Bhikshuni Heng Hsien,
IT SAYS THE DHARMA IS THAT WAY. THE WAY OF SAGELY KINGS IS LEVEL AND EVEN, FROM HIGH ANTIQUITY THEIR RULE THE SAME; THE SINGLE VEHICLE'S POOR TO THE MYSTERIOUS, TO WHICH ALL BUDDHAS HAVE IDENTICALLY CERTIFIED. THEREFORE, OF ALL BUDDHAS THE DHARMA IS THAT WAY: IN INFINITE WORLDS THEY ALWAYS TURN THE WHEEL OF DHARMA WHICH IS INFINITE THAT WAY, CAUSING ALL LIVING BEINGS TO RETURN TO THE ORIGIN AND GO BACK TO THE SOURCE. TO THE EXHAUSTION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FUTURE, THEY DO NOT REST.
IT SAYS THE DHARMA IS THAT WAY. The first cause said that the Dharma should be that way. Now it explains that kind of cause, what is meant by "the Dharma should be that way." THE WAY OF SAGELY KINGS IS LEI/EL AND EVEN, FROM HIGH ANTIQUITY THEIR RULE THE SAME. The Way of kingship of all under heaven is level and even, i.e., uniform. "From high antiquity" means covering an extensive period of time, during all of which period they have based their actions upon that rule and traveled along that track. THE SINGLE VEHICLE'S DOOR TO THE MYSTERIOUS. The Flower Adornment Sutra is the Single Vehicle's door to the mysterious and wonderful, TO WHICH ALL BUDDHAS HAVE IDENTICALLY CERTIFIED. All Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time have testified to that inconceivable state.
THEREFORE, OF ALL BUDDHAS THE DHARMA IS THAT WAY: IN INFINITE WORLDS a11 of them teach in just that way. In infinitely many worlds THEY ALWAYS TURN THE WHEEL OF DHARMA WHICH IS INFINITE THAT WAY. They all constantly turn the great Dharma wheel, the wheel of Dharma, which is that way, of the Flower Adornment Sutra’s multi-layered and inexhaustible principles. What are they doing always turning the Dharma wheel? They are CAUSING ALL LIVING BEINGS of the ten directions and the three periods of time TO RETURN TO THE ORIGIN AND GO BACK TO THE SOURCE, to go back to their original face and return to their own source, which is also the source of all Buddhas, the source of all Buddhas being just the source of all living beings' own self-nature. TO THE EXHAUSTION OF THE BOUNDARIES OF THE FUTURE THEY DO NOT REST. They constantly turn the inexhaustible Dharma wheel and do not rest. That is the First Cause: because the Dharma should be that way.
THEREFORE, IN THE INCONCEIVABILITIES CHAPTER IT MAKES CLEAR THAT ALL BUDDHAS ARE ABLE IN A SINGLE BOW TO MAKE MANIFEST BY TRANSFORMATION HEADS AS MANY AS FINE MOTES OF DUST IN INEFFABLY INEFFABLE BUDDHA KSHETRAS; AND THAT EVERY HEAD TRANSFORMS AS MANY TONGUES; AND THAT EVERY TONGUE EMITS AS MANY SOUNDS; UP TO AND INCLUDING TEXTS AND MEANINGS OF PHRASES EACH ONE OF WHICH COMPLETELY FILLS ALL DHARMA REALMS WITHOUT EXHAUSTION.
THEREFORE, IN THE INCONCEIVABILITIES CHAPTER IT MAKES CLEAR. The passage occurs in the Inconceivability Chapter of the Flower Adornment Sutra, in which it is explained how the states of all the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time in teaching and transforming living beings are inconceivable, infinitely many in number, and THAT ALL BUDDHAS ARE ABLE IN A SINGLE BUDDHA BODY, their one Buddha, Body, TO MAKE MANIFEST BY TRANSFORMATION HEADS—"heads" here meaning "bodies"— AS MANY AS FINE MOTES OF DUST IN INEFFABLY INEFFABLE BUDDHA KSHETRAS. "Ineffably ineffable" means there are so many there is no way to discuss them all or make them all understood.
AND THAT EVERY HEAD TRANSFORMS AS MANY TONGUES. In each and every head, that is, in each and every Buddha's person or body, there manifests by transformation as many tongues, meaning tongues as many in number as fine motes of dust in that many Buddha kshetras. They all bring forth the appearance of a vast and long tongue.
AND THAT EVERY TONGUE EMITS AS MANY SOUNDS. Those tongues speak the Dharma, UP TO AND INCLUDING TEXTS AMD MEANINGS OF PHRASES, EACH ONE OF WHICH COMPLETELY FILLS ALL DHARMA REALMS WITHOUT EXHAUSTION. "Up to and including" is a summarizing expression which comprises sounds and heads and tongues, up to and including all texts and all of the meanings and principles contained in each sentence or phrase, the texts and meanings of phrases all completely fill all Dharma Realms without exhaustion that is, they are infinite—the reason being that all Buddhas never rest. And so, the more Dharma is spoken, the more there is; and the more there is, the more there is to speak. The speaking, layer upon layer and inexhaustibly, fills all Dharma Realms, not just this one Dharma Realm of ours, and at no time does the speaking come to an end.
THAT BEING SO, THEN PLACE TAKEN UP IS THE TIP OF A HAIR, HORIZONTALLY COMPRISING DHARMA REALMS. TIME IS TAKEN UP A KSHANA, VERTICALLY EXHAUSTING SEAS OF KALPAS. PLACES ALL AT ONCE ARISE, TIME CONSTANTLY ARISES. DO NOT ADDUCE OTHER CAUSES.
THAT BEING SO, THEN, as a consequence of the principles discussed, in now describing place, PLACE TAKEN UP IS THE TIP OF A HAIR, the tip of a hair-pore's fine hair, HORIZONTALLY COMPRISING DHARMA REALMS. In horizontal terms, ft comprises Dharma Realms. That is, Dharma Realms, which are on so large a scale, can be located upon the point of a single strand of hair. TIME TAKEN UP IS A KSHANA. If one discusses duration of time, time takes one kshana. Within one kshana there are ninety-six instants of birth and death, and a kshana is a very short period of time. The time taken up is a period short as a kshana, yet VERTICALLY EXHAUSTING SEAS OF KALPAS, the kalpas being so many that they are like seas.
PLACES ALL AT ONCE ARISE, which means that the limitlessly many Dharma Realms all come into being, all appear, at one and the same time. This Happens in the same way that the moon enters the 'hundred' streams. That is, the moonlight is reflected in all bodies of water at the same time; it does not appear first in one and then in another. Dharma Realms arise simultaneously in the same manner that moonlight appears in waters, and that kind of state is called sudden arisal.
TIME CONSTANTLY ARISES. "Constantly" means always and forever, constant and eternal, continuous and unceasing. There is no temporary cessation. This means "vertical exhaustion and horizontal pervasion," vertically exhausting the three boundaries and horizontally pervading the ten directions. The "three boundaries" are the boundary of the past, the boundary of the present and the boundary of the future. There is then vertical exhaustion and Horizontal penetration, sudden arisal and constant arisal. Places are described as suddenly arising, while time is described as constantly arising. DO NOT ADDUCE OTHER CAUSES. Do not anticipate or employ other kinds of causes to represent this.
YET IN COMPLIANCE WITH SEEING AMD HEARING, THERE ARE SAID TO BE THE DISTINCTIONS OF FIRST ACCOMPLISHMENT AND NINE ASSEMBLIES ALL THE KINDLY AND COMPASSIONATE ONES, IN THE MIDST OF INFINITY, SUMMARIZE THIS TRANSMISSION.
Still discussing that cause, it goes on to say VET IN COMPLIANCE WITH SEEING AND HEARING, that is, as a consequence of compliance with what living beings see and hear, THERE ARE SAID TO BE THE DISTINCTIONS OF FIRST ACCOMPLISHMENT AND NINE ASSEMBLIES. It is said that the Flower Adornment Sutra was spoken in the Bodhimanda at the time of the first accomplishment of Proper Enlightenment, and that the last of the Nine Assemblies was when the Flower Adornment Sutra was spoken in the Jeta Grove. Basically there is no first and last. From the point of view of truth and emptiness, the state of the Flower Adornment Sutra is one of no beginning and no end, no first and no last. First can be moved to last, and last can be moved to first. That kind of state causes people not to understand. Why shouldn't they understand? If they understood, then it would not be wonderful. If they don't understand then there manifests this kind of state of multi-layered inexhaustibility and ineffable wonder.
ALL THE KINDLY AND COMPASSIONATE ONES, the kindly and compassionate ones being the Buddhas, find a way to speak the wonderful Dharma, which there is no way to speak. They, IN THE MIDST OF INFINITY, within this state of infinitely multi-layered inexhaustibility, SUMMARIZE this TRANSMISSION. They sum up an speak just a few of the inconceivable principles of the Flower Adornment Sutra, transmitting them to the world so that they circulate among people.
WHEN BROUGHT TO SEARCH IN THIS, ONE SEES UNBOUNDED DHARMAS, LIKE PEERING THROUGH A KEYHOLE AMD SEEING BOUNDLESS SPACE. NOW TIMES AMP PLACES BOTH ARE INFINITE. ONE PLACE IS AIL PLACES. ONE TIME IS ALL TIMES.
Some people are objecting to what was said above, that what is ahead can be moved back and that what is back can be moved ahead as totally impossible. Now I'll give you an example of how that can be done. When we now at present go to see plays about the past, we can see everything that people did and said in the past. The kinds of clothes they wore, the kinds of things they used, and everything else can all be seen. Isn't that a case of moving what was back ahead? How can what is ahead be moved back? We now do a lot of imagining about what it will be like when, in the Space Age, we will be able to go to the moon and planets; about how, with the progress of science, our present television and radio will develop to the point that people will be able to talk together as if in person over distances of several tens of thousands of miles without sending telegrams or telephoning. Isn't that Moving the future back? What's ahead can be moved back, and what's back in the past can be moved ahead.
This is like a motion picture film in which there is both movement and stillness. To start with it is still, before you show it, and no one knows what the film is. The film is investigating dhyana—what dhyana no one knows. When it's shown, it moves, and everyone can see what kind of dhyana was being investigated there. Now the text says, WHEN BROUGHT TO SEARCH IN THIS, if you are caused to search into the Flower Adornment Sutra, ONE SEES UNBOUNDED DHARMAS. You will see limitless and boundlessly many wonderful dharmas and inconceivable states. What is this like? It is LIKE PEERING THROUGH A KEYHOLE, like looking out through a tiny opening AND SEEING BOUNDLESS SPACE. Even though the opening is very small, still, looking out of it, you can see throughout all space, a boundless expanse.
NOW TIMES AND PLACES BOTH ARE INFINITE. Why are the place: and times that are under discussion described as being vertically exhaustive and horizontally pervasive? It is because they are the same as looking out from the space delimited by a keyhole and seeing infinite space. Therefore, the times and places are described as being infinite. ONE PLACE IS ALL PLACES. In a single location you can pervasively fill a places. ONE TIME IS ALL TIMES. There is no past, no present, and no future. There is totality, entirety of substance. If you understand that kind of inconceivable state, the uses you will have from it win also be inconceivable.
TWO, BECAUSE OF THE FULFILLMENT OF PAST CAUSES. WHY IS THE DHARMA THAT WAY, THAT THEY IN THAT WAY TURN? IT IS BECAUSE THE PAST CAUSES WERE DEEP. WHEN THE ROOTS ARE DEEP, THEN THE FRUIT IS FLOURISHING. WHEN THE SOURCE IS DISTANT, THEN THE FLOW IS LONG. BECAUSE THE PAST CAUSES WERE DEEP, THE ARISAL OF THE TEACHING IS ALSO GREAT.
TWO, BECAUSE OF THE FULFILLMENT OF PAST CAUSES. The Second Cause is due to the fulfillment of the causes and conditions from previous lives. WHY IS THE DHARMA THAT WAY, THAT THEY IN THAT WAY TURN? Why should the Dharma be that way, that they turn the Dharma wheel and speak the Flower Adornment Sutra? IT IS BECAUSE THE PAST CAUSES WERE DEEP. The reason is that the causes from previous lives were extremely profound. The text goes on to say, WHEN THE ROOTS ARE DEEP, THEN THE FRUIT IS FLOURISHING. Whenever roots extend deep, then the branches, foliage, flowers and fruit will be very abundant, fresh and luxuriant. WHEN THE SOURCE IS DISTANT, THEN THE FLOW IS LONG. When the source of a stream of water is very far away, then the territory it flows through will necessarily be extensive. BECAUSE THE PAST CAUSES WERE DEEP, inasmuch as the causes from past live were that profound, THE ARISAL OF THE TEACHING IS ALSO GREAT. The Teaching spoken by the Buddha is certain to be great.
HOW WERE THEY DEEP AND GREAT? THE BUDDHA, THE WORLD-HONORED ONE, BEGAN AND FOLLOWED THE ESOTERIC TRACES, AMD SETTLED INTO WONDROUS STILLNESS. COMPASSION AND WISDOM WERE BOTH EMPLOYED, WHILE HIS CONDUCT AND VOWS WERE AN EVEN MATCH.
HOW WERE THEY DEEP AND GREAT? What is meant by past lives' causes being deep resulting in the Teaching's being great? It goes on to explain: THE BUDDHA, THE WORLD-HONORED ONE...It's because the World-Honored One, Shakyamuni Buddha, BEGAN AND FOLLOWED THE ESOTERIC TRACES. He started out and followed along the esoteric traces—the inconceivable state—of all the Buddhas of the past, AND SETTLE? INTO WONDROUS STILLNESS. He came to dwell in wonderful stillness, which is also an inconceivable state.
COMPASSION AND WISDOM WERE BOTH EMPLOYED. He used great compassion to teach and transform living beings, causing them to attain great wisdom, leave suffering and attain to bliss. He also employed great wisdom to teach and transform living beings. He simultaneously used great compassion and great wisdom to save living beings. If you only have compassion but no wisdom, you won't be able to contemplate potentials and entice with teachings, speak the Dharma according to the person, and prescribe the medicine according to the illness. Why not? If you only have great compassion but are very stupid, you won't use your compassion appropriately. If you only have great wisdom but lack great compassion, then you won't be able to teach and transform living beings either. Possessing wisdom you will be very intelligent and know living beings are suffering, but you won't have the compassion to go save them. If you have great compassion and great wisdom as well, your compassion assists your wisdom, and your wisdom assists your compassion, and they are mutually employed.
WHILE HIS CONDUCT AND VOWS WERE AN EVEN MATCH. That is, the Buddha on the causal ground made vows to cultivate. His cultivation assisted his vows, and his vows assisted his cultivation. If you don't make vows but just cultivate, you could be said to cultivate blindly, without eyes—for vows are like eyes. If you only have vows but don't cultivate, then you are like a cripple, unable to walk. Your vows and cultivation complement each other as do eyes and legs. With vows, you need practice, and with practice you need vows. If your vows are great and your conduct is great too, then your great conduct and great vows are an even match. This means conduct and vows are perfected.
THEREFORE, WITH FALSE THOUGHT NOT CUT OFF, HE PIERCED STRAIGHT THROUGH TO EMPTINESS. THE EFFICACIOUS MIRROR HAD NOT BEEN POLISHED, YET HE SUDDENLY BECAME CLEAR ABOUT TEN THOUSAND DHARMAS. HE THEN USED UNIMPEDED LIBERATION TO SET FORTH THIS WONDROUS DOOR.
THEREFORE, WITH FALSE THOUGHT NOT CUT OFF...Why isn't false thought cut off? Because it's gone. If you have it, you have to cut it off. But here there is no false thinking, and so no need to sever it. How did he end up with no false thoughts? It's because his vows were great and so was his conduct. The power of his vows and conduct scared his false thoughts away, so he didn't need to cut them off, yet HE PIERCED STRAIGHT THROUGH TO EMPTINESS. Piercing straight through means understanding, in this case understanding the emptiness of the nature:
The self-nature is like empty space:
True and false are within it.
When you pierce straight through to
the basic substance,
With one penetration everything is
One's own nature is just like empty space. Within space are earth, air, fire and water which, however, do not interfere with one another. In the same way, the true and the false are both within the self-nature. When you penetrate through to the basic substance of the self-nature, with the penetration of one mode, you penetrate each and every mode. If you enlighten to one aspect, you'll enlighten to every single matter. Therefore, with one penetration through to the emptiness of the nature, everything is penetrated.
THE EFFICACIOUS MIRROR HAD NOT BEEN POLISHED. This refers to the efficacious mirror in the verse by Dharma Master Shen Hsiu:
The body is a Bodhi tree,
The mind like a bright mirror stand.
Time and again brush it clean,
And let no dust alight.
The mirror is just the mind. It doesn't have to be polished, because it has already been polished to a fine sheen. Wisdom has already emerged. How did that happen? It was due to having great vows and great conduct, which were an even match. The efficacious mirror was then already polished, and the mind needed no further cultivating, for he had already understood the mind and seen the nature.
In light of morning sun
I strike and lop
a dewy white rose from its vine,
In each of the ten directions.
They fall simultaneously,
and I am submerged
in a deluge
in each of the ten directions.
They shatter simultaneously,
the reflection brighter
Fallarino, Catskill N.Y.
FOUR, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ROOT OF THE TEACHING. THAT IS, WITHOUT THE SEA THERE WOULD BE NO HIDDEN FLOWS. WITHOUT THE ROOT THERE WOULD BE NO TRAILING BRANCHTIPS.
FOUR, FOR THE SAKE OF THE ROOT OF THE TEACHING. The Fourth kind of Cause is for the sake of the basic root of the Teaching. It is to act as the basic root of the Teaching that he should speak The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra. There is an analogy for this. It is like the sea, and so it says THAT IS, WITHOUT THE SEA THERE WOULD BE NO HIDDEN FLOWS. If there were no great sea, there would be no hidden flows of water above and below the earth, from the four cardinal points and the eight directions, returning to the sea. WITHOUT THE ROOT THERE WOULD BE NO TRAILING BRANCHTIPS. If you don't attain to the basic root of the Teaching, you have no way to know the branch-tips." This also refers to the sudden being based upon the gradual.
Gradual, step by step methods are spoken for the sake of the Sudden Teaching. Also, this is as described by the T'ien T'ai School:
For the sake of the actual
he bestows the provisional;
Then the provisional is opened
to reveal the actual.
He speaks provisional dharmas for the sake of the actual Dharma. When he opens up the provisional dharmas, the actual Dharma is disclosed. The "root" is actual Dharma, while the "branch-tips" are provisional dharmas. If there were no true and actual Dharma, he would not be able to speak the provisional.
Therefore, without the root there would be no trailing branch-tips. With no root, how could there be foliage? If there were no sea, it couldn't take in the fine streams. This also means that the other sutras are like fine streams, where as The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra is like the great sea. Didn't it say before, "Of multitudes of texts it forms the copious source," the great fountainhead? It also said, "While companies of sutras comprise its retinue." That was just saying that without the sea there would be no hidden flows. So, it is for the sake of the root of the Teaching that he speaks The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, as the root of the Teaching.
INTENDING TO FOLLOW THE POTENTIALS, HE GRADUALLY BESTOWED THE BRANCH-TIP TEACHINGS. AT FIRST, TO REVEAL THE ROOT DHARMA, HE SUDDENLY PROCLAIMED THIS SUTRA.
INTENDING TO FOLLOW THE POTENTIALS...Shakyamuni Buddha wished to Instruct the potentials—that is, the Living beings whom he had been teaching and transforming for limitless great kalpas and whom he needed to teach and transform. Therefore, HE GRADUALLY BESTOWED THE BRANCH-TIP TEACHINGS. Bit by bit he had to start by speaking the branch-tip teachings. However, prior to bestowing the branch-tip teachings-—that is, the Small Teaching, the Initial Teaching, and the Final Teaching, which the T'ien T'ai calls the Tripitaka Teaching, the Agama and the Vaipulya Periods—AT FIRST TO REVEAL THE ROOT DHARMA, at the outset, to explain the fundamental and essential Dharma, HE SUDDENLY PROCLAIMED THIS SUTRA. He, then, very quickly proclaimed The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flowers Adornment Sutra.
THIS IS FURTHER OF TWO KINDS ONE, TO DISCLOSE THE ROOT OF THE GRADUAL. THE APPEARANCES CHAPTER SAYS, "AS WHEN THE SUN FIRST RISES, IT INITIALLY LIGHTS UP THE LOFTY MOUNTAINS." TWO, TO GATHER IN THE BRANCH-TIPS OF THE ROOT, "AS THE SUN, WHEN IT SETS, AGAIN LIGHTS UP THE LOFTY MOUNTAINS."
the previous passage of text, where it said, "in the Fourth, the
Potentials. Covered by the Teaching," it is also referring to the
Fourth Teaching, the Sudden Teaching, for they are potentials covered by
the Sudden Teaching. Now we are discussing the Fourth Cause, For the Sake
of the Root of the Teaching, and THIS IS FURTHER OF TWO KINDS. ONE, TO
DISCLOSE THE ROOT OF THE GRADUAL, to open up the gradual dharmas to reach
the basic, root Dharma. In THE APPEARANCES CHAPTER of The Great Means
Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra there is a passage of text which
SAYS, "AS WHEN THE SUN FIRST, RISES, IT INITIALLY LIGHTS UP THE LOFTY
MOUNTAINS." When the sun comes up in the morning, it first shines
upon Mount Sumeru, the Iron Ring Mountains and the Seven Golden Mountains,
and so forth, reaching the lofty mountains first. What is meant by
"lofty mountains"? They are an analogy for the Great Masters of
the Dharma Body, the Great Bodhisattvas of the Ten Faiths, the Ten
Dwellings, the Ten Conducts, the Ten Transferences and the Ten Grounds.
When the Buddha first accomplished the Way, it was like the sun first
coming up. He spoke Dharma first of all for the Great Bodhisattvas,
speaking the inconceivable Dharma of the Great Flower Adornment Sutra, the
way the sun first shines upon the highest peaks. That was opening the
provisional to reveal the actual, speaking the true and actual Dharma
first of all, which was disclosing the root of the gradual.
BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING WHICH DOES NOT FLOW FORTH FROM THIS DHARMA REALM,
THERE IS "NOTHING WHICH DOES NOT RETURN TO THIS DHARMA REALM.
The basic root stands for the Dharma Realm. All the myriad existing dharmas flow forth from the Dharma Realm. That is known as the one being able to transform into the limitless. BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING WHICH FOES NOT. FLOW FORTH FROM THIS "DHARMA REALM. The limitless return to the one. Didn't we say before that the Dharma Realm is so great there is nothing beyond it and so small there is nothing within it? Discussed in large terms, there is nothing bigger, while in small terms, nothing is smaller. Ultimately, is it large or small? It isn't large and it isn't small. The Dharma Realm is just The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, while The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra is the Dharma Realm. There isn't a single dharma which doesn't come forth from the Flower Adornment Sutra, nor is there any dharma which fails to return to within the Dharma of the Flower Adornment Sutra. Therefore, it is the Dharma of the Dharma Realm, which includes each and every dharma within it.
Consequently, studying the Dharma of The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Sutra is just studying the Dharma of our own self-nature, for our self-nature is identical with the Dharma-Realm. Old people, should study this Dharma Realm because they have little time left to live in this world, the reason being that THERE IS NOTHING WHICH DOES NOT RETURN TO THIS DHARMA REALM, so they should "find" the Dharma Realm. Young people should study this Dhanna too, "because there is nothing which doe's not flow forth this Dharma Realm." They should study this Dharma which has flowed forth from within the Dharma Realm. When you have mastered this Dharma, then those of you who were not filial to their parents will know how to be filial to their parent. Those who were unable to benefit others will know how to do so, for to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way one must benefit oneself by benefiting others.
The Sutra's good points, then, are many. Do you want your parents to live long? You may say, "I would like to be filial, but I'm afraid my parents are going to die soon." It doesn't matter. Come and study the Flower Adornment Sutra. Flower Adornment Bodhisattva fulfills all wishes. If you want your parents to have long lives, he will grant your wish, and you'll be able to be filial longer. If you hope your parents will not have any accidents or illnesses, then study the Flower Adornment Sutra and listen to the Dharma of the Flower Adornment Sutra. Then speak a little Dharma for your parents and get them to give rise to fewer afflictions, and that will decrease their illnesses too, for sickness comes from afflictions. If you have no afflictions, you won't get sick. There are some people who would like to be filial to their parents. However:
tree wishes to be still,
but his parents are gone.
They feel like being filial, but their parents have died, and so they are like trees being blown by the wind, wishing to be still while the wind keeps on blowing. Should they wait for their parents to come back to life before studying the Sutra? No. Although your parents have died, their souls are still in existence. If you master this Dharma, you can save their souls.
Others, when I mentioned filiality, thought to themselves, "This Dharma can't be used in the West. I personally would like to see my parents die sooner so I can inherit their money." You might prefer that, but when you yourself have children they won't stop at wishing for your death but, to avenge their grandparents, will even take a gun and shoot you. Would you prefer that? So be careful not to have those kinds of thoughts.
THE DHARMA FLOWER ALSO SAYS, "THOSE WHO FIRST SEE ME, HEAR WHAT I SAY, AND BELIEVE AND ACCEPT IT, ENTER THE THUS COME ONE'S WISDOM," they attain the wisdom of a Buddha, WHICH IS THE ROOT OF THE GRADUAL. This refers to the basic Dharma underlying the gradual. IT FURTHER SAYS, "EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHO BEFORE CULTIVATED AND STUDIED THE SMALL VEHICLE," WHICH IS THE OPENING OF THE GRADUAL. IT ALSO SAYS, "I NOW TOO AM CAUSED TO COME TO HEAR THIS SUTRA, AND ENTER INTO THE WISDOM OF THE SUTRA," AND ENTER INTO THE WISDOM OF THE BUDDHA." WHICH IS GATHERING THE BRANCH-TIPS TO RETURN TO THE ROOT.
THE DHARMA FLOWER ALSO SAYS, it furthermore says in the Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, "THOSE WHO FIRST SEE ME, HEAR what I SAY, who see me and hear the Dharma I speak, AND BELIEVE AND ACCEPT IT, ENTER THE THUS COME ONE'S WISDOM," they attain the wisdom of a Buddha, WHICH IS THE ROOT OF THE GRADUAL. This refers to the basic Dharma underlying the gradual. IT FURTHER SAYS, moreover, "EXCEPT FOR THOSE WHO BEFORE CULTIVATION AND STUDIED THE SMALL VEHICLE," making exception of those who in the past vowed to study and practice the Small Vehicle, WHICH IS THE OPENING OF THE GRADUAL. This is to open up the gradual from the basic root, which is to bestow the provisional for the sake of the actual.
IT ALSO SAYS, "I NOW TOO AM CAUSED TO COME TO HEAR THIS SUTRA." I have heard this, The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, or, as now The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, which is the same principle, AND ENTER THE BUDDHA'S WISDOM." I acquire the wisdom of a Buddha, WHICH IS GATHERING THE BRANCH-TIPS TO RETURN TO THE ROOT. This gathers in the branch-tips, the Small Vehicle, to return to the Great Vehicle.
THIS THEN INDICATES THE DHARMA FLOWER ALSO DESIGNATES THESE SUTRAS AS THE ROOT.
THIS THEN INDICATES, that is, the previously quoted passages of text also show the DHARMA FLOWER, that within The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra it ALSO DESIGNATES THIS SUTRA AS THE ROOT, saying that The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Sutra is the basic root of the Buddhadharma. The Dharma Flower Sutra is completely perfect and uniquely wonderful, and yet it praises the Flower Adornment Sutra and takes it as its basis. Therefore, the basic root of the Teaching is the Flower Adornment Sutra. There's no doubt about it.
The Avatamsaka Sutra Prologue is a bilingual series. The Chinese in this issue represents the English found in issue #105 as well as this issue.
SPRING RECITATION SESSION
March 16-23 marks a week of Recitation of the name of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva at Void Mountain Monastery and the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Those interested in participating in this intensive session should contact Gold Mountain, 1731 15th Street, San Francisco at (415) 621-5202 or the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, 2000 Talmage Road, Talmage Ca, at (707) 462-0939.
NEW FROM BTTS
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, Volume III contains Chapter Two, Expedients. Available in April, 1979.
Volume II contains a discussion of the ten manifestations of seeing and of
individual and collective karma. Available in April.