FROM: THE THREEFOLDLOTUS SUTRA
THUS HAVE I [*1] HEARD. Once' the Buddha
was staying at the City of Royal Palaces on Mount Grdhrakuta with a
great assemblage of great bhlkshus, in all twelve thousand. There were
eighty thousand bodhisattva- mahasattvas. There were gods, dragons,
yakshas gandharvas asuras garudas, kimnaras, and mahoragas, besides all
the bhlkshus bhikshunis updsakas, and upasikas. There were great
wheel-rolling kings, small wheel-rolling kings, and kings of the gold
wheel, silver wheel, and other wheels; further, kings and princes,
ministers and people, men and women, and great rich persons, each
encompassed by a hundred thousand myriad followers. They went up to the
Buddha, made obeisance at his feet, a hundred thousand times made
procession around him, burned incense, and scattered flowers. After they
variously worshiped, they retired and sat to one side. Those
bodhisattvas' names were the Son of the Law-king Manjusri, the Son of
the Law-king Great Dignity Treasury, the Son of the Law-king
Sorrowlessness Treasury, the Son of the Law-king Great Eloquence
Treasury, the Bodhisattva Maitreya, the Bodhisattva Leader, the
Bodhisattva Medicine King, the Bodhisattva Medicine Lord, the
Bodhisattva Flower Banner, the Bodhisattva Flower Light Banner, the
Bodhisattva King Commanding Dharanis at Will, the Bodhisattva Regarder
of the Cries of the World, the Bodhisattva Great Power Obtained, the
Bodhisattva Ever Zealous, the Bodhisattva Precious Seal, the Bodhisattva
Precious Store, the Bodhisattva Precious Stick, the Bodhisattva Above
the Triple World, the Bodhisattva Vimabhara,*2 the Bodhisattva Scented
Elephant, the Bodhisattva Great Scented Elephant, the Bodhisattva King
of the Lion's Roar, the Bo-dhisattva Lion's Playing in the World, the
Bodhisattva Lion's Force, the Bodhisattva Lion's Assiduity, the
Bodhisattva Brave Power, the Bodhisattva Lion's Overbearing, the
Bodhisattva Adornment, and the Bodhisattva Great Adornment: such
bodhisattva-mahasattvas as these, eighty thousand in all. Of these
bodhisattvas there is none who is not a great saint of the Law-body.
They have attained commands, meditation, wisdom, emancipation, and the
knowledge of emancipation. With tranquil minds, and constantly in
contemplation, they are peaceful, indifferent, nonactive, and free from
desires. They are immune from any kind of delusion and distraction.
Their minds are calm and clear, profound and infinite. They remain in
this state for hundreds of thousands of kotis of kalpas, and all the
innumerable teachings have been revealed to them. Having obtained the
great wisdom, they penetrate all things, completely understand the
reality of their nature and form, and clearly discriminate existing and
nonexisting, long and short. Moreover, well knowing the capacities,
natures, and inclinations of all, with dharanis and the unhindered power
of discourse, they roll the Law-wheel just as buddhas do. First, dipping
the dust of desire in a drop of the teachings, they remove the fever of
the passions of life and realize the serenity of the Law by opening the
gate of nirvana and fanning the wind of emancipation. Next, raining the
profound Law of the Twelve Causes, they
pour it on the violent and intense rays of sufferings-ignorance, old
age, illness, death, and so on; then pouring abundantly the supreme
Mahayana, they dip all the good roots of living beings in it, scatter
the seeds of goodness over the field of merits, and make all put forth
the sprout of buddhahood.
With their wisdom [brilliant] as the sun
and the moon, and their timely tactfulness, they promote the work of the
Mahayana and make all accomplish Perfect Enlightenment speedily; and
with eternal pleasure wonderful and true, and through infinite great
compassion, they relieve all from suffering. These are the true good
friends for all living beings, these are the great field of blessings
for all living beings, these are the unsummoned teachers 3* for all
living beings, and these are the peaceful place of pleasure, relief,
protection, and great support for all living beings. They become great
good leaders or great leaders for living beings everywhere. They serve
as eyes for blind beings, and as cars, nose, or tongue for those who are
deaf, who have no nose, or who are dumb; make deficient organs complete;
turn the deranged to the great right thought. As the master of a ship or
the great master of a ship, they carry all living beings across the
river of life and death to the shore of nirvana. As the king of medicine
or the great king of medicine, they discriminate the phases of a
disease, know well the properties of medicines, dispense medicines
according to the disease, and make people take them. As the controller
or the great controller, they have no dissolute conduct; they are like a
trainer of elephants and horses who never falls to train well, or like a
majestic and brave lion that inevitably subdues and overpowers all
Bodhisattvas, playing in all paramitas,
being firm and immovable at the stage of tathagata, and purifying the
Buddha-country with the stability of their vow power, will rapidly
accomplish Perfect Enlightenment. All these bodhisattva-mahasattvas have
such wonderful merits as seen above. Those Bhikshus' names were Great
Wisdom Sariputra, Supernatural Power Maudgalyayana, Wisdom Life Subhuti,
Maha-Katyayana, Maitrayani's son Purna, Ajnata-Kaundinya, Divine Eye
Aniruddlha, Precept-keeping Upali, Attendant Ananda, Buddha's son
Rahula, Upananda, Revata, Kapplina, Vakkula, Acyuta 4* Svagata, Dhuta
Malia-Kasyapa, Uruvilva-Kasyapa, Gaya-Kasyapa, and Nadi-Kasyapa. There
are twelve thousand bhikshus such as these. All are arhats, unrestricted
by all bonds of faults, free from attachment, and truly emancipated. At
that time the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva Great Adornment, seeing that all
the groups sat in settled mind, rose up from his seat, went up to the
Buddha with the eighty thousand bodhisattva- mahasattvas in the
assembly, made obeisance at his feet, a hundred thousand times made
procession round him" burned celestial incense, scattered celestial
flowers, and presented the Buddha with celestial robes, garlands, and
jewels of priceless value which came rolling down from the sky and
gathered all over like clouds. The celestial bins and bowls were filled
with all sorts of celestial delicacies, which satisfied just by the
sight of their color and the smell of their perfume. They placed
celestial banners, flags, canopies, and playthings everywhere; pleased
the Buddha with celestial music; then went forth to kneel with folded
hands, and praised him in verse, saying with one voice and one mind:
"Great! The Great Enlightened, the Great Holy Lord, In him there is no
defilement, no contamination, no attachment.
The trainer of gods and men, elephants and horses,
His moral breeze and virtuous fragrance Deeply permeate all.
Serene is his wisdom, calm his emotion,
And stable his prudence.
His thought is settled, his consciousness is extinct,
And thus his mind is quiet.
Long since, he removed false thoughts
And conquered all the laws of existence.
His body is neither existing nor nonexisting;
Without cause or condition,
Without self or others;
Neither square nor round,
Neither short nor long;
Without appearance or disappearance,
Without birth or death;
Neither created nor emanating,
Neither made nor produced;
Neither sitting nor lying,
Neither walking nor stopping;
Neither moving nor rolling,
Neither calm nor quiet;
Without advance or retreat,
Without safety or danger;
Without right or wrong,
Without merit or demerit;
Neither that nor this,
Neither going nor coming;
Neither blue nor yellow,
Neither red nor white;
Neither crimson nor purple,
Without a variety of color.
Born of commandments, meditation,
Wisdom, emancipation, and knowledge;
Merit of contemplation, the six divine faculties,
And the practice of the way;
Sprung of benevolence and compassion,
The ten powers, and fearlessness;
He has come in response
To good karmas of living beings.
He reveals his body,
Ten feet six inches in height,
Glittering with purple gold,
Well proportioned, brilliant,
And highly bright.
The mark of hair curls as the moon,
In the nape of the neck there is a light as of the sun.
The curling hair is deep blue,
On the head there is a protuberance.
The pure eyes, like a stainless mirror,
Blink up and down.
The eyebrows trail in dark blue,
The mouth and cheeks are well formed.
The lips and tongue appear pleasantly red,
Like a scarlet flower.
The white teeth, forty in number,
Appear as snowy agate.
Broad the forehead, high-bridged the nose,
And majestic the face.
The chest, with a swastika mark,
Is like a lion's breast.
The hands and feet ate flexible,
With the mark of a thousand spokes.
The sides and palms are well rounded,
And show in fine lines.
The arms are elongated,
And the fingers are straight and slender.
The skin is delicate and smooth,
And the hair curls to the right.
The ankles and knees are well defined,
And the male organ is hidden
Like that of a horse.
The fine muscles, the collarbone,
And the thigh bones are slim
Like those of a deer.
The chest and back are shining,
Pure and without blemish,
Untainted by any muddy water,
Unspotted by any speck of dust.
There are thirty-two such signs,
The eighty kinds of excellence are visible,
And truly, there is nothing
Of form or nonform.
All visible forms are transcended;
His body is formless and yet has form.
This is also true
Of the form of the body of all living beings. 5*
Living beings adore him joyfully,
Devote their minds to him,
And pay their respects wholeheartedly.
By cutting off arrogance and egotism,
He has accomplished such a wonderful body.
Now we, the assemblage of eighty thousand,
Making obeisance all together,
Submit ourselves to the saint of nonattachment,
The trainer of elephants and horses,
Detached from the state of thinking,
Mind, thought, and perception.
We make obeisance,
And submit ourselves to the Law-body,
To all commands, meditation, wisdom,
Emancipation, and knowledge.
We make obeisance,
And submit ourselves to the wonderful character.
We make obeisance,
And submit ourselves to the unthinkable.
The sacred voice sounds eight ways, 6*
As the thunder sounds.
It is sweet, pure, and greatly profound.
He preaches the Four Noble Truths,
The Six Paramitas, and the Twelve Causes,
According to the working of the minds of living beings.
One never hears without opening one's mind
And breaking the bonds of the infinite chain of life and death.
One never hears without reaching, srota-apanna,
Sakrdagamin, anagamin, and arhat;
Reaching the state of pratyekabuddha,
Of nonfault and noncondition;
Reaching the state of bodhisattva
Of nonlife and nondeath;
Of obtaining the infinite dharani
And-the unhindered power of discourse,
With which one recites profound and wonderful verses,
Plays and bathes in the pure pond of the Law,
Or displays supernatural motion By jumping and flying up,
Or freely goes in or out of water and fire.
The aspect of the Tathagata's Law-wheel is like this.
It is pure, boundless, and unthinkable.
Making obeisance all together,
We Submit ourselves to him
When he rolls the Law-wheel.
We make obeisance,
And submit ourselves to the sacred voice.
We make obeisance,
And submit Ourselves to the Causes, Truths, and Paramitas.
For infinite past kalpas,
The World-honored One has practiced
All manner of virtues with effort
To bring benefits to us human beings,
Heavenly beings, and dragon kings,
Universally to all living beings.
He abandoned all things hard to abandon,
His treasures, wife, and child,
His country and his palace.
Unsparing of his person as of his possessions,
He gave all, his head, eyes, and brain,
To people as alms.
Keeping the buddhas' precepts of purity,
He never did any harm,
Even at the cost of his life.
He never became angry,
Even though beaten with sword and staff,
Or though cursed and abused.
He never became tired,
In spite of long exertion.
He kept his mind at peace day and night,
And was always in meditation.
Learning all the law-ways,
With his deep wisdom
He has seen into the capacity of living beings.
As a result, obtaining free power,
He has become the Law-king,
Who is free in the Law.
Making obeisance again all together,
We submit ourselves to the one,
Who has completed all hard things."
1. *The "I" is Ananda (joy), so called because he was born on the night
that Sakyamuni attained buddhahood. Famous for his memory, Ananda
contributed to the compilation and editing of many sutras.
2. A mechanical restoration of the Chinese phonetic transliteration of
the Sanskrit. This name is not found in any other sutra.
3. Those who are ready to help living beings on their own initiative,
even if they are not asked.
4. Chapter 8 of the Lotus Sutra gives "Cunda," which may be correct.
5. That is, the Buddha and men are fundamentally nonsubstantial.
6. This refers to the eight excellent qualities of the voice of the
Source: Buddhism Study and Practice Group
Collected by Dieu My
Layout: Pho Tri