V 10-24 One’s Wisdom is the Foundation of One’s Enlightenment 人的智慧是觉悟的基础
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.
You must learn to be magnanimous in your mind. Don’t be concerned with any petty matters in the Human Realm, and your skin will shine. Take a look; those who have great skin usually don’t harbour too many afflictions in their minds. That is the truth. Master had said this already, don’t increase afflictions for yourself. Master won’t name who, but there are a few people who would frequently bring troubles to themselves out of nothing. Isn’t that crazy? Master wants to be purer the more you cultivate, just like becoming young again. Are children cute? They are, right? Children just laugh and smile, and they aren’t afraid of saying the wrong things. That’s what it is like being a child. They don’t have any preconceptions; that’s why they are cute. These kinds of children are always happy. Although you are old, your thoughts must be as pure, healthy, and devoid of distracting thoughts as a child. That’s what it means to become young again. Master sees you putting facial creams and lotions on your skin to look young, but your minds are like those who are eighty and ninety years old and have a lot of stress. Your hair is already grey; how can you become young?
When cultivators speak, they speak in the language of Zen. What is it? It is the language of wisdom. You must learn to be like Master. You might ask where you can find Master’s lessons? Aren’t they all written in books? How many of you can recite it out from memory? If you could recite Master’s words of wisdom, for example, ‘Buddhism in Plain Term’s' volumes one to nine, you are already very wise. Why is it that wherever Master went, everything he speaks is in the language of Zen? It’s because Master possesses wisdom. If you could recite Master’s books from memory, he guarantees that what you say is in the language of Zen. When your wife scolds you, you must immediately think, “Master once said that scolding others will increase one’s karmic obstructions. I won’t act like you. I must properly cultivate.” The wife carries on, “If you keep behaving like this, I will hit you.” You think to yourself, “Hitting others will induce one to fall into Hell; I won’t argue back.” That way, aren’t you very wise? How will those who lack wisdom act? When others lose their temper, they will react with, “You dare?”. If you are a Buddhist, you will think to yourself, “I must never hit others. It will lead to karmic retribution. I must have wisdom.”
The language of wisdom is very different to secular, worldly ideas. If a person possesses strong wisdom foundations, they will be very different from secular people. What are secular people like? Selfish. Master knows of an Australian woman whose husband regularly scolds her but never hits her physically. She felt very uncomfortable being with him. She heard that as long as there’s domestic violence, then she could call the police to set up a case. Then she could apply to move to somewhere else to live. She really didn’t want to be with him any longer. So one day, when the man was drunk, she started to quarrel with him. Then in a fit, the husband threw the beer bottle at the ground, and the glass shattered. She immediately called the police. She had intentionally used this method to induce the man to commit a wrongful act, and in the end, she got what she wished for. Master tells you that if you use these methods to achieve your goal, that isn’t wisdom. It is causing resentment. That man is still telling others about this incident when he meets other people. There will be a day when he will have his revenge. That’s why Master tells you that you must act morally upright and don’t unwholesome methods to achieve your goals.
One must constantly remind themselves that one must walk down the path of realisation. “I must awaken. I mustn’t keep being muddle-headed.” You must keep reminding yourself about the kind of person you once were and that you mustn’t return to the old path. You must realise the fact that you were once too foolish. One must leave behind life and death. How does that work? It means that when you no longer think about life and death, you have left them behind. Many people constantly think about what would happen to them when they die. In reality, they are struggling to come to terms with it. When you don’t think about it, it will naturally disappear. That’s because life and death are natural phenomena. Since it is so and everybody will eventually die, why bother thinking about it? Why not use that time to think about how to live their remaining lifespan instead? Isn’t that right?
Master tells you, that one must understand how to leave behind life and death and walk on the path of liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth. What is that? It is to abstain from making any more mistakes. In the past, you might have smoked, so you abstained from it for a while but then smoked again. In the past, you might be promiscuous, so you abstained from it. But then you acted promiscuously again. In the past, you might have gambled and started gambling again. In the past, you had damaged your body due to your lack of dietary awareness. And now you consumed the things that hurt it again. In the past, you scolded others and abstained from it for a while. But you started to scold again. In the past, you ate meat and then decided to be a vegetarian. But after a while, you ate meat again. They are also considered cycles of death and rebirth.
Master saw a message that somebody left on his Weibo blog. That person was a vegetarian. One day, because he was eating with his friends, he also ate meat that day. After he ate some fish meat, he realised that some bone fragments got caught in the back of his throat, and he couldn’t get it out. When he went to see a doctor, the doctor said that they must perform a surgical operation to remove it. That person got fearful. Afterwards, he prayed to Guan Yin Bodhisattva and vowed, “O’ Guan Yin Bodhisattva, I will never eat meat again. I vow to perform life liberations of five thousand fish and offer two hundred Little Houses.” Then when he went to see another doctor reexamine it again, they couldn’t find it anymore. He felt as though nothing had happened. His throat no longer hurt, and the situation had ended. Think about it, could you keep on repeating the same mistakes? The cycle of death and rebirth can also be said about your unwholesome habitual behaviours. You must be sensible.
In the very early days of humanity, people have few desires. When they encountered the Buddha-Dharma, it was very easily accepted into their minds. That time was known as the Age of Proper Dharma. When somebody talked about the Dharma, everybody listened. Why is it that when people from rural areas learn Buddhism, they will practise it very well? That’s because their minds are proper and don’t harbour much selfishness. Why is it more difficult for people from the city? That’s because they are more selfish. An old lady who had never heard of Buddhism could practise it very well after learning it. In contrast, a person who has known Buddhism before won’t listen to you if you propagate it to them. That’s because it’s harder to remove the marks from a paper that had been drawn on. In contrast, you can directly write on a blank piece of paper.
That’s why the Buddha-Dharma is more readily accepted into the minds of people with few desires. Also, it would be easier for them to liberate themselves from the cycle of death and rebirth. Why is it that in the old times, more people are capable of achieving Buddhahood than nowadays? That’s because there are too many temptations in modern society, so everybody’s desires are excessive. In the past, people ate plainly, unlike now where were are so many wonderful things to eat. In the past, women dressed plainly, unlike nowadays, where women could dress in seductive clothing. They are not only ruining others but also themselves. In modern society, as long as you have money, you can buy and have access to anything. So isn’t money very tempting? Many people are willing to do anything for money. That’s the power of desire. As the number of temptations increase, so does one’s desires. “I want this.” “I want that.” Then, in the end, one isn’t willing to give anything.