The Bodhisattvas thus reach
this point through compliance with
practice. Their enlightenments intermingle; it is therefore called
Bodhisattvas at this point and beyond have completed their work in
cultivation. Their merit and virtue are perfected, and so all the
previous positions are also called the Level of ultivation.
Then with a
wonderful cloud of compassionate protection one covers the sea of
Nirvana. This is called the Ground of the harma Cloud.
The Thus Come
Ones counter the flow as the Bodhisattvas thus reach this point through
compliance with practice. Their nlightenments intermingle; it is
therefore called equal enlightenment.
you should understand that all Bodhisattvas at this point and
beyond have completed their work in cultivation. From the
beginning—the level of dry wisdom, also known as the initial vajra
mind—to the culmination of the ninth ground, there are a total of
fifty-four positions. When the Bodhisattvas have passed through to this
point, they’ve come to the end of their cultivation. They’ve reached
the effortless way and no longer need to apply effort in cultivation.
They have graduated. Their merit and virtue are perfected.
In their study leading toward Buddhahood, they are just about to earn
this degree; they’re about to become Buddhas. And so all the
previous positions are also called the Level of Cultivation.
“compassion” are dharmas. “Protection” and “covering” belong to the
analogy of the cloud and represent a sheltering influence. Then
with a wonderful cloud of compassionate protection one covers the sea
of Nirvana. One shelters all living beings. All Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas emerge from the sea of Nirvana, and so the tenth ground is
called the Ground of the Dharma Cloud. At this level one
shelters and protects all living beings.
Come Ones counter the flow. This means that the Thus Come Ones
have already become Buddhas. But they counter the flow and appear in
the world to rescue living beings. Thus from the Buddha-position, they
come back along the Bodhisattva path in order to greet the Bodhisattva.
That’s what’s meant by countering the flow. The Bodhisattvas
thus reach this point through compliance with practice. The
Bodhisattvas comply with the flow. This “flow” refers to going from an
ordinary person to Arhatship, through Bodhisattvahood, and on to
Buddhahood—which the Bodhisattvas have not yet experienced at this
point. So they are going along with the flow that leads to the Buddha’s
enlightened position. Now, they actually encounter the Buddhas. Their
enlightenments intermingle. The enlightenment of the Buddhas
and the enlightenment of the Bodhisattvas merge at this point. It
is therefore called Equal Enlightenment. These Bodhisattvas
are equal to the Buddha. But theirs is still not wonderful
enlightenment. It is only similar to the Buddha’s enlightenment,
because at this level they still have left one bit of ignorance of the
arising of appearances that they must still destroy. So ignorance is
difficult to leave behind. Once they smash it, however, they will be
claim to be Buddhas, I ask them, “How did you get there? What path did
you take?” If they don’t even know the name of the first ground, have
never seen the path that leads to the second ground, and don’t know how
to get to the third ground, then how can they have arrived at
Buddhhood? They took a plane, perhaps? In that case a rocket would have
been even faster. I suspect that such people will never reach the
Buddha position. Why not? It is because they say they are there when in
fact they are not. Do they speak the truth, or do they lie? They have
not cultivated or done anything within the Buddhadharma, and yet they
profess to be Buddhas. It just doesn’t add up. How about those people
who have practiced within the Buddhadharma for decades and still are
not Buddhas? Maybe those people who say they are Buddhas have effected
some scientific means to get themselves there so fast.
To be continued