Haiyun, the Bhikkhu who initiated me into the Huayen Buddhist Sangha, in Mandarin is 海雲 hǎi yún. He chooses his Dharma name from the 40-Fascicles Avatamsaka Sutra (四十卷華嚴經) Ch. 5, “On Entering Into The Inconceivable State Of Emancipation By The Practice And Vows Of The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra Of The Mahavaipulya Buddha Avatamsaka Sutra,” opening paragraph, which Sakyamuni Buddha described the story of Kumara Sudhana’s (善財童子) long spiritual path toward attainment Absolute Truth and liberation to become a Buddha.
In this story, Kumara Sudhana, already a Bodhisattva (菩薩) learned from 53 different benevolent spiritual advisors before he finally attained Ultimate Enlightenment (阿耨多羅三藐三菩提 ANUTTARA SAMYAK SAMBODHI) and became a Buddha. First, he sought the spiritual guidance of Manjusri Bodhisattva (文殊師利菩薩, who was Himself a Buddha, but He manifests Himself as a Bodhisattva to be the teacher of seven subsequent Buddhas). Manjusri Bodhisattva, having answered all of Kumara Sudhana’s questions, instructed Kumara Sudhana to go south to the Kingdom of Sea Door (海門國) to seek the advice of 海雲比丘 Sagaramegha, where Kumara Sudhana asked 海雲比丘 Sagaramegha how to renounce his worldly life (捨凡夫家) to be born in the Family of Tathagata (生於如來家), how to cross the river of births and deaths (斷生死流) over to the river of Buddha’s purified acts (入佛淨行流), how to destroy the Sansara wheel (壞生死輪) to achieve the Wheel of Great Vows (成就大願輪), how to control his sea of passions and desires (竭愛欲海) to add to the Sea of Great Compassion (增長大悲海), how to shut the doors of the three forms of existence (kama-loka, rupa-loka, and arupa-loka) and of the eight forms of suffering (閉三塗八難門 ) to open the doors to Nirvana for man and gods (開人天涅槃門), how to exit the city in which all beings are bound in the three realms of existence (出三有 [kama-loka, rupa-loka, and arupa-loka] 繫縛城), to enter the city of liberation by acquiring Buddha’s wisdom (入種智解脫城), and finally how to relinquish all worldly gems, toys, possessions, and means (棄捨一切珍玩資具) to do good for the benefit of all beings (饒益攝受一切眾生).
Excerpt from 40-Fascicles Avatamsaka Sutra (四十卷華嚴經) Ch. 5 “On Entering Into The Inconceivable State Of Emancipation By The Practice And Vows Of The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra Of The Mahavaipulya Buddha Avatamsaka Sutra,” opening paragraph – English translation by Master Longyen (釋隆嚴).
Haiyun was inspired by Kumara Sudhana’s great vows and by the spiritual advice 海雲比丘 Sagaramegha gave Kumara Sudhana when he read the Avatamsaka Sutra. Therefore he chose to name himself Haiyun meaning Sea Cloud in English. I have included below the original Chinese scriptural text of the 40-Fascicles Avatamsaka Sutra (四十卷華嚴經) Ch. 5, “On Entering Into The Inconceivable State Of Emancipation By The Practice And Vows Of The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra Of The Mahavaipulya Buddha Avatamsaka Sutra,” for anyone interested in further study.
The Mahavaipulya-buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra (Sanskrit: “The Great and Vast Buddha Garland Sutra”), also called Garland Sūtra, or Avatamsaka Sutra (preserved in both Tibetan and Chinese versions was the sublime revelation by Sakyamuni Muni Buddha upon his Enlightenment. He assumed the dharma body of the Great Deity Maha Vairocana, (also in Tibetan Buddhism, and as Dainichi Nyorai 大日如來, of Shingon Buddhism of Japan,) and spoke the Dharm simultaneously in nine assemblies of man, devatas, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas in seven locations. Only the shortest version of the Sutra is comprehensible to man and therefore still remains on earth. It contains 10, 000, 000, 095, 048 words and is the basic Sutra practice cultivated by the Avatamsaka School of Buddhism. This Sutra is most read in the Da Huayen Monastery, founded by Ven. Haiyun.
To put you in the present context from the historical perspective of this Sutra, in a recent conversation between Sri Swami Rajarshi Muni, Founder of the Lakulish International Fellowship’s Enlightenment Mission (LIFE Mission) and Haiyun, Muniji explained that Samantabhadra is Lord Shiva the King of the Universe while Haiyun said that Samantabhadra is the Primeval Buddha. When we are liberated, we become one with Barhma, Lord Shiva, or Samantabhadra the Primeval Buddha in whose body all Buddhas of the past, present and future dwell.
Written by Ven. Sakya Longyen
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