Today’s scientific studies have been gradually drawing a conclusion about the formation of the universe, all beings and life: Big Bang. The Galaxy. The Speed of Light. The thirteen-point-seven-billion-year-old Earth, etc. , but there is something incomplete and exist mysteries.

Back to over 25 centuries ago, at that time, Sàkyamuni Buddha used the quantitative language to describe and explain the vastness of Dharmadhàtu which is boundlessly immense.

In Avatamsaka Sùtra, Chapter 30 – Ashankhya, Buddha used the modern Astronomical quantitative language to explain the vastness of Dharmadhàtu when Citta Bodhisatva (Mind King Bodhisatva) asked about apramàna, ananta, asama, innumerable, unaccountable, unthinkable, immeasurable, unspeakable, untold.

The following part of the sutra has clearly shown the mathematical talent of Buddha when bringing “the world into the quantitative meaning that Buddha knew”.

Buddha said:

“1010x 1010= 1020
1020x 1020= 1040
1040x 1040= 1080
1080x 1080= 10160

10160 squared = 10320

That number squared equals 10 raised to the power of 101 493 292 610 318 652 755 325 638 410 240;

That number squared makes one Ashankhya (incalculable).

Ashankhya raised to the power of 4 makes one Apramàna (measureless).

Apramàna raised to the power of 4 makes one Ananta (boundless).

Ananta raised to the power of 4 makes one Asama (incomparable).

Asama raised to the power of 4 makes one Innumerable.

Innumerable raised to the power of 4 makes one Unaccountable.

Unaccountable raised to the power of 4 makes one Unthinkable.

Unthinkable raised to the power of 4 makes one Immeasurable.

Immeasurable raised to the power of 4 makes one Unspeakable.

Unspeakable raised to the power of 4 makes one Untold.

Untold squared makes a Square Untold.”

Buddha used the term “A Squared Untold” instead of using a definite number to illustrate a maximally great number. Actually, this term describes a meditation experience of all Buddhas. A quantity either extremely big or extremely small can be easily inferred by the mind and represented by symbols, but it is very difficult to directly perceive it. Buddha at the place of Samyaksamàdhi (Right Concentration), he “sees”, not “infers” or “concludes”. Therefore, in order to convey what Buddha experienced, there is no more accurate term than “A squared Untold”.

The way of counting in the Avatamsaka Sùtra is based on the mutual relationship between elements and a set. For example, being separated from a set of 100 elements, an element is still considered to mutually condition with the other 99 elements. The other 99 is taken as one unit added to 99, forming a group of 100 relationships. Hence, when considering a set of 100 existent things as independent elements, there are only 100 existent things, but in the mutual relationship view, each thing is counted as 100. Consequently, there are 100 times 100, that is, 10,000 existent things. In case the relationships become more complicated, the counted quantity should be calculated by using the term “Untold”. Therefore, in Avatamsaka Sùtra, almost every line sticks to the “Untold” quantity.

Buddha said some verses (Gàthà) about the “limitless manifold layers upon layers” characteristic of Dharmadhàtu.

Quoted in Chapter 30 – Ashankhya

“Unspeakable Non-verbal Expressions

Completely full all Unspeakable

In the Non-verbal Expressions kalpas

Never enough to express Unspeakable

If the Unspeakable number of Buddha Worlds

All are crushed into molecules

In a molecule are Unspeakable worlds

Like one, all are the same.

… … …

On Unspeakable hair on the head

Are Unspeakable pure worlds

Are Unspeakable Alamkàraka

Are Unspeakable miracles.”

Continue to read the following parts in the sùtra describing Dharmadhàtu with fulfilled miracles

Quoted in Chapter 30 –Ashankhya

“Large and small worlds in the hair on the head

Contaminated, Pure, Rough and Fine Worlds

All of them are Unspeakable

Each can be clearly distinguished.

Crush a world into dirt

That dirt is Unspeakable measureless

Myriad of such worlds

Come to the same hair on the head.

These worlds are Unspeakable

On the same hair without lack of space

Not increase the size of the hair

To welcome the other worlds.

All the worlds on the hair

The forms are purely original without disorder

Like one world does not mess with the others

All worlds are the same.”

According to the quote, time and space are deprived of meanings and power. Dharmadhàtu not only is limitless manifold layers upon layers but also is completely relieved from all time and space obstacles. Each existence includes in itself all the others and so does each of the other existences. Individual presences are included in one vast presence, and this vast presence is found in each individual presence. All existences are concurrent immediate initiation and mutual combination, and mutually communicate in Dharmadhàtu. The vast combination and gathering of existences has made Dharmadhàtu a transparent and bright, flawless and darkness-free dhatu. Basically, active scenes that eternally simultaneously appear everywhere and contain-combine one another arise because all dharmas created by conditions are No Self-Nature, i.e. “Nothingness”.

Complying with the renowned oral instructions of Nàgàrjuna, ” All dharmas because of Nothingness exist”, it is because of The Nature of Nothingness that all dhàtus are mutual gathering penetration, unique multiple correlative combination is achieved.


Reference: Luận giải Trung Luận Tánh Khởi và Duyên Khởi – Author: Hồng Dương Nguyễn Văn Hai

Esoteric Dharma VajraPani Lineage

VajraPani Group – “Sun” Generation : Nhật Hiệp

Translator: Bao Tran