頭先我叫你們各位說一說，你們有什麼境界。我又想起來在三藩市，有一種境界。有一次打皈依；這一次打皈依的大約有三十幾個人。皈依之後，我就問他們，我說：「為什麼你們這麼多人都要皈依呢？」就有一些個，以前是一個叫山鹿的信徒，他們那不是皈依，就是相信他。這個山鹿是我剛到三藩市的時候，他天天要來學佛法，但是我那時候只是禮拜天給大家講一講法，隨便講一講。他就每個禮拜天到我那兒去學，一學學了兩年。這個人叫山鹿，就是 Mountain Deer，我給他取的名字。本來他的名字或者叫野鹿，我給他取名叫山鹿。
Thursday, August 21, 1975 afternoon Ullambana (continued)
I have just asked you to speak about your experiences, and I, too, remember an experience I had at Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco. Once, after a ceremony at which some thirty people took refuge, I asked, "Why did all of you decide to take refuge?" The new disciples had been followers of an outside-way teacher, whom I had given the name, "Shan Lu," "Mountain Deer." When I first came to San Francisco, Shan Lu wanted to come and study the Buddhadharma with me. At that time I only gave informal Dharma talks once a week, on Sundays. He came every Sunday for two years. His name was Mountain Deer. I gave him this name. His original name might have been "Wild Deer" but I called him "Mountain Deer."
Why did so many people believe in him? Because during the two years he studied with me, he learned a few doctrines and set himself up as a patriarch, and took disciples. Why did his disciples believe in him? He had money, perhaps as much as a million. Whoever went to him and believed in him had food to eat, a place to live, and clothes to wear. They solved their problems of the three necessities. Thus, many people who had no food, clothing, or shelter came to believe in him.
He was seventy or eighty years old and very rich, so he gained a large following. He was also very casual. You could eat meat and drink wine if you liked—he would buy you your wine and your meat!—in fact, you could have anything you wanted. There was no moral code at all. He didn't talk about the moral precepts at all, yet he claimed to be an enlightened patriarch. A lot of people, as the word got around, said that he had attained sagehood and others said that he was enlightened. Some really stupid people studied the Buddhadharma with him, while others, the smart ones, thought continually about his money.
He had one disciple who thought, "I've followed you for so long, and you still haven't died and left your money to me! What a nuisance!" One day as the teacher was on the stairs, that disciple gave him a push and he went tumbling down the stairs and became unconscious. Taking advantage of the fact that the "enlightened patriarch" was in a coma and couldn't talk, the disciple claimed that his teacher's final instructions were to give the money to so-and-so, and that no one else had any share in it.
Then, without a sign, without a sound, the teacher died.
After his death, the group published his books and styled him a patriarch. One night, he appeared to his followers in a dream. He said, "The Dharma I taught you in the past is not ultimate. You should now go take refuge with Dharma Master so-and-so, and study the Buddhadharma with him. That's the right thing to do." So his followers came to me and signed up to take refuge with the Triple Jewel and started studying the Buddhadharma over again.
When you cultivate the Way, it's not easy to meet a genuine good advisor. Some people pretend to be such advisors, and without any real understanding they proceed to teach other people. Shan Lu, for example, was such a one. Yet he still had a sense of conscience, for when he realized he had done wrong to his disciples, he told them to take refuge with the Triple Jewel and thereby avoid falling into the hells. That was pretty decent of him.
And so many of his followers came to Gold Mountain Monastery to take refuge. Of the thirty people who took refuge that day, more than twenty of them were Shan Lu's disciples. After the ceremony, they told me about this dream. They said that Shan Lu had instructed the entire group to come and take refuge. They believed their dream, because over twenty of them had dreamt the exact same dream. They thought it was a miracle. Do you all remember this incident? [Disciples: Yes.] And so all those people had that dream.
To be continued