你們修行，處處不要捨福，處處要修福，好像褒茶、褒水，褒乾了，這都是捨福的地方；不關電燈，這都是捨福的地方。福是由一點一點聚集而修成的，你們這些地方都不注意，你的福啊，就不會太多了。還有最修福的地方，你們都不會修，想不到我們二樓這個福，就被professor謝（謝教授）給搶去了。這個廁所從來大約也沒有人洗，所以今天professor謝來幫我們洗廁所。這是我所願意的工作，我在出家之後，專門收拾廁所，不單出家之後，就是沒出家之前，也是到什麼道場裡，就給它收拾廁所。人不願意做的工，我就來做。做這種工不需要多少的時間，很快就會做完。二樓的廁所 professor 謝去clean up（打掃）；三樓，相信一定要我來做了，明天我或者有一點點時間，我來把三樓的廁所收拾乾淨了。因為謝居士如果她不發心，我也忘了；她這一發心，我也想起我的老工作，還是要像做小沙彌和做居士那時候，收拾收拾廁所，你們看怎麼樣啊？
Disciple: May I ask a question? I've been trying to recite the Buddha's name but have trouble with the Amitabha Sutra where it says that one should hold the name of Amitabha Buddha and vow to be born in the Western Paradise. I have trouble making that vow. I realize part of this difficulty must be that I have that kind of attachment to this world. But also, if I could get to the point where I could go to the Western Paradise, I would be at the point where I could help other people here. Wouldn't it then be wrong to go flying off there and not help people here? I hope the Venerable Master can tell me something to help me resolve this difficulty.
Venerable Master: Within Buddhism, your vows are sure to be fulfilled. If you vow to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, you will be reborn there. Should you make a vow to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss and then return to teach and transform living beings, it will happen that way. If you prefer to reside permanently in the Western Paradise, you may do so; but you can also come back. However, when you return from the Western Paradise, you do so riding upon your vows. That's how it differs from your life right now. At present, you are more confused than enlightened. But when you come back through the strength of the vows you have made, you are more enlightened than confused. Enlightenment has then prevailed over confusion. Hence, if you wish to stay here to help people, and teach them to recite the Buddha's name, you can. That's the resolve of a Bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas want to help others first. This is a world entangled in a multitude of sufferings. It's very bitter here. Nonetheless, if you don't fear the suffering, you can aid the Buddha to teach and transform living beings. The Buddha Dharma is interpenetrating without obstruction, and however you explain it can tally with principle. It's your preference. Everything is possible, provided you have no attachments.
Everyday there is a teapot lid here, but no teapot. Why is this? Did it grow legs and walk off? If you can't even watch after teapots, what use are you? What if I gave you a building? It would fall into the ocean. There is also the matter of the bookmark. It has a definite place where it should be in the Sutra, but sometimes it has found a different place. I don't know if someone wants to read the Sutra, or if they want to steal the bookmark but don't quite dare to. You should realize it's not that your teacher is attached to teapots. It's just that you can't go around losing things. (Later on, the teapot was found burned in the kitchen.) How could you expect the teapot not to be ruined if you treated it that way? If you did that to it, there's no way you could keep it from being ruined. We're not smelting steel here. We're not setting up a foundry as in China's Great Leap Forward. That kind of steel-forging won't work. Do you all know that today Gwo Yi boiled the teapot dry? Does anyone know? Do you all know who it was? And none of you told me about it either, right? Did anyone tell me? There's another matter as well - not concerned with boiling water but with boiling fire. I have told you over and over again that people must turn out the lights when they are not in a room. But every time Gwo Yi is not in her room, she leaves the light on. I've seen this so often.
When you cultivate, you must be careful in all respects not to squander your blessings. You need to cultivate blessings in all possible places. For example, when you let the pot boil dry while you are boiling water, you are squandering blessings. Not turning off lights is the same. Blessings are successfully cultivated through progressive, bit-by-bit accumulation. If you fail to pay attention to such places, you won't have many blessings. Furthermore, none of you is able to cultivate the best place for amassing blessings. Who would have expected that Professor Hsieh would grab the blessings of our second floor? Probably no one had ever cleaned the lavatory, and today our professor helped us clean the toilets. This is the kind of work I like to do. Before I left home, I specialized in cleaning toilets. And even after I left home, whenever I went to a Way Place, I cleaned the toilets for them. I did whatever work others were unwilling to do. It doesn't take long to perform such a task. One can finish the job quickly. Now Professor Hsieh has cleaned up our second floor lavatory. No doubt the third floor is waiting for me to clean it. Tomorrow I may have a little time to clean the toilets on the third floor. If Professor Hsieh had not done this, I would have forgotten about it. But when she volunteered, it reminded me of my former work. I should continue to do what I did as a new novice and a layperson, and clean the toilets. What do you think about that?
Furthermore, the Day-Ruling Spirit named Making Palaces Appear obtained the liberation door of universally entering all worlds.
Furthermore indicates there is still more concerning what was previously being said. Now we're discussing Day-Ruling Spirits. These spirits watch over the events of the daylight hours, more about that later. The Day-Ruling Spirit here is named Making Palaces Appear. He can manifest all sorts of palaces: palaces of kings, palaces of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as well as adorn them. He obtained the liberation door of universally entering all worlds. He can enter worlds everywhere and leave the worlds. He manifests palaces in such a way that worldly dharmas, that is, world-entering Dharmas can make world-transcending Dharma appear. That's the door to liberation he obtained.
The Day-Ruling Spirit named Exuding Fragrance of Wisdom obtained the liberation door of universally contemplating all living beings, benefiting them, and making them happy and contented.
It seems to me I lectured on this already. Otherwise, how could I still be able to recite it? The Day-Ruling Spirit named Exuding Fragrance of Wisdom can send forth the three types of fragrance: fragrance of precepts, fragrance of samadhi, and fragrance of wisdom. In addition to those three of precepts, samadhi and wisdom, there are the fragrance of liberation and the fragrance of liberated knowledge and vision. Because this Day-Ruling Spirit knows living beings like fragrance and dislike stench, so no one cleans toilets, he exudes all sorts of fragrance. The fragrance of precepts refers to how from holding precepts your body will give off a kind of fragrance, that of precepts. If you cultivate samadhi, your body will have a fragrance of samadhi. If you cultivate wisdom, you will exude the fragrance of wisdom. To those three types of fragrance are added the fragrance of liberation, and the fragrance of liberated knowledge and vision. He uses those five kinds of fragrance to fulfill living beings' wishes. If you enjoy fragrance, he exudes some. If you dislike stench, he cleans the toilets so they won't stink. All that is through the Day-Ruling Spirit's power. He obtained the liberation door of universally contemplating all living beings, benefiting them, and making them happy and contented. He observes all beings everywhere, brings benefit to them, and secures their happiness and contentment.
It turns out you have not been listening to the lectures in vain, for you know whether I've lectured on a section or not. If you had fallen asleep, which includes entering samadhi, you wouldn't know where I had lectured to. Now as I fill in the sections I skipped, I speak even more energetically. That's because I feel you are all promising listeners, not listeners who fall asleep during Sutra lectures. Since it's that way, after this I'll be even less afraid of forgetting a section, for if I do, people are sure to remind me -- isn't that right? This is a good method.
The Day-Ruling Spirit named Adornment with Supremacy of Bliss obtained the liberation door of being able to emit light of boundlessly many likable Dharmas.
Why does the Day-Ruling Spirit named Adornment with Supremacy of Bliss have that name? It's because his cultivation of all kinds of blessings, and possession of various sorts of merit and virtue, led to the arisal of a kind of bliss of a superior grade, differing from ordinary happiness. He is also adorned and beautiful. "Day" refers to the daytime. There are spirits of the daytime, and spirits of the night. This Spirit named Adornment with Supremacy of Bliss oversees the activities of the daylight hours, recording the deeds of living beings.
However, records kept by spirits are not like human records which must be written down. Spiritual record-keeping is far more wonderful than our computers and calculators. You don't have to push buttons for records to appear. If an event needs to be retrieved, that event will very naturally reappear. If you have to access something which happened between heaven and earth, you don't need to push buttons and have the computer retrieve the data. All you have to do is take a look and you know. That's why it's called "spiritual." Our human contrivances don't count as spiritual. Spirits only need to use spiritual wisdom. They don't require any kind of apparatus like a calculator or an abacus. See how much less trouble such spiritual penetrations are. They penetrate, which is described as intertwining response.
Day-Ruling Spirits know how much merit and how many offenses each living being has. Their naturally-operating memory-bank remembers it all very clearly. Since their memory is so precise, they oversee the events of the day as Day-Ruling Spirits. This Day-Ruling Spirit obtained the liberation door of being able to emit light of boundlessly many likable Dharmas. He can send forth infinitely many, ineffably, ineffably many Dharmas, which all living beings like and which make living beings happy. And they have the light of wisdom, and it is the light from likable Dharmas, which irradiates all living beings. Why is that good? It makes living beings happy, inspiring in them thoughts of liking the Buddha Dharma. That was the door to liberation which he obtained.
The Day-Ruling Spirit named Flowers' Fragrance Wondrous Light obtaind the liberation door of opening up pure faith and understanding of mind in boundlessly many beings.
The Day-Ruling Spirit now being discussed is named Flowers' Fragrance Wondrous Light. He makes the kinds of flowers and fragrance appear that each living being prefers, which explains that part of his name. He is also called "Wondrous Light" because his light is subtle, wonderful and inconceivable. Hence he is called the Day-Ruling Spirit Flowers' Fragrance Wondrous Light. He keeps an eye on the good and evil, merit and offenses done by living beings during the daytime. This Day-Ruling Spirit obtained the liberation door of opening up pure faith and understanding of mind in boundlessly many beings. This is like opening up a wilderness in which nothing has been planted up to then. It has to be cleared and opened by manpower before crops can be sown. Living beings' fields of blessings which have not yet been cultivated are like a barren wilderness. They require a great Good and Wise Advisor with the resolve of a Bodhisattva to open them up and develop them, and afterwards plant seeds of Bodhi in them. The seeds of Bodhi which should be planted are seeds of pure faith and understanding of mind. That's why he must open up pure faith and understanding of mind in boundlessly many beings.
To be continued