Thus have I heard. At one time the Bhagavan entered the Samadhi of the Great Illuminating Storehouse of Spiritual Penetration. [1] This is the samadhi in which all Tathagatas brightly and majestically abide. It is the ground of the pure enlightenment of all sentient beings.

[The Bhagavan’s] body and mind were in the state of quiescent-extinction, [2] where past, present, and future are intrinsically equal and identical, [3] and his completeness filled all ten directions, and was in accord with everything without duality. From within this condition of nonduality, he caused various Pure Lands to appear.

[The Bhagavan] was accompanied by one hundred thousand great bodhisattvas and mahasattvas. Chief among them were Bodhisattva Manjusri, Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, Bodhisattva of Universal Vision, Bodhisattva Vajragarbha, Bodhisattva Maitreya, Bodhisattva of Pure Wisdom, Bodhisattva at Ease in Majestic Virtue, Bodhisattva of Sound Discernment, Bodhisattva Cleansed of All Karmic Obstructions, Bodhisattva of Universal Enlightenment, Bodhisattva of Complete Enlightenment, and Bodhisattva Foremost in Virtue and Goodness. Together with their retinues they all entered samadhi, abiding in the Tathagata’s Dharma assembly of impartial equality.

[1] Great Illuminating Storehouse of Spiritual Penetration (shen tong da guang ming zang). Spiritual (shen) signifies inconceivability; penetration (tong) refers to nonobstructedness; great illuminating (da guang ming) signifies the manifestation of the Buddha’s merit and wisdom; storehouse (zang) refers to the repository or essence from which all dharmas arise and manifest. One can understand the Spiritual Penetration and Great Illumination as the function (yong) whereas the Storehouse is the essence, (ti).

[2] Quiescent-extinction is a rendering for ji mie, which is a Chinese rendering for the Sanskrit word nirvana. Quiescent, ji signifies the stillness of the nature of emptiness; extinction (mie) signifies the purity of nirvana, free from defilements.

[3] “Equal and identical” is one of the many shades of meaning of ping deng. Ping can be translated literally as level or equal but also connotes impartiality. In this context, deng may be rendered as identical, same, or indistinguishable. Within the context of time (past, present, and future), the translator has chosen to render ping deng as equal and identical. Elsewhere, the term has been rendered as impartial equality.