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The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Continual Blooms' Pure Light obtained the liberation door of being able to bring vast, great happiness to all living beings.
The next Crop-Ruling Spirit is named Continual Blooms' Pure Light. Continual Blooms means this Crop-Ruling Spirit has great, wonderful lotus flowers that bloom constantly and emit a pure light that shined upon all living beings throughout the ten directions of the Dharma Realm, bestowing joy and happiness upon them. That's why the text says he
obtained the liberation door of being able to bring vast, great happiness to all living beings. All living beings includes you, I, and everyone else. This Crop-Ruling Spirit brings tremendous joy and delight to all of us, ensuring that we will one day obtain this Dharma door as well. As long as we can vigorously cultivate in accord with the Dharma and not retreat, we will eventually obtain this Dharma door.
The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Robust Physical Strength obtained the liberation door of using all perfect Dharma doors to purify all states.
The next Crop-Ruling Spirit is named Robust Physical Strength. Physical Strength refers to the body. Robust means courageous and healthy. This Crop-Ruling Spirit is a hard worker skilled at teaching living beings. He is vigorous by day and by night, constantly vigorous in the six periods of the day and night. He is stalwart and valiant and will undergo any amount of toil and suffering in order to teach and transform beings. Thus he
obtained the liberation door of using all perfect Dharma doors to purify all states. He uses perfect Dharma doors to teach and transform living beings, causing them to return to the source of the mind and regain their pure fundamental substance.
"States" refers to living beings. He can lead all beings to turn from confusion and return to enlightenment, to renounce the deviant and return to the proper, and to practice the Bodhisattva path and real ize Buddhahood. He obtained that kind of liberation door.
The State of the Flower Adornment is inconceivable. Not only can those with common understanding never finish explaining it, even the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the Pure Land of Eternal Stillness and Light could never finish explaining the principles of the Flower Adornment though they might speak all the time. Now we are just "bringing up one and leaving out ten thousand," giving a very general explanation. Good advisors, if you have any questions or doubts, you may bring them up. We can together, with straightforward minds, look into the principles. This is where the greatness of Buddhism lies. If there are questions, we can look into them. This differs from other religions where followers can only listen but not question—now that's superstition.
On the 9th of this month, we will have a Buddha Recitation Session. Each day from the beginning to the end, we will recite "Namo Amitabha Buddha" without stop. After we finish reciting and the session is over, we will ask, "Who is reciting the Buddha's name?" during two weeks of Chan meditation. From the beginning to the end of each day, we will meditate continuously. Anyone who would like to participate is welcome. Today the Dharma protectors, good and wise advisors, from the Zen Center have come to participate in this Sutra Lecture Dharma Assembly, and we are delighted and extend a warm welcome to them.
Are there any questions? How can a person understand if he doesn't participate? If he wants to understand, he must participate.
The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Increasing Essence and Energy obtained the liberation door of seeing the Buddha's great compassion and power of boundless spiritual penetrations and transformations. The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Universally Producing Roots and Fruits obtained the liberation door of universally manifesting the Buddhas' fields of blessings and causing beings to plant seeds that cannot be lost or destroyed.
The next Crop-Ruling Spirit is named Increasing Essence and Energy. Increasing means adding more. More of what? Essence and energy. Crop-Ruling Spirits watch over the farming and harvesting of the various grains and crops, and so they are able to increase people's essence and energy, as well as spirit. When essence and energy increase, spirit increases as well, and one's body is healthy and free from illness. With a healthy body, one can cultivate. If one is in poor health and suffering from illness, it is not easy to apply effort in cultivation. Now, this Crop-Ruling Spirit named Increasing Essence and Energy can also be said to increase the wisdom life of our Dharma body and to increase our Bodhi resolve. He helps all beings increase their resolves for Bodhi. He causes people to increase in good Dharma and wipe out all evil dharmas. Good Dharma refers to the Bodhi resolve. Evil dharmas refers to thoughts of greed and hatred. Wishing to help living beings, this Crop-Ruling Spirit plants the field of merit and virtue, and harvests the fruits of merit and virtue. What state of the Buddha has he understood? He
obtained the liberation door of seeing the Buddha's great compassion and power of boundless spiritual penetrations and transformations. He saw how Shakyamuni Buddha cultivated the great compassion heart in past lives, thereby obtaining limitless, measureless powers of spiritual penetrations and transformations beyond conception. If we cultivate in accord with the Dharma, vigorously cultivating a great compassionate heart, we can also obtain infinite powers of spiritual penetrations and transformations. Transformations are not fixed. There are no fixed dharmas. Ordinary transformations require movement and cannot happen in stillness. Within the Buddha's state, transformations can also occur in stillness. The Buddha's spiritual penetrations and transformations can function in both movement and stillness.
Thus the Buddha can speak Dharma in response to people's potentials and teach and transform all beings. That's the liberation door that the Crop-Ruling Spirit Increasing Essence and Energy entered after he understood a little bit of the Buddhadharma.
The ancients had a saying, "With movement, there is change. With change, there is transformation. Only one of utmost sincerity in the world can bring about transformation." So I said that movement brings about change and transformation. Americans are generally familiar with the
Book of Change (Yijing). This book explains the principles of transformations in movement and stillness.
The qian hexagram () has three unbroken lines. When the first line moves, it becomes the
dui hexagram, which is empty on top (). If the first line remains the same and the second line moves, it becomes the
li hexagram, which is empty in the middle () If the first and second lines remain the same and the third line moves, it becomes the
xun hexagram, which is broken on the bottom (). Those of you who have studied the
Book of Changes will understand these principles.
The transformations brought about through spiritual penetrations are generally the same way, so you might as well cultivate until you obtain spiritual penetrations. Then you can try it out! When you have spiritual penetrations, you will understand transformations. Those with utmost sincerity can know things in advance. But if you have foreknowledge, you shouldn't want to know too much, because knowing too much can be a lot of trouble. Do you understand? This is also movement; it's also false thinking.
The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Universally Producing Roots and Fruits not only moves, but produces. What does he produce? He produces roots and fruits. What kind of roots? The roots of fruits. What kind of fruits? The fruits of roots. If there are roots, then there can be fruits. For there to be fruits, there must be roots. What roots are these? Bodhi roots. What fruits are these? Bodhi fruits. "How do you know they are Bodhi roots and Bodhi fruits?" you may ask.
If you don't know this, then you are totally ignorant. Why? The text that follows very clearly says that he "universally manifests the Buddhas' fields of blessings." What is planted in the Buddhas' fields of blessings is none other than Bodhi roots and Bodhi fruits. This Crop-Ruling Spirit helps people produce Bodhi roots and bear Bodhi fruits. That's how he has
obtained the liberation door of univer-sally manifesting the Buddhas' fields of blessings. As if that weren't enough, his liberation door was also that of
causing beings to plant seeds that cannot be lost or destroyed. If you have never heard the
Flower Adornment Sutra, then it doesn't matter. When you hear the
Flower Adornment Sutra,
Once it passes through your ears, it becomes a seed for the Way.
That's what's meant by "causing beings to plant seeds that cannot be lost or destroyed." These seeds will not get spoiled or fail to sprout. No matter when you plant them, they will definitely grow Bodhi roots and bear Bodhi fruits. The Bodhi seeds are indestructible.
This is like when you ingest vajra, even though it passes through your stomach, it remains unharmed. No matter how strong your digestive system is, it can't digest vajra. The roots and fruits of Bodhi are like vajra. Once they enter your ears, they become seeds for the Way. Having heard this passage of Sutra, it's certain that you will eventually bring forth the Bodhi resolve. Those of you who have resolved to leave the home life have done so because your good roots have matured. Since everyone has different causes and conditions from past lives, sometimes when people make a resolve, they run into a lot of obstacles. However, the seeds that this Crop-Ruling Spirit causes beings to plant cannot be lost or ruined. Once they are planted, they are bound to grow roots and leaves, and bear fruit. So don't worry. Sooner or later, you shall realize Buddhahood.
This Crop-Ruling Spirit named Universally Producing Roots and Fruits understood a small part of the Buddha's state and entered this liberation door.
To be continued