The Sutra of Meditation on The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue
(Taisho Tripitaka 0277)
Translated into Chinese during Song Dynasty by Dharma-mita
Thus Have I Heard:
Once the Buddha was staying at the two storied assembly hall in the great forest monastery, Vaisali; then he addressed all the bhikshus, saying, "after three months I shall surely enter parinirvana." Thereupon the honored Ananda rose from his seat, straightened his garment, and with joined palms and folded hands, he made procession around the Buddha three times, and saluted him, kneeling with folded hands, and attentively gazed at the Tathagata without turning away his eyes for even a moment. The elder Mahakashyapa and the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva Maitreya also rose from their seats, and with folded arms gazed up at the honored face. Then the three great leaders with one voice spoke the Buddha saying, "World Honored One! After the extinction of the Tathagata, how can living beings raise the mind of the Bodhisattva, practice the sutras of Great Extent, The Great Vehicle, and ponder the world of one reality with right thought? How can they keep from losing the mind of supreme Buddha hood? How, without cutting off their earthly care and the five desires, can they also purify their organs and destroy their sins? How, with the natural pure eyes received from their birth by their parents and without forsaking the five desires can, they see things without all impediments? The Buddha said to Ananda, "Do you listen to me attentively! Do you listen to me attentively, ponder, and remember it! Of yore on Mount Grdhrakuta (Eagle Peak) and in other places the Tathagata had already extensively explained the way of one reality. But now in this place, to all living beings and others in the world to come who desire to practice the great law of the supreme law of the Great Vehicle, and to those who desire to learn the works of Universal Virtue and to follow the works of Universal Virtue, I will now preach the law that I have entertained. I will now widely make clear to you the matter of eliminating numerous sins for any one who may happen to see or not see Universal Virtue. Ananda! The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue was born in the eastern pure wonderland, whose form I have already clearly and extensively explained in the sutra of miscellaneous flowers. Now I, in this sutra will briefly explain it.
"Ananda, if there be Bhikshus, Bhiksunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, the eight groups of gods and dragons, and all living beings who recite the great vehicle, practice it, aspire to it, delight to see the form and body of The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, have pleasure in seeing the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures, take joy in seeing Shakyamuni Buddha, and the Buddhas who emanated from him, and rejoice to obtain the purify of the six organs, they must learn this meditation. The merits of this mediation will make them free from all hindrances and make them see the excellent forms. Even though they have not yet entered into contemplation just because they recite and keep the great vehicle they will devote themselves to practicing it, and after having kept their minds continuously on the great vehicle for a day, or three times seven days, they will be able to see Universal Virtue; Those who have heavier impediments will see him after seven times seven; again those who have a heavier one will see him after one birth, those who have a much heavier one will see him after two births; again those who have a still heavier one will see him after three births. Thus the retribution for this karma is various and is not equal. For this reason I preach the teaching variously.
The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue is boundless in the size of his body, boundless in the sound of his voice, and boundless in the form of his image. Desiring to come to this world, he makes use of his free transcendent powers and shrinks his stature to the small size of a human being. Because the people in Jambudvipa have the three heavy hindrances, by his wisdom-power he appears transformed as mounted on a white elephant. The elephant has six tusks and, with its seven legs, it supports its body on the ground. Under it's seven legs seven lotus flowers grow. The elephant is white as snow, the most brilliant of all shades of white, so pure that even crystal and the Himalayan Mountains cannot be compared with it. The body of the elephant is four hundred and fifty yojanas in length and four hundred yojanas in height. At the end of the six tusks there are six bathing pools. In each bathing pool grow fourteen lotus flowers exactly the size of the pools. The flowers are in full bloom as the king of celestial trees. On each of these flowers is a precious daughter whose continence is red as crimson and whose radiance surpasses that of nymphs. In the hand of that daughter there appear, transformed of themselves, five harps, and each of them has five hundred musical instruments as accompaniment. There are five hundred birds, including ducks, wild geese, and mandarin ducks, all having the color of precious things, arising among flowers and leaves. On the trunk of the elephant there is a flower, and its stalk is the color of a red pearl. That golden flower is still a bud and has not yet blossomed. Having finished beholding this matter, if one further repents one's sins, meditates on the Great Vehicle attentively with entire devotion, and ponders it in his mind incessantly, he will be able to see the flower instantly bloom and light up with a golden color. The cup of the lotus flower is a cup of kimshuka gems with wonderful Brahma jewels, and the stamens are of diamond. A transformed Buddha is seen sitting on the petals of the lotus flower with a host of Bodhisattvas sitting on the stamens of the lotus flower. From the eyebrows of the transformed Buddha a ray of light is sent forth and enters the elephant's trunk. This ray, having the color of a red lotus flower, emanates from the elephants trunk and enters it's eyes; the ray then emanates from the elephants eyes and enters it's ears; it then emanates from the elephant's ears, illuminates its head, and changes into a golden cup. On the head of the elephant there are three transformed men: one holds a golden wheel, another a jewel, and yet another with a diamond-pounder. When he raises the pounder and points it at the elephant, the latter walks a few steps immediately. The Elephant does not tread on the ground but hovers seven feet above the earth, yet the elephant leaves on the ground it's footprints, which are altogether perfect, making the wheels hub with a thousand spokes. From each mark the wheels hub, there grows a great lotus flower, on which a transformed elephant appears. This elephant also has seven legs and walks after the great Elephant, Every time the transformed elephant raises and brings down it's legs, seven thousand elephants appear, all following the great elephant and it's retinue. On the elephant's trunk, having the color of a red lotus, there is a transformed Buddha, who emits a ray of light from his eyebrow. This ray of light, as mentioned before, enters the elephant's trunk. The ray emanates from the elephants trunk and enters its eyes; the ray then emanates from the elephants eyes and enters its ears; it then emanates from the elephant's ears, and reaches its head. Gradually rising to the elephants back, this ray is transformed into a golden saddle, which is adorned with he precious seven, which are decorated with precious things, forming a jewel pedestal. On this pedestal there is a lotus flower stamen bearing the precious seven, and that that stamen is also composed of a hundred jewels. The cup of that lotus flower is also made of a great jewel.
On the cup there is a Bodhisattva called Universal Virtue who sits cross-legged. His body, pure as a white jewel, radiates fifty rays of fifty different colors, forming a brightness around his head. From the pores of his body he emits rays of light, and innumerable transformed Buddhas are at the end of the rays, accompanied by the transformed Bodhisattvas as their retinue.
The elephant walks quietly and slowly, and goes before the follower of the great vehicle, raining large jeweled lotus flowers. When this elephant opens it's mouth, the precious daughters, dwelling in the bathing pools on the elephants tusks, play music whose sound is mystic and extols the way of one reality in the great vehicle. Having seen this wonder, the follower rejoices and reveres, again further reads and recites the profound sutras, salutes universally, the innumerable Buddhas in all directions, makes obedience to the stupa of the of the Buddha Abundant Treasures, and Shakyamuni Buddha, and salutes Universal Virtue and all the other the other great Bodhisattvas. Then the follower makes this vow, "Had I received some blessing through my former destinies, I could surely see The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue. Be pleased, honored Universal Fortune, to show me your form and body!"
Having thus made this vow, the follower must salute the Buddhas in all directions six times day and night, and must practice the law of repentance; he must read the Great Vehicle sutras and recite them, think of the meaning of the great vehicle. And reflect over it's practice, revere and serve those who keep it, see all people as if he were thinking of the Buddha, and treat living beings as if he were thinking of his mother and father. When he finishes reflecting thus, The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will at once send forth a ray of light from the white hair circle, the sign of a great man, between his eyebrows. When this ray is displayed the body of The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will be dignified as a mountain of deep gold, so well ordered and refined that it possesses all the thirty-two signs. From the pores of his body he will emit great rays of light, which will illuminate the great elephant and turn it to the color gold. All transformed elephants will also be colored gold, and all transformed Bodhisattvas will be colored gold. When these rays of light shine on the innumerable worlds in the eastern quarter, they will turn them all to the color gold. So, too, will it be in the southern, western, and northern quarters, in the four intermediate directions, and in the zenith and nadir.
Then in each quarter of all directions there is Bodhisattva who, mounting the six tusked white elephant king, is exactly equal to The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue. Like this, by his transcendental powers The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will enable all the keepers of the great vehicle sutras to see transformed elephants filling the infinite and boundless worlds in all directions. At this time the follower will rejoice in body and mind, seeing all the Bodhisattvas, and will salute them and speak to them, saying, "Great merciful and great compassionate ones! Out of compassion for me, be pleased to explain the law to me!" When he speaks thus, all the Bodhisattvas and others with one voice will each explain the pure law of the great vehicle sutras and will praise him in various verses. This is called the first stage of mind, in which the follower first meditates on The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue.
Thereupon, when the follower, having beheld this matter, keeps the great vehicle in mind without forsaking it, day and night, even while sleeping, he will be able to see The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue preach the law to him in a dream. Exactly as if the follower were awake, The Bodhisattva will console and pacify the follower's mind, speaking thus, "In the sutras you have recited and kept, you have forgotten this word, or lost this verse." Then the follower, hearing The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue preach the profound law, will comprehend it's meaning, and keep it in his memory without forgetting it. As he does like this day by day, his mind will gradually acquire spiritual profit. The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will cause the follower to remember the Buddhas in all directions. According to the teaching of Universal Virtue, the follower will rightly think and remember everything, and with spiritual eyes he will gradually see the eastward Buddhas, whose bodies are gold colored and very wonderful in their majesty. Having seen one Buddha, he will again see another Buddha. In this manner he will gradually see all the Buddhas in the eastern quarter, and because of his profitable reflection, he will universally see all the Buddhas in all directions.
Having seen the Buddhas, he conceives joy in his heart and utters these words, "By means of the great vehicle, I have been able to see the great leaders. By means of their powers, I have also been able to see the Buddhas. Though I have seen these Buddhas, I have yet failed to make them plain. Closing my eyes, I see the Buddhas, but when I open my eyes I lose sight of them." After speaking thus, the follower should universally make obeisance, prostrating himself down to the ground toward the Buddhas in all directions. Having made obeisance to them, he should kneel with folded hands and speak thus, "The Buddhas, The World Honored Ones, posses the ten powers, the fearlessnesses, the eighteen unique characteristics, the great mercy, the great compassion, the three kinds of stability, in contemplation. These Buddhas, forever remaining in this world, have the finest appearance of all forms. By what sin do I fail to see these Buddhas?"
Having spoken thus, the follower should again practice further repentance. When he has achieved the purity of his repentance, The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will again appear before him and will not leave his side, in his walking, standing, sitting, lying, and even his dreams, ceaselessly preach the law to him. After awaking from his dreams, this person will take delight in the law. In this manner, after three times seven days and nights have passed, he will thereupon attain the dharani of revolution. Through acquiring the dharani, he will keep in his memory without losing it the wonderful, which the Buddhas and bodhisattvas have taught. In his dreams, he will constantly see the Seven Buddhas of the past, among whom only Shakyamuni Buddha will preach the law to him. These World Honored Ones will each praise the great vehicle sutras. At that time the follower will again further rejoice and universally salute the Buddha's in all directions, The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, abiding before him will teach and explain to him all karmas and environments of his former lives, and will cause him to confess his black and evil sins. Turning to the World Honored Ones he should confess his sins with his own mouth.
After he finishes confessing his sins, he will then attain the contemplation of the revelation of Buddhas to men. Having attained this contemplation he will plainly and clearly see the Buddha Akshobhya and the kingdom of wonderful joy in the eastern quarter. In like manner he will plainly and clearly see the mystic lands of the Buddhas in all directions. After he has seen the Buddhas in all directions, he will have a dream: On the elephants head is diamond man pointing his diamond pounder at the six organs; after pointing it at the six organs, The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will preach to the follower the law of repentance to obtain the purity of the six organs. In this way the follower will do repentance for a day or three times seven days. Then by the power of the contemplation of the revelation of Buddhas to men and by the adornment of the preaching of The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, the followers ears will gradually hear sounds without impediment, his eyes will gradually see things without impediment, and his nose will gradually smell odors without impediment. This is as preached extensively in the Wonderful Law Flower Sutra. Having obtained the purity of the six organs, he will have joy of body and mind and freedom from evil ideas, and will devote himself to this law so that he can conform to it. He will then further acquire a hundred thousand myriad kotis of the dharani of revolution and will again see extensively a hundred thousand myriad kotis of innumerable Buddhas. These World Honored Ones will all stretch out their right hands, laying them on the head of the follower, and will speak thus "Good! Good! You are a follower of the great vehicle, an aspirant to the spirit of great adornment, and one who keeps the great vehicle in his mind. When of old we aspired to Buddhahood, we were also like you. Do you be zealous and do not lose the great Vehicle! Because we practiced it in our former lives, we have now become the pure body of the All Wise. Do you now be diligent and not lazy! These great vehicle sutras are the law treasury of the Buddhas, The eyes of the Buddhas from all directions in the past, present, and future. He who keeps these sutras has the body of a Buddha, and does the work of a Buddha; Know that such is the apostle sent by the Buddhas; such is covered by the robes of the Buddhas; The world Honored Ones; such is a true law heir of the Buddhas; the Tathagatas. Do you practice the great vehicle and do not cut off the law seeds! Do you now attentively behold the Buddhas in the eastern quarter!
When these words are spoken the follower sees all the innumerable worlds in the eastern quarter, whose lands are as even as one's palm, with no mounds or hills or thorns, but with the ground of lapis lazuli and with gold to bound the ways. So, too, is it in the worlds of all directions. Having finished beholding this matter, the follower will see a jewel tree, which is lofty, wonderful, and five thousand yojanas high. This tree will always produce deep gold and white silver, and will be adorned with the precious seven; under this tree there will be jeweled lion throne of itself; the lion throne will be two thousand yojanas high. And from the throne will radiate the light of a hundred jewels. In like manner, from all of the trees, the other jewel thrones, and each jewel throne will radiate the light of a hundred jewels. In like manner, from all the trees, the other jewel thrones, and each jewel throne will emerge of themselves five hundred white elephants on which all of The Bodhisattva Universal Virtues mount. Thereupon the follower, making obeisance to all of the Universal Virtues will speak thus; "By what sin have I only seen the jewel grounds, jewel thrones, and jewel trees, but have been unable to see the Buddhas?"
When the follower finishes speaking thus, he will see that on each of the jewel thrones there is a World Honored One sitting on a jewel throne and very wonderful in his majesty. Having seen the Buddhas, the follower will be greatly pleased, and will again further recite and study the great vehicle sutras. By the power of the great vehicle, from the sky there will come a voice, praising and saying; "Good! Good! Good Son! By the cause of the merit you have acquired practicing the great vehicle you have seen the Buddhas. Though you have now seen the Buddhas, the World Honored Ones, you cannot yet see Shakyamuni Buddha, the Buddhas who emanated from him, and the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures."
After hearing the voice in the sky, the follower will again zealously recite and study the great vehicle sutras. Because he recites and studies the sutras of great extent, the great vehicle, even in his dreams he will see Shakyamuni Buddha staying on mount Grdhrakuta with the great assembly, preaching the law flower sutra and expounding the meaning of the one reality. After the teaching is preached, with repentance and a thirsting heart of hope, he will wish to see the Buddha. Then he must fold his hands, and kneeling in the direction of Mount Grdhrakuta, he must speak thus; "Tathagata, the world's hero forever remains in this world. Out of compassion for me, please reveal yourself to me."
After he has spoken thus, he will see Mount Grdhrakuta adorned with the precious seven and filled with countless Bhikshus, Sravakas, and a great assembly; this place is lined with jeweled trees, and it's jewel ground is even and smooth; There a wonderfully Jeweled Lion Throne is spread. On it sits Shakyamuni Buddha, who sends forth from his eyebrows a ray of light, which shines everywhere throughout all directions of the universe and passes through innumerable worlds in all directions. The Buddhas emanated from Shakyamuni Buddha in all directions where this ray reaches assemble like a cloud at one time, and preach extensively the Wonderful Law--as it is said in the Wonderful Law Flower Sutra. Each of these emanated Buddhas, having a body of deep gold, is boundless in the size of his body and sits on his lion throne, accompanied by countless hundreds of kotis of great bodhisattvas as his retinue. The practice of each Bodhisattva is equal to that of The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue. So, too, is it in the retinue of the countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in all directions. When the great assembly have gathered together like a cloud they will see Shakyamuni Buddha, who from the pores of his whole body emits rays of light in each of which a hundred kotis of transformed Buddhas dwell. The emanated Buddhas will also emit rays of light from the white hair circles, the sign of a great man, between their eyebrows, streaming on the head of Shakyamuni Buddha. Beholding this aspect, the emanated Buddhas will also emit from the pores of their bodies rays of light in each of which transformed Buddhas, as numerous as the atoms of the sands of the Ganges, abide.
Thereupon The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue Will again emit the ray of light, the sign of a great man, between his eyebrows, and put it into the heart of the follower. After this ray has entered into his heart, the follower himself will remember that under the countless hundreds and thousands of Buddhas in the past he received and kept, read and recited the great vehicle sutras, and he will himself plainly and clearly see his former lives. He will possess the very faculty of transcendent remembrance of former states of existence. Immediately attaining a great enlightenment he will acquire the dharani of revolution and a hundred thousand myriad kotis of dharanis. Rising from his contemplation, he will see before himself all the emanated Buddhas sitting on lion thrones under all the jewel trees. He will also see the ground of Lapis Lazuli springing up from the lower sky like heaps of Lotus Flowers; between each flower there will be Bodhisattvas, numerous as the atoms of the sands of the Ganges and sitting cross legged. He will also see the Bodhisattvas that emanated from The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, extolling and expounding the great vehicle among their assembly. Then the Bodhisattvas with one voice will cause the follower to purify his six organs.
One Bodhisattvas preaching will say: "Do you reflect on the Buddha"; another's preaching will say "Do you reflect on the law"; Yet another preaching will say "Do you reflect on the Sangha"; Still another preaching will say "Do you reflect on the precepts"; Still another one's preaching will say "Do you reflect on gift giving"; Yet another's preaching will say "Do you reflect on the heavens". And the preaching will further say, "Such six laws are the aspiration to Buddhahood and are the ones that begat the Bodhisattvas. Before the Buddhas, do you now confess you previous sins and repent of them sincerely."
In your innumerable former lives, by reason of your organ of the eye, you have attached to all forms. Because of your attachment to forms, you hanker after all dust. Because of your hankering for dust, you receive a woman's body and you are pleasurably absorbed in all forms everywhere and you are born age after age. Forms harm your eyes and you become a slave to human affections. Therefore forms cause you to wander in the triple world. Such fatigue of your wandering there makes you so blind that you can see nothing at all. You have now recited the sutras of great extent, the great vehicle. In these sutras, the Buddhas of all directions preach that their forms and bodies are not extinct. You have now been able to see them--is this not true? The evil of your eye organ often does much harm to you. Obediently following my words, you must take refuge in the Buddhas and Shakyamuni Buddha, and confess the sins due to your organ of the eye, saying "Law water of wisdom eye possessed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas! Be pleased, by means of it, to wash me and to let me become pure!"
Having finished speaking thus, the follower should universally salute the Buddhas in the ten directions, and turning to Shakyamuni Buddha and the great vehicle sutras, he should again speak thus "The heavy sins of my eye-organ of which now I repent are such an impediment and are so tainted that I am blind and can see nothing at all. May the Buddha be pleased to pity and protect me by his great mercy! The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue on board the ship of the law ferries the company of the countless Bodhisattvas everywhere in all directions. Out of compassion for me, be pleased to permit me to hear the law of repenting the evil of my eye organ and the impediment of my bad karma!"
Speaking thus three times the follower must prostrate himself down to the ground and rightly reflect on the great vehicle without forgetting it. This is called the law of repenting the sin of the organ of the eye. If there be anyone who calls upon the names of the Buddhas, burns incense, strews flowers, aspires to the great vehicle, hangs silks, flags, and canopies, speaks of the errors of his eyes, and repents his sins, such a one in the present world will see Shakyamuni Buddha, the Buddhas who emanated from him, and the countless other Buddhas, and will not fall in the evil paths for asamkhyeya kalpas. Thanks to the power and to the vow of the great vehicle, such a one will become an attendant of the Buddhas, together with all the Bodhisattvas of dharani. Anyone who reflects thus is one who thinks rightly. If anyone reflects otherwise, such is called one who thinks falsely. This is called the sign of the first stage of the purification of the eye organ.
Having finished purifying the organ of the eye, the follower should again further read and recite the great vehicle sutras, kneel and repent six times day and night, and should speak thus, "Why can I see only Shakyamuni Buddha and the Buddhas who emitted from him, but cannot see the Buddhas relics of his whole body in the stupa of abundant treasures? The stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasure exists forever and is not extinct. I have defiled and evil eyes. For this reason I cannot see the stupa." After speaking thus the follower should again practice further repentance.
After seven days have passed, the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures will spring out of the earth. Shakyamuni Buddha with his right hand opens the door of the stupa, where the Buddha abundant treasures is seen deep in the contemplation of the universal revelation of forms. From each pore of his body he emits rays of light as numerous as the Atoms of the sands of the Ganges. In each ray there dwells one of a hundred transformed Buddhas. When such signs appear, the follower will rejoice and make procession around it seven times, the tathagata Abundant treasures with a great voice praises him, saying, "Heir of the law! You have truly practiced the great vehicle and have obediently followed The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, repenting the sins of your eye organ. For this reason, I will go to you and bear testimony to you." Having spoken thus the tathagata extols the Buddha saying, "Excellent! Excellent! Shakyamuni Buddha! Thou art able to preach the great law, to pour the rain of the great law, and to cause all the defiled living to obtain Buddhahood." Thereupon the follower, having beheld the stupa of the stupa of Abundant Treasures, again goes to The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, and folding his hands and saluting him, speaks to him saying, "Great Teacher! Please teach me the repentance of my errors."
The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue again speaks to the follower saying, "through many kalpas, because of your ear organ, you dangle after external sounds; your hearing of mystics sounds begets attachment to them; your hearing evil sounds causes the harm of one hundred and eight illusions. Such retribution of your hearing evils brings about evil things and your incessant hearing of evil sounds produces various entanglements. Because of your perverted hearing, you will fall into evil paths, faraway places of false views, where the law cannot be heard. At present you have recited and kept the great vehicle, the ocean store of your merits. For this reason, you have come to see, the Buddhas in all directions, and the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures has appeared to bear testimony to you. You must yourself confess your own errors and evils and must repent all of your sins.
Then the follower, having heard this, must again further fold his hands, and prostrating himself down to the ground, he must speak thus, saying, "All Wise, World Honored One! Be pleased to reveal yourself and bear testimony to me! The sutras of great extent are masters of compassion. Be pleased to look upon me and hear my words! Until my present life, for many kalpas, because of my ear organ, I have been attached to hearing evil sounds, like glue sticking to grass; my hearing of evil sounds causes the poison of illusions, which are attached to every condition and I am not able to rest for even a little while; my raising evil sounds fatigues my nerves and makes me fall into the three evil ways. Now having for the first time understood this, I confess and repent it, turning to the World Honored Ones." Having finished repenting thus, the follower will see the Buddha Abundant Treasures emitting a great ray of light which is golden colored and universally illuminates the eastern quarter as well as the worlds in all directions, where the countless Buddhas appear with their bodies of pure gold color. In the sky of the eastern quarter there comes a voice uttering thus, "Here is a Buddha, the World Honored One named Excellent Virtue, who also possesses innumerable emanated Buddhas, sitting cross legged on lion thrones under jewel trees. All of these World Honored Ones who enter in to the contemplation of the universal revelation of forms speak to the follower, praising him and saying, "Good! Good! Good Son! You have now read and recited the great vehicle sutras. That which you have recited is the mental stage of the Buddha."
After these words have been spoken, The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue will again further preach to the follower the law of repentance, saying, "in the innumerable kalpas of your former lives because of your attachment to odors, your discrimination and your perception are attached to every condition and you fall into birth and death. Do you now meditate on the cause of the Great Vehicle! The cause of the great vehicle is the reality of all existence.
Having heard these words the follower should again further repent, prostrating himself down on the ground. When he has repented, he should exclaim thus, "Namah Shakyamuni Buddha! Namah stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures! Namah all the Buddhas emanated from Shakyamuni Buddha!" Having spoken thus he should universally salute the Buddhas in all directions, Exclaim" Namah the Buddha of Excellent Virtue in the eastern quarter and the Buddhas who emanate from him!" The follower should also make obeisance to each of these Buddhas as wholeheartedly as if he saw them with his naked eyes, and should pay homage to them with incense and flowers. After paying homage to the Buddhas, he should kneel with folded hands and extol them with various verses. After extolling them, he should speak of the ten evil karmas and repent all his sins. Having repented, he should speak thus, saying, "During the innumerable kalpas of my former lives, I yearned after odors, flavors, and contacts and produced all manner of evils. For this reason, for innumerable lives I have continuously received states of evil existence, including hells, hungry spirits, animals, and faraway places of false views. Now I confess such evil karmas, and take refuge in the Buddhas, the kings of the righteous law, I confess and repent my sins."
Having repented thus, the follower must again read and recite the Great vehicle sutras without negligence of body and mind. By the power of the great vehicle, from the sky there comes a voice saying, "Heir of the law! Do you now praise and explain the law of the great vehicle, turning to the Buddhas in all directions, and before them do you yourself speak of your errors! The Buddhas, the Tathagatas, are your merciful fathers. Do you yourself speak of the evils and bad karmas produced by your organ of the tongue, saying, "This organ of the tongue, moved by the thought of evil karmas, causes me to praise false speaking, improper language, ill speaking, a double tongue, slandering, lying, and words of false views, and also causes me to utter useless words. Because of such many and various evil karmas I provoke fights and dissentions and speak of the law as if it were not the law. I now confess all such sins of mine."
Having spoken thus before the before the worlds heroes, the follower must universally revere the Buddhas in all directions, prostrating himself down to the ground, and folding his hands and kneeling salute them, and he must speak thus saying, "The errors of this tongue are numberless and boundless. All the thorns of evil karma come from the organ of the tongue. This tongue causes the cutting off of the wheel of the righteous law. Such an evil tongue cuts off the seeds of merits. Preaching of meaningless things is frequently forced upon others. Praising false views is like adding wood to a fire and further wounding living beings who already suffer in raging flames. It is like one who dies drinking poison, without showing sores or pustules. Such reward of sins is evil, false and bad, and causes me to fall into the evil paths during a hundred or a thousand kalpas. Lying causes me to fall into a great hell. I now take refuge in the Buddhas of the southern quarter and confess my errors and sins.
When the follower reflects thus, there will come a voice from the sky saying: "In the southern quarter there is a Buddha named Sandalwood virtue who also possesses countless emanated Buddhas. All these Buddhas preach the great vehicle and extinguish sins and evils. Turning to the innumerable Buddhas and the great merciful world honored ones in all directions, you must confess such sins, false evils, and repent them with a sincere heart." When these words have been spoken, the follower should again salute the Buddhas, prostrating himself down to the ground.
Thereupon the Buddhas will send forth rays of light, which illuminate the follower's body and cause him naturally to feel joy of body and mind, to raise a great mercy, and to reflect on all things extensively. At that time the Buddhas will widely preach to the follower the law of great kindness, compassion, joy and indifference, and also teach him kind words to make him practice the six ways of harmony and reverence. Then the follower, having heard this royal teaching, will greatly rejoice in his heart and will again further recite and study it without laziness.
From the sky there again comes a mystic voice, speaking thus; "Do you now practice the repentance of body and mind! The sins of the body are killing, stealing, and committing adultery, while the sins of the mind are entertaining thoughts of various evils. Producing the ten evil karmas and the five deadly sins, is just like living as a monkey, like birdlime and glue, and the attachment to all sorts of conditions leads universally to the passions of the six organs of all living beings. The karmas of these six organs with their boughs, twigs, flowers, and leaves entirely fill the triple world, the twenty-five abodes of living beings, and all the places where creatures are born. Such karmas also increase ignorance, old age, death and the twelve sufferings, and infallibly reach through the eight falsenesses and the eight circumstances. Do you now repent such evil and bad karmas!" Then the follower, having heard thus, asks the voice in the sky, saying, "At what place may I practice the law of repentance?"
Thereupon the voice in the sky will speak thus saying, "Shakyamuni Buddha is called Vairocana Who Pervades All Places, and his dwelling place is called Eternally Tranquil Light, the place which is composed of Permanency Paramita, and is stabilized by self paramita, the place where the purity paramita extinguishes the aspect of existence, where the bliss paramita does not abide in the aspect of one's body and mind, where the aspects of all laws cannot be seen as either existing, nor non existing, the place of tranquil emancipation, or prajna paramita. Because these forms are based on permanent law, thus you must now meditate on the Buddhas in all directions"
Then the Buddhas in all directions will stretch out there right hands, laying them on the head of the follower, and speak thus, "Good! Good! Good Son! Because you have now read and recited the great vehicle sutras, the Buddhas in all directions will preach the law of repentance. The Bodhisattva practice is not to be cut off binding or driving, nor to abide in the ocean of driving. In meditating on ones mind, there is no mind one can seize, except the mind that comes from one's perverted thought. The mind, present in such a form rises from one's false imagination. Like the wind in the sky, which has no foothold. Such a form of the law neither appears, nor disappears. What is sin? What is blessedness? As one's own mind is void of itself, sin and blessedness have no existence. In like manner all the laws are neither fixed nor going towards destruction. If one repents like this, meditating on his mind, there is no mind he can seize the law also does not dwell in the law. All the laws are emancipation, the truth of extinction, and quiescence. Such an aspect is called the great repentance, the greatly adorned repentance, the repentance of the non-sin aspect, and the destruction of discrimination. He who practices this repentance has the purity of body and mind in the law but free as the flowing water. Through each reflection, he will be the see The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue and the Buddhas in all directions"
Thereupon the world honored ones, sending forth the ray of great mercy, preach the law of non-aspect to the follower. He hears the world honored ones preaching the void of the first principle. When he has heard it, his mind becomes imperturbable. In due time, he will enter into the real Bodhisattva Standing". The Buddha addressed Ananda, "to practice in this manner is called repentance. This is the law of repentance. This is the law of repentance which the Buddhas and the great Bodhisattvas in all directions practice."
The Buddha addressed Ananda, "After the extinction of the Buddha, if all disciples should repent their evil and bad karmas, they must only read and recite the great vehicle sutras. These sutras of great extent are the eyes of the Buddhas. By means of the sutras the Buddhas have perfected the five kinds of eyes. The three of the Buddhas bodies grow out of the sutras of Great Extent. This is the seal of the great law with which the ocean of nirvana is sealed. From such an ocean are born the three kinds of pure bodies of the Buddha. These three kinds of Buddha bodies are the blessing field for gods and men, and the supreme object of worship. If there be any who recite and read the sutras of great extent, the great vehicle, know that such are endowed with the Buddhas merits and, having extinguished their longstanding evils, are born of the Buddhas wisdom." At that time the world honored one spoke thus in verse:
If one has evil in eye organ
And his eyes are impure with the impediments of Karmas,
He must only recite the great vehicle
And reflect on the great principle.
This is called the repentance of the eye,
Ending all bad karmas.
His ear organ hears disordered sounds
And disturbs the principle of harmony.
This produces in him a demented mind,
Like that of a foolish monkey.
He must only recite the great vehicle
And meditate on the void non-aspect of the law,
Ending all the longstanding evils,
So that with the heavenly ears he may hear Sounds from all directions.
His organ of smell is attached to all odors,
Causing all contacts according to lusts.
His nose thus deluded
Gives birth to all dust of illusions according to his lusts.
If one recites the great vehicle sutras
And meditates on the fundamental truth of the law,
He will become free from his longstanding evil karmas
And will not again produce them in future lives.
His organ of the tongue causes five kinds
Of bad karmas of evil speech.
Should one wish to control them by himself,
He must zealously practice mercy,
And considering the true principle of the quiescence of the Law,
He should not conceive discrimination.
His organ of thought is like that of a monkey,
Never resting for even a little while.
Should one desire to subdue this organ,
He must zealously recite the great vehicle,
Reflecting on the Buddha's greatly enlightened body,
The completion of his power, and his fearlessness.
The body is the master of its organs,
Freely without obstacles.
If one desires to destroy these evils,
To be removed from the longstanding illusion of dust,
Ever dwelling in the city of nirvana,
And to be at ease with mind tranquil,
He should recite the great vehicle sutras
And reflect on the mother of Bodhisattvas.
Innumerable surpassing means of tactfulness
Will be obtained on one's reflection of reality.
Such six laws
Are called the purification of the six sense organs.
The ocean of impediment of all karmas
Is produced from one's false imagination.
Should one wish to repent of it
Let him sit upright and meditate on the true aspect of reality.
All sins are just as frost and dew,
So wisdom's sun can disperse them.
Therefore with entire devotion
Let him repent of his six organs.
Having spoken these verses, the Buddha addressed Ananda: "Do you now repent of these six organs, keep the law of meditating on The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, and discriminate and explain it widely to all the gods of the universe and men. After the extinction of the Buddha, if all his disciples keep, read and recite, and expound the sutras of great extent, whether in a quiet place or in a graveyard, or under a tree, or in a place of the aranya, they must read and recite the sutras of great extent, and must think of the meaning of the great vehicle. By virtue of their strong power of their reflecting on the sutras they will be able to see myself, the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures, the countless emanated Buddhas from all directions, The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, The Bodhisattva Manjurshi, The Bodhisattva Medicine King, And the Bodhisattva Medicine Lord. By virtue in their revering the law, these Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, abiding in the sky with various wonderfulflowers, will extol and revere those who practice and keep the law. by virtue of their only reciting the sutras of great extent, the great vehicle, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will day and night pay homage to those who keep the law."
The Buddha addressed Ananda: "I as well as The Bodhisattvas in the Virtuous Kalpa and the Buddhas in all directions, by means of our thinking of the true meaning of the great vehicle, have now rid ourselves of the sins of birth and death during hundreds of myriad kotis of asamkhya kalpas. By means of this supreme and wonderful law of repentance, we have each become the Buddhas in all directions. If one desires to accomplish perfect enlightenment rapidly an wishes in his present life to see the Buddhas in all directions and The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, he must take a bath to purify himself, wear clean robes, and burn rare incense, and must dwell in a secluded place, where he should read and recite the great vehicle sutras and think of the meaning of the great vehicle."
The Buddha addressed Ananda: "if there are living beings who desire to meditate on The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, they must meditate thus. If anyone meditates thus, such is called one who meditates rightly. If anyone meditates otherwise, such is called one who meditates falsely. After the extinction of the Buddha, if all his disciples obediently follow the Buddhas words and practice repentance, let it be known that these are doing the work of The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue. Those who do not work of universal virtue see neither evil aspects nor the retributions of evil karmas. If there be any living beings who salute Buddhas in all directions six times day and night, recite the great vehicle sutras, and consider the profound law of the void of the first principle, they will rid themselves of the sins of birth and death produced during hundreds of myriad kotis of asamkhya kalpas in the short time it takes one to snap his fingers. Anyone doing this work is a real Buddha son who is born from the Buddhas. The Buddhas in all directions and the Bodhisattvas will become his preceptors. This is called one who is perfect in the precepts of the Bodhisattvas. Without going through the ceremony of confession, he will of himself accomplish Bodhisattva-hood and he will be revered by all the gods and men.
At that time if the follower desires to be perfect in the precepts of the Bodhisattva, he must fold his hands, dwell in the seclusion of the wilds, universally salute the Buddhas in all directions, and repent his sins, and must himself confess his errors. After this, in a calm place, he should speak to the Buddhas in all directions, saying thus, "the Buddhas, the world honored ones, remain forever in this world. Because of the impediments of my karmas, though I believe in the sutra great extent, I cannot clearly see the Buddhas. I have now taken refuge in the Buddhas. Be pleased, Shakyamuni Buddhas, all wise and world honored one, to be my preceptor! Manjurshi, possessor of great compassion! With your wisdom, be pleased to bestow on me the laws of pure Bodhisattvas! Bodhisattva Maitreya, supreme and great merciful sun! Out of your compassion for me, be pleased to permit me to receive the laws of the Bodhisattvas! Buddhas in all directions! Be pleased to reveal yourselves and bear testimony to me! Great Bodhisattvas! Through calling each upon your names, be pleased, supreme, great leaders, to protect all living beings and to help us! At present I have received and kept the sutras of great extent. Even if I should lose my life, fall into hell, and receive innumerable sufferings, I would never slander the righteous law of the Buddhas. For this reason and by the power of this merit, Shakyamuni Buddha! Be now pleased to be my preceptor! Manjurshi! Be pleased to be my teacher! Maitreya! in the world to come! Be pleased to bestow upon me the law! Buddhas in all directions! Be pleased to bear witness to me! Bodhisattvas of great virtues! Be pleased to be my friends! I now, by means of the profound and mysterious meaning of the great of the great vehicle sutra, take refuge in the law, and take refuge in the Sangha."
The follower must speak thus three times. Having taken refuge in the three treasures, next he must himself vow to receive the six fold laws. Having received the six fold laws, next he must zealously practice the unhindered Brahma conduct, raise the mind of universally saving all living beings, and receive the eightfold laws. Having made such vows in the seclusion of the wilds, he must burn rare incense, strew flowers, pay homage to all the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and the sutras of great extent, the great vehicle, and must speak thus, saying: "I have now raised the aspiration to Buddhahood: may this merit save all the living!"
Having spoken thus the follower should again further prostrate himself before the all the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas, and should think of the meaning of the sutras of great extent, During a day, or three times seven days, whether he be a monk or a layperson, he has no need of a preceptor, nor does he need a teacher; even without attending the ceremony of the jnapti-karman, because of the power coming from his receiving and keeping, reading, and reciting the great vehicle sutras and because of the works which The Bodhisattva Universal Virtue helps and inspires him to do--they are in fact the eyes of the righteous law of the Buddhas in all directions--he will be able, through this law, to perform by himself the five kinds of Law-Bodies: precepts, meditation, wisdom, emancipation, and knowledge of emancipation. All the Buddhas, the Tathagatas, have been born of this law and have received the prediction of their enlightenment in the great vehicle sutras. Therefore, O wise man! Suppose that a Sravaka breaks the threefold refuge, the five precepts, and the eight precepts, the precepts of the monks and nuns, of shramaneras, of shramanikas, and of sikshamanas and their dignified behavior. If he desires to rid himself of and destroy these errors, to become a monk again and to fulfill the laws of monks, he must diligently read the sutras of great extent, considering the profound law of the void of the first principle and must bring this wisdom of the void to his heart; know that in each one of his thoughts such a one will gradually end the defilement of all his longstanding sins without any remainder--this is called one who is perfect in the laws and the precepts of monks and fulfills their dignified behavior. Such a one will be served by all gods and men. Suppose any Upasaka violates his dignified behavior and does bad things. To do bad things means, namely, to proclaim the errors and sins of the Buddha laws, to discus evil things perpetrated by the four groups, and do not feel shame even in committing theft or adultery. If he desires to repent and rid himself of these sins, he must zealously read and recite the sutras of great extent and must think of the first principle. Suppose a king, a minister, a Brahman, a citizen, an elder, a state official, all of these persons seek greedily and untiringly after desires, commit the five deadly sins, slander the sutras of great extent, and perform the ten evil karmas. Their recompense for these great evils will cause them to fall into evil paths faster than the breaking of a rainstorm. They will be sure to fall into the Avichi Hell. If they desire to rid themselves of and destroy these impediments of karmas, they must raise shame and repent all their sins.
The Buddha spoke saying, "why is it called the law of repentance of Kshatriyas and citizens? The law of repentance of Kshatriyas and citizens is that they must constantly have the right mind, not slander the three treasures nor hinder the monks nor persecute anyone practicing Brahma conduct; they must not forget to practice the law of the six reflections; they must again support, pay homage to, and surely salute the keepers of the great vehicle; they must remember the profound doctrine of sutras and the void of the first principle. One who thinks of this law is called one who practices the first repentance of Kshatriyas and citizens. The second repentance is to discharge their filial duty to their fathers and mothers and to respect their teachers and seniors--this is called one who practices the law of the second repentance. Their third repentance is to rule their countries with the righteous law and not to oppress their people unjustly--this is called one who practices the third repentance. Their fourth repentance is to issue within their states the ordinance of the six days of fasting and to cause their people to abstain from killing wherever their powers reach. One who practices such a law is called one who practices the fourth repentance. Their fifth repentance is to believe deeply the causes and results of things, to have faith in the way of one reality, and to know that the Buddha is never extinct--this is called one who practices the fifth repentance."
The Buddha addressed ¨¢nanda: "If in future worlds, there be any who practices these laws of repentance, know that such a man has put on the robe of shame, is protected and helped by the Buddhas, and will attain perfect enlightenment before long". As these words were spoken, ten thousand divine sons acquired pure spiritual eyes, and also the great Bodhisattvas, the Bodhisattva Maitreya and others, and ¨¢nanda, hearing the preaching of the Buddha, all rejoiced and did as the Buddha commanded.