into Chinese by Dharmamitra
of the Liu Song Dynasty (A.D. 424-453)
Translation Adapted from the Threefold Lotus Sutra
Revised by the Buddhist Text Translation Society (2001)
Thus I have heard: Once the Buddha was staying at Vaisali, in the multi-storied assembly hall in the Great Forest Monastery. Then he told all the Bhikshus, saying, "After three months, I shall surely enter Parinirvana."
Thereupon the Venerable Ananda rose from his seat, straightened his garment, and with joined palms and folded hands, circumambulated the Buddha three times and bowed to him, then knelt down with palms together. He attentively gazed at the Tathagata without turning away his eyes for a moment.
Elder Mahakasyapa and the Bodhisattva, Mahasattva, Maitreya also rose from their
seats, and with palms together bowed to him and gazed up at his honored countenance.
Then the three great leaders spoke in unison to the Buddha, saying: "World Honored One! After the Nirvana of the Tathagata, how can living beings bring forth the resolve of the Bodhisattva, practice the Expansive Sutras, the Great Vehicle, and ponder the world of Uniform Reality with right thought? How can they keep from losing their resolve for the Supreme Bodhi? How, without cutting off their earthly cares and renouncing their Five Desires, can they also purify their sense organs and destroy their offenses?
with the natural pure eyes received at birth from their parents and without leaving
the world of the Five Desires, can they see all impediments, just as they are?"
The Buddha said to Ananda: "Listen to me attentively! Listen to me attentively! Consider what I am about to say, and remember it well! In the past on Vulture Peak and in other places, the Tathagata has already thoroughly explained the Way of Uniform Reality.
But now in this place, for all living beings and others in the worlds to come who desire to cultivate the supreme Dharma of the Great Vehicle, and to those who desire to learn the Practices of Universal Worthy and to cultivate the Practices of Universal Worthy, I will now speak this Dharma of contemplation.
For all those who get to see Universal Worthy, as well as for those who do not see him, I will now explain for you in detail how to eliminate numerous offenses.
"Ananda! The Bodhisattva Universal Worthy was born in the Eastern Land of Pure Wonder. I have already described the features of his country in detail in the Dharma Flower Sutra. Now I will briefly explain them again.
"Ananda! If there be Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, Gods, Dragons and the Eight-fold Pantheon, or any living beings who recite Great Vehicle Sutras, if there are those who cultivate the Great Vehicle, aspire to it, delight to see the form and body of the Bodhisattva Universal Worthy, find pleasure in seeing the stupa of the Buddha Abundant Treasures, take joy in seeing Sakyamuni Buddha and the Buddhas who emanate from him, and rejoice to obtain the purity of the six sense organs, then they must learn this contemplation.
The merits of this contemplation will make them free from all hindrances and allow them to see the Buddhas' fine and sublime form. Even though they have not yet entered into samadhi, just because they recite and keep the Great Vehicle they will devote themselves to practicing it, and after having kept their minds continuously on the Great Vehicle for one day, or for three times seven days, they will be able to see Universal Worthy.
Those who have heavy obstacles will see him after seven times seven days; again, those who have heavier obstacles will see him after one rebirth. Again, those who have much heavier obstacles will see him after two rebirths; further, those who have still heavier obstacles will see him after three rebirths. Thus the retribution of their karma differs; it is not equal. Thus I speak the teaching expediently."