當爾之時，這位大樂說菩薩，請問佛這個因緣 。佛就告訴大樂說菩薩說，我現在告訴你這個因緣。「此寶塔中」，在這個寶塔裡面，「有如來全身」，是那一位佛的全身呢？這在算不過來那麼多劫以前，所以說「乃往過去」。在 「東方無量千萬億阿僧衹世界」，從我們這個世界向東方來算，沒有數量，千萬億那麼多的無量數世界。「國名寶淨」，這個國家的名字就叫寶淨國。「彼中有佛」，在這個寶淨國裡面有一位佛「號曰多寶」，他的名字就叫多寶如來。「其佛行菩薩道時」，這位佛未成佛以前，修菩薩道的時候，「作大誓願」，他發了一個最大的誓願，所以行菩薩道的人都要發願。這位多寶如來做菩薩的時候曾發大誓願，他發什麼大誓願呢？「若我成佛」，也是有個我，不過他這個我，不是一個自私的我，而是一個布施的我，是一個無我之我，行菩薩道就要無我。我若成佛「滅度之後」，我圓寂、入涅槃之後。「於十方國土」，在這十方諸佛國土，「有說法華經處」，這一位多寶如來，他最喜歡《法華經》。
在多寶如來行菩薩道的時候，發這種的願。「彼佛成道已」，所以這位多寶如來成佛之後，「臨滅度時」，臨滅度，就是臨入涅槃的時候 。「於天人大眾中」，在這個天和人大眾裡邊。「告諸比丘」，告訴這一切的比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷。有的人說多寶如來成佛的時候沒有說法，所以他發願來護持說《法華經》的佛。這個說法是不一定的，因為在這經文上也有比丘，比丘就是他說法時的大眾。他臨入涅槃的時候，就對一切比丘說，「我滅度後」，等我滅度之後。「欲供養我全身者」，想要供養我這個全身的弟子。「應起一大塔」， 應該造一個大寶塔，用七寶造成的一個大寶塔。「其佛以神通願力」，因為他吩咐所有的弟子給他造一個大寶塔，所以這位佛以其神通願力，用他這一種不可思議的神通、不可思議的願力。所以「十方世界」，在十方所有的世界，就是指東南西北這四方，再加上四隅，四隅就是東南、西南、東北、西北。四方加上四隅就是八方，再加上方、下方，合在一起就成了十方世界。十方世界不是就僅僅講這十方世界，每一方世界又有百千萬億那麼多的世界裡面。「在在處處」，只要你說出一個地方，就有一個所在。「若有說法華經者」，假設又有佛出世，在那邊說《法華經》的時候，「彼之寶塔」，這位多寶如來的寶塔，「皆湧出其前」，一定出現在這位佛的前邊，也一定從地湧出「全身在於塔中」，這位多寶如來雖然滅度這麼久了，已入涅槃，可是他的全身還現出在這個塔裡。「鑽言善哉善哉」，他讚歎這一位說《法華經》的佛說，太好了！太好了！我現在又遇著世尊說《法華經》。「大樂說」，大樂說菩薩，「今多寶如來塔，聞說法華經故」，因為要聽《法華經》的緣故，「從地湧出」，所以寶塔從地面湧出來。「讃言善哉善哉」，說，真好！這一次又遇到說《法華經》了。善哉善哉，說了兩次，這是讚美之中又讚美，所以在寶塔裡面發出這一種大音聲。
Then the Buddha told the Bodhisattva Great Delight in Speaking: Within this jeweled stupa is the complete body of the Thus Come One. Long ago, limitless thousands of myriads of kotis of asankheya worlds to the east, in a land called jeweled Purity, there was a Buddha by the name of Many Jewels. When this Buddha was practicing the Bodhisattva path, he made a great vow saying, "After I have become a Buddha and passed into tranquility, in any of the ten direction lands where the Dharma Flower Sutra is being spoken, my stupa shall well up and appear there, so that I may hear the sutra and certify it, praising it, saying, 'Good Indeed! Good Indeed!'"
Then the Buddha told the Bodhisattva Great Delight in speaking: since you asked, I will tell you.
Within this jeweled stupa is the complete body of the Thus Come One. Which Thus Come One?
Long ago, limitless thousands of myriads of millions of asankhyeya worlds to the east, in a land called Jeweled Purity, there was a Buddha by the name of Many Jewels. When this Buddha was practicing the Bodhisattva path, before he became a Buddha,
he made a great vow. Those who practice the Bodhisattva Path should make vows. But you shouldn't be like one of my disciples who made a vow to become an animal to cross over the animals! The pigeons here now probably made such a vow in the past! At any rate, I changed his vow to "become a living being," making it not quite so specific. That's why you need a teacher! So when you make vows he can change them for you! Hah!
Saying, "After I....." He, too, uses the word "I" but his "I" is not a selfish one. It is the "I" of "no I".
"...have become a Buddha and passed into tranquility, entered into Nirvana,
in any of the ten direction lands where the Dhanna Flower Sutra is being spoken..." The
Dharma Flower Sutra was Many Jewels Buddha's favorite Sutra. He felt it was the most wonderful and inconceivable of all sutras and so he wanted to make a wonderful vow. He said, "After I go to Nirvana, and people make me a stupa,
my stupa shall well up and appear there, where the sutra is being spoken,
so that I may hear the sutra and certify it, praising it, saying, 'Good Indeed! Good Indeed! Fantastic! Someone's lecturing the Lotus Sutra here. Great! I can hear it again." That was his wonderful vow. Now, Shakyamuni Buddha is speaking about the vow he made limitless, uncountable aeons ago. And now Many Jewels Buddha is manifesting and exclaiming, "Great, great! Wow, I made it to another
Dharma Flower Sutra Assembly!"
After that Buddha had realized the way, when he was about to enter into tranquility, in the great assembly of gods and humans he spoke to the Bhikshus saying, after my tranquility, those who wish to make offerings to my complete body should build a large stupa."
Because of the vow he had made when practicing the Bodhisattva Path, later
after that Buddha, many Jewels, had realized the way, when he was about to enter into tranquility, into Nirvana,
in the great assembly of gods and humans he spoke to the Bhikshus saying... Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, and Upasikas are the Four-fold assembly. Some may think that after Many Jewels became a Buddha he didn't speak the Dharma and so he made a vow to protect the Buddhas who spoke the
Dharma Flower Sutra. That explanation is not necessarily correct because here the text says, "Bhikshus" and Bhikshus are the ones he crossed over by speaking the Dharma to them. When he was about to enter Nirvana he told them
"After my tranquility, those who wish to make offerings to my complete body should build a large stupa. Using the seven gems, one should make a big stupa.
By the power of his spiritual penetrations and his vow, throughout the ten direction worlds wherever anyone speaks The
Dharma Flower Sutra that Buddha's jeweled stupa containing his complete body wells up from the earth before the one speaking and expresses praise by saying, "Good indeed! Good indeed!" Great Delight in Speaking! Because he has heard the
Dharma Flower Sutra being spoken, the stupa of the Thus Come One Many Jewels has now welled up out of the earth with these words of praise, "Good indeed! Good indeed!"
By the power of his spiritual penetrations and his vow... Having given instructions to his disciples to build him a jeweled stupa, he uses his inconceivable spiritual penetrations and his inconceivable vows
thoughout the ten direction worlds. The ten direction worlds include the four cardinal points, the intermediary points, the zenith and the nadir. In each of the ten direction worlds, however, there are hundreds of thousands of myriads of worlds, too.In each of those limitless, limitless worlds,
wherever anyone speaks the Dharma Flower Sutra... It doesn't matter where, just so a Buddha has appeared there and is speaking The
Dharma Flower Sutra. That Buddha's jeweled stupa containing his complete body wells up from the earth before the one speaking. Even though he entered Nirvana so long ago, the entire body of Many Jewels Thus Come One still manifests in the stupa
and expresses praise of the Buddha who is speaking the
Dharma Flower Sutra,
By saying, "Good Indeed! Good Indeed! Great! I have now once again met up with the World Honored One speaking the
Dharma Flower Sutra."
"Great Delight in Speaking! I will tell you,
because he has heard the Dharma Flower Sutra being spoken, the stupa of the Thus Come One Many Jewels has now welled up out of the earth.. He wants to come and listen to it
with these words of praise, "Good Indeed! Good Indeed! Really good! Another chance to hear The Dharma Flower Sutra." He says "Good indeed!" twice, and that's the big sound from inside the stupa.