Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Glorious features of the Buddha

Glorious features of the Buddha [3] At that time all the senses of the World-Honored One radiated joy, his entire body appeared serene and glorious, and his august countenance looked most majestic. Having perceived the Buddha's holy intention, the Venerable Ananda rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, prostrated himself, and joining his palms in reverence, said to the Buddha, "World-Honored One, today all your senses are radiant with joy, your body is serene and glorious, and your august countenance is as majestic as a clear mirror whose brightness radiates outward and inward. The magnificence of your dignified appearance is unsurpassed and beyond measure. I have never seen you look so superb and majestic as today. With respect, Great Sage, this thought has occurred to me: 'Today, the World-Honored One dwells in the rare and marvelous Dharma; today, the World-Hero dwells in the Buddha's abode; today, the World-Eye concentrates on the performance of the leader's duty; today, the World-Valiant One dwells in the supreme Bodhi; today, the One Most Honored in Heaven realizes the Tathagata's virtue. The Buddhas of the past, present and future contemplate each other. How can this present Buddha not contemplate all other Buddhas?' For what reason does his countenance look so majestic and brilliant?"
Then the World-Honored One said to Ananda, "Tell me, Ananda, whether some god urged you to put this question to the Buddha or whether you asked about his glorious countenance from your own wise observation."
Ananda replied to the Buddha, "No god came to prompt me. I asked you about this matter of my own accord."
The Buddha said, "Well said, Ananda. I am very pleased with your question. You have shown profound wisdom and subtle insight in asking me this wise question out of compassion for sentient beings. As the Tathagata, I regard beings of the three worlds with boundless great compassion. The reason for my appearance in the world is to reveal teachings of the Way and save multitudes of beings by endowing them with true benefits. Even in countless millions of kalpas it is difficult to come upon and meet a Tathagata. It is as difficult as seeing an udumbara flower, which blooms very rarely. Your question is of great benefit and will enlighten all heavenly and human beings. Ananda, you should realize that the Tathagata's perfectly enlightened wisdom is unfathomable, capable of leading innumerable beings to emancipation, and that his penetrating insight cannot be obstructed. With just one meal, he is able to live for a hundred thousand kotis of kalpas, or an incalculable and immeasurable length of time, or beyond. Even after that lapse of time, his senses will still be radiant with joy and show no signs of deterioration; his appearance will not change, and his august countenance will look just the same. The reason for this is that the Tathagata's meditation and wisdom are perfect and boundless and that he has attained unrestricted power over all dharmas. Ananda, listen carefully. I shall now expound the Dharma."
Ananda replied, "Yes, I will. With joy in my heart, I wish to hear the Dharma."

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