Then Sudhana, further cultivating, fostering, and expanding the enlightening liberation of entry into the profound miracle of pleasing sound, went to the night goddess Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa. He saw her sitting on a lion throne of jewel tree shoots inside a tower of branches of jewel trees of all fragrances, surrounded by ten thousand night goddesses. He went up to her, paid his respects, and said, “Noble goddess, I have set my mind on supreme perfect enlightenment, but I do not know how an enlightening being is to carry out and learn the practice of enlightening beings. Please tell me how to perform and learn the practice of enlightening beings, and how to act and learn so as to arrive at omniscience.”
The goddess said to Sudhana, “By my power, when the sun goes down, the blooming lotuses become highly fragrant; all the men and women sporting in the parks decide to go home; the highly conscious beings on the roads and paths in the night head for the protection of all beings: those who live in mountain caves go into the mountain caves, those who lie in trees head for the trees, those who live in caves go into their caves, those who live in villages, cities, or towns go into their villages, cities, and towns, those who live in water go down in the water, those who live in other abodes go to their respective dwelling places, to spend the night comfortably.
“Furthermore, to the young men and women intoxicated with the joy of youth, reveling in music and song and intent on sensual pleasures, I praise the effort to produce roots of goodness as an antidote to the fears of the darkness of birth, old age, and death. I enjoin giving on those who are greedy and lead the ill-behaved to discipline. To those who are hostile I praise kindness, and I lead those agitated in mind to patience. I lead the lazy to undertake the vigorous effort of enlightening beings. Those whose minds wander I establish in meditation. I furnish the stupid with transcendent wisdom. Those who are interested in the Lesser Vehicle I establish in the Great Vehicle. Those who are attached to the world, who act within the sphere of attachment to the conditions of existence, I lead to the transcendent commitment of enlightening beings. Those who are overcome by obstructions, tormented by afflictions in their actions, lacking in the power of virtue and knowledge, I lead to the transcendent power of enlightening beings. Those bound up in the darkness of nescience, in the darkness of the ignorance characterized by egoism and possessiveness, I lead to the transcendent knowledge of enlightening beings.
“Furthermore, I have attained the enlightening liberation ‘manifestation of contentment with the treasure produced from great joy.’”
Sudhana said, “What is the sphere of this liberation?”
The goddess said, “The scope of this liberation is the knowledge and means to take care of sentient beings by the goodness of those who arrive at Thusness. How is that? Whatever well-being sentient beings experience is all due to the power of the goodness of the enlightened, due to the path of the teaching of the enlightened, due to putting the word of the enlightened into practice, due to learning from the enlightened, due to the support of the enlightened, due to practicing the path of knowledge of the enlightened, due to planting roots of goodness like the enlightened, due to the true teaching of the enlightened, due to the illumination of the sun of knowledge of the enlightened.
“Indeed, the happiness of beings comes from the light of the sphere of pure deeds of the family of the enlightened. How do I know? As I enter into this enlightening liberation of the manifestation of contentment with the treasure produced from great joy, and recall and plunge into the ocean of Vairocana Buddha’s past practices as an enlightening being, thus do I know and understand—as the Buddha was concentrating on the stages of enlightenment in the past, seeing sentient beings caught up in egoism and possessiveness, in the darkness of ignorance, gone into a tangle of views, dominated by craving, bound by the fetters of desire, hostile and malevolent, continuously pursuing delusions, wrapped up in envy and jealousy, their minds crowded with afflictions, experiencing the great misery of the mundane whirl, tormented by the pains of poverty in the mundane whirl, deprived of the sight of the enlightened, there appeared in the Buddha a mind of great compassion, a mind to take care of all sentient beings materially for their benefit, a mind to produce means of worldly support for all sentient beings, a mind free from attachment to all things, a mind without acquisitiveness for any objects, a mind not dwelling on any pleasures, a mind free from grasping for any material goods, a mind not seeking rewards for giving, a mind not eager for existence in any world, a mind not confused about causal relations, a mind contemplating the truth after thorough investigation, a mind to provide refuge for the welfare of all living beings.
“Having comprehended the essence of all things as it really is, having impartial goodwill toward all sentient beings, working to fill all worlds with great compassion, covering all worlds with the canopy of the great Teaching, holding the thunderbolt of great knowledge, which shatters the mountain of afflictions of all sentient beings, his mind growing in satisfaction through the welfare of all sentient beings, determined to effect the ultimate happiness of all sentient beings, wishing to provide all sentient beings with everything they need, working impartially without abandoning any sentient beings, wishing to satisfy all sentient beings with the wealth of sages, determined to attain the jewel of knowledge of the supreme ten powers, empowered with the mystic knowledges of enlightening beings, pervading all worlds throughout the space of the entire cosmos with a multitude of various enlightening manifestations, appearing before all sentient beings, swirling a great cloud of all manner of objects and showering a rain of all kinds of precious ornaments, he undertook to give infinite various articles to all sentient beings for their use as appropriate, to perform innumerable services, to strive to provide care by all sorts of charity, giving away many kinds of things, to construct arrangements of myriad benefits, services, and useful articles, to practice various forms of giving, satisfying sentient beings according to their mentalities by endless giving, to make uninterrupted effort to save all beings from the miseries of the mundane world, without desiring the gratitude of anyone, impartial toward all beings, purifying the mind-jewel of all beings, increasing the flood of the ocean of wealth of all-knowledge for all beings produced from the ocean of roots of goodness at one with those of all buddhas, engaged in taking care of all beings by providing for their needs, undertaking all this continuously, from moment to moment, to develop and guide all sentient beings and gradually purify them.
“He undertook to adorn every land as a supreme pure buddha-land in every moment of thought, to purify the practice of the ocean of methods of the Teaching in every moment of thought, to fulfill the means of knowledge pervading all of space in every moment of thought, to purify the means of knowledge of how to tame all sentient beings in every moment of thought, to bring to light the knowledge of how to guide all worldlings in every moment of thought, to always teach in a manner appropriate to the time in every moment of thought, to be a benefactor to all beings by showing the skillfulness to support all knowledge in each moment of thought, carrying out the practice of enlightening beings in each moment of thought in all kinds of worlds, in various forms, by various means, having entered the way of enlightening beings, to suffuse the worlds with various manifestations of the practice of enlightening beings, to show the bodies of all the buddhas of past, present, and future to other beings according to their mentalities in each moment of thought, increasing the flood of the ocean of wealth of all-knowledge for all beings.
“Thus as Vairocana Buddha was carrying out the practice of enlightening beings in the past, he aroused great compassion for those without virtue or knowledge, those attached to the world, ungrateful, wrapped up in the darkness of nescience, egotistical and possessive, shrouded by the darkness of ignorance, immersed in unreasonable thought, lost in the wilderness of views, heedless of cause and effect, dominated by afflictions in action, fallen into a pit of suffering in the wasteland of the mundane whirl, experiencing the misery of various kinds of want; producing vast multitudes of practices of the ways of transcendence, praising the firm foundation of roots of goodness, removing the pain of mundane want from all sentient beings, fostering the growth of great stores of virtue and knowledge, clarifying the realm of causes, enlightening them on the consistency of deeds and states, showing the origin of all beings and lands, involving them in the continuation of the family of buddhas, getting them to remember the teachings of all buddhas, turning them away from all evil, describing the preparations for omniscience, producing a great multitude of transcendent practices filling all realms of beings, he established sentient beings in the care of the ultimate Teaching, satisfying them according to their mentalities. He directed them in preparation for omniscience, he introduced them to the great transcendent ways of enlightening beings, he got them to support themselves on the wealth of sages, he got them to increase their roots of goodness by the momentum of the joy of omniscience. Introducing them to the miracles of all buddhas, taking them into ultimate unattached bliss, showing them the greatness of the enlightened, he led them to enlightening beings’ knowledge of means of salvation.”
Sudhana said, “How long ago did you set out for supreme perfect enlightenment?”
The goddess said, “This is hard to reach, hard to know, hard to believe, hard to penetrate, hard to say, hard to understand. Neither celestial nor human beings can comprehend it, nor can any listeners or individual illuminates comprehend it, except those who, by the empowerment of Buddha, by the help of spiritual benefactors, by the mind being stabilized on great stores of virtue and knowledge, by purity of intention, by the mind being buoyant, undisturbed, straightforward, unimpaired, open, unobscured, by the mind being illumined by the light of universal knowledge, by the mind being dedicated to the welfare and happiness of all beings, by the mind being invulnerable to the afflictions of all demons, by the mind being within range of attainment of omniscience, thus do not seek any mundane pleasures, are focused on the pleasure of the enlightened, have undertaken to put an end to the suffering and misery of all beings, are headed into the ocean of virtues of the enlightened, are in the realm of the space of meditation on the intrinsic nature of things, have purified the path of higher aspirations, have turned away from the flow of the mundane whirl, are turned toward the ocean of knowledge of the enlightened, are certain to arrive at the citadel of omniscience, proceed energetically into the sphere of those who arrive at Thusness, advance boldly toward buddhahood, are headed toward complete fulfillment of the powers of omniscience, and will ultimately attain the ten powers—such people can penetrate, believe in, grasp, follow, and know this matter. Why? Because this matter is the sphere of buddhas—not even enlightening beings can reach it, much less others. Now, with the support of the Buddha I will tell you, for the sake of the correct purification of the minds of those capable of learning, so that those who practice good can master their minds, and so that you may have an explanation of what is on your mind.”
Then the goddess, further elucidating what she meant, looked over the realm of the buddhas of past, present, and future and spoke these verses:
Profound, infinite, is the sphere of buddhas,
Of which you now ask, O child of Buddha.
Even in eons as many as atoms in inconceivable lands
It could not be fully told.
The peaceful nature of the buddhas cannot be known
By the covetous or the malevolent,
Or by those shrouded in the darkness of delusion,
Or those whose minds are defiled by hypocrisy and conceit.
This sphere of buddhas cannot be known
By those ruled by envy and jealousy,
Or those whose minds are polluted by guile and deceit,
Or those enshrouded by barriers of action based on afflictions.
Buddhahood cannot be known
By those who depend on mental or material elements,
Or those attached to the body as real,
Or those with false views and ideas.
Hard to know is the tranquil realm of buddhas,
Which is inherently pure and nonconceptual—
This reality cannot be truly known
By those attached to life and being.
Those who are born in the family of buddhas,
Who are empowered by all the buddhas,
Who preserve the lineage of the enlightened,
Are the knowers of this sphere.
Those who are tireless in good practices
And are helped by spiritual benefactors,
With their minds focused on the powers of sages,
They attain peace on perceiving this.
This is the sphere of the undefiled
Whose minds are pure, without false ideas,
Like the sky in all directions,
Lamps of wisdom who have dispelled darkness.
Those who pervade all worlds
Of all times with compassion
And are benevolent to all beings
Enter the way of the buddhas.
This is the stage of those without grasping,
The happy ones without attachment
Who always gladly give all there is
Impartially to all beings.
This is the sphere of the undefiled,
Whose minds are unafflicted and conduct impeccable,
Whose minds are ultimately free from regret,
Who apply themselves to practice of Buddha’s teaching.
This is the liberation of the inexhaustible
Whose minds are unshakable, imperturbable,
Whose minds are focused on the essence of things,
Whose minds are unhindered by the oceans of actions.
This is the sphere of the disciplined,
With indefatigable and nonregressing minds,
With strength, vigor, and control,
With endless energy in preparing for omniscience.
This is known to those gone to peace,
With tranquil minds, concentrated,
Ultimately calm and cool,
Practitioners of all the branches of meditation.
This is known to the lamps of wisdom,
Whose minds are liberated from all attachments
And have penetrated the essence of things,
Who have gone the way into the reality realm of the enlightened.
This is the liberation of those who know the path,
Whose minds have penetrated the essence of beings,
Whose minds are not imprisoned in the sea of existence,
Who are moons reflected in the minds of beings.
This is known to the universally good,
Who are born from the ocean of vows
Of the buddhas past, present, and future,
And carry them out forever in all lands.
This is the liberation of those who penetrate all oceans of worlds
By means of the oceans of principles of the reality realm
And see their ages of becoming and decay without discrimination.
This is known to those of unobstructed vision
Who see the buddhas under the enlightenment trees,
As many as atoms in all lands,
Teaching after having realized enlightenment.
You have come after many eons
Of serving spiritual benefactors
In quest of the Teaching, seeking tirelessly;
Having heard it, you can remember it.
To purify your mind
I will tell you freely
Of the infinite realm of Vairocana
By the inconceivable power of Buddha.
The goddess continued, “Long ago, past eons as many as atoms in an ocean of worlds, there was an ocean of worlds called Sun on the Summit of a Mountain of Gold and Jewels. Therein, furthermore, was a buddha called Supreme Light Illumining the Realm of Truth at the Summit of Knowledge, who purified that ocean of worlds while carrying out the practice of enlightening beings in the past. In that ocean of worlds were as many world systems as atoms in all the mountains on earth, each system containing as many worlds as atoms in a galaxy. In each world there were as many sets of eons as atoms in a world, each containing many eons, in each of which there were many events, including buddhas appearing in the world and displaying miracles. Each buddha that appeared expounded as many scriptures as atoms in a world, in each of which scriptures were outlined as many instructions for enlightening beings as atoms in the world, with infinitely various indications of how to guide sentient beings, operated by the principles of various vehicles of liberation, guided by the buddhas’ various mystic powers of perception and prescription.
“Within that ocean of worlds was a central world-system called Array of Markers of Doors Facing All Directions, in which there was a world called Ubiquitous Light the Color of All Jewels. The borders of that world were arrayed with jewels reflecting images of the enlightenment sites of all buddhas; it rested on an ocean of flowers made of all kinds of jewels, it was composed of jewels showing the appearances of emanations of all buddhas, it was shaped like a celestial palace, and it was pure with an admixture of defilement. Furthermore, in that world there were as many world-regions with four continents as atoms in the polar mountain; at the center was a set of four continents called Mountain Peak of All Jewels, whose four continents were innumerable hundreds of thousands of leagues in extent. On each continent were ten thousand great cities. In the middle of the southern continent was a great metropolis called the Light of Myriad Arrays of Jewel Trees, surrounded by ten thousand cities. On that continent, furthermore, the life span of the people was ten thousand years. The king in that metropolis was named Encompassing Sound of the Proclamation of All Laws, a sovereign ruler. The king had five hundred ministers, six thousand concubines, and seven hundred sons all of whom were brave and manly, well built and handsome, dignified and strong. The whole continent was under the protection of that king, and he had no enemies or opponents.
“At that time the end of the eon was approaching in that world; the five corruptions were in evidence, people had stopped acting virtuously and had taken to bad ways, most of them were headed for misery. Because of their wrongdoings their lives were short, they had scanty means of subsistence, they were ugly, they experienced little pleasure and much pain, they were in the habit of argument and dissent, they were given to foul and incoherent speech, they were overcome by acquisitiveness, they were corrupt in mind and thought, they were lost in the jungle of various views. As they were obsessed with unreasonable desires and dominated by unwholesome acquisitiveness, the rain that would cause the crops to grow did not fall in the proper season. For that reason, furthermore, with all the vegetation withered, the people suffered from various diseases and scattered to the eight directions, without resort. They all went to the capital city Light of Myriad Arrays of Jewel Trees, surrounded it, and with various gestures of supplication raised a great outcry to the king—‘We are oppressed, abandoned, tormented by hunger and thirst, dismayed and distressed, without any savior, without refuge or resort, in a cage of suffering; our livelihood is threatened, and we are on the brink of death.’ The people in the city who were suffering from hunger and thirst, who were naked and homeless, who were in misery, despondent, and depressed, also were sick and tired of suffering. They betook themselves to the king as a man of great knowledge and a protector, thinking they had found a source of comfort, happiness, and livelihood, a guide to the way out, a great ship, an island of jewels of knowledge, a great benefit, thinking they had found all the delights of heaven.
“The king, hearing their outcry, was filled with countless tens of hundreds of thousands of facets of great compassion. Meditating on the principle of great compassion, in a moment he became single-minded and uttered ten statements of great compassion: ‘Alas, these people, without support, have fallen into the great pitfall of the mundane whirl—how can I be a refuge for them, leading them to the state of repose of the enlightened? Alas, these people have no savior and are oppressed by all kinds of afflictions—how can I become their savior, leading them to impeccable behavior? Alas, these people have no refuge in the world and are terrorized by old age and death—how can I become a refuge for them, removing all their fears of life and death? Alas, these people have no resort and are oppressed by various kinds of worldly distress—how can I become a resort for them, leading them to ultimate safety on the path of omniscience? Alas, everyone is in the darkness of ignorance, shrouded in the darkness of uncertainty and doubt—how can I become a light, dispelling the darkness of ignorance for them? Alas, these people are without illumination—how can I spread the light of great knowledge, showing them all the way into unobscured knowledge? Alas, the world of these people lacks the light of knowledge, and their minds are polluted by envy, jealousy, guile, and deceit—how can I produce the light of supreme knowledge, leading them all to cultivate purity? Alas, the world is without a guide and has plunged into a dangerous current in the ocean of the mundane whirl—how can I become a guide, to show them what to do? Alas, everyone lacks a teacher, all are misguided—how can I become a teacher for everyone, with the proper timing commanded by a buddha to guide people to complete maturity in all qualities? Alas, everyone lacks a leader, all are as though blind—how can I become a leader, to lead everyone on the way to unobstructed omniscience?’
“Having made these expressions of compassion, the king announced that he would undertake a great sacrifice, that he would satisfy everyone, giving them whatever they needed. With that the storehouses in every city and town on the continent were opened and all kinds of goods were placed on the streets, all the necessities of life were set out, all treasuries were opened, all stores of valuables were displayed; and the king projected a likeness of himself to every house to fulfill their wishes.
“Having arranged this act of giving things away, he had a great place of sacrifice prepared east of the city, in front of the city gate called Jewel Mountain Light. That place was equal in length and width, covering a most extensive area. It was level and clean, without potholes, clear of brambles, dust, and gravel. It was made of all precious elements, and the surface was spread with jewels. It was adorned with many arrays of jewels and strewn with flowers of various jewels. There was an abundance of all the finest aromatic powders, and it was perfumed with all kinds of scents. There were lamps giving off jewel lights, and the sky was covered with radiant clouds of incense. The place was adorned with orderly rows of trees of all kinds of jewels as well as various mansions, palaces, and towers. Overhead were parasols, banners, and pennants, flashing with trailing strings of various jewels. It was covered with nets of various jewel flowers, encircled with parasols made of webs of fragrant jewels. Jewel bells on nets of gold rang. It was shaded by canopies shining with various jewels, spread with aromatic powders of all the finest fragrances, and beautifully strewn with flowers made of all kinds of jewels, while pleasant music sounded from innumerable instruments. It was purified with arrays of various ornaments of all kinds of jewels, produced as a result of the deeds of enlightening beings.
“In the middle was a great lion throne, standing on a surface made of a variegated collection of ten kinds of jewels, surrounded by shining railings made of ten kinds of jewels, beautified with trees of ten kinds of jewels arrayed evenly between the railings, its feet firmly set on unbreakable diamond. The throne was set with jewel figurines and was adorned with hundreds of jewel protuberances. It was embellished with variegated arrays of jewels, jewel banners and streamers were raised all around it, and it was covered with nets of jewel bells, nets of celestial jewels, and nets of jewel flowers. It gave off clouds of fragrance and was arrayed with many-colored cloths of pleasant texture, finer than those of the heavens. Sweet music and song were heard all around. There were stairs of various jewels, arrayed with banners and railings, and shining jewel statues depicting various spiritual transfigurations. Here the king sat, handsome, serene, endowed with the pure marks of a great man, strong, robust, good, kind, and virtuous in all ways, endowed with all the best qualities, born of a line of great rulers, in command of all goods, pure in control of the law, master of his own mind, eloquent, endowed with unshakable knowledge, correctly applying well-constructed laws, showing endless virtues.
“Furthermore, as the king sat there, in the sky above him there appeared a great parasol, on a long, brilliant jewel pole, its hundred thousand ribs made of all kinds of jewels, brilliantly adorned with blazing lights, covered with lustrous gold, arrayed with nets of jewels, hung with bells of gold and jewels on strings of jewels, adorned with garlands of jewels twirling all around, producing sweet heavenly sounds, the ringing of the bells urging all beings to act virtuously. The king, moreover, fanned with jewel wisp fans, shone with a splendor surpassing that of the king of gods. As soon as the king sat on this throne, all the people stood before him with their palms joined and paid their respects.
“Then, seeing the assembly of countless petitioners, with various needs and desires, from various places, speaking various languages, all looking up to the king as the pole of prosperity, each thinking of him as a man of great knowledge, looking up to him as a great man of goodness and charity, considering him to have undertaken the vows of enlightening beings, the king felt as if he were seeing good friends and was flooded with immense compassion. There arose in him the dauntless energy to satisfy all petitioners forever and the all-pervasive will to give to everyone impartially.
“Furthermore, when the king saw all those petitioners, he became happier than if he had acquired rule over the galaxy for boundless eons, more than if he had acquired the throne of lordship over the gods for countless eons. His joy upon seeing those petitioners was as that of someone in the wilderness, long separated from family and friends, upon being united with them. His mind was filled with happiness, he was uplifted with joy and flooded with delight. The power of his faith in the enlightenment of buddhas increased, his budding faith in omniscience grew, the power of his purity of determination for all the qualities of buddhahood swelled, his faculties as an enlightening being became fit for use, he was flooded with a feeling of contentment and well-being, and by the force of great joy his senses and will as a benefactor became flexible. Why? Because the king, who was intent on omniscience, had betaken himself to the nature of omniscience, stood before the door to the path of omniscience, had engaged his attention on the satisfaction of all living beings, was on the verge of entry into the ocean of all enlightened virtues, was intent on shattering the mountains of obstructions caused by demons, actions, and afflictions, was absorbed in properly taking up the instructions of all buddhas, was endeavoring to embody all roots of goodness, was free from all attachments, was unattached to any objects in the world, and realized that all things are in essence like space, thought of all those petitioners as like an only son, as like his parents, as worthy of gifts, as spiritual benefactors, as precious, as doers of what is difficult, as useful in many ways, as supreme benefactors, as supporting the path of enlightenment, as guides and teachers.
“The king then fulfilled the needs and wishes of all the petitioners with unmitigated kindness, without turning his back on anyone, giving impartially to everyone, according to their needs. He gave away whatever he had to whoever required it, impartial toward all living beings.
“At that time, in that gathering at the sacrificial ground, there was a grandee’s daughter, named Jewel Light, with a retinue of sixty girls. She was beautiful, with a clear, healthy complexion, dark hair and eyes, a pleasant scent, and a clear voice. She was well dressed and wore fine ornaments. She was alert and intelligent, modest, stable, and well behaved. She was respectful to the worthy, most circumspect and clear-headed in conduct, profound in action, endowed with wisdom. She had already accomplished basic skills involved in grasping, practicing, and realizing enlightening teachings, and she had attained clarity and serenity through the teachings. Her intentions were pure and good, and she was dedicated to the welfare of others. She was aiming for the vision of Buddha and was seeking omniscient knowledge. She stood near the king’s throne in an attitude of respect, but she did not take anything from among the goods the king was distributing. Just standing there, she thought, ‘I have gained a true boon in getting to see such a spiritual friend as this.’ Thinking of the king as a spiritual friend, a sympathizer, a protector, and an enlightened one, with a mind free from deceit or guile, flooded with supreme joy and happiness, she took off her jewelry and tossed it before the king, so that it lay on the ground between the railings around the throne. Having scattered her jewelry, she made these vows: ‘Just as the king Encompassing Sound of the Proclamation of All Laws is a refuge for leaderless people in the dark, so may I also become one such in the future. The reality he knows, may I also know. By the means through which he attains emancipation, may I also be emancipated. The path he practices, may I also practice. Just as he is fair to behold, has endless wealth and assistants, and is invulnerable and invincible, may I also become like this. Wherever he is born, may I also be born.’
“Perceiving her involved in such thoughts, the king looked at her and said, ‘Take what you need. I am giving away all I have to satisfy everyone.’ Made this offer by the king, she gained even more faith; with a serene mind, energized by lofty, far-reaching virtue, she spoke these verses to the king:
Before you were here in this city, great king,
It was joyless, lifeless, horrible as the realm of ghosts.
People were murderous, thieving, unrestrained,
Deceitful, harsh, and foul in speech.
They were covetous, malicious, and opinionated;
By their wrongdoing they fell into states of woe.
Because of the ills of the views of these unjust, ignorant people,
For many years there was no rain.
Because of drought the seeds died, crops and trees did not grow:
Lakes and streams dried up, plants and forests withered.
The rivers all went dry, the parks were like deserts;
Before you appeared, clear-eyed, the earth was strewn with bleached bones.
Now you have joined with the needy, and all are satisfied—
Coming forth, you shower gifts on the four quarters, fulfilling all, low and high.
There are no more thieves, mercenaries, or frauds—no one is killed or injured;
None go hopelessly to death, the world is leaderless no more.
People who like to kill used to drink the blood of their victims—
Those who used to eat each other’s flesh have become kindly due to your charities.
People used to wear rags and leaves,
And were hungry and homeless.
With you here, the grains grow by themselves and the trees give forth their bounty;
Wise women and men appear too, now that you have been born, leader of the world.
Those who were formerly all on wrong paths
Are now well adorned and dressed, sporting like gods in paradise.
Men were wrongly obsessed with desires, delighting in unruly passion,
Given to raping women and girls in their own care and the care of others.
Now, though others’ wives be like goddesses, well dressed, adorned, and perfumed,
When men see them they are satisfied with their own wives, as in the heaven of content.
People used to be deceitful, cruel, coarse, and dishonest in speech;
Having given this up, now they act justly, freed from wrong views.
No music or celestial song, nor even the voice of Brahma or the singing of birds
Can match your voice, O leader.
Above you stands a jewel parasol with webs of gold,
On a jewel cane, radiant, with nets of jewelry all around.
The notes of its bells surpass all sounds in the world:
Like the tones of Buddha’s voice, they intone the tranquil sound of truth.
Those in all lands who hear this put an end to afflictions,
Hearing the names of the buddhas over the ages and the oceans of the wise.
By your power the bells bespeak the successive lands since the past,
The names of the lands, and the cycles of true teaching everywhere.
The sound of the bells, liquid, free-flowing, rings throughout the continent,
Telling of the manners of action of the gods and the lords of the worlds.
Hearing the bells tell of the accumulations of their deeds, gods and people
Give up evil, practice good, and rely on the enlightenment of the buddhas.
Your father was Starlight, the king, your mother queen Lotus Light;
You were born in a corrupt age and acquired the rulership.
There was a large park, arrayed with flowers and precious lamps,
Adorned with five hundred lotus ponds, and surrounded with hundreds of trees.
On the bank of each pond was a villa, with a thousand pillars,
Resplendent with a thousand balustrades, with radiant nets and crescents all around.
When it had not rained for years, with lawlessness prevailing everywhere,
The water in the ponds evaporated and the trees withered.
Seven nights before your birth there were innumerable wonders,
Convincing all who saw them that a savior was surely to be born.
In the middle of the night the earth quaked,
And a light like the sun appeared in the pond called Impeccable.
Thereupon the five hundred ponds were filled with pure water,
The trees flourished, and flowers and fruits were filled with life.
The ponds, filled with water, refreshed the whole grove;
By the streams flowing from them the whole continent was replenished with moisture.
The herbs, crops, and greenery growing, the trees flowered and fruited;
All the seeds in the earth sprouted, moistened by the water.
Every place on earth was equally watered then,
And all places low and high became level.
Ravines and rugged terrain then became instantly level;
Brambles, gravel, and the like disappeared, replaced by beautiful jewels.
All the people exulted, like the thirsty drinking water,
And celebrated this park, saying, “By whose power is this felicity?”
Then the king Starlight, with his wife, son, and ministers,
Surrounded by millions of people, went to enjoy the park.
In the middle was the pond Impeccable, filled with fragrant water;
There the king stood, up in its villa, a temple of truth.
It had been seven nights since the water had appeared;
Again the whole earth trembled, with all its mountains and abodes.
In the middle of the pond a thousand-petaled lotus appeared,
Shining like a thousand suns, suffusing the peak of the polar mountain with light.
Its stem was diamond, its calyx the essence of beauty, its clean broad leaves
Diamond, its pericarp of finest gold, its filaments radiant, with superb fragrance.
On that pericarp the Guide was born, sitting up straight, cross-legged;
You shone, your body resplendent with the marks of greatness, attended by celestial beings.
Descending from the temple, the king took you in his arms, delighted,
And handed you to the queen, saying “This is your son—be of good cheer.”
Millions of hidden treasuries appeared, the trees of plenty released
Their goods, and the air was filled with music as you were born, leader of the world.
All those living on the continent looked up to you, trusting—
Respectfully they said, “This is the leader of the leaderless.”
The light emanating from your body illumined the whole earth;
Dispelling the darkness of the world, it put an end to all ailments.
All malevolent creatures, the venomous and harmful,
Became inactive then.
Frustration, censure, ill-fame, pain, misfortunes, illness, accidents—
These all ended, fortune came, and everyone became joyful.
Everyone loved one another, and all became kind;
Free from animosity, nonviolent, they set out on the path of knowledge.
The righteous king shut off the evil ways, opened the way to heaven,
And showed the way to omniscience—you have done a great service to the world.
We benefit further from seeing you, oceanic giver; after long absence,
A leader of the helpless is born in the world—you are a rare guide.
“Having thus eulogized the king, the girl Jewel Light then paid her respects to him and stood there reverently. Looking at her, the king said,
‘Rare are those who appreciate the virtues of others. For the ignorant, the ungrateful, the undiscerning, the agitated, the disturbed, the muddled thinkers, the deranged, the backsliders, those who do not realize the excellence of others’ virtues, it is impossible to comprehend or even conceive of the virtues of the enlightened, or to realize the excellence of knowledge of all virtues. Without a doubt you have set out for enlightenment, since you have understood such virtues of enlightening beings. Our efforts for the care of beings have not been fruitless, as you, endowed with such knowledge, have appeared in our kingdom, by virtue of the higher knowledge of superior people.’
“Then with his own hand the king gave her a priceless robe, radiant with sparkling jewels, and also gave a precious robe to each of her companions. He said, ‘Take this and put it on.’ Jewel Light then knelt on the ground, picked up the robe in both hands, lifted it to her head, and put it on. Her companions likewise each put on their robes. Having put on the robes, the girl and her companions circled the king in respect, with the reflections of all the stars glittering in their robes. Seeing this, the people said, ‘You are beautiful, young lady, with your companions, adorned with stars like a night goddess; surrounded by them, you sparkle most brightly.’”
Then the night goddess Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa said to Sudhana, “You should realize that it was none other than the buddha Vairocana, who at that time was the king Encompassing Sound of the Proclamation of All Laws, and the queen Lotus Light, wife of the king Starlight and mother of the king Encompassing Sound of the Proclamation of All Laws, was none other than Queen Maya; Maya was the queen Lotus Light at that time, by whom the spontaneously born child was carried at the hip. And the king father, the elder king Starlight, was none other than King Shuddhodana. And you may think the girl Jewel Light of that time was someone else, but you should realize that she was none other than I—I myself was that girl Jewel Light in that time. As for the people of that time who were taken care of by the king Encompassing Sound of the Proclamation of All Laws by means of generosity, kindness, charitable works, and sympathy, you might think they were other people, but you should not see it that way—they are now the enlightening beings gathered here in the audience of the Buddha, standing on the ground of enlightening beings, irreversibly determined to reach supreme perfect enlightenment, some in the first stage, some in the second, some in the third, some in the fourth, some in the fifth, some in the sixth, some in the seventh, some in the eighth, some in the ninth, some in the tenth stage, who have attained by various different vows, various approaches to omniscience, various preparations, various accomplishments, various ways of emancipation, various purifications of manifestations of the path, various mystic powers, and various manifestations of the path, and, by various states of liberation, abide in various spiritual abodes in this assembly.”
Then the night goddess spoke these verses to Sudhana, further revealing the enlightening liberation of manifestation of satisfaction by treasure produced from great joy:
Broad is my vision, with which I observe everywhere, vast oceans
Of lands of many kings, and oceans of beings in a whirl.
In all lands buddhas sit at enlightenment trees, dispassionate,
Pervading everywhere by mystic powers and always teaching and guiding beings.
My hearing is perfectly clear, and I hear all sounds thereby;
I hear all the teachings of the buddhas and am extremely joyful.
My knowledge, nondualistic, unhindered, penetrates the spheres of others’ minds;
The vast ocean of minds of the world I comprehend in an instant.
I remember the past by the power of recollection and concentration,
Know oceans of eons, the many hundreds of oceans of lives of myself and others.
I know in an instant as many eons as atoms in an ocean of lands,
The beings transmigrating, the buddhas and their projections.
I also remember the initial vow of the buddhas, and those who attained,
Having accomplished their practice, by many means appropriate to their undertaking.
The attainments to the stage of coronation of the oceans of lofty virtue,
And their many ways of awakening, I comprehend in an instant.
I know the methods by which they taught in the world, their measureless virtues
In nirvana, and how long their teachings remained.
The pure principles of their myriad vehicles and extensive guidance of beings
Shown in the world, I know in particular, in countless various ways.
This way of liberation, witnessing the wealth of satisfaction produced from the treasury of joy,
I have cultivated over many hundreds of eons, and you too should enter this way.
I know only this enlightening liberation of manifestation of satisfaction by treasure produced from great joy. How can I know the practice or tell of the virtues of the enlightening beings in the presence of all buddhas who have plunged into the ocean of commitment to omniscience, who have fulfilled the vow to accomplish the myriad past vows of all buddhas, who have the mighty knowledge to enter all stages of enlightening upon entering one stage of enlightening, who have purified the practice of the vow to comprehend all practices of enlightening beings in one practice, who are masters of the state of comprehension of the whole ocean of all enlightening liberations in each enlightening liberation?
“In this same enlightenment site there is a night goddess named Sarvajagadrakshapranidhanaviryaprabha, in the presence of the Buddha; go ask her how an enlightening being is to develop sentient beings to supreme perfect enlightenment, purify all buddha-lands, serve all buddhas, and practice all buddhas’ teachings.”
Then Sudhana paid his respects to the night goddess Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa and went on.