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  P'ang Yun (740-808) was a well known Chinese Zen Layman.
He was once selling bamboo baskets. Coming down off the a bridge, he stumbled and fell.
When Ling-chao saw this she ran to her father's side and threw herself down.
"... continue...

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LOTUS SUTRA - Chapter 24. The All-sided One Containing Description of The Transformations of Avalokitesvara

Thereafter the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati rose from his seat, put his upper robe upon one shoulder, stretched his joined hands towards the Lord, and said: For what reason, O Lord, is the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara called Avalokitesvara? So he asked, and the Lord answered to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati: All the hundred thousands of myriads of kolis of creatures, young man of good family, who in this world are suffering troubles will, if they hear the name of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, be released from that mass of troubles. Those who shall keep the name of this Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, young man of good family, will, if they fall into a great mass of fire, be delivered therefrom by virtue of the lustre of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva. In case, young man of good family, creatures, carried off by the current of rivers, should implore the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, all rivers will afford them a ford. In case,young man of good family, many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of creatures, sailing in a ship on the ocean, should see their bullion, gold, gems, pearls, lapis lazuli, conch shells, stones (?), corals, emeralds, Musâragalvas, read pearls (?), and other goods lost, and the ship by a vehement, untimely gale cast on the island of Giantesses, and if in that ship a single being implores Avalokitesvara, all will be saved from that island of Giantesses. For that reason, young man of good family, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara is named Avalokitesvara.

If a man given up to capital punishment implores Avalokitesvara, young man of good family, the swords of the executioners shall snap asunder. Further, young man of good family, if the whole triple chiliocosm were teeming with goblins and giants, they would by virtue of the name of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara being pronounced lose the faculty of sight in their wicked designs. If some creature, young man of good family, shall be bound in wooden or iron manacles, chains or fetters, be he guilty or innocent, then those manacles, chains or fetters shall give way as soon as the name of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara is pronounced. Such, young man of good family, is the power of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara. If this whole triple chiliocosm, young man of good family, were teeming with knaves, enemies, and robbers armed with swords, and if a merchant leader of a caravan marched with a caravan rich in jewels; if then they perceived those robbers, knaves, and enemies armed with swords, and in their anxiety and fright thought themselves helpless; if, further, that leading merchant spoke to the caravan in this strain: Be not afraid, young gentlemen, be not frightened; invoke, all of you, with one voice the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, the giver of safety; then you shall be delivered from this danger by which you are threatened at the hands of robbers and enemies; if then the whole caravan with one voice invoked Avalokitesvara with the words: Adoration, adoration be tothe giver of safety, to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Mahâsattva! then, by the mere act of pronouncing that name, the caravan would be released from all danger. Such, young man of good family, is the power of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara. In case creatures act under the impulse of impure passion, young man of good family, they will, after adoring the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, be freed from passion. Those who act under the impulse of hatred will, after adoring the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, be freed from hatred. Those who act under the impulse of infatuation will, after adoring the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, be freed from infatuation. So mighty, young man of good family, is the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara. If a woman, desirous of male offspring, young man of good family, adores the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, she shall get a son, nice, handsome, and beautiful; one possessed of the characteristics of a male child, generally beloved and winning, who has planted good roots. If a woman is desirous of getting a daughter, a nice, handsome, beautiful girl shall be born to her; one possessed of the (good) characteristics of a girl, generally beloved and winning, who has planted good roots. Such, young man of good family, is the power of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara.

Those who adore the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara will derive from it an unfailing profit. Suppose, young man of good family, (on one hand) some one adoring the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara and cherishing his name; (on the other hand) another adoring a number of Lords Buddhas equal to sixty-two times the sands of the river Ganges, cherishing their names and worshipping so many Lords Buddhas during their stay, existence, and life, by giving robes, alms-bowls, couches, medicaments for the sick; how great is then in thine opinion, young man of good family, the accumulation of pious merit which that young gentleman or young lady will produce in consequence of it? So asked, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati said to the Lord: Great, O Lord, great, O Sugata, is the pious merit which that young gentleman or young lady will produce in consequence of it. The Lord proceeded: Now, young man of good family, the accumulation of pious merit produced by that young gentleman paying homage to so many Lords Buddhas, and the accumulation of pious merit produced by him who performs were it but a single act of adoration to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara and cherishes his name, are equal. He who adores a number of Lords Buddhas equal to sixty-two times the sands of the river Ganges and cherishes their names, and he who adores the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara and cherishes his name, have an equal accumulation of pious merit; both masses of pious merit are not easy to be destroyed even in hundred thousands of myriads of kotis of Æons. So immense, young man of good family, is the pious merit resulting from cherishing the name of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara.

Again the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati said to the Lord: How, O Lord, is it that the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara frequents this Saha-world? And how does he preach the law? Andwhich is the range of the skilfulness of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara? So asked, the Lord replied to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati: In some worlds, young man of good family, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara preaches the law to creatures in the shape of a Buddha; in others he does so in the shape of a Bodhisattva. To some beings he shows the law in the shape of a Pratyekabuddha; to others he does so in the shape of a disciple; to others again under that of Brahma, Indra, or a Gandharva. To those who are to be converted by a goblin, he preaches the law assuming the shape of a goblin; to those who are to be converted by Isvara, he preaches the law in the shape of isvara; to those who are to be converted by Mahesvara, he preaches assuming the shape of Mahesvara. To those who are to be converted by a Kakravartin [This term is ambiguous; it means both 'the mover of the wheel', i.e. Vishnu, and 'an emperor'], he shows the law after assuming the shape of a Kakravartin; to those who are to be converted by an imp, he shows the law under the shape of an imp; to those who are to be converted by Kubera, he shows the law by appearing in the shape of Kubera; to those who are to be converted by Senâpati [Ambiguous; the word denotes both 'the commander-in-chief of the army of the gods, Skanda,' and 'a commander-in-chief in general'], he preaches in the shape of Senapati ; to those who are to be converted by assuming a Brâhman [the Brâhman may be Brihaspati] , he preaches in the shape of a Brâhman; to those who are to be converted by Vagrapâni [Vagrapâni is the name of one of the Dhyânibuddhas, and of certain geniuses, and an ephitet of Indra] , he preaches in the shape of Vagrapâni [The function of Avalokitesvara, as it appears from these passages, agree with those of Gadgadasvara mentioned in the foregoing chapter]. With such inconceivable qualities, young man of good family, is the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara endowed. Therefore then, young man of good family, honour the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara. The Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara, young man of good family, affords safety to those who are in anxiety. On that account one calls him in this Saha-world Abhayandada (i. e. Giver of Safety).

Further, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati said to the Lord: Shall we give a gift of piety, a decoration of piety, O Lord, to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara? The Lord replied: Do so, if thou thinkest it opportune. Then the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati took from his neck a pearl necklace, worth a hundred thousand (gold pieces), and presented it to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara as a decoration of piety, with the words: Receive from me this decoration of piety, good man. But he would not accept it. Then the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati said to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara: Out of compassion to us, young man of good family, accept this pearl necklace. Then the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara accepted the pearl necklace from the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati, out of compassion to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Akshayamati and the four classes, and out of compassion to the gods, Nâgas, goblins, Gandharvas demons, Garudas, Kinnaras, great serpents, men: and beings not human. Thereafter he divided (the necklace) into two parts, and offered one part to the Lord Sakyamuni, and the other to the jewel Stûpa of the Lord Prabhûtaratna, the Tathagata, &c., who had become completely extinct.

With such a faculty of transformation, young man of good family, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara is moving in this Saha-world.

And on that occasion the Lord uttered the following stanzas:

1. Kitradhvaga asked Akshayamati the following question: For what reason, son of Gina, is Avalokitesvara (so) called?

2. And Akshayamati, that ocean of profound insight, after considering how the matter stood, spoke to Kitradhvaga: Listen to the conduct of Avalokitesvara.

3. Hear from my indication how for numerous, inconceivable Æons he has accomplished his vote under many thousand kotis of Buddhas.

4. Hearing, seeing, regularly and constantly thinking will infallibly destroy all suffering, (mundane) existence, and grief of living beings here on earth.

5. If one be thrown into a pit of fire, by a wicked enemy with the object of killing him, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and the fire shall be quenched as if sprinkled with water.

6. If one happens to fall into the dreadful ocean, the abode of Nagas, marine monsters, and demons, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and he shall never sink down in the king of waters.

7. If a man happens to be hurled down from the brink of the Meru, by some wicked person with the object of killing him, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and he shall, sunlike, stand firm in the sky.

8. If rocks of thunderstone and thunderbolts are thrown at a man's head to kill him, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and they shall not be able to hurt one hair of the body.

9. If a man be surrounded by a host of enemies armed with swords, who have the intention of killing him, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and they shall instantaneously become kind-hearted.

10. If a man, delivered to the power of the executioners, is already standing at the place of execution, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and their swords shall go to pieces.

11. If a person happens to be fettered in shackles of wood or iron, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and the bonds shall be speedily loosened.

12. Mighty spells, witchcraft, herbs, ghosts, and spectres, pernicious to life, revert thither whence they come, when one thinks of Avalokitesvara.

13. If a man is surrounded by goblins, Nâgas, demons, ghosts, or giants, who are in the habit of taking away bodily vigour, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and they shall not be able to hurt one hair of his body.

14. If a man is surrounded by fearful beasts with .sharp teeth and claws, he has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and they shall quickly fly in all directions.

15. If a man is surrounded by snakes malicious and frightful on account of the flames and fires (they emit), be has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and they shall quickly lose their poison.

16. If a heavy thunderbolt shoots from a cloud pregnant with lightning and thunder, one has but to think of Avalokitesvara, and the fire of heaven shall quickly, instantaneously be quenched.

17. He (Avalokitesvara) with his powerful knowledge beholds all creatures who are beset with many hundreds of troubles and afflicted by many sorrows, and thereby is a saviour in the world, including the gods.

18. As he is thoroughly practised in the power of magic, and possessed of vast knowledge and skilfulness, he shows himself' in all directions and in all regions of the world.

19. Birth, decrepitude, and disease will come to an end for those who are in the wretched states of existence, in hell, in brute creation, in the kingdom of Yama, for all beings (in general).

[Then Akshayamati in the joy of his heart uttered the following stanzas:]

20. O thou whose eyes are clear, whose eyes are kind, distinguished by wisdom and knowledge, whose eyes are full of pity and benevolence; thou so lovely by thy beautiful face and beautiful eyes!

21. Pure one, whose shine is spotless bright, whose knowledge is free from darkness, thou shining as the sun, not to be beaten away, radiant as the blaze of fire, thou spreadest in thy flying course thy lustre in the world.

22. O thou who rejoicest in kindness having its source in compassion, thou great cloud of good qualities and of benevolent mind, thou quenchest the fire that vexes living beings, thou pourest out nectar, the rain of the law.

23. In quarrel, dispute, war, battle, in any great danger one has to think of Avalokitesvara, who shall quell the wicked troop of foes.

24. One should think of Avalokitesvara, whose sound is as the cloud's and the drum's, who thunders like a rain-cloud, possesses a good voice like Brahma, (a voice) going through the whole gamut of tones.

25. Think, O think with tranquil mood of Avalokitesvara, that pure being; he is a protector, a refuge, a recourse in death, disaster, and calamity.

26. He who possesses the perfection of all virtues, and beholds all beings with compassion and benevolence, he, an ocean of virtues, Virtue itself, he, Avalokitesvara, is worthy of adoration.

27. He, so compassionate for the world, shall once become a Buddha, destroying all dangers and sorrows; I humbly bow to Avalokitesvara.

28. This universal Lord, chief of kings, who is a (rich) mine of monastic virtues, he, universally worshipped, has reached pure, supreme enlightenment, after plying his course (of duty) during many hundreds of Æons.

29. At one time standing to the right, at another to the left of the Chief Amitabha, whom he is fanning, he, by dint of meditation, like a phantom, in all regions honours the Gina.

30. In the west, where the pure world Sukhâkara is situated, there the Chief Amitabha, the tamer of men, has his fixed abode.

31. There no women are to be found; there sexual intercourse is absolutely unknown; there the sons of Gina, on springing into existence by apparitional birth, are sitting in the undefiled cups of lotuses.

32. And the Chief Amitâbha himself is seated on a throne in the pure and nice cup of a lotus, and shines as the Sâla-king.

33. The Leader of the world, whose store of merit has been praised, has no equal in the triple world. O supreme of men, let us soon become like thee!

Thereupon the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Dharanindhara rose from his seat, put his upper robe upon one shoulder, fixed his right knee against the earth, stretched his joined hands towards the Lord and said: They must be possessed of not a few good roots, O Lord, who are to hear this chapter from the Dharmaparyâya about the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara and this miraculous power of transformation of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Avalokitesvara.

And while this chapter of the All-sided One was being expounded by the Lord, eighty-four thousand living beings from that assembly felt their minds drawn to that supreme and perfect enlightenment, with which nothing else can be compared.

End of LOTUS SUTRA - Chapter 24. The All-sided One Containing Description of The Transformations of Avalokitesvara horizotal line T.o.C . Previous Chapter « | . 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. | » Next Chapter



 



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