17 May
Posted in: Suttas
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Bring to Light the Mind Jewel

I’m really getting into the Flower Ornament Sutra — which I’ve decided requires reading out loud. I love the sound of all the types of beings — and their amazing names(!) — which the text describes as attending on the Buddha at the moment of his awakening. Here’s a sample:

“There were great enlightening beings numerous as the atoms in the ten buddha-worlds surrounding him. Their names were: Universally Good, Light of the Supreme Lamp of Universal Virtue, Lion Banner of Universal Light, Subtle Light of Flames of Universal Jewels, Banner of Oceans of Qualities of Universal Sounds, Realms of Enlightenment of Radiance of Universal Knowledge, Banner of Flower of a Topknot of Universal Jewels, Pleasing Voice of Universal Awareness, Light of Inexhaustible Virtue of Universal Purity, Mark of Universal Light, Great Brilliance of the Light of the Moon Reflected in the Ocean, Undefiled Treasury of Light of Oceans of Cloudlike Sounds, Born of Wisdom and Adorned with Virtue, Great Light of Sovereign Virtue, Brave Lotus Topknot, Sun Banner of Clouds of Universal Knowledge, Greatly Persevering with Indestructible Courage, Light Banner of Fragrant Flames, Deep Beautiful Sound of Great Enlightened Virtue, Born of Wisdom with the Light of Great Virtue. These and others were the leaders–there were as many as there are atoms in the ten buddha-worlds.”

It goes on from there to list the names of thunderbolt-bearing spirits (Pure Sound of Clouds, being one of my favorites), footstep-following spirits (Joyfully Uttering Sublime Sounds), sanctuary spirits (Wonderful Eyes Raining Flowers), city spirits (Flame Banner Clearly Showing), earth spirits (Fragrant Hair Emitting Light), mountain spirits (Awesome Light Conquering All), forest spirits (Bearing Branches Emitting Radiance), herb spirits (Energy-Augmenting Clear Eyes), crop spirits (Gentle Superb Flavor), river spirits (Roaring Everywhere), ocean spirits (Beautiful Flower Dragon Topknot), water spirits (Freedom of Contentment), fire spirits (Light Destroying the Darkness), wind spirits (Everywhere Manifesting Courageous Action), space spirits (Traveling Everywhere Deeply and Extensively), direction spirits (Forever Ending Confusion), night spirits (Observing the World with Joyful Eyes), day spirits (Exquisite Light of Fragrant Flowers), and more!!!

I can see the full moon from my window right now, so I’m feeling particularly drawn to the names on this list:

“There were also innumerable moon deities, led by such as Moon Godling, Flower King Topknot Halo, Myriad Sublime Pure Lights, Pacifying the Hearts of the World, Luminosity of Tree King Eyes, Manifesting Pure Light, Immutable Light Traveling Everywhere, Sovereign Monarch of Constellations, Moon of Pure Awareness, Great Majestic Light.”

They were present because of their service to the Buddha: “All strived to bring to light the mind-jewel of living beings.” Which I am feeling very grateful for tonight.

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