因為在生生世世，我們不是作馬，就是作牛，不是作豬，就是作狗，甚至於作老鼠，再說一個不乾淨的東西 -- 作那個糞裏的蟲子。你不要說這個糞裏的蟲，你每一個人迴光返照，看看你肚子裏邊和糞在一起，每個人都不知道有多少蟲子；不知道有多少，好像那個鴿子，你看牠是個鴿子，但是牠身上有很多蟲子在咬牠。牠自己有的時候知道，有的時候不知道。我們人也是，在我們皮膚裏邊不知道有多少細菌，有多少蟲子，也就是說不知道有多少眾生在我們身體裏邊。
你要度牠怎麼樣呢？你就是把你自性一天比一天陽光多，陽氣盛，好像太陽光一樣。所以說陽光，也可以說是太陽光，這個太陽光是最殺菌的。那有一種紫外線 -- 紫外光，現在講用光學來殺菌，醫生都借用這種電的紫外線來殺菌。那麼你自己若能利用你自己的陽光，把你身上的菌都殺了。說：「那犯不犯戒呢？」
When you cultivate the Way, you must have a persevering mind, a sincere mind, and a firm mind. A firm mind is one as strong as vajra, or a diamond, which cannot be broken, but which can cut through all things. Your resolve should be as solid as vajra. You should think, "I am going to study the Buddhadharma, no matter what kind of state comes along. I am not going to change my mind. I am absolutely going to be firm and have solid determination. Whatever the circumstances and whatever the demonic obstacles, I am determined to have that kind of solid resolve, and study the Buddhadharma with a true mind."
That's because for life after life, if we haven't been horses, we have been cows; if we haven't been pigs, we've been dogs. We've even been mice, and even filthier, dung beetles in latrines. You don't have to talk about bugs in toilets. Take a look inside yourself at how, within your belly, along with the excrement, there are one-doesn't-know-how-many bugs. Pigeons, for example, look like pigeons, but there are numerous bugs on their bodies biting them. Sometimes the pigeons are aware of them, and sometimes they are not. We people are the same. In our bodies we have one-doesn't-know-how many bacteria—bugs, which is just to say one-doesn't-know-how-many living beings.
We say, "Living beings are boundless, I vow to save them all." Not to speak of there being boundlessly many living beings outside, right within our own bodies, how many living beings would you say there are? Can you count them? If you don't save those living beings, they will convert you. How will they do that? You will go along with them and, from being a big bug, you will become a small bug. The efficacious nature of tiny bugs is tiny, and so they are very stupid. They only know how to be parasites. They only know how to beg, and don't know how to give. You will be like them; eating people's flesh and drinking their blood—living in people's stomachs and stealing the food that people ingest. Such bugs feel they are getting a bargain, but actually it is brought about by their own stinginess.
If you want to save them, you should increase the
yang light of your own nature day by day until yang energy prevails.
Yang light can be compared to sunlight, which can kill germs. Doctors now use ultraviolet rays to kill germs, and if you can use the
yang light of your own nature, you can kill the germs on your own body "But isn't that breaking the precepts?" you may ask.
Such a question is just letting your intelligence run away with you. It's like one of my disciples who was planning to take the Bodhisattva precepts, but then asked me, "If I take the Bodhisattva precepts, when I drive my car, I squash lots of bugs. Won't I be breaking the precepts?" He didn't think of how his losing his temper is a lot more violent than killing those living creatures. He forgot all about that and thought about the other instead. I said to him, "That is an inadvertent error on your part. You haven't set out to kill them. It's due to the environment and the circumstances, and you haven't intended to kill them. You can recite the Buddha's name as you drive your car and transfer merit to the beings you kill. That's because you don't want to kill them. If you clearly knew it was wrong and deliberately did it anyway, and you took delight in killing them, then that would be an offense."
It's like the case of a military man I once knew who later studied Buddhism and took refuge with the Triple Jewel and then left the home life. He saw others leaving home and doing well, and so he left home, too. Before and after leaving the home life, he recited the Buddha's name, and he had been a vegetarian while he was still a lay person. He didn't take the life of living creatures. After he left home, he was a grand-disciple of Venerable Master Xuyun, and his name was Honghui. He took the precepts at Nanhua Monastery. He could speak very well. Later, when the Communists took over, he could no longer stay in Jiangxi Province, and so he went to Hong Kong.
At that time the situation in Hong Kong was very complicated. There was no place for Buddhist monks to stay. It wasn't like right now when every monk has his own high-rise. Not to speak of a high-rise, they didn't even have small huts to live in. Honghui lived in a one-story wooden shack on East Putuo, and he had no money. Probably he had used a lot of money for a long time, and so he felt it was very difficult to be without it.
In Hong Kong there was a place called Daofeng Mountain. It specialized in helping Buddhist monks and nuns return to lay-life. If they did not want to remain in Buddhism, they could go there, and would be given a monthly allowance of perhaps thirty, fifty, or two hundred dollars. You could stay there and be a monk if you wanted, or not be a monk if that was what you preferred. You could be a vegetarian if you wanted, but if you didn't want to be one, they provided you with meat to eat.
To be continued