The first of the Five Esoteric Meanings is the
explanation of the Sutra's name. "Wonderful Dharma" and "Lotus Flower"
make up the name: "Wonderful Dharma" is a Dharma; and "Lotus Flower" is an analogy. Since "Wonderful
Dharma" is not easily understood, a "Lotus Flower" is used to
represent it. Thus, a Dharma and an analogy are used to establish this Sutra's title.
Ultimately, what is Wonderful Dharma? You say,
"I know! Wonderful Dharma is really wonderful!" Not bad. You're very
bright. However, this is "really wonderful". In English, it is said "really, really
good, really, really wonderful"...Finally, how far does the "wonderful"
go? To what mark? To what level? You reply, "That I don't know." You
don't know? Now I will tell you. The "wonderful" is just that which cannot
be thought of with the mind, that which cannot be thought about and
discriminated with the mind. It is both inconceivable and ineffable.
You can think about it coming and going and still not understand,
for that which can be understood through thought cannot be said to be "wonderful".
The "wonderful" is that which your thought cannot reachable.Think, think,
think, think, can’t find it. What cannot be thought of certainly cannot be spoken
about. Generally speaking, however, the inability to speak of it is just "wonderful".
Still, it is spoken of. Speak about it and it is not "wonderful".
What is spoken? The nature of the "wonderful is spoken; the meaning of the "wonderful"
is spoken. Ultimately, the true, proper mark of the "wonderful" is obtained only by
Buddhas. Buddhas are able to completely understand this state.
We common people say, "I understandThe Wonderful Dharma
Lotus Flower Sutra." What Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra
do we understand? The Dharma of The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra cannot be
understood. It is Wonderful Dharma. If it cannot be understood, why
then, am I explaining it? What I explain is but a small fraction of
the meaning. The "wonderful" cannot be completely spoken. I am being
very frank with you I do not cheat people by saying that I understand
when I don't understand; I do not say that I will explain something that
I am not capable of explaining. To do so would be to cheat others
and cheat myself.
I am now lecturing a small part of the meaning of
The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. But this small
part...One doesn't know how many days are required to explain it.
The Great T'ien T'ai Master Chih Che lectured on the "wonderful" for
90 days. During the 1968 summer Meditation and Study Session
The Shurangama Sutra was spoken in 96 days, as fast as a rocket
going to the moon When I previously lectured The Shurangama Sutra in Hong Kong it took 14 months. Here it was completely lectured in 3 months.
The "wonderful" was explained by the Great T'ien
T'ai Master Chih Che for 90 days and he still did not exhaust its meaning,
fbut spoke only a small raction of it. Therefore, I will first talk of the
"wonderful", The number of days it will take has not yet been reckoned.
As many days as I talk about it ... it will take just that many days.
What is "wonderful"? Wonderful Dharma is "wonderful".
What is "wonderful'? Living beings are "wonderful". What is "wonderful"? The
Buddha is "wonderful". What is "wonderful"? Ahhh, of all the things between
heaven and earth, there is not one that is not "wonderful". What do you think
is not "wonderful"? Everything is Wonderful Dharma. Talk of the "wonderful"
You say, "You tell me that this is 'wonderful',
and that that is 'wonderful'. Where does the 'wonderful' come from?"
Now I will tell you. The "wonderful" come from the mind; it is born in the
mind. How are you able to know of Wonderful Dharma? It is because you have
a mind. Therefore the mind Dharma is "wonderful". The mind Dharma being "wonderful",
then the living being Dharma is "wonderful". The living being Dharma being
"wonderful", then the Buddhadharma is "wonderful".
How is the mind Dharma "wonderful"?
Where do all the mountains, rivers, the great earth, trees, plants,
the 10,000 appearances, buildings, and courtyards come from? They
are all manifest from one thought of the mind of one person. They
are all created by the minds of living beings. Is this "wonderful" or
How is the mind able to produce all of these
things I don't know. That is just "Wonderful". You say, "I know!" You know?
That is also "wonderful". Not knowing is "wonderful"; knowing is "wonderful".
Why? Why is it that you don't know? Is that not, in fact, "wonderful"? Why
do you know? Is that not also "wonderful"? The mind Dharma is truly wonderful.
In Hong Kong I published a magazine called
Mind Dharma. Three issues were prepared and freely distributed
without charge. Afterwards, because no one had the time to do the
work, there were no more published. There were just three issues,
one each month, How is the mind "wonderful"? Most people say that
the mind is in the head. "My mind is here," (pointing at the head).
Your mind is there? This is to mistake your own mind. It is like taking
thieves as your own sons.
It is like Ananda who said that his mind was
inside his body. He was talking about this same mind. What mind is
that? It is the "lump of meat mind". This "lump of meat mind" is useless. Why do I say it
is useless? It is just a lump of meat. What use does a lump of meat
have? This mind is useless. It is the accumulating and arising mind.
It accumulates and gives rise to all afflictions. It is also called
the conditioned and considering mind. It has the ability of climbing
on conditions and considering. It only helps you to arouse false
thinking. It is the sixth consciousness (mind) which conceives entangled
thoughts. The "lump of meat mind", the conditioned and considering
mind, the false thinking mind, the accumulating and arising mind...
this mind has many names. So when I speak of the mind Dharma you should not
think that I am speaking of this mind.
"Ohh! I have another mind?" You didn't know? Is
that "wonderful" or not? You do not know your own mind. This is
"wonderful" If you are unaware of your own mind, then you are even
more unclear about your life. So there is a saying, "Confused when
coming, deranged when going." This murky confusion is also
"wonderful". You do not understand coming or going. Where did you
come from? You do not know. This is "wonderful". At the time of
death you confusedly run away. Where do you go? You don't know. This
is also "wonderful". Birth and death are both "wonderful". Ahh,
neither the time of coming nor the time of going are known.
"Dharma Master, you say that birth and death
are 'wonderful'. I think that this is right. But my life is probably
"Hey! That's really 'wonderful! How is it
'wonderful'?" "I don't know." You don't know? A small child becomes
an adolescent; an adolescent becomes an adult. Do you know what an
adult becomes? An adult becomes an old man. Is this "wonderful" or
"not wonderful"? Not only does an adult change into an old man, but
he also gives birth to a flock of sons and daughters, Is this
"wonderful" or not? If it is not "wonderful", then why are you not
aware that there are so many change and transformations? Is this
"wonderful"? It is all Wonderful Dharma.
I now speak of the Wonderful Dharma and you
think, "Oh! This is very interesting, very meaningful. The Dharma
Master says this is Wonderful Dharma. It must be Wonderful Dharma."
Before hearing of Wonderful Dharma you did not know it was Wonderful
Dharma. Right? Therefore, this Wonderful Dharma is just that in your
ignorance, in your unawareness, you perform a function. That is just
"wonderful". Ahhh, one speaks of the "wonderful" and there is no end.
Seeing is also "wonderful". All that you see is
"wonderful". Why? How are you able to see? If it was not "wonderful", then
you would not be able to see. Not seeing...is that not "wonderful"? Not seeing
is even more "wonderful". Seeing is "wonderful", not seeing is also "wonderful".
Hearing is "wonderful", not hearing is also "wonderful".
Here is a small example. I wrote Na Mo A Mi T'o
Fo （南無阿彌陀佛）(Namo-Homage to Amitabha Buddha) on a piece of yellow cloth and
then hung it in front of the temple. Kuo Ch'ien went downstairs to
take a look and when he returned, I asked him, "What did you see?"
He answered, "Really wonderful." He saw it. How did he know it was
"wonderful"? This is also "wonderful".
How are you able to see? This is the same as
the question in The Shurangama Sutra, "Who is able to see?" "Who sees
with you?" Is this "wonderful" or "not wonderful"? Why can you see
things nearby? You say, "They are nearby, so I can see them." Is
this "wonderful"? This is also "wonderful". You cannot see far away.
Is that "wonderful"? Why can you see things nearby but not far away?
Is this not "wonderful"? Why are you not able to see what is far
away and able to what is nearby? Is this or is this not "wonderful"?
is all "wonderful". Hearing is also like this.
You see yellow and you have yellow-colored
glasses. You see brown and you have brown glasses. Whatever color
you see, brown, yellow, red, white, or black, that kind of reflection
is created in the field of your eighth consciousness. How is it
created? Who tells you to create it? Who tells you to create a
certain color? Is this not, in fact, "wonderful"? No one orders you,
no one tells you to see yellow. There is not anybody who stands at
your side and orders you to see yellow, to create a yellow
impression in your mind. No one tells you. You produce it yourself.
Is this not "wonderful"? Red, white, blue, all colors are like this.
It is just that such a color is created. Is this or is this not
"wonderful"? This is "wonderful".
Hearing is also like this. There are sounds you
like to hear and sounds you do not like to hear. Who tells you to
like them? Who tells you not to like them? Nobody. Why then is there
a liking and disliking? When you see things, why do you produce
thoughts of love and hate? You see beautiful forms and give rise to
thoughts of love. You see ugly forms and give rise to thoughts of
rejection. Who is it that tells you to do this? "I don't know who
tells me, I just think that way." You just think that way? This is
"wonderful". Therefore, all is "wonderful", all is Wonderful Dharma.
The mind Dharma is "wonderful". "The mind
existing, the ten thousand transformations are produced." If it is
not "wonderful", how is it able to create the ten thousand transformations?
Ahhh, there is too much "wonderful". I could speak of it for several hundreds
of years and not finish. If it were completely spoken years and not finish.
If it were completely spoken,
When scholars read Vajra Bodhi Sea,
their wisdom grows clear and bright that would not be "wonderful".
Because it cannot be spoken completely it is "wonderful". Sakyamuni Buddha
spoke Dharma for 49 years in over 300 Dharma assemblies and never
once went beyond the "wonderful". Therefore the "wonderful" includes
the three storehouses and the twelve classifications of Sutra text
Is this"'wonderful" or not? It includes all of the Buddhadharma. Is this
"wonderful"? All Buddhadharma does not go beyond, nor does it separate
from, the "wonderful".
The Great Master Chih Che spoke of it for 90
days. In 90 lectures, in 90 years, the "wonderful" could not be completely
spoken. Now you think, "We shouldn't listen to The Dharma Flower
Sutra. In this life there will not be enough time to hear it to
the end. If the word 'wonderful' cannot be spoken to completion in 90 years,
...the Sutra text...Ohh! I don't want to listen!"
Don't be afraid. This is the age of speed.
Speaking quickly is also "wonderful".
I cannot lecture Sutra too slowly.
Speaking slowly is also "wonderful".
Quickly speaking also does not leave the "wonderful".
Since Sakyamuni Buddha spoke Sutras and
did not depart from the "wonderful",
how could I do so? What is separate from the "wonderful"
is not "wonderful". If the "wonderful" is not separated from,
that is just "wonderful".
Although Dharma is wonderful, if we wish to
know; we must first put down the "wonderful".
If you can't put it down, that is "wonderful".
If you can put it down, that is genuinely "wonderful".
If you don't believe, try it out. Put down your body and mind.
"Inside no body and mind, Outside no world.
People empty, Dharmas empty, All is empty."
Is that "wonderful"
or not? It is necessary to put everything down in order to obtain
the genuine, proper, originally-existent "wonder"
of the self-nature.
If you can have no body and
mind within, and no world outside...However, this is not to
say that apart from the body, mind, and world you have no body, mind
and world. That is just in
this very body, in this mind, and in this world. There is, as well,
the non-existent. I have explained this often but here may be
those who have not understood what is meant.
"The eyes contemplate the production of forms;
Inside there are none.
The ears hear dust affairs,
But the mind does not know."
This is the same as "inside no body and mind,
outside no world". It is not easy to accomplish. Therefore, it is
If it were easy...What
is easy is also "wonderful".
All is "wonderful".
Nothing goes beyond Wonderful Dharma, So it is not strange that the
Great Master Chih Che talked about it for 90 days. There is not way
to finish speaking about it.
The "wonderful" is not easy to talk about, and because of this,
it is "wonderful". Now, however, it will be talked about. It is not easy to talk about
and we will still talk about it. This is also "wonderful". Any way you speak about it is "wonderful".
No matter what appearance is talked about, it is "wonderful". There is not anything
that is not "wonderful". Generally speaking, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful , all is
wondrously, wonderfully, wonderful. Everything is wonderfully, wondrously wonderful.
You ask, "What use does the 'wonderful' have?" This is truly "wonderful".
Cultivating and investigating dhyana is seeking
the "wonderful". When Sakyamuni Buddha went to the Snow Mountains (Himalayas) and
cultivated ascetic practices for six years, he was seeking the "wonderful".
The Bodhisattva practicing the Bodhisattva way is also seeking the "wonderful".
Arhats put down everything to seek the "wonderful". Common people cultivate
seeking the "wonderful". Sages cultivate seeking the "wonderful". Accomplishment
of the position of Buddhahood is "wonderful". What is it called? "Wonderful
Enlightenment." The Bodhisattva position is called equal enlightenment. Only Buddhas
are able to realize Wonderful Enlightenment.
Now we wish to understand the "wonderful". What
use does the "wonderful" have? The "wonderful" has no use. It has no
use, yet everything depends on it. Everything must have it. Let it
go, and it fills the whole universe. Speaking of the great functions
and transformations of the "wonderful": Heaven, earth, and the ten
thousand things, all are created from the "wonderful". Do not think
that a heavenly ruler, an earthly ruler, or a human lord created the
world. It is not the case. It all comes from the "wonderful". Only
Buddhas are able to acknowledge the "wonderful". The originally existent
Buddha-nature is called the "wonderful" enlightenment Buddha-nature.
Is it easy to understand the "wonderful"? If
you easily understand it, is it then not "wonderful"? NO, if you
easily understand the "wonderful", that is even more "wonderful".
Why? If you can understand the "wonderful" without wasting any
effort, isn't that "wonderful"? If you use a lot of effort to
understand it, that is even more "wonderful". However you speak
about it, it is "wonderful".
All things, all things, are the Way.
Left, right, meet the source.
What do you see that is not "wonderful"?
Chairs, tables, they are all manifestations of Wonderful Dharma. If
you understand Wonderful Dharma, then all Dharma are "wonderful". If
you do not understand Wonderful Dharma, all Dharmas are common. You
think that you are very clear about them when, in fact, you do not
understand, If you finely investigate their original substance, you
will find that they are all created from the "wonderful".
Not one of the 84,000 dharma-doors of the Five Schools of Buddhism is not open for investigation at the Buddhist Lecture Hall. Here Upasika Kuo Shen Kane practices the Dharma-door of making Buddha images.