萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea


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Commentary by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
Translated by Bhiksunis Heng Hsien, Heng Yin, and Heng Ch'ih
Reviewed by Bhiksuni Heng Yin
Edited by Bhiksuni Heng Ch'ih

Going and returning with no border,
Movement and stillness have one source;
Embracing multitudes of wonders, more remains
Overstepping words and thought by far:
This can only be the Dharma Realm;

Opening and disclosing the mysterious and subtle,
Understanding and expanding the mind and its states;
Exhausting the principle and fathoming the nature,
Penetrating the result, which includes the cause;
Deep and wide and interfused
Vast and great and totally complete;
Surely this must be
The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Sutra!

Therefore my World-Honored One,
The ten bodies Just fulfilled,
Proper enlightenment first perfected,
Rides vows and conduct all-pervasive,
United with empty space in substance and nature,
Is wealthy with ten thousand virtues,
And cleansed without the finest dust.

The pellucid waves of his deep, sea like wisdom
Are empty, yet hold myriad reflections;
The full moon of his listening, space-like nature
At once scatters in one hundred streams.
Without rising from beneath the king of trees.

He extends to seven places in the Dharma Realm;
Exhausting vast expanses of esoteric doctrine,
He aids the hard-to-conceive-of, ocean-wide assembly.
The perfect sound continually scatters through ten kshetras,
Yet suddenly is everywhere;
Host and attendants keep repeating to the limits of the ten directions,
Yet in unison proclaim.

Although emptiness is emptied and the traces are cut off,
Still the sky of meanings' stars glitter and blaze;
Although stillness is deepened so that words are lost,
Yet the sea of teachings' waves are oceanic in extent,
As for the thousand doors which in secret flow,
Of multitudes of texts it forms the copious source;
The ten thousand virtues commingle and return,
While companies of sutras comprise its retinue.

This is its intent:
Tallying true substance with the region of ten thousand transformations;
Displaying virtues' marks in the doorway to the multiply profound.
Functions are legion and prolific, yet it is always such;
Wisdom everywhere examines yet is forever still.
Truth and falseness interlink and mingle:
Within the ordinary mind one sees the Buddha Mind.
Specifics and Principle are together cultivated:
One relies on basic wisdom to seek the Buddha's wisdom.
Principle changes according to specifics, so
One and many conditionally arise without bounds;
Specifics interfuse with principle, so
A thousand distinctions combine without obstruction.

Therefore he obtains;
Ten bodies in succession, yet mutually operative,
Six positions not disordered, yet reciprocally contained.
And so, the vast and great can enter where there is no place
Dust motes and hairs envelope with nothing left outside:
Clearly arrayed
Like mustard seeds within a jar; completely simultaneous
Like drops of water in the sea, one and many unobstructed,
Like a thousand lamps in an empty space; hidden and revealed together realized
Like the splintering moon in an autumn sky; layer on layer lights interlace,
Like the Lord's net's trailing pearls: thought after thought makes perfect fusion,
Like an evening dream's passing time: dharma doors pile up in layers,
Like clouds billowing in space: myriad practices unfurl profusely,
Like flowers blooming on brocade.
Too high is it for gazing, so
Bodhisattvas of accumulated practice
Are dried-up gills and scales before the dragons' gate;
Too deep to be surveyed, so
Sound-hearers of superior virtue
Stop seeing and hearing in the fine assembly.
Seeing and hearing act as seeds;
The eight difficulties leap to the echelons of the ten grounds.
Understanding and practicing one's person;
One life perfects the fruit of distant Kalpas.

The lion sprints,
The ocean-wide assembly suddenly certifies in the grove;
The elephant king turns 'round;
Six thousand realize the way as the words fall.
Dawn of understanding at the chaitya in the east:
Full wisdom does not differ from first
Sojourning in positions while seeking in the south:
Perfected causes do not exceed a hair-pore.
Opening fine dust-motes' sutra scrolls:
Then in every thought the fruit is won;
Exhausting sentient beings' vow doors;
Then in every dust-most practice is fulfilled.

It may truly be called:
Wonderful speech of constant duration,
Vast model of universal scope,
Ultimate expression congruent with the nature,
Main track of the single vehicle.
Examine its profound purport, look into the sutras:
It is like a sunrise glorious in the sky
Dimming multitudes of luminaries' splendor,
Like Sumeru, which spreads across the seas
Lowering retinues of peaks' high altitudes.

Hence the Bodhisattva sought the secret in the dragons' palace.
Great worthies had it published in the eastern expanse.
Considering that in the proper Dharma Age
Its pure glory still remained concealed,
How fortunate that in semblance and in final times
This profound teaching is happened upon!
Moreover, when one meets a sagely ruler,
Obtaining it on magic mountain,
Exhaustively reflecting on its esoteric meaning,
How can one but Jump for Joy?

The title reads:
The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra.
That is the general name for inexhaustible sutras.
The World Rulers' Wonderful Adornments Chapter Number One.
Is a specific heading for one of many sections.
Great is extensive union with no boundaries.
Means arc proper dharmas personally maintained.
Expansive says it fits the substance exactly.
Buddha is awakened to this mysterious wonder.
Flower stands for virtues from the myriad conducts.
Adornment's decorative dharmas on the accomplished person.
Sutra is the flow without end of a bubbling spring.
Stringing deep cryslalizations of wonderful meanings,
attracting the boundless "sea-wide assembly.
It acts for late and ancient as a constant rule.
The Buddha and all kings are called
The World Rulers
Dharma doors dependent and proper
Are both styled
wonderful adornments
In dividing meaning-units and assigning
chapter names
What caps the other sections is called
Number One
This sutra has thirty-nine chapters.
This chapter comes first.
Therefore it is called
The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, The World Rulers' Wonderful Adornments Chapter Number One.

I return my life to the ten directions' and the three times' utmost reach,
To dust-most kshetras' taming Masters of perfect clarity,
To the Dharma Realm's great compassion cloud of merit and virtue,
To Vairochana, the great wisdom sea;
To the Dwelling place most deep the true Dharma Nature,
To what flows forth whole and perfect as the Sutra;
In each assembly of the Buddhas in each dust-mote,
To Universal Worthy, Manjusri, and all great lords.

I now wish with my one hair's breadth of wisdom
To fathom the boundless Dharma Realm's vast void.
May I receive the Triple jewel's compassion of identify in substance,
In each phrase profoundly meshing with all Buddhas' intent.
May I cause the Dharma eye forever not to fail.
Exhausting realms of living beings like Universal Worthy.
I transfer this supreme good equally to all that live;
May they soon accomplish Bodhis' fruit of never-ending bliss!



Today, June 13,1971, is a very important day. This day marks the opening of the lecture series on The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra. There may be people who have lectured this Sutra in other countries, but I believe this is the first time that is being lectured in any country in the West. Being the first time it is worth our remembering it, and so is very important.

One usually begins to explain the Flower Adornment Sutra with a thorough analysis of the Sutra's complete title. However, this explanation of the Sutra will begin with an explanation of the Preface to the Sutra, which covers all of the principles contained in the Flower Adornment Sutra. Once this Preface has been explained, it will be possible to-understand the general meaning of the Flower Adornment Sutra. The Preface was composed by Dharma Master Ch'eng Kuan, "Avatamsaka Bodhisattva", whose title was National Master Ch'ing Liang. Before lecturing the Preface, we will first say something about the Dharma Master who composed it.

Dharma Master Ch'eng Kuan was nine feet tall, and each, of his eyes had two pupils. During the daytime, there was nothing especially extraordinary about him and he seemed like anybody else. At night, on the other hand, one could see a kind of light radiating from his eyes. Also his two arms were so long that they extended below his knees. 'You should all pay attention to this: whenever someone has arms that extend below their knees, it is a very rare and special mark, an indication of nobility. Furthermore, he had forty teeth just like a Buddha, He was so intelligent that he was able to read seven lines of writing in the time it takes the average person to read a single line.

How do we know that was Flower Adornment Bodhisattva? First of all, he gave his exclusive attention to the Flower Adornment Sutra, writing an extensive Commentary and Sub-Commentary to it and regularly delivering lectures on the Sutra; and then there are the circumstances, which happened after his demise. An Arhat at the border between India and China one day saw two very young Bodhisattvas travelling in space. The Arhat used his spiritual powers to prevent the two young Bodhisattvas from moving. Thereupon he inquired of the youths in dark clothing, "Where are you going? "To Which: the pair of Bodhisattvas replied, "We're headed for Wu Pai (Five Peak) Mountain in China, to request the teeth of Flower Adornment Bodhisattva. We want, to bring them back to our country and make offerings to them" Once he heard that, the Arhat said, "Fine. Go right ahead," and released them so they could continue on their way. Not long after that, the Arhat himself arrived at Wu T'ai Mountain, and started telling everyone how he had encountered such and such a state. The result was that all the people got together and opened National Master Ch'ing Liang's coffin, only to find that two of his teeth were missing. The two teeth were 'the teeth of Flower Adornment Bodhisattva that the two young Bodhisattvas had requested and which they had taken back to India to worship! For this reason, Dharma Master Ch'eng Kuan is known in Buddhism to have been a transformation body of Flower Adornment Bodhisattva.

*National Master Ch'ing Liang that Great Bodhisattva has a truly inconceivable state. His life spanned the reigns of nine emperors, seven of whom appointed him National Master. The nine emperors were:
1. T'ang Hsuan Tsung.
2. T'ang Su Tsung.
3. T'ang Tai Tsung.
4. T'ang Te Tsung.
5. T'ang Hsun Tsung,
6. T'ang Hsien Tsung.
7. T'ang Mu Tsung.
8. T'ang Ching Tsung.
9. Tang Wen Tsung.

From Tai Tsung on, they all bowed to National Master Ch'ing Liang as National Master. His cultivation was true and thorough, not the least bit sloppy. He was not like most people whose mouths speak of cultivating, but whose bodies do not cultivate; who say one thing and think another. Even before he left the home life, he made vows. He used ten requirements to urge himself on:

1. His body would not renounce the appearance of a shramana. That means that at all times he wore the robe and sash of a left-home person. He always looked like a bhiksu.

2. His mind would not oppose the regulations of the Thus Come One. He recognized that the investigation of the precepts is very important. Not to speak of actual violation, he did not even strike up such false thoughts.

3. He would not sit with his back to the sutra of the Dharma Realm. He would sit facing the Flower Adornment Sutra, and would not sit with his back to it. Not to speak of, the Buddha, he would not even turn his back on the Sutra.

4. His nature would not be defiled by states of emotional obstruction. That is, he would not become attached to or obstructed by emotional love and desire.

5. His feet would not tread on the ground of a nunnery. It was not very egalitarian, but he still went ahead and made that vow anyway. He would not even set foot inside the gates of a residence for the bhiksuni Sangha. You Americans would say, "That's nuts. Why not? What's wrong with going to a bhiksuni temple? I could go there a hundred times a day without ever being aware of any problem. But National Master Ch'ing Liang was too "pure and cool," as his name implies. He was without the least spark of passion. He didn't have a trace of defiling emotion.

6. His body would not touch the bed of a lay person. To say nothing of living at a lay person's house, he would not even spend one night. Think it over, could you live up to that?

7. His eyes would not gaze at improper spectacles. Watching plays, dancing, wearing flashy clothes and indulging in chaos are things he would not do.

8. His tongue would not taste edibles after noon. See how the high monks go about their practices? He didn't sample things, let alone eat.

9. His hand would not let loose the round, bright beads. He always held his recitation beads and recited, "Namo Amita Buddha. Namo Amita Buddha," to stay constantly mindful.

10. Not for a night would he be apart from his robes and bowl. He always slept with his robes and bowl, the basic possessions of a bhiksu, right next to him. He took care of them day and night.

*Those are the ten requirements that used to urge himself on. No teacher taught them to him. At no time was he told, "You shouldn't eat after noon. When you sit, don't turn you back on the Sutra." He adopted these practices of his own volition.

Since it was written by Flower Adornment Bodhisattva, naturally this Preface is very fine; and so before lecturing the Sutra proper, we will first lecture the Preface, which begins:

Going and returning with no border,
Movement and stillness have one source;
Embracing multitudes of wonders, more remains,
Overstepping words and thought by far;
This can only be the Dharma Realm.

Going represents going out, arising, movement and change. Therefore it is said:

With movement there is change;
With change there is transformation.
Only by total sincerity
Can the universe be transformed.

If you are totally sincere, then you can bring about change; but without total sincerity you cannot.

Returning represents corning back, extinction, and stillness. What this refers to is movement not obstructing stillness, and stillness not obstructing movement. Movement is stillness; stillness is movement. Movement and stillness are suchness. That is why it says, with no border. No border means no boundary, no trace, no path. It is also as is described by:

The mouth wants to speak, but words are lost;
The mind wants to think, but reflection perishes.

The mouth wishes to talk, but words fail; there is no way to speak. In the mind there is the intention to do some climbing on conditions, but there is no way to climb on conditions. Reflection perishes. II that kind of deliberation is gone, which is to say:

No consciousness, no knowing;
No deliberation, no reflection.

This is the Greatness of the Functioning of the Flower Adornment Sutra. The use of the Flower Adornment Sutra is great, which is why it says. "Going and returning with no border,"

Going, yet not going;
Returning, yet not returning;
Going and returning are not dual.

They are not two. Going comes from returning, returning comes from going: and so going and returning have no border. There is no path:

Just as a bird flies through space,
And space has no track;
Just as a knife cuts through water,
And the water has no trace.

That is "Going and returning with no border," and it is the Greatness of the Functioning.

Movement and stillness have one source/ This is the Greatness of the Substance. The source of the movement is there, and the source of stillness is also there. This original substance basically has neither movement nor stillness, Movement and stillness change into each other. As was just quoted:

With movement, there is change.

Once there is movement, then there will be change. As with the sixty-four hexagrams of the Book of Changes before movement lakes place, there is the original hexagram: but as soon as you have a moving line, it changes into the other hexagram. This basic substance of movement and stillness is one. The basis of movement is stillness and the basis of stillness is movement. The two are two, and yet not two. Although they are described as dual, basically they are one. They have one source.

There is another simple analogy for the relationship between movement and stillness. The basis of movement and stillness is like a mother who gives birth to two children, one called "movement." and the other called "stillness. The one named "stillness' calls its mother. "Mama," and the one named "movement" also calls its mother "Mama." That describes their production from one substance. In Lao Ts'u it says:

The Way has purity and defilement. It has movement and stillness. Purity is the source of defilement. Movement is the foundation of stillness.

He also says:

Heaven is pure, earth is defiled. Heaven moves, earth is still. Purity to the ultimate is defilement, and defilement to the ultimate is purity. Therefore, there is no distinction between them: They all come from one basic source. Movement to the ultimate becomes stillness and stillness to the extreme again becomes movement.

That Greatness of the Substance of The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra, can include both movement and stillness.


Embracing multitudes of wonders, more remains/

"Embracing" means including and containing not just one kind of wonder but multitudes of wonder. Although multitudes of wonders are many, still more remains. This is the Greatness of the Appearance. "Going and returning, with no border" was the-Greatness of the Functioning. "Movement and stillness have one source" was the Greatness of the Substance, while here "Embracing multitudes of wonders, more remains" is the Greatness of the Appearance. Those are the Three Greatnesses set forth in the Preface of Substance, Functioning, and Appearance.

Wonders, fundamentally, are inconceivable kinds of states. "Multitudes of wonders" is a phrase from the opening lines of the Too Te Ching used by National Master Ch'ing Liang to illustrate the principles of the Buddhadharma.

The Tao Te Ching begins:

The Way that can be spoken is not the eternal Way;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
Nameless, it is the beginning of Heaven and Earth;
Named, it is the mother of the myriad things.
Therefore, constantly without desire, one contemplates its wonder;
Constantly having desire, one contemplates its shell.
From Sameness comes forth different names;
All alike are called "mysterious",
The mysterious within the mysterious,
The gateway to the multitude of wonders.

The phrase in the Preface; is a literal quote from the Tao Te Ching but the context gives it a different meaning. The Tao Te Ching's "gateway to the multitude of wonders" has no "remainder." that is, nothing more beyond, whereas the Flower Adornment 'Sutra embraces multitudes of wonders, yet more remains there is more beyond.


Overstepping words and thought by far;
This can only be the Dharma Realm!

"Overstepping" means exceeding, going beyond. Going beyond what? Going beyond words, i.e. language, and thought, i.e. conceptualization. That is to say;

What cannot be expressed in speech;
What cannot be conceptualized by thought.

That kind of state is inconceivable, and so it says "by far." "Far" means distant. How is it distant? It is because it goes far beyond words and thought; it is a kind of inconceivable state that goes beyond, and very distantly. Furthermore, this is the inconceivable within the inconceivable. What is this kind of state: This can only be The Dharma Realm! The only thing you could call it, the only thing it could possibly be, is the Dharma Realm.

There are four kinds of Dharma Realms:
1. The Dharma Realm of Specifics.
2. The Dharma Realm of Principle.
3, The Dharma Realm of the Non-Obstruction of Specifics and Principle.
4. The Dharma Realm of the Non-Obstruction of Specifics and Specifics.

That is why the Buddha said:

If one wishes to understand fully
All the Buddhas of the three periods of time,
One should contemplate the nature of the Dharma Realm:
Everything is made from mind alone.

There is also categorization into ten kinds of Dharma Realms, which further divide into the Four Sagely Dharma Realms and the Six Ordinary Dharma Realms. The Four Sagely and Six Ordinary Dharma Realms, taken together, do not go beyond the nature of one manifest thought of the mind of you or me. One thought is replete with the Ten Dharma Realms, and the Ten Dharma Realms are not separate from one thought of the mind. The Ten Dharma Realms are: The Dharma Realm of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Those Enlightened to Conditions, Sound-hearers, gods, people, asuras, animals, hungry ghosts, and beings in the hells. The Three Evil Destinies are those of animals, hungry ghosts, and hells.

What makes you fall into the hells? It is because you do things that make you fall into the hells. For example, if you kill people, set fires, or upset the peaceful workings of society and make all the people in society be shaken by disasters, all of that will lead you to fall' into the hells. If you are greedy, you will fall into the hells. If you have thoughts of desire, you will fall into the hells. If you are hateful, you will turn into a hungry ghost. If you are stupid, you will become an animal. There are said to be eighteen major hells and five hundred minor hells. Actually, there are tens of millions of hells. Hells are not created in advance in anticipation of your falling into them. Rather, hells manifest in response to your karma. If you create the karma of a hell that hell manifests. Where does the hell manifest? It manifests in your mind. 'If while you are alive you are unhappy always worried, if you are constantly crying, then:

*With each cry, in hell there is a small, dark room.

In hell there is a small, dark room, a room pitch black, in which there is no light at all; and yet you undergo suffering there. You are in that small, dark room in which you cannot see anything, when suddenly from one side there comes a knife, which rips up your body. You bleed and suffer excruciating pain, so intense that you die of the pain. However, strangely enough, once you die of pain, a wind called the "Clever" wind blows, and brings you back to life.

If you are always getting angry, with heavy hatred, then you will turn into a hungry ghost. Hungry ghosts have huge tempers. No matter what comes up, they want to get angry. So, if you like getting angry, you will wind up as a hungry ghost. This, too, happens from always getting angry within your mind.

What makes for animals? Animals are stupid. If you are stupid, and do riot understand anything, then you will become an animal. Take a look at animals. Why are they controlled by human beings? It is because they are stupid; they are not as intelligent as human beings. You may say, "But I've seen animals that were very intelligent." Well, go become that kind of animal then, since you like and admire, it so much. It's not difficult at all. All you have to do is do what animals do, and you can become an animal. What do animals do? They do stupid things. It's thinking, "This is something that is not in accord with principle, but I definitely am going to do it. I won't pay any attention to whether it is principled or not." That's an example of stupidity becoming manifest, That's becoming stupid, and that's how one becomes an animal. Therefore, the Three Evil Destinies come from the three poisons of greed, hatred and stupidity. How do you get out of the Three Evil Destinies? You do meritorious and virtuous deeds.

What is the source of the Three Good Destinies? They come-from goodness, merit and virtue. If you do good deeds, you can become a human being. The kind of person you become will depend upon the amount of good you have done. If you have done a lot of good, you can be a gas and oil king, or a great automotive king, a great gold king, a great silver king, a great diamond king, a great construction king. a great earthly king, a great heavenly king there are that many kinds of great kings to be if you do good. If you establish merit, there may be situations in which you know there is merit, and you establish it, and there may be situations in which there is not merit, although you think there is and go ahead and establish it. One example is that of helping a country wage war by going and killing people. That is the Dharma Realm of asuras, which is that of going out and fighting with people.

Asuras think that if they are victorious in battle they have merit, and so they are asuras. There are asuras in the heavens, and there are also asuras among human beings, among animals, and among the hungry ghosts all four of those destinies. In the path of animals, the asura is the one that always wants to bully the other animals. Among horses it is the horse that harms the herd.

The realms of gods are also limitless and unbounded. There is not just one lord God: there are a great many Lords God. This particular Lord God started out as a woman, and since she was helped by thirty-two other women to repair and guild a Buddha image, her subsequent reward was to become Lord God. That is something which happened a long, long time ago...but she's still being Lord God. How long ago did it happen? It was much, much longer than several quadrillions of years ago. So you should not act like the historians with respect to this, feeling, "I definitely must check and research what proof there is for this." There isn't any proof, except that I'm telling it you now. You don't believe it? I'm not particularly pleased if you do believe. I'm just telling you, and whether you believe or not makes no difference. Why not? If you believe, Lord is still Lord God. If you do not believe, The Buddha is still the Buddha. There will not any increase or decrease. The Dharma Realm of gods is so manifold that right now it cannot be completely described.

There is also the Dharma Realm of Sound Hearers. They hear the sound of the Buddha's voice speaking Dharma and become enlightened to the Way. Sound hearers are Arhats. Of Arhats there are:
1. First Fruit Arhats.
2. Second Fruit Arhats.
3. Third Fruit Arhats.

Those of the First Fruit have cut off the eighty-eight grades of view delusions. View delusions occur when one gives rise to greed and desire when confronted by states; in other words, when you see something and you are turned by it. For example, you may see a good-looking car and think "Wow! How can I get a car like that? I could drive it around and wouldn't have to walk!" That is giving rise to greed and love, which is simply view delusion. If you saw the car and did not strike up false thinking like that, you would not have any view delusions. The same holds true for airplanes, fine houses, attractive clothing, beautiful possessions—in short, everything. Most people who don't understand the Buddhadharma Consider being born in the heavens as the ultimate. "Ah," they say, "to go to the heavenly paradise and be with Lord God!" However, Lord God, within Buddhism, is just I Dharma protector. He doesn't even have a place to sit. He has to stand. Some may protest, "I don't believe it: Lord God standing for the Buddha?" If you don't believe it, then try it out. Just go ahead and believe in your Lord Sod, and don't believe in the Buddha. It doesn't matter.

People who don't understand the Buddhadharma consider Lord God the very highest. However, within Buddhism Lord God is just a local constable. This local constable says to the citizenry he superintends, "I am the very greatest. In the entire world there is no one who is greater than I am. Fm your boss, and you all have to follow my orders."

The country people, not knowing any better, listen to his local constable's caliber of wisdom and say, "Ah! He is our Lord. We must constantly draw near to this Lord!"

Once, that local constable went to visit the mayor, on which occasion he had to be very polite and formal. No one saw it, however, since he went there by himself. The local citizenry still had no idea they were under the jurisdiction of a mayor. What's more, when the local constable went to visit the president, he had to be even more polite. When the president said, "Sit down, have a seat," he replied. "No thank you! Standing is just fine." Lord God is referred to in the phrase in the Surangama mantra Na Mwo Yin Two La Ye King Indra (Yin Two La) is just Lord God. So, recognize him clearly and, if you 'happen to run into Indra and he says he's King Indra, just say to him, "Oh, aren't you Lord God?" Ask him that and he's sure to blush and answer, "Yes, yes."

Paramita is a Sanskrit word, which translates as "arrived at the other shore." Having arrived at the other shore is just having done something to completion. Take giving, for instance. If previously I didn't practice giving, but now I do give, then that is to have arrived at the other shore of giving. If I never used to keep the precepts, but now I do keep the precepts, that is to have arrived at the other shore of holding precepts. If I never used to be patient, but now I am patient, that is to have arrived at the other shore of patience. If I never used to be vigorous, but now I am vigorous, that is to have arrived at the other shore of vigor. If I never used to cultivate Dhyana-samadhi, but now I do cultivate Dhyana-samadhi, that is to have arrived at the other shore of Dhyana-samadhi. If I never used to cultivate wisdom, but now I do cultivate wisdom that, too is to have arrived at the other shore of wisdom. Bodhisattvas cultivate those six kinds of Paramitas, six kinds of arrivals at the other shore. They want to benefit themselves, and they also want to benefit other people, and so they are said to:

Benefit themselves while benefiting others,
Take themselves across while taking others across.

One should take oneself across to the other shore. That is why Bodhisattvas constantly make the vows:

My own nature's living beings I vow to take across
My own nature's afflictions I vow
My own nature's Dharma doors I vow to study.
My own nature's Buddhahood I vow to accomplish.

Their vows are to take their own nature across to the other shore and by so doing, take others across as well, since there is a reciprocal relationship between oneself and others, "the reason that Buddhas want to take living beings across is that living beings are all Buddhas it's just that living beings are unaware of it, and so the Buddha needs to explain the Buddhadharma in order to bring living beings to accomplish Buddhahood. Bodhisattvas use the Buddhadharma to teach living beings' and so they take themselves across while taking others across, enlightening themselves while enlightening others. Once they are enlightened themselves, they reflect, "Enlightenment's not bad all! Everything is understood. Everything is suddenly penetrated! There is no ignorance and there are no afflictions. It's extremely wonderful! This is truly an inconceivable state! But it's useless for me to be the only one who attains this kind of state. I ought to enlighten everyone, all people, so that they, too, all attain this kind of inconceivable and supremely wonderful-state." Thereupon, instead of settling down in the wondrous state, they keep incredibly busy, every day intent upon teaching living beings and taking them across, in order to bring all living beings to attain the same kind of enlightenment they themselves have attained. That is what it means to bring forth the thought of a Bodhisattva.

Bodhisattvas also are made from the mind in the same way as Sound Hearers and those Enlightened to Conditions are made from the mind. If in your mind you want to be a Bodhisattva, for example, you go ahead and cultivate the Bodhisattva Way. Use the mind of the Dharma Realm to cultivate the conduct of the Dharma Realm.

The Ultimate Dharma Realm is that of the Buddha. The Buddha is enlightened himself, and he enlightens others; furthermore, his enlightened conduct is perfected. His virtuous conduct is perfected, and his cultivation is perfected—absolutely everything has been perfected, and so be has accomplished Buddhahood. What is a Buddha? Just a person. However, that person gone back to the origin and returned to the source. He has understood his original face. He has found his own home. In that way he has accomplished Buddhahood. The very first thing the Buddha did upon accomplishing Buddhahood was to speak The Great Flower Adornment Sutra. For three whole weeks, twenty-one days, the Buddha spoke the Flower Adornment Sutra, and it was not through his Reward Body, it was through his Dharma Body. He appeared as Vairocana Buddha to speak the Flower Adornment Sutra, and during that time all that the people of the Two Vehicles saw was the Buddha seated there in samadhi, not speaking Dharma. The Great Lords of the Dharma Body, the Bodhisattvas, saw the Buddha speaking Dharma. To the people of the Two Vehicles, the Buddha still looked like a six foot tall Bhiksus seated in meditation. In actuality, while the Buddha was seated there in meditation, he was manifesting the clear, pure Dharma Body, and speaking The Great Flower Adornment Sutra; but the people of the Two Vehicles:

Had eyes but could not see Rocana Buddha;
Had ears but could not hear the perfect, sudden teaching.

The Buddha thereupon manifested the clear and pure Dharma Body Vairocana Buddha, and the perfect, full Reward Body Rocana Buddha. At that time the Bodhisattvas saw the thousand foot Rocana Buddha speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra; but the Arhats couldn't see it. Now, we may not be Arhats, but then again, we may be Bodhisattvas, because now we are able to see and hear the Flower Adornment Sutra. Perhaps in the past we planted the causes for Bodhisattvahood, so that we are now are in circumstances in which we can hear this great Dharma and great Teaching.

When divided up, the Ten Dharma Realms exist as described: but when taken together, they are just the manifestation of a single thought of our mind. That single thought of the mind universally fills the Ten Dharma Realms, and so it is further said:

If one wishes to understand fully
All Buddhas of the three periods of time,
One should contemplate the nature of the Dharma Realm:
Everything is made from mind alone.

Thought delusions occur when one is confused about principles and gives rise to discriminations. Confused, you don't understand the principle, and so you have discriminating false thoughts. For example, you may say, "What is said in the Flower Adornment Sutra is very well and good, but I'm afraid that's not really the way things are. I shouldn't believe it. I should believe myself and not believe the' Flower Adornment Sutra. National Master Ch'ing Liang had his ten requirements to urge himself on, but that was his business and besides, it's all just talk. It's not for sure he really was that way," You discriminate, "It is that way; it isn't his way. It's true; it's false."

Arhats of the First Fruit have cut off eighty-eight grades of view delusions. Those of the Second Fruit have cut off the first six grades of thought delusion. When one testifies to the Third Fruit, one cuts off three more grades to have severed nine grades of thought delusion in all. Fourth Fruit Arhats cut off all eighty-one grades of thought delusion in the Three Realms.

The Dharma Realm of those Enlightened to Conditions is next. When a Buddha is in the world, they hear the Buddha explain the Twelve Causal Conditions and become enlightened to the Way; and so they are called those Enlightened to Conditions. The Twelve Causal Conditions are: ignorance, conditions activity, activity conditions consciousness, consciousness conditions name and form, name and form condition the six organs, the six organs condition contact, contact conditions feeling, feeling conditions love, love conditions grasping, grasping conditions becoming, becoming conditions birth, birth conditions old age and death. When no Buddha is in the world, they cultivate by themselves and become enlightened, so they are called those Solitarily Enlightened. Off by themselves in the deep mountains and remote valleys, they observe the continual birth and death of the ten thousand things and become enlightened.

The Dharma Realm of Bodhisattvas is one of benefiting oneself while benefiting others, taking oneself across while taking others across, and enlightening oneself while enlightening others. What they cultivate is the Six Paramitas and the ten thousand conducts, The Six Paramitas are: giving, holding precepts, patience, vigor, dhyana-samadhi, and wisdom.

How did those of you now attending the Buddhist study and cultivation summer session come here? You may say "I flew here by plane" or, "I came by bus" or, "I drove here by car." You're all wrong. You came by means of your mind. In your mind you thought, "Oh, the Sino-American Buddhist Association is having a study and cultivation summer session. The first one was ninety-six days long, the second one was ninety-six days, and the third also was ninety-six days long; but the duration of this fourth one has been cut down. It's probably very easy. I'll go attend it and see what it's like. It's just for a few weeks, so no matter how difficult it is, I'll be able to bear the suffering. At that time, in your mind you said, "Let's go! Let's go!" Because you thought to come, now you have arrived. Now that you have arrived, you have become a student in the Flower Adornment Buddhist study and cultivation session. Isn't that just a case of everything being made from mind alone?

If you had never had the intention in your mind to come, then you might have had a plane, or a car, but they all would have been useless. Without the thought of coming, you would never have taken the first step, so how could you have come here? Therefore everything is made from mind alone. What is the mind?

The mind is just the Dharma Realm. Now doesn't the text say, "This can only be the Dharma Realm!" We could make a substitution and say, "This can only be your mind!" It's just your mind. You may object, "But I thought The Dharma Realm was very great, and here it is changing into my mind, which is so small." How can your mind be small? Didn't you just hear how then Dharma Realms are simply the manifestation of a single thought of the mind? How then could your mind be all that small? Your mind is greater than empty space. It is bigger than heaven and earth. It is just that you are unable to use it. Your mind is:

Great with nothing outside,
Small with nothing inside.

However, you are only aware of having a small mind, a mind as big as a fine mote of dust. Your state is too small. If your state were great, then you would know you have a great mind.


法界佛教總會 Dharma Realm Buddhist Association© Vajra Bodhi Sea