Hua-Yen Buddhism:Entry Into The Inconceivable

By Thomas Cleary
Edited with Links
by Peter Y. Chou

The Hua-yen doctrine shows the entire cosmos as a single nexus of conditions in which everything simultaneously depends on, and is depended on by, everything else. Seen in this light, then, everything affects and is affected by, more or less immediately or remotely, everything else; just as this is true of every system of relationships, so is it true of the totality of existence. In seeking to understand individuals and groups, therefore, Hua-yen thought considers the manifold as an integral part of the unit and the unit as an integral part of the manifold; one individual is considered in terms of relationships to other individuals as well as to the whole nexus, while the whole nexus is considered in terms of its relation to each individual as well as to all individuals.The ethic of the Hua-yen teaching is based on this fundamental theme of universal interdependence; while the so-called bodhisattva, the person devoted to enlightenment, constantly nourishes aspiration and will going beyond the world, nevertheless the striving for completion and perfection, the development of ever greater awareness, knowledge, freedom, and capability, is continually reinvested, as it were, in the world, dedicated to the liberation and enlightenment of all beings. The awakening and unfolding of the complete human potential leads to realms beyond that of conventional experience, and indeed to ultimate transcendence of all conditional experience, yet the bodhisattva never maligns the ordinary and does not forsake it, instead translating appropriate aspects of higher knowledge into insights and actions conducive to the common weal. It is generally characteristic of Mahayana or universalistic Buddhism that the mundane welfare of beings is considered a legitimate, if not ultimate, aim of bodhisattva activity, and many aspects of the ethical and practical life of bodhisattvas may be seen in this light… Bodhisattvas therefore strive to benefit all equally, without losing sight of the diversity and complexity of the means necessary to accomplish this end. (pp. 2-3)
The Hua-yen Scripture
The T’ang dynasty (618-907), during which the Hua-yen school of Buddhism emerged and was fully articulated, was a period of remarkable activity in Chinese Buddhism as a whole. At least 39 Indian and Central Asian monks provided Chinese translations of hundreds of Buddhist texts, while over 50 Chinese monks traveled to India in search of Buddhist learning and lore… Historically speaking, it is often said that there are four major schools of Chinese Buddhism— the T’ien-t’ai, Hua-yen, Ch’an, and Ching-t’u schools. The former two are usually noted for their philosophy while the latter two are noted for their meditational practices; both philosophy & practice are, however, included in all four schools with varying degrees of emphasis & complexity. (pp. 9-10)

The Hua-yen teachings were originally projected in the Chinese field largely through the works of five eminent monks who are known as the founders or patriarchs of the Hua-yen school: (pp. 11-15)
Tu Shun (557-640):
Contemplation of the Realm of Reality (Fa-chieh kuan)
Mysteries of the Realm of Reality of the Hua-yen
Cessation and Contemplation in the Five Teachings of the Hua-yen
Ten Mysterious Gates of the Unitary Vehicle of the Hua-yen
(Hua-yen i-ch’eng shih hsuan men)
Chih-yen (600-668):
Record of Searches into the Mysteries of the Hua-yen Scripture
Fifty Essential Questions and Answers on the Hua-yen
Fa-tsang (643-712):
Treatise on the Golden Lion
Record of Investigation into the Mysteries of the Hua-yen Scripture
Forest of Topics in the Hua-yen (Hua-yen ts’e lin)
Treatise on the Divisions of Doctrine in the Unitary Vehicle of the Hua-yen
Treatise on the Five Teachings (Wu chiao chang)
Record of Musings on the Realm of the Teaching of the Hua-yen
Record of Doctrines Forming the Pulse of the Hua-yen Scripture
Treatise on Development of the Will for Enlightenment According to the Hua-yen
Treatise on the Three Treasures Established in the Book on Clarification of Method
A Hundred Gates of the Ocean of Meanings in the Hua-yen Scripture
Cultivation of Contemplation of the Inner Meaning of the Hua-yen:
The Ending of Delusion and Return to the Source
Cheng-kuan (738-839 or 760-820):
Eighteen Questions and Answers on the ‘Entry into the Realm of Reality’
Explanations of Verses on the Seven Locations and Nine Assemblies
Contemplation of the Five Clusters (Wu yun kuan)
Contemplation of the Merging of the Three Sages
Teaching of the Mind Essentials of the Hua-yen
Tsung-mi (780-841):
Comprehensive Introduction to a Collection of Expositions of the Sources of Ch’an
Commentary on Yuan-chiao ching, Scripture on Complete Enlightenment
Study of the Basis of Man (Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist teachings)

Emptiness and Relativity
To delve into the philosophy of Hua-yen Buddhism, it is necessary to deal with the doctrine of emptiness, which is central to Buddhism… A very simple and useful way to glimpse emptiness— usually defined in the Hua-yen scripture as emptiness of intrinsic nature or own being— is by considering things from different points of view. What for one form of life is a waste product is for another form of life an essential nutrient; what is a predator for one species is prey to another. In this sense it can be seen that things do not have fixed, self-defined nature of their own; what they “are” depends upon the relationships in terms of which they are considered. Even if we say that something is the sum total of its possibilities, still we cannot point to a unique, intrinsic, self-defined nature that characterizes the thing in its very essence. (pp. 18-19)

Fa-tsang expounds the essential nondifference of the two senses of the three natures. Though the real nature, going along with conditions, becomes defiled or pure, it never loses its inherent purity— tha is indeed why it can become defiled or pure according to conditions. This purity is likened to a clear mirror reflecting the defiled and pure while never losing the clarity of the mirror— indeed it is precisely because the mirror does not lose its clarity that it can reflect defiled and pure forms. By the reflection of defiled and pure forms, in fact, we can know that the mirror itself is clear. So it is, Fa-tsang explains, with the principle of true thusness: it not only becomes defiled and pure without affecting its inherent purity but by its becoming defiled or pure its inherent purity is revealed. Not only does it reveal its inherent purity without obliterating defilement and purity; it is precisely because of its inherent purity that it can become defiled and pure. Here “inherent purity” means emptiness of inherently fixed nature whereas relative “defilement” and “purity” depend on action and the experiencing mind. All mundane and holy states are manifestations of “thusness”, yet the essential nature of thusness— which is naturelessness— is not affected.

This brings us to the relative nature. Fa-tsang says that although it is through cause and conditions that seeming existence appears, yet this seeming existence cannot have inherent nature or essential reality because whatever is born of conditions has no essence or nature of its own. If it is not essenceless, then it does not depend on conditions; and if it does not depend on conditions, then it is not seeming existence. Since the establishment of seeming existence must proceed from a set of conditions, it has no inherent reality of its own. Therefore, Fa-tsang continues, the Ta-chih-tu lun says: “Observe that all things are born from causes and conditions, and so have no individual reality, and hence are ultimately empty. Ultimate emptiness is called transcendent wisdom.” By conditional origination, Fa-tsang points out, absence of inherent nature is revealed; when the Chung lun says “because there is the truth of emptiness, all things can be established,” this is showing conditional production by menas of absence of inherent nature. Fa-tsang then quotes the Nirvana scripture, saying, “Phenomena exist because of causality and are void because of essencelessness,” concluding that absence of inherent nature and causality are identical. Thus are the real nature and the relative nature harmonized and seen to be different views of the same truth. (pp. 23-24)

The Four Realms of Reality
The dialect of Hua-yen philosophy is consummated in the doctrine of the four realms of reality, comprehending both conventional and absolute reality. The four realms are the realm of phenomena, the realm of noumenon (which means the principle of emptiness), the realm of noninterference between noumenon and phenomena, and the realm of noninterference among phenomena… Tu Shun’s “Contemplation of Reality-Realm” explores ten aspects of the noninterference of noumenon and phenomena:
1) aspect of noumenon pervading phenomena: emptiness is wholly present in all things;
  in terms of impermanence, it means that transience is inherent in all things.
2) aspect of phenomena pervading noumenon: the noumenon in any particular phenomenon is the
  same as the noumenon in all other phenomena. The space in one atom, seen from the standpoint
  of space itself and not the boundaries of phenomena, is one with the whole of space.
3) aspect of the formation of phenomenoa based on noumenon: since phenomena are conditional their existence
  depends on their relativity— they can only exist because of their very lack of inherent identity.
4) aspect of phenomena being able to show noumenon: for phenomena, there would be no medium of
  expression & perception of the principle of relativity— indeed there would be no relativity.
5) aspect of removing phenomena by means of noumenon: By bringing the awareness of noumenon or
  emptiness to the fore, one views the nonabsoluteness or nonfinality of the characteristics
  or appearance of things.
6) aspect of phenomena being able to conceal noumenon: the surface of things, the obvious appearances,
  obscure the noumenon. While we all have Buddha nature, our attachments & illusions prevent us
  from being aware of it.
7) aspect of the true noumenon being identical to phenomena: the noumenon is not outside of things
8) aspect of phenomena being identical to noumenon: phenomena, originating interdependently, being products
  of causes & conditions, have no individual reality, and in that sense are identical to the noumenon, emptiness.
9) aspect of true noumenon not being phenomena: emptiness qua emptiness is not the characteristics of form.
  The appearance of discrete phenomena is an illusion; although the illusion is in reality empty,
  emptiness is not the illusion.
10) aspect of phenomena not being noumenon: phenomena qua phenomena are not noumenon,
  that characteristics or appearances are not essence. These last two aspects view noumenon
  and phenomena as extremes, on the basis of which they are correlative. (pp. 24-27)

The Ten Mysterious Gates
These ten aspects of the mutual inclusion of all phenomena as delineated by Tu Shun were further
developed by Chih-yen and Fa-tsang into the famous doctrine of the ten mysterious gates:
1) simultaneous complete correspondence: all things come from interdependent origination,
  simulataneously depending on each other for their manifestation.
2) freedom and noninterference of extension and restriction, or breadth and narrowness:
  all interdependent things have both these limited & unlimited aspects, in that
  as conditional individual phenomena they are integral partrs of the whole universe.
3) one and many containing each other without being the same: the power of one phenomenon enters
  into all other phenomena, while the power of all other phenomena enters into one.
  The doings of a society affect the individual in that society while the doings of the individual
  affect the society— this is but two ways of saying that each individual in a society affects,
  directly or indirectly, every other individual.
4) mutual identification of all things: the two aspects (one and many) are shown to merge
  into one suchness; this is likened to water and waves containing each other.
5) existence of both concealment and revelation: when one thing is identified with all things,
  then the all is manifest and the one is concealed. When all things are identified with one,
  then one is manifest and the many is cncealed.
6) establishment of mutual containment even in the minute: even the most minute particle contains
  all things, like a mirror reflecting the myriad forms.
7) realm of Indra’s net: The net of Indra is a net of jewels: not only does each jewel reflect all
  the other jewels but the reflections of all the jewels in each jewel also contain the reflections
  of all the other jewels, ad infinitum. This “infinity of infinities” represents the interidentification
  and interpenetration of all things as illustrated in the preceding gates.
8) using a phenomenon to illustrate a principle and produce understanding: Since one and all
  are mutually coproduced, one can be used to illustrate all— that is to say, for example,
  that the relativity of one phenomenon reveals the relativity of all. This concept is often
  referred as the Buddhist teaching being revealed on the tip of a hair or in a mote of dust.
9) separate phenomena of the ten time frames variously existing: The ten time frames are the past, present,
  and future of the past, present, and future, and the totality— that is, the past of the past, the present
  of the past, the future of the past, the past of the present, the present of the present, the future of the present,
  the past of the future, the present of the future, the future of the future, and the totality of all these times.
10) the principal and satellites completely illumined and containing all qualities: when one thing is made
  the focus, it becomes the “principal” while everything else is a multitude of “satellites” of the principal.
  (pp. 33-39)

Chih-yen: Ten Mysterious Gates of the Unitary Vehicle of the Hua-yen
Multiplicity within unity and unity within multiplicity are represented in this treatise not only in terms of the interdependence or mutual definition of numbers but also in terms of a holistic view in which every part includes the whole by virtue of being inextricably related. By emphasizing the relationship of teacher, teaching, and student, as well as the interdependence of phenomena and principles, Chih-yen establishes this very principle of relativity as the central and pervasive principle of the comprehensive, unitary teaching of the Hua-yen. Thus the Hua-yen teaching subsumes all the Buddhist teachings, specifically and generally, into a whole which transcends, wtihout obliterating, the multitude of differences in the doctrines and practices of Buddhism. (p. 125)
There are ten aspects of interdependent origination which are all interrelated:
1) Simultaneous complete interrelation— this is explained in reference to the interrelation

2) The realm of the net of Indra— this is explained in terms of metaphor.
3) Latent concealment and revelation both existing— this is explained in terms of conditions.
4) Minute containment and establishment— this is explained in terms of forms and characteristics.
5) Separate phenomena of the ten time divisions variously existing— this is explained in terms of time divisions.
6) The purity and mixture of the repositories containing all virtues— this is explained in terms of practice.
7) One and many containing each other without being the same— this is explained in terms of noumenon.
8) All things freely identifying with each other— this is explained in terms of function.
9) Creation only by the operation of mind— this is explained in terms of mind.
10) Using phenomena to illustrate the Teaching and produce understanding— this is explained in terms of knowledge.

In each of these ten gates are also ten, all together making a hundred. These ten are:
1) doctrine and meaning

3) understanding and practice
4) cause and result
5) person and dharma
6) divisions of sphere and stage
7) teaching and knowledge, teacher and disciple
8) prinicpal & satellites, objective & subjective realms
9) retrogression & progression, substance & function
10) adaptation to the faculties, inclinations, and natures of beings. (pp. 131-132)

Fa-tsang: Cultivation of Contemplation of the Inner Meaning of the Hua-yen:
The Ending of Delusion and Return to the Source
The full teaching is inconceivable— when you look into a single atom it appears all at once. The complete school is unfathomable— by observing a fine hair it is all equally revealed. Functions are separated in the essence, however, and are not without different patters; phenomena are manifest depending on noumenon and inherently have a unitary form. It is like this: when sickness occurs, medicine is developed; when delusion is born, knowledge is established. When the sickness is gone, the medicine is forgotten; it is like using an empty fist to stop a child’s crying. When the mind is penetrated, phenomena are penetrated; empty space is adduced to represent universality. One awakened, once enlightened, what obstruction or penetration is there? The clinging of the hundred negations is stopped; the exaggeration and underestimation of the four propostions is ended. Thereby we find that medicine and sickness both disappear, quietude and confusion both melt and dissolve; it is thereby possible to enter the mysterious source, efface “nature” and “characteristics”, and enter the realm of reality.

Here in this work I am collecting the mysterious profundities and summing up the great source, producing a volume of scripture within an atom, turning the wheel of the Teaching on a hair. Those with clarity will grow in virtue on the same day; the blind have no hope in many lives. For those who understand the message, mountains are easy to move; for those who turn away from the source, ounces are hard to take. (p. 150)

Because sentient beings are deluded, they think illusion is to be abandoned and think reality is to be entered; when they are enlightened, illusion itself is reality— there is no other reality besides to enter. The meaning here is the same; entering without entering, it is called entry. Why? Entering and not entering are fundamentally equal; it is the same one cosmos. The “Treatise on Awakening of Faith” says, “If sentient beings can contemplate no thought, this is called entering the gate of true thusness.”

As for the five cessations, first is cessation by awareness of the pure emptiness of things and detachment from objects. This means that things in ultimate truth are empty and quiescent in their fundamental nature; things in conventional truth seem to exist yet are empty. The ultimate and conventional, purely empty, are null and groundless; once relating knowledge is stilled, objects related to are empty. Mind and objects not constraining, the essence pervades, empty and open. At the moment of true realization, cause and effect are both transcended. The Vimalakirti scripture says, “The truth is not in the province of cause, nor in effect.” Based on this doctrine we call it cessation by awareness of the pure emptiness of things and detachment from objects. Second is cessation by contemplation of the voidness of person and cutting off desire. That is, the five clusters have no master— this is called void. Empty quietude without any seeking is called cutting off desire. Therefore it is called cessation by contemplation of the voidness of person and cutting off desire. Third is cessation because of the spontaneity of the profusion of natural evolution… Fourth is cessation by the light of concentration shining forth without thought. This refers to the precious jewel of the blessed universal monarch with a pure jewel net… Fifth is formless cessation in the mystic communion of noumenon and phenomena. (pp. 162-163)

Sixth is the contemplation of the net of Indra, where principal and satellites reflect one another. This means that with self as principal, one looks to others as satellites or companions; or else one thing or principle is taken as principal and all things or principles become satellites or companions; or one body is taken as principal and all bodies become satelllites. Whatever single thing is brought up, immediately principal and satellite are equally contained, multiplying infinitely— this represents the nature of things manifesting reflections multiplied and remultiplied in all phenomena, all infinitely. This is also the infinite doubling and redoubling of compassion and wisdom. It is like when the boy Sudhana gradually traveled south from the Jeta grove until he reached the great tower of Vairocana’s ornaments. For a while he concentrated, then said to Maitreya, “O please, Great Sage, open the door of the tower and let me enter.” Maitreya snapped his fingers and the door opened. When Sudhana had entered, it closed as before. He saw that inside the tower were hundreds and thousands of towers, and in front of each tower was a Maitreya Bodhisattva, and before each Maitreya Bodhisattva was a boy Sudhana, each Sudhana joining his palms before Maitreya. This represents the multiple levels of the cosmos of reality, like the net of Indra, principal and satellites reflecting each other. This is also the contemplation of noninterference among all phenomena. (p. 168)

Appendix: Highlights of the Hua-yen Scripture
The first full translation in 60 scrolls, were made by Buddhabhadra (359-429 A.D.); an even more thorough version, comprising 80 scrolls, was made from another text at the end of the 7th century by Siksananda (652-710 A.D.). For convenience these two versions are often referred to respectively as the 60 and 80-scroll Hua-yen. (pp. 171-205)

Book 1: “Wonderful Adornments of the Leaders of the Worlds (scrolls 1-5)
60: “Pure Eyes of the Worlds”, scrolls 1-2

Book 2: “Appearance of the Buddha” (scroll 6)
60: Included in part 1 of “Vairocana Buddha”, scroll 2

Book 3: “The Concentration of Samantabhadra” (scroll 7)
60: Included in part 2 of “Vairocana Buddha”, scroll 3

Book 4: “Formation of the Worlds” (scroll 7)
60: Included in part 2 of “Vairocana Buddha”, scroll 3

Book 5: “The Flower Treasury World” (scrolls 8-10)
60: Included in part 2 of “Vairocana Buddha”, scrolls 3-4

Book 6: “Vairocana Buddha” (scroll 11)
60: Included in part 3 of “Vairocana Buddha”, scroll 4

Book 7: “Names and Epithets of the Enlightened Ones” (scroll 12)
60: Same title; book 3, scroll 4

Book 8: “The Four Holy Truths” (scroll 12)
60: “The Four Truths”, book 4, scrolls 4-5

Book 9: “Awakening by Light” (scroll 13)
60: “Awakening by the Enlightened One’s Light”, book 5, scroll 5

Book 10: “A Bodhisattva Asks for Clarification” (scroll 13)
60: “Bodhisattvas Clarify Problems”, book 6, scroll 5

Book 11: “Purifying Action” (scroll 14)
60: Same title, book 7, scroll 6
Fo-shuo p’u-sa pen-yeh ching (T. 281), “Scripture on the Original Deeds of the Bodhisattva as Explained by the Buddha”, translated by Chih-ch’ien sometime between 220-265 A.D. This book concentrates on the development of attitude and outlook, detailing a scheme of thought cultivation in which awareness of daily activities is directed to specific prayers for the well-being, development, and liberation of all beings. For example: “Bodhisattvas at home should wish that all beings realize that the nature of ‘home’ is empty, and escape its pressures… While with their spouses and children, they should wish that all beings be equal and impartial toward everyone and forever give up clinging… When they give something, they should wish that all beings be able to relinquish all with hearts free of clinging… When in danger and difficulty, they should wish that all beings be free, unhindered wherever they go… Setting out on the road, they should wish that all beings go where the Buddha goes, into the realm of nonreliance… Walking along the road, they should wish that all beings tread the pure realm of reality, their minds without obstruction. (p. 183)

Book 12: “Chief of the Good” (scrolls 14-15)
60: “Bodhisattva Chief of the Good”, book 8, scrolls 6-7

Book 13: “Ascent to the Peak of Mount Sumeru” (scroll 16)
60: “Buddha Ascends to the Peak of Mount Sumeru”, book 9, scroll 7

Book 14: “Eulogies Atop Mount Sumeru” (scroll 16)
60: “Bodhisattvas Gather like Clouds in the Hall of Wondrous Excellence and Utter Verses”, book 10, scrolls 7-8

Book 15: “The Ten Abodes” (scroll 16)
60: “Ten Abodes of Bodhisattvas”, book 11, scroll 8
P’u-sa shih-chu hsing-tao p’in (T.283), “Book on Bodhisattvas’ Ten Abodes in the Practice of the Way”,
translated by Dharmaraksa sometime between 265-289 A.D.
This book details ten stations of bodhisattvahood: 1) initial determination for enlightenment; 2) preparation of the ground; 3) practice; 4) noble birth (meaning being “reborn” as a product of the teachings); 5) skill in means; 6) right mindfulness; 7) nonregression; 8) youthful nature (innocence and purity); 9) prince of the Teaching; 10) coronation (as sovereign or master of the Teaching). The 1st abode is concerned with broadening the mind and universalizing the outlook; 2nd) developing great compassion toward all beings; 3rd) clarifying knowledge; 4th) developing equanimity; 5th) increasing in freedom and having no attachments; 6th) accepting the nonorigination of things; 7th) gaining emancipation from all things; 8th) advancing in skillfulness in applying the teachings; 9th) progressing in nonobstruction of mind; 10th) increasing in knowledge of all particular ways of liberation.

Book 16: “Religious Practice” (scroll 17)
60: Same title, book 12, scroll 8

Book 17: “Virtues of the Initial Aspiration for Enlightenment” (scroll 17)
60: “Virtues of Bodhisattvas Who Have Just Begun to Aspire to Enlightenment”, book 13, scroll 9

Book 18: “Illuminatng Method” (scroll 18)
60: Same title; book 14, scroll 10

Book 19: “Ascent to the Palace of the Suyama Heaven” (scroll 19)
60: “Freedom of the Buddha Ascending to the Palace of the Suyama Heaven”, book 15, scroll 10

Book 20: “Eulogies in the Palace of the Suyama Heaven” (scroll 19)
60: “Bodhisattvas in the Palace of the Suyama Heaven Utter Verses”, book 16, scroll 10

Book 21: “Ten Practices” (scrolls 19-20)
60: “Clusters of Flowers of Merit— Bodhisattvas’ Ten Practices”, book 17, scrolls 11-12
Ten kinds of practice of bodhisattvas are expounded in this book:
1) Gladdening practice: material generosity, given to benefit beings, with no idea of self, receiver, or gift.
2) Beneficial practice: maintaining pure morality, abiding in equanimity and impartiality.
3) Practice of nonopposition: realizing that pain & pleasure, suffering & happiness, have no absolute existence.
4) Practice of indefatigability: cultivating perseverance to cause all beings to attain nirvana.
5) Practice of freedom from ignorance & confusion: perfecting right mindfulness and enlarging concentration.
6) Practice of skillful revelation: knowing that thoughts, words, and deeds have no absolute existence.
7) Practice of nonattachment: cultivating enlightening practices forever.
8) Practice of that which is difficult to attain: development of virtuous qualities;
  teaching others without in effect saying a single thing.
9) Practice of goodness: attaining comprehensive mnemonic power, dealing with others with unbreakable compassion.
10) Practice of real truth: penetrating ever deeper into the Buddha’s teachings and arriving at the fountainhead of truth.

Book 22: “Ten Inexhaustible Treasures” (scroll 21)
60: “Bodhisattvas’ Ten Inexhaustible Treasures”, book 18, scroll 12
“Ten inexhaustible treasuries” are spoken in this book:
1) Faith: believing all things are empty and immeasurable.
2) Ethics: universal altruism, nonpossessiveness, not injuring others, having no greed.
3) Shame: being ashamed of past wrongs.
4) Conscience: being ashamed to do wrong.
5) Learning: learning the various enlightening teachings.
6) Generosity: liberality in giving.
7) Wisdom: truly knowing the causes of suffering and athe end of suffering.
8) Remembrance: remembering life stages, Buddha’s teachings, and states of mind.
9) Preservation: maintaining the Teachings.
10) Elocution: expounding the Teachings.

Book 23: “Ascent to the Palace of the Tusita Heaven” (scroll 22)
60: “The Buddha Ascends to the Hall of All Jewels in the Palace of the Tusita Heaven”, book 19, scroll 13

Book 24: “Eulogies in the Palace of the Tusita Heaven” (scroll 23)
60: “Bodhisattvas Gather Like Clouds in the Palace of the Tusita Heaven and Praise the Buddha”, book 13, scroll 9

Book 25: “Ten Dedications” (scrolls 23-33)
60: “Diamond Banner Bodhisattva’s Ten Dedications”, book 21, scrolls 14-22

Book 26: “The Ten Stages” (scrolls 34-39)
60: Same title, book 22, scrolls 23-27
The ten stages of bodhisattvahood, with some of their highlights, are as follows:
1) Extremely joyful: being able to help and benefit others; freed from fear; practice of generosity.
2) Purity: truthfulness, flexibility, capability, control, peacefulness, pure goodness, nondefilement,
  nonattachment, broadmindedness, magnanimity. Bodhisattvas in this stage are spontaneously beyond killing,
  stealing, lying, duplicitous talk, offensive talk, frivolous talk, greed, hatred, anger, and false views.
3) Refulgence: purity, stability, relinquishment, freedom from craving, nonregression, firmness,
  glowing brightness, courage, broadmindedness, magnanimity.
4) Flamelike wisdom: ten contemplations: the realms of sentient beings, the realms of facts, the world,
  space, realm of consciousness, desire, form, formlessness, broadminded faith, great-minded faith.
5) Difficult to conquer: ten kinds of equanimous pure mind— mind is composed, impartial, and pure;
  getting ridof views, doubts, and regrets; knowledge of right & wrong paths; cultivating insight;
  meditation on enlightenment; teaching all living beings.
6) Presence: contemplate ten kinds of equality: observe that all things are equal in terms of singleness,
  insubstantiality, birthlessness, deathlessness, fundamental purity, being nonconceptual, being free from
  grasping and rejecting, being quiescent, being like illusions; things are equal in terms of the nonduality
  of their existence and nonexistence.
7) Traveling far: cultivate ten kinds of flexible wisdom— though they practice meditation on emptiness,
  they are kind and compassionate to all living beings; though they are detached from the world, yet they adorn
  the world; though they have extinguished the flame of passions, yet they can arouse their extinct passions for
  the sake of sentient beings; though they know that past, present, and future are but one mental instant, yet
  they cultivate various practices, timing, and periods according to the understanding & discernment of beings.
8) Imperturbability; reach effortlessness and all striving ceases
9) Perfect intellect: use all kinds of knowledge to serve as teachers
10) Clouds of truth: fulfill the ten powers of Buddhas— knowing what is so and what is not so;
  knowing past, present, and future consequences of action; knowing all states of meditation, concentration,
  and liberation; knowing various realms; understanding; potentials; where all paths lead; seeing what is
  remote and recondit; knowing the past; knowing one has forever cut off habit energy.

Book 27: “Ten Concentrations” (scrolls 40-43)
60: Absent
1) Universal light. 2) Subtle light. 3) Psychic powers traveling to all lands. 4) Practice with a pure profound mind. 5) Knowing the treasury of adornments of the past. 6) Treasure of light of knowledge. 7) Knowing the adornments of Buddhas in all worlds. 8) Different bodies of all living beings. 9) Cosmic freedom. 10) Unobstructed wheel: bodhisattvas attain unobstructed powers of action, speech, and mentation.

Book 28: “The Ten Superknowledges” (scroll 44)
60: Same title (though written differently); book 23, scroll 28
The ten superknowledges discussed in this book are knowledge of others’ minds; clairvoyance; knowledge of past histories of oneself and others; knowledge of the future; clairaudience; nonphysical psychic travel to all Buddha-lands; understanding the languages of all sentient beings; ability to appear in countless forms; knowledge of the true nature of all things; knowledge of absorption in the extinction of all things.

Book 29: “The Ten Acceptances” (scroll 44)
60: Same title; book 24, scroll 28

Book 30: “The Incalculable” (scroll 45)
60: “Mind-King Bodhisattva Asks About the Incalculable”; book 25, scroll 29
This book develops definitions of the fantastic numbers used in the scripture, starting from 100,000, multiplying by 100 to get ten million, then squaring 123 times in succession to reach “an ineffable ineffable squared”. The chapter goes on to say that the cosmos contains infinite infinities and that the qualities and practices of enlightenment are infinite also.

Book 31: “Life Span” (scroll 45)
60: Same title; book 26, scroll 29

Book 32: “Dwelling Places of Bodhisattvas” (scroll 45)
60: Same title; book 27, scroll 29

Book 33: “Inconceivable Qualities of Buddhas” (scroll 46-47)
60: Same title; book 28, scrolls 30-31

Book 34: “Ocean of Marks of the Ten Bodies of the Buddha” (scroll 48)
60: “Ocean of Marks of the Buddha”; book 29, scroll 32

Book 35: “Qualities of the Subsidiary Refinements and Auras of the Buddha” (scroll 48)
60: “Qualities of the Lesser Marks and Auras of the Buddha”; book 30, scroll 32

Book 36: “The Practices of Samantabhadra” (scroll 49)
60: Same title; book 31, scroll 33

Book 37: “Manifestation of the Buddha” (scrolls 50-52)
60: “Jewel King Buddha’s Natural Origination”; book 32, scrolls 33-36

Book 38: “Detachment from the World” (scrolls 53-59)
60: Same title; book 33, scrolls 36-43

Book 39: “Entering the Realm of Reality” (scrolls 60-80)
60: Same title; book 34, scrolls 44-60
The contents of book 39 are summarized in the Introduction


~ by James Myoe on December 28, 2007.

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