER/They are just like persons wanting to drink? Thinking of something cold and refreshing to drink, like someone hot and thirsty wanting to eat some ice cream, or perhaps drink a milk shake, or something similar. AS ONE HUNGRY DREAMS ABOUT GOOD FOOD/They are also like famished people dreaming of finding some bread to eat, or something to cure their hunger pangs. They think of good things to eat the finest food. AS ONE SICK REFLECTS ON WHOLESOME MEDICINE/They are like sick people who think about the finest medicines which would cure their illnesses. AS A BEE IS GREEDY FOR GOOD HONEY/They are also like honey bees which are greedy for the pollen to become honey and be ready for them to eat. But, as it turns out, when the honey is ready, people come and steal it from them. We all are thinking that way:

As one thirsty thinks of drink,

As one hungry thinks of food,

As one sick thinks of medicine,

As a bee thinks of honey.

We are the same. SO, TOO, DO WE IN JUST THAT WAY/All of the people here, all the great Bodhisattvas, all in that way WISH TO HEAR THESE DHARMAS OF SWEET DEW. We wish to hear those Dharmas which can quench thirst, satisfy hunger, cure sickness, and satisfy all one might be greedy for."

GOOD INDEED, ONE OF WISDOM VAST AND GREAT/They said, "Good indeed, you of vast, great wisdom. Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, WE WISH YOU WOULD SPEAK ENTRY TO ALL GROUNDS/We would like you to speak the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, ACCOMPLISHING TEN POWERS WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION/You have already accomplished the position of the Ten Powers without obstruction, AND THE WELL-GONE ONES' PRACTICES ONE AND ALL/along with pretty much all of the practices of the Well-Gone Ones, the Buddhas. Great Bodhisattva, please very compassionately speak the Dharmas of the Ten Grounds for all of us."

------------------------------

BUDDHA ROOT FARM. Instruction in meditation on the name of Amitabha Buddha of the Western Pure Land. Buddhists consider recitation of the Buddha's name to be the surest and easiest path to spiritual progress and enlightenment. By the Venerable Master Hua. Paperbound, 72 pages, 51 x 81, $3.00.

SUTRA:

AT THAT TIME, THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, FROM BETWEEN HIS EYEBROWS, EMITTED A PURE LIGHT NAMED 'BLAZING LIGHT OF BODHISATTVAS' POWERS, 'WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ASAMKHYEYAS OF LIGHTS AS ITS RETINUE, WHICH UNIVERSALLY ILLUMINED ALL THE WORLDS THROUGHOUT THE TEN DIRECTIONS, PERVADING ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE. THE SUFFERINGS OF THE THREE BAD PATHS ALL CEASED TO BE. IT ALSO ILLUMINED THE ASSEMBLIES OF ALL THUS COME ONES, MANIFESTING ALL BUDDHAS' INCONCEIVABLE POWERS. IT ALSO ILLUMINED THE PERSONS OF ALL BODHISATTVAS SPEAKING DHARMA WITH THE AID OF ALL BUDDHAS THROUGHOUT ALL WORLDS IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS. WHEN FINISHED DOING THAT, IT FORMED A GREAT PLATFORM OF NETS OF CLOUDS OF LIGHTS IN UPPER EMPTY SPACE AND STOOD STILL. AT THAT TIME, ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS ALSO IN THAT WAY, FROM BETWEEN THEIR EYEBROWS EMITTED PURE LIGHTS. THOSE LIGHTS' NAMES, RETINUES AND ACTIONS WERE ALL THE SAME AS THAT ONE'S. MOREOVER, THEY ILLUMINED THE BUDDHAS AND GREAT ASSEMBLIES OF THIS SAHA WORLD, AND THE PERSON OF STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA UPON HIS LION'S THRONE, AND, IN UPPER EMPTY SPACE, THEY FORMED A LARGE PLATFORM OF NETS OF CLOUDS OF LIGHTS. AT THAT TIME, WITHIN THE PLATFORM OF LIGHT, THROUGH THE BUDDHAS' AWESOME SPIRITUAL MIGHT, WERE SPOKEN VERSES, SAYING:

Commentary:

AT THAT TIME, right then, THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, Sakyamuni Buddha, FROM BETWEEN HIS EYEBROWS, from the space between his brows, EMITTED A PURE LIGHT NAMED 'BLAZING LIGHT OF BODHISATTVAS' POWERS.' The name of that pure light was 'Blazing Light of Bodhisattvas' Powers,' the brilliant flames of light of the Bodhisattvas' powers, WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ASAMKHYEYAS OF LIGHTS, that 'kind of light had as many as hundreds of thousands of "asamkhyeyas," "limitless numbers of," lights AS ITS RETINUE, acting as the cortege of that light, WHICH UNIVERSALLY ILLUMINED ALL THE WORLDS THROUGH OUT THE TEN DIRECTIONS. They universally and pervasively illumined all Buddhas' worlds in the ten directions, pervading absolutely everywhere. Nowhere was there a place upon which they did not shine. THE SUFFERINGS OF THE THREE BAD PATHS ALL CEASED, TO BE. The sufferings of the three evil paths, those of hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals all stopped. IT ALSO ILLUMINED THE ASSEMBLIES OF ALL THUS COME ONES, lighting up the assemblies in the Bodhimandas of all Buddhas, MANIFESTING ALL BUDDHAS' INCONCEIVABLE POWERS. They all manifested the use of those kinds of light to reveal all the inconceivable powers of the Buddhas. IT ALSO ILLUMINED THE PERSONS OF ALL BODHISATTVAS SPEAKING DHARMA WITH THE AID OF ALL BUDDHAS THROUGHOUT ALL WORLDS IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS. It shone upon the persons of all Bodhisattvas speaking and the Buddhas aiding them. WHEN FINISHED DOING THAT, when that ceremony had been completed, IT FORMED A GREAT PLATFORM OF NETS OF CLOUDS OF LIGHTS IN UPPER EMPTY SPACE. In the sky above it took form as a great platform of nets of light, AND STOOD STILL. It settled there in mid-air. AT THAT TIME, ALL THE BUDDHAS OF THE TEN DIRECTIONS ALSO IN THAT WAY, also from between their brows, EMITTED PURE LIGHTS, emitted Blazing Lights of Bodhisattvas' Powers. THOSE LIGHTS' NAMES, RETINUES AND ACTIONS WERE ALL THE SAME AS THAT ONE'S. The names of those lights, and their retinues, and what they did, were all the same as those of Sakyamuni Buddha's.

MOREOVER, THEY ILLUMINED THE BUDDHAS AND "REAL ASSEMBLIES OF THIS SAHA WORLD, in the countries of the other directions they emitted light, and they also illuminated Shakyamuni Buddha and the great multitudes of this Dharma Assembly in this Saha World, AND THE PERSON OF STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA UPON HIS LION'S THRONE, along with the Lion's seat upon which Store of Vajra Bodhisattva was sitting, AND, IN UPPER EMPTY SPACE, in mid-air, THEY FORMED A LARGE PLATFORM OF NETS OF CLOUDS OF LIGHTS. AT THAT TIME, WITHIN THE PLATFORM OF LIGHTS, within the platform of nets of clouds of lights, THROUGH THE BUDDHAS' AWESOME SPIRITUAL MIGHT, due to the awesome spiritual power of the Buddhas of the ten directions, and to the awesome spiritual might of Sakyamuni Buddha, WERE SPOKEN VERSES, the following verses were spoken, SAYING:

SUTRA:

THE BUDDHA WITH NO EQUAL,

JUST LIKE EMPTY SPACE,

OF TEN POWERS LIMITLESS,

OF MERIT AND VIRTUE SUPREME;

AMONG PEOPLE MOST VICTORIOUS,

SUPERIOR IN THE WORLD:

THAT SAKYA LION’S DHARMAS

ARE WHAT GIVES THEM AID.

DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA,

RECEIVE ALL BUDDHAS' STRENGTH,

SET FORTH THIS KING OF DHARMAS'

TREASURY MOST SUPREME:

ALL GROUNDS' EXTENSIVE WISDOM,

PRACTICES WONDROUS AND SUPREME,

THROUGH BUDDHAS' AWESOME SPIRIT,

DISCRIMINATE AND SPEAK.

THOSE WHO HAVE THE AID

OF ALL THE WELL-GONE ONES,

SHOULD OBTAIN THESE DHARMA JEWELS

ENTERING THEIR MINDS;

THAT ALL GROUNDS UNDEFILED

IN ORDER BE COMPLETED,

ONE MUST POSSESS AS WELL

THUS COME ONES' TEN-FOLD POWER.

THOUGH ONE MAY DWELL IN BLAZES

OF KALPAS LIKE THE SEA,

IF ABLE TO ACCEPT THEM,

ONE DOUBTLESS HEARS THESE. DHARMAS;

BUT THOSE WHO HARBOR DOUBTS,

AND WHO HAVE NO FAITH,

WILL NEVER COME TO HEAR

THE MEANINGS SUCH AS THESE.

PLEASE DO EXPLAIN THE GROUNDS,

THE WAY TO SUPREME WISDOM,

ENTER, DWELL WITHIN, UNFOLD

SUCCESSIVE CULTIVATION;

FROM STATES OF CULTIVATION

ARISES DHARMA WISDOM,

TO BENEFIT AND AID

            EACH AND EVERY LIVING BEING.

AT THAT TIME, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA CONTEMPLATED IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS AND, IN ORDER TO CAUSE THOSE IN THE GREAT ASSEMBLY TO INCREASE THEIR PURE FAITH, SPOKE VERSES, SAYING:

THE WAYS OF THE THUS COME ONES, GREAT IMMORTALS,

ARE SUBTLE, WONDERFUL, AND HARD TO COMPREHEND;

NOT THOUGHT, THEY ARE APART FROM EVERY THOUGHT:

THOSE SEEKING THEM IN SEEING CAN'T ATTAIN THEM. 

Commentary:

THE BUDDHA WITH NO EQUAL, JUST LIKE EMPTY SPACE/The Buddha is incomparable and like empty space, in that there is also nothing comparable to empty space. OF TEN POWERS LIMITLESS, OF MERIT AND VIRTUE SUPREME/The Buddha has ten kinds of powers, and limitless merit and virtue. AMONG PEOPLE MOST VICTORIOUS, SUPERIOR IN THE WORLD/Among people, the Buddha is foremost, and the highest in the world, too. THAT SAKYA LION'S DHARMAS ARE WHAT GIVE THEM AID. The Dharmas of the Lion of the Sakya Clan, the Buddha, are what come to the aid of those people who wish to speak the Dharma and explain it. DISCIPLE OF THE BUDDHA, RECEIVE ALL BUDDHAS' STRENGTH/Disciple of the Buddha, you. Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, should receive the power of Sakyamuni Buddha, and the power of all the Buddhas of the ten directions, and SET FORTH THIS KING OF DHARMAS' TREASURY MOST SUPREME/Come and explain for everyone these most supreme Dharma doors, the endowment of the King of Jewels.

ALL GROUNDS' EXTENSIVE WISDOM, PRACTICES WONDROUS AND SUPREME/The Ten Grounds have vast, great wisdom, and most superior, wonderful practices, THROUGH BUDDHAS' AWESOME SPIRIT, DISCRIMINATE AND SPEAK/The Buddhas will come to aid you, enabling you to discriminate and explain. THOSE WHO HAVE THE AID OF ALL THE WELL-GONE ONES/Those who are able to be aided by the Buddhas' might, SHOULD OBTAIN THESE DHARMA JEWELS ENTERING THEIR MINDS/Then they will obtain these limitless Dharma doors which are Dharma jewels all entering into their minds; that is to be able to speak according to intent. THAT ALL GROUNDS UNDEFILED IN ORDER BE COMPLETED/The Ten Grounds are all free from defilement. To be able to speak them perfectly and in order, ONE MUST POSSESS AS WELL THUS COME ONES' TEN-FOLD POWER/By borrowing the ten kinds of powers of a Buddha, one can then speak them perfectly,   

THOUGH ONE MAY DWELL IN BLAZES OF KALPAS LIKE THE SEA/Even though one dwells in kalpa-fires, periods of coming into being, dwelling, going bad and disappearing on the part of kalpas, great kalpas, as many in quantity as there is water in the sea, IF ABLE TO ACCEPT THEM, ONE DOUBTLESS HEARS THESE DHARMAS/One can hear these kinds of Dharmas for that long a time; one definitely will be able to hear them. BUT THOSE WHO HARBOR DOUBTS, AND WHO HAVE NO FAITH/Maybe there are doubters, disbelievers. They WILL NEVER COME TO HEAR THE MEANINGS SUCH AS THESE/They will never have the opportunity to hear these kinds of Dharmas.

PLEASE DO EXPLAIN THE GROUNDS, THE WAY TO SUPREME WISDOM/Great Bodhisattva, you should now speak for everyone the Bodhisattvas' Ten Grounds, the path of most supreme wisdom. ENTER, DWELL WITHIN, UNFOLD SUCCESSIVE CULTIVATION/Enter into these Dharmas, and then open them up and set them forth, investigating and explaining them in orderly sequence for living beings, enabling living beings to cultivate. FROM STATES OF CULTIVATION ARISES DHARMA WISDOM/It is from cultivating these various kinds of states, these various kinds of Dharmas, and the attaining of wisdom, that this kind of Dharma arises, TO BENEFIT AND AID EACH AND EVERY LIVING BEING/I hope that you, the Bodhisattva, will speak for everyone's benefit, for the sake of all the living beings in this Dharma Assembly."

      AT THAT TIME, thereupon, STORE OF VAJRA BODHISATTVA CONTEMPLATED IN THE TEN DIRECTIONS. He contemplated the causes and. conditions of living beings throughout the ten directions, AND, IN ORDER TO CAUSE THOSE IN THE GREAT ASSEMBLY TO INCREASE THEIR PURE FAITH, because he wished to increase the pure faith and understanding of everyone present, SPOKE VERSES, SAYING: THE WAYS OF THE THUS COME ONES, GREAT IMMORTALS. He said, "The Buddhas are like Great Immortals. Their ways ARE SUBTLE, WONDERFUL AND HARD TO COMPREHEND/They are subtle, wonderful and inconceivable. NOT THOUGHT, THEY ARE APART FROM EVERY THOUGHT/When you have no-thought, you should still go on to become free of all thoughts. THOSE SEEKING THEM IN SEEING CANNOT ATTAIN THEM/If you want to see the Buddha and the Dharma through form, by seeing forms and seeking in sounds, that is not possible. Those who do so cannot see the Buddha, nor can they understand the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds.

SUTRA:

THEY ARE NOT PRODUCED,

AND THEY ARE NOT DESTROYED;

PURE OF NATURE ARE THEY,

AND THEY ARE ALWAYS STILL.

OF PEOPLE UNDEFILED,

INTELLIGENT AND WISE,

THEY ARE THE PLACE OF PRACTICE

OF THEIR WISDOM. 

THEIR OWN NATURE BASICALLY

IS EMPTY AND IT'S STILL?

NON-DUAL IT IS, BUT

IT IS ALSO UNENDING;

WHEN LIBERATED WITH RESPECT

TO ALL THE DESTINIES,

ONE DWELLS WITHIN

THE SAMENESS OF NIRVANA.

Commentary:

The Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds are just our original Buddha-nature, and they are our original wisdom, as well as being the treasury of light of everyone's own original nature. As to these Dharma doors, THEY ARE NOT PRODUCED, AND THEY ARE NOT DESTROYED/They are neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor immaculate, not increased and not decreased. PURE OF NATURE ARE THEY, AND THEY ARE ALWAYS STILL/These Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds are always pure, and, being pure, they are always still and unmoving. OF PEOPLE UNDEFILED, INTELLIGENT AND WISE/All of you great disciples of the Buddha, since you are free from all defilement and filth, therefore you have obtained true and actual intelligence and wisdom. By getting rid of one portion of defilement, one portion of purity appears, and you decrease defilement by the same proportion as you increase purity.  Defilement and purity are in proportionate equilibrium. If you have defilements, that increases your stupidity. If you are pure, that increases your wisdom. If you are stupid, then day by day you fall, whereas with wisdom, day by day you rise upwards. As it is said;

The superior person ascends,

The inferior person descends.

That is the same principle. In cultivation, one is cultivating taking the defiled mind and purifying it. What is defilement? Among all worldly dharmas, the most important is sexual love. That is what is most defiled and most impure, but most people can't get out of this bind. They get caught up in this bind like a silkworm spinning a cocoon, which is binding itself up without even realizing it. Sages turn defilement into purity. Ordinary people turn purity into defilement. That is why it says, "Of people undefiled, intelligent and wise". Whenever people abandon defiled dharmas, and return to original purity, they are intelligent Sages with wisdom. THEY ARE THE PLACE OF PRACTICE OF THEIR WISDOM/The Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds are what is cultivated by Bodhisattvas with wisdom, by intelligent persons who have wisdom.

THEIR OWN NATURE BASICALLY IS EMPTY AND IT'S STILL/The self-nature of us all is basically pure and without anything at all; but we ourselves day by day turn our backs on Enlightenment and unite with the dust, and take suffering for bliss. Therefore to the self-nature, which basically is pure and still, there are added a great many afflictions. NON-DUAL IT IS, BUT IT IS ALSO UNENDING/The self-nature hasn't even one, to say nothing of two. It has no shape or characteristics, no self, others living beings or ones with lifespans, "but it is also unending." Although it has no mark, it is not non-existent. Empty space has no mark, but you cannot deny that there is empty space. WHEN LIBERATED WITH RESPECT TO ALL THE DESTINIES/Liberated through the wisdom of the Ten Grounds, one attains to freedom regarding the four evil destinies— those of asuras, hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals—and ONE DWELLS WITHIN THE SAMENESS OF NIRVANA/If you are able to understand the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, then you can understand that birth and death are the same as Nirvana, that samsara is identical with Nirvana, and that afflictions are just Bodhi. If you do not understand the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, then, for you, birth and death are still birth and death, and Nirvana is still Nirvana, without any connection whatsoever.

SUTRA:

THEY ARE NOT BEGINNING, NOR MIDDLE OR END;

THEY ARE NOT EXPRESSIBLE IN WORDS;

THEY TRANSCEND THE THREE TIMES;

THEIR CHARACTERISTICS ARE LIKE EMPTY SPACE.

THE STILL EXTINCTION WHICH THE BUDDHAS PRACTICE

CANNOT BE DESCRIBED IN WORDS.

THE PRACTICE OF THE GROUNDS IS ALSO THUS:

DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS, DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT.

THE BUDDHAS' STATES THAT ARISE FROM WISDOM

ARE NOT THOUGHT, AND LEAVE THE PATH OF MIND:

THEY ARE NOT THE DOORS OF SKANDHAS, REALMS OR PLACES:

THE WISE KNOW INTELLECT DOES NOT REACH THEM.

Commentary:

      THEY ARE NOT BEGINNING, NOR MIDDLE OR END/This kind of wisdom is not beginning, middle or end. This is not, "The Dharma the Buddha spoke was good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end." They are all not that. They also do not belong to the View of Truth, the View of Emptiness or the View of Middle. THEY ARE NOT EXPRESSIBLE IN WORDS/There is no way the words could express the Ten Grounds. The Ten Grounds can only be known, they cannot be described, which is why I do not wish to speak them. THEY TRANSCEND THE THREE TIMES/These kinds of Dharma doors transcend all dharmas of the three periods of time. THEIR CHARACTERISTICS ARE LIKE EMPTY SPACE/The true and actual characteristics of the Ten Grounds are like empty space.

THE STILL EXTINCTION, WHICH THE BUDDHAS PRACTICE/These Dharma doors, are characterized by still extinction. They:

Cannot be seen by looking,

Cannot be heard by listening,

Cannot be savored by reception.

They are what the Buddhas cultivate, most subtle and wonderful, and CANNOT BE DESCRIBED IN WORDS. If you wish me to explain the Ten Grounds, there is no way that I can use words to explain them. THE PRACTICE OF THE GROUNDS IS ALSO THUS/The Dharma doors of cultivation of the Ten Grounds are just the same as in the previous analogy, DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS, DIFFICULT TO ACCEPT/It is not easy to describe them. As it is said;

The path of language is cut off,

The place of the mind's workings is extinguished

The way of words has already been cut off, and there is no longer any place where thought takes place in the mind. Living beings cannot easily believe or accept them.

      THE BUDDHAS' STATES THAT ARISE FROM WISDOM/All the Buddhas' states are produced from wisdom. They ARE NOT THOUGHT, AND LEAVE THE PATH OF MIND/This again is:

The path of language is cut off,

The place of the mind's workings is extinguished.

Right in thought, one is apart from thought;

One thinks, and yet one has no thoughts.

Hence they are not thought, and leave the path of mind. They are apart from all thoughts of the mind. THEY ARE NOT THE DOORS OF SKANDHAS, REALMS OR PLACES/They are also not the Five Skandhas: form, feeling, thinking, activities and consciousness; nor are they the Eighteen Realms: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind, forms, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch and dharmas, those Six Faculties and Six Objects of Perception, along with the Six Consciousnesses: Eye Consciousness. Ear Consciousness, Nose Consciousness, Tongue Consciousness, Body Consciousness and Mind Consciousness. They are not those Eighteen Realms either; nor are they the Twelve Places; eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind, forms, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch and dharmas. They are not the Five Skandhas, the Eighteen Realms or the Twelve Places. THE WISE KNOW INTELLECT DOES NOT REACH THEM/If you use wisdom, then you can understand them. If you use your thinking mind, your intellect, there is no way to understand them.

SUTRA:

AS THE TRACES OF A BIRD IN SPACE

ARE DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS, DIFFICULT TO DISCERN,

SO, TOO, ARE THE TEN GROUNDS' MEANINGS

INCOMPREHENSIBLE TO MIND AND THOUGHT. THEY

FROM COMPASSION, KINDNESS AND THE POWER OF VOWS,

APPEAR AND ENTER THE PRACTICES OF THE GROUNDS;

GRADUALLY THERE IS PERFECTION OF THE MIND:

WISDOM'S PRACTICES ARE NOT REFLECTION'S REALM.

SUCH STATES AS THESE ARE DIFFICULT TO PERCEIVE;

THEY CAN BE KNOWN, BUT CANNOT BE EXPRESSED;

THROUGH THE BUDDHAS' POWER THEY ARE PROCLAIMED:

YOU SHOULD RECEIVE THEM WITH ALL REVERENCE.

WISDOM SUCH AS THIS ENTERS THE PRACTICES;

MILLIONS OF AEON'S SPEAKING DOES NOT EXHAUST THEM

I NOW MERELY SPEAK THEM IN A GENERAL WAY:

WITH A SINGLE MIND, AWAIT IN REVERENCE,

WHILE I RECEIVE THE BUDDHAS' POWER AND SPEAK

SUPREME DHARMAS' SUBTLE, WONDROUS SOUNDS,

WITH ANALOGIES AND WORDS APPROPRIATE.

ALL THE BUDDHAS' LIMITLESS SPIRITUAL POWERS

ALL COME ENTER IN MY PERSON

THE TRUE AND ACTUAL MEANINGS HAVE NO REMAINDER 

THESE PLACES ARE DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS:

I SHALL NOW SPEAK A SMALL PORTION.

COMMENTARY:

AS THE TRACES OF A BIRD IN SPACE/Just as the traces of a bird's flight through the air ARE DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS, DIFFICULT TO DISCERN/When a bird flies through the air, what traces does it have that can be expressed? What traces can be shown to represent it? SO, TOO, ARE THE TEN GROUNDS' MEANINGS/ Therefore it is not easy to express them, not easy for me to instruct you in them, since they are INCOMPREHENSIBLE TO MIND AND THOUGHT/If you use your mind of a living being and thoughts, you will not be able to understand the meanings such as those contained in the Ten Grounds. THEY FROM COMPASSION, KINDNESS AND THE POWER OF VOWS/When Bodhisattvas speak the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds, they all receive the compassion and vow power of the Buddhas, and they APPEAR AND ENTER THE PRACTICES OF THE GROUNDS/They appear in the world to cultivate the doors of practice of the Ten Grounds.  GRADUALLY THERE IS PERFECTION OF THE MIND/Step by step, the mind of wisdom is caused to be perfected, and the Enlightenment of Bodhi is caused to be accomplished. WISDOM'S PRACTICES ARE NOT REFLECTION'S REALM/These Dharma doors are cultivated by wisdom. They are not states that can be understood by people's thinking.

SUCH STATES AS THESE ARE DIFFICULT TO PERCEIVE/These states are not easy to perceive. THEY CAN BE KNOWN, BUT CANNOT BE EXPRESSED/Knowing of them is easy, but to explain them is not at all easy. THROUGH THE BUDDHAS' POWER THEY ARE PROCLAIMED/If they cannot be expressed, then how does one express them? It is because the Buddhas of the ten directions lend their strength, enabling one to explain the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds. YOU SHOULD RECEIVE THEM ALL WITH REVERENCE/All of you Bodhisattvas should respectfully listen to these Dharmas. WISDOM SUCH AS THIS ENTERS THE PRACTICES/These doors of practice are entered through wisdom. MILLIONS OF AEON'S SPEAKING DOES NOT EXHAUST THEM/In hundreds of thousands of ten thousands of millions of kalpas, they can not be expressed to the end. I NOW MERELY SPEAK THEM IN A GENERAL WAY/I, Store of Vajra Bodhisattva, will now speak of them in general, not completely. THE TRUE AND ACTUAL MEANINGS HAVE NO REMAINDER/The true and actual meanings cannot be expressed entirely.

WITH A SINGLE-MIND, AWAIT IN REVERENCE/You all should single-mindedly, respectfully, and in reverence wait for me to explain them, WHILE I RECEIVE THE BUDDHAS' POWER AND SPEAK/I receive the great strength of the Buddhas of the ten directions in order to speak these Dharma doors, DHARMAS' SUBTLE, WONDROUS SOUNDS/The supreme Dharmas are also subtle, wonderful sounds, WITH ANALOGIES AND WORDS APPROPRIATE/There is no way to compare them which would be suitable to these Dharmas. ALL THE BUDDHAS' LIMITLESS SPIRITUAL POWERS/These are the limitless and boundless powers of spiritual penetrations, which aid me and enable me to speak these Dharmas of the Ten Grounds. They ALL COME ENTER IN MY PERSON/THESE PLACES ARE DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS/The Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds cannot be expressed to the end. I SHALL NOW SPEAK A SMALL PORTION/Therefore I shall not be able to explain these places completely. I shall just explain them a little bit.

SUTRA:

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, SUPPOSE THERE ARE LIVING BEINGS WHO HAVE DEEPLY PLANTED GOOD ROOTS, WELL CULTIVATED ALL PRACTICES, WELL ACCUMULATED THE AIDS TO THE WAY, WELL MADE OFFERINGS TO ALL BUDDHAS, WELL COLLECTED WHITE, PURE DHARMAS, BEEN WELL GATHERED IN BY GOOD AND WISE ADVISORS, HAVE WELL PURIFIED DEEP THOUGHT, HAVE ESTABLISHED GREAT RESOLUTIONS, HAVE BROUGHT FORTH VAST, GREAT UNDERSTANDING, HAVE MANIFESTED KINDNESS AND COMPASSION, IN ORDER TO SEEK THE WISDOM OF THE BUDDHAS, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE TEN POWERS, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE GREAT FEARLESSNESSES, IN ORDER TO  OBTAIN THE BUDDHAS' DHARMAS OF EQUALITY, IN ORDER TO RESCUE ALL THOSE IN THE WORLD, IN ORDER TO PURIFY GREAT KINDNESS AND COMPASSION, IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE WISDOM WITH RESIDUE OF THE TEN POWERS, IN ORDER TO PURIFY ALL BUDDHALANDS WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION, IN ORDER TO KNOW ALL THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME IN A SINGLE THOUGHT, IN ORDER TO TURN THE GREAT DHARMA WHEEL WITHOUT FEAR.

Commentary:

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA/Store of Vajra Bodhisattva again says, "All you disciples of the Buddha, SUPPOSE THERE ARE LIVING BEINGS, suppose that there are living beings like this, WHO HAVE DEEPLY PLANTED GOOD ROOTS. They have deeply planted their wholesome roots, WELL CULTIVATED ALL PRACTICES. They are good at practicing the Dharma doors of the Six Perfections and the ten thousand conducts, and have WELL ACCUMULATED THE AIDS TO THE WAY. The have well assembled the Dharma doors that aid in cultivation of the Way, and have WELL MADE OFFERINGS TO ALL BUDDHAS. They are skilled at making offerings to all Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time, and HAVE WELL COLLECTED WHITE, PURE DHARMAS. They know very well how to accumulate pure, white Dharmas, and have BEEN WELL GATHERED IN BY GOOD AND WISE ADVISORS. They know as well how to act as good and wise teachers, being well able to tame and subdue all living beings, and HAVE WELL PURIFIED DEEP THOUGHT. They themselves are well able to have pure, deep thoughts, with no defiled or mixed-up thoughts, and they HAVE ESTABLISHED GREAT RESOLUTIONS.  They have established vast, great and boundless vows and determinations, and HAVE BROUGHT FORTH VAST, GREAT UNDERSTANDING. They have produced limitless and boundless power of understanding, that kind of wisdom, and they HAVE MANIFESTED KINDNESS AND COMPASSION. We who cultivate the Way should always be compassionate, no matter towards whom it may be, and always manifest compassion. Why is that? IN ORDER TO SEEK THE WISDOM OF THE BUDDHAS, to seek the Buddhas' wisdom, and IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE TEN POTTERS. It is because of wishing to obtain the Buddhas ' ten kinds of powers, and IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE GREAT FEARLESSNESSES, to acquire the wisdom which is that of the very greatest fearlessnesses, as well as IN ORDER TO OBTAIN "THE BUDDHAS' DHARMAS OF EQUALITY, the Dharma doors of equality of the Buddhas. It is also IN ORDER TO RESCUE ALL THOSE IN THE WORLD, to save all living beings in all worlds, and IN ORDER TO PURIFY GREAT KINDNESS AND COMPASSION, to purify the great thought of kindness and compassion. It is also IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE WISDOM WITHOUT RESIDUE OF THE TEN POWERS, to obtain the Buddhas' ten kinds of powers without residue, and IN ORDER TO PURIFY ALL BUDDHALANDS WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION, to adorn and purify all Buddhas' lands and cause them to be without obstruction. It is furthermore IN ORDER TO KNOW- ALL THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME IN A SINGLE THOUGHT, in order, in a single thought, to know the causes and effects of past, present and future times, and IN ORDER TO TURN THE GREAT DHARMA WHEEL WITHOUT FEAR, at all times to turn the great wheel of Dharma without any fear. For those reasons they wish to listen to the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds.

SUTRA:

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, WHEN BODHISATTVAS BRING FORTH THOSE KINDS OF THOUGHTS, THEY PUT COMPASSION FOREMOST. THEIR WISDOM INCREASES. THEY ACCUMULATE GOOD AND CLEVER EXPEDIENTS. THEY MAINTAIN MOST SUPERIOR DEEP THOUGHTS. THEY HOLD THE POWER OF THE THUS COME ONES. THEY HAVE THE POWER OF LIMITLESS SKILL IN CONTEMPLATION, DISCRIMINATION AND COURAGE, THE STRENGTH OF WISDOM, AND UNOBSTRUCTED WISDOM MANIFESTS. THEY HAVE ACCORDING AND SPONTANEOUS WISDOM. THEY CAN ACCEPT ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS. THEY USE WISDOM TO TEACH AND TRANSFORM. THAT IS VAST AND GREAT AS THE DHARMA REALM, ULTIMATELY LIKE EMPTY SPACE, TO THE EXHAUSTION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FUTURE.

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, WHEN BODHISATTVAS FIRST BRING FORTH THOSE KINDS OF THOUGHTS, THEY IMMEDIATELY TRANSCEND THE GROUND OF ORDINARY PEOPLE, AND ENTER THE POSITION OF A BODHISATTVA. THEY ARE BORN IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE THUS COME ONES. NO ONE CAN PRONOUNCE ANY FAULTS IN THEIR LINEAGE. THEY ABANDON THE WORLDLY DESTINIES, AND ENTER THE WAY OF WORLD-TRANSCENDENCE. THEY OBTAIN THE DHARMAS OF BODHISATTVAS. THEY DWELL IN THE PLACES OF BODHISATTVAS. THEY ENTER INTO THE SAMENESS OF THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME. WITHIN THE THUS COME ONES FAMILY, THEY ARE CERTAIN TO OBTAIN UNSURPASSED BODHI.

WHEN BODHISATTVAS DWELL IN DHARMAS SUCH AS THOSE, IT IS CALLED DWELLING ON THE BODHISATTVAS' GROUND OF HAPPINESS, BECAUSE OF THE CONNECTION WITH NON-MOVING.

Commentary:

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA—Store of Vajra Bodhisattva again calls out, "All you disciples of the Buddha, WHEN BODHISATTVAS BRING FORTH THOSE KINDS OF THOUGHTS, when Bodhisattvas give rise to such thoughts as those, THEY PUT COMPASSION FOREMOST. Great compassion can relieve the suffering of living beings, so they can separate from suffering and attain to bliss. That is the thought of great compassion. They make the thought of great compassion their foremost work of primary importance. THEIR WISDOM INCREASES. If you cultivate the Dharmas of Bodhisattvas, then you will obtain the Bodhisattvas' wisdom. The more you cultivate the practices of Bodhisattvas, the more your wisdom will increase. THEY ACCUMULATE GOOD AND CLEVER EXPEDIENTS. You will also obtain the unimpeded eloquence of clever expedient methods in speaking Dharma. THEY MAINTAIN MOST SUPERIOR DEEP THOUGHTS. What they maintain is the most superior, subtle and wonderful deep thoughts. THEY HOLD THE POWER OF THE THUS COME ONES. What they hold is the power of the Thus Come Ones. THEY HAVE THE POWER OF LIMITLESS SKILL IN CONTEMPLATION, DISCRIMINATION AND COURAGE. They also have the power of vast, great, limitless wisdom of skill in contemplation, which discerns all states and the power very bravely, and vigorously to go forward and cultivate. They also possess THE STRENGTH OF WISDOM, AND UNOBSTRUCTED WISDOM MANIFESTS. It always manifests. No matter what state comes, it will not get in your way. THEY HAVE ACCORDING AND SPONTANEOUS WISDOM, spontaneous and natural wisdom that is always in accord, and THEY CAN ACCEPT ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS. They are able to receive all Dharma doors spoken by all Buddhas. THEY USE WISDOM TO TEACH AND TRANSFORM, employing wisdom to teach and transform all living beings. THAT IS VAST AND GREAT AS THE DHARMA REALM. Those states are as vast and as great as the Dharma Realm, ULTIMATELY LIKE EMPTY SPACE. At the ultimate degree, they are like empty space, TO THE EXHAUSTION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FUTURE. To the ends of the future, that are that way.

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, all of you disciples of the Buddha, WHEN BODHISATTVAS, the great Bodhisattvas who cultivate the Bodhisattva Way, FIRST BRING FORTH THOSE KINDS OF THOUGHTS, when they have just brought forth such thoughts of great compassion, THEY IMMEDIATELY TRANSCEND THE GROUND OF ORDINARY PEOPLE. Right away they transcend the position of common folk, AND ENTER THE POSITION OF A BODHISATTVA, entering the position of Bodhisattvas.  THEY ARE BORN IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE THUS COME ONES. They have already been born into the Thus Come Ones' family. NO ONE CAN PRONOUNCE ANY FAULTS IN THEIR LINEAGE. There is no one who can find any faults to speak of in the lineage of Bodhisattvas who belong to the Buddhas' household. THEY ABANDON THE WORLDLY DESTINIES. They leave behind the worlds' four evil destinies, those of asuras, hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals, AND ENTER THE WAY OF WORLD-TRANSCENDENCE. They certify to the attainment of the Way, which transcends the three realms. THEY OBTAIN THE DHARMAS OF BODHISATTVAS. They obtain the Dharmas cultivated by Bodhisattvas. THEY DWELL IN THE PLACES OF BODHISATTVAS. They dwell in the places where Bodhisattvas dwell. THEY ENTER INTO THE SAMENESS OF THE THREE PERIODS OF TIME. They obtain the wisdom of entry into the sameness of the three periods of time, the past, the present and the future. WITHIN THE THUS COME ONES' FAMILY, within the line of Thus Come Ones, THEY ARE CERTAIN TO OBTAIN UNSURPASSED BODHI. They will certainly obtain unsurpassed Bodhi, the fruit of Enlightenment, i.e. of Bodhi, than which there is nothing higher.

WHEN BODHISATTVAS DWELL IN DHARMAS SUCH AS THOSE, IT IS CALLED DWELLIN30N THE BODHISATTVAS' GROUND OF HAPPINESS. What is it called when Bodhisattvas dwell in such Dharmas as those? It is the First Ground. They attain the Bodhisattvas' Ground of Happiness, and become very happy. Why is that? It is BECAUSE OF THE CONNECTION WITH NON-MOVING, because they already have samadhi "power, and this happiness is happiness that derives from samadhi. Hence it is due to conjunction with non-moving. It is connected with their samadhi power.

SUTRA:

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, WHEN BODHISATTVAS DWELL ON THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS, THEY ACCOMPLISH MUCH HAPPINESS, MUCH PURE FAITH, MUCH DELIGHT, MUCH BLISS, MUCH ELATION, MUCH ENTHUSIASM, MUCH COURAGE, MUCH FREEDOM FROM CONTENTION, MUCH ABSENCE OF TROUBLING, MUCH ABSENCE OF ANGER. DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, WHEN BODHISATTVAS DWELL ON THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS, THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BUDDHAS. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BODHISATTVAS. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' PRACTICES. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE PURITY OF ALL PARAMITAS. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE SUPREMACY OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' GROUNDS. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' INDESTRUCTIBILITY. THEY GIVE. RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE THUS COME ONES' TEACHING AND TRANSFORMING OF LIVING BEINGS. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE ABILITY TO BENEFIT LIVING BEINGS.

Commentary:

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, calls out Store of Vajra Bodhisattva again, saying, "All of you disciples of the Buddha, WHEN BODHISATTVAS DWELL ON THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS, when Bodhisattvas realize the. Ground of Happiness, THEY ACCOMPLISH MUCH HAPPINESS. They have a great deal of happiness, and MUCH PURE FAITH. Their thoughts of pure faith also increase, and they have MUCK DELIGHT. They produce one-does-not-know-how-much delight and love for the Buddhadharma. They have MUCH BLISS. At all times they feel very happy and serene. No matter where they are, they are blissful and there are no obstacles. It does not matter what obstacles may present themselves, they do not feel them to be obstacles; and no matter what cause for afflictions may arise, they never become afflicted, in all situations and circumstances, they are content at heart. They have MUCH ELATION. They are always elated that they can hear the Buddhadharma, and practice the Bodhisattva Way. They have MUCH ENTHUSIASM. They are always enthusiastic, always vigorous, and never lazy. They have MUCH COURAGE. They are always courageously vigorous. They have MUCH FREEDOM FROM CONTENTION. They never fight or argue with anyone. They have MUCH ABSENCE OF TROUBLING. They never cause people to become afflicted, nor do they ever deliberately trouble others or obstruct them in their cultivation. They have MUCH ABSENCE OF ANGER. The Bodhisattvas who have realized the First Ground, that of Happiness, never become angry no matter how you treat them."

DISCIPLES OF THE BUDDHA, Store of Vajra Bodhisattva calls out again, saying, "All of you disciples of the Buddha, WHEN BODHISATTVAS DWELL ON THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS, when they attain this position of the Ground of Happiness, THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BUDDHAS. They constantly remember and think about all Buddhas, and for that reason they are happy. They are not like us common people who, day in and day out, are jealous and obstructive of one another, and have no thought for the Way. Because they single-mindedly concentrate on thinking of all Buddhas, they have no time to be jealous or obstructive. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BUDDHAS' DHARMAS. They also always remember all the Dharmas spoken by all Buddhas, and they practice in accord with those Dharmas, and so they are very happy. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BODHISATTVAS. Not only are they mindful of the Buddhas and their Dharmas, they are mindful of the Sangha too. They always recollect all the sagely Sangha members, the great Bodhisattvas of the ten directions and the three periods of time, and so they are very happy. If we cultivators of the Way can at all times be mindful of the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, when would we have time to be jealous or obstructive? We would never have the time to spend looking at others' faults. We should always be seeing our own faults, returning the light and illumining inwards. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' PRACTICES. They are also always thinking of the practices cultivated by all Buddhas. Of all the great Bodhisattvas, the Buddhas of the future, some cultivate the door of practice of giving, others of holding precepts, others that of patience, others that of vigor, others dhyana-samadhi, and others wisdom. The Bodhisattvas cultivate those various kinds of practices, the Six Paramitas and the ten thousand practices. Therefore, when Bodhisattvas certify to the Ground of Happiness, they also have the opportunity to cultivate all of those Dharma doors, and because of that they become very happy. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE PURITY OF ALL PARAMITAS. By being mindful of all Paramitas, in the future they will perfect purity, and so they become very happy.

THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE SUPREMACY OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' GROUNDS. They are always thinking of the supremacy of the positions of all Bodhisattvas, and so they become happy. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ALL BODHISATTVAS' INDESTRUCTIBILITY. They think of the Bodhisattvas' realization of the Three Irreversibilities, irreversibility in thought, irreversibility in position, and irreversibility in conduct, and how no heavenly demons or externalist ways can destroy them. Therefore they become very happy. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE THUS COME ONES' TEACHING AND TRANSFORMING OF LIVING BEINGS. They always remember and are mindful of how the Buddhas always compassionately take care of all living beings, causing them to end suffering and attain bliss, and so they become very happy. THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF THE ABILITY TO BENEFIT LIVING BEINGS. They are mindful of being able to cause all living beings identically to obtain benefits of the greatest kind, causing all living beings to hear the Dharma and be saved, and end birth and death—those doors of practice which are most beneficial to living beings. Bodhisattvas, once they can cultivate those various kinds of activities, can obtain the highest kinds of causes and conditions, and for that reason they become very happy.

SUTRA:

THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE KINDFUL OF ENTRY INTO ALL THUS COME ONES' WISDOM AND EXPEDIENTS.

THEY ALSO HAVE THIS THOUGHT, "I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM AND LEFT BEHIND ALL WORLDLY STATES. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I DRAW NEAR TO ALL BUDDHAS. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE LEFT ALL GROUNDS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE FAR BEHIND. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I DRAW NEAR THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE ETERNALLY CUT OFF ALL EVIL DESTINIES. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I AM A PLACE OF RELIANCE FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I SEE ALL THUS COME ONES. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I AM BORN IN THE STATES OF THE BUDDHAS. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I ENTER INTO THE SAMENESS WITH ALL BODHISATTVAS. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE LEFT ALL ALARMING, HAIR-RAISING, AND SO FORTH EXPERIENCES FAR BEHIND."

AND WHY? ONCE THESE BODHISATTVAS ATTAIN THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS, THEY LEAVE ALL FEARS BEHIND. THAT IS TO SAY: FEAR OF NOT LIVING, FEAR OF A BAD REPUTATION, FEAR OF DEATH, FEAR OF THE EVIL DESTINIES, FEAR OF THE AWESOME VIRTUE OF THE GREAT ASSEMBLY.

Commentary;

      THEY GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE THEY ARE MINDFUL OF ENTRY INTO ALL THUS COME ONES' WISDOM AND EXPEDIENTS. The Bodhisattvas who realize the Ground of Happiness also have thoughts, but the thoughts they think are pure. We living beings also have thoughts, but they are defiled. Every thought is of the states of the five desires: wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep. What Bodhisattvas think of is the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha along with the Six Paramitas and the ten thousand conducts. That is what they think about, all of those various kinds of pure states; and so they think. Because they know they have already entered into the Thus Come Ones' wisdom and obtained all kinds of expedients, thus, for that reason, they become very happy.

THEY ALSO HAVE THIS THOUGHT. Bodhisattvas who have certified to the position of the Ground of Happiness, also think in this way, saying, "I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM AND LEFT BEHIND ALL WORLDLY STATES. I have put down, turned away from, all worldly dharmas; and I have turned them:

Turning the common into the sagely,

Turning confusion into Enlightenment;

Turning away from defilement,

And returning to purity.

Because I have turned all worldly states away, therefore I have become very happy." You are not aware of it, but those of you here inside Gold Mountain, even though you have false thinking, your states are far better than those outside. If you go outside, what your eyes see and what your ears hear are all unclean dharmas. But inside Gold Mountain, although you have false thoughts, nonetheless your self-nature is still pure. That is what is known as turning away, from and leaving behind all worldly states; and that is why they become very happy. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I DRAW NEAR TO ALL BUDDHAS. Bodhisattvas of the First Ground are always able to see the Buddhas, and so they can draw near the Buddhas; and for that reason they are very happy.

I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE LEFT ALL GROUNDS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE FAR BEHIND. The common person's thoughts and what he or she pays attention to are not what Bodhisattvas think about or pay attention to. Conversely, what ordinary people do not think of and pay no attention to are precisely what Bodhisattvas wish to study and to think of. That is how they are able to leave the grounds, that is, the positions, of ordinary people far behind, and turn the common into the sagely. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE. I DRAW NEAR THE GROUNDS OF WISDOM. To leave the ordinary is to leave the grounds of ignorance and stupidity far behind. To draw near good, wise advisors is to draw near the grounds of wisdom. For that reason they become happy. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE ETERNALLY CUT OFF ALL EVIL DESTINIES. Bodhisattvas who certify to the First Ground, the Ground of Happiness, cut off all of the bad paths, and never again fall into the four evil destinies. It may happen that they make the vow to go to the four evil destinies to teach and transform living beings, but that is another story. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I AM A PLACE OF RELIANCE FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS. They act as places to rely on. All living beings dwell in reliance and dependence upon the Bodhisattvas, which makes the Bodhisattvas very happy.

I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I SEE ALL THUS COME ONES. They can see the Buddhas all the time, and so they are happy. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I AM BORN IN THE STATES OF THE BUDDHAS. They can always be born in the states of the Buddhas, and so they are happy. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I ENTER INTO THE SAMENESS WITH ALL BODHISATTVAS. They are in nature the same as all Bodhisattvas who cultivate the Bodhisattva Way, and so they become happy. I GIVE RISE TO HAPPINESS BECAUSE I HAVE LEFT ALL ALARMING, HAIR-RAISING, AND SO FORTH EXPERIENCES FAR BEHIND. They are able to leave far behind all fearsome and terrifying experiences of the sort which make the hair on one's head stand on end or give one goose bumps. "And so forth" refers to the Five Fearsome Matters, which are explained below. AND WHY? What are the reasons? ONCE THESE BODHISATTVAS ATTAIN THE GROUND OF HAPPINESS, after these Bodhisattvas have certified to the Ground of Happiness, THEY LEAVE ALL FEARS BEHIND. They are not afraid of anything, because they have seen through everything and put everything down. We people, however, are afraid of this and afraid of that—we're afraid of everything. That is due to not having cultivated and certified to the Ground of Happiness. Once you certify to the Ground of Happiness, with nothing to fear, what is there to be afraid of? If it comes to dying, just die and be done with it. What is there to fear? What are all the fears that they have left behind? THAT IS TO SAY, they are: FEAR OF A BAD REPUTATION. If someone gives me a bad name, what do I do? I get really scared and wonder how I can get my reputation back. That is the fear of people giving you a bad name. Are you afraid of someone saying that you are bad? If someone says that you are a thief, are you in terror? What if they say you rob, kill...don't keep the precepts? Do you fear their saying that you lie and take intoxicants? Those are all examples of bad reputations. FEAR OF DEATH. Then there is the fear of dying. If you are about to die, you become panic stricken. FEAR OF EVIL DESTINIES. There is the further fear of falling into the three evil paths. However, when Bodhisattvas certify to the Ground of Happiness, they do not die and they are unable to fall into the three evil destinies. Therefore they are unafraid.

They also have no FEAR OF THE AWESOME VIRTUE OF THE GREAT ASSEMBLY. The awesome virtue of the Great Assembly refers to several hundred or several thousand—at any rate a lot of people—who invite you to lecture. When you get there, you can't say a word. That is fear of the awesome virtue of the Great Assembly, which makes you so scared you don't dare speak. Furthermore, you may be wondering if what you are about to say will be right or not. You keep thinking, figuring to speak when you get it clearer; but the more you think, the worse it gets. ALL SUCH FEARS ARE ETERNALLY LEFT BEHIND. There are no such fears as those just described. All of them are completely left behind, forever. Therefore, your being afraid of this and being afraid of that is due to not cultivating. If you cultivate, what are you afraid of? You do not fear a thing. From the time I was small, I have never been afraid of anything. I used to go climbing in the mountains where there were all kinds of wild beasts: wolves, bears, panthers, leopards. I made friends with them and played with them, and had no fear. I have never been afraid from the time I was born.

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CELEBRISI'S JOURNEY, a novel. One American's travels across America in search of spiritual progress. By David Rounds.

THREE STEPS, ONE BOW. Two American Buddhist monk's account of their remarkable 1,100-mile bowing journey for world peace.