Buddha Pronounces the Sutra of the Buddha Ground; 佛說佛地經
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Sūtra 45 (posted 10/2014, updated 09/2015)  Book information on Home page

佛說佛地經
Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Buddha Ground

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


The Assembly

Thus I have heard:
    At one time the Bhagavān abided in a huge palace.[1] This palace was built with great kings of jeweled flowers and adorned with the supreme glowing seven treasures and immeasurable merits, and emitted vast radiance that illuminated everywhere in countless worlds in countless directions. It was decked with interlaced wonderful adornments, and its size was boundless and immeasurable, beyond the scales of the Three Realms of Existence, surpassing whatever arises from supra-worldly roots of goodness. It used the extremely pure consciousness as its appearance. It was a Tathāgata’s abode, where great Bodhisattvas assembled, and was protected by innumerable gods, dragons, humans, and nonhumans. Sustained by the delight of the vast Dharma flavor, it provided benefits to sentient beings, ended their afflictions and tribulations, and warded off māras. Its majesty surpassed that of all other abodes because it was where a Tathāgata’s majesty abided. Its road was great mindfulness, wisdom, and actions. Its vehicle was great samādhi and skillful observation. Its entrances were emptiness, no appearance, and no wish [the Three Liberation Doors].
    The Bhagavān attained the purest enlightenment. He was free from the appearance of the two kinds of actions,[2] knew that dharmas have no appearance [because they are empty], and abided where a Buddha abides.[3] He realized the equality of all Buddhas and arrived at the hindrance-free place. His Dharma could not be moved [by non-Buddhists], His teachings established [in sūtras in the twelve categories] were inconceivable, and His actions were hindrance free. He playfully entered the three time frames [past, present, and future] because they are equal by nature, and manifested His body everywhere in all worlds. He attained the greatest enlightenment through all His meritorious actions and possessed true wisdom-knowledge of all dharmas, with no doubts about them. The bodies He manifested were beyond differentiation, though they were distinctive, and His wisdom-knowledge was sought by all Bodhisattvas. He realized the same dharma body as those of all Buddhas and abided on the superb opposite shore.[4] He definitely acquired a Tathāgata’s wondrous wisdom-knowledge of liberation and realized true suchness, which has neither middle nor edges. He abided on the Buddha Ground of equality in the ultimate dharma realm, throughout the domain of space and the endless future.
    He was accompanied by innumerable great voice-hearers, who were well-tamed Buddha-sons. Their minds were liberated [from afflictions], their wisdom was liberated [from ignorance], and their observance of the precepts was pure. Seeking Dharma delight, they heard much of the Dharma, and retained what they heard. They capably pondered what they should ponder, said what they should say, and did what they should do. They acquired wisdom treasures, such as rapid wisdom, quick wisdom, keen wisdom, liberation wisdom, excellent choice-making wisdom, great wisdom, vast wisdom, and unequaled wisdom. They possessed the Three Clarities and acquired the foremost Dharma delight. They abided in the great pure fortune field,[5] and their deportments were quiet. They acquired great gentle endurance[6] that would never diminish, and capably carried out the Tathāgata’s holy teachings.
    Also present in this assembly were innumerable Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas from other Buddha Lands. They all abided in the Mahāyāna and practiced the Mahāyāna teachings. Their minds were impartial toward sentient beings and free from various differentiations, such as differentiation and no differentiation. They annihilated māra foes and stayed far away from the mentality and differentiation of all voice-hearers and Pratyekabuddhas. Sustained by the delight of the vast Dharma flavor, they transcended the five fears,[7] entered the no-regress position,[8] and stopped sentient beings’ oppressing afflictions from appearing. These Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas were headed by Wonderful Birth Bodhisattva.

The Five Dharmas

At that time the Bhagavān said to Wonderful Birth Bodhisattva, “Wonderful Birth, you should know that the great enlightenment ground comprises five dharmas. What are these five? They are (1) the pure dharma realm [dharma-dhātu],[9] (2) the mirror-like wisdom-knowledge [ādarśa-jñāna], (3) the equality wisdom-knowledge [samatā-jñāna], (4) the discernment wisdom-knowledge [pratyavekṣaṇā-jñāna], and (5) the accomplishment wisdom-knowledge [kṛtyānuṣṭhāna-jñāna].

The Pure Dharma Realm

    “Wonderful Birth, what is the pure dharma realm?
    “As an analogy, although the open sky pervades various appearances of forms, it cannot be said to have various appearances. Its body has only one flavor. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm pervades various appearances and perceived states, it cannot be said to have various appearances. Its body has only one flavor.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky pervades various forms and is inseparable from them, it is never tainted by their faults. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm pervades all sentient beings’ minds and is inseparable from them, it is never tainted by their faults.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky contains all body, voice, and mind karmas, it neither arises nor does anything. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm contains all things manifested by His all-wisdom-knowledge to benefit sentient beings, it neither arises nor does anything.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky displays the births and deaths of various appearances of forms, it has neither birth nor death. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm displays the births and deaths of things manifested by His all wisdom-knowledge to benefit sentient beings, it has neither birth nor death.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky displays the increases and decreases of various appearances of forms, it neither increases nor decreases. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm displays the increases and decreases of the sweet dew of a Tathāgata’s holy teachings, it neither increases nor decreases.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky displays countless and endless appearances of forms [in worlds] in the ten directions because it is boundless and endless, it neither comes nor goes, neither moves nor changes. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm establishes the benefits and peace and joy of all sentient beings [in worlds] in the ten directions because its various functions are boundless and endless, it neither comes nor goes, neither moves nor changes.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky displays the formations and destructions of worlds in a Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold World, it has neither formation nor destruction. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm displays countless appearances of Tathāgatas attaining samyak-saṁbodhi and entering great parinirvāṇa, it neither attains samyak-saṁbodhi nor enters parinirvāṇa.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky displays various appearances of forms changing and deteriorating, it neither changes nor deteriorates. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm displays sentient beings’ violations of various rules for their body, voice, and mind karmas, it neither changes nor deteriorates.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky displays the great earth, huge mountains, light, fire, water, the sun, the moon, and the god-king Śakra and his retinue, it is not such appearances. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm displays the precepts, meditation, wisdom, liberation, and the knowledge and views of liberation, it is not such appearances.
    “As another analogy, although the open sky, through various causes and conditions, displays countless rounds of Three-Thousand Large Thousandfold Worlds, it neither arises nor does anything. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s pure dharma realm displays countless rounds of appearances of Buddha assemblies, it neither arises nor does anything.

The Mirror-Like wisdom-knowledge

    “Next, Wonderful Birth, what is the great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge? It displays reflections of dharmas as does a perfect mirror. Thus, in a Tathāgata’s mirror of wisdom-knowledge, the reflections of a sentient being’s twelve fields, six sense objects, and six consciousnesses[10] appear. A perfect mirror is used as an analogy because a Tathāgata’s wisdom-knowledge is impartial [toward its displays], as is a perfect mirror. Therefore, this mirror of wisdom-knowledge is called the great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge.
    “As an analogy, suppose a considerate person hangs a perfect mirror up securely on a high place. Innumerable sentient beings passing before it use it to observe their virtues and faults in order to keep their virtues and discard their faults. Likewise a Tathāgata hangs His perfect mirror of wisdom-knowledge in the pure dharma realm. It is never shaky because its presence is uninterrupted. It enables innumerable sentient beings to observe their purities and impurities in order to keep their purities and discard their impurities.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror is well polished, pure, and radiant. Likewise is a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge. Because a Buddha’s wisdom-knowledge is forever free from affliction hindrances and hindrances to wisdom-knowledge [jñeyāvaraṇa],[11] it is well polished. Because it is sustained by samādhi,[12] it is pure and taint free. Because it does things to benefit and delight sentient beings, its radiance is pervasive.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror depends on various conditions to display various reflections of the features [of certain objects]. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge depends on various conditions to display various reflections of the features of wisdom-knowledge.
    “As another analogy, although a perfect mirror displays many different reflections, it does not contain them, nor does it move or do anything. Likewise, although a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge displays many different reflections of wisdom-knowledge, it does not contain them, nor does it move or do anything.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror and its reflections are neither together nor apart, because the reflections of any objects never stay. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge and its reflections of wisdom-knowledge are neither together nor apart, because they neither converge nor diverge.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror with a well-polished surface is the condition everywhere for displaying reflections. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge is well polished by never-ending countless good actions, and is the condition for displaying reflections of various kinds of wisdom-knowledge, such as the reflections of the wisdom-knowledge of the Voice-Hearer Vehicle, the wisdom-knowledge of the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle, and the wisdom-knowledge of the unsurpassed Mahāyāna, which enable voice-hearers to ride the Voice-Hearer Vehicle to transcend the world, Pratyekabuddhas to ride the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle to transcend the world, and Bodhisattvas to ride the Mahāyāna to transcend the world.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror displays various reflections, such as those of the great earth, massive mountains, giant trees, and huge palaces, but the mirror is not those reflections. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge displays reflections of [various kinds of] wisdom-knowledge, such as the reflections of the wisdom-knowledge [of holy grounds] from the Joyful Ground[13] to the Buddha Ground, and the wisdom-knowledge of all worldly and supra-worldly dharmas, but the great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge is not those reflections.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror is not the condition for displaying reflections of objects blocked by an obstruction. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge is not the condition for displaying reflections of wisdom-knowledge to sentient beings that follow wrong doctrines heard from their evil friends, because they are not Dharma vessels.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror is not the condition for displaying reflections of objects in a dark place. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge is not the condition for displaying reflections of wisdom-knowledge to evil or foolish sentient beings, because they are not Dharma vessels.
    “As another analogy, a perfect mirror is not the condition for displaying reflections of objects in a distant place. Likewise a Tathāgata’s great mirror-like wisdom-knowledge is not the condition for displaying reflections of wisdom-knowledge to nonbelievers, because they are not Dharma vessels.

The Equality Wisdom-Knowledge

    “Next, Wonderful Birth, what is the equality wisdom-knowledge? A Tathāgata’s equality wisdom-knowledge arises from His perfect realization of [the equality of] ten kinds of appearances.[14] Because of his perfect realization that dharmas are equal in their dharma nature [i.e., emptiness], (1) He verifies the equality of all dharma appearances to which sentient beings are highly attached,[15] (2) He accepts the dependent arising of all dharmas, (3) He stays far away from various appearances and no appearance, (4) He elicits all-giving great lovingkindness for all sentient beings, (5) He elicits unconditional great compassion for all sentient beings, (6) He produces manifestations according to sentient beings’ pleasures, (7) He enables all sentient beings to respectfully accept His words, (8) He realizes that saṁsāra and nirvāṇa have the same flavor, (9) He sees that pain and pleasure in the world[16] have the same flavor, and (10) He completes his accumulation of immeasurable merits.

The Discernment Wisdom-Knowledge

    “Next, Wonderful Birth, what is the discernment wisdom-knowledge?
    “As an analogy, the world sustains the realm of sentient beings. Likewise a Tathāgata’s wondrous discernment wisdom-knowledge sustains all dhāraṇī doors and all samādhi doors in order to expound with unimpeded eloquence[17] the wondrous Dharma of Buddhas.
    “As another analogy, the world can immediately bring up causes and conditions recognizable to sentient beings. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge immediately brings up various causes and conditions to discern all things hindrance free.
    “As another analogy, the world is enjoyable because it is adorned with various playgrounds, such as gardens and ponds. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge is enjoyable because it is adorned with various playgrounds, such as the pāramitās, the elements of bodhi,[18] the Ten Powers, the Four Fearlessnesses, and the Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas.
    “As another analogy, the world is distinctively adorned with large and small continents, the sun, the moon, Brahma heavens, and the six desire heavens—the Heaven of the Four God-Kings, the Thirty-three Heavens [Trayastriṁśa Heaven], Yāma Heaven, Tuṣita Heaven, Nirmāṇa-rati Heaven, and Paranirmita-vaśa-vartin Heaven. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge distinctively reveals the worldly and supra-worldly causes and effects of fortune or misfortune,[19] such as the distinctive attainments of voice-hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas.
    “As another analogy, the world is used and enjoyed by sentient beings. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge rains down great Dharma rains in all Buddha assemblies, enabling sentient beings to receive great Dharma delight.
    “As another analogy, the world has five life-paths—the paths of hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, humans, and gods. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge fully reveals countless different causes and effects of the five life-paths.
    “As another analogy, the world comprises the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge fully reveals countless different causes and effects of the Three Realms of Existence.
    “As another analogy, the world has Mount Sumeru and great treasure mountains. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge reveals vast profound teachings guided by the awesome spirit of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
    “As another analogy, the world has immense, deep, immovable oceans. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge reveals profound teachings on the dharma realm, teachings that cannot be moved by the different doctrines of celestial māras and non-Buddhists.
    “As another analogy, the world is encircled by large and small mountain ranges. Likewise a Tathāgata’s discernment wisdom-knowledge is surrounded by dharmas’ general and particular appearances[20] and has no confusions about them.

The Accomplishment Wisdom-knowledge

    “Next, Wonderful Birth, what is the accomplishment wisdom-knowledge?
    “As an analogy, sentient beings do diligent body karmas as they spend their lives doing various remunerative jobs, such as farming and manual labor. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His diligent body karmas to transform sentient beings. For example, He manifests various crafts to tame arrogant sentient beings skilled in crafts. Through the power of such skillful means, He guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do enjoyable body karmas as they enjoy sense objects, such as various sights and sounds. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His enjoyable body karmas to transform sentient beings. He goes to sentient beings wherever they are born and manifests Himself in a body of their kind, in an honored position. In this way He tames and draws in different kinds of sentient beings. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do receptive body karmas as they receive requitals for their good or evil karmas. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His receptive body karmas to transform sentient beings. He displays his receptiveness of various hard trainings in His past lives. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do pleasant voice karmas as they speak pleasant and comforting words to one another. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His pleasant voice karmas to transform sentient beings. He gives various teachings in skillful words so that even sentient beings with little wisdom can believe them as soon as they hear them. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do skillful voice karmas as they teach one another to do things, denounce the evil, and praise the good. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His skillful voice karmas to transform sentient beings. He establishes the right restraints, denounces abandoning self-restraint, and praises exercising self-restraint. He also establishes ways for believers to train in accordance with the Dharma. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do eloquent voice karmas as they enunciate theories and discuss with one another the meanings that they do not understand. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His eloquent voice karmas to transform sentient beings as He resolves their countless doubts. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do differentiation mind karmas as they decide what they can or cannot do. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His differentiation mind karmas to transform sentient beings as He differentiates sentient beings’ 84,000 different mental activities. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do conceptive mind karmas as they conceive various karmas to do. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His conceptive mind karmas to transform sentient beings. He observes sentient beings taking or not taking good or evil actions and the resulting gain or loss,[21] and devises remedial methods for them to make the right choice. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do initiating mind karmas in order to initiate their [body or voice] karmas. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His initiating mind karmas to transform sentient beings. To expound to them remedial methods [for their faults], He chooses words and phrases that they like. Through the power of such skillful means, He guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to achieving liberation.
    “As another analogy, sentient beings do receptive mind karmas as they experience pain or pleasure. Likewise a Tathāgata’s accomplishment wisdom-knowledge facilitates His receptive mind karmas in order to transform sentient beings. When he receives a question, He handles it in one of the four ways—giving a definite answer, giving a qualified answer, asking a question [for the questioner] to clarify his question, or setting the question aside[22]—and reveals to the questioner the meanings that he should receive in the past, present, or future. Through the power of such skillful means, he guides sentient beings into His holy teachings and brings them to [spiritual] maturity and to their liberation.”

The Wisdom-Knowledge of Things Combined into One Flavor

Then Wonderful Birth Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, in the pure dharma realm, is a Tathāgata the only one who enjoys using the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor? Can Bodhisattvas enjoy using it as well?”
    The Buddha answered, “They too can enjoy using the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor.”
    Wonderful Birth Bodhisattva then asked the Buddha, “What kind of Bodhisattvas can enjoy using the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor?”
    The Buddha answered, “They are Bodhisattvas who have acquired endurance in their realization that dharmas have no birth.[23] When a Bodhisattva acquires endurance in this understanding, he has remedied his perception of duality. Because he has rid himself of his dual perception of self and others, he acquires the impartial mind. From then on, he no longer perceives self and others as different but enjoys using the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor.”
    Wonderful Birth Bodhisattva then asked the Buddha, “I pray that the Tathāgata will use analogies to enable Bodhisattvas to understand this profound meaning and widely circulate His teachings according to their connections with sentient beings, enabling sentient beings, after hearing these teachings, to quickly acquire endurance in their realization that dharmas have no birth.”
    The Buddha answered, “As an analogy, gods in the Thirty-three Heavens who are outside the garden of various trees[24] cannot experience things or feelings[25] without imagining that one has a self and its belongings. However, if they enter this garden, they can enjoy everything as they please without differentiation. This garden has such virtues that gods who enter it can combine all their celestial requitals, whether things or feelings, and enjoy them without thinking. Likewise a Bodhisattva who has not acquired endurance in his realization that dharmas have no birth cannot acquire the impartial mind or equability in his feelings. Then he is no different from voice-hearers or Pratyekabuddhas. Because he has the perception of duality, he cannot abide in enjoying the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor. If he has acquired endurance in his realization that dharmas have no birth, he has rid his perception of duality and acquired the impartial mind. Then he is different from voice-hearers and Pratyekabuddhas. Because of his impartial mind, he can abide in enjoying the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor.
    “In addition, Wonderful Birth, as another analogy, before various rivers flow into the immense ocean, their waters depend on different things and are different in quality, and their small volumes increase or decrease according to their different karmas. Their waters are relied upon by a few aquatic creatures. After the rivers have entered the immense ocean, their waters have no difference and no limit [in volume], and neither increase nor decrease. They are relied upon by a vast number of aquatic creatures. Likewise, if Bodhisattvas have not entered a Tathāgata’s immense ocean of the pure dharma realm, they have different kinds of small wisdom-knowledge, which increases or decreases. They do different karmas according to their wisdom-knowledge, which is relied upon by a few sentient beings to ripen their roots of goodness. If they have entered a Tathāgata’s immense ocean of the pure dharma realm, they have the same wisdom-knowledge, which is boundless, and neither increases nor decreases. They enjoy using the wisdom-knowledge of things combined into one flavor, wisdom-knowledge that is relied upon by innumerable sentient beings to ripen their roots of goodness.”
    Then the World-Honored One spoke in verse:

All dharmas are manifestations of true suchness,
Which is by nature pure and free from the two kinds of hindrances.
The wisdom-knowledge of dharmas as reflections of true suchness
Is hindrance free and endless.[26]

The wisdom-knowledge of universal true suchness,
Is fully acquired through study and training.
What establishes sentient beings in two kinds of things
As its various kinds of endless fruits is wisdom-knowledge.[27]

Body, voice, and mind karmas that
Transform sentient beings are skillful means [of wisdom-knowledge].
Through samādhi and dhāraṇī doors,
The two immeasurable adornments [merit and wisdom] are acquired.[28]

A Buddha’s natural body [dharma body], enjoyment body [reward body],
And manifested bodies are different.[29]
Such is the pure dharma realm
Expounded by Buddhas.

    After the Bhagavān pronounced this sūtra, Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas, including Wonderful Birth, as well as voice-hearers, gods, asuras, and all others in the assembly, having heard the Buddha’s words, greatly rejoiced. They believed in, accepted, and carried out His teachings.

Buddha Pronounces the Sūtra of the Buddha Ground,
Translated from the digital Chinese Canon (T16n0680)


Notes

    1. According to text 1530, fascicle 1, this palace was a Buddha’s Pure Land (T26n1530, 0291b25–26). Text 1530 in 7 fascicles is the Chinese version of A Treatise on the Buddha Ground Sūtra (Buddhabhūmi-sūtra-śāstra) written by Bandhuprabha (親光, 6th century) from central India, and translated from Sanskrit in the Tang Dynasty (618–907) by Xuanzang (玄奘, 600– or 602–64) from China. (Return to text)
    2. The two kinds of actions refer to the two kinds of afflictions, the thinking confusions and the view confusions (see “affliction” in the glossary). They can also refer to the actions of two kinds of hindrances: (1) affliction hindrances, which lead to another two kinds of hindrances: evil karmas and corresponding requitals; (2) hindrances to wisdom-knowledge (jñeyāvaraṇa), which are one’s ground-abiding ignorance, the root ignorance (see “two kinds of hindrances” in the glossary). According to text 1530, fascicle 2, the two kinds of actions refer to the birth and death of ordinary beings and the nirvāṇa of voice-hearers (T26n1530, 0296b9-14), and/or refer to knowing or not knowing certain dharma appearances (T26n1530, 0297b1–2). (Return to text)
    3. According to text 1530, fascicle 2, a Buddha abides in great compassion as He observes the world day and night (T26n1530, 0296b17–19) and abides in His excellent merits acquired by effortlessly doing Buddha work without rest (T26n1530, 0297b6–8). (Return to text)
    4. The opposite shore is that shore of nirvāṇa, opposite this shore of saṁsāra. (Return to text)
    5. See “three fortune fields” in the glossary. According to text 1530, fascicle 2, the great pure fortune field is free from afflictions and can grow vast fruit (T26n1530, 0299b3–5). It implies one’s true mind. (Return to text)
    6. See “three endurances in the dharma” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    7. According to the English translation of text 279 (T10n0279), fascicle 34, in Rulu’s The Bodhisattva Way, a Bodhisattva on the first ground, the Joyful Ground, has left behind five fears: (1) fear of his inability to survive, (2) fear of a bad name, (3) fear of death, (4) fear of the evil life-paths, and (5) fear of the overwhelming presence of multitudes (Rulu 2013, 130). (Return to text)
    8. See “no regress” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    9. The esoteric school has made the first dharma into a wisdom-knowledge called the nature of the dharma realm [dharma-dhātu-svabhāva-jñāna]. See “five kinds of wisdom-knowledge” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    10. See “twelve fields” and “eighteen spheres” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    11. See “two kinds of hindrances” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    12. According to text 1530, fascicle 4 (T26n1530, 0310c26–0311a2), this samādhi is the Vajra-Like Samādhi (vajropamā-samādhi, 金剛喻定). On the uninterrupted path (ānantarya-mārga, 無間道), one enters this samādhi and eliminates all one’s afflictions. Then, without interruption one enters the liberation path and eliminates all remaining traces of afflictions, thus attaining bodhi. A voice-hearer becomes an Arhat; a Bodhisattva becomes a Buddha (Buddha’s Light Dictionary 1988, 5123a). (Return to text)
    13. The Joyful Ground is the first holy ground on the Bodhisattva Way. See “stages of the Bodhisattva Way” in the glossary, and the “twelve holy grounds” in the Sūtra of the Garland of a Bodhisattva’s Primary Karmas, fascicle 1, chapter 2, in Rulu’s The Bodhisattva Way (Rulu 2013, 41). (Return to text)
    14. According to text 1530, fascicle 5, a Bodhisattva acquires the equality wisdom-knowledge on each of the ten Bodhisattva grounds, until it is perfect on the Buddha Ground (T26n1530, 0313c1–3). (Return to text)
    15. One is attached to certain things, such as an autonomous self, because one imagines that they truly exist. According to text 1530, fascicle 5, on the first ground, a Bodhisattva realizes that imagined dharmas are nonexistent (T26n1530, 0313c21–22). (Return to text)
    16. Pain and pleasure in the world are two of the glossary’s “eight winds.” (Return to text)
    17. For unimpeded eloquence, see “four kinds of unimpeded wisdom-knowledge” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    18. See Thirty-seven Elements of Bodhi in the glossary. (Return to text)
    19. According to text 1530, fascicle 5, worldly causes and effects of misfortune refer to taking the evil life-paths; worldly causes and effects of fortune refer to taking the good life-paths. Supra-worldly causes and effects of misfortune refer to riding either of the Two Vehicles to become an Arhat or a Pratyekabuddha; supra-worldly causes and effects of fortune refer to riding the Mahāyāna to become a Buddha (T26n1530, 0316c12–15). (Return to text)
    20. See “general appearance and particular appearance” in the glossary. While the mirror-like wisdom-knowledge fully displays all dharmas without differentiation, the discernment wisdom-knowledge fully differentiates them and resolves all doubts. (Return to text)
    21. According to text 1530, fascicle 6, taking good actions or not taking evil actions is a gain; taking evil actions or not taking good actions is a loss (T26n1530, 0320b7–8). (Return to text)
    22. For example, a Buddha’s definite answers to such questions as whether all sentient beings will die or whether all processes are impermanent, would be yes. His qualified answer to the question whether all deceased sentient beings will be reborn, would be that those with afflictions will be reborn. His question to the question whether humans are superior or inferior, would be with what other sentient beings are humans being compared, because humans are inferior to gods but superior to those on the evil life-paths. He sets aside ludicrous questions, such as whether a barren woman’s child is black or white or whether the world is permanent, impermanent, both permanent and impermanent, neither permanent nor impermanent. (Return to text)
    23. See “three endurances in the Dharma” in the glossary. (Return to text)
    24. Outside the four sides of the god-king Śakra’s city atop Mount Sumeru are four gardens: (1) the vehicle garden, which can manifest various celestial vehicles, (2) the coarse and evil garden, which can manifest celestial weapons when gods fight, (3) the garden of various trees, which enables gods to enjoy all things with equal delight, and (4) the garden of joyful trees, which provides various sensory pleasures. Here, a Bodhisattva’s merits are likened to various trees in the third garden. (Return to text)
    25. One’s five feelings are (1) sorrow, (2) joy, (3) pain, (4) pleasure, and (5) equability, freedom from the preceding four. (Return to text)
    26. According to text 1530, fascicle 7, the first two lines pertain to the pure dharma realm (T26n1530, 0322c27); the last two lines pertain to the mirror-like wisdom-knowledge (T26n1530, 0324a14). (Return to text)
    27. According to text 1530, fascicle 7, the first two lines pertain to the equality wisdom-knowledge (T26n1530, 0324b29); the last two lines pertain to the discernment wisdom-knowledge, and the two kinds of things are benefits, and peace and joy (T26n1530, 0324c16–17), which come in various kinds. (Return to text)
    28. According to text 1530, fascicle 7, the first two lines pertain to the accomplishment wisdom-knowledge (T26n1530,0325a1); the last two lines pertain to the virtues of the four kinds of wisdom-knowledge (T26n1530, 0325b18). (Return to text)
    29. According to text 1530, fascicle 7, the pure dharma realm and the mirror-like wisdom-knowledge pertain to the dharma body; the equality wisdom-knowledge and the discernment wisdom knowledge pertain to the enjoyment body; the accomplishment wisdom-knowledge pertains to the response body or manifested bodies (T26n1530, c27–28). See “three bodies of a Buddha” in the glossary. (Return to text)


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