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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













What are the three types of karma?

1. The karma created through the body, of which there are three types.
2. The karma created through the mouth, of which there are four types.
3. The karma created through the mind, of which there are three types.

The three types of evil committed by the body are killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct.

The mind creates three kinds of evil karma: greed, hatred, and delusion. Greed: You might say that greed is just insatiable desire. Then, if you fail to obtain the object of your desire, you grow hateful. Once you are hateful, you become deluded. You then pay no attention to heaven and earth; you heed nothing and no one, and you do things that are upside-down.

There are four evil committed with the mouth. The first is irresponsible speech, speech in which deviant knowledge and views are expressed, rather than proper knowledge and views. The second is false speech, that is, lying. The third is abusive speech, that is, scolding people. Double-tongued speech involves talking about the faults of one person to another person, and then relating the second person's faults to the first party. "Do you know what Lee said about you?" he says to John, and then to Lee he says, "Do you know what insulting things John has been saying about you?" This is like the question yesterday about the invisible playmates. She said they disappeared as soon as the child started to slander them. If invisible friends disappeared as soon as the child started to slander them, you can bet that the visible ones would be even more upset.

Now "double-tongued" definitely doesn't mean that in one mouth you have grown two tongues. It means that you speak in two different ways. You cause dissension and generally create trouble.

All these kinds of bad karma together form the ten evils. Not committing the ten evils is called practicing the ten good acts.

Students of the Buddhadharma, stop doing the ten evils! Always practice the ten good acts! The ten evils and the ten good acts are created through the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind. When the three karmas are pure, you will not commit the three types of bad karma. We who recite the Buddha's name should make vows together to have a response manifest before us at all times. That is, when we approach the end of our lives, all the various qualities of the Land of Ultimate Bliss will appear very distinctly before our eyes. As a result, people who see and hear the recitation of the Buddha's name will all cultivate vigorously and all be born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss together. We who recite the Buddha's name should have this aspiration.

Venerable Master: Who's got a question?

Disciple: (Guo Jie - Fruit of Precepts) Please clarify some things about the precepts. Does the precept against sexual misconduct prohibit all sexual conduct between men and women, or does it allow it between husband and wife? My girlfriend and I are not officially married, but in our minds we are already married, and it's very clear to us that we're not going to have sexual relations outside of our relationship.

Venerable Master: That's fine.

Disciple: As to the precept of not lying, there is the so-called "lie of silence." For example, the American government would allow us to make war on Vietnam because the people of this country did not stand up to say it was not alright to do that, so those officials say, "Well, we're doing fine, because no one says we're not doing fine. If you don't stand up and speak out against evil, then you're complying with the forces that bring it about. Is being silent in this case a form of lying?

Venerable Master: Yes, it is, but it is still a little better than actually speaking a lie. Of course, lying through silence is not allowed, but actually speaking a lie is even less correct. It is to be hoped that such things would not occur. But if you are not able to keep these precepts, that is none of my business. It is beyond the power of one individual to single-handedly stop all people from lying.

Disciple: As for intoxicants, I looked that word up and the root word is toxin. There are a lot of toxins in our food. Monosodium glutamate and other chemicals are sneaked into our food. The caffeine in the coffee we drink is a drug. Ginseng has drugs in it. On the other side of it, peyote, although it has toxins in it, it's a spiritual tool that's traditionally been used by the American Indians for a long, long time. And it's a Dharma door, so to speak, that leads to single-mindedness.

Venerable Master: I've eaten that kind of mushroom. Back in the days when I was practicing filial piety by my mother's grave, I ate that kind of mushroom, and it made me want to laugh. That's called the "laughing mushroom." After you eat it, you have a strong urge to laugh. I think this mushroom is quite commonplace. They are probably here in this country, too, but I don't remember what they look like. After I ate it that time, I never ate that kind of mushroom again, nor did I see them again. I just ate that one mushroom.

To be continued


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