Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dharmakara's resolution to become a Buddha

Dharmakara's resolution to become a Buddha [6] The Buddha said to Ananda, "Having spoken these verses, the Bhiksu Dharmakara said to the Buddha Lokeshvararaja, 'Respectfully, World-Honored One, I announce that I have awakened aspiration for the highest, perfect Enlightenment. I beseech you to explain the Dharma to me fully, so that I can perform practices for the establishment of a pure Buddha-land adorned with infinite excellent qualities. So please teach me how to attain Enlightenment quickly and to remove the roots of afflictions of birth-and-death for all.'"
The Buddha said to Ananda, "At that time the Buddha Lokeshvararaja replied to the Bhiksu Dharmakara, 'You yourself should know by what practice you can establish a glorious Buddha-land.' The Bhiksu said to the Buddha, 'That is far too vast and deep for my comprehension. I sincerely beseech you, World-Honored One, to explain in detail the practices by which Buddhas, Tathagatas, established their pure lands. After I hear that, I wish to practice as instructed and so fulfill my aspirations.'
"At that time the Buddha Lokeshvararaja recognized the Bhiksu Dharmakara's noble and high aspirations, and taught him as follows: 'If, for example, one keeps on bailing water out of a great ocean with a pint-measure, one will be able to reach the bottom after many kalpas and then obtain rare treasures. Likewise, if one sincerely, diligently and unceasingly seeks the Way, one will be able to reach one's destination. What vow is there which cannot be fulfilled?'
"Then the Buddha Lokeshvararaja explained in detail the greater and lesser aspects of two hundred and ten kotis of Buddha-lands, together with the good and evil natures of heavenly and human beings living there. He revealed them all to the Bhiksu just as he had requested. Then the Bhiksu, having heard the Buddha's exposition of the glorious pure land and also having seen all of them, resolved upon his supreme, unsurpassed vows. His mind being serene and his aspirations free of attachment, he was unexcelled throughout the world. For five full kalpas he contemplated the vows, and then chose the pure practices for the establishment of his Buddha-land."
Ananda asked the Buddha, "How long was the life-span of beings in the land of the Buddha Lokeshvararaja?"
The Buddha replied, "The length of life of that Buddha was forty-two kalpas."
He continued, "After that Dharmakara Bodhisattva adopted the pure practices which had led to the establishment of the excellent lands of two hundred and ten kotis of Buddhas. When he had finished this task, he went to the Buddha, knelt down at his feet, walked round him three times, joined his palms in worship and sat down. He then said to the Buddha, 'I have adopted the pure practices for the establishment of a glorious Buddha-land.' The Buddha said to him, 'You should proclaim this. Know that now is the right time. Encourage and delight the entire assembly. Hearing this, other bodhisattvas will practice this Dharma and so fulfill their innumerable great vows.' The Bhiksu replied, 'I beg you to grant me your attention. Now I will fully proclaim my vows.'

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