Reminder of Sutra text from last issue:ThisWind-Ruling Spirit named Power to Dry Up Water.
When I lectured on the Universal Door Chapter, didn't I tell you, "Firewood gathered for a thousand days totally burns up in a single blaze"? A woodpile that took 1000 days to make can be consumed by fire in less than an hour's time. You may do a thousand days' worth of merit and virtue, cultivating virtuous practices for a thousand days, only to have all that merit and virtue completely burned up when your fire of ignorance and tiger-like spirit appear on the scene.
This particular Wind-Ruling Spirit is able to break through evil demons. Malicious ogres can destroy your work in the Way. They see you have a little merit and virtue from cultivation, and so they wait on the sidelines for an opening, such as when you get angry and have ignorance and afflictions. That's when the demons drill their way in. Once they've bored in, they destroy your resolve for the Way. To start with you wanted to cultivate, but now what happens? From morning to night you think of returning to lay life and how to get out of cultivating. That's the demon king being seated in the hall-you're controlled by a demon monarch. Originally you were on your way to the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss, but the demon king tells you, "Don't go there! That place is a lot of trouble. Go eat, which is a lot better territory." The demon thinks of all kinds of ways to dissuade you, so in the end you say, "The West is trouble-I'll go try the East." From that point on, you're stuck in the Saha World. Demons have taent that enormous. If you really want to cultivate the Way, and leave the suffering of the turning wheel, then don't believe what demons say.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Pervasively Howling Great Sound obtained the liberation door of permanently eradicating all living beings' fears.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Pervasively Howling Great Sound. This Wind-Ruling Spirit must like to stir up great winds which howl at top volume. The sound of their uproar extends throughout all of empty space. He obtained the liberation door of permanently eradicating all living beings' fears. Whenever living beings are afraid, this Wind-Ruling Spirit bestows fearlessness upon them, dispelling all living beings' terror and fear. That's the type of state of the Buddhas, the door to liberation which he obtained.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Tree-Tip Trailing Cowl obtained the liberation door of entry to the sea of eloquence concerning the real mark of all dharmas.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Tree-Tip Trailing Cowl. "Tree-tip" refers to the very end of a branch or the top-most point of a tree, and "trailing" means hanging down. The state which he obtained, the liberation door or state of the Buddhas which he understood, was that of entry to the sea of eloquence concerning the real mark of all dharmas. "Entry" means understanding and awakening to. He awakened to the characteristic of reality of all dharmas, namely all dharmas' fundamental substance. And what is the fundamental substance of all dharmas? As it is said: "All dharmas from their origin are constantly characterized by still quiescence and cannot be expressed in words." They are inexpressible. The characteristic of reality of all dharmas is ineffably ineffable.
You may ask, "Well, if this is ineffable, then how can there be eloquence?" Just because it's ineffable there is eloquence. He entered the sea of eloquence. This kind of eloquence is the wonderful functioning which issues forth from the fundamental substance of the real mark of all dharmas. The principle, when expressed, is infinite and unending. Any way you discuss it makes sense, and all interpretations are valid, which is why this is called the sea of eloquence. It cannot be summed up in a single principle, and so there are said to be no fixed dharmas. When you lecture on Sutras and speak Dharma, each has his or her own point of view and individual awakening, and so no lecture on a Sutra will be the same. If everyone who lectured gave an identical explanation, then the Sutra lecture would be dead, and the meaning of the Sutra would not be made clear. That would be failure to enter the basic substance of the real mark of all dharmas. It would be lack of understanding, and the principles expressed would be rigid and dead. However, if you do understand the characteristic of reality of all dharmas, then you enter the sea of eloquence. You will have unobstructed eloquence, and no one would be able to outtalk you. Whatever you say, you will be victorious. You would never be left staring speechless by something someone says, which would be not attaining the sea of eloquence. This Wind-Ruling Spirit named Tree-Tip Trailing Cowl obtained that kind of door to liberation.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Travelling Everywhere without Obstruction obtained the liberation door of the treasury of expedients to tame and subdue all living beings.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Travelling Everywhere without Obstruction. This Wind-Ruling Spirit goes throughout the Dharma Realms of the ten directions, which is the reference of "travelling everywhere without obstruction." Nothing can block his wind from going anywhere. What door to liberation did he attain? He obtained the liberation door of the treasury of expedients to tame and subdue all living beings. He can get stubborn living beings not to be stubborn, make evil beings stop being evil, and inspire corrupt beings to reform their rotten ways. He mollifies living beings and makes them mellow, patient, and vigorous. He influences beings to change from evil to good, discard what is deviant and return to what is proper, cast aside darkness and go towards the light--all of which are aspects of taming and subduing. He tames and subdues all living beings--not just one, but all whatsoever.
What does he use to do that? He employs the treasury of skill-in-means, Dharma doors of expedients. Those expedient Dharma doors are limitless and boundless, and so are termed a treasury--the treasury of expedients. Upon encountering stubborn living beings, he softens them with harmoniousness and patience. If he meets evil beings, he wins them over using wholesome Dharmas. In dealing with corrupt living beings, he tames and subdues them with methods of goodness. He employs all types of Dharma doors of expedients to moderate living beings, and there enters this door to liberation.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Manifold Palaces obtained the liberation door of entering the door of still dhyana-samadhi, and eradicating the darkness of extremely heavy stupidity.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Manifold Palaces. "Palaces" conveys the idea of adornments. This particular Wind-Ruling Spirit uses all kinds of doors of practice as ornaments--hence his name. He obtained the liberation door of entering the door of still dhyana-samadhi. "Stillness" means not moving, and not to move is itself dhyana-samadhi. He entered the door to still dhyana-samadhi and of eradicating the darkness of extremely heavy stupidity. How does he eradicate it? It's through entering the door of dhyana-samadhi. Based on precepts, samadhi arises; and from samadhi, wisdom comes forth. Since he has wisdom, he can eliminate all the heaviest, fiercest, and hardest-to-eradicate darkness of stupidity, of being very dense and muddled. Someone obtuse and bewildered lacks wisdom and has no clarity. But from entering dhyana-samadhi, this Wind-Ruling Spirit has the light of wisdom, and so he can dispel this intensely heavy darkness of stupidity--darkness standing for befuddlement and lack of understanding. That is the door to liberation which he obtained.
The Wind-Ruling Spirit named Great Light Universally Shining obtained the liberation door of power of non-obstruction to follow in accord with all living beings' actions.
The next Wind-Ruling Spirit is named Great Light Universally Shining. He has great light of wisdom which universally shines on all living beings--hence his name. What state of the Buddha did he achieve? He obtained the liberation door of power of non-obstruction to follow in accord with all living beings' actions. He attained the ability to accord with living beings' practices. He adapts to whatever living beings like to do, which is to constantly accord with living beings, making them happy so they achieve liberation. He doesn't make living beings upset, afflicted, or angry, and so this is called power of non-obstruction. To create pleased and happy attitudes in living beings is power of non-obstruction. If you make living beings upset, then there is obstruction and blockage. That's the kind of door to liberation which he obtained.
At that time the Wind-Ruling Spirit named Unobstructed Light received the Buddha's awesome might, universally contemplated all the multitudes of Wind-Ruling Spirits, and spoke the following verses.
At that time refers to when Shakyamuni Buddha was speaking the Great Flower Adornment. Limitlessly many Bodhisattvas had assembled together in the Way-place, along with limitlessly many Heavenly Kings, Heavenly Dragons, and others of the Eightfold Division. There were also Day-Ruling Spirits, Night-Ruling Spirits, Emptiness-Ruling Spirits, Wind-Ruling Spirits, Direction-Ruling Spirits, and so forth who had all assembled in the Bodhimanda. Right then the Wind-Ruling Spirit named Unobstructed Light had something more to say. What was it? He wanted to speak lines of verse in praise of the Buddha. Was he able to speak in verse? Yes, but not all that perfectly. But at that time he received the Buddha's awesome might. He availed himself of Shakyamuni Buddha's great awesome power of spiritual penetrations, universally contemplated all the multitudes of Wind-Ruling Spirits, and spoke the following verses. He observed all the many Wind-Ruling Spirits everywhere, and expressed himself in a four-line gatha.
To be continued