The true mind of living beings is no
different from that of the Buddha's. How come the Buddha has
accomplished proper enlightenment, while we are still
transmigrating in the six paths? Why are we still muddled and
confused, obsessed with love all day long, unable to relinquish
our attachments to our spouse and our children? Why are we
always caught up in the six kinds of sense perception?
Some people regard their families as far
more important than studying Buddhism, and they always say, "I
have my responsibilities." Well, when you die, who is going to
take care of your responsibilities? Your attitude shows a
confusion of priorities. If you realize that you should
cultivate, just cultivate. Why have so many unnecessary
A Sutra says: "The Buddha, the World
Honored One, has infinite spiritual power and wisdom." Spiritual
power is itself wisdom. Wisdom guides spiritual power. Spiritual
power and wisdom are two, and yet not two. If you lack wisdom,
you will not have spiritual power either. These come from the
adornment of merit and virtue.
"Living beings have only infinite karmic
bonds and afflictions." With careful reflection, we'll see that
our various relationships with people are actually karmic
entanglements. Having recklessly created karmic affinities in
the past, we are now dragged about by our karma. We may want to
escape the Triple Realm, but our karma will not let us. We have
a mixture of good and bad karma, pure and defiled karma, karma
of self and of others, and right and wrong karma, and it all
comes forth. Hindered by our afflictions and caught up in birth
and death, we pass our days in confusion.
Do you want to cultivate? "The time
isn't right." Would you like to cultivate? "I'll wait a little
while." You keep procrastinating: "I'll wait a few more years
until the children have grown up." "I'll wait a few more years
until the children are married." "I'll wait until I see my
grandchildren." "I'll wait until the grandchildren are married."
"I haven't seen my great grandchildren yet." When will it ever
end? Don't be taken in by the false happiness of the world. It
Fame and benefit are trivial, But
everybody craves them. Birth and death are important, Yet no one
guards against them.
Many people worry that their children
won't have money to spend, so they struggle to build an empire
for them. The result:
When one has great wealth and property,
One's descendants will have great nerve: Not afraid of anything
under the sky, They won't stop until they have destroyed
themselves and their families. When one has little wealth and
property, One's descendants will not be so bold. Petty problems
are easily solved; With modest assets, they will suffer few
more money we leave to our children, the easier it is for them
to bring great misfortunes upon themselves. The less money, the
fewer the problems. It is also said,
son is more capable than the father, What need is there to leave
him wealth? If the son is weaker than the father, What's the use
of leaving him money?
your child is capable, why should you leave him money? If your
child is weak, leaving him money only harms him, for he will use
that money to eat, drink, be promiscuous, and gamble, generally
leading a dissipated life.
"Although the nature of the mind is basically the same, delusion
and enlightenment are as far apart as the sky and a deep abyss."
Our minds are essentially the same as that of the Buddha.
However, our delusion is worlds apart from the Buddha's
enlightenment. "Quietly reflecting upon this, shouldn't we feel
ashamed?" We are mindful of our sons and daughters, but not of
the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Instead of thinking about how hard
the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas work, we only know how to toil for
our children, sending them to universities so that they can earn
doctorates and become super-achievers and high executives in the
future. Then we will have chauffeured cars, gourmet food, fancy
mansions, and all the luxury we could wish for.
you accomplish the cultivation of virtue, the virtue of your
nature will manifest." When you have virtue in your cultivation,
your inherent wisdom and spiritual power will spontaneously
manifest. There is a saying:
Intelligence is aided by hidden virtue. Hidden virtue brings
about intelligence. People who do not believe in hidden virtue
Will be hindered by their own intelligence.
virtue refers to acts of merit and virtue done
anonymously--invisible good deeds. This means secretly helping
others without taking credit for it. It is said,
goodness that we make known is not true goodness. The evil
that we fear will leak out is great evil.
I know where you got your money? Is it clean money? Did you
steal or cheat to obtain it? If so, your merit and virtue won't
be sufficient to wipe out the offenses you committed. You cannot
cheat the Buddha. You cannot go to the temple and say, "Lord
Buddha, I will give you some money if you eradicate my
offenses." The Buddha doesn't take bribes.
Therefore, a Sutra says, "Don't disappoint the Buddha, and don't
let yourself down."