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The Ninth Practice of Virtue - Manifesting the Dharma - Bala Paramita

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9. The Practice that is Manifesting the Dharma (Spiritual Power)


The Flower Garland (Avatamsaka) Sutra says:


These Bodhisattvas create a clear, cool reservoir of spirituality for all the gods, humans, devils, sramaneras (ascetics), brahmans (priests), gandharvas and others that live in this world. In accepting and embracing the True Dharma, they do not cut off the lineage of enlightenment.


The great compassion of these Bodhisattvas is strong and firm, and it includes all living beings everywhere in the three thousand-fold realm of spirituality. They transform their bodies into a golden color and do the Buddha’s work. Adapting to the spiritual capacities, natures, and desires of living beings, with their long broad tongues they make the single sound in which all sounds are manifested. They teach the Dharma as appropriate to the occasion and they make all attain joy.

Suppose there were an inexpressibly countless number of living beings, each with different kinds of karma & retribution. Suppose that they all assembled together in a single place with a Bodhisattva in their midst. And suppose that this assembly was broad and vast, filling countless worlds, and that each assembly had an inexpressibly countless number of mouths able to raise the sound of countless hundreds of thousands of millions of voices, with each and all of them asking different questions simultaneously. These Bodhisattvas would be able to answer all their questions and resolve all their doubts in a single instant. With a single assembly being like this, it would also be so for an inexpressibly countless host of assemblies.

And next suppose that in a place small enough to contain only a single tip of hair there arose in thought after thought an inexpressibly countless host of assemblies of the Bodhimandala, and that in all the places small enough to contain a single tip of hair it was also like this through all the lifetimes of the future. Lifetimes would end, but the assemblies would not. All these hosts of assemblies, in thought after thought, would ask different questions. The Bodhisattvas in a single instant would be able to accept each and all of them without fear or aversion, without doubt or mistake, and then make this thought:

If all living beings come to me and ask me with words like this, I will teach the Dharma to them endlessly and ceaselessly, making them all rejoice and abide in the good path, and also make them understand all words and expressions. I will also explain the various different teachings to living beings, and yet I will not discriminate only in terms of certain words or language. Even if they come to me and ask difficult questions in countless different words and expressions, I will receive them all and instantly answer all of them completely with a single sound, everywhere opening up their understanding and awakening them without omitting anything.

This is because they have been anointed with the wisdom of all, they have grasped the treasury of the Dharma without hesitation, they have grasped the bright light that is totally full, and they have attained the perfect wisdom of all wisdoms.

Children of the Buddha - With these Bodhisattva Mahasattvas peacefully abiding in the practice that is the manifesting of the Dharma, they are capable of purifying themselves and the ways and means of non-attachment. Upon seeing that living beings cannot attain liberation, they can abundantly benefit all living beings everywhere.

As they do in this three thousand fold thousand-fold spiritual realm as well as in an inexpressibly countless number of others, their bodies turn a golden color, they perfect the wonderful sound, they are without hindrances or obstacles in all things spiritual and they do the work of the Buddha.

Children of the Buddha. These Bodhisattva Mahasattvas attain ten kinds of lives. They attain:

  1. The life that transcends spiritual destinies, because they enter into the boundless spiritual realm that extinguishes all the worlds
  2. The life of spiritual destinies, because they enter into the boundless spiritual realms that produces all the worlds.
  3. The life that is without birth, because they abide in the unborn equanimity that is the spirituality of the Dharma.
  4. The life that is without extinction, because all speech and expression about extinction cannot be grasped
  5. The life that is not real, because they grasp the absolute reality as-it-is.
  6. The life that is not false, because they adapt to that which presented before it.
  7. The life that does not change, because they arefree from death in this world and the birth in the other world
  8. The life that is not destroyed, because the nature of the spiritual realm is indestructible.
  9. The life of a uniform aspect, because the way of worldly speech and language is cut off.
  10. The life that is without aspects, because they skillfully observe the aspects of the spirituality of the Dharma

In realizing the ten kinds of lives like this:

Children of the Buddha - This is called the ninth practice of the Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, that of Manifesting the Spirituality of the Dharma. For all living beings they make the clear cool reservoir of the Dharma and they are able to fathom the source of all things spiritual. This is called the ninth practice of the Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, that which is manifesting the Dharma.