Here, There, and Everywhere



Our next spiritual benefactors bear similar traits from previous ones. The mendicant Sarvagamin leads others to omniscient knowledge and a “magical liberation” in similar tone to King Anala, although he bears one additional salient feature:

I am established in the enlightening practice of going everywhere, I have attained concentration of all-observing vision, and I am imbued with the light of knowledge of transcendent wisdom which distinguishes all planes of the cosmos without effort, based on nonbeing…
“Furthermore, in every street, every block, every house, every district,
every family and group, I assume forms like the men and women, boys and
girls, and expound the Teaching to them according to their dispositions,
aims, powers, and thoughts; they do not know who is teaching them or
where I am from; they just practice truthfully what they have heard.”
And I go everywhere on this continent to those who are immersed in the views of false doctrines, in order to mature those who cling to various views. And just as I do so throughout the continent, so also do I work for the benefit of all beings on earth, in the galaxy, in the universe, in infinite worlds, in the paths of all beings, in the abodes of all beings, in the thoughts in which all beings rest, in the groups of all beings…

We can see that Sarvagamin is a changeling, in the sense of “an organism which can change shape to mimic others”; in science fiction quarters this would be considered as a “shapeshifter.” Hence, in a chameleon-like manner Sarvagamin becomes all things to all beings, manifesting here, there, and everywhere (in all sectors of the universe and in different dimensions) as need be. His shapeshifting can induce others to “practice truthfully what they have heard” and to turn away from all negative factors that can produce harm. Thus he manifests the best form(s) of altruism.



Like Samantanetra, Utpalabhuti is “a perfumer”, albeit quite an “eminent one”.

I know about all fragrances—perfumes, incenses, ointments, and
aromatic powders—and how they are compounded and used. I also know
the sources of all fragrances. I know celestial fragrances, and I also know the
fragrances of other types of beings, human and nonhuman. Indeed, I know
various kinds of fragrances. I know fragrances that cure illness, I know fragrances that remove depression, I know fragrances that produce mundane
joy, I know fragrances that incite passions, I know fragrances that extinguish
passions, I know fragrances that produce pleasure in enjoyment of various
created things, I know fragrances that produce rejection of all created
things, I know fragrances that remove arrogance and heedlessness, I know
fragrances that produce thoughts of Buddha, I know fragrances that accord
with the principles of the Teaching, fragrances enjoyable to sages, the variety
of fragrances of enlightening beings, and the fragrances of the arrangement of all stages of enlightening beings. I also know the external appearance of all these fragrances, as well as their source, production, manifestation, perfection, purification, removal, application, use, sphere of action, efficacy, nature, and root.

Utpalabhuti has the remarkable siddhic-attribute of being able to discern all manner of things through their fragrance, or the smell emanating therefrom. It’s like he’s an inhabitant of a Buddha-field that specializes in and communicates via the mien of scent. Li Tongxuan expounds, “The nature of fragrance rests on nothing, yet it radiates good and extinguishes bad; this symbolizes great vows that rely on nothing yet radiate deeds that benefit beings.”

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