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Now they are caused to know the mind unites with the substance. When one penetrates to the root, emotion is gone. He therefore speaks this sutra, in order to reveal it.


Now they are caused to know the mind unites with the substance. Now you are made aware that you permanently dwelling true mind, the wisdom from a Buddha you had from the start, is empty and still. When you realize the mind is empty and still, names and marks all disappear. The mind is empty, names and characteristics are gone, and because of that you inherent wisdom, which is just the knowledge and vision of a Buddha you always had, can unite with your substance. When the virtues of your nature appear and are revealed, you then penetrate to the root. You comprehend the fact that your inherent mind has no place of dwelling, no attachments. When the mind has no place of attachment, your false thinking disappears.

The reason you have false thinking is due to your attachments, so when you relinquish your attachments, false thoughts naturally do not arise. With the non-production of false thoughts, your true and actual wisdom manifests. Then, should you wish to have a false thought, you won’t. Why not? It’s because the light of your wisdom will completely melt away the darkness of your false thinking. False thinking is just your ignorance. A lot of people, when asked why they did something wrong, will say they don’t know. That is ignorance. They don’t understand. Ignorance gives you so much help, you really ought to bow to your ignorance every day. Eventually you will bow it into understanding, if you bow and ask it to leave you fast.

Basically you cannot attain the true by establishing merit, but you must apply your efforts to the utmost, until you reach the point where no more effort can be made. Then you have succeeded in recovering your inherent wisdom. An earlier section of the Prologue said, “When the roots are deep, then the fruit is flourishing. When the source is distant, then the flow is long.” And “source” was just mentioned again in the text. It’s not that cultivation is the source, yet have to push your cultivation to the ultimate point, to where there is nothing left to cultivate and cultivation is ended, and then you accomplish your source. When that source is accomplished, when one penetrates to the root, emotion is gone. That emotion changes into wisdom. Before it said, “When emotion is produced, there is severance from wisdom,” and now when wisdom is produced, emotion is ended.

The reason we are people is because we have emotions.
Womb-born due to emotion come forth.

Don’t get rid of your emotion though, for it arose from wisdom. That wisdom was eclipsed by ignorance which led to the arisal of emotion. Your wisdom was covered over, but when you have penetrated to the root and understood your basis, your wisdom comes forth and emotion is gone. He therefore speaks this Sutra, in order to reveal it. He wished to teach everyone to penetrate to the root and be rid of emotion, and so he spoke this, the Flower Adornment Sutra, to reveal it clearly. What makes us people is having heavy karmic obstacles and being confused by emotion to the point we can’t pull ourselves out and are as if sinking in quicksand. If you were purified of karma and empty of emotion, you would be enlightened, a Buddha. There’s nothing strange or uncanny about it. You should decrease your emotion, so that it becomes lighter day by day, and your ignorance brighter day by day. Turn ignorance into bright understanding. Let your enlightened wisdom shine forth.

Today one disciples’ mother has come to visit, and I think this is probably the first time she’s seen so large a Buddha hall in this country. She has visited Thailand and toured Asia, visiting temples and Buddha halls. In Thailand there is a reclining Buddha who has been asleep for more years than anyone knows. It’s very large and long, probably longer than this Buddha hall. She probably saw that sleeping Buddha there. Now here in America we shouldn’t worship a sleeping Buddha, but should praise and make offerings to an awakened Buddha.

So in this country, in the future we can erect a standing, or even a walking Buddha, that can move from place to place. Don’t have it sleep. The Buddha sleeps in Thailand, because the climate is so hot the Buddha wants to rest. But this country has a temperate climate, so one shouldn’t sleep but instead wake up, open one’s eyes. In the future this country will have walking Buddhas, not ones that lie down and don’t move. Who are the standing Buddhas? They are we people of the present. Each one of us is doing a great deal of work right now, which is precisely to walk along the path to Buddhahood, standing up!

I’m very happy that this disciples’ mother has come to visit, and I hope she will stay a few days longer to see what we are like. She understood right away and was delighted for her son to leave home to cultivate. That’s very unusual. Most parents are not pleased when their children leave home. They would rather leave home themselves than let their sons or daughters do so. There was someone like that here last year who wanted to leave home, but when her sons asked her why she didn’t want them to leave home had nothing to reply, but found it strange that they should ask her such a question. This disciples’ mother, though, has visited many Buddhist countries, and so she knows that Buddhism is very great.

When a single child enters the Buddha’s door,
Nine generations ascend to the heavens.

That person’s ancestors for nine lives back all get reborn in the heavens. Some people study the Buddhadharma for several years and then retreat. How can you retreat? Your fathers and mothers, grandmothers and grandfathers, are all waiting for you to save them so they can become Buddhas too. When you retreat, as now, they all start weeping. So in cultivating the Way, you can only progress; you can’t turn back. Each of us brings forth the resolve for Bodhi, and that resolve must be higher every day and greater every day, until it’s so big there’s nothing beyond it, so small there’s nothing inside it and then your work will have success.


Again, there are two kinds: One, using words to reveal it, to cause them to know of its existence. Two, causing them to cultivate, awaken to, and enter its manifestation, just as in the following “breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll,” and so forth.


Again, there are two kinds: One, using words to reveal it. Within the Ninth Cause, which is In Order to Reveal The Causal Nature, after considerable discussion we have come to the two kinds of revelation of the causal nature, the Buddha-nature which we inherently possess. The first is to talk about the causal nature, the inherently enlightened wisdom of all living beings, the virtues of the nature many as the sands in the Ganges River which they all have. One uses words and language to make them understand, to cause them to know of its existence, so living beings all know within the cause they all have the Buddha-nature, inherently enlightened wisdom. For if you don’t tell them, living beings don’t realize their causal nature is the same as that of the Buddha. Now he tells them saying, “ You all have the wisdom of a Thus Come One, and his virtuous characteristics too.”

Two, causing them to cultivate. The second kind of revelation is to cause all living beings to rely upon the Dharma spoken by the Buddha and cultivate. Why? So they awaken to and enter its manifestation. They cultivate and reach an understanding in which their basically existent Buddha-nature manifests in clear revelation, just as in the following, “breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll,” and so forth. This is as the Sutra text will later say:

It’s as if there were a great Sutra scroll,
In measure like the Three Thousand Realm,
Found inside a single mote of dust,
And each and every dust-mote were that way;
And there was a person of bright wisdom,
Whose pure eyes completely, clearly see,
Who breaks the dust, brings forth the Sutra scroll,
Benefiting all the living beings.

The Buddha’s wisdom also is that way,
Pervasive in the minds of living beings.
By false thinking, beings are bound and tied;
Unaware of it they do not know.

All Buddhas with great kindness and compassion
Cause them to eliminate false thoughts,
In that way, even up to its manifestation,           
To benefit all of the Bodhisattvas.

This is an analogy. Imagine there were a huge Sutra scroll, “in measure like the Three Thousand Realm.” Some people are saying, “I’ve never seen a Sutra large as that, big as a Three Thousand Great Thousand World-System, nor have I ever seen a Sutra so small it would fit into a fine mote of dust.” Of course you haven’t. If you were able to see Sutras that huge inside particles of dust, you too would be able to break them open and take a look at the Sutra for yourself. It’s because you don’t understand that you can’t open up the particles of dust and see Sutras of that size.

There is a Sutra that large inside every single particle of dust, not just one. “A person of bright wisdom,” intelligent and wise, “Whose pure eyes completely, clearly see, that is, who has the pure Dharma Eye; he can see the Sutra in size equal to the Three Thousand Realm even while it’s stored inside a particle of dust. He smashes open the particle of dust and takes out that enormous Sutra, bringing benefit to all living beings on a vast scale. The Buddha’s wisdom, in the same way, resides within the minds of all living beings, but since living beings have so much false thinking, they don’t know about it. That’s the same as the huge Sutra being inside every mote of dust yet no one being able to see it. The Buddha’s wisdom is like that great Sutra scroll, and it’s within the minds of living beings the way the Sutra is inside the motes of dust, no one knows about it. But someone every intelligent and wise realizes the Sutra is in the dust-motes, and the Buddha’s wisdom is that way too. The Buddha said:

All living beings have the virtuous characteristics of the Thus Come One’s wisdom.
It’s only due to false thinking and attachments that they do not certify to their attainment.

The Shurangama Sutra also says:

When the mad mind stops,
That very stopping is Bodhi.

Since our mad minds have not been put to rest, for us it isn’t Bodhi. The mad mind keeps you constantly upside-down, thinking wildly and confused. What pushes you not to follow the rules is the mad mind, and it is behind every impulse you have towards the inverted and improper. When you put that mad mind to rest, its very subsidence is Bodhi.

“By false thinking, beings are bound and tied.” That mad mind is just your present false thinking, and it binds up your true and proper wisdom so it does not come forth. “Unaware of it they do not know.” It’s not so important that it’s tied up, for if you wake up and realize it, something can still be done. But you don’t wake up, and you do not know, and so “All Buddhas with great kindness and compassion cause them to eliminate false thoughts.” The Buddhas all are very compassionate and help you and all beings get rid of that false thinking, put the mad mind to rest, its very stopping being Bodhi. “In that way, even up to its manifestation,” until Bodhi, your enlightened nature, comes forth, “To benefit all of the Bodhisattvas,” each and every one.


It is also as the Dharma Flower says, “Only due to the causes and conditions of one great matter did he appear in the world. That is, to open, disclose, make enlighten to and enter the knowledge and vision of a Buddha.” Living beings possess it equally, and so it says, “only one.”


In the previous discussion of breaking open fine motes of dust and bringing forth the Sutra scroll, the fine motes of dust represented our minds as living beings, and the Sutra scroll is the Buddha’s wisdom. That makes each one of us like a particle of dust, and so it’s not strange someone was having the false thought that he had never seen a Sutra that big, for that small, for it basically is an analogy and represents the Buddha’s wisdom. How can you see an analogy as if it actually existed? It’s only symbolic.

It is also as the Dharma Flower says, the way it’s put in the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, when it says of the World Honored One, Shakyamuni Buddha, “Only due to the causes and conditions of one great matter did he appear in the world.” The reason Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in the world was a single great matter, the grave concern of human birth and death, to have beings diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi and wisdom, and put to rest greed, hatred and stupidity. “That is,” namely, “In order to open” the knowledge and vision of a Buddha, ridding beings of all defiling dharmas so they return to their inherent, pure, bright wonderful nature.

The self-nature of each one of us is pure and bright. It’s due to the arisal of ignorance that within the pure and wondrously luminous self-nature defilement seems to be produced. It’s comparable to glass which originally was transparent but becomes coated with dust so no one can see through it. As soon as ignorance arises in people, greed, hatred and stupidity appear. You can see this in children. A newborn child is very intelligent, but afterwards has progressively more faults, feeling greedy, getting angry, and becoming stupid. Those act as obstacles which cover the pure, bright wonderful nature the child had to start with. Now it must be revealed, to open the knowledge and vision of a Buddha.

“To disclose the knowledge and vision of a Buddha.” This means to make living beings understand we all have within our minds the wisdom of a Buddha. It is also to make living beings enlighten to the wisdom, knowledge and vision, of a Buddha, and make living beings able to enter the Buddha’s wisdom, the knowledge and vision of a Buddha.” “Entry” here means ultimate understanding, the opening of enlightenment, which is like entrance, but actually involves no entry and no exit. It also means there are no states into which one could enter and not feel in one’s element; that one is happy under any circumstances, very delighted and content.

Why does it say, “Only one”? It’s because living beings possess it equally. Living beings very equally and impartially all have this wisdom, knowledge and vision, of a Buddha. It’s not that you have more or I have less, or that yours is larger and mine smaller. We share it equally, and so it says, “Only one.” We all have one and the same wisdom, knowledge and vision of a Buddha. You have your share of the Buddha-nature, I have mine, and others have theirs. No one is without it; every person has it.

You say, “I don’t believe it.” Even if you don’t believe, you too have a share. The same is true if you do believe. “Only one” means all living beings have a share of the Buddha’s wisdom. It’s just that some people know they have it, and others don’t. Those who know they have it are able to cultivate and attain that wisdom. Those who don’t know they have it are unable to cultivate, and don’t attain that wisdom. The Buddhadharma impartially is good to all without any limited selfish interest. You don’t have more of the Buddha-nature if you profess belief in the Buddha, or less of it if you don’t believe in the Buddha.

You may say, “Well, I’m someone who does bad things. Does that decrease my Buddha-nature?” No. You say, “I do good deeds. Will my Buddha-nature be greater because of that?” No, it won’t increase either. You say, “Well, if doing bad or good makes no difference in the size of my Buddha-nature, then I may as well do all the bad I can, because the distribution is equal anyway. No matter how one acts one has it, so why should I bother to do good?”

Not bad. That’s a very clever observation on your part. The reason people should or should not do bad or good has nothing to do with the amount of Buddha-nature they will or will not have. It’s that if you do good you will ascend, and will fall if you do bad. When you become a Buddha, you haven’t increased the size of your Buddha-nature, and when you turn into a hungry ghost you don’t have a smaller Buddha-nature. It does not increase or diminish, is not produced or destroyed, is not defile or pure. If you do evil you will fall into the hells, turn into a hungry ghost and become an animal. By doing good you become reborn in the heavens as a god enjoying heavenly bliss, become an Arhat or a Bodhisattva, and eventually become a Buddha. Whether you cultivate or not makes no difference in your Buddha-nature. it is most impartial and is possessed equally by all. That’s why it is said, “Only one.”

Buddha-dharma, when it comes right down to it, is spoken simply to tell living beings not to have false thinking. Now someone is saying, “I didn’t have any false thinking at all in the beginning, but the more I listen to the Buddha-dharma, the more false thinking I have. I get better and better at having false thoughts the more I listen.” This, too, is acquiring wisdom. You weren’t able to have false  thoughts before, and now you can, and that is an opening of wisdom.

If you were able to have false thoughts before and now you can’t, that too is opening wisdom. The affairs of the world are characterized by production and extinction. Some people gain advantages, while others have even more false thoughts from listening. Now those with more false thoughts shouldn’t worry that there are a lot. Count them, and see how many there are. I think you’ll find you don’t have any. Say, “One false thought, two false thoughts, three false thoughts...” Count up to ten false thoughts and you won’t have any more. You will fall asleep. If you don’t have false thoughts you can try to have some. Say, “Hurry up, false thought. Why haven’t you come yet? Get on with it.” Look for some. If you don’t find any, then you will have opened enlightenment.

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