Unconcerned with body and life, unconcerned with any material things, unconcerned with enjoyment of any people or places, unconcerned with objects of the senses, unconcerned with enjoying the experiences that go along with having followers, unconcerned with kingship, dominion, or power, concerned with developing, guiding, and purifying all sentient beings, with achieving supreme purity of a buddha-land, with tirelessly attending and serving all buddhas, with knowing and according with the inherent nature of all things, with permanently attaining the virtues of all enlightening beings, with carrying out the vows of enlightening beings through all ages, with entering the ocean of congregations of all buddhas, with entering all concentrations of enlightening beings in each particular mode of concentration by mystic transformation, with tirelessly receiving the light of knowledge of all truths through the cycles of teachings of all buddhas, pondering these and other virtues of all enlightening beings, Sudhana made his way to Prthurashtra, where he sought and found the eminent perfumer Utpalabhuti.
Seeing the perfumer, Sudhana went up to him, paid his respects, and said, “Noble one, I have set out for supreme perfect enlightenment, seeking the knowledge common to all buddhas, wishing to fulfill the vows fulfilled by all buddhas, wishing to see the embodiments of all buddhas, wishing to attain the reality body of all buddhas, wishing to know the body of knowledge of truths of all buddhas, wishing to purify all enlightening practices, wishing to manifest the sphere of concentration of all enlightening beings, wishing to master the sphere of mental command of all enlightening beings, wishing to disperse all obstructions, wishing to travel through all lands. But I do not know how an enlightening being is to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings. How does an enlightening being gain access to omniscience?”
Utpalabhuti said, “It is good that you aspire to supreme perfect enlightenment. I know about all fragrances—perfumes, incenses, ointments, and aromatic powders—and how they are compounded and used. I also know the sources of all fragrances. I know celestial fragrances, and I also know the fragrances of other types of beings, human and nonhuman. Indeed, I know various kinds of fragrances. I know fragrances that cure illness, I know fragrances that remove depression, I know fragrances that produce mundane joy, I know fragrances that incite passions, I know fragrances that extinguish passions, I know fragrances that produce pleasure in enjoyment of various created things, I know fragrances that produce rejection of all created things, I know fragrances that remove arrogance and heedlessness, I know fragrances that produce thoughts of Buddha, I know fragrances that accord with the principles of the Teaching, fragrances enjoyable to sages, the variety of fragrances of enlightening beings, and the fragrances of the arrangement of all stages of enlightening beings. I also know the external appearance of all these fragrances, as well as their source, production, manifestation, perfection, purification, removal, application, use, sphere of action, efficacy, nature, and root.
“In the human world there is a fragrance said to come from the agitation of water spirits: one grain the size of a sesame seed will cause this whole country to be covered with fragrant clouds that shower fine fragrant rain for seven days. Those on whose bodies or clothing that fragrant water falls become as brilliant as golden flowers, and any houses or buildings on which it falls become as brilliant as golden flowers. And any who smell the scent of that fragrant water wafting in on the breeze become ecstatic for seven days and experience many kinds of physical and mental pleasure and delight. Furthermore, no illness—whether due to constitutional upset or external trauma—occurs in their bodies, nor do they suffer any mental distress or depression, nor do they have any fear, anxiety, fright, agitation, or ill will. They become kind to one another, happy, and joyful. When they have become happy and joyful, I begin to purify their minds and teach them in such a way that they become certain of supreme enlightenment.
“There is a kind of sandalwood that comes from the mountains which will protect those anointed with its essence from burning even if they fall into a fire. The sound of kettledrums or conches smeared with it will drive away all enemy armies. There is a kind of aloe called ‘lotus calyx’ from the banks of the lake Heatless; a grain of it the size of a sesame seed will fill the whole continent with fragrance such that all who smell it gain a disciplined mind rejecting evil. There is a kind of fragrance from the Himalaya Mountains which is such that all who smell it become dispassionate; then I teach them in such a way that they attain a concentration called ‘sphere of dispassion.’ There is a kind of fragrance from the world of spirits called ‘ocean storehouse’ which is produced for the use of sovereign rulers; perfumed by it, the ruler and the ruler’s armies stand in the sky. There is a kind of incense called ‘beautiful array’ originating in the celestial hall of the good doctrine; when it is burned, celestial beings gain awareness of the scent of enlightenment. There is a kind of incense from the pure treasuries in the palace of the heaven of timely portion; when it is burned, inhabitants of that heaven all go to the ruler of the heaven of timely portion, who then talks to them about the Teaching. There is a kind of incense in the heaven of satisfaction which, when burned before an enlightened being destined to become a buddha in one lifetime who is sitting on the throne of the Teaching, fills the whole cosmos at once with a great fragrant cloud and causes rain from the great cloud of the Teaching to shower in many arrays on the audiences of all buddhas. There is a kind of incense called ‘fascinating’ in the palace of the king of the heaven of beautiful emanations which, when burned, causes rain to shower from the cloud of the inconceivable Teaching for seven days.
“I know this art of perfuming. How can I know the practice, tell of the virtues, elucidate the method of purification of conduct, convey the irreproachable action, or explain the malice-free words, thoughts, and deeds of the enlightening beings who are free from foulness, who are void of lusts, who are free from the snares of the demon of afflictions, who have transcended all conditions of existence, who proceed with material form as being something in the magic of knowing, who are unstained by any world, whose way of life is free from attachment, who have purified the sphere of unobstructed knowledge, who are in the realm of unimpeded knowledge, who do not take refuge in any abode or rely on anything in existence?
“South of here is a city called Kutagara, where there lives a mariner named Vaira. Go ask him how to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings.”
So then Sudhana paid his respects to Utpalabhuti and left.