V 10-11 Constantly Introspect One’s Body; The Three Bodies of the Buddha 常观自身 如来三身
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
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.
In the Human Realm, power can delude people, fame can make people lose their way, and money can deprave people. Many women were originally good, but they could sell themselves out for the sake of money. Isn’t that pitiful? They got used to using branded luxury goods, so they would feel bad when they had no money. Master tells you that he won’t allow you to use the best now that you are following him. He wants you to learn to be frugal and plain and simple in your lifestyle. If a person can’t control their desires, they will make mistakes in the future. Don’t wear branded luxury goods. The simpler you are, the more you are down to earth. When you see others wear branded luxury goods, don’t envy them nor compare yourself with them. Then you’ll gradually become more kind-hearted and won’t make mistakes.
In reality, Master is helping a lot of husbands educate their wives. If you don’t have much money and your wife constantly wants to be richer to wear the best, dine in the best establishments, and use the best, she will quickly leave you. When Master educates them to live a simpler and plain life and understand self-disciple, isn’t he helping you out? Clothes are for covering your body, not to show off. Food is used for nourishing your body, not to show off. So what if the food looks expensive? When young women are vain, they will quickly love money. After they love money, they will seek fame. After becoming famous, they think it is embarrassing if they lack money. When that time comes, what methods would they use to earn money? They will think of all kinds of ways. That’s why Buddhists should have self-discipline. Some girls are frugal when they’re dating, so their boyfriends are grateful towards them and grow fond of them. They’re not married yet, but the girl helps the guy save money, isn’t that great? If they’re not married and the girl keeps wanting to buy this and that, and if the boyfriend can’t satisfy her, then she will ignore him, could these people practise Buddhism? You must contemplate.
One mustn’t be deluded by fame, wealth and money. Otherwise, they will fall into depravity. A thought of ignorance could lead one astray; many thoughts of ignorance keeps one cycling in samsara. In other words, if you’re occasionally ignorant, then it’s excusable. You’re just confused. But if all of your thoughts are ignorant and you’ve made many mistakes and committed many wrongdoings, you will stay trapped in samsara.
Suchness is your real Buddha-nature. Suchness is simple; the inherent nature is real; suchness is our real inherent nature; the inherent nature of suchness is your real Buddha-nature. Our Buddha-nature is kind-hearted. When you were born, did you think about fame and wealth? You only knew that you would be happy when you had something to eat and some clothes to wear. The desire for fame and wealth gradually grew as you grew older. Master will always guide you to live a plain and simple lifestyle, be real and honest to yourself and others, and you’ll feel comfortable. When you see others have something you don’t have, wouldn’t you get upset? When you compare yourself with others and find that you’re inferior to them, wouldn’t you get upset? Master wishes that you won’t keep cycling within samsara.
Those who have a Buddha-nature is a Buddha. In other words, when your mind is manifesting the Buddha-nature, then you are a Buddha. When your mind is distanced from the Buddha-nature, you are an ordinary person. When ordinary people are deluded and lose their way, they will commit unwholesome deeds and go to hell. If you don’t cultivate, your foundations are terrible, you’re an ordinary person, and you commit many unwholesome deeds; if you don’t go to hell, who goes to hell? Don’t commit unwholesome deeds. When a person has deviated or deluded, their inner demons have taken control of their mind. Why do you act like an animal? It’s because you’ve viewed something with prejudice and bias; it’s because your mind is deluded. So your spiritual state is the same as an animal or the beings in the Hungry Ghost Realm.
Master asks you, when you compete with others to get the same thing, does your mind think like a Buddha? You’re confused. That’s why your inner demons can take over. When you are going through your daily lives, your inner demons manifest and could harm you if you can’t figure out something right. To illustrate this with an example, you are currently learning and practising Guan Yin Citta. Who could cause you trouble if you have firm convictions and understand what Master is teaching you and how to cultivate it? You quietly cultivate, and you’ll gain everybody’s support. If you are confused, you will think whether Guan Yin Citta is right? You will think maybe another school of cultivation is better. Then other people will approach and sway you. Isn’t that right?
If you are confused, then what happens next is that you’ll lose your right-views and your inner demons take hold of you. When you have right views, it means Buddha resides in your mind. When you look at a problem with an upright attitude, it means Buddha resides in your mind. To illustrate this with an example, what thoughts are considered to be of a Buddha or a demon? When a person sees other do unwholesome deeds, the Buddha expounds to have pity towards the sentient beings and save them. That is right. The demon would think that you’ve finally come across its path and will make you develop even more hatred in the Human Realm. It will say, “As long as you live in this world, others will hurt you. Why don’t you get angry? You should be angry and hate them.” Alright, then your inner demons will turn you into an evil person.
If your mind develops greed, hatred, and delusion, you invite your inner demons into your mind and stay there. When you develop a thought of greed, a thought of hatred and thought of delusion, then demons will quickly enter your mind and won’t leave. The three poisons will constantly linger in your mind, and you’ll feel hateful towards many things you see. Why is he better than me? Why is he like this and that? You will continue to hate, alright, then you become foolish. Then you keep having daydreams, and you start to get greedy. What are you greedy for? For glory and wealth. Then as one becomes greedier, they’ll become poorer. Whether they buy stocks or the lottery, don’t they do that to make money? Then, in the end, the stock prices fall, and all your money is lost. That’s why greed leads to poverty. Only the right-views can eliminate the three poisons in one’s mind. What are right-views? Master illustrates this with an example, your neighbour wants to argue with you, but you don’t argue back. Right-views are when you don’t have a conflict with him, and you trust that he will understand you in the future. You’ll gradually free yourself from hatred, and you won’t hate him for the trouble he’s causing you. That’s how you eliminate your three poisons.
We can say that our self-nature, kind-hearted and inherent nature can develop states of a Buddha and a demon. So what state is considered a Buddha, and what state is considered a demon? The Buddha-state is where one is selfless and have concern for the wellbeing of others and help them. The demon-state is where one wants to hurt and harm others. Both states are derived from your inherent nature. Doesn’t Master frequently expound that people’s minds are like a mirror? If the mind is pure and put in front of unwholesome things, it is reflected onto it like a mirror. Conversely, if the mind is put in front of wholesome things, it’s reflected onto it like a mirror. That’s why the mind can harbour two different states, one as a Buddha-mind and the other as a demon-mind. Do you understand?
Master expounds, the Dharma-body, Reward-Body and Transformation-body are known as the Buddha’s Three Bodies. In fact, there is also one more body, as all three bodies were originally one body. Have a think about whether that’s the case? Master illustrates this with an example. The Dharma-body is our body, our real body. The Reward-body is one which other people scold at, aren’t they scolding you? When people scold you behind your back, even though you’re not present, they’re still scolding you. That’s your Reward-body. Another body is known as the Transformation-body. Although you’re not present in the room, photos of you are all over the walls, aren't they your Transformation-bodies? Master asks you, isn’t it you inside the photos? When people are scolding the ‘you’ inside the photos, aren’t you the one being scolded? So ultimately, aren’t the three bodies the same body? Now, do you understand?
The three bodies are originally one body. You should constantly introspect your Buddha-nature, then you will see the Buddha. One should frequently use these three bodies positively, and regularly do good deeds and be a good person. When you use your kindness and thoughts to persuade others to learn Buddhism, isn’t that your Transformation-body? To illustrate this with an example, Master regularly uses the Buddha-Dharma to make you understand the principles. The body he uses to guide you is the Transformation-body. Master asks you, do you show respect towards him when he’s present? Yes, you will. What if he isn’t present? Do you still show respect towards him? Yes, you will. Many people still give the room a courteous bow when they enter Master’s office, even when he’s not present. What are you bowing to? Aren’t you bowing to his Transformation-body? Where did this Transformation-body come from? Didn’t it come from your respect for his regular education to you? Do you now understand?
You must understand a principle. How do we keep seeing Buddha? To do that, you must regularly see yourself as a Buddha. If you want to see the Buddha, you must look at your Transformation-body. What you have said, done and thought today have already passed, but the effect you have caused on others is from your Transformation-body. When you leave the room after you have offended the people there with your words and actions, they're scolding your Transformation-body when they start to scold you. Australia has a Shadow Minister. He isn’t the current minister, but he’s always checking on the ministers of the mirroring position like a shadow. When you have a Transformation-body, you must constantly manage it well and ask yourself whether you act like a Bodhisattva or Buddha. That way, you will sow the karmic seeds for Buddhahood. If you want to attain Buddhahood, you must possess the karmic seeds for it first. How do you attain Buddhahood? Do meritorious deeds, wholesome deeds, recite sutras properly, make vows and perform life liberations. Aren’t these karmic causes? Only with these karmic causes could you attain Buddhahood. Without it, how can you attain Buddhahood?