Delivered by the Venerable Master Hua, Abbot of Gold Mountain Temple, 1731 15th Street, San Francisco, California, on Friday evening, February 18, 1977, the day prior to the Gathering for Rain

Translated by Bhiksuni Heng Hsien

Considered from the point of view of egalitarianism, Buddhism is most reasonable, most equitable and most fair. It is impossible for it to have any unequitable theories. Buddhism is not at all a religion, which maintains that if, you believe then, even if you create evil karma, you can still ascend to the heavens and obtain rewards, whereas if you do not believe then, even if you do good deeds, you will still have to fall into the hells. All of you no doubt are more intelligent than I am. Think it over: is that kind of declaration correct or not? The Buddhist point of view, by contrast, is as follows: even if you believe in the Buddha, if you commit offense karma, you will fall into the hells just the same. If you do not believe in the Buddha,  and if you do good deeds, you will still reap good rewards and you will not fall into the hells. Regardless of whether a person believes or not, if that person simply refrains from committing all evil, and offers up all good conduct, that person will reap good results. If someone does not do anything that's good, and offers up all bad conduct, then that person will certainly reap a harvest of results that are not good. This is total justice, then, since in Buddhism all depends upon the planting of causes and the reaping of results. If you plant good causes, you will reap good results. If you plant evil causes, you will reap evil results. In that respect, then, Buddhism is most equitable and most fair.