Then, illumined by the light of knowledge of the enlightening liberation “unsurpassed banner,” directly witnessing the inconceivable miracles of the realm of buddhas, endowed with mystic knowledge directly aware of the inconceivable liberation of enlightening beings, his mind illumined by the inconceivable knowledge of concentration of enlightening beings, imbued with the light of knowledge of concentration comprehending all times at once, illumined by the realm of concentration comprehending that all is in perception, having attained the light of the highest knowledge in all worlds, approaching the state whose scope reaches everywhere in past, present, and future, intent on the knowledge showing nondual equality in differentiation, with the of acceptance of things in terms of their inherent nature, his mind constantly involved in enlightening beings’ practice of mystic knowledge reaching everywhere, which is meditation on inherent nature, his mind progressing rapidly and irreversibly toward omniscience, illumined by the lightning of knowledge of the ten powers, his mind tirelessly seeking the sound of the reality realm, determined to enter the realm of omniscience, intent on accomplishing the infinite array of practices of enlightening beings and purifying the infinite sphere of great vows of enlightening beings, his mind directed toward endlessly ongoing knowledge of the infinite network of all worlds, his mind not shrinking from guiding infinite beings to complete development, beholding the infinite sphere of practice of enlightening beings, seeing the variety of conditions in infinite worlds, seeing the variety of differentiations of infinite worlds, seeing infinite worlds within microcosms and macrocosms, seeing the variety of the webs of perceptions and conceptions on which infinite worlds are based, seeing the variety of conventional terminology in infinite worlds, seeing the variety of interests of infinite beings, seeing the variety of differentiations of infinite beings, seeing the following of developmental teachings of infinite beings, seeing the variety in perceptions of place and time of infinite beings, Sudhana, his attention on spiritual benefactors, gradually made his way to the priest Jayoshmayatana in the land of Ishana.
At that time the priest was practicing an ascetic exercise of enduring fierce heat, with his mind on omniscience; on four sides were huge bonfires like mountains ablaze. Rising above appeared a great mountain precipice, a razor-edge path.
Sudhana went up, paid his respects to the priest, 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 you give enlightening beings instruction; please tell me how to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings.”
The priest said, “Climb this razor-edge-path mountain and jump from there into the fire—thus will your enlightening practice be purified.”
At that point Sudhana thought, “It is hard to avoid the the right opportunity; it is hard to find a buddha in the world; it is hard to have all one’s faculties in order; it is hard to get to hear the truth; it is hard to meet people of truth; it is hard to find genuine spiritual benefactors; it is hard to get genuine guidance and instruction; it is hard to live right in the human world; it is hard to carry out truth in all respects. Might this not be a demon, or someone possessed by a demon, or a cohort of the devil, or an imitation spiritual teacher, or a false enlightening being, who has undertaken to impede my roots of goodness, who is out to destroy my life? Does he not want to prevent me from reaching omniscience? Does he not want to lead me on a wrong path? Does he not want to prevent me from attaining buddhahood?”
While he was involved in these thoughts, ten thousand Brahma gods appeared in the sky and said to him, “Do not get fixed on such thoughts. This sage has attained the light of the concentration of adamantine flame. He has unrelenting energy and has begun the great undertaking of salvation. He has set out to end the emotional attachments of all sentient beings. He is striving to dissolve the webs of all views. He is determined to burn up the deadwood of all afflictions and their actions. He is working to shed light in the wilderness of all kinds of knowledge that is not conducive to enlightenment. He is resolved upon eliminating all beings’ fears of old age and death. He is intent on dispersing the darkness of past, present, and future. He has undertaken to shine beams of light of all truths. As he mortifies himself with four fires under the blazing sun, even the Brahma gods, who think themselves creators and lords and supreme beings, and are engrossed in various views, do not take pleasure in their own states because of the light given off by this priest’s peerless practice of heat austerity. Not enjoying the pleasure of meditation, they come to the priest, and he overwhelms them by mystic power, and through fierce austerity teaches them to get rid of all their views and destroy all pride and arrogance. He also teaches them so that they may suffuse all worlds with great love and compassion, make their will for enlightenment firm, enlarge their determination for enlightenment, turn to the vision of all buddhas, fully receive the voice of the buddhas, and hear the voice of buddhas everywhere without resistance or obstruction.”
Ten thousand demons also stood in the sky, showered celestial jewels, and said, “The light emitted from the flames used by this priest in his heat mortification obscures our abodes, our ornaments, and our paraphernalia. Terrified, we and our cohorts go to the priest, who teaches in such a way that, coming to ourselves and getting back our right minds, we aspire to enlightenment and become irreversible on the way to supreme perfect enlightenment.”
Also, ten thousand controlling gods, scattering celestial flowers, said, “While he is mortifying himself with four fires under the fiery sun, we find no pleasure in our own abodes. We and our cohorts go to him, and he teaches us so that we attain control of our own minds, control of afflictions, ability to be born in any state we wish, power to clear away obstructions caused by action, mastery of all concentrations, control of paraphernalia to purify our arrangements, and control conforming to our wishes.”
Ten thousand gods of pleasant emanations also stood in the sky, presented sweet sounds of celestial music and song, and said, “The fire of the priest is producing such light that our palaces are glowing, being purified and becoming more radiant, and so are the decorations and nymphs here. We and our cohorts of godlings and nymphs no longer find pleasure in desires, and we do not enjoy sensual pleasures. Our minds and bodies cooled, we go to the priest, who teaches us so that our minds will be purified, so that our minds will be radiant, so our minds will be good, so our minds will be malleable, so we will become joyful, so we may purify the realization of the knowledge of the ten powers, so we may grow in enthusiasm for the great Teaching, so we may purify our bodies and produce measureless buddha-bodies, so we may purify our voices and attain the voice of Buddha, so we may purify our minds and attain omniscience.”
Ten thousand gods of the heaven of satisfaction, along with their companies of celestial boys and girls, also stood in the sky, showered all kinds of fragrant powders, paying honor and respect, and said, “While he mortifies himself with fire there is no pleasure in our abodes. Being freed from attachment, we go to the priest and he teaches us so that we will be indifferent to all objects of sense, so that we will be perfectly and completely satisfied in mind, so that we will produce roots of goodness, so that we will aspire to enlightenment, and so that we will eventually fulfill all qualities of buddhas.”
Ten thousand gods of the heaven of timely portion, along with their celestial sons and daughters, showered a rain of flowers and said, “While this priest is mortifying himself with fire, we have no pleasure in our celestial song. Freed from attachment, we go to the priest and he teaches us so that we will become detached from all sensuality and eventually attain all qualities of buddhahood.”
Ten hundred thousand celestial beings of the thirty-three-fold heavens, each with thirty-two siblings, along with their celestial sons and daughters, showered rain from clouds of celestial cloths, jewels, ornaments, and flowers, then said, “While this priest is mortifying himself with fire, we have no pleasure in our palaces, parks, and groves, or in such enjoyments as music, dance, and song. Freed from attachment, we go to the priest, and he teaches us to remove all sensuality. He tells us this is all impermanent, unstable, bound to perish. He teaches us to thoroughly cut off all arrogance and heedlessness, to increase our desire for supreme enlightenment. Furthermore, at the sight of this priest, these peaks of the polar mountain quake. Terrified, we commit ourselves to reach omniscience, that we may be firm in our aspiration for omniscience.”
Also, ten thousand rain spirits in the sky showered rain from clouds of celestial sandalwood, along with the sweet sounds of the songs of nymphs, producing clouds of celestial fragrance, and said, “The light emitted from this priest’s fires, illumining the abodes of all the water spirits, removes fears of the hot rain of sand. It also extinguishes anger, and the water spirits become cool and clear in mind. Then, once our minds are clear, the priest teaches us to reject our low state as dragons and to stop all obstructive actions. Having taught us to overcome evil, he inspires us to supreme perfect enlightenment and leads us to omniscience.”
Also, ten thousand spirit chiefs, standing in the sky, honored the priest Jayoshmayatana and the youth Sudhana with various offerings, then said, “Son, as this priest mortifies himself with fire, goodwill toward human beings is born in our minds, and all spirits, goblins, and demons also become benevolent. Benevolent, now harmless, they come to us; overcome by the dominant power of goodwill, we find no pleasure in our various estates. We all go with our respective companions to the priest; he radiates light from his body, which shines on us and fills our bodies with bliss. Our bodies and minds blissful, he teaches us in such a way that many spirits, goblins, demons, and ghosts are inspired to seek enlightenment.”
Ten thousand chief celestial musicians also stood in the sky and said, “While we are in our abodes too, our abodes are illumined by the light of the priest’s fires; touched by that light, we are filled with inconceivable bliss and we go to the priest, who then teaches us in such a way that we become irreversible in progress toward supreme perfect enlightenment.”
Ten thousand titan kings rose from the ocean, knelt on their right knees, joined their palms in salutation, and said, “As this priest mortifies himself by fire, all our titan worlds, including the oceans, mountains, and land spheres, quake: we are all thereby divested of arrogance, heedlessness, and conceit; overwhelmed by the heat of his religious practice, we go to him, and he teaches us so that we may do away with all deceitfulness and guile, enter into acceptance of the profound truth, abide in the state of imperturbability, and perfect the knowledge of the ten powers.”
Also ten thousand bird kings, assuming splendid human forms, said, “Son, the light from the flames of the priest’s fires, shining on our abodes, causes them to quake. Frightened and agitated, we go to him, and by teaching us he exhorts us to great benevolence and compassion, he urges us to plunge into the ocean of mundane life to serve sentient beings sunk in the mud of desire, he urges us to purify our will for enlightenment, he exhorts us to keenness of wisdom and skill in means, and gets us to work at guiding sentient beings according to their maturity.”
Ten thousand centaur kings also stood in the sky and said, “As this priest mortifies himself by fire, the voice of Buddha comes forth from the rows of palms, the trees hung with nets of bells, strings of jewels, garlands, and musical instruments, and the houses and furniture with all kinds of musical instruments and jewelry in our abodes as they are blown by the wind; the voice of the Teaching, the voice of the host of nonregressing enlightening beings, and the voice of the vows on which enlightening beings act also emerge, saying that in such-and-such a world the enlightening being so-and-so is vowing to attain enlightenment, in such-and-such a world the enlightening being so-and-so is giving up that which is difficult to give up, in such-and-such a world the enlightening being so-and-so is purifying the sphere of universally aware knowledge, in such-and-such a world the enlightening being so-and-so is going to the summit of enlightenment, in such-and-such a world the enlightening being so-and-so has conquered the demon hordes and is becoming supremely and perfectly enlightened, in such-and-such a world the buddha so-and-so is turning the wheel of the teaching, in such-and-such a world the buddha so-and-so has finished all the tasks of buddhas and is passing away into absolute nirvana. There may be an end to the particles of every tree and plant, limb and leaf, on this continent, but there is no end to those names of the buddhas and the vows of enlightening beings, the lofty points of departure of the conduct of enlightening beings, which are heard to sound from the rows of palms and all the musical instruments, jewelry, houses, and furniture in our abodes as they are blown by the wind, producing the voices of Buddha, the Teaching, and enlightenment. Ecstatically joyful at the sound of the names of the buddhas and the community of enlightening beings and the vows and practices they proceed upon, we go to the priest, and he teaches us so that we and the many beings around us become irreversible in progress toward supreme perfect enlightenment.”
Innumerable gods of the realm of desire with magnificent appearances also stood in the sky, presented mental offerings, and said, “As this priest mortifies himself with heat, his bonfires give off such light that it illumines all the hells all the way to the uninterrupted hell, and the pains of all the creatures in hell cease. He also is visible to us by the same light. We above him, our minds clarified, have been born in the heavens of the realm of desire we wished for. Grateful to him, never tired of seeing him, we give up all sensuality and go to him, and he teaches us in such a way that innumerable sentient beings resolve to realize enlightenment.”
Then Sudhana, pleased, enraptured, transported, overjoyed, happy, having heard this teaching, considered the priest Jayoshmayatana to be a true spiritual benefactor, and prostrated himself at the priest’s feet and said, “I confess my error, noble one, in not recognizing you as a spiritual benefactor.” Thereupon the priest spoke a verse to Sudhana:
An enlightening being who follows instructions
Has no doubts, his mind at one with the teachers.
All benefits will be his, and they will be auspicious;
Sure of buddha-knowledge too, he awakens at the foot of the enlightenment tree.
Then Sudhana climbed the path up the cliff of the mountain, a mass of razor edges, and threw himself into the fire. As he was falling he attained an enlightening concentration called “well established.” On contact with the fire he attained an enlightening concentration called “mystic knowledge of the bliss of tranquillity.” He said, “How wonderful is the pleasant feeling of this fire and this razor-edge mountain.”
The priest said, “I have attained the enlightening liberation in which one is not overcome. I know this liberation, but how can I know the practice or tell the virtues of the enlightening beings whose resolve is like rays of fiery energy, determined to end all beings’ afflictions and views, who are eminent leaders who never turn back, whose hearts are never exhausted or overcome, whose minds are never depressed, whose spirits never cringe or cower, whose resolve is adamant, who are never dejected in carrying out their great undertakings, who never slacken in their efforts, who are like whirlwinds, who work for the benefit of all beings, whose vigor never recedes?
“Go south, to a city called Simhavijurmbhita, where there lives a girl named Maitrayani, daughter of the rajah Simhaketu; go ask her how an enlightening being is to learn and carry out the practice of enlightening beings.”
Then Sudhana paid his respects and left the priest Jayoshmayatana.