Sorrowless Well-Being

sowellbei

Asha

Sudhana enters a glorious-sparkling Park known as Samantavyuha (arrangement of the Totality):

He saw the park surrounded by fences made of all kinds of jewels, in the
midst of rows of all kinds of jewel trees, adorned throughout with beautiful
delicate flowers like sets of all kinds of jewels releasing pollen, adorned by all
kinds of jewel trees, strewn with the various blossoms of the flowers of all
kinds of jewel trees, with rows of trees of all kinds of fragrances giving off
their scents in all directions, trees of garlands of all jewels with their flower
buds bursting forth streaming a rain of garlands of various jewels, the
ground beautifully spread with various decorations made of jewels from
trees of all kinds of diamonds, the area well distributed with cloths of various
colors hanging down from trees of flowers of various forms, with trees of all
kinds of musical instruments making beautiful sounds surpassing the heavens when stirred by the wind…

In the midst of the “Park of Totality”, Sudhana encounters a laywoman named Asha. Yet, because of her auspicious spiritual attainments, she is by implication a Bodhisattva. She truly brings a “healing-totality” to all sentient beings. One could say that she resembles an emanation of Arya Tara herself, adorned as she is with the healing fragrance that brings a “sorrowless well-being” to a whole host of sentitalia:

Innumerable living beings in all states of existence came from the ten
directions to the laywoman Asha, who was seated on a golden throne,
adorned with a net of pearls from the ocean, wearing a tiara, her wrists
adorned with bracelets of gold more beautiful than that of the heavens, her
arms resplendent with jewels of glorious light, wearing earrings of pure
deep blue gems, her head adorned with a veil of all kinds of jewels, her neck
draped with a string of wish-fulfilling jewels. Those who came to her, [mahābrāhmins, devendras, nāgas, āsuras, pretas and men] affected with various sicknesses, filled with various afflictions, immersed in various views, covered by obstructions caused by actions, had their sicknesses alleviated when they saw Asha. Their minds freed from the defilement of afflictions, the thorns of views removed, the mountains of obstructions disintegrated, they entered the sphere of unobstructed purity, in which sphere of purity all their roots of goodness were clarified, the sprouts of spiritual faculties grew, and they entered the ocean of principles of omniscience, they recited the ocean of all mystic spells leading to mental command, came face to face with the ocean of all concentration media, began all holy vows, set all means of practice into operation, purified the means of accomplishing all virtues, proceeded according to wisdom characterized by all higher knowledges with unregressing breadth of mind, and became physically unattached and unobstructed, able to go everywhere.
She says to Sudhana, “I have attained an enlightening liberation called ‘characterized by sorrowless well-being.’ It is definitely beneficial to see me, hear me, attend me, live with me, remember me. I am not visible to those who have not developed the bases of goodness, who are not under the tutelage of spiritual benefactors, who are not in the care of the perfect buddhas. Those who see me thereupon become irreversible in progress toward supreme perfect enlightenment. Furthermore, the buddhas of the ten directions come here and sit on this jewel seat and expound the truth to me. I am always seeing Buddhas, hearing the truth, and meeting enlightening beings. The eighty-four thousand quadrillion beings who live here in this park are all irreversible in progress toward supreme perfect enlightenment, having performed the same practices as I have. Any others who live here too will all be irreversible in progress toward supreme perfect enlightenment, as enlightening beings of the same practice as I who have entered the community of those who cannot regress.”

It’s fascinating how she expounds that she is not visible to those who have no spiritual-foundation under the sacred tutelage of spiritual benefactors (the Primordials), yea, who are not under the care of countless Buddhas. One must acknowledge their presence less the spiritual anointment (healing-transformative balm) comes to naught. Asha’s similarities to Blessed Arya Tara were not stated pell-mell, for by making supplications with her one alleviates all distress, “She is known as a source of supreme knowledge and healing…she helps diminish fears, anxieties, and dilemmas.” [From The Tara Compendium, pg 124, 125).

Sudhana said, “Noble one, when will you realize supreme perfect
enlightenment?”
Asha said, “Enlightening beings do not aspire to enlightenment with the
object of leading just one sentient being to perfection, nor for the sake of a
hundred or a thousand or a million or a billion sentient beings, nor for any
number of beings, nor for all the sentient beings in as many worlds as atoms
in untold, inexpressibly vast numbers of billion-world universes. Enlightening
beings aspire to enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings in all
worlds, to lead them to perfection…
“To put it briefly, there are ten hundred thousand incalculable numbers of
such aspects of the conduct of the practice of enlightening beings, which are
to he accomplished by an enlightening being. Furthermore, the practice of
enlightening beings enters into all things, for the attainment of knowledge;
the practice of enlightening beings enters into all lands, to thoroughly purify
them. Because of this vow of mine, when the purification of the realm of
desire is finished, my commitments will be finished; when the purification
of the world is finished, my commitments will be finished; when all sentient
beings’ propensities to continue afflictive habits are ended, my commitments will be ended.”
Sudhana said, “What is the name of this liberation?”
Asha said, “This liberation is called ‘characterized by sorrowless well-being.’

Asha assures Sudhana that supreme perfect enlightenment is not incurred until ALL sentient beings in the ten directions are ennobled with the Light of Buddhaic Truth. Thus her presence and Bodhisattvic Resolve in the “Park of Totality” is highly indicative of how all must attain the quiescence of Totality. Li Tongxuan expounds in his “Guide to the Entry into Dharmadhātu”:

As she would enter into life and death to educate sentient beings—while realizing that life, death, sentient beings, and the teaching activity are all nirvanic processes that neither come into nor go out of existence, and are ultimately peaceful—she said she had attained this state of sorrowless well-being. (Entry into the Realm of Reality, The Guide, translated by Thomas Cleary, pg. 33)

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