The Encouragement of Universal Sage Bodhisattva
by Ryuei Michael McCormick
The Bodhisattva Universally Good is boundless in the size of his body, boundless in the sound of his voice, and boundless in the form of his image. Desiring to come to this world, he makes use of his free transcendent powers and shrinks his stature to the small size [of a human being]. Because the people in Jambudvipa have the three heavy hindrances, by his wisdom power he appears transformed as mounted on a white elephant. (p. 348-9 Threefold Lotus Sutra)
Universally Good is present in all lands
Sitting on a jeweled lotus throne, beheld by all;
He manifests all psychic powers
And he is able to enter infinite meditation.
The Universally Good always fills the universe
With various bodies flowing everywhere,
With concentration, psychic power, skill and strength,
In a universal voice teaching extensively without hindrance.
* * * * * * *
The knowledge, virtue, and powers of all Buddhas,
Their various great qualities, he has all fulfilled;
By the medium of techniques of all meditations
He shows his past enlightening acts.
Born from the teachings of the Enlightened,
Also originating from the will power of the Buddha,
The womb of space, the equality of real thusness:
You have purified the body of reality.
* * * * * * *
The child of Buddha, with an all-pervading body,
Can go to the lands in all directions,
Liberating all the oceans of living beings,
Entering into all the parts of the cosmos.
Entering into all particles of the cosmos,
The body is endless and undifferentiated;
Omnipresent as space,
It expounds the great teaching of the realization of thusness.
(Flower Ornament Scripture pp. 179-180)
They also form this thought: `I should accept all sufferings for the sake of all sentient beings, and enable them to escape from the abyss of immeasurable woes of birth and death. I should accept all suffering for the sake of all sentient beings in all worlds, in all states of misery, forever and ever, and still always cultivate the foundations of goodness for the sake of all beings. Why? I would rather take all this suffering on myself than to allow sentient beings to fall into hell. I should be a hostage in those perilous places - hells, animal realms, the nether world, etc. - as a ransom to rescue all sentient beings in states of woe and enable them to gain liberation. (Flower Ornament Scripture pp. 534-535)
Then Sudhana, having seen this manifestation of Universally Good's mystic power, happy, fulfilled, enraptured, uplifted, delighted, joyful, contemplated the body of Universally Good further and saw, from every part of his body and every pore, the billionfold world, with its masses of air, earth, and fire, its oceans, continents, rivers, jewel mountains, polar mountains, peripheral mountains, villages, cities, towns, communities, districts, forests, dwellings, populations, hells, animal realms, underworlds, realms of titans, dragons, birds, humans, and celestials, realms of desire, formless realms, its bases, foundations, and forms, its clouds, lightning, stars, nights, days, and fortnights, half years and years, intermediate eons and eons. And as he saw this world, in the same way he saw all the worlds to the east, and as in the east he saw all the worlds in all directions, in the south, west, north, northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest, the nadir and the zenith. By way of reflections he saw the emergence of all buddhas, along with their circles of enlightening beings, as well as other beings, and he saw the succession of all worlds in past eons in this world, all that in one mark of greatness of the body of Universally Good - the emergence of all the buddhas, the circle of enlightening beings, the sentient beings, the abodes, the days and nights, the ages. In the same way he also saw all the buddha-lands of the future. And just as he saw the successions of all past and future worlds in all worlds in the ten directions, through each mark of greatness and each pore on the body of the enlightening being Universally Good, all in perfect order, not mixed up with one another. (FOS p. 1507)
Anyone who keeps the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Dharma [while it is] propagated in the Jambudvipa, should think, 'I can keep [this sutra] only by the supernatural powers of Universally Good.' Anyone who keeps, reads and recites this sutra, memorizes it correctly, understands the meaning of it, and acts according to it, know this, does the same practices that I do. (Lotus Sutra p.338)