The Golden Garland Chronicles, Chapter 1


Chapter 1

And this is where the chronicles begin:

In the direction west of here lies the realm Arrayed in Lotus Flowers
The ground of which is formed in checkered designs of gold,
So words for ordinary earth and land, or stone and mountain, are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Its flowers and the fruit of bodhi trees are in the fullest bloom,
So words for ordinary plants and trees are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Here flow samadhi streams endowed with eightfold aspects,
So words for ordinary types of water they are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Its natural flames of wakeful knowing are ablaze,
So words for ordinary types of fire are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Fragrant essences of utter purity are carried on the breeze,
So words for ordinary air are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Its basic space is all-pervasive and transcends all partiality,
So words for element of space are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

The lucid parasol of space and wakeful knowing is pervasive,
So words for sun and moon are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

It is ablaze with fivefold natural lights of the noble conquerors,
So words for day and night are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

This Dharma kingdom most sublime is ruled through self-arising self-dissolving,
So words for king and ministers are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Self and others are but one, neither separate nor two,
So words for fight and strife are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

The nourishment of the samadhi food can fully satisfy,
So words for hunger they are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

As drink one tastes the streams of wishfulfilling nectar,
So words for thirst are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

As clothes one wears pure ethics’ sublime robes,
So words for ordinary dress are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

When taking birth each one is born miraculously on a lotus flower,
So words for the four modes of rebirth are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Here there is the mastery of unconditioned vajra life,
So words for aging and decline are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

There is complete abiding on the stage beyond both birth and death,
So words for birth and death are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

In this sublime realm of all the buddhas of the triple times,
Everyone without exception engage in actions of enlightenment and are born from that, [* las spyod bskyed pa]
So words for pain and suffering are never heard,
And even they be sought, nowhere can they be found.

Within this utter purity, a buddha realm so vast, there is palace beyond measure that is emptiness in essence. Its nature is endowed with fourfold corners and four gates and four fantastic portals. Its surface, top and base, its walls and its dimensions, all measure to a size of leagues in untold numbers. When looking from the outside the interior is seen and looking from the inside the outside is all clear. It is beyond both inside and an outside; it transcends all category and all dimension.
In this palace there are windows with the brilliance of dharmadhatu wisdom, and at its highest point extends the canopy of Mahayana teachings. Below this point is formed a throne most radiant, the lotus of that is nonattachment. This palace is designed after the fourfold joyous wakefulness and with the walls of the four boundless qualities. Banners signifying the awakened mind in eightfold aspects fly in both the cardinal and all the intermediate directions.
This mandala is spontaneously perfected since all phenomena are beyond partiality and the state of equality. Its light is brilliant since there's no duality of hope and fear, accepting or rejecting. The fragrance of flowers and incense issues forth to symbolize the possession of the fragrance of discipline. Not made by anyone, from the very beginning it is self-existing and spontaneously present.
In dharmadhatu’s lucid ocean, the unmoving samadhi of the Buddha, sprung forth a lotus flower, spontaneously perfected as the nonattachment of consciousness.
Within this utterly pure and vast celestial palace, a mansion beautified with all the adornments of seeing each and every sentient being with impartial compassion, was seated Buddha Amitabha encircled by his retinue, an oceanlike assemblage of conquerors.
[This Buddha’s] bodily form was adorned by the 32 major marks and the 80 minor marks of excellence. His physical presence was captivating to behold, and the appearance of his body boundlessly adorned in various silken garments and jewel ornaments. The area all around was filled with myriad rays of light and rainbow colors. Manifold white and red beams of compassion radiated into the ten directions.
Endowed with the ten strengths and the fourfold fearlessness, his body, speech, mind, qualities and activities were inexhaustible. Buddhas and bodhisattvas were gathered like banks of clouds. His eyes were unmoving, as his mind remained in the equal state of samadhi. While radiating a multitude of compassionate rays of light into the ten directions, from every single tip of every single ray of light, were sent forth countless, infinite, and indescribable numbers of buddha emanations, re-emanations and re-re-emanations and so forth, emanated to accomplish the boundless benefit of beings, and displayed to influence whoever needs in whichever way is necessary.
Moreover, everyone living in this buddhafield are not sentient beings but exclusively noble beings.

This was the first chapter from The Extensively Narrated Lives and Liberating Life-Story of the Lotus-Born Master of Uddiyana; on describing the Blissful Realm in the western direction.