萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea


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Roll 4, Chapter 11 Vision of the Jeweled Stupa

宣化上人講 Commentary by Venerable Master Hua
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by International Translation Institute





The two ghosts started bowing to him. After about twenty or thirty minutes, his legs started hurting, and when he could bear it no longer, he switched from full-lotus position into half-lotus. When he did that, the two ghosts exclaimed to each other, "Oh! We were just bowing to a golden pagoda, but now it has turned into a silver pagoda!" Pagodas generally contain the relics of the Buddha and when ghosts see them they always bow in worship. Now that it was a silver pagoda, the ghosts said, "Silver pagodas also have the Buddha's relics in them, so we might as well keep bowing!" They continued bowing to him. At first it had been a golden pagoda, and now it was a silver pagoda. After sitting in half-lotus for awhile, the monk's legs started hurting again. It had been half an hour, and he could no longer bear it. The rain hadn't stopped either. If it had, he could stop meditating and go on. But now, he got out of half-lotus, stretched his legs out, and gingerly moved them around. When the ghosts got up from bowing, they took a look and said, "Hey, this isn't a golden pagoda or a silver pagoda, it's just a lump of mud! Let's knock it over!" Hearing this, and judging that the two ghosts were about to do him in, he immediately pulled up into full lotus again. Then the two ghosts took another look, and, seeing that it had become a golden pagoda again, they cried, "Wow! What an incredible state! Let's bow, quick!" As they started bowing to the pagoda again, the monk thought to himself, "Oh, so in full lotus, I'm a golden pagoda. In half lotus, I'm a silver pagoda. Just sitting, I'm a lump of mud." By "lump of mud," the ghosts just meant that he was an ordinary person. The ghosts called him that. After having that strange experience, he brought forth the Bodhi mind and resolved never to recite Sutras for money again. From then on he just meditated in full lotus every day. Sure enough, after continual sitting, he got enlightened. Then he reflected, "I got enlightened because those ghosts helped me out. If I hadn't met them I wouldn't be enlightened now." And he gave himself the name "Ghost-pressured Dhyana Master " because the ghosts had pressured him into cultivation.

Now I will tell everyone about a personal experience. In my native Manchuria, by the Bei Yin River, lived a non-Buddhist teacher named Gwan Jung-syi. He had three or four thousand disciples. His religion was called the "Shou-ywan" Sect. One had to spend a lot of money to join his religion. Why was that? He had hundreds of treasures for sale at a thousand dollars each, so he made a total of several hundred thousand dollars. What kind of treasures were they? The treasures existed in name only, and he would explain, "The time is not right and so I can't give them to you now. When the time comes, the world will change and the treasures will be given to you to use." His three or four thousand disciples all had great faith in him. He was over fifty years old then.

Later, he knew that he could not rely on his business of cheating people. He didn't even have any treasures to protect his own life. Knowing that the time of his own death was approaching, he was afraid that without understanding how to cultivate the Tao, he would die in panic and confusion. Therefore, he went to pay visits all around. Whenever he heard that a person had attained the Tao, he would call on that person no matter how faraway he was, and request instruction on cultivating the Tao. Taking his nephew Gwan Jan-hai with him, he went around visiting for three years. His surname Gwan is the same as that of the warrior Gwan Gung, so he is probably Gwan Gung's descendant. After three years, he still had not discovered the Tao, and was very anxious. Everyday he thought, "Alas, death is upon me, and I still don't understand how to cultivate. This is most terrible!" His nephew planned to remain single and follow him to cultivate. So the two of them became "Ones confused about the Tao."

to be continued


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