MOREOVER, OF THE PLACES WERE THE TEN DWELLINGS AND SO FORTH ARE SPOKEN, ALTHOUGH EACH PERVADES THE DHARMA REALM, UP TO AND INCLUDING DUST AND HAIRS, THEIR DOORS STILL ARE NOT IDENTICAL, NOR ARE THEY CONFUSED.
MOREOVER, OF THE PLACES WHERE THE TEN DWELLINGS AND SO FORTH ARE SPOKEN, in the Flower Adornment Sutra, when the Ten Dwellings, the Ten Conducts, the Ten Transferences, the Ten Grounds, and Equal Enlightenment are spoken, ALTHOUGH EACH PERVADES THE DHARMA REALM, that is, the Ten Dwellings pervade the Dharma Realm, and so do the Ten Conducts, the Ten Transferences, and the Ten Grounds, UP TO AND INCLUDING DUST AND HAIRS up to and including pervading all fine motes of dust and tips of hairs THEIR DOORS STILL ARE NOT IDENTICAL. The doors of the Ten Dwellings are still not the doors of the Ten Conducts, nor are the doors of the Ten Conducts the doors of the Ten Dwellings. Their doors are still not identical. Although they are said to pervade the Dharma Realm, nevertheless:
Each well has its location. NOR ARE THEY CONFUSED. They are incapable of becoming mixed up with each other. The Ten Dwellings stay the Ten Dwellings, the Ten Conducts remain the Ten Conducts, the Ten Transferences are still the Ten Transferences, and the Ten Grounds stay the Ten Grounds. You cannot say they get mixed up and become indistinguishable. That cannot happen. They cannot become confused.
The principles of the Flower Adornment Sutra are multi-leveled and inexhaustible. When you understand one principle a bit it turns out to have another level which you do not understand. When you understand that level, beneath it there is yet another level, which you do not understand. They are totally inexhaustible. All these numbers are just to make you realize they are countless. That is why it talks about fine motes of dust, and expresses things in terms of the number of fine motes of dust in ten kshetras. That represents the infinitude of this Dharma. Didn't I tell you before that it resembles false thinking, false thoughts being infinite as well? The principles of the Flower Adornment Sutra are infinite in that way and wonderful! The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is very wonderful, but the Flower Adornment Sutra is even hundreds of thousands of times more wonderful than the Lotus Flower Sutra. Its wonder is so vast it cannot be described. For that reason, the Dragon King stored it in the Dragon Palace. Fortunately, Nagarjuna Bodhisattva went to the Dragon Palace and brought it back so that people in the world could have the opportunity to hear and see the Flower Adornment Sutra.
Now you say, "I've been listening to the Flower Adornment Sutra so long, and its principles are simply boundless. First you say something is, and then that it is not. Then that it is not and then it is. Then it's that the many are the few, and next that the few are the many. There is no way to calculate these numbers!" Just wait until you open the wisdom of a Buddha:
One relies on basic wisdom to seek the Buddha's wisdom.
Within the ordinary mind, one sees the Buddha Mind.
Then you will understand. Temporarily, before having reached that state, you shouldn't worry about not understanding the Flower Adornment Sutra. "If I can't understand it, then I'm not going to listen to it," you may say. "Since I can't understand it, why listen to it?" If you do not hear it, you will never have the opportunity to hear true and actual Dharma. So, even if you do not understand it, you should listen to and study it. If you already understood it, there would be no need to study it. As it is said:
Upon attaining to the one,
The myriad matters end.
When you have obtained the one, everything is over. If you have not obtained the one, you must seek for it. Once you do attain the one, then the ten thousand things all come to an end; but before you have attained it, the ten thousand things are not yet ended.
"Well," you say, "For me, the ten thousand things are ended. I can go to sleep, just shut my eyes, and the myriad things are ended." Right...if you could just always keep your eyes shut and sleep. What a pity you can’t! Then you could dream up an emperor like the Monk Shun Chih of the Ch'ing Dynasty. He was a Bhiksu who lay down to go to sleep and slept for sixty years, during which time he went off to be emperor of China. He was emperor for sixty years and then died, at which time the Monk Shun Chih awoke from his sleep and spoke the following poem:
I slip off the Dragon robe,
And exchange it for the sanghati,
Regretting very much that I
Was off by just a thought.
Basically I am just a
Tattered Western monk:
What was I doing going
To the emperor's house?!
If you can do that, then it's okay.
IF ONE ESTIMATES THAT OF THE TEN DWELLINGS, THE TEN CONDUCTS, AND SO FORTH, THE POSITIONS AS A WHOLE INCLUDE EACH OTHER, THEN THEY DO NOT COEXIST, AND EACH PERVADES THE DHARMA REALM. IF ONE ESTIMATES THAT ALL OF THE POSITIONS ASSIST EACH OTHER, THEN THEY DO COEXIST, AND SIMULTANEOUSLY PERVADE THE DHARMA REALM.
Previously, it discussed how their doors still are not confused. Now it says IF ONE ESTIMATES, supposing one discusses this in a general fashion, saying THAT OF THE TEN DWELLINGS, THE TEN CONDUCTS, AND SO FORTH; the positions of the Ten Dwellings, or the positions of the Ten Conducts, or perhaps the Ten Transferences, or else the Ten Grounds, all those various basic positions, THE POSITIONS AS A WHOLE INCLUDE EACH OTHER. When the positions of the Ten Conducts include the Ten Dwellings, then there &re only the Ten Conducts. When the positions of the Ten Dwellings include the Ten Conducts, then there are only the Ten Dwellings. That is why it says the positions as a whole include each other. This is also identity. When the Ten Conducts are being spoken, the Ten Dwellings are drawn into and enter the Ten Conducts, and so THEN THEY DO NOT COEXIST. Their not coexisting means when the Ten Dwellings are spoken, the Ten Conducts, the Ten Transferences, and the Ten Grounds are all drawn into and enter the positions of the Ten Dwellings, AND EACH PERVADES THE DHARMA REALM. When each position is being spoken, that position itself pervades everywhere throughout the Dharma Realm.
IF ONE ESTIMATES THAT ALL OF THE POSITIONS ASSIST EACH OTHER—all of the positions assisting each other means that all of the positions of the Ten Dwellings, the Ten Conducts, the Ten Transferences, and the Ten Grounds assist each other, support each other, and help each other out THEN THEY DO COEXIST. If they help each other out, then they do coexist. If they didn't, how could they help each other? Therefore, when all of the positions assist each other, they all coexist, AND SIMULTANEOUSLY PERVADE THE DHARMA REALM. At one and the same time they all are able to pervade the Dharma Realm together. Yet even though they pervade the Dharma Realm all at the same time, they still are not jumbled or mixed up with each other.
EACH AND EVERY CHAPTER AND ASSEMBLE MAY BE KNOWN BY THIS STANDARD.
IN THE TENTH, THE SAME AS ALL OTHER BUDDHAS, THIS BUDDHA BEING SUCH, THE OTHER BUDDHAS ARE THUS TOO. THEREFORE, ALL ASSEMBLIES' FINAL CONNECTING SECTIONS ALL SAY, "ALL WE BUDDHAS ALSO SPEAK THAT WAY."
EACH AND EVERY CHAPTER AND ASSEMBLY, every one of the assemblies of the seven places and nine assemblies, and all of the thirty-nine chapters, MAY BE KNOWN BY THIS STANDARD. They are all the same as this. "By this standard" means they all operate according to this same principle.
IN THE TENTH, THE SAME AS ALL OTHER BUDDHAS, the tenth kind of place being the identity with other Buddhas, THIS BUDDHA BEING SUCH since Vairochana, this Buddha, speaks the Flower Adornment Sutra, and his speaking pervades all places THE OTHER BUDDHAS ARE THUS TOO. All the other Buddhas are also the same as Vairochana Buddha, and their speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra also pervades all places.
THEREFORE, ALL ASSEMBLIES' FINAL CONNECTING SECTIONS, when the final connecting section of every assembly is presented, it refers to this connection with all Buddhas. They ALL SAY, "ALL WE BUDDHAS, all of us Buddhas, ALSO SPEAK THAT WAY. We all talk like that."
SINCE HOSTS TO NOT SEE EACH OTHER, ATTENDANTS DO NOT SEE EACH OTHER. A HOST WITH ATTENDANTS AND ATTENDANTS TO A HOST, HOWEVER, DO SEE EACH OTHER. IF THEY DID NOT SEE EACH OTHER, THEN EACH WOULD PERVADE THE DHARMA REALM. SINCE THEY DO SEE EACH OTHER, THEY SIMULTANEOUSLY PERVADE THE DHARMA REALM, BEING NEITHER CONFUSED FOR ONE ANOTHER NOR OBSTRUCTED BY ONE ANOTHER.
So many principles were discussed before, and yet it goes on now to explain still another principle. SINCE HOSTS DO NOT SEE EACH OTHER...What is meant by hosts and attendants not seeing each other? When the Flower Adornment Sutra is spoken, there is only one Dharma speaking host. For example, when Vairochana Buddha is the Dharma-speaking host, the Buddhas of the ten directions are not Dharma speaking hosts. Basically the Buddhas of the ten directions all speak the Flower Adornment Sutra, so shouldn't they all be hosts? No. Whenever one Buddha speaks the Flower Adornment Sutra, all the other Buddhas of the ten directions come and listen to the Flower Adornment Sutra. They can't be the hosts. When another Buddha of the ten directions speaks the Flower Adornment Sutra, then at that time Vairochana Buddha is not the host. Since no two Buddhas can be hosts at the same time, hosts can never see one another.
ATTENDANTS DO NOT SEE EACH OTHER. What is meant by attendants not seeing other? It doesn't mean that those in attendance who come to listen to the Sutra don't see each other. The way it works is, for example, when Vairochana Buddha is speaking the Sutra, he is the host and not an attendant. If the Buddhas of the ten directions are speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra, then they are the hosts and not the attendants. That's how attendants don't see each other. Only one will be attendant, not both.
A HOST WITH ATTENDANTS AND ATTENDANTS TO A HOST, HOWEVER when being host-one can't be attendant, and when being attendant one can't be host DO SEE EACH OTHER. Hosts see attendants, and attendants see hosts. They see each other. IF THEY DID NOT SEE EACH OTHER, THEN EACH WOULD PERVADE THE DHARMA REALM. If it were the case that one did not see the other, then each one of them would pervade the entire Dharma Realm. SINCE THEY DO SEE EACH OTHER, THEY SIMULTANEOUSLY PERVADE THE DHARMA REALM. They pervade the Dharma Realm together, BEING NEITHER CONFUSED FOR ONE ANOTHER NOR OBSTRUCTED BY ONE ANOTHER. They don't, get mixed up, nor do they block each other. The many do not obstruct the one, nor does the one obstruct the many. One and many are unobstructed. It is the same with Vairochana Buddha and the Buddhas of the ten directions.
In general, in studying the Buddhadharma, you should have perseverance, and the resolves you make should be infinite and unending, multi-layered and inexhaustible. Every day you should increase your resolve, not just have five minutes of enthusiasm and then turn back. You should greatly rouse up your spirits to study the Buddhadharma!
FURTHERMORE, THE ABOVE TEN PLACES ALL CONSTITUTE ARISAL FROM CONDITIONS, AND SO MENTION OF ONE INCLUDES THEM ALL. THAT IS BECAUSE EACH ONE OF THE PLACES IS CONGRUENT WITH THE DHARMA NATURE. MOREOVER, JUST AS EACH OF THE PREVIOUS TIMES CORRESPONDINGLY PERVADES ALL OF THESE PLACES, SO TOO IS EACH OF THESE PLACES REPLETE WITH ALL Of THOSE PREVIOUS TIMES, AND IN ALL AT ONCE THIS SUTRA IS SPOKEN. THAT IS WHEN DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF THE MATERIAL WORLD. IF DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF THE WORLDS OF WISDOM AND PROPER ENLIGHTENMENT AND OF LIVING BEINGS, THEN EACH AND EVERY BUDDHA'S BODY'S LIMBS, JOINTS AND HAIRPORES ALL INCLUDE INEXHAUSTIBLY MAW, INFINITELY REPLICATED KSHETRAS. UNIVERSAL WORTHY AND LIVING BEINGS ARE EACH THAT WAY AS WELL. ALL ARE PLACES WHERE VAIROCHANA SPEAKS THE SUTRA.
FURTHERMORE, THE ABOVE TEN PLACES, which were discussed before, ALL CONSTITUTE ARISAL FROM CONDITIONS. Those ten places all conditionally arise, AND SO MENTION OF ONE INCLUDES THEM ALL. Bring up one place, and it includes the other nine. THAT IS BECAUSE EACH ONE OF THE PLACES IS CONGRUENT WITH THE DHARMA NATURE. Every single one of the places exactly matches the Dharma nature, being the same as it is.
MOREOVER, JUST AS EACH OF THE PREVIOUS TIMES CORRESPONDINGLY PERVADES ALL OF THOSE PLACES...The ten times discussed before fill these ten places, each time becoming ten times, and each place becoming ten places, SO TOO IS EACH OF THESE PLACES REPLETE WITH ALL THOSE PREVIOUS TIMES, the principles involved in the ten kinds of time discussed before; AND IN ALL AT ONCE THIS SUTRA IS SPOKEN. The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra is spoken all at once in all of those times.
THAT IS WHEN DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF THE MATERIAL WORLD. There are three kinds of Worlds:
IF DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF THE WORLDS OF WISDOM AND PROPER ENLIGHTENMENT AND OF LIVING BEINGS, from the point of view of those two Worlds, THEN EACH AND EVERY BUDDHA'S BOW'S LIMBS, JOINTS AND HAIRPORES, the four limbs of the body of each Buddha, the points and the hairpores, ALL INCLUDE INEXHAUSTIBLY MANY, INFINITELY REPLICATED KINDS OF KSHETRAS. Each hairpore takes in infinitely many, multi-layered and endless amounts of varied kinds of Buddhalands, more than you could count. And each kshetra further has infinitely many different kinds of kshetras to it.
UNIVERSAL WORTHY AND LIVING BEINGS ARE EACH THAT WAY AS WELL. It's not only the Buddhas who are like that. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva is like that, and so are all living beings. If you contrast Universal Worthy Bodhisattva with the Buddha, he is a living being; but compared with living beings he could be said to belong to the World of Wisdom and Proper Enlightenment, the way the Buddha does. It depends on what you are talking about. All of them the Buddhas, Universal Worthy, and living beings are this way. ALL ARE PLACES WHERE VAIROCHANA SPEAKS THE SUTRA. Vairochana Buddha is Shakyamuni Buddha's Dharma Body. Nishyanda Buddha is Sakyamuni Buddha's Reward Body, while all the Sakyamuni Buddhas are Transformation bodies, so the Buddha has three bodies:
1. The Dharma Body.
2. The Reward Body.
3. The Transformation Body.
THE THIRD, RELYING UPON THE HOST. IN AS MUCH AS THE TRUE BOW IS BOUNDLESSLY VAST, IT UNITES IN SUBSTANCE WITH THE DHARMA REALM. IT IS ALL ENCOMPASSING WITH NOTHING LEFT OUTSIDE, AND GRANTS THE MYRIAD TRANSFORMATIONS ITS COMPLETE USE. IF ONE PROBES THE SOURCE, THERE IS NO DUALITY. IF ONE GRASPS AT THE TRACES, THERE IS MULTIPLICITY. THE ONE BODY AND MARY BODIES ARE DIFFERENTLY DISCUSSED IN THE SUTRAS AND SHASTRAS.
THE THIRD, RELYING UPON THE HOST. Before we discussed time and place, and now we're going to talk about the host, which, among the Six Realizations, is the Realization of a Host. IN AS MUCH AS THE TRUE BODY IS BOUNDLESSLY VAST, IT UNITES IN SUBSTANCE WITH THE DHARMA REALM. "The true body" refers to the Buddha's Dharma Body, which is:
Not great and not small;
Has no inside and no outside.
And so the Buddha's Dharma Body pervasively fills all places. There's no place where it is, and no place where it isn't. Do you say it's in this place? It isn't. Do you say it's in that place? It isn't either. Do you say it isn't in this place? That also is not true. It's not vast." It has no form or shape.
You look, but cannot see it.
You listen, but cannot hear it.
You sniff, but cannot smell it.
You say, "I
keep looking to see what the boundlessly vast is like, but I can't get a
glimpse of it. I keep listening for the boundlessly vast, but I can't
catch its sound. I keep trying to smell it, but it doesn't have any
odor." That's what's meant by "boundlessly vast." You claim
it doesn't exist, yet it unites in substance with the Dharma Realm. The
true body is just the Dharma Realm, and the Dharma Realm is the true body.
They become one.
IT IS ALL-ENCOMPASSING. It includes the myriad existing things, everything whatsoever, WITH NOTHING LEFT OUTSIDE. Nothing fails to be included. AND it GRANTS THE MYRIAD TRANSFORMATIONS ALIKE ITS COMPLETE USE. The "myriad transformations" are just the states of the thousand changes and myriad transformations. What didn't exist before transforms into existence; what existed before transforms into non-existence. Nothingness and existence, existence and then nothingness these changes and transformations are endless. You say it's transformed into nothing? It comes into being again. Do you say it exists? It again disappears. This is referring to the cycle of change of all the myriad things and myriad creatures in the world. Those myriad transformations function the same way it does, and have the same workings.
IF ONE PROBES THE SOURCE, THERE IS NO QUALITY. If you look for water's source, there is only going to be one, not two. A single water source divides up into a thousand or ten thousand different kinds of flows: rivers, streams, lakes and seas. But if you trace them back to their origin, they only have a single source. So if one probes the source, there is no duality. IF ONE GRASPS AT THE TRACES, THERE IS MULTIPLICITY. There being no duality when one probes the source is returning the branch tips to the root. Then they are one. Trees are like this too:
Ten thousand branches,
Ten thousand leaves,
But only one trunk. All numbers are based on "one." If you become attached to all existence, you are grasping at the traces. If you seek true emptiness, then you probe the source. If you get caught up in wonderful existence, grasping at the traces, then wonderful existence is no longer wonderful: it simply is existence.
Basically, when one probes the source there is no duality, and true emptiness has no marks. Wonderful existence also has no shape to it. True emptiness and wonderful existence is just to use the root to gather in the branch-tips, so the branch tips return to the root. If you grasp at the traces, appearances multiply into lots and "lots.
THE ONE BODY AND MANY BODIES...some Sutras say the Buddha has one body, and others say he has many bodies. Some Shastras say he has two bodies, one true and one false. The true Buddha then is the Dharma body, while the false Buddha is the retribution body and the response bodies. The response bodies are also called transformation bodies. They ARE DIFFERENTLY DISCUSSED IN THE SUTRAS AND SHASTRAS. There are places where the Sutras and Shastras differ in their accounts, yet the principle remains the same. Though discussed in different ways, the principle is still one.
*Everyone is welcome to come here to participate in the Dharma Assemblies and investigate the Buddhadharma, but they have to follow the rules. For example, if the Sutra lecture begins at 7 o'clock, you can't wait until 8:30 to come day after day. What are you coming for if you wait until the lecture is about over? Especially since people here listen to the Sutras with intense concentration. As soon as you come knocking on the door, you scatter everyone's attention. If you do that, not only do you have no merit, you even create offenses. The assembly was so intent in their study of the Buddhadharma that they were on the point of becoming enlightened, and you knock on the door and prevent them from getting enlightened. That's true. So the causes and effects are every severe in this. If you want to investigate the Buddhadharma, you have to come at the right time, and leave right away after the lecture is over. Don't hang around, thinking about smoking or drinking some wine. Though you don't actually drink anything, you want to so much it amounts to the same thing. Do you understand?
*We are incredibly busy. If you come here and listen to the Buddhadharma and hear the Sutra lecture, that is studying the Buddhadharma, and it can answer all the questions you don't understand. You should pay attention and listen. Don't come here and read a book while everyone else is listening to the Sutra, or do some other kind of work you have to do. That's not allowed. You have to listen to the Sutra lecture with complete attention. If you don't listen to the Sutra, but read some other book instead, then that is not following the rules. If you haven't the faintest idea what was said during the lecture, what point is there to it? You've just wasted your time. You'd have been better off staying at home and sleeping, for at least you'd have gotten a little rest. If you come here and want to understand the Buddhadharma, but don't listen to it, what's the use? There are lots of books on Buddhism in the libraries outside. Why do you have to come all the way here to read a book?
*You should do what everyone else is doing. You can't take it upon yourself to have a special style, or start telling people what to do. We all act as one here. If you went east and someone else took off for the west, and everyone ran about as they pleased, it would be a mess. Here there is an order to the ceremonies, and you can't just decide you're going to do something else. You should follow the rules or leave. For instance, if everyone is circumambulating the Buddha in a clockwise direction, and you decide to go the other way around, wouldn't you hit head on?
*So, if you want to come and the lecture is at 7:00, you should arrive exactly on time, not a minute too early or a minute too late. That shows you really want to study the Buddhadharma. If you come dragging in like you were half asleep, and even intend to go to sleep here, then how can you study the Buddhadharma? You say you don't understand the lectures? It's just because you don't understand them that you need to listen to them. If you understood them, you wouldn't have to listen to them. Okay.
*(Chinese version includes definitions of the Buddha's three bodies here.)
IS THE BUDDHA WHO NOW SPEAKS THIS SUTRA THE TRUE OR THE RESPONSE, ONE OR MANY? IF YOU SAY HE IS THE TRUE, THEN HOW CAN YOU TERM HIM SAKYAMUNI RESIDING IN THE SAHA WORLD, WHOM HUMANS AND GODS BOTH SEE? IF YOU SAY HE IS THE RESPONSE, HOW CAN YOU SPEAK OF VAIROCHANA LOCATED IN THE LOTUS FLOWER TREASURE, WHOM THE GREAT BODHISATTVAS SEE, SEEING THE BUDDHA'S DHARMA BOW?
National Master Ch'ing Liang, anticipating objections, asks some rhetorical questions, saying, "IS THE BUDDHA WHO NOW SPEAKS THIS SUTRA THE TRUE OR THE RESPONSE, ONE OR MANY? Is the Flower Adornment Sutra now being spoken by the Buddha's true body or by the Buddha's response body? Is it being spoken by one Buddha or by the Buddhas of the ten directions?" He asks those four questions.
IF YOU SAY HE IS THE TRUE, if you maintain it is the Buddha's Dharma body, the true body, which speaks this Flower Adornment Sutra, THEN HOW CAN YOU TERM HIM SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA RESIDING IN THE SAHA WORLD, WHOM HUMANS AND GODS BOTH SEE? How can you talk of Sakyamuni Buddha speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra in the Saha World, seen by the gods in the heavens and the realms of people? If it is spoken by the true, the Dharma body, then people and gods wouldn't be able to see it. How do you explain that?
IF YOU SAY HE IS THE RESPONSE, that the response body speaks the Flower Adornment Sutra, HOW CAN YOU SPEAK OF VAIROCHANA LOCATED IN THE FLOWER TREASURY, WHOM THE GREAT BODHISATTVAS SEE, SEEING THE BUDDHA'S DHARMA BODY? On what grounds would you assert Vairochana Buddha spoke it in the Flower Treasury, his Dharma Body being seen by the great Bodhisattvas?
If it's the response body, there shouldn't be Vairochana Buddha. If it is the true body, then there shouldn't be Sakyamuni Buddha. So how do you explain that?
IF YOU SAY HE IS ONE, HOW CAN THERE BE DIFFERENT APPEARANCES IN MANY PLACES? IF YOU SAY HE IS DIFFERENT ONES, HOW CAN YOU FURTHER SAY HE DOES NOT DECIDE HIS BODY? THEREFORE, THE BUDDHA WHO SPEAKS THIS SUTRA IS DEFINITELY NOT AS WAS PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED. IT IS THE DHARMA REALM'S INEXHAUSTIBLE CLOUDS OF BODIES, TRUE AND RESPONSE FUSING WITH EACH OTHER, ONE AND MANY NOT OBSTRUCTING EACH OTHER. THAT IS BECAUSE VAIROCHANA IS JUST SAKYAMUNI.
Previously it was considering whether the Sutra is spoken by the true body or the response body. The questions being posed are all hypothetical, not questions actually being asked by someone. National Master Ch'ing Liang asks them and answers them himself.
IF YOU SAY HE IS ONE, if you say it is a single Buddha who speaks this Sutra, HOW CAN THERE BE DIFFERENT APPEARANCES IN MANY PLACES? How can the Buddha be seen in a lot of different places, in individual appearances of Buddha bodies? IF YOU SAY HE IS DIFFERENT ONES, if you say it is a lot of bodies, that many Buddhas speak the Flower Adornment Sutra, HOW CAN YOU FURTHER SAY HE DOES NOT DECIDE HIS BODY? Then why is it also said in the Sutra that he does not divide his body to go to other places? How can that be?
THEREFORE, THE BUDDHA WHO SPEAKS THIS SUTRA IS DEFINITELY NOT AS WAS PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED. That means the Buddha who speaks the Flower Adornment Sutra doesn't fit the alternatives discussed before: whether it was spoken by the true body or the response body, whether it was spoken by many Buddhas or by a single Buddha. That's not the way to talk about it. Then what? IT IS THE DHARMA REALM'S INEXHAUSTIBLE CLOUDS OF BODIES. The Flower Adornment Sutra is the Sutra of the Dharma Realm, and so the Buddha, in speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra, makes appear the Dharma Body of the Dharma Realm's infinite and multi-layered bodies, as endless as clouds, TRUE AND RESPONSE FUSING WITH EACH OTHER. The true body interpenetrates the response bodies, and the response bodies interpenetrate and fuse, so they are indistinguishable, ONE AND MANY NOT OBSTRUCTING EACH OTHER. A single Buddha and many Buddhas do not rule each other out. THIS IS BECAUSE VAIROCHANA IS JUST SAKYAMUNI. Vairochana Buddha is precisely Sakyamuni Buddha, and Sakyamuni Buddha is Vairochana Buddha. They are two and yet not two.
BECAUSE HIS ALWAYS BEING PRESENT IN THIS PLACE IS BEING PRESENT IN OTHER PLACES; BECAUSE HIS BEING FAR AWAY IN OTHER PLACES IS CONSTANTLY DWELLING IN THIS ONE; BECAUSE THE BODIES ARE NOT DIVIDED OR DIFFERENT, AND ALSO ARE NOT ONE; BECAUSE AT THE SAME TIME IN DIFFERENT PLACES THE ONE BODY, PERFECTLY AND COMPLETELY, APPEARS IN ALL OF THEM.
BECAUSE Vairochana Buddha is just Sakyamuni Buddha, HIS ALWAYS BEING PRESENT IN THIS PLACE IS BEING PRESENT IN OTHER PLACES. Living beings see him as always in the one spot, yet he is always in other places too. Vairochana Buddha is seen here, and also there, BECAUSE HIS BEING FAR AWAY IN OTHER PLACES IS CONSTANTLY DWELLING IN THIS ONE. By "other lands" it means the worlds of the Flower Treasury. "This place" means the Saha World. He is always in the worlds of the Flower Treasury, and also always in the Saha World. He is always in the Saha World, yet in the worlds of the Flower Treasury all the time too. This is a case of non-obstruction of one and many, and mutual functioning of the true and the response.
*From the ordinary person's point of view, this is a state that cannot be understood. Not only do ordinary people not understand it, Bodhisattvas don't understand it either, for these are all inconceivable states. The principle of the one and the many is the same as was discussed before:
One moon universally appears in all waters;
The moons in all waters come from a single moon.
One Buddha universally appears in all worlds, the way a single moon appears in all the waters. The Saha World has the Buddha, and so do the other worlds. It's the same as every living being feeling the moon is right before him. Every living being feels the Buddha is right before him too. So this place and that place are not further than the tip of a hair apart.
BECAUSE THE BODIES ARE NOT DIVIDED OR DIFFERENT, AND ALSO ARE NOT ONE. There is no division into many bodies, and yet there also isn't just one body. They aren't one or many. BECAUSE AT THE SAME TIME IN DIFFERENT PLACES, simultaneously, being both many and one, THE ONE BOW PERFECTLY AND COMPLETELY APPEARS IN ALL OF THEM. The single body of Vairochana Buddha universally appears in all lands, completely.
The Medicine Master Repentance has the following verse:
The Buddha's body fills the Dharma Realm,
Universally appearing before all beings,
In accord with conditions, going everywhere to influence,
Yet he ever remains in his Bodhi seat. The Buddha's Dharma Body filling the Dharma Realm is one. Universally appearing before all beings in response bodies is many. In accord with conditions going everywhere to influence yet ever remaining in his Bodhi seat is neither many nor one. You say he is one? He goes everywhere to influence in accord with conditions. Do you say he is many? Yet he ever remains in his Bodhi seat. This describes the Buddha's state, the state of the Buddha's body, which is the same as the state of the Flower Adornment Sutra.
BECAUSE ALL BODHISATTVAS CANNOT CONCEIVE OF IT.
NOW FIRST THE TEN BODIES WILL BE EXPLAINED, AND AFTERWARDS THEIR NON-OBSTRUCTION WILL BE DESCRIBED.
IN SPEAKING OF THE TEN BODIES, THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS: THE FIRST IS THAT, BASED UPON COMBINATIONS WITH THE THREE WORLDS, THERE ARE TEN BODIES: ONE, THE LIVING BEINGS BODY; TWO, THE COUNTRY BODY; THREE. THE BODY OF KARMIC RETRIBUTION; FOUR, THE SOUND HEARER BODY; FIVE, THE BODY OF THOSE ENLIGHTENED TO CONDITIONS; SIX, THE BODHISATTVA BODY; SEVEN, THE THUS COME ONE BODY; EIGHT, THE WISDOM BODY; NINE, THE DHARMA BODY; TEN, THE EMPTY SPACE BODY.
BECAUSE ALL BODHISATTVAS CANNOT CONCEIVE OF IT. Not to speak of most of the people here now listening not understanding the states of the Flower Adornment Sutra which were previously described, not even the Bodhisattvas are able to conceive of or understand those principles. If Bodhisattvas can't, how much the less are average living beings able to. So this Dharma is inconceivable, wonderful Dharma.
NOW JUST THE TEN BODIES WILL BE EXPLAINED, AND AFTERWARDS THEIR NON-OBSTRUCTION WILL BE DESCRIBED. Now we're going to start by talking about the names of the ten kinds of bodies, and after that explain their state of non-obstruction.
IN SPEAKING OF THE TEN BODIES, and listing their names, THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS. There are two sets of ten bodies. THE FIRST IS THAT, BASED UPON COMBINATIONS WITH THE THREE WORLDS, that is, with the Material World, the World of Living Beings, and the World of Wisdom and Proper Enlightenment as their basis, THERE ARE TEN BODIES: ONE, THE LIVING BEINGS BOW. That's the World of Living Beings. TWO, THE COUNTRY BODY; THREE, THE BODY OF KARMIC RETRIBUTION. Those are the Material World. FOUR, THE SOUND HEARER BODY; FIVE, THE BODY OF THOSE ENLIGHTENED TO CONDITIONS; SIX, THE BODHISATTVA BODY. You all recognize Bodhisattvas, don't you? SEVEN THE THUS COME ONE BODY. The body of a Thus Come One is a Buddha body. EIGHT, THE WISDOM BODY; NINE, THE DHARMA BODY; TEN, THE EMPTY SPACE BODY. Those are the World of Wisdom and Proper Enlightenment. So that set of bodies corresponds to the three kinds of Worlds.
THE SECOND IS THE TEN BODIES WHICH THE BUDDHA HIMSELF HAS: ONE, THE BOW OF BODHI; TWO, THE BODY OF VOWS; THREE, THE TRANSFORMATION BODY, FOUR, THE BOW OF POWER AND MAINTAINING FIVE, THE BOW ADORNED WITH THE MARKS AND CHARACTERISTICS; SIX, THE BODY OF AWESOME MIGHT; SEVEN, THE BODY PRODUCED BY MIND; EIGHT, THE BODY OF BLESSINGS AND VIRTUE; NINE, THE DHARMA BODY; TEN, THE WISDOM BODY. THEIR CHARACTERISTICS ARE VASTLY MADE MANIFEST AS IS DESCRIBED IN THE EIGHTH GROUND AND IN THE CHAPTER ON LEAVING THE WORLD.
THE SECOND IS THE TEN BODIES WHICH THE BUDDHA HIMSELF HAS. The second set of ten bodies is those which are the Buddha's own body. ONE, THE BODY OF BODHI Body is enlightenment. How can enlightenment have a body? It doesn't mean enlightenment’s body. It means the body, which becomes enlightened, that the Buddha is enlightened. That's what makes it the body of Bodhi. What does he become enlightened to? To the fact that all in the world is like illusions and like transformations, with no true actuality. When you awaken to the falseness of the world, you will understand the true, and so it is called the Body of Bodhi.
TWO, THE BODY OF VOWS. The Buddha in the past, life after life, made great vows for Bodhi. He made vows to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way, and to rescue living beings. He vowed to benefit living beings and forget about himself, to come teach and transform living beings.
*The Buddha has a body of vows, and we can have bodies of vows too, if we make great vows to save and rescue living beings, to cause all living beings to escape from suffering and attain bliss. This is as when you request Dharma each day. Requesting Dharma is also a body of vows. You say, "Will the Venerable High Master please once again, out of compassion for this assembly and for alt living beings, turn the wonderful wheel of Dharma, so that all living beings may learn to separate from suffering and attain to bliss," to end birth and cast off death. All of that is cultivating the body of vows. When you make vows, you create the body of vows.
THREE, THE TRANSFORMATION BOW. This mean: the body that comes into being through change and transformation. Transformed bodies are false and illusory, and yet if you have the skill, you can transform; whereas if you lack the skill, you can't transform. If you can transform, your single body can transform into hundreds of thousands of millions of bodies, and those hundreds of thousands of millions of bodies are a single body. They are divides yet not divided, united and yet not united When you are in that kind of inconceivable state, you can understand the states of transformed bodies. If you don't understand the transformation Body, I'll use a worldly dharma to tell you about it.
Transforming a-body is like taking a picture. You take a snapshot and you have a transformation body. Take ten pictures and there are ten transformation bodies. Take a hundred and there are a hundred transformation bodies. Transformation bodies are like that.
Amitabha Buddha can transform a single body into hundreds of thousands of millions of bodies, and those hundreds of thousands of millions of bodies are a single body.
*Pictures, however, still have form and appearance. If you obtain the five eyes and the six penetrations, you can see when someone has sent out a transformation body somewhere. You see, "Oh, he's gone. He was sitting here, and now he's gone to, New York, or to Vietnam." You can see where he s gone. It depends upon your skill whether you will be able to see his transformation body and know what he's gone to do, what false thoughts he has, where he has gone, what kinds of states he is having and whether he has gone to China, Japan, Germany or England. If it's someone who has more skill than you have, you won't know, or even be able to see. Even if you have the five eyes, they won't be of any use. You'll:
Have eyes but not see Nishyanda Buddha,
Have ears but not hear the perfect, sudden Teaching.
It's just that wonderful. Don't figure, "I've opened the five eyes, so I can know anything." You won't know about people who have more skill than you do. Why not?
The First Ground does not know the Second Ground.
The Bodhisattvas of the First Ground don't know the states of the Bodhisattvas on the Second Ground. Bodhisattvas of the Tenth Ground don't know about the states of Equal Enlightenment Bodhisattvas.
FOUR, THE BODY OF POWER AND MAINTAINING. Power means the Buddha's Ten Powers:
1. The power of knowing what is and what is not the case.
2. The power of knowing karmic retributions of the three periods of time.
3. The power of knowing all dhyanas, liberations and samadhis.
4. The power of knowing all faculties, whether superior or inferior.
5. The power of knowing all the various levels of understanding of living beings,
6. The power of knowing all the various realms of living beings.
7. The power of knowing where all paths lead.
8. The power of knowing from having the heavenly eye without obstruction.
9. The power of knowing past lives without outflows.
10. The power of knowing from having cut off all habits forever.
Maintaining is maintaining and continuing those powers.
FIVE, THE BODY ADORNED WITH THE MARKS AND CHARACTERISTICS. The fifth is the body adorned with the thirty-two marks and eighty minor characteristics. SIX, THE BOW OF AWESOME MIGHT. This refers to the Buddha having great awesome virtue and great spiritual penetrations. He uses compassion to subdue everyone. SEVEN, THE BODY PRODUCED BY MIND. The body produced by mind means one concentrates one's mind and goes somewhere else. The Buddha knows that a certain place has living beings who need to be saved, so he concentrates his mind on going there and saving them. He doesn't get up from where he is sitting or leave the first place, but living beings in that other place see him. That's the body produced by mind.
EIGHT, THE BODY OF BLESSINGS ANY VIRTUE. He cultivates blessings and virtue for three asamkhyeya kalpas, and for a hundred kalpas perfects the marks and characteristics. NINE, THE DHARMA BODY. This body pervades empty space and the Dharma Realm this body neither resides nor does not reside, as it pervades all places. TEN, THE WISDOM BOW. This is the embodiment of the Buddha's Four Kinds of wisdom:
1. The wisdom that accomplishes what is to be done.
2. The Wisdom of Wonderful Contemplation.
3. The Wisdom of Sameness.
4. The Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom.
The Buddha's wisdom is as high as the peak of Mount Sumeru, as deep as the ocean floor:
So high it can't be measured;
So deep it can't be fathomed.
THEIR CHARACTERISTICS ARE VASTLY MADE MANIFEST, clarified in detail, AS IS DESCRIBED IN THE EIGHTH GROW in the Sutra text, AND IN THE CHAPTER ON LEAVING THE WORLD. Those passages of Sutra elaborate upon the characteristics of the ten bodies.
*I think after this none of you should worry: the demons of our Way Place have all left, and won't dare come bother you anymore. That's because the good Dharma protecting spirits have quelled the heavenly demons and those of outside ways, so they have all retreated. So no one has to be afraid. If you don't have false thinking, you won't have any demons.
-Continued next issue-
SURANGAMA SUTRA, VOLUME II. Sakyamuni Buddha continues the dialogue with the Venerable Ananda, discussing the ten aspects of perception, and the nature of individual and collective karma. Paperbound, pages.