DHARMA TALK BY THE VENERABLE MASTER HUA DELIVERED DURING 
A KUAN YIN RECITATION SESSION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON IN EUGENE ON FEBRUARY 4, 1977


Translated by Bhiksu Heng Sure
Transcribed by Sramanerika Heng Ming
Edited by Bhiksuni Heng Chen

Here in the Saha World Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva is the Bodhisattva who has the greatest affinities with us living beings. This Bodhisattva is the most compassionate of all Bodhisattvas. There is a line in reference to her:

According to one's sound, she saves one from suffering.

This means that no matter who you are, if you are in pain or embroiled in difficulties, just recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva. Just recite Na mwo Gwan Shr Yin Pu Sa, and Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, the Bodhi saliva Who Regards the Sounds of the World, can take your problems and resolve them.  There is a verse that says:

If you are angry, recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva,

And your anger will turn into happiness.

If you are on the verge of death, recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva,

And you needn't fear dying, for you'll return to life.

This means that if someone has angry thoughts, he only has to recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, and not only are his thoughts of anger dispelled, but his mind returns to a state of happiness. If you are about to die and you recite Na mwo Gwan Shr Yin Pu Sa, then you won't die. You may ask, "What proof do you have of this? How can you prove that statement?" Well you may say this can't be proved, but the Buddha himself said that Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva was the Bodhisattva who had the most affinities with living beings in the Saha world. This Bodhisattva is known as the Bodhisattva of Four Fearlessnesses, the Bodhisattva who has absolutely no fear, and she can help all of us to be without fear. Therefore, if any living being, if any one of us, any human being or any other being living in this Dharma-ending Age can recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva or the name of Amitabha Buddha--Na mwo Amita Buddha, or Na mwo E Mi Two Fwo in Chinese--it is the same, because Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva is the disciple of Amitabha Buddha, he is her teacher, so when one recites Na mwo Gwan Shr Yin Pu Sa the power, merit, and virtue of this practice are the same as that of reciting Na mwo Amita Buddha. One can be reborn in the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss whether one recites the name of Gwan Shr Yin Bodhisattva or of Amitabha Buddha. If you cultivate other Dharma doors, you might encounter difficulties, but reciting the names of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva and Amitabha Buddha is very easy. You can save time and energy, and you don't have to spend a lot of money to cultivate this Dharma door, so anyone can do this, anyone can recite their names. It is a very expedient and efficacious method of cultivating the Buddha's Way. So, while in the midst of all four deportments of walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, you can recite the names of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva and Amitabha Buddha. Although when you are reciting either of their names, the names are not the sameóyou could say they are different methods--you achieve the same result.

When you want to recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, the first thing that you should do is to make ten vows. The very best place to do this is in front of a picture or an image of Gwan Shih Yin Bodhisattva. It is best to kneel down to Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, but if for some reason you can't kneel, you can stand before the picture or image. Kneeling is best because it shows respect and sincerity. Then hold your palms together very reverently and recite Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin Pu Sa, Homage to the greatly compassionate Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva. "Na mwo" means that you return your life in reverence and bow your head that you are returning your body, life, and mind to the Bodhisattva as you kneel there. Da bei means greatly compassionate; Kuan Shih Yin is the greatly compassionate one who is able to save one from all suffering. Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit word that means Enlightened Being. In Chinese it was contracted to Pu Sa, and when the name is translated into English it becomes "Bodhisattva Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World."

The first of the ten vows you make is, "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo su jr yi chye fa," I vow to quickly know all dharmas. Before Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva I vow to soon come to understand all 84,000 Dharma doors, all methods of practice, in order to deeply enter the sutra store and have wisdom like the sea. The second vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo dzau de jr hwei yen," I vow to quickly obtain the wisdom eye. May I quickly open my wisdom eye, the quicker the better. This is not one of the common physical eyes of common people; this is the wisdom eye. When your wisdom eye opens you can totally understand the things you didn't understand previously. The third vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo su du yi chye jung," I vow to quickly take all beings across. This is to say that you know all dharmas because your wisdom eye is open, you have the wisdom to teach and transform all living beings, and make a vow to save them. The fourth vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo dzau de shan fang byan," I vow to soon attain good skill in means. May I early on learn clever expedient devices. Kuan Shih Yin will help you speedily attain mastery of skillful means wherewith you can cause living beings to understand the Dharma. The fifth vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo su ch'eng bwo re ch'uan," I vow to quickly board the prajna boat. The prajna boat is the boat of wisdom. The sixth vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo dzau de ywe ku hai," I vow to soon transcend the sea of suffering. The sea of suffering is all of the various kinds of suffering that living beings encounter. The seventh vow Is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo su de jye ding dau," I vow to quickly attain morality, samadhi, and the Way. The eighth vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo dzau deng nye pan shan," I vow to soon climb Nirvana mountain. This means I vow to climb the mountain of Nirvana: permanence, bliss, true self, and purity; may I attain that happiness very soon. The ninth vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo su hwei wu wei she," I vow to quickly dwell in the Unconditioned. The tenth vow is "Na mwo da bei Gwan Shr Yin. Ywan wo dzau tung fa sying shen," I vow to soon unite with the Dharma nature body. May I soon be the same as the Dharma nature in all of the Dharma realm.

Now, when one makes these vows and seeks a response then one will be together with Gwan Yin Bodhisattva at all times; one is never separated from her. If you recite the name of Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, then the Bodhisattva will be mindful of you; you are simultaneously, mutually mindful of each other. It's just as if you are thinking of a friend and your friend is thinking of you at the same time. You are both looking forward to the time when you can see each other face to face. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva has you in front of her eyes all the time, but unfortunately we can't see Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva although she's there at all times. Now, if everybody would recite the name of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, there would quite abruptly, all of a sudden be no natural disasters: no droughts, no incapacitating snowstorms, no tornadoes, no floods---no disasters of wind or water of any kind. There would literally be no problems in the world. And no earthquakes! Here in the Western part of the country it's obvious that people have good hearts, because there have been no major disasters to speak of. This is a situation where calamity has been changed into auspiciousness.

Now, I hope that everyone will quickly make the resolution to become enlightened. This is known as the Bodhi mind. Bring forth the resolve to seek enlightenment for the sake of other people, so that you will be able to help them. To help other people---this is the true Bodhisattva mind. When you bring forth the resolve to get enlightened you produce the thought of enlightenment, the Bodhi mind, the mind of a Bodhisattva. Don't become arrogant and say, "Now I've already brought forth the mind of a Bodhisattva."  You haven't yet done so. You should first bring forth the resolve, then cultivate yourself, and then there is no problem if you have to suffer a little bit on behalf of others. There's nothing to worry about. Taking on suffering for the sake of others is the Bodhisattva's resolve, and this is bringing forth the thought of enlightenment.

Kuo T'ung told you about the Great Compassion Mantra. You heard the name of the mantra, and to merely hear the name of the mantra proves that you have great good roots, wholesome faculties and endowments, deep good roots within the Buddhadharma. Just to hear the name requires good roots. If you didn't have good roots, you wouldn't be able to even hear the name, how much the less recite it. So think about it, everybody, in the entire world are there more people who can recite the mantra or more who haven't even heard the name of it? Now, I think it is probable that the people who haven't heard the name of the Great Compassion Mantra outnumber those who have, how much the more do they outnumber those who recite it. But we who are here have deep good roots, and we should decide to help the world, to help all people and not be selfish. We should benefit others. We should not see ourselves as so big, so important; we shouldn't be so arrogant. We should cultivate the Bodhisattva Way to help all living beings.

I'm really happy to have come to Eugene today to get the chance to see all of you, but I must say that it's really hot here, and my energy in speaking is not what it could be. What is that? Well, itís because in San Franciscoís Gold Mountain Monastery I live in an icebox. Now Iíve come to Eugene, and Iíve just walked into a heater, walked into a furnace. Itís really hot. Iíve already taken off most of my clothing here. Iím only wearing a few pieces of clothing but Iím still sweating. But, you see, I wonít pay any attention to whether it is a hot sweat or a cold sweat. What I hope is that, after seeing all of you people here today, you will all quickly bring forth the great thought for Bodhi. All of you should return to your own original face, and be great Bodhisattvas, and afterwards become great Buddhas or cultivate the Bodhisattva Way. If so, then my having sweated here today will have been worth something. But if you just stay the same as you were before, then I will have sweated here today in vain.