On February 28th, 1970, in Jones Gulch,
California, Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua spoke to an assembly, which
had gathered to expand their understanding of the Good Dharma. The
Master spoke in response to the invitation of Dr. Lewis Lancaster,
Professor of Buddhism at Berkeley, who has occasionally invited the
Master to speak on the campus, and who sponsored and directed the
Jones Gulch Dharma Meeting, one of the largest of its kind to date
in the United States.
The Master was accompanied by Bhiksus Heng
Ch'ien, Heng Ching, Heng Shou, Bhiksunis Heng Yin and Heng Ch'ih,
and by many lay disciples. Professor Lancaster opened the Dharma
Meeting with a request to the Master to turn the Great Dharma Wheel.
The Sangha then led the assembly in the recitation of The Eighty-Eight Buddhas. The Master followed the recitation with his
lecture, which appears on the following pages, on the Ten Great
Kingly Vows of Universally Worthy (Samantabhadra) Bodhisattva.
The Master received an enthusiastic response
from the audience and was interrupted many times with applause and
laughter. It was apparent that a great happiness had pervaded the
assembly, and that all present had increased their understanding in
this rare opportunity to hear the Good Dharma.
I don't know talking English. Maybe have one
sentence, two sentences, one character, two characters. Every day I
listen to people, hear people talking, they say, "Good morning, good
afternoon, good night." Now I with you, I thinking is time for
talking good night. This is really good.
I like tell to you, say "good morning", is for
tomorrow good morning, because tomorrow I no see you. I tonight talk
first to you.
Tomorrow you good morning, day after tomorrow
you good morning, every day good morning. Every day good afternoon.
Every day good night. I don't know this English you understand,
Homage to the eternally dwelling Buddhas of the ten directions.
Homage to the eternally dwelling Dharma of the ten directions.
Homage to the eternally dwelling Sangha of the ten directions.
Homage to our original teacher Sakyamuni Buddha.
Homage to Earth Treasury King Bodhisattva of great vows.
Homage to Manjusri Bodhisattva of great wisdom.
Homage to Regarder of the World's Sound Bodhisattva of great compassion.
Homage to Universally Worthy Bodhisattva of great conduct.
The First: Worship and Respect All Buddhas,
The Second: Commend and Praise Tathagatas,
The Third: Vastly Cultivate Making Offerings.
The Fourth: Repent and Reform Karmic Obstacles,
The Fifth: Follow and Rejoice in Merit and Virtue.
The Sixth: Request the Turning of the Dharma Wheel,
The Seventh: Request Buddhas to Dwell in the World,
The Eighth: Constantly Follow Buddhas in Study,
The Ninth: Persevere in Accord With Living Beings,
The Tenth: Universally Transfer Merit.
Before I arrived, I did not know what would be
best to say to all of you. After arriving I decided to speak about
Universally Worthy (Samantabhadra) Bodhisattva's Ten Great Kingly
Vows. Why? Because each of you has causal connections with
Universally Worthy Bodhisattva. You ask me how I know? Ask yourself
why you don't know. Why don't you yourself know? However, you may
now be thinking, "I know." If you know, you don't have to ask me how
I know. Right? You know, and I also know. Therefore, you now see the
necessity of explaining the Ten Great Kingly Vows. In the multitude
of vows, these Ten Great Vows are kings.
If you want to know the meaning of the Ten
Great Kingly Vows, you must first know the meaning of "vow". A vow
is just that which you pledge yourself to do. If you want to make
vows, you must first have faith. For instance, I speak the Buddhadharma to you and you receive it with faith. I know this
because if you had no faith you would not be able to come here. Who
helped you produce this faith? You think, "Nobody. I did it myself."
No. It was your good professor who helped you produce this faith.
Your professor, although none of you know it, really likes and
protects you. He thinks, "I certainly must find a way to help these
young people become the greatest and most awesome in the world. He
doesn't fear straining his brain to devise many different methods to
enable you to have an opportunity to understand the Buddhadharma.
This is how he helps you have faith. After you have heard the
Buddhadharma you think, "Not bad. It is essential to understand the
Buddhadharma in order to understand the true principles of human
existence," and you make a vow to study the Buddhadharma. After
studying the Buddhadharma, you investigate the process of study
itself--what use does it have? You must practice. Then you
faithfully vow to practice. Having faith, you give rise to vows;
having vows, you practice.
All Buddhas of the past made vows, wishing to
accomplish Buddhahood. Amitabha Buddha made 48 vows; Akshobya Buddha
made 12 vows. To explain these would take much longer than two
hours; even in a month the explanation could not be completed. Every
Bodhisattva made vows to become a Bodhisattva. Therefore I will now
explain the Ten Kingly Vows.
Earlier I said that your good professor helped
you give rise to faith, which will help you make vows, and help you
practice. What is his goal? He wishes you to be better than he. He
is your professor, and he wants emeralds to come forth from the
turquoise. Ahhh! He wishes that all of the awesomely great worldly
deeds that you do in the future will be more perfect and great in
their success than his. Therefore he uses many methods to teach you
to have faith, to give you an opportunity to make vows, and to have
an opportunity to actually practice the Buddhadharma.
Now your professor, in his mind says to me,
"No! I don't think they should be better than me." Ahhh! I say he
is lying. He basically wants his students to be better than he, but
does not want them to know this. But now you meet me, such an
ineloquent person, and I just blurt it out. Therefore, your
professor won't acknowledge it. (At this point the audience
applauded and laughed.)
Don't merely laugh. Remember what I speak, and
don't confusedly think that this is unimportant. Why did I say that
your professor certainly has this thought? This is quite obvious. If
he did not have this thought, he would have been unable to invite me
here. He speaks more wonderfully than I; he knows more than I; but
because he teaches you day after day, he fears that you might fall
asleep, and so he asked me to come and say something new and
unsleepable. (Audience again applauds and laughs.)
Worship and Respect All Buddhas.
You think, "We Americans don't want to worship
and respect all Buddhas. We don't even want to worship one Buddha."
That's wrong. It is not that you don't want to worship all Buddhas;
it is just that you don't know the advantages of worshipping. Not
only should you worship one Buddha, but immeasurable, unlimited
Buddhas. Those who are confused about the Buddhadharma think that
there is just one Buddha. It is not this way. How many Buddhas are
there? Ask how many people there are, how many ghosts; ask how many
worlds, and then you will know how many Buddhas there are. You
think, "Isn't there just one world?" Let me tell you about worlds.
We live in one world. Outside of this, those
worlds in which we don't live are without number, incalculable, more
than fine particles of dust. You think, "Why don't I know?" You
haven't yet grown up, how could you know? When you are grown up,
then you will know. Now you are still studying and so are unable to
know many things. Wait until you have finished studying, then
investigate the Buddhadharma and understand it. At that time you
will know, "Ahhh! Formerly what that Dharma Master said was truly
not bad; it's truly that way. So many worlds! Look at them!
Numberless. So many Buddhas, I can't count them." Then you will
know. It is not that I am scolding or looking lightly upon you, but
you are all small children.
If you already know, then you are an adult. I
am speaking to those who don't know. Those who know are not small
children. If you know that there are other immeasurable, unlimited,
limitless, unbounded, incalculable, numberless worlds, then your
thought is big. You should not think that America is so big, nor
should I think that China is so big. Instead, have eyes open wide,
and see completely all worlds like small dust particles. Now men
have gone to the moon, a very close neighbor. In the future we will
travel to worlds incalculable miles from here. If you try to
calculate the number of miles, you can't do it, because it's too
far. These far off worlds all have Buddhas. Therefore we should
worship the Buddha.
To worship the Buddha is to bow to the Buddha.
We should bow to all Buddhas. "I have only one body," you think,
"and don't have enough money to travel to all those worlds and bow
to all the Buddhas." Don't worry. You don't even need one cent. You
need only contemplate the entire Dharma Realm as made from the mind
alone. Here I bow to the Buddha, bow to the Buddhas of all worlds. I
rely upon the power of the vows of all Buddhas to constitute my vow
power. To worship one Buddha is to worship immeasurable Buddhas; to
worship immeasurable Buddhas is to worship one Buddha. This
describes the First Vow: Worshipping and Respecting All Buddhas.
Visualize your body exhausting empty space throughout the Dharma
realm. In every Buddha's bodhimandala you are bowing. Therefore it
"Worshipper and worshipped in
nature are empty and still."
The worshipper is you who are able to bow to the Buddha. The
worshipped is the Buddha before whom you bow. In nature are empty and still. It is all empty. You should not think, "Where is the
Buddha? I'll grab him." Grasp and he's not there. There is no way to
grasp him. If you don't grab he comes. If you think "grab", he is
gone, because you had the thought to get him. Bow to him arid he
doesn't leave. Bow to him and he replies, "Good man, good woman, you
have brought forth the Bodhi Mind; in the future you will accomplish
the Buddha fruit."
Do all Buddhas have names? Yes. Originally
every Buddha had 10,000 names. But people couldn't remember 10,000
names. So many names, how could they be remembered? They filled up
the brain. The Buddhas' names filled up the brain, but one popped
out. "Hey! Who's name is that?" Therefore "popping out" is not
remembering clearly. People could not remember so many names so the
number was reduced to 1,000. 1,000 names were still a lot of trouble
for people to remember, and so later it was again reduced to 100 names.
This is very scientific. The process is too
slow, think of a way to make it faster--speed it up. Now in
mathematics it is not people, or abacuses, or pens that are used,
but the computer. It is fast. Electric.
The principle here is the same. One hundred
names were still too many. Therefore it was reduced to ten names.
Now every Buddha has ten names. I won't explain them now, I'll just
recite them and let everyone hear. If you want to understand them,
when you have time ask me or one of the American Bhiksus or Bhiksunis; they all
understand. The ten names of the Buddha are: Thus Come One, Worthy
of Offerings, Of Right and Universal Knowledge, Complete in
Knowledge and Conduct, Well-Gone World Knower, Unsurpassed Scholar,
Leader of Men to be Tamed, Teacher of Gods and Men, Buddha, World Honored One.
Every Buddha has these ten names. I don't know
about America, but in China there are people who say 'Tathagata Buddha.'
They think that Tathagata is Tathagata, and Buddha is Buddha, and
that Tathagata Buddha is another Buddha. In fact these are just one.
For example, you have many names, but they all refer to you. This is the same principle.
The first vow is to Worship and Respect All
Buddhas, Therefore it is said,
"Worshipper and worshipped in
nature are empty and still.
the way, intertwined, difficult to conceive."
You bow to the Buddha and the Buddha is compassionate
and receptive towards you. "What suffering does this living being
have? I will remove his suffering. What karmic offenses does he
have? I will also eradicate them and give him blessings." The Buddha
causes your karmic offenses to be extinguished and your good roots
to grow. Therefore it is said,
before the Buddha,
Ganges' sands of offenses are extinguished."
Bow before the Buddha
and your offenses, even if they are as many as the sands of the
river Ganges, will be extinguished. This is to Worship and Respect
To have a true response, you must bow
"The response, the way, intertwined, difficult to
This state is inconceivable. You should not think, "I'll
bow to the Buddha and get some money to buy some bean cakes. I can
eat bean cakes." You don't want to fix on getting a response when
you bow to the Buddha. It is just that we living beings ought to bow
to the Buddha. Don't think about whether or not your offenses will
be eradicated. You should not think that if your offenses are many,
you should bow a little more, or if you don't have any offenses, it
is not necessary to bow. Bowing to the Buddha is just bowing to the
Universally Worthy Bodhisattva has all the
spiritual penetrations and powers of transformation, yet having made
the vow, he still worships and respects all Buddhas. Now you don't
know anything, and do not bow to the Buddha. Is this not, in fact,
to slight yourself. Not attempting to get rid of your confusion,
your offenses, is to degrade yourself. Therefore we should follow
Universally Worthy Bodhisattva in his worship and respect of all Buddhas. This is the first King of Vows.
The Second: Commend and Praise Thus Come Ones.
Universally Worthy Bodhisattva's Second King of
Vows is Commend and Praise Thus Come Ones. Thus Come
One is also a name for Buddha. You worship the Buddha and also
praise the Buddha. If one were to say, "The First:
Worship and Respect All Buddhas, The
Second Commend and Praise All Buddhas," it would be repetitious.
second says Commend and Praise Thus Come Ones, You
shouldn't recognize Buddha and Thus Come One as two people, as two
different Buddhas. They are just one.
When we commend and praise the Buddha, does it
make him happy? No. Praise the Buddha and he is not happy. Curse the
Buddha and he is not afflicted. The Buddha is "everything thus"; he
can do everything. In English you say, "Everything okay". Therefore
you may praise and commend the Buddha, but on the part of the Buddha
there is no commending or praising. The Buddha is of the same
substance as all living beings, not just the same as one, but the
same as all. Therefore, praise the Buddha and he is not happy; curse
him and he does not become afflicted. On your part, however, there
is an offense. The Buddha is very compassionate towards all living
beings. If you commend and praise the Buddha, you are able to
increase your wisdom and good roots, and if you get angry at him, it
is your own offense.
In the world and out of the world, the Buddha
is the most honored and venerated, and you should commend and praise
him. You should not praise demons. If you praise demons, then you
are just a demon. If you praise Buddhas, then you are a Buddha. You
think, "But the Buddhas have so many great spiritual penetrations.
Why don't I have any?" Your time hasn't yet come, don't be so
nervous. At the time of your Buddhahood you will have them. Although
you are now a Buddha, you are a not-yet-accomplished Buddha. The
Buddha is an already-accomplished Buddha. Not-yet-accomplished
Buddhas should bow to the already-accomplished Buddhas, should
commend and praise the Buddhas.
The Third: Vastly Cultivate Making Offerings.
You reverently give, using your valuable possessions to make
offerings to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Making offerings is the
first of the six perfections. You give what is ungivable.
This teacup is made of plastic; anyone could
give it as an offering. However, if you had a gold teacup, you would
not only be unable to give it away, but would not even let other
people drink from it. If you were able to place that cup in front of
the Buddha as an offering, then that would be a true offering. For
example, if someone who has a million dollars gives one dollar, he
is not making a true offering. If he had only one dollar, and gave
that dollar, not paying any attention to whether he had bus-fare or
would have to walk, not paying any attention to himself, but just
giving, then he would have made a true offering. When practicers of
Buddhism eat, they first offer their food up to the Buddha, not just
to one Buddha, but to all the Buddhas of the ten directions and
three periods of time, to all the Bodhisattvas and all the sages.
To explain "vastly cultivate making offerings"
in detail would take much time, so I will explain only the general
meaning. It means that wherever you go you make offerings. It is not
to say, "I will make offerings here but not there, at this place but
not at that place." Don't discriminate, but vastly cultivate making
offerings. We have come together and I invite you to eat a little Buddhadharma. This is also to vastly cultivate making offerings.
The Fourth: Repent and Reform Karmic Obstacles.
Karmic obstacles are rotten. Why do I say they are rotten? Because
they obstruct your accomplishing of Buddhahood. They do not think
that you should become a Buddha. Why have you and I not become
Buddhas? It is because of karmic obstacles. If we had no karmic
obstacles then we would long ago have become Buddhas. You ask, "What
are karmic obstacles like?" Karmic obstacles are like karmic
obstacles. You ask what they look like, but I have no way to show
them to you. Why? Shapeless. If they had shape, then although empty
space is big, they would have blocked it up and destroyed it long
ago, because everybody has so many karmic obstacles. Everybody's
karmic obstacles are higher and bigger than Mt. Sumeru. In fact, the
karmic obstacles of one person could fill up the three thousand
great thousand worlds. But they do not have shape. If they had shape
then people would have no place to dwell.
What are the three thousand great thousand
worlds? I have often spoken of this. One sun, one moon, one Mt,
Sumeru, and four great continents make-up one world. One thousand
worlds together are called a "small thousand world". One thousand
small thousand worlds is a "middle thousand world". One thousand
middle thousand worlds is a "great thousand world". Therefore,
taking a thousand three times, there are three thousand great
thousand worlds. Our karmic obstacles would fill three thousand
great thousand worlds, but they have no shape. If they had shape, it
would be most annoying because there would be no room for people;
all would be karmic obstacles.
To repent our karmic obstacles is to repent all
our former errors. To reform means to correct all future
transgressions. Repent and reform also means to correct the errors
of our minds. Confucius said, "To have faults, and not to change
them is indeed a fault." To correct one's faults is to repent and
reform. Faults are karmic obstacles; karmic obstacles are just faults.
There are three kinds of obstacles: karmic
obstacles; retribution obstacles; and affliction obstacles. The most
difficult to eliminate are the affliction obstacles. A person giving
rise to afflictions is like a string of firecrackers popping, "pi pa
pi pa pi pa pi pa pi pa." Ohhh, people fear them. Today on Waverly
Place, people lit firecrackers and everyone stood back and did not
dare look. Why? They were afraid the firecrackers would hit them.
When people produce afflictions it is just like firecrackers,
totally without reason. Watch someone who is afflicted; whether a
man or woman, his mouth raps like exploding firecrackers. This is
the affliction obstacle.
Affliction obstacles make karmic obstacles and
karmic obstacles beget retribution. Therefore, "give rise to
ignorance, make karma, receive retribution". Ignorance is just
affliction. I frequently explain afflictions. You say, "Afflictions
are really bitter." Bitter, yet everyone likes to eat them. Eat them
once, eat them again, people enjoy them more than the finest
delicacies. After eating, they suffer, but after suffering, they eat
them yet again.
Eating afflictions. You say, "I have never
eaten afflictions, what do they taste like?" If you want to eat
them, it can easily be arranged. I will beat and scold you, and you
are unable to bear it. Ahhh, you get mad at me. I was only testing
to see if you had anger; you certainly do. This is affliction; it
tastes like this. It is an obstacle.
The Fifth: Follow and Rejoice in Merit and
I will speak faster now because the time is more or less up.
To follow and rejoice in merit and virtue is to follow and rejoice
in all merit and virtue, without discrimination, without preference.
If there are people practicing merit and virtue, I follow them in
practice. This is following and rejoicing in other's merit and
virtue. Since you, yourself, do not understand how to practice virtue,
you watch someone, and then follow him. You see him making offerings
and helping people, and you do likewise.
Universally Worthy Bodhisattva
The Sixth: Request the Turning of the Dharma
To turn the Great Dharma Wheel means to explain sutras and
The Seventh: Request Buddhas to Dwell in the
This is to request the Buddhas of the ten directions to
constantly dwell in the world, and be the heavenly eye for men. When
the Buddha is not in the world, the world is dark and obscure,
without light. Although we have eyes, because we have no wisdom, we
see, but falsely. It is simply that we don't recognize the true and
false, and not having brought forth true wisdom, we are extremely
stupid. Therefore the seventh vow is to request Buddhas to dwell in the world.
The Eighth: Constantly Follow Buddhas in Study.
Why do we request Buddhas to dwell in the world? So that we may
constantly study Buddhadharma with them.
The Ninth: Persevere in Accord with Living
This is to follow in accord with living beings, teaching and
transforming them. There are some who think they understand this and
say, "Living beings make karma; I should follow them and make karma.
Whatever they do I will follow and also do." This is wrong. To
persevere in accord with living beings is to enable them to receive
your Dharma compassion, receive your teaching and transforming.
The Tenth: Universally Transfer Merit.
sake of all living beings who have offenses, you vow, "I shall not
keep any meritorious virtue for myself but transfer it to all living
beings of the Dharma Realm, causing them to together produce the Bodhi
Mind, together certify to the Bodhi fruit.
These are the Ten Kingly Vows made by
Universally Worthy Bodhisattva. To hear these Ten Kingly Vows
requires deep good roots. If each of you did not have good roots,
you would not hear them. Even if you wanted to, you would be unable.
There would be no opportunity to hear of the Ten Great Kingly Vows.
You should not look lightly upon this opportunity and think, "Today
it was easy, I didn't spend any money and still heard." Ahh, for
this good fortune you must thank your professor, Professor
Lancaster. Even to hear the very names of the Ten Great Kingly Vows
is not easy.
I have taken much of your valuable time. The
principles, which were spoken, correctly you should put into
practice. If you recognize them as incorrect, then you should not
practice them. It is not necessary that you remember that such and
such a Dharma Master explained Dharma to you. You should forget me,
and forget yourself. You think, "I can't do that!" Can't do it?
Think about it. You obviously can't forget. However, it is most
important that you don't forget you are studying with Professor
Lancaster. We are just passing through. It is like riding on a horse
and looking at flowers. It is not certain you will see clearly. You
should continue to work in your studies with Professor Lancaster.
Don't misunderstand. If you don't study well with him and only
listen to me, then he won't give you a good grade. You must study
with him, study until you know all that he teaches, and then he will
give you a very high grade...an A.
The time has arrived. There is still, however,
something else. It is difficult to have an opportunity to gather
together and talk. Although our languages are not the same, there is
an old translator who came and translated. Not an ancient but a
I do not speak well, and I hope that you will
forget what I have said. It's just right here. If you are able to
forget, then you are truly inconceivable. If you can not forget,
then you have not yet been successful, and are still wasting effort.
I hope that you forget. There is one person, who thinks, "I forgot."
That's a lie. You are not able to forget. Not just in the present,
but even after ten years you will still be able to have such a
memory. Since you are unable to forget it, you should think about
it. Spend a long time thinking, "How can Buddhahood be
accomplished?-—certainly an expedient Dharma must be found." If you
are able to completely study the expedient Dharma, then you are just
the Buddha. If you can't find an expedient Dharma, then you should
not be like those foolish ones who say, "I am Buddha."
I will now introduce you to the Buddha. In
China he is called "Fo"（佛）, which in English is "Buddha". I will
now make a commentary on this English word. Buddha, Buddha, it could
be pronounced "bu da"（不大）, which in English means "not big". Not big. Is he
small? He is also not small. Not big, not small. "Bu da" is just not
big. Not big reminds you not to have a big self. You shouldn't say,
"Look at me! Big as Mt. Sumeru!" All Buddhas are not big. That is
Since you may not have understood the meaning
of "bu da", "not big", I must tell you that it also means "bu da",
"don't beat"（不打）. Don't beat your father, don't beat your mother, don't
beat your professor. Don't think, "I am already better than my
professor, better than my mother and father." You should not have
this attitude. If you do, where did your bigness come from?
Therefore you should study "not big".
To listen is very easy, to practice is very difficult. Now I won't
talk anymore, because I am going to "bu da".