The Earth Goddess Drdha

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Homage to the Bhagavan Tathagata Ratna-shikhin. Homage to the Bhagavan Tathagata Vimala-ujjvala-ratna-rashmi-prabhasa-ketu. Homage to the Tathagata Suvarna-jambu-dhvaja-kancha-nabha. Homage to the Tathagata Suvarna-abhasa-garbha. Homage to the Tathagata Suvarna-shata-rashmi-prabhasa-ketu. Homage to the Tathagata Suvarna-ratna-kara-cchatra-kuta. Homage to the Tathagata Suvarna-pushpa-ujjvala-rashmi-ketu. Homage to the Tathagata Maha-pradipa. Homage to the Tathagata Ratna-ketu; homage to the bodhisattva named Ruchira-ketu, the bodhisattva named Suvarna-abhasa-uttama, the bodhisattva named Suvarana-garbha, the bodhisattva named Sada-prarudita, the bodhisattva named Dharma-udgata; homage to the tathagata in the east named Akshobhya, in the south the tathagata named Ratna-ketu, in the west the tathagata named Amitayus, in the north the tathagata named Dundubhi-ishvara.

Whoever holds, recites and commits to memory the names of these tathagatas and bodhisattvas will always remember their past lives.

Then the earth goddess Drdha said this to the Tathagata: “O Venerable Transcendent Victor, now and in the future, in villages, cities, towns, valleys, forest retreats, valleys of medicinal shrubs or palaces, wherever the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light remains, then O Venerable Transcendent Victor, I, Drdha the earth goddess will go to those places, whether villages, cities, towns, valleys, forest retreats, valleys of medicinal shrubs or palaces. O Venerable Transcendent Victor, wherever the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light is expounded well and at great length, wherever the throne for the expounding bhikshu is set up, and wherever the expounding bhikshu takes that seat and perfectly teaches the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, O Venerable Transcendent Victor, I, Drdha the earth goddess will go to those very places. Invisible, I will go to the underside of the Dharma throne. With my most sublime head, I will support the expounding bhikshu by the soles of his feet. I will listen to the Dharma too and satisfy myself with Dharma nectar. I will fully honor him. I will fully worship him. I will become content. I will complete deeds of honor. Being pleased, I will greatly enrich the essential nutrients of the earth, from the mass of earth 68,000 leagues in extent to the vajra base of the ground. I will do homage and consummate it. On the top too, I will moisten this earth sphere to the limits of oceans with the essential oil of the earth. I will make this great earth glow with radiant luster. Therefore, the grasses, bushes, medicinal shrubs and forests in this Jambudvipa will grow very lustrous. All varieties of parks, forests, stately trees, leaves, flowers, fruit and crops will become extremely lustrous too. They will have sweet fragrance, essential oil and delicious tastes. They will be beautiful to behold and be great in size. These beings will seek rich varieties of drink and food. Using these they will greatly grow in longevity, complexion and strength. Growing in majesty, strength and complexion and possessing robust bodies, they will work to accomplish hundreds and thousands of different activities on this earth. They will persevere. They will strive. They will perform actions that lend strength. O Venerable Transcendent Victor, through these means Jambudvipa will be at peace, have good crops, prosper and abide in the state of serene joy. It will be populated by many human beings. All beings in Jambudvipa will be happy and will experience a myriad of joys. These beings will have great complexion, robust bodies, charisma and strength. For the sake the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, I will go towards the bhikshu, bhikshuni, upasaka or upasika who upholds this king of sutras and who sits upon the Dharma seat.

“Having gone there, for the well-being, happiness and sake of all sentient beings, and with a very lucid mind, I will request those expounders to teach the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light at great length. Why? Because if the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light is clearly taught, then I, Drdha the earth goddess, along with my attendants, will come to have intense luster and immense strength. The teaching will generate in our bodies great strength, joyous resilience and might. Our bodies will gain excellence, charisma and glory. O Venerable Transcendent Victor, I, Drdha the earth goddess will be satisfied by this Dharma nectar. Upon obtaining great charisma, strength, perseverance and might, the essential earth nutrients of this Jambu-dvipa of 7,000 will increase immensely. The great earth will become lustrous. O Venerable Transcendent Victor, the beings who rely on the earth will increase, grow and expand. They will become great. After beings who live on this earth have become great, they will enjoy material well-being and a variety of useful things. They will experience happiness. They will enjoy food and drink, various dried fruits, clothes, bedding, dwellings, houses, palaces, parks, rivers, ponds, springs, lakes, small lakes and water holes, such various resources and amenities that exist on earth, are sourced from the earth and are earth dependent. Because of this, O Venerable Transcendent Victor, all beings will be grateful and will repay my kindness. Undoubtedly, they will respect, listen to, honor, venerate and worship the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light.

“O Venerable Transcendent Victor, beings will leave from their separate homes and separate clans in order to be in the presence of the expounder of the Dharma. Upon arriving there, they will listen to the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light. After hearing it, they will return to their respective clans, houses, villages and towns. To those in their homes and to one another they will say, ‘Today we have heard the profound Dharma. Today, we hold an inconceivable mass of merit. The act of listening to the Dharma has delighted hundreds of thousands of millions of tathagatas. By listening to the Dharma today, beings in the hells will be completely freed. Beings in the world of Yama, animals and hungry ghosts will be completely freed too. By listening to the Dharma today, in the future for many hundreds of thousands of rebirths, we will be reborn as gods and humans.’ If those who reside in separate homes were to show other beings even just one example from the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, or were to make other beings hear just one chapter from the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, one account of past events, the name of just one bodhisattva, the name of one tathagata, one stanza of four lines, just one word or even just the name of the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, or, O Venerable Transcendent Victor, if these different beings in various places were to state this sutra’s various lines of reasoning to another being, or make them hear or narrate an account, then Venerable Transcendent Victor, all those places will become extremely lustrous. The various earth nutrients and resources will grow profusely in those places for the sake of all beings, will increase and greatly expand. All beings in turn will be in a state of well-being. They will have great wealth and resources and will be inclined to generosity. In the Three Jewels they will have great faith.”

After being addressed in this way, the Tathagata said this to the earth goddess Drdha: “O, Drdha the earth goddess, if any being hears even one word from the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, then after dying from this world, they will be born among the gods in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three. O earth goddess, in order to venerate the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, if any being adorns those places by raising even a single umbrella, a single flag or a single piece of cloth, those adorned places, O earth goddess, will become divine palaces made of the seven jewels, adorned with every ornament, amid the seven classes of gods dwelling in the desire realm. When those beings transmigrate from this world of humans, they will be reborn in those divine palaces made of the seven jewels. O earth goddess, those beings will be reborn seven times in each of the divine palaces made of the seven jewels. They will experience inconceivable divine bliss.”

After he spoke thus, the earth goddess Drdha addressed the Tathagata in this way: “Therefore, Venerable Transcendent Victor, I, Drdha the earth goddess will dwell in those earth regions which abide under the seat of the bhikshu who ascends the Dharma throne. So that the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light may last long in Jambudvipa for the benefit of beings who have planted roots of virtue under hundreds and thousands of buddhas, that it might not disappear quickly, that beings in turn may hear the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, may in a future time experience the inconceivable well-being of gods and humans for numerous hundreds of thousands of millions of eons, be in the company of the tathagatas and in the future awaken to supreme and perfect enlightenment, and that the suffering of hell beings, the animal world and the world of Yama may be completely cut off, I will make my body invisible and lean the supreme part of the body, my head, upon the soles of the bhikshu who expounds the Dharma.”

This ends the tenth chapter, the Chapter on the Earth Goddess Drdha, from the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light.

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