The dragons saw that the bodhisattva was possessed of a handsome and fine appearance, that he was a bearer of refined features and solemn deportment, and that he had been able to successfully pass through numerous difficulties in arriving at this place. They thought to themselves, "It is not the case that this is an ordinary man. It is certainly the case that he is a bodhisattva, a man possessed of much merit." They then immediately allowed him to advance directly to enter the palace. It had not been so long from the time when the mate of the dragon king had lost her son and so she continued as before to grieve and weep. She observed the arrival of the Bodhisattva. The mate of the dragon king possessed superknowledges and so knew that this was her son. [She was so affected by this realization that] milk flowed forth from her two breasts. She gave the order allowing him to sit down and then asked him, "You are my son. After you left me and you died, where were you reborn?"

The Bodhisattva was also able to know his previous lives. He knew that these were his parents and so replied, "I was reborn on the continent of Jambudvipa as a prince to the king of a great country. On account of feeling pity for the poverty-stricken people afflicted by the intense sufferings of hunger and cold who are therefore unable to enjoy their own freedom I have come here seeking the precious wish-fulfilling pearl."

His mother replied, "Your father wears this precious pearl as a crown. It would be difficult to acquire it. Surely he will take you into the treasury of jewels where he will certainly desire to give you whatever you desire. You should reply by saying, 'I have no need of any of the other various jewels. I only desire the precious pearl atop the head of the Great King. If I may receive such kindness I pray that you will bestow it upon me.' It may be that you can acquire it in this way."

He then went to see his father. His father was overcome with nostalgia and delight and experienced boundless rejoicing. He thought with pity on his son's coming from afar, having to undergo extreme difficulties and now arriving at this place. He showed him his marvelous jewels and said, "I will give you whatever you want. Take whatever you need."

The Bodhisattva said, "I came from afar wishing to see the Great King. I am seeking to obtain the precious wish-fulfilling pearl on the King's head. If I may receive such kindness, may it be that you will bestow it upon me. If I am not given that then I have no need of any other thing."

The Dragon King replied, saying, "I have only this single pearl which I always wear as crown. The people of Jambudvipa possess only scant merit and are of such base character that they should not be allowed to see it."

The Bodhisattva replied, "It is on account of this that I have come from afar undergoing extreme difficulties and risking death. It is for the sake of the people of Jambudvipa who have only scant merit, who are poverty-stricken and possessed of base character. I wish to use the precious wish-fulfilling pearl to provide for them all that they desire so that I may then use the causes and conditions of the buddha way to teach and transform them."

The dragon king gave him the pearl and placed a condition on it by saying, "I will now give you this pearl. But when you are about to depart from the world you must first return it to me."

He replied, "With all respect, it shall be as the King instructs." When the Bodhisattva had acquired the pearl he flew up into space and with the ease of extending and withdrawing his arm, he instantly arrived in Jambudvipa.

When the human royal parents observed his auspicious return they were delighted and danced about with joy. They hugged him and then asked, "Well, what did you acquire?"

He replied, "I have gotten the precious wish-fulfilling pearl."

They asked, "Where is it now?"

He told them, "It's in the corner of my robe."

His parents said, "How could it be so small?"

He explained, "It's [power] resides in its supernatural qualities. It is not a function of its size." He told his parents, "It should be ordered that, both inside and outside of the city, the grounds are to be swept clean and incense is to be burned. Banners should be hung and canopies set up. Everyone should observe the standards of pure diet and take on the moral precepts."

The next morning at dawn he used a tall wooden pole as a monument and attached the pearl on the top of it. At that time the Bodhisattva swore an oath, "If it is the case that I am to be able to complete the Buddha path and bring everyone to deliverance then this pearl should, in accordance with my vow, bring forth all kinds of precious things so that whatever anyone needs, it will manifest in utter repletion."

At that time dark clouds covered the entire sky and rained down every type of precious thing including clothes, drink, food, bedding, and medicines. Whatever people needed was amply available. This was constantly the case, never ceasing until the end of his life.

Instances such as this illustrate what is meant by a bodhisattva's practice of giving serving to bring forth the paramita of vigor.

How is it that the bodhisattva's practice of giving generates the paramita of dhyana? When the bodhisattva gives he is able to eliminate stinginess. Having gotten rid of stinginess he is [further] able on account of this giving to devote himself single-mindedly to the gradual elimination of the five coverings. When one is able to eliminate the five coverings this itself is what is meant by dhyana.

Then again, it is on account of giving that the mind enters into the first dhyana on up to the dhyana of the extinction samadhi. How is it that it is "on account of" giving? Perhaps when one gives to a practitioner of dhyana, one reflects, "It is on account of this person's cultivation of dhyana absorption that I make an offering with a pure mind. Why do I settle for only a vicarious experience of dhyana?" And so one then looks into the mind and considers taking up the cultivation of dhyana oneself.

Or perhaps on giving to a poverty-stricken person one reflects upon this person's previous lives in which he engaged in all manner of unwholesomeness, did not seek single-mindedness, did not cultivate works which generate blessings and so, as a result, in this life is poverty-stricken. And so on account of this one encourages himself to takes up the practice of wholesome single-mindedness and thereby enters into the dhyana absorptions.

This is as described [in the story of] Sudar'sana, the cakravartin king. Eighty-four thousand of the lesser kings came to his court, all bringing marvelous things made of the seven precious things which they had brought as offerings. The King declared, "I do not need them. You may each use them to cultivate blessings."

The [lesser] kings thought to themselves, "Although the great King cannot bring himself to take them, still, it wouldn't be appropriate for us to take them for our own use." And so together they constructed a seven-jeweled pavilion. They planted rows of seven-jeweled trees and created bathing pools made of the seven jewels. Within the great pavilion they built eighty-four thousand multi-storied halls of the seven jewels. Within each of the multi-storied halls there was a seven-jeweled throne with multi-colored cushions at each end of the throne. Decorated canopies were suspended above and the ground was sprinkled with fragrances. After all of these preparations had been made they addressed the King, saying, "We pray that his majesty will accept this Dharma pavilion with its bejewelled trees and bathing pools."

The King indicated his acceptance by remaining silent and then thought to himself, "I ought not to indulge myself with the pleasure of being the first to dwell within this new pavilion. I should invite good people such as the 'srama.nas and brahmans to first enter here to receive offerings. Afterwards I may dwell in it." He then gathered together those good personages and had them be the first to enter the jeweled pavilion where they were provided an abundance of all manner of fine and marvelous offerings.

After those people had all left the King entered the jeweled pavilion and ascended into the multi-storied hall of gold and sat down upon the silver throne. There he reflected upon giving, dispensed with the five coverings, withdrew the six sense faculties , did away with the six sense objects, and, experiencing joy and bliss, entered into the first dhyana.

Next he ascended into the multi-storied hall of silver, sat down upon the throne of gold and entered into the second dhyana. Next he ascended into the multi-storied hall of beryl, sat down upon the crystal throne and entered into the third dhyana. And then, finally, he ascended into the multi-storied jeweled hall of crystal, sat down upon the beryl throne and entered into the fourth dhyana. He sat there alone in contemplation for a total of three months.

The jade ladies, the precious queen and eighty-four thousand female retainers all draped their bodies in strands of pearls and rare jewels and then came to see the King, saying, "As his majesty has for so long now withdrawn from intimate audiences, we have dared to come and offer our greetings."

The King announced to them, "Sisters, each of you should maintain a mind imbued with correctness. You should serve me as friends. Don't act as my adversaries."

The jade ladies and the precious queen began to weep and, as their tears streamed down, they asked, "Why does the Great King now refer to us as 'sisters'? Surely he thinks [of us] differently now. Pray, may we hear his intent? Why do we now receive the remonstrance: 'You should serve me as friends. Don't act as my adversary.'?"

The King instructed them, saying, "If you find delight in seeing me as a worldly object with which to engage in the affairs of desire, this amounts to acting as my adversary. If, however, you are able to awaken to that which is beyond the ordinary and, realizing that the body is like an illusion, cultivate blessings, practice goodness and cut away desire-laden affections, this amounts to serving me as a friend."

The jade ladies responded, "We shall adhere respectfully to the dictates of the King." After they had spoken these words they were sent back to their quarters.

After the women had gone the King ascended into the multi-storied hall of gold and sat down upon the silver throne where he immersed himself in the samadhi of loving-kindness. He then ascended into the multi-storied hall of silver and sat down upon the throne of gold and immersed himself in the samadhi of compassion. Next he ascended into the multi-storied hall of beryl and sat down upon the crystal throne where he immersed himself in the samadhi of sympathetic joy. Finally, he ascended into the multi-storied jeweled hall of crystal and sat down upon the throne of beryl where he immersed himself in the samadhi of evenmindedness. This is an instance of the bodhisattva's practice of giving generating the paramita of dhyana.

How does the bodhisattva's giving bring about prajna paramita? When the bodhisattva gives he knows that this giving will definitely have a resulting reward and so he is not beset by the delusions of doubt and he is able to shatter erroneous views and ignorance. This constitutes giving bringing forth prajna paramita.

Furthermore, when the bodhisattva engages in giving he is able to distinguish and know the circumstances of the person who does not uphold the precepts. If someone whips, strikes, beats up, flogs, confines or ties up others, or if he circumvents the law and so obtains valuables and then proceeds to do acts of giving, he is reborn among elephants, horses or cattle. Although he takes on the form of an animal who carries heavy burdens, who is whipped and prodded, who is restrained by halters and fetters, and who is ridden, still he always obtains good living quarters and fine food, is prized by people and is provided for by people.

Additionally he knows about the circumstances of evil people who are much obsessed with hatefulness and anger, whose minds are devious and not upright, and yet who practice giving. He knows that they will fall into [rebirth in] the palaces of the dragons where they will obtain a palace composed of the seven precious things, and will have fine food and marvelous sensual pleasures.

He also knows that people who are arrogant and who engage in giving with a mind beset with conceit and hatefulness will fall into [rebirth] among the golden-winged [garu.da] birds where they will always experience sovereign independence and will have a necklace made of precious "as-you-wish-it" pearls. All sorts of things which they require will all be obtained without need for restraint and there will be nothing which will not be in accordance with their wishes. They will be able to perform [magical] transformations of a myriad sorts and there will be no matter which they will be unable to bring to completion.

He also knows of the circumstances of high government officials who circumvent the law and indulge in unscrupulous excesses at the expense of the people, and who do not follow along with regulatory laws and so take valuable goods. If they use them to perform acts of giving they fall [into rebirth] among ghosts and spirits where they become kumbhaa.n.da ghosts who are able to perform all sorts of transformations and please themselves with the five objects of the senses.

He also knows of the circumstances of those people who are beset with much hatred, who are tyrannical, who are much obsessed in their fondness for liquor and meat and who then perform acts of giving. They fall [into rebirth] among the earth-coursing ghosts where they always obtain all sorts of pleasures, music, drink and food.

He also knows of the existence of those people who are obstinate and stubborn and who are unruly and defiant, and yet who are able to perform acts whereby they make gifts of carriages and horses as substitutes for foot travel. They fall [into rebirth] among the space-coursing who are possessed of great strength and who arrive at their destinations [with speed] like the wind.

He also knows of the existence of those people who have jealous minds and who enjoy disputation, but who are able, on account of making gifts of fine dwellings, bedding, clothing, drink and food, to be reborn among the flying who abide in palaces and Taoist temples. They possess all sorts of pleasurable things which provide personal convenience. In all sorts of cases such as these, when they are about to give, he is able to make distinctions and know about them. This constitutes the bodhisattva's practice of giving producing prajna.

Furthermore, when one makes offerings of drink and food one gains strength, physical attractiveness, long life and admiration. If one makes gifts of clothes one gains from birth an awareness of a sense of shame and a sense of blame. One's awesome virtue is upright and correct. In body and mind one enjoys peace and bliss. If one makes gifts of dwellings then one obtains all manner of palaces and towers composed of the seven precious things. One naturally comes to have the five objects of desire with which to bring oneself pleasure. If one makes gifts of the waters of wells, ponds and springs, and of all sorts of fine condiments, then wherever one is born one will succeed in being without hunger or thirst and will possess a complete supply of the five objects of desire. If one gives bridges, boats or shoes, then from birth one will have an abundance of all sorts of carriages and horses. If one gives parks and forests then one will achieve the honor of aristocratic social station and will become one to whom everyone looks in reliance. One will take on a body which is handsome and one's mind will be blissful and devoid of worries. All sorts of causes and conditions such as these within the realm of people constitute what is gained through giving. If a person gives as a way of cultivating meritorious qualities and does not find the life of conditioned karmic activity to be agreeable, then he succeeds in being reborn in the dwelling place of the four heavenly kings.

If in one's giving a person supplements it by making offerings to his father and mother as well as to his uncles, brothers and sisters, and if he gives without hatefulness and without enmity, and if he does not like to engage in disputation and also does not delight in seeing disputatious people, he then succeeds in being born in the Traayastri.m'sa heaven or in the Yaama, Tu.sita, Nirmaa.narati or Paranirmitava'savartin [heavens]. In all sorts of ways such as this he makes distinctions regarding giving. This constitutes the bodhisattva's practice of giving bringing forth prajna.

If there is no defiled attachment associated with one's mind of giving and if one is disgusted with and distressed by the world and so seeks nirvana, this constitutes the giving of the arhat and pratyekabuddha. If one gives for the sake of beings and for the sake of the buddha way, this constitutes the giving of the bodhisattva. Within all sorts of giving such as these, he makes distinctions and knows. This constitutes the practice of giving bringing forth the prajna paramita.

Then again, when the bodhisattva gives, he considers the reality mark of the three factors as discussed above. When one is able to know in this way, this constitutes giving bringing forth prajna paramita.

Moreover, the causes and conditions of all wisdom and merit all come from giving, just as with the thousand buddhas who, when they first brought forth the intention [to achieve buddhahood], they used all kinds of valuable things to make gifts to the buddhas. Perhaps they used flowers and incense or perhaps they used clothing. Perhaps they used willow branches as gifts and so brought forth the mind [intent on buddhahood] in that way. All sorts of giving like this constitutes the bodhisattva's practice of giving bringing forth the prajna paramita.