The Ten Dharma-Realms

By Ch'an Master Hsuan Hua


The Ten Dharma-Realms
Are Not Beyond A Single Thought


The Ten Dharma-Realms

If there are people who wish to understand
All Buddhas of the three periods of time,
They should contemplate the nature of the Dharmarealm:
The Tathagatas are made from mind alone.


The Dharmarealm of Buddhas

Neither great nor small,
Neither gone nor come,
In world systems like motes of dust
They shine upon each others' lotus thrones.


The Dharmarealm of Bodhisattvas

Sentient beings when enlightened
Leap out of the dust.
Their six perfections and ten thousand practices
At all times are nurtured.


The Dharmarealm of Those Enlightened to Conditions

The holy sage enlightened to conditions
Doze high on mountain peaks alone.
Springtime's flowers wither in the fall
In an interconnected cycle of twelve links.


The Dharmarealm of Sound-Hearers

The Sravaka Sangha
Both men and women
Contemplate and practice the four holy truths,
Concealing the real and displaying the provisional.


The Dharmarealm of Gods

The six desire and brahma gods,
With five precepts and ten good acts,
Plant seeds that have outflows
So the turning wheel is hard to stop.


The Dharmarealm of Asuras

Asuras have a violent nature,
Laden with blessings, lacking power.
Absolutely determined to fight,
They bob along in karma's tow.


The Dharmarealm of People

The way of men is harmony,
With merit and error interspersed.
On virtuous deeds you rise, offenses make you fall,
It has nothing to do with anyone else at all.


The Dharmarealm of Animals

Eager animals feed on greed,
Never sated by a lot,
Because they make what's black white
They don't distinguish wrong from right.


The Dharmarealm of Hungry Ghosts

The ghostly crew delights in hate,
Deluded by effects, confused about cause.
Their ignorance and upsidedownness
Grows greater each day, deeper each month.


The Dharmarealm of Hells

The hell's anxiety and suffering Is devoid of doors, yet one bores right in.
Giving rise to delusion, deeds are done.
The retribution is borne in due accord.


All these ten realms a single thought,
Are not apart from your present thought.
Being able to awake to that thought,
Is climbing to stand on the other shores.




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