There is not much doubt that supreme happiness is felt when one encounters this "Buddha-light." The Lotus Sutra asks, "why from the white tuft between his eyebrows of our leader and teacher does this great light shine all around?" The same work answers that this was done in order to "adorn and purify" the world, and to fill believers with "joy and delight."27 The Book of the Dead tells us that the Clear Light is "blissful."28 A Mahayana text says that "His light, pure and immense, makes all sentient beings feel joyful in body and mind."29

The Flower Ornament Scripture details this theme extensively. Seeing the "Pure Light... gives rise to joy." The appearance of the Buddha causes "all to give up suffering and attain peace and bliss." The exceptional joy and happiness of those who encounter the Buddha is told throughout this sutra:

The Buddha in vast eons past
Amassed an ocean of joy, endlessly deep;
Therefore all who see him are glad...

The Buddha showers the rain of truth without bound,
Able to make the witnesses greatly rejoice;
Supreme roots of goodness are born from this.
Such is the realization of Exquisite Light...

All who see or hear receive benefit,
Causing them all to dance for joy...

In the past Buddha cultivated an ocean of joy --
Vast, boundless, beyond all measure;
Therefore those who see are all delighted...

To save all beings in all the worlds:
This is the liberation of Blissful Happiness.

I see the independent power of Buddha,
His light filling the universe...
Causing delusions to vanish and joy to abound:
This is what's seen by Immutable Light.30

Illumined by the Buddha's light,
All beings are peacefully happy;
All pains of existence cleared away,
Their minds are full of joy...

Everyone's paying reverent respect,
All greatly joyful at heart...
Gazing at the King of Truth.31

Those people who are "doing all sorts of bad things and suffering all sorts of misery and pain" are "being hindered by this from seeing the Buddha." Therefore the enlightened should help others "attain ultimate bliss... immeasurable bliss... undying bliss, and the bliss of universal knowledge."32 This achievement ends suffering -- the ultimate goal of Buddhism. The end of suffering, as one can imagine, is ultimate joy. This final liberation from pain goes hand-in-hand with the point at which we encounter the divine light:

There is a supreme concentration
called peace and bliss
Which can universally save
and liberate all sentient beings,
Radiating a great light, inconceivable,
Causing those who see it to all be pacified.33



Divine Encounters


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"Divine Encounters"
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