The Tathagata is greatly to be honoured
And profound in wisdom;
For long has he kept secret this message,
Not endeavouring hastily to declare it.
The wise, if they hear it,
Are able to accept and discern;
The ignorant doubt and turn away,
Losing it perpetually.
According to their powers I preach to them
With varied reasonings
To bring them to right views.
It is like a great cloud
Rising above the world,
Covering all things everywhere,
A beneficient cloud full of moisture;
Flashes of lightning shine and glint,
The voice of thunder vibrates afar,
Bringing gladness and east to all.
The sun’s rays are veiled,
And the earth is cooled;
The cloud lowers and spreads
As if it might be caught and gathered;
Its rain everywhere equally
Descends on all sides,
Streaming and pouring without stint,
Enriching all the land.
On mountains, by rivers, in steep valleys,
In hidden recesses, there grow
The plants , trees, and herbs;
Trees, big or small,
The shoots of all the ripening grain,
Sugar cane and grapevine,
All these by the rain are fertilized
And abundantly enriched.
The dry ground is all soaked,
And herbs and trees flourish together.
From one water which
Issued from that cloud,
Plants, trees, thickets, forests,
According to their need, receive moisture.
All the trees,
Superior, middle, inferior, all,
Each according to its size,
Grow and develop
Roots, stalks, branches and leaves,
Blossoms and fruits in their brilliant colours;
By the pouring of the one rain,
All become fresh and glossy.
Just as their bodies, forms
And natures are divided into great and small,
So the enriching rain, though one and the same,
Yet makes each flourish.
In the same manner Buddha also
Appears in the world,
Like a great cloud
Universally covering all things;
And having appeared in the world,
He, for the sake of all living beings,
Discriminates and proclaims
The reality of all the laws.
— The Lotus Sutra