Tripitaka Master Hua
Translated into English by
Reviewed by Bhikshuni Heng Ch'ih
Since his vow to become a Buddha is complete, the Thus Come One Flower Light will give him a prediction of his future Buddhahood, realization of the Unsurpassed Proper Equal Bodhi. And announce to the Bhikshus/ The Buddha Flower Light will tell all the Bhikshus... The word "Bhikshu" here includes Bhikshunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, the four fold assembly of disciples. The Bodhisattva Solid Fullness shall next become a Buddha/ After I enter Nirvana he shall be the next to become a Buddha. By a name of flowery Feet Peacefully Walking/ His Buddha name will be Flowery Feet Peacefully Walking because when he walks there will also be flowers springing up to catch his feet. He will walk very peacefully. Arhat means "One Worthy of Offerings." Samyaksambuddha means "One of Right and Universal Knowledge." His Buddha Country will be of like character/ It will be just like the country of the Buddha Flower Light, with lapis lazuli as the ground, the eight intersecting roads, and with rows of trees of the seven jewels.
Shariputra, when the Buddha Flower Light has passed into extinction the Orthodox. Dharma shall dwell in the world for thirty two small aeons/ There is the Orthodox Dharma Period, the Dharma Resemblance Period and the Dhanna-ending Period. The Dharma Resemblance Period shall also dwell in the world for thirty two small aeons/ During the Orthodox Dharma Period people are strong in Dhyana Samadhi; During the Dharma Resemblance Period people are strong in building temples and monasteries and Buddhist images. During the Dharma ending Period, people are strong in fighting.
After the Dharma Resemblance Period comes the Dharma ending Period. "Dharma ending" means that there is no more Dhanna. The Dharma has come to its final stages, like the very tips of the branches of a tree. The Orthodox Dharma Period could be likened to the root of the tree, the Dharma Resemblance Period to the branches, and the Dhanna ending Period to the twigs, the tips of the branches. In the Dhanna Resemblance Period, people will still create Buddha images, but in the Dhanna ending Period they won't even do that. What will they do? They will be strong in fighting. "You fight me, I fight you." Everybody will be thinking only of battling with one another, and so the good Dharma will turn into "no Dharma." Without the good Dharma, the Buddhadharma will become extinct. Presently, there are words on the printed Sutra texts. When the Dhanna ending Period descends, the words will disappear from the paper. Why? Scientific progress in the field of chemical warfare has created pollution in the air, and there is not a single place at present where the air is clean. It is all full of poison and so when people breathe it, if they don't get cancer, they come down with some other incurable disease. Because of this impure air, gradually the words of the Sutra will be poisoned right off the paper. The first to disappear will be the Shurangama Sutra. So, in the West, the first order of business is to investigate the Shurangama Sutra and promote it. Why do we recite the Shurangama Mantra twice every day, once in the morning and once at night? If there is no one in the world who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, the demons and strange creatures can get into the world. As long as there is one person in the world who recites the Shurangama Mantra, they won't dare come out. Also, the forty two hands work the same way. If one person has mastered the Thousand Arm Dharani Dharma, not a single demon in the great trichiliocosm will have the guts to appear in the world. So now our recitation of the Shurangama Mantra supports and maintains the Orthodox Dharma Period. We are now turning the Dhanna-ending Period into the Orthodox Dharma Period.
At that time, the World Honored One, wishing to restate the meaning, spoke verses saying,
Shariputra, in a future age
shall be a Buddha, Honored
By the name of Flower Light,
Who shall save limitless multitudes
made offerings to countless Buddhas,
limitless aeons shall have passed
ground shall be made of lapis lazuli,
'There shall be a world by the name
At that time/ When Shakyamuni Buddha had conferred the prediction upon
Shariputra. The World Honored One, wishing to restate the meaning/ The
Buddha wanted to use verses to speak the meaning once more, in greater
detail, and so he Spoke verses Saying/
Having made offerings to countless Buddhas/ Why will he become a Buddha? Because he will have made offerings to countless numbers of Buddhas And perfected the Bodhisattva Conduct/ practiced the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand Conducts, the path that Bodhisattvas are supposed to practice, that of benefiting oneself and benefiting others, enlightening oneself and enlightening others the Bodhisattva Way. The Ten Powers and other meritorious qualities/ The Ten Powers and also the Eight Liberation’s and the other qualities of Dhyana Samadhi. The Ten Powers were discussed previously. As to the seventh, that of knowing where all paths lead, this means that the Buddha knows that if living beings cultivate the 5 precepts and the 10 good acts then they can be born in the heavens. If you cultivate the Four Holy Truths you can certify to the fruit of Arhatship, if you cultivate the Twelve Conditioned Causes you can certify to the Pratyeka Buddha fruit, and if you cultivate the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand Conducts, you can certify to the fruit of Bodhisattvahood.
Because he has perfected the meritorious qualities of the Ten Powers as well as other meritorious qualities, including the Eighteen Uncommon Dharmas and the Four Truths, the Twelve Conditioned Causes, the Six Perfections and Ten Thousand Conducts, all the Dharma doors He shall certify to the Unsurpassed Path/ To the position of the supreme path.
When limitless aeons shall have passed/ After unlimited aeons have gone by There shall be an aeon named "Adorned With Great Jewels."/When Shariputra has become a Buddha, the aeon shall be called Adorned With Great Jewels. And a world by the name of "Apart From Filth."/ Why will it be called "Apart From Filth?" Because there will be no unclean things there. It will be extremely clean, Being pure and without flaw/ It will not have the slightest flaw, no "blemishes on the jade," so to speak. No blemishes and nothing unclean.
Its ground shall be made of lapis lazuli/ This blue gem shall be its ground. Its Roads bordered with golden cords/ Gold shall be the color of the railings on the pathways. Multicolored trees made seven jewels/ "Multicolored" means they will be mixed, some blue and white, or red and yellow, or green and red. The color combinations will cause those who see the trees to bring forth the Bodhi heart. Why are they so beautiful? So that when you see them, your heart wants to seek the Way, and you think, "This is so fine, I'd better hurry and cultivate so I can come here." Will constantly bear fruit/ the trees will always be in bloom and constantly bear fruit.
Bodhisattvas in that land,
the presence of countless Buddhas,
Buddha, when still a prince,
Buddha, Flower Light shall dwell
that Buddha has become extinct
the Proper Dharma’s all extinct,
deeds of the Buddha Flower Light
he is just you, yourself!
Bodhisattvas in that land/ The Bodhisattvas in the world (ailed Apart From
Filth, during the aeon called Adorned with Great Jewels, Shall be of will
and thought ever firm/ Their resolve and their thoughts will all be
extremely firm. They will all have attained the three-fold
That Buddha, when still a prince/ Shall renounce his land and worldly glory/ He basically should have become the king, but he won't. He won't want his kingdom. He will renounce it, and let go of all the wealth of his country and all the glories of the nobility. And in his final body/ In his very last life he shall Leave home and realize the Buddha Path/ He shall go forth from the home life, become a Bhikshu, cultivate and accomplish the Buddha Path.
Buddha Flower Light shall dwell in the world/ The Thus Come One Flower
Light will live For a lifespan of, twelve small aeons/ that long, And the
people of his land, the population of his country, Shall live for eight
small aeons. They shall live for eight minor kalpas.
that Buddha has become extinct/ When the Thus Come One Flower Light has
entered Nirvana The Proper Dharma shall remain in the world/ The Orthodox
Dhanna will remain in the world For thirty two small aeons/ Widely saving
living beings/ During the thirty two small aeons of the Orthodox Dharma
Age, vast boundless, numbers of living beings shall be taken across. When
the Proper Dharma's all extinct/ When the Orthodox Dharma has passed out
of existence, The Resemblance Dharma shall remain for thirty two/ also
thirty two small aeons. The sharira shall be distributed widely/ The
sharira, relics, of the Buddha Flower Light will be distributed widely
throughout the world and very many sharira Stupas shall be erected. For
the offerings of all gods and humans, / The gods in the heavens and the
humans below shall all make offering to the shariras, to the jeweled
The deeds of the Buddha Flower Light/ The actions of the Buddha Flower Light, Shall be such as these/ in general shall be as just enumerated. That Sagely Honored One,
SOME OF THE FOURFOLD ASSEMBLY
complete/ The Sagely Honored One, complete in both blessings and wisdom, Shall be supreme and beyond compare/ He shall be the most excellent; no one will be able to compare with him. And he is just you yourself/ And just who is this Flower Light Buddha? He is just you, Shariputra. In the future you shall become the Buddha Flower Light. So it’s fitting that you do rejoice/ You should be happy and rejoice, for in the future you shall become a Buddha.
At that time, the four fold assembly of Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, and Upasikas, as well as the great multitude of gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, and so forth, seeing Shariputra, in the presence of the Buddha, receive a prediction for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi, greatly rejoiced in their hearts and leapt for their unbounded joy. Each removed his upper garment and presented it as an offering to the Buddha. Shakra Devanam Indrah, the Brahma Heaven King, together with countless gods, also made offering to the Buddha of heavenly wonderful garments, heavenly Mandarava flowers, and Mahamandarava flowers. The garments they had tossed aloft remained in empty space and whirled around. Then all at once in empty space a hundred thousand myriads of kinds of heavenly flowers, as they uttered these words, “Long ago, in Varanasi, the Buddha first turned the wheel of the Dharma. Now, he turns again that unsurpassed, magnificent Dharma Wheel.
At that time, then, after Shakyamuni Buddha had bestowed the prediction upon Shariputra, The four fold assembly of Bhikshus, Bhikshuni, Upasikas, and Upasikas/ Bhikshus are men who have left home; Bhikshunis are women who have left tome. Upasakas are men who are at home and Upasikas are women who are at home. But not only was the four fold assembly of disciples present, but also The Great Multitude of gods, dragons, yakshas. Yakshas are "speedy ghosts," they run very fast. Gandharvas are musical spirits in the court of Shakra.
are those kinds of beings who have heavenly blessings but not heavenly
virtue. They haven't the virtuous practice, of the gods. Asuras are
sometimes found in the Three Good Paths and other times they are counted
in the Four Evil Paths. The Three Good Paths are those of gods, humans,
and asuras. The Four Evil Destinies are: asuras, hell beings, hungry
ghosts, and animals. Why are they put in the Four Evil Paths? Because
their temperament is very feisty. They are always trying to pick a fight
with people. Because of their strength in fighting, they are counted among
the Four Evil Paths. There are asuras, too, among humans, in the heavens,
in the hells and among the animals and the hungry ghosts as well. Asuras
are just those who like to fight. No matter what kind living being it is
if it likes to fight, it's an asura. Garudas refers to the great golden
winged P'eng bird. It's wings are three hundred yojanas across and with a
single flap of its wings it can dry up the entire ocean, exposing all the
dragons there in to view. They gobble up the dragons just like we eat
noodles, just that simply. They open their mouths and pop in a dragon.
Their bodies are huge, so their lips are big too, and they can swallow
dragons just like we eat noodles. Kinnaras are also musical spirits in the
Jada Emperor's court. Mahoragas are the big python snakes. When the Buddha
spoke the Dharma, the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold
division all went to listen. That's the eightfold division of ghosts and
spirits. This is just a general list. There were also a lot of other kinds
of beings there, generally listed under the category of the four fold
Assembly and the eight fold division.
|Seeing Shariputra, in the presence of the Buddha, receive a prediction for Anuttarasamyaksambodhi/ The great assembly saw Shariputra receive a prediction of his future Buddhahood as the. Thus Come One Flower Light, a prediction for the utmost right and perfect enlightenment, Greatly rejoiced in their heats/ See? The Great Wise Shariputra in the future can become a Buddha! They were ecstatic Leapt for their unbounded joy/ They jumped around just as when people are happy to the extreme, they may jump for joy, not dancing, but just expressing their happiness. Each of them removed his upper garment/ Each of them removed their most expensive upper garments And presented it as an offering to the Buddha/ Now, as to making offerings to the Buddha, in the Indian custom, Bhikshus, those who had left home, had a precept that they could have only three robes in their possession: One was the Samghati robe, also called the host robe, or the great robe, which is 25 strips and 108 patches. There is also the seven piece robe, and the five piece robe. Those were the only three robes they were allowed. Now, if they removed their robe and offered it to the Buddha,||
wouldn't they be without a robe and in that case be breaking the precept? Wherever left home people go, the three robes have to go along with them, but if they removed their most upper garment, their most expensive garment of course was the host robe. Weren't they then missing a robe? You should not have an attachment at that point and look at it as so stuffy. At that time Bhikshus might have had the offerings of other people and had extras of which they gave the newest to the Buddha. Or perhaps some Bhikshus had already died and their clothing had been entrusted to others, who took this happy occasion to offer them to the Buddha. There's a lot of ways to explain it. Lay people of course, can give away their valuable clothing as they like. Upper garments means the clothing they wore on the upper part of their bodies; it can also refer to the most expensive, valuable garments. Shakra Devanam Indrah the Lord of the Heaven of the Thirty three, also known as Shakra, The Brahma Heaven King, the king of the Great Brahma Heaven Together with countless gods/ Along with a countless number of gods, Also made offerings to the Buddha of Heavenly wonderful garments the wonderful clothes of the gods.
Heavenly Mandarava flowers/ the white flowers, and Mahamandarava flowers/ the great white flowers. And so forth/ here includes the Mahamanjusaka flowers and the Mahamanjusaka flowers, that is, the red flowers and the great red flowers. The Heavenly garments they had tossed aloft/ the heavenly garments Remained in empty space and whirled around. They revolved in empty space and they, as if they were flying, they whirled around. Then all at once in empty space a hundred thousand myriads of kinds of heavenly music began to play/ There were hundreds of thousands of kinds of music which began to play simultaneously in empty space. And there fell a rain of heavenly flowers, as they uttered these words: "Long ago, in Varanasi/ in the Deer Wilds Park, in Varanasi, / The Buddha first turned the wheel of the Dharma/ He first turned the Dhanna Wheel of the Four Truths, called the Three Turnings of the Dhanna Wheel of the Four Holy Truths. Now, he turns again the unsurpassed magnificent Dharma Wheel/ Now, once again, he is turning the unsurpassed, great, wonderful Dharma Wheel. He is speaking the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.
At that time all the gods, wishing to restate the meaning spoke verses
And Few are those who can believe it.
from of old,
World Honored One has spoken Dharma
is the Buddha’s Path
At that time/ after the gods, dragons, and the eight-fold division all heard how the Buddha, having first spoken the Dharma in the Deer Wilds Park, was now turning the great unsurpassed Dharma Wheel again, opening the provisional to reveal the real, getting rid of the provisional Dharma in order to speak the true, actual wisdom. All the gods/ all of them, Shakra and Lord Brahma and all the other gods wishing to restate the meaning/ They wanted to speak the principle in greater detail and repeat it more clearly and so they Spoke verses saying: / They spoke verses to the Buddha, saying,
Long ago in Varanasi/ World Honored One, previously in the Deer Wilds Park Did you turn the Dharma Wheel of Four Truths/ He expounded the Three Turnings of the Dharma Wheel of Truths, which was previously explained. Discriminatingly speaking of all dharmas/ When he turned the Dhanna Wheel of the Four Truths to take the five Bhikshus across, he discriminated and spoke of the marks of all dharmas, suffering, origination, extinction and the path, as well as the twelve causes and conditions. The production and extinction of five heaps/ The five heaps are just the five shandhas. The five shandhas, form, feeling, thought, activity and consciousness, are just the truth of suffering. The truth of suffering is produced from the truth of origination. There is production, then there is extinction. If there is no production there is no extinction. Because of the truth of origination, the truth of suffering arises. Not long after it is produced it is extinguished. The extinction of both production and extinction is the truth of extinction. What is extinguished? Suffering and origination. This extinction of suffering and origination is the truth of the Path. Therefore suffering, origination, extinction and the Way have their roots in their close relationship to the five skandhas.
Now again do you turn that most wondrous/ Long ago you spoke the dharmas of the Four Truths and the Twelve Causes and Conditions and now you speak the most wonderful Dhanna. The most wonderful dharma what is that? It is just The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra; the Supreme Great Wheel of Dharma/ The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is the King of Dharmas. Therefore, it is supreme; There is nothing more lofty than the Lotus Sutra so it is called the supreme, great wheel of Dhanna. It is the genuine, wisdom. The provisional wisdom is done away with, and the true, real wisdom is taught. This Dharma’s deep and recondite/ The Dharma of The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is profound and deep. "Recondite" means it is esoteric and wonderful. And a few are those who can who can believe it/ Few can believe this wonderful Dharma because it is too wonderful and most people's wisdom can't fathom that state. Unable to fathom it, they disbelieve it. For example, over a thousand years ago in China there were "flying cars." When the Yellow Emperor was battling with Ch'ih Yu, the leader of a barbarian tribe, there were already flying cars. The Yellow Emperor invented the compass because during the battle, Chih. Yu was able to set off a poisonous fog, which screened, his vision. So the Yellow Emperor invented the compass so he could know the four directions. But, a thousand years ago, if you had told someone, "In the future, there will be airplanes, which will fly in space," to say nothing of rockets, no one would have believed you. "Impossible," they would have said.
Why wouldn't they have believed you? They wouldn't have believed you because it's too wonderful. "How could people possibly fly around in space? Absurd."
Before Columbus discovered America, if you had gone around saying, "I know where there is another continent. It is rich in and material abundance of all kinds," most people wouldn't have believed you. Ultimately did it exist or not? It did. But for the most part, people didn't believe so. It was not until Columbus discovered it that people believed in it. It was there all the time, but no one believed in it. After it was discovered, it wasn't the case that it suddenly sprang into existence. It was there all along. But no one believed in it until it was discovered.
The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra says that everyone can become a Buddha, all living beings can become Buddhas. Nobody believes it. "How can I become a Buddha? It's ridiculous to think that all living beings can become Buddhas, and I don't believe it." Ultimately can people become Buddhas? If not, then how did the Buddha realize the fruit of Buddhahood? Shakyamuni Buddha was just a person. We, too are people, but we haven't cultivated. We have not practiced as bitterly as Shakyamuni Buddha in our cultivation, and so we have not yet become Buddhas. If we imitated Shakyamuni Buddha in his bitter cultivation we would quickly become Buddhas. Why haven't we become Buddhas? Because we're lazy. Because we do not diligently cultivate the good Way. Why has Shakyamuni Buddha become a Buddha? Because he diligently cultivated the good Way. There's no other esoteric secret involved. It's like traveling. If you want to go somewhere, you have to start walking, or else get in your car, take a bus or train, or hop a plane. In any case you've got to start moving. If you just say, "I'm going to New York," and don't get going, you'll never get to New York. You've got to set yourself in motion. Shakyamuni Buddha knew that becoming a Buddha was a possibility, and so he began cultivating the Path to Buddhahood, and finally realized it.
We are now still living beings and we don't think it's bad at all. "I am a human being. I am quite intelligent." Who knows how large our mark of self looms higher than Mount Sumeru! The mark may loom high, but the things we do aren't high at all.
-continued next issue-