各位想一想，我們對人家不禮貌，我們破壞人家的事業，破壞人家的成就，這自己將來也會得到果報的，所以各位，因果不爽啊！我要對大家說清楚了。好像人有很多不如意的事情，就是因為生生世世你沒有令人家如意的時候，所以自己得到的果報，也是一切都不如意，一切都不能隨心滿願。我們要能迴光返照，反求諸己，什麼問題就都沒有了。因為這個，所以我到美國，我這個沒有本事的人，只可以想沒有本事的法子，什麼呢？我學會一句英文，這一句英文就是Everything is OK， no problem. （怎地都好，一切沒問題。）你罵我也好、打我也好，總而言之我是認帳了，所以一切的人對我有什麼不禮貌，我都是迴光返照，我說：「你德行不夠，所以感不動人。你要德行夠了，那叫天天應、叫地地靈，一切的天龍八部隨時都在護持我們，我們不得護持，就因為自己德行不夠」。所以我說Everything is OK ，no problem. （怎地都好，一切沒問題。）有一個美國人就說：「那假如你在這兒，你看著有人把你東西都給搬走了，…」搬走就是他的嘛！這又怕什麼呢？可是我什麼東西都沒有，你叫他搬什麼？想搬也沒有得搬，所以「取不得，捨不得，不可得中只麼得」。什麼也沒有，我什麼長物也沒有，我只有一些垃圾，他不會搬我的垃圾。
When I first began to bow, I only bowed to my parents because I had not been very filial prior to that. I had made my parents worry a lot about me. I felt ashamed toward my parents, so I bowed to to them. Later I thought, “Did I only offend my parents? I have probably offended all beings in the Dharma Realm.” So, by bowing to the horizon at the age of twelve, I was bowing to all beings. I continued to bow for more than ten years. My bows later increased as the types of beings I bowed to increased. I couldn’t do anything else every day. Back then, I spent two hours bowing every morning and two hours every evening. I could only do approximately 830 bows during each two-hour period.
I had wanted to increase the number of bows so that I would be bowing to all beings; but I didn’t have that much time. I could have bowed until my life ended and I would still not have finished bowing. So I decided to compress everything and bow to all beings with one universal prostration in the morning and one universal prostration in the evening.
I am telling you now that I may have already bowed to all of you when I was twelve; that’s why everyone I meet wants to repay me with prostrations now. That’s why they rush forward to bow when they see me. This is the reaction and reward for my respecting others. If any of you want others to respect you, you must first respect others. If you don’t want others to kill you, you first must not kill others. If you don’t want others to beat you, you first must not beat others. If you don’t want others to scold you, you first must not scold others. Once you stop scolding people, over time you will become unmoved by others’ criticism; it will blow over. For instance, if someone were to hit you, you could feel as if you had accidentally bumped into a door. In that case, you would not punch the door, because you would only hurt your fist. Since you would not seek revenge against a door and hit the door that you bumped into, you can just consider anyone who is rude to you like a door. You would then naturally be calm and at peace. You would not be upset and give rise to afflictions. Therefore, everything is made from the mind alone. Just think that you have run into a door —and it’ll pass! Why be so attached?
Those of you who have read about the Three Kingdoms should all know about Miheng. Miheng was a famous man who went to see Caocao. Caocao and his cohorts laid out a plan in advance. What did they plan? They thought Miheng considered himself too distinguished, and was therefore arrogant and condescending. He considered everyone to be below him and no one to be good enough for him. They were going to get back at him. “How should we deal with him? We will humiliate him. How? We’re all going to be prepared here. When he enters, none of us will talk to him or greet him. We’ll pretend not to see him. Since he looks down on people, we will all look down on him. He will not be able to stand it.”
Indeed, Miheng stepped in and saw many people there. But no one paid any attention to him or greeted him, or even so much as glanced at him. Guess what Miheng did? He began to sob and howl. Caocao and his cohorts didn’t understand, “Why did he cry? Is he crazy?” They asked him to explain himself: “Why are you crying?” Miheng said, “I always greet people when I see them, but today I have walked into a roomful of corpses. What else can I do but cry?”
Think about it: if we were impolite to people, if we were to try to ruin other people’s careers or achievements, then we would also receive the same result in the future. The law of cause and effect is never wrong! I am being very frank with you. For example, many people don’t have things go their way because they didn’t comply with other people’s wishes in their past lives. Consequently, they reap the negative result of not having their wishes fulfilled. If we were to reflect and seek within, then every problem would be resolved. This is why I went to the United States. As someone without any talent, I could only think of one method. What was it? I learned one sentence in English: “Everything is okay.” You may yell at me and beat me and I will accept it. When anyone is impolite to me, I will reflect and tell myself, “You cannot move people because you don’t have enough virtue. If you had enough virtue, heaven would answer your every prayer and earth would be at your command.” The eightfold division of gods and dragons are always protecting us. If we were not protected, that would mean that we lack sufficient virtue. That’s why I say, “Everything is okay.” An American once said, “What if people were to steal your belongings right before your eyes?” The stuff they take belongs to them. What is there to fear? Of course, I have nothing. What is there for them to take? Even if they wanted to take something, there would be nothing to take. Therefore, “It cannot be grasped. It cannot be rejected. Just what can be obtained within the unobtainable?” I don’t have anything that lasts forever. Go ahead and take what you want. Though I do have some junk, they will not want to take my junk.
Here I must mention one important principle. What is it? Everyone must suffer a bit. You may say, “Gee! This Dharma Master’s Dharma is something else! People are always telling others to be happy; how come you tell people to suffer?” To endure suffering is to end suffering. If you don’t take the suffering, it will always be there. To enjoy blessings is to end blessings. If you want to enjoy blessings all the time, then the bit of blessing that you tear off and use is gone. Once there are no more blessings, you will still have to endure pain.
You say, “I have some blessings and I want to use them up.” I will rebut, “By the time you use them up, you probably won’t be able to take that kind of suffering.” If we don’t endure suffering that pierces to the bone, how could we acquire the fragrance of the plum blossoms? The glory, luxury, wealth, and status you see before you are empty and false. If you become attached to them, you distance yourself from the Buddhadharma. As it is said, “It’s difficult to give if you are poor; it’s difficult to study the Way if you are wealthy.” People may tell those who are rich and high in status to cultivate, but they will say, “I don’t have time. I have so much to do.” I would like to share these words with you: “When encouraged to be charitable, people claim poverty.” Even if they had money, they would claim that they have none. The “have’s” become the “have-not’s.” “I don’t have any money.” They insist that they don’t have money even though they do. Well, once they say that, they really do become poor. “Yet when a disaster strikes, they spend millions.” The “have-not’s” become the “have’s.” In that case, they go from having no money to having money. “If you tell them about doing some good deed, they will be too busy to do it.” If you invite them to listen to sutra lectures and Dharma talks, they say, “I’m very busy. I’d like to go but I’m really busy.” “And yet when their lives end and they have to go to their graves, they will have to go, regardless of how busy they were before.” When King Yama sends his invitation that says, “Hey! Mr. Chang, Mr. Lee, Mr. Wang, Mr. Zhao, I’m going to have a party and I want you to be guests,” you will run there without even thinking about putting on your shoes. You refuse to do good deeds when I tell you to, but you risk your life to do evil deeds. Isn’t that absurd?
Let me say some more about what you don’t want to hear. We people earn money for the sake of our children. We’re willing to work like oxen and horses to provide our children with whatever they want. They get everything without so much as moving a finger. And they are the legal heirs to all of the family wealth. But you should know that those who work for their kids do not understand true principles. You might say, “Hey, Dharma Master, the more you say, the more you stray from the right path. How can those who earn money for the sake of their children be ignorant of principles?” Those who earn money for their kids bully their kids. That’s why it’s said, “What’s the use of leaving an inheritance behind if the son is as capable as his father?” If you believe that your son can be better off than you, that he is more talented and capable than you, that he can have his own destiny, then why do you look down on him? You’ve been able to establish a family and a career, so why can’t he build his own success? He has his own blessings! Hence, “What’s the use of leaving an inheritance if the son is as capable as his father?” By leaving money behind for him, you’re demonstrating that you fear that he is less capable than you.
“What’s the use of leaving an inheritance if the son is less capable than his father?” If your children are less capable than their father, why leave money for them? Let’s say that your son is someone without any talent, wisdom, or ambition. He is gluttonous and lazy. He eats, drinks, goes to prostitutes, gambles, smokes marijuana, and shoots up morphine. Why bother leaving any money for him? No matter how much money you leave him, he will not be able to keep it. That’s why, “What’s the use of leaving an inheritance if the son is less capable than his father?” Why? This illustrates how people aren’t clear about true principles, and that is why they do muddled things. They are muddled and yet they think that they are doing things correctly.
The things I say are very shallow, but their meaning is profound. Everything that we do should be for the sake of the country rather than for our own children. How do we serve the country? We must be loyal and repay our nation. We must try to help our country so that it becomes prosperous and strong. This requires that people live peacefully and work happily, that people regard each other with mutual esteem. You don’t give me any trouble and I won’t give you any trouble. People should be friendly to one another. You can consider me to be a good friend and I can consider you to be a good friend. “People will always cherish those who care about people. People will always respect those who respect others. People will always hit those who hit others. People will always scold those who scold others.” People will lie to you if you lie to them. People will cheat you if you cheat them. This is all about the moral law of cause and effect.
The cycle based on this universal principle is never mistaken in the least. Due to cause and effect, you will reap good results if you planted good causes, you will reap bad results if you planted bad causes. You reap what you sow. If you plant eggplants, they will not turn into hot peppers. You say, “Hey! You’re poorly informed. With current scientific inventions, eggplants can produce hot peppers and apples can grow into oranges.” That’s unnatural and artificial. Those who are studying Buddhism, especially those who have come to listen to the Buddhadharma, must deeply believe in the moral law of cause and effect. If we deeply believe in cause and effect, we will not want to bother other beings. To avoid bothering other beings means not killing other beings. Don’t kill. If you were to simply stop the killing in this world, there would be no more cancer. Cancer is a result of the poisonous energy created by the resentment from creatures killing each other. It will be too late when you have to face the retribution due to the law of cause and effect. Cancer is a retribution. To help prevent wars in the world, sentient beings must first stop eating meat.
To be continued