THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

Exhortation

Thus we know the ten conditions and are fully aware of the eight dharmas. We consequently have a gateway through which to progress and a basis for our development.

We have a human body and live in a favorable country. Our six sense organs are intact and our bodies are healthy. We have complete faith, and fortunately we are without demonic obstacles. Furthermore, we Sanghans have been able to leave the home-life and to receive the complete precepts. We have found a Way Place and have heard the Buddhadharma. We have looked reverently upon the Buddha's sharira and we practice repentance; we have met good friends and are replete with superior conditions. If we fail to make the great resolve today, what are we waiting for?

I hope only that the great assembly will sympathize with my simple-minded sincerity and share my earnest intent. Let us take these vows together. Let us make this resolve together. Whoever has not yet made the resolve should do so now. Whoever has already made the resolve should bolster it. Those who have already bolstered it should continue to advance.

Do not fear difficulty and make a cowardly retreat. Do not consider this matter easy and frivolously waste time. Do not wish for quick results and fail to persevere. Do not become lax and fail in your courage. Do not become dispirited and fail to rouse yourself. Do not let procrastination cause you to delay. Do not let stupidity and dullness keep you from making the resolve. Do not assume that you have shallow roots and are, therefore, unworthy of taking part.

For example, after a tree is planted, the once-shallow roots deepen every day. Similarly, as a knife is sharpened, the blade which was once dull becomes sharp. Because the roots are shallow, would we choose not to plant the tree and allow it to wither away? That the knife is dull is no reason not to sharpen it and to set it aside as useless.

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