Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

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Nicholas Weeks
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Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:13 pm

This sutra in the Hua-Yen corpus was translated into English for the first time in 2013 by Rulu. Here is a little about it, from her book The Bodhisattva Way. The translation is also found online: http://www.sutrasmantras.info/sutra34a.html
Text 1485 can be considered a summary of the forty-two levels of training
for Buddhahood elaborated in texts 278 and 279, the two Chinese versions of the [Avatamsaka Sutra]

The forty-two levels of training for Buddhahood are classified into six stages:

(1) the ten levels of abiding, (2) the ten levels of action, (3) the ten levels of
transference of merit, (4) the Ten Grounds, (5) the Stainless Ground, and (6) the
Perfect Enlightenment Ground. In fascicle 1, they are called the forty-two doors
of sages and holies; in fascicle 2, they are called the path with six sections, then
called the Six-Entrance Dharma Door.
Last edited by Nicholas Weeks on Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:19 pm

Here are summaries of the first two of eight chapters (page 34):
Chapter 1 – The Assembly

The Buddha revisits the bodhimand􀍍a in the kingdom of Magadha, where he had
attained perfect enlightenment under the bodhi tree. The foremost Bodhisattvas
from worlds in the ten directions, together with innumerable great ones, attend
this huge assembly. Foremost Reverence Bodhisattva, through the spiritual
power of Buddhas in worlds in the ten directions, asks the Buddha to reveal the
Vajra Garland Dharma Door in the immeasurable treasure store of all Buddhas
and Bodhisattvas.

Chapter 2 – The Names of Sages and Holies

The Buddha pronounces the forty-two doors of sages and holies. Because all
Bodhisattvas must enter these doors to become Buddhas, the Buddha gives the
following teachings.

A novice Bodhisattva, who is an ordinary being, must cultivate the ten
faithful minds. After cultivating them for one to three kalpas, he can enter the
first level of abiding, becoming a Bodhisattva sage.

At this level, he enters the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas,
which are the one hundred minds extended from the ten faithful minds, because
each of the ten has its own ten levels. He makes twenty-four vows that
encompass immeasurable actions. A Bodhisattva training at any level should
observe the ten major precepts in order to achieve the holy fruit.
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Re: Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:39 pm

Summaries of chapters 3 & 4:
Chapter 3 – Training of Sages and Holies

A Bodhisattva wears the garland of his meritorious actions taken in a million
asam􀎁khyeya kalpas, in order to progress to the next level. Bodhisattvas going
through these forty-two doors are classified into six groups: (1) those at the ten
levels of abiding are Bodhisattva sages of the learning character-type, adorned
with a garland of copper jewels; (2) those at the ten levels of action are
Bodhisattva sages of the nature character-type, adorned with a garland of silver
jewels; (3) those at the ten levels of transference of merit are Bodhisattva sages
of the bodhi character-type, adorned with a garland of gold jewels; (4) those on
the Ten Grounds are holy Bodhisattvas of the holy character-type, adorned with
a garland of aquamarine jewels; (5) those on the eleventh ground are holy
Bodhisattvas of virtually perfect enlightenment nature, adorned with a garland
of extraordinary jewels; (6) those on the twelfth ground are Buddhas are of
perfect enlightenment nature, adorned with a garland of crystal jewels.

Then the Buddha describes the mind training of a Bodhisattva going through
each of the first forty-one doors and the attainments of a Buddha, who has gone
through the forty-second door.

Chapter 4 – The Meanings of the Forty-two Names

A novice Bodhisattva, who is an ordinary being, must cultivate the ten faithful
minds. If he encounters a beneficent learned friend from whom he learns the
Buddha Dharma, after one or two kalpas he will enter the first level of abiding. If
not, his roots of goodness are subject to regress.

Then the Buddha explains the meaning of each of the forty-two doors of
sages and holies, from the first level of abiding to the Perfect Enlightenment
Ground.
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:13 am

Chapter 5 – The Mother of Buddhas

The wisdom that arises from realization of the relative truth, the absolute truth,
and the highest truth in the Middle Way is the mother of all Buddhas. However,
it takes a hundred kalpas to become virtually equal to a Buddha.
Among the Dharma Doors, the ten faithful minds are the root of all actions.
They multiply into the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas, One
Thousand Dharmas, Ten Thousand Dharmas, and even Countless Dharmas.

Chapter 6 – Cause and Effect

The cause of Buddhas of the past, present, and future is achievement of the ten paramitas.
These ten paramitas produce all virtuous dharmas, including the
seven noble treasures, the Four Drawing-in Dharmas, the Four Kinds of
Unimpeded Wisdom-Knowledge, and the Four Dharmas to Rely Upon.
The effects of achieving the ten paramitas are realization of two kinds of
dharma bodies: (1) the body of the ultimate fruit and (2) the response bodies and
manifested bodies. The latter follow the former, like a shadow following its form.
This ultimate fruit means cessation of suffering, realization of nirvana, and
realization of a Tatha􀃣gata’s eternity, bliss, self, and purity, which come with all
virtues, such as the Eighteen Exclusive Dharmas.
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:16 am

Summary of the final two chapters:
Chapter 7 – Accepting and Learning to Observe the Precepts

The Buddha expounds the three clusters of Bodhisattva precepts, the three ways
to receive them, and the procedure to impart the ten major precepts, which
belong in the first cluster. All sentient beings on the six life-paths can accept
these precepts if they understand their Bodhisattva master’s words. The essence
of the ten precepts is the mind. As the mind is endless, so too are the precepts.
There are ways to receive the Bodhisattva precepts, but no way to abandon
them. A violated major precept cannot be restored by repentance. However,
after earnest repentance, a Bodhisattva can receive the precept again. If he has
violated any of the 84,000 minor precepts, he can restore the violated precept by
repenting to a qualified person.

Chapter 8 – The Dissolution of the Assembly

The Buddha instructs the multitude in the assembly to activate the bodhi mind.
To expound the Dharma in future times, a Bodhisattva should first have others
take the Four Refuges—refuge in the Buddha, refuge in the Dharma, refuge in the
San􀎅gha, and refuge in the precepts—enabling them to acquire the four
indestructible faiths. He should next impart to them the ten major precepts.
Then he should expound this garland su􀅊tra, teaching them the essential training
of a Bodhisattva through the Six-Entrance Illumination Door, i.e., the six stages
of training for Buddhahood.
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Garland of a Bodhisattva's Primary Karmas

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:11 pm

Among the many vows a bodhisattva makes, are these 24 vows, of which I quote a few:
After cultivating these ten faithful minds for one, two, or three kalpas, he can then enter the first level of abiding.

A Bodhisattva Sage at the First Level of Abiding

“At the first level of abiding, he goes through the Illumination Door of One Hundred Dharmas, which are the one hundred minds extended from the ten faithful minds, because each of the ten has its own ten levels. He also makes innumerable great action vows and great no-action vows. He then becomes a Bodhisattva sage of the learning character-type and widely carries out his vows.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse:

A sage at the first level of abiding
Makes great, vast vows:
“From this life until attainment of Buddhahood,
All vows are encompassed
In my vows,
And I will fulfill them all.
Until I attain Buddhahood,
My vows are my roots.

As I give alms, I wish all sentient beings
To shed the mind of greed and to realize the emptiness of dharmas.

As I observe the precepts, I wish all sentient beings
To restrain their actions without fail and to achieve true liberation.

As I cultivate the six endurances, I wish all sentient beings
To acquire the mind of no dispute and to develop endurance of dharmas.

As I make energetic progress, I wish all sentient beings
To progress without pause and to achieve self-realization.

As I practice meditation, I wish all sentient beings
To acquire the six transcendental powers and to attain peace beyond causality.

As I develop true wisdom, I wish all sentient beings
To enter the flow in the ocean of wisdom and to become Bodhisattvas.
Manjushri is the hallowed Dharma, the ruler of the Dharma, the shining one, the superb illuminator of the world;
He is the powerful lord of Dharma, the king of the Dharma, the one who shows the most excellent pathway of mind. Manjushri-namasamgiti

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