V 11-21 Peace and Wisdom 平静与智慧
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.
Many people like to ask, “Why did the situation come to this? What happened?” Master tells you all that the world is like so. When any good thing or bad thing has happened, you have no right nor in any condition to question why it happened. That’s because all of it is karmic affinity, it is karma. That’s why, when we are living within our karmic conditions and affinities, we could only just flow along with it. In the Human Realm, there is no reason to be made. The Saha world is originally an imperfect, defiled and corrupted place. If you must find a reason or way to resolve your mental afflictions in such a place, then it is akin to indulging yourself in wine to relieve your sorrow, but it only gets worse. That’s why we must live wisely. We must understand that society inherently possesses many flaws. If we want to find something perfect in a flawed place, is that possible? It’s like when you married somebody, could you say that they’re perfect? Even if you gave birth to a child, would the child make you feel that this world is perfect? You must understand that everything that happens in this world is just karmic affinities and consequences.
People who live in this world are pitiful. You must understand that all sentient beings possess flaws, or in other words, unwholesome habitual behaviours. Everybody possesses some greed, hatred and delusion in their mind. Before you married your spouse, you might think that they’re perfect. But after marriage, you eventually discover that they’re greedy and selfish, and you find it unbearable. But you have to understand that everybody possesses varying degrees of these shortcomings, that’s why you must learn to accept it and eventually change it. If you can’t accept it, then you will only be hurting yourself. Who doesn’t have any flaws? Those who are flawless resides in heaven. Just like all the people who are in prison have committed a crime. Would a person be jailed if they didn’t commit any crimes? Everybody who’s reborn in the Human Realm has some greed, hatred and delusion with them. If they didn’t, then would they be reborn in the Human Realm? Even if you may not have much hatred, but when you are foolish, it could become severe.
In the Human Realm, everybody has greed, hatred and delusion because that’s inherent to human nature, and it manifests into different unwholesome habitual behaviours. But at the same time, humans also possess a Buddha-nature. That’s why you must properly practise Buddhism and be an upright person. You must eliminate all the deep-rooted bad habits that you’ve accumulated over countless lifetimes and experiences that have covered up your inherent nature. That way, you can see your true kind-hearted inherent nature. Currently, we cultivators strive to reform ourselves and put our efforts to change everything we accumulated over the past to make our way to the unsurpassed Bodhi spirituality. If any cultivator’s Buddha-nature is weak, then they would be burdened by everything they see, hear and feel in the Human Realm. In other words, people will change themselves and form attachments because of the things they hear and see. That’s because human nature possesses a kind of habitual behaviour that forms attachments. “I think this is right, and that is wrong.” It will become a serious obstacle on the path of cultivation. Buddhists must learn to use their wisdom to influence and reduce the attachments that they’ve formed over time so that they will naturally change their sense of values and outlook on life. When it’s done, then you will possess an equitable mind.
Possessing an equitable mind doesn’t mean that one doesn’t differentiate the good and bad. Many people say, “We are all learning and practising Buddhism equally.” Master asks you, if all Buddhists are equal, why is one Buddhist doing more unwholesome deeds but you don’t do it much? Why is one other Buddhist doing more wholesome deeds while you’re not doing much? Is that fair? An equitable mind refers to viewing every person as having an equal opportunity to learn Buddhism. Equality refers to that, and not saying that you are still treated equally if you have negative karma. Otherwise, there won’t be different Divine ranks in heaven. That’s why people must treat their shortcomings as if they’re viewing their enemy. They must thoroughly reform it. “I really hate myself; why am I such a disappointment? Why am I so depressed? Why am I so ignorant? Why did I act so indecently?” You must constantly ask yourself and examine yourself. Think about all the bad things you did in the past, and then vow to reform yourself.
Karmic affinity is a comprehension process of a person towards something. Those who understand karmic affinity will understand the truth of that thing. Those who go with the flow according to karmic conditions possess a kind of magnanimity. Regardless of what they encounter, good or bad, it is actually a kind of maturation process towards your mind to test your self-confidence and grasp of the whole situation. Those who could go with the flow are adaptable; they could still make advances in their lives despite the hardships that they experience. That’s why they have a strong sense of direction. People whose lives are smooth-sailing would never understand the ups and downs of life and its hardships. Those who are unable to withstand the tests of hardship are people who will never be successful. Master hopes that you could all ponder the importance of going with the flow and acting according to your karmic conditions.
Master has expounded many things about karmic affinity in this chapter; the main reason is to tell you all to act accordingly to your karmic conditions. Acting according to your karmic conditions to develop the correct understanding of the things you encounter, and it is an awakened understanding. “I know that this is not long-lasting, I’ll just go with the flow. I won’t pursue it; I am clear-minded. Even if I pursue and possess it, it will eventually disappear.” Then you won’t pursue it anymore, that is the awakened understanding towards life. And also you know that you must have understood life thoroughly, that’s called complete awakenment. Master could make you completely awaken immediately, and make you let go in ten minutes time.
All he has to do is ask you to ponder, “You’re here in the Human Realm, and you’re here in the present stage of your life. At the end of your life is only death. In reality, your time is limited. Think about those who will die very soon, like those people in their 60s or 70s, how many more years could you live? You have been grinding for many decades now, and you still insist on grinding for a few more decades. In the end, you are all people who will be buried. Would you still pursue wealth and fame? When you introspect, won’t your mind become clear? What is there to pursue? What’s the point of keeping face? When we were in our youth, we’ve always wanted to act proudly, now where has that youthful pride gone? Currently, many still insist on grinding to save face. Aren’t they just torturing themselves?”
Master hopes that you could all awaken completely about life, and understand that all gatherings and separations are karmic affinities. Only with a mind that goes with the flow could you overcome the hardships and setbacks. Regardless whether the sky is covered by dark clouds or clear and sunny; regardless of whether the journey of life is hard or smooth, one’s mind should always possess both peace and wisdom. That’s why a person must be wise to live well. A person who lacks wisdom would lead a hard life. Life is about living through the imperfect and setbacks. That’s why imperfect things and hardships are common and normal. There’s not a single thing in life that goes smoothly, and there’s not a single thing that’s perfect. When we’re alive, don’t wait until when the dream ends before you realise that everything about life is fake.
When you don’t go through something, you don’t realise that it’s hard. If you haven’t tasted something, you won’t know how it will taste. If Buddhists have never experienced the hardships of life, then they won’t know how hard is it to live. We have tasted all kinds of suffering, some even too tragic to recall. We are just meandering through all the rights and wrongs, while not knowing what is right and what is wrong and might have committed many unforgivable acts. That’s why we should wake up, and stop continuing to live muddle-headedly for the remainder of our life. Life is born from the chaos of ignorance and empty nature. And from the universal empty-natured consciousness, thoughts began. When a person begins to have thoughts, they will start to have wants, which lead to desires. Desires are what causes your consciousness to enter into a dreamlike state as if playing a game.
When Master talks about these things, you should properly listen. One’s thoughts decide one’s life. If somebody becomes mentally stuck, then their life could end. People who commit suicide are examples of that. They go to the top of the building, and then when they get there, they might not want to die. But then they see the people below spectating, and by impulse, they have a thought, “Fine, I’m already up here. I feel ashamed; I might as well die.” Then they go and jump. Just that one thought has killed them. That’s why while we’re still alive, we must keep a rein on to our thoughts and don’t let it to run amok like a wild horse. Otherwise, it will hurt you.