Sutra text from last issue:
The World without Filth quaked in six ways, while in the Saha world, three thousand living beings came to dwell on the ground of irreversibility, and three thousand living beings brought forth the Bodhi resolve and gained predictions. Wisdom-Accumulation Bodhisattva, Shariputra, and the entire assembly silently believed and accepted.
Banging is the sound of the earth quaking.
Roaring is a louder sustained sound.
Crackling is like the sound of two mountains being smashed against one another or the earth opening up and banging against itself.
Shaking is the movement of the earth. It is not necessarily very violent.
Rising means that the earth erupts into the air. Suddenly a mountain appears on what was a flat plain.
Surging means the entire stretch of the earth soars into the air.
The six types of earthquakes represent the "quaking" of our six sense organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. When you cultivate the Way, sometimes you may feel as if you are trembling, or even roaring, or crackling. Sometimes when you meditate you may suddenly move involuntarily or feel as if you are rising up into empty space, or surging up into the air. Now, in the world called "Without Filth" the six types of earthquakes manifested to represent that limitless living beings had certified to the fruit.
Each of the six types of earthquakes has three divisions, making eighteen in all, representing the eighteen realms of the senses.
There may be said to be Eighteen Types of Earthquakes by virtue of the fact that each of the six have three applications. Three times six, of course, is eighteen, and they represent the eighteen realms of the senses. The eighteen sense realms are composed of the six sense faculties, the six sense objects, and the six consciousnesses.
How do each of the Six Types of Earthquakes turn into three?
Let's take the fourth, shaking, for example: the first is shaking; the second is universal shaking, and the third is everywhere universally shaking. That's three. Banging works the same way: banging, universal banging, and everywhere universally banging. There's also roaring, universal roaring, and everywhere universally roaring as another three. Crackling, universal crackling, and everywhere universally crackling. Rising, universal rising, and everywhere universally rising are another three. Surging, universal surging, and everywhere universally surging are yet another three. That makes eighteen in all.
What is meant by the set of three?
"Shaking" refers to shaking in one particular place. "Universal shaking" is the shaking in one set of the Four Continents: Jambudvipa in the south, Uttarakuru in the north, Aparagodaniya in the west, and Purvavideha in the east. When the set of four great continents shake, that is termed “universal shaking.” However, “universal shaking” refers only to one of the four continents. “Everywhere universally shaking” refers to shaking throughout the entire three thousand great thousand worlds; they all shake. The Six Types of Earthquakes—sounds and movements—take place to the end of empty space and the Dharma Realm.
The Six Types of Earthquakes also represent the four levels: the Ten Dwellings, the Ten Practices, the Ten Transferences, and the Ten Grounds, with the addition of Equal Enlightenment, and Wonderful Enlightenment, a total of six positions.
What does the quaking represent?
It represents the breaking up of ignorance, because as you pass through six levels, the six positions, you break through ignorance six times. Each time you break through it, it diminishes. Thus they are called the Six Types of Earthquakes.
While in the Saha world, three thousand living beings came to dwell on the ground of irreversibility, attaining to the result.
Three thousand living beings brought forth the great Bodhi resolve and gained predictions.
Wisdom-Accumulation Bodhisattva, Shariputra, and the entire assembly silently believed and accepted. They had no further doubts. They had nothing to say, because they fully believed and had no questions remaining.
To be continued