The Vessel of Dhoe

A living being's body is a vessel, the world is a vessel, and the universe is also a vessel -- this truth is revealed repeatedly in many Scriptures:

The Kabbalah Unveiled, Introduction says:
    Light personifies itself by veiling itself, and the personification is only stable when the veil is perfect.

Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra ( Taisho Tripitaka 0374, 0375 ) says:
    With the 100 virtues perfected, a phase is accomplished. Thus do things proceed one after the other, and the 32 bodily signs of perfection are attained. When all this is accomplished, we say "pure body".

    "Also, the Bodhisattva practises the way of the 80 minor marks of excellence......For the sake of all beings, he practises the ways of the 80 characteristics and adorns his own body. This is the pure body of the Bodhisattva. Why so? Because all these 80 gods are what all beings greatly trust in. That is why the Bodhisattva practises the ways of these 80 characteristics, and his body does not suffer change. He so contrives matters that all beings see him, each according to what that being believes in. Having seen thus, they gain respect, and each aspires to unsurpassed Enlightenment. For this reason, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the way of the pure body.

    O good man! For example, there is a man who wishes to invite a great King to his home. He will doubtless adorn his own abode, make it extremely clean, and have 100 varieties of beautiful dishes prepared, and then the King will accept the invitation. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. When he wishes to invite the Dharma-King of unsurpassed Enlightenment, he first practises the Way and cleanses and purifies his body, and the unsurpassed Dharma-King will then dwell in. Thus the Bodhisattva-mahasattva must first make his own body clean and pure.

    "O good man! For example, if one desires to partake of amrta [ambrosia], know that one will makes one's body clean. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. When he deisres to partake of prajna, the unsurpassed taste of the amrta of Dharma, he needs to make his body clean with the 80 minor marks of excellence.

    "O good man! For example, if one puts water into a precious vessel of gold or silver, all will look pure and clean, in and out. It is the same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva whose body is pure. Within and without, he is clean, because the water of unsurpassed Enlightenment has been poured inside him.

    "O good man! It is just as the white cloth of varanabusa is easy to dye. Why so? Because it is, by nature, white and clean. The same with the Bodhisattva-mahasattva. When his body is pure and clean, he gains unsurpassed Enlightenment. For this reason, the Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises the Way and makes his body clean.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra says:
    The Tathagata-World-Honoured One is the unsurpassed vessel of Dharma. A vessel of the world can be non-eternal, but not that of the Tathagata.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra says:
    The Buddha said: "Virtuous man, A container holds within itself various seeds. When water and rain come, each shoots forth buds. It is the same with living beings, although their vessels are of the same kind, due to the causal relations of craving, various kinds of illusion come about."

    [The Original Chinese Text]

The Zohar - V1BA. S12 says:
    The complete and all-embracing Light proceeds into our world through three stages. These three stages comprise the Right, Left, and Central Columns of spiritual energy. [See "Let there be a Firmament" page 253. The three stages express themselves through the spiritual vessels of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the first phase, the Light is unknowable and too unimaginably luminous for any single vessel to contain. The second phase produces a diminishing of the Light, and the third phase brings a final diminution, achieving a suitable level of Light for all vessels to safely receive. The Hebrew letters composing this section bring the appropriate measure of Light to the areas of our lives where it is most needed.

Emerald-Emptiness Treatise says:
    The place that produces It is called river, source, mountain, ocean, and so forth. The vessel in which It is refined is called altar, cookstove, Ding (three-legged cauldron), oven, and so forth.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

The Four Hundred Words On Golden Dhaan says:
    The Heart is KIN, and the body is KWUN, therefore they are called Ding (three-legged cauldron) and vessel of KIN and KWUN.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra says:
    O good man! For example, a tile that has not yet been passed through heat is easy to break. It is the same with the physical body of a being, too. Gaining the body, this is now a vessel of suffering.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

The Zohar - V1P. S5 says:
    When our own vessels are not worthy or capable of generating Light on their own, the spiritual forces transmitted through the letters of this story give us the ability to actually draw down vessels from the Upper Worlds.

Avatamsaka Sutra, Book 26 says:
    At that time, all Buddhas of the ten directions will emit from their glabellas (the location between the eyebrows) pure rays of light, which are called The Supernatural Power That Enhances The Universal Wisdom. These rays of light, together with countless accompanying lights, will universally illuminate all worlds of the ten directions, circulate them clockwise ten times, reveal the immense omnipotence of the Tathagatas, enlighten innumerable hundreds of thousands of billions of nayutas of Bodhisattvas, universally shake all Buddha-Worlds, eliminate all evil paths' sufferings, block out all demons' palaces, show all the places in which the Buddhas achieve Bodhi, and show the congregations, sublimities, and majesties of those Bodhimandas.

    In such a way, having filled the whole universe, permeated the whole Dharma-Realm, and illuminated all the worlds, these lights will come to this Bodhisattva Congregation, circulate it clockwise, and manifest myriad sublime things. Having done these, these lights will enter the great Bodhisattva's body through the summit of his head, and their accompanying lights will enter into those accompanying Bodhisattvas' heads. At that time, this Bodhisattva will gain millions of Samadhis that he has never gained before, and then it is known that he Has Gained The Conferment, Has Entered the Buddhas' Realm, Has All The Ten Powers, and Is Counted As A Buddha.


    For example, with the only exception of the great ocean, a great rain showered by the dragon king Sagara, can not be placed, accepted, contained, or kept within any place. Likewise, with the only exception of the Bodhisattvas of the tenth stage, the Thus Come Ones' secret treasury --- the great Dharma light, the great Dharma illumination, and the great Dharma rain, can not be placed, accepted, contained, or kept within any living being even if he is a Voice Hearer, Solitary Awakener (pratyeka-buddha), or a Bodhisattva of the ninth stage.

    Child of the Buddha, for example, the great ocean can embrace, accept, contain, and keep a great rain showered by one great dragon king; moreover, if two, three, or even countless dragon kings, within a moment as short as a flash thought, shower down countless rains simultaneously, the great ocean can also embrace, accept, contain, and keep them. Why? Because it is a boundless and vast vessel. Likewise, a Bodhisattva dwelling in Dharma Cloud stage, can embrace, accept, contain, and keep one Buddha's Dharma light, Dharma illumination, and Dharma rain; furthermore, if two, three, or even countless Buddhas preach simultaneously within a moment as short as a flash thought, this Bodhisattva can also accept them. Therefore, this stage is called Dharma Cloud.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

The Zohar - V1BA. S2 says:
    When God created the world, He knew that we, the vessels, could not receive His awesome, blazing Light in Its totality. This Kabbalistic notion can be likened to a tripped circuit breaker caused by an overload of electric current. It can also be compared to the light of sun, which would incinerate the entire earth if it were to ever approach too close. The Creator, in His infinite wisdom, therefore concealed the greater portion of His Light so as not to overwhelm that which He created. The Zohar recounts the process of how this hidden Light began to be revealed.

    As we correct and transform our crude, immoral nature, we reveal a measure of hidden Light in direct proportion to the degree of inner change we've undergone. It is this spiritual change that expands our internal vessel, allowing us to receive a greater portion of hidden Light......

Wonderful Dharma Lotus Sutra, Chapter Five says:
    Issuing from that cloud
    Water of a single flavor
    Moistens grasses, trees and forests
    Each according to its measure

    All of the trees,
    Great, medium and small,
    According to their size
    Can grow and develop.
    When reached by that single rain
    The roots, stalks, branches, and leaves,
    Flowers and fruits with luster and color,
    All are fresh and shining.

    According to their substance and marks,
    And natures, either great or small
    They alike receive moisture
    And each one flourishes.

    The Buddha, in the same way
    Manifests within the world
    Just like a great cloud
    Covering over everything.
    Having come into the world
    For the sake of living beings,
    He discriminates and expounds
    The reality of all Dharmas.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

The Bible says:
    But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. (II Timothy 2:20 KJV)

    If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. (II Timothy 2:21 KJV)

    Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (II Timothy 2:22 KJV)

The Treatise on Awakening to the Real says:
    Set up the strove and the Ding to emulate the evolution of KIN and KWUN,
    Cook and refine the Essence and restrain the Pug and Whun;
    It will converge and scatter,
    producing a heavy atmosphere of spiritual emanation,
    and finally achieve the transformation.
    Then you will dare to discuss the occult miracles as if they are ordinary things.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra says:
    "O good man! It is as with three vessels. The first is perfect, the second leaks, and the third is broken. When one wishes to put milk, cream or butter into them, which one would one use first?"

    "O World-Honoured One! We would use the one which is perfect; next, the one that leaks, and then the broken one."

    "The perfect and pure one is comparable to the Bodhisattva-priest; the one that leaks to the sravaka, and the one that is broken to the icchantika.

    [The Original Chinese Text]

The Bible says:
    For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: (I Thessalonians 4:3 KJV)

    That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; (I Thessalonians 4:4 KJV)

    But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel (Acts 9:15 KJV)

    For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV)

    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV)

The Original Chinese Texts:












Back to the Article List