as if Drunk and Dying in a Dream, It's Hard to End Birth and Death
“Those who know how to use
it can transcend the Three Realms.” If you know how to use money, you
can become a Buddha. “Those who don't fall into the underworld.” If you
don't know how to use money right, you use it to create offenses until
you fall into the hells. How dangerous that is! What advantages are
there to money? Everyone is so confused. Wealth and sex have confused
the people of the world so deeply that they have lost their wisdom. If
you do not crave wealth and sex, your inherent wisdom will reveal
itself. You should not crave fame, either. Don't always strive to be
number one. Don't try to get in the spotlight and make yourself known
Perhaps you don't want fame, sex,
or money, but you can't put down your attachment to food. You aren't
greedy for wealth, sex, or a good reputation, but you're greedy for
good flavors. When the food is served, your eyes open wider than a
cow's, because you want to take a good look to see if it's the kind you
like. If it is, you take more--one serving after another, never getting
enough. If it's not, you taste a little bit and push it aside. You are
clever when it comes to eating, but not so wise when it comes to
listening to the Dharma. When it comes to food, you know what's good
and what's not.
You may be able to put down your
attachment to food, but as for sleep, you can't bear to give up even a
minute of sleep. If you haven't had enough sleep, you can't get up to
go to work or to do morning recitation. During the morning and evening
recitations, you doze off. When you bow to the Buddhas, you fall asleep
and don't get up from the bow. Or you stand there and enter samadhi as
you're reciting the Buddha's name, so you forget to walk forward. In
this way people are confused all their lives, and then they die without
knowing what will become of them.
The world situation now is
incomprehensible. People cannot imagine what will happen to them. We
don't know when some country will set off a nuclear weapon and
annihilate the whole planet and everyone on it. I'm not trying to
intimidate you; it's really that dangerous. For this reason, we have to
trace the problem back to its source--fighting. Instead of fighting,
everyone ought to yield.
This is the responsibility of the
leader of every nation. Every head-of-state should cultivate virtue,
carry out humane policies, and teach the people to follow the five
precepts and practice the ten good deeds. But some national leaders do
not cultivate virtue and carry out humane policies. For example, the
Crown Prince of England believes in Buddhism, but the royal family made
a rule that when he assumes the royal throne, under no circumstances
could he sit in full lotus posture. So you see, even being a Buddhist
is against the law! If every head-of-state could believe in Buddhism,
every nation would be free of wars. On the other hand, if the
head-of-state is not Buddhist and is infatuated with money, there will
be war in the country. The heads-of-state have to be responsible for
Secondly, religious leaders have
to be responsible. Why are religious leaders unable to set a good
example for others? Why are they so greedy for wealth, sex, fame, food,
and sleep? The religious leaders have to assume their responsibility.
Furthermore, professors should not teach college students to be
promiscuous and take birth control pills like crazy. Professors,
thinking only about making money, have spoiled the students and
condoned their misbehavior.
It is said, "If the child is
raised but not taught well, it is the father's fault." Why aren't
parents teaching their children? Why do they let them do whatever they
want? For example, American youths commit murder and arson, peddle
drugs, and engage in other illegal activities. This is all because
their parents didn't teach them to behave well and respect the rules.
That's why everyone disregards the law and doesn't follow any rules. In
their daily lives, people break the five precepts against killing,
stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxicants. These are the
reasons the world has gone to ruin and education is morally bankrupt.
Parents have failed to educate
their children; teachers and professors have not done a good job of
teaching; and the clergy have not fulfilled their role as educators.
The government is not doing anything to reform education, either. Since
the world is in such a mess, the religious leaders should make it their
responsibility to bring about educational reform. All religions should
work together. It should not be like before, with people praising a
religion when they were in it and slandering it after they left it.
Catholics would say that Catholicism was good, Protestants would say
that Protestantism was good, and Buddhists would say that Buddhism was
good. Actually, we aren't supposed to praise ourselves. Only the praise
and recognition of others counts. For example, everyone recognizes the
fact that the Buddha attained Buddhahood. Your thinking of how you are
limitless and boundless doesn't make you limitless and boundless. Your
deciding that you have become a Buddha doesn't make you a Buddha.