​Arduous journey to Buddhahood


The hero of the world is unfathomable.

Among heavenly beings or the people of the world,

among all living beings,

none can understand the Buddha.

The Buddha’s power, fearlessness,

emancipation and meditations

and the Buddha’s other attributes

no one can reckon or fathom.
Earlier, under the guidance of countless Buddhas

he fully acquired and practiced various ways,

profound, subtle and wonderful doctrines

that are hard to see and hard to understand.

For immeasurable millions of hundreds of years

he has been practicing these ways

until in the place of practice he achieved the goal.
I have already come to see and know completely

this great goal and recompense,

the meaning of these various natures and characteristics.

I and the other Buddhas of the ten directions

can now understand these things.

This Discovery cannot be described,

words fall silent before it.

Among the other kinds of living beings

there are none who can comprehend it,

except the many bodhisattvas (perfect seekers)

who are firm in the power of faith.
The many disciples of the Buddhas

in the past have given offerings to the Buddhas,

have already cut off all outflows

and now are dwelling in their last incarnation.

But even such persons as they

have not the power needed.

Even if the whole world

were filled with men like Albert Einstein,

though they exhausted their thoughts and pooled their capacities,

they could not fathom the Buddha’s knowledge.

Even if ten directions were all filled with men like Albert Einstein

or like the other disciples or scientist-philosophers,

though they filled the lands in the ten directions

and exhausted their thoughts and pooled their capacities,

still they could not understand it.

If hermit sages, acute in understanding,

without outflows, in their last incarnation,

should fill the worlds in the ten directions,

as numerous as bamboos in a grove,

though they should join together with one mind

for a million or for countless number of years,

hoping to conceive of the Buddha’s true wisdom,

they could not understand the smallest part of it.
If bodhisattvas newly embarked on their course

should give offerings to numberless Buddhas,

completely mastering the intent of the various doctrines and paths of knowledge

and also able to preach the Law effectively,

like so many rice and hemp plants, bamboos or reeds,

filling the lands in the ten directions,

with a single mind, with their wonderful knowledge,

for centuries numerous as sands in a vast riverbank

should all together pool their thoughts and capacities,

they could not understand the Buddha’s knowledge.

If bodhisattvas who never regress,

their number like Ganges sands,

with a single mind should join in pondering and seeking,

they could not understand it either.
I also announce to you, dear friend,

that this profound subtle and wonderful Law

without outflows, incomprehensible,

I have now attained in full.

Only I understand its characteristics,

and the Buddhas of the past did likewise.

My friend, you should know

that the words of the various Buddhas never differ.

Toward the Law preached by the Buddhas

you must cultivate a great power of faith.

The world-honored One will long expound his doctrines

and eventually must reveal the truth.
The perfect Buddha enables people to escape the bonds of suffering

and to attain nirvana.

The Buddha, through the power of expedient means,

shows them the teachings of the three vehicles/paths

prying living beings loose from this or that attachment

and allowing them to attain release.

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