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The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra With Commentary

【卷四 提婆達多品第十二 】

Roll Four, Chapter Twelve: Devadatta

宣化上人講 Commentary by the Venerable Master Hua
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institute
修訂版 Revised version

















It's not that easy to be reborn transformationally from a lotus. You have to cultivate a lot of ascetic practices that others can't cultivate. There are eight causes and conditions for being born that way.

Eight Causes and Conditions for Birth in a Lotus

1. One would rather give up one's life than speak about the faults of others. Let's say you were in a position where you were going to get your head chopped off, and, if you simply said, "It's not my fault! So and so did it, not me; they told me to do it. It wasn't my idea.... etc..." you could escape. You still wouldn't say it. If you would rather lose your life than talk about others' faults, then you have fulfilled the first condition for being born in a lotus.

Can any of you do this? If you gossip all day long, how can you be born in a lotus? Hah! I don't care if you gossiped before. That doesn't count as long as you don't gossip anymore; now that I have taught you not to, I will certify that your past offenses don't count, as long as you reform in the future. It won't hold if you do it again, though.

2. One teaches people to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. Not only do you influence people to take refuge and practice the Bodhisattva Path, but even animals.

3. One brings it all back to the Bodhi heart. All your good deeds should be dedicated to bringing forth the Bodhi heart.

4. One practices undefiled Brahma conduct. Brahma conduct is pure conduct. It means being without greed, hatred, or stupidity. This means you get rid of your greed forever. You can't think you're doing okay because you are not greedy during lectures, and then get greedy as soon as you leave the lecture hall! Perhaps even while the lecture is in progress you are thinking, "Arrgh!! What nonsense! I like being greedy! Why do we have to keep hearing about that!" Then you get angry and then you don't listen anymore. You take a nap instead. See? Pure Brahma conduct means not having even the most subtle forms of greed. If someone leaves a bag of garbage around, you can't go looking through it for gold pieces! That's worthless!

5. One makes Buddha images and places them on lotus pedestals. That's another cause for being born transformationally from a lotus.

6. One dispels the troubles of living beings.Living beings are always worrying. "What am I going to do? I can't solve my problems!!" So you think of a solution for them. But you can't expect a lot of gratitude; you must do it and forget it, that's all.

7. One is humble towards arrogant people. People who are arrogant are always fighting to be number one. Toward such people you should be humble and compliant. Remember, you shouldn't be arrogant toward anyone, or else you can't be born transformationally from a lotus.

8. One does not give trouble to others. Don't cause people to get afflicted. You can't order people around and tell them what to do! Especially in America! Not to mention ordinary people, you can't even tell your friends, brothers or sisters, or spouse what to do. In America, people aren't into taking orders from anyone. So when I asked Guo Hsu whether she wanted to get married, she said, "No way!" And it was because she didn't want to be bossed around. None of you should think you are number one and can tell others what to do. It won't work.

To be continued

What is morality? It is defined as making it a priority to benefit others, making it a goal not to obstruct others, and being filled with humaneness, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trustworthiness.

The Venerable Master


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