在這兒大家都是平等的。我們不是你給錢給得多，你就先走；你沒給錢，你最後。你們各位想一想，在中國，給人念經，超度人要收一萬塊錢，或是十萬塊錢，都不一定的。一般說，「錢越多越好」、「你有錢你就好。」在亞洲的佛教是這樣子的。這裡，你給錢也好，不給錢也好；你願意做好事也好，你不願意做好事，也okay（好）：Everything is okay（一切都可以），這又叫革命為僧事。我們不像亞洲的這個佛教，就看錢看得那麼重要，看其他的，像佛經、佛法、佛，看得很低的。
Here, everyone is equal. It's not the case that if you give more money you go first, and if you give only a little you must stand behind. In China, monks recite Sutras for people, to help the dead, and for this service one pays $10,000 or maybe $100,000. It's not fixed. In general, "the more money, the better." "If you have a lot of money, you are good." Asian Buddhism is this way. Here, if you give a lot of money, it's okay.If you don't give money, it's also okay. If you like to do good things, it's okay. If you don't like doing good things, it's okay. Everything's okay. That is what is meant by "making revolution in the Sangha." We are not like Asian Buddhism, which sees money as all-important, and sees other things, such as the Sutras, the Dharma, the Buddha, and the Sangha, as really low.
That's how it is in Asian Buddhism. The monks play the wooden fish—"dong, dong, dong"—and hit the bell, and then ask for money. If you bow to the Buddha, you have to give money. Otherwise, the Buddha won't notice you. If you give more money, the Buddha's eyes may open wider. This is the kind of attitude that leads to the Dharma-ending Age.
At Gold Mountain Monastery, we don't do it that way. Here, the poor and the rich bow to the Buddha on equal ground. There is no discrimination. It's not the case that if you give more money, you're number one. At Gold Mountain Monastery, it's not that we don't accept money, rather we don't place such great importance on it.
This kind of an attitude is revolutionary! This is "revolution in the Sangha." We are making revolution against the improper elements of Buddhism. All the improper customs and habits must be eliminated. Thus, we uphold the Orthodox Dharma by purging it of its "unorthodox" elements. We want to do away with the Dharma-ending Age and usher in the Orthodox Dharma.
That was a good question. How can the Orthodox Dharma conduct a revolution?
The following sentences say, "We accord with conditions, but do not change." This means that we follow the conditions, but do not stray from our basic doctrines. We don't go around criticizing others and in this way we "accord with conditions." If other people do things differently, we don't hinder them.
However, we never change in our basic principles. We insist on doing things correctly ourselves and that's what is meant by "we do not change, but accord with conditions." Do you understand?
This afternoon we spoke about the Buddhas of the three periods of time throughout the ten directions. It is said,
Among the Buddhas of the three periods and the ten directions,
Amitabha Buddha is foremost.
Amitabha Buddha is number one. This is because of the power of his vows. This power is so great that when you recite "Na Mo E Mi Tuo Fo,"
you can very quickly realize Buddhahood. To become a Buddha, all you need to do is recite the Buddha's name. The Dharma-door of Buddha Recitation works on the same principle as the mother-son relationship. Those who recite the Buddha's name are like the "sons" and the Buddha is like everyone's "mother." Whoever recites Amitabha Buddha's name is like Amitabha Buddha's son. In the Shurangama Sutra, in the section in which the twenty-five sages explain their ways to enlightenment, the Bodhisattva Great Strength says, "It is like a mother thinking of her son. If the son has gone to roam..." If the son leaves his mother, it is hard for his mother to find him again. But if the son wants to find his mother, all he has to do is return home. If the mother thinks of her son, but the son cares not for his mother, he will run farther and farther away. If the mother thinks of her son and the son is mindful of his mother, then they will always be together. We are all the sons and daughters of Amitabha Buddha. All we need to do is wish to return home and we can. If we don't want to return home, our father and mother might wait for us, but there is nothing they can do. So it is said, "Amitabha Buddha is foremost."
In nine grades, he saves living beings.
There are nine grades of lotuses:
To be continued