In cultivation, we should not pursue fame
and profit, make discriminations of self and others, discuss
rights and wrongs, or be seeking after power. This is
To celebrate the new year, we have to make a great
resolve to definitely change and become good. How do we wipe
the slate clean? "Do no evil, and practice all good. Purify your own mind. This is the teaching of all Buddhas." Purifying
your mind means wiping clean the bad habits inside you. If
you don't clean it up, you will contend, be greedy, seek, be
selfish, pursue personal benefits, and tell lies. If you
tell lies, you lie in every action and deed in your daily
life. For example, you make a mistake, but instead of
admitting it, you put the blame on someone else. By
shifting the blame to others, you are telling a lie. If you
are dishonest and you try to get a personal advantage and
profit, your behavior is filthy. If you don't behave in such
a filthy way, you wouldn't contend, be greedy, seek outside,
be selfish, seek personal benefit, or tell lies.
If you are a left-home person
and you lie, you will surely fall into the Relentless Hells,
and no one will be able to save you. That's because you
cheat yourself and others, you bully and cheat all the
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and you deceive others with your
eyes wide open. These are very bad ways of behaving.
You may not know how serious this is, but when you fall into
the hells, it'll be too late for regrets. A left-home person who has been ordained should never
tell lies, blame his own faults on others, and not confess
his mistakes, under any circumstances. You must cultivate
honestly and truly. You must not
have any greed in cultivation. In this way, once you have
cleaned up your act, your wisdom, your five eyes, and your
six penetrations will appear. But if you don't do it this
way, and you try to get the five eyes and six penetrations,
you won't attain a single penetration or any wisdom, and you
will understand nothing! You will simply be ignorant, blind
and confused, and you will make no sense.
Don't Ignore Truthful Remarks
The Six Great Guidelines were spoken for those who want to become Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Sound-hearers, Arhats, heavenly beings, and ghosts. Ordinary people shouldn't look down on them and say, "Oh! We do business, and it's not possible for us to not contend, not be greedy, not seek, not be selfish, not want personal profits, and not tell lies." Craving money all day long, and buying lottery tickets in the hope of winning first prize, you are simply too far from the Way. Putting aside the really valuable principles, you always try to find contaminated and worthless things. The dirtiest thing in the world is money.
Money causes people to be muddled and afflicted, so that they quarrel constantly. Take a look at rich people. They don't know how to spend their money. What do they spend it on? They spend it on eating, drinking, gambling, patronizing whorehouses and buying stocks, living a dissipated life. They think these things bring happiness, but they are actually planting deep causes for falling into the hells, and cutting off their path to the heavens. This is really dangerous.
If you have money but don't know how to make good use of it, you are in a vexing situation. When you spend money to create karmic offenses, do you suppose you are getting a bargain? Do you think it's a good thing? You are actually taking a big loss. It exhausts your light of wisdom, your Dharma-body and your wisdom life. Greedy for enjoyment, you ruin your own future. Originally, you should have become a Buddha, a Bodhisattva, a Sound-hearer, or One Enlightened by Conditions, but you didn't, and you can't even go to the heavens. Ordinary people cultivate the ten good deeds: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no greed, no hatred, no stupidity, no frivolous speech, no false speech, no harsh words, no double-tongued speech. If you don't violate the ten good deeds, you will be born in the heavens. If you constantly violate them, you will surely fall into the hells.
This is the second day of the new year. I have talked about these truthful principles over and over. You must remember them; don't ignore them. These principles are of the utmost importance. If you can put them into practice and uphold them lifelong, you will enjoy the benefit forever! What I said was superficial and obvious. I don't want to say something that nobody can understand. That's why I always talk in plain language to all of you.
Don't Crave Fame, Profit, and Beautiful Women
Finally, I am going to read you some words by a Taoist cultivator named Qiu Chu-ji. He said, "With no greed for fame and profit, and no greed for flowers." "Flowers" refer to women. He did not want fame and profit, nor did he want women. "I lie upon rosy clouds, day in and day out." He cultivated the principles of purity and stillness. "When I am hungry, a monkey offers me peaches." If he was hungry, a monkey would send him peaches. "When I am thirsty, the Dragon Girl sends me tea." When he was thirsty, the Dragon Girl sent him a cup of tea. "This life is superior to that of the three thousand families in Han-kou." At the time, between Sung and Ming Dynasties, he said his life was better than that of the three thousand families in Han-kou. "It's better than that of the million families in the capital." I am better off than those families. Their lives are filled with quarreling and afflictions. They are busy from morning to night, all for the sake of profit. I don't want any of that. I have no desire for fame or profit. I don't want to be a government official, nor do I want power or position. Therefore,
With no greed for fame and profit, and no greed for flowers,
I lie upon rosy clouds, day in and day out.
When I am hungry, a monkey offers me peaches.
When I am thirsty, the Dragon Girl sends me tea.
This life is superior to that of the three thousand families in Han-kou.
It's better than that of the
million families in the capital.
Take a look! What he said was penetrating and clear. In cultivation, we should not pursue fame and profit, make discriminations of self and others, discuss rights and wrongs, or be seeking after power. This is totally wrong!
The things that I say are all things that people don't like to hear. But I wish to say them, so even if people do not want to listen, there is nothing I can do.