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Sūtra 6  (posted 04/2007, updated 04/2009)

Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of the Tathāgata's Inconceivable State

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

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Buddha attained samyak-saṁbodhi under the bodhi tree in the kingdom of Magadha. This bodhi tree was called Aśvattha and it had firm deep roots. Its trunk was straight, rounded, and without joints, like a sandalwood column. Birds circled this tree, but none were able to fly over it. The tree bark was fine and lustrous, with various colors, like beautiful silk. The dense foliage was bright green, spreading over multitudinous branches. Surrounding this tree were wonderful flowers in full bloom, emitting fragrances. They were so lovely. Except for the celestial kovidāra tree and pārijāta tree, no other trees could compare. Furthermore, surrounded by innumerable small trees, this tree-king was magnificent and elegant, like a wonderful high mountain overlooking other mountains. All could see it from the distance of one yojana away. In the midst of fragrances wafting everywhere, it radiated glorious light. This tree seen from a distance at night might be taken as a bunch of fireworks. Under this tree there was beautiful landscaping, like a joyous garden, open to the four directions. Beside the fragrant blooms, the lush grass was splendid, like the neck of the peacock-king. Viewers never tired of beholding it.
    At this place sat majestically the Tathāgata, surrounded by the multitude, like the moon in the midst of stars. Meanwhile, Buddhas from elsewhere, as numerous as dust particles in ten Buddha Lands, for the purpose of adorning the multitude in Vairocana's bodhimaṇḍa, assumed the forms of Bodhisattvas and came to be seated in this assembly. Among them were Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, Earth Store Bodhisattva, Space Store Bodhisattva, Vajra Store Bodhisattva, Vimalakīrti Bodhisattva, Good Awesome Light Bodhisattva, Eliminating Obscuration Bodhisattva, Jewel Hand Bodhisattva, Great Wisdom Bodhisattva, and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas such as these were at the head of this assembly. Moreover, innumerable thousands of koṭis of Bodhisattvas, appearing as voice-hearers, also came to be seated in this assembly. At the head of this group were Śāriputra, Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Subhūti, Rāhula, Ajñātakauṇḍinya, Mahākāśyapa, Upāli, Aniruddha, Revata, Ānanda, Devadatta, Upananda, and others. Having long cultivated the six pāramitās, they were getting near the bodhi of a Buddha. For converting sentient beings in this defiled land, they manifested the forms of voice-hearers. Moreover, led by Mahāprajāpatī, there were innumerable thousands of bhikṣuṇīs. These bhikṣuṇīs all had accomplished the deeds of great men. For taming inadequate sentient beings, they appeared in female forms. Moreover, there were innumerable Brahma-kings, Śakras, and world protectors, as well as gods, dragons, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, Kiṁnaras, mahoragas, humans, nonhumans, and others. They all were great Bodhisattvas, and none were ordinary beings.
    At that time the World-Honored One, sitting under the bodhi tree, was sublime, pure, and wondrous, like a wish-fulfilling jewel under the pārijāta tree. Steady like Mount Sumeru, His mind never moved away from right mindfulness. To make Bodhisattvas and sentient beings understand the awesome spiritual powers of the profound secret dhyāna of Buddhas, He entered the samādhi which is called the Tathāgata's Inconceivable State. Instantly, the thirty-two major marks of the World-Honored One each manifested innumerable Buddha Lands in the ten directions and their Buddhas, just like images reflected in a clear mirror. Moreover, the eighty minor signs of the Buddha each displayed His training in the Bodhisattva Way in the past, from the time when He had been the king Great Radiance up to the time [when He had trained] at the place where Dīpaṁkara Buddha had been. All His difficult actions and ascetic practices were displayed, such as giving away His head, eyes, body, skin, flesh, hands, and feet, as well as wives, servants, thrones, palaces, and so forth.
    Great mighty power arises from this samādhi. All Buddhas are constantly in this samādhi as they eat, walk, expound the Dharma, or enter parinirvāṇa. Why? Because all Tathāgatas who rely on this samādhi have achieved immeasurable great, awesome spiritual powers and even have verified that all dharmas are empty. They can freely manifest various kinds of things in all Buddha Lands in the ten directions. For example, a person sees various kinds of magical things in a dream. When he wakes up, what he has seen is gone. Similarly, ordinary beings, living in a dream fabricated by ignorance, wrongly think that phenomena are real things. On the other hand, Buddhas, who are awakened, do not take anything as real. Hence, they can freely manifest immeasurable Buddha work in a single thought, so as to benefit sentient beings and help them succeed, enabling them to enter the immeasurable profound, wondrous Liberation Door.
    At that time Virtue Store Bodhisattva, who had not yet completed his training in the Bodhi Way, asked Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, "What is the name of the samādhi that the Tathāgata has just entered? How can it be acquired? Why is He able to manifest freely various kinds of Buddha work in order to deliver sentient beings in all the worlds in the ten directions?"
    Then Samantabhadra Bodhisattva said to Virtue Store Bodhisattva, "Hearken! Hearken! I will explain to you."
    Meanwhile, all other Bodhisattvas single-mindedly gazed at him respectfully, praising with one voice: "How good the question is! How profound and wonderful! Noble Samantabhadra, who knows and sees all, is now going to speak."
    Forthwith, the earth quaked in six different ways, the sky rained down wonderful flowers, and all sentient beings in afflictions and miseries found temporary relief.
    Samantabhadra Bodhisattva said, "Buddha-son, this samādhi is called the Tathāgata's Inconceivable State. It is in effect the bodhi of all Buddhas because they constantly stay in it. The World-Honored One immediately entered this samādhi as soon as Dīpaṁkara Buddha bestowed upon Him the prophecy of Buddhahood. Without making any effort, he has since spontaneously manifested immeasurable Buddha work. That is, on the tip of a hair in space, there are Buddha Worlds as numerous as the dust particles in all Buddha Lands. He demonstrates in these worlds such events—whether He is born in Tuṣita Heaven; whether He descends from that heaven and enters His mother's womb; whether He becomes a newborn child and walks seven steps, announcing, 'I now am at the edge of the cycle of life and death'; whether he stays in the palace and then renounces family life to undertake ascetic practices; whether he subjugates the māras, attains samyak-saṁbodhi, and turns the wondrous Dharma wheel; whether He stays in the world and delivers sentient beings for innumerable kalpas, enabling them to leave their suffering; whether He enters parinirvāṇa. He manifests either all kalpas equaling one kṣaṇa or one kṣaṇa equaling all kalpas, while each kalpa and each kṣaṇa neither increases nor decreases. As long as sentient beings have not all been liberated, kṣaṇa after kṣaṇa, He constantly does these various kinds of Buddha work everywhere in these worlds, never taking rest, nor never making any effort.
    "Just as He, without making any effort, manifests, thought after thought, various kinds of awe-inspiring deportment and rules of Buddhas in the innumerable lands on the tip of one hair in space, so too he manifests them even on the tips of immeasurable hairs all over space. Moreover, each of the dust particles of these lands contains lands greater in number than the dust particles of all Buddha Lands. In one kṣaṇa, everywhere in each of these lands, the awe-inspiring deportment carried out by all Buddhas is spontaneously displayed. They may be born in heavens, or enter parinirvāṇa, or liberate immeasurable asaṁkhyeyas of sentient beings. In the same way, thought after thought endlessly into the future, Buddhas are constantly doing Buddha work to benefit sentient beings. They never rest even when space and the realm of sentient beings come to an end. [In true reality,] Buddha Lands never decrease, and dust particles never increase. Why? Because all dharmas are like mirages and are not firm.
    "For example, in this assembly, great Bodhisattvas as numerous as the dust particles of ten Buddha Worlds are staying together, without jamming one another, in this kingdom of Magadha, only twelve yojanas across. Similarly, each of those dust particles contains innumerable Buddha Worlds. Some of these worlds face upward, and others face downward. Some face each other, and others face outward. Some are alongside one another, and others are interpenetrating, without obstructing one another. By analogy, one may see in a dream various kinds of things at the same place. Because they are not real, they do not exclude one another.
    "All these lands are nothing but the manifestations of one's mind: whether fire burning at the ending of a kalpa, or the fire already burnt out; whether a world being formed by winds; whether clean or filthy things, or the absence of a Buddha. Sentient beings perceive various kinds of distinctions according to their karmas. For example, driven by hunger and thirst, hungry ghosts go to the Ganges. Some of them see water, but others see the river filled with impure things, such as ash, pus, blood, and feces. In the same way, all sentient beings each follow their karmas. One may see one's own Buddha Land as pure or impure. One may see the Buddha living or entering parinirvāṇa. One may see Him in a bodhimaṇḍa, pronouncing the Dharma to the multitude. One may hear Him pronouncing the highest truth. One may hear Him pronouncing and praising the dharma of almsgiving. One may see Him standing still or walking. One may see Him sitting or eating. One may see His body twice or even seven times the size of a human being, or one yojana, hundreds, or thousands of yojanas in height. One may see His awesome light like that of a rising sun or of a full moon. On the other hand, due to one's karma-hindrance, one may happen to be around long after the Buddha-Tathāgatha has entered parinirvāṇa. One may never hear the names of Buddhas, just like those hungry ghosts that, unable to see water in the Ganges, see only various kinds of filthy things. One may see Buddhas come to this assembly from their own lands, assuming the forms of great Bodhisattvas of awesome virtue. Sentient beings in one land may only see the burning of a kalpa. Sentient beings crowding another land may all see the Buddha. Some may see the Tathāgata place all the lands in one Buddha Land; others may see Him put one Buddha Land in every land. People with diseased eyes see things at the same place differently, without hindering one another. Because of the eye disease, they are unable to see objects correctly. Sentient beings are the same way. Even though the nature of forms is unobstructed, the conditions of their minds are different. The right view being shrouded, sentient beings do not understand true reality.
    "Buddha-son, now I will tell you in brief the Dharma for staying in this samādhi. As Buddha the World-Honored One stays in this samādhi, He, in one thought, pervades innumerable Buddha Lands on the tips of hairs all over space. Also, contained in each of the dust particles of these Buddha Lands are lands as numerous as the dust particles of the dharma realm. For benefiting sentient beings, kṣaṇa after kṣaṇa, everywhere in one and all lands are displayed the viable methods and awe-inspiring deportment of Buddhas, who are as numerous as the dust particles of ten Buddha Lands. Such displays will never end for all sentient beings that have not realized the unsurpassed bodhi. Thus, not only one Buddha, but also another, and another, and even all the Buddhas in the ten directions each display the great powers of awesome virtue."
    Having heard these words, Virtue Store Bodhisattva, while in his seat, acquired this samādhi. Forthwith, he saw innumerable Buddhas and knew their awesome virtues and skillful ways. With the power of this samādhi, he too was able to tame sentient beings in the same way. Also, Bodhisattvas, as numerous as the sands of 100 Ganges Rivers, each acquired various kinds of Endurances in Samādhis and attained various Grounds.
    Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva and other great Bodhisattvas, staying on the Tenth Ground, have already fulfilled their virtues and performed wonderful actions. Having acquired this samādhi far back in the past, they have been able to include immeasurable kalpas in one kṣaṇa, to store innumerable lands in one dust particle, and to be everywhere in all lands with one thought. They have been delivering innumerable sentient beings without making any effort because they can spontaneously manifest Buddha work. Although they heard this Dharma just now, they made no further progress. Like a full bottle of water placed in the rain, which has no room for a single raindrop, such are these Bodhisattvas.
    At that time the World-Honored One, in this samādhi, emitted from between the eyebrows the light called Great Manifest Development. For all the Bodhisattvas who had to do things with effort because they had not yet attained the Tenth Ground on the Bodhisattva Way, once touched by that light, they immediately saw innumerable Buddha Lands on the tips of hairs in space as well as Buddha Lands in dust particles. Just as viewers can all see the white mustard seeds in an aquamarine jar, so too these Bodhisattvas clearly saw all the Buddha Lands in dust particles. They also saw all the Buddhas in those lands. In one Buddha's body, they saw all Buddhas.
    [Samantabhadra continued,] "Each of the Buddhas has innumerable names, all for benefiting each and every sentient being. Thought after thought, Buddhas naturally and responsively appear in every Buddha Land and attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi there. By analogy, a wish-fulfilling jewel placed on the top of a high cylindrical banner naturally rains down various kinds of treasures, according to the wishes of sentient beings and to their satisfaction. Likewise, Tathāgatas demonstrate their attainment of anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and naturally deliver innumerable sentient beings.
    "In any lands, sentient beings are distinct, and they do not get in one another's way. Each is like someone who has transcendental powers traveling across space, unobstructed by mountains, rivers, and cliffs. Why? Because all life-journeys are like mirages. They are not solid."
    Having seen such displays, all the Bodhisattvas respectively saw themselves physically present everywhere in all the lands. In one thought, they came before each and every Buddha, making offerings respectfully for one kalpa, two kalpas, three kalpas, or even hundreds of thousands of kalpas, or for the duration of one thought, or for a kṣaṇa. They would hear the Buddha pronounce the Dhāraṇī Door of Pāramitās or explain various Grounds. Or they would see Him display transcendental powers, such as entering all kalpas into one thought. Considering such displays as extraordinary and rare to encounter, they each had this thought: "How did the World-Honored One, with command and awesome virtue, have me perfect in one kṣaṇa my roots of goodness and merit which need immeasurable kalpas to develop, enabling me to achieve so quickly the great awesome spiritual powers of the Samādhi of the Tathagata's Inconceivable State?"
    At that time Virtue Store Bodhisattva, for benefiting sentient beings, also asked Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, "For those who wish to attain this samādhi, what kind of merit, generosity, and wisdom should they cultivate?"
    Then Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, one who manifests attaining the perfect enlightenment and converting sentient beings everywhere in all the Pure Lands in the ten directions, told Virtue Store Bodhisattva, "Buddha-son, to attain this samādhi, one should first cultivate merit and develop one's roots of goodness. That is, one should persistently make offerings to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Saṅgha, as well as one's parents. One should draw in all those who are poor, miserable, helpless, homeless, and pitiable, never abandoning them. One should not begrudge even one's own body and flesh. Why? Because those who make offerings to the Buddha will gain great merit. They will quickly attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi and enable sentient beings to gain peace and happiness. Those who make offerings to the Dharma can enhance their wisdom and verify the Dharma with ease. They can have the correct understanding of the true reality of dharmas. Those who make offerings to the Saṅgha will gain immeasurable provisions of merit and wisdom required for attaining the Buddha bodhi.
    "Those who make offerings to parents, monks, teachers, and others in the world, from whom they have received benefits and upon whose kindness they have depended, should remember to requite such kindness with their offerings doubled. Why? Because those who know gratitude, although still in the cycle of life and death, will have their roots of goodness intact. Those who do not know gratitude have ruined their roots of goodness and will do evil deeds. Therefore, Tathāgatas commend the grateful and reprove the ungrateful. They always sympathetically rescue sentient beings that are in suffering. Also, Bodhisattvas will never regress because of their strong roots of goodness. If there are those who can diligently cultivate merit and virtue, constantly remember to requite kindness, and have compassion for sentient beings, then bodhi is readily in their hands. One should know that the Buddha said, 'Those who can cultivate these three fortune fields with offerings will each develop immeasurable roots of goodness.'
    "Virtue Store, know that Bodhisattvas should next sow a vast seed, which will germinate the sprouts of this samādhi and will in time bear the bodhi fruit. How does one sow this seed? Specifically, one should respectfully make offerings of various kinds of wonderful garlands, solid perfumes, powdered incense, and instrumental music, to present Buddhas or images of Buddhas. One should think this thought, 'As said above, everywhere in the innumerable lands on the tips of hairs all over space as well as in the innumerable lands contained in dust particles, one should see Buddhas with their awesome powers and multitudes of Bodhisattvas. In all the assemblies of those Buddhas, I now, single-mindedly and with the right intent, make all-embracing offerings. As I make offerings to the dharma nature of one Buddha, I in effect make offerings to the dharma nature of all Buddhas. If I make offerings to one Tathāgata, I in effect make offerings to all Tathāgatas. By virtue of the spiritual powers of each of those Buddhas, I too can enter several kalpas into one thought. I have in effect made offerings to Tathāgatas for those kalpas.'
    "If there are sentient beings that believe and understand this Dharma for sowing the vast seed, they will be able to acquire this great Samādhi of the Tathāgata's Inconceivable State. Therefore, good man, you should implement this Dharma by making offerings every day. Also, go to the places where Buddhas are, because making even only one obeisance will also cause the seed to grow, germinating the sprouts of this samādhi. Moreover, one should water it with persistent practice of generous giving, of observing the precepts, of making great vows, and of developing wisdom. Furthermore, when Bodhisattvas, for the purpose of watering this samādhi seed, practice generosity, they should not discriminate the fortune fields: whether they are kin or foe, good or evil, rich or poor, observing or breaching the precepts. He should moreover think this thought: 'Although my alms given to the wealthy are useless to them, I still should practice generosity.'
    "Furthermore, Bodhisattvas should observe the pure precepts. When they see those who violate the precepts, they should feel great compassion for them, rather than become disgusted or angry.
    "Furthermore, Bodhisattvas should earnestly make great bodhi vows, saying, 'With one thought after another pervading the lands on the tips of hairs all over space and even pervading the immeasurable worlds contained in the dust particles of all Buddha Lands, I resolve to attain samyak-saṁbodhi and to turn the wondrous Dharma wheel to deliver sentient beings. I will be no different from the present World-Honored One, Vairocana Buddha. Without making any effort, I will include immeasurable kalpas in one thought. I will display in each of these lands the awe-inspiring deportment of Buddhas, who are as numerous as the dust particles of Buddha Lands. Each awesome act will deliver sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, enabling them to leave their suffering. I will never rest even when space and the realm of sentient beings come to an end.'
    "Buddha-son, hearken single-mindedly! I now tell you how to cultivate wisdom. If, among good men and good women, there are those who, in quest of the unsurpassed bodhi, resolve to attain this samādhi, they should first cultivate wisdom because this samādhi arises from wisdom. To cultivate wisdom, one should keep away from false speech, suggestive speech, and distractive, useless matters. As one invokes great compassion for sentient beings, one should always harness one's mind, not letting it be tainted or scattered.
    "One should go to an ashram to view a Buddha statue, adorned in golden color or cast in pure gold, complete with the physical marks of a Buddha. In its halo one should see innumerable magically created images of the Buddha, who sit in order and are in samādhi. Before this Buddha statue, one should bow down at its feet and think this thought: 'I have heard that innumerable Buddhas in the ten directions are now present in the worlds, such as All Meaning Accomplished Buddha, Amitābha Buddha, Jewel Banner Buddha, Akṣobhya Buddha, Vairocana Buddha, Jewel Moon Buddha, Jewel Light Buddha, and other Buddhas.' Following the heart's devotion and respect for these Buddhas, one develops great pure faith. One should regard the Buddha statue as the real body of the Tathāgata appearing before one. With reverence and respect, one should single-mindedly observe the statue up and down, without being distracted.
    "Then one should go to a remote vacant place, sit properly, and visualize the Buddha facing one, at the distance of an elbow's length. One should focus one's mind on the imagery, not losing it. If it is lost, one should [go back to the ashram to] observe the Buddha statue again. As one is observing, reverence and respect arise in one's mind, as if the true body of the Buddha is before one. It is so vivid that one no longer has the understanding that it is just a statue. After observing it, one should, at this place, make various kinds of offerings, such as wonderful garlands, powdered incense, and solid perfumes, and circumambulate the Buddha statue to the right. One should single-mindedly hold the imagery that the World-Honored One is standing before one and think, 'Buddha the World-Honored One, who sees all, hears all, and knows all, totally knows my mind.' One should ponder like this repeatedly.
    Having succeeded in visualizing the Buddha, one should return to the remote vacant place and hold the imagery before one, not letting it disappear. Single-mindedly, one should practice it diligently for twenty-one days in total. Those who have merit and virtue will then see the Tathāgata appearing before them. Others who have the hindrance of evil karma from past lives will not be able to see Him. However, if they can, not following distracting thoughts, single-mindedly apply themselves without regressing, they should soon see the Buddha. Why? Because if one, seeking the unsurpassed bodhi, focuses one's mind on a single endeavor, nothing will be impossible to accomplish. Conversely, if one timidly withdraws from one's practice time and again, one will not be able to liberate even oneself, much less to deliver sentient beings that are in misery. If one encounters such a true Way to attain bodhi quickly but is unable to train diligently, one is only a heavy burden to the earth.
    "By analogy, if there is one who drinks a handful of water from the vast ocean, one in effect has drunk the water of all the rivers in Jambudvīpa. Bodhisattvas are the same way. If they can learn and train in this bodhi ocean, they in effect have already trained in all the Endurances in Samādhis, Grounds, and dhāraṇīs. Therefore, one should persistently train with diligence, keeping away from laziness or dissipation. One should focus one's mind on a single thought in order to make oneself see the Buddha appearing before one.
    "Practicing in this way, when one sees the Buddha for the first time, one might wonder, 'Is this a real Buddha or just imagery?' If one knows what one is seeing is a real Buddha, then one should fall on both knees before the Buddha and join one's palms in reverence. One should remember the immeasurable awesome virtue of all the Buddhas on the tips of hairs in space and of all the Buddhas in dust particles. [One should remember that] 'Out of great lovingkindness and compassion, the Buddha has come before me. I should then request the World-Honored One to expound to me the Dharma of the Samādhi of the Tathāgata's Inconceivable State.' If one hears all that is said by the Tathāgata, one should believe it with determination, not raising any doubts. Right then one acquires this samādhi.
    "If one is unable to hear the teachings because of the hindrance of past karma, one should ponder that all dharmas are like illusions, mirages, distorted visions, reflections, images, and dreams. Through such contemplation that the nature of dharmas is empty, one comes to this understanding: 'The Tathāgata knows that all dharmas are like illusory dreams. The essence of the Tathāgata is neither an illusion nor a dream, but is like space. However, with wisdom and compassion, He can appear before me. He would emit for me the blue light of great compassion to extinguish my suffering.' Thereupon, the Buddha emits from between the eyebrows the light called the Blue Flame. As soon as the light illuminates one, one's suffering will all be extinguished. One will immediately acquire the Endurance in Dharma Radiance, and then one will penetrate innumerable samādhis. On the seventh night, one will dream of the Tathāgata bestowing upon one the prophecy of attaining anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.
    "If one knows what one is seeing is imagery, one should ponder that Buddhas and sentient beings are all like imageries. Without substantiality, they are seen according to one's thinking. Since one understands that the Tathāgata is like illusions, conjurations, dreams, and mirages, then seeing the Buddha naturally appearing before one is also like a dream, not a reality that can be ascertained.
    "[The Tathāgata] is never born yet may appear born. He never perishes yet may disappear. He never leaves yet may seem gone. He is not consciousness yet manifests cognition. He is not governed by causality yet manifests processes dependent upon causes and conditions. He is nonverbal yet expounds the Dharma. He is neither self nor a living being. He is neither a sentient being nor a being reared by nurturing. He never transmigrates in saṁsāra. He neither thinks nor does things. He knows nothing, and He takes no nourishment. He is neither the five aggregates nor something inside them, yet manifests the five aggregates. In the same way he manifests the eighteen spheres.
    "Everything is neither existence nor nonexistence. Therefore, Buddhas and all dharmas are truly equal, with the same one appearance [of no appearance]. Like mirages and so forth, sentient beings, Buddhas, and lands are all manifestations of one's consciousness and thinking. Forms that arise conditioned upon consciousness and thinking do not exist in true reality.
    "The Tathāgata is apart from consciousness and thinking. Therefore, one should not identify Him with images, knowing that the images perceived are produced by one's thoughts. It is so even for all real Buddhas on the tips of hairs all over space, who are no different from the impartial space. If one differentiates, one will see the Buddha; if one keeps away from differentiation, one will not see Him. One's mind creates the Buddha. Apart from one's mind, there is no Buddha. It is so even for all Buddhas of the past, present, and future, who, being nonexistent, depend upon one's mind.
    "Bodhisattva, if one can understand that Buddhas and all dharmas are a measure of one's mind, one will acquire the Endurance in Following [the Truth]. One can even ascend the First Ground. After death, one will quickly be reborn in either the Wondrous Joy World or the pure Buddha Land of Ultimate Bliss. There one will constantly see the Tathāgata, serving Him and making offerings to Him."
    At that time Virtue Store Bodhisattva also asked Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, "If there are sentient beings that have heard this Dharma Door, whether they accept, uphold, read and recite, explain, or copy this sūtra, how much merit will they gain?"
    Samantabhadra Bodhisattva replied, "Buddha-son, hearken! Suppose there is one who can draw in all the sentient beings in the Three Realms of Existence and enable them to leave the cycle of life and death, becoming Arhats. Then to each of these Arhats, one, for 100 kalpas, respectfully makes various kinds of offerings, such as wonderful celestial apparel, bedding, food, and medicinal potions. Furthermore, after their parinirvāṇa, one erects, for each of them, a pagoda made of the seven treasures and respectfully makes offerings. Besides, suppose there is one who strictly observes the precepts for 100 kalpas or cultivates endurance, diligence, and meditative concentration. Although those mentioned above will gain immeasurable merit, they are no match for the one who, having heard this Dharma Door, honors, believes, and accepts it, never maligning it. This one's merit exceeds that of those mentioned above. This one will quickly attain the perfect enlightenment."
    At that time innumerable Buddhas in all the lands in the ten directions revealed themselves and praised Samantabhadra Bodhisattva: "Very good! Very good! Buddha-son, indeed it is as you say."
    Then Śākyamuni Tathāgata emitted infinite colorful light from his face, illuminating everywhere in the Three Realms of Existence. Various kinds of flowers rained down, wonderful music sounded without being played, and the earth slightly trembled. In the midst of His radiant light, the Buddha spoke in verse:

If one's mind is pure upon hearing this Dharma,
One will acquire Grounds, samādhis, and dhāraṇīs,
As well as precepts, endurance, and effortless transcendental powers.
One will quickly attain the unsurpassed bodhi of a Buddha

And turn the wondrous Dharma wheel as never before.
Just like as Buddhas in the past,
So too can one include many kalpas in one thought,
And universally display innumerable lands in a dust particle.

Countless sentient beings are degenerating in the Three Realms.
Relentlessly afflicted with their suffering,
Entangled in the wrong views, they have lost the right path.
Thought after thought, one will liberate them all.

Because Samantabhadra Bodhisattva had gone through this Dharma Door a long time ago, as he spoke to the multitude, thousands of koṭis of gods and humans were delivered from suffering. They all would never regress from their resolve to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Virtue Store Bodhisattva and other Bodhisattvas, gods, dragons, asuras, and others in the assembly greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.

Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of the Tathāgata's Inconceivable State
Translated from the Chinese Canon (CBETA, T10n0301)

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