Collected Lectures of Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua on
by The Buddhist Text Translation Society
CHAPTER III Lecture 23
One day, Magistrate Wei arranged a great vegetarian feast on behalf of the Master.
Doubts are a kind of disbelief. Disbelief of what? Of the Patriarch Bodhidharma when he told the Emperor Wu of Liang that the Emperor had no merit. Therefore in this third chapter of the Sixth Patriarch’s Sutra questions are asked.
The Magistrate invited the Sixth Patriarch to a great vegetarian feast. Bhiksus, laymen, Taoists, scholars, officials, and common people were invited to this meatless meal. Usually politicians like to eat meat, but because Magistrate Wei propagated the Buddhadharma, he invited them all to a vegetarian meal.
Great means that many people attended. In China, the Thousand Monk Vegetarian Feast occurs when a thousand Bhiksus are invited to a meal. Among a thousand monks, there is sure to be one Arhat, so making offerings to a thousand Bhiksus is making offerings to one Arhat. Which one is the Arhat? No one knows. If you knew, you would just make offerings to the Arhat and not to the thousand Bhiksus. This great feast, however, was not just an offering to a thousand Bhiksus; I believe it was to ten thousand.
The banquet was held on behalf of the Sixth Patriarch. As one who had left home, the Master himself could not invite people to lunch. Laymen make offerings to those who have left home; those who have left home do not make offerings to laymen. Recently, I said to a laywoman visiting from Hong Kong, "Remember, laymen make offerings to the Triple Jewel. As a laywoman, you should vow to make offerings to the Bodhimandala, protect and support the Triple Jewel. Do not rely on the Triple Jewel for your support.”
She replied, "I have never in my life heard a Good Knowing Advisor speak such honest words to me! This certainly has changed me. When I return, I will be different from before."
Magistrate Wei was the Sixth Patriarch's disciple, and he wanted everyone to recognize and believe in his master. He invited them to eat vegetarian food, because it is said:
If you wish to lead men to the Buddha's wisdom,
First you should give them something good to eat!
In fact, one definition of the word "people" goes:
People: those beings who are happy when they eat.
If you feed them well, they can't forget it. "Ah!" they say, "I've got to go listen to some more Sutra lectures." They come time after time to get what they want—not Dharma but good food. They eat and eat and after a while, when they hear the Dharma, they think, "The Dharma tastes even better than these vegetables." And then they don't run away.
Magistrate Wei understood human nature, and arranged this feast on behalf of his Master. He did not do it for himself, saying, "Watch me make great offerings to the Triple Jewel!" He was not seeking his own notoriety, but probably used the technique of today's $500.00 a plate fund-raising dinners. "We are going to build Nan Hua Temple," he probably said, "you should each donate five thousand dollars, or perhaps fifty thousand."
Because the assembly was held for the purpose of building a temple, the Magistrate asked the Master about the merit and virtue of Emperor Wu, the great Liang dynasty Emperor who built many temples and gave sanction to many monks who left the home life.
Do you want to build a temple? Set up a vegetarian meal. This dharma is popular in Hong Kong.
After the meal, the Magistrate invited the Master to take his seat. Together with officials, scholars, and the assembly, he bowed reverently and asked, "Your disciple has heard the High Master explain the Dharma. It is truly inconceivable. Now I have a few doubts and hope you will be compassionate and resolve them for me."
The Master said, "If you have any doubts, please ask me and I will explain."
The Honorable Wei said, "Is not what the Master speaks the same as the doctrine of Bodhidharma?"
The Master replied, "It is."
Magistrate Wei represented the entire assembly when he requested the Dharma. He was respectful, stern and upright in his bearing, and didn't laugh or cry. The Magistrate harbored some small doubts--not big problems, little ones—-and requested the Master's great compassion, "Please resolve my nagging doubts; there are some things I do not understand."
Honorable is a term of respect. The Magistrate was called "Honorable" because he was a high-ranking official. The Magistrate asked, "Isn't the principle you explain the same as Bodhidharma's principle?"
The Sixth Patriarch answered, "Yes, it is. The principle is just the mind to mind "seal" transmitted by Bodhidharma, the direct pointing to man's mind to see the nature and realize Buddhahood."
The Magistrate asked, "Your disciple has heard that when Bodhidharma first instructed the Emperor Wu of Liang, the Emperor, asked him, 'All my life I have built temples, given sanction to the Sangha, practiced giving, and arranged vegetarian feasts. What merit and virtue have I gained?'"
The Magistrate said, “I have heard that when Bodhidharma went from Canton to Nan Ching to convert the Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty (reign dates: 502-547 A.D.), the Emperor said to him, “I have built many temples.” The word “I” used by the Emperor us a special personal pronoun. During the Shang dynasty (B.C. 1766-1154) everyone used this word when referring to himself. During the Chou dynasty (B.C. 1122-225) the Emperor decided that he should be the only person to use it and so it became the personal pronoun of the emperors. The Shang dynasty Emperor T’ang (reign dates: B.C. 766-1752) said:
"When I have faults,
I do not blame the common folk;
When the common folk have faults,
Let the blame be placed with me."
Why? Because if the common people erred, it meant that the Emperor hadn't taught them properly.
The Emperor Wu had spent his entire life building temples. He allowed many Bhiksus to leave home and made offerings of food and sheltered them. He bowed to anyone who left home. How good this was! He gave the wealth of his country to the poor and arranged many vegetarian feasts.
"What merit and virtue have I gained?" The Emperor asked. Emperor Wu had to be number one in everything. When he met Patriarch Bodhidharma, he did not seek the Dharma, but sought Bodhidharma's praise, wanting Bodhidharma to give him a high hat. He was afraid that Bodhidharma might not know about his merit and so he introduced himself, saying, "Look at me. I have built hundreds of temples to house thousands of monks all of whom left home under my official sanction. What merit have I gained?" What he meant was, "Look at me! I am an emperor unlike all others! Everything I do is meritorious." He didn't seek the Dharma to end birth and death, but sought to put himself on display.
This is like a certain Dharma Protector who says, "Do you know me? I am the greatest, the strongest Dharma Protector. I give all my money to the Triple Jewel" In actual fact, the money he uses to play around with women is several thousand times greater than the money he gives to the Triple Jewel, but he insinuates that he gives it all to the Triple Jewel. If this isn't deceptive, what is? He never speaks of the money squandered all over heaven and earth, but when he gives a dollar to the Temple, he says, “I gave a dollar to the Temple! Do you know that?” He is certainly Emperor Wu’s disciple. With his merit and virtue, he too can be an emperor someday.
"Bodhidharma said, 'There is actually no merit and virtue.' I, your disciple, have not yet understood this principle and hope that the High Master will explain it."
Hearing the Emperor brag about "me, myself, and I", boasting and advertising his merit, and in general exalting himself, Bodhidharma thought, "How can a sage resort to flattery? How can I agree with him?" Ordinary people would have said, "Oh yes! Yes! Your merit is indeed great. No one in the world can match it!" But Bodhidharma was a Patriarch, and could not possibly have indulged in such behavior and so he said, "None. No merit. Totally without merit."
The Master said, "There was actually no merit or virtue. Do not doubt the words of a sage; Emperor Wu of Liang's mind was wrong; he did not know the right Dharma. Building temples and giving sanction to the Sangha, practicing giving and arranging vegetarian feasts is called 'seeking blessings.' Do not mistake blessings for merit and virtue. Merit and virtue are in the Dharma body, not in the cultivation of blessings."
The Sixth Patriarch replied, "Do not doubt the Sage's words. There really was no merit and virtue. Emperor Wu was seeking fame; he was not seeking the orthodox Dharma."
The Master moreover said, "Seeing your own nature is merit and equanimity is virtue. To be unobstructed in every thought, constantly viewing your original nature’s true, real, wonderful function is called merit and virtue."
The Great Master said, "Merit and virtue are in the Dharma body, not in cultivating blessings." What is merit then? Seeing your brilliant, wonderful, original nature is merit. With merit, you can see the nature.
What is merit? At first, it is difficult to sit in Dhyana meditation, but after a while it becomes natural. When you begin to sit, your legs and back hurt, but after a while you defeat your legs and they no longer bother you. When your legs do not hurt, you have merit; if your legs hurt, you have no merit.
Seeing your own nature is merit. Take a look at your original face. You ask, "What does my original face look like?" You must find out for yourself, I cannot describe it to you, and even if I could, you still wouldn't recognize it because your knowledge of it would have come from the outside. Become self-enlightened to your own self-nature! "Ah," you then say, "my original face looks just like this!"
Your vision of the self-nature must be certified by a Good Knowing Advisor. You cannot set yourself up as king and say, "I am the Emperor; I am a Bodhisattva!" like the hippie who had poisoned himself with drugs to the point that he claimed to be a Bodhisattva, when actually he was nothing but a demon.
Equanimity is virtue. Without selfishness, everything is equal, without prejudice or partiality. If you are fair, just and open-minded, you are virtuous in your conduct.
To be unobstructed in every thought... If you are obstructed, your thoughts flow here, stop there, and become attached. Obstruction being attachment, if you have obstructions you cannot change. If you are unobstructed, you can always view your own original nature. As the Sixth Patriarch said, "How surprising it is that self-nature is originally pure in itself! How surprising it is that self—nature is originally unmoving! How surprising it is that self-nature is originally not produced or destroyed. How surprising it is that self-nature is so inconceivable;"
This is to view constantly the true, real, wonderful function and is called merit and virtue. If you do not seek within yourself, but give sanction to Bhiksus, build temples, and give to the poor instead, you accumulate blessings. Blessings, however, are not merit and virtue. You should perfect your own merit and virtue just as the Buddhas have done.
"Inner humility is merit and the outer practice of reverence is virtue."
You should not be arrogant. No matter what the situation, you should be polite. Do not say, "Look at me! I am better than everyone else, talented, more knowledgeable about the Buddhadharma than you." Showing off like this is pride, not humility, and has no merit. When you speak to people you should be easy and polite, not like a wooden board which smashes heads with a single sentence. You don't need to hit people. All it takes is one sentence and you've split their heads open, more fiercely than if you had used an iron bar. If you are humble, you are never impolite.
Outwardly, you should see everyone as better than yourself. Don't be self-
Arrogance causes harm.
Humility receives benefit.
If you fill your cup with tea until it overflows, and then keep pouring, you are being wasteful. Don't be "full of self"; by being polite, you will gain advantages. Do not say, "I am the greatest; I am number one; I am so intelligent that I understood long ago things which you still do not know!" In Buddhism you should not fear that you will not understand. Fear only that you will not practice. Whether or not you understand is not so important, but if you do not practice, you are useless.
"Your own self-nature establishing the ten thousand dharmas is merit, and the mind-substance separating from thought is virtue. Not being separated from self-nature is merit and the corresponding function, undefiled, is virtue. If you seek the merit and virtue of the Dharma body, simply act accordingly, for this is true merit and virtue."
The mind-substance should be separate from false thought, but not from proper thought. This is virtue. Turn the light around by reversing the illumination. See your own self-nature, which constantly gives rise to Prajna. This is merit. In unimpeded, limitless transformation, the corresponding use enables you to do whatever you wish and never do the unclean things.
If you are seeking the Dharma body you should be in accord with the principles just explained because it is by means of merit and virtue that the Dharma-body is realized.
"Those who cultivate merit and virtue in their thoughts do not slight, but always respect, others. Those who slight others and do not cut off the 'me and mine' are without merit. The vain and unreal self-nature is without virtue, because of the 'me and mine' the greatness of the self, and the constant slighting of others."
You should not slight men, animals, or any living beings. For example, whenever Sadaparibhuta Bodhisattva met someone, he immediately bowed and said, "I dare not slight you because you are going to be a Buddha." Sadaparibhuta Bodhisattva, who was just a previous incarnation of Sakyamuni Buddha, realized Buddhahood because of his practice of universal respect while walking the Bodhisattva path.
Those who slight others and do not cut off the "me and mine" are without merit. Whenever you meet someone, you immediately become jealous, terrified that they will be better than you are, more intelligent than you are, or that they will surpass you in any respect. Such jealousy causes you to belittle them. You see yourself as great: "See how big I am?" you say, "no one can compare with me. In the present age there is no emperor, but if there were, it would certainly be me, and none of you would have a share. Why? Because I am more intelligent than all of you. I can dominate you, but you can't dominate me." Here, 'I', 'myself', 'me and mine', are not cut off and not put down, and there is no room for merit, because you are too full of self.
The vain and unreal self-nature is without virtue because of the 'me and mine', the greatness of the self, and the constant slighting of others. You do not really cultivate and so your self-nature is unreal. Originally you are not for real, you do not believe in yourself, and you do not know whether you are true or false. I did not tell you to drink or smoke. Why are you drinking and smoking? I did not tell you to go gambling. Why did you go? You don't know why you do mixed—up things. In this way the self-nature is vain and unreal.
This happens because you have no virtue and see yourself as too big. "Look at me," you say, "I am Buddha!" A certain person said, "This Dharma Master is enlightened, and I am just like him!" He did not say that he was himself enlightened. He said that-the Dharma Master was enlightened and that the two of them were just alike, but he might as well have introduced himself by saying, "I am enlightened." This is "me, myself, and I" blown out of size. There is no merit here.
"Good Knowing Advisors, continuity of thought is merit, and the mind practicing equality and directness is virtue. Self-cultivation of one’s nature is merit, and self-cultivation of the body is virtue."
Thought after thought, without interruption, should be right. Thought after thought, without cease, should be cultivation. This is merit. At first it is forced, but after a time it becomes natural and this naturalness is merit.
Always be even-minded and impartial, direct and without deceit. This is virtue.
If you have not seen your own nature, you must cultivate it. How? By not giving rise to affliction! So when someone hits you, receive the blow as if you had run into a wall. When someone scolds you, pretend that they are singing a song, or specking some foreign language. "Oh, he's not scolding me. He's speaking Japanese——Chi, chi, cha, cha—or is it Spanish?" If you look at it this way, there is no trouble at all.
If a man tries to spit at heaven, the spit falls back into his face. If someone scolds you and you take no notice, it is just as if he were scolding himself. When hit, you can think, "I have run into a wall. It certainly hurts." Can you deny that it is your own retribution returning to you? If you bump your head in the dark do you hit the wall with your fist? If you do, your fist will hurt and there will be even more pain. Pay no attention, and then nothing has happened. Maitreya Bodhisattva said,
"The Old Fool wears second hand clothes
And fills his gut with tasteless food,
Mends holes to make a cover against
The cold, and thus the myriad affairs,
According to what comes, are done.
Scolded, the Old Fool merely says, "Fine".
Struck, the Old Fool falls down to sleep.
"Spit on my face, I just let it dry;
I save strength and energy and
Give you no affliction." Paramita's
His style; he gains the jewel within
The wonderful. Know this news and then
What worry of not perfecting the way?”
This is wonderful, but not everyone can do it. The jewel within that which is wonderful is not easy to obtain. Cultivation of one’s nature is simply not getting angry.
How does one cultivate himself? Do not act with evil intentions. Have no lust, hatred, or delusion; Do not kill, steal, or lust, and you cultivate yourself. This is virtue.
"Good Knowing Advisors, meritorious virtue should be seen within one's own nature, not sought through giving and making offerings. This is the difference between blessings and meritorious virtue. Emperor Wu did not know this true principle. Our Patriarch was not in error."
You cannot say, "I make offerings to the Triple Jewel, and so I have merit." It isn't merit, just blessings. Therefore blessings and merit are different from one another. By doing the acts of blessings in the future you will receive retribution of blessings. It is just in this very life, however, that you obtain the advantages of merit and virtue.
Bodhidharma wanted to take the Emperor "across” but the Emperor's ego was too big. "I am the Emperor. I certainly have much merit!" He built temples, allowed people to leave hone, and gave money to the Triple Jewel. In order to break the Emperor's attachment, Bodhidharma said that he had no merit and virtue. The Emperor was most displeased and from then on he ignored Bodhidharma. No matter what dharma Bodhidharma said, he wouldn't listen, "Why should I listen to you?" he said. He would not respond to Bodhidharma's compassionate efforts to save him and so Bodhidharma just went away and, after a time, the Emperor died of starvation. Think it over: How could someone with merit and virtue, starve to death? He died of starvation because he had none. Bodhidharma had wanted to wake him up so that he would not have to die this way. What a pity that the Emperor’s view of himself was so big that Bodhidharma couldn’t help him.
The Magistrate further asked, "Your disciple has often seen the Sangha and laity reciting 'Amitabha Buddha.' vowing to be reborn in the West. Will the High Master please tell me if they will obtain rebirth there and thus dispel my doubts?"
The Magistrate said, "The monks and laymen recite the name of Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of Limitless Light. They all vow to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss." High Master, will they actually be reborn there?"
The Magistrate himself understood this principle, but he knew that others present in the assembly did not understand, and so he asked the Sixth Patriarch for an explanation. At that time, the reciters of the Buddha's name slandered the Ch'an School: "Ch'an School men eat their fill, sit down, shut their eyes and go to sleep! What kind of work is that? A lazy man's work. They don't compare with those who recite the Buddha's name. Recitation is the best Dharma door."
The Ch'an School fired back: "You recite the name of Amitabha Buddha to gain rebirth in the West. In the past, before Amitabha Buddha, what Buddha's name did you recite?"
And so they fought, saying, "You 're wrong! You're wrong!" Until finally, nobody knew who was right.
The Master said, "Magistrate, listen well. Hui Neng will explain it for you. When the World Honored One was in Sravasti City, he spoke of being led to rebirth in the west. The Sutra text clearly states ‘It is not far from here.’ If we discuss its appearance, it is 108,000 miles away, but in immediate terms it represents the ten evils and the eight devistations within us. It is explained as distant for those of inferior roots and as nearby for those of superior wisdom."
Sravasti is a city in India, translated, it means "abundance and virtue." In Sravasti, the five desires were abundant: fame, wealth, beautiful form, food, and sleep. Indians love to sleep! The people of Sravasti had the virtue of much learning and liberation, i.e., they had studied a great deal and were not attached.
In this city of abundance and virtue, the Buddha spoke of being led to rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. The Land of Ultimate Bliss appears to be 108,000 miles away, but if you discuss it in near terms, it is just the ten evils and the eight deviations within us. Actually, the Amitabha Sutra says that the Western Paradise is 10,000,000,000 lands away, but the Great Master said 108,000 miles because he wanted to counter the prejudices of those in the assembly. In terms of its mark, its appearance, the Western Land is far away, but in terms of our own nature, it is as far as the ten evils and the eight deviations.
Of the ten evils, three are committed with the body: 1) killing, 2) stealing, 3) sexual misconduct. Three are committed with the mind: 4) greed, 5) hatred, 6) delusion (moha or wrong views). Four are committed with the mouth, a most dirty thing: 7) filthy language (talking about the affairs of men and women), 8) lying, 9) harsh speech, 10) slander.
The eight deviations are the opposite of the eight right ways (eight-fold path). That is, deviant views, deviant thoughts, deviant speech, deviant action, deviant livelihood, deviant vigor, deviant recollection, and deviant concentration.
The Buddha spoke of the Western Paradise as being distant to those of common intelligence. To those of superior wisdom, he spoke of the Western Paradise as being on the other side of the ten evils and the eight deviations—within their own self-nature.
"There are two kinds of men, not two kinds of Dharma. Enlightenment and confusion differ, and with regard to seeing there is both slowness and quickness. The deluded man recites the Buddha’s name, seeking rebirth there, while the enlightened man purifies his own mind. Therefore the Buddha said, ‘As the mind is purified, the Buddhaland is purified.’"
The two kinds of people are not white people and yellow people, but wise people and deluded ones. There is only one Dharma, and deluded or wise, you cultivate the same Dharma.
Confused men recite the Buddha's name and expect to be reborn in the Western Paradise, while wise men recite the Buddha's name in order to purify their own minds. The pure mind is the Western Paradise. If you understand this, then it is not 10,000,000,000 lands away; it is right here. If you don't understand, you do not know how many more Buddhalands beyond even that number it is. It is said,
"Confused, a thousand books are few;
Enlightened, one word is too much."
When confused, you may study this Sutra, study that Sutra, investigate them coming and going and still not understand. When truly awake, there is no need to study: one word is too much. But you must truly understand; do not pretend and say, "I don't have to recite the Buddha's name." This is just laziness. Once a man who was well—read said tome, "I have read many books, and now I find that they are all wrong. So I no longer read any books." He meant that having realized Buddhahood he no longer needed anything. This is extremely stupid behavior. Understanding nothing, he faked understanding. You may try to brew tea in cold water, forcing it to steep, but you will never get tea. How can you brew tea in cold water? There are many, many strange people in the world—an uncountable number.
"Magistrate, if the man of the East merely purifies his mind, he is without offense. Even though one is a man of the West, if his mind is impure he is at fault. The man of the East commits offenses and recites the Buddha’s name seeking rebirth in the West. When the man of the West commits offenses and recites the Buddha’s name, in what country does he seek rebirth?"
Whether you are in the East or West, you must not commit offenses. If you do, you cannot be reborn in any direction except that of the hells, animals, or hungry ghosts.
If you recite the Buddha's name and hope to be reborn in the Western Paradise, you must also cultivate goodness and Dhyana meditation. Unless you foster merit and virtue, you cannot be reborn in the West.
Magistrate, if the man of the East merely purifies his mind, he is without offense. The pure mind has no confusion, no selfishness, and no profit-seeking; it is without jealousy, obstruction, greed, hatred, and stupidity. Purify your mind and get rid of all deviant thoughts. Then you will be without offense.
Although one, is a man of the West, if his mind I impure, he is wrong. This is an analogy. The Sixth Patriarch is not saying that Western men have impure minds, because the men of the Western Paradise are completely different from men of this world. They do not need to purify their minds since their minds are pure to begin with. They aren't greedy, hateful, or stupid and the three evil paths do not exist for them. So don't use this passage to try to prove that the Sixth Patriarch said the men of the West have impure minds. The men of the West have neither purity nor impurity.
The man of the East commits offenses and recites the Buddha's name to be reborn in the West. When the man of the West commits offenses and recites the Buddha's name, in what country does he seek rebirth? This is the other analogy. The men of the West never commit offenses. The Sixth Patriarch wanted to break attachments and so he asked, “If men of the East recite in order to be born in the West, you must first have no offenses. If you have offenses, you will go nowhere but to hell.
If those of the East are reborn in the West, where are those of the West reborn? Is there some other paradise for them? Don't be so attached!
"Common, deluded men do not understand their self-nature and do not know that the pure land is within themselves. Therefore, they make vows for the East and vows for the West. To the enlightened man, all places are the same. As the Buddha said, 'In whatever place one dwells, there is constant peace and happiness.'"
Stupid people do not know how to discipline their self-nature. They do not know that purification of their own mind is the pure land. Sometimes they vow to be reborn in the East, sometimes in the West. Those who are enlightened know that all places are the same. For them there is no north, east, south, or west. They are comfortable everywhere, because they make no discriminations.
"Good Knowing Advisors, I now exhort you all first to get rid of the ten evils and you will have walked one hundred thousand miles. Next get rid of the eight deviations and you will have gone eight thousand miles. If in every thought you see your own nature and always practice equality and directness. you will arrive in a finger—snap and see Amitabha.
"Magistrate, merely practice the ten wholesome acts and what need will there be for you to be reborn there? But if you do not rid the mind of the ten evils, what Buddha will come to welcome you?"
Magistrate, merely practice the ten good deeds and there will be no need for you to be reborn there. There are people who do not dare practice the ten good deeds. They say, "If I do the ten good deeds, demonic obstacles may arise!" But they are not afraid of doing evil. They don't fear that demonic obstacles will arise when they do evil because in doing evil, they are nothing other than demons. Never fear, people can certainly be mixed-up. They aren't afraid of doing evil, but fear doing good!
But if you do not rid the mind of the ten evils, what Buddha will come to welcome you? If all your life everything you do is evil and confused, if every pore from head to foot carries the monstrous offensive acts, how can you be born in the West? Which Buddha will come to welcome you? If you do good, you need not seek, but will gain rebirth there. If you do evil, you may seek, but will never gain rebirth there, because you are bound by your offensive acts. As for the saying, "You may go to rebirth carrying your offenses," it is not entirely correct. You must purify your own mind before you may go. What Buddha is going to welcome a criminal?
"If you become enlightened to the sudden dharma of the unproduced, you will see the West in a kgana. Unenlightened, you may recite the Buddha's name seeking rebirth, but as the road is so long, how can you traverse it?"
Hui Neng will move the West here in the space of a ksana so that you may see it right before your eyes. Do you wish to see it?
The entire assembly bowed and said, "If we could see it here, what need would there be to vow to be reborn here? Please, High Master, be compassionate and make the West appear so that we might see it."
The assembly suddenly got greedy. They bowed and said, "If we can see it here, then we don't need to vow to be reborn in the West! We all want you to be compassionate and let us see the Western Paradise."
During the next lecture the Western Paradise will be moved to the Buddhist Lecture Hall, but you will have to wait until then.
(to be continued)
44The story of Sadaparibhuta Bodhisattva, "Always Not Slighting" is told in the Lotus Sutra T. 262 p. 50b.
45For translation and notes of the Amitabha Sutra (T. 366, p. 346b) see Upasaka 7. Kuo Jung's translation in VBS, No. 9, 1970, p. 32.
46The five Buddhist schools each take a different approach to cultivation. The five are: Ch'an, Secret, Vinaya, Teaching, and Pure Land. For discussion see Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua, Water Mirror Turning Back Heaven", trans. with commentary by Bhiksu Heng Ching, VBS. No. 9, 1970, p.32.
47The Buddha Speaks of the Buddha of Limitless Life Sutra. T. 365, p. 341
48-feng te, "abundance and virtue" is the-traditional Chinese explanation of the Sanskrit word.
Vimalakirti Sutra. T. 475, p. 538c:5.
Precepts at Gold Mountain
The first orthodox transmission of the Complete Precepts of the Thousand Buddhas is now taking place at Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery in San Francisco. The transmission of the precepts on Western soil to Westerners establishes Buddhism as a self-perpetuating religion here with sufficient strength to carry on the tradition of enlightenment which is rapidly dying in Asia. From the historical perspective of the 20th Century, made possible by research, education and communications, it is clear that this is an event of great significance-more important than any religiocultural movement in world history. Articles concerning the Precept Platform will appear in each issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea. Watch for them.