From last issue:The Conduct of Happiness
Being well able to benefit all living beings means to use the dharma of precepts, to cause living beings to follow the precepts. This is the Paramita of Upholding Precepts. One uses the Vinaya, the precept dharmas, to save and transform all living beings and to make them uphold the precepts. If everyone holds the precepts, the entire world is benefitted. This is called the Conduct of Benefitting living beings. It means to bring benefit to all living beings. This is the Second Conduct, called the Conduct of Benefitting Living Beings.
Enlightening oneself and enlightening others: Once we become enlightened, we should enlighten others. Likewise, when we study the Buddhadharma, it is not enough to study and understand it ourselves. We must also enable all people to come to understand it, to the extent that we should help all living beings to accomplish Buddhahood. This is called enlightening ourselves and enlightening others, benefiting ourselves and benefiting others. Don’t be selfish and concerned about your own gains. Nor should you be jealous or obstructive of others. If someone understands the Buddhadharma better than you do, under no circumstances should you be jealous. If you are jealous of others, you will undergo the retribution of being stupid in the future.
Do your utmost with regard to the Dharma, but never, never become jealous of others. Don’t have ideas of obstructing other people. It shouldn’t be that if someone becomes enlightened and you haven’t, you have a fit, saying, “Really, the Buddhas are simply too unfair. How could they let him get enlightened instead of me?” With that, your ignorance arises. Or perhaps someone hears the Sutra lectures and grasps them immediately. He has a high level of wisdom and intelligence. He learns fast and masters the Shurangama Mantra within a few days. Or if a few days aren’t enough, he can probably master it in a couple of months. Seeing him pick it up in two months, someone else goes into a jealous rage, thinking, “I still haven’t learned it. How did you get ahead of me? How did you learn it so fast?” That’s jealousy. Whatever you do, no matter what, under no circumstances should you be jealous of others. You should be happy at heart. “His mastering the mantra is just like my mastering it.” “His enlightenment is like my own.” You should give rise to thoughts of rejoicing in accordance with others, praising them and congratulating them. Don’t be jealous and obstructive of others.
The most undesireable thing to have when you study the Buddhadharma is a jealous and obstructive attitude. If you are jealous of others, you will be stupid in the future. So stupid will you be that you won’t know how to do anything at all—even eat. What a mess you’ll be in then! You won’t even know how to eat! There are living beings who are so dumb they don’t even know enough to feed themselves; they would rather starve to death. There actually are living beings like that. Therefore, you shouldn’t envy others. Don’t harbor thoughts of jealousy and obstructiveness. If someone is more accomplished than you, you should be happy for them. Don’t be jealous and obstructive.
Without putting forth any opposition. Through enlightening oneself and enlightening others, one obtains the dharma of not putting forth opposition. This method of non-opposition refers to patience. When one encounters a favorable state, one is happy; when encounters an adverse or unfavorable state, one is still happy. One doesn’t put up any resistance; one doesn’t oppose the opinions of others. That’s patience. The second Paramita is that of upholding precepts, and the third Paramita is that of patience. In all circumstances, one forebears. That is what is meant by not putting forth any opposition.
→To be continued