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The Benefits of the Teacher of the Law

At that time the Buddha said to the bodhisattva and mahasattva Constant Exertion: 'If good men or good women accept and uphold this Lotus Sutra, if they read it, recite it, explain and preach it, or transcribe it, such persons will obtain eight hundred eye benefits, twelve hundred ear benefits, eight hundred nose benefits, twelve hundred tongue benefits, eight hundred body benefits, and twelve hundred mind benefits. With these benefits they will be able to adorn their six sense organs, making all of them pure.

"These good men and good women, with the pure physical eyes they received from their parents at birth, will view all that exists in the inner and our parts of thousand-million-fold world, its mountains, forests, rivers and seas, down as far as the Avichi hell and up to this Summit of Being. And in the midst they will see all the living beings, and also see and understand all the causes and conditions created by their deeds and the births that await them as result and recompense for those deeds."

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

If in the midst of the great assembly
someone with a fearless mind
preaches this Lotus Sutra,
listen to the benefits he will receive!
Such a person gains eight hundred
benefits of superior eyes.
As a result of these adornments
his eyes become extremely pure.
With the eyes received that birth from his parents
he will view all the three thousand worlds,
their inner and outer parts, their Mount Meru,
their Sumeru, the Iron Encircling Mountains
and all the other mountains and forests,
the waters of their great seas, rivers and streams,
down as far as the Avichi hell,
up to the Summit of Being heaven.
And he will see all the living beings
in their midst.
Though he has not yet gained heavenly eyes,
the power of his physical eyes will be such as this.

"Moreover, Constant Exertion, if good men or good women accept and uphold this sutra, if they read it, recite it, explain and preach it, or transcribe it, they will gain twelve hundred ear benefits with which to purify their ears so they can hear all the different varieties of words and sounds in the thousand-millionfold world, down as far as the Avichi hell, up to the Summit of Being, have been in its inner and our parts. Elephant sounds, horse sounds, ox sounds, carriage sounds, weeping sounds, lamenting sounds, conch sounds, drum sounds, bell sounds, chime sounds, sounds of laughter, sounds of speaking, men's voices, women's voices, boys' voices, girls' voices, the voice that is not the Law, bitter voices, merry voices, voices of common mortals, voices of sages, happy voices, unhappy voices, voices of heavenly beings, dragon voices, yaksha voices, gandharva voices, asura voices, garuda voices, kimnara voices, mahoraga voices, the sound of fire, the sound of water, the sound of wind, voices of hell dwellers, voices of beasts, voices of hungry spirits, monks' voices, nuns' voices, voices of voice hearers, voices of pratyekabuddhas, voices of bodhisattvas and voices of Buddhas. In a word, although the person has not yet gained heavenly ears, with the pure and ordinary ears that he received at birth from his parents he will be able to hear and understand all the voices that exist in the inner and outer parts of thousand-millionfold world. And though in this manner he can distinguish all the various kinds of sounds and voices, this will not impair his hearing faculty."

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

With the ears received at birth from one's parents,
pure and without stain or defilement,
with these ordinary ears one can hear
the sounds of the three thousand worlds,
elephant, horse, carriage, ox sounds,
bell, chime, conch, drum sounds,
lute and harp sounds,
pipe and flute sounds;
the sound of pure and beautiful singing
one can hear without becoming attached to it.
The countless varieties of human voices -
one can hear and understand all these.
Again one can hear the voices of heavenly beings,
subtle and wonderful song sounds,
and one can hear men and women's voices,
the voices of young boys and young girls.
In the midst of hills, rivers and steep valleys
the voice of the kalavinka,
the jivakajivaka and other birds-
all these sounds he will hear.
From the tormented multitudes of hell
the sounds of various kinds of suffering and distress,
sounds of hungry spirits driven by famine and thirst
as they search for food and drink,
of the asuras
who live on the shores of the great sea
when they talk among themselves
or emit loud cries.
Thus he who preaches the Law
can dwell safely among all these,
hearing these many voices from afar
without ever impairing his faculties of hearing.
In the worlds of the ten directions
when beasts and birds call to another
this person who preaches the Law
hears them all from where he is.
In the Brahma heaven and above,
the Light Sound Heaven, All Pure heaven,
and up to the Summit of Being heaven,
the sounds of the voices talking there -
the teacher of the Law, dwelling here,
can hear them all.
All the multitude of monks
and all the nuns,
whether they are reading or reciting the scriptures
or preaching them for the sake of others -
the teacher of the Law dwells here,
can hear them all.
And when there are bodhisattvas
who read and recite the sutra teachings
or preach them for the sake of others
or select passage and explain their meaning,
the sounds of their voices -
he can hear them all.
When the Buddhas, great sages and venerable ones,
teach and convert living beings,
in the midst of the great assembly
expounding and preaching the subtle and wonderful Law,
one who upholds the Lotus Sutra
can hear them all.
All the sounds in the inner and outer parts
of the thousand-million-fold world,
down to the Avichi hell,
up to the Summit of Being heaven -
he can hear all these sounds
and never impair his faculties of hearing.
Because the faculties of his ears or so keen
he can distinguish and understand all the sounds.
One who upholds the Lotus Sutra,
though he has not yet gained heavenly ears,
can do this simply through the ears he was born with -
such are the benefits he gains.

"Moreover, Constant Exertion, if good men or good women accept and uphold this sutra, if they read it, recite it, explain and preach it, or transcribe it, they will succeed in gaining eight hundred nose benefits with which to purify their faculty of smell so they can detect all the different fragrances from top to bottom and in the inner and our parts of a thousand-million-fold world, the fragrance of sumana flowers, jatika flowers, mallika flowers, champaka flowers, patala flowers, red lotus flowers, blue lotus flowers, white lotus flowers, the fragrance of flowering trees, fruit trees, sandalwood, aloes, tamalapatra and tagara, as well as incense blended from thousand, ten thousand ingredients, powdered incense, pellet incense or paste incense. One who upholds this sutra while dwelling here, will be able to distinguish all these.

"Moreover he will be able to distinguish and identify the odors of living beings, of elephants, horses, oxen, sheep and so forth, the odor of a man, a woman, a boy child, a girl child, and odors of plants, trees, thickets and forests. Whether they are near or far off, he will be able to detect all these odors and distinguish one from the other without error.

"One who upholds this sutra, though he dwells right here, will also be able to detect orders of the various heavens in the sky above. The scent of a parijataka and kovidara trees, of mandarava flowers, great mandarava flowers, great manjushaka flowers, sandalwood, aloes, various kinds of powdered incense, and incense made of an assortment of flowers - of heavenly scents from which they are derived or blended, there are non that he cannot detect and identify.

"He will also be able to detect the scent of the bodies of heavenly beings. The scent when Shakra Devanam Indra is in his superb palace amusing himself and satisfying the five desires, or the scent when he is in the Hall of the Wonderful Law preaching the Law for the heavenly beings of Trayastrimsha, or the scent when he is wondering at leisure in his gardens, as well as the scent of the bodies of the other male and female heavenly beings - all these he will be able to detect from a far.

"He will thus be able to extend his awareness up to the Brahma heaven and even higher to the Summit of Being heaven, detecting the scent of all bodies of the heavenly beings, who also detect the incense burned by the heavenly beings. Moreover the scent of the voice-hearer's, of pratyekabuddhas, of bodhisattvas and of the bodies of the Buddhas - all these he will detect from afar and will know where these beings are. And although he can detect all these scents, his faculty of smell will not be impaired or disordered. If he should wish to distinguish one scent from another and describe it for someone else, he will be able to recall it without error."

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

The purity of such person's nose will be such
that throughout this world
he will be able to detect and identify
all manner of odors, fragrant or foul,
sumana and jatika flowers,
tamalapatra and sandalwood,
the scent of aloes and cassia,
the scent of various flowers and fruits.
And he will know the scent of living beings,
the scent of men and women.
Though this preacher of the Law dwells far off,
he will detect the scents and know where the persons are.
Wheel-turning kings of great authority,
Lesser wheel turners and their sons,
their ministers and palace attendants -
he will detect their scent and know where they are.
Precious treasures adorning the body,
treasure storehouses in the earth,
jewel ladies of wheel-turning kings -
he will detect their scent where they are.
Ornaments to adorn the bodies of persons,
clothing and necklaces,
all kinds of paste incense -
by detecting these he will know who the wearers are.
When heavenly beings walk or sit,
amuse themselves or carry out magical transformations,"
the upholder of the Lotus
by detecting their scent can know all this.
Blossoms and fruits of various trees,
and aroma of butter oil -
the upholder of the sutra, dwelling here,
knows where all these are.
Deep in the mountains, in steep places
where blossoms of the sandalwood tree unfold,
living beings are in their midst -
by detecting the scent he can know all this.
Living beings in the Iron Encircling Mountains,
in the great seas or in the ground -
the upholder of this sutra detects their scent
and knows were all of them are.
When male and female asuras
and their retinues of followers
fight with one another or amuse themselves,
he detects the scent and knows all this.
On the broad plains, in narrow places,
lions, elephants, tigers, wolves,
buffaloes and water buffaloes -
by detecting their scent he knows were they are.
When a woman is pregnant
and no one can determine if the child is male or female,
if it will lack normal faculties or be inhuman,
by detecting the scent he can know all this.
And through this power to detect scents
he knows when a woman will be successful or not,
if the pregnancy will be successful or not,
if she will be delivered safely of a healthy child.
Through his power of detect scents
he knows the thoughts of men and women,
if their minds are stained by desire, stupidity or anger,
and he knows if they are practicing good.
Hoards of goods that are stored in the earth,
gold, silver and precious treasures,
things heaped in bronze vessels -
by detecting the scent he can tell where they all are.
Various kinds of necklaces
whose value cannot be appraised -
by the scent he knows if they are precious or worthless,
where they came from and where they are now.
Flowers in the heavens above,
mandaravas, manjushakas,
parijataka trees -
detecting their scent, he knows all these.
The palaces in the heavens above
in their separate grades of upper, intermediate, and lower,
adorned with numerous jeweled flowers -
detecting their scent, he knowo them all.
The heavenly gardens and groves, the superb mansions,
the observatories, the Hall of the Wonderful Law,
and those taking pleasure in their midst -
detecting their scent, he knows them all.
When heavenly beings listen to the Law
or indulge the five desires,
coming and going, walking, sitting, lying down -
detecting their scent, he knows them all.
The robes worn by heavenly women
when, adorned with lovely flowers and perfumes,
they whirl and circle in enjoyment -
detecting their scent, he knows them all.
Thus extending his awareness
upward to the Brahma heaven,
by detecting their scent, he knows all those
who enter meditation or emerge from meditation.
In the Light Sound and All Pure heavens
and up to the Summit of Being,
those born for the first time, those who have departed -
detecting their scent, he knows them all.
The multitude of monks
diligent at all times with regard to the Law,
whether sitting or walking around
or reading a reciting the sutra teachings,
sometimes under the forest trees
concentrating their energies, sitting in meditation -
the upholder of the sutra detects their scent
and knows were all of them are.
Bodhisattvas firm and unbending in will,
sitting in meditation or reading the sutras
or preaching the Law for others -
by detecting their scent he knows them all.
The World-Honored Ones, present in all quarters,
revered and respected by all,
pitying the multitude, preaching the Law -
by detecting their scent he knows them all.
Living beings who in the Buddhas presence
hear the sutra and all rejoice,
who practice as the Law prescribes -
by detecting their scent he knows them all.
Though he has not yet acquired the nose possessed
by a bodhisattva of the Law of no outflows,
the upholder of the sutra before then
will acquire a nose with the marks described here.

"Moreover, Constant Exertion, if good men or good women except and uphold this sutra, if they read it, recite it, explain and preach it, or transcribe it, they will gain twelve hundred tongue benefits. Whether something is good tasting or vile, whether it is flavorful or not, and even things that are bitter or astringent, when encountered by the faculties of this person's tongue will be a changed into superb flavors as fine as the sweet dew of heaven, and there will be none that are not pleasing.

"If with these faculties of the tongue he undertakes to expound and preaching in the midst of the great assembly, he will produce a deep and wonderful voice capable of penetrating the mind and causing all who hear it to rejoice and delight. When the men and women of heaven, Shakra, Brahma and other heavenly beings, hear the sound of this deep and wonderful voice expounding and preaching, advancing and argument point by point, they will all gather to listen. Dragons and dragon daughters, yakshas and yaksha daughters, gandharvas and gandharva daughters, asuras and asura daughters, garudas and garuda daughters, kimnaras and kimnara daughters, mahoragas and mahoraga daughters will all gather close around its possessor in order to listen the Law, and will revere him and offer alms. Monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, monarchs, princes, ministers and their retinues, petty wheel-turning kings and great wheel-turning kings with their seven treasures and thousand sons and inner and outer retinues will ascend their palaces and all come to listen to the Law.

"Because this bodhisattva is so skilled of preaching the Law, the Brahmans, householders and people throughout the country will for the remainder of their lives follow and wait on him and offer him alms. Voice-hearers, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas and Buddhas will constantly delight to see him. Wherever this person is, the Buddhas will all face in that direction when they preach the Law, and he will be able to accept and uphold all the doctrines of the Buddha. And in addition he will be able to emit the deep and wonderful sound of the Law."

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

The faculties of this person's tongue will be so pure
that he will never experience any bad tastes,
but all that he eats
will become like sweet dew.
With his deep, pure and wonderful voice
he will preach the Law in the great assembly,
employing causes, conditions and similes
to lead and guide the minds of living beings.

All who hear him will rejoice
and offer him their finest alms.
Heavenly beings, dragons, yakshas,
as well as asuras and others
will all approach him with reverent minds
and together come to hear the Law.
If this preacher of the Law
wishes to use his wonderful voice
to fill the three thousand worlds
he can do so at will.
Wheel-turning kings great and small
and their thousand sons and retinues
will press their palms together with reverent minds
and constantly come to hear and accept the Law.
Heavenly beings, dragons, yakshas,
rakshasas and pishachas
likewise with rejoicing minds
will constantly delight in coming to bring alms.
The heavenly king Brahma, the devil king,
the deities Freedom and Great Freedom,
all the multitude of heavenly beings
will constantly come to where he is.
The Buddhas and their disciples,
hearing the sound of him teaching the Law,
will keep him constantly in their thoughts and guard him
and at times show themselves for his sake.

"Moreover, Constant Exertion, if good men or good women except and uphold this sutra, if they read it, recite it, explain and preach it, or transcribe it, they will gain eight hundred body benefits. They will acquire pure bodies, like pure lapis lazuli, such as living beings delight to see. Because of the purity of their bodies, when the living beings of the thousand-millionfold world are born or die, when they are born in upper or lower regions, in fair or ugly circumstances, in good places or bad, they will all be reflected [in these bodies]. The mountain kings of Iron Encircling Mountains, the Great Iron Encircling Mountains, Mount Meru and Mahameru, as well as living beings in their midst, will all be reflected therein. Down to the Avichi hell, upward to the Summit of Being, all the regions and their living beings will be reflected therein. Voice-hearers, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, Buddhas preaching the Law - the forms and shapes of these will be reflected in their bodies."

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

If one upholds the Lotus Sutra
his body will be very pure,
like pure lapis lazuli -
living beings will all delight to see it.
And it will be like a pure bright mirror
in which forms and shapes are all reflected.
The bodhisattva in his pure body
will see all that is in the world;
he alone will see brightly
what is not visible to others.
Within the three thousand worlds
all the mass of burgeoning creatures,
heavenly and human beings, asuras,
hell dwellers, spirits, beasts -
their forms and shapes in this way
will all be reflected in his body.
The palaces of the various heavens
upward to the Summit of Being,
the Iron Encircling Mountains,
the mountains Meru and Mahameru,
the great seas and other waters -
all will be reflected in his body.
The Buddhas and voice-hearers,
Buddha sons and bodhisattvas,
whether alone or in the assembly
preaching the Law - all will be reflected.
Though this person has not yet acquired
the wonderful body of Dharma nature, free of outflows,
because the purity of his ordinary body
all things we reflected in it.

"Moreover, Constant Exertion, if good men or good women except and uphold this sutra after the Thus Come One has entered extinction, if they read it, recite it, explain and preach it, or transcribe it, they will acquire twelve hundred mind benefits. Because of purity of their mental faculties, when they hear no more than one verse or one phrase [of the sutra], they will master immeasurable and boundless numbers of principles. And once having understood these principles, they will be able to expound and preach on the single phrase or a single verse for a month, for four months, or for a whole year, and the doctrines that they preach during that time will conform to the gist of the principles and will never be contrary to true reality.

"If they should expound some text of the secular world or speak on matters of government or those relating to wealth and livelihood, they will in all cases conform to the correct Law. With regard to the living beings in the six realms of existence of a thousand-million-fold world, they will understand how the minds of those living beings work, how they move, what idle theories they entertain.

"Thus although they have not yet acquired the wisdom of no outflows, the purity of their minds will be a such that the thought of these persons, their calculations and surmises and the words they speak, will in all cases represent the Law of the Buddha, never departing from the truth, and also conform with what was preached in the sutras of former Buddhas."

At that time the World-Honored One, wishing to the state his meaning once more, spoke in verse form, saying:

The minds of these persons will be pure,
bright, keen, without stain or defilement.
And with these wonderful mental faculties
they will understand the superior, intermediate and
inferior Law.
Hearing no more than one verse,
they will master immeasurable principles
and able to preach them step by step in accordance with
the Law
for a month, four months, or a year.
All the living beings
in the inner and our parts of this world,
heavenly beings, Dragons, humans,
yakshas, spirits,
those in the six realms of existence
and all the various thoughts they have -
upholders of Lotus Sutra as their reward
will know all these in an instant!
The countless Buddhas of the ten directions,
adorned with the marks of a hundred blessings,
for the sake of living beings preach the Law,
and such persons, hearing it, will be able to accept and
uphold it.
They will ponder immeasurable principles,
preach the Law in an immeasurable number of ways,
yet from start to finish never forget or make a mistake,
because they are upholders of the Lotus Sutra.
They will understand the characteristics of all phenomena,
accord with principles, recognizing their proper order,
be masters of names and words,
and expound and preach things as they understand them.
What these persons preach
is in all cases the Law of former Buddhas,
and because they expound this Law
they have no fear before the assembly.
Such as a purity of the mental faculties
of these upholders of the Lotus Sutra.
Though they have not yet obtained freedom from outflows
before that they will manifest the marks described here.
While these persons uphold this sutra
they will dwell safely on rare ground,
by all living beings
delighted in, loved and respected,
able to employ a thousand, ten thousand varieties
of apt and skillful words
to make distinctions, expound and preach -
because they uphold the Lotus Sutra.

 

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