On the Ground
of Leaving Filth amidst all dharmas,
He upheld pure
precepts equal to the number of living beings.
practiced extensively for many eons,
He made offerings to a
boundless sea of Buddhas.
If I recite anything incorrectly, you should tell
On the Second Ground of Leaving Filth amidst all dharmas.
Those on the First Ground do not know the state of those on
the Second Ground. Those on the Tenth Ground do not understand
those of Equal Enlightenment. In the Buddhadharma, if one is
off by a hairsbreadth in the beginning, one will miss the mark
by a thousand miles in the end. Only through diligent
cultivation can you obtain a response and “leave filth.” The
filth refers to defiled dharmas. To leave filth means to
attain purity. Defiled dharmas are everywhere to be found.
All of you who come every day to listen to the Sutra and
investigate the Buddhadharma do not realize the misery of
those who cannot come. In the past, I encountered situations
where either the husband forbade the wife from listening to
the Sutra lecture, or the wife forbade the husband from doing
so. It was quite rare for both of them to come to the lecture
together. One husband told his wife, “You are not allowed to
go to the Buddhist temple. If you go, I will divorce you.” In
spite of this threat, the wife still went. The husband
couldn’t do anything, either. They were already in their
sixties; how could they get divorced? The husband took their
wedding photo and cut it in half, counting that as a divorce.
The wife nearly died of anger, and the husband didn’t exactly
want to live, either. Since they disagreed about listening to
the Sutras, such demonic obstacles arose. Theirs was a case of
being unable to leave filth. There are many people like this
in this world. Within the good, there is bad. Within the bad,
there is also some good. It is not easy to attain true
liberation and freedom. The Ground of Leaving Filth involves
cultivating every practice that removes one from defiled
dharmas. When you let go of defiled dharmas, you achieve pure
He upheld pure precepts equal to the number of living
beings. On the Second Ground of Leaving Filth, one cultivates
the pure dharma of precepts for as many eons as there are
living beings. One does not transgress the precepts one has
received. One is able to recognize one’s wrongs and reform.
There is no greater good than being able to correct one’s
Having practiced extensively for many great eons before
reaching the Second Ground, being only vigorous and never lax,
he made offerings to a boundless sea of Buddhas. He made
offerings on a vast, universal scale to all Buddhas. As to
offerings, making offerings to a hundred evil people is not as
good as making offerings to a single good person. Making
offerings to a thousand good people is not as good as making
offerings to a single Upasaka or Upasika who has received the
five precepts. Making offerings to ten thousand Upasakas and
Upasikas who have received the five precepts is not as good as
making offerings to one Bhikshu. Making offerings to a hundred
thousand Bhikshus is not as good as making offerings to a
First Stage Arhat (Srotaapanna). Making offerings to a million
First Stage Arhats is not as good as making offerings to a
Second Stage Arhat (Sakridagamin). Making offerings to ten
million Second Stage Arhats is not as good as making offerings
to a Third Stage Arhat (Anagamin). Making offerings to a
hundred million Third Stage Arhats is not as good as making
offerings to a Fourth Stage Arhat. Making offerings to
infinitely many Fourth Stage Arhats is not as good as making
offerings to one without cultivation or realization, that is,
to a Buddha. Therefore the Bodhisattva, in cultivating all
dharmas, extensively cultivates making offerings to the
boundless sea of Buddhas.
When newcomers attend lectures in the future, ask them to
sit in the front, not in the back. Only people we are familiar
with may sit close to the Dharma seat. It’s better for
strangers to sit close to the door, so it’s convenient if they
wish to leave.
blessings and virtue, he reached the Ground of
The Shamatha treasury is gained through resolute
All have heard the vast cloud of Dharma.
is proclaimed within the fruits of mani.
Amassing blessings and virtue, he reached the Ground of
Radiance. In cultivation, one must collect blessings and
virtue little by little, so that one eventually accumulates a
great amount. Don’t decide to skip doing a meritorious deed
because it seems too small. When you have done many small
meritorious deeds, your merit will be great. The ancients
spent frugally on food and clothing, and used the money and
resources they saved to do good and create merit. A good deed
may be small, but you still have to do it to earn merit. If
you don’t even do the small good deeds, you’ll have no merit.
Why do we live in such difficult circumstances now? It’s
because we did not create merit in the past. The reason we
suffer hardship at every turn is that we did not know how to
accumulate blessings and virtue in the past. The Third Ground
of Radiance can only be reached through the accumulation of
abundant blessings and virtue. When your blessings and virtue
are abundant, you have a glow about you. That radiant aura
comes from your blessings.
The Shamatha treasury is gained through resolute patience.
The term “Shamatha” was explained in the Shurangama Sutra.
(Guo Xiu, can you explain it for us?) “Resolute patience” has
the meanings of “stopping,” “level and equal,” and “still.” To
be still, one must have resolute patience and not produce so
many discursive thoughts. Don’t be unable to take criticism.
Don’t be impatient with everything. You must have resolute
patience in cultivating samadhi, the dharma of stilling
thoughts. Stopping means putting a stop to discursive thoughts
and resting in the highest good.
All living beings have heard the vast cloud of Dharma. This
is proclaimed within the fruits of mani. The fruits of mani
are wondrous, jeweled fruits. This also refers to the fruit of
still tranquility, which expounds the principles just
peerless ground of a flaming sea of bright wisdom,
moved to compassion by his comprehension of states.
body appears equally in all countries,
Fully making known
the Buddha’s cultivation.
This is the Ground of Flaming Wisdom. On the peerless
ground of a flaming sea of bright wisdom. The wisdom on this
Ground is very high.
He was moved to compassion by his comprehension of states.
He skillfully understands all states, whether they are states
of true or false dharmas. He also comprehends pure dharmas and
recognizes defiled dharmas. Seeing living beings lost in dark
delusion, he compassionately vows to save them. Encountering
living beings with good roots, he helps them to increase their
good roots. He responds to every situation with great kindness
and compassion. With kindness, one can make others happy. With
compassion, one can alleviate living beings’ suffering.
His body appears equally in all countries throughout the
ten directions to teach and transform living beings, fully
making known the Buddha’s cultivation. He expresses and
proclaims the Dharma doors cultivated by the Buddha freely and
without reservation. He speaks the Dharma appropriate for each
situation, dispensing the teachings according to living
beings’ potentials. He tailors the Dharma to fit each
individual’s needs, the way physicians prescribe medicines
according to the patient’s condition. And when he speaks
Dharma, he shares it all; he doesn’t hold anything back.
To be continued