Reminder of Sutra text from last issue: This type of mind of great vows is what Universally Manifesting can contemplate
Furthermore, the Wind-Ruling Spirit named Unobstructed Light obtained the liberation door of universally entering the Buddhas' Dharmas and all that is worldly.
People who don't understand the Buddhadharma fail to recognize that there are so many Spirits, such as Day-Ruling Spirits, Night-Ruling Spirits, Emptiness-Ruling Spirits, and Wind-Ruling Spirits. But those who do investigate the Buddhadharma find out that there are all those many Spirits. As the Wind-Ruling Spirits, there isn't just one Spirit ruling the wind; there are limitlessly and boundlessly many Wind-Ruling Spirits. Right now the Sutra text only mentions the names of ten Wind-Ruling Spirits, but there are far more than one can know who are not mentioned. Hence the text says: Furthermore, indicating that in what went before, not everything was entirely said yet. Among the Spirits who were simultaneously praising the Buddha there weren't just Emptiness-Ruling Spirits, Day-Ruling Spirits, and Night-Ruling Spirits. Now we hear about the Wind-Ruling Spirits who were delivering their praises of the Buddha at the same time too.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit listed first is named Unobstructed Light. Because nothing blocks it, his light pervasively shines on all places--hence his name. He is a Wind-Ruling Spirit. There are many different kinds of winds, and so there are Wind-Ruling Spirits of many different names. Concerning wind, we people have wind, or air, in our bodies, and there is wind and air outside our bodies too. Our bodies are false conglomerations of the four elements: earth, water, fire, and wind and air. That being the case, there is wind and air within our bodies, and the wind and air is governed by spirits. That they are rulers means they watch over wind and air. Winds cannot just blow as they please. There are Spirits overseeing them. We ourselves are inside wind and air, but we don't see it, in the same way as fish are in water but don't see the water. We people couldn't survive unless we had that air to live in, just as fish perish if they don't have water. If you take the fish out of the water, before a few days have passed, the fish will be dead. And if we people are deprived of air, we will die from suffocation in a short time. Consequently, wind/air is important to each of us. Not one of us could survive in this world without it.
What did this particular Wind-Ruling Spirit achieve? He obtained the liberation door of the samadhi of universally entering the Buddhas' Dharmas. He had a universally pervasive awakening and entry to all Dharmas of the Buddhas. Buddhadharmas are world-transcending Dharmas, the aspects of the Buddhadharma which transcend the mundane; and all that is worldly. "Worldly" here refers to worldly dharmas. The Sixth Patriarch said:
The Buddhadharma is in the world
Enlightenment is not apart from the world.
To seek Enlightenment apart from the world is like looking for a hare with horns.
Buddhadharma here means that worldly dharmas are themselves world-transcending dharmas. It's not the case that there are some other world-transcending dharmas to be found apart from worldly dharmas. Rather, it is right within worldly dharmas that there are world-transcending dharmas. That's why the text says, "and all that is worldly." "Liberation door" has been discussed a lot already. This was the kind of door to liberation which he attained.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Universally Manifesting Courageous Karma obtained the liberation door of the Buddhas manifesting in limitlessly many lands, and vastly making offerings to them all.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Universally Manifesting Courageous Karma. "Universally manifesting" means appearing everywhere. What is courageous karma? It is vigorous karma: vigorous Bodhi, vigorous Brahma conduct, vigorous cultivation, vigorous making of offerings, and vigorous reverence for the Triple Jewel. That is called universally manifesting courageous karma. Because this Wind-Ruling Spirit is vigorous with regard to all Buddhadharmas, and never lax, therefore he is named Universally Manifesting Courageous Karma.
What did this Wind-Ruling Spirit achieve? He obtained the liberation door of the Buddhas manifesting in limitlessly many lands, all Buddhas appearing in the world in limitless and boundlessly many countries, and vastly making offerings to them all. "To them all" is similar to "totally," indicating how he cultivates this vast, great vigorous making of offerings in a total way. His presenting of offerings is such that he makes offerings to each and every Buddhas who is appearing in any world. He uses that kind of measure of mind which is equal to the Dharma Realm to make offerings to all Buddhas throughout the Dharma Realm making offerings to the Buddhas of the past, the Buddhas of the present, and the Buddhas of the future. He obtained that kind of door to liberation.
After this, during the question and answer period, all of you should answer. For example, if someone asks a question, don't wait for me to respond. It's true the person's question is directed at me, but even so, I'll wait to see if one of you can answer first. I don't want to push you out of the picture, using my rank as Teacher to keep you down, preventing you from developing your wisdom and eloquence. Isn't that so? Now all of you have your own inherent wisdom and eloquence and can answer people's questions. I am here at present, so if you answer incorrectly, or if the person asking doesn't accept what you say, he or she can reopen the matter for investigation by saying, that's not right, or I am not satisfied with that answer. We'll use whether the person is satisfied or not as the criterion. If he or she isn’t satisfied with your reply, then we’ll find someone else. Should that answer also prove unsatisfactory, we'll get another person. If none of you can answer, I will speak at the end. We'll see how it goes. If you reply, then I won't have to exert my brains, and can take a little nap.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Drifting and Striking Cloud Banner obtained the liberation door of using fragrant wind to eradicate all living beings illnesses everywhere.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Drifting and Striking Cloud Banner. Drifting means roaming about with no fixed place, drifting back and forth. This is describing the movement of the wind. Striking refers to hitting together. Cloud banner suggests clouds in the shape of a jewelled banner. What type of door to liberation did this Wind-Ruling Spirit achieve? He obtained the liberation door of using fragrant wind to eradicate all living beings illnesses everywhere. The kind of wind or air involved can dispell all of living beings sicknesses. Fragrant wind is fragrant atmosphere. The type of wind he sets in motion has a perfumed energy within it. The fragrant energy is an unsurpassed medicine that can universally put an end to living beings sickness of greed, sickness of anger, and sickness of stupidity. It first eradicates their illnesses of greed, anger, and stupidity, and then increases their virtuous practices of precepts, samadhi and wisdom. That's the kind of door to liberation which this Wind-Ruling Spirit obtained.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Adornment with Pure Light obtained the liberation door of universally producing all living beings good roots and toppling their heavy mountain of obstructions.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Adornment with Pure Light. He uses pristine radiance to adorn his body--hence his name. What kind of door to liberation did he achieve? He obtained the liberation door of universally producing all living beings good roots. He enables all living beings to bring forth the resolve for Bodhi, creating great good roots. He influences all living beings to change from evil to good, to turn away from the deviant and return to what is proper, so they do no evil but offer up all good conduct instead. That is what is meant by universally producing all living beings good roots, and toppling their heavy mountain of obstructions. As their good roots increase, their bad karma is eradicated. Therefore he helps all living beings to destroy their heavy mountain of obstructions. What is the heavy mountain of obstructions? It's our conceit and arrogance, our greed, anger and stupidity, our offenses and transgressions. All of those constitute a ponderous mountain of obstacles. Such weighty obstacles are like Mount-Sumeru- -hence the reference to a heavy mountain of obstructions. The most formidable are the attachment to self and the attachment to dharmas. The dual attachment to self and dharmas is like a mountain. But he can demolish attachments to self and to dharmas, and level that heavy mountain of obstructions. He obtained that kind of door to liberation.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Power to Dry Up Water obtained the liberation door of breaking through the boundlessly many hordes of evil demons
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Power to Dry Up Water, which is truly a case of the name matching the reality. What do I mean? He has the strength to absorb water, which is to say he has the power to drink the water dry. When his wind blows through some region, it dries up all the moisture--hence his name. What door to liberation did he achieve? He obtained the liberation door of breaking through the boundlessly many hordes of evil demons. Evil demons are the most ferocious ones, the worst of which are those of ignorance and afflictions. The demons of afflictions are incredibly overpowering. We cultivators of the Way constantly need to introspect to see whether or not our own natures have afflictions within. If someone treats you badly, do you become afflicted? Perhaps people say you are wrong--do you get upset? In cases where people are rude to you, are you bothered by it? Suppose someone scolds you--do you become perturbed? What if you are beaten--are you outraged? If you remain unafflicted, then you have broken through the boundlessly many hordes of evil demons. But if you do get afflicted, you have not broken free from evil demons.
We should look within ourselves each day and ask, "Why should a cultivator have a temper? How can a cultivator get angry?" Anyone who can manage not to have afflictions achieves nobility and loftiness. But if you have a huge temper, ignorance and afflictions, you become worthless, ignoble, not pure and lofty. Pure and lofty cultivators must be free from afflictions. People who can free themselves from afflictions will certify to the fruitions. People who can free themselves from afflictions will certify to the fruitions sooner, and will become enlightened sooner. Those who still have afflictions will certify to the fruitions later and become enlightened later.
Buddhism is just starting to take hold in this country (note: this was spoken in 1973), and we absolutely need to find more people to certify to the fruitions and become enlightened. We have to look for Sages and Worthies, Bodhisattvas, Arhats--Sages of the First Fruition, Sages of the Second Fruition, Sages of the Third Fruition, and Sages of the Fourth Fruition. We must locate Sages, not discards (note: the two words have the same sound in Chinese). What are discards? They are people whom no one wants, but you get them to come. None of you in this country should miss the opportunity now open to you. You ought to certify to the fruitions and become Sages. But as soon as you get angry, you lose your chance. Take a look at Sages. Could they have ignorance, afflictions or tempers on a big scale? No, because they have certified to the emptiness and people and the emptiness of dharmas. For them, both people and dharmas are empty. They have reached the state of both people and dharmas being empty, and so very naturally they have no ignorance or afflictions. Each one of you should have self-respect. Don't look down on yourselves. You should find a way to certify to the fruitions quickly. Don't lag behind. And if you want to certify to the fruitions, you must start by breaking free from evil demons--evil demons being your afflictions.
To be continued