An Ancient Mariner



Vaira is a mariner who ferries sentient beings across the mundane whirls of the samsaric-sea into the Nirvanic Ocean of Omniscience:

“I live in this coastal metropolis of Kutagara, purifying enlightening practice
characterized by great compassion. Observing those on this continent
who are poor, I practice such spiritual exercises as will cause their wishes to
be fulfilled: I will take care of their mundane needs, and I will satisfy them
with spiritual enjoyments; I will teach them the way to accumulate virtue, I
will foster knowledge in them, I will promote the growth of the power of
roots of goodness, I will inspire them to seek enlightenment, I will purify
their aspiration for enlightenment, I will firmly establish their power of
great compassion, I will get them to extinguish the misery of the mundane
whirl, I will firmly establish their power to act in the mundane world without
tiring, and I will get them to care for all living beings. I will set them at
the gate of entry into the ocean of virtue, I will produce in them the light of
knowledge of the ocean of truths, I will turn them toward the ocean of all
buddhas, and I will plunge them into the ocean of omniscience…
All who see me or hear my spiritual instruction are freed from all fears of sinking in the ocean of the mundane whirl; they become aware of the knowledge of how to go into the ocean of omniscience, they learn how to evaporate the ocean of craving, they are illumined with knowledge of the ocean of past, present, and future, they become capable of annihilating the ocean of suffering of all sentient beings, they undertake to clear the turbidity of the ocean of minds of all sentient beings, they begin the heroic effort to purify the ocean of all lands, they never turn back from going throughout the ocean of all places, they penetrate the variety in the ocean of faculties of all sentient beings, they adapt to the ocean of actions of all sentient beings, and they appear in the ocean of the world intentionally according to the mental set…”

Vaira fosters the oceanic gnosis of Unborn Buddha Realms and hence knows all the Dharmatic Treasures in the Great Matrix of the Element of Truth. His compass  “knows how to control and steer ships, how to catch the wind, knows where the [Blessed Nirvanic] winds rise from, knows how to direct the ship [of the Buddha-Mind] and how to turn it around [from defiled consciousness], knows when to anchor [to sit motionless] and when to sail [invoke proper actions]. As mentioned earlier in this series, he is akin to all those great Bodhisattvic-Navigators who empower many to set-sail from mundane ports and to experience the Blessed-freedom of the Bodhi-Mind in the deep and infinite recesses of the Dharmadhātu.



Essentially, the layman Jayottama rides piggy-back on Sarvagamin’s ability of “purifying the method of enlightening practice that goes everywhere.” He’s an eminent teacher who forewarns about the inherent dangers of the world and who also invokes “the ways of buddhas, the ways of enlightening beings, the ways of Buddhist disciples, and the ways of individual illuminates.”

“Thus I teach about the law of the world, the formation of the world,
the decline of the world, the pain of the world, and emancipation from the
world; I expound the Teaching in order to explain the path of practice of
enlightening beings, to remove the ills of the mundane world, to show the
virtues of omniscience, to extinguish the pain of infatuation with states of
being, to elucidate the unimpeded nature of reality, to clarify the ordinary
conduct of the world, to point out the happiness and misery of the conduct
of all beings in the world, to show the notions on which all worlds are
based, to elucidate the independent state of those who realize Thusness, to
fend off all active afflictions, and to show the progress of the wheel of
teaching of the enlightened.”

He also exhibits “an undefiled manifestation of nondoing based on illumination.” Jayottamata teaches that turning a deaf ear and remaining motionless in the “independent state of Thusness” assures that one is forever grounded in the Spirit of Right Illumination.

5 Responses to “An Ancient Mariner”

  • n. yeti:

    Do you interpret the independent state referred to as synonymous with unconditioned/uncompounded in this translation?

    • Vajragoni:

      In the independent state of Thusness there is no conditioned/unconditioned;compounded/uncompounded, thus independent from all attributes.

      • n. yeti:

        Then it cannot be independent either. Even lacking attributes is an attribute when given such a classification. So, that isn’t quite what I was asking. My question is about the term independent. Thusness is non dual (“not two”); how then can it be independent in the sense of divided/ separate? So therefore I asked if this meant uncompounded. I don’t understand suchness as a “state” either, broadly speaking. So I am asking about the translation and what may have been meant in the original scripture, since the term in this instance seems incomplete.

        • Vajragoni:

          “Even lacking attributes is an attribute when given such a classification.”

          You incessantly (from past instances, as well) apply a qualifier for THAT which cannot be qualified. Independent–free, devoid, empty of all qualifiers.

          • n. yeti:

            Good grief, Vajragoni. I am doing nothing of the kind. I was actually questioning the very application of a qualifier, i.e. “independent”, and sought a clarification of what was meant since the text could be interpreted a number of ways. I’m not interested in meaningless semantical arguments, just curious as to how the translation stands up to the original.

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