All the various thoughts of living beings
The Tathagata clearly sees and completely understands．
圖：陳果魁提供 Artist：Cheng Guo Kui
A reminder of the Sutra text:
If there are living beings who come before the Buddha,
And hear the Tathagata's supremely wondrous sound,
None fails to have great delight arise within his mind.
Pervasively Roaming in Emptiness awakens to this Dharma.
The Buddha, in the space of every kshana,
Universally rains great and boundless Dharma rain,
Extinguishing completely all living beings' afflictions.
This is what the Spirit Cloud Banner understands.
The Buddha, in the space of every kshana, a single kshana being the shortest possible interval of time, does what? The Buddha in the briefest interval represented by one kshana universally rains great and boundless Dharma rain. Now when we attend one morning or evening recitation period, read a Sutra or recite the Buddha's name, we think that we have cultivation. That's really shameless! See how the Buddha in each and every passing kshana is never idle. What is he doing? He is pouring forth great and boundless Dharma rain everywhere. In every instant of thought he is speaking the Dharma and teaching and transforming living beings, and in kshana after kshana is awakening living beings.
But see what happens with us. As we listen to the Sutra, we feel very tired and want to sleep. Be careful or your head may fall down on the table and be smashed. Yesterday evening I stood in front of Gwo Hang and watched how on the one hand he was listening to the Sutra, and on the other hand was falling asleep. To start with I considered boxing his ears to get him to wake up. But then I was afraid it might scare him to death, so I didn't hit him. If he slept, at least he wouldn't die. However, if I boxed his ears he might say to himself, "This world is truly rotten. I'd better go to rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss as soon as possible!" If he left too quickly, no one could bring him back, so I decided not to hit him. Tonight, if any of you want to sleep, I'm even less likely to hit you. If you want to sleep, please go right ahead and sleep. Get as much sleep as you want--it's no problem. You can listen to the Sutra all the same in your dreams.
Why does the Buddha universally rain down boundless amounts of extensive Dharma rain? It's not just for fun, but for extinguishing completely all living beings' afflictions. He uses the water of Prajna wisdom to put out the fire of ignorance and afflictions, resulting in the total extinguishing of the afflictions of living beings. This is what the Spirit Cloud Banner understands. The Direction-Ruling Spirit named Cloud Banner understands this state and enters this kind of door to liberation.
All the seas of karma in all worlds.
Are shown by the Buddha to be the same without distinction.
He universally helps beings to dispel karmic delusions.
This is what the Spirit Cowl Eyes understands.
The ground of All-Wisdom has no bounds.
All the various thoughts of living beings
The Tathagata clearly sees and completely understands.
Contemplating Worlds enters this vast, great door.
The Buddha in the past cultivated all conducts.
And totally perfected limitlessly many Paramitas.
With great kindness and pity he benefits living beings.
This is the liberation of the Spirit Traveling everywhere.
All the seas of karma in all worlds. "In all worlds" refers to the World of Sentient Beings, which is all living beings' worlds. The karmic obstructions of all living beings are so many that they are as deep and boundless as a great ocean.
Why do they have karma? Because they give rise to delusions and create karma. As it's said: Giving rise to delusions, creating karma, and undergoing retribution. The karma is comparable to oceans, and so is the retribution. Nonetheless, they are shown by the Buddha to be the same without distinction. The Buddha points out how the various types of karma and varieties of retributions undergone are uniform without differences. Each individual living being has his or her own karma, and each has to undergo the retribution he is due to undergo. This is extremely equitable and fair. According to the kind of causes you plant, you reap the corresponding result. If you plant good causes, you will reap good results. But if you plant bad causes, you will harvest bad results. Fundamentally there is no distinction. However, the retributions are not identical. Yet even though the resulting retributions are not the same, they still have no differentiation, in that each individual receives what he or she is supposed to receive.
For that reason, the next line says: He universally helps beings to dispel karmic delusions. The Buddha enables all living beings everywhere to get rid of their karmic delusions. Dispelling the delusions of karma means reaching the fundamental substance which is pure. Until you rid yourself of all delusions of karma, you will not attain that purity. This is what the Spirit Cowl Eyes understands. The Direction-Ruling Spirit named Cowl Eyes who was discussed before understands this state of the Buddha and enters this liberation door.
The ground of All-Wisdom has no bounds. The ground of wisdom which we cultivate, the ground of all-wisdom, the wisdom of all modes, has no boundaries. It is limitless and boundless. This refers to the Buddha's wisdom and the ground of Buddhahood. This wisdom is unsurpassed, the highest wisdom being the Buddha's wisdom. There is no loftier wisdom; hence it is infinite. Such wisdom teaches and guides according to potentials, leads and rescues adapting to conditions. As it is said:
In the water of a thousand pools, there are a thousand moons.
When there are no clouds, there's just ten thousand miles of sky.
This kind of wisdom is the wonderful wisdom of non-doing, uncontrived and effortless wondrous knowledge. No effort need be made. There's no need to do as we stupid people do. Even though we possess wisdom, we insist on thinking things out and mulling matters over. The Buddha's wisdom does not require going through the thought process. Whatever state comes along is understood as if meeting the blade of a knife. Its action is nimble and swift--in other words, fast. That's the general idea of the line: "The ground of All-Wisdom has no bounds." If discussed in detail, one could continue explaining without ever coming to the end. Why is that? It's because it is boundless, so how could you ever finish explaining it?
All the various thoughts of living beings. Unsurpassed wisdom is not separate from all the different thoughts in the minds of living beings. The mind brings forth All-Wisdom, which is why the text states that the Tathagata clearly sees and completely understands all the various thoughts in the minds of living beings. As the saying goes:
All the various thoughts in the minds of living beings
Are completely known and completely seen by the Thus Come One.
When he clearly sees, how does he know? He uses unsurpassed wisdom to know. And how does he see? He uses Prajna wisdom to see. And he completely understands, that is, has total comprehension. Contemplating Worlds enters this vast, great door. The Direction-Ruling Spirit named Contemplating Worlds awakened to this kind of door of vast and great Prajna.
The Buddha in the past cultivated all conducts. Quite a few of the verses discussed previously also had a line stating that the Buddha in the past cultivated all conducts, previously cultivated each and every door of practice. All conducts refers to the 84,000 doors of practice. One could also say that a single door among the 84,000 doors is one particular door; and that when he had cultivated that one door to perfection, then he cultivated the next individual door. Then when that one door's cultivation was achieved, he cultivated yet another single door. Hence the word "all" either can mean "every," or it can mean "each;" that is, many or one. It is interpreted as "one" because if you say the doors are many, people will become afraid and exclaim, "How could we cultivate so many? There's no way we could become Buddhas!" But that doesn't matter. Just cultivate one door at a time. When you have successfully cultivated that door, the next door will also be perfected. One door is all doors, and all doors are one door. When one is penetrated, each and every one is penetrated; and penetration of all is penetration of one as well. Hence, when one dharma is penetrated, the hundred dharmas are penetrated.
The inherent nature is like empty space.
Truth and falseness are within it.
When one fathoms the fundamental substance,
With one penetration, all is penetrated.
The inherent nature being like empty space means that one's own nature resembles emptiness. Truth and falseness being within it means it has both the true and the false. When one fathoms the fundamental substance, when you understand that basic substance and reach that fundamental substance, with one penetration all is penetrated. With one penetration, each and every one is penetrated. If you attain the one, then the myriad matters are all ended. When you achieve the "one," you have brought all matters to their conclusion. It's as when you have eaten your fill of food--you don't think about it anymore. Attaining the one is equivalent to having eaten your fill--you no longer think about them, so the myriad matters come to an end. Do all of you think it is that way? If you don't believe, you can try it for yourselves.
To be continued