Outline of Avatamsaka Sutra By Dr. Tony Prince The First Assembly Chapter 1 The Sublime A!ornments of the "or!

s of the #orl! The main topic of the first$ lon% chapter is the nature of Bu!!hahoo!. &t provi!es an intro!uctory overvie' of the basic teachin%s of the Sutra 'hich 'ill be recapitulate! in more concrete form in the even lon%er final chapter$ throu%h the story of Su!hana(s )uest for *nli%htenment an! the conclu!in% hymn in praise of Bu!!hahoo! by Samantabha!ra. &t be%ins 'ith a !epiction of the Bu!!ha un!er the Bo!hi+tree. #hile this is on one level the historical Bo!hi+tree in ,a%a!ha$ it also appears here as a manifestation of ultimate reality. #e then learn that the Bo!hi+tree is locate! in a vast palace that is elaborately a!orne! an! shinin% 'ith a multicolore! ra!iance.... an! so on. The au!ience is then !escribe!. There are not only innumerable bo!hisattvas$ le! by Samantabha!ra$ but also vast numbers of !eities of all kin!s -a.ra+'iel!ers$ atten!ant spirits$ %uar!ians of sites of *nli%htenment$ %o!s of to'ns an! localities$ %o!s of mountains$ forests$ healin% herbs$ crops$ rivers an! oceans/ %o!s of 'ater$ of fire$ of 'in!$ of space$ an! of the !irections/ %o!s of the ni%ht an! of the !ay/ asuras$ %aru!as$ kinnaras$ mahora%as$ yakshas$ na%as$ kumbhan!has$ an! %an!harvas/ %o!s of the moon an! of the sun/ an! all the !eities of the various heavens of tra!itional Bu!!hist cosmolo%y. These bein%s represent the entire universe$ in its animate an! suppose!ly inanimate aspects$ an! they all re.oice at the Bu!!ha(s achievement of *nli%htenment. For each %roup the names of ten representative fi%ures are %iven$ an! for each of the ten$ a stan0a is then recite! in praise of the Bu!!ha(s *nli%htenment.

&n response$ all the various 'orl!+oceans appear$ ten of 'hich are name! an! !escribe! 2one for each of the ten !irections3. Chapter 9 The "otus #orl! Samantabha!ra(s account of 7uayen cosmolo%y is continue! first the vast si0e an! intricacy of -airocana(s 'orl! is !escribe!$ then some of the innumerable 'orl!+systems surroun!in% it are liste! an! name!. Chapter 6 The Formation of the #orl!s &n verse an! prose$ Samantabha!ra %ives an! account of the 7uayen cosmolo%y$ an! the number$ variety an! beauty of all the infinite 'orl!s is !escribe!. Samantabha!ra then emer%es from sama!hi. The Bu!!ha praises Samantabha!ra an! besto's kno'le!%e on him. All the bo!hisattvas then sin% a further ten stan0as in praise of Samantabha!ra.a%a!ha an! the "otus #orl!.3 The Bu!!ha then emits li%ht from his urna$ an! subse)uently a bo!hisattva also emer%es from the urna an! recites ten stan0as about the Bu!!ha(s kno'le!%e an! po'ers/ finally ten other bo!hisattvas appear an! each recites ten similar stan0as. "i%ht ra!iates from the Bu!!ha(s pores$ an! this li%ht is hear! to recite ten verses in praise of Samantabha!ra.Chapter 1 The Display of the Tatha%ata The assemble! bo!hisattvas ask a series of )uestions about the nature of the Bu!!ha an! of Bu!!hahoo!. 2Shakyamuni an! the Saha'orl! here reveal their true form as -airocana an! the "otus #orl!$ 'hile still remainin% 'hat they 'ere 4 the scene is simultaneously both . Chapter 5 Samantabha!ra(s Sama!hi Samantabha!ra enters sama!hi in the presence of the Bu!!ha/ this is then seen to be repeate! en!lessly throu%hout all time an! space. Finally Samantabha!ra e8plains the interpenetration of macrocosm an! microcosm. All the bu!!has then place their han!s on Samantabha!ra(s hea! in a %esture of blessin%. Bo!hisattvas 'ith their retinues come from all these 'orl!s to the "otus #orl! of -airocana an! make offerin%s to the Bu!!ha. The name of the Bu!!ha 1 .

The Secon! Assembly Chapter < The =ames of the Tatha%ata This chapter marks a ne' Assembly an! a chan%e of scene/ the Bu!!ha is still in . Thus 'e learn that bo!hicitta an! the )uest for *nli%htenment not only affect the in!ivi!ual but shape the very physical form of the universe$ for the physical environment an! the karma of its inhabitants are inter!epen!ent 4 as the previous t'o chapters have also ma!e clear.3 of the bo!hisattva 'ho became -airocana.usri then names some of these 'orl!s an!$ startin% 'ith this 'orl! *n!urance$ an! thence procee!in% to 'orl!s in the east$ south$ 'est$ north'est. Chapter @ The Four 7oly Truths A%ain$ startin% 'ith the Saha'orl! an! procee!in% to the same ten 'orl!s 2thou%h in a !ifferent or!er3$ .a%a!ha$ but is no' in the 7all of >niversal "i%ht.an. Finally Samantabha!ra sums up the theme of the chapter in verse.usri an! countless other bo!hisattvas arrive from various 'orl!s in the ten !irections.an. This chapter thus illustrates the universality of the Dharma. Chapter : -airocana Samantabha!ra tells us somethin% of the early history 2. ..presi!in% in each one is %iven$ sho'in% that the entire universe is perva!e! by the presence of *nli%htenment$ an! sometimes the shape of the 'orl!+system an! other !etails are also %iven. an! so on$ he %ives$ for each 'orl!$ ten 2?infinite3 names by 'hich the Bu!!ha is kno'n there.usri lists the various names by 'hich the Four Truths are kno'n in those 'orl!s$ %ivin% in each case ten names for each of the Four Truths..in the remote past$ as many aeons a%o as there are atoms in a 'orl!.. . Chapter A A'akenin% by "i%ht 5 .an.

Bha!ramukha replies in 5:C verse stan0as provi!in% an outline of the entire Bo!hisattva Path.an.usri lists 16C acts or situations 'hich can be purifie! by mental transformation$ i.usri asks each of the other chief bo!hisattvas from the other nine !irections 2as in chapter <3 )uestions about the nature of the min! an! the senses$ of sentient bein%s$ of the Bu!!haBs teachin% activities$ of karmic cause an! effect$ an! so on. All the .usri in turn asks Bha!ramukha about the practices cultivate! by bo!hisattvas. Chapter 1C A Bo!hisattva Asks for Clarification .e.usri in those countless 'orl!s chant verses praisin% the Bu!!ha an! e8poun!in% the Dharma.6 The Thir! Assembly 6 . Chapter 11 Bha!ramukha . The teachin%s in this chapter emphasi0e con!itionality 2pratitysamutpa!a3$ emptiness 2sunyata3$ relativity$ an! the nee! to a!apt the Teachin%s to the capacity of the au!ience. &n reply$ . by consi!erin% them symbolically an! !e!icatin% them to some %oal or i!eal in keepin% 'ith the Bo!hisattva Path.an.an.an. Amon% the topics !ealt 'ith are the a'akenin% of the Aspiration to *nli%htenment 2bo!hicittotpa!a3$ the fun!amental importance of faith$ the truths un!erstoo! by the bo!hisattvas$ the results of cultivatin% bo!hisattva practices 2sama!his$ miraculous po'ers an! so on3$ an! the !ifferent metho!s use! by bo!hisattvas in or!er to communicate the Dharma to sentient bein%s. Chapter 11 Pure Con!uct The bo!hisattva Bha!ramukha asks a series of )uestions about the proper con!uct of bo!hisattvas."i%ht ra!iates from the 'heelmarks on the soles of the Bu!!haBs feet$ illuminatin% 'orl!s in all ten !irections. &n each case the bo!hisattvas reply in verse. As each !irection is lit up$ the same scene in the 7all of >niversal "i%ht appears multiplie! to infinity.

3 to the peak of . 7e then procee!s to &n!raBs palace$ an! &n!ra 2Sakra3 chants ten 'elcomin% stan0as in 'hich he allu!es to similar visits by ten previous bu!!has.t. 7e then emer%es from sama!hi an! e8poun!s the Ten Abo!es$ the secon! section of the 91 Sta%es of the Path.$ all of 'hom are also calle! Dharmamati. into the family of the bu!!hasG/ 293 Perfection of Skilful . Sumeru Bo!hisattvas arrive in &n!raBs palace from all ten !irections.as numerous as the atoms in a thousan! bu!!ha+realms. The Bu!!ha emits li%ht from his toes$ illuminatin% the entire universe. Sumeru$ to the Trayastrimsa Dealm$ 'here &n!raBs palace is locate!. Chapter 16 *ulo%ies on .t. Chapter 19 The Ten Abo!es Dharmamati$ one of the bo!hisattvas 'ho arrive! in chapter 16$ enters sama!hi an! is blesse! by bu!!has .in!/ 2<3 =onre%ression/ 2@3 Chil!like Simplicity/ 2A3 Cro'n Prince of the Dharma/ an! 21C3 Consecration.'ithout leavin% the foot of the Bo!hi+tree.Chapter 15 Ascent to the Summit of . Sumeru The Bu!!ha ascen!s 2thou%h .t.e. *ach of the ten chief bo!hisattvas then chants ten stan0as 2%atha3 praisin% Bu!!hahoo! as true kno'le!%e of reality free from !istortions an! limitations. 9 .eans/ 2:3 Dectification of the . These ten are 213 A'akenin% the Aspiration to *nli%htenment/ 213 Preparin% the Eroun!/ 253 Cultivatin% the Practices/ 263 =oble Birth Fi.

This chapter contains the famous statement that . The Fourth Assembly Chapter 1A Ascent to Hama(s Dealm The Bu!!ha$ . 7e also e8plains that *mptiness 2sunyata3 is the basis of all Bu!!hist practices. Chapter 1: Spiritual Con!uct &n response to a )uestion by one of the !eities$ calle! Samyaksmriti$ Dharmamati !iscusses the con!uct of bo!hisattvas 'ho have entere! the monastic life..t.Dharmamati then repeats his e8position in a len%thy verse e8planation in 'hich he !escribes the inspiration$ aspirations$ con!uct an! achievements of the bo!hisattvas. Chapter 1< The . 7e conclu!es 'ith a lon% verse passa%e in 'hich he !escribes the 9 scope of Bo!hicitta an! the %reat po'ers an! 'is!om that are ac)uire! by bo!hisattvas 'ho cultivate it.Perfect *nli%htenment is achieve! the moment on aspires to it. Sumeru. 2This chapter an! a similar$ even lon%er$ eulo%y of Bo!hicitta 'ith a %reat profusion of similes$ in the Ean!avyuha Sutra illustrate the immense importance of Bo!hicitta for the Sutra an! for the 7uayen School.'ithout leavin% the foot of the Bo!hi+tree or the peak of .erit of A'akenin% the Aspiration to *nli%htenment &n response to a )uestion by &n!ra$ Dharmamati e8plains$ 'ith a 'ealth of hyperbole$ the amount of merit that is achieve! by a'akenin% the Aspiration to *nli%htenment.3 Chapter 1@ Clarifyin% the Dharma Deplyin% to a len%thy )uestion by the bo!hisattva -iryamati$ Dharmamati e8plains the bo!hisattva practices 'ith a 'ealth of concrete !etail an! many lists of specific practices an! virtues.$ ascen!s to Hama(s realm 2the thir! of the tra!itional 1@ heavenly realms3 an! visits the palace of Iin% : .

naparamitaG/ 2A3 Cultivation of Eoo! Jualities/ 21C3 Cultivation of Truth. Bo!hisattvas arrive from all ten !irections$ li%ht ra!iates from the Bu!!ha(s insteps/ then the ten chief bo!hisattvas each recite ten stan0as praisin% the Bu!!ha an! speakin% of *mptiness an! the nature of the min!. Chapter 11 The Ten Practices This chapter parallels chapter 19 One of the bo!hisattvas$ calle! Eunavana$ enters sama!hi$ is blesse! by countless bu!!has$ all of 'hom are also calle! Eunavana$ an! he then emer%es from sama!hi an! e8poun!s the Ten Practices$ the thir! set of ten in the tra!itional 91 Sta%es. These Ten Practices are as follo's 213 Eivin% Deli%ht/ 213 Besto'in% Benefits/ 253 =onresentment/ 263 &ne8haustible Practice/ 293 Transcen!in% &%norance an! Confusion/ 2:3 Skilful .Hama. After a len%thy e8position of these ten virtues$ there follo's another lon% passa%e in verse$ in 'hich Eunavana praises the < . This chapter also contains a very famous passa%e comparin% the min! an! its creation of an e8ternal 'orl! to the creative 'ork of a painter.anifestation/ 2<3 =onattachment/ 2@3 Deverence for the Supreme Practice Fof Pra. Chapter 1C The *ulo%ies in Hama(s Palace This chapter is similar to chapter 16. Hama 'elcomes him 'ith ten stan0as similar to those of &n!ra in chapter 15.

are ma!e to the Bu!!ha by countless trillions of !eities.bu!!has an! bo!hisattvas an! the universality of their 'is!om an! of their teachin% activities. Finally the Tushita kin% sin%s ten verses of 'elcome like those of &n!ra an! Hama. Chapter 11 The Ten &ne8haustible Treasuries &n this chapter Eunavana %oes on to e8poun! the 1C &ne8haustible Treasuries 4 a further set of ten virtues cultivate! by bo!hisattvas. 2These are not$ ho'ever$ inclu!e! in the (official( list of 91 Sta%es.e'els$ incense$ robes$ banners$ conch+shells etc. Chapter 16 The Tushita *ulo%ies @ . Offerin%s of flo'ers$ . The Fifth Assembly Tushita Chapter 15 Ascent to the Tushita 7eaven The ne8t t'o chapters a%ain parallel chapters 15+19 an! 1A+11.3 The ten are as follo's 213 Faith/ 213 *thical Discipline/ 253 Depentance/ 263 Shame F'ith re%ar! to past 'ron%!oin%G/ 293 "earnin% or Ac)uirin% Ino'le!%e Fof the DharmaG/ 2:3 Eenerosity/ 2<3 #is!om/ 2@3 .in!fulness/ 2A3 Sustainin% or Supportin% Fthe DharmaG/ 21C3 *lo)uence. This time the Bu!!ha$ K'ithout leavin% the foot of the Bo!hi+ tree or HamaBs palaceL$ ascen!s to the Tushita 7eaven an! %oes to the palace of the presi!in% kin%. The scope of the Bu!!haBs kno'le!%e is then praise! an! !escribe! in !etail.

The Ten Transferences are as follo's 213 Protectin% all bein%s an! !eliverin% them from sufferin% 'hile transcen!in% the very notion of a (bein%(/ 213 &n!estructible De!ication of .e..like space is unborn an! imperishable.erit3 The bo!hisattva -a. Then li%ht ra!iates from the Bu!!ha(s knees$ illuminatin% the universe.a$ an!$ emer%in% from sama!hi$ he e8poun!s these ten transferals or !e!ications of merit.erit 2to the Path3/ 253 *)uality 'ith All theBu!!has/ 263 Deachin% All Places 2'ith the merit of one(s practices3/ 293 The Treasury of &ne8hautible .ra!hva.erit/ 2:3 Developin% the Doots of Eoo!ness in Accor!ance 'ith the *)uality of All Thin%s/ 2<3 Contemplatin% All Bein%s in the"i%ht of *)uality/ 2@3 The Juality of Suchness/ 2A3 "iberation from All Bon!a%e an! Attachment/ 21C3 The &ne8haustibility of the Dharmarealm. to universal *nli%htenment$ not *nli%htenment as an in!ivi!ual %oal3/ an! 2b3 transferal (!o'n'ar!s( to all sentient bein%s.As before$ bo!hisattvas assemble from the ten !irections. 2The thir!+lon%est is the chapter . Finally the ten chief bo!hisattvas each sin% ten stan0as in praise of the Bu!!ha an! of *nli%htenment$ 'hich .ra!ha. The transferal has t'o aspects 2a3 transferal (up'ar!s( to *nli%htenment 2i. This chapter is the secon!+lon%est in the entire 7HS$ after the Ean!avyuha Sutra 2'hich makes up about a thir! of the total len%th of the entire 7HS3.$ 'hich comes imme!iately before A .a enters into sama!hi$ is blesse! by countless bu!!has$ all calle! -a.Transcen!in% the #orl!. Chapter 19 The Ten Transferences 2of .

The chief of the assemble! bo!hisattvas$ -a. This chapter still survives in Sanskrit as an in!epen!ent 'ork un!er the title of Dasabhumika Sutra. 7ere$ in the Avatamsaka Sutra$ it forms an Assembly by itself.the Ean!avyuha Sutra. "i%ht from the Bu!!ha(s urna illuminates the universe$ an! -a. The Si8th Assembly the Paranirmitavasavartin Palace Chapter 1: The Ten Sta%es The Si8th Assembly consists of a sin%le chapter$ on the ten levels or sta%es of the Bo!hisattva Path.3 This reflects the %reat importance place! on the Aspiration to *nli%htenment$ the bo!hisattva(s career$ an! the Transferal of . The scene is the principal palace in the Paranirmitavasavartin realm 2the si8th of the tra!itional Bu!!hist heavens an! the hi%hest in the #orl! of Pure Form 2rupaloka3.ahayana tra!ition %enerally$ an! the ten sta%es it e8plains in such !etail came to be %enerally accepte! as an authoritative outline of the bo!hisattva(s pro%ress to'ar!s complete *nli%htenment.erit throu%hout the Avatamsaka Sutra.ra%arbha$ enters sama!hi an! is blesse! by innumerable bo!hisattvas$ all calle! -a.anifest/ 2<3 The Far+reachin%/ 2@3 The &mperturbable/ 2A3 True A'areness/ 1C .ra%arbha. This te8t 'as an e8tremely influential 'ork in the .ra%arbha$ havin% emer%e! from sama!hi$ e8poun!s the Ten Sta%es$ 'hich are as follo's 213 The Moyful/ 213 The &mmaculate/ 253 The Brilliant/ 263 The Bla0in%/ 293 The >ncon)uerable/ 2:3 The .

Chapter 1< The Ten Concentrations This chapter be%ins 'ith the Bu!!ha a%ain in the 7all of >niversal "i%ht surroun!e! by a host of bo!hisattvas$ of 'hom a hun!re! are name!. As a result the bo!hisattvas are fille! 'ith faith in Samantabha!ra.7oma%e to all the bu!!has an! to the bo!hisattva Samantabha!ra.in!/ 11 .3 that are not inclu!e! in the official 91 Sta%es. These ten are as follo's 213 >niversal "i%ht/ 213 Subtle "i%ht/ 253 The Po'er of Travelin% to All Bu!!harealms/ 263 Practice of the Pure an! Profoun! . The Seventh Assembly The 7all of >niversal "i%ht The Seventh Assembly consists of eleven relatively short chapters of a miscellaneous character. The Bu!!ha su%%ests that he ask Samantabha!ra$ 'hom he !escribes as a master of all kin!s of sama!hi. Prostratin% themselves three times an! chantin% . One of these bo!hisattvas$ calle! Samantanetra$ asks the Bu!!ha about sama!hi.3 The 'hole Assembly is suppose! to correspon! to t'o kin!s of ultimate *nli%htenment$ an! the chapters$ as usual$ inclu!e many lists of ten 2virtues$ sama!his$ supernormal po'ers etc.$ they all vo' to cultivate the same practices as Samantabha!ra. Accor!in%ly the bo!hisattvas search every'here for Samantabha!ra but are unable to fin! him$ an! the Bu!!ha e8plains that this is because Samantabha!ra(s accomplishments transcen! the scope of their kno'le!%e. Samantabha!ra then appears an! e8poun!s the Ten Concentrations to them. 2&n the earlier translation of the Sutra there are only ten chapters$ since it lacks the chapter on the Ten Concentrations.21C3 The Dharma Clou!.

ovin%/ 2<3 . Chapter 1@ The Ten Supernormal Po'ers &n this chapter Samantabha!ra e8plains the ten supernormal po'ers 2abhi.astery of the Different "an%ua%es of All Bein%s/ 2 @3 The Po'er to Display Splen!i! Physical Forms 2to enli%hten bein%s3/ 2A3 Ino'le!%e of All Dharmas/ 21C3 Ino'le!%e of the Sama!hi of the *8tinction of All Dharmas. Chapter 1A The Ten Types of Patience 7ere Samantabha!ra e8plains ten types of patience or forbearance 11 .na3 of the bo!hisattvas 213 Telepathy/ 213 The Divine *ye/ 253 Ino'le!%e of Past "ives/ 263 Complete Ino'le!%e of the Future/ 293 The Divine *ar/ 2:3 Travelin% to All Bu!!harealms #ithout .293 Ino'le!%e of the Treasury of Past A!ornments 2of Bu!!harealms3/ 2:3 The Bri%ht Treasury of the "i%ht of #is!om/ 2<3 >n!erstan!in% the A!ornments of the Bu!!has in All the #orl!s/ 2@3 The Different Physical Forms of Bein%s 2assume! by the bo!hisattvas for teachin% purposes3/ 2A3 The Perfect Free!om of the Dharmarealm/ 21C3 The >nimpe!e! #heel.

Chapter 55 The &nconceivable Jualities of Bu!!hahoo! 15 . This chapter !emonstrates the omnipresence of enli%htene! activity in all 'orl!s$ as personifie! by Samantabha!ra$ the principal fi%ure in this Assembly. Chapter 5C The &ncalculable &n response to a )uestion by the bo!hisattva Cittara.a$ the Bu!!ha e8plains some 11C transfinite numbers$ from koti ? 1CC lakhs ? 1C$CCC$CCC3 to 1$CCC$CCC11C$ as use! in Bu!!hist te8ts to in!icate infinite amounts of merit$ hu%e !istances an! so on.a names various 'orl!s in the ten !irections 'here bo!hisattvas resi!e/ he also names the bo!hisattvas themselves an! their retinues.213 "earnin% 2patient acceptance of the Teachin%s3/ 213 Compliance/ 253 Acceptance of =onori%ination 2anutpattika!harmaksanti3/ 263 Acceptance of &llusoriness/ 293 Acceptance of Flamelikeness/ 2:3 Acceptance of Dreamlikeness/ 2<3 Acceptance of *cholikeness/ 2@3 Acceptance of 2!harmas3 Bein% "ike a Deflection/ 2A3 Acceptance of 2!harmas3 Bein% "ike a .a no' !iscourses on the relativity of time$ by e8plainin% the !ifferent scales of time in !ifferent bu!!harealms$ be%innin% 'ith a comparison of the Sahaloka an! Sukhavati$ one kalpa 2aeon3 in the former bein% e)uivalent to a sin%le !ay an! ni%ht in the latter. Chapter 51 The Abo!es of the Bo!hisattvas Cittara.a%ical &llusion/ 21C3 Acceptance of 2!harmas3 Bein% "ike *mpty Space. Chapter 51 The "ife+spans of the Tatha%atas Cittara.

Chapter 56 The "imitless Attributes of the Ten Bo!ies of the Tatha%ata &n this chapter Samantabha!ra !escribes the Bu!!haNs physical attributes$ of 'hich nearly a hun!re! are liste!. Chapter 5< The .erit of the Da!iant . Chapter 5: The Con!uct of Samantabha!ra &n this chapter Samantabha!ra speaks of 2a3 obstacles to *nli%htenment that arise from an%er$ attachment an! !elusion$ 2b3 practices that all bo!hisattvas shoul! cultivate$ an! 2c3 the %reat 'is!om an! compassion of the bo!hisattvas. 7e also speaks of the past lives of .inor Attributes The Bu!!ha$ speakin% to the bo!hisattva Datnapani$ names an! !escribes certain minor physical attributes of the bu!!has 'hich emit purifyin% li%ht. The *i%hth Assembly The 7all of >niversal "i%ht Chapter 5@ Transcen!in% the #orl! This chapter$ the secon!+lon%est in the Avatamsaka Sutra$ is classe! as an Assembly by itself$ althou%h the location 2The 7all of >niversal "i%ht3 remains unchan%e! from the previous assembly. Chapter 59 The .The bo!hisattvas pon!er the inconceivability of the )ualities 2!harmas3 of the bu!!has. The Bu!!ha$ rea!in% their min!s$ inspires the bo!hisattva >tpala%arbha to !escribe 51C of these )ualities. A ray of li%ht from the Bu!!ha(s mouth circles the universe ten times an! then enters the mouth of Samantabha!ra. Samantabha!ra procee!s to instruct Tatha%ata%otrasa!%una in the omnipresence of Bu!!hahoo! an! in the various 'ays in 'hich the Bu!!ha manifests to sentient bein%s.. 16 .the bo!hisattva -airocana.anifestation of the Tatha%ata "i%ht from the Bu!!ha(s urna illuminates the universe$ an! the bo!hisattva Tatha%ata%otrasa!%una praises the Bu!!ha.

&n this final section all these teachin%s are illustrate! by a concrete e8ample$ the story of a youn% man calle! Su!hana(s )uest for *nli%htenment. The bo!hisattva Samanta. For each )uestion Samantabha!ra provi!es ten ans'ers$ makin% a total of t'o thousan! ans'ers !ealin% 'ith !ifferent aspects of the Bo!hisattva Path. The prece!in% parts of the 7HS have !ealt at len%th 'ith the Bo!hisattva Path an! the nature of *nli%htenment. The Bu!!ha is teachin% here$ surroun!e! by a retinue 19 .ultistorie! Pavilion. The vision of *nli%htenment 'ith 'hich the Sutra be%an 2an! 'hich in its essentials has remaine! unchan%e!$ . The =inth Assembly The Metavana Erove Chapter 5A *nterin% the Dharmarealm This final chapter$ 'hich is also the last Assembly$ takes up nearly a thir! of the entire Avatamsaka Sutra.=o' Samantabha!ra enters the Avatamsaka Sama!hi an! the entire universe )uakes. &t forms the entire content of the thir! translation of the Sutra 2in 6C fascicles3$ an! is still e8tant in Sanskrit un!er the title Ean!avyuha Sutra. The chapter conclu!es 'ith a lon% section in verse in 'hich Samantabha!ra sin%s the praises of the bo!hisattvas an! their con!uct. The story opens in the Metavana$ a lar%e park in Sravasti$ in a 2mythical3 buil!in% calle! the Ereat A!orne! .ust as the Bu!!ha has never really left his seat3 is thus %iven concrete embo!iment in the form of Su!hana(s pil%rima%e.nana asks Samantabha!ra t'o hun!re! )uestions re%ar!in% the bo!hisattva(s con!uct an! career. This movement parallels the path of in!ivi!ual practitioners$ 'ho first receive a vision of the ultimate truth$ faith in 'hich sustains them throu%hout their career$ then procee! to cultivate the innumerable bo!hisattva practices !escribe! in the follo'in% chapters$ an! finally$ like Su!hana$ learn from their teachers ho' to reali0e in their o'n lives the *nli%htenment that 'as sho'n to them at the be%innin% an! that is their o'n essential an! inalienable nature.

Su!hanaBs first %uru$ after .an.e%hasri$ an! the rest of the story !escribes ho' Su!hana travels from %uru to %uru$ each teacher !irectin% him to the ne8t one in the series.an.ushri an! Samantabha!ra at their hea!$ 9CC arhats an! others. After some !iscussion$ the Bu!!ha enters a sama!hi calle! the "ion(s Ha'n or the "ion(s Stretch.ushri sen!s him off on a pil%rima%e throu%hout &n!ia$ visitin% a series of fifty or so %urus an! learnin% from 'hat they have to teach. The bo!hisattvas then also ra!iate li%ht from every pore of their bo!ies an!$ assumin% various forms$ they %o off in !ifferent !irections to teach bein%s in the lan! of Mambu!vipa 2&n!ia3. 7e procee!s throu%h the len%th of &n!ia in this 'ay$ from north to south an! finally back to the north a%ain$ to the Bo!himan!a 2the Seat of *nli%htenment3 itself. A member of his au!ience there$ a youn% man calle! Su!hana$ is inspire! to a'aken the Aspiration to *nli%htenment 2bo!hichitta3$ an! he asks .of some 16C bo!hisattvas 2all name!3 'ith . *ach of the ten chief bo!hisattvas recites ten verses of praise in honor of the Bu!!ha$ 'ho ra!iates li%ht from his urna$ revealin% infinite bu!!harealms in every atom throu%hout the universe$ an! causin% all the bo!hisattvas to enter simultaneously into the "ionBs Ha'n Sama!hi. 2The assemble! Shravakas fail to perceive these phenomena.3 At the same time the same transformation is perceive! to be takin% place every'here throu%hout the universe..ushri himself$ is a monk calle! . Bo!hisattvas then arrive in vast numbers from the ten !irections$ all of them . .e'els$ music etc.ushri$ accompanie! by a vast retinue$ sets off to'ar!s the south$ preachin% the Dharma as he %oes. 7e approaches each of these teachers 'ith the same basic )uestions he has alrea!y a'akene! the Aspiration to *nli%htenment$ but ho' shoul! he no' cultivate it$ ho' shoul! 1: . &n response$ .an.ushri ho' he shoul! practice the Bo!hisattva Path. *ventually he comes to a city calle! Dhanyakara.an.sprun% from the practices an! vo's of Samantabha!ra.an. The %rove an! pavilion su!!enly appear to be infinite in e8tent an! to be a!orne! 'ith .

The lan! it is built on may appear to be uneven an! littere! 'ith shar!s an! stones$ or as level as the palm of your han! an! ma!e beautiful 'ith countless %ems. The rest 'ill see only rubbish At the en! of his pil%rima%e Su!hana is !irecte! to the bo!hisattva .atri8 A!orne! 'ith the Splen!ors of -airochana.e'els. So the kin% . This represents the clima8 1< . . *ach of these has mastere! some particular sama!hi an! has some particular insi%ht to impart to Su!hana.aitreya. Houn% man$ if the min!s of bein%s are pure/ if they have plante! roots of %oo!ness an! ma!e offerin%s to the Bu!!has/ if they have a'akene! the Aspiration an! set out on the path to Omniscience$ makin% that their ultimate %oal/ an! if they have taken up the cultivation of the practices of a bo!hisattva$ as & !i! lon% a%o/ then they 'ill see this to'n as pure an! a!orne! 'ith .aitreya bi!s him enter a %reat to'er calle! the . &n this 'ay everythin% can become somethin% rare an! 'on!erful. The lan!scape an! the cities that Su!hana travels throu%h are inten!e! to be real places in &n!ia$ but they are seen throu%h the prism of 7uayen *nli%htenment$ like the Bo!hi+tree at the be%innin% of the Sutra.e'els/ you may see it as surroun!e! by an earthen 'all or by far+flun% .e'ele! interior of this to'er is infinite in si0e an! contains an infinite number of e)ually infinite an! i!entical to'ers$ in each of 'hich Su!hana sees himself. 1A3 says to Su!hana #hat one sees varies accor!in% to the heart(s !esires. Hou may see buil!in%s of 'oo! an! clay$ or palaces an! pavilions 'ith staircases$ courtyar!s$ veran!ahs$ an! many 'in!o's an! !oors. The .ahaprabha 2=o. Hou may see this place as a tiny$ crampe! to'n or as a vast city/ the %roun! as ma!e of earth an! san! or as a!orne! 'ith countless .e'ele! ramparts.he practice Dharma accor!in% to the Bo!hisattva PathO 7is %urus inclu!e monks an! nuns$ househol!ers$ businessmen$ brahmins$ ascetics$ scholars$ kin%s$ a courtesan$ an! various !eities.

.ushri blesses Su!hana by placin% his han! on his hea! an! transfers his o'n po'ers an! 'is!om to him. Su!hana is no' fille! 'ith %reat reverence for all his %urus an! feels a %reat lon%in% to see Samantabha!ra.an. Finally the Sutra conclu!es 'ith a lon% hymn by Samantabha!ra in praise of the Bu!!has.an. 7is final vision therefore is of the cosmic bo!y of Samantabha!ra$ in 'hich he sees Samantabha!ra performin% !ee!s of 'is!om an! compassion every'here throu%hout the universe$ he also sees himself similarly en%a%e! in bo!hisattva con!uct throu%hout the universe. .aitreya %ives him further instructions an! tells him to seek confirmation of his e8perience from his first %uru$ .aitreya$ 'ho has also entere! the to'er. Thus the Sutra itself$ like Su!hana(s )uest$ en!s by returnin% to its startin% point. After a lon% search he finally encounters .ushri a%ain. 1@ .an.ushri.e.of Su!hana(s )uest an! the moment of his final a'akenin%$ an! he becomes immerse! in !eep sama!hi. sama!his3 on him. Then Samantabha!ra also blesses an! instructs him$ besto'in% further kno'le!%e an! psychic po'ers 2i. Su!hana is then rouse! from his sama!hi by .