Chapter 16: The Great Master Made His Vows
(The Buddha said:)
"At that time, virtuous man, Ocean-Atoms Brahmana thought: 'I have persuaded the hundreds of thousands of billions of trillions of living beings and made them arouse their resolves to Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, they are just the attendances here.'
'I saw that almost all those great Bodhisattvas have vowed to choose pure Buddha-Worlds, and the few exceptions, such as Vayuvisnu Bidhisattva, will also evade the very evil (kali) age.'
'Thus, in that evil age, I must fill the living beings with the flavors of the Dharmas.'
'I must be firm and brave, and in such a way make vows like the Lion's Roar. My vows will make all the Bodhisattvas become more astonished then ever before, and make all the attendances, including the gods, Gandharvas, human and non-human beings, Asuras, and so forth, join their palms, pay homage, and make offerings to me; and, my vows will make the Buddha, the Bhagavan praise me by saying "How virtuous!" and award me the distinctive mark of coming Buddhahood.'
'Furthermore, when the Buddhas, the Bhagavans in the ten directions, who are staying in their worlds and speaking Dharmas for living beings, hear my Lion's Roar, they will also praise me by saying "How virtuous!", award me the distinctive mark of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, send their envoys to here and let all the attendances see the envoys.'
'Now, at last, I shall make the great vows, which fulfill all the great compassions of Bodhisattvas, so that, as far as when I achieve Bodhi, if any living beings hear my great compassionate vows, they will gain what they have never gained before. Besides, my vows will make the Bodhisattvas in the future, who will achieve the great compassion, also vow to attain Bodhi in the defiled Buddha-Worlds and greatly evil ages, when there will be living beings who lack Dharma, have no wisdom-eyes, and are being driven by the flows of afflictions. Such Bodhisattvas will do Buddha-Works and speak Dharmas for those living beings.'
'I wish that, after my Nirvana, even hundreds of thousands of billions of trillions of kalpas later, in the innumerable and illimitable Buddha-Worlds of the ten directions, the Buddhas, the Bhagavans there, will still praise me, announce my name and my practices, and reveal my eye-like vows for the Bodhisattvas.'
'Those Bodhisattvas, after hearing my vows of compassionate and diligent practices, will gain the rarest treasure that they never gained before. Their great compassions towards living beings will be enhanced, and they will make the great vows, which are like the vows I am going to make.'
'They will also vow to achieve Bodhi in the defiled Buddha-Worlds, to save the living beings of the four outflows (*), and make those living beings stay in the three vehicles (*) up to the path to Nirvana.'"
(* The four outflows:
1. the outflow of views;
2. the outflow of desires;
3. the outflow of existences;
4. the outflow of ignorance)
(* The three vehicles:
1. The vehicle of Voice-hearer [Sravaka];
2. The vehicle of Conditional-Awakener [Pratyeka-buddha];
3. The vehicle of Bodhisattva.
The vehicle of Bodhisattva is also called Great vehicle [Mahayana], and the vehicle of Sravaka and Pratyeka-buddha is called Small vehicle [Hinayana].
"Virtuous man, after Ocean-Atoms Brahmana, the outstanding great master, had pondered upon such greatly compassionate vows, he uncovered his right shoulder, and proceeded to where Treasure-Store (ratna-garbha) Tathagata was."
"At that time, innumerable hundreds of thousands of billions of trillions of gods performed myriads of heavenly music, rained down myriads of flowers from the sky, and praised with one voice: 'How virtuous, how virtuous! Virtuous great hero, you are now going to where the Bhagavan is, to make the supreme vows, to quench the worlds and living beings' defilements, disorders and suffering-aggregations, with the water of wisdom.'"
"At that time, all the attendances joined their palms towards the Brahmana and praised with one voice: 'How virtuous, how virtuous, Virtuous great hero, your supreme wisdom has benefited us, now we are eager to hear your firm vows that come from your wonderful awakened mind.'"
"At that time the great master, having arrived where the Bhagavan was, placed his right knee on the ground."
"Subsequently, the Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds shook in six ways ( kampati, prakampati, calati, pracalati, ksubhyati, praksubhyati ), myriads of music by themselves performed, the beasts and birds uttered harmonious sounds, and all the trees flowered even though it was out of season."
"In the Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds, the myriads of living beings in Causal-Stages, whether they were persuaded to arouse their resolves to Bodhi or not, all aroused the hearts of great benefaction, the hearts of pure goodness, the hearts free from hatred and jealousness, the hearts without defilement, the hearts of mercy, and the hearts of matchlessness, except those who belong to hell, hungry ghosts and animals."
"The flying living beings became happy, rained down various flowers, ground-incenses, paste-fragrances, and made offerings of various music, streamers, flags, and garments. They glorified the Brahmana with gentle and wonderful voice, and listened with single mind, wishing to hear the virtuous vows that the Brahmana will make."
"Even the gods of Akanistha heaven also came down to Jambudvipa, rained down various flowers, ground-incenses, paste-fragrances from the sky, made offerings of various music, streamers, flags, garments, glorified the Brahmana with gentle and wonderful voice, and listened with single mind, wishing to hear the virtuous vows that the Brahmana was going to make."
"At that time, Ocean-Atoms Brahmana joined his palms respectfully, and glorified Treasure-Store Tathagata with these gatha (verses):
He plays among Samadhis,
like the great Brahma God;
His appearance is luminous and mighty,
like the heavenly ruler Sakra Devanam Indra;
He gives money and properties,
like a great king;
Holding wonderful rare treasures,
like a Repository-mastering minister;
Meritorious, virtuous and unrestricted,
like a Lion King;
like the Sumeru Mountain;
His heart is free from ripple,
like a calm great ocean;
He bears both good and bad things,
like the great earth;
Eliminates all afflictions,
like pure water;
Burns out all the knots and shackles,
like a flaming fire;
Blows away all the obstructions,
like a high wind;
Reveals the reality,
like the four heavenly kings;
Rains down Dharma rains,
like the great dragon king;
like the rains in the right time;
Conquers all the Exterior-Paths,
like a great polymath (abhidharmika);
The fragrance of merits,
Is like the smell of Sumana flowers;
The wonderful voice of Dharma speaking,
Is like that of the Brahma God;
Heals all illnesses,
like an excellent doctor;
Treats all equally,
like a merciful mother;
teaches all living beings,
like a kindly father;
The body is indestructible,
like a Vajra mountain;
Can cut off the branches of love,
like a sharp sword;
Ferries all living beings,
like a boatman;
Imparts wisdom to people,
like the sages;
Bright and refreshingly cool,
like the full moon;
Makes the flowers of living beings bloom,
like the rising sun;
Bestows upon the living beings,
the four fruitions of Sramana;
Grows out myriads of fruits,
like a tree in autumn;
Being surrounded by super-mundane persons and sages,
like a phoenix;
With deep and vast mind,
like a great ocean;
has the heart of equality towards all,
like the grass and woods;
Discerns all phenomena,
like watching an empty fist;
Benefits the worlds with the heart of equality,
Has achieved the wonderful appearance,
along with the great compassion;
Can award innumerable living beings,
the mark of future Buddhahood.
I now have enlightened,
innumerable living beings;
award me the mark of Buddhahood,
which predicts that I will,
achieve the supreme Way (Perfection, Enlightenment),
in the age of turbidities and evil.
The Bhagavan with delicate and wonderful wisdom,
The great immortal one,
Please speak it with the wonderful voice.
In the evil age,
I will practice myriads of forbearances,
fight with the knots, shackles and afflictions,
pull out all the innumerable living beings,
and settle them,
in the Way of stillness and quiescence."
"Virtuous man, after Ocean-Atoms Brahmana had glorified Treasure-Store Tathagata by speaking those gatha(verse)s, at that time, all the attendances praised him together: 'How virtuous, How virtuous! Great hero, you are so virtuous that can praise the Tathagata -- the Dharma King.'"
"The great master then said to the Buddha again: 'Venerable Bhagavan, I have taught and enlightened innumerable living beings, and made them arouse the Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart. Respectively, they have vowed to choose the pure and wonderful Buddha-Worlds, in which the living beings have planted virtuous roots with their pure hearts, and are easy to be enlightened.'"
"'For the 1004 persons including Fire-Wreath Manavaka, who study Veda -- the Exterior-Path scriptures, the Tathagata has already awarded them the marks of future Buddhahood, which predict that they will become Buddhas in the Good-kalpa (Bhadra-kalpa: the present kalpa), and will enlighten those living beings who often commit greed, lechery, anger, ignorance, and arrogance, by using the three vehicles (yana).'"
"'Those 1004 Buddhas also abandon the living beings in the evil age of the five turbidities, the living beings who will have thick and weighty afflictions, commit the sins of the uninterrupted hell (The five heinous sins (*)), damage the true Dharmas, abuse sages(holy persons/saints), behave according to their evil views, lack the holy seven treasures, do not treat their parents well, do not respect Sramanas and Brahmanas, do what ought not to be done, do not do what ought to be done, do not cultivate blessings, do not fear for the retributions that will come in their succeeding lifetimes, do not wish to cultivate the merits of the three blessing places, do not want the virtues needed for becoming heavenly or human beings, and commit the three kinds of sins and the ten kinds of evil conducts'"
"'Those living beings will lack virtuous knowledgeable friends (kalyana-mitra), will be away from the real wise ones, be confined in the prison of births and deaths of the three existences, be driven by the four outflows and submerged in the gray river, be blinded by ignorance, be away from virtuous karma, and produce only evil karma.'"
"'Such living beings will be banished [by the sages] and gather in the worlds that have no Buddha at all, because they commit the deeds of non-virtuous karma instead of cultivating virtuous karma. Being tied in the evil paths, the weighty evil sins that they accumulate will be like huge mountains.'"
"'At that time, in the Good-kalpa in Saha world, when the lifespan of human beings is one thousand years, those 1004 Buddhas will not choose such a bad and evil world, so the living beings will be drifting and rolling in births and deaths, will be helpless, will have no dependence, no refuge, and no lamp, and will suffer from myriads of afflictions. The sages have abandoned them, only wish to choose the pure and wonderful worlds, and only accept the living beings who are already easy to be enlightened, having pure mind, having planted the virtuous roots and practicing diligently, and having already offered and sustained innumerable Buddhas. Venerable Bhagavan, is that true?'"
(* The holy seven treasures:
1. The treasure of Belief;
2. The treasure of Diligence;
3. The treasure of Precept-keeping;
4. The treasure of Shame/Compunction;
5. The treasure of Hearing Dharmas;
6. The treasure of Generosity;
7. The treasure of Samadhi and Wisdom.)
(* The five heinous sins:
1. Killing one's mother;
2. Killing one's father;
3. Killing an Arhat;
4. To wound the body of the Buddha;
5. To destroy the harmony of the Sangha )
"Treasure-Store Tathagata said: 'Yes it is, Brahmana. These people chose various sublime and pure worlds according to their favors, and I have awarded them the marks of future Buddhahood, according to their wishes.'"
"The Brahmana said: 'Venerable Bhagavan, my heart is now trembling like a banana leaf, my mind is greatly worrying, and my body is filled with depression. These Bodhisattvas, despite having all aroused the great compassion, they cannot choose the evil age of the five turbidities, so that those living beings will fall into the darkness of ignorance.'"
"'Bhagavan, from now on, unto one Ganges-river-sands asamkhya kalpas, two Ganges-river-sands asamkhya kalpas, and three Ganges-river-sands asamkhya kalpas later, as far as the Good-kalpa, when the human lifespan is a thousand years, I will be carrying out the Bodhisattva practices, staying within births and deaths for eons and forbearing myriads of afflictions. By the power of Samadhi of Bodhisattvas, I must not abandon those living beings.'"
"'Bhagavan, I will, in person, practice the Six Paramitas to enlighten the living beings. Just like what the Buddha said, giving money and properties is called Dana Paramita. Bhagavan, when I am practicing Dana Paramita, if any living beings, in lifetimes after lifetimes, ask me for what they need, I will fulfill all their requests, including drinks, foods, medicines, clothes, beds, houses, gardens, flowers, fragrances, necklaces, and paste-fragrances. I will offer the patients with medicines and nurses according to their illnesses. I will donate streamers, precious canopies, properties, grain, silks, elephants, horses, vehicles, gold, silver, money, goods, pearls, lapis lazuli, sphatika, jades, shells, corals, ambers, heavenly crowns, adornments, and other precious things. I will arouse the great compassionate heart towards the living beings including the poor ones and donate to them, and, although I make such donations, I do not want any reward of heavenly or human worlds, just for enlightening and embracing the living beings, I donate all that I have. If any living beings ask too much, for the things such as my servants, servant-girls, villages, cities, wives, men, women, hands, feet, nose, tongue, head, eyes, skin, blood, bones, fleshes, body, and so forth, I will arouse the great compassionate heart and donate such things to them, without desire for any reward, but just for enlightening and embracing the living beings.'"
"'Bhagavan, the way that I practice Dana Paramita, cannot be matched by any Bodhisattvas in the past, who practiced Dana Paramita, and cannot be matched by any Bodhisattvas in the future, who will arouse Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart and practice Dana Paramita. Bhagavan, in order to carry out the Bodhisattva-Way in the future, I will be practicing such Dana Paramita for hundreds of thousands of billions of kalpas. Bhagavan, if in the future, there will be anyone who wishes to practice the Bodhisattva-Way, I will practice Dana Paramita for him, to encourage him not to give up.'"
"'When I first cultivate Sila Paramita, for Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will keep myriads of precepts, carry out myriads of austerities, as what the Buddha teaches.'"
"'Discerning that I have no Self, I will not be hurt by the five dirt(*), this is Ksanti Paramita. I will be practicing Ksanti Paramita as the Buddha teaches.'"
(* The five dirt: form(seeing), sound(hearing), odor(olfaction), taste, touch)
"'Discerning the faults of all behaviors (samskrta) and keeping away from them, seeing the delicateness, wonderfulness and quiescence of uncreated (asamskrta) Dharma, practicing the unsurpassed Way diligently and do not retrograde, this is Virya Paramita. I will also be practicing Virya Paramita in such a way.'"
"'Meditating on the state of emptiness everywhere, and gaining the Dharma of still quiescence, is called Dhyana Paramita.'"
"'Understanding that all things(dharma) do not have the essence of being created, therefore they do not vanish, is called Prajna Paramita. I will be practicing Prajna Paramita firmly and diligently for innumerable hundreds of thousands of billions of Asamkhya kalpas. Why? Because there could be some Bodhisattvas in the past, who did not practice Prajna Paramita firmly and diligently for Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and the Bodhisattva-Way; and there would be some Bodhisattvas in the future, who are not yet able to practice Prajna Paramita firmly and diligently for Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and the Bodhisattva-Way. Therefore, I have to, in such a way, arouse Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart and practice the Bodhisattva-Way in the future, to make all the virtuous Dharmas not to be lost.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I first arouse Bodhi-Heart, I will have already unveiled the Great Compassion, unto Nirvana, for the Bodhisattvas in the future. Those who hear my greatly compassionate vows will be astonished and exclaim that they are unprecedented. Thus, I will not praise myself for my donating practices, will not be proud of my precept keeping, forbearance, diligence, or Dhyana practices, and all my wisdom will not be attached to any of the Three Times (the past, the present and the future). Although I practice the Six Paramita in such a way, I do not do it for any reward. Just because there are some living beings, who are away from the holy seven treasures, are abandoned by the Worlds of the Buddhas, commit the five heinous sins, demolish the true Dharma, slander the sages, behave according to the evil views, have weighty evil sins as huge as great mountains, and are constantly obstructed by evils. Thus, for those living beings, I have to cultivate the Six Paramita intently, bravely, and diligently. In order to help each of the living beings to plant virtuous roots, I wish to enter into Avichi Hell for ten kalpas and suffer from immeasurable afflictions, and also do the same in the incarnations of animals, hungry ghosts, poor ghosts and spirits, and low-class persons. For those living beings who have no virtuous root, lost their minds (have difficulty in concentrating), or have withered or burning hearts, I will embrace and enlighten all of them to make them plant virtuous roots. I will be practicing in such a way, and, unto the age of Good kalpa, I will never seek for any bliss of heavenly or human worlds, except that when I am going to become a Buddha in the next lifetime, dwelling in Tushita heaven and waiting for the achievement of Buddhahood.'"
"I must stay in births and deaths in such a way, for as many kalpas as there are atoms of a Buddha World, and make myriads of offerings to the Buddhas. In order to plant virtuous roots for a single living being, I will offer up as many offerings as there are atoms of a Buddha World, to each of the innumerable and illimitable Buddhas of the ten directions, and gain the merits and virtues as many as the atoms of a Buddha World, from each of the innumerable and illimitable Buddhas of the ten directions. And then, in front of each of the Buddhas, I will be able to teach and enlighten as many living beings as there are atoms of a Buddha World, and make them dwell in the Way of unsurpassed Bodhi, Pratyeka-buddha, or Voice-hearer(Sravaka), according to their wishes.'"
"'During the age that there is no Buddha in the world, I will be a supernatural person (rsi) to teach the living beings, to make them persist in the ten virtues, gain the five supernatural powers, and keep away from the evil views.'"
"'If there are any living beings, who worship the heavenly God Mahesvara, I will transform myself into Mahesvara to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For those who worship the eight-armed God Narayana, I will transform myself into Narayana to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For those who worship the sun, the moon, or the Brahma God, I will also transform myself into the sun, the moon, or the Brahma God to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For those who worship Garudas (Golden-winged bird) or even rabbits, I will also transform myself into Garudas or rabbits to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For hungry and thirsty living beings, I will give them the flesh and blood of my body to make them full up.'"
"For those living beings who commit various sins, I will make my bodies and my lives suffer from their retributions instead of those living beings, to save and protect them.'"
"'Bhagavan, in the future, there will be some living beings who lack virtuous root and have their virtuous hearts burnt out. For the sake of those living beings, I must practice the Bodhisattva-Way diligently, and endure myriads of sufferings in births and deaths, unto one Ganges-river-sands Asamkhya kalpas later, two Ganges-river-sands Asamkhya kalpas later, and unto the beginning of Good-kalpa, when Fire-Wreath Manavaka has achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, with the name Krakucchanda Tathagata. At that time, for those living beings that I will have taught and enlightened,, who were away from virtuous karma, committed evil karma, had withered and burning hearts, lacked the holy seven treasures, committed the five heinous sins, demolished the true Dharma, slandered sages, behaved according to the evil views, had weighty sins as huge as great mountains, were constantly overlaid by evil obstructions, were abandoned and living in the worlds that had no Buddha, I wish that they will all have aroused Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart and practice Dana-Paramita up to Prajna-Paramita, will be dwelling stably at the non-retrograde stages, will have achieved Buddhahood, and will be turning the true Dharma Wheels in the ten directions, in the Buddha Worlds as many as the atoms of thousands of Buddha Worlds, to make all living beings plant the virtuous roots of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, get away from the evil paths, gain merits, virtues and wisdom, and achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. I wish I will see that at that time.'"
"'Bhagavan, now the living beings who have been sent to the present Buddhas, Bhagavans' worlds, who have gained the awarding of the mark of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, who have gained Samadhis, Dharanis, forbearances, or the Bodhisattva Stages (Bhumi), are all persuaded and enlightened by me, so that they vowed to select sublime Buddha Worlds, and will gain the sublime Buddha Worlds as they wish. In the Good-Kalpa, when Krakucchanda Buddha will be appearing in the world, these living beings will also have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi in the ten directions, in the Buddha Worlds as many as the atoms of thousands of Buddha Worlds, will be speaking Dharma everywhere and make me see all of them.'"
"'Bhagavan, when Krakucchanda Buddha has achieved Buddhahood, I will go to where he will be, make various offerings to him, and inquire various Dharmas. I will become a monk (leave home), keep pure precepts, study diffusely, listen extensively, practice Samadhis intently, carry on the diligence, and become the number one Dharma-expounder among all living beings, except the Tathagatas.'"
"'At that age, there would be some dull living beings who lack virtuous root, fall into evil views, behave immorally, commit the five heinous sins, demolish the correct Dharmas, slander the sages, and have weighty evil sins like huge mountains. I will speak correct Dharmas for such living beings to assimilate and enlighten them.'"
"'After the sun of Buddha disappear, I will be naturally performing innumerable Buddha-Activities (Buddha-karya). In such a way, unto the time when Kanakamuni Kasyapa Buddha appear in the world and speak Dharmas, I will also go to where he will be, and fully perform the Buddha-Activities.'"
"'When the human lifespan become one thousand years, I will teach the living beings to cultivate the three blessing karma, so that they will be reborn in the heavens after the end of their lives. I will then speak Dharmas for those heavenly gods to enlighten and ferry them.'"
"When the human lifespan become 120 years, the living beings will be foolish and ignorant, they will be proud of their appearances or races, will be dissipated, miserly, jealous, and be imprisoned in the darkness of the five turbidities. They will have thick and weighty greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, miserliness, and jealousy, they will satisfy their desires immorally, and earn money immorally. They will behave according to the evil and upside-down views, will lack the holy seven treasures, will not treat their parents well, and will not respect the Sramanas or Brahmanas. They will not do what they should do, and will do what they should not do. They will not cultivate blessings and they have no fear of their next lifetimes. They will not cultivate the three virtues diligently, and will not enjoy any of the three vehicles. They will not cultivate the three virtuous karma, but only commit the three evil karma. They will not cultivate the ten virtues, but often commit the ten evils. Their hearts will always be covered by the four inverted views, and they will persist in breaking the four precepts, so that the four demon kings will always be unrestricted. They will be floating in the four sick rivers, and their hearts will be covered by the five coverings.'"
(* The four inverted views [to the mundane world]:
1. The inverted view of permanence--taking the impermanent to be permanent;
2. Enjoyment--perceiving suffering as enjoyment;
3. Self--perceiving what is not a self to be a self.
4. Purity-- seeing the impure as pure;
However, in the Great-Nirvana(Maha-Parinirvana), the Buddhas can truly achieve the Permanence, Great-Enjoyment, True Self, and Purity, which are the four meritorious virtues of the Great-Nirvana.)
(* The five coverings: desire, anger, dullness, agitation, and doubt)
"'Their six sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind) will be dissipated, and they will commit the eight kinds of evil deeds. They will be burdening the great mountains of sins, and will be tied by various knots. they will not want the karma-fruits of being reborn in heavens or human worlds, but will be going to the evil destinies because of their evil and upside-down views. They will commit the karma that will make them reborn in the uninterrupted-hells. They will slander the correct Dharmas, slander sages, and destroy their own virtuous roots. They will be poor and rascally, have no fear of retribution, have no awareness of kindness or righteousness, lost the correct minds, disdain virtuous teachings, have no wisdom, lack knowledge, often forget, break the precepts, and are adulatory. Because of their jealousy, they will not share their properties with others, but will despise each other with no respect. They will be lazy and have lacunas in their various roots, their bodies will be emaciated, and they will have not enough clothes. They will like to get close to non-virtuous advisors, and they will lose their memories of being in the wombs. They will often be afflicted with various illnesses so that their appearances will be ugly. They will glare at each other without shame or compunction, to scare each other. In one moment, they will produce immeasurable and limitless evil karma through their bodies, mouths and minds, and they will be admired by others because of their immoral deeds.'"
"'At that age, the living beings will follow the views of nihilism or substantialism, be attached to their flimsy bodies which are full of the five skandhas(aggregates), be attached deeply to the five desires, often arouse the mind of anger, resentment, hatred, and cheat, with the desire of hurting living beings.'"
(*The five desires:
1. The cravings of the five organs. Five kinds of desire that arise from attachment to the objects of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body.
2. The five desires of wealth, sex, food, fame and sleep. )
"'Their hearts will often be filled with anger, worry, and other defilements; their hearts will be coarse, non-gentle, miserly and greedy. It will be difficult for them to give up immoral behaviors and insist on virtues. They will often scare each others and argue with each others, and kill and hurt each others with their defiled hearts. They will be far away from the virtuous Dharmas, often arouse non-virtuous minds and commit various evil deeds. They will not believe the retribution of karma, will arouse opposite minds towards virtuous teachings, will arouse happy minds towards non-virtuous phenomena, will arouse the mind of doing non-virtuous things intently, will not seek for the salvation of the still quiescence and Nirvana, will not respect the precept-keeping Sramanas and Brahmans, will be fond of and thirst for the ties and knots, will believe that aging, illness and death are inescapable, will believe that their myriads of afflictions are the nature of things, will enjoy the five coverings, will arouse the mind of keeping away from the true Dharmas, will arouse the mind of attaching to various views, will often arouse the minds of hostility, disdain, hurting, fighting, and eating each others, will arouse the minds of arrogance and bullying others, and will arouse the mind of hatred, the mind of killing each others, the mind of unsatisfiable greed, the mind of being jealous of the properties of others, the mind of ungratefulness, the mind of stealing, the mind of committing sexual misconduct, and the mind of molesting others.'"
"'At that age, all the living beings have no virtuous wish in their hearts, therefore they will, during their continuous rebirths, often hear the sounds of hells, the sounds of animals, the sounds of hungry ghosts, the sounds of diseases, the sounds of aging, the sounds of death, the sounds of hurting, the sounds of the eight difficulties(*), the sounds of imprisoning, the sounds of being restricted by shackles, the sounds of torturing, the sounds of robbing the properties of others, the sounds of gossips, the sounds of scolding, the sounds of destroying the harmony of people, the sounds of stealing, the sounds of wars, the sounds of hunger, the sounds of greed, the sounds of sexual misconduct, the sounds of false speeches, the sounds of ignorance and madness, the sounds of loose speeches, the sounds of harsh speeches, the sounds of sowing discords, the sounds of jealousy, the sounds of miserliness, the sounds of arguments, the sounds of egotism, the sounds of love or hatred, the sounds of being separated from the persons or things that one loves, the sounds of being associated with the persons or things that one dislikes, the sound of selling, the sounds of betraying, the sounds of being in wombs, the sounds of feculences, the sounds of cold, the sounds of hot, the sounds of hunger, the sounds of thirst, the sounds of tiredness, the sounds of the aches caused by illnesses, the sounds of planting, the sounds of the weariness caused by various workings, the sounds of being tortured by various afflictions, the sounds of various pestilences, and so forth.'"
(* The eight difficulties:
Eight circumstances in which it is difficult to see the Buddha or hear his teaching:
1. The condition of a hell-being;
2. Hungry ghost;
4. In the long-life heavens [where one's life is long and easy];
5. In Uttara-kuru -- the northern continent, where all is pleasant so that no one wish to be enlightened;
6. As deaf, blind or dumb;
7. As a mundane philosopher;
8. In the intermediate time between the life of a Buddha and his successor.)
"'The living beings in that age will often hear such sounds. At that time, within the Saha world, there will be full of those living beings, who lack virtuous roots, keep themselves away from virtuous knowledgeable advisors, and often arouse evil minds. Due to their weighty evil karma, they will be abandoned by the worlds of other Buddhas, and live in the period of Good-kalpa that the human lifespan is 120 years.'"
"'At that age, because of the weighty evil karma of those living beings, the Saha world will be very ugly and defiled, so that most of the persons who have blessings and virtuous roots will get away from that world. In the Saha world, there will be many alkali soils with bitter or salt taste, and there will be plenty of dirt, sands, gravels, and rocks. The ground will be uneven, with peaks, hills, precipices, rivulets, and abysses. There will be plenty of mosquitoes, flies, poisonous snakes, and various fierce birds and beasts. At that time, there will be many evil winds, hard rains, and hailstones, which befall unseasonably. The water of the rains will be poisonous and have unpleasant taste, so that the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits of the herbs and the trees, and the grains and crops, will all be polluted by the poisons. Having eaten such foods polluted by the poisons, the living beings' angers and hatreds will increase, and their looks will become unhealthy. They will fail to arouse the merciful heart towards other living beings, they will slander sages(holy persons) and will not respect each others; they will often arouse the mind of frightening, hurting, and killing each others; they will eat flesh, drink blood, and wear the clothes made of skins, will often hurt and kill each others with their weapons, will be arrogant because of their races or beauties, will learn the books of Exterior-path(*) theories, will exercise the fighting skills such as horse-riding, swordplay, archery, etc, and fight against each others, and will be jealous of their own relatives.'"
The true way to the Correct-Awakening is called Inner-path, oppositely, all other ways that cannot reach this goal are called Exterior-paths.
Generally, "Exterior-path" is interpreted by many people as "non-Buddhist"/"other religious teachings than Buddhism"/"heretic".)
"'Those living beings will often commit such evil deeds.'"
"'Bhagavan, in that distressful age, I vow to go down from Tushita heaven and be born in a supreme Wheel-Turning-King's family. I will enter the womb of the first-lady of the royalty. In order to soften the hearts of the living beings and make them cultivate the virtuous roots, I will emit forth a great light when I am entering the womb. The light, which is delicate and wonderful, will illuminate everywhere of the Saha World -- from the Gold-Wheel-Place to Akanistha heaven. I wish that all the living beings, including the hell beings, animals, hungry ghosts, heavenly gods, human beings, corporeal beings, formless beings, having-thoughts beings, having-no-thought beings, non-having-thoughts beings, non-having-no-thought beings, and so forth, will all see that delicate and wonderful light, and can perceive it when the light touch their bodies. Having seen and perceived that light, they will all discern the disadvantages of births and deaths, and then will diligently seek for the uppermost tranquil extinction - the Nirvana, till they cut off all afflictions. -- This is called making the living beings plant the seed of Nirvana at the first time.'"
"'I wish that during the ten months when I will be in the womb, I will attain all Dharmas and enter into all Dharma-Gates, such as the Dharma-Gate of Uncreated Empty Samadhi, and so forth. I will be speaking these Samadhis for countless kalpas in the future, and my virtuous resolved heart will never end.'"
"'When I come out of the womb and achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will pull up all those living beings from births and deaths, and make them all able to see me.'"
"'Although I will be situated in the womb of my mother for fully ten months, during that period, I will be actually staying in Rare-Treasure Samadhi, sitting with my legs crossed in lotus position, and meditating with the correct concentration (Samapatti). After the ten months, I will be born from the right armpit, and will, by the Samadhi power built of all merits and virtues, make the Saha world -- down to the Gold-Wheel-Place and up to Akanistha heaven -- shake in six different ways, so that the living beings in Saha world, no matter they are hell beings, animals, hungry ghosts, heavenly gods, or human beings, they will all be awakened. At that time, I will also emit forth a delicate and wonderful light, which illuminate everywhere of Saha World, to awaken other innumerable living beings. If there will be any living beings who will have not yet planted virtuous roots, I will appease them and make them plant virtuous roots; after planting the virtuous roots of Nirvana, I will make their buds of Samadhi grow out.'"
"'When I am born from the right armpit, and touch the ground with my feet, I wish that the Saha World, from the Gold-Wheel-Place up to Akanistha heaven, will again shake in six different ways, so that all the living beings in the five paths(*), including those who live in water, those who live on earth, those who live in the sky, those who are born from wombs, those who are born from eggs, those who are born from moisture, and those who are born miraculously, will all be awakened.'"
(* The five paths: hell being, hungry ghost, animal, human being, and heavenly god)
"'For those living beings who would have not yet attain Samadhi, I wish that they will all attain Samadhi, and then stay in the Dharma of the three vehicles, and reach the none-retrograde stage.'"
"'When I have been born, all the heavenly beings in Saha world, including the Brahma gods, heavenly demons, gods of Trayastrimsha heaven, gods of sun, gods of moon, the four heavenly kings, the great dragon kings, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, miraculously born beings, immortal beings (rsi), Yaksas, and Raksas, will all come to make offerings to me.'"
"'Having just been born, I will take seven steps, and then, I will speak correct Dharma with the Samadhi power that centralizes all merits and virtues, to make the great assembly happy and dwell in the three vehicles.'"
"'For the living beings in the assembly, if anyone wish to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, I will make them achieve the goal within that very life. If anyone wish to study the Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, I will make them all achieve the Sun-Flower Forbearance. If anyone wish to study the Great vehicle(Mahayana), I will make them all achieve the Vajra-Holding Ocean Immovable Samadhi, and exceed the third Bhumi(stage) by the power of the Samadhi.'"
"'At that time, when I wish to bath, the supreme great dragon king will come to bath my body, and if any living being see the bath, they will enter into the three vehicles, and attain the merits and virtues as mentioned above.'"
"'I will appear as doing various things, which are manifestations, for enlightening all living beings. I will be a boy, ridding a sheep cart, will be staying in the palace, playing with the princesses, will realize the faults of that life, escape from the city in a midnight, and take off the ornaments such as necklaces from my body. In order to conquer the theories of the exterior-paths such as Nirgrantha-jnata-putra(Jain), etc., and make them respect the Dharma-Cloths, I will go under the Bodhi-tree wearing a Kasaya. If any living beings see that I am under the Bodhi-tree, I will speak the Dharma of the three vehicles for them, with the Samadhi power built of all merits and virtues, to make them study the three vehicles diligently. If any of them have germinated the bud of voice-hearer's vehicle, I will make them eliminate all afflictions in that very lifetime, and be ferried by me. If any of them have germinated the bud of Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, I will make them obtain the Sun-Flower Forbearance. If any of them have germinated the bud of Great-Vehicle (Mahayana), I will make them all achieve the Vajra-Holding Ocean Immovable Samadhi, and exceed the forth Bhumi(stage) by the power of the Samadhi.'"
"'I will arrange a Vajra-seat beneath the Bodhi-tree with some grass, sit on it with my legs crossed in lotus position, set both my body and my mind upright, and enter into the immovable Samadhi, which makes both my inhalation and exhalation stop. In every day, when I come out of the Samadhi, I will eat only half a sesame, and donate another half to others. I will be practicing such austerities for a long time, so that all the heavenly beings in the Saha world, up to Akanistha heaven, will come to where I will be, make offerings to me, and bear witness to my austerities. If any of them have planted the virtuous root of voice-hearer's vehicle, Bhagavan, I wish that all his knots of afflictions will be eliminated, and he can be ferried by me in that very lifetime; for those who want Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle or Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'Moreover, the dragons, Yaksas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, hungry ghosts, pisacas, the supernatural humans with the five supernatural forces, and so forth, will also come to where I will be, make offerings to me, and bear witness to my austerities. If any of them want to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'For those living beings in the four great continents who practice harsh austerities, some non-human beings will go to where they will be and say to them: 'Your austerities cannot obtain great fruitful rewards, and are not unprecedented. Now somewhere, a Final-Incarnation Bodhisattva is practicing austerities. He can enter into a delicate and wonderful Samadhi so that his karma of the body, mouth, and mind can all be extinct, and both his inhalation and exhalation can be stopped. He eats only half a sesame for one day and one night. Such austerities will attain great fruitful rewards, gain great benefits, and will enlighten many living beings. That practitioner of austerities will soon achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. If you do not believe me, you can go to where he is and see what he is doing.'"
"'Bhagavan, I wish that those people will all stop their practices, go to where I will be, and see my austerities. If any of them want to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'For the kings, officers, commoners, lay-persons, monks, and so forth, who can see my austerities, I wish that they will all go to where I will be and make offerings to me. If any of them want to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'If any woman, who see my austerities, come to make offerings to me, then she will never be reborn in a female body again. If she wants to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will ferry her as mentioned above.'"
"'If any birds or beasts see my austerities and come to where I will be, then upon their death, they will never be reborn in animal body again. If any of them have planted the virtuous root of voice-hearer's vehicle, I will ferry them within that very lifetime; if any of them want Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle or Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"For other various animals, small insects, hungry ghosts, and so forth, I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'I will practice such austerities at that time, and as soon as I sit with my legs crossed in lotus position, hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas innumerable living beings will come to bear witness. Those living beings will have planted the seed of liberation for immeasurable and illimitable Asamkhya kalpas.'"
"'Bhagavan, I will practice austerities in such a way that, no living being in the past, who ever practiced the exterior-paths, voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-Vehicle(Mahayana), could carry out such practices, and also, no living being in the future, who will practice the exterior-paths, voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-Vehicle(Mahayana), will be able to carry out such practices.'"
"'Before I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will have already been able to do the great things, such as taming the demon kings and their relatives. When I have defeated the demons of afflictions and achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, in order to make one living being stay peacefully in the supreme and wonderful fruition of Arhat, I will appear in a body which bears the remaining karma retributions. In the same way, I will also convert the second, the third, the fourth, and so on, to Arhat.'"
"'For every living being, I will manifest hundreds of thousands of immeasurable supernatural powers of unimpeded bodily functions, to make them have the correct views. For every living being, I will expound the meanings of hundreds of thousands of innumerable Dharma-gates, to make them achieve the saintly fruitions according to their wishes. I will destroy the mountains of afflictions of all living beings, and speak the Dharma of the three vehicles for them. For every living being, I will go personally to where he is and speak Dharma for him without using my supernatural power, even if the distance is more than hundreds of thousands of Yojanas, to make him stay peacefully in fearlessness. If anyone wishes to become a monk who practices my Dharma, I wish that he will not be obstructed by any things such as weakness, forgetfulness, madness, arrogance, bigotry, ignorance, the knots of afflictions, or distraction. If any woman wishes to become a Buddhist nun, study the Way to enlightenment, and accept the complete precepts, I wish that her wishes will be fulfilled. I wish that my fourfold assembly - Bhiksu, Bhiksuni, Upasaka, Upasika, will all gain the offerings. I also wish that the heavenly gods, ghosts, and deities will all achieve the four noble truths(*), and the dragons, Asuras, and various animals will accept and uphold the eight precepts and carry out pure Brahma practice.'"
(* The four noble truths:
1. The truth of suffering [duhkha];
2. The truth of the arising of suffering [samudaya];
3. The truth of the cessation of suffering [nirodha];
4. the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering [marga]
"'Bhagavan, when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, if any living-being being angry towards me, wants to hurt me with the weapons such as swords, staffs, fire, pits, and so forth, slanders and scolds me with rude words, curses me at everywhere of the realms of the ten directions, or puts poisons into my drinks and foods, I will accept all such retributions of my remaining karma. When those living beings, who are the enemies of my past lifetimes, arouse cruel intentions towards me, curse me with various vicious words, put poisons into my drinks and foods, come to where I will be with weapons and make my body bleed, I will speak Dharma for them, with my heart filled with great compassion, and my wonderful Brahma gentle voice, to give them the teachings such as precept-keeping, broad knowledge, and Samadhi, to purify their hearts, make them stay in virtuous Dharmas, make them repent and never commit again the evil karma that they have committed, make them all be reborn freely as heavenly or human beings and achieve wonderful liberations, make them free from evil desires and stay peacefully in the supreme fruitions, and make them cut off all outflows forever, and eliminate all karma obstructions.
After that, all my remaining karma retributions will be ended.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, coming out of every hair pore on my body day after day, there will be many miraculously created (nirmana) Buddhas, who fully have the 32 marks(*) and the 80 minor marks.'"
(* The 32 marks:
The thirty-two distinguishing marks on the body of a Buddha:
1. Flat soles;
2. A thousand-spokes Dharma-wheel on each sole;
3. Slender and long fingers;
4. Flexible limbs;
5. Webbed fingers and toes;
6. Perfect heels;
7. Perfect insteps;
8. Perfect thighs like those of a deer king;
9. Arms extending past the knees;
10. A concealed sex organ like that of a horse;
11. Arm-span equal to the height of the body;
12. One hair in each pore;
13. Hair standing straight up;
14. Golden body;
15. Great light radiating from the body
16. Delicate skin;
17. The seven places: two sole, two palms, two shoulders, and neck, where there are pits on a mundane person's body, are flat;
18. Flat armpits;
19. A dignified body like that of a lion king;
20. An erect body;
21. Perfect shoulders;
22. Forty teeth;
23. White, firm, and tight teeth;
24. Four white canine teeth;
25. Full cheeks like those of a lion;
26. Flavored saliva;
27. A long, slender tongue;
28. Brahma voice which can reach far distance;
29. Blue eyes;
30. Perfect eyelashes like those of a bull king;
31. White hair between the eyebrows, which circumvolve clockwise and emit forth light;
32. A fleshy bun on the top of the head, also called the crown that no one can see its top. )
"'I will send those miraculously created (nirmana) Buddhas to the worlds that have no Buddha, the worlds that have Buddha, and the worlds of the five turbidities, within which there are persons who commit the five heinous sins, demolish correct Dharmas, slander saintly persons, or even cut off all their own virtuous roots. Some of them may study the Voice-hearer's vehicle, Conditional-Awakener(Pratyeka-buddha)'s vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), but they break the precepts and commit serious sins. For such hundreds of thousands of billions of living beings, who have their virtuous hearts burnt out and lost the virtuous paths, who are submerged in the moor of births and deaths, are walking on the evil paths, and are climbing the mountains of sins, each of the nirmana(miraculously created) Buddhas will speak Dharma for them day to day. For those who worship Mahesvara, the nirmana Buddhas will appear as Mahesvara and speak Dharma for them. The nirmana Buddhas will also tell those living beings about my name and my Buddha World, and persuade them to make virtuous wishes. I wish the living beings who hear that will become happy and be willing to reborn in my Buddha World.'"
"'Bhagavan, when those living beings are about to die, if I do not appear in front of them and speak Dharma for them to purify their hearts, then let me be unable to achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi in the future. After their death, if they fall into any of the three evil paths(hell, hungry ghost, and animal) and cannot be reborn in my World with human bodies, then let me forget all the innumerable correct Dharmas that I have known, and let me be unable to accomplish any Buddha-Activities(buddha-karya).'"
"'For those who worship Narayana, it will be the same as mentioned above.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I wish that the sinful living beings in all other worlds, including those who commit the five heinous sins, who are walking on evil paths, who are climbing the mountains of sins, and so forth, will all be reborn in my world after their death. Due to their own karma, their skin will be lackluster and their faces would be as ugly as Pisaca. They will be forgetful, will break the precepts, will be feculent and have many illnesses, and will often lack enough materials to maintain their lives. Their lifespan will be short, and they will commit various evil deeds to even shorten their lives.'"
"'For such living beings, at one time, I will manifest in the Saha World that I go down from Tushita heaven, stay in the mother's womb, be born, be a child, study various skills, leave home, practice austerities, defeat the demons, achieve the uppermost Way, turn the True Dharma Wheels, enter into Nirvana, distribute my sharira, and so forth. I will manifest various Buddha-Activities(buddha-karya) in such a way, at everywhere of the hundreds of billions of the four great continents.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will speak Dharma with a single voice, but when the living beings hear my speech, those who want the Voice-hearer's vehicle will understand the Voice-hearer's Dharma-Store; those who want the Conditional-Awakener (Pratyeka-buddha)'s vehicle will understand the Conditional-Awakener's Dharma; and those who want the unsurpassed vehicle -- Mahayana will understand the Dharma of pure Mahayana.'"
"'Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who wish to achieve Bodhi but have not enough merits and virtues will be able to practice donation; those who wish to be reborn in heaven but have not enough blessings will be able to keep precepts; those who have defiled hearts and often frighten each others will arouse the hearts of kindness; those who enjoy killing will arouse the hearts of compassion; those whose hearts are polluted by miserliness and jealousness will begin to cultivate the delightful heart; those who are proud of their beauties and powers and have dissipated hearts will arouse the hearts of abnegation; those who have lustful hearts will contemplate the impurity of their desires; the Mahayana learners who are obstructed by distraction (* Literally: Fallen-lift) will understand the Dharma of Anapana; and those who lack wisdom and want the lamplight of Dharma will understand the profound twelve interconnected causes(*);'"
(* The twelve interconnected causes:
1. non-brightness [ignorance];
4. name and form;
5. the six sense organs;
12. aging and death. )
"'Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who lack knowledge will gain the non-forgetful Dharani so that they will be able to uphold many Dharmas; those who are in the wilderness of incorrect views will understand the profound Dharma of the emptiness of all things; those whose hearts are covered by sensations will deeply understand the Dharma-Gate of formlessness; those who have many impure wishes will deeply understand the Dharma-Gate of Non-Action; and for the living beings whose bodies and minds are defiled, their bodies and minds will become gentle when they hear my Dharma speech.
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who are trapped in messy conditions will understand the Dharma of Non-losable Bodhi heart; those whose hearts are covered by anger will have their angers quenched, understand the nature of the Reality, and gain the award of the mark of future Buddhahood; and those who are attached to the two views (of existence and inexistence) will understand the profound Dharmas and be free from the attachments;
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those whose hearts are covered by impure desires will understand quickly that all things (dharma) are undefiled and pure; those who have lost their virtuous hearts will deeply understand the Sunlight Samadhi; those who commit demonic karmas will quickly understand the pure Dharma; those whose hearts are covered by incorrect theories will gain deep understanding and improvement on the Correct Dharma; those whose hearts are covered by worries will understand the Dharma of being free from worries; and those who walk on evil paths (believe in evil theories and do evil deeds) will turn back immediately.
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who long for Mahayana will acquire the non-regression; those who tire of births and deaths will realize the joy of Bodhisattvas; those who have not yet gain the wisdom of virtuous state will gain improvement on it; those who do not appreciate others' virtuous deeds will accordingly rejoice at the virtuous deeds; those whose hearts are unfair will understand the unobstructed light; those who commit bad deeds will understand the retributions of bad deeds; those who are cowardly among crowd will understand the Lion Samadhi; those whose hearts are oppressed by the four demons will achieve Shurangama Samadhi quickly; and those who cannot see the brilliant lights of the Buddha-Worlds will achieve the Samadhi of Deep Understanding on Myriads of Sublime Lights.
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who have hatreds and loves in their hearts will abnegate all those emotions; those who have not yet perceived the light of Buddha-Dharma will gain Dharma-Banner Samadhi; those who lack great wisdom will gain Dharma-Torch Samadhi; those who are trapped in foolishness and darkness will gain Sun Lamp Light Samadhi; and those who lack eloquence will gain the merits and virtues needed for good eloquence.
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who contemplate all phenomena and find that the constructions are as infirm as bubbles, will gain Narayana Samadhi; those whose hearts are unstable will gain Firm and Decisive Samadhi; those who wish to observe the Buddha's crown will gain Sumeru Banner Samadhi; those who abandoned their previous vows will gain Firmness Samadhi; those who lost their supernatural abilities will realize Vajra-Mind; those who seek Bodhi-Manda (enlightenment site) will realize Vajra-Manda; those who are not in thrall to any phenomena will understand Vajra-Like Dharma; those who wish to know what others think will fulfill their wishes; those who wish to know others' roots (faculties for Dharma-learning) will understand the Way to the Wisdom; and those who do not understand the languages of each others will gain the Samadhi of Full Understanding of Sounds.
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who have not yet achieved Dharma-Body will understand the Dharma for cultivating the Universal Body; those who long to see the Tathagata will gain Non-Wink Samadhi; those who discriminate all activities will gain Non-Strife Samadhi; those who wish to turn the Dharma-Wheel will realize the Undefiled Wheel; those who do not believe in causality and seek evil goals will understand and comply with the teachings on causes and relationships; those who believe in only one Buddha-World will understand that there are countless Buddha-Worlds; those who have not yet generated the causes of beautiful appearance [of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas] will achieve Sublime Beauties Samadhi; and those who cannot master all words will gain the Samadhi of Rhetoric.
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who seek the Universal Wisdom absorbedly will gain Indistinguishable Dharma Realm Samadhi; those who retrogress from Dharma will gain Firmness Samadhi; those who do not understand the nature of all dharma(phenomena) will gain the thorough wisdom; those who give up their virtuous vows will gain Non-losable Samadhi; those who discriminate various paths will gain the path of Oneness and be free from discrimination; those who seek the wisdom as vast as all spaces will gain Free-From-Existences Samadhi; those who have not yet perfected all Paramitas will dwell in the purity of Paramitas; those who have not perfectly mastered the Four Dharmas of Attraction(*) will become expert at winning living beings over; those who discriminate among the Four Immeasurable Minds(*) will practice them impartially and diligently; and those who have not fully gained the Thirty-seven Aids to Enlightenment(*) will realize the non-attaching practices.
(* The Four Dharmas of Attraction:
The four methods that Bodhisattvas employ to approach and save living beings. They are:
1. Giving, giving the gift of Dharma or something that people like;
2. Using kind words;
3. Acting for the purpose of benefit to them;
4. Physically working together with them. )
(* The Four Immeasurable Minds: kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and impartiality)
(* The Thirty-seven Aids to Enlightenment:
The thirty-seven kinds of practices for the attainment of enlightenment, they are:
The Four Bases of Mindfulness;
The Four Right Efforts;
The Four Supernatural Abilities;
The Five Roots of Goodness;
The Five Powers;
The Seven Factors of Enlightenment;
The Eightfold Holy Path)
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who forget virtue and lose wisdom will gain Great Ocean Wisdom Seal Samadhi; those who desire the Uncreated Dharma Forbearance will gain the decisive Samadhi of all dharmas, because the nature of dharmas is the same; those who forget the Dharma they heard will gain Non-forgetful Samadhi; those who tirelessly preach virtuous teachings to each others will gain pure wisdom-eyes and be free from the net of doubts; those who do not have faith in the Three Treasures will gain Merits-Accumulating Samadhi; those who are thirsty for Dharma-Rain will gain Dharma-Rain Samadhi; those who hold nihilistic views (uccheda-drsti*) with regard to the Three Treasures will understand the sublime of the Treasures; those who do not cultivate wisdom and do not practice diligently will gain Vajra-Wisdom Samadhi; those who are bound by vexations will gain Empty Space Seal Samadhi; and those who are attached to both Self and the things possessed by Self will gain Wisdom Seal Samadhi.
(* uccheda-drsti: "nihilism", the mistaken view that results from not discerning the principle of cause and effect that centers on the idea that the world or oneself can be destroyed; for example, the idea that once a being dies, there is no future rebirth, or that life is something limited to this world, is the nihilistic view of denying the reception of the fruits of good and evil acts.)
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who do not know that the Tathagata's merits and virtues are perfect will gain the Samadhi of Liberation from the World; those who have not accumulated enough merits in the present of the previous Buddhas will gain many supernatural powers including the Holy-Feet(*) and various transformation abilities; those who are not yet able to preach even one Dharma-Gate will gain the ability of expounding all Dharmas and their natures; those who have not yet mastered all Sutras will understand that the natures of all Dharmas are equal; those who do not comply with the Six Harmony Principles (*) will gain Understanding All Dharmas Samadhi; those who do not think of the liberation will gain the unrestricted supernatural power of Lion's Playing Samadhi; those who wish to enter into the secret of Tathagatas will be able to enter into the treasuries of Tathagatas without consulting any others; those who do not diligently carry out Bodhisattva-Practices will gain the wisdom to practice diligently; those who have not yet seen the Sutras on the legend of the Buddha will gain Everywhere Dwelling Samadhi; and those who are on the Way to Bodhi but have not yet achieved the perfection will gain Mark-Awarding Samadhi.
(* Holy-Feet (rddhi-pratiharya): The supernatural power of unimpeded bodily function, which includes such abilities as flying, reaching anywhere instantly, making oneself invisible, etc. One of the six supernatural powers.)
(* The Six Harmony Principles:
Six ways that Buddhist practitioners should live in harmony and be sensitive and caring towards each other:
1. To unify their respectful deportment to be the same [bodily karma];
2. To unify their chanting [verbal karma];
3. To unify their purpose [mind karma];
4. to unify their practices of purity [precepts];
5. to unify their view;
6. to unify their benefits. )
Furthermore, when the living beings hear my Dharma speech, those who do not fully have the Ten Powers of Tathagatas will gain Indestructible Samadhi; those who do not fully have the Four Fearlessnesses will gain Inexhaustible Meanings Samadhi; those who do not fully have the uncommon characteristics peculiar to the Buddhas will gain Uncommon Characteristics Samadhi; those whose views are not yet free from ignorance will gain Vows Sentences Samadhi; those who are not yet directly awakened to all Buddha-Dharmas will gain Pure White Undefiled Seal Samadhi; those who have not yet obtained the Universal Wisdom (sarva-jnana / omniscience) will gain Perfect Knowledge Samadhi; and those who have not yet accomplished all activities of Buddhas will gain Unbounded and Inexhaustible Dharmas Samadhi.
Such living beings will gain respective faiths and understandings with regard to the Buddha-Dharmas.
Furthermore, there will be some Bodhisattvas whose hearts are straight-forward, ingenuous, and free from perverse minds, when they hear even one sentence of my Dharma speech, they will gain 84 thousand Dharma-Gates, 84 thousand Samadhis, and 75 thousand Dharanis. Furthermore, there will be immeasurable and unbounded Asamkhya Bodhisattvas who cultivate the Great Collection, when they hear my Dharma speech, they will also gain such immeasurable merits and virtues, and stay peacefully at the non-retrogression stage.
By the aid of such merits and virtues, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas will adorn themselves with great sublimities -- they will be able to make unimaginable vows bravely, and enhance their unimaginable wisdom and knowledge to adorn themselves: Their bodies will be adorned with the 32 marks and the 80 minor marks; their mouths will be adorned with their Dharma-speeches preached according to the living beings' likes to make the audiences joyful; their hearts will be adorned with the non-retrograde Samadhis; their mindfulness will be adorned with the non-losable Dharanis; their thoughts will be adorned with their great knowledge; and their achievements will be adorned with the ultimate Awakening.
Furthermore, they will be adorned with virtuous wishes so that they will keep their vows firmly, practice diligently, and reach the other shore [of liberation] as they wish; they will be adorned with concentration so that they will achieve the cultivation stages step by step; they will be adorned with charity so that they will give out everything; they will be adorned with precept-keeping so that their hearts will be pure white, clean, and undefiled; they will be adorned with forbearance so that they will regard all living beings impartially; they will be adorned with diligence so that all their works will be accomplished; they will be adorned with Dhyana so that from all Samadhis they will gain the power of Lion's playing; they will be adorned with wisdom so that they will understand the causes of all afflictions and habits; they will be adorned with kindness so that they will be mindful of every living being absorbedly; they will be adorned with compassion so that they will not abandon any living being; they will be adorned with joy so that they will have no doubt on any Dharma; they will be adorned with relinquishment so that praises and slanders will not be different for them; they will be adorned with supernatural powers so that they will have the supernatural ability of playing everything; they will be adorned with blessings so that they will gain the precious hand of inexhaustible treasuries; they will be adorned with wisdom so that they will know all living beings' thoughts; they will be adorned with awakening so that they will awaken all living beings using virtuous Dharmas; they will be adorned with brightness so that they will have the illuminating wisdom eyes; they will be adorned with eloquence so that they will be able to explain the meanings of Dharmas with proper words; they will be adorned with fearlessness so that they will defeat all demons and incorrect theories; they will be adorned with merits and virtues so that they will gain the unsurpassed merits and virtues of the Buddhas; they will be adorned with Dharmas so that they will speak Dharmas for living beings with countless figures of speech; they will be adorned with illumination so that they will be illuminated by all Buddha-Dharmas; they will be adorned with light so that they will illuminate all Buddha-Worlds; they will be adorned with Dharma-speaking so that they will gain the proper wisdom which allow them to remember things correctly; they will be adorned with teaching so that they will be able to keep precepts in accord with their preaching; they will be adorned with supernatural abilities so that they will gain the Four Holy Feet which allow them to reach the other shore [of liberation]; they will be adorned with the enhancements given by all Tathagatas so that they will enter into the secrets of the Tathagatas; they will be adorned with the unrestricted power so that they will gain the independent wisdom; and they will be adorned with their compliance with all virtuous Dharmas so that they will practice in accord with the Buddhas' teachings and no one will be able to make them retrograde.
-- I wish that those living beings will gain all such merits, virtues and benefits.
For the countless Asamkhya living beings who seek Mahayana, I wish that even one sentence of my Dharma-speech will fill them with the pure white virtuous Dharmas, so that such Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas will gain the wisdom on all dharmas without consulting any others, attain the great Dharma-light, and achieve Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi quickly.
Bhagavan, in the other worlds, there will be living beings who commit the five heinous sins, violate the four grave prohibitions, have burnt and withered hearts, or seek the Voice-Hearers'(Sravaka) Vehicle, Conditional-Awakeners'(Pratyeka-buddha) Vehicle, or the Great Vehicle (Mahayana). When they are reborn in my Buddha-World by the power of the vows, they will have many non-virtuous faculties and enjoy evils, they will be rough, tough, have inverse views, and have difficulty concentrating their minds. For such living beings disturbed by the 84000 moving paths of their hearts, I will widely speak the 84000 Dharmas, each Dharma treats one of the disturbances. For the living beings among them who seek the unsurpassed Mahayana, I will explain in full the six Paramitas, including the Dana (giving) Paramita unto Prajna Paramita. For the living beings among them who seek the Voice-Hearers' Vehicle or the Conditional-Awakeners' Vehicle but have not planted virtuous roots and wish to learn from the Buddhas, I will make them first take refuge in the three treasures, and then practice the six Paramitas.
For those who enjoy killing, I will make them stop killing; for those who commit crimes due to their greed, I will make them not to steal; for those who commit sexual misconducts, I will make them keep away from such immoral behaviors; for those who deliberately slander each others, I will make them not to slander; for those who enjoy inebriation, I will make them not to drink alcohol. -- For the living beings with such five illnesses, I will make them keep the five precepts of Upasaka (Lay-persons).
For those living beings who do not like any virtuous Dharmas, I wish that I can make them keep the eight precepts for at least one day and one night;
For those who have few virtuous roots and slightly enjoy virtuous Dharmas, I will make them get closer to my Dharmas, become monks, keep the ten precepts, and stay in the Brahma-practice;
For those who desire virtuous Dharmas, I will make them keep the Complete Precepts of virtuous Dharmas, and all stay in the Brahma-practice;
For such living beings who commit the sins leading to uninterrupted hells and who lose control of their minds, I shall speak Dharmas for them using various words, sentences, languages, and supernatural manifestations. I will reveal to them the five skandhas(*), the eighteen realms (astadasa-dhatavah)(*), the twelve loci(*), and the Dharmas on impermanence, sufferings, emptiness, and no-self, to make them stay in the virtuous, peaceful, stable, wonderful, and tranquil city of Nirvana.
(* The five skandhas:
1. form - matter in general;
2. feeling - receptive or sensory function;
3. perception - images that surface in the mind;
4. impulse - will, intention, or the mental function that accounts for craving. The power of formation potential.
5. consciousness - the cognitive, or discriminating function. Knowing through discrimination.)
(* The eighteen realms:
The eighteen compositional elements of human existence, including the six roots [six sense faculties], the six defilements [their six objects], and the six consciousnesses.
* The six roots are:
Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind.
* The six defilements are:
Forms/phenomena, sound, smell, flavor, touch, and things.
* The six consciousnesses are:
Eye consciousnesses, ear consciousnesses, nose consciousnesses, tongue consciousnesses, body consciousnesses, and mind consciousnesses.)
(* The twelve loci: the six roots and the six defilements)
I will also speak such Dharmas for the fourfold assembly that consists of Bhiksus(monks), Bhiksunis(nuns), Upasakas(laymen), and Upasikas(laywomen).
For those who like to hear theories, I will speak the theories of correct Dharmas; for those who seek the liberation, I will speak the theories on the emptiness; for those who do not like virtuous dharmas, I will persuade them to do good deeds; for those who like virtuous Dharmas, I will tell them to recite and study Dharmas, and expound the emptiness, Samadhis, and the true liberation.
For each of such living beings, I will walk hundreds of thousands of Yojanas without using supernatural powers, to reveal to him the countless and various expedient means [to the liberation]; and in order to make him understand the meanings of my words, I will manifest various supernatural transformations or even appear as entering Nirvana -- I will never be tired of doing so.
Bhagavan, by the power of Samadhi, I will hide my fifth part of lifespan and enter into Nirvana, and at that time, I will shatter my own body to pieces of Shariras(relics) each as big as half of a mustard seed -- Out of compassion for living beings, I will enter into Nirvana.
After my Nirvana, let my Proper Dharma dwell in the world for one thousand years, and my Semblance Dharma dwell in the world for five hundred years.'"
(End of Chapter 16)
(Last revised: Oct/03/2007)
Chapter 17: The Vows on the Supernatural Transformations of the Shariras
After my Nirvana, if any living being makes offerings to my Shariras with treasures or music, or, in front of my Shariras, says "Namo Buddha" even once, or makes obeisance just once, or circumambulate it clockwise even once, or joins his palms even once, or makes an offering of just one flower -- out of this cause, he will achieve the non-retrograde stage in any of the Three Vehicles, according to his wish.
After my Nirvana, if any living being can uphold even one precept that comes from my Dharmas and can comply with it as I taught, or if he can read or recite even as few as four gathas, speak them for others and make the hearers delightful, and the hearers can make an offering to the Dharma-teacher with even one flower or one obeisance, then, all of them will respectively achieve the non-retrograde stages in any of the Three Vehicles according to their wishes.
As far as when the correct Dharmas vanish, the Dharma-torch quenches, and the Dharma-flag falls down, my Shariras will sink into the Gold Wheel Position. At that time, the Saha world lacks treasures, therefore, let my Shariras transform into flaming bright beryl named Superior-Mind, emerge from the Gold Wheel Position, ascend to Akanistha heaven, and rain down multifarious flowers, including Mandara flowers, Maha-Mandara flowers, Paricitra flowers, Manjusaka flowers, Maha-Manjusaka flowers, Rocamona flowers, Dhara flowers, Maha-dhara flowers, Undefiled Wheel Flowers, Hundred-petaled flowers, Thousand-petaled flowers, Hundred thousand-petaled flowers, Universal Light flowers, Universal Fragrance flowers, Virtuous Joy flowers, Sato flowers, Rocana flowers, Joy-Limitation Moonlight flowers, Bright Moon flowers, Countless Colored flowers, Countless Fragrances flowers, and Countless Light flowers.
During such a great rain, those flowers will also utter multifarious gentle sounds, including the sounds of Buddhas, sounds of Dharmas, sounds of Sanghas, sounds of taking refuge in the three treasures, sounds of Upasaka precepts, sounds of the holy eight precepts, sounds of the monks' ten precepts, sounds of giving, sounds of precept-keeping, sounds of pure Brahma-practices and the complete great precepts, sounds of persuading and teaching, sounds of sutra-reading and reciting, sounds of Dhyana and meditations, sounds of contemplating the unclean, sounds of meditating on inhales and exhalations, sounds of the neither-thought-nor-no-thought concentrations, sounds of the nothingness concentrations, sounds of the immeasurable consciousnesses concentrations, sounds of the immeasurable emptiness concentrations, sounds of the eight victorious stages, sounds of the ten ubiquitous things, sounds of the stopping and contemplations, sounds of emptiness, sounds of the formless, sounds of non-action, sounds of the twelve interconnected causes, sounds of the complete Dharma-Store of Voice-hearers, sounds of the complete Dharma-Store of Pratyeka-buddhas, and sounds of the full speech on the six Paramitas of Mahayana.