Thereupon Pure Wisdom Bodhisattva arose amid the assembly, prostrated himself at the Buddha’s feet, perambulated clockwise thrice around the Buddha, genuflected on both knees while joining his palms with the fingers interwoven, and addressed to the Buddha, “Greatly Compassionate World Honored One, for us, Thou has already enunciated elaborately such inconceivable matters, which heretofore we have not been able either to descry, or to hear of. At present, owing to Buddha’s adroit inducement, we are all feeling ease-fully composed both in the body and in the mind, and have been greatly benefited. And yet, I would wish Thee to impart once more the Dharma King’s complete awareness for all the Dharma assembly to come. All sentient beings, and all Bodhisattvas, Tathagata, World Honored One, what is the difference between what they have realized and attained? This holy teaching now will enable latter-age beings, on hearing it, to follow their causes and conditions for enlightenment, so that they can enter by degrees.” After finishing speaking, he prostrated himself with the five members of his body prone to the ground in supplication to the Buddha, and thus did he implore thrice in succession.
At that juncture, the World-Honored One imparted to Pure Wisdom Bodhisattva, “Excellent! Excellent! Virtuous Man, you inquire, on behalf of latter-age beings, about the gradual differences between Tathagata and sentient beings. Now listen carefully, and I will expound it to you. At that time, Pure Wisdom Bodhisattva was delighted to receive the teaching, and all the masses listened in silence.
Virtuous Man, the essence of the complete awareness does not subsume to the Nature of the Five Propensities, which, however, are equally embodied with the selfsame Essence; furthermore, it would manifest itself in compliance with the self-nature. Therefore, it has no acquisition and no attainment. In Reality, there are actually neither Bodhisattvas nor beings. Why? For Bodhisattvas and sentient beings are all illusions. Since all illusions are extinguished, there are no people who acquire it and people who have attained it. For example, the visual faculty, which cannot look backward to see the Eye itself. Self-nature is naturally equal, so there is no such thing as equality (or so there are no things that can be equal). And yet due to perplexity and distortion, all living beings could not eradicate all illusions for themselves. So, in the extinguished and not yet extinguished states, in the false function, the difference will appear. Nonetheless, if they ever realize and comply with the Nirvana state of Tathagata, there is, indeed, no Nirvana and not anyone who attains Nirvana.
Virtuous Man, all living beings from beginningless time, due to the delusive concept of ego, together with a delusive ego-loving entity, they have never realized that every thought is arising and ceasing. So, they have developed hatred and love and indulged in the five desires. However, if they meet a Genuine Teacher who would instruct them to be enlightened to the essence of pure complete awareness, whereby they could perspicuously realize the nature of arising and ceasing. And in the wake of this realization, it would dawn upon them that throughout their lives heretofore they have been toiling and worrying for nothing. Apart from this, if there is a person who permanently severs all toils and worries to attain the pure state of Dharma realm and who thinks this purity is real, then his understanding of purity in turn would become his impediment. As a result, he is tending towards complete enlightenment but is not perfectly free. This is called an ordinary person’s compliance with the nature of awareness. (Miao Tsan comment: there is a phenomenon.)
Virtuous Man, all bodhisattvas see their understanding as an impediment. But even if they eradicate the ‘understanding-impediment’ they still abide in a view of enlightenment. This ‘enlightenment-impediment’ becomes a hindrance, and they are not perfectly free. This is called the Bodhisattva who has not yet entered the Bodhisattva grounds complies with the nature of awareness. (Miao Tsan comment: there is a state of enlightenment.)
Virtuous Man, since the possession of illumination and awareness are termed together as impediment, the bodhisattva is always awakened without abiding. Illumination and illuminator simultaneously vanish. It is like the case of a person who cuts off his own head—when the head is cut off, there is no longer any cutter. Hence eliminate all obstacles with an impeded mind: when impediments have been eliminated, there is no one to eliminate impediments. These are called the Bodhisattva who has entered the Bodhisattva grounds complies with the nature of awareness.
Virtuous Man, all impediments are ultimate enlightenment. Obtaining righteous thoughts and losing righteous thoughts are nothing but liberation; construction and destruction in the Dharma are both Nirvana; wisdom and folly are equally Prajna; the Dharmas fulfilled by Bodhisattvas and heretics are commonly Bodhi; ignorance and suchness are not different realms; Precept-Samadhi-Wisdom and Desire-Anger-Ignora nce are all pure practices; sentient beings and lands share the same Dharma nature; hell and heaven are both the Pure Land; those having Buddha-nature and those not having it all attain Buddhahood. All defilements are ultimately liberation. The oceanic wisdom of the Dharma realm illuminates and comprehends all phenomena to be just like the void. This is called ‘the Tathagata’s compliance with the nature of awareness.