by TRIPITAKA MASTER HUA
by Bhiksuni Heng Tao
TEN, PERFECT PENETRATION WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION. THAT IS, THIS BUDDHA'S SOW IS BOTH PRINCIPLE AND SPECIFICS; IS BOTH ONE AND MANY; IS BOTH DEPENDENT AND PROPER; IS BOTH DEEP AND VAST; IS BOTH CAUSE AND FRUIT; IS BOTH THREE BODIES AND TEN BODIES.
TEN, PERFECT PENETRATION WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION. Perfect means total and complete, while penetration means thorough interfusion without obstruction. The perfect interpenetration is total and unimpeded. What is this talking about? THAT IS, THIS BUDDHA'S BODY. The body of the Buddha IS BOTH PRINCIPLE AND SPECIFICS. The Buddha's Dharma Body is principle, while the Buddha's Reward Body and Response Bodies are specifics. It IS BOTH ONE AND MANY. In the same way, the Buddha's Dharma Body is one, while the transformation bodies are many. It is BOTH DEPENDENT AND PROPER. The Buddha's body is on the one hand dependent retribution, and on the other proper retribution. The dependent does not obstruct the proper, nor does its being the proper rule out its being the dependent. Previously, principle did not obstruct specifics, nor specifics principles. Principle is specifics, and specifics themselves are principle. One and many work the same way, too. They are mutually unobstructive.
The one is proper retribution, which is identical with dependent retribution. Proper and dependent retribution are not mutually obstructive, because the Buddha's body is not like that of us people, who just have bodies of proper retribution. The Buddha's body has inexhaustible transformations, so he is constantly either transformationally creating bodies that are suns, moons, and stars to shine upon living beings, or even transforming into mountains, rivers, and great earths to produce and nurture living beings. In that way the dependent is the same as the proper.
It IS BOTH PERSON AND DHARMA. Buddhahood is something that a person accomplishes, and the Buddha's Dharma body is Dharma. It IS BOTH THIS AND THAT. "This" means this country, while "that" refers to other Reviewed by Bhiksuni Heng Tao Edited by Bhiksuni Heng Ch'ih countries, which are limitless and boundless. How can this be the same as that? When the Buddha became a Buddha, there was a person who asked the Buddha, "Buddha, when you cultivated, how come you didn't cultivate the Pure Land Dharma doors, which are so fine?"
The Buddha said, "I won't answer your question right now. Go West from here and you will come to a country where there is a Buddha turning the Dharma Wheel and teaching and transforming living beings. You go ask that honored Buddha."
So the person set out together with Manjusri Bodhisattva to ask that Buddha. When they got there they said, "This Pure Land of yours was created from the power of your vows. Why is it that Sakyamuni Buddha didn't cultivate the Dharma doors of the Pure Land?"
That Buddha replied, "I am Sakyamuni Buddha; and Sakyamuni Buddha is me. So my pure land and his pure land are one and the same." The person then knew that the Buddha's state was that of perfect interpenetration without obstruction. That's what's meant by "is both this and that."
It IS BOTH SENTIENT AND INSENTIENT. To start with the Buddha was a sentient being who cultivated and certified to Buddhahood. That makes him sentient, but what about insentient? After his cultivation and certification to Buddhahood, he no longer had emotional sentiments, and he obtained instead great perfect mirror wisdom, and so he is insentient. The Buddha was a living being before, and living beings have sentience; but he used those sentient emotions to cultivate and testify to insentience.
It IS BOTH DEEP AND VAST. The Buddha's body, as described by The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, has no beginning and no end, and so his body is so great there is nothing outside it, that is, it is vast. It IS BOTH CAUSE AND FRUIT. When he sets out cultivating on the causal ground,
With the first production of the resolve,
He immediately accomplishes Right Enlightenment.
So it 1s both cause
and fruit, and it 1s
The Three Bodies of the Buddha
1. The Dharma Body
2. The Reward Body
3. The Response Body
|The Buddha's three bodies divide into the ten bodies, but taken together the ten bodies are the three bodies. The three bodies include the ten bodies, which are simply transformational changes of them. It would take a long time to go into this passage in detail, so for now m give this simple explanation.||
IT IS THE ONE IDENTICAL UNOBSTRUCTED DHARMA REALMS' CLOUDS OF BODIES. USING THOSE CLOUDS OF BODIES, HE PERVADES THE PREVIOUS TIMES AND PLACES, AND CONSTANTLY SPEAKS THE FLOWER ADORNMENT.
IT IS, that is Vairochana Buddha and Sakyamuni Buddha both use, THE ONE IDENTICAL UNOBSTRUCTED DHARMA REALMS' CLOUDS OF BODIES.
The Four Dharma Realms
1. The Dharma Realm of Specifics
2. The Dharma Realm of Principle.
3. The Dharma Realm of Non obstruction of Specifics and Principle.
4. The Dharma Realm of Non Obstruction of Specifics and Specifics.
They use the cloud of bodies of those unimpeded Dharma Realms to proclaim this wonderful Dharma.
USING THOSE CLOUDS OF BODIES, HE PERVADES THE PREVIOUS TIMES AND PLACES, AND CONSTANTLY SPEAKS THE FLOWER ADORNMENT. They are always speaking The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra in an of the times and places discussed before.
YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT IT MAY SPEAK OF THE REWARD BODY BEING LOCATED IN
ULTIMATE FORM, SPEAKING IN TERMS INCLUSIVE OF THE REWARD.
THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT IT MAY SPEAK OF THE REWARD BODY BEING LOCATED IN ULTIMATE FORM. For that reason, you should be aware that some Sutras and some Shastras talk in terms of the Buddha's Reward Body being located in the place of Ultimate Form, having certified to all wisdom, SPEAKING IN TERMS INCLUSIVE OF THE REWARD. That kind of discussion is based upon comprehension of the Reward Body. The Shastra on the Awakening of Faith in Mahayana talks like that. It says:
Furthermore, the merit and virtue of this Bodhisattva is accomplished and perfected, and in the station of Ultimate Form he makes appear the tallest, largest body in all worlds. That is, with a single thought of interactive wisdom, his ignorance suddenly comes to an end, which is called the wisdom of all modes. He then spontaneously has inconceivable actions, and he can manifest in the ten directions, benefiting all living beings.
It says when Sakyamuni Buddha was cultivating the Bodhisattva Way, and brought his merit and virtue to perfect accomplishment, in the place of Ultimate Form, which is simply formlessness, he made appear the body of Nishyanda Buddha, the tallest and largest body in all worlds. The body of Vairochana Buddha is also a great body, and so is the perfect, full Reward Body, Nishyanda Buddha. Using a single thought of interactive wisdom, his ignorance suddenly was gone. How? Because of the one thought interactive with wisdom. That one thought of interactive wisdom brought his ignorance to an end. How does one get that one thought? In our cultivation of the Way, when we sit in meditation and investigate Ch'an, we are seeking that one thought interactive with wisdom, with which ignorance will come suddenly to an end. When ignorance ends, one obtains the wisdom of all modes, and then in a very natural way one has inconceivable powers. That's when talking in terms of the Buddha's Reward Body.
OR IT MAY SPEAK OF THE REWARD BODY BEING LOCATED IN OTHER PURE LANDS, SPEAKING IN TERMS OF SUPPORTIVE INCLUSION. Some places may talk about how the Buddha's Reward Body is in other Pure Lands, turning the great Dharma wheel to teach and transform living beings. That is to speak in terms of supportive inclusion. "Supportive" means it authenticates the all inclusiveness of the Buddha's Reward Body how it is present not just in this one land, but is also present speaking Dharma in other pure lands. That kind of discussion is designed to prove and support that fact.
OR IT MAY SPEAK OF NISHYANDA SEATED UPON A THOUSAND PETALLED FLOWER, SPEAKING INCLUSIVE OF THE SECOND GROUND.
IT MAY SPEAK OF NISHYANDA, the perfect, full Reward Body, Nishyanda
Buddha. Nishyanda Buddha is the Dharma speaking Host in the Brahma Net
Sutra. In that Sutra it says,
Now I the Buddha Nishyanda,
Am seated on the Lotus Flower Daisy,
All around upon a thousand petals,
A thousand Shakya Lords also appear,
Each petal has a hundred, minion countries.
every country has a Shakyan Lord.
This is the first part of the verse with which the Brahma Net Sutra begins. It says; "I, Nishyanda Buddha, am right now seated on the Lotus Flower Platform, on a thousand-petalled precious lotus flower. On this platform consisting of a thousand petals, each of the petals makes appear a hundred, million countries. There is a Sakyamuni Buddha in each one of those countries, speaking the Dharma and teaching and transforming living beings." This is a description based upon the Second Ground. On the First Ground, one sits upon a hundred petalled lotus, while one's lotus on the Second Ground has a thousand petals. One's lotus on the Third Ground has ten thousand petals, while on the Fourth Ground it has a million, and a billion on the Fifth Ground. On the Sixth Ground one sits on a lotus flower which has a trillion petals. The lotus on the Seventh Ground has a quadrillion nayutas of petals. On the Eighth Ground they are as many as fine motes of dust in a quadrillion Great Trichiliocosms. What one sits on the Ninth Ground is even bigger: the lotus petals are as many as the particles of dust in a quadrillion asamkhyeyas of lands. On the Tenth Ground one sits upon lotus petals as many as the fine particles of dust in ten ineffable trillions of nayutas of Buddhalands.
OR PERHAPS II' SPEAKS OF THE ADVANCED GROUNDS BEING ABLE TO SEE, SPEAKING IN TERMS OF SUPERIOR POTENTIALS.
OR PERHAPS IT IS DIVIDED INTO THREE DIFFERENT PARTS, BEING DESCRIBED ACCORDING TO SUBSTANCE, MARK, AND FUNCTION.
OR PERHAPS IT SPEAKS OF THE ADVANCED GROUNDS BEING ABLE TO SEE. The "Advanced Grounds" means Bodhisattvas of the Eighth Ground up to the Tenth Ground. When some Sutras are spoken, Bodhisattvas from the Eighth to the Tenth Grounds are said to be able to listen to them and see, SPEAKING IN TERMS OF SUPERIOR POTENTIALS. That's a description based upon living beings whose dispositions are most supreme, that is, Bodhisattvas of the Eighth Ground and above who are just about to become Buddhas, and so are said to be on the "advanced" Grounds.
OR PERHAPS IT IS DIVIDED INTO THREE DIFFERENT PARTS, three different manners of speaking may be used, it BEING DESCRIBED ACCORDING TO SUBSTANCE, MARK, AND FUNCTION, in speaking the Sutra. The Buddha's Dharma Body is called the Substance, and his Reward Body is the Mark. Function is the Buddha's response bodies. There is also how it is discussed in the section on setting up meanings in the Shastra of the Awakening of faith in the Mahayana where it says:
As to what is meant by meanings, there are three kinds. The first is that the Substance is Great, in as much as all dharmas are identical with true thusness, and neither increase nor decrease. The second is that the Mark is great, inasmuch as the Treasury of the Thus Come One is endowed with the limitless meritorious virtues of the (Buddha) nature. The third is that the Function is great, inasmuch as it can produce all good worldly and world transcending causes and effects.
That is how the Shastra of the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana explains the Three Greatnesses.
NONE OF THOSE IS THE TRUE AND ACTUAL MEANING OF THIS SUTRA.
NONE OF THOSE the previous, alternatives of its perhaps being the response bodies, or the Reward Body, or the Dharma Body, or else being the Substance, Mark, and Function, or the way it's talked about in the Second Ground, or that the Sutra is spoken for the Advanced Grounds none of those IS THE TRUE AND ACTUAL MEANING OF THIS SUTRA. The genuine meaning of the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra is none of those.
SHOULD THERE BE DIVISION INTO THREE AND TEN WHICH ARE NOT THE SAME, AND DESCRIPTION THAT CONTRASTS PROVISIONAL AND ACTUAL; IF THERE IS NO INTERPENETRATION WITH THE PREVIOUS MEANINGS, THE PURPORT OF THIS SUTRA IS ALSO LOST.
SHOULD THERE BE DIVISION INTO THREE AND TEN WHICH ARE NOT THE SAME. If you make a division into three bodies and ten bodies and say they are not the same thing, but that the three bodies are the three bodies and the ten bodies are the ten bodies, not having them interpenetrate, AND establish a DESCRIPTION THAT CONTRASTS PROVISIONAL AND ACTUAL, saying that the three bodies are provisional while the ten bodies are actual, discussing the two sets of bodies in contrast to each other; IF THERE IS NO INTERPENETRATION WITH THE PREVIOUS MEANINGS, if you don't understand the principle that was talked about before, how the three bodies are the ten bodies and vice versa, then THE PURPORT OF THIS SUTRA IS ALSO LOST. You've missed the whole point of the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra. How come? It's because the entire message of interpenetration has escaped you.
THE FOURTH, DEPENDING ON THE SAMADHI. WHENEVER THERE IS MOVEMENT AND STILLNESS, IT IS ONLY FOR CREATURES. HOW COULD IT BE TRUE OF A SAGE? HE SETS OUT A TRACK FOR THOSE AFTER TO FOLLOW, MAKING CLEAR THAT WHEN ONE IS ABOUT TO SPEAK, THERE MUST BE STILL EXAMINATION AND PRIOR CONTEMPLATION. IN RECEIVING THE AID OF ALL BUDDHAS, IT IS UPON ARISING FROM SAMADHI THAT ONE STARTS TO SPEAK. ONE'S WORDS ARE THEN CERTAIN TO BE SUITABLE AND TRUE. SINCE ONE'S WORDS ARE SUITABLE AND TRUE, THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE THEM NATURALLY HOLD TO THEM.
THE FOURTH, DEPENDING ON THE SAMADHI. The fourth is relying upon samadhi concentration to speak the Dharma. The Dharma is not spoken using the mind that is produced and destroyed, but using the mind in samadhi. Lack of samadhi is production and extinction, but with samadhi, it is the mind, which is not produced and not destroyed which is no thought. The Dharma is spoken in samadhi, and so is said to depend upon it.
WHENEVER THERE IS MOVEMENT AND STILLNESS, IT IS ONLY FOR CREATURES. When one says there is movement and stillness, that is to speak from the point of view of living beings, "creatures" just meaning all living beings. HOW COULD IT BE TRUE OF A SAGE? From the point of view of, the Buddha, there is no movement and no stillness. For the Buddha, movement does not obstruct stillness or stillness cancel out movement. Movement and stillness are a single suchness. For him, movement is stillness, and stillness is movement. It's just that living beings for their part have those kinds of distinctions. But how could that be true of a Sage? The state of a Buddha is not like that. It has no movement or stillness:
The Naga is always in samadhi, and is never not in samadhi.
HE SETS OUT A TRACK FOR THOSE AFTER TO FOLLOW. He points out a path and rule for the many disciples of the future, MAKING CLEAR THAT WHEN ONE IS ABOUT TO SPEAK, a standard procedure should be observed. He himself acts as the model and example for all living beings of what to do when about to speak, of how THERE MUST BE STILL EXAMINATION AND PRIOR CONTEMPLATION. One has to become still, enter samadhi, and look into the dispositions of the various living beings who are to be taught, those "with potential." So when you are going to lecture Sutras and speak the Dharma, the best thing to do is to sit in meditation beforehand. Before I lecture Sutras, I, too, like to have a period of time to meditate, so you shouldn't come ask me about things in the hour or two preceding the Sutra lecture. I sit in meditation and see who's having what false thoughts, as well as who will believe what they need to hear and who won't believe, and for those who will believe I speak what they will believe. I have this strange way of lecturing Sutras. Sometimes I like to tell people what they won't believe, for there's some meaning to it if they don't believe, while it's meaningless if they do. Before you lecture you should sit in meditation too, and take a look at the circumstances, to see if there's something special about them. If there are special circumstances, speak something special, and if there aren't any, then say ordinary things.
IN RECEIVING THE AID OF ALL BUDDHAS. You contemplate the dispositions of living beings, and request all the Buddhas of the ten directions to come to your aid and support, and then IT IS UPON ARISING FROM SAMADHI THAT ONE STARTS TO SPEAK. After you come out of samadhi, you talk. Don't come out of samadhi and forget everything, saying, "Oh, just now I saw what the potentials were. If I just think for a minute, it will come to me." Then it's useless. If you know when you're in samadhi but forget when you come out, it's useless. You need to remember the states you contemplated in samadhi "and they must be true ones, for there are false states, too. Demons can deliberately transform and send you rotten states to trick you. Don't get fooled by the demons. You have to watch out for that.
ONE'S WORDS ARE THEN CERTAIN TO BE SUITABLE AND TRUE. If you come out of samadhi without forgetting, what you say will be both accurate and appropriate. You'll say just what you should. SINCE ONE'S WORDS ARE SUITABLE AND TRUE, because the Dharma you speak is so exactly what the occasion requires, so true, actual, and not false, therefore, THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE THEM WILL NATURALLY HOLD TO THEM. The minds of your listeners will be very solid and unshatterable concerning what you have said. They are sure to believe you. Even if someone says to them, "Hey, you know, everything said in the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra is false, you shouldn't believe it," they will reply, "Well, I like it all the same."
THEREFORE, OF ALL THE ASSEMBLIES, IN MOST IT IS MADE CLEAR THAT ENTRY TO SAMADHI IS A CONDITION FOR THE SPEAKING OF THE SUTRA.
It talked before about how the Buddha enters samadhi prior to speaking Dharma, and how entering samadhi enables one to speak true and actual Dharma, which makes those who listen and take it in hold to the Sutra with great sincerity. THEREFORE, OF ALL THE ASSEMBLIES, the Nine Assemblies of the Flower Adornment Sutra, IN MOST IT IS MADE CLEAR THAT ENTER TO SAMADHI IS A CONDITION FOR THE SPEAKING OF THE SUTRA. In each assembly, there is entry to samadhi, and afterwards the Sutra is spoken, so that is part of the causes and conditions for the speaking of the Sutra. Among the Nine Assemblies, there is no entry to samadhi in the Second Assembly, but the Sutra is spoken upon arisal from samadhi in all the other eight assemblies. That's why it says, "in most it is made clear." It happens in eight cases out of nine, the one exception being the Second Assembly.
In the First Assembly, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva enters the Samadhi of the Vairochana Treasury of Thus Come Ones' Body. In the Third Assembly, Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva enters the Samadhi of the Bodhisattva's Limitless Skill in Means to speak the Dharma of limitless expedient means. In the Fourth Assembly, Forest of Merit and Virtue Bodhisattva enters the Samadhi of the Bodhisattva's Good Consideration, that of dhyana concentration. In the Fifth Assembly, Vajra Banner Bodhisattva enters the Wisdom Light Samadhi. In the Sixth Assembly, Vajra Treasury Bodhisattva enters the samadhi of the Bodhisattva's Wisdom Light. In the Seventh Assembly, the Thus Come One, Sakyamuni himself, enters and dwells in the Kshana-instant. In the Eighth Assembly, Universal Worthy Bodhisattva enters the Buddha's Flower Adornment Samadhi. In the Ninth Assembly, Shakyamuni Buddha himself enters the Lion-Sprint (Simhavijrimbhita) Samadhi.
There is no entry to samadhi in the Second Assembly, but it might have been lost when the Sutra was translated from Sanskrit to Chinese. As it is, the text says that in most it is clear that entry to samadhi forms part of the causes and conditions for speaking the Sutra.
THE ONE WHICH HAS NO ENTRY TO SAMADHI WILL BE DISCUSSED WHEN THE TEXT IS REACHED. THE REST WHICH DO HAVE ENTRY TO SAMADHI ALL EXHAUST THE DHARMA'S SOURCE, THEIR KARMIC FUNCTIONINGS BEING DIFFICULT TO CONCEIVE.
THE ONE WHICH HAS NO ENTRY TO "SAMADHI WILL BE DISCUSSED WHEN THE TEXT IS REACHED. When we come to the Second Assembly in the text of the Sutra, this will be explained. THE REST WHICH DO HAVE ENTRY TO SAMADHI, the other eight Assemblies, ALL EXHAUST THE DHARMA’S SOURCE. They exhaust the fountainhead of Dharma, THEIR KARMIC FUNCTIONINGS BEING DIFFICULT TO CONCEIVE. They all receive the aid and support of all Buddhas in the three karmic activities, and the functionings of those karmas are inconceivable.
THE FIFTH, DEPENDING ON THE MANIFESTATION OF MARKS. THAT IS, THE DHARMA NATURE IS STILL AND SILENT AND, ALTHOUGH IT HAS NO MARKS, THE CHARACTERISTIC OF MARKLESSNESS DOES NOT OBSTRUCT PROLIFIC FLOURISHING.
THE FIFTH is PENDING ON THE MANIFESTATION OF MARKS to speak the Dharma. What does that mean? THAT IS to say, THE DHARMA NATURE IS STILL AND SILENT. The Dharma Nature is empty, AND, ALTHOUGH IT HAS NO MARKS, even so THE CHARACTERISTIC OF MARKLESSNESS DOES NOT OBSTRUCT PROLIFIC FLOURISHING. It Still does not interfere with the existence of marks, the prolific flourishing of lots and lots of mark's arising.
IN THE ARISAL OF THE TEACHING THERE ARE MANY EVENTS AND THE MARKS ARE NOT A SINGLE TYPE. THERE MAY BE EMISSION OF LIGHT, shaking OF KSHETRAS, OR FLOWERS THAT RAIN DOWN AND CLOUDS OF INCENSE, ALL OF WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE ARISAL.
as much as the characteristic of marklessness does not obstruct prolific
flourishing, IN THE ARISAL OF THE TEACHING THERE ARE MANY EVENTS. When a
teaching arises, there are a considerable number of things that happen.
AND so THE MARKS ARE NOT OF A SINGLE TYPE. There's no fixed canon for the
kinds of signs that appear. It's not to say that the heavens have to rain
precious flowers, or that there must be an emission of light. For example,
at the speaking of the Dharma Flower Sutra, the Buddha emitted light, made
the earth quake, and caused a rain of heavenly mandarava flowers as
portents. When the Mahaparinirvana Sutra was spoken, on the other hand, the
marks he used were sounds and light, which pervaded everywhere and made
proclamation to the Great Assembly. When he spoke the Prajna Sutra, the
sign he used was the scattering of golden blossoms. Now, at the speaking
of the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, the worlds of
the Flower Treasury experience the six kinds of quakes, and the heavens
rain down precious flowers which descend in colorful profusion, in
addition to there being clouds of incense, rains of clouds of flowers,
rains of clouds of garlands, rains of necklaces, and a great many more
kinds of clouds. It's not fixed what marks will appear, so it says, THERE
MAY BE EMISSION OF LIGHT, QUAKING OF KSHETRAS, which means earthquakes, OR
FLOWERS THAT RAIN DOWN AND CLOUDS OF INCENSE, Heavenly mandarava flowers
may descend as rain, or there may be rain of various kinds of incense
clouds, ALL OF WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE ARISAL. They are all causes and
conditions for the arisal of the teaching.
WITHIN ALL ASSEMBLIES, WHEN DHARMA IS ABOUT TO BE SPOKEN, IN MOST THERE IS
FIRST EMISSION OF LIGHT, WHICH BOTH REPRESENTS THE LIGHT OF WISDOM AND
SUSTAINS CREATURES. MOREOVER, IT IS OF TWO KINDS: ONE, LIGHT WHICH DOES
NOT DESTROY SEQUENTIAL ORDER, FOR IT INCREASES IN SUBTLETY ACCORDING TO
THE POSITIONS; TWO, LIGHT THAT PERFECTLY INTERPENETRATES WITHOUT
OBSTRUCTION. FOR ALL THE INDIVIDUAL LIGHTS INTERCONNECT AND PENETRATE EACH
OTHER. THE EMISSIONS DIFFER ACCORDING TO LOCATIONS, BUT IN GENERAL, THERE
ARE TEN KINDS OF LIGHT, EACH OF WHICH IS SYMBOLIC. THIS WILL BE KNOWN WHEN
THE TEXTS ARE REACHED.
THEREFORE, WITHIN ALL ASSEMBLIES, the Nine Assemblies, WHEN DHARMA IS ABOUT TO BE SPOKEN, IN MOST THERE IS FIRST EMISSION OF LIGHT. Almost every one of them has some kind of light emitted before the Dharma is spoken. All of those are kinds of light WHICH BOTH REPRESENTS THE LIGHT OF WISDOM AND SUSTAINS CREATURES. Wisdom light aids and supports all living beings with conditions of potential to be taught. MOREOVER, IT, the light, IS OF TWO KINDS: ONE, LIGHT WHICH DOES NOT DESTROY SEQUENTIAL ORDER. The first kind of light has a very orderly arrangement to it, with no mixing up of what comes before and what comes afterwards; FOR IT INCREASES IN SUBTLETY ACCORDING TO THE POSITIONS. The subtle and wonderful inconceivability of the light increases with each of the result positions. TWO, LIGHT THAT PERFECTLY INTERPENETRATES WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION. The second kind of light is fused and interpenetrative, FOR ALL THE INDIVIDUAL LIGHTS INTERCONNECT AND PENETRATE WITHOUT OBSTRUCTION. They have unimpeded interpenetration with each other.
EMISSIONS DIFFER ACCORDING TO LOCATIONS. The places aren't the same, and
neither are the lights emitted, BUT, IN GENERAL, THERE ARE TEN KINDS OF
LIGHTS, EACH OF WHICH IS SYMBOLIC. Each of the ten general categories of
light has something that it represents. THIS WILL BE KNOWN WHEN THE TEXTS
ARE REACHED. You'll find this out when you come to those parts of the
|There are different lights emitted in each of the Assemblies. In the First Assembly, which occurs in the Chapter on the Thus Come Ones' Manifestation of Marks, there are two emissions of light. The first is when Sakyamuni Buddha emits various different kinds of light from his teeth. The second, also in the Chapter on the Thus Come Ones' Manifestation of Marks, is when he emits light from between his eyebrows. In the Second Assembly, he emits light from the wheels on the soles of his feet. In the Third Assembly, the light is emitted from the toes of the feet. In the Fourth Assembly, light is emitted from the tops of the feet. In the Fifth Assembly, light is emitted from the kneecaps. In the Sixth Assembly, light is again emitted from between the eyebrows. In the Seventh Assembly, there is no emission of light in the beginning, but later on in the Appearances Chapter, two kinds of light are emitted.||
The first from between the eyebrows to aid
Wonderful Virtue Bodhisattva, and the second from the mouth to aid
Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. There is no emission of light at all in the
Eighth Assembly, while in the Ninth Assembly light is again emitted from
the white hair-mark between the eyebrows.
There is only the Buddha Vehicle,
And no other Vehicle besides it.
The dharma of the ultimate, meaning of the Middle Way is symbolized by the light coming from the midway point between the brows. The light that comes from the wheels of the soles of the feet represents the four kinds of faith.
1. The most initial faith, which is oneself going from below to above. That is, one starts below and works upwards in studying the Buddhadharma.
2. Since the feet are the lowest part of the body, it represents that the Dharma is produced from the very least elevated position.
3. It is the basis of cultivation.
4. Faith includes the sea of results, and so fulfillment has already been reached.
Light from the toes means that one is secured within the Dharma. Light from the tops of the feet means that one must rely on the Dharma to cultivate. Light emitted from the kneecaps, which bend and straighten out, represents turning away from self towards others, turning away from specifics towards principle, turning away from cause and turning towards effect: in short, transference, as going from the First Ground in transference to the Tenth Ground. The light emitted from between the eyebrows in the Ten Grounds stands for having already certified to the principle of the ten suchnesses, and having perfectly embodied the ultimate meaning of the Middle Way, so it comes from the middle point between the brows. In the Appearances Chapter, this means not dwelling in birth and death and also not dwelling in nirvana not dwelling in the two extremes. Light from the mouth, again, means all the true disciples of the Buddha are born from the Buddha's mouth, transformationally born from Dharma. In general, the emissions of light by the Buddha stand for the principle of unobstructed perfect interpenetration, and they are that way.
THOSE QUAKINGS OF THE EARTH AND SO FORTH FOR THE MOST PART OCCUR AFTER THE SPEAKING. THEN THEY ARE SIMPLE REJOICINGS AT THE HEARING. YET, AS WHEN IN THE TEN GROUNDS, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE REJOICINGS AT WHAT WAS BEFORE, THEY CONNECT IN MEANING WITH WHAT ARISES AFTERWARDS, THEY ARE THEN CONDITIONS FOR TOE TEACHING.
THOSE QUAKINGS OF THE EARTH, emissions of light just described, AND SO FORTH, those causes and conditions, FOR THE MOST PART OCCUR AFTER THE SPEAKING. It's usually after the Sutra has been spoken that lights are emitted and the earth quakes, yet sometimes this happens before the Sutra is spoken. When they occur after the speakings of the Sutra, THEN THEY ARE SIMPLY REJOICINGS AT THE HEARING. They are expressions of one's good fortune in having heard the Buddhadharma of before, YET AS WHEN IN THE TEN GROUNDS THEY ARE REJOICINGS AT WHAT WAS BEFORE, the previous Buddhadharma that was spoken, nevertheless THEY CONNECT IN MEANING WITH WHAT ARISES AFTERWARDS. They are linked with the passage of Sutra text that is spoken after them too. THEY ARE THEM among the ten Causes and ten CONDITIONS FOR the arisal of THE TEACHING.
National Master Ch'ing Liang, in writing this, clarifies that the emissions of light and quakings of the earth at the beginning of the Sutra stand for the fact that Dharma is about to be spoken. The further emissions of light and quakings of the earth at the end of the Sutra represent that those who heard: joyously welcomed, faithfully accepted, bowed and withdrew.
In a case like the one cited here, however, even though it's at the end of the Sutra that lights are emitted and the earth quakes, still those events also bring forth what comes after that.