The Buddhas of the Ten Directions

 

The Buddhas of the Ten Directions referred to in the Lotus Sutra and as delineated in the Dasa Bhumika Vibhasa Sastra, attributed to Nagarjuna:

 

Direction

Nagarjuna’s Comments

Verse of the Dasabhumika Vibhasa Sastra

East

The Buddha’s virtue is pure in that it creates only peace & contentment, unlike the virtues of gods and dragons that can distress living beings

In the east there is a realm called Without Distress
Where there is a Buddha named Virtue of Goodness.
His physical signs are like a mountain of gold,
His name is heard boundlessly.
When people hear his name
They will attain the stage of no retreat.
I now fold my hands and worship Him
And pray He will abolish all grief and distress.

Southeast

The Buddha’s spiritual virtue makes gods and people be without sadness.

In the southeast there is a realm called Moon Light
Where there is a Buddha named Without Lament.
His bright light is like the sun and the moon,
Upon meeting Him emotional distress is extinguished.
Ever teaching the Dharma for living beings,
All the inner and outer sufferings are abolished.
Praising the names of the Buddhas of the 10 Directions,
I bow my head in worship

South

The Buddha is like sandal incense and a cool pool. Hearing the Buddha from afar is like detecting a current of incense, and in extinguishing the heated distress of the three poisons He is like the refresh-ment of a clear and cool pool.

In the south there is a realm called Rejoicing
Where there is a Buddha called Sandal Virtue.
His face is like the full moon,
The brilliance of its light being without measure.
He is able to extinguish the heated distress
Of the three poisons in living beings.
Hearing His name one reaches the stage of no retreat
Therefore I bow my head in worship.

Southwest

Because of the Buddha’s spiritual qualities, powers, awakenings, etc., treasures are always being offered to living beings.

In the southwest there is a realm called Host of Signs,
Where there is a Buddha named
Offering Treasure.
Always with countless treasures of the Dharma,
He offers them broadly to all living beings.
The heads & faces of the gods worship
Their bejeweled hats bowed down to His feet.
Now with my five limbs on the ground
I take refuge in the honored one that offers treasur

West

The brilliance of the Buddha’s body and wisdom is without limit.

In the west there is a world called Skillfulness,
Where there is a Buddha called Limitless Brilliance.
The light of His body and the brilliance of His wisdom
Shine without bounds or limits.
Those that hear His name
Will attain the stage of no retreat.
I now bow my head in worship
And pray He will extinguish the bounds of Life & Death

Northwest

The Buddha’s physical body is like a wonderful blossom, with its virtues being without limit.

In the northwest there is a world called Host of Sounds,
Where there is a Buddha names
Blossom of Virtue.
The world has a multitude of bejeweled trees
Broadly issuing forth the wonderful sound of the Dharma.
With the seven blossoms of awakening,
He is ever adorning living beings.
The sign of His white tuft of hair is like the moon,
I now bow my head in worship.

North

The Buddha’s blessings of virtues are lofty and revealed like banners and signs.

In the north there is a realm called Unshakeable
Where there is a Buddha called Signs of Virtue.
His body possesses the major and minor signs,
By which he adorns Himself.
In breaking the hateful host of devils
Good influences all the people and gods.
Hearing His name one reaches the stage of no retreat,
Therefore I bow my head in worship.

Northeast

The Buddha is ever teaching the practices of the disciples, the self-awakened and the Bodhisattvas. With people speaking of lower, medium & higher levels of diligence, there is that called ‘Practicing the Three Vehicles’.

In the northeast there is a realm called Peacefulness,
Where all the treasures are attained together.
The Buddha is called
Practicing the 3 Vehicles,
His body is adorned with limitless signs.
The light of wisdom and insight is without measure,
And is able to destroy the darkness of ignorance.
Living beings are without grief or distress,
And so I bow my head in worship.

Below

Brilliant refers the brilliance of the Buddha’s body, the Buddha’s wisdom, and the light of the bejeweled tree.

Down below there is the world that is Broad and Great,
Where there is a Buddha named
Brilliant Virtue.
The signs of His body are wonderful and superlative,
A golden mountain of Jambu River sand.
With the sun of wisdom and insight He always
Opens the blossoms of good spiritual roots.
The precious ground is very broad and great,
And I bow my head in worship.

Above

The blessings of Buddha’s disciples spread a host of virtues broadly.

Up above there is the realm of Many Moons,
Where there is a Buddha named
Ocean of Virtues.
The great virtues of the Disciples
And the Bodhisattvas are without measure.
The Lion among those that are noble
Is named
Spreading Many Virtues.
The devils all have fear of Him,
And so I bow my head in worship.

 

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  Since July 9, 2001


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