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The Second Practice of Virtue - Abundantly Benefiting Living Beings - Sila Paramita

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2. The Practice of Abundantly Benefiting Living Beings (With the Precepts of Moral Purity)

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The Flower Garland (Avatamsaka) Sutra says:

Children of the Buddha: What is the Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s practice of abundant benefits?

These Bodhisattvas protect and embrace the precepts of moral purity. Their minds are without attachments to visions, voices, fragrance, flavors or contacts. They also teach this to living beings. They do not seek majestic powers, social status, riches, appearances, or royal ranks. They are without attachments in any of these things. They only strongly embrace the precepts of moral purity and make this thought:

“I embrace the precepts of moral purity and I am resolved to eliminate all fetters and troubles that come from greedy desire, hardship, oppression, slander, disorder and defilement. I resolve to attain the equanimity of the True Dharma that is praised by the Buddha.

Children of the Buddha: When Bodhisattvas embrace the precepts of moral purity like this, countless hundreds, thousands and millions of great evil devils will come to the Bodhisattvas each day, each attended by limitless, countless hundreds, thousands and million of beautiful goddesses that are skilled in the arts of the five desires and possessing various kinds of amusements. They will try to tempt the Bodhisattvas from the path of enlightenment. At this time the Bodhisattvas will make this thought:

“These five desires are obstacles to the path of enlightenment. They obstruct and interfere with the supreme Bodhi (awakening).”

Because of this they will not bear a single thought of sensory desire. With a mind that is pure like that of the Buddha, the only exceptions will be a desire for the ways and means to instruct living beings and not abandoning the wish for the wisdom of all.

Children of the Buddha: The Bodhisattvas do not desire to cause the distress of a single living being because of desire. They would rather die than do so. Upon seeing the Buddha, the Bodhisattvas will not bear a single thought of desire, much less act upon it. At this time the Bodhisattvas only make this thought:

“During the long night, living beings have thoughts of the five desires, chase after the five desires and are greedily attached to the five desires. Their minds are fixed on and addicted to them, and they follow the currents and are not in control of them. I must now make these devils, these goddesses and all living beings abide in the supreme precepts of morality.”

Having abided in the precepts of moral purity, they will not turn and retreat from the wish for the wisdom of all, and they will attain the supreme universal enlightenment and enter in the Nirvana that is without a trace. Why is this so? This is the work that one should be doing, following the Buddha and cultivating and training like this. Having trained, one will eliminate all of the evil practices and reasoning based on egocentrism and lack of knowledge. With wisdom one will enter into all of the Buddha’s enlightenment, teach of it to living beings and make them eliminate all the distortions of reality, even though one understands that

These delusions are neither inside nor outside of spirituality, and living beings are neither inside nor outside of spirituality. All of these things are without any substantial reality or existence. They quickly come and quickly go and they do not having any solidity or certainty. They are like a dream, like a reflection, like hallucinations and mirages, deceiving the foolish. Those that understand like this are able to awaken thoroughly to all of the practices, penetrate and reach Life & Death as well as Nirvana and realize the awakening (Bodhi) of the Buddha.

Children of the Buddha: These Bodhisattvas also make this thought:

“I should follow and obey all The One That Have Come, be free from all the practices of the world and possess all the teachings of the Buddhas. Abiding in the supreme place of equanimity and equally observing all living beings, I will clearly penetrate the sphere of the spiritual realm. Free from mistakes, detached from discriminations and having remounced all attachments, I will skillfully attained liberation. The mind ever abides peacefully in the supreme and very deep wisdom that is inexpressible, independent, unstirred, limitless, boundless, inexhaustible, and beyond all aspects.

Children of the Buddha: This is called the Bodhisattva Mahasattva’s second practice, that of Abundant Benefits.

Source

tientai.net