Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, relying on the Buddha’s awesome might, speaks on the wisdom, meritorious virtues, and inconceivable states of the Thus Come Ones. Living beings delight in the paltry and attach to existence. There are defiled and pure lands. Universal Worthy Bodhisattva explains how the worlds come into being.
- The causes and conditions for the arising and coming to maturity of the seas of worlds.
- That which the seas of worlds rely upon for their dwelling.
- The forms and appearances of the seas of worlds.
- The natures and substances of the seas of worlds.
- The adornments of the seas of worlds.
- The purities of the seas of worlds.
- The appearances of Buddhas in the seas of worlds.
- The time-spans of the seas of worlds.
- The evolutions and discriminations of the seas of worlds.
- And, the doors to non-differentiation of the seas of worlds.
When one investigates the Avatamsaka Sutra, one often comes across the word ‘inconceivable.’ The Avatamsaka state is considered to be inconceivable only in the minds of ordinary living beings. However, the Buddha is known as One whose Understanding and Practice are complete. Therefore, everything is conceivable to the Buddha. If the Avatamsaka Sutra is inconceivable to the Buddha then he would not be able to speak it.
When the Buddha was speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra, it was such a grand, glorious and ineffably wonderful event, however those Sound Hearers and Bhikshus of the Two Vehicles could not see or hear it. Why? The Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua revealed in his commentary,
“The reason is that in previous lives they had not praised the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha. They refused to chant. They would say, ‘Cultivation is cultivation, isn’t it? What’s the use of chanting that? What’s the point in reciting that? It’s so much play-acting…’ They would think, ‘It’s just a lot of ruckus, and it’s really meaningless.’ They called doing the Buddhist ceremonies putting on a play.. It wasn’t just that they themselves refused. They went on to tell other people, ‘Hey, you don’t want to study that. That’s really meaningless and phony.’When it came right down to it, they didn’t know what was true.. Therefore, it is because on the causal ground they didn’t praise the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha that when they arrived at the fruition of Sound Hearers they did not see the Buddha speaking the Flower Adornment Sutra…
If the causal ground is not true,
The result obtained will be crooked.
If what you do on the causal ground is not true, there will be a lot of trouble in the consequent fruition, lots of twists and turns. It won’t be straight. So, those of the Two Vehicles did not hear the Avatamsaka Sutra being lectured because they had not praised the Buddha, the Dharma or the Sangha in the past, and had been very stuffy before the Buddha.”
Those who take delight in and cling to the small, will not realize ultimate perfect unsurpassed complete enlightenment.
Since time immemorial, man have asked and sought to know about how the world came into being. The chapter on ‘The Coming into Being of Worlds’ answers that question raised by thinkers, philosophers, scientists, and seekers of Truths. When Bertrand Russell wrote about ‘Cosmic Purpose’ he discussed three kinds of views. They are,
- Theistic holds that God created the world and decreed the laws of nature.
- Pantheistic says that God is not eternal to the universe, but is merely the universe considered as a whole. There is a kind of creative force in the universe which cause it to develop according to plan.
- Emergent states that the purpose is more blind. At an earlier stage, nothing in the universe foresees a later stage, but a kind of blind impulsion leads to those changes which bring more developed forms into existence.
There are Eternalists who believe in the eternity of the self and the world. There are those who are partly eternalists and partly Non-Eternalists. In India, there are ninety-five deviant views. The Samkhya philosophy has theories on the production of the world. Some postulate that everything came into being spontaneously. National Master Ch’ing Liang says that the ninety over externalist ways’ errors can be classified under two kinds. In the Prologue, he says,
‘To say that creation arises from empty space or from the spontaneity of nature, is to deny causation. The rest is deviant causation.’
Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua says,
“The ‘one’ in Buddhism is not the ‘one’ of spontaneity talked about in Taoism.”
Buddhism expounds on the Twelve Links of Conditioned Co-Productions:
- Ignorance conditions Activities,
- Activities conditions Consciousness
- ,Consciousness conditions Name and Form,
- Name and Form conditions the Six Entrances,
- The Six Entrances condition Contact,
- Contact conditions Feeling,
- Feeling conditions Love,
- Love conditions Grasping,Grasping conditions Existence,
- Existence conditions Birth,
- Birth conditions Old Age and Death.
National Master Ch’ing Liang says,
‘Now simply by describing proper causation, all their suppositions are already refuted. From this, one knows that the most shallow aspects of the Buddhadharma have already surpassed the deepest profundities of externalist ways.’
Universal Worthy Bodhisattva lists out ten kinds of causes and conditions by which all the seas of worlds come into being and elaborates on them.
© 2000 Soo Hoong Liung. All Rights Reserved.