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Great Strength Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration

Great Strength Bodhisattva’s Perfect Penetration Through Mindfulness of the Buddha

Translation into Chinese by Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva of Yao Qin Dynasty

Provisional Translation into English by Mark Andrews after using the reference materials from Dharma Realm Buddhist University

Dharma Prince Great Strength( Mahastamaprapta), together with fifty-two Bodhisattvas of similar rank, arose from his seat, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and said to the Buddha: “I remember when, as many aeons ago as there are sands in the Ganges, a Buddha called Infinite Light appeared in the world. In that same aeon, there were twelve successive Thus Come Ones; the last was called Light Surpassing the Sun and Moon.

That Buddha taught me Buddha recitation samadhi. Suppose that there were a person who always remembered someone else, but suppose that the person he remembered had entirely forgotten him. If two such people were to meet, even if they were to see each other, they will not appear to take notice. It would be as if they did not recognize each other. But when two people remember each other to a point where the memory of each other is deep, then in life after life they remain together, like a form and its shadow, and they are never in opposition.

The Thus Come Ones in all the ten directions are mindful of living beings, out of pity for them, in the same way that a mother is mindful of her child. If the child runs away, of what use is the mother’s concern? But if the child remembers the mother in the same way that the mother remembers the child, then in life after life the mother and child will not be far apart.

If living beings remember the Buddha, then certainly they will see the Buddha, either now or in the future. They will never be far from the Buddha, and their minds will awaken by themselves, without external assistance. A person who has been near incense carries a fragrance on his person. It is the same in this case; it is called an adornment of fragrant light.

On the causal ground, I used mindfulness of the Buddha to gain patience with the non-production of Dharmas. Now, in this world, I gather in all those who are mindful of the Buddha and bring them back to the Pure Land. The Buddha asks about Perfect Penetration. I would select none other than gathering in the six organs through continuous pure mindfulness to obtain samadhi. This is the foremost method.”

Sutra on the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teaching

Sutra on the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teaching 

Translation into Chinese by Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva of Yao Qin DynastyProvisional Translation into English by The Buddhist Text Translation Society,Dharma Realm Buddhist University, City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas(1999 )

When Shakyamuni Buddha first turned the Wheel of Dharma, he crossed over theVenerable Ajnatakaundinya. The very last time he spoke the Dharma, he crossed overthe Venerable Subhadhra. All of those whom he should have crossed over had alreadybeen crossed over. He lay between the Twin Sala trees and was about to enter Nirvana.At this time, in the middle period of the night, all was quiet, without any sound. Thenfor the sake of all of his disciples, he spoke on the essentials of the Dharma.All of you Bhikshus! After my Nirvana, you should revere and honor the Pratimoksha.It is like finding a light in darkness, or like a poor person obtaining a treasure. You should know that it is your great teacher, and is not different from my actual presence in the world. 

Those of you who uphold the pure precepts should not buy, sell or trade. You should not covet fields or buildings, or keep servants or raise animals. You should stay faraway from all kinds of agriculture and wealth as you would avoid a pit of fire. You should not cut down grass or trees, plow fields or dig the earth. Nor may youcompound medicines, prophesize good and evil, observe the constellations, casthoroscopes by the waxing and waning of the moon, or compute astrological fortunes.All of these activities are improper. 

Regulate yourselves by eating at the appropriate time and by living in purity. You should not participate in worldly affairs or act as an envoy, nor should you becomeinvolved with magical spells and elixirs of immorality, or with making connectionswith high ranking people, being affectionate towards them and condescendingtowards the lowly. With an upright mind and proper mindfulness you should seek to cross over. Do not conceal your faults or put on a special appearance to delude themultitudes. 

Know your limits and be content with the four kinds of offerings. When you receive offerings, do not store them up.This is a general explanation of the characteristics of upholding the precepts. 

The precepts are the root of proper freedom; therefore they are called the Pratimoksha (lit.The root of freedom). By relying on these precepts, you will give rise to all dhyana concentrations, and reach the wisdom of the cessation of suffering. 

For this reason, Bhikshus, you should uphold the pure precepts and not allow them tobe broken. 

If a person is able to uphold the pure precepts, he will, as a result, be ableto have good dharmas. If one lacks the pure precepts, no good merit and virtue canarise. Therefore you should know that the precepts are the dwelling place for theforemost and secure merit and virtue. 

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Eight Great Awakenings Sutra

Eight Great Awakenings Sutra

Chinese Version was translated by Shramana An Shr Gao of the Latter Han DynastyEnglish version was translated by the Buddhist Text Translation Society

Buddhist Disciples! At all times, day and night, sincerely recite and bear in mind these eight truths that cause great people to awaken.

The First Awakening: The world is impermanent. Countries are perilous and fragile. The body is a source of pain, ultimately empty. The five skandhas are not the true self. Life and Death is nothing but a series of transformationshallucinatory, unreal, uncontrollable. The intellect is a wellspring of turpitude, the body a breeding ground of offenses. Investigate and contemplate these truths. Gradually break free of death and rebirth.

The Second Awakening: Too much desire brings pain. Death and rebirth are wearisome ordeals, originating from our thoughts of greed and lust. By lessening desires we can realize absolute truth and enjoy peace, freedom, and health in body and mind.

The Third Awakening: Our minds are never satisfied or content with just enough. The more we obtain, the more we want. Thus we create offenses and perform evil deeds. Bodhisattvas dont wish to make these mistakes. Instead, they choose to be content. They nurture the Way, living a quiet life in humble surroundingstheir sole occupation, cultivating wisdom.

The Fourth Awakening: Idleness and self-indulgence are the downfall of people. With unflagging vigor, great people break through their afflictions and baseness. They vanquish and defeat the four kinds of demons, and escape from the prison of the five skandhas.

The Fifth Awakening: Stupidity and ignorance are the cause of death and rebirth. Bodhisattvas apply themselves and deeply appreciate study and erudition, constantly striving to expand their wisdom and refine their eloquence. Nothing brings them greater joy than teaching and transforming living beings.

The Sixth Awakening: Suffering in poverty breeds deep resentment. Wealth unfairly distributed creates ill-will and conflict among people. Thus, Bodhisattvas practice giving. They treat friend and foe alike. They do not harbor grudges or despise amoral people.

The Seventh Awakening: The five desires are a source of offenses and grief. Truly great people, laity included, are not blighted by worldly pleasures. Instead, they aspire to don the three-piece precept robe and the blessing bowl of monastic life. Their ultimate ambition is to leave the home life and to cultivate the Path with impeccable purity. Their virtuous qualities are lofty and sublime; their attitude towards all creatures, kind and compassionate.

The Eighth Awakening: Like a blazing inferno, birth and death are plagued with suffering and affliction. Therefore, great people resolve to cultivate the Great Vehicle, to rescue all beings, to endure hardship on behalf of others, and to lead everyone to ultimate happiness.

These are the Eight Truths that all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and great people awaken to. Once awakened, they even more energetically continue to cultivate the Path. Steeping themselves in kindness and compassion, they grow in wisdom. They sail the Dharma ship across to Nirvanas shore, and then return on the sea of birth and death to rescue living beings. They use these Eight Truths to show the proper course for living beings, causing them to recognize the anguish of birth and death. They inspire all to forsake the five desires, and to cultivate their minds in the manner of Sages.

If Buddhist disciples recite this Sutra on the Eight Awakenings, and constantly ponder its meaning, they will certainly eradicate boundless offenses, advance towards Bodhi, and will quickly realize Proper Enlightenment. They will always be free of birth and death, and will abide in eternal bliss.

Translated from Chinese into English by Buddhist Text Translation SocietyCity of Ten Thousand BuddhasTalmage, California

Amitabha Sutra

The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra Based on the Chinese text translated by Tripitaka Master Kumarajiva of Yao Qin.

Thus I have heard. At one time the Buddha dwelt at Shravasti, in the Jeta Grove, in the Garden of the Benefactor of Orphans and the Solitary, together with a gathering of great Bhikshus, twelve hundred fifty in all, all great Arhats whom the assembly knew and recognized: elders Shariputra, Mahamaudgalyayana, Mahakashyapa, Mahakatyayana, Mahakaushthila, Revata, Shuddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ananda, Rahula, Gavampati, Pindola Bharadvaja, Kalodayin, Mahakapphina, Vakkula, Aniruddha, and others such as these, all great disciples; together with all the Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas: Dharma Prince Manjushri, Ajita Bodhisattva, Gandhahastin Bodhisattva, Nityodyukta Bodhisattva, and others such as these, all great Bodhisattvas, and together with Shakra, chief among gods, and the numberless great multitudes from all the heavens. At that time the Buddha told the Elder Shariputra, “Passing from here through hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhalands to the West, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss. In this land a Buddha called Amitabha right now teaches the Dharma.

“Shariputra, for what reason is this land called Ultimate Bliss? “All living beings of this country endure none of the sufferings, but enjoy every bliss. Therefore it is called ‘Ultimate Bliss.’ “Moreover, Shariputra, this Land of Ultimate Bliss is everywhere surrounded by seven tiers of railings, seven layers of netting, and seven rows of trees, all formed from the four treasures and for this reason named ‘Ultimate Bliss.’ “Moreover, Shariputra, this Land of Ultimate Bliss has pools of the seven jewels, filled with the waters of eight meritorious virtues. The bottom of each pool is pure, spread over with golden sand. On the four sides are stairs of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, and crystal; above are raised pavilions adorned with gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother-of-pearl, red pearls, and carnelian. “In the pools are lotuses as large as carriage wheels, green colored of green light, yellow colored of yellow light, red colored of red light, white colored of white light, subtly, wonderfully, fragrant and pure. “Shariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned.

“Moreover, Shariputra, in that Buddhaland there is always heavenly music and the ground is yellow gold. In the six periods of the day and night a heavenly rain of mandarava flowers falls, and throughout the clear morning, each living being of that land, with sacks full of the myriads of wonderful flowers, makes offerings to the hundreds of thousands of millions of Buddhas of the other directions. At mealtime they return to their own country, and having eaten, they stroll around. “Shariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned. “Moreover Shariputra, in this country there are always rare and wonderful vari-colored birds: white cranes, peacocks, parrots, and egrets, kalavinkas, and two-headed birds. In the six periods of the day and night the flocks of birds sing forth harmonious and elegant sounds; their clear and joyful sounds proclaim the five roots, the five powers, the seven bodhi shares, the eight sagely way shares, and dharmas such as these. When living beings of this land hear these sounds, they are altogether mindful of the Buddha, mindful of the Dharma, and mindful of the Sangha. “Shariputra, do not say that these birds are born as retribution for their karmic offences. For what reason? In this Buddhaland there are no three evil ways of rebirth. Shariputra, in this Buddhaland not even the names of the three evil ways exist, how much the less their actuality! Desiring that the Dharma-sound be widely proclaimed, Amitabha Buddha by transformation made this multitude of birds. “Shariputra, in that Buddhaland when the soft wind blows, the rows of jewelled trees and jewelled nets give forth subtle and wonderful sounds, like one hundred thousand kinds of music played at the same time. All those who hear these sounds naturally bring forth in their hearts mindfulness of the Buddha, mindfulness of the Dharma, and mindfulness of the Sangha. “Shariputra, the realization of the Land of Ultimate Bliss is thus meritoriously adorned. “Shariputra, what do you think? Why is this Buddha called Amitabha? Shariputra, the brilliance of that Buddha’s light is measureless, illumining the lands of the ten directions everywhere without obstruction, for this reason he is called Amitabha.

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Diamond Sutra

Chapter 1.

This is what I heard.At one time the Buddha was staying in the Jeta Grove, near the city of Sravasti.With him there was a community of 1,250 venerable monks and devoted disciples.
One day before dawn, the Buddha clothed himself, and along with his disciples took up his alms bowl and entered the city to beg for food door to door, as was his custom.After he had returned and eaten, he put away his bowl and cloak, bathed his feet, and then sat with his legs crossed and body upright upon the seat arranged for him.
He began mindfully fixing his attention in front of himself, while many monks approached the Buddha, and showing great reverence, seated themselves around him.

Chapter 2.

After a time a most venerable monk named Subhuti, who was sitting in the congregation, rose from his seat.
He uncovered his right shoulder, placed his right knee on the ground, and as he joined his palms together he respectfully bowed and then addressed the Buddha:
“Most Honored One, It is truly majestic how much knowledge and wisdom your monks and disciples have been given through your most inspired teachings! It is remarkable that you look after our welfare so selflessly and so completely.”
“Most Honored One, I have a question to ask you. If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom, what should they do to help quiet their drifting minds and help subdue their craving thoughts?”
The Buddha then replied:”So it is as you say, Subhuti. Monks and disciples have been favored with the highest favor by the Buddha, the monks and disciples have been instructed with the highest instruction by the Buddha. The Buddha is constantly mindful of the welfare of his followers. Listen carefully with your full attention, and I will speak to your question.””If sons and daughters of good families want to develop the highest, most fulfilled and awakened mind, if they wish to attain the Highest Perfect Wisdom and quiet their drifting minds while subduing their craving thoughts, then they should follow what I am about to say to you. Those who follow what I am about to say here will be able to subdue their discriminative thoughts and craving desires. It is possible to attain perfect tranquility and clarity of mind by absorbing and dwelling on the teachings I am about to give.”Then the Buddha addressed the assembly.

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