In this country, the first major lecture series I
gave was on the Shurangama Sutra. The Shurangama Sutra is false. Why?
People become dazed when they read it. They get confused, so they
mistakenly think it’s false. It’s not really false. Even if it is true,
if you think it’s false, then it becomes false. If it is false, but you
think it’s true, then it becomes true. Why? Everything is made from the
mind alone. True and false are merely discriminations made by your
mind. It is people who make discriminations. What does it mean for the
Sutra to be true or false? If it helps you, it’s true. If it doesn’t
help you, it’s false. If you benefit from it, then it’s true. If you
don’t benefit from it, then it’s false. Truth and falsity depends on
you, not on the Sutra. We are lecturing the Dharma Flower Sutra, and it
is true. If you don’t understand it, even if it’s true, it’s of no use
to you. If you understand it, then even if it were false, it would be
of some use.
The second Sutra I am lecturing is the Dharma
Flower Sutra. The third Sutra I will lecture on will be the Great Means
Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra. “What about the Earth Store
Sutra and the Vajra Sutra that you’ve lectured?” you ask. Those are
smaller Sutras. I’m talking about the major Sutras.
Tomorrow is Great Strength Bodhisattva’s birthday.
Great Strength Bodhisattva is Amitabha Buddha’s disciple in the Land of
Ultimate Bliss in the West. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva stands on Amitabha’s
left, and Great Strength Bodhisattva stands on the right. When Amitabha
Buddha retires, Guanyin Bodhisattva will take over as the teaching host
of the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Then, when Guanyin Bodhisattva retires,
Great Strength Bodhisattva will become the teaching host. The three of
them are known as the three sages of the Western Paradise. Tomorrow and
the day after we will recite Amitabha Buddha’s name, and in this way we
will celebrate Great Strength Bodhisattva’s birthday and also celebrate
the Ullambana Dharma Assembly in order to rescue all living beings. We
will recite the Ullambana Sutra and perhaps lecture on it as well.
Those who seek the Buddha path,
Who wish to gain peace and ease,
And proclaim this Sutra
Should draw near
Four dharmas such as these.
Shakyamuni Buddha continues, “After my extinction,
my entry into Nirvana, / Those who seek the Buddha path, such great
Bodhisattvas, who wish to gain peace and ease, / And proclaim and
explain this Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra / Should draw near /
Four dharmas such as these.” The four dharmas described in the prose
1. Happily-dwelling conduct of the body
2. Happily-dwelling conduct of the mouth
3. Happily-dwelling conduct of the mind
4. Happily-dwelling conduct of vows
They should draw near to and truly practice these four dharmas.
who read this Sutra
Will have no worries or afflictions;
They will be free from the pain of sickness,
With a countenance fresh and clear.
They won’t be born poor,
Lowly, or ugly.
Those who read this Sutra—who always read the
Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra—will have no worries or
afflictions. They will have no cares or vexations. They will be free
from the pain of sickness, / With a countenance fresh and clear. Their
faces will be bright and radiant, with rosy auras. If you look at
people’s faces and they glow with a fresh, rosy light without any dark
shadows, those people have wisdom. If someone’s face looks dark (of
course people whose pigment is black are not included in this),
that is, if it has a black cast to it, it means he
is going to encounter inauspicious events. On the other hand, if a
person’s face is always bright and rosy, auspicious things will happen
to him. Here, “fresh and clear” means their faces have an attractive
rosy glow. They won’t be born poor, into a household plagued with
poverty. They won’t be born lowly and have to work as someone’s servant
doing menial tasks and not making very much money. They won’t be born
ugly, with an unattractive countenance.
beings will be happy to see them,
As if they were longed-for sages.
All the children of the gods
Will act as their messengers.
Living beings will be happy to see them. If you
cultivate the Bodhisattva Path, have no sickness or worries, and aren’t
poor, lowly, or ugly, then living beings will be glad to see you. As if
they were longed-for sages, Bodhisattvas. All the children of the gods
/ Will act as their messengers. They will work for you.
To be continued