From the last issue: "Falsely calling themselves Aranyakas, / They will take delight in pointing out our faults." They may live in a quiet place, but their minds aren't quiet...
Saying things like,
"All of these Bhikshus
Are greedy for profit and offerings,
And so they preach externalist doctrines.
They have written this Sutra themselves
To deceive and confuse worldly people
All for the sake of reputation."
They will single out this Sutra
And in the midst of the multitudes
Slander us before the kings, ministers,
Brahmans and laypeople
And even to other Bhikshus.
Attempting to defame us, they will say,
"These are people of deviant views
Who preach an externalist doctrine."
They will go around saying things like, "all of these Bhiksus, / Are greedy for profit and offerings, / And so they preach externalist doctrines. / They have written this Sutra themselves to deceive and confuse worldly people / All for the sake of reputation." Because they are so greedy for fame and gain, they will say that the Dharma Flower Sutra was not spoken by the Buddha! They will say that it is an externalist scripture; they will say that those who lecture on the
Dharma Flower Sutra are just doing it for fame and profit.
In China there was a Dharma Master who exclusively slandered the Great Vehicle Sutras. He did not believe in any of the Sutras except the
Dharma Flower Sutra. He believed in the Dharma Flower Sutra, but with reservations. He said that only the material preceding the Expedient Device Chapter (Chapter two) was genuine, and all the rest of it was false. He said the
Amitabha Sutra was false, too. He quoted the Sutra, saying, '"Passing from here through hundreds of millions of Buddha-lands to the west, there is a world called Ultimate Bliss...' Why one hundred million? Why not one hundred and one million or ninety-nine? What nonsense! Who was in charge of measuring the distance? That's proof that it's a false text." He would only lecture on the parts of the Sutra he considered real. You young Americans probably had no idea that such strange things take place in Buddhism, did you?
They say, "Those Bhikshus wrote the Dharma Flower Sutra! I could write one, too. I could write a thousand volumes, but I'm not like that! These people who lecture on the
Dharma Flower Sutra are cheating everyone!" So yesterday I told you myself that I was cheating you. I don't need other people to call me false. Who cares anyway? A good name, a bad name— it's all the same. What counts is what's inside. If I give myself a bad name, then I save other people the trouble.
They will single out this Sutra / And in the midst of the multitudes / Slander us before the kings, ministers, / Brahmans and laypeople / And even to other Bhikshus. "Brahmans" are those who cultivate pure living.
Attempting to defame us, they will say, / "These are people of deviant views / Who preach an externalist doctrine. The doctrines are not true." So it will be in the Dharma-ending age. Those who speak the true Dharma will be slandered as externalists, while those who speak deviant Dharma will be regarded as true exponents of the Dharma. That's a primary characteristic of the Dharma-ending age. People can no longer tell black from white, true from false. If you tell them something false, they will be happy. If you say something true, they won't want to listen. They will say, "I don't want to hear about that!"
The Dharma spoken at the Buddhist Lecture Hall is neither true nor false. Why do I say this? If you think it's true, then the false is true. If you think it is false, then the true becomes false. The genuine doctrine is beyond false and true. We don't talk very much here. We just meditate. Would you say that was true or false? I don't know either. If you gain something false, you'll know, too. It's like drinking water— you know for yourself whether it is cold or warm. Don't ask me.
To be continued