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Why Do We Recite the Name of Guanyin Bodhisattva?

宣公上人講述 By the Venerable Master Hua









We are now holding a Guanyin Recitation Session, which is one of the 84,000 Dharma doors (methods of practice). If you can deeply enter one Dharma door, then when you cultivate it to perfection, you will also have perfected the other doors. As it is said,

The inherent nature is like space, containing both the true and the false therein.
If you awaken to this principle, then when you understand one, you will understand all.

In reciting the name of Guanyin Bodhisattva, you should recite whether you are moving or still, sleeping or awake. Recite to the point that you can even hear Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name in the sound of the wind and water. Every sound you hear is just the name of Guanyin Bodhisattva. All sentient beings and insentient things are reciting Guanyin’s name. All sounds are Guanyin Bodhisattva's name; all states are Guanyin Bodhisattva manifesting to speak the Dharma. At that point, you have no idle thoughts or doubts at all. Everything above, below, and all around you is illuminated by Guanyin Bodhisattva’s light.

Guanyin Bodhisattva exists within our nature, and we exist within Guanyin Bodhisattva’s nature; we join and become one with Guanyin Bodhisattva. Guanyin Bodhisattva is like a great sea, and each person is a stream flowing into the sea. All streams unite in the sea. There is no longer any awareness of a self or of Guanyin Bodhisattva. Both the self and Guanyin Bodhisattva are empty. In Buddhism, this is still a very small state of accomplishment; it is by no means complete. Yet, starting with this little bit, you can gradually go from the shallow to the deep, from the near to the far, from a little to a lot. Eventually, you will attain the Guanyin recitation samadhi.

Each time you recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name, a ray of light shines forth, dispelling a great deal of bad karma and saving many living beings in the world. Reciting Guanyin’s name helps to restore the proper energy in the universe. Each person who recites helps to increase the light and decrease the darkness.

As we have been reciting Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name, the state of California has not experienced any natural or manmade disasters. Why not? Because there are so many people reciting here. Each person who comes to recite Guanyin’s name reduces the number of local disasters. Why is this? Guanyin Bodhisattva is greatly compassionate, and if you recite his name, he will fulfill all your wishes.

Take a look at how many tornadoes and floods there have been in the Eastern and Midwestern United States during the past few years. Many people have been killed and many houses have been blown away by the tornadoes. These disasters are caused by malicious sea monsters. However, California has been relatively free of such calamities, because those monsters don’t dare to come here. This is a response gained from everyone reciting Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name and working hard at cultivation. With our cultivation we hope to influence the world and make it free of calamities. We are not reciting Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name only for ourselves; we are praying to Guanyin Bodhisattva to dispel the world’s disasters. The response we gain will be as large as the amount of sincerity we can muster. For this reason, we should vigorously recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name and pray for Guanyin Bodhisattva to make the whole world a peaceful, disaster-free place. This Dharma session is an extremely important one.

Since you don’t understand the Buddhadharma well, you don’t realize how important it is to recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name. When you recite Guanyin Bodhisattva’s name, “Anger gives way to happiness, and the dead come back to life. You may say this is false, but the Buddhas do not lie.” If you recite Guanyin’s name upon encountering an angry person, the person’s anger will soon turn into happiness. If you recite Guanyin’s name for someone who is dying, he will be able to live on. If you don’t believe this, you should know that the Buddhas do not speak falsely. The power of such responses is inconceivable. During the Guanyin Session, we shouldn’t waste a single second with idle chatter. If you start talking, other people will start talking, and pretty soon everyone will retreat from their resolve to cultivate. If you yourself don’t cultivate, that’s okay, but don’t influence others to not cultivate. Don’t create offenses in the Way-place. If you deliberately break the rules, then even the Buddha has no way to forgive you.


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