From the last issue: It's like drinking water—you know for yourself whether it is cold or warm. Don't ask me....
Because we revere the Buddha,
We will endure all of this evil
For this we will be mocked
And people will flippantly say,
"All of you are Buddhas."
All such words of ridicule
We will patiently endure.
In the turbid eon, in the evil age
When there will be much to fear,
Evil ghosts will possess others
In order to slander and insult us.
But, revering and trusting the Buddha,
We shall put on the armor of patience;
In order to speak this Sutra,
We shall endure all these difficulties.
Not cherishing body or life itself,
But caring only for the supreme Path,
We in the ages to come
Will protect and uphold the Buddha's entrustment.
Because we revere the Buddha, / We will endure all of this evil. All of the Great Bodhisattvas, Bhikshus, and Bhikshunis made vows, saying, "We will patiently endure all evil, because we all revere the Buddha and believe in him."
For this we will be mocked / And people will flippantly say, / "All of you are Buddhas." People will insult us and tease us saying, "You folks are all Buddhas!"
All such words of ridicule / We will patiently endure. They will hold us in contempt, but we will bear the insults nonetheless.
In the turbid eon, in the evil age / When there will be much to fear, / Evil ghosts will possess others. In the Dharma-ending age, the demons will be strong and the Dharma will be weak. How do people become possessed by ghosts? It's easy for a ghost to possess people who maintain improper and deviant thoughts. When one is possessed by a ghost, one loses one's awareness. One speaks, but one doesn't know what one is saying. The ghost confuses one's mind so that one doesn't know anything. The ghost does the talking while the person isn't consciously aware of what is going on. When I lived on Sacramento Street, I met a woman who was possessed. She said she was a Sage and a Bodhisattva. I said, "Bodhisattvas are supposed to know everything. How come you don't know anything?" She had no answer, and so she left. People possessed by evil ghosts may claim to be Bodhisattvas or Buddhas who have come here to teach people.
Ghosts possess people whose minds have turned ghostly. These people walk around looking like everyone else, but they're thinking about ghosts. With ghosts on their minds, they attract ghosts from the outside. The inner and outer ghosts get together and the person is controlled by ghosts.
In this case, the ghost takes over the person
in order to slander and insult us—cultivators of the
Way. But, revering and trusting the Buddha, / We shall put on the armor of patience. We wear a suit of armor similar to that worn by Weitou Bodhisattva and General Guan. The armor protects us from being stabbed by swords and lances, the military weapons of ancient times. Wearing the "armor of patience," one can endure slander and abuse. No matter how anyone scolds you, the scolding won't affect you.
The word for "scolding" in Sanskrit is akrosha. Without the first long 'a' syllable, the word becomes krosha, which means "shouting sound." With the initial long 'a', the word means "scolding."
If someone scolds you and you don't receive it, it returns to the mocker. When someone scorns you, it is because his mind is evil. If you refuse the insults, the evil in that person's mind makes him even more uncomfortable. "Why do you ignore my scolding?" he cries. So if someone reviles you, you shouldn't think of it as a scolding; think, "In a former life I must have yelled at this person, thus now I am undergoing the retribution. Reprimand me some more!" That way, the matter is resolved. Therefore, when a possessed person scolds a Dharma Master who upholds the Dharma Flower Sutra, that Dharma Master should don the armor of patience, because he reveres the Buddha.
In order to speak this Sutra, / We will endure all these difficulties. We will bear all these unbearable things,
not cherishing body or life itself, / But caring only for the Supreme Path. / We, in the ages to come / Will protect and uphold the Buddha's entrustment.
In propagating the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra, we will forget to value and love our bodies and lives. The only thing we will care about is protecting and maintaining the
Dharma Flower Sutra and cultivating according to its doctrines. We will carry out the Buddha's orders in protecting and propagating the Buddhadharma.
To be continued