MIND AND THE WORLD
An analysis of the current world situation, delivered by the Venerable Abbot, Tripitaka Master Hua, at Gold Mountain Temple, Sunday afternoon, February 20, 1977.
Translated by Bhiksuni Heng Hsien
Now I will say a few words to you about the current world situation. Our world is composed of numerous countries, the countries are composed of a great number of families, and the families are composed of very many people. Therefore, every single person is interrelated with the entire world. If people in the world were good, if every single person were good, then our world would be good. If every single person's mind is bad, then the world is bad. What is known as good comes about from the mind: and the bad also must be brought about from the mind. Right now this whole world of ours has reached the point where one cannot be sure in the morning that there will be an evening. Why is that? It is because our planet earth could very easily be destroyed. If our planet were destroyed, then the entire human race would be just like ants which all drown when the ground is inundated by water. If our world were destroyed, then all mankind would disappear, and there would be no one left alive. With no one left alive...right now people are still not aware of it, and are very short-sighted, talking about how if there is overpopulation there will not be clothes to wear, houses to live in, food to eat, or enough energy to go around. They consider that important; but those Questions are completely unimportant. What is important is that from moment to moment we do not know whether we will be alive or not: but with regard to that question people are as if having a dream, and still are unaware. However, we should be aware, and, being aware, should very quickly change from bad to good, change our minds for the better. The reason for that is because people are controlled by their minds, and forced by them to go into the Ten Dharma Realms.
If you have a single thought of good, then you can ascend to the heavens. In a single thought of evil, you can fall into the hells. In a single enlightened thought, one is a Buddha: with a single deluded thought, one is a living being. With a single thought of cultivating the Way and benefiting living beings, one is a Bodhisattva. If one has a single thought of returning the light and reversing the illumination, and seeking all within oneself, cultivating oneself and ending one's own birth and death, then one is a Sound Hearer or one Enlightened to Conditions. Therefore whether this world is good or not depends upon the thoughts of the mind of each and every person. I previously spoke of every country being composed of a great many families, and the families being made up of very many persons. Each person is made up of a great many false thoughts. If you can change the evil false thoughts to good false thoughts, if you can diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi and wisdom, and eradicate greed, hatred and stupidity, then this world will be a good one. Consequently I recently told you the method for making the world good: it is for all of you to hurry up and come to Gold Mountain Temple and study the Buddhadharma. Then you can change from bad to good and turn your mind around. If every single person knew how to change from bad to good and turn their mind around, then the world would be a good one. Even if not everyone can know, if there are some people who know how to change their minds around and rely upon the Buddhadharma to cultivate, then all of the evil people in the world could borrow the light of the good people, and this world would not be destroyed. This is an extremely important and essential principle. So each once of you should start with the mind and change the world, remake the world, and make the world attain peace and obtain true and actual happiness. It is right at that place.
The leader of each person is that person's own mind. The leader of each family is the head of the household. The leader of each country is the representative of the entire citizenry. If our minds are bad, then illness and disasters will befall us. If families are not good, it is because the head of the household is not managing the affairs of the household well. If countries are not good, it is also because our leaders are unable to serve the citizens. This is an absolute principle. If any area experiences a disaster or calamity, that has a connection with those who govern that area. Due to that, each and every one of us should return the light and reverse the illumination, and recognize our own mistakes. Do not go along the wrong road and remain unaware of it. Therefore repentance and reform are very important. Anyone who has made mistakes should repent and reform. If you can repent and reform, then there will be no mistakes.
NEW IN 1977:
THREE STEPS, ONE BOW, is Bhiksu Heng Ju and Bhiksu Heng Yo's own story of devotion, humor, and hardships overcome on their extraordinary pilgrimage for world peace.