Chapter 21: Excellent Manifestation
(legs par byung ba’i le’u)
Then, at that moment, the Bhagavān gave teaching in these verses:
Whenever I became a world-turning king,
At those times I offered the earth with its oceans,
And even its four continents, filled with precious things,
To all Jinas of the past.
In all-encompassing search for the Dharmakāya,
There were no things, not previously dear and treasured,
Which I did not give away;
During numerous eons, I even gave away my treasured body.
Once I did this, inconceivably many eons in the past.
During the Teaching Dispensation of the Sugata Jeweled Crest;
After that Sugata had passed into Nirvāṇa,
There arose a king called Excellent Manifestation.
He was a world-turning king ruling with mastery over the four continents,
Reigning mightily with a reach as far as the oceans,
Therefore he was said to be a sovereign king:
And once, in his royal palace, that transcendent king fell asleep.
In his dream, he heard the qualities of the Buddha,
And dreamt of the Dharma teacher Jewel Abundance.
He saw him, distinctly lucid;
As he sat and expounded this King of Sūtra Teachings.
The king awoke from his sleep,
His whole body filled with joy.
Ecstatic, he excitedly came out of the royal quarters;
And went to the dwelling of the supreme Saṅgha of disciples.
There he made offerings to the disciples of the Jina,
Saying, “In this noble Saṅgha, is there one ‘Jewel Abundance’,
A monk imbued with good qualities?”;
He asked everywhere after the Dharma teacher called “Jewel Abundance”.
At that time, Jewel Abundance
Was staying in another hermitage,
Contemplating in detail this King of Sūtra Teachings;
While reciting it, and living in total happiness.
The monk Dharma teacher, Jewel Abundance,
Was powerfully blazing with brilliance, majesty and glory;
And as he sat there in that other hermitage,
At that time, he was shown to the king.
There the Dharma teacher Jewel Abundance,
Upheld the profound sphere of royal activity,
For he always taught what is known as Transcendent Golden Light:
The Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings.
Bowing down to the feet of Jewel Abundance,
King Excellent Manifestation spoke these words:
“Transcendent Golden Light, the Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings,
O one with a face like the full moon, I request you to explain.”
And thus, to King Excellent Manifestation himself;
Jewel Abundance agreed to teach.
When this occurred, in all the three thousand worlds,
All the gods became intensely joyous.
At that time, the ruler of humans, there upon that earthen ground,
Which was clean, eminently special and unusual,
Sprinkled gem water and incense water;
Spread down loose flowers, and set up a throne.
Then the king exquisitely adorned the throne with parasols and victory banners,
And thousands of tassels.
The king also thoroughly sprinkled upon that throne transcendent sandalwoods;
In all sorts of varieties.
Devas and nāgas, asuras and centaurs,
Yakṣas and great serpents too,
Brought down a rain of divine coral tree flowers;
Upon that throne, powerfully and expansively.
Those who had arrived, a thousand million billion gods wishing for the Dharma,
Beyond the reaches of thought,
As Jewel Abundance was appearing to leave;
Strewed sāl flowers with joy.
The Dharma teacher Jewel Abundance himself,
Washed thoroughly his body and dressed in clean clothes,
And proceeded to go close to that throne;
Pressed his palms together, and bowed down to it as well.
The god kings, gods and goddesses sat in the sky above,
And brought down a rain of coral tree flowers,
And hundreds of thousands of cymbals, beyond the reaches of thought;
Which resounded with power.
Then Jewel Abundance, the monk Dharma teacher,
Being mindful of the thousand million Buddhas in the ten directions,
Beyond the reaches of thought, ascended the throne with concentration;
And sat upon it.
He generated heartfelt love for all sentient beings,
And then also generated, authentically, the mind of compassion;
And then, to the king Excellent Manifestation,
At that time taught this Sūtra.
And as the king sat with joined palms,
He rejoiced in every single word.
Through the force of the Dharma, tears shed from his eyes;
And his body was filled with joy.
In order to venerate this Sūtra,
At that time, King Excellent Manifestation,
Picked up the Wish-Fulfilling Gem, the king of jewels;
And for the sake of sentient beings, made this prayer:
“May a rain of ornaments, endowed with the seven precious materials,
And precious jewels,
Which bring well-being to the sentient beings in this world,
Descend upon this Earth.”
At that time, the seven kinds of precious materials,
Armlets, necklaces and superb earrings,
And likewise food, clothing and drink also showered down,
Over the four continents comprehensively.
King Excellent Manifestation beheld this cascade of precious things,
Raining down upon the world,
And offered the gem-filled four continents;
For the Teachings of Jeweled Crest.
The Tathāgata Śākyamuni
Was the one known as King Excellent Manifestation.
It was I who, at that time, completely gave away the earth;
With its four continents, filled with precious things therein.
The one who to King Excellent Manifestation
At that time extensively taught this Sūtra,
Jewel Abundance, the Dharma teacher monk,
Became the Tathāgata Akṣobhya.
At the time I heard this Sūtra,
And rejoiced in every single word.
I, due to that very virtuous deed itself:
Listening to the Dharma and rejoicing,
Have permanently gained this body of golden hue and marks of hundredfold merits,
Lovely to behold and deeply beautiful to the eye,
Which gives strong delight to thousands of millions of gods;
And is joyful for living beings to behold.
During ninety-nine hundreds of thousands of millions of eons,
I became a world-turning king.
During many myriads of hundreds of thousands of eons,
I had the experience of being a regional king.
For eons beyond conception I was an Indra;
And likewise a lord Brahmā, the wish-fulfiller.
I have rendered service to that which never has limit:
The unfathomable Tenfold Power.
From my listening to and rejoicing in this Sūtra,
The mass of positive potential was thus most limitless;
For in accordance with my wish, I have attained Awakening:
And the transcendent Dharmakāya have I gained.
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRA TEACHINGS, THE TRANSCENDENT GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE TWENTY-FIRST CHAPTER: ‘EXCELLENT MANIFESTATION’.
You can find the text at The Sūtra of Golden Light: The 29 Chapter Version, Chapter 21 – Excellent Manifestation
Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is an American translator of Tibetan, a scholar, researcher and postgraduate student in Buddhist Studies, a teacher and tutor of Tibetan language, a writer and editor, a voracious reader in various subjects, and an experienced world traveler. He is the founder and primary Tibetan translator of the Sugatagarbha Translation Group, and the creator of their main website, Tibetan-Translations.com, which currently features English translations of over 400 Tibetan texts. Many of his translations have been published in various forms, including as books.
He has been a student of Buddhism since 1999, a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 2003, and a student of Tibetan language since 2005. He has been translating Tibetan texts into English since 2007, has been based in India and Nepal studying Tibetan language and Buddhism intensively and translating Tibetan texts since 2008, and has been working professionally as a Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2009.
He is available for contact via email at: EmptyElephant@yahoo.com and SugatagarbhaTranslations@gmail.com