We’ve just spoken about the one, yet still nobody
understands what the
one means. People are saying, “Dharma Master, you’ve been lecturing all
wrong. Children could speak about this: one, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Not to mention adults, even children
understand the one. Why did you say there are people who don’t
I said you didn’t understand because it’s for
certain, you don’t. If
you understood, I wouldn’t have said you didn’t understand. Why?
Because this “one” is internal; it’s not external. What is the internal
“one”? It’s your essence, energy, and spirit. If you can keep your
essence from going out, you will attain the one. If you can’t keep your
essence from leaving you, if you still want to let it go, not only will
you be unable to attain the one, you won’t even be able to attain the
What is the Way that we are cultivating? What is
the sutra that is
lectured talking about? What is the Dharma that we are speaking? It all
goes back to the “one.” It’s all telling us to cut off desire and sever
love. Your thoughts of love and desire cause you to fall.
Therefore, self-mastery is simply the ability to
keep your essence from
escaping. If you cannot keep your essence from leaving, then you do not
have self-mastery. You might consider yourself to have attained
self-mastery, but it would be false. It’s right here that cultivators
of the Way want to pay special attention.
When the one is attained, the myriad things are
If you can attain the one, everything will be
finished. All other
matters will be unessential. If you are able to protect your true
essence and not let it flow outside, then you have attained the one.
When you attain the one, you still have to protect
it. If you don’t
protect the one, it will still run off. So you need to guard it.
Guarding the one, you still have to understand the one. If you don’t
understand the one, you will be all muddled while you are trying to
protect it, and your wisdom will not be able to unfold.
To attain the one is precepts. To protect the one
is samadhi. To
understand the one is wisdom. This is just precepts, samadhi, and
wisdom. So you have to ask yourself whether or not you can attain the
one. If you can’t attain it, you should quickly feel repentant, bring
forth the Bodhi resolve, and muster vigorous determination. Otherwise,
in the future you will certainly fall into the hells. There won’t be
any other road for you to take. That is because you don’t want to
attain the one, you can’t protect the one, and you don’t want to
understand the one. You figure you can just be all muddled and
confused, and it doesn’t matter. If you can attain the one, then you
have true self-mastery.
Why do all Buddhas have great self-mastery? It’s
because they have
attained the one. They hold the precepts, cultivate samadhi, and give
rise to wisdom, so they have attained self-mastery. There are also ten
kinds of self-mastery that Buddhas possess.
The first is the functioning of unobstructed
self-mastery with regard
to Buddhalands. These Buddhalands do not obstruct one another. The
Buddha can take this land and move it to another land, and then take
that land and move it to where this land was. They can take a world and
move it at their leisure.
The second is the functioning of unobstructed
self-mastery with regard
to beings. The Buddha can teach and transform each and every being as
he pleases. According to their circumstances, they are taught and
transformed and can realize the Buddha Way.
The third is the functioning of unobstructed
self-mastery with regard
to Dharmas. The Dharmas spoken by the Buddha are based on the
principles of self-mastery. Self-mastery is just the mind; the minds of
beings. Therefore, the Dharmas spoken by the Buddha are not apart from
beings’ minds. Apart from beings’ minds, of what use is any Dharma?
Apart from the mind, Dharmas aren’t necessary. This is the great
functioning of unobstructed self-mastery with regard to Dharmas.
The fourth is the functioning of the unobstructed
self-mastery of the
Buddha’s body. The Buddha can go wherever he wants. If he doesn’t feel
like going anywhere, he doesn’t have to. Responding to conditions, he
manifests in order to teach and transform beings. Why does the Buddha’s
body have the functioning of unobstructed self-mastery? It is because
of the power of the vows he made in past lives.
The fifth is the functioning of unobstructed
self-mastery derived from
the power of vows. Why does the Buddha have such great self-mastery?
It’s because in his past lives—in life after life—he brought forth
limitless vows to achieve self-mastery. And these vows do not obstruct
one another in their functioning.
The sixth is the functioning of unobstructed
self-mastery with regard
to states. The states of the Buddha are limitless and boundless,
because he has self-mastery. Using his self-mastery, he can
transformationally create all of these states, which do not obstruct
one another. He has that kind of functioning of self-mastery.
The seventh is the functioning of the unobstructed
wisdom. The Buddha’s wisdom is even more unobstructed. Functioning with
self-mastery, it can illumine everything.
The eighth is the functioning of the unobstructed
spiritual penetrations. The Buddha also has the self-mastery of
The ninth is the functioning of the unobstructed
spiritual powers. The Buddha also has the function of the unobstructed
self-mastery of spiritual powers.
The tenth is the functioning of the unobstructed
self-mastery of the
Buddha’s Ten Powers. The Buddha’s ten kinds of powers also function
with unobstructed self-mastery.
If I were to speak in detail about these kinds of
self-mastery, I could
not finish speaking to the end of time. And so I have just given a very
kinds of indestructibility do the Buddhas have?
All of the great Bodhisattvas further asked, “What
indestructibility do the Buddhas have?” Indestructible means impossible
to vanquish or destroy. The power of the Buddha’s spiritual
penetrations cannot be compared with those of gods, demons,
externalists, adherents of the Two Vehicles, or even great
Bodhisattvas. They cannot be destroyed by any being. This
indestructibility is also limitless and boundless. One could never
finish speaking about it. In general, there are ten kinds.
The first is that all Buddhas throughout the ten
directions and the
three periods of time—Buddhas of the past, present, and future—at the
level of planting causes, made great vows. These great vows are solid;
they can’t be destroyed. The Buddhas’ vows aren’t like those of one of
my disciples, who made a vow and then after 3 days he forgot about it.
That is not a solid vow; it’s a phony vow.
The vows that the Buddhas make are adamantine and
one can destroy them. When they make vows, they definitely carry them
out. They say, “I’ve made a vow; I’m certainly going to act on that
vow.” They wouldn’t make a vow and then forget about it after a couple
of days. They don’t deviate from their words. They don’t tell lies.
That is the first kind of indestructibility.
The second is that, wishing to cultivate and
perfect all merit and
virtue, passing through eons to the end of time, they always cultivate
the Bodhisattva conduct. They cultivate the six perfections and the
myriad practices and never become weary or lazy.
The third is that they want to subdue all beings.
Basically, beings are
stubborn and difficult to regulate and subdue. Nonetheless, the Buddhas
make vows to regulate and subdue all beings. And so they send
innumerable division-bodies to an ineffable, ineffable number of worlds
in order to regulate and subdue all the beings there. Their practice
never ends. This is the third kind of indestructible conduct.
The fourth is that they universally contemplate
with great compassion
those beings who have faith and who cultivate. Whoever has faith will
receive the aid of the Buddhas. Whoever cultivates will also receive
the aid of the Buddhas; it’s very egalitarian. However much faith you
have, they will aid you that much.
The fifth is that from the time they first make
the Bodhi resolve, from
the very first day they begin cultivating, up through the time when
they become Buddhas, they never retreat from their resolve. They are
vigorous from start to finish. They never retreat from their Bodhi
resolve. Such are the Buddhas’ conduct and vows with regard to the
fifth kind of indestructibility.
The sixth is that they have accumulated a infinite
amount of wholesome
merit and virtue. Starting with a very small amount, they accumulate a
limitless and boundless amount of merit and virtue. They transfer their
merit and virtue to the nature of All-Wisdom; that is, they make
transference to the Buddha. The Buddhas make transference to one
another, because the Way of all Buddhas is the same. They have no
defiled attachments to worldly dharmas.
The seventh kind of indestructible conduct is that
within all of the
Buddhas’ bodhimandas, they cultivate the purity of the three karmic
vehicles: the body, the mouth, and the mind. They cultivate the methods
of practice cultivated by all Buddhas. They don’t cultivate the
practices of the Two Vehicles. They simultaneously transfer all of the
merit and virtue from their cultivation of all practices to the nature
of All-Wisdom, or Buddhahood. And therefore they realize Unsurpassed,
Proper and Equal, Right Enlightenment, or bodhi. This is the seventh
kind of indestructible conduct and vows.
The eighth is that Buddhas always emit brilliant
light. Their light
equally illuminate all places, and also illuminate the Dharma spoken by
all Buddhas, purifying the minds of all Bodhisattvas and enabling them to
The ninth is that they renounce all worldly
happiness. They neither
covet nor become tainted by worldly happiness. Common people, greedy
for quick gratification, can’t experience ultimate happiness; they
can’t leave suffering and attain happiness. The Buddha universally vows
to help beings leave suffering and afflictions behind and attain
ultimate happiness. He helps them to renounce nonultimate sophistry.
The tenth is that the Buddha pities all beings in
their various plights
of woe, and wishes to rescue them. He protects the Buddha’s seed, which
is the Bodhi resolve. One cultivates toward the states of the Buddhas,
attains freedom from birth and death, and arrives at the fruition of
the Ten Powers and the fearlessnesses.
We have spoken of ten kinds of indestructible
conduct and vows of the
Buddhas, or the ways in which the Buddhas cannot be vanquished or
To be continued