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The Dharma Flower Sutra seen through the Oral Transmission of Nichiren Daishōnin: The Twenty-fourth Chapter on the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myo ‘on, Gadgadasvara)

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


The first important point, concerning the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness.

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō ’on, Gadgadasvara) represents the sentient beings of the ten (psychological) realms of dharmas (which are 1) hells, 2) hungry ghosts, 3) animality, 4) shura (ashura), 5) humankind, 6) deva (ten) i.e., heavenly beings, 7) intellectual seekers, 8) partially enlightened, 9) bodhisattvas, 10) Buddhas). The word “Utterness” has the connotation of being something that can neither be thought out nor put into words (fushigi) (since it includes the whole of existence).

The wordsound” in this name refers to all the sounds and utterances and languages of all sentient beings. These vocal noises are the vocalisations of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma) (as the expression of life in each and every being). These sounds have and will always exist throughout the past, present, and future. The persons who accordingly use their loving-kindness to take away the suffering of sentient beings and replace it with pleasure or joy can be referred to as bodhisattvas.

Again, The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) states that the sound of Utterness is the recitation by Nichiren and those that follow him of 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). This is why our troublesome worries (bonnō, klesha) are not something apart from our inherent enlightenment (life itself) or why the cycles of living dying are not separate from nirvana (in the sense that they are the entity of the Dharma (hosshin, Dharma-kāya) and are both the sound of Utterness.


Thereupon Shākyamuni, in his giant manifestation, emitted light from the fleshy excrescence on the top of his skull, as well as giving out rays of brightness from the curl of white hair between his eyebrows, (according to Brahmanical teachings at the time of Shākyamuni, these two particular characteristics of the Buddha having been included in his thirty-two physical features.) . . .


The second important point, concerning the fleshy excrescence on the top of the Buddha’s skull and the curl of white hair between his eyebrows.

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that these two physical characteristics of good omen have come about due to the Buddha’s filial piety and obedience towards his teachers and those people who were above him, as well as reverently holding to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), which is the superlative of loving subsistence for sentient beings. The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) also says that the curl of white hair between the Buddha’s eyebrows represents the seminal fluid of his father and the fleshy excrescence on the top of his skull represents the ovarian secretion of his mother. These two secretions, one white and the other red, appear in the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) as these physical characteristics of good omen being the fleshy excrescence on the top of the Buddha’s skull and the curl of white hair between his eyebrows. Again, The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the fleshy excrescence on the top of the Buddha’s skull represents the wisdom of the real suchness that exists according to karmic circumstances (as it occurs in our lives), whereas the curl of white hair between his eyebrows represents the principle of the real suchness that is eternally unchanging (as it is inscribed on the Fundament Object of Veneration (gohonzon)).

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), thereby becoming fully endowed with these physical characteristics of good omen.

At the time of our birth, the red colour of the blood stands for the fleshy excrescence on the top of the Buddha’s head (since we are all endowed with the nature of the Buddha in the form of life itself which is Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō), and the whiteness of the bones that remain after our death represents the white curl of hair between the Buddha’s eyebrows. The red colour at the time of our births represents the wisdom of the real suchness that exists according to karmic circumstances (as it comes about in our lives). But the whiteness of the bones that are left over after our death symbolises the real suchness that is eternally unchanging (as it is represented on the Fundamental Object of Veneration (gohonzon)). This is an esoteric teaching and should be kept secret.


. . . . completely illuminating the eastern direction, as far as a hundred eighty myriads of myriads of myriads of times the number of grains of sand in the Ganges of existential dimensions of the Buddhas.

Beyond this number of existential realms, there was a dimension that was called Embellished with Pure Light. In that existential dimension, there was a Buddha called the Tathāgata Sovereign Wisdom of Pure Constellations of Flowers (Shuku’ ō’ke, Nakshatrājasamkusumita) with all the titles of a BuddhaWorthy of Offerings, Correctly and Universally Enlightened, whose knowledge and conduct is Perfect, Completely Free from the Cycles of Living and Dying, with A Complete Understanding of the Realms of Existence, Lord Supreme, The Master who Brings the Passions and Delusions of Sentient Beings into Harmonious Control, The Teacher of the deva (ten) and Humankind, The Buddha, and The World Honoured One.

He was surrounded by a vast assembly of a boundlessly infinite number of respectful and venerating bodhisattvas listening to his explanations of the Dharma. The rays of pure brightness that Shākyamuni emitted from the curl of the white hair between his eyebrows lit up the whole of this Buddha’s existential dimension.

In this dimension Embellished with Pure Light, there was a bodhisattva called Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) who had for a long time previously set down an abundance of foundations of virtue. He had personally and reverently frequented, as well as having made offerings to, hundreds of thousands of myriads of myriads of myriads of Buddhas, which had led to his attainment of extremely profound wisdom. He had also reached the ability to concentrate on the single object of meditation called the samādhi of the distinctive mark of the banner of Utterness, the concentration on a single object called the Lotus Flower-like mechanism of the relativity () of the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect that pervades the entirety of existence (the samādhi of the Dharma Flower), the meditation on the single object of Pure Virtue (the samādhi of pure virtue), the samādhi of the Play of the Sovereign of Constellations, the samādhi devoid of affinities, the samādhi of the gesture (in, mudra) of wisdom, the samādhi of Understanding the Words and Languages of All Sentient Beings, the samādhi of Gathering All the Meritorious Virtues Together, the samādhi of Immaculate Purity, the samādhi of the Amusing Play of the Reaches of the Mind, the samādhi of the Torch of Wisdom, the samādhi of the Sovereign of Perception, the samādhi of the Brilliance of Pure Light, the samādhi of the Pure Receptacle, the samādhi of More than One Formula and the samādhi of the Rotation of the Sun. In the same manner, this Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) had accomplished the ability to concentrate on as many samādhis as a hundred thousand myriads of myriads of myriads of times the number of grains of sand in the Ganges.

As soon as the light emitted from Shākyamuni shone onto the body of the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara), he immediately said to the Buddha Sovereign Wisdom of Pure Constellations of Flowers: “World Honoured One, I must cross over to the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu) in order to make my obeisance to the Buddha Shākyamuni, so as to personally approach him as well as making offerings to him. Also, I would like to meet the Bodhisattva Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) Prince of the Dharma, the Bodhisattva Sovereign Medicine, the Bodhisattva Gift of Bravery, the Bodhisattva Intent on Superior Practice (Jōgyō, Vishishtachāritra), the Bodhisattva Sovereign of Ornamentation, and the Bodhisattva Superior Medicine.”

Thereupon the Buddha Sovereign Wisdom of Pure Constellations of Flowers (Shuku’ ō’ke, Nakshatrājasamkusumita) said to the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara): “You must not go into that dimension with contempt for it. You must not think of it as being inferior. Convinced and believing bodhisattva, the terrain of the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu) is unequal with its heights and depths that are of both earth and rock. All its mountains are filled with evil impurities. The person of the Buddha is rather on the small side. Also the bodhisattvas in his assembly tend to be small in stature. Your body is forty-two thousand yojanas tall, whereas mine is six hundred eighty myriads of yojanas high. Your person is the most impressive, bright, and splendid, due to the hundreds of thousands of merits you have acquired. It is for this reason you should not go into that dimension with ideas of superiority, neither towards its Buddha and bodhisattvas nor its terrain. You must not give way to thinking they are inferior.”

The Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) said to the Buddha Sovereign Wisdom of Pure Constellations of Flowers: “If I were to go and visit that Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu) it is entirely due to the powers of the Tathāgata, the play of the reaches of the mind of the Tathāgata and the adornment of the meritorious virtues of the wisdom of the Tathāgata.”

There and then the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara), without getting up from where he was seated and without moving his body, entered into a perfect meditative absorption into the one object in his mind and, by means of his powers of concentration (sanmai, samādhi), he arrived at Spirit Vulture Peak (Ryōjusen, Gridhrakūta) not far from the seat of the Dharma. He then created a phantasmagoria of eighty-four thousand lotus flowers, shaped out of the rarest of materials. Their stems were of gold from the river Jambu (Enbu), with leaves of white silver, whose stamens were of diamond, and their calyxes were of the finest porcelain.

Then the Bodhisattva Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) Prince of the Dharma saw these lotuses. He said to the Buddha: “World Honoured One, what is the reason for the appearance of such omens as several thousands of myriads of white lotus flowers whose stalks are of gold from the river Jambu (Enbu), whose leaves are of white silver, whose stamens are of diamond and their calyxes are of the finest porcelain?”

The Buddha Shākyamuni addressed the Bodhisattva Mañjushrī (Monjushiri), saying: “The Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) who is from the dimension (kuni) of the Buddha Sovereign Wisdom of Constellations of Flowers (Shuku’ ō’ke, Nakshatrājasamkusumita), who is surrounded by eighty-four thousand bodhisattvas, is coming to this Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), in order to make offerings, to approach me personally and to render homage, and also to make offerings to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), because he wishes to listen to it.”

Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) then asked the Buddha: “What foundations for goodness has this bodhisattva established? What meritorious virtues has he practised to be able to possess such reaches of the mind? What meditative concentrations (sanmai, samādhi) has he exercised? We ask you to tell us the particular name of this samādhi, because we wish to apply these practices ourselves. By practising this samādhi, we will be able to see the shape and special physical characteristics of this bodhisattva – his size, his majestic qualities, and his bearing. My only wish is that through the reaches of the mind of the World Honoured One, I will be able to see him when he arrives.”

Thereupon the Buddha Shākyamuni addressed Mañjushrī (Monjushiri), saying: “The Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna) who long ago has entered into the extinction of nirvana, will indeed make his special characteristics manifest.”

Then the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna), said to the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara), “Convinced and believing bodhisattva, Mañjushrī (Monjushiri) Prince of the Dharma would like to see how you look.”

At that instant, the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) vanished from his habitual dimension and reappeared in the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), in the company of eighty-four thousand bodhisattvas. All the dimensions that they crossed over shook with six kinds of earthquake. Everywhere it rained flowers of the seven precious materials (gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian). Hundreds of thousands of kinds of music and drum rhythms resounded on their own. The eyes of that bodhisattva were as large as the leaves of blue lotus plants.

Even if one were to put a hundred thousand myriads of moons together, the resplendence of this bodhisattva’s person would have surpassed them. His body was the colour of pure gold, enhanced by innumerable hundreds of thousands of meritorious virtues, effulgent and respect-inspiring, as well as being completely endowed with the characteristic physical marks of a bodhisattva. His body was as substantial as an ordinary human being.

He went up onto one of the terraces made of the seven precious materials (gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian) (in his own dimension) and levitated to a height of seven fan palms, while at the same time being surrounded by the assembly of bodhisattvas who were showing their reverence. He then arrived at Spirit Vulture Peak (Ryōjusen, Gridhrakūta) in this Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), with a jewelled garland worth a hundred thousand, and approached the place where the Buddha Shākyamuni was seated.

The Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) bowed his head towards the Buddha’s feet, offered the jewelled garland, and said these words: “World Honoured One, the Buddha Sovereign Wisdom of the Constellations of Flowers of Purity (Shuku’ ō’ke, Nakshatrājasamkusumita) asked about the World Honoured One’s welfare and hoped that you have little sickness, few troubles, and agility in your movements. Are you practising in serenity? Are the four elements (earth, water, fire, wind) in harmony? Do you have the patience to carry out the affairs of this world?

“Are the sentient beings in your dimension easy to ferry to salvation? Are they exempt from greedy wanting, wrathful anger, doltish stupidity, invidious jealousy, and mean arrogance? Are they filial towards their parents, and have they respect for the people who have taken up the religious way of life? Do they have erroneous views that lead to wrongdoing? Are they misguided due to their five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, bodily touch)?

World Honoured One, are the sentient beings in your dimension able to repress and sublimate all the various kinds of demoniacal bad feelings? Did the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna), who long ago passed into the extinction of nirvana, come in his stupa made of the seven precious materials (gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian) in order to listen to the Dharma? Did Shākyamuni ask about the Tathāgata Abundant Treasure’s (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna) welfare, as to whether he abided in serenity with few troubles and would his patience go on forever? World Honoured One, I would now like to see the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna) in the flesh. My only wish is that the World Honoured One will show me and let me see him.”

Thereupon the Buddha Shākyamuni spoke to the Buddha Abundant Treasure, (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna) and said: “This Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) would like to be able to see you in your physical form.” Thereupon the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna) said to the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara): “Excellent, excellent, you have come here to make an offering to the Buddha Shākyamuni, to be able to listen to the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō) and to meet bodhisattvas such as Mañjushrī (Monjushiri).”

Then the Bodhisattva White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī) reverently asked the Buddha, saying: “World Honoured One, what are the roots of goodness that this Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) has put down? What are the meritorious virtues he has cultivated, in order to possess such reaches of the mind?

The Buddha then told the Bodhisattva White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī): There was once in the past a Buddha who was called Sovereign of the Pearls of Thunder in the Clouds, Tathāgata, one who had attained supreme reward of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) and the unexcelled, correct, and all-embracing enlightenment. The terrain whereupon he depended for an existence was called The Appearance of All the Dimensions Where Existence Takes Place. His kalpa was named Sight of Joy.

Over a period of two thousand years, the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) made offerings of myriads of different kinds of music to the Buddha Sovereign of the Pearls of Thunder in the Clouds and, at the same time, presented him with eighty-four thousand alms bowls made out of the seven precious materials (gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian).


The third important point, with regard to the eighty-four thousand alms bowls made out of the seven precious materials.

The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the title of this important point is a quotation from the sutra that refers to the alms bowls that the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) reverently offered to the Buddha Sovereign of Thunder in the Clouds.

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 are making an offering of eighty-four thousand alms bowls with the due reverence to all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future.

The number eighty-four thousand stands for all the troubles that plague us in our existential dimension. But when we reverently recite Nam Myōhō Renge Kyō, we become open to the meaning of life (arawaruru), in the form of eighty-four thousand revelations to understand it. There are eighty-four thousand Chinese ideograms that comprise the whole of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Hokke-kyō), which has to include the two sutras – 1) the introductory text, the Sutra on the Implications Without Bounds (Muryōgi-kyō), and 2) the concluding Sutra on Bodhisattva Universally Worthy (Fugen, Samantabhadra).

Again, The Oral Transmission on the Meaning of the Dharma Flower Sutra (Ongi Kuden) says that the number eight refers to the eight distresses which are 1) birth and growing up, 2) maturity and old age, 3) sickness and decline, 4) the uncertainty about the implications of dying, 5) parting with what or whom we love, 6) meeting with what or whom we hate, 7) disappointment due to unattained aims, and 8) all the damage brought about by the five aggregates (go ‘on, pancha skandāh) (that cloud over our inherent enlightenment). The number four stands for 1) being born and growing up, 2) maturity and old age, 3) sickness and decline, and 4) the uncertainty of the meaning of death (which is the only way life can renovate itself).

The seven precious materials (gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, agate, ruby, and cornelian) represent the seven openings in our heads (two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and one mouth). You should know that a monk’s alms bowl is a receptacle to hold wisdom. It is a means whereby monks accept and hold to the water of the wisdom of the Utterness of the Dharma (Myōhō, Saddharma).


Due to these causes, concomitancies and fruitions, the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) has been reborn in the dimension of the Buddha Sovereign of the Wisdom of the Constellations of Flowers of Purity (Shuku’ ō’ke, Nakshatrājasamkusumita), as well as being endowed with those special reaches of the mind.

Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī), what is your opinion, and what do you say? At the time the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) made offerings to the Buddha Sovereign of the Sound of Thunder in the Clouds, of music and vessels made of precious materials, could this person have been anyone different?

Now, Sound of Utterness, the completely evolved bodhisattva who had refused his own extinction into nirvana for the sake of the Buddha enlightenment of all sentient beings (bosatsu makasatsu, bodhisattva mahāsattva) is the person in front of you, Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī). This Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) had already in the past personally approached and made offerings to innumerable Buddhas. For a long time, he has been planting roots of virtue. He has also encountered a hundred thousand myriads of myriads of myriads of times the number of grains of sand in the Ganges of Buddhas. Virtue of the White Lotus, you only see the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) in his bodily form before you, but this bodhisattva has manifested himself with different sorts of bodies in numerous places, in order to expound this sutra.

Sometimes he has appeared as Brahmā; at other times he has appeared as a Shiva sovereign among the deva (ten). Also, on other occasions he has appeared as the person of Taishaku (Indra), and again as the universal celestial general, or even as the heavenly sovereign Bishamon (Vaishravana). He has also appeared as one of the sage-like sovereign whose chariot wheels roll everywhere without hindrance (tenrinnō, chakravartin).

Again, he has also appeared as an ordinary sovereign, or has manifested himself as an elder, or as a person who is a practising Buddhist householder, and has even made his appearance as a powerful functionary, or as a Brahman, as a monk, nun, or even as a male lay practitioner or a female lay practitioner. Or either he has manifested himself as the wife of a practising Buddhist householder or as the spouse of an elder. He has also manifested himself as the wife of a powerful functionary or even as the wife of a Brahmin. He has even manifested himself as an innocent boy or girl.

He has revealed himself as a deva (ten) (whpo are celestial shining beings like the angels in the Abrahamic religions, or the gods in either Greek, Roman, or Nordic mythology), a dragon (ryū, naga) (seeming to be elemental forces in control of the climate in general, and their appearance being as they are depicted in Far Eastern art), a yasha (yaksha) )( who are earth spirits comparable to dwarves, gnomes, and “the little people” in our own folklore), a kendabba (gandharva) (who are the musicians in the paradises of the Taishaku (Indra) class of Brahmanic divinities), a shura (ashura) (who are similar to the titans in Greco-Roman mythology that were always vying with the deva (ten) for power and, similar, in northern folklore, to giants and ogres), a karura (garuda) (who are mythical birds in the Brahmanic pantheon and the mortal enemies of dragons, unless they are ostensibly Buddhist or are in possession of a Buddhist charm), a kinnara (kimnara) (who are exotic birds with human torsos), a mahoraga (mahorāga) (who are huge serpents that belong to the Brahmanic pantheon and crawl on their chests and which seem to have been a kind of earth spirit like the yasha (yaksha)), along with other non-humans with human intelligence, in order to expound this sutra.

All of those who are in the infernal dimensions, those that are in the dimensions of craving, and those that are prey to their animal instincts and act according to their innate impulsions, along with other sentient beings in difficult circumstances – all can be rescued and relieved of their suffering, even to the extent of those persons who reside in the women’s apartments at the back of royal palaces, who from time to time transform their bodies into women. Bodhisattva Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī), this Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) is capable of rescuing and saving the sentient beings in the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu).

This Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) has appeared physically in various forms in the terrain and abode upon which all sentient beings of this Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu) depend for an existence, in order to explain the meaning of this sutra. There has never been any dimension in his wisdom or the reaches of his mind, so that he can change his usual form.

This bodhisattva, by means of his various kinds of wisdom, is capable of shedding a bright light onto the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu), with the intent that he can bring to all sentient beings a wisdom that arises from knowing. It is also the same with as many dimensions in all the directions as there are ten myriads of times the number of grains of sand in the Ganges.

If somebody needs to be ferried across the sea of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by one of the people who have exerted themselves to attain the highest stage of the teachings of the individual vehicle (shōjō, hīnayāna) through listening to the Buddha (shōmon, shrāvakā), then this bodhisattva appears in the form of one of those people, in order to expound the Dharma for the purpose of conveying that person to the shores of enlightenment.

If need be, the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) will take on the form of a person who is partially enlightened due to efforts to find a real meaning of existence (hyakushibutsu, engaku, pratyekabuddha), in order to explain the Dharma. Again, if need be, he will use the form of a bodhisattva, in order to save a person who needs instruction from a bodhisattva. Also if there is a person who needs to be ferried across the sea of living and dying to the shore of nirvana by a Buddha, then he uses the form of a Buddha in order to explain the Dharma.

In this way, according to the needs of the individuals who need to be ferried over the sea of mortality to the shore of nirvana, he appears in the manifestation that is necessary, even to the point that, for the people who wish to become completely extinct in nirvana, the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) reveals to them the passage to that extinction.

Bodhisattva Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī), such are the reaches of the mind and wisdom of the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) who has refused his own extinction into nirvana for the sake of the Buddha enlightenment of all sentient beings (bosatsu makasatsu, bodhisattva mahāsattva).

Then the Bodhisattva Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī) addressed the Buddha, saying: “World Honoured One, this Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) has certainly put down deep roots of goodness. World Honoured One, in what perfect absorption into the single object of his meditation (samādhi) does this bodhisattva abide, that makes him capable of ferrying sentient beings from the shores of mortality to that of nirvana by means of manifesting himself in different forms?”

The Buddha said to the Bodhisattva Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī), “Believing and convinced bodhisattva, the perfect absorption into the single object of meditation is called ‘the manifestation of all bodily forms’.”

The Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) abides in this perfect absorption into the single object of his meditation (samādhi), and in this way, he is able to bring innumerable benefits to sentient beings. All the eighty-four thousand bodhisattvas who accompanied the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) are also capable of the perfect absorption into the single object of meditation (samādhi) that is referred to as “the manifestation of all bodily forms”. Also, at the same time, innumerable bodhisattvas from the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu) accomplished this perfect absorption into the single object of meditation (samādhi), along with these syllables which maintain the power (dhāranī) of the perfect absorption (samādhi).

Then, when the completely evolved Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara) who had refused his own extinction into nirvana for the sake of the Buddha enlightenment of all sentient beings (bosatsu makasatsu, bodhisattva mahāsattva) had finished making offerings to both Shākyamuni Buddha and to the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna), he went straight back to his original dimension.

In all the dimensions that he crossed over, the ground shook in the six different ways. (The east rose and the west sank; the west rose and the east sank; the north rose and the south sank; the south rose and the north sank; the middle rose and the borders sank; the borders rose and the middle sank.) Also, it rained white lotus flowers of precious substances, to the sound of hundreds of thousands of myriads of myriads of myriads of different kinds of music.

Then the Bodhisattva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara), surrounded by the eighty-four thousand bodhisattvas, went directly to the abode of the Buddha Sovereign Wisdom of the Constellations of Flowers of Purity (Shuku’ ō’ke, Nakshatrājasamkusumita). Thereupon he addressed him, saying: “World Honoured One, I have been to the Dimension that has to be Endured (shaba sekai, sahā-lokadhātu) and have conferred upon its sentient beings various benefits. I have made offerings and have made my homage to both Shākyamuni and the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasure (Tahō, Prabhūtaratna). Also, I have seen Mañjushrī (Monjushiri), Prince of the Dharma, the Bodhisattva Yaku’ō (Baishajya-rāja), the Bodhisattva who Attained the Strength of Zeal (Tokugonshōjinriki), and the Bodhisattva Donor of Courage (Yūze), as well as others. All have learned to accomplish the perfect absorption (samādhi) into the single object of meditation on the manifestation of all bodily forms.”

After the Buddha had expounded this Chapter on the Going and Coming of the Bodhisatva Sound of Utterness (Myō on, Gadgadasvara), forty-two thousand children of the deva (ten) arrived at a complete understanding that the Dharma nature is the same as nirvana and not subject to either coming into being or extinction (mushōbōnin, anutpatika dharma kshanti). At the same time, the Bodhisattva Virtue of the White Lotus (Katoku, Padmashrī) became fully aware that the interdependence of cause, concomitancy and effect is the way existence works (hokke sanmai).



End of the seventh fascicle

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