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Sūtra 5  (posted 04/2007, updated 07/2009)


大乘遍照光明藏無字法門經
Mahāyāna Sūtra of the Illuminating Everywhere Radiance-Store Wordless Dharma Door

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Tang Dynasty
by
The Tripiṭaka Master Divākara

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Buddha was dwelling in the city of Rājagṛha near the Vulture Peak Mountain, together with innumerable hundreds, thousands, koṭis, and nayutas of great Bodhisattvas and bhikṣus.
    These Bodhisattavas have all gained great wisdom and skillful means, and they all can penetrate the wordless Dharma store. Delighting in speaking eloquently, they have never contradicted truth or worldly knowledge. Through valiant and energetic progress, they have forever discarded the five coverings and the ten fetters. Having tamed their faculties, they are attached to nothing. They pity sentient beings as they would pity an only son. They prize wisdom-knowledge as they do a great treasure island. Assuming a 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 bad, real or unreal. They stand on the superb Ground, [their wisdom] illuminating the two emptinesses. Having received great names, they remain serene and peaceful. They are resolved to train in the supreme Dharma. Having forever left the base and inferior body born through the womb, they nevertheless have manifested rebirth in order to guard the domain [of the Dharma]. Whatever they have implemented is universally good and worthy. Having left the Three Realms of Existence, they can rescue the Three Realms of Existence. Their pure actions are good for themselves and for others as well.
    Among those who have acquired all such merits are Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva, Excellent Journey Bodhisattva, Wonderful Tone Bodhisattva, Beautiful Tone Bodhisattva, Eloquence Fulfilled 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-Mahāsattavas such as these, all in the likeness of youths, along with their respective retinues, were at the head of this multitude. Avalokiteśvara 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 koṭis of great Brahma gods. Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable Bodhisattvas and the god-king Śakra. Space Store Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable gods led by the four god-kings. Recognized-by-All Bodhisattva was surrounded by innumerable goddess-daughters. Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Free from Doubt Bodhisattva, Seeing Non-emptiness Bodhisattva, Ending All Coverings Bodhisattva, Immeasurable Skillfulness Medicine King Bodhisattva, and Medicine Superior Bodhisattva were each surrounded by an innumerable multitude of Bodhisattvas.
    The Elder Śariputra, Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Mahākāśyapa, and others were each surrounded by great Arhats. From all worlds in the ten directions, which are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, the sons of the sun gods and moon gods, with awesome radiance, each came to the place where the Buddha was. However, because of the spiritual power of the Buddha, their radiance, unable to shine, was dark as pooled ink matched against the gold from the Jambū River. Innumerable Nārāyaṇa gods, as well as the dragon-king Water Sky Takṣaka, the dragon-king Anavatapta, and others, were each surrounded by their retinues. The gandharva-king Beautiful Tone was also surrounded by an innumerable multitude of gandharvas. The garuḍa-king Turbidity-free was surrounded by a retinue of seven koṭi garuḍas.
    From worlds in the ten directions, which are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, Bodhisattvas, with the permission of their own Buddhas, along with their retinues, all came to this Sahā World. 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 lotus flower seats, and gazed reverently at the World-Honored One.
    Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva 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 His four groups of disciples, I would like to ask the Tathāgatha the meanings of two thoughts. I pray only that the Tathāgata will explain them to me, so as to enable all of us to receive benefits."
    The World-Honored One told Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva, "Would the Tathāgata 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 my four groups of disciples, the meanings of two thoughts. I will answer you according to your questions."
    Then Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva, with the Buddha's permission, asked the Buddha, "What dharmas should Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas eradicate or safeguard? Moreover, what dharmas has the Tathāgata perceived and verified? I pray only that the Tathāgata will explain these two meanings to me."
    The Buddha praised Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva, saying, "Very good! Very good! Good man, you have acquired immeasurable merit and wisdom. Moreover, by virtue of the awesome spiritual power of the Tathāgata, 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-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is greed. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is anger. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is delusion. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is the wrong view that there is a self in one. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is indolence. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is torpor. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is impure love. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is doubt. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, there is another dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. What is this dharma? It is ignorance. Such a dharma Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate. Good man, such dharmas as stated before, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should eradicate.
    "Good man, you ask me what dharmas Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas should safeguard. I now tell you. Good man, there is a dharma that Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas 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-Mahāsattvas should always safeguard. Why? If Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas safeguard this dharma, they in effect safeguard the entire precepts store of Buddha-Tathāgatas. For example, those who love their own lives should not take other sentient beings' lives. Those who love their own possessions should not take things not given. Those who love their own 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 viciously. 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 elicit the wrong views.
    "Good man, when Bodhisattvas such as these earnestly announce 'I now respect and follow the true Dharma of the Tathāgata. I should diligently safeguard this Dharma,' this is what is meant by Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas safeguarding the one Dharma. Good man, I see Bodhisattvas such as these seek 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-Mahāsattvas should safeguard."
    At that time Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva next asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, what kind of dharmas has the Tathāgata perceived and verified? I pray only that He will expound its meaning to me."
    The Buddha replied, "Good man, there is not a single dharma that the Tathāgata has perceived or verified. Why not? No perception and no verification of dharmas are what the Tathāgata has perceived and verified. Good man, as the Tathāgata has perceived and verified, dharmas have never come into existence. As the Tathāgata has perceived and verified, dharmas have never gone into nonexistence. As the Tathāgata has perceived and verified, the true nature of all dharmas is apart from such dualities. As the Tathāgata has perceived and verified, all dharmas have never had any reality.
    "Moreover, good man, all dharmas [in appearance] arise from the forces of karmic causes and conditions. These causes and conditions change from kṣaṇa to kṣaṇa, like a flash of lightning. Such karmic conditions, the Tathāgata has perceived and verified. Therefore, I say that through causes and conditions all dharmas are born and that through causes and conditions all dharmas perish. Without causes and conditions, there would be no karmic requitals. Matters such as these, the Tathāgata has perceived. Good man, the nature of all dharmas perceived as such is called the Illuminating Everywhere Radiance Store. Good man, why is dharma nature called the Store? Because sentient beings' worldly and supra-worldly knowledge relies on and arises from this Store. If one observes dharma nature, one's wisdom-knowledge of true reality will arise from dharma nature. That is why dharma nature is called the 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 Tathāgata has perceived and verified. Moreover, good man, the nature of all dharmas is in the one flavor of liberation. Matters such as these, the Tathāgata has perceived and verified. Good man, dharma nature in the one flavor of liberation is called the Illuminating Everywhere Radiance Store.
    "Furthermore, good man, there is another dharma that the Tathāgata has perceived and verified. What is this dharma? Namely, dharmas [in true reality] have neither birth nor death, neither increase nor decrease. They are neither coming nor going, neither causes nor conditions, and are beyond acceptance and rejection. Dharmas such as these, the Tathāgata has perceived and verified.
    "Furthermore, good man, the Tathāgata clearly understands that dharmas have no self-essence, and cannot be described by metaphor or explained by words. Dharmas such as these, the Tathāgata has perceived and verified. Good man, these dharmas as stated before, the Tathāgata 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 attained 100,000 great samādhis. Sentient beings as innumerable as dust particles activated the anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi mind. Innumerable, boundless sentient beings achieved the voice-hearer fruit of Arhatship. Innumerable, boundless sentient beings as hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, or animals were liberated from their various kinds of suffering. 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.
    Then the Buddha said to Rāhula, "Good man, I want you to uphold this Dharma of mine."
    When the 99 koṭi Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas in that assembly heard these words, by virtue of the spiritual power of the Buddha, they said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, we vow that, at the latter time and latter stage of this Sahā World, when we see those who are capable of being Dharma vessels, we will pronounce this sūtra 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 sūtra, we will support them and fulfill their wishes. Why? Because these good men and good women who can uphold this sūtra are Dharma vessels."
    The World-Honored One, having seen these 99 koṭi 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, we know that they have already acquired immeasurable merit and wisdom; that they in effect serve me and make offerings to me; that they in effect carry on the great bodhi of the Buddha; that they will certainly achieve command of eloquence; that they will certainly arrive in pure Buddha Lands; that when their lives come to an end, they will certainly see Amitābha Buddha, surrounded by a large multitude of Bodhisattvas; that they will constantly see me on the Vulture Peak Mountain and see a multitude of Bodhisattvas like these here; that they have already acquired the inexhaustible Dharma store; that they will gain past-life knowledge; and that they will never go down the 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 copy this sūtra, 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 the evil life-paths. Their three hindrances—afflictions, karmas, and requitals—will all be annihilated. In a future life they will acquire the five eyes. They will have nectar sprinkled on their heads by all Buddhas. These individuals will be protected and remembered by all Buddha-Bhagavāns and Bodhisattvas. Wherever they are reborn in the future, their faculties will definitely be complete, with nothing missing."
    After the Buddha pronounced this sūtra, Excellent Thinking Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva and others, as well as the bhikṣus and the eight classes of Dharma protectors, such as gods and dragons, having heard the Buddha's words, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.


Mahāyāna Sūtra of the Illuminating Everywhere Radiance-Store Wordless Dharma Door
Translated from the Chinese Canon (CBETA, T17n0830)


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