during Kuan Yin Bodhisattva Recitation session,
April 3, 1980
by Venerable Master Hua
This Kuan Yin Recitation Session has already been underway now for
several days. I know that everyone has been working very hard; that
everyone is tired. You sit there and your legs hurt. When you stand up
your hands hurt, and all four limbs are really uncomfortable. However,
if you can bear one part of the suffering, you can get ten parts of
blessings. If you can't even take one part of suffering, you won't be
able to get a single part of blessings.
In these past few days I know that some people have been very sincere in reciting Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name. Some people have been really having a hard time and have just been going along with the others. When other people recite, they recite, when other people walk around, they walk around they just go along with the crowd. Perhaps it's because they don't understand the real reason for reciting Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name.
Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva has great affinities with us in the Saha world. Anyone, who has any problem, will certainly get a response from Kuan Yin Bodhisattva if they seek him out. If we can recite Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva will help us. So anyone who is really sincere will experience a response. If you just follow along with others, you won't necessarily have a response, but even then, you plant the cause for Bodhi. That's just why we have sessions such as this. Therefore, don't waste any time; don't let it slip by in vain.
When you recite Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name you have to really concentrate on what you're doing. Your mouth recites Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name, your ears hear Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name, and your mind ponders Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name. When you recite, do it clearly, when you listen, do it sharply, and when you ponder, do it intently. By reciting Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name clearly, you can turn the hearing around to hear the self nature. In this way the self nature accomplishes the supreme path. If you visualize Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, you should do it distinctly. That is called returning the contemplation to contemplate the self nature, and the self nature realizes the supreme path. If you ponder Kuan Yin Bodhisattva in your mind, that is called returning the thinking to think about Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, and the self nature realizes the supreme path.
At all times, in all places, you should put everything else down and turn your mind solely to reciting. That's samadhi. If you don't say other things with your mouth, that's holding precepts. If you have samadhi and hold precepts, then you'll have wisdom. If you didn't have wisdom, you wouldn't be able to do this. Your wisdom enables you to cultivate the Three Non outflow Studies:
When we look into the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, the first word "Kuan" () means to "contemplate." It means to contemplate distinctly in your cultivation. If you can cultivate your thinking, that's Dhyana Samadhi. If you have Dhyana Samadhi, then you won't break precepts; you'll give rise to wisdom. In this way the three non outflow studies are progressive: precepts give rise to concentration, which in turn gives rise to wisdom. With wisdom, one certifies to the fruit and attains Anuttarasamyaksambodhi.
The second word is "Shih" () which means "world." This refers to both the mundane world and the transcendental realm. The third word of the name is "Yin" (), which means, "sound." The Surangama Sutra says:
The true substance of the teaching in this region purely abides in sound.
Sound just means news. Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva listens to the news of the world. Specifically news about people, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. If there's good news, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva helps that person's good roots to grow. If there's bad news, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva hopes that living beings will quit doing evil and do good; that they will change their faults and reform themselves so they can leave suffering and attain bliss. That's the meaning of the Bodhisattva's name.
The last two syllables we recite are "P'u Sa" (), which mean Bodhisattva, a Sanskrit word. "Translated it means "One who enlightens living beings." It also means "An enlightened one among living beings." The Bodhisattva enlightens living beings and is also a living being who has become enlightened. Since the Bodhisattva was an unenlightened living being who then became enlightened, he wants to help all unenlightened living beings become enlightened too. The vow the Bodhisattva makes is that any living beings who recite his name will get what they seek; will have their wishes come true. Since the Bodhisattva fulfills living beings' wishes in this way, we say that with Kuan Yin Bodhisattva there is always a response. If someone seeks something, he will respond; he never fails to come through. That's why we're having this Kuan Yin Bodhisattva session. If you are single minded in your mindfulness of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva if you only have that one thought there is certain to be an inconceivable response for you.
When you recite the name of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, you return your mind to one. When you return your mind to one, you may see light or your mind may feel very, very pure. This state is comfortable and free, easy and happy; and quite lucid. You will feel like you are being reflected in the light of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom. Or you may have dreams in which the Bodhisattva comes to aid you. Whatever problem you may have, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva can help. There's no one whom he won't help. All you have to do is recite his name sincerely. Big problems or small ones--the Bodhisattva will help with them all. That's why he/she has so many eyes and so many hands. They are to help people. Don't say you don't recognize Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's light shines upon you and you don't even realize it.
I'll tell you again, no matter what kind of problem you're having, if you recite Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name, all problems can be solved. Why is it that I don't have any problems at all? It's because I always recite the name of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, so everything's okay. When there's a session I recite and when there isn't a session in progress, I still recite. You shouldn't think that I have any other spiritual power. I don't have any spiritual powers at all. I just recite Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name. That's my one and only work.
In the past I had a lot of problems, some big and some small. Every time I recited Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva's name the problem was resolved. The problems just disappeared.
You shouldn't fail to recognize Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva is right before you. So everybody should work especially hard reciting Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's name.