and every Bodhisattva
Has brought a retinue
Limitless in number,
Like the Ganges sand grains.
Some of the Great Bodhisattvas
Lead retinues of beings as many as
The sand grains in sixty thousand Ganges Rivers.
Such are the great assemblies
Single-mindedly seeking the Buddha Way.
These Great Masters,
In number like the sand grains in sixty thousand Ganges Rivers,
Have all come to make offerings to the Buddha
And to protect and uphold this Sutra.
Those with retinues comprised of as many as the sand grains
in fifty thousand Ganges Rivers
Are even more in number.
Those with retinues numbering forty, or thirty thousand,
Twenty down to ten thousand,
One thousand, one hundred,
And so forth, down to the sand grains of a single Ganges River,
And those with a half, a third, or a quarter thereof,
Down to one ten thousandth of a millionth thereof,
Or one thousandth of a ten thousandth of a nayuta thereof,
And the ones with tens of thousands of millions of disciples,
on down to half a million,
Are even more numerous.
There are also those with hundreds of tens of thousands,
Thousands, or hundreds,
Fifty, or ten,
Down to three, two, or one,
And those who come alone without a retinue,
All these come before the Buddha
In numbers surpassing those just stated.
So large is the assembly,
That were one to count them
For eons numbering more than Ganges sand grains,
Still one could not fully know them.
Each and every Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva
continues to question the Buddha about the Bodhisattvas who welled
forth out of the earth, not one of whom he has ever seen before.
Every one of those Bodhisattvas has brought a
retinue limitless in number. The actual count of all these Bodhisattvas
would be extremely difficult to ascertain. They were limitless and
boundless, like the Ganges sand grains. / Some of the Great
Bodhisattvas / Lead retinues comprised of beings, disciples, who are as
many as / The sand grains of sixty thousand Ganges Rivers. They have
that many disciples. Such are the great assemblies / Single-mindedly
seeking the Buddha Way.
These Great Masters, / In number like the sand
grains in sixty thousand Ganges Rivers / Have all come to make
offerings to the Buddha. They all make offerings to the Buddha at the
same time, and they arrive to protect and uphold this Sutra. They wish
to make vows to protect and maintain the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower
Those with retinues comprised of as many disciples
as the sand grains in fifty thousand Ganges Rivers / Are yet even more
in number. Perhaps there are those whose retinues surpass the number
fifty thousand or are less than fifty thousand. There are those with
retinues numbering forty or thirty thousand disciples. Some bring
twenty, down to ten thousand, / One thousand, one hundred, / And so
forth, down to the sand grains in a single Ganges river. Those who
bring disciples whose number was a half, a third, or a quarter thereof,
/ Down to one ten thousandth of a millionth thereof, / Or one
thousandth of a ten thousandth of a nayuta thereof, on down to half a
million disciples are more numerous. Maybe they bring more or less than
the above numbers.
And the ones with tens of thousands of millions of
disciples, on down to half a million, / Are even more numerous. / There
are also those with hundreds of tens of thousands, / Thousands, or
hundreds in their retinues. Some bring fifty disciples or ten
Some bring down to three or two disciples or one
disciple. And there are those who come alone without a retinue. Maybe
there are Bodhisattvas who come by themselves because they prefer not
to take disciples, feeling that disciples often fail to heed
instructions and make all kinds of trouble. Preferring isolation, some
cultivators come all by themselves. But now even they, all these, come
before the Buddha Shakyamuni, in numbers surpassing those just stated.
There’s really no way to calculate their number. So large is the
assembly / That were one to count them / For great eons numbering more
than Ganges sand grains, / Still one could not fully know them. Never
could their number be completely known.
To be continued