"What is the reason? Had we waited for the lecture on the causes of realizing Anuttarasamyaksambodhi, we should certainly have been saved by means of the Great Vehicle. But we did not understand that expedient devices were spoken in accord with what was appropriate. And so, when first hearing Buddhadharma, upon encountering it, we immediately believed and accepted it, considered it, and took certification.
"World Honored One, from of old I have, day and night, continually reproached myself. Now from the Buddha, I have heard what I never heard before, this Dharma, which has never been before, and all my doubts have been severed. My body and mind are blissful, and I am at peace.
"Today, indeed, I know that I am a true disciple of the Buddha, born from the Buddha’s mouth, transformed from the Dharma; I have obtained a share of the Buddhadharma.
What is the reason? Why is it our fault and not the case of the World Honored One being unfair? Had we, if we Sound Hearers had Waited for the speaking of the cause, if we had waited for the Buddha’s explanation of the past causes and conditions of realizing Anuttarasamyaksambodhi, if we had waited a bit, thought it over and then realized the Unsurpassed Proper-Equal Right Enlightenment, if we had thought to attain the Unsurpassed Proper-Equal Sight Enlightenment. We should certainly have been saved by means of the Great Vehicle. We would certainly have relied upon the Great Vehicle Dharma in our cultivation and thereby obtained salvation.
Anuttarasamyaksambodhi is the highest enlightenment of the Buddha. It is the Unsurpassed Proper-Equal Right Enlightenment. Right Enlightenment means it is different from the state of common people. Common people are not enlightened. The things that common people do are crazy and mixed-up, and they aren't awakened.
But, Right Enlightenment has still not reached the level of enlightening others; those of the two vehicles have obtained Right Enlightenment, but they have not attained Proper-Equal Enlightenment. So, Proper-Equal Enlightenment distinguishes one from the Two Vehicles and is the enlightenment of the Great Vehicle Bodhisattva, the Equal Enlightenment Bodhi-sattva who enlightens others. They are "Proper-Equal" Bodhisattvas, properly equal with the Buddha, but still off by just a bit. Equal Enlightenment Bodhisattvas still have one share of production-mark ignorance, which they haven't destroyed. When they destroy it, then they realize Wonderful Enlightenment, the enlightenment which is Unsurpassed; it is the Unsurpassed Proper-Equal Proper Enlightenment, the position of Buddhahood. At the state of Wonderful Enlightenment one is called an Unsurpassed Knight." Before reaching that level, the Bodhisattvas are called "surpassed knights," because the Buddha is still above them. The Buddha is called the Unsurpassed Knight, having realized the fruit of Buddhahood, that is, the Unsurpassed Proper-Equal Right Enlightenment.
you wish to certify to the fruit of Buddhahood, you must rely upon the Dharma of
the Great Vehicle Bodhisattva in order to be saved.
"World Honored One, from of old, I have, day and night, continually reproached myself. From the time of the Vaipulya Teachings until the present, from morning 'til night, from night 'til dawn. What is meant by "day and night?" Before one has become enlightened, it is as if it were night. After enlightenment, it is as if the sun had risen. So those of the Two Vehicles who had certified to the fruit of Arhatship could be spoken of as being in the daylight. But if you compare them to the Bodhisattva, they are still in the dark of night, and the Bodhisattvas are in the daylight.
"Now, from the Buddha," says Sariputra, "I have studied the Buddhadharma and I have heard what I never heard before." Now I have heard The Dharma Flower Sutra, a wonderful Dharma which I had never heard before. This Dharma which has never been before, and all my doubts have been severed. I have cut off all my doubts. My body and mind are blissful, I have gotten rid of all my doubts and so I am now happy in body, heart, and mind. What is meant by "blissful?" It means extremely pure, extremely serene, feeling very happy and you-don't-know-how comfortable. Really happy to the utmost. Happy in body and mind. And I am at peace, I am very happy and have attained a state of peace and tranquility, which is extraordinarily inconceivable. Today, indeed, I know that I am a true disciple of the Buddha. Today I know that I am really a disciple of the Buddha: and in the future I shall become a Buddha. I am born from the Buddha's mouth. Transformed from the Dharma; born by transformation out of the Buddhadharma, I am a true disciple of the Buddha. I have obtained a share of the Buddhadharma. I have obtained a share of the Buddhadharma. I have obtained the Buddha-nature in its entirety; you might say I have entered the Buddha's Dharma-nature stream.
At that time Sariputra, wishing to restate this meaning, spoke verses, saying:
Obtain what I have never had;
My heart is filled with great joy,
And the net of doubts has been cast aside.
I had never lost the Greater Vehicle.
The Buddha's sound is extremely rare,
And can rid beings of their woes.
I have already attained to the outflows' end,
Yet hearing it my worries have also been dispelled.
At that time, then, Sariputra, wishing to restate this meaning, spoke verses, saying. He wanted to express himself even more clearly, so he used verses 'to speak to the Buddha saying,
attained to outflows' end/I have already certified to the Fourth Stage of
Arhatship and obtained the Penetration of No Outflows. Jet hearing it my
worries have also been dispelled/Basically, I had no worries to begin with, but
my state was that of the Small Vehicle. Therefore, I had no genuine
of the doctrine of Bodhisattvahood. Hearing The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower
Sutra, however, all my worries have been cleared away.
As I dwelt in the mountain valleys,
Sometimes at the foot of trees,
Whether sitting or walking, I
Constantly thought upon this topic:
'Ah!' I cried in bitter self-reproach,
Why have I deceived myself?
We, too, are the Buddha's sons,
And equally enter the Non-outflow Dharma
Yet in the future we shall not be able
To proclaim the path, unsurpassed.
As I dwelt in the mountain valleys/Mountain valleys are very clean and pure places. When I lived there Sometimes at the foot of trees/Sometimes I stayed in the proves—Whether sitting or walking/I may have been sitting there, or I may have been walking around. I constantly thought upon this matter/On what matter? 'Ah!' I cried in bitter self-reproach/I sighed in regret, reproaching myself, Why have I deceived myself? How could I have cheated myself? We, too, are the Buddha's disciples/We are also the Buddha's disciples. And equally enter the Non-outflow Dharma/We have attained the dharma of no-outflows. The absence of outflows indicates certification to the position of Fourth Stage Arhatship, the attainment of the Penetration of the Extinction of Outflows. The absence of sexual desire signifies the attainment of no-outflows. If you have sexual desire, you have not attained to the absence of outflows. This is not to say that when there are no external stimuli you have no sexual desire, but that even when you see it, you have no thoughts regarding that state. When such a state appears right before you, you have no thoughts of desire. That's the non-outflow dharma.
Yet in the future we shall not be able/In the future we will not be able to proclaim the Path Unsurpassed/To teach the supreme, most wonderful Buddhadharma. That's what Sariputra was thinking to himself.
The golden color, the thirty-two marks
The ten powers and all the liberations
Are together within a single Dharma,
Yet I have not obtained these things.
The eighty wondrous excellences,
The eighteen unshared Dharmas,
Virtuous qualities such as these,
Yet I have missed the, every one.
When I used to walk alone,
I would see the Buddha in the Great Assembly,
His fame filling the ten directions,
Vastly benefiting living beings.
I felt that I had lost this benefit,
And had but cheated myself.
Constantly, both day and night,
I thought upon this matter and
Wished to ask the World Honored One
Whether I had lost it, or whether I had not.
I often saw the World Honored One
Praising all the Bodhisattvas,
And so it was, by day and night,
I pondered on matters such as these,
Now, I hear the Buddha's sound,
Opportunely speaking that Dharma which
Is without outflows, difficult to conceive,
And leads living beings to the Bodhimanda.
I was once attached to deviant views,
And was a teacher of the Brahmins.
The World Honored One knew my heart,
Uprooted the deviant and taught me Nirvana.
I rid myself of all deviant views,
Attaining certification to the Dharma of Emptiness;
And then I said to myself
That I had arrived at extinction.
The golden color, the thirty-two/The Buddha's body is the color of gold and is endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great roan. It you want to know what they are you can look them up in the Buddhist Dictionary. The ten Powers have been discussed already. The Liberations refers to the Eight Liberations, also called the "Eight Castings-off-the-Back."
Are together within a single Dharma/They are all within the Dharma-nature. Yet I have not obtained these things/But I, being of the Small Vehicle, have not obtained the merit and virtue of receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood. The eighty wondrous excellences/The Buddha's body has eighty minor subtle characteristics, which can also be found in the Buddhist Dictionary.
The Eighteen Unshared Dharmas/What is meant by "unshared?" It means that these eighteen dharmas are not shared by those of the Two Vehicles, the Sound Hearers and Condition-Enlightened. They are not Shared by the Three Vehicles, the Sound Hearers, Condition-Enlightened, and the Bodhisattvas. They are not shared by them on the path of cultivation because these dharmas are possessed only by the Buddha. Thus, they are "unshared" by the others, the Two Vehicles or the Three Vehicles. The Eighteen Unshared Dharmas (and you should know them) are,
The Tathagata is:
1. Faultless in body;
2. Faultless in speech;
3. Faultless in thought;
4. Has no thought of difference;
5. Has no unconcentrated thoughts;
6. Has nothing not known and already renounced.
7. His zeal never decreases;
8. His vigor never decreases;
9. His samadhi (concentration) never decreases;
10. His wisdom never decreases;
11. His liberation never decreases;
12. His liberation of knowledge and vision never decreases;
13. All bodily karma accords with the practice of wisdom;
14. All karma of speech accords with the practice of wisdom;
15. All karma of mind accords with the practice of wisdom;
16. With his wisdom he has unhindered knowledge of the past;
17. With his wisdom he has unhindered knowledge of the future;
18. With his wisdom he has unhindered knowledge of the present.
These are the Eighteen Unshared Dharmas, unshared by the Two Vehicles, unshared by the Bodhisattvas. Only the Buddha has these eighteen.
Meritorious qualities such as these/As previously mentioned, the thirty-two marks, eighty minor characteristics, the Ten Powers and the Liberations, and all the rest, all this merit and virtue, let I have missed them every one/I, Sariputra, one of the Small Vehicle, have lost out on this merit and virtue.
When I used to walk alone/Sariputra says, "When I was by myself, meditating or perhaps walking around I would see the Buddha in the Great Assembly/I would see the Buddha within the assembly his fame filling the ten directions The Buddha's name is known to all living beings in the ten directions Vastly benefiting living beings.The Buddha broadly benefits all living beings. All living beings receive benefit; none do not. I felt that I had lost this benefit. I felt that I had lost this advantage. And had but cheated myself/"I have lost this advantage. And had but cheated myself/"I have tricked myself:" I thought. Really, I never did lose the benefit and Constantly, both day and night/in the six periods of the day and night I thought upon this matter and/ Wished to ask the World Honored One/I wanted to ask the World Honored One Whether I had lost it, or whether I had not/Have I lost the benefit or not?
I often saw the World Honored One/the Buddha, Praising all the Bodhisattvas/The World Honored One continually praised and extolled the virtues of the great Bodhisattvas. And so it was, by day and night/all day and all night I pondered on matters such as these/I thought it over and over.
Now I hear the Buddha's sound/Now, hearing the sound of the Buddha's voice Opportunely speaking that Dharma which/He proclaims the wonderful Dharma in accord with the potentials of the living beings to be taught is without outflows, difficult to conceive. And leads living beings to the Bodhimanda/It leads all living creatures to the field of enlightenment.
I was once attached to deviant views/This is Sariputra talking about himself. "Once, I had an attachment. I helf to deviant knowledge and deviant views. And was a teacher of the Brahmins/I was a teacher of the Brahmins, an outside Way teacher. The World Honored One knew my heart/The World Honored One knew what was in my heart, he knew my nature; he understood my previous causes and latter effects; he knew my disposition quite thoroughly He uprooted the deviant and taught me of Nirvana/He plucked out my deviant knowledge and deviant views and taught me the dharma of Nirvana, of certifying to the sagely fruit.
I rid myself of all deviant view/And so it was that I threw out all my deviant views Attaining certification to the Dharma of Emptiness/The Dharma of True Emptiness—the wonderful fruit of Nirvana—I certified to that fruit.
Then I said to myself/Then, I said to myself That I had arrived at extinction/I thought that certifying to the first, second, third, or fourth fruits of Arhatship was arriving at the level of extinction.
To be continued