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The Lotus Sutra

Chapter 27
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The Past Deeds of King Wonderful Adornment

AT THAT TIME the Buddha told the great assembly, "Long ago, in the distant past, uncountable, boundless, inconceivable asamkhyeyas of eons ago, there was a Buddha by the name of Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom, Tathagata, Arhat, Samyaksambuddha. The name of his country was Adorned by Light, and the name of his eon was Delight to Behold. "Within the Dharma of that Buddha, there was a king by the name of Wonderful Adornment. The wife of the king was called Pure Virtue. She had two sons, the first named Pure Storehouse, the second named Pure Eye. These two sons had mighty spiritual powers, blessings, virtues, and wisdom. They had long cultivated the path practiced by the Bodbisattvas dana-paramita, shila-paramita, kshanti-paramita, virya-paramita, dhyana-paramita, and prajna-paramita; the paramita of skillful means; kindness, compassion, joy, and giving as well as the Thirty-seven Dharmas Aiding the Path. They had completely understood and penetrated all of these. They had also obtained the Bodhisattva's Pure Samadhi; the Samadhi of Sun and Stars; the Samadhi of Pure Light; the Samadhi of Pure Form; the Samadhi of Bright and Pure Illumination; the Samadhi of Extensive Adornment; and the Samadhi of the Storehouse of Great Awesome Virtue. All of these samadhis they had also completely penetrated." At that time the Buddha, wishing to guide King Wonderful Adornment and also to be compassionate towards and mindful of living beings, spoke the Dharma Flower Sutra. The two sons, Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye, went before their mother, placed their palms together and said, "We entreat you, Mother, to visit the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom. We should follow, draw near to, make offerings to, and worship him. Why? The Buddha is speaking the Dharma Flower Sutra for all the hosts of gods and humans. We should listen to it and receive it!" The mother said to her sons, "Your father believes in an externalist way and is deeply attached to the dharmas of Brahmanism. You should ask him if he wants to go along." With their palms together, Pure Storehouse and Pure Eye said to their mother, "We are Dharma Princes, and yet we have been born into this house of deviant views!" The mother replied, "Out of concern for your father, you should manifest spiritual transformations. If he sees them, his mind will be purified, and perhaps he will permit us to go to the Buddha." Then, out of concern for their father, the two Sons rose up into Space to the height of seven tala trees and manifested various spiritual transformations. In space they walked, stood, sat, and reclined. From the upper part of their bodies, they emitted water; and from the lower part, fire. From the lower part of their bodies, they emitted water; and from the upper part, fire. They manifested in huge bodies filling up all of space, and then they manifested as being small. From being small, they again manifested as being large. In space, they disaippeared and then suddenly reappeared on the earth. They entered the earth as if it were water, and walked on the water as if it were earth. Manifesting such spiritual transformations of all kinds, they led their father's mind to purity, belief, and understanding. Seeing his sons' spiritual powers, the father rejoiced greatly and gained what he had never experienced before. Placing his palms together, he said to his sons, "Who is your Master? Whose disciples are you?" The two sons said, "Your Majesty! He is the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom. He now sits on the Dharma seat beneath the seven treasures Bodhi tree proclaiming the Dharma Flower Sutra for all the hosts of gods and humans. He is our teacher; we are his disciples." The father said to his sons, "I now also wish to meet your Master. Let us go there together!" The two sons then came down from space, went to their mother, and with their palms joined, said, "Our father, the king, now believes and understands. He has been able to bring forth the resolve for anuttarasam yaksambodhi. For the sake of our father, we have carried out the Buddha's work. We pray, Mother, that you will give us permission to leave the home-life and cultivate the Way under that Buddha's guidance." At that time the two sons, wishing to restate their intention, spoke verses to their mother, saying, We pray our mother will let us go Leave the home-life and become Shramanas. The Buddhas are extremely hard to meet, And we will follow the Buddha in study. As rare as the udumbara flower, And harder to meet, is the Buddha; It's difficult, too, to cast off difficulty. So please let us leave the home-life! The mother then said, "I permit you to leave home. Why? Because the Buddhas are difficult to get to encounter." The two sons then said to their parents, "Good indeed, Father and Mother! It is time, if you please, to go to the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom, to draw near to him and make offerings. Why is this? The Buddhas are as difficult to meet as the udumbara flower. It is also as difficult as it would be for a one-eyed tortoise to meet with a hole in a floating log. But our blessings from former lives are deep and thick, and so in this life we have encountered the Buddhadharma. Therefore, Father and Mother, hear us and allow us to leave the home-life. Why? The Buddhas are difficult to get to meet, and such a time is hard to encounter." At that time eighty-four thousand women in the palace of King Wonderful Adornment all became capable of receiving and upholding the Dharma Flower Sutra. The Bodhisattva Pure Eye had already long ago penetrated the Samadhi of the Dharma Flower. The Bodhisattva Pure Storehouse had already, for uncountable hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of eons, penetrated the Samadhi of Separation from All Evil Destinies, because he wished to cause all living beings to leave the evil destinies. The king's wife obtained the Samadhi of the Buddha's Accumulation and was able to know all the secret treasuries of the Buddhas. The two sons, using the power of such expedients, skillfully taught their father, leading his mind to belief and understanding, and causing him to take delight in the Buddhadharma. Then, King Wonderful Adornment, together with his assembled ministers and retinue; Queen Pure Virtue, together with her maidservants and retinue; and the king's two sons, together with forty-two thousand people, all went to the Buddha. Upon arrival, they bowed with their heads at the Buddha's feet, circumambulated him three times, and withdrew to one side. That Buddha then spoke the Dharma for the king's instruction, bringing him benefit and delight, and the king rejoiced greatly. Then King Wonderful Adornment and his wife removed their pearl necklaces, valued in the hundreds of thousands, and scattered them over the Buddha. In space, the necklaces transformed into a jeweled terrace with four pillars. In the center of the terrace was a large jeweled couch upon which were spread hundreds of thousands of myriads of heavenly garments. And on top of them was a Buddha seated in full lotus, emitting great light. Then King Wonderful Adornment had this thought, "The Buddha's body is rare, upright, splendid, and distinguished." The Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom then told the four assemblies, "Do you see King Wonderful Adornment who stands before me with his palms joined? This king shall become a Bhikshu within my Dharma. Diligent in his cultivation of the Dharmas that Aid the Buddha Way, he shall become a Buddha by the name of Sala Tree King. His country shall be called Great Light. His eon shall be called Great Lofty King. The Buddha Sala Tree King shall have a host of uncountable Bodhisattvas as well as uncountable Hearers. His country will be flat and even. Thus shall be his merit and virtue." The king then immediately conferred his country upon his younger brother, and together with his wife, his two children, and his retinue, left home within the Buddhadharma to cultivate the Way. After leaving the home-life, for eighty-four thousand years the king was always diligent and vigorous in his cultivation of the Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra. Afterwards he obtained the Samadhi of the Adornment with All Pure Merit and Virtue. He immediately rose up into space to the height of seven tala trees and said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, my two sons have already done the Buddha's work. With spiritual penetrations and transformations, they have turned me away from deviant thought and caused me to abide securely within the Buddhadharma and to meet with the World Honored One. These two sons are my Good and Wise Advisors. Wishing to arouse in me the good roots planted in former lives and to benefit me, they came to be born in my household." At that time the Buddha Cloud Thunder Sound Constellation King Flower Wisdom told King Wonderful Adornment, "So it is, so it is, just as you say. If good men or good women have planted good roots, in life after life they may gain a Good and Wise Advisor. The Good and Wise Advisor can do the Buddha's work, instruct, benefit, and delight them, and cause them to enter anuttarasamyaksambodhi. "Great King, you should know that a Good and Wise Advisor is a great causal condition, for he teaches and guides people, and causes them to see the Buddha and to bring forth the resolve for anuttarasamyaksambodhi. "Great King, do you see these two children? In the past, these two children made offerings to Buddhas equal in number to the grains of sand in sixty-five hundred thousand myriads of kotis of nayutas of Ganges Rivers, drawing near them with reverence. In the presence of those Buddhas, they received and upheld the Dharma Flower Sutra. Pitying living beings with deviant views, they led them to abide in proper views. King Wonderful Adornment then came down from space and said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, the Thus Come One is extremely rare. By means of his merit and virtue and wisdom, the flesh cowl atop his head dazzles brightly. His eyes are long and broad, violet in color. The hair-mark light between his eyebrows is as white as the glistening moon. His teeth are white, even, and always shining. His lips are a fine red color like the bimba fruit." Having thus praised the Buddha for his uncountable hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of meritorious virtues, King Wonderful Adornment then, in the presence of the Thus Come One, single-mindedly placed his palms together and further said to the Buddha, "World Honored One, the Thus Come One's Dharma is unique, perfect in the accomplishment of inconceivable, subtle, and wonderful merit and virtue. His teachings on the practice of morality lead to security, joy, and goodness. From this day forward, I shall never again follow the course of my own mind. I will never give rise to deviant views, arrogance, anger, or any other evil thoughts." Having said that, he bowed to the Buddha and left. The Buddha told the great assembly, "What do you think? Could King Wonderful Adornment have been anyone else? He was just the present Bodhisattva Flower Virtue. His wife, Queen Pure Virtue, was just the Bodhisattva Mark of Shining Adornment now in the presence of the Buddha, who, out of pity for King Wonderful Adornment and his retinue, was born among them. "The two sons are the present Bodhisattva Medicine King and Bodhisattva Medicine Superior. The Bodhisattva Medicine King and the Bodhisattva Medicine Superior have accomplished such great merit and virtue as this. In the presence of uncountable hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of Buddhas, they have already amassed the roots of virtue and accomplished inconceivable wholesome merit and virtue. "If a person knows the names of these two Bodhisattvas, all the world with its population of gods and humans should do obeisance to him." When the Buddha spoke this chapter, "The Past Deeds of King Wonderful Adornment," eighty-four thousand people were removed from the dust and separated from defilement. They obtained the Purity of the Dharma Eye with respect to all dharmas.



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