V 10-17 Disaster Begins when Wholesomeness Ceases; Blessings Begins when Disaster Begins 善尽祸至 灾尽福至
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.
‘Eliminate one’s Demon-Nature; the Buddha-Nature shall appear’. One’s mind mustn’t harbour any inner demons in order for one’s Buddha-Nature to manifest. A kind-hearted person won’t be ill-disposed. An ill-disposed person won’t be kind-hearted. That’s the principle. Everything is caused by one’s self-nature, not externally. If you could properly control your greed, hatred and delusion, then your mind is the same as your Buddha-Nature. Aren’t all these changes stem from yourself? If you can’t control your three poisons properly, then you are a demon. Aren’t you the cause?
How is it related to others? If you’re not greedy, resentful or delusional, how is it related to others? Doesn’t hate stem from your own resentful mind? Doesn’t delusion stem from your delusional mind? Doesn’t greed stem from your greedy mind? If you’re not greedy, what could make you greedy? Practising Buddhism and cultivating the mind could increase your blessings. You hear people say that you lack blessings, so what can you do to gain and increase them? That is to practise Buddhism and cultivate your mind. If you are a good person who cultivates your mind well, then you can develop blessings and immaculate faith. What is immaculate faith? It is a very pure belief. It’s not easy reaching this stage.
There are two kinds of beliefs. In modern terms, it can be differentiated as being positive or negative. A person is said to possess a belief in a negative sense if they, for example, say, “I must become a governmental official. I must bring honour to my family. I swear that if I’ll do whatever it takes to be one.” That is negative energy. “I must be rich and flaunt it in front of those who looked down on me.” That is negative energy. It’s because your belief isn’t pure. Your belief stems from your selfishness, and it manifests from your many distracting thoughts. It’s pitiful. What’s considered positive? For example, “I was unfilial towards my parents in the past. Now I understand that they had to go through a lot of hardships to raise me. I want them to treat them better. From now on, I will recite sutras for them daily and pray to the Bodhisattvas to bless them with good health.” That is a pure belief. “Although I have already recited a lot of sutras, I will keep on reciting it daily.” That is a pure belief. That is positive energy.
Those who constantly have pure beliefs will have the right views. Do you know what the right views are? They are considered as the right understanding. Why does that person always seem to give the right response regarding other people’s questions? It’s because they have pure beliefs. For example, a person loves their mother dearly and is determined to recite many Little Houses for her. Then somebody comes up to them and says, “Hey, do you know how great gambling is? You can earn a lot of money to support your mother and give her a lot of gifts.” So you think that person would go and gamble? Because that person is aware of what beliefs are pure and have the right views, that’s why he won’t do things that conflict with his right views. When one consistently sees things with the right views for a long time, one will develop an eternal mental state. Do you understand? Persevere with your correct beliefs, and it will manifest. That is having the right views for a long time. To develop an eternal mental state, you have to be resolute in your beliefs over a long period. One must learn to let go and be indifferent. If you lose something today, it doesn’t matter to you. That way, you will have confidence. And then, you will keep persevering with your Buddhist practice with an eternal state of mind.
Those who can let go will eliminate their mental obstacles and afflictions. It’s very simple; when mental obstacles appear, let go. When afflictions appear, let go. Many people asked Master, “Master, how should I resolve this problem?” But some people insist on bringing up their troubles even though they don’t have to. For example, this person had a conflict with two other people. As a result, they went to court. The person suing them said, “I’m very troubled. I am suing them.” Then Master replied, “Then let it go!” “How do I let go?” “How do you let go? Don’t sue them then. When you don’t sue them anymore, your afflictions will be over immediately. Just accept the small loss and let them have their way. Give whatever money you should’ve given them, and won’t it end?” Then another person asked Master, “Master, then what if I was the one being sued? You teach me to let go, but what if the other party don’t let go and continue to take legal action against me? If I’m the one being sued, I’ll be very troubled.” Master replied, “What you say is correct, so how should you resolve it? You could first ask your solicitor to communicate with the other party and determine their demands. Then satisfy their demands with the agreement that they will no longer sue you afterwards. It’s that simple. If they no longer sue you, then you won’t be troubled any more, isn’t that right?” The main problem that people have is that they aren’t willing to take a loss. Just like how many people are troubled that they can't sell their house. It’s not that they couldn’t sell their house; it’s because they aren’t willing to lower their prices. They refuse to lower the price in their mind, so their afflictions increase. The principle is that simple.
You must be clear about your motives for cultivating. What’s the aim of cultivation? It’s to let go and be liberated. To do that, you must learn to accept a loss. That way, you won’t be affected by other people and the external environment. Those who are brave enough to accept losses won’t be affected by the external environment. Master tells you, you must learn to take losses regularly. Taking a loss is actually a gain. Many people take losses but are they really at a loss? For example, in primary school, two classmates might be competing to take on the role of the class leader. Both of them have gone up to their teacher and talked about their merits while badmouthing the other classmate. From this, the teacher could see that both of them had many shortcomings and thought they were unsuitable to be the class leader. As a result, the classmate who didn’t fight to be the class leader became one instead. In other words, while two people were competing with each other and have gone ahead of you, you might seem to be at a disadvantage on the surface since you didn’t compete. But in reality, are you really at a disadvantage? That’s why competing with others is a foolish action. When you badmouth others, others will also badmouth you. After the employer has listened to you both, he would know that both of you aren’t good. That is why employers in the past liked to use methods to make their top two employees compete with each other and keep their relationships bad. That way, the employer would know both of your shortcomings. That’s why one must not feel like they’re at a loss or at a disadvantage. Taking a loss is actually a gain.
You mustn’t let yourself be influenced by the external environment. Even if others badmouth you, don’t badmouth them back. No matter how others treat you, you are still a cultivator. Cultivators aren’t afraid of taking losses. Buddhists aren’t petty-minded. If you are still petty-minded today, then it means that you’re not a proper Buddhist. Do you know what you gain by helping others regularly without the thought of being reciprocated? What you gain is inner peace. Think about it, isn’t that true? If you helped somebody, would they cause you trouble? They won’t. Would they harm you? They won’t. So won’t you feel safe and sound? If that person treated you badly in the past and you went out and helped them, you will feel safe and sound when you return home because you think that they won’t hurt you anymore since you’ve helped them. Isn’t your mind at peace? The principle is that simple. If you treat the people who treat you badly well, you will gain inner peace. If he treats you badly, you should treat him well. Although you might still be angry with him since he’s still treating you badly, your mind feels comfortable knowing that he won’t do real harm towards you. Those who desire peace are blessed. That is how you gain inner peace.
If you are blessed and able to indulge in many things in your life, that is all your karmic rewards. But don’t use up your karmic rewards. That’s because these all come from your wholesome karmic affinities. Once it’s used up and ceased, then that’s the start of your unwholesome karmic affinities. When you are still enjoying your wholesome karmic affinities, you will not experience any disasters. When you are desperately praying and pursuing worldly blessings, these blessings are not dependable. That’s because they only came to you by force and not by natural means. When you enjoy it, you must be careful with the impending calamity it brings. It will happen soon. That’s why when a person desperately pursues something and get it; mishaps happen soon after.
For example, you are not destined to be a minister since you lack the capabilities and support. If you desperately pursue it and get that position, you might be happy on the day you become the minister, but that will be the start of your calamities. You must understand that there are many people who are capable of that position who will be jealous of you. How many of them will scheme of ways to demote you? How many of them will start to badmouth you? So haven’t you dug yourself a pit to jump in? If you are a good and capable person and are destined to be the minister, you would be safe and sound in your role if you were the minister. If the role came to you because you desperately acted in the shadows and got it through relationships, bribes etc., even though you might be the minister, in the end, you would be brought down very soon. Master tells you, if you want to eliminate calamities, then don’t be greedy nor go and pursue.