Evergreen Buddhist Culture

May All Beings Be Well and Happy!
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The Flower Adornment Sutra (or 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 second 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 describes the virtues and causal conditions of the assembly that has gathered at the bodhimanda to hear the Avatamsaka Sutra. It then focuses on the celestial beings, proceeding from the Heavens of the Form Realm down through the Heavens of the Desire Realm. For each type of heaven, there is a prose section explaining the passage into liberation attained by each of the beings representing that type of heaven. Each prose section is followed by verses spoken by those beings, describing their realizations as well as praising the Buddhas. From Master Hsuan Hua's commentary: The Buddha appeared in the world to save sentient beings, but sentient beings refuse to heed the Buddha's instructions. They don't want to leave this world of suffering and vexation. They might wish to leave the Saha world (our world) in one thought, but in the next thought, they don't wish to leave it anymore. The vacillate back and forth and never manage to get out of the Saha world. Finally, the Buddha can wait no longer, so he comes to the Saha world to teach and transform sentient beings.