close
Wisdom Library Logo

Entering the Conduct of the Bodhisattvas

Text Section 39

Buddha Śākyamuni, here saluted as the Lion of the Śākyas [shākya seng ge], is the root or source of the lineage. In our present cycle of time known as the Fortunate Aeon [bskal bzang], it is said that one thousand buddhas will appear. Buddha Śākyamuni is the fourth buddha among these and is, therefore, called the ’Fourth Guide’ [rnam ’dren bzhi pa].

Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna cosmology both teach that myriads of world systems[1] develop over immeasurable time-spans and that they follow periodic cycles of evolution and degeneration. The time-span it takes for one world system to develop, abide, be destroyed, and then to remain in a state of emptiness after its destruction is what is known as ’one great aeon’ [bskal chen gcig], or ’one great kalpa’ in Sanskrit.

These four stages of ‘one great aeon’ are also each individually regarded as aeons:

  1. the ’aeon of development’ [chags pa’i bskal pa],
  2. the ’aeon of abiding’ [gnas pa’i bskal pa],
  3. the ’aeon of destruction’ [’jig pa’i bskal pa], and
  4. the ’aeon of emptiness’ [stong pa’i bskal pa].

The duration of each of these four aeons is further broken down into twenty ’intermediate cycles’ [bar bskal]. Consequently, ’one great aeon’ [bskal chen gcig] consists of eighty ’intermediate cycles’.

The twenty intermediate cycles of an aeon of abiding [gnas pa’i bar bskal nyi shu] unfold according to three phases:

  1. the initial phase,
  2. the intermediate phase, and
  3. the final phase.

The initial phase: At the beginning, human life is measureless [dpag med]. The succession of birth within an aeon of abiding begins with birth as a god of ’Clear Light’ [’od gsal]. Here, in Buddhist cosmology, the arrival at a human birth in our world comes about through a process of involution, through a degeneration from the superior state of birth in the realm of the gods.[2] Slowly, due to craving, the stature of beings begins to deteriorate as their lifespan decreases from being measureless to being eighty thousand years until it is gradually reduced to a mere ten years.

This process of degeneration finally concludes with three periods of famine, plague, and war. Specifically, when the lifespan of beings is thirty years, they will experience a period of famine lasting for seven years, seven months and seven days. When the lifespan of beings is twenty years, there will be a period of plague lasting seven months and seven days.

Finally, when the lifespan of beings has degenerated to a mere ten years, beings will experience a period of weapons and war lasting seven days. This entire sequence during which the lifespan of beings gradually decreases from measureless time down to a mere ten years is termed ’the initial lengthy decline’ [ya thog ring mo], and is counted as ’one intermediate cycle’ [bar bskal gcig].

The intermediate phase: The intermediate phase consists of ’the eighteen cycles of ascent and decline’ [’phel ’grib spel ma bco brgyad], also known as ’the eighteen intermediate cycles’ [bar bskal bco bgyad / bar khug bco brgyad]. In this context, ’one intermediate cycle’ refers to the phases of both ascent and decline.

In other words, one ‘intermediate cycle’ is the time required for the lifespan of beings to rise from ten years all the way up to eighty thousand years, and then to decline from eighty thousand years all the way back down to ten years. Eighteen of such consecutive periods are referred to as ’the eighteen intermediate cycles’ [bar bskal bco bgyad]. Each of these cycles concludes at its nadir with the abovementioned periods of famine, plague, and war.

The final phase: Finally, after eighteen intermediate cycles, the lifespan of beings will again increase from ten years all the way up to measureless. This period is called ’the final lengthy ascent’ [ma thog ring mo].

Taken together, these three phases collectively comprise the ’twenty intermediate cycles’ [bar bskal]. Because of the slower pace during the ascent and decline at the beginning and end of the aeon, this lengthy initial decline and the lengthy final ascent are each counted independently as one intermediate cycle. During these twenty cycles of an aeon of abiding, the lifespans, body sizes, qualities, and degree of wealth of beings undergo cyclical fluctuations.

In general, a buddha only appears during an aeon of abiding, and further, during such an aeon only appears when the lifespan and merit of beings is decreasing and beings are in a pitiable state. Moreover, in order for a buddha to appear among beings, they must have collectively accumulated sufficient roots of virtue. The appearance of a buddha occurs due to the auspicious conjunction of a buddha’s powerful aspirations with the aspirations and good karma of sentient beings.

A buddha is one who has perfected his aspirations [smon lam] as well as having perfected the two accumulations of merit and wisdom. Through the power of his aspirations, a buddha chooses a particular era in which to appear as a buddha. In particular, a buddha will appear at a time when the lifespan and the merit of sentient beings is decreasing, because at such a time beings are more inclined toward renunciation than in periods when their merit, lifespan, and wealth are increasing.

An aeon in which no buddha appears is known as a ’dark aeon’ [mun pa’i bskal pa], and an aeon in which a buddha appears is called a ’bright aeon’ [sgron me’i bskal pa]. There are said to be many ’dark aeons’ and only very few ’bright aeons’.

Furthermore, it is a law of nature that in any given world system only one single perfectly enlightened buddha, a supreme nirmāṇakāya, appears at a time. The sphere of activity of one perfectly enlightened buddha is a cosmos consisting of a billion world systems in which he manifests countless emanations to benefit beings.[3]

Each of the one thousand buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon appears when the lifespan of beings is declining from eighty thousand years down to one hundred years. No Buddha ever manifests when the lifespan of beings is over eighty thousand years or less than one hundred. This rule only applies to our world system during the Fortunate Aeon. In other world systems and in other aeons, buddhas appear at various times.

The scriptures maintain two different versions in regard to the arising of buddhas during the Fortunate Aeon. According to the Karuṇāpuṇḍarīka-sūtra, 1005 buddhas will appear; according to the Tathāgatācintya-guhya-nirdeśa-sūtra, 1000 buddhas will appear.

Now we will give a summary of the story of how the one thousand buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon will appear, according to the Tathāgatācintya-guhya-nirdeśa sūtra:[4]

In former times, during the aeon known as ’Perfectly Ornamented’ [rnam par brgyan pa], there appeared a Buddha named Ananta-guṇanānāratna vyāharāja.[5] At that time, a universal monarch by the name of Dhṛtarāṣṭra,[6] who ruled over four continents, had seven hundred thousand queens who gave him one thousand sons. Finally, his queens Aninditā[7] and Anupamā[8] each bore him a son, who were known as Dharmacetas[9] and Dharmamati.[10]

Once, a unique thought arose in the mind of the universal monarch,

“All my sons, the princes, are singularly inclined toward enlightenment. I must find out which of them will be the first to attain enlightenment.”

Accordingly, he wrote down the names of all the princes, deposited the name cards in an urn, and made extensive offerings for seven days.

When the name cards were drawn, the name of Prince Viśuddhamati[11] was the first to appear,
and he received the prediction that he would become the Buddha Krakucchanda.[12]
Prince Vijayasana[13] was to become the Buddha Kanakamuni;[14]
Prince Śāntendriya[15] was to become Buddha Kāśyapa;[16]
Prince Savārthasiddha[17] was to become Buddha Śākyamuni;[18]
Prince Mekhalin[19] was to become Buddha Maitreya, etc.

The last of the one thousand sons was Anantamati.[20] He made a special aspiration that the lifespans and activities of all the previous nine hundred ninty-nine buddhas would be unified within him. Thus, the last of the one thousand buddhas was predicted to be known as Buddha Rocana,[21] meaning ’Buddha Aspiration’. Due to the power of this aspiration he will be the only buddha in this Fortunate Aeon whose lifespan will be immeasurable.

From among the last two sons, Dharmacetas and Dharmamati, Dharmacetas made the aspiration to receive all the teachings of the one thousand buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon and to become the Vajra holder,[22] the protector and guardian of the teachings of all the one thousand buddhas. Thus, he was prophesied to become the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi,[23] the compiler of the words [bka’ sdud pa po] of all the thousand buddhas, and further, that in a future aeon he would become the Buddha Vajravikrāma.[24]

The last son, Dharmamati, made the aspiration to be the one to request each of the one thousand buddhas to set the wheel of dharma in motion. Due to the power of this aspiration he was to become the god Brahma.[25] The father of all the one thousand and two sons, the universal monarch Dhṛtarāṣṭra,[26] was to become the Buddha Dīpaṃkara,[27] many aeons prior to our Fortunate Aeon.

According to Buddhist cosmology, India is called the ’Southern Rose Apple Continent’, Jambudvīpa [lho ’dzam bu gling]. Each of the one thousand buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon will appear in India, will attain perfect buddhahood upon the vajraseat at Bodhgayā, and will then turn the wheel of dharma.

The one thousand buddhas appear in different eras. Buddhist cosmolgy states that the history of the ‘Rose Apple Continent’, Jambudvīpa, unfolds in four distinct eras: the ’era of completeness’ [rdogs ldan dus], the ’era of three-quarters’ [gsum ldan dus], the ’era of two-quarters’ [gnyis ldan dus], and the ’era of strife’ [rtsod ldan dus; skr. kaliyuga].

1. The first era is called the ’era of completeness’ because splendor [dpal] and enjoyments [’byor] are completely present.

2. The second era is called the era of three-quarters because theft and sexual misconduct reduce the splendor and riches of the environment and its inhabitants by one quarter.

3. Then, due to lying, the splendor and enjoyments are reduced to one half of their glory, and hence the third era is known as the ’era of two-quarters’.

4. The fourth and final period is the ’era of strife’, during which even the remaining one quarter of original abundance of riches and splendor gradually diminishes, this time principally due to murder and the other forms of non-virtue [mi dge ba’i las] committed by sentient beings.

1. Buddha Krakucchanda, the first among the thousand buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon, appeared in this world toward the end of an ’era of completeness’. He is also referred to as the ’First Guide’ [rnam ’dren dang po].

2. Buddha Kanakamuni, the second among the one-thousand Buddhas, appeared in this world during an ’era of three-quarters’. He is also referred to as the ’Second Guide’ [rnam ’dren gnyis pa].

3. During the ’era of two-quarters’, Buddha Kāśyapa, the third among the one thousand Buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon, appeared in this world. He is called the ’Third Guide’ [rnam ’dren gsum pa].

4. Finally, toward the end of the fourth era, the ’era of strife’ in which beings all quarrel with one another, Buddha Śākyamuni, the ’Fourth Guide’ [rnam ’dren bzhi pa], appeared.

Each of the thousand buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon may appear at any time within these four eras. But, among all these thousand buddhas, only Buddha Śākyamuni appears at the end of an era of strife, at a time when the five degenerations are widely spread. It is this period in which we presently find ourselves.

The five degenerations [snyigs ma lnga] are the degeneration of time [dus kyi snyigs], the degeneration of sentient beings [sems can gyi snyigs ma], the degeneration of lifespan [tshe’i snyigs ma], the degeneration of actions [las kyi snyigs ma], and the degeneration of afflictions [nyon mongs pa’i snyigs ma]. Sometimes the ‘degeneration of views’ [lta ba’i snyigs ma] is listed in place of the ‘degeneration of actions’.

The ‘degeneration of time’ refers to the era of strife like our present time, in which beings are tormented by famine, illness, and war. The ‘degeneration of sentient beings’ refers to the situation of beings born during the era of strife and also implies that the character [gshis ka] of beings has progressively deteriorated through the course of the four eras. The ‘degeneration of lifespan’ refers to the fact that during the era of strife, the lifespan of beings declines from one hundred years all the way down to ten years. Note that Buddha Śākyamuni appeared at a time when the lifespan was at the limit of one hundred years. No buddha in the Fortunate Aeon ever appears when the lifespan of beings is less than one hundred years.

The ‘degeneration of actions’ means that during the era of strife all sentient beings engage in the ten non-virtuous actions. The ‘degeneration of afflictions’ indicates that in the era of strife the afflictions of ignorance [gti mug], desire [’dod chags], anger [zhe sdang], jealousy [phrag dog], and pride [nga rgyal] are so strong that worldly remedies cannot overcome them. The ‘degeneration of views’ means that in this era of strife right views are decreasing, and views of eternalism and nihilism are flourishing.

At the times when the first five buddhas from among the one thousand buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon appear, the duration of the lifespan of beings will vary.

1. During the time of Buddha Krakucchanda, the first of the thousand buddhas, the average lifespan of beings was forty thousand years.

2. During the time of Buddha Kanakamuni, the second buddha, the average lifespan of beings was thirty thousand years.

3. During the time of Buddha Kāśyapa, the third buddha, beings were able to live twenty thousand years.

4. During the time of Buddha Śākyamuni, the fourth buddha, beings were able to live only one hundred years.[28]

5. The fifth Buddha [rnam ’dren lnga pa] will be Buddha Maitreya,[29] who at present dwells as a bodhisattva in the heaven of Tuṣita. All scriptures agree that when Maitreya appears as a buddha, the lifespan of beings will once again have returned to eighty thousand years.

Perfectly enlightened buddhas only appear when the lifespan of beings is on the decline from eighty thousand years all the way down to one hundred years. This may be either during the ‘initial lengthy decline’ or during the declining phase of any of the eighteen cycles of ascent and decline.

Pratyekabuddhas also appear when the lifespan of beings is declining [mar ’grib] from eighty thousand down to one hundred years; in addition, pratyekabuddhas are also able to appear in phases when the lifespan of beings is on the ascent [yar skye] from one hundred years all the way up to eighty thousand years. This is because pratyekabuddhas principally appear for the sake of their personal realization and not for the sake of all sentient beings.

A sentient being is able to attain the state of a pratyekabuddha only after having gathered the two accumulations for one hundred great aeons. When pratyekabuddhas finally reach their nirvāṇa, they abide continuously in a tranquil state of cessation until radiant light rays emanating from a buddha awaken them from this peaceful state, inspiring them and encouraging them to embark on the bodhisattva path to complete enlightenment.

A universal sovereign [’khor los sgyur ba’i rgyal po] appears in our world system only when the lifespan of sentient beings has progressed beyond eighty thousand years. It is said that a universal sovereign is adorned with preliminary indications of the thirty-two major marks of buddhahood; however, having chosen the path of a universal sovereign, the signs on his body have not fully matured into the fruitional signs which only appear on the body of a perfectly enlightened buddha.[30]

According to the Bhadrakalpika-sūtra,[31] each of the one thousand buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon can be identified by these following criteria:

each will have an individual country of birth [skyes pa’i yul];
each will be born in a particular caste [rigs];
each will bear a particular family name [gdung];
each will display a unique aura of light [’od];
each will have his own father [yab];
each will likewise have a mother [yum];
each will father a child [sras];
each will have one primary attendant [rim gro pa];
each will have a pair of students, one of whom is supreme in wisdom [shes rab can] and the other who is supreme in magical powers [rdzu ’phrul can];
each will have an entourage, the saṃgha [’khor ’dus pa];
each buddha will have a particular lifespan [sku’i tshe tshad];
each will have a definite time-span during which his teachings will endure [bstan pa gnas pa’i tshad];
and each will leave specific relics [sku gdung].

Once a buddha has been cremated, it is possible for him to leave relics that continue to multiply, or he might leave one single relic [ril po gcig tu ’dug pa], that is to say his entire body. For example, in the case of Buddha Śākyamuni, his physical remains, such as his bones, teeth, and so forth, continue to produce relics [sku gdung las bab pa’i ring bsrel] that in turn continue to multiply. On the other hand, when some buddhas are cremated, what remains instead is one single relic, which is said to be indestructible.

For example, in the case of our present buddha, Buddha Śākyamuni, the sūtras tell us the following:

  1. His country was the country of the Śākya clan [ser skya’i gnas].
  2. His was of the royal caste [rgyal rigs].
  3. The name of his family lineage [gdung brgyud / rigs rus] was Gautama [go’u ta ma].
  4. The extent of his aura was one fathom [’dom gang].
  5. His father was Śuddodana [zas gtsang sras].
  6. His mother was Māyādevī [sgyu ’phrul lha mo].
  7. His son was Rāhula [sgra gcan ’dzin].
  8. His principal attendant was Ānanda [kun dga’ bo].
  9. His supreme pair of students were Upatissa,[32] the one supreme in knowledge, and Kolika,[33] the one supreme in magical powers.
  10. His entourage consisted of the 2500 monks [dge slong stong nyis lnga brgya] of the original saṃgha [’dus pa dang po].
  11. His lifespan was eighty years [lo brgyad cu].
  12. The span of time during which his teachings will endure is five thousand years.
  13. The relics of Buddha Śākyamuni are of the type which continue to multiply [sku gdung ni rgyas par ’gyur].

Each of the one thousand buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon will have the two assistants mentioned earlier. The first assistant is the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi [phyag na rdo rje], who will always preserve and protect the complete teachings of each of the thousand buddhas [sangs rgyas stong gi bka’ sdus ba po]. He is able to hear and retains the complete teachings of every buddha in their entirety. The second assistant is the god Brahma [tshangs pa], who requests each of the thousand buddhas to turn the wheel of dharma. Therefore, they are called the ’one thousand and two’ [stong rtsa gnyis], meaning the one thousand buddhas and their two assistants.

These thousand buddhas all appear when the lifespan of beings is decreasing from eighty thousand years to one hundred years. The only exception is the last of the one thousand buddhas, ’Buddha Rocana’; due to the power of his special aspirations, Buddha Rocana will appear at a time when the lifespan of beings is measureless.[34]

Buddha Śākyamuni has four unique features [khyad chos bzhi] that distinguish him from among the thousand buddhas that appear in the Fortunate Aeon. His first unique feature is that he cares for the beings of this era of strife, an era in which the five degenerations are widespread. Among all the thousand buddhas, he is the only one who appears in such an unfortunate time.

At the time when the buddhas have not yet reached enlightenment but are still traveling the path as bodhisattvas, they all make specific aspirations for their future activities as buddhas. Buddha Śākyamuni, when he was still a bodhisattva, made five hundred great aspirations [smon lam chen po lnga brgya btab], all of which specifically entailed helping beings at the time when they, in general, would be tormented by the five degenerations.

None of the other buddhas that have appeared (or will appear) throughout the course of this Fortunate Aeon chose to emphasize such aspirations when they were traveling the bodhisattva path. Instead, it was their conclusion that sentient beings of the degenerate times would, in general, be unsuitable vessels for the dharma. Hence, Buddha Śākyamuni is considered to be more courageous than the other guides of the Fortunate Aeon [bkal bzang rnam ’dren gzhan las ches dpa’ ba’i]. This manifest courage is the second of the four unique features [khyad chos bzhi] that distinguish him from the other buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon.

Due to his extraordinarily compassionate development of bodhicitta [snying rjes thugs bskyed] and the marvelous five hundred aspirations [smon lam] he made, Buddha Śākyamuni was ‘praised as the White Lotus’ [pad dkar ltar bsngags] by all the other buddhas of this aeon. This is the third of the four unique features [khyad chos bzhi] that distinguish Buddha Śākyamuni from the other buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon.

The fourth unique feature by which Buddha Śākyamuni is known is that of the immense power of blessing carried by his name. Whoever so much as hears his name will become a non-returner [mtshan thos phyir mi ldog]. Like a fish who has entered a fisherman’s net, any being who makes a connection of any kind with Buddha Śākyamuni has entered into his net of compassion [thugs rje’i drva ba].

The immense blessing power emanating from Buddha Śākyamuni arises on the basis of his immeasurable qualities and due to the strength of his former aspirations. His compassion is beyond all concepts and thoughts and thus reaches out to all sentient beings, free from even the most subtle bias or partiality.

We will now summarize the tale of the one thousand and five buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon, which includes the story of Buddha Śākyamuni’s unique aspirations, as it is recounted in the Karuṇā-puṇḍarīka:[35]

In former times, in our present world-system, during an aeon known as Dhārana [’dzin pa], there lived a universal monarch named Araṇemi,[36] who reigned over four continents and fathered one thousand sons. His chief household priest [mdun na ’don pa; skr. purohita] was the Brāhmaṇa, Samudrareṇu,[37] who had eighty sons as well as one thousand Brāhmaṇa students.

One of his sons, the Brāhmaṇa Samudragarbha,[38] renounced the worldly life, entered into homelessness, attained perfect enlightenment, and came to be acclaimed as the Buddha Ratnagarbha.[39]

All the sons of the universal monarch as well as all the sons and students of Brāhmaṇa Samudrareṇu gave rise to and developed the precious bodhicitta. Due to this, Buddha Ratnagarbha prophesied that each of them would attain buddhahood in the future. Following these predictions, each made aspirations to appear as buddhas in pure realms.

Finally, the Brāhmaṇa Samudrareṇu, looking with compassion upon the myriad beings scattered throughout the impure realms [zhing ma dag pa], those sentient beings who are bound to commit the ten non-virtuous actions [mi dge ba bcu] and the five heinous crimes [mthsams med lnga], and viewing their conditions, he made five hundred great aspirations. Samudrareṇu prayed that he would become a buddha in an impure realm, at a time when the five degenerations blazed fiercely.

Hearing these noble aspirations, Buddha Ratnagarbha, the buddha of that era, spoke,

“You are a bodhisattva who is like a white lotus;[40] the other bodhisattvas resemble ordinary flowers.”

Thus, Buddha Ratnagarbha praised him and prophesied that he would become Buddha Śākyamuni, the fourth among the one thousand and five buddhas of the Fortunate Aeon.

In this time [deng ’dir] refers to the time of the five degenerations. You demonstrate your supreme, fully manifest enlightenment [mngon par rdzogs par byang chub pa mchog ston pa] means that after six years of seeking and practicing, at the age of thirty-five, Buddha Śākyamuni attained supreme and fully manifest enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree at Bodhgayā.

In the night preceding his enlightenment, Śākyamuni had formed the irrevocable resolve never to rise from his meditation seat unless he had attained fully manifest enlightenment. He entered into the ’vajra-like samādhi’; outwardly defeating all māras, inwardly purifying what remained of his cognitive obscurations [shes bya’i sgrib pa], he reached fully manifest enlightenment at the break of dawn. At the very moment that heralded the dawn, he attained fully manifest enlightenment.

Śākyamuni’s enlightenment is called fully manifest [mngon par] because it resulted in the three kāyas; two of these, the ‘form kāyas’ [gzugs sku; rūpakāya], could later be perceived by sentient beings according to their capacities. Ordinary beings, both pure and impure, were able to meet Buddha Śākyamuni’s nirmāṇakāya [sprul sku]. Bodhisattvas dwelling on the bhumis were able to meet his saṃbhogakāya [longs sku]. Nevertherless, even bodhisattvas dwelling on the tenth bhumi were unable to perceive his dharmakāya [chos sku].

Having no equal in spiritual attainment throughout the entire universe, Buddha Śākyamuni had become the incomparable teacher [ston pa mnyam med] of gods and men. Having taken birth in the Śākya clan, and being a great being, powerful like a lion, he became known as the Lion of the Śākyas [shākya seng ge]. Khenpo Kunpal beseeches Buddha Śākyamuni, “Please protect me with your loving kindness [brtse bas skyongs]!” He thus prays that the Buddha will always look after him through his enlightened body, speech, and mind.

first previous index next last

- Footnotes:

1.

One single world system [’jig rten gyi khams] includes Mount Sumeru, sun and moon, the four continents, the worlds of the gods of desire and the world of Brahmā.

2.

See Myriad Worlds, pages 133ff.

3.

One single world system [’jig rten gyi khams] includes Mount Sumeru, sun and moon, the four continents, the worlds of the gods of desire and the world of Brahmā. The sum of ‘a thousand single world systems’ is called ‘the first order of a thousand world systems’ [stong dang po / stong dang po’i jig rten gyi khams / stong spyi phud kyi ’jig rten gyi khams] or ‘the lesser order of a thousand world systems’ [stong chung ngu’i ’jig rten gyi khams], which means 1.000 to the power of one.

One thousand ‘lesser order of a thousand world systems’ constitute ‘the middle order of a thousand world systems’ [stong bar ma’i ’jig rten gyi khams] or ‘the second order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gnyis pa; skr. dvi-sāhasra / stong gnyis pa’i jig rten gyi khams], which means a thousand to the power of two or one million separate world systems.

One thousand ‘middle order of a thousand world systems’ make ‘the large order of a thousand world systems’ [stong chen po’i ’jig rten gyi khams] or ‘the third order of a thousand world systems’ [stong gsum pa; tri-sāhasra], also called ‘the third order, the larger order of one thousand world systems [stong gsum gyi stong chen po’i ’jig rten gyi khams; skr. tri-sāhasramahāsāhasro loka-dhātuḥ], which means a thousand to the power of three or one billion separate word systems—a trichiliocosm. For further details see Buddhist Cosmology, Illuminator, Myriad Worlds; and Prince Jiṇ-Gim’s Textbook.

4.

See Jewellery of Scripture, pages 113-116 and bu ston chos ’byung, pages 55ff.

5.

de bzhin gshegs pa yon tan mtha’ rin chen sna tshogs bkod pa’i rgyal po

6.

yul ’khor srung

7.

ma smad pa

8.

dpe ma med

9.

chos sems

10.

chos kyi blo gros

11.

gzhon nu rnam par dag pa’i blo gros.

12.

’khor ba ’jig

13.

rnam par rgyal ba’i sde

14.

gser thub

15.

dbang po zhi ba

16.

’od srungs

17.

don thams cad grub pa

18.

shākya thub pa

19.

ska rags can

20.

blo mtha’ yas

21.

sangs rgyas mos pa

22.

lag na rdo rje

23.

phyag na rdo rje

24.

rdo rjes rnam par gnon pa

25.

tshangs pa

26.

yul ’khor srung

27.

mar me mdzes

28.

See klong chen chos ’byung, page 72; Jewellery of Scripture, pages 117-118 and bu ston chos ’byung, page 58.

29.

sangs rgyas byams pa

30.

See Myriad Worlds, pages 134ff.

31.

See klong chen chos ’byung, page 72; Jewellery of Scripture, page 118 and bu ston chos ’byung, page 58.

32.

Śāriputra was given two names in his youth, Upatissa [nyer rgyal] and ’Son of Śārikā’. Śārikā was Śāriputra’s mother. See Tibetan Religious Art, pages 65ff.

33.

Kolika [pang nas skyes], ’Lap-Born’, was the given name of Maudgalyāyana. See Tibetan Religious Art, pages 66ff.

34.

See Jewellery of Scripture, page 118 and bu ston chos ’byung, pages 58-59.

35.

See Jewellery of Scripture, pages 109-113; bu ston chos ’byung, pages 52-55; and ston pa śākya thub pa’i rnam thar, pages 8-16.

36.

rtsibs kyi mu khyud

37.

bram ze rgya mtsho’i rdul

38.

rgya mtsho’i snying po

39.

sangs rgyas rin chen snying po

40.

See ston pa śākya thub pa’i rnam thar, page 13: Then Sugata Ratnagarbha spoke: “Son of noble family! All other bodhisattvas are like flowers. You are like a white lotus” [de nas de bzhin gshegs pa rin chen snying pos bka’ stsal pa / rigs kyi bu / byang chub sems dpa’ gzhan ni me tog lta bu’o / khyod ni pad ma dkar po lta bu’o].

first previous index next last