OF TRIPITAKA MASTER HSUAN HUA ON--
Buddha Speaks of
from issue #40)
translated by Disciple Bhiksuni Heng Yin
Translated by Disciple Upasaka I Kuo Jung
by Director Upasaka Dun Kuo Hsun
Five Quick Servants are related to the delusions of views and are called quick
because they arrive quickly. Related to the delusion of thought and arriving
more slowly, are the Five Dull Servants: greed, hatred, stupidity, pride, and
come from ignorance. When the delusions of ignorance arise, delusions like dust
and sand follow. The delusions like dust and sand are called "delusions of
stupidity" because there is no genuine knowledge, whereas delusions of
views and thought are called the "delusions of shortsightedness."
turns into the first of the Five Dull Servants, greed. When you want something,
greed arises, and with it come all the various afflictions. These afflictions
turn into hatred, and you argue on your own behalf, never seeing the other
person's side. You only know yourself and are unaware of other people, except
for attempts to ruin them. In this reckless and unreasonable way you become
stupid, unable to tell black from white, right from wrong.
people are arrogant and no matter what you say, they doubt it. They doubt the truth and doubt the false even more. All the doubts are
the delusions of thought.
three categories, those of views and thought, dust and sand, and ignorance, all
change into affliction. Afflictions are inexhaustible and endless. Observing
this, cultivators vow: ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH OF ORIGINATION, I VOW TO CUT OFF
THE INEXHAUSTIBLE AFFLICTIONS.
ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH OF THE WAY, I VOW TO STUDY THE IMMEASURABLE DHARMA DOORS.
cultivate the Way, you must understand all of limitless and unbounded Dharma
doors, which are the methods of cultivation. Unless you understand them, you
cannot cultivate. Relying on the third Holy Truth, the Way, vow to learn them.
is the origin of these Dharma doors?
Buddha spoke all dharmas for the minds of men;
there were no minds, what use would Dharmas be?
dharmas come from the minds of living beings, and each mind is unique. Since no two minds are alike, all Dharma doors differ. Generally
speaking, however, there are three classes of dharmas: Buddhadharma,
mind-dharma, and living being-dharma. Within these three classes arise the Four
Truths, the Six Perfections, the Twelve Causes and Conditions, and the
thirty-seven Bodhi-Way Categories. So many Dharma doors!
for example, my explanations of the Sutras. When I finish explaining one Sutra,
I begin another, and no sooner have I finished that one, than I start yet
another. Is this not measureless? What we study now is like a drop of water in
the sea. We certainly haven't got the whole sea. Vow to study the immeasurable
is the advantage of studying the Buddhadharma?” you ask. "It's a lot of
trouble, you know."
study the Buddhadharma because we want to realize Buddhahood.
isn't wanting to realize Buddhahood just another false thought?"
it's not a false thought. Buddhahood was our position to begin with, it is our
origin. Consequently everyone can realize Buddhahood, and we should hurry up and
do just that.
ACCORDING TO THE TRUTH OF EXTINCTION, I VOW TO REALIZE THE SUPREME BUDDHA WAY.
Truth of Extinction is the attainment of Nirvana, which is the position of
neither production nor extinction. If you wish to attain this position, resolve
to cultivate the supreme Buddha Way. Don't be skeptical and ask, "Can I
really become a Buddha?" Even if you have doubts, you can become a Buddha;
it will take a little longer, that's all. Without doubts you can do it right
away. All living beings have the Buddha nature and all can realize Buddhahood.
But this does not mean that all beings are Buddhas. To arrive at Buddhahood you
must cultivate, for without cultivation living beings are just living beings,
not Buddhas. In principle, everyone can become a Buddha, but unless you
cultivate according to Dharma and rid yourself of greed, hatred, stupidity,
pride, and doubt, you won’t become a Buddha very fast. This completes the
discussion of the Four Great Vows.
you wish to accomplish something, you should first make a vow. Then act upon it.
In this way you will naturally attain your aim.
A Question of Past
Mahamaudgalyayana and the Bees
Sakyamuni Buddha and his' disciple Mahamaudgalyayana went with a large gathering
of followers to another country to convert living beings. When the
citizens saw the Buddha they shut their doors and ignored him. When they saw
Maudgalyayana, however, they ran to greet him, and everyone, from the King and
ministers to the citizens, all bowed and competed to make offerings to him. The
Buddha's disciples thought this most unfair. "World Honored One," they
said, "your virtuous conduct is so lofty, why is it they do not make
offerings to you, but instead compete to make offerings to Maudgalyayana?"
is because of past affinities," the Buddha answered. "I will tell
kalpas ago, Maudgalyayana and I were fellow-countrymen. Maudgalyayana gathered
firewood in the mountains and I lived in a hut below. A swarm of bees were
bothering me and I decided to smoke them out, but Maudgalyayana refused to smoke
them out, even though they stung him until his hands were swollen and painful.
Instead he made a vow, 'It must be miserable to be a bee,' he thought, 'and
always sting people. Once you sting them, they hate you even more. I vow that
when I attain the Way I will take these asura-like bees across first thing.’
lifetimes later the bees were reborn as the citizens of this country. The queen
bee became the King, the drones the ministers, and the workers the citizens.
Because I didn't like the bees, I now have no affinity with these people and
therefore no one makes offerings to me. But because of his vow, all the citizens
this, we should certainly make vows and benefit living creatures.
HOLDING THE NAME
When the water-clearing pearl is tossed
in muddy water,
muddy water becomes clear;
the Buddha's name enters a confused mind,
confused mind attains the Buddha.
Sutra takes Faith, Vows, and Holding the Name as its doctrine. Having
discussed Faith and Vows, we shall now discuss Holding the Name.
the Buddha's name is like throwing a pearl into muddy water so that the muddy
water becomes clear. This water-clearing pearl can purify even the filthiest
water. Recitation of the Buddha's name is like this pearl.
can count the false thoughts, which fill our minds and succeed one another
endlessly like waves on the sea? When the Buddha's name enters a confused mind,
the confused mind attains the Buddha. Recite the name once and there is one
Buddha in your mind; recite it ten times and there are ten Buddhas; recite it a
hundred times and there are a hundred Buddhas. The more you recite, the more
Buddhas there are.