Navigators of Dharmadhātu



Then Sudhana, mindful of the light of the Teaching, steeped in intensity of
faith in the Teaching, his attention focused on thoughts of Buddha, intent
on perpetuating the lineage of the three treasures, remembering spiritual
friends, his mind having illumined the worlds of past, present, and future,
thinking of great vows, striving for the salvation of all beings, his mind
unattached to enjoyment of any created things, praising the tradition of
dispassion, intent upon contemplation of the instrinsic essence of all things,
firm in the commitment to purify all worlds, sojourning without attachment
in the congregations of all buddhas, gradually approached the Dravidian city Vajrapura, looking for the grammarian Megha.

Megha, unlike our previous encounters, is not a mendicant. He is a layman. A layman living in the midst of ordinary activity and ordinary people. Yet, like the familiar spiritual adage, he was living in the world but NOT of it. In some fashion he had obtained the divine-seed that alerted his mind to the ways of the Bodhisattva, the Bodhi-Beings. Not only that, but he was also fully attuned with the Transcendent Principle, so much so that when Sudhana arrived he bowed down to worship this Principle that he immediately discerned was present  in Sudhana.

Now Megha, out of respect for an enlightening being, got off his seat and
prostrated himself before Sudhana, then showered Sudhana with golden with hundreds of thousands of robes dyed in various colors, showered him with beautiful flowers of many various colors with pleasant scents, and honored him with various other offerings, then said to him, “It is good that you have set your mind on supreme perfect enlightenment…consistently listening to the lofty buddha-teaching, purifying the will for enlightenment, cultivating the cause of the thought of enlightenment, gaining the illumination of the path of enlightening beings, following the knowledge of enlightening beings, and dwelling in the stages of enlightening beings…

He further breaks-down the extraordinary qualities of Bodhi-Beings:

“This is what I think of such a one: enlightening beings do what is difficult
to do; it is hard to get to actually see them; they are comforts to the
world; enlightening beings are the mothers and fathers of all sentient
beings; enlightening beings are an adornment to the world with its gods;
enlightening beings are a refuge for those oppressed by suffering; enlightening beings are a place of rest for the protection of all sentient beings;
enlightening beings are the breath of life to those suffering all kinds of terrors
and calamities; enlightening beings are a wind protecting all sentient
beings from the heat of the three evils; enlightening beings are earth, causing
the roots of goodness of all sentient beings to grow; enlightening beings
are an ocean, a repository of endless treasures of virtue; enlightening beings
are a sun, producing the light of knowledge; enlightening beings are the
polar mountain, by virtue of the height of their roots of goodness; enlightening beings are a moon, the moon of knowledge of the essence of
enlightenment having risen in them; enlightening beings are warriors
crushing the armies of all demons; enlightening beings are heroic, having
reached the city of the state of independence; enlightening beings are fire,
annihilating the self-love of all sentient beings; enlightening beings are
clouds, causing vast clouds of true teaching to shower; enlightening beings
are rain, causing the sprouts of faculties such as faith to grow; enlightening beings are navigators, showing the way on the ocean of truth; enlightening
beings are bridges conveying all sentient beings across the sea of mundane
life; enlightening beings are a pathway to the holy for all sentient beings.”

One salient characteristic stands out, one that encompasses all the others: enlightening beings are navigators, showing the way of the ocean of truth.

This inimitably brings to mind what is portrayed in the Sci-Fi “Dune Series”, wherein the transcendent “navigators” are capable of producing the technique of “folding-space” –much akin to a wormhole technique—these alien-looking characters are known as the Spice Guild Navigators (see today’s accompanying image at top). Bodhi-Beings are likewise unequalled and unparalleled in navigating sentient beings across the fabric of samsara, opening up illuminating fissures—holes in space and time—empowering them, in true Hua-yen fashion, to experience the Totality of the Realm of the Ocean of Truth—the Dharmadhātu; in a very real sense, being empowered to be “everywhere” and “nowhere” simultaneously.  Sudhana himself has at this point acquired many of these profound characteristics during his sojourn through the supreme and unbounded realm of the Element of Truth. Thus, Megha “applauds Sudhana” in navigating this far in his own auspicious mission.

Megha sat back down on the seat of teaching and said to Sudhana, “I
have attained the light of the spell of eloquence: I know the speech of all
kinds of beings in a billion-world universe; I know the variety of speech of
each kind of being; I know the unity of speech of each kind of being; I
know the mixture of speech of each kind of being; I know the terms,
speech, and concepts of all creatures; I know the ideas of all sages; I know
the ideas of all ignoble people; I know the speech of enlightening beings,
expressed according to the mentalities and languages of sentient beings; I
enter into and focus on the oceans of utterances addressed to all sentient
beings by the Buddhas of past, present, and future. As in this billion-world
universe in each moment of thought I enter into the oceans of all terms,
expressions, speech, and concepts of sentient beings, I do the same in
untold worlds in each of the ten directions.

“I know this light of the spell of eloquence of enlightening beings, but
how can I know the practice or tell the virtues of the enlightening beings
who have entered the ocean of what is in various conceptions, who have
entered the ocean of the various conceptions and languages of all people,
who have entered the ocean of the various conventions of verbal designation
used by all people, who have entered the ocean of logical connections of all
statements, who have entered the ocean of literalism, who have entered the
ocean of designation of all objects of past, present, and future in one object,
who have entered the ocean of teaching which is beyond verbal expression,
who have entered the ocean of the teaching of the Buddha, who have
entered the ocean of explanations of distinct types of statements, who have
entered the ocean of explanation guiding the analysis of statements of all
truths, who have entered the ocean of speech of all beings, who have gone
into the pure arrays of all spheres of sound, who are conversant with the ultimate distinctions of the wheel of phonemes?

“Go, son—there is a country south of here called Vanavasin, where there
lives a distinguished man named Muktaka. Go ask him how an enlightening
being is to undertake the practice of enlightening beings and become familiar
with it, and how the mind is to be observed.”

Then Sudhana, having bowed to Megha and paid respect to the teaching,
describing the faith rooted in him, observing that all-knowledge comes
from following good spiritual benefactors, reluctantly took his leave and
went on.

Like the other spiritual mentors before him, Megha informs Sudhana that his own attributes are only one-part of the whole—his own forte is “knowing the teaching method of concentration spells of subtle sound.” Hence, Megha cannot speak for other virtues pertaining to Bodhisattvas, and so he urges him onwards to his next enlightening-episode. It is stated that Sudhana was somewhat reluctant to take his leave, so humbled and at the same time feeling the graciousness of High-Elation from this most courteous spiritual benefactor.

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