Therefore, we should make vows to be reborn in the Western Pure Land where there is no trouble and no afflictions. The Saha World is a place with the five turbidities, whereas the Western Pure Land has no suffering and is full of bliss.
Every one of us should recite the Buddha’s name to seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land. Do not be reluctant to leave this world where everything is considered suffering. It is said “We disciples are common people, subject to birth and death, burdened by deep and heavy karma and obstacles, revolving in the cycle of the six destinies. We suffer unspeakable pain.” You see, these words are so sincere. “But now we have met a good teacher. We have heard Amitabha’s name and the merit of his vows.” This refers to the merit and virtue from Amitabha’s original vows. The reason we are participating in the Buddha recitation session is to seek rebirth in the Western Pure Land. That is why we say this verse at night, “On behalf of our fathers, mothers, teachers, elders, and relatives and enemies from kalpas past, we bow three times to the Buddha. We wish that the living will gain blessings and long life and that deceased will be born in the Pure Land.” We pray that our parents in our past lives will also be born quickly in the Western Pure Land. And we ourselves should make vows to be born in that land. Do not stay around in this world because there is too much suffering here. Do not keep thinking about your house. What is the use of thinking about it? All that matters is that you vow to be born in the Western Pure Land without worrying about anything. You should not be so sentimentally attached to this world. It is simply too miserable here. You should make vows quickly. I will help send you to the Western Pure Land.
Everywhere I go, I make people so busy that they have no leisure time. When I was in the United States, I made my American disciples so busy to the point they were frantic. When I arrived in Hong Kong, I did the same to my Chinese disciples. You should know that those who learn the Buddhadharma should keep themselves busy. Don’t be afraid of any hardship. If you are not busy, you will have nothing to do and you won’t know how to be vigorous. Up until now, you have recited the Buddha’s name for six days. All of you are doing a good job of it. Your recitation is better and more serious than before. You also are talking much less this time. In the past, when we held a Buddha recitation session, you would crave for something to drink like a cup of coffee or desire some snacks. Regarding this habit, you have improved this year. I cannot expect you to be free of habits. You keep craving snacks or good food. This is like harboring something inside you. It is like there is a baby waiting to be delivered. But it didn’t come out. The baby is jumping around as if it is coming out of you. Let me tell you, our habits could pile up to be ten stories tall. Tell me, does the analogy I gave apply to you—especially the elders? It was as if you were conceiving a kid; you thought there was a kid in your stomach!
This year’s Buddha recitation session is quite perfect. I have observed you and you are more than twice as good when compared to the past. At the very minimum, you were not talking and false-thinking as much as before. We recited the Buddha’s name everyday and did both walking and sitting recitation and that made the session fairly nice. This is considered cultivation.
I am leaving for Bangkok, Thailand, at two-thirty on Sunday afternoon. I will stay there for a day, which is November 2nd. I might go to India on the 3rd for a week. After that, I will arrive at Ceylon followed by Singapore and Malaysia. Then I will head toward Saigon on November 15th. On the 10th day of the tenth lunar month, I will be in Taiwan. On the 15th, I will start lecturing on the Pure Conduct Chapter, which instructs monastics on how they should behave, follow the rules and cultivate the Way. After lecturing this chapter in Taiwan, I may come back to Hong Kong depending on the schedule. Should the time not work out, then there is nothing I can do about it.
To be continued