THE SAṂDHINIRMOCANA SETTING ANALYZED
Keenan, John. The Scripture on the Explication of Underlying Meaning, (Bdk English Tripitaka Translation Series) Research, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation: Books, 2000
Thus have I heard.
At one time the World-honored One
THE EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES IN PERFECT CULMINATION
⁃ At one time the World-honored One was dwelling in an immeasurable abode
adorned with seven gems that shone brilliantly
and emitted a great light illuminating all the immeasurable world realms.
DUALITY TRASCENDED #1 - INTERPENATRAION
Its limitless regions were brilliantly adorned and well arranged.
They had no boundaries.
DUALITY TRASCENDED #2 - NUNBER=INFINITE and QUALITIES ARE SUPRER-MUNDANE
Their quantity was beyond reckoning, —> and they surpassed anything found in the triple world.
DUALITY TRASCENDED #3 - MUNDANE EFFORTS RIPEN IN TRANSCENDENT FRUITION
Having been brought forth from good roots —> that abode transcended this world.
It was characterized by a pure conscious construction of perfect mastery.
It was the domain of Tathāgatas.
Like clouds, great bodhisattvas gathered together there. An immeasurable number of
and similar beings were in attendance.
There the great taste of the doctrine sustained their delight and happiness and brought about all benefit for sentient beings.
It had destroyed the oppressive, defiled inclinations of passion,
and it was far removed from all inimical forces.
Surpassing all adornments was the adorned abode of the Tathāgata.
Its paths were the cultivation of great recollection and wisdom.
Its vehicles were great quietude and vision.
Its entry doors were the great liberations of emptiness, imagelessness, and desirelessness.
It was ornamented with a multitude of good qualities.
It was established by the multitude of the great, jeweled flower king.
In that great palace, the World-honored One's entirely purified understanding did not appear as dual.
He entered into the unmarked doctrine.
He dwelled in the Buddha abode,
realized the equality of all Buddhas,
and reached the state of no obstacles.
The irreversible teaching of the doctrine he propounded was unhindered.
That which he established was inconceivable.
Traversing the three times in the reality of equality, his bodies issued forth to all world realms.
His wisdom had no uncertainty in regard to anything.
He had perfected his great enlightenment in all practices.
His wisdom had no doubt in regard to anything.
All the bodies he manifested could not be differentiated.
His wisdom, which was well sought after by all the bodhisattvas, had attained that victorious far shore of a Buddha's nondual abode.
That unified wisdom of the Tathāgata's liberation was indeed ultimate.
He had realized the equality of Buddha lands.
He reached to the reality realm.
He exhausted space and would never come to an end.
He was accompanied by an immeasurable multitude of great word-hearers,
1. all of whom were docile sons of the Buddha.
2. Their thinking was well liberated.
Their understanding was well liberated.
Their discipline was well purified,
and they had set their aim upon joy in doctrine.
They had heard much, (Hear} and retained (Contemplate) and accumulated what they had heard. (Practice}
They thought good thoughts, spoke good words, and did good deeds.
Their wisdom was swift, quick, incisive, salvific, penetrating, great, expansive, unequaled.
Having perfected that wisdom gem,
they were endowed with the three knowledges of remembering former lives,
of the divine eye,
and of the destruction of contaminants.
They had attained the happiness of the highest state in the present world.
They dwelled in the field of pure merit.
Their deportment was tranquil and in no way imperfect.
The perfection of their great patience and gentleness was without decrease.
Already good, they revered and practiced the holy teachings of the Tathāgata.
Also present were an immeasurable number of great bodhisattvas,
assembled from various Buddha lands.
All dwelled in the great vehicle [Mahayana] and roamed in the doctrine of that great vehicle.
Their minds maintained equality in regard to all sentient beings.
They were free from discriminating time from the end of time.
They had suppressed all inimical forces.
They were far removed from the thinking of all the word-hearers and individually enlightened ones.
They were sustained by the joy and happiness of that great, expansive taste of the doctrine.
They had risen above the five dreads
and had assuredly entered the state of no-returning.
Appearing before them,
they mitigated the oppressive lands that torment sentient beings.
The principal ones were named
the Bodhisattva Gambhīrārthasaṃdhinirmocana, the Implicit Intent of the Profound Doctrine,
the Bodhisattva Vidhivatparipṛcchaka, Logical Questioner
the Bodhisattva Dharmodgata, Offspring of the Teaching
the Bodhisattva Suviśuddhimati, Purified Intelligence
the Bodhisattva Viśālamati, Vast Intelligence
the Bodhisattva Guṇākara,Root of Virtue
the Bodhisattva Paramārthasamudgata, Born of Ultimate Truth
the Bodhisattva Āryāvalokiteśvara,
the Bodhisattva Maitreya,
and the Bodhisattva Mañjuśri.
The opening scene of the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra (Lotus Sutra) and the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra (PPM 800 Lines) compared (in that they are identical and represent lists about 100 − 150 prior to the SAṂDHINIRMOCANA )
THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM IN 8000 LINES
Thus I have heard at one time.
The Lord dwelt at Rajagriha, on the Vulture Peak,
together with a great gathering of monks,
with 1,250 monks,
1.all of them Arhats,
2.their outflows dried up,
5.quite freed in their hearts, well freed
8. great Serpents,
9.their work done,
10.their task accomplished,
11.their burdens laid down,
12.their own weal accomplished,
13.with the fetters that bound them to becoming extinguished,
14.their hearts well freed by right understanding,
15.in perfect control of their whole minds
with the exception of one single person, i.e., the Venerable Ananda.
The Lotus Sutra
Thus have I heard.
Once upon a time the Lord was staying at Râgagriha, on the Gridhrakuta mountain,
with a numerous assemblage of monks,
twelve hundred monks,
1. all of them Arhats,
3. free from depravity,
5. thoroughly emancipated in thought
6. and knowledge,
7. of noble breed,
8. (like unto) great elephants,
9. having done their task,
10. done their duty,
11. acquitted their charge,
12. reached the goal;
13. in whom the ties which bound them to existence were wholly destroyed,
14. whose minds were thoroughly emancipated by perfect knowledge,
15. who had reached the utmost perfection in subduing all their thoughts;
16. who were possessed of the transcendent faculties;
Leo Rivers, the Garage House, CGOR, Saturday, August 10, 2013 10:34:36 AM
Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
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