The 4th Section of Chapter 4: Awarding the Bodhisattvas the distinctive marks of future Buddhahood
At that time, the Buddha told Quiescent-Mind Bodhisattva: "Virtuous man, at that time, Ocean-Atoms Brahmana thought: 'Now I have persuaded innumerable and illimitable hundreds of thousands of Kotis of nayutas of living beings to dwell in Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. I saw that all those great Bodhisattvas have vowed to choose the pure Buddha Worlds, except one person - Vayuvisnu. In the Good-kalpa (Bhadra-kalpa: the present kalpa), all the other Bodhisattvas will also evade the evil (kali *) age of the five turbidities. Thus, in that evil age, I should give the true flavor of Dharma to the living beings. Now I should be persevering and brave, I should make virtuous vows like a Lion's Roar, to make all Bodhisattvas become more astonished than ever before after hearing my vows; to make all the assembly, the gods, dragons, ghosts, divinities, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, human and non-human beings, join their palms, pay homage, and make offerings to me; to make the Buddha, the Bhagavan praise me and award me the distinctive mark of future Buddhahood; to make the Buddhas at everywhere of the innumerable and illimitable worlds of the ten directions, who are now speaking Dharmas for living beings, all praise me and award me the distinctive mark of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi after hearing my Lion-Roar, and send their envoys to here and let the assembly all see the envoys.'"
(* The Sanskrit word 'kali' means vice/evil/strife/discord/quarrel /contention. 'kali age' is the present age. )
"'Now, at last, I shall make some great vows, to fulfill the great compassion of Bodhisattvas, so that, as far as when I achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, if any living beings hear my greatly compassionate vows, they will become more astonished than ever before. If in the future, there will be any Bodhisattvas who achieve the great compassion, they will also wish to choose such worlds, inside which all the living beings lack Dharma, have no wisdom-eyes, and fully have the four outflows. The Bodhisattvas will save the living beings in such worlds and speak Dharmas for them. After my Nirvana, the Buddhas at everywhere of the innumerable and illimitable hundreds of thousands of billions of worlds of the ten directions, will all praise me in front of the great Bodhisattvas, and reveal my virtuous vows. Having heard these vows intently, with the heart of great compassion and diligence, those Bodhisattvas will become greatly astonished and exclaim that the vows are unprecedented. The compassion that they have achieved will be enhanced, and they will choose the defiled worlds, just like how I do. Those Bodhisattvas will be like me, will achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi in the defiled worlds, pull out the living beings of the four outflows, and make them dwell peacefully within the Three Vehicles (yana), unto Nirvana.'"
"Virtuous man, after Ocean-Atoms Brahmana had pondered upon such great compassionate vows, he uncovered his right shoulder, and proceeded to where Treasure-Store (ratna-garbha) Tathagata was. At that time, innumerable hundreds of thousands of ten thousands of billions of gods performed heavenly music and rained down myriads of flowers from the sky, and praised together: 'How virtuous, how virtuous! Virtuous great hero, you are now going to where the Buddha is, to make the unique vows, to eliminate the afflictions of the living beings in all worlds, by using the wisdom water.'"
"At that time, all members of the congregation joined their palms respectfully in front of the Brahmana, paid homage to him and praised together: 'How virtuous, how virtuous, venerable great wise one! We have obtained great benefits from you, so that we can make those solid virtuous vows. Now we wish to hear the virtuous vows that you will make, venerable one.'"
"At that time, in front of the Buddha, the Brahmana placed his right knee on the ground. Subsequently, the Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds shook in six ways, myriads of music by themselves performed, the birds and beasts uttered harmonious sounds, all the trees flowered even though it was out of season. In the Three Thousand Great Thousand Worlds, the living beings in Causal-Stage, whether they had aroused Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart or not, all aroused the heart of great benefaction, the heart of pure goodness, the heart free from hatred and jealousness, the heart without defilement, the heart of mercy, and the heart of matchlessness, except those who belong to hell, hungry ghosts and animals."
"The flying living beings became happy, rained down various flowers, ground-incenses, paste-fragrances, and made offerings of various music, streamers, flags, and garments. They glorified the Brahmana with gentle and wonderful voice, and listened with single mind, wishing to hear the virtuous vows that the Brahmana will make."
"Even the gods of Akanistha heaven also came down to Jambudvipa, rained down various flowers, ground-incenses, paste-fragrances from the sky, made offerings of various music, streamers, flags, garments, glorified the Brahmana with gentle and wonderful voice, and listened with single mind, wishing to hear the virtuous vows that the Brahmana will make."
"At that time, Ocean-Atoms Brahmana joined his palms respectfully, and glorified Treasure-Store Tathagata with these gathas (verses):
plays among Samadhis,
like the great Brahma God;
Bright and sublime,
like the heavenly Lord Sakra Devanam Indra;
like a Wheel Turning King;
Holding wonderful rare treasures,
like a Repository-mastering minister;
Meritorious, virtuous and unrestricted,
like a Lion King;
like the Sumeru Mountain;
His heart is free from ripple,
like a calm great ocean;
He bears both good and bad things,
like the great earth;
Eliminates all afflictions,
like pure water;
Burns out all the knots and shackles,
like a flaming fire;
Blows away all the obstructions,
like a high wind;
Reveals the reality,
like the four heavenly kings;
Rains down Dharma rains,
like the great dragon king;
like the rains in the right time;
Conquers all the Exterior-Paths,
like a great polymath (abhidharmika);
The fragrance of merits,
Is like the smell of Sumana flowers;
The wonderful voice of Dharma speaking,
Is like that of the Brahma God;
Heals all illnesses,
like an excellent doctor;
Treats all equally,
like a merciful mother;
teaches all living beings,
like a kindly father;
The body is indestructible,
like a Vajra mountain;
Can cut off the branches of love,
like a sharp sword;
Ferries all living beings,
like a boatman;
Imparts wisdom to people,
like the sages;
Bright and refreshingly cool,
like the full moon;
Makes the flowers of living beings bloom,
like the rising sun;
Bestows upon the living beings,
the four fruitions of Sramana;
Grows out myriads of fruits,
like a tree in autumn;
Being surrounded by super-mundane persons and sages,
like a phoenix;
With deep and vast mind,
like a great ocean;
has the heart of equality towards all,
like the grass and woods;
Discerns all phenomena,
like watching an empty fist;
Benefits the worlds with the heart of equality,
Has achieved the wonderful appearance,
along with the great compassion;
Can award innumerable living beings,
the distinctive mark of future Buddhahood.
I now have enlightened,
innumerable living beings;
award me the distinctive mark of Buddhahood,
which predicts that I will,
achieve the supreme Way (Perfection, Enlightenment),
in the age of turbidities and evil.
The Bhagavan with delicate and wonderful wisdom,
The great immortal one,
Please speak it with the wonderful voice.
In the evil age,
I will practice myriads of forbearances,
fight with the knots, shackles and afflictions,
pull out all the innumerable living beings,
and settle them,
in the Way of stillness and quiescence."
"Virtuous man, after Ocean-Atoms Brahmana had glorified Treasure-Store Tathagata by speaking the gatha(verse), at that time, all members of the congregation praised him together: 'How virtuous, How virtuous! Great hero, you are so virtuous that can praise the Tathagata -- the Dharma King.'"
"The Brahmana then said to the Buddha again: 'Bhagavan, I have taught and enlightened innumerable billions of living beings, and made them arouse the Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart. Those living beings have already vowed to choose the pure and wonderful worlds, and get away from the defiled worlds. They have chosen to teach the living beings who cultivate the virtuous roots with pure mind and are easy to be enlightened.'"
"'For the 1004 persons including Fire-Wreath Manavaka, who reads and recites Veda -- the Exterior-Path scriptures, the Tathagata has already awarded them the distinctive marks of future Buddhahood, which predicts that they will become Buddhas in the Good-kalpa (Bhadra-kalpa: the present kalpa), and will, by using the three vehicles (yana), enlighten all the living beings who often commit greed, lechery, anger, ignorance, and arrogance. Those 1004 Buddhas also abandon the living beings in the evil age of the five turbidities, the living beings who have thick and weighty afflictions, commit the five heinous sins(*), demolish the true Dharma, slander sages(holy persons/saints), behave according to the evil views, keep away from the holy seven treasures, do not treat their parents well, do not respect Sramanas and Brahmanas, do what ought not to be done, do not do what ought to be done, do not cultivate blessings, do not fear for the consequences of future, do not wish to cultivate the merits of the three virtuous places, do not want the result and recompense of becoming heavenly or human beings, constantly committing the ten evil deeds, incline to the three non-virtuous destinies, keep themselves away from the virtuous knowledgeable advisors (kalyana-mitra), and are not conscious of approaching the real wisdom, are being confined in the prison of birth and death of the three existences, are being driven by the four outflows and are submerged in the gray river, are blinded by ignorance, are away from virtuous karma, and only producing evil karma. For such living beings, the worlds of those Buddhas do not accept them, therefore they are banished and gathered in this world, because they commit the deeds of non-virtuous karma instead of cultivating virtuous karma. Being tied in the evil path, the weighty evil sins that they accumulate are like huge mountains. At that time, in the Good-kalpa in Saha world, when the lifespan of human beings is a thousand years, those 1004 Buddhas will not choose such a bad and evil world, so the living beings will be drifting and rolling in birth and death, will be helpless, will have no dependence, no refuge, and no lamp, and will suffer from myriads of afflictions. The sages have abandoned them, only wish to choose the pure and wonderful worlds, and only embrace the living beings who are already easy to be enlightened, having pure mind, having planted the virtuous roots and practicing diligently, and having already offered and sustained innumerable Buddhas. Bhagavan, is that true?'"
The holy seven treasures:
1. The treasure of Belief;
2. The treasure of Diligence;
3. The treasure of Precept-keeping;
4. The treasure of Shame/Compunction;
5. The treasure of Hearing Dharmas;
6. The treasure of Generosity;
7. The treasure of Samadhi and Wisdom.)
(* The five
1. Killing one's mother;
2. Killing one's father;
3. Killing an Arhat;
4. To wound the body of the Buddha;
5. To destroy the harmony of the Sangha )
"Treasure-Store Tathagata replied: 'Yes it is, virtuous man. These people choose various sublime and pure worlds according to their favors, and I have awarded them the distinctive marks of future Buddhahood, according to their wishes.'"
"The Brahmana then said to the Buddha: 'Bhagavan, my heart is now trembling like a banana leaf, my mind is greatly worrying, and my body is filled with depression. These Bodhisattvas, despite having all aroused the great compassion, they cannot choose the evil age of the five turbidities, so that those living beings will fall into the darkness of ignorance.'"
"'Bhagavan, from now on, unto one Ganges-river-sands asamkhya kalpas, two Ganges-river-sands asamkhya kalpas, and three Ganges-river-sands asamkhya kalpas later, as far as the Good-kalpa, when the human lifespan is a thousand years, I will be carrying out the Bodhisattva practices, staying within birth and death for eons and forbearing myriads of afflictions. By the power of Samadhi of Bodhisattvas, I must not abandon those living beings.'"
"'Bhagavan, I will, in person, practice the Six Paramitas to enlighten the living beings. Just like what the Buddha said, giving money and properties is called Dana Paramita. Bhagavan, when I am practicing Dana Paramita, if any living beings, in lifetimes after lifetimes, ask me for what they need, I will fulfill all their requests, including drinks, foods, medicines, clothes, beds, houses, gardens, flowers, fragrances, necklaces, and paste-fragrances. I will offer the patients with medicines and nurses according to their illnesses. I will donate streamers, precious canopies, properties, grain, silks, elephants, horses, vehicles, gold, silver, money, goods, pearls, lapis lazuli, sphatika, jades, shells, corals, ambers, heavenly crowns, adornments, and other precious things. I will arouse the great compassionate heart towards the living beings including the poor ones and donate to them, and, although I make such donations, I do not want any reward of heavenly or human worlds, just for enlightening and embracing the living beings, I donate all that I have. If any living beings ask too much, for the things such as my servants, servant-girls, villages, cities, wives, men, women, hands, feet, nose, tongue, head, eyes, skin, blood, bones, fleshes, body, and so forth, I will arouse the great compassionate heart and donate such things to them, without desire for any reward, but just for enlightening and embracing the living beings.'"
"'Bhagavan, the way that I practice Dana Paramita, cannot be matched by any Bodhisattvas in the past, who practiced Dana Paramita, and cannot be matched by any Bodhisattvas in the future, who will arouse Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart and practice Dana Paramita. Bhagavan, in order to carry out the Bodhisattva-Way in the future, I will be practicing such Dana Paramita for hundreds of thousands of billions of kalpas. Bhagavan, if in the future, there will be anyone who wishes to practice the Bodhisattva-Way, I will practice Dana Paramita for him, to encourage him not to give up.'"
"'When I first cultivate Sila Paramita, for Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will keep myriads of precepts, carry out myriads of austerities, as what the Buddha teaches.'"
"'Discerning that I have no Self, I will not be hurt by the five dirt(*), this is Ksanti Paramita. I will be practicing Ksanti Paramita as the Buddha teaches.'"
(* The five dirt: form(seeing), sound(hearing), odor(olfaction), taste, touch)
"'Discerning the faults of all behaviors (samskrta) and keeping away from them, seeing the delicateness, wonderfulness and quiescence of uncreated (asamskrta) Dharma, practicing the unsurpassed Way diligently and do not retrograde, this is Virya Paramita. I will also be practicing Virya Paramita in such a way.'"
"'Meditating on the state of emptiness everywhere, and gaining the Dharma of still quiescence, is called Dhyana Paramita.'"
"'Understanding that all things(dharma) do not have the essence of being created, therefore they do not vanish, is called Prajna Paramita. I will be practicing Prajna Paramita firmly and diligently for innumerable hundreds of thousands of billions of Asamkhya kalpas. Why? Because there could be some Bodhisattvas in the past, who did not practice Prajna Paramita firmly and diligently for Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and the Bodhisattva-Way; and there would be some Bodhisattvas in the future, who are not yet able to practice Prajna Paramita firmly and diligently for Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and the Bodhisattva-Way. Therefore, I have to, in such a way, arouse Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart and practice the Bodhisattva-Way in the future, to make all the virtuous Dharmas not to be lost.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I first arouse Bodhi-Heart, I will have already unveiled the Great Compassion, unto Nirvana, for the Bodhisattvas in the future. Those who hear my greatly compassionate vows will be astonished and exclaim that they are unprecedented. Thus, I will not praise myself for my donating practices, will not be proud of my precept keeping, forbearance, diligence, or Dhyana practices, and all my wisdom will not be attached to any of the Three Times (the past, the present and the future). Although I practice the Six Paramita in such a way, I do not do it for any reward. Just because there are some living beings, who are away from the holy seven treasures, are abandoned by the Worlds of the Buddhas, commit the five heinous sins, demolish the true Dharma, slander the sages, behave according to the evil views, have weighty evil sins as huge as great mountains, and are constantly obstructed by evils. Thus, for those living beings, I have to cultivate the Six Paramita intently, bravely, and diligently. In order to help each of the living beings to plant virtuous roots, I wish to enter into Avichi Hell for ten kalpas and suffer from immeasurable afflictions, and also do the same in the incarnations of animals, hungry ghosts, poor ghosts and spirits, and low-class persons. For those living beings who have no virtuous root, lost their minds (have difficulty in concentrating), or have withered or burning hearts, I will embrace and enlighten all of them to make them plant virtuous roots. I will be practicing in such a way, and, unto the age of Good kalpa, I will never seek for any bliss of heavenly or human worlds, except that when I am going to become a Buddha in the next lifetime, dwelling in Tushita heaven and waiting for the achievement of Buddhahood.'"
"I must stay in births and deaths in such a way, for as many kalpas as there are atoms of a Buddha World, and make myriads of offerings to the Buddhas. In order to plant virtuous roots for a single living being, I will offer up as many offerings as there are atoms of a Buddha World, to each of the innumerable and illimitable Buddhas of the ten directions, and gain the merits and virtues as many as the atoms of a Buddha World, from each of the innumerable and illimitable Buddhas of the ten directions. And then, in front of each of the Buddhas, I will be able to teach and enlighten as many living beings as there are atoms of a Buddha World, and make them dwell in the Way of unsurpassed Bodhi, Pratyeka-buddha, or Voice-hearer(Sravaka), according to their wishes.'"
"'During the age that there is no Buddha in the world, I will be a supernatural person (rsi) to teach the living beings, to make them persist in the ten virtues, gain the five supernatural powers, and keep away from the evil views.'"
"'If there are any living beings, who worship the heavenly God Mahesvara, I will transform myself into Mahesvara to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For those who worship the eight-armed God Narayana, I will transform myself into Narayana to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For those who worship the sun, the moon, or the Brahma God, I will also transform myself into the sun, the moon, or the Brahma God to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For those who worship Garudas (Golden-winged bird) or even rabbits, I will also transform myself into Garudas or rabbits to teach and enlighten them, to make them dwell at the virtuous Dharmas.'"
"For hungry and thirsty living beings, I will give them the flesh and blood of my body to make them full up.'"
"For those living beings who commit various sins, I will make my bodies and my lives suffer from their retributions instead of those living beings, to save and protect them.'"
"'Bhagavan, in the future, there will be some living beings who lack virtuous root and have their virtuous hearts burnt out. For the sake of those living beings, I must practice the Bodhisattva-Way diligently, and endure myriads of sufferings in births and deaths, unto one Ganges-river-sands Asamkhya kalpas later, two Ganges-river-sands Asamkhya kalpas later, and unto the beginning of Good-kalpa, when Fire-Wreath Manavaka has achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, with the name Krakucchanda Tathagata. At that time, for those living beings that I will have taught and enlightened,, who were away from virtuous karma, committed evil karma, had withered and burning hearts, lacked the holy seven treasures, committed the five heinous sins, demolished the true Dharma, slandered sages, behaved according to the evil views, had weighty sins as huge as great mountains, were constantly overlaid by evil obstructions, were abandoned and living in the worlds that had no Buddha, I wish that they will all have aroused Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi Heart and practice Dana-Paramita up to Prajna-Paramita, will be dwelling stably at the non-retrograde stages, will have achieved Buddhahood, and will be turning the true Dharma Wheels in the ten directions, in the Buddha Worlds as many as the atoms of thousands of Buddha Worlds, to make all living beings plant the virtuous roots of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, get away from the evil paths, gain merits, virtues and wisdom, and achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. I wish I will see that at that time.'"
"'Bhagavan, now the living beings who have been sent to the present Buddhas, Bhagavans' worlds, who have been awarded the distinctive marks of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, who have gained Samadhis, Dharanis, forbearances, or the Bodhisattva Stages (Bhumi), are all persuaded and enlightened by me, so that they vowed to select sublime Buddha Worlds, and will gain the sublime Buddha Worlds as they wish. In the Good-Kalpa, when Krakucchanda Buddha will be appearing in the world, these living beings will also have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi in the ten directions, in the Buddha Worlds as many as the atoms of thousands of Buddha Worlds, will be speaking Dharma everywhere and make me see all of them.'"
"'Bhagavan, when Krakucchanda Buddha has achieved Buddhahood, I will go to where he will be, make various offerings to him, and inquire various Dharmas. I will become a monk (leave home), keep pure precepts, study diffusely, listen extensively, practice Samadhis intently, carry on the diligence, and become the number one Dharma-expounder among all living beings, except the Tathagatas.'"
"'At that age, there would be some dull living beings who lack virtuous root, fall into evil views, behave immorally, commit the five heinous sins, demolish the correct Dharmas, slander the sages, and have weighty evil sins like huge mountains. I will speak correct Dharmas for such living beings to assimilate and enlighten them.'"
"'After the sun of Buddha disappear, I will be naturally performing innumerable Buddha-Works (Buddha-karya). In such a way, unto the time when Kanakamuni Kasyapa Buddha appear in the world and speak Dharmas, I will also go to where he will be, and fully perform the Buddha-Works.'"
"'When the human lifespan become one thousand years, I will teach the living beings to cultivate the three blessing karma, so that they will be reborn in the heavens after the end of their lives. I will then speak Dharmas for those heavenly gods to enlighten and ferry them.'"
"When the human lifespan becomes 120 years, the sentient beings will be foolish and ignorant, they will be proud of their appearances or races, will be dissipated, miserly, jealous, and be imprisoned in the darkness of the five turbidities. They will have thick and weighty greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, miserliness, and jealousy, they will satisfy their desires immorally, and earn money immorally. They will behave according to the evil and upside-down views, will lack the holy seven treasures, will not treat their parents well, and will not respect the Sramanas or Brahmanas. They will not do what they should do, and will do what they should not do. They will not cultivate blessings and they have no fear of their next lifetimes. They will not cultivate the three virtues diligently, and will not enjoy any of the three vehicles. They will not cultivate the three virtuous karma, but only commit the three evil karma. They will not cultivate the ten virtues, but often commit the ten evils. Their hearts will always be covered by the four inverted views, and they will persist in breaking the four precepts, so that the four demon kings will always be unrestricted. They will be floating in the four sick rivers, and their hearts will be covered by the five coverings.'"
The four inverted views [to the mundane world]:
1. The inverted view of permanence--taking the impermanent to be permanent;
2. Enjoyment--perceiving suffering as enjoyment;
3. Self--perceiving what is not a self to be a self.
4. Purity-- seeing the impure as pure;
However, in the Great-Nirvana(Maha-Parinirvana), the Buddhas can truly achieve the Permanence, Great-Enjoyment, True Self, and Purity, which are the four meritorious virtues of the Great-Nirvana.)
(* The five coverings: desire, anger, dullness, agitation, and doubt)
"'Their six sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind) will be dissipated, and they will commit the eight kinds of evil deeds. They will be burdening the great mountains of sins, and will be tied by various knots. They will not want the karma-fruits of being reborn in heavens or human worlds, but will be going to the evil destinies because of their evil and upside-down views. They will produce Uninterrupted Hells' karma, will slander the correct Dharmas, slander sages, and destroy their own virtuous roots. They will be poor and rascally, have no fear of retribution, have no awareness of kindness or righteousness, lost the correct minds, disdain virtuous teachings, have no wisdom, lack knowledge, often forget, break the precepts, and will be adulatory. Because of their jealousy, they will not share their properties with others, but will despise each other with no respect. They will be lazy and have lacunas in their various roots, their bodies will be emaciated, and they will have not enough clothes. They will like to get close to non-virtuous advisors, and they will lose their memories of being in the wombs. They will often be afflicted with various illnesses so that their appearances will be ugly. They will glare at each other without shame or compunction, to scare each other. In one moment, they will produce immeasurable and limitless evil karma through their bodies, mouths and minds, and they will be admired by others because of their immoral deeds.'"
"'At that age, the living beings will follow the views of nihilism or substantialism, be attached to their flimsy bodies which are full of the five skandhas(aggregates), be attached deeply to the five desires, often arouse the mind of anger, resentment, hatred, and cheat, with the desire of hurting living beings.'"
1. The cravings of the five organs. Five kinds of desire that arise from attachment to the objects of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body.
2. The five desires of wealth, sex, food, fame and sleep. )
"'Their hearts will often be filled with anger, worry, and other defilements; their hearts will be coarse, non-gentle, miserly and greedy. It will be difficult for them to give up immoral behaviors and insist on virtues. They will often scare each others and argue with each others, and kill and hurt each others with their defiled hearts. They will be far away from the virtuous Dharmas, often arouse non-virtuous minds and commit various evil deeds. They will not believe the retribution of karma, will arouse opposite minds towards virtuous teachings, will arouse happy minds towards non-virtuous phenomena, will arouse the mind of doing non-virtuous things intently, will not seek for the salvation of the still quiescence and Nirvana, will not respect the precept-keeping Sramanas and Brahmans, will be fond of and thirst for the ties and knots, will believe that aging, illness and death are inescapable, will believe that their myriads of afflictions are the nature of things, will enjoy the five coverings, will arouse the mind of keeping away from the true Dharmas, will arouse the mind of attaching to various views, will often arouse the minds of hostility, disdain, hurting, fighting, and eating each others, will arouse the minds of arrogance and bullying others, and will arouse the mind of hatred, the mind of killing each others, the mind of unsatisfiable greed, the mind of being jealous of the properties of others, the mind of ungratefulness, the mind of stealing, the mind of committing sexual misconduct, and the mind of molesting others.'"
"'At that age, all the living beings have no virtuous wish in their hearts, therefore they will, during their continuous rebirths, often hear the sounds of hells, the sounds of animals, the sounds of hungry ghosts, the sounds of diseases, the sounds of aging, the sounds of death, the sounds of hurting, the sounds of the eight difficulties(*), the sounds of imprisoning, the sounds of being restricted by shackles, the sounds of torturing, the sounds of robbing the properties of others, the sounds of gossips, the sounds of scolding, the sounds of destroying the harmony of people, the sounds of stealing, the sounds of wars, the sounds of hunger, the sounds of greed, the sounds of sexual misconduct, the sounds of false speeches, the sounds of ignorance and madness, the sounds of loose speeches, the sounds of harsh speeches, the sounds of sowing discords, the sounds of jealousy, the sounds of miserliness, the sounds of arguments, the sounds of egotism, the sounds of love or hatred, the sounds of being separated from the persons or things that one loves, the sounds of being associated with the persons or things that one dislikes, the sound of selling, the sounds of betraying, the sounds of being in wombs, the sounds of feculences, the sounds of cold, the sounds of hot, the sounds of hunger, the sounds of thirst, the sounds of tiredness, the sounds of the aches caused by illnesses, the sounds of planting, the sounds of the weariness caused by various workings, the sounds of being tortured by various afflictions, the sounds of various pestilences, and so forth.'"
The eight difficulties:
Eight circumstances in which it is difficult to see the Buddha or hear his teaching:
1. The condition of a hell-being;
2. Hungry ghost;
4. In the long-life heavens [where one's life is long and easy];
5. In Uttara-kuru -- the northern continent, where all is pleasant so that no one wish to be enlightened;
6. As deaf, blind or dumb;
7. As a mundane philosopher;
8. In the intermediate time between the life of a Buddha and his successor.)
"'The living beings in that age will often hear such sounds. At that time, within the Saha world, there will be full of those living beings, who lack virtuous roots, keep themselves away from virtuous knowledgeable advisors, and often arouse evil minds. Due to their weighty evil karma, they will be abandoned by the worlds of other Buddhas, and live in the period of Good-kalpa that the human lifespan is 120 years.'"
"'At that age, because of the weighty evil karma of those living beings, the Saha world will be very ugly and defiled, so that most of the persons who have blessings and virtuous roots will get away from that world. In the Saha world, there will be many alkali soils with bitter or salt taste, and there will be plenty of dirt, sands, gravels, and rocks. The ground will be uneven, with peaks, hills, precipices, rivulets, and abysses. There will be plenty of mosquitoes, flies, poisonous snakes, and various fierce birds and beasts. At that time, there will be many evil winds, hard rains, and hailstones, which befall unseasonably. The water of the rains will be poisonous and have unpleasant taste, so that the branches, leaves, flowers and fruits of the herbs and the trees, and the grains and crops, will all be polluted by the poisons. Having eaten such foods polluted by the poisons, the living beings' angers and hatreds will increase, and their looks will become unhealthy. They will fail to arouse the merciful heart towards other living beings, they will slander sages(holy persons) and will not respect each others; they will often arouse the mind of frightening, hurting, and killing each others; they will eat flesh, drink blood, and wear the clothes made of skins, will often hurt and kill each others with their weapons, will be arrogant because of their races or beauties, will learn the books of Exterior-path(*) theories, will exercise the fighting skills such as horse-riding, swordplay, archery, etc, and fight against each others, and will be jealous of their own relatives.'"
The true way to the Correct-Awakening is called Inner-path, oppositely, all other ways that cannot reach this goal are called Exterior-paths.
Generally, "Exterior-path" is interpreted by many people as "non-Buddhist"/"other religious teachings than Buddhism"/"heretic".)
"'Those living beings will often commit such evil deeds.'"
"'Bhagavan, in that distressful age, I vow to go down from Tushita heaven and be born in a supreme Wheel-Turning-King's family. I will enter the womb of the first-lady of the royalty. In order to soften the hearts of the living beings and make them cultivate the virtuous roots, I will emit forth a great light when I am entering the womb. The light, which is delicate and wonderful, will illuminate everywhere of the Saha World -- from the Gold-Wheel-Place to Akanistha heaven. I wish that all the living beings, including the hell beings, animals, hungry ghosts, heavenly gods, human beings, corporeal beings, formless beings, having-thoughts beings, having-no-thought beings, non-having-thoughts beings, non-having-no-thought beings, and so forth, will all see that delicate and wonderful light, and can perceive it when the light touch their bodies. Having seen and perceived that light, they will all discern the disadvantages within birth and death, and then will diligently seek for the uppermost tranquil extinction - the Nirvana, till they cut off all afflictions. -- This is called making the living beings plant the seed of Nirvana at the first time.'"
"'I wish that during the ten months when I will be in the womb, I will attain all Dharmas and enter into all Dharma-Gates, such as the Dharma-Gate of Uncreated Empty Samadhi, and so forth. I will be speaking these Samadhis for countless kalpas in the future, and my virtuous resolved heart will never end.'"
"'When I come out of the womb and achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will pull up all those living beings from births and deaths, and make them all able to see me.'"
"'Although I will be situated in the womb of my mother for fully ten months, during that period, I will be actually staying in Rare-Treasure Samadhi, sitting with my legs crossed in lotus position, and meditating with the correct concentration (Samapatti). After the ten months, I will be born from the right armpit, and will, by the Samadhi power built of all merits and virtues, make the Saha world -- down to the Gold-Wheel-Place and up to Akanistha heaven -- shake in six different ways, so that the living beings in Saha world, no matter they are hell beings, animals, hungry ghosts, heavenly gods, or human beings, they will all be awakened. At that time, I will also emit forth a delicate and wonderful light, which illuminate everywhere of Saha World, to awaken other innumerable living beings. If there will be any living beings who will have not yet planted virtuous roots, I will appease them and make them plant virtuous roots; after planting the virtuous roots of Nirvana, I will make their buds of Samadhi grow out.'"
"'When I am born from the right armpit, and touch the ground with my feet, I wish that the Saha World, from the Gold-Wheel-Place up to Akanistha heaven, will again shake in six different ways, so that all the living beings in the five paths(*), including those who live in water, those who live on earth, those who live in the sky, those who are born from wombs, those who are born from eggs, those who are born from moisture, and those who are born miraculously, will all be awakened.'"
(* The five paths: hell being, hungry ghost, animal, human being, and heavenly god)
"'For those living beings who would have not yet attain Samadhi, I wish that they will all attain Samadhi, and then stay in the Dharma of the three vehicles, and reach the none-retrograde stage.'"
"'When I have been born, all the heavenly beings in Saha world, including the Brahma gods, heavenly demons, gods of Trayastrimsha heaven, gods of sun, gods of moon, the four heavenly kings, the great dragon kings, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, miraculously born beings, immortal beings (rsi), Yaksas, and Raksas, will all come to make offerings to me.'"
"'Having just been born, I will take seven steps, and then, I will speak correct Dharma with the Samadhi power that centralizes all merits and virtues, to make the great assembly happy and dwell in the three vehicles.'"
"'For the living beings in the assembly, if anyone wish to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, I will make them achieve the goal within that very life. If anyone wish to study the Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, I will make them all achieve the Sun-Flower Forbearance. If anyone wish to study the Great vehicle(Mahayana), I will make them all achieve the Vajra-Holding Ocean Immovable Samadhi, and exceed the third Bhumi(stage) by the power of the Samadhi.'"
"'At that time, when I wish to bath, the supreme great dragon king will come to bath my body, and if any living being see the bath, they will enter into the three vehicles, and attain the merits and virtues as mentioned above.'"
"'I will appear as doing various things, which are manifestations, for enlightening all living beings. I will be a boy, ridding a sheep cart, will be staying in the palace, playing with the princesses, will realize the faults of that life, escape from the city in a midnight, and take off the ornaments such as necklaces from my body. In order to conquer the theories of the exterior-paths such as Nirgrantha-jnata-putra(Jain), etc., and make them respect the Dharma-Cloths, I will go under the Bodhi-tree wearing a Kasaya. If any living beings see that I am under the Bodhi-tree, I will speak the Dharma of the three vehicles for them, with the Samadhi power built of all merits and virtues, to make them study the three vehicles diligently. If any of them have germinated the bud of voice-hearer's vehicle, I will make them eliminate all afflictions in that very lifetime, and be ferried by me. If any of them have germinated the bud of Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, I will make them obtain the Sun-Flower Forbearance. If any of them have germinated the bud of Great-Vehicle (Mahayana), I will make them all achieve the Vajra-Holding Ocean Immovable Samadhi, and exceed the forth Bhumi(stage) by the power of the Samadhi.'"
"'I will arrange a Vajra-seat beneath the Bodhi-tree with some grass, sit on it with my legs crossed in lotus position, set both my body and my mind upright, and enter into the immovable Samadhi, which makes both my inhalation and exhalation stop. In every day, when I come out of the Samadhi, I will eat only half a sesame, and donate another half to others. I will be practicing such austerities for a long time, so that all the heavenly beings in the Saha world, up to Akanistha heaven, will come to where I will be, make offerings to me, and bear witness to my austerities. If any of them have planted the virtuous root of voice-hearer's vehicle, Bhagavan, I wish that all his knots of afflictions will be eliminated, and he can be ferried by me in that very lifetime; for those who want Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle or Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'Moreover, the dragons, Yaksas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, hungry ghosts, pisacas, the supernatural humans with the five supernatural forces, and so forth, will also come to where I will be, make offerings to me, and bear witness to my austerities. If any of them want to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'For those living beings in the four great continents who practice harsh austerities, some non-human beings will go to where they will be and say to them: 'Your austerities cannot obtain great fruitful rewards, and are not unprecedented. Now somewhere, a Final-Incarnation Bodhisattva is practicing austerities. He can enter into a delicate and wonderful Samadhi so that his karma of the body, mouth, and mind can all be extinct, and both his inhalation and exhalation can be stopped. He eats only half a sesame for one day and one night. Such austerities will attain great fruitful rewards, gain great benefits, and will enlighten many living beings. That practitioner of austerities will soon achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. If you do not believe me, you can go to where he is and see what he is doing.'"
"'Bhagavan, I wish that those people will all stop their practices, go to where I will be, and see my austerities. If any of them want to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'For the kings, officers, commoners, lay-persons, monks, and so forth, who can see my austerities, I wish that they will all go to where I will be and make offerings to me. If any of them want to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'If any woman, who see my austerities, come to make offerings to me, then she will never be reborn in a female body again. If she wants to study the voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will ferry her as mentioned above.'"
"'If any birds or beasts see my austerities and come to where I will be, then upon their death, they will never be reborn in animal body again. If any of them have planted the virtuous root of voice-hearer's vehicle, I will ferry them within that very lifetime; if any of them want Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle or Great-vehicle(Mahayana), I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"For other various animals, small insects, hungry ghosts, and so forth, I will also ferry them as mentioned above.'"
"'I will practice such austerities at that time, and as soon as I sit with my legs crossed in lotus position, hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas innumerable living beings will come to bear witness. Those living beings will have planted the seed of liberation for immeasurable and illimitable Asamkhya kalpas.'"
"'Bhagavan, I will practice austerities in such a way that, no living being in the past, who ever practiced the exterior-paths, voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-Vehicle(Mahayana), could carry out such practices, and also, no living being in the future, who will practice the exterior-paths, voice-hearer's vehicle, Pratyeka-buddha's vehicle, or the Great-Vehicle(Mahayana), will be able to carry out such practices.'"
"'Before I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I will have already been able to do the great things, such as taming the demon kings and their relatives. When I have defeated the demons of afflictions and achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, in order to make one living being stay peacefully in the supreme and wonderful fruition of Arhat, I will appear in a body which bears the remaining karma retributions. In the same way, I will also convert the second, the third, the fourth, and so on, to Arhat.'"
"'For every living being, I will manifest hundreds of thousands of immeasurable supernatural powers of unimpeded bodily functions, to make them have the correct views. For every living being, I will expound the meanings of hundreds of thousands of innumerable Dharma-gates, to make them achieve the saintly fruitions according to their wishes. I will destroy the mountains of afflictions of all living beings, and speak the Dharma of the three vehicles for them. For every living being, I will go personally to where he is and speak Dharma for him without using my supernatural power, even if the distance is more than hundreds of thousands of Yojanas, to make him stay peacefully in fearlessness. If anyone wishes to become a monk who practices my Dharma, I wish that he will not be obstructed by any things such as weakness, forgetfulness, madness, arrogance, bigotry, ignorance, the knots of afflictions, or distraction. If any woman wishes to become a Buddhist nun, study the Way to enlightenment, and accept the complete precepts, I wish that her wishes will be fulfilled. I wish that my fourfold assembly - Bhiksu, Bhiksuni, Upasaka, Upasika, will all gain the offerings. I also wish that the heavenly gods, ghosts, and deities will all achieve the four noble truths(*), and the dragons, Asuras, and various animals will accept and uphold the eight precepts and carry out pure Brahma practice.'"
The four noble truths:
1. The truth of suffering [duhkha];
2. The truth of the arising of suffering [samudaya];
3. The truth of the cessation of suffering [nirodha];
4. the truth of the path to the cessation of suffering [marga]
when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, if any living-being being angry
towards me, wants to hurt me with the weapons such as swords, staffs, fire, pits,
and so forth, slanders and scolds me with rude words, curses me at everywhere
of the realms of the ten directions, or puts poisons into my drinks and foods,
I will accept all such retributions of my remaining karma. When those living beings,
who are the enemies of my past lifetimes, arouse cruel intentions towards me,
curse me with various vicious words, put poisons into my drinks and foods, come
to where I will be with weapons and make my body bleed, I will speak Dharma for
them, with my heart filled with great compassion, and my wonderful Brahma gentle
voice, to give them the teachings such as precept-keeping, broad knowledge, and
Samadhi, to purify their hearts, make them stay in virtuous Dharmas, make them
repent and never commit again the evil karma that they have committed, make them
all be reborn freely as heavenly or human beings and achieve wonderful liberations,
make them free from evil desires and stay peacefully in the supreme fruitions,
and make them cut off all outflows forever, and eliminate all karma obstructions.
After that, all my remaining karma retributions will be ended.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, coming out of every hair pore on my body day after day, there will be many miraculously created (nirmana) Buddhas, who fully have the 32 marks(*) and the 80 minor marks.'"
The 32 marks:
The thirty-two distinguishing marks on the body of a Buddha:
1. Flat soles;
2. A thousand-spokes Dharma-wheel on each sole;
3. Slender and long fingers;
4. Flexible limbs;
5. Webbed fingers and toes;
6. Perfect heels;
7. Perfect insteps;
8. Perfect thighs like those of a deer king;
9. Arms extending past the knees;
10. A concealed sex organ like that of a horse;
11. Arm-span equal to the height of the body;
12. One hair in each pore;
13. Hair standing straight up;
14. Golden body;
15. Great light radiating from the body
16. Delicate skin;
17. The seven places: two sole, two palms, two shoulders, and neck, where there are pits on a mundane person's body, are flat;
18. Flat armpits;
19. A dignified body like that of a lion king;
20. An erect body;
21. Perfect shoulders;
22. Forty teeth;
23. White, firm, and tight teeth;
24. Four white canine teeth;
25. Full cheeks like those of a lion;
26. Flavored saliva;
27. A long, slender tongue;
28. Brahma voice which can reach far distance;
29. Blue eyes;
30. Perfect eyelashes like those of a bull king;
31. White hair between the eyebrows, which circumvolve clockwise and emit forth light;
32. A fleshy bun on the top of the head, also called the crown that no one can see its top. )
"'I will send those miraculously created (nirmana) Buddhas to the worlds that have no Buddha, the worlds that have Buddha, and the worlds of the five turbidities, within which there are persons who commit the five heinous sins, demolish correct Dharmas, slander saintly persons, or even cut off all their own virtuous roots. Some of them may study the Voice-hearer's vehicle, Conditional-Awakener(Pratyeka-buddha)'s vehicle, or the Great-vehicle(Mahayana), but they break the precepts and commit serious sins. For such hundreds of thousands of billions of living beings, who have their virtuous hearts burnt out and lost the virtuous paths, who are submerged in the moor of birth and death, are walking on the evil paths, and are climbing the mountains of sins, each of the nirmana(miraculously created) Buddhas will speak Dharma for them day to day. For those who worship Mahesvara, the nirmana Buddhas will appear as Mahesvara and speak Dharma for them. The nirmana Buddhas will also tell those living beings about my name and my Buddha World, and persuade them to make virtuous wishes. I wish the living beings who hear that will become happy and be willing to reborn in my Buddha World.'"
"'Bhagavan, when those living beings are about to die, if I do not appear in front of them and speak Dharma for them to purify their hearts, then let me be unable to achieve Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi in the future. After their death, if they fall into any of the three evil paths(hell, hungry ghost, and animal) and cannot be reborn in my World with human bodies, then let me forget all the innumerable correct Dharmas that I have known, and let me be unable to accomplish any Buddha-Works(buddha-karya).'"
"'For those who worship Narayana, it will be the same as mentioned above.'"
"'Bhagavan, when I have achieved Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, I wish that the sinful living beings in all other worlds, including those who commit the five heinous sins, who are walking on evil paths, who are climbing the mountains of sins, and so forth, will all be reborn in my world after their death. Due to their own karma, their skin will be lackluster and their faces would be as ugly as Pisaca. They will be forgetful, will break the precepts, will be feculent and have many illnesses, and will often lack enough materials to maintain their lives. Their lifespan will be short, and they will commit various evil deeds to even shorten their lives.'"
"'For such living beings, at one time, I will manifest in the Saha World that I go down from Tushita heaven, stay in the mother's womb, be born, be a child, study various skills, leave home, practice austerities, defeat the demons, achieve the uppermost Way, turn the True Dharma Wheels, enter into Nirvana, distribute my sharira, and so forth. I will manifest various Buddha-Works(buddha-karya) in such a way, at everywhere of the hundreds of billions of the four great continents.'"