Then the Bodhisattva of Universal Vision rose from his seat in the midst of the assembly, prostrated himself at the feet of the Buddha, circled the Buddha three times to the right, knelt down, joined his palms, and said: “O World Honored One of great compassion! For the sake of the multitude of bodhisattvas in this assembly and all sentient beings in the Dharma Ending Age, please expound on the gradual stges of the bodhisattva’s practice. How should one contemplate? What should one abide in and uphold? What expedient methods should one devise to guide unenlightened sentient beings, to universally enable them to reach enlightenment?
“World Honored One, if these sentient beings do not have the correct expedient methods and contemplation, they will be confused when they hear you expound this samadhi [in which all is seen to be an illusion] and will be unable to awaken to Complete Enlightenment. Would you be compassionate enough to expound the provisional expedient methods for our benefit and for sentient beings in the Dharma Ending Age?” Having said these words, he prostrated himself on the ground. He made the same request three times, each time repeating the same procedure.
At that time the World Honored One said to the Bodhisattva of Universal Vision: “Excellent, excellent! Virtuous man, for the benefit of the multitude of bodhisattvas and sentient beings in the Dharma Ending Age, you have asked the Tathagata about the gradual stages of cultivation, what contemplation one should abide in and uphold, as well as the various expedient methods one should use. Listen attentively now. I shall explain them to you.”
Hearing this, the Bodhisattva of Universal Vision was filled with joy and listened silently along with the assembly.
“Virtuous man, newly initiated bodhisattvas and sentient beings in the Dharma Ending Age seeking the Tathagata’s pure mind of Complete Enlightenment should hold the right thought of separating from myriad illusions. First, they should rely on the samatha practice of the Tathagatas and strictly observe the precepts. They should reside peacefully among an assembly of practitioners and sit in meditation in a quiet room.
“They should always be mindful that the body is a union of the four elements. Things such as hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, marrow, and brain all belong to the element of earth. Spittle, mucus, pus, blood, saliva, sweat, phlegm, tears, semen, urine, and excrement all belong to the element of water. Warmth belongs to the element of fire. Motion belongs to the element of wind. When the four elements are separated from one another, where is this illusory body? Thus one knows that the physical body ultimately has no substance and owes its appearance to the union [of the four elements]. In reality it is not different from an illusory projection.
“Due to the provisional union of the four conditions [of vision, hearing, perception, and awareness], the illusory six sense faculties come to exist. The inward and outward combination of the six sense faculties and the four elements [of earth, water, fire, and wind] gives rise to the illusory existence of conditioned energy. [In this process], there ‘seems to be’ something which is cognizant. This is provisionally called ‘mind.’ 
“Virtuous man, this illusory mind cannot exist without the six sense objects [of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought]. When the four elements disperse, the six sense objects cannot be found. Once the elements and the sense objects disperse and and are extinguished, ultimately there is no cognizant mind to be seen.
“Virtuous man, when the illusory bodies of sentient beings become extinguished, the illusory minds also become extinguished. When the illusory minds become extinguished, the illusory sense objects also become extinguished. When the illusory sense objects become extinguished, the illusory extinguishing also becomes extinguished. When the illusory extinguishing becomes extinguished, that which is not illusory is not extinguished. It is like polishing a mirror. When the defilements are wiped off, brightness appears.
“Virtuous man, you should know that both body and mind are illusory defilements. When these appearances of defilement are permanently extinguished, purity will pervade all ten directions.
“Virtuous man, for instance, the pure mani jewel reflects the five colors as they appear before it, yet the ignorant see the mani as actually possessing the five colors. Virtuous man, although the pure nature of Complete Enlightenment likewise manifests as body and mind, [people] respond in accordance with their capacities, yet the ignorant speak of the pure Complete Enlightenment as having intrinsic characteristics of body and mind. For this reason, they are unable to depart from illusion. Therefore, I say that body and mind are illusory defilements. It is in terms of separating from illusory defilements that bodhisattvas are defined. When defilements are thoroughly removed, their corresponding [cognition] is [completely] eliminated. Since there is nothing corresponding to defilement, there is also no ‘one’ there to designate.
“Virtuous man, if bodhisattvas as well as sentient beings in the Dharma Ending Age realize the awakening of the extinction of illusory appearances, at that time unlimited purity and infinite emptiness will be revealed and manifested in their enlightenment. Because the enlightenment is complete and illuminnating, it reveals the mind in its purity. Because the mind is pure, objects of vision are pure. Because vision is pure, the eye faculty is pure. Because that faculty is pure, the visual consciousness is pure. Because the consciousness is pure, hearing is pure. Because hearing is pure, the faculty of hearing is pure. Because that faculty is pure, the consciousness is pure. Because the consciousness is pure, perception is pure. The same holds true for the nose, tongue, body, and mind.
“Virtuous man, because the sense faculties are pure, the objects of sight are pure. Because the objects of sight are pure, the objects of sound are pure. The same holds in the cases of smell, taste, touch, and thought.
“Virtuous man, because the six sense objects are pure, the earth element is pure. Because the earth element is pure, the water element is pure. The same holds for the elements of fire and wind.
“Virtuous man, because the four elements are pure, the twelve entrances, the eighteen realms, and the twenty-five existences are pure. Because these are pure, the ten powers, the four kinds of fearlessness, the four unhindered wisdoms, the eighteen exclusive attributes of the Buddha, and the thirty-seven aids to enlightenment are all pure.  The same holds for the purity of everything all the way up to the eighty-four thousand dharani doors.
“Virtuous man, because the nature of Absolute Reality is pure, one’s body is pure. Because one’s body is pure, a multitude of bodies are pure. Because a multitude of bodies are pure, likewise sentient beings in all ten directions are completely enlightened and pure.
“Virtuous man, because one world is pure, a multitude of worlds are pure. Because a multitude of worlds are pure, all things completely exhausting empty space in the past, present, and future are impartially equal, pure, and unmoving.
“Virtuous man, since empty space is equal, identical, and unmoving as such, you should know that the nature of enlightenment is also equal, identical, and unmoving. Since the four elements are unmoving, you should know that the nature of enlightenment is also equal, identical, and unmoving. Since [everything] up to the eightyfour thousand dharani doors are equal, identical, and unmoving, you should know that the nature of enlightenment is also equal, identical, and unmoving.
“Virtuous man, as the nature of enlightenment is pervasive and full, pure, and unmoving, being perfect and boundless, you should know that the six sense faculties also fully pervade the dharmadhatu. Because the sense faculties are pervasive and full, you should know that the six sense objects also fully pervade the dharmadhatu. Because the sense objects are pervasive and full, you should know that the four elements also fully pervade the dharmadhatu. So it is with everything up to all the dharani doors, which also fully pervade the dharmadhatu.
“Virtuous man, because the nature of wondrous enlightenment pervades everything fully, the nature of the sense faculties and the sense objects is indestructible and clear. Because the sense faculties and the sense objects are indestructible, [everything] up to all the dharani doors is indestructible and clear. It is like hundreds of thousands of lamps illuminating a room: their illumination pervades fully and is indestructible and clear.
“Virtuous man, since his enlightenment is fully accomplished, you should know that a bodhisattva neither is bound by dharmas nor seeks to be free from dharmas. He neither detests birth and death nor clings to nirvana; neither reveres those who uphold the precepts nor condemns those who violate them; neither esteems experienced practitioners nor slights beginners. Why? Because all [sentient beings] are enlightened. It is like clear vision that is completely aware of what is in front: when this clarity is perfect, it has no likes or dislikes. Why? Because the essence of this clarity is nondual and itself has no likes or dislikes.
“Virtuous man, these bodhisattvas and sentient beings in the Dharma Ending Age who have gained accomplishments through cultivating the mind have neither cultivated nor accomplished anything. Complete Enlightenment is universally illuminating in quiescent-extinction without duality. Hundreds of thousands of millions of asamkyas of Buddha worlds, as innumerable as the grains of sand of the Ganges, are like flowers in the sky, randomly arising and perishing. They are neither identical to nor separate [from the nature of Complete Enlightenment]. Since there is no bondage or liberation, one begins to realize that sentient beings have intrinsically accomplished Buddhahood, and that birth and death and nirvana are like yesterday’s dream.
"Virtuous man, because birth and death and nirvana are like yesterday’s dream, you should know that they neither arise nor perish, neither come nor go. That which is actualized is neither gained nor lost, neither grasped nor discarded. One who truly actualizes [enlightenment] does not contrive, stop, allow things to be as they are, nor annihilate [vexations]. In the midst of the actualization, there is neither a subject nor an object. Ultimately there is neither actualization nor one who actualizes! The nature of all dharmas is equal and indestructible.
"Virtuous man, bodhisattvas should thus practice, thus [progress through] these gradual stages, thus contemplate, thus abide in and uphold, thus use expedient methods, and thus become enlightened. In seeking this Dharma, they will not be confused and perplexed."
At that time, the World Honored One, wishing to clarify his meaning, proclaimed these gathas:
Universal Vision, you should know
that the minds and bodies of
all sentient beings are illusory.
The body is the union of the four elements.
The nature  of mind is reducible
to the [six] sensory objects.
When the four elements are separated
from one another, who is the unifier?
If one practices gradual
cultivation like this, all will be pure.
[The nature of Complete Enlightenment]
is umnoving and pervades the dharmadhatu.
There is no contrivance, stopping,
allowing things to be as they are,
annihilation, nor is there one
who actualizes [enlightenment].
All Buddha worlds are like
flowers in the sky.
Past, present and future are
all impartially equal.
Ultimately there is no coming or going.
The newly initiated bodhisattvas
and sentient beings in
the Dharma Ending Age,
in their quest to enter the Buddha Path,
should thus cultivate themselves.
 The four conditions (si yuan) of vision, hearing, perception, and awareness (jian, wen, jue, zhi) refer to the ability to experience external phenomena. These four qualities occur because of the illusory six sense faculties. When the internal six sense faculties and the external four elements of earth, water, fire, and wind combine, they create an “energy” (qi) that comes into existence due to these different conditions. In this case, “energy” refers to the conditioned impressions (yuan yin) or mental images of the perceived external sense objects. Because of attachments, this energy or impression does not disperse, and thereafter gives rise to the six corresponding consciousnesses, or awareness of these impressions. In this process, there seems to be a separate existing mind which is cognizant of the illusory external world.
 See glossary for further information about these technical terms.
 Here, nature, (xing) should be understood as te xing or characteristics and activities.