上人：他做的什麼工？How much one hour?（一小時多少？）
A reminder of the Sutra text: The Direction-Ruling Spirit named Travelling Everywhere without Obstruction obtained the liberation door of universally manifesting in all places without the effort being in vain.
Venerable Master: Now who will give opinions and criticize what she said? If you think she spoke correctly, she was the one speaking. But if you consider what she said incorrect, it was me talking.
By the way, some amusing news arrived today (October 19, 1973). What is it? It's about the two who are doing "Three Steps One Bow”—Gwo Yu (Heng Jyu) and Gwo Dau (Heng You). They didn't know what to bow to until Gwo Dau thought of something. What was it? He decided to bow to trousers. He bowed once and thought, “My pants are ripping!" With the next bow he said, "My pants are ripping even worse!" It reached the point that he couldn't keep his trousers on any more, and so he said to Gwo Yu, "I'm afraid it's not going to work! How can I bow with no pants on?!!" Then just at that time a pair of trousers appeared right in the middle of the road. The trousers were neither too large nor too small, not too long and not too short. They were exactly his size. Would you say that was strange or not? If any of you don't have pants to wear, you should do "Three Steps One Bow," and you are sure to have trousers.
What was my comment on the situation? You would never guess. I said that's being awfully greedy! Why couldn't he just have let it go at not having any pants? If his pants were ruined, wouldn't it have been better to bow without pants? To be pantless and naked would make an even stronger impression. People passing on the road would be sure to notice and wonder, "What's he up to? Is he trying to put on a burlesque show?" and they would definitely enjoy watching. What a pity he became greedy and was seeking for pants with each bow, yet to no avail. However, that was not a small amount of greed. I hope none of you will go on a "Three Steps One Bow" pilgrimage just because you don't have pants to wear. Don't imitate such an ineffectual person.
Now you should criticize Gwo Pu's explanation. What did she say that was right, and what was wrong? If you don't dare criticize your Teacher to his face, you can still criticize the disciple to her face.
Heng Shou (Gwo Hu): I disagree with her explanation of the line as meaning "without having to make an effort." Rather it means the Buddha manifests in all places before all beings who certainly obtain advantages, and so the Buddha's effort is certainly not wasted.
Venerable Master: What work does he do? How much does he make an hour?
Heng Shou: I don't know.
Venerable Master: Does anyone else have an opinion? If so, you can bring it up. Whoever has a different point of view is welcome to express it. What Gwo Hu said was pretty good. No wonder he dares criticize his Teacher—he does have something going for him. (silence) If you think it's okay, then it's what I said.
The Direction-Ruling Spirit named Forever Severing Confusion and Delusion obtained the liberation door of making appear as many titles as there are living beings and producing meritorious virtues.
Commentary: The next Direction-Ruling Spirit is
named Forever Severing Confusion and Delusion. When something is severed, it is definitively gone; it is cut off and will never exist again. Here what is severed forever is confusion and delusion. Confusion means failure to understand, lack of knowing. Delusions are misperceptions, for instance mistaking wrong for right and right for wrong; or thinking that white is black and black is white. When one is deluded, one does not recognize things clearly. One does not have a true perception of the principle involved, and so one becomes deluded. Furthermore, one mistakes specifics for principle and principle for specifics. One cannot distinguish clearly between specifics and principle, right and wrong, or black and white—even to the point that one cannot clearly tell the difference between oneself and someone else or other people.
What is the reason for this inability to discern clearly? It's because one lacks true Prajna wisdom, and so gives rise to fox-like doubts. The analogy is that of a fox crossing a river which has a covering of ice. When the fox treads on the ice, it keeps stopping and listening to hear if the ice will crack, wondering if there was any sound. Sounds of cracking from the ice would indicate the ice-covering is not solid, and the fox could fall into the river, tumble into the sea, sink into the water. That's why it wants to listen. This is a kind of doubt, and foxes are prone to doubts. For that reason the Vajra Sutra says one should sever doubts and bring forth faith. One should cut off delusion and doubt and have a trusting attitude-stop doubting; be trusting and have genuine Prajna wisdom.
Forever Severing Confusion and Delusion is this Directing-Ruling Spirit's name. Whose confusion and delusions does he sever? He cuts off the confusion and delusions on the part of all living beings. He can help living beings turn back from confusion and return to Enlightenment, renounce what is deviant and return to what is proper.
He obtained the liberation door of making appear as many titles as there are living beings, everywhere manifesting titles/names in the same number as the number of living beings there are. The Buddha is able to make as many titles appear as there are living beings,
and thereby have the effect of producing in living beings a resolve for the meritorious virtues of Bodhi. The Buddha can inspire living beings who have not resolved on Bodhi to make the Bodhi resolve—not just one living being, but all. Yet when one makes the resolve for Bodhi, it's not the case that one is simply cultivating today and bringing forth the resolve today. Rather, one already made the resolve for Bodhi limitlessly many eons ago, and it is just that the strength of Bodhi is coming forth now. Later on one will reap the reward of the fruition and position of Bodhi. Therefore, it's not that one just believes in the Buddha today and one's resolve for Bodhi only comes forth today. One made that resolve infinitely many kalpas previously.
Someone may say, "No, it's not that way. I heard a Sutra at such and such a time and was inspired to believe in the Buddha." Your hearing the Sutra was a contributing cause for Bodhi, but without contributing causes for Bodhi, you would not have been able to listen to the Sutra. Count for yourself—how many beings in the world have never listened to Sutras? How many have never seen Buddhas, never heard the Dharma or seen members of the Sangha? There are infinite numbers of such people. Is it the case that they never made the resolve for Bodhi, that they never planted Bodhi seeds? They did plant them, but they are like ginseng. Once ginseng sees a person, it will hide in the earth for sixty years before coming out again. So long as it doesn't see any human being, it comes out every year. But as soon as a person sees it, it will remain hidden for sixty years.
Similarly, so long as you do not encounter demons, your Bodhi resolve grows daily and at all times. But once you meet a demon, your resolve also hides away—for six hundred years, even longer than ginseng, more than five hundred years longer.
"What is the reference for your statement?" you ask. "What Sutra says that?" That's what it says in "my" Sutra. If you recite "my" Sutra, that text is there. It may also be in "your" Sutra as well. Ah! But your Sutra and mine are very hard to recite!
The Direction-Ruling Spirit named Pervasively Roaming in Pure Emptiness obtained the liberation door of constantly producing wondrous sound which brings joy to those who hear.
Commentary: The next Direction-Ruling Spirit is named Pervasively Roaming in Pure Emptiness. This particular Direction-Ruling Spirit likes to travel everywhere, and so he is called “Pervasively Roaming." Where does he travel? He voyages in pure, clear emptiness—hence his full title: the Direction-Ruling Spirit Pervasively Roaming in Pure Emptiness. Although his name is "Pervasively Roaming in Pure Emptiness,” and even though he moreover does not have any fixed direction, nonetheless, within that absence of a fixed direction, he also has a direction. Therefore he is called a Direction-Ruling Spirit. This Direction-Ruling Spirit also is a Direction-Ruling Spirit who pervades all places. The state of the Buddha which he understood was that he obtained the liberation door of constantly producing wondrous sound which brings joy to those who hear. "Constantly" means of continuous duration and refers to the uninterrupted production of this kind of wondrous sound. And such wonderful sound has no fixed sound. Whatever type of living being hears this sound is delighted in mind and happy at heart, and all who hear understand the sound. When they hear this wonderful sound, they become joyous.
Having spoken to this point, I'll tell you something about some subtly wonderful and inconceivable states. For instance, when some Dharma Masters deliver Sutra lectures, the Buddhas come and protect their Dharma as they lecture the Sutras. For some Dharma Masters, it's Bodhisattvas who arrive to protect their Dharma as they speak Dharma and lecture on the Sutras. In some cases, Arhats—Sound Hearers and Those Enlightened by Conditions come to protect the Dharma Master when he pronounces Dharma and delivers Sutra lectures. In other cases, gods arrive to protect and support the Dharma Master who speaks Dharma and lectures on Sutras. Sometimes it's asuras who guard and uphold the Sutra-lecturing Dharma Master's speaking of Dharma. In other instances there are only people protecting and supporting the Way-place and the Dharma Master who gives lectures on Sutras and explains the Dharma, whereas some Dharma Masters speak Dharma and explain Sutras with the protection and support of ghosts. How can you tell? When you obtain the penetration of the heavenly eye, you will know from which of the ten Dharma Realms the Sages or Worthies have come to support the Dharma Master who is lecturing on a Sutra.
→To be continued