這個弘輝沒有錢用了，說在那個地方可以掙300塊錢一個月，做什麼呢？給作飯、作菜，就是做cook，有300塊錢用。但是做飯做菜不是做齋菜，是要做肉的，一天要殺雞、殺鴨、殺魚。他說這都不要緊，他殺一個雞，就「南無阿彌陀佛！」這麼用刀剁一個雞頭，他說，「南無阿彌陀佛，往生西方極樂世界！南無阿彌陀佛，往生西為極樂世界！」這麼殺雞。這一天殺了很多雞，他把眼睛一閉，也不看，「我念佛給牠。」他就說這樣子會幫助牠往生極樂世界了。這麼念一句佛，殺一個雞，念一句佛，殺一個雞，大約，我相信他或者殺過360個雞。怎麼樣呢？這回這果報來囉，他就發了神經病了；發了神經病在那兒也住不了了，住不了啦，又到這個沒有錢的地方來住了 -- 又回到東普陀，一天到晚都是神經病，「哦！你看看我那殺的雞到極樂世界了沒有？」「你看看那鴨子是不是到極樂世界了？或者又去 做雞去了？或者將來是不是會殺我啊？」就這麼一天到晚說神經病的話。他就想要見我，為什麼想要見我呢？他知道他這個病，見著我就會好，但是怎麼樣也沒有機會見到我。
It was fine to remain a monk, but if you wanted to go back to lay-life, they would find you a wife. It was the same for Bhikshunis. If you wanted to remain a nun, you could. If you wanted to be a lay person, you could. If you wanted to get married, they would find you a husband—perhaps one of the monks. Things were extremely expedient there. They claimed that what they were doing was suited to the times. They taught people to believe in Lord God and not to believe in monks or the Buddha. Yet they advertised themselves as a place that recited Buddhist Sutras and did morning and evening recitation. Actually, it was a case of "hanging out a sheep's head but selling dog meat." They were trying to destroy Buddhism.
Hong Hui had no money, and so he went to work as a cook at Daofeng Mountain, and earned three hundred dollars a month. But the food was not vegetarian, and every day he had to kill chickens, ducks, and fish. "It doesn't matter," he would rationalize. As he wielded his knife and cut off the chicken's head, he recited, "Namo Amitabha Buddha. Be born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Namo Amitabha Buddha. Be born in the Land of Ultimate Bliss." He killed many chickens in that way every day. He just closed his eyes and said that by reciting the Buddha's name for the chickens, he could help them to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. He would recite the Buddha's name once and then kill a chicken. This continued until he had killed about three hundred and sixty chickens. Then what do you suppose happened? His retribution came. He went insane and couldn't stay at Daofeng Mountain anymore. He went back to where he had lived without money on East Putou, and carried on crazily all day long. "Have you seen those chickens I killed? Did they reach the Land of Ultimate Bliss?" he would ask people. "Are those ducks in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, or are they ducks again? Are they going to come and kill me?" He talked crazily like that from morning to night. He wanted to see me, because he knew that if he could see me, his sickness would be cured. But he never could get to see me, no matter how he tried.
He thought that it would help to see me because he had seen many other people who had sicknesses similar to his get well after they saw me. He had brought many such people to see me, and they had all recovered. Now it was his turn. In his more lucid moments he would say, "I want to go visit Dharma Master An Tse. Who will help me?" But just as soon as he was ready to start out to see me, he would go insane again and scream, "No! You can't do that! If you go to see him, what are we going to do? You have taken so many lives and, even though you knew better, you deliberately created those offenses. You are a monk, and yet you have killed so many ducks and chickens! How can you face him?" After about six months, he stabbed himself to death. And he was a monk. You see, cultivation is not easy.
Why did he receive such a severe retribution? First of all, I will tell you, he was a great Bodhisattva who appeared here to show living beings what can happen. "See? If you have left the home-life, you can't kill, or you will undergo this kind of retribution." He wasn't afraid of looking bad, or embarrassed to appear in such a way. He was like Devadatta. He let all the other monks know that left-home people cannot take life. That is the first interpretation—a positive one.
The second interpretation is that he did not have a firm mind. After he left the home-life, he changed and didn't cultivate. First of all you must have a firm mind. Second of all you must have a persevering mind. You can't approach the study of the Buddhadharma as if you were addicted to opium, so that if you don't have some of it you go into withdrawal, but if you do get some of it you become invigorated. The study of the Buddhadharma should not be up and down like that. You must steadily persevere. Study the Buddhadharma today, study tomorrow, study the next day, study day after day Study the Buddhadharma this month, study next month, study month after month. Study the Buddhadharma this year, study next year, study year after year. "Shouldn't I ever do anything else?" you ask. When it comes time to die, are you going to be able to do something else? Are you aware of the fact that in the future you will definitely die? If you do not study the Buddhadharma, you will have absolutely no control when you die. If you study the Buddhadharma at ordinary times, then when you die, you will have no calamities, no sickness, and no pain.
To be continued