Good and Wise Advisors! People who study the Buddhadharma should not have thoughts of greed or contention. Some people are such that the more they study, the more they want to contend; the more they study, the greedier they become.
This is my first visit to Belgium. The majority of the people in the audience here are Vietnamese. Although there may be some difficulty communicating because of the language difference, people are very orderly. When I went to Malaysia and Taiwan, there were Buddhists there whose every move manifested their greed and contention.
Due to some miraculous events that occurred during my first visit to Malaysia, I was able to see what those people there were really like. What miracles am I talking about? In Malaysia there are many people who are victims of hexes cast by teachers of deviant cults.
There was one person I remember who had been under the influence of a hex for fifteen years. Every day the hex drove him to the point of committing suicide, but then another part of him would tell him not to kill himself. With one part of his mind telling him to commit suicide and another part telling him not to, every day was a struggle between life and death for him.
When I went to Malaysia, I believe it was in Muar, there was a person who got on his knees and begged me to help him get rid of a hex. He was in his fifties. When I heard his request, I picked up my gnarled cane and dealt him a blow on the head. That was on my first trip to Malaysia. I was sick at the time and barely had the strength to walk. Seeing me walking so slowly, someone gave me that stick to use as a walking cane. And so when I heard about the person's hex, I was so upset that I picked up the cane and gave him a whack with it. After being struck, he stood up and ran. After he had run a dozen steps or so, he vomited up an uncountable number of worms. After that, he was well.
When news of this incident spread, many people came to wait for their turn to receive a beating, but I didn't have time to hit them all. This person had a sickness, and that one had another sickness. The room I was staying in was about a hundred paces from the restroom. Every day the path from my door to the restroom was lined with people on their knees who were waiting to ask for a beating. I don't know if it was sincerity or greed on their part, but they started lining up at my door first thing in the morning. When I came out of my room to go to the restroom, there was no space left for me to walk. They blocked my way and surrounded me, asking me to hit them. I had no choice but to recite a "mantra." It was the mantra for going to the restroom, and it went, "If you don't get out of my way, I'll relieve myself right on your heads. If you're not afraid of being sprayed with urine, then stay kneeling where you are." When they heard that, they finally opened up a path for me to pass. What is the point of this story? It shows that those Buddhists didn't understand the Buddhadharma. When they weren't contending, they were being greedy. They didn't care whether a person had time or not; they would block his path and struggle to be first. They were contending. To study Buddhadharma like that is not to understand the Buddhadharma.
In studying Buddhadharma, you should defer to others and be courteous in all you do. Don't contend with anyone. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas has six "demon-spotting mirrors," and the first one is not contending.
When I was in Manchuria (northeast China), once there was a devastating epidemic of a contagious disease. In one household of eleven people, there were thirteen deaths in three days. How could that be? It was because there were two visitors when the epidemic struck, and so the whole family of eleven along with the two visitors all died, making thirteen in all. There were deaths in many families. Observing the situation, I didn't wait to be called upon. I took a few disciples with me, and we went to recite the Great Compassion Mantra on the outskirts of the village. After that the epidemic subsided, and many people became Buddhists. They took refuge with the Triple Jewel and became my disciples.
Anyone who sincerely recites the Great Compassion Mantra can obtain a response. There was one couple who had quarreled, and the wife tried to commit suicide by drinking lye. Drinking even a mouthful of regular lye can be lethal, not to mention a whole bowlful, but she drank the kind used to make beancurd, which is not as strong. After the woman drank the lye in anger, her son came to find me, as I happened to be in their village at the time. He didn't really know whether I could help him, but in this emergency he was willing to try anything. Since he couldn't think of a better solution, he ran to find me, got on his knees, and told me what had happened. He begged me to save his mother. At first I declined, but he kept kneeling there for twenty or thirty minutes. Seeing that he was quite sincere, I went to his home to recite the Great Compassion Mantra.
When I arrived at his home, his mother's eyes had rolled upwards and the whites were showing; her pupils could not be seen. White foam came out of her mouth, and she was unconscious. It seemed hopeless. Nevertheless, I still decided to try and recite the Great Compassion Mantra. As I recited, the lye started flowing out of her mouth. She then regained consciousness and vomited all the lye she had swallowed. After that, she became well.
To be continued