He causes all of his listeners to think they know
their karma from the
past. Each person feels he knows, as if in a dream, what he was in his
previous lives. One says, “Oh, in my last life I was a watchdog.”
Another person says, “In my previous life I was a cat.” Someone else
says, “In my past life I was a chicken.” Another person says, “In my
past life I was a cow.” None of them were human beings.
Or he, the demon, may say to someone there, “You
haven’t died yet, but
you have already become an animal.” What does he say? He says, “You
were a dog in your past life, and even though you haven’t died yet,
you’ve become a dog again. Don’t you believe me?” Then he instructs
another person to step on the first person’s “tail.” He says to someone
else, “He doesn’t believe what I’m telling him. Go behind him and stand
on his tail and then see if he can get up.” Then that person stamps his
foot on the ground and says he is standing the first person’s tail, and
suddenly the first person cannot stand up. Wouldn’t you say those were
great spiritual powers? After the demon said the person had a tail and
told someone to step on it, the person could not get up. The person has
no choice but to believe. “He says I’m an animal, and now I really do
have a tail. Otherwise, how could he step on it and prevent me from
At that, all in the assembly pour out their hearts
in respect and
admiration for him. “It’s magic,” they say. “He knows the person is
going to be an animal even before the person has died. He must be a
Buddha or a living Bodhisattva.” Actually, they’ve been duped by a
ghost and don’t even realize it. They see a ghost or a demon king, and
mistake it for a Bodhisattva. Living beings are really upside down.
If someone has a doubt, the demon detects it
immediately. Someone in
the assembly may be skeptical and think, “How can that be? It isn’t
reasonable.” As soon as he starts to doubt, the demon knows it and
says, “So you don’t believe me?” These people take one look, “Oh! He’s
really a Bodhisattva! I didn’t say what was on my mind, and he knew
about it. He exposed my doubt. That’s incredible.” After that he
doesn’t dare to disbelieve.
He establishes intense ascetic practices that
exceed the Buddha’s moral
precepts. He says, “The Buddha’s Vinaya is not enough. I’m establishing
a new Vinaya for you. I want you to be new Buddhas, and I am creating a
new Buddhism. The previous one is obsolete and inapplicable. This is
the scientific era, the nuclear age, and everything must be modernized
and improved. The old way of thinking is no longer useful. The old
Buddhism cannot be applied either.” That is how he changes Buddhism. He
says that people can be Elders or Bhikshus or anything they want.
[January 1983] There are old-fashioned religions
and trendy religions.
No one believes in religions they consider old-fashioned, but everyone
chases madly after trendy things. Of all the Dharma spoken by the
Buddha, the most important part is precepts. Nowadays, people consider
the Buddha really old-fashioned, and they want to find something more
up-to-date. Their search takes them right into the demon king’s lair.
None of the external sects are free from greed and desire. They are
insatiable, and they desire to benefit themselves at the expense of
I cannot say that we at the City of Ten Thousand
Buddhas are definitely
in accord with the Proper Dharma. Nevertheless, I ask each of you who
has followed me for so many years: Have I ever asked you to hand your
wealth and property over to the temple? Why have I never done this?
Because I’m very old-fashioned. I want to uphold and honor the
precepts. The precepts tell us to give to others, not to demand that
others give to us while we don’t give anything to them.
At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, our revenue
comes very naturally.
We don’t scheme for contributions. We receive enough income as it is.
If you were to try to cheat people of their money, how would you be any
different from demons? People who tell others to donate their personal
and family wealth and their own lives to the Way-place are totally
misguided. I’m not like them. I do not want anyone’s wealth, nor do I
desire any beautiful women. I want neither fame nor a good reputation.
In fact, I have quite a notorious reputation, not a good one. The very
mention of my name gives some people a headache, especially those
goblins, demons, ghosts, and freaks.
He slanders Bhikshus, saying, “Bhikshu? What’s a
Bhikshu?” He makes fun
of the name. He says, “You say he’s a Bhikshu? I say he’s a loach!” [A
loach is a kind of carp. In Chinese, “Bhikshu” and “loach” end with the
He also scolds his assembly of disciples. He
scolds his disciples
however he pleases. He may tell them, “You’re a dog,” or “You’re a
cat,” or “You’re a rat,” or “You’re a pig.” The disciples hear his
scolding and accept whatever he says, thinking he is a Bodhisattva.
“You say I’m a pig, so I’m a pig.” “You say I’m a dog, so I’m a dog.”
“You say I’m a cat, so I’m a cat.” They don’t dare talk back. This
demon king has such tremendous power that he manages to delude people
into believing everything he says.
To be continued