Mahayana Sutra of the Illuminating Everywhere Radiance-Store Wordless Dharma Door

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by The Tripitaka Master Divakara


Thus I have heard:
At one time the Buddha was dwelling in the city of Rajagrha near the Vulture Peak Mountain, together with a multitude of innumerable hundreds, thousands, kotis, and nayutas of great Bodhisattvas and bhiksus. These Bodhisattavas have all gained great wisdom and skill for helping others, and they all can penetrate the wordless Dharma store. Delighting in speaking eloquently, they have never contradicted either the truth or worldly knowledge. Through fierce valiance and energetic progress, they have forever left the five coverings and the ten fetters. Having tamed their sense faculties, they cling to nothing. They pity sentient beings as they would pity an only son. They love and prize knowledge of true reality as a great treasure island. Assuming sense of shame and dishonor as their body, they take meditation and wisdom as their head. Great lovingkindness and compassion being their basic nature, they know dharmas that are good or not good, real or not real. They stand on the victorious, wondrous Ground, illuminating the two emptinesses. Having received great names, they remain serene and peaceful. They are determined to carry out the supreme Dharma. Having forever left the base and inferior body through the womb, they nevertheless have manifested rebirth in order to guard the territory [of the Dharma]. Whatever they have implemented is universally good and worthy. Having left the Threefold Realm of Existence, they can rescue the Threefold Realm of Existence. Their pure actions are good for themselves and for others as well.

Among those who have achieved all such virtues are Superb Pondering Bodhisattava, Superb Journey Bodhisattva, Wonderful Sound Bodhisattva, Beautiful Sound Bodhisattva, Eloquence Complete Bodhisattva, Eloquence Gathered Bodhisattva, Pearl Topknot Bodhisattva, Thousand Spoke Bodhisattva, Dharma Net Bodhisattva, Dharma Echo Bodhisattva, Lotus Face Bodhisattva, Lotus Eye Bodhisattva, Upholding the Earth Bodhisattva, Upholding the World Bodhisattva, and Sound Pervading the Great Earth Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva-Mahasattavas such as these, all in the likeness of youths, along with their respective retinues, were at the head of this multitude.

At that time Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva was surrounded by an innumerable, countless multitude of Bodhisattvas who had nectar sprinkled on their heads and their missions assigned. Great Might Arrived Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable kotis of great Brahma gods. Superb Pondering Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable Bodhisattvas and the god-king Sakra. Space Store Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable gods led by the four god-kings. Recognized-by-All Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable goddesses. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Away from Doubt Bodhisattva, View of Nonemptiness Bodhisattva, Ending All Obscuration Bodhisattva, Immeasurable Skillfulness Medicine King Bodhisattva, and Medicine Superior Bodhisattva were each surrounded by innumerable multitudes of Bodhisattvas.

The Elder Sariputra, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakasyapa, and others were each surrounded by great Arhats. From all the worlds in the ten directions which are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, the sons of the sun gods and moon gods each came with awesome lights to the place where the Buddha was. However, because of the spiritual powers of the Buddha, their lights were unable to shine, dark as pooled ink matched against the gold from the river Jambu. Moreover, innumerable Narayana gods as well as the dragon-king Water Divinity Taksaka, the dragon-king Anavatapta, and others were each surrounded by their retinues. The gandharva-king Beautiful Sound was also surrounded by an innumerable multitude of gandharvas. The garu?a-king Turbidity-free was surrounded by the retinues of seven koti garuda-kings.

From the worlds in the ten directions which are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, Bodhisattvas, with the permission of their own Buddhas, all came to this Saha World, along with their retinues. Having presented splendid supra-worldly offerings to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, they each bowed down at the feet of the Buddha. Then they stepped back to one side, sat down on the lotus seats, and gazed reverently at the World-Honored One.

At that time Superb Pondering Bodhisattva-Mahasattva rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, and knelt on his right knee. Joining his palms and facing the Buddha, he said, "World-Honored One, for the sake of the four groups of Your disciples, I would like to ask the Tathagatha the meanings of two thoughts. I pray only that the Tathagata will explain them to me, so as to enable all of us to receive benefits."

At that time the World-Honored One said to Superb Pondering Bodhisattva, "Would the Tathagata appear in the world for just one sentient being? It is for benefiting innumerable sentient beings that he has appeared in the world. Good man, you now are able to ask me, for the sake of the four groups, the meanings of two thoughts. I will answer you according to your questions."

Then Super Pondering Bodhisattva, with the Buddha's permission, asked the Buddha, "What dharmas should Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas eradicate or safeguard? Furthermore, what dharmas has the Tathagata perceived and verified? I pray that You will explain these two meanings to me."

At that time the Buddha praised Superb Pondering Bodhisattva, saying, "Very good! Very good! Good man, you have accomplished immeasurable merit and wisdom. Furthermore, by virtue of the awesome spiritual powers of the Tathagata, you are able to ask me these meanings. Hearken! Hearken! Ponder them well. I will explain them separately to you.

"Good man, there is a dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is greed. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is anger. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is delusion. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is clinging to the view of self. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is indolence. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is torpor. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is impure love. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is doubt. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is ignorance. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate. Good man, such dharmas as stated above, Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should eradicate.

"Good man, you ask me what dharmas Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should safeguard. I now tell you. Good man, there is a dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should always safeguard. What is this dharma? Namely, they should not persuade others to do what they themselves do not want to do. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should always safeguard. Why? If Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas safeguard this dharma, they in effect safeguard the entire precept store of Buddha-Tathagatas. For example, those Bodhisattvas who love their own lives should not take the lives of other sentient beings. Those who love their own possessions should not take things not given. Those who love their wives should not take liberties [with other women]. Those who love honest words should not deceive others. Those who love harmony should not divide others. Those who love uprightness should not be devious and suggestive. Those who love gentleness should not scold abusively. Those who love contentment should not be greedy. Those who love kind forgiveness should not get angry with others. Those who love the right views should not cause others to develop the wrong views.

"Good man, when Bodhisattvas such as these earnestly announce 'I now respect and follow the true teachings of the Tathagata. I should diligently safeguard this Dharma,' this is what it is meant by Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas safeguarding this one Dharma. Good man, I see Bodhisattvas such as these seeking the unsurpassed great bodhi. They all seek bodhi for happiness; no one seeks it for suffering. Good man, that is why I say this: Do not persuade others to do what you yourself do not want to do. Dharmas such as these, Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should safeguard."

At that time Superb Pondering Bodhisattva next asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, what kind of dharmas has the Tathagata perceived and verified? I pray only that You will expound its meaning to me."

The Buddha replied, "Good man, there is not a single dharma that the Tathagata has perceived or verified. Why not? No perception and no verification with respect to all dharmas are what the Tathagata has perceived and verified. Good man, as the Tathagata has perceived and verified, dharmas have never come into existence. As the Tathagata has perceived and verified, dharmas have never gone into nonexistence. As the Tathagata has perceived and verified, the true nature of all dharmas is apart from such dualities. As the Tathagata has perceived and verified, dharmas have never had any true reality.

"Furthermore, good man, all dharmas [in appearance] are born from the forces of karmic causes and conditions. These causes and conditions change from ksana to ksana like a flash of lightning. Such karmic conditions the Tathagata has perceived and verified. Therefore, I say that from causes and conditions all dharmas are born and that from causes and conditions all dharmas perish. Without causes and conditions, there would be no karmic requitals. Matters such as these the Tathagata has perceived. Good man, the nature of all dharmas perceived as such is called the Illuminating Everwhere Radiance Store. Good man, why is dharma nature named Store? Because sentient beings' worldly and supra-worldly knowledge depends on this Store and arises from it. If one observes dharma nature with the understanding of emptiness, one's knowledge of true reality will arise from dharma nature. That is why dharma nature is called Store.

"Furthermore, good man, I also say that all dharmas are like illusions, like mirages, and like the moon in the water. Matters such as these the Tathagata has perceived and verified. Moreover, good man, the nature of all dharmas is in liberation of one flavor. Matters such as these the Tathagata has perceived and verified. Good man, this dharma nature in liberation of one flavor is named the Illuminating Everywhere Radiance Store.

"Furthermore, good man, there is another dharma that the Tathagata has perceived and verified. What is this dharma? Namely, dharmas [in true reality] are not formed through causes or conditions. They neither are born nor perish, neither increase nor decrease, neither come nor go, and can be neither grasped nor waived. Dharmas such as these the Tathagata has perceived and verified.

"Furthermore, good man, the Tathagata clearly understands that dharmas have no self-nature, something which cannot be described by metaphor or explained by words. Dharmas such as these the Tathagata has perceived and verified. Good man, these dharmas as stated above, the Tathagata has perceived and verified."

When the Buddha pronounced this Illuminating Everywhere Radiance-Store Wordless Dharma, Bodhisattvas as numerous as dust particles attained the Tenth Ground, and innumerable Bodhisattvas attained other Grounds. Innumerable Bodhisattvas accomplished hundreds of thousands of great samadhis. Sentient beings as innumerable as dust particles activated the anuttara-samyak-sambodhi mind. Innumerable, boundless sentient beings achieved the fruit, Arhatship. Innumerable, boundless sentient beings were liberated from their various kinds of sufferings in hell or as hungry ghosts or animals. They were reborn in heavens to enjoy fabulous pleasures. None of those present in the assembly found their attendance a waste. None of them ended up empty-handed.

At that time the Buddha said to Rahula, "Good man, I want you to uphold this Dharma of mine."

When the 99 koti Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in that assembly heard these words, by virtue of the spiritual powers of the Buddha, they said to the Buddha, " World-Honored One, we vow that at the latter time and latter stage of this Saha World, when we see those who are capable of being Dharma vessels, we will pronounce this Sutra to them. We pray only that the World-Honored One will not be worried."

At that time the four god-kings also said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, if in future times, among good men and good women, there are those who can uphold this Sutra, we will support them and fulfill their wishes. Why? Because these good men or women who can uphold this Sutra are Dharma vessels."

At that time the World-Honored One, having seen these 99 koti Bodhisattvas and the four god-kings make such pledges, spoke these words: "Good men, this Illuminating Everywhere Radiance-Store Wordless Dharma Door I just pronounced is what I have not expounded since I attained Buddhahood. To you all I have expounded it today! Good men, if sentient beings in future times are able to hear this rare Dharma Door, you should know that they have already accomplished immeasurable merit and wisdom. You should know that they are in effect serving me and making offerings to me. You should know that they are in effect shouldering the great bodhi of the Buddha. You should know that they will certainly have command of eloquence. You should know that they will certainly arrive in pure Buddha Lands. You should know that when their lives come to an end, they will certainly see Amitabha Buddha, surrounded by a large assembly of Bodhisattvas. You should know that they will constantly see me at the Vulture Peak Mountain and see a multitude of Bodhisattvas like these here. You should know that they have already acquired the inexhaustible Dharma store. You should know that they will gain past-life knowledge. You should know that they will never go down to evil life-paths.

"Furthermore, good men, I now have pronounced this Dharma, which was unavailable to you before. Suppose in future times, among good men and good women, there are those who have committed sins such as the five rebellious acts. If they have heard this Dharma Door, whether they can copy this Sutra, read and recite it, or explain it, whether they persuade others to copy it, read and recite it, or explain it, I can see that these individuals will not go down to evil life-paths. Their three hindrances-afflictions, karmas, and retributions-will all be purified. In a future life these individuals will achieve the five eyes. They will have nectar sprinkled on their heads by all Buddhas. These individuals will be protected and remembered by all Buddha-Bhagavans. When they are reborn in the future, their sense faculties will definitely be complete, with nothing missing."

After the Buddha had pronounced this Sutra, Superb Pondering Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and others, as well as the bhiksus and the eight classes of Dharma protectors such as gods and dragons, having heard what the Buddha had said, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.

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