...the place of Shakyamuni Buddha, "We should all go to Shakyamuni Buddha's place and make offerings to the Stupa of the Thus Come One Many Jewels. In the past, Many Jewels Thus Come One made a vow that he would appear in his Stupa wherever the
Dharma Flower Sutra was being spoken. So now we, all the Buddhas of the ten directions, should go make offerings to the Stupa of Many Jewels Thus Come One."
Why did Shakyamuni Buddha leave the home-life to cultivate the Way? It was because he saw how much suffering there is in the world. There is suffering at birth, suffering at death, and all kinds of suffering without end. So after seeing the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death while strolling outside the four gates, he decided to find a way to end suffering. That is why he left the home-life, cultivated, and realized Buddhahood. Only when he became a Buddha did he truly attain bliss.
Now this reminds me of a story of cause and effect that l want to tell everyone. I'll also talk about Patriarch Jr Gung, also known as Dhyana Master Bau Jr. His parents were probably eagles, because one night, an old monk heard a young child wailing, "Ku!" (Ku means suffering in Chinese.) When a child cries, he will not talk; he can only cry, "Ku, ku, ku, ku!" When you hear children cry, that's what it sounds like. So this old monk heard a child crying like this in an eagles' nest, and the next day when he went to take a look, there was indeed a child up there. The child looked human, but he had eagle's claws instead of hands! As the monk carried the child to take it back, the two big eagles came to contend with him. However, the monk had some skill and managed to drive them off. Then he raised the child and taught him to cultivate diligently. It is very easy for children who cultivate to get enlightened, and so he attained the five eyes and six penetrations, and later on became a high Sanghan. In the time of the Emperor Wu of Lyang, it was customary for people to invite monks to recite the Sutras on occasions of celebration. At that time, a wealthy person asked Dhyana Master Bau Jr to recite Sutras. I've told this story many times. But a lot of people have never heard it, so today I'll tell it to those who haven't heard it before. lf you've already heard it before, you can plug up your ears and not listen. Those who haven't heard it can now hear something new. However, the translator cannot plug up his ears.
When Dhyana Master Bau Jr got there, he took a look and said, "Strange indeed, strange indeed!" What was so strange? He said, "The grandson marries the grandmother!" "How strange! How can this be? The grandson is taking his grandmother to be his wife." When she was about to die, the grandmother had held her little grandson's hand and said, "I have put down all the family affairs, and have no worries left, except one: my little grandson is so young. Who will take care of him, and help him as he grows up? Oh, what should he do? I really can't let go of my little grandson!" In the space of this one thought of not being able to give up her grandson, she died while holding his hand, and went to see King Yama. King Yama took one look and said, "You have such strong emotion, that you cannot even put down this grandson of yours! Okay, you can go back and be his wife and help him take care of the family." Thereupon, he sent the grandmother back to be the wife of her grandson. Take a look at this world, turning in the wheel of rebirth! The grandmother becomes the grandson's wife, just because she loved her grandson too much. That's why Dhyana Master Jr Gung said, "Strange indeed, strange indeed! The grandson marries the grandmother!"
Then he took a look in the kitchen and said: "The daughter eats her mother's flesh!" A little girl six or seven years old was there eating some pig's feet, and Dhyana Master Bau Jr saw at once that it was her mother, who had been reborn as a pig after she died. And now the pig's feet were being eaten by her daughter! Then he took one look at the band by the doorway, and said, "The son beats on his father's skin." He saw a boy beating a drum, made of the skin of a donkey, which was a reincarnation of his father.
Then he looked over to the kang and said, "Pigs and sheep are sitting on the
kang.'' that is, sitting on the brick-bed. The pigs and sheep that had been eaten in the past had become people, and were now relatives who had come to offer congratulations. Looking into the pot of meat stew, he said, "The six types of relatives are cooking in the pot." This is because their relatives in former lives had been reborn as pigs and were now being stewed in the pot, to be eaten by these pigs and sheep who are now people.
"Everyone comes to offer congratulations." You say, "Congratulations! Now you have a new wife!" He also says, "Congratulations on your new wife!"
"But I see that it's really suffering!" I see it entirely as suffering. Do you all see it as suffering? lf you understand that it is suffering, then you should hurry up and cultivate. If you don't think it's suffering, just turn around a few more times on the wheel of rebirth, and then we'll see.