Sixth Teacher: Master of Mystic Projection
Sudhana made his way south, reflecting on the instruction given by the noble Muktaka, remembering the inconceivable liberation of the bodhisattvas, and the inconceivable light of knowledge of the bodhisattvas.
Gradually he came to Milaspharana, where he looked all over for the monk Saradhvaja.
Sudhana saw Saradhvaja sitting by a footpath in a retreat. He was sitting in concentration, following his breath, not stirring, not thinking, his body straight, his mindfulness on the immediate present.
Moment to moment, by the inconceivable power of his concentration, Saradhvaja was producing the manifestation of an infinite variety of bodies appearing all around him. There were bodhisattvas pouring out of every pore of his ecstatic body.
Saradhvaja filled the cosmos moment to moment with endless varieties of mystic projections, in order to perfect all living beings, to honor all buddhas, to do away with the mass of suffering of all sentient beings, and to introduce all beings into all-knowledge.
Sudhana saw emanating from the various parts of Saradhvaja's body all manner of human beings doing good works in all forms: helping the poor, restoring life to the miserable world, satisfying sentient beings, purifying the minds of sentient beings, developing sentient beings for enlightenment.
Sudhana saw them letting the voice of truth be heard, introducing sentient beings to the meaning of knowledge, teaching worldly sciences, showing the science of the path to liberation, guiding beings in gradual practice.
Sudhana saw emanating from Saradhvaja's eyes countless numbers of suns, shining through countless worlds, removing the darkness of sentient beings' delusions.
Sudhana saw emanating from Saradhvaja's head countless numbers of bodhisattvas, manifesting all sorts of appearances and forms, taking up the enlightening practices of all the buddhas, practicing charity without attachment, and teaching the causal basis for the qualities of the enlightened ones.
From the crown of Saradhvaja's head Sudhana saw emanating countless buddhas with immeasurable auras of blazing light illuminating all the worlds in the cosmos.
Emanating from Saradhvaja's head were countless buddhas with voices pervading the cosmos, showing the endless miraculous transformations of Buddha, showering beneficent rain from clouds of teaching on all beings without discrimination.
Sudhana saw orbs made up of webs of light beams emerging from every pore of Saradhvaja's body, showing scenes of all the activities of all the bodhisattvas of the past, present, and future.
Sudhana stood before Saradhjava watching this visionary display for a day and a night, for two days, for seven days, for a month, for six months, and then for six more days and nights. Then, after six months and six days and nights, Saradhvaja arose from his concentration.
Saradhvaja told Sudhana that this concentration is called Equanimity of the Universal Eye.
Saradhvaja said to Sudhana:
"I know this perfection of wisdom. But how can I know the practices of the bodhisattvas, who have entered the oceans of states of perfection of wisdom, who have clarified the cosmic perspective, who know where all teachings lead, who are a refuge for all beings?"
"Go south, to a park called Universal Adornment near the city of Great Light, where a religious woman named Asha dwells. Go ask her how to learn and apply the practice of the bodhisattvas."
Invigorated by Saradhvaja, feeling happy and joyful, Sudhana paid his respects, then took his leave to continue on his journey.
As he departed, Sudhana kept thinking of Saradhvaja's virtues, joining in with his vows, seeking his vision, remembering his words, recalling his appearance, and contemplating the excellence of his knowledge.
Seventh Teacher: The Healer
Sudhana went south, reflecting on the importance of spiritual benefactors, and gradually made his way to Universal Adornment Park.
Sudhana saw the park surrounded by a fence made of all kinds of jewels, and rows of jewel trees, covered with various blossoms, giving off their fragrances in all directions.
The grounds of the park were spread with decorations made of jewels. There were trees made of flowers and musical instruments making beautiful sounds.
Inside the park were numberless arrays of towers and turrets covered with gold and jewels. There were canopies of great jewels and nets of tiny golden bells that tinkled sweetly when stirred by the breeze. There were ponds covered with lotuses of various colors made of all kinds of jewels.
In the middle of the park was a large mansion called Multicolored Banner standing on a ground of jewels, adorned with pillars of sapphire, roofed with gold, surfaced with arrays of world-illuminating jewels.
In that mansion were arranged an infinite number of seats, variously shaped like jewel lotuses in all different designs.
Above, the park was covered by ten hundred thousand canopies, canopies of cloth, canopies of plant tendrils, canopies of flowers, canopies of garlands, canopies of fragrances, canopies of jewels glittering like diamonds, canopies of nymphs, canopies of jewels prized by the king of the gods.
The park was also covered by a million nets of jewels and illuminated by a million great lights.
Innumerable living beings in all states of existence from all the worlds in the ten directions came to ask the woman mystic for help.
Asha was seated on a golden throne, richly adorned with a tiara, bracelets of gold, earings made of deep blue gems, and necklaces of magical jewels.
All those who came to Asha with their various sicknesses and afflictions were immediately relieved of them. Their minds were freed from the defilement of afflictions, the thorns of deluded views were pulled out of their minds, the mountains of obstructions blocking them disintegrated, and they entered into the sphere of unobstructed purity.
All those who came to Asha came face to face with the ocean of all the media through which to concentrate the mind, and they made their initial vows and set in motion all means of practice.
Sudhana entered the park, and looked all over until he saw Asha sitting there. He approached her, paid his respects, and told her that his mind was set on achieving perfect enlightenment. He asked her how to learn and carry out the practice of bodhisattvas.
Asha told Sudhana:
"It is definitely beneficial to see me, hear me, stay with me, and remember me. I am not visible to those have not developed the bases of goodness, who are not being guided by spiritual benefactors, who are not in the care of the perfect buddhas.
"Those who see me reach the stage where there is no falling back from their progress toward supreme perfect enlightenment.
"The buddhas of the ten directions come here and sit on their jewel seat and expound the truth to me. I am always seeing buddhas, hearing the truth, and meeting enlightening beings."
Later, after telling Sudhana of her work toward enlightenment and the motivations of a bodhisattva seeking enlightenment, Asha said:
"I know this enlightening liberation called Well-Being Free From Sorrow. But how can I know the practices of the bodhisattvas, or convey their inconceivable enlightening skills?
"Go south Â– there is a district called Nalayur where a seer named Bhishmottaranirghosha lives. Go ask him and he will instruct you in the practice of the bodhisattvas."
Sudhana paid his respects to Asha, then took his leave to continue on his journey. As he departed, Sudhana kept reflecting on how rare bodhisattvas are, how hard it is to get close to spiritual benefactors and meet people of truth, how hard it is to attain the bodhisattvas' purity of intent.