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Blog » Dharma Friends » Thoughts about studying Buddhism » Reading the Dharma Flower Sutra, Seeing the Jewel Stupa of our inherent nature

Reading the Dharma Flower Sutra, Seeing the Jewel Stupa of our inherent nature2013-10-25


By Huali Yuan

Today, I am going to share with everyone the chapter in Dharma Flower Sutra- “Seeing the Jewel Stupa”. After the Buddha bestowed predictions for all the sound-hearer disciples, suddenly a huge jewel stupa welled forth from the ground. This stupa is not an ordinary stupa. It was a stupa 500 yojana (about 40 thousand miles) high and 250 yojana (about 20 thousand miles) wide. It was splendidly sublime, and it welled forth from ground and dwelled in the space.

At that time, the assembly felt it was strange why such a stupas appeared from nowhere and why it was so sublime. More strangely is that, a voice came from the stupas, praising: “Well said, well said, Shakyamuni Buddha, what you said is correct.” Then a Bodhisattva named Greatly Delighted in Speaking rose up and asked the Buddha about the origin of this jewel stupas. The Buddha told him, limitless eons ago, there was a Buddha named Many Jewels Tathagata, he made a vow and said: “Wherever the Dharma Flower Sutra is being spoken, the jewel stupa containing my entire body will appear in the assembly, and I will praise the Dharma Flower Sutra, and protect and guard the sutra.

Then the assembly requested to see the Many Jewels Tathagata. Shakyamuni Buddha said that when the Many Jewels Tathagata made the vow, he said, “When my jewel stupa appears, and if the Buddha would like to show my body to the assembly, he should gather all his transformation bodies in ten directions, then my entire body will appear.” The Greatly Delighted in Speaking Bodhisattva said: “We also would like to bow to all the Buddha’s transformation bodies.” Then Shakyamuni Buddha emitted light to call all his transformation body Buddhas to come to the Saha world. The light first illuminated 500 billion of Buddhaland in the east, where the transformation body Buddhas were speaking Dharma. Then those Buddhas told their assemblies, “I will go to the Saha world, Shayamuni Buddha’s Land, to listen to Dharma Flower Sutra.”

It is like when you have guests coming to visit, you will firstly clean up the house; and put your pets in backyard. Shykamuni Buddha transformed the earth field, the Saha world, for three times. The Saha world is called earth field, because it is made of earth. The first transformation is to transform the Saha world into a very pure and magnificent world, with lapis lazuli being the ground, and adorned with jewel trees. Except for the present assembly, other human and heavenly beings were moved to another world. Since the space for all the Buddhas was not enough, the Buddha made a second transformation, which transformed another two hundred billions of lands into very pure lands, and moved away all the heavenly beings, asuras, hungry ghosts, animals and hell beings. He did so for three times, in order to contain all the transformation body Buddhas.

Shakyamuni Buddha transformed two hundred billion of lands in each of the eight directions. After the transformation body Buddhas all gathered, the assembly requested Shakyamuni Buddha to open the stupas. Then Shakyamuni Buddha ascended to the empty space, and used one of his fingers of his right hands to open the stupas. With a huge sound like opening a big city gate, the jewel stupa was opened. Then the assembly thought, “The Buddha seat is so high in the empty space, it would be nice if the Buddha can pick up us into the empty space.” The Buddha knew their thoughts, so he raised the whole assembly up into empty space, so that everyone were able to see the Many Jewesl Tathagata.

In the following text, Shakyamuni Buddha exhorted the assembly to recite and uphold the Dharma Flower Sutra. Now we are reading the Sutra in the Buddha hall, it is very rare even if you just recite the sutra for a short period of time. The Buddha told an analogy, which says if you put the entire earth on your toes and ascend to the Great Bharma Heaven, it is not very hard, but if you recite the Dharma Flower Sutra, even in a temporary period of time, that is very difficult.

Does the story sound simple? Not at all! In this chapter, every sentence carries profound meaning, you may read from the Venerable Master’s commentary or General Principle of Dharma Flower. For example, why did the jewel stupas well forth from the ground, not from other place? It shows that the stupa appears from our mind ground. The jewel stupa represents our genuine Dharma body, the same inherent wisdom as the Buddha’s. The jewel stupa was not only seen by our eyes, it also appeared in our inherent nature. If we are able to see the wisdom Dharma body in our nature, we will see the Many Jewels Tathagata in our inherent nature. The stupa was in the empty space, it shows that we should be nowhere attached. The height of the stupas is five hundred yojana, which means that, right in our five-skandas body, dwells the eternal Dharma body of Many Jewels Tathagata. The jewel stupa was made of seven kinds of jewels, such as gold, silver, lapis lazuli. Gold represents the solid wisdom; silver represents pure practice and vows. These meanings are all very interesting. Later the jewel stupa was open, and the Many Jewels Tathagata invited Shakyamuni Buddha to enter the stupas, and shared the seat with him. This also carries meaning. Since time is up, I can not speak in detail, but if you are interested, I highly recommend you read the Venerable Master’s commentary or the General Principle of Dharma Flower.

The Venerable Master said, if we listen to the Dharma Flower Sutra, our wisdom in next life will be inconceivable; he also mentioned that, listening to this sutra is more valuable than getting a million pounds of gold every day. If you can recite and uphold the Dharma Flower Sutra, not only Shakyamuni Buddha and Many Jewels Buddha, but also all the transformation Buddhas of Shakyanumi Buddha will protect and support you. We should all make a vow to read and uphold the Dharma Flower Sutra, so that we can see the Many Jewels Tathagata in our inherent nature.