V 1-26 Use the Five Powers to seek One’s Inherent Nature 用“五力”来寻找自己的本性
Updated: Dec 26, 2019
Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写，都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
Master will tell you about the ‘five powers’. When we learn Buddhism, cultivate our behaviour and mind, we must find our inherent nature. It requires us to verify. If you want to find your inherent nature, you must have five power to find it.
1) The power of faith – this is the power of complete belief. Faith is very important. ‘Faith is the source of the Way, it is the mother of merit-virtues’, if you believe in the Way, you have a belief. You must believe that you will be successful at something, you must believe that Guan Yin Bodhisattva will save us. The mother of merit-virtues is the source of the Way and the origin. If you believe, then you will grasp this origin and attain merit-virtues. If a person does not have confidence in what they do and doesn’t have faith, they won’t be successful in anything they do. Faith can overcome doubt so you won’t be shaken by it.
2) The power of effort – this is the power of diligence. Today I believe in the Bodhisattvas, but I don’t recite sutras properly. You believe that the Bodhisattvas can save you, yet you don’t out effort, and you don’t have diligence. Also, in your efforts, you mustn’t be distracted. If you’re distracted, then it means you didn’t put proper effort. If you want to learn a bit of everything, then you won’t be successful in anything you do. Effort must also combine with courageous advancement to cultivate diligently. For example, if you suffer from a serious illness, you must recite the Great Compassion mantra more often. Because you suffer from an illness that ordinary people aren’t capable of experiencing, if you want to get better you must do the things ordinary people can’t do, and you must endure what ordinary people can’t endure. Only then would this sickness be cured.
The power of mindfulness is also your thoughts. A person’s intentions are very important. If today you want to perform a meritorious deed, you must have sincerity and the right thinking when doing something; then you will accumulate merit-virtues. If there’s selfish motives and distracting thoughts when doing something, then you have no mindfulness, you won’t be able to find your inherent nature, and you won’t be able to realise it from yourself.
The power of concentration - this is the right concentration. How do we distinguish what is right? It’s to use our faith to concentrate our mind. For example, after you pray to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, your mind can concentrate because you believe in Guan Yin Bodhisattva. You must have the right concentration. “I believe that the wholesome deeds that I do are sincere; it is correct.” The power of concentration can overcome all distracting thoughts, allowing the mind to calm itself down.
The power of wisdom – wisdom includes the right wisdom. Many people have wisdom, but it’s not used in humanitarian ways. For example, scientists possess a lot of wisdom, but they researched and developed atomic bombs, biological weapons etc. So do these people possess wisdom? Similarly, if their mind deviates, then they can’t find their inherent nature. The wisdom that arises is not the right wisdom. They will only sin.
You must possess these five powers to find your inherent nature, and verify whether your cultivation of the mind is on the right path or wrong path. You can use your mind to speculate; then, with the addition of the five powers, you can sense whether what you are doing is right or not. If a person doesn’t have the five powers, it’s likened to using a mirror to reflect one’s shadow. You can see that the shadow and the shape in the mirror are the same, but in the mirror, you can’t see your true self. It’s only just the external shape of something, a shadow, but you can’t see the inherent nature.
If you want to find the real inherent nature, you don’t look at the shadow, you don’t listen to what you say, you don’t look at your appearance nor shape, but instead, grasp the inherent nature from within. Another point is that if you want to seek the inherent nature and learn Buddhism, you can’t find it from reading classical Buddhist scriptures. Many people think that by reading a lot of classical scriptures, they can obtain the true Buddha-Dharma, and obtain their inherent nature and primordial soul. That’s impossible. That’s because the Buddha is incomparably profound, so our level of wisdom is incapable of understanding it completely. For example, each scientist is only capable of researching one small isolated part of the universe. They aren’t able to research all the myriad phenomenon that occurs.
You must follow Master closely when learning Buddhism and cultivating the mind. If you look at this one day and that on another day, you will become more distracted and confused. In the end, you would take what is confusing to confuse others. If you’re careless at any moment, you’ll make mistakes. That’s why whether one’s cultivation is making good or bad progress depends on one’s own hands.