IN EVERY HOME
Translated by Bhiksuni Heng Hsien
The Buddha's Dharma body universally pervades the Dharma-realms, and all Dharma-realms are the Buddha's Dharma body. The Buddha takes the Dharma-realms as his substance. Of Dharma-realms, there is the Dharma-realm of Buddhas, the Dharma-realm of Bodhisattvas, the Dharma-realm of Sound Hearers, and the Dharma-realm of those Enlightened to Conditions. Those are the Four Sagely Dharma realms. There are also six Ordinary Dharma-realms: The Dharma realm of gods, the Dharma-realm of people, the Dharma-realm of asuras, the Dharma-realm of hell-beings, the Dharma-realm of hungry ghosts, and the Dharma-realm of animals. Taken all together the four Sagely and six Ordinary make ten Dharma-realms. Those ten Dharma-realms are all the mind of each living being. Every single thought comprises the ten Dharma-realms. The ten Dharma-realms are not apart from a single thought of the mind. Therefore we living beings, along with the Buddha, are all included within these ten Dharma-realms. Each one is connected with everyone else. Each mind connected with every other mind. The mind is connected with the Dharma-realm of Buddhas, the Dharma-realm of Bodhisattvas, and the Dharma-realm of Sound Hearers and those Enlightened to Conditions. It is connected with the Dharma-realm of gods, the Dharma-realm of people, the Dharma-realm of asuras, the Dharma-realm of hell-beings, the Dharma-realm of hungry ghosts, and the Dharma-realm of animals.
All these ten Dharma-realms are mutually connected with each other. We living beings are each one of us, connected with the living beings of the ten Dharma-realms, whereas the living beings of the ten Dharma-realms are also connected with our mind. Consequently, the Buddha is the Dharma-realm. The Buddha's body is the Dharma-realm. And so the Buddha is said universally to enter the Dharma-realms. Not only the Buddha universally enters the Dharma-realm, we living beings, if we cultivate, also universally enter the Dharma-realms. Therefore all we living beings can become Buddhas. However we people don't know how to cultivate, and, not knowing how to cultivate, we are unable to become Buddhas. If you know how to cultivate, then you can become a Buddha. Therefore we study the Buddhadharma with the intention of knowing how to cultivate. That is what is most important.
Why is every person said to be connected with the ten Dharma-realms? Not only connected with the ten Dharma-realms, every person is connected with the living beings of the ten Dharma-realms. Every living being is connected. To speak of this from the point of view of all Buddhas, limitless and boundlessly many lights are connected with the mind of every living being. All living beings also have limitless and boundless energy (ch'i). This energy is connected with the Buddha's light. Every single living being alive has something like a telegraphic connection with the Buddha, or you might say they have a kind of mutual radar connection. When living beings think a little bit about something in their mind, all of that shows up on what you might call the Buddha's television screen. All of the false thoughts of all living beings can show up at the same time on that television screen. Therefore the Buddha knows all the false thoughts struck up by each and every living being. We living beings, however, only know how to strike up false thinking, and so we don't have any actual wisdom. That is why we don't have radar, and don't have television, and why we don't know the false thoughts of other living beings. Because we don't have that great a light of wisdom, we don't have the kind of wonderful functioning of spiritual penetrations that the Buddha has. However, if you cultivate and use effort, you obtain the penetration of the heavenly eye, the penetration of the heavenly ear, the penetration of others' thoughts, the penetration of past lives, the penetration of the exhaustion of outflows, and the penetration of spiritual fulfillments. Once you have obtained those penetrations, you also have television, and you also have electricity. You can know whatever false thought is struck up by living beings. Nevertheless although you know it, you cannot become attached to it. If you become attached to it, then you won't know it. Consequently, you don't want to have attachments. That is the reason the Buddha is described as a great scientist. There is nothing he does not know and nothing he does not understand. Each one of us living beings can also become a great scientist, except that we are lazy and don't feel up to cultivating and don't feel up to researching. And so, although basically we are scientists, we turn into useless personnel. It's right at this point that each one of us should use a little effort and research. If you research clearly, then you won't have any false thinking. If you have no false thinking, then nothing is unknown, nothing is unseen, and nothing is left unpenetrated.
As I lecture this principle. I'm making a lot of people's false thinking come up. They say, "Dharma Master, when you lecture sutras, your lecturing is passable. But when you say we don't have televisions, why, at home I have several television sets. There are black and white televisions and there's also color television sets. I watch them every day, so how can you say I don't have any?" The television I'm talking about is not the one you watch. It is found within you. Every one of your hair pores is a control station. If you can operate the controls in every hair pore, and know how to turn on the television and tune in the channels, you turn it on yourself, you turn it off yourself, and you yourself watch it. If you have that talent, then that counts as having television. It's not that black and white television of yours, or your color television, all of which are external. What I am talking about is within you, inside of you. Now do you understand? Then you shouldn't strike up so much false thinking in criticism of the Dharma Master after all. Okay. Everything's Okay...sometimes!
THE BUDDHA, DHARMA, AND SANGHA
"Take refuge with the enlightened (the Buddha), the honored doubly complete one; take refuge with the right (the Dharma), the honored apart from desire; take refuge with the pure (the Sangha), the honored among the multitudes." from The Sixth Patriarch's Sutra, pg. 216. There will be an opportunity to take refuge with the Triple Jewel every time an intensive recitation or meditation session is held at Gold Mountain.
Vajra Bodhi Sea is pleased to present this account of the celebration held at Fo-kuang, "Buddha Light" Mountain in Taiwan. The article was especially written for Vajra Bodhi Sea by Bhiksuni Hsin-hsi (I-lien) of the Eastern Buddhist Academy in Taiwan. It has been translated into English by Sramanerika Heng Ch'ing of the Buddhist Text Translation Society. It is our hope that such exchanges of news and ideas will promote the rapid growth of Buddhism, in both the East and the West.