Chapter 22 : The Entrustment
AT THAT TIME Shakyamuni Buddha rose from his Dharma seat and manifested great spiritual power. With his right hand he patted the crowns of limitless Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas and said, “Throughout limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of asamkhyeyas of eons, I have cultivated and practiced the rare Dharmas of anuttarasamyaksambodhi I now entrust them to all of you. You should, with a single mind, propagate this Dharma, causing it to spread and grow extensively.”
In this way he patted the Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas on the crown three times, saying, “Throughout limitless hundreds of thousands of myriads of kotis of asamkhyeyas of eons, I have cultivated and practiced the rare Dharmas of anuttarasamyaksambodhi I now entrust them to all of you. You should receive, uphold, read, recite, and vastly proclaim this Dharma, causing all living beings to hear and understand it.
“For what reason? The Thus Come One is greatly kind and compassionate, without stinginess and without fear. He is able to give living beings the wisdom of the Buddha, the wisdom of the Thus Come One, and spontaneous wisdom. The Thus Come One is a great giving host to all living beings. You should all accordingly study the Dharmas of the Thus Come One and never be stingy.
“In the future, if there is a good man or a good woman who believes in the Thus Come One’s wisdom, you should expound the Dharma Flower Sutra to that person, causing the person to hear and understand and obtain the Buddha’s wisdom. If there are living beings who do not believe or accept it, you should instruct them with another of the profound Dharmas of the Thus Come One, benefiting them and causing them to rejoice. If you can do this, you will have already repaid the kindness of the Buddhas.”
When the Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas heard the Buddha’s words, profuse joy permeated their bodies. With increasing reverence, they bowed their heads, placed their palms together, faced the Buddha, and said in unison, “We shall reverently carry out the World Honored One’s command. Yes, World Honored One, pray do not be concerned about this.” The assembly of Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas spoke in this way three times, saying, “We shall reverently carry out the Buddha’s command. Yes, World Honored One, pray do not be concerned about this.”
At that time Shakyamuni Buddha sent the division-body Buddhas of the ten directions back to their own lands, saying, “Peace to all of you Buddhas. Let the stupa of the Buddha Many Jewels be again as it was.”
As he said this, the limitless division-body Buddhas of the ten directions, seated on lion thrones beneath jeweled trees; the Buddha Many Jewels; Superior Conduct and the limitless asamkhyeyas of Bodhisattvas in the great assembly; Shariputra and the other Hearers; as well as the fourfold assembly and all those in the world the gods, humans, asuras, and so forth hearing the Buddha’s words, all rejoiced exceedingly.