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Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra: Contemplating the Karmic Conditions of Beings, Part 4 of 6



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First become Buddha and then save all beings. And the Earth Bodhisattva is the opposite. First save all beings, then become Buddha.


"'Because I receive the awesome spiritual strength of the Buddha, Thus Come One, I am able to divide my body and rescue beings who are undergoing karmic retributions everywhere in billions of worlds. If it were not for the great compassionate strength of the Thus Come One, I would be unable to perform such changes and transformations.'" That's also correct. But it takes a good instrument. Even if the Buddha blesses Him, it takes a good person, good being to do this. Otherwise, if someone is not worthy, even the Buddha's blessing, it's like the rain on the raincoat. Makes no difference. The Buddha blesses all the same. Just someone can receive more, someone receives less, someone receives nada, nothing.

"Now the World Honored One has entrusted me with rescuing and liberating beings in the Six Paths." It means the Six Suffering Paths. Like the human being, those of the ghosts, different ghosts, like hungry ghosts, yaksa ghosts, and hell and all that, and animals. One of the Six Suffering Paths is like that. "Until Ajita becomes a Buddha." Means from now until then, the Buddha entrusted Him to continue His job. "'I accept the entrustment.' The Bodhisattva said, 'OK. I can. Yes, we can! I'll do it! World Honored One, please have no further concern.'" Means, "Don't worry. I'll make it! We can manage that (in German). We'll make it." "Then the Buddha told Earth Store Bodhisattva thus, 'Beings who have not yet obtained liberation have unfixed natures and consciousness. Their bad habits reap (bad) karma; their good habits bring rewards. Reacting to situations by doing good or evil acts causes them to turn in the Five Paths without a moment's rest.'" Means apart from being human, they have other suffering paths. No liberation paths, like into animals, or ghosts, devils, hell, and like that. "Throughout eons as numerous as motes of dust, they remain confused, deluded, obstructed, and afflicted by difficulties. They are like fish swimming through waters laced with nets. They may slip through and keep their freedom temporarily, but sooner or later they will be caught. I am concerned about such beings. But since you keep making extensive vows repeatedly throughout successive eons to take such offenders across," means liberating them, helping them. "'What further worries need I have?'" Meaning the Buddha is not worried anymore, because the Earth Store Bodhisattva is taking care of all these sinners.


"After that was said, a bodhisattva mahasattva in the assembly, named Samadhi Self-Mastery King, said to the Buddha, 'World Honored One, what vows has Earth Store Bodhisattva made during so many successive eons that He now receives the World Honored One's special praise? We hope the Buddha will tell us about that.' Then the Buddha said to Samadhi Self-Mastery King, 'Listen attentively and reflect well on the examples I am about to give you. One time, limitless asamkhyeyas of nayutas of inexpressible eons,'" means long, long, long time, limitless time, times immemorial ago, "'a Buddha named All-Knowledge-Accomplished Thus Come One, One Worthy of Offerings, One of Proper and Pervasive Knowledge, One Perfect in Clarity and Conduct, Well-Gone One, Unsurpassed Knight Who Understands the World, Taming and Subduing Hero, Teacher of Gods and Humans, Buddha, World-Honored One, appeared in the world.'" Oh! He has more titles than Shakyamuni Buddha. That's not fair. No, just all beings praise Him and give Him thus. Not like He came out and said, "I am this and that and other." This is just to clarify the qualities - that this Buddha has all these qualities within Him. He attained all that.

So, "'Taming and Subduing Hero.'" He's also called Hero. Yeah. "That Buddha's lifespan was 60,000 eons." All these Buddhas they lived long. In those long ago times, they lived long. And then when Buddha Shakyamuni was here, Ananda didn't tell Him to live that long, didn't say anything, so the Buddha went to Nirvana fast. "Before he became a monk, he was the king of a small country, and was friendly with the king of the neighboring country. Both of them practiced the 10 Wholesome Acts and benefited beings." Let me check out if I have the 10 Wholesome Acts here for you. The 10 Wholesome Actions are like this: it includes the Five Precepts.


May I stretch out my legs? (Yes!) You guys also can do that. Oh, this should be OK. I see on TV, all the bosses, they put their… They put even their shoes on the table. I don't know why. Probably feel tired. So that my legs won't go to sleep. If I cross legs too long and keep talking, then my cells think that I'm meditating, and then later it won't go anywhere. I love you so much, so I have to go out and talk to you. Otherwise, I should meditate. Five times, six times a day I meditate in the mountain. Every time is very long. In some place maybe only 30 minutes, 40 minutes. But mostly it's long hours. And here I meditate less. It's OK. I still get it. I still get it! I can do both! That's the beauty of it.


The 10 Wholesome Acts are like this: Number 1: No killing. Number 2: No stealing. Number 3: No adultery. Number 4: No lying. Number 5: No slandering. Number 6: No harsh speaking. Number 7: No greed. Number 8: No hatred. Number 9: No idle talking, means gossiping. Number 10: No delusion, meaning don't imagine that you're already very, very enlightened, but you're not. When you're low level, don't think that you're very high. That's the 10 Wholesome Deeds.


"Now, these two kings together, practiced these 10 Wholesome Precepts, or 10 Wholesome Acts, very perfectly, diligently." Where? " … And benefited other beings as well. Because the citizens of those two neighboring countries did many bad things, the two kings made a plan using far-reaching expedients. One king vowed to quickly become a Buddha and then cross over absolutely all the others." "The other king vowed, 'I do not want to become a Buddha until I first take across all those who are suffering for their offenses, enable them to gain peace, and finally to reach Bodhi.'" Means reach wisdom, become Buddha. "'And then cross over absolutely all the others.'" Probably he wants to become Buddha first and then take care of the others. Good deeds after, something like that. This one says he wants to save all beings and become Buddha first, before he becomes Buddha. My God! This king is dreaming! That means I don't know whenever he will become Buddha. "The Buddha told the Bodhisattva Samadhi Self-Mastery King thus: 'The king who vowed to become a Buddha quickly is All-Knowledge-Accomplished Thus Come One. The king who vowed to keep crossing over all beings who are suffering for their offenses, rather than to become a Buddha, is Earth Store Bodhisattva.'" Oh, now I understand. The first king wanted to become a Buddha first and then ferry across all others. But they missed one word, that's why we don't understand. Means taking across all other people, all other beings. First become Buddha and then save all beings. And the Earth Bodhisattva is the opposite. First save all beings, then become Buddha.


"Another time, limitless asamkhyeya eons ago." Asamkhyeya, you must know, this is long, long, long unlimited time. "A Buddha named Pure-Lotus-Eyes Thus Come One, appeared in the world. His lifespan was 40 eons." How many eons are you now? How old are you? Never mind. German, huh? You too? Don't understand … (Yes. I'm from Austria but I live in Germany.) Yeah, same! Don't understand humor. Too serious! It's OK. Just joking. You're cool, you're cool. German people, they're very serious, mostly. They’re just honor-straight, hard-working, and serious about everything. Of course it's correct, too. Buddha business is a very serious one. Mostly all the monks, when they explain the sutra, they are not like me. Very solemn. I haven't seen a monk who laughs during reading the sutra, and explaining the sutra for you. I haven't seen one, but maybe you have. So, it's OK to be serious. We are wrong, you are right. All of these are wrong.


All right. "Another time, limitless eons ago, the Buddha named Pure-Lotus-Eyes appeared in the world. His lifespan was 40 eons." Long, long life. That's why I asked you how old are you, how many eons have you lived already? "In His Dharma-image age …" That means when the Dharma was very strong. Probably just the beginning or almost in the middle of the preaching time of that Buddha's lifetime. When the teaching is blooming, it's influential in the world – His teaching. "An arhat who had blessings from rescuing beings, met a woman named Bright Eyes who offered a meal to him once while he was teaching and transforming beings. The arhat asked the girl, 'What is your wish?'" Sometimes if you offer a meal or drink to an enlightened one, They ask you, "What do you wish?" Then He can bless you to have that. Maybe this lifetime you have, maybe next lifetime. "So the Bright Eyes girl replied, 'On the day of my mother's death I performed meritorious deeds for her rescue, but I do not know where my mother is now, whether she has received the merit that I offered for her sake.' Sympathizing with her, the arhat entered into Samadhi to contemplate and saw that Bright Eyes' mother had fallen into bad destiny where she was undergoing extreme suffering. The arhat asked, 'Bright Eyes, what karma did your mother commit while alive that makes her now have to undergo such terrible suffering in a bad destiny?'" Hell. They say destiny but you must know. "So, Bright Eyes replied, 'My mother enjoyed eating fish, turtles, and the like. She especially liked to fry or broil the eggs of fish and turtles. Every time she ate those she took thousands of lives.'" Oh, turtle and fish! It's a bunch like that is thousands of … Eggs of fish! Oh, yeah, of course! A bunch like this has many thousands of fish in it, fish to be. "'Every time she ate those she took thousands of lives.'" And small lives, yeah? In the fetus, fish fetus. Still. Oh, God! "'Oh, Venerable One, please be compassionate and tell me how she can be saved?'"


Even just fish eggs, go to suffer in hell. So scary! Aren't you glad that you are vegan now? (Yes, Master!) (Very glad!) Oh, it's good, it's good! Even before I read it to you, you were wise enough to follow my advice. You are good boys and girls. Thank God for you!

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