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 * 21 * 22 * 23
24 * 25 * 26 * 27 * 28 * 29 * 30 * 31 * 32 * 33 * 34 * 35 * 36 * 37 * 38 * 39 * 40 * contents * previous * next


The Names of the Thus Come Ones

Chapter Seven. A Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Southwest of the set of Four Continents there is a world called Extremely Durable. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Abiding in Peace, or named King of Wisdom, or named Perfect and Full, or named Unmoving, or named Wonderful Eyes, or named King of the Summit, or named Sovereign Sound, or named Total Giving, or named Supporting the Host of Immortals, or named Supreme Sumeru. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Northwest of the set of Four Continents there is a world called Wonderful Ground. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Pervading Everywhere, or named Flaming Light, or named Mani Cowl, or named Memorable, or named Unsurpassed Meaning, or named Constantly Joyful, or named Purity of the Nature, or named Full and Perfect Light, or named Long Arms, or named Dwelling at the Source. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

By this time, Manjushri Bodhisattva was perhaps a bit anxious that all of the Bodhisattvas in the Assembly had entered samadhi. He didn’t want them to miss the rare chance of hearing the Flower Adornment Sutra, so he called out Disciples of the Buddha. Pay attention! Don’t enter samadhi now. The Four Continents neighbor the Saha World system. There is not only one set of Four Continents, but there are infinite, uncountable numbers of sets of the Four Continents. To the Southwest of the set of Four Continents there is a world and the name of this world is really strange. This world is called Extremely Durable. It’s tough and firm and it’s impossible for it to go bad or rot. In fact, it’s even tougher than concrete and it’s possible that it has rebar in it as well as a lot of grout and cement rock.

Here in this really tough world, the Buddha is perhaps named Abiding in Peace, or named King of Wisdom Buddha. When all living beings see this Buddha, they immediately want to draw near and awaken their inherent wisdom, so they go to bow to him. Or perhaps the Buddha is named Perfect and Full. His blessings and wisdom are complete and full. Or maybe he’s named Unmoving Buddha, or named Wonderful Eyes. This Buddha is named Wonderful Eyes because one of his eyes can change and become an infinite number of eyes, and yet those infinite numbers of eyes are not apart from that one eye. Perhaps the Buddha is named King of the Summit, or named Sovereign Sound, or named Total Giving, because this Buddha can give up absolutely everything—his head, eyes, brain, blood, and marrow, as well as his country, city, wife, or children. Or maybe the Buddha is named Supporting the Host of Immortals, or named Supreme Sumeru, because this Buddha is wonderful and lofty like Sumeru Mountain.

There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision. Living beings open their own share of wisdom and are thus able to see the Buddha.

Once again Manjushri Bodhisattva calls out, All disciples of the Buddha, to the Northwest of the set of Four Continents there is a world called Wonderful Ground. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Pervading Everywhere, or named Flaming Light, or named Mani Cowl, or named Memorable, or named Unsurpassed Meaning, or named Constantly Joyful, or named Purity of the Nature, or named Full and Perfect Light, or named Long Arms. This particular Buddha is able to reach out his arm and rub living beings on the crown of their heads regardless of how far away they are. He doesn’t stretch out his arm to hit you, but he gently pats you on the head. Or maybe the Buddha’s name in this life is Dwelling at the Source. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision. Each being obtains the knowledge and vision he should obtain.

Question: Regarding the ten names of the Buddha found within each world that is mentioned in the text, are they ten different names of one Buddha or are they ten names of ten different Buddhas?

Answer: They are ten names for one Buddha. There is just one Buddha that manifests in each world, but each time he manifests he has a different name. It’s still the same Buddha who manifests. These manifestations occur within the worlds that are mentioned in the text. They are not transformation bodies; instead they are names of that Buddha in life after life.

The passage of text which reads, “which cause all living beings to receive different measures of knowledge and vision”, can be explained in a number of ways. For example, the way it is being explained now is that each living being is caused to receive his or her own share of knowledge and vision in order to see the Buddha. It can also be explained that each living being is caused to see the Buddha face to face or each living being is able to discriminately know and see and to understand the Buddha. For example, three thousand years ago, lots of living beings were able to see Shakyamuni Buddha. But now, if another Buddha were to appear in the world, those same living beings of the past wouldn’t be able to see this new Buddha appearing in our time. But all of the beings in our time would be able to see this new Buddha, whereas we never got to see Shakyamuni Buddha. But the living beings of the two different times wouldn’t be able to simultaneously see both Buddhas. This is an example of living beings each being able to know and see the Buddha according to their own conditions and thereby to obtain a different measure of knowledge and vision.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, below this set of Four Continents there is a world called Blazing Wisdom. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Amassing Good Roots, or named Lion-like Appearance, or named Courageous and Sharp Wisdom, or named Golden Flames, or named All Knowledge, or named Ultimate Sound, or named Creating Benefit, or named Reaching the Ultimate, or named True and Real Lord, or named Universally Pervading Victory. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

The greatly wise, Wonderfully Auspicious Bodhisattva once again calls out: All of you, disciples of the Buddha, below this set of Four Continents there is world called Blazing Wisdom. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Amassing Good Roots. He has amassed all good roots until they are full and perfect. Or maybe the Buddha is named Lion-like Appearance, or named Courageous and Sharp Wisdom, or named Golden Flames, or named All Knowledge, or named Ultimate Sound, or named Creating Benefit, or named Reaching the Ultimate, or named True and Real Lord, or named Universally Pervading Victory. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision. Here we have spoken about ten names of the Buddha, but if they were spoken about in detail there are actually ten thousand names in all, causing all living beings to draw near and make offerings to the Buddha.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, above this set of Four Continents there is a world called Maintaining the Ground. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Possessing Wisdom, or named Pure Countenance, or named Enlightened Leader, or named Superior Leader, or named Adornment of Conduct, or named Bringing Forth Joy, or named Accomplished Intent, or named Like a Radiant Fire, or named Upholding the Precepts, or named The One Path. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, this Saha World has a billion sets of Four Continents, and the Thus Come Ones within them have a billion varieties of names, causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

After contemplating the various root natures of the Bodhisattvas in the Great Assembly, Manjushri Bodhisattva again addresses the Great Bodhisattvas, saying: Disciples of the Buddha, above this set of Four Continents there is a world called Maintaining the Ground. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Possessing Wisdom. Maybe in this particular lifetime, he uses the name of Possessing Wisdom in order to cause all living beings to obtain wisdom and light. Or maybe the Buddha is named Pure Countenance, or named Enlightened Leader, or named Superior Leader, or perhaps in a particular life the Buddha is named Adornment of Conduct. His blessings and wisdom are both completely adorned. Or perhaps the Buddha is named Bringing Forth Joy, or named Accomplished Intent—he brings to success his aspirations. Or maybe the Buddha is named Like a Radiant Fire, or named Upholding the Precepts, or named The One Path. There are ten thousand names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, this Saha World has a billion sets of Four Continents, and the Thus Come Ones within them have a billion varieties of names, causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision. Living beings each obtain their own share of wisdom and understanding and are able to draw near and make offerings to the Buddha.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the East of the Saha World there is a world called Secret Instructions. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Level Equality, or named Especially Supreme, or named Comforting, or named Awakened Mind, or named Wisdom of Learning, or named True and Real Speech, or named Obtaining Self-Mastery, or named Most Victorious Body, or named Heroic Courage, or named Unequalled Wisdom. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, to the South of the Saha World there is a world called Abundance. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Original Nature, or named Earnest Intent, or named Unsurpassed Honored One, or named Great Torch of Wisdom, or named Without Reliance, or named Treasury of Light, or named Treasury of Wisdom, or named Treasury of Blessings and Virtue, or named God Among Gods, or named Great Sovereignty. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the East of the Saha World there is a world called Secret Instructions. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Level Equality, or named Especially Supreme, or named Comforting—he soothes the minds of all living beings--or named Awakened Mind, or named Wisdom of Learning, or named True and Real Speech, or named Obtaining Self-Mastery, or named Most Victorious Body, or named Heroic Courage, or named Unequalled Wisdom. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, to the South of the Saha World there is a world called Abundance. The living beings of this world live a very good life. Their reward is full and plentiful. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Original Nature, or named Earnest Intent, or named Unsurpassed Honored One, or named Great Torch of Wisdom, or named Without Reliance, or named Treasury of Light, or named Treasury of Wisdom, or named Treasury of Blessings and Virtue, or named God Among Gods, or named Great Sovereignty. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the West of the Saha World there is a world called Leaving Filth. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Accomplished Intention, or named Knowing the Way, or named Securely Dwelling at the Source, or named Able to Untie Fetters, or named Penetrating Meaning, or named Joy in Discriminating, or named Most Supreme Views, or named Practices of Taming and Subduing, or named A Host of Ascetic Practices, or named Replete and Full in Strength. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, to the North of the Saha World there is a world called Abundant Joy. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Champaka Flower Color, or named Sun Treasury, or named Wholesome Dwelling, or named Manifesting Spiritual Penetrations, or named Nature of Transcending Stride, or named Wisdom Sun, or named Unobstructed, or named Appearing Like the Moon, or named Speedy Wind, or named Pure Body. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

Dharma Prince Manjushri Bodhisattva calls out again, Disciples of the Buddha, to the West of the Saha World there is a world called Leaving Filth. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Accomplished Intention. Or perhaps when the Buddha comes to teach and transform living beings and speak the Dharma for them, he is named Knowing the Way. This refers to knowing how to cultivate the Way. It’s not only the Buddha that knows, but he teaches all living beings in this world how to cultivate the Way.

Or perhaps the Buddha is named Securely Dwelling at the Source—at the source of the Buddha nature. Or perhaps he is named Able to Untie Fetters. The fetters of living beings are too heavy and because of them we can’t be liberated. The Buddha comes to free us and so he is named Able to Untie Fetters. He can unfasten the ties that bind up living beings.

Or perhaps the Buddha is named Penetrating Meaning, or named Joy in Discriminating, or named Most Supreme Views, or named Practices of Taming and Subduing, or named A Host of Ascetic Practices, or named Replete and Full in Strength. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, to the North of the Saha World there is a world called Abundant Joy. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Champaka Flower Color. Champaka is Sanskrit for the Gardenia, a very fragrant white flower. Or perhaps the Buddha is named Sun Treasury, or named Wholesome Dwelling, or named Manifesting Spiritual Penetrations. All living beings want to have spiritual penetrations, so this Buddha comes into the world and is called Manifesting Spiritual Penetrations. Or perhaps the Buddha is named Nature of Transcending Stride, or named Wisdom Sun, or named Unobstructed, or named Appearing Like the Moon, or named Speedy Wind, or named Pure Body. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

False Thinking

Every day we are here working very hard but still there are many people who have lots of false thinking. Some people are thinking about drinking soda pop, and then there are some thinking about the cold, and thinking about how much fun it would be to take a drive in the car. There are all kinds of false thoughts that people are striking up—a billion varieties in all.

But, in this situation when we are working hard, try to have less false thinking and recite the Buddha’s name more. So you can work a bit and then recite a bit, Na Mwo A Mi Two Fwo, or you can recite Kuan Yin Bodhisattva’s name. It doesn’t matter, but you should at all times be mindful. You could recite the Buddha’s name, or recite a mantra like Om Mani Padme Hum, or Syi Dan Dwo Bwo Da La. It’s important to give your mind something to do or else it will just run wild with false thinking. So everyone return the light. We are here working very hard now, and the merit and virtue of this work is extremely great.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Northeast of the Saha World there is a world called Gathering In. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Forever Apart from Suffering, or named Universal Liberation, or named Great Hidden Treasury, or named Wisdom of Liberation, or named Treasury of the Past, or named Jeweled Light, or named Leaving the World, or named Ground of Non-obstruction, or named Treasury of Pure Faith, or named Unmoving Mind. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

The Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom, Manjushri, took a look at all of the Bodhisattvas and said: All of you disciples of the Buddha, to the Northeast of the Saha World there is a world called Gathering In. This world is called Gathering In because it attracts and gathers in all living beings to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Forever Apart from Suffering and he causes all beings to forever separate from all kinds of suffering. Or maybe the Thus Come One is named Universal Liberation because he completely liberates beings from the bonds of their afflictions and ignorance. Or in another life he may appear and be named Great Hidden Treasury because many many jewels will be hidden within the earth in his country. Or perhaps he is named Wisdom of Liberation, appearing in the world to teach and transform living beings. Or maybe he is named Treasury of the Past, which refers to the completion of the merit and virtue from the past. Or he may be named Jeweled Light, or named Leaving the World, or named Ground of Non-obstruction, or named Treasury of Pure Faith Buddha. In another life he may appear in the world to help living beings gain samadhi power and he may be named Unmoving Mind. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Southeast of the Saha World there is a world called Benefitting. The Buddha is perhaps named Manifesting Light, or named Exhaustive Wisdom, or named Splendid Voice, or named Superior Faculties, or named Adorned Canopy, or named Roots of Vigor, or named Reaching the Other Shore of Discrimination, or named Supreme Concentration, or named Simplified Words and Speech, or named Ocean of Wisdom. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive a different measure of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Southwest of the Saha World, there is a world called Unique and Rare. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Lord Muni, or named Replete with a Multitude of Treasures, or named Liberation from the World, or named Faculty of Pervasive Knowledge, or named Supreme Words and Speech, or named Clear Understanding and Vision, or named Self-Mastery of Faculties, or named Teacher of Great Immortals, or named Deeds of Revealing and Guiding, or named Vajra Lion. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

The Bodhisattva Manjushri calls out again and says, all of you,

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Southeast of the Saha World there is a world called Benefitting because all of the beings that live there receive sublime benefit. The Buddha is perhaps named Manifesting Light, or named Exhaustive Wisdom, because he is endowed with wisdom to the utmost. Or the Buddha might be named Splendid Voice, or named Superior Faculties, or named Adorned Canopy. Or in another life he might be named Roots of Vigor, or named Reaching the Other Shore of Discrimination, or named Supreme Concentration, or named Simplified Words and Speech, because he will speak very little. Or perhaps the Buddha will be named Ocean of Wisdom Buddha. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive a different measure of knowledge and vision.

Manjushri Bodhisattva then calls out again saying, disciples of the Buddha, to the Southwest of the Saha World, there is a world called Unique and Rare. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Lord Muni, or the Lord of the Sages, or named Replete with a Multitude of Treasures, or named Liberation from the World, or named Faculty of pervasive Knowledge, or named Supreme Words and Speech, or named Clear Understanding and Vision, or named Self-Mastery of Faculties, or named Teacher of Great Immortals, Or he may appear in the world and be named Deeds of Revealing and Guiding, or perhaps he is named Vajra Lion. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, which cause all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, to the Northwest of the Saha World there is a world called Happiness. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Bouquet of Wondrous Flowers, or named Chandana Canopy, or named Treasury of Lotus Flowers, or named Transcending all Dharmas, or named Dharma Jewel, or named Rebirth, or named Pure Wonderful Canopy, or named Vast, Great Eyes, or named Possessing Wholesome Dharmas, or named Concentrated Mindfulness of the Dharma, or named Treasury of Nets. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, below the Saha World there is a world called Lock and Key. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Bringing Forth Flames, or named Dispelling Poison, or named Shakra’s Bow, or named Impermanent Place, or named Enlightening to the Source, or named Cutting off Accumulation, or named Great Speed, or named Constant, Joyous Giving, or named The Path of Discrimination, or named Banner Which Smashes and Subdues. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

Manjushri Bodhisattva once again addresses the Great Assembly and says disciples of the Buddha, to the Northwest of the Saha World there is a world called Happiness. Here the Buddha is perhaps names Bouquet of Wondrous Flowers, or named Chandana Canopy, or named Treasury of Lotus Flowers, or named Transcending all Dharmas, or maybe in this particular life the Buddha is named Dharma Jewel, or named Rebirth, or named Pure Wonderful Canopy, or named Vast, Great Eyes, or perhaps the Buddha is named Possessing Wholesome Dharmas, or named Concentrated Mindfulness of the Dharma, or maybe this Buddha appears in the world to teach and transform living beings according to their potentials in order to tame and subdue them. In this case, he might be named Treasury of Nets. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Disciples of the Buddha, below the Saha World there is a world called Lock and Key. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Bringing Forth Flames, or named Dispelling Poison, in which case he casts out the three evil poisons of greed, hatred, and stupidity from the hearts of all living beings. Or perhaps the Buddha is named Shakra’s Bow, or named Impermanent Place, or named Enlightening to the Source, or named Cutting off Accumulation, or named Great Speed, or named Constant, Joyous, Giving, or named The Path of Discrimination, or named Banner Which Smashes and Subdues. There are one billion varieties of names such as these, causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, above the Saha World there is a world called Shaking Sound. Here the Buddha is perhaps named Heroic, Courageous Banner, or named Measureless Treasures, or named Joy in Great Giving, or named Heavenly Light, or named Auspicious Prosperity, or named Surpassing States, or named Lord of All, or named Non-Retreating Wheel, or named Apart from the Myriad Evils, or named All Wisdom. There are one billion varieties of names such as these causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

Disciples of the Buddha, above the Saha World there is a world called Shaking Sound. The Buddha in this world constantly appears in order to teach and transform living beings. Why does he appear for this reason? The Buddha was a living being who accomplished Buddhahood and he also wants all other living beings to accomplish Buddhahood. Therefore he is not afraid of suffering and not afraid of trouble, and every life he comes into the world to cause all living beings to bring forth the Mind for Bodhi and accomplish the Buddha Way.

In the world called Shaking Sound the Buddha is perhaps named Heroic, Courageous Banner, or maybe he’s called Heroic, Courageous Banner Bodhisattva, or Heroic, Courageous Banner Immortal. It’s not for certain that in every life the Buddha manifests in a Buddha’s body. There may have been times in the past where the Buddha used his spiritual penetrations and manifested as a Bhikshu, perhaps with the name of Heroic, Courageous Banner Bhikshu, or maybe he was an Elder called Heroic, Courageous Banner. It’s not fixed. The Buddha uses all kinds of names and methods to teach and transform all beings.

Perhaps the Buddha is named Measureless Treasures, or named Joy in Great Giving, or named Heavenly Light, or named Auspicious Prosperity, or named Surpassing States, or named Lord of All, or named Non-Retreating Wheel, or named Apart from the Myriad Evils, in which case he can cause all beings to leave the many kinds of evil karma. Or maybe the Buddha is named All Wisdom --Sarvajna. There are one billion varieties of names such as these causing all living beings to each receive different measures of knowledge and vision.

Sutra:

Disciples of the Buddha, as it is in the Saha World, so too, in the East, there are billions upon numberless, measureless, boundless, unequalled, innumerable, unreckonable, inconceivable, unmeasurable, ineffable varieties of different names of Thus Come Ones such as these, within all worlds exhausting the Dharma Realm and the Realm of Empty Space. In the South, West, and Northern directions, the Four Intermediary directions, above and below, it is the same way.

Commentary:

Manjushri Bodhisattva continues: Disciples of the Buddha, as it is in the Saha World—the world “able to endure”--so too, in the East, there are billions upon numberless, measureless, boundless, unequalled, innumerable, unreckonable, inconceivable, unmeasurable, ineffable varieties of different names of Thus Come Ones such as these, within all worlds exhausting the Dharma Realm and the Realm of Empty Space. In the South, West, and Northern directions, the Four Intermediary directions, above and below, it is the same way. It is the same way for all of the worlds throughout the ten directions.

Sutra:

Just as the World Honored One achieved maturity when he was still a Bodhisattva in the past by means of various kinds of discourses, various kinds of languages and speech, various kinds of voices and sounds, various kinds of karma, various kinds of retributions, various kinds of places, various kinds of expedient means, various kinds of faculties, various kinds of faith and understanding, and various kinds of positions and statures; so too, he spoke the Dharma to cause living beings to attain such knowledge and vision.

Commentary:

Just as the World Honored One achieved maturity when he was still a Bodhisattva in the past, so too, he taught others to do so. When Shakyamuni Buddha was a Bodhisattva, he practiced the Bodhisattva Way. He taught living beings by means of various kinds of discourses, various kinds of languages and speech, various kinds of voices and sounds. The Buddha used all kinds of languages and speech, voices and different sounds in order to proclaim the Buddhadharma and teach and transform all beings.

All of us should understand that everything in this world we are in now is not fixed. It is all speaking the Dharma to us. If we can understand then we can wake up and become enlightened. Can you think of anything in this world that isn’t speaking the Dharma to us? People that kill are just manifesting in order to speak the Dharma to us, as well as people that help others. They are all telling people to hurry and wake up. When a person is born, that’s just speaking the Dharma of birth for us. When a person dies, then that is speaking the Dharma of death for us. Therefore, everything without exception is just speaking the wonderful Dharma. When a person is a father, he’s speaking the Dharma. When a person is a mother, she’s speaking the Dharma too. So are all of our brothers and sisters. If you can wake up to this, then that’s good. If you haven’t woken up to it yet, then listen a bit more.

Various kinds of karma, various kinds of retributions—there is good karma and there is also bad karma and they all speak the Dharma for us. There are also many kinds of retributions that living beings undergo. We give rise to delusion, create karma, and undergo the retribution, and all of this too, proclaims the Dharma for us.

Perhaps in one’s past lives one lived in England or Germany. Maybe at one time one was a Japanese person or a Chinese person. One of my disciples says that next life he wants to be reborn as a Chinese person. But it’s not all that easy. Whatever karma one creates, one will receive the corresponding retribution. It’s not the case that your teacher can just say something and then it will happen. It’s not the case, for example, that if I tell you to ascend to the heavens, you can ascend to the heavens, and when you’ve had enough of that I say, “Okay, now go accomplish Buddhahood” and then you go ahead and accomplish Buddhahood. If you accomplish it without understanding, then of what use is that? So there’s a saying;

Your teacher leads you to the door,
But you yourself have to cultivate.

If you yourself do not cultivate, then even your teacher has no way to get you to cultivate. It’s just like eating.

You yourself have to eat in order to get full.
You end your own birth and death.

We are born and die and we ourselves must end our own birth and death.

The Buddha also uses various kinds of expedient means. This refers to using all kinds of expedient means when speaking the Dharma in order to teach and transform living beings.

He uses various kinds of faculties. Within the six-pathed wheel of birth and death, the Buddha uses all kinds of faculties in order to teach and transform living beings.

He uses various kinds of faith and understanding, and various kinds of positions and statures. Sometimes the Buddha may manifest as the king of a country, or in the body of an elder, or as a layperson in order to speak the Dharma. He can manifest all kinds of bodies.

So too, he spoke the Dharma to cause living beings to attain such knowledge and vision. Everything that the Buddha did was for the purpose of benefitting all living beings. He himself accomplished Buddhahood and he also wants to cause all living beings to attain the same kind of knowledge and vision as he did. So he comes to speak the Dharma for us. Why? Because he wants all of us to cultivate and stop our false thinking. We should truly and honestly cultivate, so that those of use who aren’t enlightened can obtain true and profound wisdom. Don’t be lax and don’t go against the rules. At all times you should watch over yourselves. Don’t wait for your teacher to watch over your mistakes. It’s not the case that you wait until your teacher to eat and then you go ahead to eat. You don’t wait for him to say, “Did you get something to eat? Have you had something to drink? Disciple, have you had your tea? Oh, you good disciple, are you wearing enough clothes? Hurry and put on more clothes.” It’s not that way. You yourself must use effort in your cultivation and then it will count. Don’t continue to run outside. Don’t go out to gawk at men, women, or old and young people; don’t go looking at TV, looking at the movies, looking here and looking there, or looking at all the upside-downness of living beings. To do that is really pathetic!

previous * next * contents

return to top