Tuesday Vespers

niman

Tuesday
Vespers

Blessed One, come to my assistance

O’ Lord, make haste to help me

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

Come, Bless the Lord, all you supplicants of Holy Gnosis. You who reside in the house of the Noble One, in the sanctum sanctorum of the Unborn Mind.

Blessed One, be merciful to me, a transgressor of your ways. Oh Lord, create in me a mind and heart that is worthy of your Divine Precepts. I have fallen out of your favor, turn-me about O’ Lord, so that I may again rest secure in the hidden light of thy holy Countenance.

Loving mother of all Buddhas,
imageless gate of the Dharmakaya,
assist those who seek safe-haven in you.
To the bewilderment of all the composed you conceived
in the darkened womb of Bodhi a fetus so singular in nature,
Yet remained a virgin after as before.
You have received Mañjuśhrī’s Wisdom Stamp,
Arya Tara, may we be indivisible from you.

Your name is Our Lady of the Void. You alone are Holy Mother of all Buddhas
and are raised on high over all spheres. O’ Spouse of the Unborn, we honor you as the Mediatrix of the Divine Mercy of the Tathāgatas. At all times we
reverently proclaim you Blessed for you conceived the Holy Garbha Child of
supreme auspiciousness.

 

From The Vajrasamādhi Sutra (On Self-Benediction):

At that time, the Buddha addressed Apratisthia Bodhisattva: “Where have you come from? Where have you arrived now?”

Apratisthia Bodhisattva replied, “Lord! I come from where there is no origination, and have now arrived where there is [also] no origination.”

The Buddha said, “You originally came from where there is no origination, and have now arrived where there is [also] no origination. You have attained the [Dharma of] Self-Benediction, which is inconceivable. You are a bodhisattva-mahasattva.”

Oh Great bodhisattva,
Replete in wisdom,
Constantly by means of Self-Benediction,
To benefit sentient beings.
In all four postures [walking, standing, sitting, lying],
You constantly abide by Self-Benediction,
Guiding all beings,
Neither coming nor going (silently without signs).

Apratisthia Bodhisattva then addressed the Buddha: “Lord! Through what skillful means can one transform the defiled consciousness of sentient beings so that they can access the amala (ultimate-fruition consciousness transformed from the eighth consciousness)?”

The Buddha replied, “All the buddhas, the tathagatas, constantly transform all the [defiled] consciousness of sentient beings by means of the One-Enlightenment so that they can access the amala. Why? As all sentient being are endowed with Self-Enlightenment (primordially enlightened), the buddhas, constantly awaken all beings by guiding them to regain Self-Enlightenment.

Once enlightened, all the defiled consciousnesses will be [realized to be] void, calm and non-arising. Why? [Because] the Absolute Self-Nature is motionless.” Swaha.

The Buddha on Right Asecticism (From Orthodox Chinese Buddhism, Sheng Yen):

The Buddha then told the ascetic Nyagrodha about the practice of
Buddhist asceticism:

Such an ascetic [i.e., a proper Buddhist ascetic] does not think that,
“by doing these practices, I will gain offerings, honor, and attendants.”
. . . After he receives offerings, he does not become attached to
them. He understands renunciation and the way to leave behind
the world. . . . When he hears the good doctrines of others, he
rejoices and gives his approval. . . . He does not praise himself or
disparage others. . . . He does not kill, steal, have sexual contact,
slander others, use harsh language, lie, gossip, grasp after things, feel
jealousy, or hold deviant views. . . . He is diligent and steadfast,
actively practicing meditation and cultivating wisdom. . . . He is not
proud, arrogant, or conceited. . . . He is trustworthy and upright,
practicing repeatedly and continuously. He can uphold the pure
precepts and diligently learns when instructed. He associates with
the good as his companions, and he accumulates merit. . . . He does
not harbor hatred, nor is he crafty, deceitful, or obstinate in his
opinions. He does not look for others’ shortcomings, and does not
harbor deviant views (disbelief in karmic cause and effect) or
extremist views (views which are not in accordance with the middle
path, i.e., that one has an eternal soul that is immutable, or that
after death one does not have another existence). This is the way to
practice asceticism so as to leave behind impurity.

From The Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā (On the The Inconceivable Master):

“World-Honored One, the cycle of birth and death [samsara] is based on the Tathagata-embryo. Because of the Tathagata-embryo, the beginning [of samsara] cannot be known. World-Honored One, if one says that because there is the Tathagata-embryo there is samsara, he speaks well.

“World-Honored One, the cycle of birth and death means the cessation of the sense faculties and the immediate arising of new sense faculties. World-Honored One, the two dharmas, birth and death, are the Tathagata-embryo itself; they are called birth and death from the conventional viewpoint. World-Honored One, death means the cessation of sense faculties, and birth means the arising of sense faculties. The Tathagata-embryo, however, neither arises nor ceases to be, neither emerges nor vanishes; it is beyond the realm of [conditioned dharmas].

“World-Honored One, the Tathagata-embryo is permanent and indestructible. Therefore, World-Honored One, the Tathagata-embryo is the base, the support, and the foundation of the wisdom of liberation. It is also the base, the support, and the foundation of all conditioned dharmas.

“World-Honored One, if there were no Tathagata-embryo, there would be no abhorrence of suffering and no longing for nirvana. Why? The seven dharmas—the six consciousnesses and their objects—are momentary and non-abiding, and therefore cannot retain the experience of suffering. Hence, they are unable to abhor suffering or aspire to nirvana. The Tathagata-embryo has no beginning, neither arises nor ceases, and can retain the experience of suffering. It is the cause of [sentient beings] renunciation of suffering and aspiration for nirvana.

“World-Honored One, the Tathagata-embryo is not a self, a personal identity, a being, or a life. The Tathagata-embryo is not in the domain of sentient beings who believe in a real self, whose thinking is confused, or who cling to the view of emptiness.

“World-Honored One, the Tathagata-embryo is the store of the dharmadhatu, the store of the Dharma-body, the store of the supramundane, and the store of intrinsic purity.

“This intrinsically pure Tathagata-embryo, as I understand it, is always the inconceivable state of the Tathagata even if contaminated by defilements, the adventitious dust. Why? World-Honored One, the mind, whether virtuous or non-virtuous, changes from moment to moment, and it cannot be contaminated by defilements, the adventitious dust. Why? Defilements are not in contact with the mind; the mind is not in contact with defilements. How can anything that is not in contact with the mind contaminate the mind? Yet, World-Honored One, because there are defilements there is a defiled mind. It is extremely difficult to know and understand contamination by defilements. Only the Buddha, the World-Honored One, who is the eye, the wisdom, the root of the Dharma, the guide, and the foundation of the true Dharma, can know and see it as it is.”

Pray for us, Queen of the Most holy Mala,
That we may be found worthy recipients of Unborn Light.

From Tōzan:

One day Dungshan said goodbye to Master Yunyan. Yunyan asked, “Where are you going?”
“Although I’m leaving the master, I don’t know where I’ll end up.”
“Aren’t you going to Hunan?”
“No.”
“Going to your native place?”
“No.”
“When will you be back?”
“When you have a place to stay (i.e. heading a monastery) then I’ll be back.”
“Now that we part, it’ll be difficult to meet again.”
“It’ll be difficult not to meet again.”
As Dongshan was departing, he asked the master, “After a hundred years (i.e. when the master has passed away), if someone asks, ‘Have you seen the real master?’ how should I answer?”
After a long pause, Yunyan said, “Just this is it.”
Dongshan hesitated. Yunyan said, “Venerable Jie! To be able to take on this great affair, you need to be very careful and meticulous.”
Dongshan still had doubts. Later when he crossed a stream and saw his reflection in the water, he had a great awakening and understood Yunyan’s meaning. He composed this verse:
Just don’t seek from others, or you’ll be far estranged from self.
I now go on alone; everywhere I meet it.
It now is me; I now am not it.
One must understand in this way to merge with suchness.

From Entry into the Dharmadhātu (Vaira):

* 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…”

From The Perfection of Wisdom (How to Dwell in Perfect Wisdom):

9. “When the Yogin is coursing in wisdom, the supreme perfection,
He does not see the growth of form, nor its diminution.
If someone does not see dharma, nor no-dharma, nor the
Dharma-element And if he does not experience the Blessed Rest, then he dwells in wisdom.
10. When he courses therein, he does not imagine the Buddhadharmas,
Nor the powers, nor the roads to psychic power, nor does he imagine
the peaceful calm of enlightenment.
Not discriminating, free from constructions, coursing on resolutely,
This is the practice of wisdom, the foremost perfection.”

Unborn Magnificat
My soul magnifies the Unborn.
And my spirit rejoices in the Buddhadharma,
For the Blessed One has anointed me;
Behold! All generations shall call me blessed,
For the Mighty Lord has bestowed His Immaculate Bodhi-Seed within me;
And hallowed is His Dharma-realm.
His mercy and compassion are conferred upon all who revere Him.
He has scattered the darkness of ignorance,
And has cast-down Mara from his throne.
He has filled the restless with peaceful repose,
And has turned the haughty-minded away in their delusions.
His Spirit enlightens the resolute in their Recollective Resolve,
Being thus mindful of His Divine-Mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers of old,
To Bodhidharma and his disciples forever.

Glory be to the Blessed Buddha and to the Divine Dharma and to the Hallowed Sangha, both now and forever and ever. Swaha.

May all the Buddhas and Dharma-Guardians bless us, protect us from all harm, and awaken us to the Light of Truth in the Unborn. Swaha.

Manjughosha

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