COMPOSED BY NATIONAL MASTER CH'ING LIANG  
COMMENTARY BY TRIPITAKA MASTER HSUAN HUA

Translated by Bhiksuni Heng Hsien 
Reviewed by Bhiksuni Heng Yin
Edited by Sramanerika Heng Tao

PROLOGUE:

NINE, IN ORDER TO REVEAL THE CAUSAL NATURE. THAT IS, THE PREVIOUS CAUSES, FRUIT, PRINCIPLE AND SPECIFICS ALL EXIST BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF LIVING BEINGS. IF THE NATURE WERE NOT GOLD OR JADE, ALTHOUGH WORKED, IT WOULD NOT BECOME A PRECIOUS VESSEL.

COMMENTARY:

Nine, the Ninth Cause, is IN ORDER TO REVEAL THE CAUSAL NATURE. It had to be disclosed since, due to our previous covering of ignorance, we were unaware we had a causal nature, or that within our self nature we possessed virtues many as the sands in the Ganges River. Nor did we realize our inherently enlightened wisdom was not different in substance from the Buddha's enlightened wisdom. THAT IS, THE PREVIOUS CAUSES, FRUIT, PRINCIPLE AND SPECIFICS ALL EXIST BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF LIVING BEINGS. They are inherently existent in the self nature of living beings, not obtained from outside. We had them to start with, but didn't know we did, since they had not yet been revealed. Now they are revealed.

IF THE NATURE WERE NOT GOLD OR JADE, if what you had was not gold or jade to start with, although worked, even if you fashioned, cut and polished it, IT would NOT BECOME A PRECIOUS VESSEL. It would only turn out a precious vessel if it actually had been gold or jade in nature all along. Otherwise, you could do nothing. This is saying living beings basically have the Buddha nature and so can become Buddhas. It's because they don't realize they can that they don't cultivate those Dharma doors.

PROLOGUE:

IN AS MUCH AS LIVING BEINGS COMPRISE THE VIRTUES OF THE NATURE IN THEIR SUBSTANCE, THEY TAKE THE SEA OF WISDOM AS THEIR SOURCE. BUT BECAUSE OF CHANGING MARKS THE SUBSTANCE IS DIVIDED. WHEN EMOTION IS PRODUCED, WISDOM IS CUT OFF.

COMMENTARY:

IN AS MUCH AS LIVING BEINGS COMPRISE THE VIRTUES OF THE NATURE IN THEIR SUBSTANCE. Hidden within living beings are the virtues of the nature, many as the grains of sand in the Ganges River, as well as the inherently enlightened wisdom of a Buddha. Since they are hidden, however, living beings are said to include those virtues of the nature in their substance. THEY TAKE THE SEA OF WISDOM AS THEIR SOURCE. They draw their fundamental source from the enlightened nature. but because of changing MARKS, THE SUBSTANCE IS DIVIDED. They become confused about their inherent, true suchness, and attached to names and appearances, forgetting all about their original self nature of true thusness.

WHEN EMOTION IS PRODUCED, WISDOM IS CUT off. As soon as emotional love arises, it cuts off wisdom, preventing it from shining forth. That original wisdom then seems to be lost, but it has only been forgotten. You stop using that original wisdom, and it turns into false thinking instead. "Because of changing marks the substance is divided" refers to reactions to states, while "When emotion is produced, wisdom is cut off" expresses this in terms of the mind. When emotion and love arise in your mind, they cover up your wisdom. Every one of us basically has the same kind of wisdom as National Master Ch'ing Liang, who could read seven lines of type in one glance. But our emotions are so heavy they press our wisdom into the ground. What most prevents you from cultivating is emotion. As soon as it arises it cuts off wisdom.

Speaking Dharma is very difficult. Whether you tell the truth or not, people don't believe you. The force of living beings' habits is such that if you tell them about good dharmas they disbelieve, but they will believe the evil dharmas you tell them. Now quite a few people don't believe that "When emotion is produced, wisdom is cut off" is correct. You can go home and think it over until you get it clear. Whether you believe or not is up to you. That's all I'm going to say about it for now.

PROLOGUE:

      NOW THEY ARE CAUSED TO KNOW THE MIND UNITES WITH THE SUBSTANCE. WHEN ONE PENETRATES THE ROOT, EMOTION IS GONE. HE THEREFORE SPEAKS THIS SUTRA, IN ORDER TO REVEAL IT.

COMMENTARY:

NOW THEY ARE CAUSED TO KNOW THE MIND UNITES WITH THE SUBSTANCE. Now you are made aware that your permanent, true mind, the wisdom of a Buddha you have had from the start, is empty and still. When you realize the mind is empty and still, names and marks all disappear. The mind is empty, names and characteristics are gone, and because of that your inherent virtues of the nature, your inherent wisdom which is just the knowledge and vision of a Buddha you always had can unite with your substance. When the virtues of your nature appear and are revealed, you then penetrate to the root. You comprehend the fact that your inherent mind has no place of dwelling, no attachments. When the mind has no place of attachment, your false thinking disappears. The reason you had false thinking was due to your attachments, so when you relinquish your attachments, false thoughts naturally do not arise. With the non production of false thoughts, your true and proper wisdom manifests. Then, should you wish to have a false thought, you won't. Why not? The light of your wisdom will completely melt away the darkness of your false thinking.

False thinking is just your ignorance. A lot of people, when asked why they did something wrong, will say they don't know. That is ignorance. They don't understand. Ignorance gives you so much help, you really ought to bow to your ignorance every day. Eventually you will bow it into understanding, if you bow and ask it to leave you fast. Basically, you cannot attain the true by establishing merit, but you must apply your efforts to the utmost, until you reach the point where no more effort can be made. Then you will have succeeded in recovering your inherent wisdom.

An earlier section of the prologue (Vajra Bodhi Sea #106, page 9) said, "When the roots are deep, then the fruit is flourishing. When the source is distant, then the flow is long," and "source" was just mentioned again in the text. It's not from cultivation that you obtain that source yet you have to push your cultivation to the ultimate point, to where there is nothing left to cultivate and cultivation is ended, and then you accomplish your source. When that source is accomplished, when one penetrates the root, emotion IS gone. That emotion changed into wisdom. Before it said, "When emotion is produced, wisdom is cut off," and now, when wisdom is produced, emotion is ended.

The reason we are people is because we have emotions.

Womb-born beings are born due to emotions.

--Surangama Sutra

Don't get rid of your emotion, though, for it arose from wisdom. That wisdom was eclipsed by ignorance, which led to the arisal of emotion. Your wisdom was covered over, but now you have penetrated to the root and understood your origin, so your wisdom comes forth and emotion is gone.

HE THEREFORE SPEAKS THIS SUTRA, IN order TO reveal IT. He wished to teach everyone to penetrate to the root and be rid of emotion, and so he spoke this, the Flower Adornment Sutra, to reveal it clearly. What makes us people? It's from having heavy karmic obstacles and being confused by emotion to the point you can't pull yourself out, as if sinking in quicksand. If you were purified of karma and empty of emotion, you would be enlightened, a Buddha. There's nothing strange or uncanny about it. You should decrease your emotion so that it becomes lighter day by day and your ignorance brighter day by day, turning ignorance into bright understanding which is simply the shining forth of your enlightened wisdom.

Today Kuo Su's mother has come to visit, and I think this is probably the first time she's seen so large a Buddha hall in this country, where people actually bow to the Buddha and recite the Buddha's name. She has visited Thailand and toured Asia, visiting temples and Buddha halls. In Thailand there is a reclining Buddha, who has been asleep for more years than anyone knows. It's very large and long, probably longer than this hall of ours. She probably saw that sleeping Buddha there. Now here in America we shouldn't worship a sleeping Buddha, but should praise and make offerings to an awakened Buddha. So in this country in the future we can erect a standing, or even a walking Buddha that can move from place to place. Don't have it sleep. The Buddha sleeps in Thailand because the climate is so hot even the Buddha has to rest; but this country has a temperate climate, so one shouldn't sleep but wake up, open one's eyes. In the future, this country will have walking Buddhas, not ones that lie down and don't move. Who are the standing Buddhas? They are we people of the present. Each one of us is doing a great deal of work right now, which is precisely to walk along the path to Buddhahood, standing up.

I'm very happy Kuo Su's mother has come to visit, and I hope she will stay a few days longer to see what we are like. She understood right away and was delighted for her son to leave home to cultivate. That's very unusual. Most parents are not pleased when their children leave home. They would rather leave home themselves than let their sons do so. There was someone like that here last year who wanted to leave home but when her son asked her why she didn't want him to leave home had nothing to reply, but found it strange he should ask her such a question; Kuo Su's mother, though, has visited many Buddhist countries, and so she knows that Buddhism is very great.

When a single child enters the Buddha's door,

Nine generations ascend to the heavens.

That person's ancestors for nine lives back all get reborn in the heavens.

Some people study the Buddhadharma for awhile and then retreat. How can you retreat? Your fathers and mothers, grand≠mothers and grandfathers are all waiting for you to save them so they can become Buddhas too. When you retreat, they all start weeping. So in cultivating the Way you can only progress, you can't turn back. Each of us brings for the resolve for Bodhi, ...and that resolve must be higher every day and greater every day, until it's so big there's nothing beyond it, so small there's nothing inside it and then your work will have success.

PROLOGUE:

THIS IS ALSO OF TWO KINDS: ONE, USING WORDS TO REVEAL, TO CAUSE THEM TO KNOW OF ITS EXISTENCE. TWO, CAUSING THEM TO CULTIVATE, AWAKEN TO AND ENTER ITS MANIFESTATION, JUST AS IN THE FOLLOWING "BREAKS THE DUST, BRINGS FORTH THE SUTRA SCROLL," AND SO FORTH.

COMMENTARY:

      THIS IS ALSO OF TWO KINDS: ONE, USING WORDS TO REVEAL. There are two kinds of revelations. The first is to talk about the causal nature, the inherently enlightened wisdom of all living beings, using words to describe the virtues of the nature many as the sands in the Ganges River, which they all have. One uses words and language to make them understand, TO CAUSE THEM TO know of its existence, so living beings all know within the cause they all have the Buddha nature. For if you don't tell them, living beings don't realize their causal nature is the same as that of the Buddha. Now he tells them saying, "You all have the wisdom of a Thus Come One, and his virtuous characteristics too."

TWO, CAUSING THEM TO CULTIVATE. The second is to cause all living beings to rely upon the Dharma spoken by the Buddha and cultivate. Why? So they awaken TO AND ENTER ITS MANIFESTATION. They cultivate and reach and understanding in which their basically existent Buddha nature manifests in clear revelation, JUST AS IN THE FOLLOWING, as the Sutra text will later say, "BREAKS THE DUST, BRINGS FORTH THE SUTRA SCROLL," AND SO FORTH. That passage reads:

It's as if there were a great Sutra scroll,

In measure equal to the Three Thousand Realm,

Found inside a single mote of dust,

And each and every dust mote were that way;

And there was a person of bright wisdom,

Whose pure eyes completely, clearly see,

Who breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll,

Vastly benefiting living beings.

The Buddha's wisdom also is that way,

Pervasive in the minds of living beings.

By false thinking they are bound and tied,

Unaware of it, they do not know.

All Buddhas with great kindness and compassion,

Cause them to eliminate false thoughts,

In that way even up to its manifestation,

To benefit all of the Bodhisattvas.

This is an analogy. Imagine there were a huge Sutra scroll, "in measure equal to the Three Thousand Realm. Some people are saying, I've never seen a Sutra large as that, big as a Three Thousand Great Thousand World System, nor have I ever seen a Sutra so small it would fit into a fine mote of dust." Of course you haven't. If you were able to see a Sutra that huge inside a particle of dust, you too could break open the dust and read the Sutra for yourself. It's because you don't under≠stand that you can't open up the particle of dust and see the Sutra of that size. And there is a Sutra that large inside every single particle of dust, not just one. "A person of bright wisdom," intelligent and wise, "whose pure eyes completely, clearly see," means he has the pure Dharma eye, so he can see the Sutra in size equal to the Three Thousand Realm even while it's stored inside a particle of dust. "Who breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll." He smashes open the particle of dust and takes out the Sutra big as the Three Thousand Great Thousand World Realm, "vastly benefiting living beings," teaching, transforming and bringing benefit to all living beings on a vast scale.

"The Buddha's wisdom also is that way, pervasive in the minds of living beings." The wisdom of a Buddha resides within the minds of all living beings, but "by false thinking they are bound and tied. Unaware of it they do not know." It's the same as the huge Sutra being inside every mote of dust yet no one being able to see it. The Buddha's wisdom is like that great Sutra scroll, and it's within the minds of living beings the way the Sutra is inside the motes of dust no one knows about it. But someone very intelligent and wise realizes the Sutra is in the dust motes, and the Buddha's wisdom is that way too. The Buddha said:

All living beings have the virtuous characteristics of the Thus Come One's wisdom. It's only due to false thinking and attachments that they do not certify to its attainment.

The Surangama Sutra further says:

When the mad mind stops, that very stopping is Bodhi.

Since our mad minds have not been put to rest, for us it isn't Bodhi. The mad mind keeps you constantly upside down, thinking wildly and confused. What pushes you not to follow the rules is the mad mind, and it is behind every impulse you have towards the inverted and improper. When you put that mad mind to rest, its very stopping is Bodhi.

      "By false thinking they are bound and tied." That mad mind is just your present false thinking, and it binds up your true and proper wisdom so it does not come forth. "Unaware of it they do not know." It's not so important that it's tied up, for if you wake up and realize it, something can still be done. But you don't wake up, and you do not know, and so "All Buddhas with great kindness and compassion cause them to eliminate false thoughts." The Buddhas all are very compassionate and help you and all beings get rid of that false thinking, put the mad mind to rest it's very stopping being Bodhi. "In that way even up to its manifestation," until Bodhi, your enlightened nature, comes forth "to benefit all of the Bodhisattvas," each and every one.

PROLOGUE:

IT IS ALSO AS THE DHARMA FLOWER SAYS: "ONLY WE TO THE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS OF ONE GREAT HATTER DID HE APPEAR IN THE WORLD. THAT IS, TO OPEN, DISCLOSE, MAKE ENLIGHTEN TO AND ENTER THE KNOWLEDGE AND VISION OF A BUDDHA." LIVING BEINGS POSSESS IT EQUALLY, AND SO IT SAYS, "ONLY ONE."

COMMENTARY:

In the previous discussion of breaking open fine motes of dust and bringing forth the Sutra scroll, the fine motes of dust represented our minds as living beings and the Sutra scroll is the Buddha's wisdom. That makes each one of us like a particle of dust, and so it's not strange someone was having the false thought that he had never seen a Sutra that big or that small for it basically is an analogy and represents that Buddha's wisdom. How can you see an analogy as if it actually existed? It's only symbolic.


      IT IS ALSO AS THE DHARMA FLOWER SAYS, the way it's put in the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, when it says of the World Honored One, Sakyamuni Buddha, "only DUE TO THE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS OF ONE GREAT MATTER DID HE APPEAR IN THE WORLD." The reason Sakyamuni Buddha appeared in the world was a single great matter, the grave concern of human birth and death, to have beings diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi and wisdom, and put to rest greed, hatred and stupidity. "that IS," namely, "IN ORDER TO OPEN" the knowledge and vision of a Buddha, ridding beings of all defiling dharmas so they return to their inherent, pure, bright wonderful nature.

The self nature of each one of us is pure and bright. It's due to the arisal of ignorance that, within the pure and wondrously luminous self nature, defilement seems to be produced. It's comparable to glass, which originally was transparent but becomes coated with dust so no one can see through it. As soon as ignorance arises in people, greed, hatred and stupidity appear. You can see this in children. A newborn child is very intelligent, but afterwards has progressively more faults, feeling greedy, getting angry, and becoming stupid. Those act as obstacles, which cover the pure, bright wonderful nature the child had to start with. Now it must be revealed, to open the knowledge and vision of a Buddha.

      "To disclose the knowledge and vision of a Buddha." This means to make living beings understand we all have within our minds the wisdom of a Buddha. It is also to make living beings enlighten to the wisdom knowledge and vision of a Buddha, AND make living beings able to enter the Buddha's Wisdom, THE KNOWLEDGE AND VISION OF A Buddha." Entry here means ultimate understanding, the opening of enlightenment, which is like entrance, but actually involves no entry and no exit. It also means there are no states into which one could enter and not feel in one's element; that one is happy under any circumstances, very delighted and content.

Why does it say, "Only one?" It's because living beings possess IT equally. Living beings very equally and impartially all have this wisdom knowledge and vision of a Buddha. It's not that you have more or I have less, or that yours is larger and mine smaller. We share it equally, AND SO IT SAYS, "ONLY ONE." We all have one and the same wisdom, knowledge and vision of a Buddha.

You have your share of the Buddha nature, I have mine and others have theirs. No one is without it; every person has it. You say, "I don't believe it." Even if you don't believe, you too have a share. Whether people believe in the Buddha or not, they equally have a share, and so it says, "Only one."  All living beings possess have a share of the Buddha's wisdom. It's just that some people know they have it, and others don't. Those who know they have it are able to cultivate and attain that wisdom. Those who don't know they have it are unable to cultivate, and don't attain that wisdom. This is most equitable.

The Buddhadharma is open to all without any selfishness. You don't have more of the Buddha nature if you profess belief in the Buddha, or less of it if you don't believe in the Buddha. You may say, "I do bad things. Does that decrease my Buddha nature?" No. You say, "I do good deeds. Will my Buddha nature be greater because of that?" No, it won't increase either. You say, "Well, if doing bad or good makes no difference in the size of my Buddha nature, then I may as well do all the bad I can, because the distribution is too equal. No matter how one acts one has it, so why should I bother to do good?"

Not bad. That's a very clever observation on your part. There's no one smarter than you are. The reason people should or shouldn't do bad or good has nothing to do with the amount of Buddha nature they will or will not have. It's that if you do good you will ascend, and you will fall if you do bad. When you become a Buddha, you haven't increased the size of your Buddha nature, and when you turn into a hungry ghost you don't have a smaller Buddha nature. It does not increase or diminish, is not produced or destroyed, is not defiled or pure. Yet if you want to go up by doing good, you can become a Buddha. If you do evil you will fall into the hells, turn into a hungry ghost, and become an animal. By doing good you become a Bodhisattva, an Arhat, or are reborn in the heavens as a god enjoying heavenly bliss. Whether you cultivate or not makes no difference in your Buddha nature, which is most impartial, all possessing it equally, and so it says, "Only one." If you look into this you'll find it has a lot of meaning.

      The Buddhadharma, when it comes right down to it, is spoken simply to tell living beings not to have false thinking. Now someone is saying, "I didn't have any false thinking at all in the beginning, but the more I listen to the Buddhadharma, the more false thinking I have. I get better and better at having false thoughts the more I listen." This, too, is acquiring wisdom. You weren't able to have false thoughts before and now you can, and that is an opening of wisdom. If you were able to have false thoughts before and now you can't, that too is opening of wisdom. The affairs of the world are characterized by production and extinction. Some people gain advantages, while others have even more false thoughts from listening.

Now those with more false thoughts shouldn't worry that there are a lot. Count them and see how many there are. I think you'll find you don't have any. You say, "One false thought, two false thoughts, three false thoughts..." Count up to ten false thoughts, and you won't have any more because you'll fall asleep. If you don't have any false thoughts, you can try to have some. Say, "Hurry up, false thought. Why haven't you come yet? Get on with it." Look for some. If you donít find any, then you will have opened enlightenment. If you can count them all up, then you'll be enlightened too. In short, if you have skill it's right no matter what you do. If you don't have skill, you'll have trouble no matter how you try.

PROLOGUE:

TEN, TO BENEFIT THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE. SINCE EACH EQUALLY HAS A SHARE, THE BENEFITS ARE VAST AND BOUNDLESS.

      THIS IS ALSO OF TWO KINDS: ONE, BENEFIT TO THE PRESENT, THAT IS, THE POTENTIALS CONTEMPORARY WITH THE BUDDHA. TWO, BENEFIT TO THE FUTURE, THAT IS, THOSE WHO NOW SEE AND HEAR. THE CHAPTER ON BRINGING FORTH THE MIND SAYS, "ALL WE BUDDHAS PROTECT AND MAINTAIN THIS DHARMA, SO THAT IN FUTURE TIMES THE BODHISATTVAS WHO HAVE NEVER HEARD IT if ILL ALL COME TO HEAR IT."

COMMENTARY:

TEN, TO BENEFIT THE PRESENT AND THE future. This brings us to the Tenth Cause, the benefits now and later. SINCE EACH Equally HAS A share, since as was just stated all living beings equally possess the Buddha's knowledge and vision, the wisdom of a Buddha and the Buddha-nature, each person has an equal, individual share, Consequently, THE BENEFITS ARE VAST AND boundless. The benefit is on a vast scale.

This IS ALSO OF TWO kinds. There are two aspects within the door of benefit to present and future. One, the first, is benefit to the present. The "present" in this context is not our present but our past, the time, which was the present for Sakyamuni Buddha. That IS, the potentials CONTEMPORARY WITH THE BUDDHA, the Assembly of current potentials at the time of the Buddha: the Great Masters of the Dharma Body, the Bodhisattvas. TWO, BENEFIT TO THE future, the future of the past, which is our present time. It means benefiting us now, and so it says, that is, THOSE who now see and HEAR. All of us who now see and hear this Great Flower Adornment Sutra all benefit.

THE CHAPTER ON BRINGING FORTH THE MIND SAYS, "ALL WE BUDDHAS PROTECT AND maintain THIS dharma." In the Chapter on Bringing Forth the Mind, even the Buddhas bring forth the mind saying, "All of us Buddhas have brought forth the mind to guard and hold this inconceivable, wonderful Dharma of the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, SO THAT IN FUTURE TIMES and future worlds ALL THE bodhisattvas, down to the very last one, who have never heard it, this Dharma, will ALL COME TO HEAR IT. How, then, have you and I and everyone else had the good fortune to hear the Flower Adornment Sutra? It's because the Buddhas long ago knew we would be here speaking the inconceivable Dharma of the Flower Adornment Sutra, having determined that all who had never heard this Dharma of inconceivable, unobstructed liberation would all be able to hear it. So in the future every single person must hear and see the Flower Adornment Sutra. You who are listening to it right now are the listeners of the present, and you should cause people in the future to hear the principles of the Flower Adornment Sutra too.

PROLOGUE:

THIS BENEFIT HAS TWO FURTHER ASPECTS: ONE, BECAUSE IT ACTS AS A SOLID SEED FOR THOSE WHO SEE AND HEAR IT. THE MANIFESTATIONS CHAPTER SAYS, "JUST AS WHEN A PERSON EATS A SMALL PIECE OF VAJRA IT ULTIMATELY NEVER DIGESTS," AND SO FORTH.

COMMENTARY:

THIS BENEFIT HAS TWO FURTHER ASPECTS. There are two more kinds of benefit involved. One, the first kind, is because IT ACTS AS A SOLID SEED FOR THOSE WHO SEE AND HEAR IT. Whether you see or hear the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, in either case it becomes a solid seed of Buddhahood for you. THE MANIFESTATIONS CHAPTER SAYS, explaining what that means, "JUST AS when A person," by way of analogy, "EATS A small piece OF vajra," even a minute amount of adamantine substance, in that person's stomach "it ULTIMATELY NEVER DIGESTS." No matter how good your digestion is and how strong your stomach acids, you absolutely won't be able to digest that vajra. The vajra is an analogy for the Flower Adornment Sutra. Once you plant that vajra seed, it eventually will sprout and you will become a Buddha, in the same way swallowed vajra will never digest in the stomach.

PROLOGUE:

TWO, BECAUSE IT CAUSES ONE TO BRING FORTH, PRACTICE, ACCOMPLISH, AND CERTIFY TO ENTRY. THE MANIFESTATIONS CHAPTER ALSO SAYS, "SHOULD THERE BE A BODHISATTVA WHO FOR LIMITLESS HUNDRED, THOUSAND, MILLION NAYUTAS OF KALPAS CULTIVATES THE SIX PARAMITAS, PRACTICING VARIOUS KINDS OF BODHI SHARE DHARMAS, YET HAS NEVER HEARD THIS INCONCEIVABLE DHARMA DOOR OF THE THUS COME ONE'S GREAT, AWESOME VIRTUES, OR IF SOME TIME HAS HEARD IT BUT DOES NOT BELIEVES OR UNDERSTAND IT, HOT ACCORD WITH IT OR ENTER, HE CANNOT BE CALLED A TRUE AND ACTUAL BODHISATTVA, NOR CAN HE BE BORN IN THE THUS COME ONE'S FAMILY. IF SOMEONE HEARS THIS DHARMA, BELIEVES AND UNDERSTANDS IT, ACCORDS WITH IT AND HAS AWAKENED ENTRY TO IT, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT PERSON WILL BE BORN IN THE THUS COME ONE'S FAMILY, UP TO AND INCLUDING WILL DEEPLY ENTER THE UNOBSTRUCTED STATE OF A THUS COME ONE.

COMMENTARY:

Two, the second aspect of its benefit, is BECAUSE IT CAUSES ONE TO BRING FORTH, PRACTICE, ACCOMPLISH, AND CERTIFY TO ENTRY. It causes you to bring forth the mind for Bodhi, practice these inconceivable Dharma doors of great, awesome virtue, be able to accomplish your work in the Way, and certify to inconceivable fruit of enlightenment. THE MANIFESTATIONS CHAPTER ALSO SAYS, "SHOULD THERE BE A BODHISATTVA" of this type, "WHO FOR LIMITLESS HUNDRED, THOUSAND, MILLION NAYUTAS OF KALPAS," that long a time, extending for so many great kalpas, CULTIVATES THE SIX PARAMITAS:"

1. Giving.

a. Wealth.

b. Dharma.

c. Fearlessness.

2. Holding Precepts.

a. The Five Precepts.

b. The Eight Precepts.

c. The Ten Precepts.

d. The Ten Heavy and Forty eight Light Bodhisattva Precepts.

e. The Two Hundred and Fifty Precepts.

f. The Three Hundred and Forty eight Precepts.

3. Patience.

a. Patience with Production.

b. Patience with Dharmas.

c. Patience with the Non Production of Dharmas.

4. Vigor.

a. Vigor of Body.

b. Vigor of Mind. (In the six periods of the day and night)

5. Dhyana Samadhi.

6. Prajna Wisdom.

He practices them all: giving, hold in precepts, being patient and also vigor.

For the most part, patient people are very lazy, not diligent. They say, "Patience. Just put up with it. You scold me? I don't hear it. You beat me? It's not important." Having that attitude they are lazy. But this person is not only able to be patient, he isn't lazy. In his cultivation there's no time when he isn't vigorously cultivating the Dharmas of the Six Paramitas the Six Crossings.

He is also skilled in Ch'an meditation. As soon as he sits in meditation he enters samadhi, and can collapse limitless aeons into a kshana, and the split second interval of a kshana he can extend to become limitless kalpic aeons. Within samadhi he turns the Great Dharma Wheel, teaching and transforming living beings, and performs the Buddha's work on a great scale. He furthermore has wisdom. One can be in samadhi and not clearly recognize states for what they are as they appear if one lacks wisdom. But he can also recognize those states: "Ah, this state has come. Such was the cause, and such is the effect." Another state comes along and he says, "Such is the effect, and such was the cause." He recognizes them all.

He doesn't limit himself to cultivation of the Six Crossings, but is also "PRACTICING VARIOUS KINDS OF BODHI SHARE dharmas." He does everything one should do when one brings forth the great mind for Bodhi. But what? "YET" he "HAS never HEARD THIS, "The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, which is "THE INCONCEIVABLE DHARMA DOOR OF THE THUS COME ONE'S GREAT, AWESOME VIRTUES." The next line says, "OR if some time HAS heard IT." Maybe he has heard it, "but" he "does not believe" it. Hearing it he says, "I don't believe that. How could a single particle of dust contain the Three Thousand Great Thousand World System, which is so huge? I really don't understand this Dharma!" He doesn't believe "OR understand IT, NOT ACCORD WITH IT..." He says, "I don't understand it, so I'm not going to go along with it. I'm not going to rely on that kind of Dharma to cultivate." Not to accord with it means to oppose it: "I don't believe what you say. It doesn't hold water." He doesn't believe, understand, accord with if OR ENTER it. Not to enter it means not to obtain the benefits from it. Does it then mean exiting? No. It means no entering and no leaving.

"HE CANNOT BE CALLED A TRUE AND ACTUAL BODHISATTVA." The person who cultivates the Six Paramitas and all the various Bodhi share Dharmas turns out to be a phony Bodhisattva, not a real one! That's because he's an unaccomplished Bodhisattva who has no proper path, a Bodhisattva of the causal ground, not the ground of the fruit, "BECAUSE HE CANNOT BE BORN IN THE thus come one's family." He can't be born in the household of the Buddha.

"IF SOMEONE HEARS THIS DHARMA," of The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, "BELIEVES AND UNDERSTANDS IT, ACCORDS WITH IT," transmitting that faith and comprehension into cultivation based upon that Dharma, "AND HAS AWAKENED ENTRY TO IT," penetrative understanding which is opening enlightenment, you SHOULD KNOW THAT PERSON WILL BE BORN IN THE THUS come ONE'S FAMILY." He will be born in the household of the Buddha, which means he will become a Buddha, "Up TO AND INCLUDING WILL DEEPLY ENTER THE UNOBSTRUCTED STATE OF A THUS COME ONE."

"Up to and including" means a considerable amount has been abbreviated here, including: "will follow in accord with the states of all Thus Come Ones, will be endowed with all Bodhisattva Dharmas, will be secured in the state of the wisdom of all modes," the various kinds of wisdom of a Buddha, "will leave all worldly dharmas far behind, will bring forth all practices of a Thus Come One, will penetrate the. Dharma nature of all Bodhisattvas. Towards the self mastery" the free and easy unobstructed, inconceivable states "of a Buddha, his mind will have no doubts." He doesn't think, "Dust motes containing Three Thousand Great Thousand World Realms and Great Thousand World Realms entering fine motes of dust just doesn't make sense!" He has no doubts regarding such inconceivable states as that. "He will dwell in the Dharma of No Teacher." Within that kind of unobstructed Dharma, one understands on one's own without requiring a Teacher, and can get along without one. Of course, if you haven't reached that level you can't get all puffed up and think, "I feel I can get by on my own now." If you do that, you're finished. If you feel you can, then it's certain you can't.

All that just listed by abbreviated in quoting the long passage in the Sutra by saying, "Up to and including will deeply enter the unobstructed state of a Thus Come One."

PROLOGUE:

MOREOVER, CULTIVATION INVOLVING DOING, AFTER MANY KALPAS, EVENTUALLY DECAYS.

COMMENTARY:

MOREOVER, CULTIVATION INVOLVING DOING, that is, conditioned cultivation of conditioned Dharmas, which has marks and so entails decay, AFTER MANY KALPAS eventually DECAYS.  And so the Vajra Sutra says:

All with marks is false and empty.

If you see all marks

As no marks,

Then you see the Thus Come One.

The Vajra Sutra also says:

All conditioned dharmas

Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, shadows,

Like dewdrops and a lightning flash:

Contemplate them thus.

Each and every conditioned dharma is like a dream, like an unreal illusion, like a bubble in the water, and like a shadow, as well as like a drop of dew or a flash of lightning...that's how you should look upon them. If you were in the middle of a dream and someone were to tell you, "Right now you are dreaming," it's certain you would not believe it. You'd say, "Right now I'm wide awake, so why do you say I'm dreaming?" When the person wakes up you don't have to tell him. On his own he realizes, "Oh, just now I was having a dream."

Bubbles and shadows are as unreal as dreams and illusions. They seem to exist, but try to grasp them and they're gone. Dewdrops are unreal as well, and so are flashes of lightning which accompany thunder. Although you may use cultivation involving doing, the practice of conditioned dharmas, for many long, great kalpas, eventually it will decay. In the long run it won't last, because it has marks and has outflows. For example, people cultivate in order to be reborn in the heavens to be, as they say, together with Lord God in Paradise, the summit of bliss. Bliss it may be, but it lasts only for the blink of an eye, because it involves outflows decays. So if you cultivate the blessings of the heavens, when those blessings are used up, you will again fall into the Three Realmsí revolving wheel of the six paths. It eventually decays.