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The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra With Commentary

Roll 4, Chapter 11 Vision of the Jeweled Stupa

宣化上人講 Commentary by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by International Translation Institute







There were no oceans, rivers or streams and no Mucilinda or Mahamucilinda Mountains, no Iron Ring or Great Iron Ring Mountains, and no Mount Sumerus or any other kings of mountains. All became one Buddhaland. The jeweled earth was level and flat, covered entirely with gem-studded canopies and hung with banners. Precious incense was burned and heavenly precious flowers covered the ground.

There were no oceans, rivers, or streams, and no Mucilinda or Mahamucilinda Mountains. These lands had been transformed so that the oceans, rivers, and streams were all gone. What are Mucilinda Mountains? "Mucilinda" is a Sanskrit word which is interpreted as meaning "rock mountain." There are lots of rocks and boulders on these mountains, which is why they have that name. "Maha" means "large," so Mahamucilinda Mountains are large rock mountains. Mucilinda Mountains are small rock mountains. Perhaps some of the rocks on those mountains are not quite so large. But the rocks on the Mahamucilinda Mountains are especially large, so they are called large rock mountains. In fact, the whole mountain might just be one large rock. Nothing grows on these bare rock mountains, not even grass. There are no Iron Ring or Great Iron Ring Mountains. The Iron Ring Mountains are outside of Mount Sumeru. The Great Iron Ring Mountains are closer to, but still outside of, Mount Sumeru. "Sumeru" is also Sanskrit and means "wonderfully high." The Four Heavenly Kings live halfway up Mount Sumeru. Or any other kings of mountains. Mount Sumeru is considered the King of Mountains. However, the Buddha transformed these lands so that all the mountains disappeared and became level ground. All became one Buddhaland. All of it turned into the land in which Shakyamuni Buddha teaches and transforms living beings. The jeweled earth was level and flat. The ground was made of lapis lazuli and was very flat. It was covered entirely with gem-studded canopies and hung with banners. All sorts of jeweled canopies and banners were used to shade the ground. Precious incense was burned, the most expensive kind of incense. And heavenly, precious flowers covered the ground. The ground was covered all kinds of precious heavenly flowers, especially with Mandarava flowers--"as-you-wish flowers." Each one of the transformation bodies of Shakyamuni Buddha sat in full lotus upon their lion throne, waiting to see entire body of the Thus Come One Many Jewels.

Last night I explained a little bit about sitting in full lotus and the merit and virtue it brings. If those who cultivate the Tao can sit in full lotus, they will be able to develop the power of precepts, the power of samadhi, and the power of wisdom. If you can sit in full lotus, all the Vajra Dharma Protectors will protect you, all the demon kings will stay away from you, and all the hungry ghosts will bow to you! There is a story which I have told before, but I think that a lot of people have not heard it yet, so now I will tell it to you again.

In China, when someone dies, and on certain other occasions, monks are requested to go and recite Sutras. Such monks are known as "Commercial Sutra-reciting monks." Once, there was a Dharma Master who made his living by reciting Sutras for people. His recitations were usually in the evening. One time, he finished reciting the Sutras and was heading home at about midnight. He passed through a small village, by a house, and a dog started barking wildly at him. There was a couple in the house, and the wife said, "Why don't you take a look and see if it's a prowler coming to steal things." Her husband looked out the window and said, "Oh, it's just the commercial Sutra-reciting ghost!" When the Dharma Master who recited Sutras heard that, he thought to himself, "I wonder why they call me a Sutra-reciting ghost?" Basically he was a Dharma Master who recited Sutras, and yet they called him a Sutra-reciting ghost. As the monk continued on his way, it started to rain. He happened to see a bridge, and hid under it to avoid the rain, sitting down in full lotus to meditate.

Just as he got into full-lotus position, two ghosts came up from the riverside. They were really hideous, too! Most people are scared when they see ghosts, but the monk was meditating and besides his business was to rescue ghosts, so he wasn't afraid. Since he was always thinking about ghosts anyway, when he met them face to face he felt no fear at all. Therefore, he continued to sit in meditation.

to be continued


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