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Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume Four 

化老和尚開示 Lectures by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua



Our Goal in Cultivating the Way Is Buddhahood

Cultivation of the Way requires proper knowledge and proper views. You must not confuse right and wrong. You have to distinguish black from white clearly.



Why does a person want to cultivate the Way? Because he wants to become a Buddha. How does one become a Buddha? The first step is to "Avoid doing evil deeds, but respectfully practice all good deeds." The next step is to "Diligently cultivate precepts, concentration, and wisdom; put an end to greed, hatred, and stupidity." The next step is to make the great resolve for Bodhi, and cultivate the Bodhisattva Path. Thus, before one has realized Buddhahood, one must choose the broad, level, great road of light to travel on. We can't plan to get off cheaply by walking the treacherous, narrow bypaths, or else it's easy to lose our direction. Pay heed to this! Take care!




Real cultivators rely on the Dharma in their cultivation. They fear no pain, and they fear no difficulty, but make courageous advance all the way to Buddhahood. A saying goes:

Grind the iron pillar down to
     sewing-needle size.
Your efforts will bear fruit when
     the work matures.



Simply apply effort to the ultimate point and you'll naturally accomplish Buddhahood. Don't try to show yourself off as somebody special or unusual, and don't brag about your virtue. People who have such thoughts will never attain Buddhahood.




If you realize a state in which you have use of the Five Spiritual Eyes, then you'll be able to see how all Buddhas throughout the ten directions cultivate to attain Buddhahood. You'll see how all Bodhisattvas of the ten directions cultivate to attain Bodhisattva-hood. And you'll see how all Arhats in the ten directions cultivate to attain Arhatship. States such as these will reveal themselves to you with a single glance.




Someone who has opened the Five Eyes can, in a single instant, thoroughly understand the ultimate reality of all dharmas and comprehend the entire Twelve Divisions and Three Treasuries of the Canon the Buddha spoke.







The verse for taking refuge with the Triple Jewel says:

To the Buddha I return and rely,
Vowing that all living beings
Understand the Great Way profoundly,
And bring forth the Bodhi-mind.

To the Dharma I return and rely,
Vowing that all living beings
Deeply enter the Sutra-treasury,
And have wisdom like the sea.

To the Sangha I return and rely,
Vowing that all living beings
Form together a great assembly,
One and all in harmony.




If one can "deeply enter the Sutra-treasury and have wisdom like the sea," there will be nothing he does not fathom, nothing he does not understand, nothing he does not know, and nothing he does not see; this is great and penetrating enlightenment. Don't miss out on the great because you cling to the small. Don't allow your greed for petty states to obscure the Great, All-encompassing, Mirror-like Wisdom that is inherently yours. If you do, you won't be able to deeply enter the Sutra-treasury and have wisdom like the sea.




People who realize great wisdom definitely would not crave petty states. Someone who is greedy for petty states is someone who does not clearly distinguish truth from falsehood; he mistakes brass for gold and assumes that gold is brass. He would rather have a piece of crystal than a diamond. Why? Because he can't distinguish between true and false.




Cultivation of the Way requires proper knowledge and proper views. You must not confuse right and wrong. You have to distinguish black from white clearly. Avoid mistaking fish-eyes for pearls. Don't march in place just to kill time. Otherwise, you will acquire wrong knowledge and views and will never succeed in cultivation of Buddhahood.




What are proper knowledge and views? Simply put, if we can get rid of the three poisons in our thoughts, then our body and mind will be pure. Wisdom will appear before us, and we'll be able to illuminate right through the darkness of ignorance and put an end to the feverish illness of afflictions. Only at this stage can we attain the positions of sagehood. I hope that all of you will advance towards this goal!


法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU