inconceivable liberation


Since we hardly know what our full potential is, it is imperative to read this sutra in great detail:

Only those beings who are destined to be disciplined by miracles see and understand the putting of the king of mountains, Sumeru, into the mustard seed.  That, reverend Sariputra, is an entrance to the domain of the inconceivable liberation of the bodhisattvas.

“Furthermore, reverend Sariputra, the bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation can pour into a single pore of his skin all the waters of the four great oceans, without injuring the water-animals such as fish, tortoises, crocodiles, frogs, and other creatures, and without the nagas, yaksas, gandharvas, and asuras even being aware of where they are.  And the whole operation is visible without any injury or disturbance to any of those living beings.

“Such a bodhisattva can pick up with his right hand this billion-world-galactic universe as if it were a potter’s wheel and, spinning it round, throw it beyond universes as numerous as the sands of the Ganges, without the living beings therein knowing their motion or its origin, and he can catch it and put it back in its place, without the living beings suspecting their coming and going; and yet the whole operation is visible.

“Furthermore, reverend Sariputra, there are beings who become disciplined after an immense period of evolution, and there are also those who are disciplined after a short period of evolution.  The bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation, for the sake of disciplining those living beings who are disciplined through immeasurable periods of evolution, can make the passing of a week seem like the passing of an aeon, and he can make the passing of an aeon seem like the passing of a week for those who are disciplined through a short period of evolution.  The living beings who are disciplined through an immeasurable period of evolution actually perceive a week to be the passing of an aeon, and those disciplined by a short period of evolution actually perceive an aeon to be the passing of a week.

“Thus, a bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation can manifest all the splendors of the virtues of all the buddha-fields within a single buddha-field.  Likewise, he can place all living beings in the palm of his right hand and can show them with the supernatural speed of thought all the buddha-fields without ever leaving his own buddha-field.  He can display in a single pore all the offerings ever offered to all the Buddhas of the ten directions, and the orbs of all the suns, moons, and stars of the ten directions.

He can inhale all the hurricanes of the cosmic wind-atmospheres of the ten directions into his mouth without harming his own body and without letting the forests and the grasses of the buddha-fields be flattened.  He can take all the masses of fire of all the supernovas that ultimately consume all the universes of all the buddha-fields into his stomach without interfering with their functions.  Having crossed buddha-fields as numerous as the sands of the Ganges downward, and having taken up a buddha-field, he can rise up through buddha-fields as numerous as the sands of the Ganges and place it on high, just as a strong man may pick up a jujube leaf on the point of a needle.

“Thus, a bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation can magically transform any kind of living being into a universal monarch, a Lokapala, a Sakra, a Brahma, a disciple, a solitary sage, a bodhisattva, and even into a Buddha.  The bodhisattva can transform miraculously all the cries and noises, superior, mediocre, and inferior, of all living beings of the ten directions, into the voice of the Buddha, with the words of the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, having them proclaim, ‘Impermanent! Miserable! Empty! Selfless!’  And he can cause them to recite the words and sounds of all the teachings taught by all the Buddhas of the ten directions.

“Reverend Sariputra, I have shown you only a small part of the entrance into the domain of the bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation.  Reverend Sariputra, to explain to you the teaching of the full entrance into the domain of the bodhisattva who lives in the inconceivable liberation would require more than an aeon, and even more than that.”

Then, the patriarch Mahakasyapa, having heard this teaching of the inconceivable liberation of the bodhisattvas, was amazed, and he said to the venerable Sariputra,

“Venerable Sariputra, if one were to show a variety of things to a person blind from birth, he would not be able to see a single thing.  Likewise, venerable Sariputra, when this door of the inconceivable liberation is taught, all the disciples and solitary sages are sightless, like the man blind from birth, and cannot comprehend even a single cause of the inconceivable liberation.

Who is there among the wise who, hearing about this inconceivable liberation, does not conceive the spirit of unexcelled, perfect enlightenment?

As for us, whose faculties are deteriorated, like a burned and rotten seed, what else can we do if we do not become receptive to this great vehicle?  We, all the disciples and solitary sages, upon hearing this teaching of the Dharma, should utter a cry of regret that would shake this billion-world-galactic universe!

And as for the bodhisattvas, when they hear of this inconceivable liberation they should be as joyful as a young crown prince when he takes the diadem and is anointed, and they should increase to the utmost their devotion to this inconceivable liberation.  Indeed, what could the entire host of Maras ever do to one who is devoted to this inconceivable liberation?”

When the patriarch Mahakasyapa had uttered this discourse, thirty-two thousand gods conceived the spirit of unexcelled, perfect enlightenment.

Note:

Only beings that have generated great compassion and abide on the tenth bhumi have the abilities mentioned above.  You can read more of this famous sutra here: The Vimalakirti sutra

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Buddhist sutras

3 responses to “inconceivable liberation

  1. If it is truly inconceivable, then all the above descriptions about tossing around universes and so forth are just pointing in the wrong direction, since they merely fatten the mind with more concepts.

    Like

  2. Like you, I can conceive of throwing around universes and expanding or condensing time. We may understand it in our own unique way. But that is not exactly the point. It falls short of the real thing, because it is a concept. The real question is: how would you perform that activity? That is why that particular samadhi is called “inconceivable liberation”.

    You have to understand more thoroughly relative and ultimate perspectives. From an ordinary point of view, having instruction and receiving teaching does involve concepts.

    From an enlightened point of view, the ability to do these things goes beyond the ordinary dualistic-mind and involves no discriminative thoughts.

    Like

    • That activity is performed automatically, without the insertion of you or I. This inconceivable function is no different than a daydreamer picking up a pebble and tossing it into a pond. Furthermore, neither relative nor absolute apply to the inconceivable, so why paint legs on a snake?

      Thank you for your reply!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s