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July 18, 2013

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It is like the case of the twelve divisions of scriptures that I have taught. Some are teachings in accord with my own intent; some are teachings in accord with the listeners' intent; some are teachings in accord with both my own intent and the intent of the listeners... Good sons, I have taught that bodhisattvas of the tenth stage see a little of Buddha-nature; this is called a teaching in accord with the listeners intent. Why do I say "see a little"? Bodhisattvas of the tenth stage have attained such samadhis as the samadhi of heroic advance and also mastery of the three thousand dharma-gates. Hence, they themselves clearly know that they will indeed attain highest, perfect enlightenment, but they do not see that all sentient beings will definitely attain highest, perfect enlightenment. Therefore, I teach that bodhisattvas of the tenth stage see a little of Buddha-nature.

Good sons, I always proclaim that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature. This is termed the teaching in accord with my own intent. All sentient beings are nonceasing and nonperishing, and thus attain highest perfect enlightenment. This is termed the teaching in accord with my own intent. Although all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, because it is covered over by blind passions, they cannot see it. Such is what I teach, and such is what you teach. This is termed the teaching in accord with my own intent and with the intent of the listeners. Good sons, in order to present one teaching, the Tathagata sometimes explains innumerable teachings.

To be awakened to all things is called Buddha-nature. Bodhisattvas of the tenth stage cannot be called all-awakened ones; hence, although they see, they do not see clearly. Good sons, there are two kinds of seeing: seeing with the eyes and seeing through hearing. All Buddhas, world-honored ones, see Buddha-nature with their eyes as though looking at a mango in the palms of their hands. The bodhisattvas of the tenth stage, although they see Buddha-nature by hearing, do not see it especially clearly. The bodhisattvas of the tenth stage know only that they themselves will definitely attain highest perfect enlightenment and are incapable of knowing that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature.

Good sons, there is also seeing with the eyes. This belongs to all Buddha-tathagatas. Bodhisattvas of the tenth stage see Buddha-nature with the eyes, but also see it through hearing. All sentient beings up to bodhisattvas of the ninth stage see Buddha-nature through hearing. When bodhisattvas do not awaken faith in their hearts, even though they hear that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, they cannot be said to see through hearing..."

The Bodhisattva-mahasattva Lion-Roar said, "World-honored one, none of the people in the world are capable of knowing the Tathagata's mind. How is it possible for them to perceive and know it?"

Good sons, all sentient beings are indeed incapable of knowing the Tathagata's mind. If they desire to be capable of perceiving and knowing it, there are two conditions by which it is possible: seeing with the eyes and seeing through hearing. If one sees the Tathagata's bodily activity, then one knows indeed that it is the Tathagata. This is termed seeing with the eyes. If one perceives the Tathagata's verbal activity, then one knows indeed that it is the Tathagata. This is termed seeing through hearing. If one sees the countenance and realizes that there is none its equal among all sentient beings, then one knows indeed that it is the Tathagata. This is termed seeing with the eyes. If one hears the subtlety and excellence of the voice and realizes that there is none like it among the voices of sentient beings, then one knows indeed that it is the Tathagata. This is termed seeing through hearing. If one sees the miraculous acts performed by the Tathagata, the question may arise whether they are for the sake of sentient beings or for the sake of gain. If one realizes that they are for the sake of sentient beings and not gain, then one knows indeed that it is the Tathagata. This is termed seeing with the eyes. If one perceives the Tathagata when he is looking upon sentient beings with the wisdom that knows others' minds, the question may arise whether he teaches for the sake of gain or for the sake of sentient beings. If one realizes that it is for the sake of sentient beings and not for the sake of gain, then one knows indeed that it is the Tathagata. This is termed seeing by hearing.

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