Translated by the Buddhist Text Translation Society in USA
I. Vairocana Buddha
At that time, Vairocana Buddha began speaking in general about the Mind-Ground for the benefit of the Great Assembly. What he said represents but an infinitesimal part, the tip of a hair, of His innumerable teachings -- as numerous as the grains of sand in the river Ganges.
He concluded: "The Mind-Ground has been explained, is being explained and will be explained by all the Buddhas -- past, present, and future. It is also the Dharma Door (cultivation method) that all the Bodhisattvas of the past, present, and future have studied, are studying and will study."
"I have cultivated this Mind-Ground Dharma Door for hundreds of eons. My name is Vairocana. I request all Buddhas to transmit my words to all sentient beings, so as to open this path of cultivation to all."
At that time, from his Lion's Throne in the Lotus Treasury World, Vairocana Buddha emitted rays of light. A voice among the rays is heard telling the Buddhas seated on thousands of lotus petals, "You should practice and uphold the Mind-Ground Dharma Door and transmit it to the innumerable Sakyamuni Buddhas, one after another, as well as to all sentient beings. Everyone should uphold, read, recite, and singlemindedly put its teachings into practice."
After receiving the Dharma-door of the Mind-Ground, the Buddhas seated atop the thousands of lotus flowers along with the innumerable Sakyamuni Buddhas all arose from their Lion seats, their bodies emitting innumerable rays of light. In each of these rays appeared innumerable Buddhas who simultaneously made offerings of green, yellow, red and white celestial flowers to Vairocana Buddha. They then slowly took their leave.
The Buddhas then disappeared from the Lotus Treasury World, entered the Essence-Nature Empty Space Floral Brilliance Samadhi and returned to their former places under the Bodhi-tree in this world of Jambudvipa. They then arose from their samadhi, sat on their Diamond Thrones in Jambudvipa and the Heaven of the Four Kings, and preached the Dharma of the "Ten Oceans of Worlds."
Thereupon, they ascended to Lord Shakya's palace and expounded the "Ten Dwellings," proceeded to the Suyama Heaven and taught the "Ten Practices," proceeded further to the Fourth Heaven and taught the "Ten Dedications," proceeded further to the Transformation of Bliss Heaven and taught the "Ten Dhyana Samadhi," proceeded further to the Heaven of Comfort From Others' Emanations and taught the "Ten Grounds," proceeded further to the First Dhyana Heaven and taught the "Ten Vajra Stages," proceeded further to the Second Dhyana Heaven and taught the "Ten Patiences," and proceeded further to the Third Dhyana Heaven and taught the "Ten Vows." Finally, in the Fourth Dhyana Heaven, at Lord Brahma's Palace, they taught the "Mind-Ground Dharma-Door" chapter, which Vairocana Buddha, in eons past, expounded in the Lotus Treasury World (the cosmos).
All the other innumerable transformation Sakyamuni Buddhas did likewise in their respective worlds as the chapter "Auspicious Kalpa" has explained.
Does anyone know of a commentary to the Brahma Net Sutra?
In particular, the Vairocana chapter opens in an extremely startling setting: an assembly of all the Buddhas apparently being "taught" in some form by Vairocana Buddha within which are innumerable Shakyamuni Buddhas.
I first read this sutra as a young person and was immediately captivated by the imagery and the perception of the profundity of the sutra. My first mental image was of a vast assembly of Buudhas on lotus seats in a vast cosmic hall, which was nonetheless intimate and presented an intimate setting. I also seem to remember a conversation between one buddha and another buddha where the first buddha explicitly stated that they had entered the path to enlightenment as the disciple of the other buddha (so perhaps there is more to the sutra than represented by the current translation?).
For me the imagery is still fantastic and deeply devotional: as bodhisattvas we would like to bring all beings into this vast and amazing Buddha Assembly.