Sutra text from last issue:The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Great Light Shining Everywhere obtained the liberation door of a treasury of great compassion and steadfast power of blessings.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Palaces of Multitudes of Wonders obtained the liberation door of contemplating the Tathagata’s powers of spiritual penetrations and manifesting without bounds.
The next Fire-Ruling Spirit is named Palaces of Multitudes of Wonders. He uses all sorts of wondrous gems to adorn his palaces, hence his name. He obtained the liberation door of contemplating the Tathagata’s powers of spiritual penetrations. He was able to achieve the contemplation of the Buddha’s strength of spiritual penetrations and manifesting without bounds: how, by means of the Buddha’s inconceivable might of great free-and-easy spiritual penetrations, infinitely many manifestations are made to appear in countlessly many lands of living beings in order to teach and transform all living beings. He obtained that kind of door to liberation.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Cowl of Infinite Light obtained the liberation door of light shining throughout boundless realms of empty space.
The next Fire-Ruling Spirit is named Cowl of Infinite Light. The previous section of Sutra text spoke of how the Buddha in the midst of limitless, boundless and countlessly many kshetra-lands of living beings and seas of kalpas teaches and transforms living beings. The present Fire-Ruling Spirit, who has the name “Cowl of Infinite Light,” obtained the liberation door of light shining throughout boundless realms of empty space. This Fire-Ruling Spirit’s light is infinite and can shine without end. It can illumine limitlessly many lands, limitlessly many worlds, and shine through infinitely many seas of eons. His is the liberation door of the realms of empty space. His light radiates to the exhaustion of empty space and throughout the Dharma Realm, shining upon all the limitless and boundlessly many lands of living beings and seas of kalpas. To the ends of empty space and the Dharma Realm, he inspires living beings to bring forth the resolve for Bodhi. That’s the kind of door to liberation which he attained.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Eyes with All Kinds of Flames obtained the liberation door of still light of adornment with all kinds of blessings.
The next Fire-Ruling Spirit is named Eyes with All Kinds of Flames. His eyes can emit various types of light, such as green, yellow, red, white or black; and his eyes can send forth flames--hence his name. This overseer of fire obtained the liberation door of still light of adornment with all kinds of blessings. He understood that the Buddha has ten thousand blessings and his Dharma body is adorned with the myriad virtues, which is the reference in "adornment with all kinds of blessings." He has a kind of still light which is the light of samadhi, radiance which is constantly emitted from within samadhi. That's the door to liberation which he attained.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Palaces Like Mount Sumeru in the Ten Directions obtained the liberation door of being able to extinguish all the blazing sufferings of all destinies in all worlds.
The following Fire-Ruling Spirit is named Palaces Like Mount Sumeru in the Ten Directions, suggesting being as lofty and adorned as all palaces throughout the ten directions, which resemble Sumeru Mountain. He obtained the liberation door, the state of the Buddha, of being able to extinguish all the blazing sufferings of all destinies in all worlds. "All worlds" means The World of Living Beings, Beings, also called The World of Sentient Creatures. "All destinies" refers to the six paths in the cycle of rebirth, and more specifically to the four evil destinies of asuras, hell-beings, hungry ghosts, and animals--within which are all the blazing torments. "Blazing" indicates the sufferings are as intense as a raging bonfire which can burn up all living things. Beings in the four evil destinies undergo suffering as tormenting as being burned in a blazing heap of fire. That was his door to liberation.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Sovereign Awesome Light obtained the liberation door of sovereign enlightening of all beings in all worlds.
The next Fire-Ruling Spirit, who is named Sovereign Awesome Light, has awesome virtue, and so emits a kind of light which led to his being called "Awesome Light." He is also very sovereign and at ease--very happy. This Fire-Ruling Spirit obtained the liberation door of sovereign enlightening of all beings in all worlds. "Sovereign" indicates there is nothing forced about this, the process being very natural and comfortable.
He enables all the living beings in all worlds to become enlightened, so the work in the Way which they are cultivating is brought to successful completion. He obtained that kind of door to liberation.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Light Illumining the Ten Directions obtained the liberation door of demolishing forever all stupid attached views.
The next Fire-Ruling Spirit is named Light Illumining the Ten Directions. As you can see, most of these Fire-Ruling Spirits have light from fire. This particular Fire-Ruling Spirit's light shines throughout the ten directions--hence his name. He obtained the liberation door of demolishing forever all stupid attached views. People are stupid due to lack of wisdom, which is also lack of clarity and light. Yet stupid people do not consider themselves stupid. They insist that intelligent people are the ones who are stupid, which is the direct opposite, since they don't know they themselves are stupid. This is similar to a black crow landing on the back of a black pig. It sees the pig is black in color, but doesn't realize its own color is black as well. Stupid people act like that. The stupidity of stupid people is that they are unaware of their own stupidity. Due to their stupidity, they have attachments which block their understanding of things. Failing to understand the situations they encounter, they are bound up by those situations. Rather than managing affairs, they are tied up by those affairs. With such attachments they cannot achieve liberation, especially when they hold views, have attachments to views, and are stubborn and intransigent. This kind of intractability entails considering one's own viewpoint correct. An example of such attached views can be found in our Way Place, where there are adults as well as children. When the children come here, they want to play. If you have an attached outlook, you may claim that, because the children make so much noise here, your only recourse is not to attend the Sutra lectures. You have such an attachment of mind that you use the children as an excuse for not attending. Not only do you yourself not attend, but you dissuade other people from attending. There are a lot of such cases. For instance, someone with attached views might say, "That Bhikshuni is wrong in such and such a way." Well, if you, the Bhikshu, were right, how would you even know that the Bhikshuni was wrong? These are all instances of attachments to views. So long as you hold such attached viewpoints, you cannot become enlightened. You cannot attain the door to liberation. This Fire-Ruling Spirit, however, could demolish these types of stupid attached views, and thus he did reach this liberation door.
Just now when I talked about someone not attending Sutra lectures because the kids are so noisy, do you know who I was talking about? Say the person's name so everyone can know. She also tells other people not to come to Sutra lectures. Not only does she herself not attend, she tells others not to either, saying that Guo Fang, An-an, and several other kids are always crying, so she doesn't attend. If you know who it is but don't speak up, then in the future you will be a mute. If you don't speak up and do not become mute, then there is no divine justice whatsoever.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Thunder Sound and Lightning Flash obtained the liberation door of the great thunder crash from fulfilling all vows. At that time the Fire-Ruling Spirit named Treasury of Universally Blazing Light received the Buddha’s awesome might, universally contemplated all the multitudes of Fire-Ruling Spirits, and spoke the following verses.
The Fire-Ruling Spirit named Thunder Sound and Lightning Flash has the great thunder cloud sound and the great lightning flash, hence his name. He obtained the liberation door of the great thunder crash from fulfilling all vows. He helps all living beings carry out their vows. Whatever vows you make, he will assist you, affording protection and support so you can fulfill them. His great crashing and shaking of thunder can be heard and felt throughout the Dharma Realm. That was the door to liberation which he attained.
At that time, just at that moment, the Fire-Ruling Spirit named Treasury of Universally Blazing Light received the Buddha’s awesome might. He availed himself of the greatly majestic spiritual power of the Buddha, universally contemplated all the multitudes of Fire-Ruling Spirits, and spoke the following verses. He used verses to describe the liberation doors again.
To be continued