Articles by alphabetic order
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 Ā Ī Ñ Ś Ū Ö Ō
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0


The Dharma Flower Sutra seen through the Oral Transmission of Nichiren Daishōnin: The Twenty-fifth Chapter on the Universal Gateway of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara)

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mind-Reader.jpg
Buddha0kl.jpg
Guru b.jpg
BuddhaghosaLK.jpg
11image003.jpg
Red dakini tf71.jpg
Ksitigarbha-es45.jpg
Mam4aki-124.jpg
Golden-buddha.jpg
Bo1 500.jpg
Krishna .jpg
Dwp bu.jpg
187-Haridasa500w159h.jpg
W0y34001.jpg
DharmaRatas-Tempel-3.jpg
Kuh0168.JPG
Ge017.jpg
9051734.jpg
Whitetara45.jpg
Bb1vbn 1j.jpg
Rainbow-light.jpg
21 17-AFP1.jpg
12mind-copy.jpg
THE MINDcccccc.jpg
Jokh y (10).jpg
Damaaru001.jpg
3638958116.jpg
Ophhee.jpg
Nagayon Paya.JPG

The Dharma Flower Sutra
seen through the Oral Transmission of
Nichiren Daishōnin


Then, at that time, the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni Akshayamati) . . . .


The first important point, with regard to the Name of the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati).

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the name Inexhaustible Intention stands for all-inclusive, unobstructed accommodation of immateriality (), materiality (ke), and the middle way between these opposing concepts of existence (chū). The negative prefix in the word “exhaustible” (in) expresses the immateriality of relativity (). The word “exhaustible” stands for materiality or physical qualities (ke), on account of such qualities being impermanent. Here the wordintention” in this name has the role of the middle way of reality, as we normally understand it.

In the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), the word “Perceiving” represents the immaterial quality of relativity (), since it is only a gerund. The words “Existential Dimensions” in his name represent their material characteristics, on account of their changeability, and the sounds that this bodhisattva perceives refer to the middle way of reality (chū).

In the title of the Sutra on the White Lotus Flower-like Mechanism of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō Renge Kyō), the word “Utterness” represents the immateriality of relativity (, shūnyatā), simply by being a word that means the whole. The white lotus flower-like Dharma implies the fickleness of its own physical qualities. And the sutra (Kyō) is where existence takes place. (This, according to the way of understanding of us who are ordinary people, is the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas, which is reality as we know it.) Also, it is the axiom of the middle way (chū).

The triple axiom of existencerelativity (, shūnyatā), materiality (ke), and the middle way of reality as we perceive it (chū) – as the intrinsicality of existence (hosshō, dharmatā), is also expressed in the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) and the name of the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati).

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). In this way, they, who are in this actual time of the final period of the Dharma of Shākyamuni (mappō), have the function of revealing the inexhaustible intention (of the Buddha teaching).

What this all means is that the negative prefix “in” in the word “inexhaustible” is noumena and relativity (). The word “exhaustibility” refers to our successive incarnations, which in themselves are never eternal. Here the wordintention” in this name represents the character trait of our being life (in all its aspects). Nevertheless, when gateways to the Dharma, such as the subtle fusion between subjective and objective existence (kyōchi myōgō) along with the wisdom to understand it, are united in one person, it becomes the real aspect of all dharmas.

But what those two really consist of is the inevitability of our lives and their foundation that is the entirety of existence permeated by the underlying interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect in the whereabouts where the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas become discernible. The wordintention in this name is the purposefulness of life, in which the five ideograms for Myōhō Renge Kyō imply the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect in its whereabouts where the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas become self-evident.

In terms of the five stages of our development in the womb – (1) the initiation of the embryo (kalalan), 2) after 27 days (arbadan), 3) after 37 days (peshi), 4) after 47 days (ghana), 5) after 57 days (prashākha) when the body and all its organs are complete) – what this fifth stage indicates is that our bodies consist of the five elements (earth, fire, water, wind, and the relativity (, shūnyatā) and noumena). These five elements that continually occur again and again (gorin) are none other than the five ideograms for the theme and title of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma).

These five ideograms are also included in the meaning of the wordintention”. The intention or aim of the Buddha (as life itself) is these same five ideograms for the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect in its whereabouts where the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas occur. Apart from this, there is nothing else.

The intention of the Buddha is the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) (in the sense of all that is written on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon)) and the recitation of the title and theme of the Sutra (and the understanding of its meaning) is “this good and excellent medicine”, which is referred to in the Chapter on the Lifespan of the Tathāgata and is also held in esteem by all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future. All the dharmas of the entirety of the three thousand existential spaces (seken), with which we are able to perceive existence, are nothing more than the single wordintention” or “meaning”. To fully accept this intention or concept (of how and why existence functions the way it does) is the foundation for a mind of faith (shinjin). Even though our minds are capable of distinguishing different items, feelings, or ideas from each other (yufunbetsu), nevertheless, the whole of existence is the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma).


. . . . stood up from the place where he was sitting, humbly uncovering his right shoulder, putting the palms of his hands together, and reverently faced the Buddha. Then he spoke out and said, “World Honoured One, for what reason does the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) have the name Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara)?”

The Buddha addressed the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) and said: Convinced and believing bodhisattva, if there were boundless hundreds of thousands of myriads of myriads of myriads of sentient beings who were all prey to the pangs of bitter suffering and were single-mindedly to call upon his name, this Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) would hear them. Immediately on his hearing their voices, they would be released from their torment.

If there is anybody who can bear in mind the name of this Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), even if such people were to be immersed in a huge fire, the flames would not be able to burn them, on account of the awe-inspiring reaches of the mind of this bodhisattva. If such people were to be swept away by a huge flood and were to call upon his name, they would find themselves in a place where the water was shallow.

If there were hundreds of thousands of myriads of myriads of myriads of sentient beings who were all seeking precious substances, such as gold, silver, lapis lazuli, mother of pearl, agate, amber, or pearls, and were to go out into the ocean and a disastrous wind were to blow their ships to run aground in a land that was inhabited by anthropophagous savages, even if only one person were to call on the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), all these people would be delivered from the menace of these man-eating barbarians. These are the reasons why this bodhisattva is called Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).

Again, if there is another individual who is on the point of being injured, by calling on the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), all the staves and knives brandished against this individual will be immediately destroyed, so that this person will be saved. If gnomes (yasha, yaksha) and cannibal demons (rasetsu, rakshasa) were to fill three times three thousand existential realms, all centred around their respective Mount Sumerus and spread out in the shape of a cross (i.e., the whole of existence), and if they wished to torment people in these dimensions, and if these people were to invoke the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), all those malicious beings would be incapable of seeing these people with their evil eyes and would be unable to do them any harm.

Again, if there is a person who may or may not be guilty or innocent, whose hands are restrained in handcuffs or who has been put into the pillory (cangue), if this person calls on the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), the instruments that restrain this person will be shattered, and this person shall be freed.

If the three times three thousand existential realms, all centred around their respective Mount Sumerus and spread out in the shape of a cross, were to be filled with hostile bandits and there was a merchant who could lead a caravan carrying heavy treasures over a dangerous road, all the caravan could be saved in the following way.

Somebody could call out, “Good people, you have nothing to fear. What you must do is to invoke the name of Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara). This bodhisattva is able to give reassurance to sentient beings. By invoking his name, you will be saved from these hostile bandits.”

Then all the merchants in the caravan, on hearing these words, would all say together, “We devote ourselves entirely to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).” Due to the invocation of this bodhisattva’s name, they would all be immediately delivered.

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), such is the imposing majesty of the realms of the mind of the perfectly evolved Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) who had refused his own extinction into nirvana for the sake of the Buddha enlightenment of all sentient beings. If there are sentient beings that are excessively obsessed with sex and they were to constantly fix their attention on the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) as well as venerating and worshipping him, they would immediately get rid of their obsession.

If there are other persons whose nature is consumed with anger and they were to fix their attention on this bodhisattva as well as venerating and worshipping him, such people would be freed from their wrath. Likewise, should other individuals be besotted with their own dull-wittedness and if they were again to concentrate their thoughts on the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) as well as venerating and worshipping him, such persons would straightaway be liberated from their stupidity.

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), such are the imposingly majestic reaches of the mind of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), whose benefits are given out in abundance. This is why sentient beings should keep this bodhisattva’s name always in their minds.

If there is a woman who wishes to have a son and renders homage to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) as well as making offerings to him, this woman will give birth to a son who is gifted with felicitous merits, wisdom, and discernment. If there is a woman who wishes to have a daughter, she will give birth to a girl with all the characteristics of beauty which were planted during the course of her former lives, so that she will be respected and loved by everybody.

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), such are the powerful qualities of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara). If there are people who render homage with reverence and esteem to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), their felicitous efforts will not be wasted. This is the reason why sentient beings accept and hold to the name of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), if there is somebody who is able to remember the names of as many bodhisattvas as there are sixty-two myriads of myriads of myriads of times the grains of sand in the Ganges, and of believing and convinced men and women, as well as making offerings of food, drink, clothing, bedding, and different kinds of remedies, is this not plentiful?

The Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) replied, “Yes, World Honoured One, it is abundant.”

The Buddha said: “If, on the other hand, there is another person who can accept and hold to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), venerate and pay homage to him, as well as making offerings even for a short period only, the benefits will be the same, without any differences whatsoever, and will not be exhausted, even after a hundred thousand myriads of myriads of myriads of kalpas. Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), these people who accept and hold to the name of Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) will have boundlessly infinite advantages and meritorious virtues.”

The Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) then addressed the Buddha, saying, “How is it that the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) has travelled to this Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu)? How is it that he expounded the Dharma to sentient beings? Also, what was the influence of his expedient means and what did they consist of?”

The Buddha then said to the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati): Convinced and believing bodhisattva, if there is a dimension whereupon sentient beings depend for an existence, where they need to be ferried from the shores of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by the person of a Buddha, then the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) will immediately manifest himself in the guise of a Buddha, in order to expound the Dharma. For the sake of those who need to be ferried from the shores of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by somebody who has diligently sought a certain realisation for himself (hyakushibutsu, pratyekabuddha), then he will appear to them in the form of a person who has sought enlightenment through much intellectual research (hyakushibutsu, engaku, pratyekabuddha).

Indeed, should somebody need to be ferried over the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by a person of the people who exerted themselves to attain the highest stage of the teaching of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha (shōmon, shrāvaka), then this bodhisattva manifests himself in the form of one of the hearers of the Buddha’s voice (shōmon, shrāvaka), in order to explain the Dharma. Then, if there is a person who needs to be ferried from the shore of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by the sovereign Brahmā (Bonten), then this bodhisattva reveals himself as the person of the Sovereign Brahma (bon’ō, Brahmā-rāja), in order to explain the Dharma. Moreover, if there is somebody who needs to be ferried over the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by the person of Taishaku (Indra) himself, the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sounds of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) reveals himself in the guise of Taishaku (Indra), in order to explain the Dharma.

Again, it follows that if somebody wishes to be transported across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by Shiva, the king of the deva (Daijizaiten, Ishvaradeva), then this bodhisattva manifests himself as Shiva in order to expound the Dharma. Then, if there is a person who wishes to be ferried from the shores of living and dying to the shores of nirvana by one of the generals of the deva, thereupon the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sounds of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) appears in the form of Bishamon (Vaishravana) (who is on the top of the left-hand corner, as you face the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon)), in order to expound the Dharma. Accordingly, if there is somebody who wishes to be ferried across the seas of living and dying by the person of an ordinary sovereign, then this bodhisattva manifests himself in the form of an ordinary sovereign.

Therefore, if there is a person who needs to be ferried across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by one who is just, straightforward, truthful, honest, advanced in age, wealthy, and who is an elder (chōja, grhapati), then the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sounds of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) appears in the form of an elder, in order to explain the Dharma. Hence, if there is an individual who needs to be ferried across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by a householder who practises the Buddha teaching at home, then this bodhisattva manifests himself as such a practitioner, in order to expound the Dharma. Again, if there is a person who needs to be ferried across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by a high functionary, then this bodhisattva appears in the form of a high functionary, in order to explain the Dharma.

Then, as a matter of course, if there is a person who needs to be ferried across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by a Brahmin, then the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sounds of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) appears in the guise of a Brahmin, in order to explain the Dharma. Then again, if there is a person who needs to be ferried across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by an ordained monk (bikshu), a nun (bhikshuni), a pious layman or a pious laywoman, then this bodhisattva appears as one of these practitioners, in order to teach the Dharma. If there are people who need to be saved by the wife of an elder, the wife of a Brahmin, then this bodhisattva appears in the form of these wives, in order that they may be ferried across the seas of living and dying to the shore of nirvana.

Yet again, if there are those who need to obtain salvation (tokudō) through either a boy or a young girl, then this bodhisattva appears to them in the form of a boy or a young girl, in order to explain the Dharma to them. Then again, if there are people who need to obtain salvation (tokudō) through a deva (ten) (who are like the gods in ancient mythology or the angels in the Abrahamic religions), a dragon (as they are depicted in Far Eastern art and are similar to the elementals in theosophy), yasha, (yaksha) (who are earth spirits similar to gnomes and dwarves in our European folklore), a kendabba (gandharva) (who are the celestial musicians of Taishaku (Indra) and feed on different kinds of fragrances), a shura (ashura) (who are similar to the titans and, as in Greco-Roman mythology, are enemies of the deva (gods)), a karura (garuda) (who are mythical birds from the Brahmanic pantheon), a kinnara (kimnara) (who are exotic birds with human torsos), a magoraga (mahorāga) (who are enormous serpents that crawl on their chests), or any other non-humans with human intelligence, this bodhisattva will manifest himself as the above-mentioned beings, in order to explain the Dharma. Again, if there are people who need to obtain salvation (tokudō) through a deva (ten) who is a holder of a diamond thunderbolt (shūkongōjin, vajrapani), then immediately this bodhisattva will reveal himself in the form of a deva (ten) who is the holder of a diamond thunderbolt (shūkongōjin, vajrapani), in order to explain the Dharma to them.

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), such are the meritorious virtues attained by the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), who is capable of travelling to various dimensions upon which sentient beings depend for an existence, taking on all sorts of forms, in order to ferry them over the seas of living and dying towards total emancipation. You must indeed make offerings with all your heart to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara). This completely evolved Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) who has refused his own extinction into nirvana for the sake of the Buddha enlightenment of all sentient beings (bosatsu makasatsu, bodhisattva mahāsattva), in the midst of terrifying and pressing dangers, is able to give reassurance. Hence the reason why, here in the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), he is referred to as, “He who gives reassurance.”

Then, the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) addressed the Buddha, saying: “World Honoured One, I must now make an offering to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).”

He then removed from his neck a necklace of precious pearls, whose value was a hundred thousand pieces of gold, and handed it over, saying the words, “Benevolent One, I ask you to accept this necklace that is a rare treasure and a gift of the Dharma.”

Then, when the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) did not really show signs of wanting to receive it, the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) again addressed the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) and said, “Benevolent One, please take pity on us and accept this necklace.”

Thereupon the Buddha said to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara): Indeed, you should take pity on this Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) along with the monks (nuns) and both male and female lay practitioners, as well as the deva (ten), dragons (ryū, nāga), gnomes (yasha, yaksha), the musicians of Indra who nourish themselves on fragrances (kendabba, gandharva), titans (shura, ashura), mythical birds (karura, garuda), mythical beings with various zoomorphic characteristics (kinnara, kimnara), huge serpents who crawl on their chests (magoraga, mahoraga), and other non-humans with human intelligence, and accept this necklace.

At that moment, the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) took pity on all the monks, nuns, male and female lay practitioners, along with the deva (ten), dragons (ryū, nāga), and all the other non-humans with human intelligence, and accepted the necklace, which he separated into two parts. One part he reverently offered to Shākyamuni Buddha, and the other he reverently offered to the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō Nyorai, Prabhūtaratna).

Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati), such are the reaches of the mind of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) which he uses at will and travels in the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu).

Thereupon the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) questioned the Buddha in the form of a metric hymn.

World Honoured One,
who is endowed
with all the features of Utterness,
now I ask you once again:
What are the reasons
for this faithful follower
of the Buddha teaching
being called the Bodhisattva
Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara)?

The World Honoured One, who is endowed with all the features of Utterness, replied to the Bodhisattva Inexhaustible Intention (Mujinni, Akshayamati) in the form of a metric hymn.

You should listen to
how the practice of the bodhisattva
who perceives the sound
of the existential dimensions
is well-adapted
to different methods and places.
His vast oath
is as profound as the ocean,
which he has built up
over an unthinkable period
of kalpas.
He has attended upon
many thousands of myriads of Buddhas,
in order to mature his vow
of all-embracing purity.
I will roughly explain to you,
so that you may hear his reputation
and visualise his person.
To invoke him into your thoughts
is not an error in vain.
He is capable of eliminating
all the bitterness of existence.
For example, should anyone
intend to do harm
or make a person stumble
over a pit of fire,
and if that person bore in mind
the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions(Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
the pit of fire would be washed away
by a tidal wave.
Or if there are dangers that arise
from dragons, fish, or various demons,
then by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions(Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
even the waves of the ocean
cannot drown that believer.
If there where an evil-intentioned person
who would push the believer down
from the Summit of Mount Sumeru,
then by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara)
the believer would remain in space
like the sun.
Or if the believer is pursued
by evil-intentioned people
that make that person fall
from the Diamond Thunderbolt Mountains,
by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
not a hair of that person’s head
will be harmed.
Or if the believer
is surrounded by bandits,
each brandishing a sword
in order to do harm,
by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
all these bandits will feel compassion
for the believer.
Or should one encounter difficulties
from the sovereign,
and it was the time for the execution
which would be the end of the believer’s life,
by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
the sword of the executioner
would be shattered immediately.
Even if the believer
is in the pillory (cangue) and in chains
and that person’s hands are in handcuffs,
with his feet tied together,
by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
the believer will be set free and released.
Or should the believer be cursed or poisoned
by someone who wished
to do the believer harm,
by bearing in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
such curses and poison
would go back to the instigator.
Or should the believer encounter
evil gnomes, poisonous dragons (ryū, nāga),
or other demons,
such people would only have to bear in mind
the powers of the Bodhisattva
Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
so that none of these unpleasant beings
would dare to do any harm.
Even if the believer
is surrounded by scary animals
that show their teeth and sharp claws
in a threatening manner,
then the believer should bear in mind
the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).
All these animals will run away
in disorder.
Should the believer be faced
with venomous snakes and scorpions,
whose emanations were poisonous
and infectious,
the believer then must bear in mind
the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).
Then all these insects and reptiles
would simply run away.
When peals of thunder resound,
and lightning strikes
and hail comes down with heavy downpours,
the believer should bear in mind
the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).
Then such storms will dissipate at once.
Should the believers be troubled
with hardship and misfortunes
and their bodies be racked with pain,
due to the Utterness of the wisdom
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) . . .


The second important point, with regard to the above phrase, “due to the Utterness of the wisdom of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions(Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) . . . .”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the term “the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma)” in Sanskrit is “Saddharma”. (The phonetic change of the word sat (utterness) is because the dental “d” is followed by a voiced and aspirated “dh” so that, when these two consonants are put together, they become a voiced double d – ddh.) The ideogram “satsu” or the Sanskrit word “sat” can be translated as utterness. Again, the ideogram for “satsu” or the Sanskrit word “sat” in Tantric practice is the causal syllable for invoking the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), who is in the storehouse consciousness (zōshiki, alaya-vijñāna) or is an archetype in the collective unconscious of Buddhist believers.

The Universal Teacher Tendai (T’ien T’ai) explains in his compilation, the Textual Explanation of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke Mongu), “Even though the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) and the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) are different units of expression, they are alike in exactly the same way as the words ‘eye’ and ‘oculus’, which again are different units of expression; but both of these terms are identical in meaning, now that we have entered the final phase of the Dharma of Shākyamuni (mappō).”

Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). So the advantages given by the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) are as different from the teaching of Nichiren as the clouds in the sky and the mud that lies on the ground.

When we take all of this into consideration, the word “Perceiving” in this bodhisattva’s name implies the all-inclusive, unobstructed accommodation of form and physical qualities, relativity and noumena that underlie our perception of reality, as well as the all-inclusive whole of the one instant of thought containing three thousand existential spaces that is the makeup of the middle way of reality (chū). The words “Existential Dimensions” in this name imply the concept of utterness. And the wordSound” in this bodhisattva’s name entails all the utterances made by sentient beings as manifestations of their being alive and the possibility of becoming fully aware of their intrinsic Buddha nature. Again, the word “Perceiving” in this bodhisattva’s name is another way of expressing a concept of the Dharma realm (which is the entirety of physical and mental existence or the totality of our perception of existence, which is from each individual’s respective standpoint immersed in the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas ).

Furthermore, the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) is capable of seeing into and knowing the aspects of the realities of all dharmas, such as the realms of dharmas of the hells, the cravings of the hungry ghosts, and the involuntariness of the dharmas of animality, as well as all the other realms of dharmas that make up these unthinkably inexpressible existential dimensions that constitute our lives. The wordSound” in the name represents all the diversities of the realities in which sentient beings exist that are the real aspect of all dharmas, wherein not a single individual is devoid of the Buddha nature.

At the time when Shākyamuni expounded the Sixteenth Chapter on the Lifespan of the Tathāgata, the Buddha had already stated that the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas existed and that the three entities of the Buddha (1) his physical manifestations (ōjin, nirmāna-kāya), 2) the embodiment of his wisdom (hōshin, sambhoga-kāya), 3) the universal permeation of Buddhahood (hosshin, Dharma-kāya)) had always been in existence and would continue on forever. The Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) had already accepted and understood all the implications of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō). And now the practitioners who accept and hold to this sutra will have favours that even surpass those that are conferred by the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).


The third important point, on the two wishes and two prayers which are in the passage, “If there is a woman who wishes to have a son and renders homage to the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) as well as making offerings to him, this woman will give birth to a son who is gifted with felicitous merits, wisdom, and discernment. If there is a woman who wishes to have a daughter, she will give birth to a girl with all the characteristics of a beauty which were planted during the course of her former lives, so that she will be respected and loved by everybody.”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that these two wishes and two prayers are either the desire for a son or the wish for a daughter. The wish for the daughter is the wish for worldly fruition and recompense in this present life (which also includes a peaceful home life and to be able to live happily), whereas the wish for a boy who is gifted with felicitous merits and is sturdy and strong is a wish that goes beyond this present life and into the society of the future. Consequently, to be at peace and secure on this terrain whereupon one depends are the virtues of wishing for a girl, but to be born in future good circumstances is the virtue of wanting a son.

Wanting a daughter entails all the latent meaningfulness of the Dragon King’s Daughter (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) and her attainment of Buddhahood (which is proof that women can reach the state of enlightenment) and reveals the meaning of the equation that the cycles of living and dying are not separate from nirvana. (Nirvana here indicates the workings of existence, and the cycles of living and dying suggest that all existence is psychologically never objective and that a single instant of mental activity is not separate from understanding what existence is all about (ichinen sanzen).) The desire for a son involves a similar imagery to the idea of Daibadatta’s (Devadatta) attainment of Buddha enlightenment (which is recounted in the Twelfth Chapter on Daibadatta (Devadatta)) and symbolises that our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) are not separate from the possibilities of our complete enlightenment (bodai, bodhi).

Both the Dragon King’s Daughter’s (Ryūnyo, Nāgakanyā) and Daibadatta’s (Devadatta) attainment of enlightenment refer to our becoming aware of our own inherent Buddha nature, with our bodies and personalities just as they are.

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō). So those who do this practice are fulfilling their wishes to have either sons or daughters, as well as their fathers’ and mothers’ determination to attain Buddhahood, in the sense of becoming aware of their of own inherent Buddha nature with their bodies and psyches just as they are, and thereby leading realised and happy lives.

(Among all the various principles expounded in the various provisional sutras in order to arrive at enlightenment or Buddhahood, we have in the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) the concept of the attainment of enlightenment with our bodies and personalities just as they are (sokushin jōbutsu). This means that in our practice we can attain a complete understanding of the meaning of existence, through fully appreciating and holding faith in our teaching, as well as carrying out its rituals. Essentially, this entails reciting Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō in front of the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon) and, in this way, to arrive at a fulfilled and happy life.)


. . . he would be able
to save the inhabitants
of the existential spaces
from their sufferings.
Endowed with all the necessary reaches
of the mind,
he broadly applies his wisdom
as an expedient means.
Throughout the terrains
whereupon sentient beings
depend for an existence,
there is not a single terrain
where he cannot appear.
In all the various destinations
of negative rebirth
that are all dissimilar
to each other,
whether they are the demons of the hells
or animals,
they all have the bitterness
of being born and growing up,
maturing and getting old,
as well as the uncertainties of dying.
This bodhisattva leads them, step by step,
to their total extinction in nirvana.
With his real perception
that is immaculately pure,
as well as a perspective wisdom
and discernment
that is as vast as it is broad,
with a perception of love
and a perception of kindness,
sentient beings will always beseech him,
as well as looking up to him,
who, with a completely unsoiled
and immaculate light,
is the sun of wisdom
that destroys all unenlightenment.
He is capable of putting down
either wind or flames
and clearly shines
onto the existential spaces.
He is a peal of thunder
of what is right,
a unity of love,
and a mind of compassion
like the clouds of utterness.
He is also like the honey dew
that soaks people
with the rain of the Dharma,
which extinguishes the flames
of our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha).
Whether we go on trial
before the authorities,
or undergo the terror
of being plunged into battle,
yet if people bear in mind the powers
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara),
all feelings of uncertainty
will be dissipated entirely.
The voice of utterness
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara)
is also a Brahmanic voice
and the voice of the ocean tide,
which goes far beyond
this existential space.
This is why you should constantly
fix your attention
from one thought to the next,
without raising any doubts
about the holiness and purity
of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound
of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).


The fourth important point, on the above passage, “This is why you should constantly fix your attention from one thought to the next, without raising any doubts about the holiness and purity of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).”

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that in the phrase, “from one thought to the next”, the first reference to the concept of thought as a unit of mental activity implies the six lower realms of dharmas (1) (hell) suffering, 2) (hungry ghosts) craving and wanting, 3) (animality) instinctive behaviour, 4) (shurakai) bullying, arrogance, and exhibitionism, 5) (humanity) normal human equanimity, and 6) (ecstasy) provisional joys and pleasures), whereas the words “to the next (thoughts)” refer to more evolved sentient beings (1) the people who exerted themselves to attain the highest stage of the teachings of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha, or the intellectual seekers of today (shōmon, shrāvaka), 2) people who are partially enlightened due to their assiduous studies into the meaning of existence (engaku, hyakushibutsu, pratyekabuddha), 3) people who due to their religious practice over a number of years have become altruists that “strive to save humanity from itself through the teaching of the Buddha” (bosatsu, bodhisattva), 4) people who have become completely conscious and enlightened, as well as understanding the truth of all things (Butsu, Hotoke, Buddha)). The implications of this passage are that the benefits and advantages that the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) bestows on sentient beings embrace both those denizens of the six lower realms of dharmas, as well as more evolved persons.

The quotation of the sutric text in the title of this “important point” also states that people should not raise any doubts (about the holiness and purity of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara)). Albeit, The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) goes on to say that the phrase “from one thought to the next” refers to a former thought and the thoughts that come after, again it says we must never entertain any doubts in our thoughts concerning the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma).

Or again, this concept of one thought to the next may also refer to the succession of instants of mental activity that eternally perpetuate through the past, present and future. It has already been said that sentient beings should bear in mind the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma).

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō), with a mind of faith from one thought to the next that should never give rise to any doubts.

One should never have doubts about our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) not being separate from and being able to lead to enlightenment (bonnō soku bodai) or that the cycles of living and dying are not separate from and can lead to nirvana (shōji soku nehan). (This is the state of enlightenment attained by Shakyamuni and is a realisation that can be reached by extinguishing each and every delusion or illusion and destroying all karma. In this sense, nirvana, which is also relativity (, shūnyatā), is the real nature of existence.)



In the midst of painful troubles
and mortal dangers,
he can be one on whom we can rely
and our support.
Endowed with all meritorious virtues,
he looks upon sentient beings
with eyes of compassion.
The ocean of his store of happiness
is without bounds.
Therefore, it is fitting to bow
and render homage to him.

There and then the Bodhisattva Support of the Earth stood up from where he was sitting, stepped forward, and addressed the Buddha, saying, “World Honoured One, if there are sentient beings who listen to this Chapter on the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), his totally independent actions, the revelation of his universal gateways as well, the reaches of his mind, then it should be known that the meritorious virtues of such powers cannot be seen as a few.”

When the Buddha had finished expounding this chapter on the universal gateway (to be freed from every kind of suffering), eighty-four thousand sentient beings in the assembly became completely opened up to the unexcelled, correct, and all-embracing enlightenment (anokutara sanmyaku sambodai, anuttara samyak sambodhi).


The fifth important point, with regard to the thirty-three bodily manifestations of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara), in order to give further meritorious virtues and realisation (riyaku) to sentient beings.

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the number thirty in the title of this “important point” refers to the teaching of the three thousand existential spaces contained in a single instant of mental activity (ichinen sanzen). The remaining three digits refer to the three entities of the Buddha (1) the Dharma entity (hosshin, Dharma-kāya) that is the entirety of life, 2) the wisdom entity (hōshin, sambhoga-kāya), which entails the whole of the wisdom of the Buddha and all that is implied in the content of the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon), and 3) the manifestations of the Buddha that he uses to save sentient beings (ōjin, nirmāna-kāya)).

These three entities also stand for the triple axiom (of 1) the middle way of reality as we perceive it (chū), 2) relativity (, shūnyatā) that, at most, entails all noumena including the wisdom of the Buddha, and 3) the physical aspect of all dharmas that come onto the horizon of our consciousness, and, since everything is endowed with the Buddha nature, they might all be perceived as Buddhas).

Again, The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says: If those thirty-three bodily manifestations of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara) were to include 1) a non-substantial body () which entails all the implications of relativity and noumena, 2) a physical body (ke), and 3) a body that is neither relativity nor mere materiality (chū) and is apparently real to our normal senses of perception, each one of these three bodily axioms would be suspended within the realms of dharmas, and then all these bodily manifestations would amount to thirty different entities.

And finally, if these three entities of the Buddha already mentioned at the beginning of this particular transmission were to be added to all those bodily manifestations just specified, the total would come to thirty-three bodily manifestations. This being so, the number three often refers to the three poisons of greed, anger, and stupidity (of not wanting to know what the meaning of life is all about). Here, in this context, the term “body” or “bodily manifestations” refers to the entities of all sentient beings.

Now, Nichiren and those that follow him reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, which means to devote our lives to and found them on (Nam(u)) the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō) (entirety of existence) permeated by the underlying white lotus flower-like mechanism of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect (Renge) in its whereabouts of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (Kyō), and thereby benefit from the meritorious virtues and deeper realisations (riyaku) brought about by the thirty-three different bodily manifestations of the Bodhisattva Perceiving the Sound of the Existential Dimensions (Kanzeon, Avalokiteshvara).

Continue Reading

Source

dharmagateway.org