Thursday, June 16, 2022

Prajnaparamita-18K - Chapter 53 - The Prophecy about Gangadevi - 353

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The Transcendent Perfection of Wisdom
in Eighteen Thousand Lines - 353
Daśa­sāhasrikā­prajñā­pāramitā

– Chapter 53 - The prophecy about sister Gaṅgadevī –

Source: https://read.84000.co/translation/toh10.html

More Analysis of Mahayana Sutras : https://www.gilehtblog.com/2022/07/toc-400.html

[Note: The two truths are:
T1: conventionally dependently co-arisen (interdependent) relatively functional ever-changing impermanent appearances / tools / adapted skillful means, merely labeled / imputed / imagined / created by the mind in dependence of its conditioning / karma (in cycle), not completely non-existence;
T2: emptiness of inherent existence, not real existence;
U2T: those two truths, like any other pair of apparent opposites, are inseparable, interdependent, co-defined, co-relative, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving, co-ceasing / co-transcended, in harmony, in 'Union' <==> thus empty of inherent existence.
They are tools to help us to get to the 'inconceivable' by refuting what 'Reality as it is' is not:
all extreme views like: existence / dharma / causality / functionality, non-existence / non-dharma / non-causality / non-functionality, both together, neither; difference / manyness / diversity / duality, identity / oneness / sameness / non-duality, both together, neither; permanence / continuity / eternity, impermanence / discontinuity / annihilation, both together, neither; individuality, collectivity, universality, a combination of those, none of those; subjectivity, relation / action / process, objectivity, a combination of those, none of those; the 1st truth alone / dependent origination [T1], the 2nd truth alone / mere-emptiness [T2], both two truths together as if different and in opposition [2T], neither of the two truths as if identical and one [1T,]; 'this', 'non-this', both together, neither – for whatever 'this' is.
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The three spheres: ex.
i. The subject / actor / goer / perceiver / knower / acquirer / owner,
ii. The relation / action / going / perceiving / knowing / acquiring / having
iii. The object / result / destination / perceived / known / acquired / possessions / karma / 5 aggregates / body & speech & mind.
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Generalisations:
Whenever it is possible the comments of each section are expressed into a more global context. So they always cover more than just what is said in the various translations. The goal is to make the Big Picture more evident.
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Note: All comments within (i.e. …) or [...] are from the commentator (me), not the translators.)


[Back to Résumés of chapters 42-87]

53. THE PROPHECY ABOUT GAṄGADEVĪ

(i.e. Résumé: The prophecy about sister Gaṅgadevī.
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"This sister has laid the groundwork for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.")

Then the sister Gaṅgadevī, who had joined the assembly and was seated in that very retinue, got up from her seat, adjusted her upper robe so it hung down from one shoulder, knelt down with her right knee on the ground, cupped her palms together in a gesture of supplication specifically to the Lord, bowed forward to him, and said to the Lord,

  • "I too, Lord, I too, Sugata, will practice the six perfections well,
    and just like the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas
    will look after such buddhafields as those taught in this perfection of wisdom."

Then that woman took golden flowers; took silver flowers, flowers that grow on dry land, and flowers that grow in the water; took all the adornments; and took twinned muslin scarfs with a gold-like color569 and strewed them specifically over the Lord.
Through the power of the Lord, the moment after she had strewed all those twinned muslin scarfs and so on, they stayed there, a second story in the space right above the Lord's head, square with four corners and four pillars, equidimensional, extremely excellent, perfectly proportioned and delightful. 570
That woman then made that second story into something shared in common with all beings and dedicated it to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.

Then at that time the Lord, knowing the intention of that woman, smiled.
And it is in the very nature of a lord buddha that when they smile, from the opening of the lord's mouth issue forth light rays of many colors, of a variety of colors ‍— namely, blue, yellow, red, white, reddish brown, crystalline, and silvery. Having dispersed through limitless and boundless world systems and retracted back they circle around the lord three times and disappear into the lord from the top of his head.

Venerable Ānanda then got up from his seat, adjusted his upper robe so it hung down from one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, cupped his palms together in a gesture of supplication specifically to the Lord, bowed forward to him, and said to the Lord,

  • "Lord, the tathāgatas, worthy ones, perfectly complete buddhas
    do not give a smile without a cause, without a condition.
    So why did you smile? What is the cause, what is the condition?"

Venerable Ānanda having asked this, the Lord said to him,

  • "Ānanda, in the future during the eon called Tārakopama this sister Gaṅgadevī will become the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha called Suvarṇapuṣpa, the one with the golden flowers, and appear in the world. This, Ānanda, is this woman's last female body.
    Ānanda, this sister Gaṅgadevī, having forsaken a woman's body and acquired a man's body, will be born in the buddhafield of the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Akṣobhya, the world system called Abhirati.
    She will live a celibate life there.
    Ānanda, that bodhisattva great being's name will also be Suvarṇapuṣpa.
    Ānanda, that bodhisattva great being Suvarṇapuṣpa, having died there, will pass on from buddhafield to buddhafield and will never be separated from the lord buddhas.
    Just as, Ānanda, a wheel-turning emperor goes walking from palace to palace for as long as he lives but until the time of his death the soles of his feet never press upon the ground, similarly, Ānanda, the bodhisattva great being called Suvarṇapuṣpa will pass on from buddhafield to buddhafield until fully awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, never separated from the lord buddhas."

Then it occurred to venerable Ānanda to think,

  • "One should be aware that howsoever many bodhisattva great beings there are assembled in that buddhafield, they will be a tathāgata assembly." 571

Then the Lord, understanding in his mind the thoughts occurring to venerable Ānanda, said to venerable Ānanda,

  • "Ānanda, it is exactly as you are thinking! It is exactly so!
    One should be aware that those bodhisattva great beings will be a tathāgata assembly.
    Ānanda, in the buddhafield of the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Suvarṇapuṣpa his community of monks will be infinite.
    The measure of his community of monks cannot be taken by saying that there are this many śrāvakas, or there are up to a hundred śrāvakas, or there are up to a thousand śrāvakas, or there are up to a hundred thousand śrāvakas, or there are up to one hundred million śrāvakas, or there are up to a hundred one hundred million śrāvakas, or there are up to a thousand one hundred million śrāvakas, or there are up to a hundred thousand one hundred million śrāvakas, or there are up to a hundred thousand billion one hundred million śrāvakas; rather, there will be an ananta of an asaṃkhyeya of a hundred thousand billion one hundred million śrāvakas.
    Ānanda, in that buddhafield where the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Suvarṇapuṣpa will have fully awakened to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, those faults described in this perfection of wisdom will not exist and will not appear as anything at all, in any way at all."

The Lord having said this, venerable Ānanda asked him,

  • "Lord, in relation to whom did this sister plant such a wholesome root?"

"Ānanda," replied the Lord,

  • "this sister planted such a wholesome root in relation to the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Dīpaṃkara,
    and having dedicated that wholesome root to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening,
    because she wanted unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening
    she strewed golden flowers on the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Dīpaṃkara as well.
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    Ānanda, when I strewed blue lotus flowers on the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Dīpaṃkara because I wanted unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening, the lord, the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Dīpaṃkara, knowing I had the wholesome root, prophesied my full awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.
    At that time this sister heard the prophecy about me and produced the thought, 'Yes! Just as a full awakening to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening has been prophesied of this brahmin student, similarly in the future may there also be a prophecy that I too will fully awaken to unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening.'
    Thus, Ānanda, did this sister first produce the thought of unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening in the presence of the tathāgata, worthy one, perfectly complete buddha Dīpaṃkara."

The Lord having said this, venerable Ānanda said to him,

  • "Lord, this sister has laid the groundwork for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

Venerable Ānanda having said this, the Lord replied to him,

  • "Exactly so! Ānanda, it is exactly as you say!
    This sister has laid the groundwork for unsurpassed, perfect, complete awakening."

This was the fifty-third chapter, "The Prophecy about Gaṅgadevī," of "The Perfection of Wisdom in Eighteen Thousand Lines."




Access to other chapters on the Blog:
(Work in progress. Empty files means they are not done yet.)

  1. Chapter 0 – Introduction to the Sutra

  2. Chapter 1 – Introduction / the Assembly

  3. Chapter 2 – Production of the Thought

  4. Chapter 3 – designation [U2T]

  5. Chapter 4 – Equal to the Unequal

  6. Chapter 5 – Tongue

  7. Chapter 6 – Subhūti

  8. Chapter 7 – Entry into flawlessness

  9. Chapter 8 – The Religious Mendicant Śreṇika

  10. Chapter 9 – Causal Signs

  11. Chapter 10 – Illusion-like

  12. Chapter 11 – Embarrassment

  13. Chapter 12 – Elimination of Views

  14. Chapter 13 – The Six Perfections

  15. Chapter 14 – Neither Bound nor Freed

  16. Chapter 15 – Meditative Stabilization

  17. Chapter 16 – Dhāraṇī Gateway

  18. Chapter 17 – Level Purification

  19. Chapter 18 – The Exposition of Going Forth in the Great Vehicle [cause / path]

  20. Chapter 19 – Surpassing

  21. Chapter 20 – Not Two

  22. Chapter 21 – Subhūti

  23. Chapter 22 – Śatakratu

  24. Chapter 23 – Hard to Understand

  25. Chapter 24 – Unlimited

  26. Chapter 25 – Second Śatakratu

  27. Chapter 26 – Getting Old

  28. Chapter 27 – Reliquary

  29. Chapter 28 – Declaration of the Good Qualities of the Thought of Awakening

  30. Chapter 29 – Different Tīrthika Religious Mendicants

  31. Chapter 30 – The Benefits of Taking Up and Adoration

  32. Chapter 31 – Physical Remains

  33. Chapter 32 – The Superiority of Merit

  34. Chapter 33 – Dedication

  35. Chapter 34 – Perfect Praise of the Quality of Accomplishment

  36. Chapter 35 – Hells

  37. Chapter 36 – Teaching The Purity of all Dharmas

  38. Chapter 37 – Nobody

  39. Chapter 38 – Cannot Be Apprehended

  40. Chapter 39 – The Northern Region

  41. Chapter 40 – The Work of Māra

  42. Chapter 41 – Not Complete Because of Māra

  43. Chapter 42 – Revealing the World

  44. Chapter 43 – Inconceivable

  45. Chapter 44 – Made Up

  46. Chapter 45 – A Boat

  47. Chapter 46 – Teaching the Intrinsic Nature of All Dharmas

  48. Chapter 47 – Taming Greed

  49. Chapter 48 – A Presentation of the Bodhisattvas' Training

  50. Chapter 49 – Irreversibility

  51. Chapter 50 – Teaching the Signs of Irreversibility

  52. Chapter 51 – Skillful means

  53. Chapter 52 – Completion of the Means

  54. Chapter 53 – The Prophecy about Gaṅgadevī

  55. Chapter 54 – Teaching the Cultivation of Skillful Means

  56. Chapter 55 – Teaching the Stopping of Thought Construction [in absolute terms]

  57. Chapter 56 – Equal Training

  58. Chapter 57 – Practice

  59. Chapter 58 – Exposition of the Absence of Thought Construction [in absolute terms]

  60. Chapter 59 – non-attachment

  61. Chapter 60 – Entrusting

  62. Chapter 61 – Inexhaustible

  63. Chapter 62 – Leaping Above Absorption

  64. Chapter 63 – Many Inquiries about the Two Dharmas

  65. Chapter 64 – Perfectly Displayed

  66. Chapter 65 – Worshiping, Serving, and Attending on Spiritual Friends as Skillful Means

  67. Chapter 66 – A Demonstration of Skillful Means

  68. Chapter 67 – Morality

  69. Chapter 68 – Growing and Flourishing

  70. Chapter 69 – An Explanation of Meditation on The Path

  71. Chapter 70 – An Explanation of Serial Action, Training, and Practice

  72. Chapter 71 – The True Nature of Dharmas That Cannot Be Apprehended

  73. Chapter 72 – Teaching the Absence of Marks

  74. Chapter 73 – Exposition of the Major Marks and Minor Signs and the Completion of Letters

  75. Chapter 74 – Exposition of the Sameness of Dharmas

  76. Chapter 75 – Exposition of non-complication –

  77. Chapter 76 – The Armor for Bringing Beings to Maturity

  78. Chapter 77 – Teaching the Purification of a Buddhafield

  79. Chapter 78 – Teaching the Skillful Means for the Purification of a Buddhafield

  80. Chapter 79 – Teaching the non- Existence of an Intrinsic Nature

  81. Chapter 80 – Teaching that there is No Defilement or Purification

  82. Chapter 81 – Yogic Practice of the Ultimate

  83. Chapter 82 – The Unchanging True Nature of Dharmas

  84. Chapter 83 – Categorization of a Bodhisattva's Training

  85. Chapter 84 – Collection

  86. Chapter 85 – Sadāprarudita

  87. Chapter 86 – Dharmodgata

  88. Chapter 87 – Entrusting

  89. Résumés in bullet points of all chapters.




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