Westerners have not studied this and are not knowledgeable on this point. I am telling you now and you should understand this and not call your Dharma-brothers by their familiar names. You should not call the Dharma Masters of the Small Vehicle by their names, nor should you praise them or speak about their good and bad points. You must not bring up their names and criticize them, saying, “I saw him break a precept! I saw him eat meat and drink wine; then I asked him why he did it, and he denied it. He is not a cultivator! He lied!” You should not gossip about people in this way.
Nor should one speak of them by name to praise their excellence. Legitimate praise is okay, such as when I praise a certain Dharma Master. Even though I do not have a particularly close relationship with him, I praise him because he is truly a Bodhisattva. If someone is truly good, you can praise them. But you shouldn’t use their name. You could say, “I know of a Dharma Master who truly cultivates and has virtue.” If you praise them by name, if they truly are good, you will be fine; but if they aren’t good, then people might accuse you of lying.
One should not harbor resentment or jealousy. One should not gossip about other people’s faults and evils, praise others, or hold grudges against others, disliking them no matter what they do. If you harbor resentment against someone, you will be biased against him and treat him badly, always having a bad impression of him.
Because one skillfully cultivates such peaceful and happy thoughts, he will not oppose his listeners’ intentions. If asked difficult questions, he does not answer by resorting to the Small Vehicle Dharma, but uses only the Great Vehicle for his explanation, which causes his listeners to obtain the wisdom of all modes.
Because one skillfully cultivates such peaceful and happy thoughts, because one doesn’t have these faults—one doesn’t gossip about people’s good and bad points and one doesn’t resent people—his mind is peaceful and happy and without thoughts of greed, hatred or stupidity,
he will not oppose his listeners’ intentions. He should not go against the wishes of his listeners. If he pays no attention to his listeners whether they ask about the advantages or the disadvantages of something, he is opposing their intentions.
If asked difficult questions, he does not answer by resorting to the Small Vehicle Dharma, but uses only the Great Vehicle for his explanation. If people ask him about the principles, he should not answer them in terms of the Small Vehicle Dharma. He should use only the wonderful Dharma of the Great Vehicle to answer them,
which causes his listeners to obtain the wisdom of all modes. His listeners will then obtain the wisdom of all modes.
At that time the World Honored One, wishing to restate the meaning, spoke these verses, saying,
The Bodhisattva ever delights
In tranquilly speaking the Dharma;
On pure ground
He arranges his seat,
Smears his body with oil,
And washes away dust and filth.
Wearing fresh, clean clothing,
Completely pure, within and without,
Seated securely in the Dharma seat,
He responds to questions.
At that time the World Honored One, wishing to restate the meaning, spoke these verses, saying... Shakyamuni Buddha wanted to explain the meaning yet another time in a bit more detail, so he used verses to say:
The Bodhisattva ever delights / In tranquilly speaking the Dharma. He speaks the Dharma in order to bring peace and calm to living beings.
On pure ground / He arranges his seat. This refers to “entering the Tathagata’s room.” He
smears his body with oil, / And washes away dust and filth. / Wearing fresh, clean clothing... This refers to “donning the Tathagata’s robe.”
Completely pure, within and without... Inwardly, he has no false thinking; outwardly there is no dirt or filth.
Seated securely in the Dharma seat...This refers to “sitting in the Tathagata’s seat.”
He responds to questions from living beings, speaking the Dharma for their sake.
To be continued