His mind on the devotee Achala, remembering her teaching, absorbing what she had shown him, what she had told him, what she had described to him, what she had enjoined on him, what she had shared with him, what she had disclosed to him, what she had set forth to him, following it, reflecting on it, entering into it, to street, looking for the mendicant Sarvagamin. In the still of the night, he saw a mountain called Sulabha, north of the city. The mountain peak was adorned with thickets and groves of various plants and trees and was as bright as the sun. Seeing that light, Sudhana was ecstatic: he thought to himself, “I will undoubtedly see the spiritual benefactor on this mountaintop.”
Sudhana went out of the city to the mountain and climbed to the shining peak, where he saw the mendicant Sarvagamin from afar. The appearance of the mendicant was superior to that of the great god Brahma, glorious and radiant; he was walking around surrounded by ten thousand brahmic gods.
Sudhana went up to Sarvagamin, paid his respects, and said, “Noble one, I have set my mind on supreme perfect enlightenment, but I do not know how an enlightening being is to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings. I hear that you give enlightening beings instruction, so please tell me how to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings.”
Sarvagamin said, “It is good that you have set out for supreme perfect enlightenment. I am established in the enlightening practice of going everywhere, I have attained concentration of all-observing vision, and I am imbued with the light of knowledge of transcendent wisdom which distinguishes all planes of the cosmos without effort, based on nonbeing. In wandering through all worlds of living beings and inanimate objects, in wandering through the realms of existence conditions of existence, in the various places of birth, the worlds and abodes, of sentient beings of various appearances, forms, and sizes, bound to various kinds of existence, with various aims, wedded to various views and courses of action, believing in various forms of religion, I work for the benefit of sentient beings by various means and various applications of knowledge. Some I help by teaching various worldly arts, by means of the light of mental command of all kinds of arts. Some I help by charity, kindness, assistance, and cooperation, to lead them to omniscient knowledge. Some I help by describing the ways of transcendence, generating the light of knowledge of dedication to omniscience. Some I help by praising the aspiration for enlightenment, producing a basis for preservation of the seed of enlightenment. Some I help by describing all facets of the practices of enlightening beings, fostering the commitment to purify all buddha-lands and perfect all beings. Some I help by frightening them, showing them the misery and pain resulting from evil actions. Some I help by delighting them, telling them about the fruit of omniscience ultimately developing from giving gifts to all buddhas. Some I help by describing the virtues and qualities of all buddhas, to generate desire for the qualities of buddhas and determination for omniscience. Some I help by eulogizing the greatness of buddhas, to generate the desire to embody buddhahood and be constantly engaged in spontaneous, ceaseless buddha-work. Some I help by showing the mastery of buddhas, to generate the desire to attain supreme buddhahood.
“Furthermore, in every street, every block, every house, every district, every continent to those who are immersed in the views of false doctrines, in order to mature those who cling to various views. And just as I do so throughout the continent, so also do I work for the benefit of all beings on earth, in the galaxy, in the universe, in infinite worlds, in the paths of all beings, in the abodes of all beings, in the thoughts in which all beings rest, in the groups of all beings, in the masses of all beings, in all races of beings, among all types of beings, wherever they be, helping them according to their mentalities and inclinations, through various means, various methods, various approaches, various efforts, various devices, various expedients, various activities, assuming various forms, and speaking in various languages.
“I know this enlightening practice of going everywhere. How can I know the practice or tell of the virtues of the enlightening beings with bodies equal to all beings, who have attained concentration in which their own bodies and all bodies are indivisible, whose vast sphere of emanation adapts to all states of existence, who pass through existence in all worlds in their own bodies, who are intent on mystical projections pleasing to the sight of all beings, who appear to be born in all races, who carry out their vows unimpeded in all ages, who can manifest the interrelated cosmic network of practices, who are devoted to working for the welfare of all beings while living together with them without becoming defiled, who realize the basic equality of the worlds of past, present, and future, who are imbued with endless great compassion appearing in the realm of selfless knowledge, who aim to foster good in all beings?
“South of here is a land called Prthurashtra, where there lives an eminent perfumer named Utpalabhuti. Go ask him how to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings.”
So Sudhana paid his respects to the mendicant Sarvagamin and left.