Ananda put his palms together, bowed, and said to the Buddha, “Having heard the Buddha’s unbounded, greatly compassionate, pure, everlasting, true and actual expression of dharma, I still have not understood the sequence for releasing the knots such that when the six are untied, the one is gone also. I only hope you will be compassionate, and once again take pity on this assembly and on those of the future, by bestowing the sounds of Dharma on us and wash and rinse away our heavy defilements.” 5:1
Then, upon the lion’s throne, the Thus Come One straightened his “Nirvana robes,” arranged his samghati, took hold of the table made of the seven gems, reached out onto the table with his hand and picked up a flowered cloth given him by the Suyama God. 5:2
Then, as the assembly watched, he tied it into a knot and showed it to Ananda, asking, “What is this called?” 5:3
Ananda and the great assembly answered together, “It’s called a knot.” 5:3
Then the Thus Come One tied another knot in the cloth of layered flowers and asked Ananda again, “What is this called?” 5:3
Ananda and the great assembly once again answered together, “It, too, is called a knot.” 5:3
He continued in this pattern until he had tied six knots in the cloth of layered flowers. As he made each knot, he held it up to Ananda and asked, “What is this called?” 5:3
And each time Ananda and the great assembly answered the Buddha in the same way:”.It is called a knot.” 5:3
The Buddha said to Ananda, “When I first tied the cloth, you called it a knot. Since the cloth of layered flowers is basically a single strip, how can you call the second and third ties knots as well?” 5:4
Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, this cloth of woven layered flowers is just one piece, but as I consider it, when the Thus Come One makes one tie, it is called a knot. If he were to make a hundred ties, they would be called a hundred knots, how much the more so with this cloth, which has exactly six knots, not seven or five. Why does the Thus Come One allow me to call only the first tie a knot and not the second or third ties?” 5:4
The Buddha told Ananda, “You know that this precious cloth of flowers is basically one strip, but when I made six ties in it, you said it had six knots. As you carefully consider this, you will see that the substance of the cloth is the same; it is the knots that make the difference. 5:5
”What do you think? The first knot I tied was called number one. Continuing until I come to the sixth knot, and as I now tie it, is it also number one?” 5:6
”No, World Honored One. If there are six knots, the sixth knot can never be called number one. In all my lives of learning, with all my understanding, how could I now confuse the names of six knots?” 5:6
The Buddha said, “So it is. The six knots are not the same. Consider their origin. They are created from the one cloth. To confuse their order will not do. 5:7
”Your six sense organs are also like this. In the midst or ultimate sameness, conclusive differences arise.” 5:7
The Buddha said to Ananda, “You certainly dislike these six knots and would like there to be just one cloth. But how can that be done?” 5:8
Ananda said, “As long as these knots remain, there will be grounds for argument about what is and what is not. Their very existence will lead to such distinctions as this knot not being that knot and that knot not being this one. But if on this day, the Thus Come One unties them all, so that no knots remain, then there will be no ‘this’ and no ‘that.’ There will not even be something called ‘one.’ How much the less can there be six?” 5:8
The Buddha said, ”’When the six are untied, the one is gone’ is the same meaning. 5:8
”Because from beginningless time your mind and nature have been made wild and rebellious, you have produced false knowledge and views. This falseness continues to arise without respite, and the wearisomeness of these views brings about objective ‘dust.’ 5:9
”It is just like strange flowers appearing when your eyes grow weary of staring. They arise at random without any cause within the tranquil, essential brightness. 5:11
”Everything in the world - the mountains, the rivers, and the great earth, as well as birth, death, and Nirvana - is all just a strange weariness: the upside-down appearance of flowers.” 5:11
Ananda said, “This weariness is the same as the knots. How do we untie them?” 5:12
The Thus Come One took hold of the knotted cloth and pulled on its left end and asked Ananda, “Is this the way to untie it?” 5:12
”No, World Honored One.” 5:12
Then with his hand he pulled on the right end and again asked Ananda, “Is this the way to untie it?” 5:12
”No, World Honored One.” 5:12
The Buddha said to Ananda, “Now I have pulled it to the left and right with my hand and still have not been able to undo them. What method do you propose for untying them?” 5:13
Ananda said to the Buddha, “World Honored One, you must untie the knots from their center. Then they will come undone.” 5:13
The Buddha said to Ananda, “So it is, so it is, if you want to get them undone, you have to untie them from the center. 5:14
”Ananda, the Buddhadharma I explain arises from causes and conditions. But that is not to grasp at the mixing and uniting of coarse appearances in the world. The Thus Come One understands all worldly and world-transcending dharmas and knows their fundamental causes and what conditions bring them into being. 5:14
”This is so to the extent that I know how many drops of rain fall in as many worlds away from here as there are dust motes in the Ganges. The same is true for all the things you can see: why the pine is straight, why the brambles are twisted, why the goose is white, why the crow is black - I understand the reasons. 5:15
”Therefore, Ananda, you can select whichever one of the six sense-organs you wish. If the knots of the sense-organs are removed, then the defiling appearances disappear of themselves. All falseness ceases to be. If that is not the true, what do you expect in addition to it? 5:15
”Ananda, I now ask you, can the six knots in the cloth of layered flowers be untied simultaneously and released all at once?” 5:17
”No, World Honored One. The knots were originally made one at a time, now they must be untied one at a time. The substance of the six knots is the same, but they were not made simultaneously, and so now when it is time to release them, how can they be untied simultaneously?” 5:17
The Buddha said, “Releasing the six sense-organs is the same way. When the sense-organ begins to be released, one realizes the emptiness of people first. When the nature of that emptiness is fully understood, then one is released from dharmas. Once one is freed from dharmas, neither kind of emptiness will arise. 5:17
”This is called the Patience with Non-Production attained by the Bodhisattvas by means of samadhi.” 5:18
Upon receiving the Buddha’s instruction, Ananda and the great assembly gained wisdom and awareness that was perfectly penetrating and free of doubt and delusion. 5:19
All at the same time, they placed their palms together, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and he said to the Buddha, “Today our bodies and minds are illumined, and we are happily free from obstruction. 5:19
”We have understood the meaning of the ending of the six and the one. Still, we have not yet gone through to fundamental, perfect penetration. 5:20
”World Honored One, we who have floated and floundered our way through aeon after aeon, homeless and orphaned, had no idea, we never imagined that we could meet with the Buddha in such a close relationship. We are like lost infants who have suddenly found their compassionate mother. 5:20
”Because of this, we accomplished the way in this assembly. Yet, the secret words which we received are the same as our basic enlightenment, and so it is the same as if we hadn’t even heard them. 5:21
”We only wish the greatly compassionate one will bestow upon us the profound secret as the Thus Come One’s final instruction.” After saying this he prostrated himself, withdrew, and held himself ready for the secret opportunity as he awaited the Buddha’s hidden transmission. 5:21
Then the World Honored One told all those in the assembly who were great Bodhisattvas and great Arhats, their outflows extinguished – “All of you Bodhisattvas and Arhats who are born from within my dharma and have attained the stage beyond learning, I now ask you: When you first brought forth your resolve and became enlightened to the eighteen realms, which one of these brought perfect penetration? Through which expedient did you enter samadhi?. 5:22
Kaundinya, with the others of the five Bhikshus, arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “When I was in the Deer Park and the Pheasant Garden, I observed the Thus Come One immediately after his accomplishment of the Way. Upon hearing the Buddha’s voice, I understood the Four Truths. 5:24
”The Buddha asks us Bhikshus to speak. I was the first to understand, and the Thus Come One certified me and named me Ajnata. His wonderful sound was both secret and all-pervasive. It was through sound that I became an Arhat. 5:26
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, sound is the superior means.” 5:27
Upanishad arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I also saw the Buddha when he first accomplished the way. I learned to contemplate the appearance of impurity until I grew to loathe it and came to understand that the nature of all form is unclean. Bare bones and subtle dust all return to emptiness, and so both emptiness and form are done away with. With this realization, I accomplished the Path Beyond Learning. 5:27
”The Thus Come One certified me and named me Upanishad. The object of form came to an end, and wonderful form was both secret and all-pervasive. Thus, it was through the appearance of form that I became an Arhat. The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, form is the superior means.” 5:29
The Pure Youth, Adorned with Fragrance, arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I heard the Thus Come One teach me to contemplate attentively all conditioned appearances. 5:30
”After I heard the Buddha’s instruction, I sat in repose in the quiet of a pure dwelling. When I saw the bhikshus light sinking incense, the fragrant scent quietly entered my nostrils. I contemplated this fragrance: it did not come from the wood; it did not come from emptiness; it did not come from the smoke, and it did not come from the fire. There was no place it came from and no place it went to. Because of this, my discriminating mind was dispelled, and I attained the absence of outflows. 5:30
”The Thus Come One certified me and called me ‘Adorned with Fragrance.’ Defiling scent suddenly vanished, and wonderful fragrance was both secret and all pervasive. It was through the adornment of fragrance that I became an Arhat. 5:31
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, the adornment of fragrance is the superior means.” 5:32
The two Dharma-Princes, Physician King and Superior Physician, and five hundred Brahma gods in the assembly arose from their seats, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “From beginningless kalpas until now, we have been good doctors for the world. In our mouths we have tasted many herbs, wood, metals, and stones of the Saha world, a hundred and eight thousand flavors. We know in detail the bitter, sour, salty, bland, sweet, and pungent flavors, and the like, in all their combinations and inherent changes. We have a thorough knowledge of whether they be cooling or warming, poisonous or non-poisonous. 5:32
”While serving the Thus Come One we came to know that the nature of flavors is not empty and is not existent, nor is it the body or mind, nor is it apart from body and mind. We became enlightened by discriminating among flavors. 5:34
””The Thus Come One sealed and certified us brothers and named us as Bodhisattvas Physician King and Superior Physician. Now in the assembly we are Dharma Princes who have ascended to the Bodhisattva level because we became enlightened by means of flavors. 5:35
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As we have been certified to it, the cause of flavors is the superior means.” 5:35
Bhadrapala and sixteen awakened lords who were his companions, arose from their seats and bowed at the Buddha’s feet. He said to the Buddha: 5:36
”We first heard the dharma and left the home-life under King of Awesome Sound Buddha. Once, when it was time for the Sangha to bathe, I followed the custom and entered the bathhouse. Suddenly I awakened to the fact that water does not wash away the dust, nor does it cleanse the body. At that point, between the two, I became peaceful, and I attained the state of there being nothing at all. 5:36
”To this day, I have never forgotten that past experience. Having left home with the Buddha, I have gone beyond learning. That Buddha named me Bhadrapala. Wonderful touch was revealed, and I accomplished the position of the Buddha’s disciple. 5:37
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, touch is the superior means.” 5:38
Mahakashyapa, Purple-golden Light Bhikshuni, and others arose from their seats, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: 5:38
”In a past kalpa in this region, I drew near to the Buddha named Sun-Moon-Lamp, who was then in the world. I heard dharma from him and cultivated and studied with him. After that Buddha’s extinction, I made offerings to his sharira and lit lamps to continue his light. Purple-Golden Light gilded the Buddha’s image. From that time on, in life after life, my body has always been perfect and has shone with a purple-golden light. The Bhikshuni, Purple- Golden Light, and others make up my retinue, and we all brought forth the resolve for Bodhi at the same time. 5:40
”I contemplated that the world’s six sense-objects change and decay; they are but empty stillness. Based on this, I cultivated extinction. Now my body and mind can pass through hundreds of thousands of kalpas as though they were a finger-snap. 5:41
”Based on the emptiness of Dharmas, I accomplished Arhatship. The World Honored One says that I am foremost in Dhuta practices. Wonderful dharma brought me awakening and understanding, and I extinguished all outflows. The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, dharmas are the superior means.” 5:42Aniruddha arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “When I first left home, I was fond of sleeping all the time. The Thus Come One scolded me and said I was no better than an animal. When I heard the Buddha’s scolding, I wept and upbraided myself. For seven days I did not sleep, and I lost the sight in both my eyes. 5:44
”The World Honored One taught me the Vajra Samadhi of the Delightful Seeing, which illumines and is bright. Although I had no eyes, I could contemplate the ten directions with true and penetrating clarity, just as if I were looking at a piece of fruit in the palm of my hand. The Thus Come One certified me as having attained Arhatship. 5:45
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, returning the seeing back to its source is the foremost method.” 5:45
Kshudrapanthaka arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: 5:46
”I am deficient in the ability to memorize and do not have much innate intelligence. When I first met the Buddha, I heard the dharma and left the home-life. But, when I tried to remember one line of a verse by the Thus Come One, I went through a hundred days remembering the first part and forgetting the last, or remembering the last and forgetting the first. 5:49
”The Buddha took pity on my stupidity and taught me to relax and regulate my breath. I contemplated my breath thoroughly to the subtle point in which arising, dwelling, change, and extinction happen in every kshana. 5:51
”My mind suddenly attained vast non-obstruction, until my outflows were extinguished and I accomplished Arhatship. Beneath the Buddha’s seat I was sealed and certified as being beyond learning. 5:52
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, turning the breath back to emptiness is the foremost method.” 5:54
Gavampati arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I have mouth-karma created from a past offense. I slighted a Shramana, and in life after life I’ve had this cow-cud sickness. 5:55
”The Thus Come One taught me the mind-ground dharma-door of the purity of a single flavor. My thought was extinguished, I entered samadhi, and contemplated the awareness of flavor as not having a substance and not being a thing. As a result, my mind transcended all worldly outflows. 5:56
”Internally I was freed of body and mind, and externally I abandoned the world. I left the three existences far behind, just like a bird released from its cage. I separated from filth and wiped out defilements, and so my Dharma Eye became pure, and I accomplished Arhatship. The Thus Come One certified me in person as having ascended to the Path Beyond Learning. 5:56
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, returning flavor and turning awareness around is the superior method.” 5:57
Pilindavatsa arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: 5:57
”When I first left home to follow the Buddha and enter the way, I often heard the Thus Come One explain that there is nothing in this world that brings happiness. Once, when I was begging in the city, I was reflecting on this Dharma-door and did not notice a poisonous thorn on the road until it had pricked my foot. My entire body experienced physical pain, but my mind also had an awareness: though it was aware of strong pain and recognized the feeling of pain, I knew that in my pure heart, there was neither pain nor awareness of pain. 5:58
”I also thought, ‘Is it possible for one body to have two awarenesses?’ Having reflected on this for a while, my body and mind were suddenly empty. After twenty-one days, my outflows disappeared. I accomplished Arhatship and received certification in person and a confirmation that I had realized the level beyond learning. 5:59
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, purifying the awareness and forgetting the body is the superior method.” 5:60
Subhuti arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “From distant kalpas until now, my mind has been unobstructed. I remember as many of my past lives as there are sands in the Ganges River. From the beginning, in my mother’s womb, I knew emptiness and tranquility, to the extent that the ten directions became empty and I caused living beings to be certified to the nature of emptiness. 5:60
”Having received the Thus Come One’s revelation that the enlightened nature is true emptiness - that the nature of emptiness is perfect and bright - I attained Arhatship and suddenly entered into the Thus Come One’s sea of magnificent, bright emptiness. With knowledge and views identical with the Buddha, I was certified as being beyond learning. In the liberation of the nature of emptiness, I am unsurpassed. 5:61
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, all appearances enter into nothingness; nothingness and what becomes nothingness both disappear. Turning dharmas back to the void is the foremost method.” 5:61
Shariputra arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “From distant kalpas until the present, my mind and views have been pure. In this way I have undergone as many births as there are grains of sand in the Ganges. As to the various transformations and changes of both the mundane and the transcendental, I am able to understand them at one glance and obtain non-obstruction. 5:63
”Once I met the Kashyapas on the road, and I walked along with the brothers. They spoke about causes and conditions, and I awakened to the boundlessness of my mind. 5:64
”I followed the Buddha and left the home life. My seeing-awareness became bright and perfect, I obtained fearlessness and became an Arhat. As one of the Buddha’s elder disciples, I am born from the Buddha’s mouth, transformationally born from the Dharma. 5:66
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. As I have been certified to it, for the mind and the seeing to emit light and for the light to reach throughout knowing and seeing is the foremost method.” 5:66
Universal Worthy Bodhisattva arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I have been a Dharma Prince with as many Thus Come Ones as there are sands in the Ganges. The Thus Come Ones of the ten directions tell their disciples who have the roots of a Bodhisattva to cultivate the Universal Worthy conduct, which is named after me. 5:66
”World Honored One, I use my mind to listen and distinguish the knowledge and views of living beings. In other regions as many realms away as there are sands in the Ganges, if there is any living being who discovers the conduct of Universal Worthy, I immediately mount my six-tusked elephant and create hundreds of thousands of reduplicated bodies which go to those places. Although their obstacles may be so heavy that they do not see me, I secretly rub their crowns, protect and comfort them, and help them be successful. 5:68
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. The basic cause I speak of in my case is listening with the mind to discover and distinguish at ease. This is the foremost method.” 5:69
Sundarananda arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “When I first left home and followed the Buddha to enter the Way, I received the complete precepts, but my mind was always too scattered for samadhi, and I could not attain the state of having no outflows. The World Honored One taught Kaushthila and me to contemplate the white spot at the tip of our noses. 5:69
”From the first, I contemplated intently. After three weeks, I saw that the breath in my nostrils looked like smoke when I inhaled and exhaled. My body and mind became bright inside, and I perfectly understood the external world, to the point that everything became empty and pure, like crystal. The smoky appearance gradually disappeared, and the breath in my nostrils became white. 5:70
”My mind opened and my outflows were extinguished. Every inhalation and exhalation of breath was transformed into light which illumined the ten directions, and I attained Arhatship. The World Honored One predicted that in the future I would obtain Bodhi. 5:71
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I did it by means of the disappearance of the breath, until eventually the breath emitted light and the light completely extinguished my outflows. This is the foremost method.” 5:71
Purnamaitreyaniputra arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “For vast kalpas I have possessed unobstructed eloquence. When I discuss suffering and emptiness I penetrate deeply into the actual appearance, and in the same way, I give subtle, wonderful instruction to the assembly concerning the secret Dharma doors of as many Thus Come Ones as there are sands in the Ganges. I have also obtained fearlessness. 5:72
”The World Honored One knew that I had great eloquence, and so he made use of my voice in turning the wheel of the Dharma. He taught me how to disseminate it. I joined the Buddha to help him turn the wheel. I accomplished Arhatship through the lion’s roar. The World Honored One certified me as being foremost in speaking Dharma. 5:73
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I used the sound of Dharma to subdue demons and adversaries and melt away my outflows. This is the foremost method.” 5:74
Upali arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I followed the Buddha in person when he fled the city and left the home-life. I observed the Thus Come One endure six years of diligent asceticism. I watched the Thus Come One subdue all the demons, control adherents of external paths and become liberated from all outflows which were based on worldly desire and greed. 5:74
”I based myself on the Buddha’s teaching of precepts, encompassing the three thousand awesome deportments and the eighty thousand subtle aspects. Both my direct karma and my contributing karma became pure. My body and mind became tranquil, and I accomplished Arhatship. 5:81
”In the Thus Come One’s assembly, I am a governor of the law. The Buddha himself certified my mind’s upholding of the precepts and my genuine cultivation of them. I am considered a leader of the assembly. 5:87
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I disciplined the body until the body attained ease and comfort. Then I disciplined the mind until the mind attained penetrating clarity. After that, the body and mind experienced keen and thorough absorption. This is the foremost method.” 5:88
Great Maudgalyayana arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “Once when I was out on the road begging for food, I met the three Kashyapa brothers - Uruvilva, Gaya, and Nadi - who proclaimed for me the Thus Come One’s profound principle of causes and conditions. I immediately brought forth resolve and obtained a great understanding. 5:89
”The Thus Come One accepted me, and the kashaya was on my body and my hair fell out by itself. I roamed in the ten directions, having no impeding obstructions. I discovered my spiritual penetrations, which are esteemed as unsurpassed, and I accomplished Arhatship. 5:90
”Not only the World Honored One, but the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions praise my spiritual powers as perfectly clear and pure, masterful, and fearless. 5:91
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. By means of a spiral-like attention to the profound, the light of my mind was revealed, just as muddy water clears. Eventually it became pure and dazzling. This is the foremost method.” 5:91
Ucchushma came before the Buddha, put his palms together, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I can still remember how many kalpas ago I was filled with excessive greed and desire. There was a Buddha in the world named King of Emptiness. He said that people with too much desire turn into a raging mass of fire. He taught me to contemplate the coolness and warmth throughout my entire body. 5:92
”A spiritual light coalesced inside and transformed my thoughts of excessive lust into the fire of wisdom. After that, when any of the Buddhas summoned me, they used the name ‘fire-head.’ 5:94
”From the strength of the fire-light samadhi, I accomplished Arhatship. I made a great vow that when each of the Buddhas accomplishes the way, I will be a powerful knight and in person subdue the demons’ hatred. 5:94
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I used attentive contemplation of the effects of heat in my body and mind, until it became unobstructed and penetrating and all my outflows were consumed. I produced a blazing brilliance and ascended to enlightenment. This is the foremost method.” 5:94
The Bodhisattva, “Maintaining the Ground,” arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I remember when Universal Light Thus Come One appeared in the world in the past. I was a Bhikshu who continually worked on making level the major roads, ferry-landings, and the dangerous spots in the ground, where the disrepair might hinder or harm carriages or horses. I did everything from building bridges to hauling sand. 5:95
”I was diligent in this hard labor throughout the appearance of limitless Buddhas in the world. If there were beings at the walls and gates of the cities who needed someone to carry their goods, I would carry them all the way to their destination, set the things down, and leave without taking any recompense. 5:96
”When the Buddha Vipashyin appeared in the world, there was a world-wide famine. I would carry people on my back, and no matter how far the distance, I would only accept one small coin. If there was an ox-cart stuck in the mud, I would use my spiritual strength to push the wheels and get it out of difficulty. 5:96
”Once a king asked the Buddha to accept a vegetarian feast. At that time, I served the Buddha by leveling the road as he went. Vipashyin Thus Come One rubbed my crown and said, .You should level your mind-ground, then everything else in the world would be level.” 5:97
”Immediately my mind opened up and I saw that the particles of earth composing my own body were no different from all the particles of earth that made up the world. The nature of those particles of dust was such that they did not connect with one another nor could they be touched by the blade of a sword. 5:98
”Within the dharma-nature I awakened to the patience with the non-production of dharmas and accomplished Arhatship. I brought my mind back, to the extent that I have now entered the ranks of the Bodhisattvas. Hearing the Thus Come One proclaim the Wonderful Lotus Flower, the level of the Buddha’s knowledge and vision, I have already been certified as having understood and am a leader in the assembly. 5:98
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. Upon attentive contemplation of the body and the environment, I saw that these two dusts are exactly the same - that, fundamentally, everything is the Treasury of the Thus Come One, but that an empty falseness arises and creates the dust. When the dust is eliminated, wisdom is perfected, and one accomplishes the unsurpassed Way. This is the foremost method.” 5:99The Pure Youth Moonlight arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I remember that long ago, beyond kalpas as many as there are sands in the Ganges, there was a Buddha in the world named Water-God, who taught all the Bodhisattvas to cultivate the contemplation of water and enter samadhi. 5:100
”I reflected upon how throughout the body the essence of water is not in discord. I started with mucus and saliva and went on through digestive juices, phlegm, semen, blood, to urine and excrement. As it revolved through my body, the nature of water was identical. I saw that the water in my body was not at all different from that in the world outside - even that in royal lands of floating banners with all their seas of fragrant waters. 5:100
”At that time, when I first succeeded in the contemplation of water, I could see only water. I still had not gotten beyond my physical body. 5:101
”I was a Bhikshu then, and once when I was in dhyana repose in my room, a disciple of mine peeked in the window and saw only pure water there, which filled the entire room. He saw nothing else. 5:101
”The lad was young, and not knowing any better, he picked up a tile and tossed it into the water. It hit the water with a ‘plunk.’ He gazed around and then left. When I came out of concentration, I was suddenly aware of a pain in my heart, and I felt like Shariputra must have felt when he met that cruel ghost. 5:102
”I thought to myself, ‘I am already an Arhat and have long since abandoned conditions that bring on illness. Why is it that today I suddenly have a pain in my heart? Am I about to lose the position of non-retreat?’ 5:103
”Just then, the young lad came promptly to me and related what had happened. I quickly said to him, ‘When you see the water again, you may open the door, wade into the water, and remove the tile.’ The child was obedient, so that when I re-entered samadhi, he again saw the water and the tile as well. He opened the door and took it out. When I came out of concentration, my body was as it had been before. 5:103
”I encountered limitless Buddhas and cultivated in this way until the coming of the Thus Come One, King of Masterful Penetrations of Mountains and Seas. Then I finally had no body. My nature and the seas of fragrant waters throughout the ten directions were identical with True Emptiness, without any duality or difference. Now I am with the Thus Come One and am known as a Pure Youth, and I have joined the assembly of Bodhisattvas. 5:104
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. By means of the nature of water, I penetrated through to the flow of a single flavor, and I obtained patience with the non-production of dharmas and the perfection of Bodhi. This is the foremost method.” 5:105
The Dharma Prince Vaidurya Light arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I can still remember back through aeons as many as the sands in the Ganges to the time of a Buddha named .Limitless Sound,. who instructed the Bodhisattvas that fundamental enlightenment is wonderful and bright. He taught them to contemplate this world and all the beings in it as false conditions propelled by the power of wind. 5:105
”At that time, I contemplated the position of the world, and I regarded the passage of time in the world. I reflected on the movement and stillness in my body. I considered the arising of thoughts in the mind. All these kinds of movement were non-dual; they were equal and the same. 5:106
”I then understood that the nature of movement does not come from anywhere and does not go anywhere. Every single material particle throughout the ten directions and every upside-down living being in it is of the same empty falseness. 5:106
”And so, throughout the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds, the living beings in each of the worlds were like so many mosquitoes confined in a trap and droning monotonously. Caught in those few square inches, their hum built to a maddening crescendo. Not long after I encountered the Buddha, I attained patience with the non-production of dharmas. 5:107
”My mind then opened, and I could see the country of the Buddha, Unmoving, in the east. I became a Dharma Prince and served the Buddhas of the ten directions. My body and mind emit a light that make them completely clear and translucent. 5:108
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I contemplated the power of wind as lacking anything to rely on, and I awakened to the Bodhi-mind. I entered samadhi and meshed with the single, wonderful mind transmitted by all the Buddhas of the ten directions. This is the foremost method.” 5:108
Treasury of Emptiness Bodhisattva arose from his seat, bowed to the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “The Thus Come One and I attained boundless bodies at the place of the Buddha, .Samadhi-Light.” 5:109
”At that time, I held in my hands four huge precious pearls, which shone on Buddhalands as many as the motes of dust in the ten directions and transformed them into emptiness. 5:109
”In my mind there appeared a great, perfect mirror, which emitted from within ten kinds of subtle, wonderful precious light that poured out into the ten directions to the farthest bounds of emptiness. 5:110
”All the royal lands of banners came into the mirror and passed into my body. There was no hindrance to this interaction, because my body was like emptiness. 5:110
”My body could enter with ease as many countries as there are fine motes of dust and could do the Buddha’s work on a wide scale, because it had become completely compliant. 5:110
”I achieved this great spiritual power from contemplating in detail how the four elements lack anything to return to; how the production and extinction of false thoughts is no different from emptiness; how all the Buddhalands are basically the same. Once I realized this identity, I obtained patience with the non-production of Dharmas. 5:111
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I used the contemplation of the boundlessness of emptiness to enter samadhi and attain wonderful power and perfect clarity. This is the foremost method.” 5:112
Maitreya Bodhisattva arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha, “I remember when, as many kalpas ago as there are fine motes of dust, a Buddha named Light of Sun, Moon, and Lamp appeared in the world. Under that Buddha I left the home life; yet I was deeply committed to worldly fame and liked to fraternize with people of good family. 5:112
”Then the World Honored One taught me to cultivate consciousness-only concentration, and I entered that samadhi. For many aeons I have made use of that samadhi as I performed deeds for as many Buddhas as there are sands in the Ganges. My seeking for worldly name and fame ceased completely and never recurred. 5:117
”When Burning Lamp Buddha appeared in the world, I finally accomplished the unsurpassed, wonderfully perfect Samadhi of Consciousness. 5:118
”I went on until, to the ends of emptiness, all the lands of the Thus Come One, whether pure or defiled, existent or non-existent, were transformations appearing from within my own mind. 5:118
”World Honored One, because I understand consciousness only thus, the nature of consciousness reveals limitless Thus Come Ones. Now I have received the prediction that I will be the next to take the Buddha’s place. 5:118
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I was intent upon the contemplation that the ten directions come only from consciousness. When the conscious mind is perfect and bright, one enters the perfection of the real. One leaves behind reliance on others and attachment to incessant calculating and attains the patience with the non-production of dharmas. This is the foremost method.” 5:119
Dharma Prince, Great Strength, together with fifty-two Bodhisattvas of similar rank, arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: 5:120
”I remember when, as many aeons ago as there are sands in the Ganges, a Buddha called Limitless Light appeared in the world. In that same aeon there were twelve successive Thus Come Ones; the last was called Light Surpassing the Sun and Moon. That Buddha taught me the Buddha-recitation Samadhi. 5:121
”Suppose there were a person who always remembers someone else, but the someone else he remembers has entirely forgotten about him. If two such people were to meet, even if they were to see each other, they would not take notice. They would not recognize each other. 5:122
”If two people remember each other until the memory of each is deep, then in life after life they will be together like a form and its shadow, and they will never be at odds. 5:125
”Out of pity for living beings, the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions are mindful of them as a mother remembers her child. If the child runs away, of what use is the mother’s regard? But if the child remembers his mother in the same way that the mother remembers the child, then in life after life the mother and child will not be far apart. 5:125
”If living beings remember the Buddha and are mindful of the Buddha, certainly they will see the Buddha now or in the future. 5:126
”They will never be far from the Buddha, and their minds will awaken by themselves, without the aid of expedients. 5:126
”A person who has been near incense will carry a fragrance on his person; it is the same in this case. It is called an adornment of fragrant light. 5:126
”On the causal ground I used mindfulness of the Buddha to enter into patience with the non-production of dharmas. Now in this world I gather in all those who are mindful of the Buddha and bring them back to the Pure Land. 5:127
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. I would select none other than gathering in the six organs through continuous pure mindfulness to obtain samadhi. This is the foremost method.” 5:127 Then Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet and said to the Buddha: 5:129
”World Honored One, I remember when, as many kalpas ago as there are sands in the Ganges, there was a Buddha in the world named Contemplating the World’s Sounds. It was under that Buddha that I brought forth the Bodhi-resolve. That Buddha taught me to enter samadhi through a process of hearing and reflecting. 5:134
”Initially, I entered the flow through hearing and forgot objective states. Since the sense-objects and sense-organs were quiet, the two characteristics of movement and stillness crystallized and did not arise. After that, gradually advancing, the hearing and what was heard both disappeared. Once the hearing was ended, there was nothing to rely on, and awareness and the objects of awareness became empty. When the emptiness of awareness reached an ultimate perfection, emptiness and what was being emptied then also ceased to be. Since production and extinction were gone, still extinction was revealed. 5:134
”Suddenly I transcended the mundane and transcendental worlds, and throughout the ten directions a perfect brightness prevailed. I obtained two supreme states. 5:137
”First, I was united above with the fundamental, wonderfully enlightened mind of all the Buddhas of the ten directions, and I gained a strength of compassion equal to that of all the Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones. 5:137
”Second, I was united below with all living beings in the six paths, and I gained a kind regard for all living beings equally. 5:137
”World Honored One, because I served and made offerings to the Thus Come One, Guan Yin, I received from that Thus Come One a transmission of the Vajra Samadhi of all being like an illusion, as one becomes permeated with hearing and cultivates hearing. Because I gained a power of compassion identical with that of all Buddhas, the Thus Come Ones, I became accomplished in thirty-two response-bodies and entered all lands. 5:138
”World Honored One, if there are Bodhisattvas who enter samadhi and vigorously cultivate the extinction of outflows, who have superior understanding and manifest perfected penetration, I will appear in the body of a Buddha and speak dharma for them, causing them to attain liberation. 5:139
”If there are those who are studying, who are tranquil and have wonderful clarity, who are superior and miraculous and manifest perfection, I will appear before them in the body of a Solitarily Enlightened One and speak Dharma for them, causing them to attain liberation. 5:140
”If there are those who are studying, who have severed the twelve links of conditioned causation, and, having severed the conditions, reveal a supreme nature, and who are superior and wonderful and manifest perfection, I will appear before them in the body of one enlightened to conditions and speak dharma for them, causing them to attain liberation. 5:141
”If there are those who are studying, who have attained the emptiness of the Four Truths, and cultivating the Way, have entered extinction, and have a superior nature and manifest perfection, I will appear before them in the body of a Sound-Hearer and speak Dharma for them, causing them to attain liberation. 5:143
”If there are living beings who wish to have their minds be clear and awakened, who do not engage in mundane desires and wish to purify their bodies, I will appear before them in the body of a Brahma King and speak Dharma for them, causing them to attain liberation. 5:144
”If there are living beings who wish to be the Heavenly Lord, leader of heavenly beings, I will appear before them in the body of Shakra and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:144
”If living beings wish to attain physical self-mastery and to roam throughout the ten directions, I will appear before them in the body of a god from the heaven of self-mastery and speak dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:145
”If there are living beings who wish to attain physical self-mastery and fly through space, I will appear before them in the body of a god from the heaven of great self-mastery and speak dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:146
”If there are living beings who are fond of ruling over ghosts and spirits in order to rescue and protect their country, I will appear before them in the body of a great heavenly general and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:146
”If there are living beings who like to govern the world in order to protect living beings, I will appear before them in the body of one of the Four Heavenly Kings and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:147
”If there are living beings who enjoy being born in the heavenly palaces and to command ghosts and spirits, I will appear before them in the body of a prince from the kingdoms of the Four Heavenly Kings and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:147
”If there are living beings who would like to be kings of people, I will appear before them in the body of a human king and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:148
”If there are living beings who enjoy being heads of households, whom those of the world venerate and yield to, I will appear before them in the body of an elder and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:148
”If there are living beings who delight in discussing the classics and who keep themselves lofty and pure, I will appear before them in the body of an upasaka and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:149
”If there are living beings who enjoy governing the country and who can handle matters of state decisively, I will appear before them in the body of an official and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:150
”If there are living beings who like reckoning and incantation and who wish to guard and protect themselves, I will appear before them in the body of a Brahman and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:150
”If there are men who want to leave the home-life and uphold the precepts and rules, I will appear before them in the body of a Bhikshu and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:151
”If there are women who would like to leave the home-life and hold the pure precepts, I will appear before them in the body of a Bhikshuni and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:153
”If there are men who want to uphold the five precepts, I will appear before them in the body of an upasaka and speak dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. If there are women who wish to base themselves in the five precepts, I will appear before them in the body of an upasika and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:154
”If there are women who govern internal affairs of household or country, I will appear before them in the body of a queen, first lady, or noblewoman and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:154
”If there are virgin lads I will appear before them in the body of a pure youth and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:155
”If there are maidens who want to remain virgins and do not wish to marry, I will appear before them in the body of a gracious lady and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:155
”If there are heavenly beings who wish to escape their heavenly destiny, I will appear in the body of a god and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:156
”If there are dragons who want to quit their lot of being dragons, I will appear before them in the body of a dragon and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:156
”If there are yakshas who want to get out of their present fate, I will appear before them in the body of a yaksha and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:157
”If there are gandharvas who wish to be freed from their destiny, I will appear before them in the body of a gandharva and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:158
”If there are asuras who wish to be liberated from their destiny, I will appear before them in the body of an asura and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:158
”If there are kinnaras who wish to transcend their fate, I will appear before them in the body of a kinnara and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:160
”If there are mahoragas who wish to be freed from their destiny, I will appear before them in the body of a mahoraga and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:160
”If there are living beings who like being people and want to continue to be people, I will appear in the body of a person and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:160
”If there are non-humans, whether with form or without form, whether with thought or without thought, who long to be freed from their destiny, I will appear before them in a body like theirs and speak Dharma for them, enabling them to accomplish their wish. 5:161
”This is called the wonderful purity of the thirty-two response-bodies, by which one enters into all lands and accomplishes self-mastery by means of the Samadhi of Becoming Permeated with Hearing and Cultivating Hearing and by means of the miraculous strength of effortlessness. 5:162
”Also, World Honored One, using this Vajra Samadhi of Becoming Permeated with Hearing and Cultivating Hearing, and using the miraculous strength of effortlessness, because I have a kind regard equally for all living beings in the six paths, I go throughout the ten directions and the three periods of time and cause all living beings who encounter bodies of mine to receive the meritorious virtue of fourteen kinds of fearlessness. 5:162
”First: because I do not contemplate sounds for my own sake, but rather listen to the sounds of those whom I contemplate, I can enable living beings throughout the ten directions who are suffering and in distress to attain liberation by contemplating their sounds. 5:163
”Second: since my knowledge and views have turned around and come back, I can make it so that if living beings are caught in a raging fire, the fire will not burn them. 5:164
”Third: since contemplation and listening have turned around and come back, I can make it so that if living beings are floundering in deep water, the water cannot drown them. 5:164
”Fourth: since false thinking is cut off, and my mind is without thoughts of killing or harming, I can make it so that if living beings enter the territory of ghosts, the ghosts cannot harm them. 5:165
”Fifth: since I am permeated with hearing and have brought hearing to accomplishment, so that the six sense-organs have dissolved and returned to become identical with hearing, I can make it so that if living beings are about to be wounded, the knives will break into pieces. I can cause swords of war to have no more effect than if they were to slice into water, or if one were to blow upon light. 5:165
”Sixth: when the hearing permeates and the essence is bright, light pervades the Dharma-realm, so that absolutely no darkness remains. I am then able to make it so that, though yakshas, rakshasas, kumbhandas, pishachas, and putanas may draw near to living beings, the ghosts will not be able to see them. 5:166
”Seventh: when the nature of sound completely melts away and contemplation and hearing return and enter, so that I am separate from false and defiling sense-objects, I am able to make it so that if living beings are confined by cangues and fetters, the locks will not hold them. 5:167
”Eighth: when sound is gone and the hearing is perfected, an all-pervasive power of compassion arises, and I can make it so that if living beings are travelling a dangerous road, thieves will not rob them. 5:168
”Ninth: when one is permeated with hearing, one separates from worldly objects, and forms cannot rob one. Then I can make it so that living beings with a great deal of desire can leave greed and desire far behind. 5:168
”Tenth: when sound is so pure that there is no defiling object, the sense-organ and the external state are perfectly fused, without any complement and without anything complemented. Then I can make it so that living beings who are full of rage and hate will leave all hatred. 5:171
”Eleventh: when the dust has gone and has turned to light, the Dharma realm and the body and mind are like crystal, transparent and unobstructed. Then I can make it so that all dark and dullwitted beings whose natures are obstructed - all atyantikas - are forever free from stupidity and darkness. 5:172
”Twelfth: when matter dissipates and returns to the hearing, then unmoving in the Bodhimanda I can travel through worlds without destroying the appearance of those worlds. I can make offerings to as many Buddhas, Thus Come Ones, as there are fine motes of dust throughout the ten directions. At the side of each Buddha I become a Dharma Prince, and I can make it so that childless living beings throughout the Dharma Realm who wish to have sons, are blessed with meritorious, virtuous, and wise sons. 5:175
”Thirteenth: with perfect penetration of the six sense-organs, the light and what is illumined are not two. Encompassing the ten directions, a great perfect mirror stands in the Empty Treasury of the Thus Come One. I inherit the secret dharma-doors of as many Thus Come Ones as there are fine motes of dust throughout the ten directions. Receiving them without loss, I am able to make it so that childless living beings throughout the Dharma Realm who seek daughters are blessed with lovely daughters who are upright, virtuous, and compliant and whom everyone cherishes and respects. 5:176
”Fourteenth: in this three-thousand-great-thousand world system with its billions of suns and moons, as many Dharma Princes as there are grains of sand in sixty-two Ganges Rivers appear in the world and cultivate the dharma. They act as models in order to teach and transform living beings. They comply with living beings by means of expedients and wisdom, in different ways for each. 5:177
”However, because I have obtained the perfect penetration of the sense-organ and have discovered the wonder of the ear-entrance, after which my body and mind subtly and miraculously included all of the Dharma Realm, I am able to make it so that living beings who uphold my name obtain as much merit and virtue as would be obtained by a person who upheld the names of all those Dharma Princes who are as many as the grains of sand in sixty-two Ganges Rivers. 5:177
”World Honored One, there is no difference between the merit of my one name and the merit of those many other names, because from my cultivation I obtained true and perfect penetration. 5:178
”These are called the fourteen powers of bestowing fearlessness; with them I bless living beings. 5:178
”Moreover, World Honored One, because I obtained perfect penetration and cultivated to certification of the unsurpassed path, I also became endowed with four inconceivable and effortless wonderful virtues. 5:179
”First: as soon as I obtained the miraculous wonder of hearing the mind, the mind became essential and the hearing was forgotten, therefore, there was no distinction between seeing, hearing, sensation, and knowing. I achieved a single, perfect fusion - pure and precious enlightenment. For this reason, I am able to manifest many wonderful appearances and can proclaim boundless secret spiritual mantras. 5:179
”For example, I may make appear one head, three heads, five heads, seven heads, nine heads, eleven heads, and so forth, until there may be a hundred and eight heads, a thousand heads, ten thousand heads, or eighty-four thousand vajra heads; 5:180
”Two arms, four arms, six arms, eight arms, ten arms, twelve arms, fourteen, sixteen, eighteen arms, or twenty arms, twenty-four arms, and so forth until there may be a hundred and eight arms, a thousand arms, ten thousand arms, or eighty-four thousand mudra arms; 5:180
”Two eyes, three eyes, four eyes, nine eyes, and so forth until there may be a hundred and eight eyes, a thousand eyes, ten thousand eyes, or eighty-four thousand pure and precious eyes, sometimes compassionate, sometimes awesome, sometimes in samadhi, sometimes displaying wisdom to rescue and protect living beings so that they may attain great self-mastery. 5:181
”Second: because of hearing and consideration, I escaped the six defiling objects, just as a sound leaps over a wall without hindrance. And so I have the wonderful ability to manifest shape after shape and to recite mantra upon mantra. These shapes and these mantras dispel the fears of living beings. Therefore, throughout the ten directions, in as many lands as there are fine motes of dust, I am known as one who bestows fearlessness. 5:181
”Third: because I cultivated fundamental, wonderful, perfect penetration and purified the sense-organ, everywhere I go in any world I can make it so that living beings renounce their physical and material valuables to seek my sympathy. 5:182
”Fourth: I obtained the Buddhas’ mind and was certified as having attained the ultimate end, and so I can make offerings of rare treasures to the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions and to living beings in the six paths throughout the Dharma Realm. 5:183
”If they seek a spouse, they obtain a spouse. If they seek children, they can have children. Seeking samadhi, they obtain samadhi; seeking long life, they obtain long life, and so forth to the extent that if they seek the great Nirvana, they obtain great Nirvana. 5:183
”The Buddha asks about perfect penetration. From the gateway of the ear, I obtained a perfect and illumining samadhi. The conditioned mind was at ease, and therefore I entered the appearance of the flow, and obtaining samadhi, I accomplished Bodhi. This is the foremost method. 5:184
”World Honored One, that Buddha, the Thus Come One, praised me as having obtained well the dharma-door of perfect penetration. In the great assembly he bestowed a prediction upon me and the name, Guan Shi Yin. 5:184
”Because my contemplation and listening is perfectly clear throughout the ten directions, the name Guan Shi Yin pervades all the realms of the ten directions.” 5:185 Then the World Honored One upon the Lion’s Throne emitted simultaneously from his five extremities a precious light which shone far throughout the ten directions to anoint the crowns of as many Thus Come Ones and Dharma-Prince Bodhisattvas as there are motes of dust. 5:185
All those Thus Come Ones also emitted from their five extremities precious lights which were as numerous as motes of dust and which came from the various directions to anoint the crown of the Buddha as well as the crowns of all the great Bodhisattvas and Arhats in the assembly. 5:186
Groves, trees, pools, and ponds all proclaimed the sound of Dharma. The lights blended and criss-crossed like a jeweled silken net. It was an unprecedented event for everyone in the great assembly, and they all attained the Vajra Samadhi. 5:186
Then the heavens rained down hundreds of precious lotus flowers of variegated combinations of green, yellow, red, and white. All the space in the ten directions turned the colors of the seven gems. 5:187
This Saha world with its mountains, rivers, and great earth disappeared totally, and all that could be seen were lands as numerous as motes of dust coming together as one realm. Pure praises in songs and chants spontaneously pervaded in celebration. 5:187
Then the Thus Come One said to Dharma-Prince Manjushri, “You should now contemplate these twenty-five great Bodhisattvas and Arhats who are beyond learning. 5:189
“The sea of enlightenment in nature is perfect and clear.
Complete, distinct Bodhi is a miraculous source.
But when basic brightness shone so that objects appeared,
With objects’ existence, the nature’s brilliance ceased. 5:192.
”Confusion and falseness bring about emptiness.
Relying on emptiness, time and space take form.
Thoughts settle, making countries and lands.
What knows and feels becomes living beings. 5:192
”The emptiness created within Great Enlightenment,
Is like a single bubble in all the sea.
Lands like fine dust motes, subject to outflows,
All come forth out of empty space.
Just as the bubble bursts, space is no longer there.
How much the less the three states of being! 5:193
“Returning to the source, the nature is not two.
Many are the entrances through expedients;
None of them does the sagely nature fail to go through.
Compliant or adverse, all is expedient.
First resolve and entering samadhi,
Come slow or fast as there are different norms. 5:194
”Form and thought combined become the ‘dust.’
Their essence is not discernible.
How can one use what lacks clarity,
And expect to gain perfect penetration? 5:196
”In sounds, language is intermingled.
But the meaning in a word, a name, a phrase,
Is such that no single one can include them all.
How can this bring perfect penetration? 5:196
”Awareness of smells comes through contact with them.
Apart from them, one does not know that they exist.
Since sensation of them is not constant,
How can one reach perfect penetration? 5:197
”Flavors are not to us fundamental.
They only exist when there is something to taste.
Since this sensation is not perpetual,
How can one derive perfect penetration? 5:197
”Touch becomes clear only when something is touched.
Without an object there can be no contact.
With fluctuation between contact and separation,
How can one gain perfect penetration? 5:198
”Dharmas are known as ‘internal dust.’
Reckoned as ‘dust,’ they are certainly sense objects.
Involvement of subject and object cannot be pervasive;
How then can they lead to perfect penetration? 5:198
“Although seeing itself is clear and penetrating,
Making bright what is before one, it cannot shine behind.
Ever reaching only half the four directions,
How can it manifest perfect penetration? 5:199
“The nose’s breath penetrates in and out.
But in the rests between there is no air.
These interruptions render it inconsistent.
How can one use it for perfect penetration? 5:199
”The tongue is not an organ apart from cause;
Flavors form the source of its sensation.
When flavors cease, it knows nothing at all.
How can it attain perfect penetration? 5:200
”It is the same for the body as for objects of touch.
Neither can be regarded as a perfect awareness.
With defined and limited invisible divisions,
How can it be used for perfect penetration? 5:200
”The mind’s knowledge is a mass of deliberations.
What it perceives is never profound insight.
Unable to get beyond reflection and thought,
How can it reveal perfect penetration? 5:200
”The seeing-consciousness combines three aspects.
Probe its origin: it has no appearance.
Since its very substance is variable,
How can it bring perfect penetration? 5:201
”The heart of hearing penetrates the ten directions.
When borne on the strength of great causes,
Those of initial resolve cannot enter this way.
How can one expect to gain perfect penetration? 5:201
”Reflecting on the nose is a provisional method.
It only serves to gather in and settle the mind.
Once settled, the mind is simply still.
How can that be perfect penetration? 5:202
”Speaking Dharma through the medium of language,
Is enlightened to by those of former accomplishment.
But words and phrases are not free of outflows.
How can this make perfect penetration? 5:202
”Refraining from transgressions only controls the body.
Lacking a body, there is nothing to restrain.
Since its source is not all-pervasive,
How can it bring perfect penetration? 5:203
”Spiritual penetrations are based on past causes.
What connection have they with distinguishing dharmas?
Conditioned thought is not apart from things.
How can one attain perfect penetration? 5:203
”One may contemplate the nature of earth,
But it is firm and solid, not penetrable.
What is conditioned is not the sagely nature.
How can one use it for perfect penetration? 5:204
”One may contemplate the nature of water,
But such mental reflection is not the true and real.
This state of suchness is not an enlightened view.
How can it give perfect penetration? 5:204
”One may contemplate the nature of fire,
But admitting dislike is not true renunciation.
This expedient cannot be one for beginners.
How can one use it for perfect penetration? 5:205
”One may contemplate the nature of wind,
But movement and stillness are not non-dual.
Duality cannot bring highest enlightenment.
How can one expect perfect penetration? 5:205
”One may contemplate the nature of emptiness.
But, its aspect is murky and dull; it lacks awareness.
What is unaware is different from Bodhi.
How can it bring perfect penetration? 5:206
”One may contemplate the nature of consciousness;
But one is regarding a consciousness that is not eternal.
Even the thought of it is empty and false.
How can one get perfect penetration? 5:206
”All activities are impermanent.
So, too, mindfulness has its origin in rising and ceasing.
Since cause and effect go beyond cause and effect,
How can we use it for perfect penetration? 5:207
“I now say this, World Honored One,
Buddha, who has revealed the Saha world:
In this land the true substance of teaching
Resides in hearing the sounds purely.
If one wants to attain samadhi,
hearing is the best way to enter. 5:207
”Apart from suffering, liberation is found.
How excellent is he who contemplates
the world’s sounds! 5:208
”Throughout kalpas as numerous as Ganges’ sands,
He enters Buddhalands as many as fine dust motes.
Obtaining great power of self-mastery,
He bestows fearlessness on living beings. 5:209
”Wonderful is the sound of Guan Shi Yin,
A pure sound, like the ocean’s roar.
He saves the world and brings peace to all within it.
He has transcended the world,
and his attainment is eternal. 5:209
”I now make this report, 0 Thus Come One,
Regarding what Guan Yin has just explained:
It is like someone in a quiet place
When drums are rolled throughout the ten directions,
Hearing at once the sounds from all ten places.
This, then, is the actual true perfection. 5:210
”The eyes cannot see through solid forms.
Mouth and nose are much the same.
The body registers awareness only through contact.
Tangled in thoughts, the mind lacks clear connections. 5:210
”Sounds can be heard even through solid walls.
One can listen to things both near and far.
None of the other five organs can match this.
It, then, is penetration true and real. 5:211
”The nature of sounds is based in movement and stillness.
One hears according to whether there is sound.
With no sound, there is said to be no hearing.
But this does not mean that the hearing has no nature. 5:212
”In the absence of sound, the nature is not gone.
Nor does it arise in the presence of sound.
Entirely beyond production and extinction.
It is, then, truly everlasting. 5:212
”Ever-present, even in dream-thinking,
It does not disappear when conditions and thought are gone.
Enlightened, this contemplation transcends cognition,
Reaching beyond both the body and the mind. 5:213
”Now, in the Saha world, the theory of sounds
Has been proclaimed and understood. 5:213
”Living beings are confused about the source of hearing.
They follow sounds and so they turn and flow.
Ananda’s power to remember was exceptional;
Nonetheless, he fell prey to a deviant plot.
Was it not from heeding sounds that he was nearly lost?
By turning back the flow, one will make no such mistake. 5:213
”Ananda, you should listen attentively:
I rely upon the Buddha’s awesome power,
In describing to you the Vajra King,
A samadhi inconceivable of likeness to illusions.
It is the true mother of all Buddhas. 5:215
”You may hear the secret Dharma-doors
Of Buddhas as numerous as motes of dust,
But without first renouncing desire and outflows,
You may amass learning, but you will still make mistakes. 5:216
”You concentrate on learning to uphold the Buddha’s Dharma.
Why don’t you listen to your own hearing? 5:218
“Hearing does not spontaneously arise;
Because of sound it gets its name.
But when hearing returns and is free of sound,
What does one call that which is set free? 5:218
”As soon as one sense-organ returns to the source,
The entire six are liberated. 5:220
”Sight and hearing are like an illusory covering.
The Triple Realm, a vision of flowers in space.
When hearing reverts, the cataract is gone.
The ‘dust’ gives way to pure and perfect insight. 5:220
”When purity is ultimate, the light is penetrating.
A stillness shines and includes within it all of emptiness.
Looking at the world from this point of view,
Everything that happens is just like a dream.
Matangi’s daughter, too, is part of the dream.
Who was able, then, to physically detain you? 5:221
”It is like a puppeteer who plays with shadows
And works the dolls to seem as real as people.
Although one sees them move about freely,
They are really governed by a set of strings.
Cease operating the controls and they return to stillness.
The entire illusion is without a nature. 5:222
”The six sense-organs are also thus.
At first there was one essential brightness.
Which split into a six-fold combination.
If but one part ceases and returns,
All six functions will stop as well.
In response to a thought, defiling objects vanish,
Becoming pure and wonderful perfect brightness. 5:223
”If there is residual defilement, one must still study.
When the brightness is ultimate, that is the Tathagata. 5:224
”Ananda, and everyone in the great assembly,
Turn yourselves around and revert the hearing.
Return the hearing and listen to the self nature
Till the nature reaches the supreme way.
That is what perfect penetration really means. 5:224
”It is the gateway entered by Buddhas as many as dust motes.
It is the one path to Nirvana.
Thus Come Ones of the past perfected this method.
Bodhisattvas now merge with this total brightness.
People of the future who study and practice
Will also rely on this Dharma.
Through this method I, too, have been certified.
Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva was not alone in using it. 5:225
”As the Buddha, the World Honored One, requested,
I choose sincerely a skill-in-means,
One to save those in the final aeon
Who seek to escape the mundane world,
And perfect the heart of Nirvana:
The best way is to contemplate the sounds of the world. 5:226
”All the other kinds of expedients
Require the awesome spirit of the Buddha.
In some cases they bring immediate transcendence,
But they are not the customary means of practice,
Spoken for those of shallow and deep roots alike. 5:227
”I bow to the Ones Come Thus and the Tripitaka,
And to those inconceivable ones with no outflows,
Trusting they will aid those in the future,
So that no one will doubt this dharma-door.
It is an expedient easy to master;
An appropriate teaching for Ananda
And for those immersed in the final age.
They should cultivate this organ of hearing,
A perfect penetration that surpasses all others.
It is the way to the true mind.” 5:228
Thereupon, Ananda and all in the great assembly experienced a clarity of body and mind. Having attained such profound instruction, they contemplated the Buddha’s Bodhi and Parinirvana like someone who, having traveled far on business, knows that he is on the road home, though he has not returned completely. 5:229
Throughout the entire assembly, the gods, dragons, and all the eightfold division, those of the two vehicles who were not yet beyond learning, as well as all the Bodhisattvas of initial resolve, as numerous as the sands in ten Ganges Rivers, found their fundamental mind and, far removed from dust and defilement, attained the purity of the Dharma Eye. 5:230
The Bhikshuni named “Nature” attained Arhatship after hearing this verse. 5:230
And limitless beings brought forth a matchless, unequalled resolve for Annuttarasamyaksambodhi. 5:231