The Assembly of the Transformations of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva
Just at that time, an unaccountable number of transformations of the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva from Hells of numerous universes assembled at Trayastrimsa Heaven under the ubiquitous Supernatural Powers of the Exalted Buddha, and an unaccountable number of others who, being spared of their sufferings, also came to the same place holding flowers and joss-sticks in their hands to pay homage to the Honored of the World. These beings had at one time been suffering endlessly, from kalpas to kalpas, in the ocean of birth and death.
Through the great compassion and strong vows of the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, they were converted by him and thus attained Buddhahood. They all assembled at the Trayastrimsa Heaven, and conveyed their fullest respect and admiration to the Honored of the World by gazing at Him attentively.
Shakyamuni Buddha extended His golden arms to bless the unaccountable transformations of the Ksitigarbha and said, “You are truly to be commended for having successfully converted so many human beings to real Salvation. In fact, I have adapted myself to innumerable transformations to lead all beings, either intelligent or ignorant, to righteousness and truth by any means. Although I have tried my utmost to convert the erring ones from this world of sufferings, I could see that there might be one or two out of every ten who are still sinful. I ask you to seek transformations of other Buddhas to convert them in all possible ways and means.
There are, without doubt, intelligent ones who are likely to be converted after my preaching and attain Buddhahood by my persuasion to practice good deeds, but unintelligent wrong-doers can only be converted after a lengthy period of preaching. For the stubborn ones, it is useless to expect any respect or faith from them. In spite of all the obstacles, I had endeavored to convert these miserable creatures and lead them to real Salvation by performing different transformations. I performed transformation as males, females, devas, spirits, devils, mountains, forests, streams, rivers, pools or anything to bring benefit upon human beings and to convert them all without any exception Again, I transformed into Kings or Emperors of Heavens, Brahmans or Rulers of Continents, followers of the Buddha, Kings of countries, Prime-ministers, officials of high ranks, Bhikkhus or Bhiksunis, Upasakas, Upasikas, Saravakas, Arahants, Pacceka Buddhas or Bodhisattvas to convert mankind. Not only did I convert people in the form of the Buddha, but you should recollect how strenuously I have lived from kalpas to kalpas with unremitting toil to convert even stubborn beings to Salvation. Stubborn ones can still be found, and if they are cast into Hell for punishment, you should remember how I requested you to work earnestly to lift them to Buddhahood and Enlightenment, till the next Buddha, by the name of Maitreya Buddha, will be born to this world.”
Just at that moment, the various transformations of the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva from different universes were seen consolidated into one form and, with tears in his eyes, he said to the Buddha, “You have been kind enough to bestow upon me supernatural power and transcendental wisdom for kalpas and kalpas. May my innumerable transformations of different forms be successful in pervading various universes to lead mankind to real Salvation. Though human beings have not the slightest interest in reaping good deeds, I shall strive to convert them gradually and bring great benefit and happiness to all. Pray, do not be disheartened over the evils of these beings, as I shall bear the full responsibility to convert them to the supreme state of Buddhahood.”
Again, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva requested the Honored of the World not to feel distressed over the evils of human beings in the generations to come by repeating his vow three times.
Shakyamuni Buddha was thus highly delighted and said, “My blessings. I appreciate your strong vows and may you be praised for your efforts to heal the human world, and that your aim for Buddhahood after your firm resolution to convert them be achieved.”