Text from last issue: The
sixth great vow.
The blind have
eyes, but cannot see. The deaf have ears, but cannot
hear. When mutes try to talk, their voice stays down
in their throat and they are no louder than a mosquito. They are
basically incapable of speech. How miserable it is to be blind, deaf,
or mute! People undergo such retributions because, in the past, they
doubted the Dharma and didn't like to listen to it. Since they came
face to face with the Buddha and didn't recognize him, they became
blind. They didn't listen when people tried to speak Dharma to them, so
they became deaf. They stubbornly refused to study the Dharma, so they
hunchbacked. People whose joints or limbs are deformed may not
be able to extend them. Hunchbacks look as if a round-bottomed
cooking-pot were stuck on their back, or as if they had the hump of a
Or afflicted with skin
disease. Skin disease disfigures people in various ways,
perhaps covering their faces with patches of different colors. Those
suffering from insanity include severely abused
children, who may bite themselves or try to eat their own fingers.
People undergo the retribution of skin disease, insanity, or
various other sicknesses and sufferings because they slandered
the Mahayana Sutras, such as the Shurangama Sutra, or disparaged the
Buddha's teachings in the past.
Upon hearing my name, "Medicine
Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata," they shall all become
endowed with upright features, keen intelligence, and perfect
faculties, and they shall be free of sickness and suffering.
Ugly and dull people will become attractive and intelligent, and their
eyes, ears, noses, tongues, bodies, and minds will become fully
functional. All sickness and pain will disappear even though they
haven't taken medicine or seen a doctor. Isn't this wonderful? All we
have to do is hear the name of Medicine Master Buddha. See how much
this Buddha wants to help us? He doesn't want us to suffer our karmic
retributions, and he wishes to grant our wishes and make us truly happy.
"The seventh great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain
Bodhi, I shall cause sentient beings who are oppressed by many
illnesses and who are without aid, without a place to turn, without a
doctor, without medicine, without relatives, and without a family, who
are poverty-stricken and filled with suffering to be cured of their
sicknesses upon having my name pass by their ear, so they are peaceful
and happy in body and mind. They will have a family and relatives, and
acquire an abundance of property and wealth, and even realize
Many of the newcomers still don't know who Medicine Master Vaidurya
Light Tathagata is. I shall tell you a little more about this Buddha.
He is a great king of physicians who cures people without using
medicine. Living beings only need to hear his name, and their illnesses
will be cured.
Chinese physicians use the methods
of looking, listening, asking, and feeling the pulse to diagnose a
patient's condition. Physicians are classified as "spiritual,"
"sagely," "skillful," or "clever." The "spiritual" are the very best,
while the "sagely" are not quite as good. "Skillful" refers to those
who have to apply some skill and effort before they can know a person's
condition. The "clever" can know in an ingenious way. In general, the
"spiritual" know by looking; the "sagely" know by listening; the
"skillful" know through asking; and the "clever" know through feeling
the pulse. Ordinary doctors must use these four methods to diagnose
Medicine Master Buddha, however,
doesn't use these methods. He can cure people as long as they sincerely
recite his name. That's his special way of helping people. Such awesome
spiritual power comes from the following vow.
The seventh great vow: I
vow that in a future life when I attain Bodhi, I shall cause sentient
beings who are oppressed by many illnesses, and who are without aid,
without a place to turn, without a doctor, without medicine, without
relatives, and without a family, who are poverty-stricken and filled
with suffering. They have no one who can help them, and
no safe place where they can take refuge. Being sick
is the greatest suffering. They're poor and alone and
beset by hardships.
To be cured of their
sicknesses upon having my name pass by their ear. If they
hear my name, "Medicine Master Buddha Who Quells Disasters and
Lengthens Life," they will be cured of all disease, without having to
take medication or get shots, X-rays, or CAT scans. There's no need for
electrotherapy, acupuncture, or any other treatments or operations.
However, this passage doesn't mean that doctors will be out of
business, so doctors should not worry!
So they are peaceful and
happy in body and mind. They will have a family and
relatives, and acquire an abundance of property and wealth. They
will fully regain physical and mental health. They will not be alone in
the world, nor will they be poor.
they will even realize unsurpassed Bodhi. All living
beings have the Buddha-nature and can become Buddhas. The Buddha didn't
say, "I alone can become a Buddha, and no one else can." Buddhism is
very democratic. The Buddha is just the same as us, except that he has
great wisdom, so he doesn't say or do confused things. We study the
Buddha's teachings in order to learn to live in harmony, be good
people, and ultimately, become wise Buddhas. However, if we don't
follow the rules, we will never become wise.
"The eighth great vow: 'I vow that in a future life when I attain
Bodhi, if there are women who give rise to a deep loathing for their
female body and wish to renounce it because they are oppressed and
disturbed by the myriad sufferings of being female, upon hearing my
name, they will be able to turn from women into men who are replete
with the features of a hero, and ultimately realize unsurpassed Bodhi.'"
Why would women want to become men? Don't misunderstand and think that
Buddhism considers women to be bad. Some members of the Women's Lib
movement in America have accused Amitabha Buddha of being a male
chauvinist, because his Land of Ultimate Bliss is "men only." Actually,
Amitabha Buddha doesn't discriminate between "men" or "women."
To be continued