Mahavaipulya Sutra of Buddha Adornment: The Universally Worthy Action Vow to Enter the Inconceivable Liberation State, 大方廣佛華嚴經:入不思議解脫境界普賢行願品卷四十
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Sūtra 21 (posted 12/2008, updated 10/2010)  Book information on Home page

大方廣佛華嚴經: 入不思議解脫境界普賢行願品卷四十
Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment: The Universally Worthy Action Vow to Enter the Inconceivable Liberation State

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

Fascicle 40 (of 40)

At that time Samantabhadra Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, having praised Tathāgatas’ merit, said to the Bodhisattvas and the youth Sudhana: “Good men, if Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions expound Tathāgatas’ merit continuously for as many kalpas as there are dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands, they still can never finish their narrations. If one wants to go through this Merit Door, one should train in the ten great vowed actions. What are these ten?

First, make obeisance to Buddhas.
Second, praise Tathāgatas.
Third, make expansive offerings.
Fourth, repent of karma, the cause of hindrances.
Fifth, express sympathetic joy over others’ merits.
Sixth, request Buddhas to turn the Dharma wheel.
Seventh, beseech Buddhas to abide in the world.
Eighth, always follow Buddhas to learn.
Ninth, forever support sentient beings.
Tenth, universally transfer all merits to others.”

Sudhana asked, “Great Holy One, how does one accomplish these ten, from making obeisance to transferring merit?”
    Samantabhadra Bodhisattva told Sudhana, “First, good man, the Buddhas to whom I make obeisance refer to Buddha-Bhagavāns, who are as numerous as dust particles in all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions, in the entire dharma realm and the domain of space. Through the power of the universally worthy action vow, I elicit my profound faith and understanding. As if Buddhas are present before me, I ceaselessly make obeisance with the pure karma of my body, voice, and mind. In the place where each Buddha is, I manifest as many copies of myself as there are dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands. Each copy makes obeisance to Buddhas, who are as numerous as dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands.
    “My obeisances would end only if the domain of space ended. As the domain of space has no end, so my obeisances will have no end. My obeisances would end only if the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. As the realm of sentient beings and their karmas and afflictions have no end, so my obeisances will have no end. They continue thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Second, good man, the Tathāgatas I praise refer to Buddhas, who are as numerous as all the dust particles in all the worlds that are contained in every dust particle in all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions, in the entire dharma realm and the domain of space. Each Buddha in His place is surrounded by an ocean-like assembly of Bodhisattvas. I will present my knowledge and views with profound understanding. The wonderful tongue [of each of the magically manifested copies of myself], which surpasses the eloquent tongues of goddess-daughters, emits an ocean of endless sounds. Each sound emits an ocean of words in praise of the ocean of all Tathāgatas’ merits, continuing ceaselessly into the endless future and reaching everywhere in the entire dharma realm.
    “My praises would end only if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. As these four, from the domain of space to the afflictions of sentient beings, have no end, so my praises will have no end. They continue thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Third, good man, how does one make expansive offerings? In the entire dharma realm and the domain of space, there are dust particles in all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions. In each dust particle are as many Buddhas as there are dust particles in all the worlds. Each Buddha in His place is surrounded by various kinds of ocean-like assemblies of Bodhisattvas. Through the power of the universally worthy action vow, I elicit my profound faith and understanding, and present my knowledge and views. I make superb offerings, such as flower clouds, tiara clouds, celestial music clouds, celestial umbrella clouds, celestial garment clouds, and various kinds of celestial fragrances: solid perfumes, incense for burning, and powdered incense. Clouds [and fragrances] such as these are as immense as Sumeru, king of mountains. I light various kinds of lamps, such as butter lamps, oil lamps, and scented oil lamps. Each lamp wick is like Mount Sumeru, and the oil in each lamp is like the water of the immense ocean. With objects such as these, I ceaselessly make offerings.
    “Moreover, good man, among all offerings, supreme are Dharma offerings, such as training according to the teachings as an offering, benefiting sentient beings as an offering, drawing sentient beings into the Dharma as an offering, bearing sentient beings’ suffering in their stead as an offering, assiduously developing one’s roots of goodness as an offering, never abandoning the Bodhisattva work as an offering, and never losing the bodhi mind as an offering. Good man, the immeasurable merit acquired from making the offerings mentioned earlier is less than one hundredth, one thousandth, one hundred-thousandth, one koṭith, one nayutath, or one kalā of the merit acquired from offering the Dharma even with only one thought, or less than any fraction of it by calculation, mathematics, analogy, or upaniṣad [measure]. Why? Because all Tathāgatas esteem the Dharma and because training according to the teachings gives birth to Buddhas. When Bodhisattvas practice offering the Dharma, they in effect make offerings to Tathāgatas. Training in this way is the true offering.
    “My vast superb offerings would end only if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. As these four, from the domain of space to the afflictions of sentient beings, have no end, so my offering will have no end. It continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Fourth, good man, how does one repent of karma, the cause of hindrances? Bodhisattvas should think: ‘Because of greed, anger, and delusion, the evil karma I have done through my body, voice, and mind, in past kalpas without a beginning, is immeasurable and boundless. If this evil karma had substance and appearance, even the entire domain of space could not contain it. I now, with the three pure karmas, earnestly repent before the entire multitude of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in lands as numerous as dust particles in the dharma realm. I will never do [such evil karma] again, and I will abide by the pure precepts and cultivate all virtues.’
    “My repentance would end only if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. As these four, from the domain of space to the afflictions of sentient beings, have no end, so my repentance will have no end. It continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Fifth, good man, how does one express sympathetic joy over others’ merits? In the entire dharma realm and the domain of space, Buddha-Tathāgatas, who are as numerous as dust particles in all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions, since their initial resolve to acquire [sarvajña] the overall wisdom-knowledge, have assiduously accumulated merit, never begrudging their bodies and lives. For as many kalpas as there are dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands, in each kalpa they have generously given their heads, eyes, hands, and feet as many times as there are dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands. Through such difficult ascetic training, they have gone through various kinds of Pāramitā Doors and ascended through various levels of Bodhisattva Wisdom Ground, and they have attained the unsurpassed Buddha bodhi, entered parinirvāṇa, and had their holy relics distributed. Over all such roots of goodness, I express my sympathetic joy.
    “I also express my sympathetic joy over the merits, even one as tiny as a dust particle, of all sentient beings that take the six life-journeys through the four modes of birth in all the worlds in the ten directions. I also express my sympathetic joy over the merits of all voice-hearers, of whom some are still learning and others have nothing more to learn, and of Pratyekabuddhas, of the past, present, and future, [in worlds] in the ten directions. I also express my sympathetic joy over the immense merit of Bodhisattvas who undertake the immeasurable and difficult ascetic training, and resolve to attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi.
    “My sympathetic rejoicing would never end even if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. It continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Sixth, good man, how does one request Buddhas to turn the Dharma wheel? In the entire dharma realm and the domain of space, there are dust particles in all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions. Contained in each dust particle are vast Buddha Lands as numerous as dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands. In each land are Buddhas as numerous as dust particles in innumerable Buddha Lands who, as I think each thought, attain samyak-saṁbodhi and are surrounded by ocean-like assemblies of Bodhisattvas. With the karma of my body, voice, and mind, using various skillful means, I heartily request them to turn the wondrous Dharma wheel.
    “Until the domain of space ends, the realm of sentient beings ends, the karmas of sentient beings end, and the afflictions of sentient beings end, I ceaselessly request Buddhas to turn the true Dharma wheel forever. My request continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Seventh, good man, how does one beseech Buddhas to abide in the world? In all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions, as Buddha-Tathāgatas, who are as numerous as dust particles, wish to demonstrate entering parinirvāṇa, so too do voice-hearers, of whom some are still learning and others have nothing more to learn, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and beneficent learned ones. I beseech them all not to enter parinirvāṇa, but to bring benefits and delights to all sentient beings for as many kalpas as there are dust particles in all Buddha Lands.
    “My beseeching would never end even if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. It continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Eighth, good man, how does one always follow Buddhas to learn? For example, Vairocana Tathāgata in this Sahā World, since his initial resolve [to attain Buddhahood], has made energetic progress, never regressing. In innumerable lives, He gave away His body and life as alms. He stripped off His skin for paper, split His bone for pen, and pierced His blood vessels for ink in order to copy sūtras, and the copies He made piled as high as Mount Sumeru. In His veneration for the Dharma, He did not begrudge His body or life, much less all that He owned, such as thrones, cities, towns, palaces, and gardens. He carried out various kinds of difficult ascetic training until he attained the great bodhi under the bodhi tree.
    “He has demonstrated various kinds of spiritual powers and has performed various kinds of magical illusions. He has manifested various Buddha bodies to attend various kinds of assemblies: He is present in the bodhimaṇḍa for the assemblies of great Bodhisattvas; in the bodhimaṇḍa for the assemblies of Pratyekabuddhas and voice-hearers; in the bodhimaṇḍa for the assemblies of Wheel-Turning Kings, lesser kings, and their retinues; in the bodhimaṇḍa for the assemblies of kṣatriyas, Brahmins, elders, and laypeople; and even in the bodhimaṇḍa for the assemblies of the eight classes of Dharma protectors, such as gods and dragons, as well as for the assemblies of humans and nonhumans.
    “Present in various kinds of assemblies such as these, speaking with the perfect tone like a great thunderclap, He has brought sentient beings to maturity according to their pleasures, and has even demonstrated entering parinirvāṇa. All such things, I follow Buddhas to learn. As Vairocana the World-Honored One in the present world acts in this way, so do all Tathāgatas in all Buddha Lands of the past, present, and future, in the ten directions, which are as numerous as dust particles, in the entire dharma realm and the domain of space. Thought after thought, I follow them to learn.
    “My following and learning would never end even if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient being ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. My following and learning continue thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Ninth, good man, how does one support sentient beings forever? In the entire dharma realm and the domain of space, in oceans of worlds in the ten directions, all sentient beings are different in many ways, as they are born through egg, womb, moisture, or miraculous formation. Some depend on earth, water, fire, and wind to be born and to live. Some depend on space and plants to be born and to live.
    “There are various living species, various body forms, various shapes, various facial features, various lifespans, various tribes, various names, various mindsets, various kinds of knowledge and views, various kinds of desires and pleasures, various kinds of mental activities, various kinds of behavior, various kinds of attire, various kinds of food and drink. Sentient beings live in various kinds of villages, towns, cities, and palaces. They include even the eight classes of Dharma protectors, such as gods and dragons, as well as humans and nonhumans, whether without feet, with two, four, or multiple feet, with or without form, with or without perception, neither with nor without perception.
    “I actively support all such beings, attending to their needs, making various kinds of offerings, in the same way I honor my parents and serve my teachers, as well as Arhats and even Tathāgatas, without any difference. I serve as the good physician to those who are ill or in pain. I indicate the right road to those who have lost their way. I serve as the bright light to those in the dark night. I enable the poor to acquire the hidden treasure.
    “Bodhisattvas equally benefit all sentient beings in this way. Why? Because when Bodhisattvas support sentient beings, they in effect serve and make offerings to Buddhas. When they esteem and serve sentient beings, they in effect esteem and serve Tathāgatas. When they enable sentient beings to rejoice, they in effect enable Tathāgatas to rejoice. Why? Because Buddha-Tathāgatas have the mind of great compassion as their essence. Because of sentient beings’ suffering, Buddha-Tathāgatas exude great compassion. Because of their great compassion, they activate the bodhi mind. Because of the bodhi mind, they attain samyak-saṁbodhi.
    “As an analogy, there is a colossal tree in a wilderness of sand dunes. If its roots receive water, then its branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits will flourish. Likewise is the bodhi tree, the king of trees, in the wilderness of saṁsāra. Sentient beings are the tree roots, and Bodhisattvas and Buddhas are respectively the flowers and fruits. If one benefits sentient beings with the water of great compassion, one can develop the flowers and fruits of wisdom, becoming a Bodhisattva then a Buddha. Why? Because if Bodhisattvas benefit sentient beings with the water of great compassion, they can attain anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi. Therefore, bodhi belongs to sentient beings. Without sentient beings, Bodhisattvas can never attain the unsurpassed saṁbodhi. Good man, you should have such an understanding of this meaning. By regarding sentient beings with the mind of equality, one can perfect one’s great compassion. By supporting sentient beings with the mind of great compassion, one can complete one’s offerings to Tathāgatas.
    “As Bodhisattvas support sentient beings in this way, so my support would never end even if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. It continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Tenth, good man, how does one universally transfer one’s merits to others? One transfers all merits, from making obeisance to supporting sentient beings, to all sentient beings in the entire dharma realm and the domain of space, wishing that they always have peace and joy, without illness or suffering; that the evil they desire to do will not be done; that the good they desire to do will quickly be done; that all doors to the evil life-journeys will be closed; and that the right road to human life, celestial life, and nirvāṇa will be revealed. All the bitter fruits produced by sentient beings’ evil karmas, one accepts in their stead, so that they will achieve liberation and eventually attain the unsurpassed bodhi.
    “As Bodhisattvas transfer their merits in this way, so my merit transferring would never end even if the domain of space ended, the realm of sentient beings ended, the karmas of sentient beings ended, and the afflictions of sentient beings ended. It continues thought after thought without interruption as the karma of my body, voice, and mind knows no tiredness.
    “Good man, this is a complete explanation of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas’ great vow of the ten actions [the king of vows]. If Bodhisattvas progress by fulfilling this great vow, they will be able to bring all sentient beings to maturity, to head for anuttara-samyak-saṁbodhi, and to fulfill Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s ocean of action vows. Therefore, good man, you should have such an understanding of this meaning.
    “Suppose, among good men and good women, there are those who, as an offering to all sentient beings in the entire world of yours, and to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas in the entire world of yours, give them the superb seven treasures that fill up all the worlds, which are as numerous as dust particles in innumerable, boundless Buddha Lands in the ten directions, and give them the superb peace and joy in human and celestial worlds, for as many kalpas as there are dust particles in your Buddha Land, and continue [this giving] unceasingly. The merit they have acquired is less than one hundredth, one thousandth, or even one upaniṣadth of that of one who has only once heard this king of vows.
    “If there is someone who, with profound faith, accepts and upholds this great vow, reads and recites it, or even copies a four-verse stanza, his karma of the five rebellious acts, which would drive him into [Avīci Hell] the hell of the five no interruptions, will quickly be obliterated. All his physical and mental diseases, various kinds of suffering and distress, and even evil karmas as numerous as dust particles in all Buddha Lands, will all be removed. All māra legions, yakṣas, rakṣasas, kumbhāṇḍas, piśācas, bhūtas, and evil ghosts and spirits that eat flesh and drink blood will either keep far away or be inspired to stay near as his guardians. Therefore, whoever recites this vow walks in the world unhindered, like the moon that emerges from clouds. He is praised by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Gods and humans should make obeisance to him, and all sentient beings should make offerings to him. This good person well deserves a human body, and he will acquire all the universally worthy merit. Before long, like Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, he will quickly acquire a wonderful physical body with a great man’s thirty-two physical marks. If he is reborn in the human or celestial world, then wherever he is, that is where superior people will live. Like the lion-king that subjugates all other animals, he will be able to destroy all evil life-journeys, keep away from all evil friends, subdue all non-Buddhists, and eradicate all afflictions. He will be worthy of accepting offerings from sentient beings.
    “Furthermore, when this person dies, in the final kṣaṇa, all his faculties will perish, all his family members will be abandoned, and all his awesome might will be lost. All things inside or outside the palace, such as attending state ministers, elephants, horses, carriages, precious jewels, and hidden treasures, will no longer follow him. Only this king of vows will not abandon him. At all times, it will guide him forward. In the time of a kṣaṇa, he will be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Upon arrival, he will immediately see Amitābha Buddha, Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, and Maitreya Bodhisattva. These Bodhisattvas, surrounded by their retinues, are sublime in their physical appearance and complete in their merit. This person will see himself reborn in a lotus flower and have a prophecy [of attaining Buddhahood] bestowed upon him by that Buddha.
    “After receiving the prophecy, in innumerable worlds in the ten directions, through the power of his wisdom, he will benefit sentient beings according to their minds for uncountable hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, koṭis, and nayutas of kalpas. Before long, he will sit in a bodhimaṇḍa to subjugate the māra legions, attain samyak-saṁbodhi, and turn the wondrous Dharma wheel, enabling sentient beings in worlds as numerous as dust particles in Buddha Lands to activate the bodhi mind. He will teach and transform them and bring them to maturity according to their natures and capacities. Through boundless oceans of kalpas to come, he will widely benefit all sentient beings.
    “Good man, if there are sentient beings that, having heard and believed in this great king of vows, accept and uphold it, read and recite it, and widely expound it to others, no one can know their merit, except for Buddha-Bhagavāns. Therefore, all of you, having heard this king of vows, should not entertain thoughts of doubt. You all should accept it earnestly. Having accepted it, you can read it. Having read it, you can recite it. Having recited it, you can uphold it, copy it, and even widely pronounce it to others. People such as these can fulfill in a single thought all their action vows, and acquire immeasurable, boundless merit. They are able to rescue and relieve sentient beings from the immense bitter ocean of afflictions, enabling them to leave it and be reborn in Amitābha Buddha’s Land of Ultimate Bliss.”
    At that time Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, to restate this meaning, looked about everywhere [in worlds] in the ten directions and spoke in verse:

To all Buddhas, the lions among men, of the past, present, and future,
In all worlds in the ten directions,
I make obeisance, omitting none,
With my pure body, voice, and mind.
By the awesome spiritual power of the universally worthy action vow,
I simultaneously appear before all Tathāgatas.
My body is multiplied into as many copies as there are dust particles in all lands,
Each making obeisance to all Buddhas as numerous as dust particles in all lands.

In each dust particle are Buddhas as numerous as dust particles,
And each Buddha attends assemblies of Bodhisattvas.
As dust particles in the boundless dharma realm are the same,
I deeply believe that they all are graced by Buddhas.
Each copy of myself sends forth an ocean of sounds,
Speaking limitless wonderful words endlessly
Through all kalpas to come,
Praising the deep ocean of Buddhas’ merits.

Taking superb flowers and tiaras,
Instrumental music, solid perfumes, and canopies,
Such superb adornments as these,
I offer them all to Tathāgatas.
Taking the finest garments, the choicest incense,
Powdered incense, incense for burning, and lamps and candles,
Each and every item in an amazingly lofty pile,
I offer them all to Tathāgatas.
With a mind of vast excellent understanding,
I deeply believe in all Buddhas of the past, present, and future.
Through the power of the universally worthy action vow,
I make offerings to all Tathāgatas.

The evil karmas I have done in the past
With my body, voice, and mind
Were all caused by greed, anger, and delusion, without a beginning in time.
I now repent of them all.
Over the merits of all sentient beings [in worlds] in the ten directions,
Of riders of the Two Vehicles, of whom some are still learning and others have nothing more to learn,
And of all Tathāgatas and Bodhisattvas,
I express my sympathetic joy.

I now request
All Buddhas, the world-illuminating lamps, [in worlds] in the ten directions,
As soon as they attain the great bodhi,
To turn the unsurpassed wondrous Dharma wheel.
If Buddhas wish to demonstrate entering parinirvāṇa,
I beseech them with utmost sincerity
To abide for as many kalpas as there are dust particles in all lands
And to benefit and delight all sentient beings.

The roots of goodness developed from my obeisances, praises, and offerings,
From my repentance and sympathetic joy,
And from my requesting Buddhas to abide in the world and to turn the Dharma wheel,
Are all transferred to sentient beings for [their attainment of] Buddha bodhi.

I follow all Tathāgatas to learn
As I train in the universally worthy, perfect actions.
I make offerings to past Tathāgatas,
Present Buddhas [in worlds] in the ten directions,
And all future teachers to gods and humans,
Bringing delight to all.
I vow to follow all Buddhas of the past, present, and future to learn,
In order to attain the great bodhi quickly.
In all worlds in the ten directions,
Which are vast, pure, and magnificent,
Tathāgatas, each under the bodhi tree, the king of trees,
Are surrounded by assemblies of multitudes.

I wish sentient beings [in worlds] in the ten directions
To leave their anguish and trouble for peace and joy,
To acquire the profound benefits of the true Dharma,
And to eradicate afflictions, omitting none.
Throughout my life-journeys, in training for the great bodhi,
I will acquire the power of past-life knowledge,
And will always renounce family life to observe the pure precepts
Without defilement, violation, or omission.
To gods, dragons, yakṣas, kumbhāṇḍas,
And even humans and nonhumans,
I will expound the Dharma in various tones
In all languages of sentient beings.

As I assiduously practice the pure pāramitās,
I will never lose the bodhi mind.
I will remove hindrances and afflictions, omitting none,
And will accomplish all the wonderful actions.
From afflictions, karmas, and māra states
On the worldly path, I will achieve liberation,
Like the lotus flower, which does not touch the water,
And like the sun and the moon, which do not stay in the sky.

As I remove all the suffering of evil life-journeys,
I will give happiness equally to all sentient beings.
For as many kalpas as there are dust particles in all lands,
My benefits to all [in worlds] in the ten directions will be endless.
I will forever support sentient beings
Through all kalpas to come,
As I persistently train in the universally worthy, great actions
To attain the unsurpassed great bodhi.

All those who walk with me
Congregate with me in assemblies everywhere.
Equal in their karma of body, voice, and mind,
They train together to learn all these vowed actions.
All beneficent learned friends who benefit me
Have indicated to me these universally worthy actions.
They are always willing to congregate with me,
And they always rejoice in appreciating me.

I wish always to behold Tathāgatas
And the multitudes of Buddha-sons surrounding them.
I will make expansive offerings to them all
Tirelessly through all kalpas to come.
I vow to uphold the wondrous Dharma of Buddhas,
To present openly all the training for bodhi,
And to complete the pure, universally worthy path,
Persistently training through all kalpas to come.
Everywhere in the Three Realms of Existence
I will accumulate boundless merit and wisdom.
Through samādhi, wisdom, skillful means, and liberation,
I will acquire a limitless store of merits.

In each dust particle are worlds as numerous as dust particles.
Each and every world has an inconceivable Buddha.
I see each and every Buddha in assemblies of multitudes
Constantly expounding the training for bodhi.
Across oceans of worlds in the ten directions,
Across oceans of the past, present, and future, on the tip of every hair,
Across oceans of Buddhas and oceans of worlds,
I train myself across oceans of kalpas.

The words of all Tathāgatas are pure.
Every word contains an ocean of sounds,
In tune with sentient beings’ pleasures,
Flowing one by one from the ocean of Buddhas’ eloquence.
All Tathāgatas of the past, present, and future,
By means of oceans of endless words,
Forever turn the wondrous Dharma wheel in accord with the truth,
Which I can penetrate through the power of my profound wisdom.

I can enter into the future,
Merging all kalpas into one thought.
In the time of one thought, I can enter
All kalpas of the past and future.
In one thought, I see all the lions among men,
Of the past, present, and future.
I also frequently enter the Buddha state
Through illusion-like liberation and awesome powers.

In the minuteness of the tip of a hair
Appear magnificent worlds of the past, present, and future.
On the tips of hairs are worlds in the ten directions, as numerous as dust particles.
I enter all these worlds and adorn them with purity.
All future Buddhas, the world-illuminating lamps,
Will attain bodhi, turn the Dharma wheel to awaken sentient beings,
Complete Buddha work, and enter parinirvāṇa as a demonstration.
I will visit and serve them all.

Mastering quickly all transcendental powers,
Acquiring through the universal door the power of the Mahāyāna,
Accumulating through wise actions the power of merit,
Activating with awesome spirit the power of great lovingkindness,
Adorning [myself with] the power of superb blessing,
Unfolding through no attachment and no reliance the power of wisdom,
Achieving the awesome spiritual power of samādhi, wisdom, and skillful means,
Gathering all the power to attain bodhi,
Purifying the power of all good karmas,
Annihilating the power of all afflictions,
Subjugating the power of all māras,
Fulfilling the power of the universally worthy actions,

I universally adorn and purify oceans of worlds
And liberate oceans of sentient beings;
I adeptly differentiate oceans of dharmas
And enter deeply into oceans of wisdom;
I universally purify oceans of actions
And fulfill oceans of vows;
I competently serve and make offerings to oceans of Buddhas
And train tirelessly for oceans of kalpas.
To all Tathāgatas of the past, present, and future,
[Who have] supreme bodhi, and actions and vows,
I make offerings, in perfect training,
In order to attain bodhi through the universally worthy actions.

Every Tathāgata has an eldest son
Called the revered Samantabhadra.
I now transfer my roots of goodness to all,
Wishing that my wisdom and actions will equal his.
I wish that my body, voice, and mind will be forever pure,
As will be my actions and the lands I walk.
Such a wisdom being called Samantabhadra,
I wish to be his equal.

I will accomplish with purity Samantabhadra’s great actions
And Mañjuśrī’s great vows.
All the work they have completed, I will complete as well,
Tirelessly through all kalpas to come.
My spiritual training having no limit,
I will acquire immeasurable merit.
Persistent in immeasurable actions,
I will master all transcendental powers.
As Mañjuśrī’s wisdom is dynamic,
So too are Samantabhadra’s wise actions.
I now transfer my roots of goodness,
Wishing always to follow them to train and learn.
As Buddhas of the past, present, and future
Praise such outstanding great wishes,
I now transfer my roots of goodness,
Wishing to accomplish the universally worthy, supreme actions.

I wish that, at the end of my life,
All hindrances will be removed, and that
I will instantly be reborn in the Land of Peace and Bliss
To behold Amitābha Buddha.
Having been reborn in that land,
I will forthwith bring this great vow
Into total fulfillment with no exception,
And bring benefits and delights to the realm of all sentient beings.
As all assemblies of that Buddha are pure,
I will be reborn in a splendid lotus flower.
I will see with my own eye the Tathāgata of infinite light
Bestow upon me the prophecy of attaining bodhi.
Having received the prophecy from that Tathāgata,
I will magically multiply my body countless hundreds of koṭis in number.
With the great power of my wisdom pervading the ten directions,
I will universally benefit the realm of all sentient beings.

[My vow will last] until the domain of space ends,
The realm of sentient beings ends, and their karmas and afflictions end.
As these four have no end,
So my vow will have no end.

People may offer Tathāgatas magnificent treasures
In boundless worlds in the ten directions
And give superb peace and joy to gods and humans,
For as many kalpas as there are dust particles in all lands.
If someone can elicit faith in this supreme king of vows
After hearing it but once,
And can seek the supreme bodhi with a longing mind,
His merit surpasses that of those benefactors.
He will keep far away from evil philosophers
And forever leave the evil life-paths.
Equipped with the universally worthy, supreme vow,
He will soon behold the Tathāgata of infinite light.

This person well deserves a long life.
This person well deserves to be reborn among humans.
This person will complete before long the Bodhisattva actions
Just as Samantabhadra has.
The extremely evil karmas that would drive him into the hell of the five no interruptions
Were done in the past from lack of wisdom.
They will all be quickly obliterated in one thought
As he recites the universally worthy, great king of vows.

His family name, caste, facial color,
Looks, and wisdom will be perfect.
Māras or non-Buddhists cannot destroy him,
And he is worthy of accepting offerings from the Three Realms of Existence.
He will soon visit the great bodhi tree-king.
Seated under it, he will subjugate the multitude of māras,
Attain samyak-saṁbodhi, turn the Dharma wheel,
And universally benefit all sentient beings.

If someone reads and recites this universally worthy vow,
Accepts, upholds, and expounds it,
Only Buddhas can know the fruition of his requital.
He will definitely be victorious on the bodhi path.
If someone recites this universally worthy vow,
I say that his roots of goodness, no matter how small,
Will fully grow in one thought into
The pure vow to bring sentient beings to accomplishment.

The boundless superb merit acquired from my universally worthy, great actions
Will all be transferred to sentient beings,
Wishing that those who are sinking and drowning
Will go quickly to the land of Infinite Light Buddha.

At that time, before the Tathāgata, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva finished speaking these pure stanzas of the universally worthy, great king of vows. The youth Sudhana was exuberant beyond measure, and all Bodhisattvas greatly rejoiced. The Tathāgata praised, “Very good! Very good!”
    As the Tathāgata, together with holy Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, expounded [through Samantabhadra Bodhisattva] such an excellent Dharma Door to the inconceivable liberation state, Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva was at the head of great Bodhisattvas and the six thousand bhikṣus whom they had brought to spiritual maturity. Maitreya Bodhisattva was at the head of all the great Bodhisattvas of this Worthy Kalpa. The immaculate Samantabhadra Bodhisattva was at the head of Bodhisattvas who had nectar poured on their heads, empowered in the holy position of waiting to attain Buddhahood in their next life, and of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas who came from various worlds in the ten directions, in numbers as numerous as dust particles in oceans of worlds. Śāriputra the Great Wisdom and Mahāmaudgalyāyana were at the head of great voice-hearers and multitudes of human and celestial rulers.
    All in the huge assembly, including gods, dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṁnaras, mahoragas, humans, and nonhumans, having heard the Buddha’s words, greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out the teachings.

Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of Buddha Adornment, fascicle 40
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T10n0293)


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