In an instant, old age and illness overtake us; suddenly impermancnce arrives. Amid the blaze of wind and fire, our spirit becomes disordered; our essence and blood are exhausted. Our flesh and skin wither and dry up. We feel as if iron needles are piercing our every pore and as if knives are hacking our every orifice. The spirit departing from the body at death feels more pain than does a live turtle when its shell is ripped off before it goes into the pot.
In an instant old age and illness overtake us. We are born, and in the twinkling of an eye, we become old. When old age arrives, our skin gets wrinkled and our hair turns gray. At this time, no matter how pretty the woman is, no one will want her. If the woman tries to find another marriage partner, no one is interested. If the husband is a little younger and sees that his wife has become old, he will look for another young girl. Do you believe it or not? The world is like this. Quickly put down everything, otherwise, suddenly impermanence arrives. We are confused and muddled, and suddenly before we know it, old age arrives, and illness overtakes us. The ghost of impermanence arrives like a flash of lightning.
Amid the blaze of wind and fire: When the wind blows, the fire starts to burn intensely; it can burn to several hundreds or thousands of degrees, until it is dried up. This is because the four elements are not in harmony. Our spirit becomes disordered: our spirit becomes muddled and no longer knows anything. We don't know where we came from or where we are going to. Our essence and blood are exhausted: They dry up and disappear. As for marriage and the relationship between a man and a woman, it actually sends people along the road to death. They are afraid of getting old, so girls will look for boyfriends and say, "Come quickly and let me die. I don't want to live anymore!" Boys will look for girls and say, "Hurry and let me die!" They are mutually throwing their lives away. Men and women who love one another basically don't want to live. When their essence, breath, and spirit are exhausted, they will die. We are conscious because we have spirit, essence, and breath. It takes huge quantities of the food that we consume to produce a tiny bit of vital essence. How can we afford to expend our essence all day long? Men are truly confused to think that having a woman is a desirable and happy thing.
Someone says, "Shifu, you can't say that, because if what you say is true, then wouldn't there be no people in the world?" There is no way to make everyone understand this principle. No matter how skillfully you try to tell them this is no good, they won't believe you and will still carry on. If you say, "You will die if you take that road!" they will say, "Oh? Well, I'd like to try and find out how to die." You don't have to worry; they are confused and it is not easy to warn them. Don't fret: "Ah! If no one gets married, the human race will become extinct." If you don't get married, others will still get married. There is no way you can tell everyone, "Hey, don't get married, otherwise you will die." They will say, "I have never died before; I'd like to try it out." So you don't have to worry as there is no way you can get everyone not to marry.
For example, Yu Guo Kong came here and said, "If everyone left the home-life, what would this world be like?" I said, "You could ask everyone to return to lay life." He said, "I have no way to get everyone to return to lay life." I said, "Then what way do you have to get them all to leave the home-life?" "It was just a thought," he replied. "That is just false thinking," I told him. To tell the truth, he had come with tens of thousands of questions, but his questions were quelled in an instant.
After hearing what I have told you today, you must fight against your greed and desire with determination, and not retreat. If you still don't understand and cannot let go of them, then, even Shakyamuni Buddha has no way to save you. "But God will not be happy," you object. If God doesn't understand and goes against it, then he is a confused god. If God is not confused, he certainly will not oppose me. So if the essence and blood are exhausted, then it is like Mr. So and So who engaged in "smuggling and tax evasion."
Flesh and skin wither and dry: The essence, energy, and spirit are depleted, and even the flesh and skin are also dried up. They all dry up layer by layer, and the four elements disperse. Earth, water, fire, and wind each return to their original source.
To be continued