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Saddharmapundarika sutra. The Lotus Sutra. Chapter 18. The Advantages of a Religiuos Preacher

The Lord then addressed the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Satatasamitâbhiyukta (i.e. ever and constantly strenuous). Any one, young man of good family, who shall keep, read, teach, write this Dharmaparyâya or have it written, let that person be a young man of good family or a young lady, shall obtain eight hundred good qualities of the eye, twelve hundred of the ean, eight hundred of the nose, twelve hundred of the tongue, eight hundred of the body, twelve hundred of the mind. By these many hundred good qualities the whole of the six organs shall be perfect, thoroughly perfect. By means of the natural, carnal eye derived from his parents being perfect, he shall see the whole triple universe, outwardly and inwardly, with its mountains and woody thickets, down to the great hell Avîki and up to the extremity of existence. All that he shall see with his natural eye, as well as the creatures to be found in it, and he shall know the fruit of their works.

And on that occasion the Lord uttered the following stanzas:

1. Hear from me what good qualities shall belong to him who unhesitatingly and undismayed shall preach this Sûtra to the congregated assembly.

2. First, then, his eye (or, organ of vision) shall possess eight hundred good qualities by which it shall be correct, clear, and untroubled.

With the carnal eye derived from his parents he shall see the whole world from within and without.

4. He shall see the Meru and Sumeru, all the horizon and other mountains, as well as the seas.

5. He, the hero, sees all, downward to the Avîki and upward to the extremity of existence. Such is his carnal eye.

6. But he has not yet got the divine eye, it having not yet been produced in him; such as here described is the range of his carnal eye.

Further, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, the young man of good family or the young lady who proclaims this Dharmaparyâya and preaches it to others, is possessed of the twelve hundred good qualities of the ear. The various sounds that are uttered in the triple universe, downward to the great hell Avîki and upward to the extremity of existence, within and without, such as the sounds of horses, elephants, cows, peasants, goats. cars; the sounds of weeping and wailing; of horror, of conch-trumpets, bells, tymbals; of playing and singing; of camels, of tigers; of women, men, boys, girls; of righteousness (piety) and unrighteousness (impiety); of pleasure and pain; of ignorant men and âryas; pleasant and unpleasant sounds; sounds of gods, Nâgas, goblins, Gandharvas, demons, Garudas, Kinnaras, great serpents, men, and beings not human; of monks, disciples, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Tathâgatas; as many sounds as are uttered in the triple world, within and without, all those he hears with his natural organ of hearing when perfect. Still he does not enjoy the divine ear, although he apprehends the sounds of those different creatures, understands, discerns the sounds of those different creatures, and when with his natural organ of hearing he hears the sounds of those creatures, his ear is not overpowered by any of those sounds. Such, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, is the organ of hearing that the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva acquires; yet he does not possess the divine ear.

Thus spoke the Lord; thereafter he, the Sugata, the Master, added:

7. The organ of hearing of such a person becomes (or, is) cleared and perfect, though as yet it be natural; by it he perceives the various sounds, without any exception, in this world.

8. He perceives the sounds of elephants, horses, cars, cows, goats, and sheep; of noisy kettle-drums, tabours, lutes, flutes, Vallaki-lutes.

9. He can hear singing, lovely and sweet, and, at the same time, is constant enough not to allow himself to be beguiled by it; he perceives the sounds of kotis of men, whatever and wherever they are speaking.

10. He, moreover, always hears the voice of gods and Nâgas; he hears the tunes, sweet and affecting, of song, as well as the voices of men and women, boys and girls.

11. He hears the cries of the denizens of mountains and glens; the tender notes of Kalavinkas, cuckoos, pea fowls, pheasants, and other birds.

12. He also (hears) the heart-rending cries of those who are suffering pains in the hells, and the yells uttered by the Spirits, vexed as they are by the difficulty to get food;

13. Likewise the different cries produced by the demons and the inhabitants of the ocean. All these sounds the preacher is able to hear from his place on earth, without being overpowered by them.

14. From where he is stationed here on the earth he also hears the different and multifarious sounds through which the inhabitants of the realm of brutes are conversing with each other.

15. He apprehends all the sounds, without any exception, whereby the numerous angels living in the Brahma-world, the Akanishthas and Âbhâsvaras, call one another.

16. He likewise always hears the sound which the monks on earth are raising when engaged in reading, and when preaching the law to congregations, after having taken orders under the command of the Sugatas.

17. And when the Bodhisattvas here on earth have a reading together and raise their voices in the general synods, he hears them severally.

18. The Bodhisattva who preaches this Stara shall, at one time, also hear the perfect law 2 that the Lord Buddha, the tamer of men, announces to the assemblies.

19. The numerous sounds produced by all beings in the triple world, in this field, within and without, (downward) to the Avîki and upward to the extremity of existence, are heard by him.

20. (In short), he perceives the voices of all beings, his ear being open. Being in the possession of his six senses, he will discern the different sources (of sound), and that while his organ of hearing is the natural one;

21. The divine ear is not yet operating in him; his ear continues in its natural state. Such as here told are the good qualities belonging to the wise man who shall be a keeper of this Sûtra.

Further, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva who keeps, proclaims, studies, writes this Dharmaparyâya becomes possessed of a perfect organ of smell with eight hundred good qualities. By means of that organ he smells the different smells that are found in the triple world, within and without, such as fetid smells, pleasant and unpleasant smells, the fragrance of diverse flowers, as the greatflowered jasmine, Arabian jasmine, Michelia Chainpaka, trumpet-flower; likewise the different scents of aquatic flowers, as the blue lotus, red lotus, white esculent water-lily and white lotus. He smells the odour of fruits and blossoms of various trees bearing fruits and blossoms, such as sandal, Xanthochymus, Tabernæmontana, agallochum. The manifold hundred-thousand mixtures of perfumes he smells and discerns, without moving from his standing-place. He smells the diverse smells of creatures, as elephants, horses, cows, goats, beasts, as well as the smell issuing from the body of various living beings in the condition of brutes. He perceives the smells exhaled by the body of women and men, of boys and girls. He smells, even from a distance, the odour of grass, bushes, herbs, trees. He perceives those smells such as they really are, and is not surprised nor stunned by them. Staying on this very earth he smells the odour of gods and the fragrance of celestial flowers, such as Erythrina, Bauhinia, Mandârava and great Mandârava, Mañgûsha and great Mañgûsha. He smells the perfume of the divine powders of sandal and agallochum, as well as that of the hundred-thousands of mixtures of different divine flowers. He smells the odour exhaled by the body of the gods, such as Indra, the chief of the gods, and thereby knows whether (the god) is sporting, playing, and enjoying himself in his palace Vaigayanta or is speaking the law to the gods of paradise in the assembly-hall of the gods, Sudharmâ, or is resorting to the pleasure-park for sport. He smells the odour proceeding from the body of the sundry other gods, as well as that proceeding from the girls and wives of the gods, from the youths and maidens amongst the gods, without being surprised or stunned by those smells. He likewise smells the odour exhaled by the bodies of all Devanikâyas, Brahmakâyikas, and Mahâbrahmas. In the same manner he perceives the smells coming from disciples, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Tathâgatas. He smells the odour arising from the seats of the Tathâgatas and so discovers where those Tathâgatas, Arhats, &c. abide. And by none of all those different smells is his organ of smell hindered, impaired, or vexed; and, if required, he may give an account of those smells to others without his memory being impaired by it.

And on that occasion the Lord uttered the following stanzas:

22. His organ of smell is quite correct, and he perceives the manifold and various smells, good or bad, which exist in this world;

23. The fragrance of the great-flowered jasmine, Arabian jasmine, Xanthochymus, sandal, agallochum, of several blossoms and fruits.

24. He likewise perceives the smells exhaled by men, women, boys, and girls, at a considerable distance, and by the smell he knows where they are.

25. He recognises emperors, rulers of armies, governors of provinces, as well as royal princes and ministers, and all the ladies of the harem by their (peculiar) scent.

26. It is by the odour that the Bodhisattva discovers sundry jewels of things, such as are found on the earth and such as serve as jewels for women.

27. That Bodhisattva likewise knows by the odour the various kinds of ornament that women use for their body, robes, wreaths, and ointments.

28. The wise man who keeps this exalted Sûtra recognises, by the power of a good-smelling organ, a woman standing, sitting, or lying; he discovers wanton sport and magic power.

29. He perceives at once where he stands, the fragrance of scented oils, and the different odours of flowers and fruits, and thereby knows from what source the odour proceeds.

30. The discriminating man recognises by the odour the numerous sandal-trees in full blossom in the glens of the mountains, as well as all creatures dwelling there.

31. All the beings living within the compass of the horizon or dwelling in the depth of the sea or in the bosom of the earth the discriminating man knows how to distinguish from the (peculiar) smell.

32. He discerns the gods and demons, and the daughters of demons; he discovers the sports of demons and their luxury. Such, indeed, is the power of his organ of smell.

33. By the smell he tracks the abodes of the quadrupeds in the woods, lions, tigers, elephants, snakes, buffaloes, cows, gayals.

34. He infers from the odour, whether the child that women, languid from pregnancy, bear in the womb be a boy or a girl.

35. He can discern if a woman is big with a dead child; he discerns if she is subject to throes, and, further, if a woman, the pains being removed, shall be delivered of a healthy boy.

36. He guesses the various designs of men, he smells (so to say) an air of design; he finds out the odour of passionate, wicked, hypocritical, or quiet persons.

37. That Bodhisattva by the scent smells treasures hidden in the ground, money, gold, bullion, silver, chests, and metal pots.

38. Necklaces of two sorts, gems, pearls, nice priceless jewels he knows by the scent, as well as things priceless and brilliant in general.

39. That great man from his very place on earth smells the flowers here above (in the sky) with the gods, such as Mandâravas, Mañgûshakas, and those growing on the coral tree.

40. By the power of his organ of smell he, without leaving his stand on earth, perceives how and whose are the aerial cars, of lofty, low, and middling size, and other brilliant forms shooting (through the firmament).

41. He likewise finds out the paradise, the gods (in the hall) of Sudharmâ and in the most glorious palace of Vaigayanta, and the angels who there are diverting themselves.

42. He perceives, here on earth, an air of them; by the scent he knows the angels, and where each of them is acting, standing, listening, or walking.

43. That Bodhisattva tracks by the scent the houris who are decorated with many flowers, decked with wreaths and ornaments and in full attire; he knows wherever they are dallying or staying at the time.

44. By smell he apprehends the gods, Brahmas, and Brahmakâyas moving on aerial cars aloft, upwards to the extremity of existence; he knows whether they are absorbed in meditation or have risen from it.

45. He perceives the Âbhâsvara angels falling (and shooting) and appearing, even those that he never saw before. Such is the organ of smell of the Bodhisattva who keeps this Sûtra.

46. The Bodhisattva also recognises all monks under the rule of the Sugata, who are strenuously engaged in their walks and find their delight in their lessons and reading.

47. Intelligent as he is, he discerns those among the sons of Gina who are disciples and those who used to live at the foot of trees, and he knows that the monk so and so is staying in such and such a place.

48. The Bodhisattva knows by the odour whether other Bodhisattvas are of good memory, meditative, delighting in their lessons and reading, and assiduous in preaching to congregations.

49. In whatever point of space the Sugata, the great Seer, so benign and bounteous, reveals the law in the midst of the crowd of attending disciples, the Bodhisattva by the odour recognises him as the Lord of the universe.

50. Staying on earth, the Bodhisattva also perceives those beings who hear the law and rejoice at it, and the whole assembly of the Gina.

51. Such is the power of his organ of smell. Yet it is not the divine organ he possesses, but (the natural one) prior to the perfect, divine faculty of smell.

Further, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, the young man of good family or the young lady who keeps, teaches, proclaims, writes this Dharmaparyâya shall have an organ of taste possessed of twelve hundred good faculties of the tongue. All flavours he takes on his tongue will yield a divine, exquisite relish. And he tastes in such a way that he is not to relish anything unpleasant; and even the unpleasant flavours that are taken on his tongue will yield a divine relish. And whatever he shall preach in the assembly, the creatures will be satisfied by it; they will be content, thoroughly content, filled with delight. A sweet, tender, agreeable, deep voice goes out from him, an amiable voice which goes to the heart, at which those creatures will be ravished and charmed; and those to whom he preaches, after having heard his sweet voice, so tender and melodious, will, even (if they are) gods, be of opinion that they ought to go and see, venerate, and serve him. And the angels and houris will be of opinion, &c. The Indras, Brahmas, and Brahmakayikas will be of opinion, &c. The Nâgas and Nâga girls will be of opinion, &c. The demons and their girls will be of opinion, &c. The Garudas and their girls will be of opinion, &c. The Kinnaras and their girls, the great serpents and their girls, the goblins and their girls, the imps and their girls will be of opinion that they ought to go and see, venerate, serve him, and hear his sermon, and all will show him honour, respect, esteem, worship, reverence, and veneration. Monks and nuns, male and female lay devotees will likewise be desirous of seeing him. Kings, royal pyinces, and grandees (or ministers) will also be desirous of seeing him. Kings ruling armies and emperors possessed of the seven treasures, along with the princes royal, ministers, ladies of the harem, and their retinue will be desirous of seeing him and paying him their homage. So sweet will be the speech delivered by that preacher, so truthful and according to the teaching of the Tathâgata will be his words. Others also, Brahmans and laymen, citizens and peasants, will always and ever follow that preacher till the end of life. Even the disciples of the Tathâgata will be desirous of seeing him; likewise the Pratyekabuddhas and the Lords Buddhas. And wherever that young man of good family or young lady shall stay, there he (or she) will preach, the face turned to the Tathâgata, and he (or she) will be a worthy vessel of the Buddha-qualities. Such, so pleasant, so deep will be the voice of the law going out from him.

And on that occasion the Lord uttered the following stanzas:

52. His organ of taste is most excellent, and he will never relish anything of inferior flavour; the flavours are no sooner put on his tongue than they become divine and possessed of a divine taste.

53. He has a tender voice and delivers sweet words, pleasant to hear, agreeable, charming; in the midst of the assembly lie is used to speak with a melodious and deep voice.

54. And whosoever hears him when he is delivering a sermon with myriads of kotis of examples, feels a great joy and shows him an immense veneration.

55. The gods, Nâgas, demons, and goblins always long to see him, and respectfully listen to his preaching. All those good qualities are his.

56. If he would, he might make his voice heard by the whole of this world; his voice is (so) fine, sweet, deep, tender, and winning.

57. The emperors on earth, along with their children and wives, go to him with the purpose of honouring him, and listen all the time to his sermon with joined hands.

58. He is constantly followed by goblins, crowds of Nâgas, Gandharvas, imps, male and female, who honour, respect, and worship him.

59. Brahma himself becomes his obedient servant; the gods Îsvara and Mahesvara, as well as Indra and the numerous heavenly nymphs, approach him.

60. And the Buddhas, benign and merciful for the world, along with their disciples, hearing his voice, protect him by showing their face, and feel satisfaction in hearing him preaching.

Further, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva who keeps, reads, promulgates, teaches, writes this Dharmaparyâya shall have the eight hundred good qualities of the body. It will be pure, and show a hue clear as the lapis lazuli ; it will be pleasant to see for the creatures. On that perfect body he will see the whole triple universe; the beings who in the triple world disappear and appear, who are low or lofty, of good or of bad colour, in fortunate or in unfortunate condition, as well as the beings dwelling within the circular plane of the horizon and of the great horizon, on the chief mountains Meru and Sumeru, and the beings dwelling below in the Avîki and upwards to the extremity of existence; all of them he will see on his own body. The disciples, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Tathâgatas dwelling in the triple universe, and the law taught by those Tathâgatas and the beings serving the Tathâgatas, he will see all of them on his own body, because he receives the proper body of all those beings, and that on account of the perfectness of his body.

And on that occasion the Lord uttered the following stanzas:

61. His body becomes thoroughly pure, clear as if consisting of lapis lazuli; he who keeps this sublime Sûtra is always a pleasant sight for (all) creatures.

62. As on the surface of a mirror an image is seen, so on his body this world. Being self-born, he sees no other beings. Such is the perfectness of his body.

63. Indeed, all beings who are in this world, men, gods, demons, goblins, the inhabitants of hell, the spirits, and the brute creation are seen reflected on that body.

64. The aerial cars of the gods up to the extremity of existence, the rocks, the ridge of the horizon, the Himâlaya, Sumeru, and great Meru, all are seen on that body.

65. He also sees the Buddhas on his body, along with the disciples and other sons of Buddha; likewise the Bodhisattvas who lead a solitary life, and those who preach the law to congregations.

66. Such is the perfectness of his body, though he has not yet obtained a divine body; the natural property of his body is such.

Further, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva who after the complete extinction of the Tathâgata keeps, teaches, writes, reads this Dharmaparyâya shall have a mental organ possessed of twelve hundred good qualities of intellect. By this perfect mental organ he will, even if he hears a single stanza, recognise its various meanings. By fully comprehending the stanza he will find in it the text to preach upon for a month, for four months, nay, for a whole year. And the sermon he preaches will not fade from his memory. The popular maxims of common life, whether sayings or counsels, he will know how to reconcile with the rules of the law. Whatever creatures of this triple universe are subject to the mundane whirl, in any of the six conditions of existence, he will know their thoughts, doings, and movements. He will know and discern their motions, purposes, and aims. Though he has not yet attained the state of an Ârya, his intellectual organ will be thoroughly perfect. And all he shall preach after having pondered on the interpretation of the law will be really true; he speaks what all Tathâgatas have spoken, all that has been declared in the Sûtras of former Ginas.

And on that occasion the Lord uttered the following stanzas:

67. His mental organ is perfect, lucid, right, and untroubled. By it he finds out the various laws, low, high, and mean.

68. On hearing the contents of a single stanza, the wise man catches the manifold significations (hidden) in it, and he is able for a month, four months, or even a year to go on expounding both its conventional and its true sense.

69. And the beings living in this world, within or without, gods, men, demons, goblins, Nâgas, brutes,

70. The beings stationed in any of the six conditions of existence, all their thoughts the sage knows instantaneously. These are the advantages of keeping this Sûtra.

71. He also hears the holy sound of the law which the Buddha, marked with a hundred blessed signs, preaches all over the world, and he catches what the Buddha speaks.

72. He reflects much on the supreme law, and is in the wont of constantly dilating upon it; he is never hesitating. These are the advantages of keeping this Sûtra.

73. He knows the connections and knots; he discerns in all laws contrarieties; he knows the meaning and the interpretations, and expounds them according to his knowledge.

74. The Sûtra which since so long a time has been expounded by the ancient Masters of the world is the law which he, never flinching, is always preaching in the assembly.

75. Such is the mental organ of him who keeps or reads this Sûtra; he has not yet the knowledge of emancipation, but one that precedes it.

76. He who keeps this Sûtra of the Sugata stands on the stage of a master; he may preach to all creatures and is skilful in kotis of interpretations.