你若吃這一種火炭的餅到肚裡，就好像把火炭吞到肚裡去一樣，甚至覺得四肢發燒，沒有精神，為什麼？就因為你不懂得衛生的道理，把火炭也吃了下去。什麼叫火炭呢？貪心就 是火炭。所以我們無論什麼也不要貪，要知足，要能忍，但這個無上妙法，人人都把它忽略了。所以不爭、不貪就能福壽無邊，你要是爭、貪、攪、 擾，就罪孽不少，要想出離三界，也是無有是處的。
All Good Knowing Advisors, fellow students, fellow cultivators, and those with the same vows:
|The Fatal Illness and Beneficial Medicine For Cultivators
We who are born in the Saha world are most unfortunate. This Saha world doesn't bring us any happiness; it only makes us undergo suffering. The minds of people today are not like those of the ancients; there is a drastic decline in morality. Just about everyone is selfish and self-benefitting. That is, you fight and I am greedy; you grab and I snatch; you harm me and I harm you; even to the point that blood relatives kill and harm each other. Many countries and many families are breaking up. Individuals are being destroyed. It is reaching the point that nations are no longer nations; families are no longer families and people are no longer people. This is our great misfortune. But although we are unfortunate, in the midst of the heat of these myriad sufferings, and the myriad evils that fill up this Saha world, there is one thread of hope. What is it ? It is that the Buddhadharma is still in the world.
We have a chance to courageously climb out of that treacherous current. We can bring forth the great resolve for Bodhi and cultivate the Buddhadharma with the utmost sincerity. In that way we have the opportunity to leave this Saha world. Otherwise, we will remain in the six paths turning without cease and never getting liberated from that suffering. In light of that, when we cultivate the Way we must bring forth the great resolve for Bodhi. We must end the suffering of birth and death. Then we will not have left the home-life in vain.
Otherwise, we are just wearing clothes, eating, and sleeping like anyone else. Although what we wear and what we eat is not the same as lay-people, our minds will remain afflicted just the same as theirs, so that we will quarrel and fight and be full of false thinking all day long. If our thoughts are not flying off to this place, they will be floating off to that place; if we aren't seeking fame, then we will be seeking benefit. We would just be wasting our time. We would just scatter our energy by always seeking outside and going outside to seek for true principle. You can seek to the ends of time, but if you don't change your afflictions and problems, you will never get out of this suffering Saha world.
Thus we should all set our goals and clearly recognize exactly what we should be doing. The most important aspect of our cultivation is not to fight. We should not fight with anyone, not quarrel over people's long points and shortcomings, or gossip about people's rights and wrongs. We can't fail to know true principle. We must know where we came from and where we are going. We should know how to change our faults, rather than just becoming worse every day. If instead we let such habits and faults grow more and more numerous each day, giving rise to greed and seeking for what is external, we will never be satiated. No matter what the situation is, we only know how to get afflicted. And so it's said:
Knowing contentment, one is always happy;
Being patient, one is always at peace.
Knowing contentment you will always be at ease. So we should not fail to know contentment. If we don't know contentment, then we will always suffer. It's like frying a pancake. If the fire is too high, then the more the cake is turned the more it gets burned. And the more it burns the more you want to turn it. You keep turning it until the cake is burned to a crisp. It won't satisfy your hunger.
If you eat this cake that's burnt to a crisp it will be just like swallowing hot coals. You will even feel that all your limbs are fire, and that you have no energy at all. Why?
It's because you don't know how to preserve your life. What are the hot coals? Greed is like hot coals. Therefore we should not be greedy for anything at all. We should know contentment. We should be patient. This is the unsurpassed wonderful Dharma. But all of us neglect it. By not fighting and not being greedy one will have boundless blessings and long life. If you contend, are greedy, and are always inviting trouble, then you will have a lot of karmic offenses. Even if you wanted to leave the Saha World there would be no way for you to do so.
And so we must cultivate the Way and get rid of our afflictions and faults. We must get rid of the habits and problems that have gone on for beginningless kalpas. This is very important.
Ask yourself, "Why am I always arguing with people about rights and wrongs and long points and shortcomings? About good and bad? What am I doing?"
You should turn back and seek within yourself and investigate your behavior to determine what you are really like. Don't gossip. Don't speak about rights and wrongs where there are no rights and wrongs. Don't stir up afflictions where there are no afflictions. If you do that, then you don't understand how to cultivate, and you don't understand the importance of being a left-home person.
If each of us can be like this, then this thread of hope will not be broken. But if you contend and are greedy as usual, then there is no hope to speak of. Then you could be considered terminally ill - you have cancer or AIDS. You have the new pneumonia.
|When the Way is Opposed, the Disasters of the Kalpa Appear
Now there's a new kind of pneumonia, in addition to AIDS.
AIDS and the other illnesses like it are disasters which occur towards the end of a kalpa. We speak of the disaster of wars, the disaster of floods and fire and the disaster of epidemics. This disaster falls into the category of epidemics. Now not just one nation is like this. The entire world has been infected by this illness. It has spread to such an extent, and it is incurable. Not only do we ordinary people have no way to resist it, even doctors aren't immune, and die from it. Whoever gets near someone who has this pneumonia will catch the pneumonia from the air he breathes.
AIDS and new pneumonia have a connection. AIDS and homosexuality are very closely related. What is this close relationship? People of this age are drowning in the river of love and desire. Today someone used love and desire in matching his couplet. He gave an accurate description of how fatal AIDS is. AIDS comes about because of homosexuality, which does not accord with the principle of
yin and yang. This behavior will destroy our nations and bring about the extinction of humankind. This behavior is a kind of mutual abuse. It is mutual assassination. One can never finish describing the harm that this behavior brings. But still the weird creatures and deviant demons continue to stir up trouble in this world. They come to promote homosexuality. Although I have not counted the number of homosexuals in the world, I know that at least half the people in the world have a tendency towards homosexuality. In this world with its population of several billions, half of the citizens of every country have homosexual tendencies. This behavior destroys nations. This behavior destroys individuals. This behavior destroys families and homes. This behavior goes against the principle of
yin and yang. Originally one yin and one
yang make the Way. Too much yin or too much
yang becomes an extreme. Extreme yang will definitely bring about a terminal illness and extreme
yin will also bring about a terminal illness. People are indulging in excessive lust, greed and love, doing whatever they want. Their behavior is not even up to that of animals.
Look at animals: they do not indulge in homosexuality. Some people say that if mice of the same gender are put together they will practice homosexuality. But that's because you are forcing them to behave in that way. They engage in homosexual conduct because they have no other recourse. But why are you indulging in homosexuality? Since this principle goes against what is natural, illnesses arise. These illnesses are warnings, telling people not to engage in this behavior. If you engage in this behavior you face death. But people still have not awakened. Every day they are worse than the day before. AIDS was not severe enough, so now this new pneumonia has come about. The original pneumonia was curable. But this new pneumonia's mother is AIDS. The existence of AIDS enables this pneumonia to occur. Although we call it a disease of the lungs, actually this sickness is terminal. When you contract this pneumonia, it is incurable. Doctors can't deal with it. Their hands are tied. It's even reached the point that if the doctor sees the patient and so much as shakes hands with him, the pneumonia is transmitted to him. Or the patient might speak to the doctor and pass the disease to the doctor through the breath. And the doctors also die. Doctors and nurses have no way to protect themselves from this illness. They wear masks but the breath can still pass through the mask. It can still be transmitted just the same. Masks are no insurance against this disease. This is a case of living beings' karmic obstacles arising. When this kind of illness occurs, it is destined to wipe out the entire human race.
|How can we cultivate the Way?
Which people won't die? Those who truly cultivate and truly believe in the Buddha will receive the Buddha's aid and protection, escape the disaster, and then what? They will be prepared to sustain the seeds of the human race. But Buddhists who do not respect themselves can also catch this disease. They will also die of the fatal illness. They will have no way to remain in this world. Only those who live in the mountains and don't meet up with people, those who live far from the human population so that within a year they might not even meet another person, might still have a chance to remain in the world, because they do not draw near to others. So we of the human race should not seek. What is seeking? Seeking refers to seeking men and seeking women. It refers to the craving men feel and the love women feel. That's what is meant by seeking – seeking outside, always seeking happiness from outside. Finding this kind of happiness, you have found death. You become friends with death.
(Editor's remark: When Ven. Master Hua went to Gold Wheel Monastery, he talked about this issue again and instructed disciples to vigorously recite the Great Compassion Mantra in order to be protected from epidemics.)
Not benefitting oneself. Why do people lie and make false claims? It's because they are selfish and seek self-benefit. If you weren't selfish and seeking self-benefit, then you wouldn't lie and cheat people. You wouldn't use clever words and an ingratiating appearance to move people. Confucius said: "Clever words and an ingratiating appearance are seldom associated with humaneness." Using clever words means saying things that people like to hear. Crafty words and flattering expressions are seldom humane.
As cultivators, we certainly cannot be arrogant and boast about ourselves. What is meant by arrogance? Why shouldn't we be arrogant? It's said, "If you are arrogant, you will harm yourself. If you are humble, you will attain benefit." If you are
arrogant and think that you are fantastic, then you will harm yourself. Being humble, you will receive benefit. If you are humble towards other people, then you will be compassionate, agreeable and respectful towards all. If you are not humble towards other people, then you will be arrogant and haughty. But you must truly be humble. You can't go overboard. If you go overboard, then you end up flattering others and putting them up on a pedestal. If you are like that, then you are being deceptive instead of modest. So no matter what it is, you have to do it just right -- don't go too far and don't stop short. If you can refrain from being selfish, then you won't lie or boast. You won't be phony and untrue. No matter who we are, when we experience a special state in our cultivation, we shouldn't look upon it as a special state.
Some thirty years ago, I said that in the future people will not be people. Now, people can have skin-grafts; a person might have some of his own skin replaced with skin from a dog. After a long time, that person will become a dog because he has already become partners with the dog. The same holds true for the skin from pigs, horses, cows, sheep, and frogs. The human body is like an automobile with parts that can be replaced. In the future, the heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys will all be replaceable. So many parts get transplanted. For instance, after a person's heart has been replaced with a dog's heart, his thoughts and behavior will become dog-like. This is a very dangerous practice. You shouldn't think that this world is a good one. Hidden inside what seems good, there are all kinds of crises.