Mahavaipulya Sutra of the Tathagata Store, 大方等如來藏經
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Sūtra 50 (posted 05/2015, updated 10/2016)  Book information on Home page

大方等如來藏經
Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store

Translated from Sanskrit into Chinese in the Eastern Jin Dynasty
by
The Tripiṭaka Master Buddhabhadra from India


The Assembly

Thus I have heard:
   
At one time the Buddha was staying on the Gṛdhrakūṭa Mountain, near the city of Rājagṛha, in the Treasure Moon Lecture Hall in a great sandalwood tower. He had attained Buddhahood ten years ago. He was accompanied by 100,000 great bhikṣus, and Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas as numerous as the sands of sixty Ganges Rivers. These Bodhisattvas had acquired the power of great energetic progress[1] and made offerings to 100,000 koṭi nayuta Buddhas. All of them could turn the no-regress Dharma wheel. Whoever heard any of their names would not regress from the unsurpassed bodhi mind.
    [These Bodhisattvas included] Dharma Wisdom Bodhisattva, Lion Wisdom Bodhisattva, Vajra Wisdom [Vajramati] Bodhisattva, Attuned Wisdom Bodhisattva, Wondrous Wisdom Bodhisattva, Moonlight Bodhisattva, Treasure Moon Bodhisattva, Full Moon Bodhisattva, Valor Bodhisattva, Immeasurable Valor Bodhisattva, Boundless Valor Bodhisattva, Transcending the Three Realms of Existence Bodhisattva, Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, Great Might Arrived [Mahāsthāmaprāpta] Bodhisattva, Fragrant Elephant Bodhisattva, Superior Fragrance Bodhisattva, Foremost Fragrance Bodhisattva, Foremost Store Bodhisattva, Sun Store Bodhisattva, Banner Appearance Bodhisattva, Great Banner Appearance Bodhisattva, Taint-Free Banner Bodhisattva, Boundless Light Bodhisattva, Emitting Light Bodhisattva, Taint-Free Light Bodhisattva, Joy King Bodhisattva, Constant Joy Bodhisattva, Jewel Hand [Ratnapāṇi] Bodhisattva, Space Store [Ākāśa-garbha] Bodhisattva, Arrogance-Free Bodhisattva, Sumeru Bodhisattva, Radiant Virtue King Bodhisattva, Dhāraṇī Commanding King Bodhisattva, Dhāraṇī Bodhisattva, Ending Faults Bodhisattva, Curing All Sentient Beings’ Diseases Bodhisattva, Joyful Mind Bodhisattva, Contented Mind Bodhisattva, Constant Contentment Bodhisattva, Universal Illumination Bodhisattva, Moonshine Bodhisattva, Treasure Wisdom Bodhisattva, Able to Change a Female Body Bodhisattva, Great Thunder Bodhisattva, Guiding Teacher Bodhisattva, No False Views Bodhisattva, Mastering All Dharmas Bodhisattva, Maitreya Bodhisattva, and Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva.
    From countless Buddha Lands, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas as numerous as the sands of sixty Ganges Rivers, and innumerable gods, dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuḍas, kiṁnaras, and mahoragas gathered there to pay respects and make offerings.

A Miraculous Manifestation

At that time, in the great sandalwood tower, the World-Honored One was properly seated and in samādhi. Using His spiritual power, he produced a miraculous manifestation. There appeared countless thousand-petaled lotus flowers in various colors and with various fragrances. Although not yet unfurled, each bud was as large as a carriage wheel. Inside each was a conjured Buddha. Then all flowers rose up into the open sky and covered the world, like a jeweled canopy. Each and every lotus flower emitted immeasurable radiance, and all of them simultaneously unfurled. Then, through the Buddha’s spiritual power, they withered in an instant, revealing the conjured Buddhas seated crossed-legged [on lotus seed cups], each Buddha emitting countless hundreds and thousands of beams of light. Seeing this extraordinary adornment of the world, all in this assembly rejoiced exuberantly. However, they were perplexed by this unprecedented display and wondered why these countless wonderful flowers suddenly withered and became black, stinky, and loathsome.
    Then the World-Honored One, knowing the perplexity of the multitude of Bodhisattvas, told Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva, “Good man, if you have any doubts about the Buddha Dharma, you may ask questions as you please.”
    Then Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva, who knew the perplexity of the multitude, asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, why did these countless lotus flowers contain conjured Buddhas, rise up into the open sky to cover the world, and wither in an instant to reveal all conjured Buddhas seated cross-legged, each emitting countless hundreds and thousands of beams of light? All in this assembly witnessed this and joined their palms in reverence.”
    Then Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva spoke in verse:

Never before have I seen
Such a miraculous manifestation as displayed today.
Conjured Buddhas by the hundreds of thousands of koṭis
Are seated in the lotus flower stores [puṇḍarīka-garbha],
Each Buddha emitting countless beams of light
That pervade all Buddha Lands.
These taint-free guiding teachers
Adorn all worlds.

When these lotus flowers suddenly withered,
They became loathsome to all.
For what reason
Do you display this miraculous manifestation?
I have seen Buddhas as numerous as the sands of the Ganges
And Their countless miraculous manifestations.
Never before have I seen such a manifestation as displayed today.
I pray that You will explain to us in detail.

Nine Analogies

Then the World-Honored One said to Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva and other Bodhisattvas, “Good men, there is a mahāvaipulya sūtra called Tathāgata Store [tathāgata-garbha].[2] It is because I will expound this sūtra that I display this auspicious sign. You all should hearken and ponder well the teachings in this sūtra.”
    They all said, “Very good! We will be delighted to hear it.”
    1. The Buddha said, “Good men, in my manifestation, when countless lotus flowers suddenly withered and turned into something loathsome, innumerable conjured Buddhas are revealed, who have majestic appearances, are seated cross-legged, and emit vast radiance. Witnessing this rare miraculous manifestation, all in this multitude paid respects. Indeed, good men, I use the Buddha eye to observe all sentient beings, and see that, in the midst of their afflictions, such as greed, anger, and delusion, they have the Tathāgata wisdom, the Tathāgata eye,[3] and a Tathāgata’s body seated cross-legged and solemnly motionless. Good men, although all sentient beings transmigrate through various life-paths, in their affliction-laden bodies is the Tathāgata store, which is free from taints and bears marks of virtue, no different from me.
    “Moreover, good men, just as someone with the god eye sees that the unfurled flowers contain Tathāgatas’ bodies seated cross-legged, which will be revealed when the withered flowers are removed, likewise a Buddha sees the Tathāgata store in sentient beings. Wanting to reveal it, He expounds to them the Dharma in sūtras, to enable them to remove their afflictions and reveal their Buddha nature.
    “Good men, such is the way of Buddhas. Whether or not a Buddha appears in the world, the Tathāgata store in all sentient beings is ever abiding and changeless. However, sentient beings are shrouded by their afflictions. Therefore, a Tathāgata appears in the world to widely expound the Dharma, to enable them to remove their fatiguing afflictions and acquire the pure overall wisdom-knowledge [sarvajña].[4] Good men, if a Bodhisattva believes and delights in this teaching and intently practices and learns, he will achieve liberation, become a Samyak-Saṁbuddha, and do Buddha work in the world.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

In the analogy of flowers that wither,
Before they have unfurled,
Someone with the god eye can see that inside each
Is a Tathāgata’s body free from taints.

After a withered flower is removed,
A guiding teacher with unimpeded wisdom-knowledge[5] is fully revealed.
To end sentient beings’ afflictions,
The most victorious one[6] appears in the world.

A Buddha sees that all sentient beings
Have the Tathāgata store in them,
Which is shrouded by countless afflictions,
Like being fettered by filthy flower petals.

For all sentient beings
To remove their afflictions,
I expound the true Dharma [saddharma]
To enable them to quickly attain Buddha bodhi.

Using the Buddha eye,
I see that the Buddha store steadily abides
In all sentient beings’ bodies.
So I expound the Dharma to reveal it.

    2. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, pure honey is stored in a tree on a cliff, guarded by countless bees. An intelligent man removes the bees by skillful means and takes the honey. Then he eats the honey at will and benefits others near and far. Similarly, good men, all sentient beings possess the Tathāgata store, like that pure honey in the tree on a cliff. It is shrouded by afflictions, as if guarded by bees. I use the Buddha eye to observe sentient beings as they truly are, and use skillful means to expound the Dharma according to their capacities, for them to remove their afflictions, acquire a Buddha’s knowledge and views, and do Buddha work in the world.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, the honey in a tree on a cliff
Is surrounded by countless bees.
A honey collector
First removes the bees by skillful means.

A sentient being’s Tathāgata store
Is like the honey in a tree on a cliff.
It is fettered by fatiguing afflictions,
As if guarded by bees.

I expound the true Dharma to sentient beings
By skillful means,
To enable them to remove their bee-like afflictions,
Open their Tathāgata store,
Acquire unimpeded eloquence,
Expound the Dharma like showering down sweet dew,
Attain true enlightenment and,
With great compassion, And benefit sentient beings.

    3. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, before the husk of rice is removed, even the poor loathe it and say that it should be discarded. However, after its husk is removed, rice is a food for royalty. Indeed, good men, I use the Buddha eye to observe sentient beings, and see that their husk-like afflictions sheathe a Tathāgata’s immeasurable knowledge and views. Therefore, I expound the Dharma by skillful means according to their capacities, to enable them to remove their afflictions, acquire the pure overall wisdom-knowledge, and attain true enlightenment in the world.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, before the husk of
Rice is removed,
Even the poor loathe it
And say that it should be discarded.

Although it seems useless because of its outside,
Its inside is unspoiled.
After its husk is removed,
Rice becomes a food fit for a king.

Seeing that sentient beings’ afflictions
Conceal their Buddha store,
I teach them how to remove their afflictions
And acquire the overall wisdom-knowledge.

As I have Tathāgata nature,
So too do sentient beings.
I teach them to achieve purity
And quickly attain the unsurpassed bodhi.

    4. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, [a chunk of] pure gold has fallen into a filthy place, and for years is hidden from view. Although pure gold is indestructible, no one knows about it. Then someone with the god eye says to the multitude, ‘In this filth lies a treasure of pure gold, and you can excavate it and enjoy it at will.’ Good men, the filthy place is [a sentient being’s] countless afflictions; the treasure of pure gold is his Tathāgata store. The one with the god eye is a Tathāgata. Therefore, a Tathāgata widely expounds the Dharma, to enable sentient beings to remove their afflictions, attain true enlightenment, and do Buddha work.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, [a chunk of] pure gold buried in filth
Is hidden from view.
Only someone with the god eye can see it,
And he tells others
To remove it from filth
And cleanse it to reveal its purity.
Then they can enjoy it at will
And benefit their kin and friends.

Likewise the Sugata[7] uses the Buddha eye
To observe sentient beings,
And sees that their Tathāgata nature in the mire of their afflictions
Is indestructible.

He expounds the Dharma according to their capacities,
To enable them to do the right things
To remove their afflictions that shroud their Buddha nature,
And to reveal its purity.

    5. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, a poor family has a treasure store buried under the floor of their house,[8] but the treasure cannot announce, ‘I am here.’ It neither knows itself nor has speech. Then no one can open this treasure store. Likewise all sentient beings have in their bodies a great treasure store, which includes a Tathāgata’s knowledge and views, Ten Powers, and Four Fearlessnesses. However, they neither know it nor hear about it, as they follow their afflictions and five desires to transmigrate through their cycles of birth and death, undergoing immeasurable suffering. Therefore, Buddhas appear in worlds to reveal the Tathāgata store in their bodies and enable them to open it, acquire the pure overall wisdom-knowledge and unimpeded eloquence, and become great almsgivers. Indeed, good men, I use the Buddha eye to see that all sentient beings possess the Tathāgata store. Hence I give this teaching to Bodhisattvas.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, a poor family
Has a treasure store under the floor of their house.
The owner neither sees nor knows it,
And his treasure cannot speak.

For years, no one tells him about it,
And he remains in the darkness of ignorance.
Because he does not know his own treasure,
He remains in poverty.

I use the Buddha eye to see that
Although sentient beings transmigrate through the five life-paths,
The great treasure in their bodies
Is always there, changeless.

Having made this observation,
I tell sentient beings
And let them know about their treasure store,
So that they will become hugely wealthy and widely benefit others.

Whoever believes in my statement that
All possess the treasure store
And diligently trains by skillful means
Will quickly attain the unsurpassed bodhi.

    6. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, the pit of an āmra [mango] contains an unspoiled seed. Once planted in the ground, it grows into a huge tree. Indeed, good men, I use the Buddha eye to observe sentient beings, and see that the precious Tathāgata store inside the shell of their ignorance is like a seed in an āmra’s pit. Good men, the Tathāgata store is cool, free from the heat of burning afflictions, an aggregate of great wisdom, and quietly in nirvāṇa. It is called a Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha. Good men, after a Tathāgata has observed sentient beings, to enable Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas to acquire a Buddha’s pure wisdom-knowledge [jñāna], He reveals this meaning.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, a seed in
An āmra’s pit is unspoiled.
Once planted in the great earth,
It grows into the king of trees.

A Tathāgata uses the affliction-free eye
To observe all sentient beings,
In whose bodies the Tathāgata store
Is like a seed in a fruit’s pit.

You all should believe and know that
One’s ignorance shrouds one’s Buddha store,
Which abides in samādhi and wisdom
That nothing can destroy.

Therefore, I expound the Dharma
To reveal their Tathāgata store,
So that they can quickly attain the unsurpassed bodhi,
Like a seed becoming the king of trees.

    7. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, a man carries a holy statue in pure gold as he travels to another country. Traveling perilous roads, for fear of bandits, he wraps it in filthy rags to hide it. Then he dies on his way, and his gold statue is discarded in a wilderness. Travelers trample it and say that it is fifth. However, someone with the god eye sees that within the filthy rags is a holy statue in pure gold. He takes it out, and all salute it. Likewise, good men, I see that as sentient beings with various afflictions transmigrate through countless births and deaths in the long night, the wondrous Tathāgata store in their bodies is stately and pure, no different from me. Therefore, I, the Buddha, expound the Dharma to sentient beings, to enable them to end their afflictions, acquire the pure Tathāgata wisdom, and then transform and guide all others in the world.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, a man carries a gold statue
As he travels to another country.
Wrapped in filthy rags,
It is discarded in a wilderness.

Someone with the god eye sees it
And tells the multitude
To remove the filthy rags to reveal the gold statue.
Then all greatly rejoice.

Likewise I use the Buddha eye
To observe sentient beings, and see that,
Fettered by afflictions and evil karmas,
They undergo suffering through repeated birth and death.

I also see that, in the midst of
Their dirt-like ignorance and afflictions,
Their Tathāgata nature remains motionless
And indestructible.

Having seen this,
I, the Buddha, tell Bodhisattvas that
Their afflictions and evil karmas
Shroud a Tathāgata’s supreme body [dharma body].

They should diligently remove them
To reveal the Tathāgata wisdom,
And to be revered by all,
Such as gods, humans, dragons, and ghosts.

    8. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, a poor and ugly woman is loathed by all. However, she is pregnant with a noble son, who will become a holy king to rule the four continents.[9] She does not know this, and for a long time thinks, as do others, that a lowly woman gives birth to a lowly child. Indeed, good men, a Tathāgata observes all sentient beings, and sees that they transmigrate through repeated birth and death, undergoing suffering, though the precious Tathāgata store is in their bodies. Like that woman, they do not know this. Therefore, a Tathāgata expounds the Dharma to all, saying, ‘Good men, do not belittle yourselves. Buddha nature is in your bodies. If you diligently make energetic progress and end your evils, you will be called a Bodhisattva, then a World-Honored One, and will transform and deliver innumerable sentient beings.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, a poor woman
With ugly features
Is pregnant with a noble son
Who will become a Wheel-Turning King
To possess virtues and the seven prescious things[10]
And to rule the four continents.
However, she does not know this
And regards herself as lowly.

I observe sentient beings in suffering,
And see that they are like that woman.
They do not know that
They carry the Tathāgata store in their bodies.

Therefore, I tell Bodhisattvas,
‘Do not belittle yourselves,
Because the Tathāgata store in your bodies
Will bring [wisdom] light to relieve the world.

If you diligently make energetic progress,
You will soon sit in a bodhimaṇḍa,
Attain the supreme bodhi,
And deliver innumerable multitudes.’

    9. “Moreover, good men, as an analogy, a foundryman casts a statue in pure gold. After casting is finished, he places the mold on the ground. Although its outside is scorched and blackened, the statue inside is unchanged. When the mold is removed, the golden color is dazzling. Indeed, good men, a Tathāgata observes all sentient beings, and sees that the Buddha store in their bodies is replete with all excellent marks. Having made this observation, He widely expounds the Dharma to bring sentient beings tranquility and teach them how to use vajra wisdom to destroy their afflictions and reveal a Buddha’s pure body, like taking the gold statue out of the mold.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

As an analogy, a master foundryman
Casts countless statues in pure gold.
Fools see only a blackened mold outside,
Which is scorched clay.

The foundryman waits for the mold to cool,
Then opens it to reveal what is inside.
After the filthy mold is removed,
The gold statue with excellent features is fully revealed.

I use the Buddha eye
To observe sentient beings,
And see that, in the mire of their afflictions,
There is Tathāgata nature.

I teach them to use vajra wisdom
To destroy their afflictions, like removing the mold,
And to open the Tathāgata store,
Like uncovering the gold statue.

Having made this observation,
I tell Bodhisattvas,
‘You all should accept and uphold [my teachings],
And transform sentient beings.’

Merit Acquired by Upholding This Sūtra

Then the World-Honored One said to Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva, “Whether a monastic or a householder, if a good man or woman accepts and upholds this Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store, reads, recites, or copies it, makes offering to it, or widely expounds it to others, the merit acquired will be immeasurable.
    “Vajra Wisdom, suppose that a Bodhisattva who aspires to attain Buddha bodhi diligently trains, makes energetic progress, learns and practices transcendental powers, and enters various samādhis. To plant roots of goodness, he makes offerings to present Buddhas more numerous than the sands of the Ganges and uses the seven treasures to build towers more numerous than the sands of the Ganges. Each tower is ten yojanastall and one yojana in length and width. Inside each tower are couches made of the seven treasures and spread with celestial silks. For each and every Buddha, every day he uses the seven treasures to build towers more numerous than the sands of the Ganges and offers these towers to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and voice-hearers. As he makes such offerings to all present Buddhas more numerous than the sands of the Ganges, so too for countless billions of kalpas he builds treasure towers more numerous than the sands of fifty Ganges Rivers and offers these towers to present Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and voice-hearers, all of whom are more numerous than the sands of fifty Ganges Rivers.
    “However, Vajra Wisdom, that Bodhisattva cannot compare with someone who, aspiring to attain bodhi, accepts and upholds this Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store, reads, recites, or copies it, makes offerings to it, or uses only one of its analogies. Vajra Wisdom, although that Bodhisattva has planted various roots of goodness under innumerable Buddhas and acquired immeasurable merit, his merit is less than one hundredth or one thousandth of the merit acquired by whoever accepts and upholds this sūtra, reads, recites, or copies it, or expounds it to others. The disparity is beyond calculation or analogy.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

Suppose that someone who seeks bodhi
Hears and upholds this sūtra,
Copies it, and makes offerings to it,
Even if for only one stanza.

If he expresses sympathetic joy
Over hearing its teachings
On the wondrous Tathāgata store,
His merit acquired is immeasurable.
Suppose that a Bodhisattva who seeks bodhi
Abides in great transcendental powers
For inconceivable koṭis of kalpas
To make offerings to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas,
And voice-hearers in worlds in the ten directions,
All of whom are more numerous than the sands of the Ganges,

For each and every Buddha,
He builds wonderful treasure towers,
Each ten yojanas tall
And one yojana in length and width.

Inside each tower are couches made of the seven treasures,
Adorned with wonderful things
And spread with celestial silks and cushions,
Different from couch to couch.

He offers such towers,
More numerous than the sands of the Ganges,
To Buddhas and Their multitudes,
Day and night without rest
For a billion kalpas,
And receives corresponding merit.

If someone hears this sūtra
And explains to others,
Even if only one of its analogies,
His merit acquired
Surpasses the merit of that Bodhisattva,
Beyond calculation or analogy.
He will be the reliance of all sentient beings
And quickly attain the unsurpassed bodhi.

If a Bodhisattva intently ponders
The profound Tathāgata store
Possessed by all sentient beings,
He will quickly attain the unsurpassed bodhi.

Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva Received This Teaching in a Past Life

Then the World-Honored One told Vajra Wisdom Bodhisattva, “Before inconceivable asaṁkhyeya kalpas in the distant past, there was a Buddha called Constantly Emitting Radiance King Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha, Knowledge and Conduct Perfected, Sugata, Understanding the World, Unsurpassed One, Tamer of men, Teacher of Gods and Men, Buddha-Bhagavān. Vajra Wisdom, why was He called Constantly Emitting Radiance King? Because when that Buddha was still walking the Bodhisattva Way, after His consciousness descended into His mother’s womb, He constantly emitted radiance, illuminating everywhere in worlds in the ten directions, worlds as numerous as the dust particles in a thousand Buddha Lands. If sentient beings saw His radiance, they would rejoice, and their afflictions would end. They would acquire bodies with good appearances and strength, become accomplished in meditation, possess wisdom, and acquire unimpeded eloquence. If King Yama, hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, or asuras saw His radiance, they would quit their evil life-paths and be reborn as humans or gods. If humans or gods saw His radiance, they would not regress from the unsurpassed bodhi mind but would acquire the five transcendental powers. Those who would never regress on the Bodhisattva Way would acquire endurance in their realization that dharmas have no birth, and acquire the turn-around dhāraṇī[11] with fifty virtues.
    “Vajra Wisdom, the ground of the worlds illuminated by His radiance became pure, like celestial aquamarine [vaiḍūrya]. Golden cords on the ground marked eight boulevards.[12] Each was lined with various jeweled trees, whose abundant flowers and fruits gave off profuse fragrance. When breezes blew, these trees rustled with wonderful tones, expounding the virtues of the Three Jewels and Bodhisattvas, the Five Roots, the Five Powers,[13] the Seven Bodhi Factors, the Eightfold Right Path, meditation, and liberation. Those who heard [this music] acquired Dharma delight and firm faith, and were forever free from taking evil life-paths. Vajra Wisdom, all sentient beings in worlds in the ten directions, because they were touched by His radiance, in the six periods of day and night joined their palms in reverence.
    “Vajra Wisdom, that Bodhisattva, from His staying in his mother’s womb, to His birth, to His attaining Buddhahood, and to His entering nirvāṇa without remnants,[14] constantly emitted radiance. After His parinirvāṇa, His relics enshrined in pagodas constantly emit radiance as well. For this reason, gods and humans call Him Constantly Emitting Radiance King.
    “Vajra Wisdom, when Constantly Emitting Radiance Tathāgata, Arhat, Samyak-Saṁbuddha, first attained Buddhahood, with twenty koṭi Bodhisattvas in his retinue, in His Dharma [assembly] there was a Bodhisattva called Infinite Light. Infinite Light Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva asked that Buddha to expound the Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store. That Buddha sat in His seat for fifty large kalpas,[15] expounding this sūtra in detail. To protect and support all Bodhisattvas, His voice reached worlds as numerous as the dust particles in ten Buddha Lands. Through countless causes and conditions, He used 100,000 analogies to expound to Bodhisattvas this Mahāyāna Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store. Those who heard it accepted and upheld it, read and recited it, and trained accordingly. They all have attained Buddhahood, except for four Bodhisattvas.
    “Vajra Wisdom, do not think otherwise. Is Infinite Light Bodhisattva then a different person now? He is none other than yourself. The four Bodhisattvas who have not yet attained Buddhahood are Mañjuśrī, Avalokiteśvara, Great Might Arrived [Mahāsthāmaprāpta], and you, Vajra Wisdom. Vajra wisdom, this Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store can benefit all. Whoever hears it will attain Buddha bodhi.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

Before countless kalpas in the past,
There was a Buddha called Radiance King,
Who constantly emitted vast radiance,
Illuminating [everywhere in] countless worlds.

When that Buddha first attained Buddhahood,
Infinite Light Bodhisattva
Asked Him about this sūtra,
And He immediately expounded it.

Those who encountered that most victorious one
And heard this sūtra
Have attained Buddhahood,
Except for four Bodhisattvas:
Mañjuśrī, Avalokiteśvara,
Great Might Arrived, and Vajra Wisdom.

Of these four Bodhisattvas, who
Heard this sūtra,
Vajra Wisdom was a Buddha-son
Foremost in transcendental powers.
When you were called Infinite Light,
You heard this sūtra.

When I was seeking bodhi,
I received this sūtra
From Lion Banner Buddha
And trained in accordance with its teachings as heard.
Because of these roots of goodness,
I quickly attained Buddha bodhi.

Therefore, all Bodhisattvas
Should uphold this sūtra,
Listen to its teachings, and train accordingly.
Then they will attain Buddhahood as I have.

Whoever upholds this sūtra
Should be saluted as a World-Honored One.
Whoever has acquired this sūtra
Is called a Master of the Buddha Dharma.
He is protected by the world
And praised by Buddhas.
Whoever upholds this sūtra
Is called a Dharma King.
He is the eye of the world
And should be praised as a World-Honored One.

    After the World-Honored One pronounced this sūtra, Vajra Wisdom and other Bodhisattvas, His retinues and four groups of disciples, gods, gandharvas, asuras, and all others heard the Buddha’s words and joyfully carried out His teachings.


Mahāvaipulya Sūtra of the Tathāgata Store
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T16n0666)


Notes

    1. The power of energetic progress is the second of the Five Powers listed in the glossary’s Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi. (Return to text)
    2. See “store” defined in the glossary. (Return to text)
    3. The “Tathāgata eye” is the “Buddha eye” defined in the glossary’s “five eyes.” (Return to text)
    4. See “overall wisdom-knowledge” defined in the glossary’s “three kinds of wisdom-knowledge.” (Return to text)
    5. See “four kinds of unimpeded wisdom-knowledge” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    6. The “most victorious one” means a Buddha. (Return to text)
    7. Sugata, Well-Gone One, is the fifth of a Buddha’s ten epithets. (Return to text)
    8. Text 666 does not indicate where the poor family’s treasure store is. Text 667, another Chinese version of this sūtra, states that it is buried under the floor of their house (T16n0667, 0462c15–16). Text 667 in one fascicle was translated from Sanskrit in the Tang Dynasty (618–907) by Amoghavajra (不空金剛, 705–74) from Sri Lanka, in southern India. (Return to text)
    9. A holy king who rules the four continents in this world is a Wheel-Turning King with a gold wheel. See Wheel-Turning King in the glossary. (Return to text)
    10. According to text 456, the Chinese version of the Sūtra of Maitreya Bodhisattva’s Attainment of Buddhahood, a Wheel-Turning King with a gold wheel possesses seven precious things: (1) the gold wheel, (2) the white elephant, (3) the blue horse, (4) the divine jewel, (5) exquisite maidens, (6) the treasure minister, and (7) the military minister (T14n0456, 0429c27–0430a6; Rulu 2012a, 82). (Return to text)
    11. The turn-around dhāraṇī (dhāraṇyāvartā, 旋陀羅尼) turns ordinary beings attached to dharma appearances around to seeing dharmas in the one appearance of no appearance, i.e., emptiness. It is one of the three dhāraṇīs mentioned in chapter 28 of the Lotus Sutra (T09n0262, 0061b6–9). (Return to text)
    12. One can interpret the eight boulevards as the Eightfold Right Path. (Return to text)
    13. See Five Roots and Five Powers defined in the glossary’s Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi. (Return to text)
    14. See “nirvāṇa without remnants” defined in the glossary’s “nirvāṇa.” (Return to text)
    15. See “large kalpa” and “small kalpa” defined in the glossary’s “kalpa.” (Return to text)


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