Medley

Excerpt from the Avatamsaka Sutra

Compiled by Nicholas Weeks – USA

[This is an excerpt from the Avatamsaka Sutra, chapter 11, Pure Conduct.  It is a daily practice that uses our mind to uplift ordinary actions into nobler, less self-centered actions. It is from the City of 10,000 Buddhas website: Click here ]


Avatamsaka Sutra

At that time, Manjushri Bodhisattva said to Foremost Wisdom Bodhisattva, “Good indeed! Disciple of the Buddha, out of a wish to bring great benefit and peace to all beings in the world, on whom you take pity, and to benefit and delight gods and humans, you have now asked about such principles.

Disciple of the Buddha, if Bodhisattvas skillfully apply their minds, they will attain all kinds of excellent and fine meritorious virtues. Their minds will be unimpeded with regard to all of the Buddhadharma. They will dwell in the Path of all Buddhas of the past, present, and future. They will constantly abide in accordance with sentient beings and never forsake them. They will fully understand the characteristics of all dharmas. They will sever all evil and perfect all manner of goodness. They will have an exceptional physical appearance like that of Universal Worthy. All of their practices and vows will be perfected. They will be at ease with all dharmas without exception. They will act as the second guiding teacher for sentient beings. Disciple of the Buddha, how does one use his mind to attain all of these excellent and fine meritorious virtues?

 

A Bodhisattva of the lay life,
Should vow that sentient beings
Will realize the empty nature of the household
And avoid oppression from it.

When I serve my parents in filiality,
I vow that sentient beings
Will serve the Buddhas skillfully,
And protect and nourish everything.

When I am together with my spouse,
I vow that sentient beings
Will treat friend and foe alike,
And renounce forever the attachments of greed.

When I obtain the five desires,
I vow that sentient beings
Will pull out the arrow of desire,
And experience the ultimate peace and serenity.

When I am in a musical gathering,
I vow that sentient beings
Will entertain themselves with the Dharma,
And understand those talents are not real.

When I am in a palace or a house,
I vow that sentient beings
Will enter the level of a sage,
And entirely eradicate filthy desires.

When I wear a necklace of precious gems,
I vow that sentient beings
Will renounce all false ornaments,
And reach the place of true reality.

When I ascend a tower,
I vow that sentient beings
Will ascend the tower of Proper Dharma,
And clearly see through everything.

When I have something to give,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be able to renounce everything,
Without any love or attachment in their minds.

In a gathering of multitudes,
I vow that sentient beings
Will renounce the multiplicity of dharmas ,
And accomplish All Wisdom.

When in suffering and difficulty,
I vow that sentient beings
Will achieve their goals and be at ease,
And meet no obstructions in their endeavors.
[...]
In taking refuge with the Buddha,
I vow that sentient beings
Will perpetuate the Buddhas’ lineage,
And bring forth the unsurpassed resolve.

In taking refuge with the Dharma,
I vow that sentient beings
Will deeply enter the Sutra Treasury,
And have wisdom like the sea.

In taking refuge with the Sangha,
I vow that sentient beings
Will unite and lead the great assembly,
All without obstruction.

When receiving and learning precepts,
I vow that sentient beings
Will skillfully learn precepts
And avoid all evil deeds.

When receiving the acharya’s teaching, 
I vow that sentient beings
Will possess awe-inspiring deportment
And be true in what they do.

When receiving instructions from a Great Monk,
I vow that sentient beings
Will enter the wisdom of the non arising of dharmas
And reach the stage of independence.

When receiving the complete precepts,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be endowed with all expedients
And attain the most excellent Dharma.

When entering the Buddha hall,
I vow that sentient beings
Will enter the Unsurpassed Hall,
And dwell peacefully in stillness.

When spreading out the bedsheet,
I vow that sentient beings
Will open and unfold wholesome dharmas
And see the character of reality.

When sitting upright and proper,
I vow that sentient beings
Will sit on the bodhi seat
With no attachments in their minds.

When sitting in the full lotus posture,
I vow that sentient beings
Will have solid good roots
And attain the ground of unmoving.

When cultivating samadhi,
I vow that sentient beings
Will subdue their minds with samadhi,
And ultimately have no residual habits.

When cultivating contemplation,
I vow that sentient beings
Will see the principle of reality
And abandon unreasonable contention forever.

When coming out of the lotus posture,
I vow that sentient beings
Will contemplate that all phenomena
Are bound to disperse and cease from existence.

When putting down my legs,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain liberation in their minds
And peacefully dwell in stillness.

As I lift up my foot,
I vow that sentient beings
Will leave the sea of birth and death,
And perfect all wholesome dharmas.

As I put on my lower garments,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be clothed in good roots,
And be endowed with a sense of shame.

When straightening my clothes and fastening my belt,
I vow that sentient beings
Will gather and examine their good roots
And not let them become scattered or lost.

As I put on upper garments,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain excellent good roots
And reach the other shore of Dharma.
[...]
As my hand holds my toothbrush,
I vow that sentient beings
Will all attain wonderful Dharma
And be ultimately pure.

When I brush my teeth,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be harmonious and pure in mind,
And bite through all afflictions.

As I go to the toilet,
I vow that sentient beings
Will cast out greed, anger, and delusion,
And cleanse themselves of offense dharmas.

When I use water,
I vow that sentient beings
Will quickly reach
Transcendental dharmas.

When I wash away the body’s filth,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be pure, regulated, and compliant,
And ultimately without defilement.

As I use water to wash my hands,
I vow that sentient beings
Will have clean hands
To receive and uphold the Buddhadharma.

As I use water to wash my face,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain pure dharma doors
And be forever free from defilement.
[...]

As I hold a vessel,
I vow that sentient beings
Will become Dharma vessels
And receive the offerings of gods and people.

When I set forth on the Path,
I vow that sentient beings
Will emulate the Buddhas’ practice
And develop the quality of self-reliance.

When traveling on a path,
I vow that sentient beings
Will walk on the Buddha Path
And advance toward the Dharma of no residue.

While walking on a road,
I vow that sentient beings
Will roam the pure Dharma Realm,
Their minds free and unhindered.

When I see a road going uphill,
I vow that sentient beings
Will eternally transcend the Three Realms,
Their minds fearless and undaunted.

When I see a road going downhill,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be humble and respectful in their minds,
And foster the good roots of a Buddha.

When I see a winding road,
I vow that sentient beings
Will renounce improper ways
And abandon evil views forever.

When I see a straight road,
I vow that sentient beings
Will have straight and upright minds,
Free from flattery and deceit.

When I see a dusty road,
I vow that sentient beings
Will be far removed from dust,
And attain the pure Dharma.

When I see a road that is free from dust,
I vow that sentient beings
Will always cultivate great compassion,
Their minds brightened and enriched.

When I see a dangerous road,
I vow that sentient beings
Will dwell in the realm of Proper Dharma
And leave behind all offenses and troubles.

When I see a multitude assembled,
I vow that sentient beings
Will proclaim the profound Dharma,
And be harmonious with all.

When I see a huge pillar,
I vow that sentient beings
Will renounce egoistic and contentious thoughts
And be free from rage and hatred.

When I see a forest,
I vow that sentient beings
Will become worthy of respect and veneration
By all gods and people.

When I see a high mountain,
I vow that sentient beings
Will have such outstanding good roots
That none can reach their summit.

When I see a thorny bush,
I vow that sentient beings
Will quickly cut off and eradicate
The thorns of the three poisons.

When I see the luxuriant foliage on trees,
I vow that sentient beings
Will become liberated through concentration,
And act as a shelter.

When I see blossoming flowers,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain spiritual powers and similar dharmas,
Resembling flowers in full bloom.

When I see a blossoming tree,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain features resembling flowers
And be endowed with the thirty-two hallmarks.

When I see a fruit,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain the most excellent Dharma,
And realize the Bodhi Path.

When I see a great river,
I vow that sentient beings
Will flow in Dharma’s stream,
And enter the sea of Buddhas’ wisdom.

When I see a marsh,
I vow that sentient beings
Will swiftly awaken to the Buddhas’
Single flavor of Dharma.

When I see a pond,
I vow that sentient beings
Will perfect their speech karma
And become skillful at speaking.

When I see a well,
I vow that all sentient beings
Will be endowed with eloquence
To proclaim all Dharmas.

When I see a bubbling spring,
I vow that sentient beings
Will develop skillful expedients
And endless roots of goodness.

When I see a bridge crossing,
I vow that sentient beings
Will take all beings across
By acting as a bridge.

When I see flowing water,
I vow that sentient beings
Will realize wholesome aspirations,
And wash away delusion’s filth.

When I see a person cultivate a garden,
I vow that sentient beings
Will hoe out the weeds of love
From the garden of the five desires.

When I see an untroubled forest,
I vow that sentient beings
Will forever separate from greed and love,
And be free from grief and terror.

When I see a garden or a park,
I vow that sentient beings
Will diligently cultivate all practices,
And hasten toward the Buddha’s bodhi .

When I see a person finely adorned,
I vow that sentient beings
Will take Buddha's thirty-two fine hallmarks
As their wonderful adornments.

When I see a person who is unadorned,
I vow that sentient beings
Will renounce all fine ornaments
And perfect the ascetic practices.

When I see a person attached to pleasures,
I vow that sentient beings
Will take the Dharma as their happiness,
Delight in it and never renounce it.

When I see a person unattached to pleasures,
I vow that sentient beings
Will not take pleasure
In conditioned events.

When I see a happy person,
I vow that sentient beings
Will always find peace and happiness,
And delight in making offerings to the Buddhas.

When I see a person in distress,
I vow that sentient beings
Will attain the basic wisdom
To extinguish all sufferings.

When I see a healthy person,
I vow that sentient beings
Will enter true and actual wisdom,
And be forever free from sickness and affliction.

When I see a sick person,
I vow that sentient beings
Will realize their bodies are empty and still,
And renounce the dharmas of contention.

When I see a fair and handsome person,
I vow that sentient beings
Will always give rise to pure faith
Toward the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

When I see an ugly person,
I vow that sentient beings
Will not delight or indulge in
Unwholesome affairs.

When I see a person who repays kindness,
I vow that sentient beings
Will understand the kindness shown them
By the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

When I see an ungrateful person,
I vow that sentient beings
Will not take revenge
On evil and malicious people.

 

 

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