萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea


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Instructional Talks by the Venerable Master during
a Buddha Recitation Session at Buddha Root Farm

一九七五年八月於美國奧立崗州August 1975, on Buddha Root Farm on the Smith River near Reedsport, Oregon
國際譯經學院記錄翻譯Translated by the International Translation Institute









有幾個人昨天晚上睡不著覺,打這個妄想,說是都是一樣的磁石,怎麼又有力量大的,力量小的?佛都是一樣的佛,那麼力量怎麼就有不同的呢?打這個妄想,研究這個問題,可是還不敢來問這個問題。我就打開這個法會 open talk(公開討論),也沒有人敢問,只是打這個妄想,不問這個問題。那現在我答覆這個問題。




Friday, August 22,1975 (evening)

I now have a few more words for those of you who took refuge this afternoon. After this, anywhere you go, if people ask you who your teacher is and you want to admit that I am your teacher, you can tell him, "The stupidest person in the world is my teacher. His name is such and such. There isn't anyone dumber or more ignorant than he is." That's how you should answer. Don't say something like, "My teacher is really intelligent and he has all these good qualities." Your teacher has no praiseworthy qualities. Don't go around promoting your teacher and talking about how great he is. He doesn't have any good qualities at all, only shortcomings.

Whenever you go to a Buddhist temple you should be humble. Do not be arrogant. You should feel that everyone else is better than you, and that you have much to learn from them. For example, when you bow to the Buddha, don't stand in the center aisle, because that is the space reserved for the Abbot. Bow off to one side. Don't cause those who see you to think, "Oh, your teacher is really stupid. He hasn't taught you anything. You don't even know how to bow to the Buddha." Then no matter how good you say your teacher is, no one will believe you. On the other hand, if you do everything well and according to the rules, then you won't even have to say anything about your teacher being a good teacher. People will just take one look at you and think, "He's so well-behaved and well-mannered; probably his teacher doesn't have any major flaws." Do you believe this? No? Okay, that's all for today.

Saturday, August 23, 1975 (afternoon)

Disciple: When Guanyin Bodhisattva succeeds Amitabha Buddha in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, where will Amitabha Buddha go?

Venerable Master: He's going to go right into your heart. Who else has a question?

Disciple: When you are born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, do you stay there until you are a Buddha or get enlightened, or do you stay only briefly and then leave?

Venerable Master:

You become a Buddha right there. Those born in the superior grade of the superior lotuses become Buddhas as soon as they appear. Those born in the lower grade of the lower lotuses must wait ninety great eons to become Buddhas.

Several days ago Guo Tong asked a question about why there were two Buddhas with the same name in the Amitabha Sutra. There are unreckonably many Buddhas with identical names.

In the Land of Ultimate Bliss alone, there are three hundred and sixty billion, one hundred nineteen thousand, five hundred Buddhas all called the "Guiding Master, Amitabha Buddha." The answer that Guo Hang gave to his question was correct. There are that many Amitabha Buddhas, all of whom guide living beings.

Yesterday, I said that Amitabha Buddha was like a magnet and that all living beings are like iron filings. When iron filings meet a magnet, they are irresistibly drawn to it. I also said that the other Buddhas were like magnets, but their magnetism was not as strong as Amitabha's. Several people couldn't sleep last night because they were having this false thought: "If all the Buddhas are like magnets, how come some of them have a stronger magnetic field than others? How can their powers be different?" Today, when I asked if there were any questions, no one dared bring the matter up, but I will answer it anyway.

It is because Amitabha Buddha has made forty-eight vows, and these vows are like the power of a magnet. Other Buddhas have also realized Buddhahood, but they have not made these forty-eight vows and so their power is not as great. Thus, in cultivating the Way, one must make vows. If you have vows, they are certain to come true. Vows are like a lamp that illumines the road ahead. When you are walking, if you have a lamp to light the path, it is very easy to travel. Each one of us should make vows in our cultivation.

At Gold Mountain Monastery, every year on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, the anniversary of the enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha, those who wish to do so may make vows. That day is called "vow day." Although the word vow (願 yuan) in Chinese sounds the same as the word for resentment (怨 yuan), it is not a day of resentment. Some people resent heaven and blame their fellow human beings, saying, "Heaven! You really don't know how to do your job. You are so unjust! And every soul on this Earth is wrong!" People like that think everybody else is in the wrong. That's the day to make vows. You can make a vow about something you want to accomplish or about how you want to cultivate. Can one make vows at other times as well? Yes. However, that particular day is the anniversary of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment and so, when we make vows on that day, he is very pleased. "Oh! In the Saha world another living being has made vows because of my enlightenment! These are supreme conditions!"

And so he says, "Good indeed! Good indeed! Good man, goodwoman, you have made these vows and I shall certainly help you to fulfill them."

To be continued


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