Evergreen Buddhist Culture

May All Beings Be Well and Happy!
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The Flower Adornment Sutra (Avatamsaka Sutra or Flower Ornament Scripture) is known as the 'King of Kings' of all Buddhist sutras because of its profundity and great length. This sutra contains the most complete explanation of the Buddha's state of realization and the Bodhisattva's quest for awakening. It is said: Unless you read the Avatamsaka Sutra, you will not know of the Buddha's true blessings and honor. The Avatamsaka Sutra is the Buddha's greatest store of treasures. In forty chapters the sutra conveys a vast range of Buddhist teachings. It presents, in detailed description, the stages of Awakening that a Bodhisattva or 'Awakened Being must progress through on the path towards Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi Supreme Perfect Enlightenment. The sutra depicts the events that immediately unfolded upon the Buddha's Awakening under the Bodhi tree. It describes a cosmos that has infinite realms within realms, boundless and interpenetrating. The first chapter has been published in four volumes. This is the third part of Chapter 1 of the monumental translation with full commentary by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, on this epic sacred Mahayana Buddhist text. The English translation is based on the Tang dynasty Chinese by Tripitaka Master Siksananda of Khotan. This volume continues to describe the assembly that has gathered at the bodhimanda to hear the Avatamsaka Sutra. It contains alternating prose and verse sections telling about the realizations of the eightfold division and of five kinds of spirits, as well as giving their praises of the Buddhas. From Master Hsuan Hua's commentary: There are spirits of the daytime and spirits of the night. Day-ruling spirits oversee the merits and offenses done in the daylight hours, recording the deeds of sentient beings. However, records kept by spirits are not like human records, which must be written down. Spiritual recordkeeping is far more wonderful than our computers and calculators. You don't have to push buttons for records to appear. If an event needs to be retrieved, the event will naturally reappear. If you have to access something that happened between heaven and earth, you don't need to push buttons and have the computer retrieve the data. All you have to do is take a look and you know. That's why it's called spiritual. Our human contrivances don't count as spiritual. Spirits only need to use spiritual wisdom...When you enter a passage to liberation, you still need to come out of it. If all you can do is enter, without being able to exit, you're confined once again, and it becomes nonliberation. A passage into liberation is just an analogy. Don't think that there really is a passage. If there were a passage, there would also be a nonpassage, which would be a further attachment. For that reason, in entering a passage to liberation, you enter without entering. You do enter and yet not enter. Then it's a passage into liberation. Freedom from all attachments - is the true passage into liberation.