THE TEN GROUNDS
with the commentary of
translated by the
THEY MAKE OFFERINGS TO BUDDHAS LIMITLESS,
REVERE, DO REVERENCE, HONOR AND RESPECT THEM.
IN THAT WAY ALWAYS DO THEY PRACTICE,
DAY AMD NIGHT NOT LAZY OR FATIGUED,
GOOD ROOTS BRIGHTER AND BECOMING PURER,
LIKE GOLD WHICH HAS BEEN SMELTED IN THE FIRE.
THE BODHISATTVA DWELLING IN THIS PLACE
PURELY CULTIVATES ALL THE TEN GROUNDS.
IN WHAT HE DOES THERE IS NO OBSTRUCTION,
HIS ENDOWMENT CANNOT BE CUT OFF.
JUST AS WHEN A GREAT BUS13UESS LEADER,
TO BENEFIT THE HOSTS OF BUSINESS PEOPLE,
ASKS AND KNOWS ROUTES' DANGERS AND THEIR EASE,
THEN ARRIVES IN SAFETY AT THE TOWN,
THE BODHISATTVA WHO DWELLS ON THE FIRST-GROUND
YOU SHOULD KNOW JUST ALSO IN THAT WAY,
WITH COURAGEOUS VIGOR UNOBSTRUCTED,
REACHES AND ARRIVES AT THE TENTH GROUND.
WHILE HE DWELLS ON THIS, THE INITIAL GROUND,
HE ACTS AS KING OF MERIT AND GREAT VIRTUE.
The mind of the Bodhisattva daily increases in solidity as he vastly cultivates the giving of offerings. THEY MAKE OFFERINGS TO BUDDHAS LIMITLESS, SEVERE DO REVERENCE, HONOR AND RESPECT THEM/In as much as he makes limitless offerings to limitless Buddhas, naturally he reveres and reverences, honors and respects them. IN THAT WAY ALWAYS DO THEY PRACTICE/In practicing one should have an enduring mind. One cannot achieve success after a single day of practice. Life after life and time after time one must practice in this way, cultivating the Bodhisattva Path, DAY AND NIGHT NOT LAZY OR FATIGUED/ Whether it's day time or nighttime, they are constantly practicing the Bodhisattva Way, never weary or fatigued, "their GOOD ROOTS BRIGHTER AND BECOMING PURER/As the Bodhisattvas cultivate, they day by day accumulate more good roots, their intelligence is daily greater, and they attain to their original purity, LIKE GOLD WHICH HAS BEEN SMELTED IN THE FIRE/It is just the same as when a-goldsmith uses fire to smelt true gold. Having put it through the fire once, he again puts it through the fire. When it has been through the fire a great many times, the gold becomes pure gold, without the least admixture.
THE BODHISATTVA DWELLING IN THIS PLACE/The Bodhisattva cultivating the Dharma doors of the Ten Grounds is also that way, being-smelted in the same manner as gold. He PURELY CULTIVATES ALL THE TEN GROUNDS/He purely Cultivates the states of the Ten Grounds, and then he can obtain the positions of the Ten Grounds. IN WHAT HE DOES THERE IS NO OBSTRUCTION/When the Bodhisattva is cultivating the Bodhisattva Way, he cultivates all good and eradicates all evil, and so he has no obstructions. HIS ENDOWMENTS CANNOT BE CUT OFF/He is endowed with the light of all wisdoms, which cannot be cut off.
JUST AS WHEN A GREAT BUSINESS LEADER/It is also like a great entrepreneur, perhaps a prominent corporate executive, who TO BENEFIT THE HOSTS OF BUSINESS PEOPLE/In order to do business and make large profits he joins together with a large number of business people, and ASKS AND KNOWS ROUTES’ DANGERS AND THEIR EASE/He must ask clearly in advance if the route to be traversed is dangerous or easy, THEN ARRIVES IN SAFETY AT THE TOWN/Then they all arrive with no incident at the place to which they wanted to go. In the same way, the Bodhisattva who is cultivating on the First Ground should ask about the states of every single Ground, along with the fruit-positions to be obtained, all the way to Buddhahood, just as the businessman going to the great city. THE BODHISATTVA WHO DWELLS ON THE FIRST GROUND/When the Bodhisattva has certified to "the First Ground, YOU SHOULD KNOW JUST ALSO IN THAT WAY/He is just the same as the great business leader. WITH COURAGEOUS VIGOR UNOBSTRUCTED/He is courageously vigorous, has no obstructions whatsoever, REACHES AND ARRIVES AT THE TENTH GROUND/From the First Ground, the Ground of Happiness, he arrives at the Tenth Ground, the Ground of the Dharma Cloud. WHILE HE DWELLS ON THIS, THE INITIAL GROUND/While dwelling upon the Ground of Happiness, HE ACTS AS KING OF MERIT AND GREAT VIRTUE/He is a king of great merit and virtue, and influences all the Bodhisattvas to go forward and cultivate.
HE USES DHARMA TO TRANSFORM ALL BEINGS,
COMPASSION-HEARTED, WITH NO TRACE OF HARMING.
RULING AND DIRECTING JAMBUDVIPA,
IN TRANSFORMING CUSTOMS, NONE DOES IS NOT REACH,
MAKING ALL ESTABLISHED IN GREAT GIVING,
AMD ACCOMPLISH WISDOM OF A BUDDHA.
IN HIS WISH TO SEEK THE WAY SUPREME,
RENOUNCING THEN HIS OWN ROYAL POSITION,
HE CAN WITHIN THE MIDST OF BUDDHA'S TEACHING,
COURAGEOUS AND WITH DILIGENCE, CULTIVATE.
HE THEN ATTAINS TO ONE HUNDRED SAMADHIS,
AND HE COMES TO SEE ALL HUNDRED BUDDHAS;
HE MAKES ONE HUNDRED WORLDS TREMBLE AND QUAKE;
HIS ILLUMINATION'S-REACH IS ALSO THUS.
HE TRANSFORMS AND SAVES ONE HUNDRED BEINGS
TO ENTER IN ONE HUNDRED DHARMA DOORS;
HE CAN KNOW ONE HUNDRED KALPAS' MATTERS,
AND APPEAR WITHIN ONE HUNDRED BODIES.
THERE THEN APPEAR ONE HUNDRED BODHISATTVAS
ACTING AS A RETINUE-FOR HIM.
When the Bodhisattva acts as king of great merit and virtue, in Southern Jambudvipa he constantly becomes a wheel-turning king, in order to teach and transform living-beings. HE USES DHARMA TO TRANSFORM ALL BEINGS/He uses all the Buddhadharmas to transform and save all living beings, COMPASSION-HEARTED, WITH NO TRACE OF HARMING/in transforming living beings, he constantly has a Blind-of kindness and compassion, with no thought of harming living beings. He firmly maintains the practice of giving, RULING AND DIRECTING JAMBUDVIPA/He acts as king of the regions known as Southern Jambudvipa, and transforms and beautifies its customs, causing the customs of each nation to become wholesome customs. All countries hold the Five-Precepts:
1. No killing
2. No stealing
3. No sexual misconduct
4. No false speech
5. No intoxicants
The citizens of all countries hold the five precepts and practice the ten goods, and so IN TRANSFORMING CUSTOMS, NONE DOES HE NOT REACH, MAKING ALL ESTABLISHED IN GREAT GIVING/He causes all living beings also to practice the Dharma door of great renunciation, to cultivate the Dharma door of giving, AND ACCOMPLISH WISDOM OF A BUDDHA/All living beings attain the true and actual wisdom of a Buddha.
IN HIS WISH TO SEEK THE WAY SUPREME/He himself seeks the most supreme Way, and he causes all living beings to seek the most supreme Way, RENOUNCING THEN HIS OWN ROYAL POSITION/To start with he is king of a country, but he also gives away that kingly position to other people. HE CAN WITHIN THE MIDST Of BUDDHA'S TEACHING, COURAGEOUS AND WITH DILIGENCE, CULTIVATE/What does he do after he has renounced his royal position? He cultivates. He leaves home and cultivates the Way, with courageous vigor in diligently cultivating precepts, samadhi and wisdom, and putting to rest greed, hatred and stupidity, at no time is he lazy.
HE THEN ATTAINS TO ONE HUNDRED SAMADHIS/At that time the Bodhisattva obtains a hundred kinds of samadhis, a hundred kinds of concentrations. In the interval of a single instant of thought he attains to a hundred kinds of samadhis, AND HE COMES TO SEE ALL HUNDRED BUDDHAS/Again within the space of a single thought, he can see all the Buddhas of a hundred lands. HE MAKES ONE HUNDRED WORLDS TREMBLE AND QUAKE/The countries of one hundred worlds all experience the six types of quakes. HIS ILLUMINATION’S REACH IS ALSO THUS/The pervasive illumination of his light also shines upon the living beings of a hundred worlds." HE TRANSFORMS AND SAVES ONE HUNDRED BEINGS/As he shines upon the living beings of a hundred worlds, he transforms and saves all those hundred worlds’ beings TO ENTER IN ONE HUNDRED DHARMA DOORS/The living beings of the hundred worlds all attain a hundred Dharma doors. HE CAN KNOW ONE HUNDRED KALPAS’ MATTERS/He is able to know all of the events of a hundred previous kalpas, of a hundred kalpas afterwards, and a hundred present kalpas, knowing the entirety of the past, the present and the future, AND APPEAR WITHIN ONE HUNDRED BODIES/He is also able to appear and transform having as many as a hundred Bodhisattva bodies. THERE THEN APPEAR ONE HUNDRED BODHISATTVAS/Every single body further manifests as many as a hundred Bodhisattvas, ACTING AS A RETINUE FOR HIM/They act as that Bodhisattva’s retinue, helping him propagate the Buddhadharma and teach and transform living beings.
IF THROUGH POWER OF VOWS HIS COMFORTS PLEASE,
THEIR NUMBER, LIMITLESS, SURPASSES THESE.
I, AMONG THE MEANINGS OF THIS GROUND,
HAVE IN GENERAL SPOKEN A SMALL PORTION.
IF ONE WANTS TO ANALYZE FULL VASTLY,
ONE CANNOT FINISH IN A MILLION KALPAS.
THE BODHISATTVA'S PATH, THE MOST SUPREME,
OF BENEFITTING ALL THE FLOCKS OF BEINGS—
DHARMAS SUCH AS THOSE, OF THE FIRST GROUND-
I HAVE NOW ALREADY FINISHED SPEAKING.
IF THROUGH POWER OF VOWS HIS COMPORTS PLEASE, THEIR NUMBER, LIMITLESS, SURPASSES THESE/Should it be that the Bodhisattva has made vows of comfort as-you-please, the merit, virtue and wisdom far surpass, that by an unknown amount, surpassing it by a hundred kalpas, a thousand kalpas, a hundred thousand kalpas, kalpas so many that words cannot express these principles. I, AMONG THE MEANINGS OF THIS GROUND/Vajra Store Bodhisattva says, "I, within the meanings and principles of this First Ground, HAVE IN GENERAL SPOKEN A SMALL PORTION/I have in a very general and summary fashion spoken a very small amount. I have not completely discussed them. Was I to speak them completely, IF ONE WANTS TO ANALYZE FULL VASTLY/If they were discussed extensively and in full detail, ONE CANNOT FINISH IN A MILLION KALPAS/These principles could not be discussed completely in a quadrillion aeons.
THE BODHISATTVA’S PATH, THE MOST SUPREME/The most supreme Bodhisattva Way which is cultivated by Bodhisattvas, OF BENEFITTING ALL THE FLOCKS OF BEING/What matters most to them, their creed, is to benefit others, crossing themselves over by crossing over others, enlightening themselves by enlightening others. DHARMAS SUCH AS THOSE, OF THE FIRST GROUND/The kinds of dharmas I previously discussed, those Dharma doors of the First Ground, I NOW HAVE ALREADY FINISHED SPEAKING/Now I have already finished my very general explanation of them. All of you should thoroughly investigate them, and then you will be able to understand them.