Like the sun shining its light, he transforms the multitudes.
The wisdom of Bodhi and the profoundly wonderful Dharma
Are skillfully explained, using Prajna and expedients.
Living beings who hear it accept it with delight.
General explanations and detailed descriptions all point to the truth.
The six great principles set heaven and earth in their places.
In his life, he has taught and guided innumerable millions.
Shedding blood and sweat, he never pauses to rest.
The Buddhadharma is like a vast and boundless sea. Those who are new to Buddhism usually don’t know where to begin. Perhaps that’s the reason why Buddhism is unable to flourish. These days, genuine cultivators are getting more and more scarce. Buddhism has become very superficial. Not only does it fail to resolve the sufferings of living beings, even less is it able to purify people’s minds. It is getting farther and farther away from the proper path. Ordinary people cannot distinguish the proper from the deviant and the good from the evil. They just believe and worship blindly, like the blind leading the blind. It is just as the Great Master Yong Jia said,
“Living beings’ blessing are slight; it is difficult to train them. / Far indeed from the Sages of the past! / Their deviant views are deep.”
I am very fortunate that after taking refuge with the Triple Jewel, I have been able to draw near to our teacher and listen to the Proper Dharma. Through the Master’s patient and earnest teaching and guidance, I have been able to benefit greatly from the Dharma. The Master often teaches by example rather then verbally. He uses his genuine virtue to inspire his disciples to advance in cultivation. Not only does he emphasize that his disciples should actually practice, he emphasizes even more that they should propagate the Proper Dharma. The Buddhadharma has been able to pass from generation to generation until today because its fundamental truth is firm and unchanging. As the saying goes,
“It is people who propagate the Way, and not the Way that
The quickest way to understand and practice Buddhism is to read the Venerable Master’s explanations, which are easy to understand. If they were not so easy to understand, many people in this world would not have the affinities to draw near the Buddhadharma, and it would be difficult for the Proper Dharma to spread throughout the world. There would be no way for Buddhism to flourish, how much less could the Proper Dharma exist forever in the world.
The Master often says, “What is difficult to do, we also have to do.” The word
“rest” cannot be found in his dictionary, and even less the word
“comfort.” Whether he is eating or sleeping, the Venerable Master is constantly teaching all the living beings of the Dharma Realm. Sometimes, for the sake of those living beings who are disobedient or difficult to teach, he manifests his spiritual powers to guide them and enable them to increase their wisdom, believe in the Proper Dharma, and return from the deviant to the proper. It is not because the Venerable Master has spiritual powers that we respect him. It is his virtue and his lofty spirit of selflessness which transcends the realm of ordinary people that lead us to follow in his footsteps closely. It is not his awe-inspiring deportment alone that wins our complete respect. In addition to his deportment, it is his great wisdom which enables him to clearly and accurately point out a path of cultivation for each person and to guide us to excavate our own treasury of wisdom.
What are we supposed to renounce and what are we supposed to obtain? Life after life, we have been turning in the wheel of rebirth without stop because we are obstructed by ignorance. We take ignorance to be our father, greed to be our mother, and suffering to be bliss. Fortunately, in this life we have met the Venerable Master, who constantly reminds us to turn confusion into awareness, to renounce defilement and unite with enlightenment, not to fall in with the demons and externalists, and to clearly see the impermanence and the true face of the world. The Venerable Master is not only our wise mother, he is also our compassionate father. Only with compassion and wisdom can one extensively liberate living beings from the bitter sea of birth and death. Without wisdom, it is difficult to sever afflictions. Without compassion, one cannot pull living beings out of suffering and give them happiness. The Master has many disciples. Some are sharp and some are dull, and the Dharma he uses is accordingly deep and shallow. The Master may admonish his disciples, gather them in, deal them a blow on the head (figuratively), subdue them, scold them, or give them good advice that is unpleasant to the ears. He uses all these methods, and they all contain genuine meaning. We disciples should ponder the meaning, so that we will not miss our teacher’s good intentions.
The first few years after I had taken refuge with the Master, I often saw him scolding his disciples severely. I always thought then that the Master was being unfair. Only now do I understand that when he scolds people, he is also saving them. Who would have guessed that true principles can usually be found in ordinary conversation? The Master’s compassion is no different from the Buddha’s in feeding his body to a tiger.
One day, a kindhearted left-home person
with an incurable disease came to seek the Master’s help.
The Master observed her past causes and conditions. She had
been in the army in her former life and had killed many
people. Her karma was very heavy, and other left-home people
at her temple were also involved in that collective karma.
As the saying goes,
“With flesh dripping blood, the body is
entangled in karma. The pain, suffering, and resentment are
difficult to express. Put yourself in the situation and ask:
Who would be able to take a knife and cut himself?”
“Even after hundreds of thousands of kalpas have passed, the karma created does not perish. When the causes and conditions come together, one still has to receive the retribution.”
After passing through the six paths of rebirth and coming back to the human realm, she had good roots but no blessings. In order to rescue her and pay the debt of blood on behalf of the other left home people from her temple, the Venerable Master exhausted his efforts and didn’t spare his own life to rescue them. In addition, he requested all the disciples at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to recite Sutras daily and transfer the merit to her for about six months. The Master’s body became weaker and weaker, like a candle about to be extinguished by the gale. When I saw his trembling, I felt that his whole body was bleeding and there wasn’t any place not covered with wounds.
I could only regret that I had not cultivated diligently in all these limitless kalpas, and so I was powerless to help the Master. I could only watch him suffering and bleeding. As disciples, how can we bear it? The Master has given us so much, and yet what are we able to do to repay him? The Master only says kindly and earnestly,
“You all just cultivate diligently. That’s the best
repayment. Why? Because that is to continue the Buddha’s