A Thousand-Petaled Golden Lotus

golbudlotus

At that time, hearing the Buddha praise the merits of the Buddha-land of Tathāgata Akhobhya, a monk became greedily attached to it and said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, now I wish to be born in Akhobhya Buddha’s land.”

The Buddha told the monk, “With your foolishness and delusion, how can you be born there? Why? Because one with any passion or attachment cannot be born in that Buddha-land. Only those who have planted good roots and cultivated pure conduct can be born there.”

Yearning to be born in a Buddha-land only guarantees perpetual-disappointment. Hence, the Buddha scolded the monk for his attached-passion that bars-any entry to what he greedily yearned to obtain. One must first plant good bodhi-seeds and cultivate the six paramitas before gaining any admission to the Dharma-door.

Then he addressed Śāriputra again.” Furthermore, Śāriputra, in that land, if the sentient beings wish it, a clean pond will appear at their thought, filled with the water of eight meritorious qualities, fit for drinking, rinsing the mouth, washing, and bathing. If anyone dislikes it, it will immediately disappear.

filled with the water of eight meritorious qualities: in actuality here the number eight refers to infinity= . The water in that ‘clear pond’ represents the Clear Illuminative Light of Pure Mind. Hence, the water is filled with the endless meritorious qualities of the True Buddha Nature, or Dharmakāya. This water is offered freely in Tathāgata Akṣhobhya’s Buddha-land; yet if anyone shuns that Meritorious Light, it will disappear—as one is not yet worthy of it.

“Śāriputra, in that Buddha-land, there is a fragrant breeze, gentle, agreeable, and pleasant to everyone’s mind. The fragrant breeze carries fragrance to all gods and humans who like it, but not to those who do not like it. Śāriputra, all these merits and splendors are brought about by the power of Tathātgata Akhobhva’s original vows.

“Furthermore, in that land, mother and child are safe and unsullied, from conception to birth. How can this be? All this is due to the power of Tathāgata Akhobhya’s original vows. Śāriputra, in that Buddha-land, there is such peace and bliss.

fragrant breeze: usually, in all Pure Buddha Lands there is mention of “Pure Fragrances” permeating the entire land. For instance, the Vimalakirti Sutra mentions such a fragrant breeze in a Pure-Land; indeed, it is as such that all the inhabitants there communicate with each other, not through words or sounds, but through these very Divine Fragrances.

Interesting how “children” are conceived and born there, but not through the usual uterine fashion. The sutra makes other reference to such things “appearing at will, without any skandhic agencies” coming into play.

“Śāriputra, in the land of Tathāgata Akhobhya, the Worthy One, the perfectly Enlightened One, there is neither trade nor trader, neither farms nor farming; there is happiness at all times.

“Śāriputra, in that Buddha-land, singing and playing do not involve sexual desire. The sentient beings there derive their joy exclusively from the Dharma.

The fulfillment that sexual-desire once spawned, is now replaced here with exclusive joy in the Buddhadharma.

“Śāriputra, in that Buddha-land, there are rows of jasmine trees and palm trees, which, when stirred by a gentle breeze, will give forth a harmonious and elegant sound that surpasses even the celestial music played by gods.

“Śāriputra, any Bodhisattva-Mahāsattva who intends to acquire a Buddhaland should accumulate such merits, adornments, and purity for his Buddhaland as Tathāgata Akhobhya did for his when he was following the Bodhisattva practices.

It goes without saying that Akṣhobhya’s meritorious development into a Tathāgata and acquisition of his own Pure-Land, is a role-model for other Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas to follow.

“Śāriputra, there is no darkness in that Buddha-land. It has suns and moons, but they do not give out light. Why? Because Tathāgata Akhobhya has an ever-shining light which illuminates the entire Buddha-land.

“Śāriputra, if a wish-fulfilling pearl is put in the center of a high, large tower with its windows and doors closed tightly, the sentient beings therein will see a brilliant light day and night. In the same manner, the sentient beings of that Buddha-land always see the radiance of the Tathāgata. Śāriputra, the large tower stands for the World of Wonderful Joy; the wish-fulfilling pearl stands for Tathāgata Akhobhya; the light of the wish-fulfilling pearl, the light of that Buddha; and the sentient beings within the tower, the sentient beings in the World of Wonderful Joy.

Tathāgata Akṣhobhya alone illuminates his Pure-Land. It is a Pure-Realm of his perpetually shining, Luminous Light—likened unto a glorious, wish- fulfilling pearl. “The Tower” signifies that his Light guides all the land, much like a Lighthouse safely guiding ships to port; all the inhabitants of his Buddha-land find safe-haven within that Luminous Tower. Darkness never descends in his Pure-Land; it is a land of Boundless-Light.

“Śāriputra, wherever Tathāgata Akhobhya walks or stands, a thousand-petaled lotus appears spontaneously to support his feet. The flower is goldcn in color; there is nothing like it in this world. Śāriputra, this is also achieved by the superb power of the vows of Tathāgata Akhobhya, tic Worthy One, the Perfectly Enlightened One.”

Thereupon, Śāriputra asked the Buddha, “World-Honored One, when Tathāgata Akhobhya enters a room, will a golden lotus support his feet or not?”

The Buddha told Śāriputra,”Why do you bother to ask such a trivial question? When that Buddha, the World-Honored One, enters a village or a house, a thousand-petaled lotus appears with him. If any good man or good women thinks, ‘When the Tathāgata condescends to enter this room, may the lotus beneath his feet close its petals’, the flower will do so immediately. If anyone wishes the lotus to stay in the air, the flower will also do so immediately. All this is due to that Tathāgata’s awesome power.

Poor Śāriputra, he’s imagining how the lotus will be able to withstand the weight of the Tathāgata—as if the Tathāgata and the Lotus were some form of material objects. The Lotus is in actuality a modality of the unfolding Amala-Consciousness of the Tathāgata. The thousand-petaled lotus signifies the Supreme-Spiritual illumination of Tathāgata Akṣhobhya. Also, much like the Buddha in the Vimalakirti Sutra, Akṣhobhya can amend his apparent Sambhogakaya-shape into any image his inhabitants so desire. Hence the thousand-petaled lotus and Akṣhobhya are of ONE Sambhogakayic-Substance.

“Śāriputra, the lotus which holds the feet [of the Tathāgata] will then be given to the people, and they will build a stupa for it and make offerings to it.

Usually a Buddhist Stupa holds some kind of human remains of an Enlightened Being; they also can contain sutras that pertain to that Being, as well as protective amulets. In this instance, the stupa will be representative of Tathāgata Akṣhobhya’s Supreme Illuminative Consciousness—one that is all-pervasive and moves As It Wills.

“Śāriputra, that Buddha, the World-Honored One, travels through the whole billion-world universe to expound the Dharma; and wherever he goes, a flower appears with him. Moreover, in whatever land that Tathāgata manifests himself, in that land golden lotuses also appear. By the awesome power of that Buddha, his entire billion-world universe is adorned with thousand-petaled golden lotuses.”

The exploding golden-lotuses are fully representative of the Tathāgatas (Yea, of ALL Tathāgatas) awesome Power that unfolds and encompasses the cosmos as One Transcendent Buddha-field. The Universe itself is the unfolding of the Translucent-Consciousness of the Tathāgatas.

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