Flower Adornment Sutra

Prologue by Tang Dynasty National
Maser Ch'ing Liang

With commentary of
Tripitaka Master hua

Translated into English by
Bhikshuni Heng Hsien

Reviewed by Bhikshuni Heng Yin & Heng Tao

Edited by Bhikshuni Heng Ch’ih

There are also THE Four LIMITLESS MINDS:

1. The Limitless Mind of Kindness.

2. The Limitless Mind of Compassion.

3. The Limitless Mind of Joy.

4. The Limitless Mind of Giving.

Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Giving are the Four Limitless Minds.

Kindness can bestow happiness.

Compassion can pull one out of suffering.

With kindness, one gathers in and receives all living beings. That they are limitless means the scope of one's thinking has no limit, and that the living beings received, taught, and transformed are also limitless. One's compassion is limitless, and so are the living beings saved and crossed over.

Joy means being happy about others doing well:
"When I see people being kind, I follow and rejoice. I'm happy about it and praise them. I do the same when I see people being compassionate and extricating beings from suffering." That means not being jealous. When one sees others cultivating the Bodhisattva Path, the more they cultivate the more you yourself should be pleased. You should not say, "I see him cultivating and I'm jealous. How did you get ahead of me in your cultivation?" The limitless mind of joy means that, instead of becoming jealous, one is happy about anybody's long points, without a hair's breadth of jealousy.

But one still has to give up those three limitless minds of kindness, compassion, and joy. If you don't you'll have an attachment to:
"I am kind. I can bestow happiness upon living beings. I am compassionate. I can rescue beings from suffering. I am joyous I don't get jealous." That's not to be able to put it all down. That's to have attachments, so the fourth is to give that all up, to renounce the limitless minds of kindness, compassion, and joy so there isn't any of that and:

One acts as if not acting.

"Although I practice all that kindness, compassion, and sympathetic joy, I don't attach to the state of practicing them." Not to have such attachments is the meaning of giving, which is also limitless, the limitless mind of giving.

Don't think, "I protect and support the Way Place. I am a Dharma Protector. I have contributed so much money, and I have a good amount of merit and virtue." Your merit and virtue won't be slight, but you shouldn't have that kind of attached attitude. If you do, then it's slight. If you think it's not slight, it will be slight, but if you don't think of it as being great or slight, then it fills the entire Dharma Realm. So every single thing depends upon the one present thought of your mind. If that one though of your mind is:

So great there is nothing beyond it,

So small there is nothing within it,

then it is as vast as the Dharma Realm, and as minute as a speck of dust. It's all in how you use it.

      In studying the Buddhadharma, we are just studying how not to have attachments, no mark of self. Without a mark of self, how can there be any suffering or gladness? In studying Buddhadharma, it's essential not to be jealous. If you are jealous, you will never be able to become a Buddha. Look into this yourself. From ancient times up until the present, from beginningless time, what Buddha became a Buddha from being jealous? I know you will have to say there never was one. Then why do you want to be a jealous Buddha. There's no such thing. You also shouldn't fight to be number one. If you do, you are second rate. Why? Because you fight. If you do no fighting, engage in no strife, then that is number one. You attain the nonstrife samadhi. Don't be like stupid living beings who are always fighting to be number one trying to be first in everything.

That reminds me of a story. Once upon a time six animals a horse, an ox, a goat, a rooster, a dog, and a pig bowed to each other as brother. Each one wanted to be big brother, however. The horse said, "None of you can run as fast as I can. In the world there are 1000-mile horses, but no 1000-mile oxen or 1000-mile roosters, not to speak of 1000-mile dogs or pigs. On the basis of the '1000-mile horse' I should be big brother."

      The rooster wouldn't stand for that and said, "All you can do is run, but there's no great use in running 1000 miles. Every day at dawn I wake people up so they all go to work. I help the world most of all. I'm first in my contribution. If it weren't for my crowing when the sun comes up, they'd keep on sleeping, and the lazy ones never would get up. I should be big brother."

      The ox said, "You won't do.' You can't be big brother. I've got a far harder head with two horns growing from it. If you don't believe it, try me out, and with one blow I'll do you in, chicken. How can you be big brother?" The rooster was ruled out, and the ox was going to be it.

The goat wasn't about to stand for that, and said, "You may be big, but that's as far as it goes. You have a set of horns, but so do I, and mine are even longer than yours. I'm smarter than you too. You have to work all day long, but I don't have to do a single thing. No one makes me work. I have far greater blessings than you do. I should be big brother."

The dog wouldn't stand for that, and said, "Your horns are useless. With one bite I could bit you to death. I should be big brother."

      The pig wouldn't stand for that and said, "I am actually number one. Which one of you is as fat as I am? Se how much flesh I have on my body and you're so skinny. How can you be big brother?"

They all wanted to be big brother, all fought to be number one. But which one was? None of them.

THE FORMLESS. "The Formless" means what has no shape or characteristics, which is emptiness. There are four kinds of emptiness, known both as the Four Stations of Emptiness and as the Four Formless Attainments. They are:

1. The Station of Boundless Emptiness.

2. The Station of Boundless Consciousness.

3. The Station of Nothing Whatsoever.

4. The Station of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.

THE LIBERATIONS means the Eight Liberation’s, THE VICTORIOUS PLACES means the Eight Victorious Places, and THE PERVASIONS PLACES the Ten All Places. The Eight Liberations means eight kinds of attainment of freedom from any kinds of bonds. If the person is strung up by his feet with his head pointing down, then he is said to be hanging upside down. Ullambana is the day for releasing those who are hanging upside down, those who have not obtained liberation.

The Eight Liberations

1. The Liberation in which inwardly there is the mark of form, and outwardly form is

2. The Liberation in which inwardly there is no mark of form, and outwardly form is

3. The Liberation of the Pure Liberation Body wherein pure liberation has been

4. The Liberation of the Station of Boundless Emptiness.

5. The Liberation of the Station of Boundless Consciousness.

6. The Liberation of the Station of Nothing Whatsoever.

7. The Liberation of the Station of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.

8. The Liberation of the Samadhi of the Extinction of Feeling and Thinking.

      1. The Liberation in which inside of your mind there is the mark of form, and you contemplate form outside. Inside you have unliberated stuff: form. Having the mark of form inside, you are not liberated. You have that kind of emotional love going on inside, so when you encounter outer forms you are confused by them, because you have form inside of you. If you didn't have those kinds of thoughts of form inside, no outer form could move you. How do you accomplish this kind of liberation? With the mark of form inside, you contemplate outer forms.

Let's just say "form" means a good looking person, to make it clear. For men it would be a beautiful woman, and for women a very handsome man. Why do you want to contemplate that? It's because you're not free of it: it's precisely what you can't put down. You haven't seen through it, so you can't put it down. And do you even want to put it down? If you're a layperson, it doesn't matter that you haven't put it down, for you never intended to, right? But if you are someone who cultivates the Way and wants to put it down, wishes not to be moved by outer marks of form, you should contemplate like this:

"Ah! This person with form and shape has nine apertures, which constantly flow with impurities. What is there to love, attach to or crave about that?" That's how you should think, about the nine apertures which are always pouring forth filth. The eyes have eye matter, ears have earwax. The nose has snot, and there is saliva and phlegm in the mouth all of which is very dirty. To those seven holes add those for excreting and urinating, and you have the nine holes from which impure substances flow non-stop. If you go without bathing for a few days, your body stinks so no one can bear it since it's too overpowering. They can't take the stench. You should see through all that. After death, the body breeds worms, turns blue, turns to pus, and then becomes a skeleton a whole range of unclean happenings. Make that contemplation for the Liberation in which inwardly there is the mark of form and outwardly form is contemplated.

2. The Liberation in which inwardly there is no mark of form, and outwardly form is contemplated. Inside there is none of that, so contemplating the marks of such kinds of states, you ought to wake up and understand them. Once you understand them, you won't crave them; and without that craving you won't be upside down. WHY IS IT THAT YOU ARE SO UPSIDE DOWN? WHY IS IT THAT YOU ARE SO CONFUSED? IT'S JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS PRINCIPLE. And so laypeople have no intention of becoming liberated, and even left home people don't really want to either. As long as you have that attachment, you won't be free. Those inner attachments tie you up.

3. The Liberation of the Pure Liberation Body wherein pure liberation has been attained. The next four Liberations are the Four Stations of Emptiness: the Four Formless Attainments talked about before.

4. The Liberation of the Station of Boundless Emptiness.

5. The Liberation of the Station of Boundless Consciousness.

If you are liberated, you should even be free of emptiness. Otherwise you still have the fetter of emptiness. You need to get free of consciousness too; or else you will have an obstacle of consciousness.

6. The Liberation of the Station of Nothing Whatsoever. With no emptiness or consciousness, you feel you don't have anything at all but you still have a "nothing whatsoever" in your mind and nature, so you are still attached.

7. The Liberation of the Station of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought.

If you have attachments you can't be liberated, so you have to study the Eight Liberations. There is liberated knowledge, and there is liberated vision: you should get free of "knowledge" and become free of views, and have liberated knowledge and vision.

8. The Liberation of the Samadhi of the Extinction of feeling and thinking. If you still are aware of an extinction of feeling and thinking, you are not yet liberated. You have the obstruction of the extinction of the skandhas of feeling and thinking which keeps you from being liberated.

The Eight Victorious Places are based upon the Eight Liberations, and represent supreme knowledge and supreme vision. Such knowledge and vision is not the same as that of ordinary worldly people, and so it is called "victorious," supreme, surpassing such knowledge and such views. If you understand the Eight Liberations, also called the "Eight Castings Off the Back," and the Eight Victorious Places, you won't be confused. When you study the Buddhadharma, you need to be able to apply it. If you study without being able to apply it, no matter how long you study it will be useless. If you can apply even one sentence, you will obtain advantages.

The Eight Victorious Places

1. The Victorious Place in which inwardly there is the mark of form, while outwardly a small amount of form is contemplated.

2. The Victorious Place in which inwardly there is the mark of form, while outwardly a large amount of form is contemplated.

3. The Victorious Place in which inwardly there is no mark of form, while outwardly a small amount of form is contemplated.

4. The Victorious Place in which inwardly there is no mark of form, while outwardly a large amount of form is contemplated.

5. The Victorious Place of the Color Blue.

6. The Victorious Place of the Color Yellow.

7. The Victorious Place of the Color Red.

8. The Victorious Place of the Color White.

What do you contemplate? You contemplate the corpse of a dead person. What is meant by "a small amount" is a single corpse. You first look at how one person after death swells up and bursts, breeds worms, turns to pus and oozes blood, and turns blue. One use the Nine Mark Contemplation of a rotting corpse. When your contemplation reaches accomplishment, the many do not obstruct the few, nor do the few obstruct the many. The one is the many, and the many are just the one. Why do you start by contemplating a small amount? It's because if you contemplated many, your samadhi might scatter, and when you don't have samadhi, you can't handle the contemplation of many. When you do have samadhi then you can.

Afterwards come Blue, Yellow, Red, and White. You contemplate lights shining forth:

Blue colored of blue light; yellow colored of yellow light; red colored

of red light; white colored of white light.

When those colors of light are emitted, you should not figure you have attained some kind of certification to the fruit or especially supreme state. See how in the Shurangama Sutra it describes the fifty states of the skandha demons you don't want to get caught up in that. You should remain such that:

The eyes contemplate forms outside,

but inside there is nothing.

That is, when your contemplations reach accomplishment, it should be as if no such thing were going on. That way you attain the Victorious Places.

After hearing about the Eight Liberations and the Eight Victorious Places, it's not enough just to remember them. You then have to perform those contemplations. You should contemplate so you see right through all that, and afterwards put it down. Don't listen to the Sutras day after day, and have more false thinking the more you hear. To start with, before hearing the Sutras, you had a small bit of liberation; but after listening to Sutras and studying the Buddhadharma, you have no liberation at all. It has all run away. Before studying the Buddhadharma, you didn't have very much desire. You looked upon all that as very ordinary. But after studying the Buddhadharma, from morning to night you are plagued by filthy thoughts, which never leave you alone. No matter how you try to get rid of them, they won't go. At any instant, you have impure thoughts, and you can't find any thoughts that are pure. You can't manage to have a body and mind, which are pure.

Actually, it's not that you can't manage to; nor do you really have more unclean thoughts than before. It's just that before you only thought you had a bit of liberation, but in reality you didn't. That's because you didn't understand at the time, and didn't realize how ferocious the unclean thoughts were. You were always forming a corporation with them, and:

If you draw near the rouge, you turn red.

If you draw near the ink, you turn black.

You were around unclean things, and so didn't realize how unclean you were. It's like being in the mud and not thinking the mud is dirty, until you get out of it and realize there is so much dirt on you. That's why you feel you  have more defiled and unclean thoughts now. There aren't more of them, but rather a lot less than before. But before, you didn't recognize them, and now you do somewhat, and so you feel unclean.

      The Ten Pervasions of All Places, the Ten All Places, are stations of the pervasion of everything. What are they?

The Ten Pervasions of All Places

1. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Blue.

2. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Yellow.

3. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Red.

4. The Pervasion of ALL Place of White.

5. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Earth.

6. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Air.

7. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Fire.

8. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Water.

9. The Pervasion of ALL Place of Emptiness.

10.The Pervasion of ALL Place of Consciousness.                                           

      Taken together those ten are called the Ten Pervasions of ALL Places. The reason black, the fifth of the five colors, is not included is that black is the yin. The color black is not very appropriate, and so one contemplates blue, yellow, red and white, those pervasive places. In the Shurangama Sutra it discusses in great detail how each of the four elements earth, air, fire and water pervades all places, talking about seven elements. Here, with emptiness and consciousness pervading all places, it is called the Ten Pervasions of AH Places. If you can become liberated based upon that you reach the Victorious Places, in which you have victorious knowledge and victorious vision. Then afterwards you accomplish the abilities represented by the Ten Pervasions of All Places.

      Next there come THE Seven BODHI SHARES, which form part of the Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment, which are:

1. The Four Applications of Mindfulness.

2. The Four Right Efforts.

3. The Four As You Will Accomplishments.

4. The Five Roots.

5. The Five Powers.

6. The Seven Bodhi Shares.

7. The Eight Sagely Way Shares.

We'll take the Five Roots and the Five Powers first. A root is that from which something is produced and grows. From that production and growth, it comes to have a kind of power. It grew up in the first place because it had a root. The Five Roots are:

1. The Root of Faith.

2. The Root of Vigor.

3. The Root of Mindfulness.

4. The Root of Samadhi.

5. The Root of Wisdom.

The Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment are a kind of Dharma cultivated within the Hinayana. Nonetheless, they reach through to the Great Vehicle. They are a Dharma held in common by the Great and Small Vehicles. It's not the case that the Great Vehicle shouldn't cultivate what the Small Vehicle does. The Great Vehicle comes forth from the Small Vehicle, and the Small Vehicle is included within the Great Vehicle. Without the Great Vehicle, the positions of the Small Vehicle would not be revealed, and without the Small Vehicle, one would never reach the positions of the Great Vehicle. When I spoke Dharma for the people in Australia, I discussed this principle at great length. Therefore, people who cultivate the Great Vehicle should also know the Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment.

 Of the Five Roots "root" meaning that from which something is produced and grows—the first is that one needs to have a root of faith. If you don't have a root of belief, then there won't be any way for the remaining four roots to be produced and grow. First you must believe that you yourself are certainly able to become a Buddha. Yet that requires studying the Buddhadharma, and to do that you need vigor. So the second is the root of vigor, which is very important. You can study the Buddhadharma for however long, but if you don't make progress and are not vigorous, it's of no use.  You must not be lazy or indolent, but at all times watch over the thoughts of your own mind. You must be vigorous in body, and also in mind; but if that vigor is not constant, if you are vigorous for one day and then rest for three, it's of no use either. You have to be vigorous both day and night, at all times and in all places, with both your body and your mind, second after second and month after month, constantly.

Once you have that root of vigor, you must be ever mindful of it, and always think about it. Being mindful means remembering. It doesn't mean studying a lot of Buddhadharma and then forgetting it, so that you turn mute when asked a question. Before you've been asked, you have a whole lot to say, but as soon as someone asks you about the Buddhadharma, you close your mouth and can't speak. Ordinarily, one doesn't know where all that talk you do comes from. You should know, the reason you can't remember is that you talk too much, and that disperses your wisdom so you can't remember. If you ordinarily didn't let yourself get so scattered outwards, you would be remember, you would be mindful, and the root of mindful ness would be born.  After that, you would have samadhi, so when you meet states you would not be turned by them. You would be unable to fail to recognize a state or to be confused by one, from having the root of samadhi. With the production of the root of samadhi, the root of wisdom is produced. After it is born, you still have to tend it, which means cultivating.  Then when it grows up, it will have strength, which you can use to help you cultivate the Way.

The Five Powers are:

1. The Power of Faith.

2. The Power of Vigor.

3. The Power of Mindfulness.

4. The Power of Samadhi.

5. The Power of Wisdom.

When the root of faith grows large, one has the power of faith. When the root of vigor grows large, you have the power of vigor. When the root of mindful ness grows large, one has the power of mindful ness.  When the root of samadhi grows large, one has the power of samadhi, and when the root of wisdom grows large, one has the power of wisdom. Each has its own power, together called the Five Powers. They have strength great enough to take you from the position of an ordinary person to the position of Buddhahood. Their power is greater than that of present-day rockets. Rockets have the power to take you from earth to the moon or to other planets, but they can't take you to Buddhahood. The Five Powers can take you from being commonplace to being a Buddha, so their power is far greater than anything science can produce.

When I tell you about the Five Roots and the Five Powers, you should understand how huge their power is. Otherwise you won't be able to use them. For example, if a hero doesn't have enough room to employ his martial arts, he may be able to perform kung fu, but can't since he's too cramped. That's just like you saying, "Oh, yes, the Five Powers," but ultimately not having the faintest idea how great their power is. Now I'll tell you. There is no power greater than the power they have to take you from the position of an ordinary living being to the position of Buddhahood. Those five kinds of powers help you not to retreat from the resolve for Bodhi, and to cultivate the Bodhisattva May. The Five Roots and the Five Powers are ten of the Thirty-Seven Wings of Enlightenment listed before.

Now we'll discuss the Four Right Efforts, which are:

1. Not allowing evil which has not yet been produced to be produced.

2. Eradicating evil, which has already been produced.

Those two are talking about the two roads of doing good or doing evil. There is a Chinese expression, which goes:

Good and evil are two separate roads:

One you cultivate the other you commit.

That is simply talking about the Four Right Efforts. There are those two roads, and you can go along whichever one you want. That's freedom of choice.  Right now, with the Four Right Efforts, there is no freedom of choice you only choose the good, and not the bad. 

You don't go whichever way you please; you are told how to go. That's the meaning of the Four Right Efforts. Probably none of you has ever heard this explanation of them. When I lecture, it's:

Suddenly in the heavens, 
Suddenly in the hells.

One minute it's up in heaven, the next minute back on earth.

      In speaking the Buddhadharma, one talks about worldly dharmas, because worldly dharmas are themselves Buddhadharma. The world is a huge Sutra: if you can recite it, you open enlightenment. If you can't recite it, then you fall. Don't you agree? All here, whether laypeople or left-home people, are reciting a Sutra, the True, Wordless Sutra. Although it has no words, it is a true Sutra and is in the world. That's why I say the Four Right Efforts are the two different roads of good and evil, the one cultivated, the other committed. If you want to cultivate, you go along the road to the three good destinies, the path of good merit and virtue. If you want to commit offenses, you take the road of the three evil destinies, that of offenses and violations. If you commit them, you are certainly headed for the hells, the hungry ghosts, and the animals. If you create good merit and virtue, without even intending to go to the halls of heaven, you will reach them. Without intending to be emperor, you'll end up emperor.

      You say, "You can't talk like that in this day and age when there are no emperors!" Well, then you can be a president. There's no problem; it's just an example of a high position. You can be president since you can’t necessarily be an emperor. If you want to be an asura you can, too. All people who are bandits are asuras, and so are soldiers. However, there are if in asuras and yang asuras. The bandits are yin asuras, while soldiers and officers are yang asuras. They all like to fight; they're strong in fighting. "I have to win!" To come 'out victor in the end is the preoccupation of an asura. So, keep evil that hasn't yet arisen from arising. What about evil that already exists? Get rid of it so it's gone. Eliminate the road of evil. It's telling you not to go along the path of evil, but of good.

The last two are:

3. Causing good which has not yet been

  produced to be produced.

4. Causing good which has already been

  produced to increase and grow.

If you haven't yet given rise to good thoughts, you give rise to them fast. How? By doing good, doing merit, creating virtue, and by giving that makes your good arise. For that to happen you have to perform good acts, do good deeds, help people, benefit yourself by benefiting others, cross yourself over and cross others over, enlighten yourself and enlighten others. That's all what is meant by causing it to be produced.

Then you make the good roots, which have already come into being get larger. For example, you let the five roots faith, vigor, mindfulness, samadhi, and wisdom grow up. "Keep on growing. Grow some more." What don't you do, though? You don't want to "help them grow." You have to tend you good roots, but wait for them to grow up on their own, don't help them.

I often tell you about the people of Sung who were so smart. They had a scientific outlook, and had probably studied a lot of philosophy and logic to the point of expertise. Yet there was an "average farmer" who got the idea,

"Those guys with educations have been investigating science, philosophy, and logic. We farmers ought to study them too." He was a father and decided to invent something faster than a machine, which would help his sprouts grow. He went out to his fields where the seedlings were about a foot tall, and he helped them grow by pulling each one up an inch or two. He pulled up every plant so it was that much taller. Afterwards, since it was really hard work, he thought to himself,

"My logic is certain to bring success." He went home and told his son:

      "Today I feel sick because I have helped the sprouts to grow."

He said, "Today I'm too tired, too weary, since I don't have machinery and I helped the sprouts grow, which was too hard. I'm so tired I feel sick."

His son went out and took a look. His son thought, "Oh, my father has had accomplishment from his study of science, philosophy, and logic. How come he hasn't told me what it was? I'll go out for myself and see how it is done." He ran out to the fields, but when he got there:

The sprouts had all dried up. All the seedlings had died. That's the obstacle of having a place of dwelling.

You should give rise to that thought which has no place of dwelling.

If you help them grow, that too is an attachment. Dwelling in forcefully "helping them grow" resulted in their death.

      The Four Right Efforts are that way too. Don't help them grow you should perform them in a very natural way. Just as in planting crops, don't help them grow. Water them and add fertilizer, and they'll grow on their own--but don't assist them. If they need more soil, you add it. If they fall down, you prop them up again. It's that way with the Four Right Efforts, too. Good roots you've already produced you let increase and grow. Good roots you haven't yet produced, you produce. Don't help them grow, let them grow. Don't force them to grow. Water them, add compost... then it will work.

      There were two questions I didn't intend to answer, but the people are really nervous wondering if there will be time to ask them, so I'll take this time to answer the two. One of the two people has a tapeworm in his belly warning him, "Don't listen to what the Dharma Master is saying. It's all empty talk; it's not true." The other person is wondering, "Today the Dharma Master talked about how there's a huge Sutra, a True, Wordless Sutra, which everyone can recite, whether left home people or laypeople. So how come I've never recited it? And what's more this is a wordless Sutra, but without any words to it, how can it be considered a Sutra?" The people didn't have such tapeworms to begin with, but now they can't get rid of their questions. They want to ask them but they don't dare. However, since they don't dare ask, they can't stop wondering about them. Those are the two questions. It would take a lot of time to answer them both in detail, so I'll just speak a little really mysterious talk. If you understand, then you understand. If not, I can't tell you more.

As to the person with the tapeworm telling him the Dharma Master is just uttering a lot of empty talk...not bad! What's spoken is empty; what you practice is true. If you can act according to it, then it's true and actual. If you can't truly practice, of course it's empty: I speak it, you listen to it, and then it's gone. If you make true application of it, then it's not empty. That's true emptiness giving rise to wonderful existence.

Having answered that question, I'll answer the other about reciting the big Sutra. Whether you have forgotten what I told you before or not, I still remember. Although my memory isn't good, because I always recall it, I haven't forgotten it. Who do I remember it constantly? It's because my memory isn't good. If it were good, I wouldn't have to remember not to forget it, right?

It's as if there were a great Sutra scroll, In measure like the Three Thousand Realm, Found inside a single mote of dust, And each and every dust mote were that way; 

and there was a person of bright wisdom, Whose pure eyes completely, clearly see, Who breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll,
Vastly benefiting living beings.

The Buddha's wisdom also is that way,
            Pervasive in the minds of living beings.
            By false thinking they are bound and tied,
            Unaware of it, they do not know.

All Buddhas with great kindness and compassion,
            Cause them to eliminate false thoughts,
            In that way even up to manifesting
            To benefit all of the Bodhisattvas.

You see, it says, "It's as if there were a great Sutra scroll." "It's as if" means it's like that. It's hypothetical basically there isn't such a Sutra. So if there isn't such a Sutra, then why does it say, "It's as if there were a great Sutra scroll?" It's just the True, wordless Sutra! Do you see? So it says, "It's as if there were a great Sutra scroll." Where is it?  It's "Found inside a single mote of dust." It's inside of a minute particle of dust. How many fine motes of dust would you say there were in the world?  Every one of those dust-motes has a huge Sutra scroll in it. How big is that great Sutra scroll? It's "In measure like the Three Thousand Realm." You wonder, "It's that big?" Well, aren't there that many particles of dust? If there weren't so many fine motes of dust, wouldn't the Sutra scroll be small?  Don't you think so? Just like the motes of dust, it pervades the Three Thousand Great Thousand World System. "And each and every dust mote were that way." Inside every mote of dust there would be a huge Sutra scroll. It's not that the Sutra scroll is large, it's that the particles of dust are large.  It's not that the particles of dust are large, it's that the worlds are large, so the Sutra scroll becomes large. Where then is the Sutra scroll? You tell me some place where it isn't. After you tell me where it isn't, then I'll tell you where it is.

"And there was a person of bright wisdom," someone intelligent, "Whose pure eyes completely, clearly see." He would have opened the five eyes and obtained the six penetrations, and would see that in every most of dust there was a great Sutra scroll. "Who breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll." He breaks open the particle of dust and takes out the Sutra scroll, "Vastly benefiting living beings." So by reciting that great Sutra, you can save all living beings. "The Buddha's wisdom also is that way." It's like that in being "Pervasive in the minds of living beings." It is everywhere in each living being's mind. "By false thinking they are bound and tied." Living beings are tied up by false thoughts. "Unaware of it, they do not know." They don't realize they have the wisdom of a Buddha right in their own self nature. "All Buddhas with great kindness and compassion," the Buddhas of the ten directions, greatly kind and compassionate, "Cause them to eliminate false thoughts." They help you get rid of your false thinking, "In that way even up to manifesting to benefit all of the Bodhisattvas." They help them all.

Can you see if this Sutra is huge or not, if it has words or not? I'll tell you: there are infinitely many words in this Sutra. It's just that you are illiterate, so you don't know how to recite it. You object, "I'm perfectly literate, and furthermore I'm bilingual in English and Chinese and I'm first in Sanskrit, so how can you call me illiterate? If you're so literate, then why can't you recite the Sutra? Tell me that. See every single person is a Sutra, a roll or a chapter of the Sutra. If you recognize the person, everything the person says or does is a Sutra. Take so and so, who is a fine Sutra to recite. When he first got here, he was very jealous and obstructive of himself and others. He kept it up, and eventually his obstructiveness made him run away. Now he feels he has lost face and comes and goes stealthily, like a mouse. Think it over: isn't there that Sutra? If you understand that Sutra, you'll understand another Sutra; and having understood that one, you'll understand yet one more. There are Great Vehicle Sutras, Small Vehicle Sutras, Sutras of the Buddha Vehicle and the Bodhisattva Vehicle they all exist. You say, "Those are Sutras?" Oh, aren't they Sutras?


SUTRA OF THE PAST VOWS OF EARTH STORE BODHISATTVA. This volume finds it's efficacy in recitation. At birth, at death, in sickness, in difficulty, when faced with disasters, when caught up in calamities, this text is a key to unlock, a guide to lead, a manual to follow to the letter. In ordinary times, peaceful, prosperous times, in times of good fortune and calm, this text provides information, methods, and insight into the process of cause and effect, the proper path to follow, and the means by which the reward of blessings and virtue is assured. Paperbound and hard cover, 235 pages. NOW AVAILABLE.