Ladies of the Night: Part 2

nightsudhana2

Sarvanagararakshasambhavatejahshri

Sarvanagararakshasambhavatejahshri tells Sudhana that she has “attained an enlightening liberation, entry into the profound miracle of pleasing sound.” Entry into this “pleasing sound” is most profound:

“Entry into the oceans of those who arrive at Thusness, identical to the
structures of the reality realm, taking care of sentient beings in the highest
spiritual way of expounding the Teaching to them, living by the practice of universally good enlightening beings for endless eons, I cultivate this enlightening liberation of entry into the profound miracle of pleasing sound, by expanding it in every moment of consciousness, by the means of actualizing the sphere of liberation; and I pervade all realms of reality in every moment of thought with each means of actualizing the sphere of liberation.”

This is an indication that she protects the mind of sentient beings by empowering them to inwardly-perceive the Great Soundless and Deathless Sound (Parato ghosa) of the Tathagatas. (see The Sound of Silence) Thus this liberative sound permeates the entire universe—without substance or discrimination—manifesting the Great Gnosis of the Shining Ones freely and without attachment.

 

Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa

Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa, as a Night Goddess, weaves a most gentle and protective mantle during the nocturne hours:

“By my power, when the sun goes down, the blooming lotuses become highly fragrant; all the men and women sporting in the parks decide to go home; the highly conscious beings on the roads and paths in the night head for the protection of all beings: those who live in mountain caves go into the mountain caves, those who lie in trees head for the trees, those who live in caves go into their caves, those who live in villages, cities, or towns go into their villages, cities, and towns, those who live in water go down in the water, those who live in other abodes go to their respective dwelling places, to spend the night comfortably.”

She has attained “the enlightening liberation manifestation of contentment with the treasure produced from great joy.”

The goddess said, “The scope of this liberation is the knowledge and
means to take care of sentient beings by the goodness of those who arrive at
Thusness. How is that? Whatever well-being sentient beings experience is
all due to the power of the goodness of the enlightened, due to the path of
the teaching of the enlightened, due to putting the word of the enlightened
into practice, due to learning from the enlightened, due to the support of the
enlightened, due to practicing the path of knowledge of the enlightened,
due to planting roots of goodness like the enlightened, due to the true teaching of the enlightened, due to the illumination of the sun of knowledge of the enlightened.”

It goes without saying that these “Night Goddesses” are all in league and One Mind with Vairocana Buddha. Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa reveals here how she is privy to his Buddha-gnosis:

“As I enter into this enlightening liberation of the manifestation of contentment with the treasure produced from great joy, and recall and plunge into the ocean of Vairocana Buddha’s past practices as an enlightening being, thus do I know and understand—as the Buddha was concentrating on the stages of enlightenment in the past, seeing sentient beings caught up in egoism and possessiveness, in the darkness of ignorance, gone into a tangle of views, dominated by craving, bound by the fetters of desire, hostile and malevolent, continuously pursuing delusions, wrapped up in envy and jealousy, their minds crowded with afflictions, experiencing the great misery of the mundane whirl, tormented by the pains of poverty in the mundane whirl, deprived of the sight of the enlightened, there appeared in the Buddha a mind of great compassion, a mind to take care of all sentient beings materially for their benefit, a mind to produce means of worldly support for all sentient beings, a mind free from attachment to all things, a mind without acquisitiveness for any objects, a mind not dwelling on any pleasures, a mind free from grasping for any material goods, a mind not seeking rewards for giving, a mind not eager for existence in any world, a mind not confused about causal relations, a mind contemplating the truth after thorough investigation, a mind to provide refuge for the welfare of all living beings.”

In One Mind with Vairocana, Sarvavrikshapraphullanasukhasamvasa marvelously deploys in verse format the very omniscient and undefiled sphere that pervades all Buddhas—yea, the very foundation for the family of all Buddhas:

This sphere of buddhas cannot be known
By those ruled by envy and jealousy,
Or those whose minds are polluted by guile and deceit,
Or those enshrouded by barriers of action based on afflictions.

Buddhahood cannot be known
By those who depend on mental or material elements,
Or those attached to the body as real,
Or those with false views and ideas.

Hard to know is the tranquil realm of buddhas,
Which is inherently pure and nonconceptual-
This reality cannot be truly known
By those attached to life and being.

Those who are born in the family of buddhas,
Who are empowered by all the buddhas,
Who preserve the lineage of the enlightened,
Are the knowers of this sphere.

Those who are tireless in good practices
And are helped by spiritual benefactors,
With their minds focused on the powers of sages,
They attain peace on perceiving this.

This is the sphere of the undefiled
Whose minds are pure, without false ideas,
Like the sky in all directions,
Lamps of wisdom who have dispelled darkness.

Those who pervade all worlds
Of all tunes with compassion
And are benevolent to all beings
Enter the way of the buddhas.

 

Sarvajagadrakshapranidhanaviryaprabha

The Night Goddess Sarvajagadrakshapranidhanaviryaprabha is first described as her body being “covered with a net of jewels reflecting the principles of the cosmos.” Sudhana is so awestruck with her presence that he has an epiphany based on the mental vision of a “communality with all spiritual friends”:

Finally rising from the ground, in a reverential attitude Sudhana gazed at
the body of the night goddess, and as he did so he attained ten purities of
thought, whereby he gained communality with all spiritual friends. What
were those ten? He thought of spiritual friends as his own mind, to associate
with them in all situations in the effort to attain omniscience. He thought of
them as the pure essence of the development of his own actions, to accomplish the attainment of extensive roots of goodness to please spiritual friends. He thought of them as adorning the practice of enlightening beings, to associate with them in carrying out adornment by all spiritual vows. He thought of them as bringing him to all aspects of buddhahood, to practice the paths taught by all spiritual friends. He thought of them as the state of comfort, to manifest the abode of the supreme state of the realm of all buddhas. He thought of them as the one way of emancipation, to purify the practice of the commitment of emancipation by the vehicle of universal good. He thought of them as oceans of virtues of omniscience, to increase the production of all good qualities. He thought of them as fulfilling, increasing, and preserving all consummate good, to increase the force of energetic effort for total knowledge of complete enlightenment. He thought of them as fulfilling all roots of goodness, to fulfill the aspirations of all beings. He thought of spiritual friends as fulfillers of all aims, to establish the mastery of all acts of enlightening beings. He attained these ten purities of thought, whereby he attained communality with the night goddess and enlightening beings as numerous as atoms in a buddha-land.

This communality is based on Sarvajagadrakshapranidhanaviryaprabha’s liberation, called made of roots of goodness fostering the development of all beings.

“Thus, based on this enlightening liberation, fostering roots of goodness
according to sentient beings’ mentalities for their development, realizing
the undifferentiated essence of reality, manifesting an infinite variety of
physical forms, projecting visions of an infinite variety of multitudes of
appearances from each body representing practices, radiating an infinite
variety of multitudes of light beams from each appearance of action, showing
reflections of buddha-lands, showing infinite buddhas emerging from each beam of light in each Buddha land, showing the infinite variety of projections of each buddha, I vivify past roots of goodness, develop new roots of goodness, increase existing roots of goodness, and enhance developed roots of goodness; and in each mental moment I establish infinite beings in the stage of nonregression, where they will not retreat, advancing toward supreme perfect enlightenment.”

These “roots of goodness” are based on the supernal principle of immovability—wherein the gnosis of the liberty from all evil is fashioned reflecting the steadfastness of all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas in the face of all malevolence.

 

Sutejomandalaratishri

Sudhana firstly inquires from Sutejomandalaratishri how Bodhi-Beings “get to be born in the family of Buddhas”:

The goddess replied, “There are ten kinds of birth by which enlightening
beings become born in the family of buddhas. Enlightening beings who
have accomplished these develop correctly by means of the skills of enlightening beings, without stopping, without becoming exhausted, without
regressing, without giving up, without wearying, without becoming discouraged, without becoming confused, without tarrying, without becoming afraid, without waning away. They follow the way to omniscience and remember the principle of the realm of reality; they become ripe for the
enlightenment of buddhas and broaden the determination for enlightenment.
They grow by means of all the transcendent ways, they withdraw
from all worldly ways, and progress into the stage of those who realize
Thusness. They refine mystic knowledge, become aware of all principles of
enlightenment, and accord with the realm of omniscience. What are these
tell kinds of birth of enlightening beings? The first is called the birth of
enlightening beings as offspring of the undertaking of the vow to serve all
buddhas. The second is the birth of enlightening beings as offspring of consummation of all elements of the determination for enlightenment. The
third is the birth of enlightening beings as offspring of meditation on the
principles of the Teaching. The fourth is the birth of enlightening beings as
offspring of purification of the intent in viewing past, present, and future.
The fifth is the birth of enlightening beings as offspring of the light of universal awareness. The sixth is the birth as enlightening beings as offspring of the family of all buddhas. The seventh is the birth of enlightening beings as
offspring of the array of lights of the manifestation of powers of buddhas.
The eighth is the birth of enlightening beings as offspring of consummation
of contemplation of the way to omniscience. The ninth is the birth of
enlightening beings as offspring of manifestation of emanations throughout
the cosmos. The tenth is the birth of enlightening beings as offspring of
momentum going into the stage of the enlightened…
“By these ten births enlightening beings are born in the family of buddhas
and become light-makers for sentient beings.
“Also, I have attained an enlightening liberation of vision of the birth of
enlightening beings in all objects for incalculable eons.”

Sutejomandalaratishri happens to reside in the “Lumbini grove”, which traditionally is the garden where Shakyamuni Buddha was born. Hence her particular liberation is the “vision of the birth” from where all Bodhi-Beings originate—in the sacred Grove of the Tathagatas. Li Tongxuan expounds:

The goddess said she had purposely been reborn in the Lumbini grove, where she realized the Buddha would be born in a hundred years. The Buddha also appeared to be born in each Lumbini grove in the billion-world universe and in each atom of all the worlds in the ten directions. The ascent from this stage to the tenth stage is referred to as a hundred years; being born in all places means that since unfabricated knowledge is like space, like magic, even a single moment of the descent of the spirit pervades the real universe, without any here or there, coming or going, or interruption in time. Goddesses bearing gifts awaited the birth of the Buddha, illustrating the ancient saying, “Sages act, and all beings observe.”

This entry was posted in Entry into the Dharmadhātu and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Captcha Here : *

Reload Image