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 fourth volume 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. Part Four continues with alternating prose and verse sections describing the realizations of the remaining 15 kinds of spirits as well as their praises of the Buddha. Part Five continues with alternating prose and verse sections describing the realizations of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva and 20 other bodhisattvas. It then tells how multitudes of bodhisattvas issue forth from the lion throne, make offerings, and speak verses in praise of the Buddha. The chapter concludes with a display of auspicious portents and reveals that this situation is universal and infinite. From Master Hsuan Hua's commentary: Due to the Buddha's cultivation of the paramita of giving, his body is adorned with the 32 hallmarks and 80 subsidiary characteristics. The Buddha practiced giving to the ultimate. He was not like ordinary people, who consider it foolhardy to give their money away to others. The Buddha gave away whatever he had. He was able to give his very body, mind, and life to sentient beings. What great kindness, compassion, joy, and renunciation - the Four Limitless Aspects of mind - he had! That's why the Buddha had such a superb physical appearance, causing delight in the beholder. Everyone was overjoyed to see the Buddha. Since the Buddha had cultivated affinities with sentient beings in the past, everyone happily made offerings to him and adored him.