THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Chapters: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 * 6 * 7 * 8 * 9 * 10 * 11 * 12 * 13 * 14 * 15 * 16 * 17 * 18 * 19 * 20

The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra

Chapter 11: Vision of the Jeweled Stupa
With Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

This is the eleventh of twenty-eight chapters of The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, the Vision of the Jeweled Stupa. Stupa is a sanskrit word. It means “square grave”. It is a place where the relics of Buddhas and patriarchs are kept so that people can make offerings to them. They are also places where the Buddhas’ sharira are kept. The Jeweled Stupa in this Chapter was built by living beings for the Buddha Many Jewels after that Buddha went to Nirvana. Before he became a Buddha, the Buddha Many Jewels made a vow saying, “In the future wherever a Buddha manifests in any world and speaks The Dharma Flower Sutra, my jeweled Stupa will rise out of the earth in front of the assembly. It will appear in space so that all in the Dharma assembly can see it. When they see it, it will prove that the realm of The Dharma Flower Sutra is inconceivable.” He made the vow that whenever any Buddha spoke the Sutra he would do this.

Now, Shakyamuni Buddha is lecturing on The Dharma Flower Sutra and so the Thus Come One Many Jewels, based on his vow power, manifests in empty space. This should make us understand how important The Dharma Flower Sutra is. Therefore, the Buddha spoke it at the very end of his teaching career. First he spoke The Avatamsaka Sutra. Then he spoke the Agamas and The Vaipulya Sutras. Then he spoke Prajna. He waited until the very end to speak The Dharma Flower and Nirvana Sutras.

Now in America, first we lectured on The Shurangama Sutra. Last year during the summer session we spoke the Chapter of the Conduct and Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva from The Avatamsaka Sutra and also The Sixth Patriarch Sutra. This year we are going to lecture this chapter of The Dharma Flower Sutra during the summer session.

We are gathered here in this lecture hall to investigate the Buddhadharma together. This is not a small causal condition. It is a great one. However, since you have not gained the Penetration of Past Lives or the Heavenly Eye, you will not understand the causes and conditions. Now that you have the opportunity to listen to this chapter of The Dharma Flower Sutra, that is an inconceivable state manifesting.

Most people see with their eyes. We see the Jeweled Stupa not only with the eyes, also with the mind. Not only do we see it with the mind, we see it with the original nature. This is because the Thus Come One Many Jewels is within the original nature of each one of us. The Stupa manifests from the Original Nature as the Thus Come One. Our vision of it is a vision of the Original Nature’s Thus Come One. This is how we see the Jeweled Stupa. It is not like any jeweled Stupas we have ever seen. It is really big and high!

I just said that the mind and the nature see the Jeweled Stupa and some people might not believe this principle. This principle, however, is completely true. Most people just know what they see with their eyes. They do not know that, basically, the eyes do not do the seeing at all. If the seeing were in the eyes, then when people were dead, and their eyes were still there, they should still be able to see things! Why people cannot see then? That proves that it is not the eyes that see. It is the mind.

“This is the scientific age. It is possible to take the eyes from one person and transplant them in another person’s body so that the second person can see,” you say. Yes, but in that case it is still not the eyes that see. The seeing is done by the seeing nature. Without the seeing nature, one cannot see.

“Well, then, what does the seeing nature look like?” you ask.

You cannot see it! So The Shurangama Sutra says, “When your seeing sees the seeing (nature), this seeing is no (longer) seeing. Your seeing (nature) is beyond your seeing, and your seeing cannot reach it.”

“If I cannot see it, then it does not exist!” you say.

If you want to reason that way, then the things you do see do not exist either!

You say, “I do not believe it.”

It is just because you do not believe it that you do not understand the doctrines contained in The Dharma Flower Sutra.

The Dharma Flower Sutra
is for the purpose of breaking all your attachments. The material objects you see belong to the “marks division” of the Eighth Consciousness. In reality, they do not exist. That which you cannot see is real.

“But if it is real, I should be able to see it,” you say.

It is just because you are off by that much. Basically, you can see it. Your self-nature is filled with shining light, interpenetrating without obstruction. But you mistake the false for the true and so you cannot see the true. If you put down the false, then the true will manifest. That is the real you. The Shurangama Sutra investigates the question of “seeing” in great detail. Ananda cannot keep up with the Buddha’s arguments, either.

We should leave all our attachments. That which you cannot see is your true seeing. That which you can see is a manifestation of the “marks division” of your Eighth Consciousness. The more you investigate these principles, the more wonderful they get. The Vajra Sutra says, “All that which has marks is empty and false. If you can see all marks as no marks, then you can see the Thus Come One.” Can you see all marks as no marks? That means putting down the false so that the true manifests. Everything with shape and marks is false. If you see these false marks as untrue and false, then you see the Buddha.

So we will take the discussion of “seeing” the Jeweled Stupa and see it this far.

Sutra:

At that time, there manifested before the Buddha, a Stupa made of the seven jewels. It was five hundred yojanas in height and two hundred and fifty yojanas in breadth. It welled up out of the earth and stood in empty space, adorned with all kinds of jeweled objects. It had five thousand railings and thousands of myriads of alcoves. Countless banners and pennants adorned it as well. Jeweled beads were hung from it and myriads of millions of jeweled bells were suspended from its top. The scent of Tamalapatracandana issued from all four sides and filled the entire world. All its banners and canopies were made of the seven jewels: gold, silver, lapis lazuli, mother of pearl, carnelian, pearls and agate reaching up to the palace of the four heavenly kings.

Outline:

D2. Vision of the Jeweled Stupa: Chapter 11
E1. Prose.
F1. Many Jewels manifests.
G1. The manifesting of the Stupa.


Commentary:

At that time, when the Buddha had finished speaking the Masters of the Dharma chapter, there manifested before the Buddha a Stupa made of the seven jewels. It was five hundred yojanas in height and two hundred and fifty yojanas in breath. A small yojana is forty miles. A medium-sized yojana is sixty miles, and a big yojana is eighty miles. The yojanas referred to in the text are large yojanas.

Where did it come from? It welled up out of the earth and stood in empty space, adorned with all kinds of jeweled objects. There were all kinds of priceless ornaments on it. It had five thousand railings, horizontal railings and vertical fencing, and thousands of myriads of alcoves. Alcoves are Buddhas’ living quarters. There are thousands of myriads of alcoves in this jeweled Stupa. In these various jeweled alcoves, there are various Buddha images. All these symbolize the adornment of the objects of the Way. This is a type of inconceivable state. The Way refers to the Thirty-seven Wings of Enlightenment. The state of the Avatamsaka Sutra is even more wonderful. The pavilion where the Maitreya Bodhisattva lives has thousands upon tens of thousands of doors! Each door then changes and transforms infinitely. Wonderful jewels adorn the states of the Avatamsaka Sutra.

Countless banners and pennants adorned it as well. The banners are circular while the pennants are flat. If they are made with silken fabric or cloth, they are pennants. The pennants are also infinitely many. This jeweled Stupa is replete with everything. Countless banners and pennants adorned it as well. The five hundred yojanas represent the suffering people undergo in the five destinies. The beings of the five destinies suffer pain. There are originally six destinies. Since beings are in the five destinies, they receive inexhaustible misery.

Jeweled beads were hung from it. The jeweled Stupa was covered with strings of beads. These beads are hollow inside. In The Sutra of Sixteen Contemplations we read about the wicked Prince Ajatashatru who put his father, the King, in prison. The prison was inside seven locked gates. The Prince did this at the urging of Devadatta who said, “Shakyamuni is the old Buddha. We should have a revolution and then I will be the new Buddha. I will be the new Buddha, and you will be the new King! The new King and the new Buddha together will rule the land!” So, the Prince put the “old King” in jail. No one was allowed to see him except his wife, and he was not given any food or drink. What a crummy son! She took her beads, which were hollow and filled them with grape juice and smuggled them into the King’s cell.

The King was in his cell crying about his predicament and lamenting the miseries of this world. Then he prayed to the Buddha for help. “The Buddha has spiritual powers. He should come and save us.” Just then Mahamaudgalyayana manifested to rescue them. He took them to the Jeta Grove where the Buddha spoke for them The Sutra of Sixteen Contemplations. He talked about how the world is filled with suffering, and there is nothing to hold onto. If you have given birth to a son, you should not hold your expectations too high. He might disappoint you. He might even put you in jail! That is the way this world works. If you understand it, you know there is nothing to it. If you do not understand it, you might think it is very fine. If you do understand it, you know it is like a dream, like an illusion. Do not look upon it as real.

The seven-jeweled Stupa is a Stupa constructed with seven precious gems. The Stupa was five hundred yojanas in height. This represents being able to stop the wheel of the five paths of rebirth in which living beings suffer. The Stupa was two hundred and fifty yojanas wide. The two hundred fifty yojanas on each of its four sides represents the two hundred and fifty precepts. In cultivation, you must rely upon the power of the precepts to accomplish the Dharma of the Way. There are four sides and they represents 250 Precepts in walking, 250 Precepts in standing, 250 Precepts in sitting, and 250 Precepts in reclining—the four deportments. Together they make one thousand. There are a thousand in the three periods of time—past, present, and future, and that makes three thousand. So, we say there are three thousand fine aspects of the awesome manner and eighty thousand fine practices.

The jeweled Stupa rose right out of the earth. Someone said, “If this huge Stupa rises out of the earth, does it leave a big hole in the ground?”

This is not something we can understand with out ordinary minds. The Stupa rises out of the earth, but it does not leave a hole in the ground. The ground does not open up and let the Stupa out. It rises out of the ground very slowly. This is an inconceivable state. The Stupa was adorned with many precious objects, which refers to many practices adorning one’s Way karma.

It had five thousand railings and thousands of myriads of alcoves. This represents the merit and virtue of the ten thousand good deeds.

Countless banners and pennants adorned it as well. The banners represent samadhi or stillness, while the pennants represent wisdom or movement. It shows the equality of samadhi and wisdom.

Jeweled beads were hung from it. This represents the pearls of wisdom, which shine brightly. Wisdom is like a jewel shining on all living beings.

And myriads of millions of jeweled bells were suspended from its top. The scent of Tamalpatracandana issued from all four sides and filled the entire world. The four sides gave off the fragrance of Tamalpatracandana. Tamalpatracandana is a Sanskrit word. It means “undefiled in nature.” This pure incense grows on “Ox Head Mountain.” One kernel of it when burned can be smelled at a distance of forty miles. The fragrance from the Stupa filled the entire world. This represents the perfection of blessings and wisdom.

All its banners and canopies were made of the seven jewels. Banners and canopies represent the loftiness of the Buddhadharma. Gold represents the wisdom of people who have a solid resolve. Silver is white and pure and represents purity, the cultivation of pure conduct. Lapis Lazuli is translucent and reflective without any blockage. What is inside can be seen from the outside, what is outside can be seen from the inside. Lapis Lazuli represents the wisdom of clear understanding. Mother of pearl has what looks like cart tracks on it, which represents the ability of a true cultivator to bend to the situation, to yield and be patient. Carnelian is of many colors; red, yellow, white; representing the adornment of the ten thousand virtues. Pearls: Pearls are round and shining so they represent the interpenetrating, unobstructed wisdom. Agate is a translucent stone. It appears warm and moist and represents the warm and moist wisdom. The seven jewels adorned the canopies and banners reaching up to the palace of the four heavenly kings. The palace of the Four Heavenly Kings is half way up Mount Sumeru, not at the top of that mountain. The Buddha Stupa reached halfway up Mount Sumeru. This Stupa of the Buddha made of the seven jewels is as tall as Mount Sumeru.

Sutra:

From the Heaven of the Thirty-Three there rained heavenly mandarava flowers as an offering to the jeweled Stupa. All the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, non-humans and so forth, thousands of myriads of millions of them, made offerings to the jeweled Stupa of all kinds of flowers, incense, beads, banners, canopies, and instrumental music, reverently honoring it and praising it.

Outline:

G2. Offerings from the gods.


Commentary:

From the Heaven of the Thirty-Three there rained heavenly mandarava flowers as an offering to the jeweled Stupa. The Heaven of the Thirty-three is the Trayastrimsha Heaven, the second of the six heavens in the desire realm. It is located on the top of Mount Sumeru. There are eight heavens on each of the four sides with one in the middle making thirty-three. The ruler of this heaven is Shakra, also known in external religions as “God Almighty.” Most of those in external religions do not know the origin of Shakra and think he is the highest god. In Buddhism, he is only a Dharma Protector. He does not even rate a seat in the Dharma Assembly, but has to stand outside the door of the Buddha’s lecture hall and keep an eye on things. Each of the thirty-three heavens has its ruler who is under Shakra’s command.

How did this happen? Eons ago, after the Nirvana of Kashyapa Buddha, Shakra was a beggar-woman. One day, she came across an image of Kashyapa Buddha in an old abandoned temple and noticed that its gold finish was cracked and peeling. She gathered thirty-two of her women friends together and they pooled their savings and raised funds, and as they say, “accumulated fox-hair from armpits to make a coat.” This phrase calls for an explanation.

In northern China, it is very cold in the winter. The warmest coat you can wear, and the softest, is made up of the skin taken from the armpits of the fox. You can only get one or two inches worth of fur from each armpit, so you obviously need quite a few foxes to make a coat. In the same way it took quite a few people to gather enough resources to repair the temple. It took thirty-three, in fact, to raise probably thirty thousand or so dollars. After they raised the money, they hired a carpenter to repair the temple and then they died. They died without any illness, either. They just “got up and died,” and–who knows quite how—they were born each in a heaven, thirty-three heavens, as rulers there. This was their reward from rebuilding the temple.

Now, we are preparing to purchase a large temple and one of the Dharma Protectors has said that he will offer up his monthly salary to meet the payments. Others have volunteered their labor. Those who have money should give money, and those who can work should work. I am sure that our fox hair armpits will make up a coat, too, and everyone will now bring forth their resolve. You should give all you are able to give, no sense going halfway.

“Boy, this Dharma Master is really fierce,” someone is thinking.

You just figured that out? You should have known long ago!

The rulers of the Heaven of the Thirty-Three got there through their merit. We should not get born in just a heaven. We can all bring forth the resolve to build the Way Place, and then in the future we can all be not just heavenly rulers, but “Buddha” rulers! That is even better! It is turning the great Dharma-wheel. Nobody should be afraid of me. I am encouraging you to give because I am looking out for your benefit. I am helping you to plant good roots. This is not to your detriment. It is something that is really going to help you.

This reminds me of what I used to say in Manchuria when I was encouraging people to bring forth their hearts to help in the work. I would say, “I have come to your house and you should be happy. Why? It is because we are delivering the nature of Virtue and the Way to your own house. Since we are delivering the virtue of the Way, you should plant blessings. What does that mean? If you have money, give money. If you can work, work. Three Conditions Temple is in the process of being built.” I was not very eloquent, but whenever these people who were probably not too bright heard this not-too-bright person speak in this way, they would all rush to make offerings.

“Here is thirty years of my savings!” said one.

“I will donate my jewelry too!” said another.

“I am a carpenter and I will work!” said yet another.

People would give up their most prized attachments. Now I have been in this country for so many years and this is the first time I have called on you. We should all bring forth our hearts to build the new temple. Better volunteer yourself before I “volunteer” you!

During this Summer Session we are holding a Kuan Yin Bodhisattva Recitation Session in order to ask Kuan Yin Bodhisattva to help those attending the session. During the first Summer Session there were great demonic obstacles. The second Summer Session had its share, too. I know that during this, the third session, there will be quite a few people and a considerable number of demonic obstacles. So we will start the session with a Kuan Yin Session and ask Kuan Yin Bodhisattva to help each of us eradicate our karmic obstacles.

I have told you before that each of us had innumerable karmic obstacles. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is always sprinkling her sweet dew, but because of the magnitude of their karmic obstacles, people sometimes give rise to their own mental demons. These mental demons cause them to lose perspective and the demon takes them over. This is a pitiful situation. It is a matter of great concern for everyone. Those attending this Summer Session should be aware of the fact that if you want to improve, your past offenses will attack you and try to get in your way.

If you want to become a Buddha, you must undergo testing by the demons, too. So do not have so much false thinking. Study the Buddhadharma with one mind and one heart. When you listen to the Dharma lectures, take notes. When sitting in meditation, do not indulge in false thinking. That makes it harder for demonic obstacles to arise. Those who have not had demonic obstacles should help those who have. Aid them with the power of contemplation in meditation. Help them beat their demons back and overcome their obstacles. In this way they can, as the saying goes:

Have a share in the true way,
And make progress in the Way,
And avoid demons.

Everyone has a share in cultivation. I will be doing this sort of contemplation and all of you should, too. Do not be turned by states.

So the text says, “From the Heaven of the Thirty-Three.” The number thirty-three represents the Ten Bodhisattva Dwellings, Ten Bodhisattva Conducts and Ten Bodhisattva Transferences to make thirty. Then you add the Ten Grounds, counting them together as one and you get thirty-one. Then you add Equal Enlightenment and that makes thirty-two, and then Wonderful Enlightenment and you get thirty-three. These are taken from the Fifty-five Stages of Bodhisattva Development.

All the gods, dragons. The gods and dragons represent the good subsidiary mind dharmas. Yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, non-humans and so forth represent the evil subsidiary mind dharmas.

The present analogy makes reference to the third category.

Gods refer to heavenly beings. Everybody knows what dragons are, don’t they? They can do all kinds of transformations; they can become big or small. They can appear and disappear. How did they get to be dragons? They are said to be “spiritual,” that is, inconceivable. How did they get to be dragons, that is animals, if they have spiritual penetrations? When they were cultivating the Way, they were “quick with the Vehicle but slow with the Precepts.” They cultivated the Great Vehicle Dharma with great vigor, but they did not keep the Precepts. Because they cultivated the Great Vehicle Dharma, they gained spiritual penetrations. Because they failed to keep the Precepts, they turned into animals.

Birds become birds because they are fond of “flying high,” and have high ambitions. All day long they think about flying so they turn into birds.

Yakshas are “speedy ghosts.” They get around very fast. There are ground travelling yakshas and space-travelling yakshas. There are water-travelling yakshas too. Speaking of yakshas, they are very fierce. Some specialize in sapping people of their energy. You may know some people who have very weak energy-systems. No matter what kind of good food they eat, they never have any energy. Most likely a yaksha ghost is busy living off of their energies. Some yakshas drink human blood, some eat people’s essence. There are many varieties of yakshas.

Gandharvas are “incense inhaling spirits,” musicians in the court of the Jade Emperor. When the Emperor wants some music, he lights some incense and the Gandharvas all come to play.

Asuras have big tempers. Take a look around you: Whoever has a big temper is an asura. There are human asuras, ghost asuras, animal asuras. Take for example our two pigeons: Seven Bodhi Shares has not much of a temper, but Twelve Links has a terrible temper. He is an animal asura. If he gives rise to the Bodhi mind, then he will not have such a temper. Unfortunately he is still turning on the wheel of the “twelve links,” and so his temper remains formidable. Anger is just ignorance. The more ignorance, the more anger.

Asura is a Sanskrit word meaning “ugly.” It also means “no wine.” They have the blessings of the gods but not the authority. They enjoy heavenly blessings, but they have no say in running things. Since they have no power, they are always fighting for power battling with the heavenly armies.

Garudas are the great gold-winged peng birds. They have a wingspan of 360 yojanas. When they flap their wings, the ocean waters part and not only are all the fishes, turtles, shrimps, and crabs exposed, but all the dragons at the bottom of the sea are exposed as potential meals too. The dragons have no time to transform into anything. They are gobbled up on the spot by the Garudas, who eat them with the same relish that we eat noodles. All gone! The dragons were getting very upset about this, because large numbers of them were being eaten. Their species had become “endangered.”

They went to the Buddha to complain and the Buddha gave them each a thread from his precept sash, saying, “You can wear this and then you will be invisible to the peng birds!” That worked out fine for the dragons, but the peng birds were now going hungry. So they went to the Buddha and said, “What about us? Dragons are our primary food supply. We are going to starve!” Shakyamuni Buddha said, “Do not worry. I will tell all of my disciples to set out some food for you when they eat lunch every day.” That is why left-home people send some food out for the peng birds.

Kinnaras are also musical spirits in the Jade Emperor’s court. The Jade Emperor does a lot of entertaining and always has the kinnaras play music so the gods can dance. The gods can dance! They dance because they are so happy they forget about everything.

Mahoragas are huge snakes. Humans, non-humans and so forth, thousands of myriads of millions of them, made offerings to the jeweled Stupa of all kinds of flowers, incense, beads, banners, canopies, and instrumental music—music of all kinds. This can also refer to disciplines such as yoga and the martial arts. Reverently honoring it and praising it. Everyone was very respectful of the jeweled Stupa and spoke in praise of it.

Sutra:

At that time, a loud voice issued from the Stupa speaking in praise, saying, “Good indeed, good indeed, Shakyamuni, World Honored One, that you are able, by means of your undifferentiating great wisdom, to speak for the great assembly, The Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra, a Dharma for teaching Bodhisattvas of whom the Buddhas are protective and mindful. So it is, so it is, Shakyamuni, World Honored One, that all you say is true and real.”

Outline:

G3. The Buddha Many Jewels speaks in praise.


Commentary:

In this passage of text, the Thus Come One Many Jewels certifies that Shakyamuni Buddha’s speaking of The Dharma Flower Sutra is genuine and not false. At that time, a loud voice issued from the Stupa speaking in praise, a mighty and wonderful sound praising Shakyamuni Buddha. Saying, “Good indeed, good indeed, Shakyamuni, World Honored One, really great, really fine! Shakya means “able to be humane.” Muni means “still and silent.” “Able to be humane” refers to the Buddha’s compassion in rescuing living beings. “Still and silent” refers to the accumulation of virtue gained through pure cultivation. Able to be humane refers to movement. Still and silent refers to stillness.

Within movement, there is stillness, and within stillness there is movement. Movement does not obstruct stillness, and stillness does not obstruct movement. Movement is stillness, and stillness is movement. Within movement there is stillness, as stillness is the movement of non-movement. Within stillness there is movement, as movement is the stillness of non-stillness. Moving and yet still, still and yet moving. Movement functions in stillness, and stillness functions within movement. This is called the non-dual Dharma door. Common people look upon them as dual, but those who have opened their wisdom see them as one. Shakyamuni Buddha, although in samadhi, can teach all living beings. Although he is teaching and transforming living beings, he remains in samadhi. That is what is called “wonderful.”

In case you do not understand the principle, I will demonstrate it by means of a very simple analogy. I know it is simple, because I understand it myself. We can say that sleeping is just the same as being awake. Being awake is the same as sleeping. Now, do you understand? You do not have to talk on and on about “movement does not obstruct stillness, etc., etc., etc.” Just remember that sleeping is waking, and waking is sleeping. If you can feel like you are asleep when you are awake and awake when you are sleeping, then you will not need to sleep. Ha! The reason you feel you must sleep is because you think it is different than being awake.

That you are able, by means of your undifferentiating great wisdom, the universal rain of your Dharma words, to speak for the great assembly The Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra, a Dharma for teaching Bodhisattvas of whom the Buddhas are protective and mindful. So it is, so it is, Shakyamuni, World Honored One,that all you say is true and real. It is all for real! You all should believe it and have no doubts.

Shakyamuni Buddha was speaking the Dharma and Many Jewels Thus Come One put in an appearance to certify to the fact that he was right and telling the truth! So there is your proof.

I just said that sleeping and waking were the same. You may think of sleeping as an analogy for confusion and waking as an analogy for enlightenment. This is smart thinking, but it is still thinking while asleep and not thinking while awake. While smart, it is still in a state of slumber. Even if you have smart ideas, they are useless if you are asleep. How is that? I do not have to talk about it in terms of past lives or future lives since you do not believe in it. Let me ask you this, do you know what you did during the day while you are asleep at night?

Now, while you are asleep, are you aware of what your activities were during the day when you were awake? Do you still remember them? I believe that most common folks do not remember. When they are asleep they forget all about them. In dreams, they may remember some of it, but it is still unclear. When you are asleep, you forget about what you did yesterday and you cannot imagine what you will be doing tomorrow. That is the way with people in the world.

“Sometimes I have dreams and the things I dream about actually happen to me the next day!” you say.

That is a special magical occurrence, not something you can do consciously, however. Perhaps the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are helping you by giving you a glimpse into the future. That does not count as being your own wisdom.

So think about it. If you cannot remember what happened yesterday and you do not know what is happening tomorrow, how can you possibly expect to remember what you did in past lives or to know what you will do in future lives? You will be even more unclear about that. What is more, we are as if in a dream and things are indistinct. Human life is like a dream. If you can wake up to the fact that you are dreaming, then there is some hope for you. Do not insist on thinking, “This is all true. I eat and then I am no longer hungry. This is truly wonderful.” If you think stuff like that is “wonderful” then you will feel that mundane dharmas are wonderful. It just depends on which one you pick—the worldly or the transcendental.

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