AVATAMSAKA SUTRA: THE TEN GROUNDS
With the Commentary of the Venerable Master Hua, Abbot of Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco, and translated by the Buddhist Text Translation Society.
THAT IS, THROUGH INCREASING FAITH; THROUGH AUGMENTING PURE FAITH; THROUGH PURE UNDERSTANDING; THROUGH ABSOLUTE FAITH; THROUGH BECOMING SYMPATHETIC; THROUGH ACCOMPLISHING GREAT KINDNESS; THROUGH HAVING NO WEARINESS OR LAZINESS OF MIND; THROUGH ADORNMENT WITH REPENTANCE AND REFORM; THROUGH ACCOMPLISHING FORBEARANCE; THROUGH RESPECTFULLY HEEDING THE BUDDHAS' INSTRUCTIONS; THROUGH CULTIVATING AND ACCUMULATING GOOD ROOTS DAY AND NIGHT WITHOUT BECOMING TIRED; THROUGH DRAWING NEAR GOOD KNOWING ADVISORS; THROUGH CONSTANT DELIGHT IN THE DHARMA; THROUGH SEEKING LEARNING WITHOUT SATIATION; THROUGH PROPERLY CONTEMPLATING IN ACCORD WITH THE DHARMA ONE HAS HEARD; THROUGH HAVING NO RELIANCE OR ATTACHMENT OF MIND; THROUGH NOT HANKERING AFTER PROFIT, FAME, OR RESPECT; THROUGH NOT SEEKING THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE; THROUGH BRINGING FORTH THE JEWEL-LIKE THOUGHT WITHOUT SATIATION; THROUGH SEEKING THE GROUND OF ALL-KNOWLEDGE; THROUGH SEEKING THE THUS COME ONES' POWERS, FEARLESSNESSES, AND THE DHARMAS SPECIAL TO A BUDDHA.
When the Bodhisattva of the Ten Grounds has certified to the Ground of Happiness, he is happy all the time, and all of" the good roots that he diligently cultivates very quickly are accomplished. THAT IS, THROUGH INCREASING FAITH/His faith is greater every day. It cannot decrease, but only increases. THROUGH AUGMENTING PURE FAITH/Since he has more faith day by day, he also has more pure faith each day, unlike at the beginning when, although there was faith, there was still defilement. Now he just has faith, which increases day by day, without any defilement of mind. He is pure, and has returned to the origin and gone back to the source. THROUGH PURE UNDERSTANDING/Furthermore he understands that the reason he has obtained that kind of state of purity is because his faith has increased. THROUGH ABSOLUTE FAITH/He has faith without the least bit of doubt. He never doubts, but absolutely believes in the Buddhas of the ten directions, in the Dharma they have spoken, and that all of the sagely Sangha members of the ten directions are his friends.
THROUGH BECOMING SYMPATHETIC/He himself is one of the Three Jewels, and so he wishes to become sympathetic towards living beings, and save all living beings. THROUGH ACCOMPLISHING GREAT KINDNESS/His mind is also very kind and compassionate, and he accomplishes the great mind of kindness and compassion:
Kindness can bestow happiness;
Compassion can pluck out suffering.
With compassion and sympathy for living beings, one plucks out living beings' suffering. With kindness and love towards living beings, one bestows all happiness on living beings. THROUGH HAVING NO WEARINESS OR LAZINESS OF MIND/ His resolve to cultivate the Buddhadharma is more vigorous and more courageous every day. He cultivates with courageous vigor, and is absolutely never lazy or tired.
THROUGH ADORNMENT WITH REPENTANCE AND REFORM/He constantly brings his mind to repent and reform:
Repenting of previous offenses,
Reforming future mistakes.
He uses all of his own merit and virtue to adorn the countries of the ten directions. THROUGH ACCOMPLISHING FORBEARANCE/His is able to accomplish the power of forbearance, bringing the Paramita of Patience to accomplishment. No matter what people say, he is able to endure it all. Whether things go against him or for him, he certainly does not become intractable and fight for victory. He does not have a contentious, argumentative attitude with people. THROUGH RESPECTFULLY HEEDING THE BUDDHAS' INSTRUCTIONS/He is always respectful and reverent towards the Buddhas, accepts and heeds the Buddhas' teachings, and honors all instructions spoken by the Buddhas. THROUGH CULTIVATING AND ACCUMULATING GOOD ROOTS DAY AND NIGHT WITHOUT BECOMING TIRED/ He cultivates and accumulates all good roots, and at no time becomes tired of it.
THROUGH DRAWING NEAR GOOD-KNOWING ADVISORS/He always likes to draw near great, good-knowing advisors, and is able to offer up his conduct in accord with their teachings. THROUGH CONSTANT DELIGHT IN THE DHARMA/He is always very delighted with the Dharma. THROUGH SEEKING LEARNING WITHOUT SATIATION/He always wants to seek learning, and increase his wisdom. He doesn't say, "I've studied enough. In understand everything." Bodhisattvas don't think that way. They at all times diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi, and wisdom, and put to rest greed, hatred, and stupidity. At no time have they had enough. THROUGH PROPERLY CONTEMPLATING IN ACCORD WITH THE DHARMA ONE HAS HEARD/It is through properly contemplating the proper Dharma that he himself has heard in the presence of all Buddhas. He is constantly able to contemplate the true mark of all dharmas.
THROUGH HAVING NO RELIANCE OR ATTACHMENT OF MIND/Within his mind there is nothing to which he is attached or upon which he relies. He is not attached to anything not to self and not the dharmas. THROUGH NOT HANKERING AFTER PROFIT, FAME, OR RESPECT/He is unable to be greedy and say, "I have Dharma protectors. I have a lot of gains." Most people want to be believed in, their motivation being greed for profit and fame. He doesn't banker after that, is not attached to that, and does not seek it; nor does he want people to be respectful towards him. THROUGH NOT SEEKING THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE/He also does not seek out all the things that sustain life. THROUGH BRINGING FORTH THE JEWEL-LIKE THOUGHT WITHOUT SATIATION/He brings forth the jewel-like thought—similar to precious jewels and very valuable without weariness. He could never be said to have grown tired and have had enough. That is, he himself cultivates and seeks, that thought for Bodhi. The jewel-like thought is the thought for Bodhi, and it is the vajra thought—solid as vajra.
THROUGH SEEKING THE GROUND OF ALL-KNOWLEDGE/He wishes to seek the fruit-position of all-knowledge, the echelon of all-wisdom. THOROUGH SEEKING THE THUS COME ONES' POWERS, FEARLESSNESSES, AND THE DHARMAS SPECIAL TO A BUDDHA/He seeks the powers of a Thus Come One, and obtains the Four Fearlessnesses, and the Eighteen Dharmas Special to a Buddha, which are not shared with those of the Two Vehicles. He obtains all of those benefits of the Buddhadharma.
THROUGH SEEKING ALL PARAMITAS, DHARMAS THAT AID THE WAY; THROUGH FREEDOM FROM ALL FLATTERY AND DECEIT; THROUGH BEING ABLE TO PRACTICE AS IS SPOKEN; THROUGH ALWAYS GUARDING TRUE SPEECH; THROUGH NOT DEFILING THE BUDDHAS' HOUSEHOLD; THROUGH NOT RENOUNCING THE BODHISATTVA PRECEPTS; THROUGH BRINGING FORTH THE THOUGHT FOR ALL-KNOWLEDGE, UNMOVING LIKE THE KING OF MOUNTAINS; THROUGH NOT ABANDONING ALL WORLDLY DHARMAS, YET ACCOMPLISHING THE WAY OF WORLD-TRANSCENDENCE; THROUGH ACCUMULATING ASSISTING BODHI-SHARE DHARMAS WITHOUT WEARINESS; THROUGH CONSTANTLY SEEKING THE SUPERIORLY SUPERIOR, ESPECIALLY SUPREME WAY.
The Bodhisattva who, as was just said, cultivates the practices of a Bodhisattva and certifies to the Ground of Happiness, is able to obtain the Ten Powers of a Thus Come One, the Fearlessnesses, the Dharmas Special to a Buddha, and so forth, also seeks all of the Paramitas, those methods of assistance to the Way. THROUGH FREEDOM FROM ALL FLATTERY AND DECEIT/He is also free of all flattery and deceptions, and does not fawn upon the rich or tell lies. THROUGH BEING ABLE TO PRACTICE AS IS SPOKEN/He can really cultivate the Dharma as the Buddha spoke it. THROUGH ALWAYS GUARDING TRUE SPEECH/He always guards his own speech so that it is true, not false, and he never tells any lies. THROUGH NOT DEFILING THE BUDDHA'S HOUSEHOLD/He himself has been born as a disciple of the Buddha. This Bodhisattva is the most pure and lofty kind of person, and so he is incapable of defiling the household of the Buddhas, that is, of defiling the Bodhimanda.
THROUGH NOT RENOUNCING THE BODHISATTVA PRECEPTS/He could not cast aside the precepts and regulations that a Bodhisattva should cultivate. THROUGH BRINGING FORTH THE THOUGHT FOR ALL-KNOWLEDGE, UNMOVING LIKE THE KING OF MOUNTAINS/He brings forth the resolve for all wisdom, which is like Mount Sumeru and never moves. THROUGH NOT ABANDONING ALL WORLDLY CONCERNS, AND YET ACCOMPLISHING THE WAY OF WORLD-TRANSCENDENCE/One does not need to put down all worldly matters to be able to realize dharmas for transcending the world. THROUGH ACCUMULATING ASSISTING BODHI-SHARE DHARMAS WITHOUT WEARINESS/He accumulates assisting Bodhi-share dharmas--dharmas that belong to the Bodhi-share--without weariness. He could not at times say, "I've already accumulated and perfected enough of these dharmas." He is incapable of thinking that way. THROUGH CONSTANTLY SEEKING THE SUPERIORLY SUPERIOR, ESPECIALLY SUPREME WAY/He always seeks and hopes to accomplish the most superior among the superior, most especially, supreme way—which is constantly to seek the Buddha way.