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(Taken from The Flower Ornament Scripture: A Translation of The Avatamsaka Sutra Volume One, Book Ten.)

Then Manjushri asked Chief of the Virtuous, “Since that which the Buddhas realize is but one truth, how is it that they expound countless teachings, manifest countless lands, edify countless beings, speak in countless languages, appear in countless bodies, know countless minds, demonstrate countless mystic powers, are able to shake countless worlds, display countless extraordinary adornments, reveal boundless different realms of objects, whereas in the essential nature of things these different characteristics cannot be found at all?” Chief of the Virtuous answered in verse:

The meaning of what you ask

Is deep and hard to fathom.

The wise are able to know it,

Always delighting in Buddha’s virtues.

Just as the nature of earth is one

While beings each live separately,

And the earth has not though of oneness or difference,

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

Just as the nature of fire is one,

While able to burn all things

And the flames make no distinction,

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

Just as the ocean is one

With millions of different waves

Yet the water is no different:

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

And as the nature of wind is one

While able to blow on all things

And wind has no thought of oneness of difference:

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

Also like great thunderheads

Raining all over the earth,

The Raindrops make no distinction:

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

Just as the element earth, while one,

Can produce various sprouts,

Yet it’s not that the earth is diverse:

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

Just as the sun without clouds overcast

Shines throughout the ten directions,

Its light beams having no difference,

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

And just as the moon in the sky

Is seen by all in the world

Yet the moon doesn’t go to them:

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

Just as the king of the gods

Appears throughout the universe

Yet his body has no change:

So is the truth of all Buddhas.

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