The Entrance into the Light of the Dharma

A translation of the final teaching the Bodhisattva gives to the gods before his final life.

(from Lalitavistara, Ch. 4)

Translation by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu Special thanks to Mike Cross for going through this and making many corrections and suggestions for improvement.

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The setting is in the Tuṣita Heaven before our Bodhisattva descends into the womb of Queen Māyādevī. These 108 teachings constitute the last teachings he gives to the assembled gods before he makes the descent. The teaching is said to be given by all Bodhisattvas before they begin their final life.

 

Then the Bodhisattva addressed that great assembly of gods (in Tuṣita Heaven) again, saying: Now then, Sirs, listen, during the descent (into the womb), to the ‘Entrance into the Light of the Dharma’ which delights the gods, which is spoken by the Bodhisattvas to the gods:

This, Sirs, is the one hundred and eight In fact it appears in the Sanskrit, Tibetan and Chinese versions of this collection there are always 109 entrances mentioned. 108 was, however, an auspicious number. (constituting) the Entrance into the Light of the Dharma, which, invariably, the Bodhisattva, at the time of the descent (into the womb), will reveal to the assembly of the gods.

Which one hundred and eight?

They are:

{1} Sirs, the faith entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to unbroken intention,

{2} the confidence entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to an undisturbed and clear mind,

{3} the rejoicing entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to clarity,

{4} the joy entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to purification of mind,

Three Restraints

{5} the restraint of body entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to purification of the three bodies,

{6} the restraint of speech entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to avoiding the four faults of speech,

{7} the restraint of mind entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to abandoning avarice, ill-will and wrong view,

Six Recollections

{8} the recollection of the Buddha entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to purification of the vision of the Buddha,

{9} the recollection of the Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to purification of Dharma instruction,

{10} the recollection of the Saṅgha entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to proceeding systematically,

{11} the recollection of liberality entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to letting go of all attachments,

{12} the recollection of virtue entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to fulfilment of aspirations,

{13} the recollection of the gods entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the noblest mind state,

Four Spiritual States

{14} the friendliness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the surpassing of meritorious actions based on any material (gifts),

{15} the kindness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to supreme non-violence,

{16} the gladness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the removal of all displeasure,

{17} the equanimity entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to disgust with sensual pleasures,

Four Investigations

{18} the investigation into impermanence entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the surmounting of passion for the sensual, form and formless (worlds),

{19} the investigation into suffering entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to destruction of aspirations (for worldly things),

{20} the investigation into non-self entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to non-fixation on the self,

{21} the investigation into the peace (of nibbāna) entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not being inflamed with affection,

 

{22} the shame entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to inner peace,

{23} the conscience entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to external supreme peace,

{24} the truth entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to non-deception of gods and men,

{25} the reality entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to non-deception of the self,

{26} the living by Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to refuge in the Dharma,

{27} the three goings-for-refuge entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to overcoming the three downfalls,

{28} the gratitude entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the non-destruction of the roots of wholesomeness,

{29} the gratefulness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to consideration of others,

Four Knowledges

{30} the knowledge of self entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the non-exaltation of oneself,

{31} the knowledge of beings entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to non-belittling I think we must take it that apatsamāna = avamāna. of others,

{32} the knowledge of the Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to practising in accordance with Dharma,

{33} the knowing the right time entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to unfailing insight,

 

{34} the humility entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to fulfilment of knowledge,

{35} the unobstructed mind entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to protection of oneself and others,

{36} the lack of enmity entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to lack of repentance,

{37} the resolution entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to a supreme lack of doubt,

{38} the investigation into the unattractive entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to abandoning thoughts of sensual pleasure,

{39} the good-will entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to abandoning thoughts of ill-will,

{40} the lack of delusion entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the extinction of all lack of knowledge,

{41} the wish for Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to taking refuge in the (true) meaning,

{42} the desire for Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to acquisition of light,

{43} the desire for learning entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to wise investigation of the Dharma,

{44} the right application entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the right practice,

{45} the full knowledge of mind and bodily-form entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to overcoming all obstructions,

{46} the appearance of the (right) view about roots entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of the resolution on knowledge,

{47} the abandonment of affection and repulsion entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to neither elation nor depression,

{48} the skill in the components (of mind and bodily-form) entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to full knowledge of suffering,

{49} the impartiality towards elements entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandoning of the arising (of suffering),

{50} the withdrawal from the sense-spheres entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to development of the path,

{51} the receptivity to non-arising entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to witnessing cessation oneself,

The Thirty-Seven Things on the Side of Awakening

The Four Recollections

{52} the recollection of the body entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to bodily seclusion,

{53} the recollection of feelings entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the calming down of all feelings,

{54} the recollection of the mind entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to investigation of the delusory mind,

{55} the recollection of the way things are entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to knowledge of freedom from darkness,

The Four Strivings

{56} the four right strivings entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandonment of all unwholesome things, and the fulfilment of all wholesome things,

The Four Bases of Spiritual Power

{57} the four bases of spiritual power entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to lightness of body and mind,

The Five Faculties

{58} the faculty of faith entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not needing to being guided by others,

{59} the faculty of energy entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to knowledge of full consideration,

{60} the faculty of mindfulness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to actions that are well-performed,

{61} the faculty of concentration entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to liberation of mind,

{62} the faculty of wisdom entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to knowledge of investigation,

The Five Strengths

{63} the strength of faith entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to overcoming the strength of Māra,

{64} the strength of energy entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not turning back,

{65} the strength of mindfulness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not being led astray,

{66} the strength of concentration entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandonment of all thoughts,

{67} the strength of wisdom entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not being bewildered,

The Seven Factors of Awakening

{68} the mindfulness factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to proper knowledge of dharmas,

{69} the investigation of the (nature of) dharmas factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the fulfilment of all dharmas,

{70} the energy factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to manifold intelligence,

{71} the joy factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the possession of concentration,

{72} the tranquillity factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the performance of what is to be done,

{73} the concentration factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to understanding of the equality (of things),

{74} the equanimity factor of awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to disgust with all rebirths,

The Noble Eightfold Path

{75} the right view entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to proceeding systematically,

{76} the right thought entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandonment of all imaginings, assumptions and presuppositions,

{77} the right speech entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to understanding the equally ephemeral nature of all sounds, cries, noises, sentences and readings,

{78} the right action entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to a lack of intentional deeds and a lack of results,

{79} the right livelihood entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the calming down of all impulses,

{80} the right endeavour entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to going to the further shore,

{81} the right mindfulness entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not applying the mind to mindlessness,

{82} the right concentration entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of concentration and a mind free of anger,

 

{83} the mind set on awakening entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not cutting off the lineage of the three treasures,

{84} the (right) inclination entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to not longing for the inferior vehicle,

{85} the (right) determination entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to dependence on the noble Buddha, Dharma and so on,

{86} the application entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the fulfilment of all wholesome things,

The Six Perfections

{87} the perfection of generosity entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to purification of the marks and secondary characteristics, and of the Buddha fields, and to the maturing of beings who are selfish,

{88} the perfection of virtue entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to overcoming all inopportune downfalls, and to the maturing of beings with poor virtue,

{89} the perfection of patience entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandonment of all ill-will, stubbornness, faults, conceits, intoxications and arrogance, and to the maturing of beings whose minds are corrupted,

{90} the perfection of energy entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to crossing over to the attainment of all roots of wholesomeness, and to the maturing of beings who are lazy,

{91} the perfection of meditation entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the arising of all knowledges and deep knowledges, and to the maturing of beings whose minds are scattered,

{92} the perfection of wisdom entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandonment of views based on ignorance, delusion, darkness and blindness, and to the maturing of beings without wisdom,

 

{93} the skill in means entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to exhibiting the posture of beings who act according to resolution, and to the non-destruction of all Buddha-Dharma,

{94} the four bases of sympathy entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to sympathy for beings, to attainment of awakening, and to consideration of the attainment of the Dharma,

{95} the mature being entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to a lack of claim on one’s own happiness, and to non-weariness with the conclusion,

{96} the embracing of the True Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the abandonment of the defilements of all beings,

The Four Requisites

{97} the requisite of merits entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the serving of all beings,

{98} the requisite of knowledge entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the fulfilment of the ten strengths,

{99} the requisite of calm entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of the concentration of a Realised One,

{100} the requisite of insight entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of the wisdom-eye,

Four Analytical Knowledges

{101} the attainment of the (four) analytical knowledges entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of the Dharma-eye,

Four Reliances

{102} the attainment of the (four) reliances entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of the Buddha-eye,

Four Retentions

{103} the acquisition of the (four) retentions entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to bearing in mind the speech of all the Buddhas,

 

{104} the acquisition of inspired speech entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to contentment with the good counsel of all beings,

{105} the receptivity from being in conformity with Dharma entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to being in conformity with all Buddha-Dharma,

{106} the receptivity to the Dharma of non-arising entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the acquisition of lucidity,

{107} the ground of non turning back entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to the fulfilment of all Buddha-Dharma,

{108} the knowledge of the passage from ground to ground entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to being consecrated with omniscient knowledge.

The ground of consecration entrance into the light of the Dharma opens the way to manifesting the descent, birth, consecration, difficult (ascetic) lifestyle, approach to the vicinity of the bodhi-tree, defeat of Māra, the Awakening, turning of the Dharma-Wheel, and Great Emancipation.

This, Sirs, is the one hundred and eight (constituting) the Entrance into the Light of the Dharma, which, invariably, the Bodhisattva, at the time of the descent (into the womb), will reveal to the assembly of the gods.