「惟願慈悲」：我現在願意你們每一個人都很慈悲的。「少加聽察」：你們拿出一點點的時間來，聽一聽我對你們所說的話。少加聽察，你也想一想；這個「察」就是想一想，對不對？英文叫 think over. You think it over. Is It right？
[This nfilial, dull, common Sanghan Shixian,] weeping blood and bowing to the ground, importunes the great assembly and the presentday men and women of pure faith: Please be compassionate and listen to my report.
We have heard that bringing forth the resolve is the foremost of the essential doors for entering the Way, and that making vows is first of the crucial matters in cultivation. By making vows, we can save living beings. By bringing forth the resolve, we can accomplish the Buddha's Way.
Although he is a common monk, very dull and lowly, an average person, he has a sincere wish to speak the honest truth. He wants to speak his heart. How sincere is he? He is sincere to the point of
weeping blood and bowing to the ground. He cries to the point that his eyes bleed. Think it over. If he were not sincere, if he were not crying his heart out, how could his eyes be bleeding? They wouldn't. Although this is a figure of speech, it also expresses his sincerity. It reveals his utmost earnestness. He bows his head to the ground.
Weeping silently and with deep grief, he
importunes the great assembly of the present, which includes monastics and laypeople, as well as all living beings. He is referring not only to people, but to the vast multitude of all living beings,
and the present-day good men and women of pure faith; this includes all laypeople.
Please be compassionate and listen to my report. He says, "May you all be compassionate and take a little bit of time to listen to what I have to say, and then think it over."
We have often heard that bringing forth the resolve is the foremost of the essential doors for entering the Way. If you wish to cultivate the Way, what is the critical path you must take? You must first bring forth the Bodhi resolve. That's the most important.
And we have heard that making vows is first of the crucial matters in cultivation. When you cultivate, what is the most important things you should understand? You must first make vows. If you don't, you won't be able to cultivate. Any cultivation you did would be false. If you don't even dare to make vows, what Way are you cultivating? What you call cultivation is just a sham! If you truly want to cultivate, why don't you dare to make vows? Therefore, making vows comes foremost. You must first make vows.
By making vows, we can save living beings. You are sustained by your vows. If you don't make vows, then you might say, "I cultivate, I cultivate," but when the time comes, you forget; you don't remember to cultivate. Therefore, making vows comes first; once vows are made, you can save living beings. If you have vows, it is like having a boat to ferry people across. If you don't have a boat, how can you ferry people? Vows are like a boat.
By bringing forth the resolve, we can accomplish the Buddha's Way. Once you make the resolve, you are qualified to realize Buddhahood. If you do not make the Bodhi resolve, you do not have the opportunity to become a Buddha. These words are spoken with great earnestness and are extremely important.
If we do not make the great resolve, and firm vows, we will remain on the turning wheel throughout as many eons as there are particles of dust. Any cultivation will be only bitter toil in vain.
If we do not make the vast, great resolve, if we are petty
minded and unable to take even the slightest loss or give up anything,
and suppose we do not make firm vows. "Firm vows" means we definitely follow through on our words and don't change our minds. If we do not make a great resolve and firm vows,
we will remain on the turning wheel throughout as many eons as there are particles of dust in worlds. We will pass through that many eons and still be unable to get out of the cycle of rebirth in the six paths. These six are the three good paths of gods, humans, and asuras, and the three evil paths of hell-beings, hungry ghosts, and animals. We will keep going around and around. Even if you do good deeds and get reborn in the heavens or human realm to enjoy blessings, it's not that great, because you are still subject to transmigration.
Any cultivation will be only bitter toil in vain. Although you follow a vegetarian diet, recite Sutras, and recite the Buddha's name, no matter how much effort you put in, you are just wearing yourself out without gaining any real benefit. It's a lot of toil, but no matter what Dharma you cultivate, your practice is not ultimate.
To be continued