Venerable Master Hua:
To go back to the source, we should call Buddhism the teaching of wisdom. The Buddha is an extremely wise individual. Why do I say this? Most scholars look down on you if you talk about Buddhism. Some Westerners in particular think that Buddhism is superstitious, that it’s a religion for grandmothers and uneducated folk. When they pass such a judgment on Buddhism, the average Buddhist has nothing to say and can only consent in silence. If you were to call Buddhism “the teaching of wisdom,” I believe no one would dare to call “wisdom” superstitious. No one would dare say, “I don’t want to learn about wisdom.” By learning wisdom, one is learning to be a Buddha; learning to become a Buddha is the same as learning wisdom. Once we change the name, no one would dare to claim that wisdom is superstitious no matter how bold they are.
How do I propagate the Buddhadharma in the West? I rely on Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’s power, which is based on the Great Compassion Mantra and the Shurangama Mantra. I have talked about the Great Compassion Mantra before:
The great mantra of great compassion penetrates heaven and earth.
One hundred recitations for a thousand days causes the Ten Kings to rejoice.
Its great compassion and kindness cure all disease.
Every error is exposed in the mirror of offenses suspended on high.
The great mantra of great compassion. The great compassion of this great mantra pierces heaven and earth. Regardless of who you are, if you recite the Great Compassion Mantra 108 times daily for three years, the ten King Yamas will happily bow to you. You may then use your great compassion and kindness to cure people’s illnesses. However, you cannot charge people money when you use the Great Compassion Mantra to cure them. If you covet money, then you aren’t qualified to even use a small compassion mantra. If you don’t crave money, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and the Bodhisattvas of the ten directions will support and protect you, enabling you to cure any illness you encounter. I have experienced millions of such indescribable and inconceivable miracles. When I recite the Great Compassion Mantra for those with bizarre ailments and incurable diseases, I can even bring the dead back to life. Of course, this is impossible unless you have spiritual skill.
The Great Compassion Mantra also includes the Forty-two Hands and Eyes. The Forty-two Hands and Eyes are practiced to understand the mind and see one’s inherent nature. The transformations of this practice are endless and its wonderful functions are inexhaustible. I have saved many people but also offended many ghosts and spirits using the Forty-two Hands and Eyes. These ghosts and spirits are always trying to challenge me, but I am not afraid of them. In my experience, as long as you can uphold the Great Compassion Mantra well, you will be safe from drowning and burning, and will be able to transform evil into auspiciousness and difficulties into fortune. Of course, you must be committed to sincerely upholding and reciting this mantra in the long run for it to be effective.
Returning to Taiwan this time around, we must give thanks to our country by praying for an end to disasters and difficulties for our fellow Chinese. We must sincerely and earnestly recite the Great Compassion Mantra in order to protect the country, quell disasters, and increase people’s roots of goodness and wisdom. The Great Compassion Mantra and Guanshiyin Bodhisattva are different and yet identical; therefore, the Great Compassion Mantra and Guanshiyin Bodhisattva are inseparable. I hope that all of our good advisors here will sincerely practice the Great Compassion Mantra. If we can do that, then the nation will naturally be free from calamities and people will be free from suffering. If we can constantly recite the “Universal Door Chapter,” then as it is said,
Anger turns to happiness.
The dead come back to life.
If you claim that these words are false,
Know that the Buddhas never lie.
This tells us that when you’re angry, you should recite the Great Compassion Mantra. Reciting “Guanshiyin Bodhisattva,” you will be happy and no longer mad or upset.
Anger turns to happiness. The dead come back to life. Not only do you dispel your ignorance and afflictions by reciting the Great Compassion Mantra, but even those who have died can be revived. This mantra is extremely efficacious!
If you claim that these words are false... All the Buddhas praise Guanshiyin Bodhisattva for transforming your anger into happiness and making the dead return to life. If you claim that these words cannot be believed,
know that the Buddhas never lie. From this quatrain we can conclude that we ought to familiarize ourselves with the Great Compassion Mantra. Our wishes will be fulfilled if we can recite it from memory continually.
Since I have derived some benefit from the Great Compassion Mantra, I am sharing everything I know with all of you good teachers. If we were to discuss this in detail, we would not finish even after many eons. We would never be able to finish explaining all the wonderful aspects of the Great Compassion Mantra in a great eon.
The reason I discussed the effects of the Great Compassion Mantra today is that I hope each one of us will use the power of the Great Compassion Spiritual Mantra to turn back the tides of disaster in this world. Then the human race will encounter no more calamities and the Proper Dharma will remain in the world for a long time to come. I have talked too much today.
The effectiveness of a general lies in his strategy, not his bravery;
The effectiveness of soldiers lies in their skillfulness, not their number.
If you can really maintain a practice so that it becomes efficacious, then one line is enough. There’s no need to listen to too much.
You may raise any questions that you have. We can study together. If I can’t respond to your questions, don’t blame me because I’m quite stupid.
It’s okay if anyone wants to come out and debate. If I lose the debate then I will always maintain the attitude of a loser. I don’t want to win because
Contention involves thinking about winning and losing,
Which goes against the Way.
Giving rise to the Four Marks,
How could one attain samadhi?
If you really do have questions, please raise them. All of you good counsel, don’t hold back. We must consider Dharma a form of giving. “Among all offerings, the offering of Dharma is the foremost. Among all gifts, the gift of Dharma is the foremost.” Don’t keep your profound views to yourself; please share them.
When the first person isn’t finished with his question, the second may wait on the side so that we don’t waste any time. Our time is precious, so I hope that everyone will cooperate.
Question: The Venerable Master just told us how excellent the Great Compassion Mantra is. I was wondering: Which lay person or Buddha or Bodhisattva came up with the Great Compassion Mantra?
Answer: The Great Compassion Repentance and the
Great Compassion Dharani Sutra both explain this clearly. The Great Compassion Mantra was spoken by Buddhas as many as grains of sand in 99 million Ganges Rivers. Guanyin Bodhisattva attained a thousand hands and a thousand eyes by reciting this Great Compassion Mantra. Consequently, he is able to see with a thousand eyes, hear far into the distance with a thousand ears, and save all beings with a thousand hands. He attained the wonderfully adorned features of a thousand hands and a thousand eyes because he read, recited from memory, and upheld the Great Compassion Mantra.
Question: There are so many abortions, single mothers, rapes, and other strange phenomena in the world now. The Dharma says, “Awakening to the Buddhadharma does not take place apart from this world,” and “Afflictions are Bodhi.” Will the Dharma Master please respond from two aspects: How does a teenager tame his or her desires? How do parents provide an appropriate education so that they will develop into adults with healthy bodies and minds?
Answer: Good question. The best antidote addresses the specific condition. This is also an easy question because the condition is easy to treat.
Where did teenagers come from? Parents gave birth to these problematic teenagers, yet parents don’t know how to be parents. “The father doesn’t act like a father, and the mother doesn’t act like a mother.” Although they gave birth to their children, they don’t make their children their top priority. They are happy to indulge in pleasure and desires. They only know to procreate but don’t know how to educate. Men and women now follow the trends of Europe and America, getting involved in romantic relationships readily and pursuing the opposite sex. This is considered fashionable. If a man has no girlfriend, most people will consider him a fool. If the woman has no boyfriend before marriage, then in the West she is considered insane and unwanted. Hence, people go crazy indulging themselves in emotions and desire. One doesn’t care about one’s children, only about oneself. A person’s married for two days and a half and comes to detest his or her spouse on the third day, so the couple gets a divorce. Children either have no father or no mother. In America, if a woman and a man were to divorce, a judge would assign their children to “live with Dad for three days and Mom for four days.”
Once the couple is divorced, Dad will tell his kid on the days that he is over, “You mother isn’t qualified to be your mother. She isn’t a good woman. That’s why I divorced her. Look at my current girlfriend; she’s very kind. Your mother is mean.” The little kid thinks, “Oh, my mother is awful.” When he goes to Mom’s place, he ignores his mother, thinking, “You’re awful, you’re not good enough to be my mother.” He fell for his father’s one-sided story.
The mother sees that the child has changed and also thinks of ways to teach him, saying, “You father is a bad man. I divorced him because I could not tolerate him any longer.” She makes up all kinds of excuses. The child is taught that both mom and dad are awful. What happens then? “I must learn to be a bad kid then.” The child begins to take drugs and gets involved in criminal activities. He doesn’t care about his nation, his family, or his body.
To be continued