Then Sudhana, reflecting on the instructions of that spiritual benefactor, pondering that enlightening liberation, polishing that enlightening method of concentration, peering into that conductor into the ocean of the essence of enlightenment, intent upon the sphere of buddhahood, seeking that direction to the vision of Buddha, thinking about that ocean of buddhas, remembering the succession of buddhas, following that approach to the means of enlightenment, looking throughout that sky of the enlightened, went gradually to the monk Sagaramegha in the region of Sagaramukha. When he got there, he paid his respects to Sagaramegha and said, “O noble one, I have set out for supreme perfect enlightenment and want to enter the supreme ocean of knowledge; but I do not know how enlightening beings get out of the host of worldlings and into the host of the enlightened, emerge from the ocean of the mundane whirl and enter the ocean of omniscience, die away from the state of ignorant sentient beings and are born in the family of buddhas, withdraw from the stream of the mundane whirl and follow the stream of enlightening practice, escape from the wheel of transmigration in the mundane whirl and turn to the wheel of practice and vows of enlightening beings, destroy the gang of all demons and make manifest the light of the host of all buddhas, evaporate the ocean of craving and increase the water of great compassion, close all doors of decadence and miserable states and evils which are inopportune for enlightenment and open the door of heaven and nirvana, break through the door of the city of the mundane and enter the door of the city of omniscience, give up craving for all luxuries and give rise to the determination to care for all being.”
To this Sagaramegha replied, “It is good that you have set your mind on supreme perfect enlightenment. The will for enlightenment is not developed by people who have not planted roots of goodness; the will for enlightenment is produced by those who have attained the illumination of all-sided roots of goodness, who are illumined by the light of knowledge of concentration on the path containing the means of enlightenment, who have accumulated a vast ocean of virtue as provisions for the path to enlightenment, who ceaselessly practice all that is pure and good, who tirelessly apply the methods set up by all spiritual benefactors, who are not worried about their physical subsistence, who are free from clinging to material things, whose minds are equanimous as the earth, without high or low, who are by nature compassionate and friendly, who face up to all states of being, who seek the sphere of those who realize Thusness. In such people arises the mind of enlightenment—the mind of great compassion, for the salvation of all beings; the mind of great kindness, for unity with all beings; the mind of happiness, to stop the mass of misery of all beings; the altruistic mind, to repulse all that is not good; the mind of mercy, to protect from all fears; the unobstructed mind, to get rid of all obstacles; the broad mind, to pervade all universes; the infinite mind, to pervade all spaces; the undefiled mind, to manifest the vision of all buddhas; the purified mind, to penetrate all knowledge of past, present, and future; the mind of knowledge, to remove all obstructive knowledge and enter the ocean of all-knowing knowledge.
“Son, I have been living here in Sagaramukha (‘Ocean-Door’) for twelve years, having focused my mind on the ocean and kept it present in my awareness, reflecting on the measureless vastness of the great ocean, its pure clarity, its unfathomable depth, its gradual deepening, its variety of deposits of precious substances, the measurelessness of its body of water, its infinity, its being the dwelling place of various immense creatures, its being covered by great clouds, and how it neither increases nor decreases. I think: is there anything else in the world as vast as the great ocean, as broad, as measureless, as deep, as various? While I was engaged in these thoughts, an enormous lotus from the bottom of the ocean appeared before me. Its stem was of unsurpassed jewels, sapphires, and diamonds, with a wreath of agate; its broad leaves of pure gold, with an array of buds of yellow sandalwood and filaments of emerald, as measureless in breadth as the ocean; its calyx was on a stem held by a million titan chiefs, it was covered by a net of a million various jewels, sprinkled by rain from clouds of fragrant water by a million chief water spirits, with a million bird chiefs trailing silks and strings of jewels over it, a million centaur chiefs gazing at it benevolently, a million serpent chiefs bowing to it in respect, a million goblin chiefs honoring it with bowed bodies, a million celestial musician chiefs celebrating it with music and song, a million celestial leaders raining on it clouds of heavenly flowers, fragrances, garlands, incenses, perfumes, aromatic powders, cloths, parasols, banners, and pennants, a million Brahma chiefs bowing their heads in respect, a million celestial beings of the pure abodes paying respect with joined palms, a million human rulers making offerings of precious substances, a million ocean deities emerging to pay respect; it was illumined by arrays of light beams from a million luminous jewels, adorned with a million pure jewels in orderly arrays, containing a million radiant jewels, blazing with the great splendor of a million dazzling jewels, shining endlessly with a million jewels from various sources, adorned with a million jewels symbolic of earth arrayed all around, incomparably arrayed with a million of the finest diamonds, brilliantly covered with a million sun-containing jewels, decorated with a million beautiful jewels in various colors, blazing with the light of an endless array of a million wish-fulfilling jewels. That great lotus is born from the transcendental roots of goodness of the enlightened; it appears everywhere, directed to the will of enlightening beings; it comes forth from the principle of illusoriness; it is produced by pure deeds; it is adorned by the principle of the state of noncontention; it is a presentation of the nature of being equal to a dream; it is marked by the principle of nonfabrication; it accords with the principle of nonattachment; it pervades all universes everywhere; it is in the realm of illumination by the light of the sphere of Buddha. It would be impossible to reach the end of the array of characteristics, qualities, forms, and appearances of that lotus even in countless hundreds of thousands of eons. Also I saw an embodiment of Buddha clearly manifest sitting cross-legged on that great lotus, completely filling it; I saw that embodiment of Buddha reaching from here to the very summit of being. I also saw the inconceivable adornments of the Buddha’s throne, the inconceivable adornments of the Buddha’s congregation, the inconceivable adornments of his aura of light, his inconceivable marks of greatness, various embellishments, and inconceivable majesty, the inconceivable projection of Buddha, the inconceivable purity of appearance of the Buddha; I heard the Buddha’s inconceivable eloquence and drew near to the inconceivable infinity of Buddha’s power, the inconceivable purity of his adornments of expertise, and his inconceivable accomplishment of the power of analytic knowledge; I recalled his past consummation of practices as an enlightening being, I saw the inconceivable transformation of the attainment of enlightenment, I heard of the inconceivable array of senses conveying universal insight and saw the inconceivable infinite division of his body into left and right and his consummate attainment of physical being beneficial to all creatures.
“Then the Buddha extended his right hand, rubbed my head, and revealed to me a teaching called universal eye, which is the sphere of all buddhas, revealing the practice of enlightening beings, showing the differentiation of the planes of all universes, showing the spheres of all truths together, the light purifying all lands, dispersing all challengers, crushing all demons and devils, making all beings happy, illumining the hidden recesses of all beings’ minds, communicating to all beings in accord with their mentalities, illuminating the turning of the wheels of the senses of all beings. And I have taken up that teaching of the universal eye, keep it in mind, apply it, and contemplate it, taking it in this way—even if it were being written by a collection of pens the size of the polar mountains with as much ink as water in the oceans, it could never be finished; it would be impossible to finish even a part of a single line of a single formula of a single principle of a single doctrine of a single chapter of the teaching—it cannot be even partially exhausted, let alone fully exhausted or comprehended.
“So, son, having taken up this teaching of the universal eye for a full twelve years—taking it up in this way: in one day I master countless chapters by the light of mental command to retain what is heard; I penetrate countless chapters by the light of mental command that is a way of access to tranquillity; I plunge into countless chapters by the light of mental command that progresses endlessly; I contemplate and investigate countless chapters by the light of mental command that is imbued with fiery energy; I put countless chapters into practice by the light of mental command adorned with lotuses; I elucidate countless chapters by the light of mental command that is beyond words; I analyze countless chapters by the light of mental command that is a mass of brightness; I arrange countless chapters in order by the light of mental command containing the ocean—whatever beings come to me from the ten directions, I direct and introduce them all into this teaching of the universal eye, the manifestation of the practice of enlightened and enlightening beings; to all of them I elucidate, represent, illumine, describe, show, analyze, expound upon, open up, explain, unlock, and clarify the teaching of the universal eye.
“I know this teaching, son, but how can I know the practice or tell of the virtues of the enlightening beings who have entered into the ocean of all enlightening beings’ practices in accord with pure vows; who have entered into the ocean of all vows, to remain in the world through all ages; who have entered into the mundane whirl of all beings, to act appropriately according to their mentalities; who have entered the ocean of minds of all beings, to communicate knowledge; who have entered the ocean of all virtues, to produce the vision of the knowledge of the ten powers without obstruction; who have entered the ocean of all beings’ faculties, to guide them to maturity and perfection with appropriate timing; who have entered the ocean of all lands, by carrying out the vow to purify all lands; who have entered the ocean of all buddhas, by the power of the vow to honor and attend all enlightened ones; who have entered the ocean of all truths, for the communication of knowledge; who have entered the ocean of all virtues by pursuing their realization; who have entered the ocean of languages of all beings, to carry out the turning of the wheel of the teaching in all languages?
“Go, son, to a place called Sagaratira, in the region of Sri Lanka, sixty leagues south of here. A monk named Supratishthita lives there; go to him and ask how a great enlightening being is to purify enlightening practice.”
Then Sudhana, paying his respects, departed from the presence of Sagaramegha.