The Buddha is and yet is not; he exists yet does not exist.
The Buddha's state transcends the notions of existence and nonexistence,
and is in a realm beyond explanation.
A reminder of the sutra text:
The Buddha pours down a rain of Dharma boundless in extent,
Making all who see it very happy.
From this are produced supreme roots of goodness.
Wondrous Light has such an awakening of mind.
The Dharma-door of universal entry, and the power of awakening,
Cultivated and regulated from distant kalpas, are all purified.
These are all in order to draw in living beings.
This is what Wondrous Medicine understands.
The state of the Buddha which this Day-Ruling Spirit named Wondrous Medicine understands is described here as the Dharma-door of universal entry, and the power of awakening. The state he understands, namely the Dharma-door of universal entry, is how the Buddha universally enters into the minds of all living beings, causing those beings to bring forth the resolve for Bodhi and reap the fruition of Bodhi. That kind of Dharma-door is also called a sort of power of awakening, the strength to enlighten living beings. These have been cultivated and regulated from distant kalpas by the Buddha. "Distant kalpas" means that starting from beginningless eons ago up to now, he has been cultivating these doors of practice and regulating and expelling all kinds of faults. He has gotten rid of all faults, so they are all purified. That is, no defiled dharmas are left.
The Buddha's cultivation of the Dharma-door of universal entry and his achievement of the power of awakening didn't happen in a day. It took limitlessly many eons up to now of cultivation life after life for them to be purified. After they have been purified, then what? These as just described -- he Dharma-door, the power of awakening, and the skill of cultivation achieving purity -- must have an aim, a goal. The various Dharma-doors just described are all in order to draw in living beings. They are for the sake of drawing in and transforming living beings so they can obtain purity. This is what Wondrous Medicine understands. The Day-Ruling Spirit of subtle, wonderful and inconceivable medicine understands and awakens to this state, this door to liberation.
With various expedients he transforms many beings.
Those who see or hear all obtain benefits.
All are caused to jump for joy, being very happy.
The Day-Spirit Wondrous Eyes sees in this way.
With various expedients he transforms many beings. The Buddha bestows the provisional for the sake of the actual. He uses all kinds of expedient Dharma-doors of skill-in-means to teach and transform living beings. Any of those living beings who either see the Buddha or hear the Dharma spoken by the Buddha all obtain benefits. They all receive advantages. Seeing the Buddha has the benefits of seeing the Buddha, and hearing the Dharma has the benefits of hearing the Dharma. If one can see the Buddha, hear the Dharma, encounter the Sangha, and take refuge with those Three Jewels, one receives even greater benefits. All are caused to jump for joy, being very happy. The Buddha causes all living beings to be so happy that they jump for joy. They are so happy that they forget themselves. The Day-Spirit Wondrous Eyes sees in this way. The Day-Ruling Spirit named Wondrous Eyes understands this state of the Buddha.
His ten powers appear in response throughout the world,
And throughout the ten directions of the Dharma Realm
His substance neither exists nor does not exist.
This is what the Spirit Contemplating Directions enters.
His ten powers appear in response throughout the world. Based on the foundation of his wisdom, the Buddha has ten powers. The ten wisdom powers of the Buddha are:
(1) The wisdom power to distinguish principle from non-principle. The Buddha knows extremely clearly whether things are rational or irrational. He can distinguish what is principled from what is not, what is true from what is not.
(2) The wisdom power to know the retributions of karma in the three periods of time. The Buddha has the wisdom power to know the causes and effects and the retributions of karma of all living beings in the three periods of time, which are the past, present and future. The Buddha is clear about the causes planted by living beings, and understands the effects they produce. He knows why all living beings are born the way they are.
(3) The wisdom power to know all dhyanas, liberations, and samadhis. The Buddha knows about all the kinds of dhyanas and liberations, as well as the various samadhis. The Buddha knows not just one dhyana and liberation, but limitlessly many dhyanas and liberations. Because of the Buddha's unsurpassed, highest state, he can know all kinds of dhyanas and samadhis, and instantly experience them all.
(4) The wisdom power to know the levels of the dispositions of all living beings. The Buddha can judge the natures and abilities of all living beings and know whether they are superior or inferior. He can tell whether living beings' faculties are sharp or dull, and whether their capabilities are superior or inferior.
(5) The wisdom power to know the various understandings. The Buddha has the wisdom power to know the various kinds of understandings of all living beings. The Buddha completely knows the different understandings of living beings as they really are.
(6) The wisdom power to know the various realms. The Buddha knows all the different realms. Since living beings in the world haven't realized the True Appearance, their states are all different; however, the Buddha completely knows them as they actually are.
(7) The wisdom power to know all the places reached. The Buddha knows all the places where living beings can go. If they practice the five precepts and the ten good deeds, they are born in the human realm or in the heavens. If they practice the non-outflow Dharma of the Eightfold Proper Path, they will reach Nirvana. The Buddha knows all of these.
(8) The wisdom power of the unobstructed Heavenly Eye. The Buddha's Heavenly Eye, which he uses to see the births, deaths, and good and bad karmic conditions of living beings, is completely free of obstructions.
(9) The wisdom power to know previous lives and non-outflows. The Buddha is totally clear about the past lives of living beings and sages, and he also knows the state of non-outflows, nirvana.
(10) The wisdom power to eternally sever habits. The Buddha has the wisdom to forever cut off all habits. Because the Buddha has perfected self-enlightenment, the enlightenment of others, and the enlightened conduct, he has completely put a stop to all false delusions and habits, and they will never arise again.
These ten powers are the functioning of wisdom. Using these wisdom powers, the Buddha is able to manifest transformation bodies in response to the needs of living beings, and go throughout the world to teach them. The Buddha's Dharma-body pervades the Dharma Realm. Because of these ten wisdom powers, there is no living being, no world, and no place in the Dharma Realm which will be unable to receive the Buddha's teaching.
And throughout the ten directions of the Dharma Realm without exception. In all the other worlds throughout the ten directions, there is no place where the Buddha does not go to respond to and liberate living beings. No location in the Dharma Realm is left out. This is because the Buddha's state is unfathomable. He can exhaustively pervade the ten directions of the Dharma Realm.
His substance neither exists nor does not exist. The Buddha's substance is not present anywhere, nor is it absent from anywhere. You cannot say the Buddha doesn't exist, nor can you say the Buddha exists. The Buddha is and yet is not; he exists yet does not exist. The Buddha's state transcends the notions of existence and nonexistence, and is in a realm beyond explanation.
This is what the Spirit Contemplating Directions enters. This is the liberation door which the Day-ruling Spirit Contemplating Directions and Manifesting Everywhere was able to enter.
Living beings flow and turn in danger and difficulty.
The Thus Come One out of pity for them appears in the world,
Enabling them all to eradicate every type of suffering.
This is the door to liberation in which Compassion-Might
Living beings refers to you and me and others. We are all included in the designation living beings. You, me and others are born from a multitude of conditions coming together, and so we are known as living beings.* If one condition were lacking, we wouldn't be born. It's similar to the way planting grain in the earth requires various conditions. There's the condition of the sky covering from above, and the condition of the earth supporting from below. Further required conditions are that there be water and soil. Another condition is that there be warmth--the sun must shine; and there's the condition of coldness--in the evening it is colder. From such various conditions, grain can be produced. We living beings also need all sorts of conditions to be living beings. The essential ones are the conditions of a father and a mother which must come together to bring about birth. That's what's meant by "living beings."
Living beings flow and turn in the world. This life they may be people, but next life they could be horses or cows. They could end up as horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs or pigs; it's not fixed. Or perhaps they were horses, cows, sheep, chickens and dogs in their previous lives, but in this lifetime they're come back to being humans. Someone may have been a frog in his last life, or a mouse, who drew near a temple, a Way Place where he daily heard the recitation of Sutras and chanting of the Buddha's name, such pure Dharma-sounds. Hearing this over a long enough period of time, the frog had merit and virtue, and so did the mouse. Since they had merit and virtue, they became people; not only did they become people, they even left home and became a Bhikshu or a Bhikshuni.
To be continued
* Note: The Chinese characters here translated as "living beings" literally mean, "multitude-born."