V 11-24 Karmic Affinities are Sources of Worry; The Inherent Nature is Truly Empty 缘分就是牵挂 本性才是真空
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.
When it comes to the Buddha-Dharma, it is not an easy thing to explain or do. It’s easy to regurgitate it, for example, saying phrases like ‘affliction is Bodhi’. It’s just like reciting the ‘Three Character Classic’; all the children could recite it out loud from memory. But if you ask them to explain the meaning of a line ‘At the beginning of life, Man is good in nature’, then they might not be able to explain. Just because you could read it doesn’t mean you possess it. Just because you married your wife doesn’t mean that she belongs to you. One must have the wisdom to recognise that they’re all karmic affinities. That’s why, if you keep viewings things as belonging to you, it indicates that you are filled with selfish and distracting thoughts, and you lack wisdom. When you are raising a pot of beautiful flowers, and you want it to grow well, then you must constantly care for it and water it. The principle is the same.
One must always think that others are right, and they are wrong. Then there will be no resentments or regrets in your life. Otherwise, you will always get angry, and your body will deteriorate. How many people fall ill because of their bad temper? The more you think, the angrier you become, and the more depressed you are, and eventually, you develop heart disease. When Zhuge Liang was alive, he made Zhou Yu so frustrated that he coughed up blood and eventually died. In his last moments before death, he looked at the sky and uttered, “Why was I born if he was born?” It was because he lamented that he was born in the same era as Zhuge Liang who rivalled him and was superior to him. Zhuge Liang could predict things in advance, while Zhou Yu only knows when it happens and Cao Cao only knows after something has happened. One must learn about the history and also the essential teachings of classical works in order to have meaning in one’s life. Otherwise, you would only walk on the same path as those before you and make the same mistakes. For example, if there was a trap and somebody fell for it, and then they told you, “Be careful, it’s a trap there,” but you continue to walk straight into it and fall into it. Those who don’t learn Buddhism will never do the right things.
There was once a merchant who had to travel through a large desert. People warned him that if a sandstorm occurs, he will get lost. So after he enters the desert, he must plant a long branch into the ground as a marking so that he could find the way back home. On his journey inside the desert, he saw others planting many branches into the ground, but he didn’t care, so he didn’t plant any branches for himself. When others tried to help him by planting for him, he would kick it away. Then gradually, the sand that blew in the wind removed the footprints he made along the way. When he was right in the middle of his journey, a sandstorm suddenly occurred. He thought to himself that if he continued to walk forward, he would get lost. So he quickly retreated. But since he didn’t plant any branches, he didn’t know which way was back home. As a result, he died in the middle of the desert. That’s why those who live selfishly would ruin themselves. If a person could think about others and help provide and build the infrastructure for their descendants, then they will be commemorated for many centuries, and they will never be in a position of defeat.
People should regularly think that they’re wrong, then they won’t feel hurt nor arrogant. Because they’re in the wrong, after thinking for a while, they’ll forget about it. That’s because people’s biggest problem is that they like to forgive themselves. Many people say, “It’s my fault, fine, I’ll forgive myself.” If it’s another person’s fault, then you would respond like, “I will never forgive them.” Is that right?
You must know that Buddhists should strive to be a person with no worries and no mental hindrances. A person with no mental hindrances is a selfless person. Only a selfless person is fearless. Why is that? It’s because they aren’t selfish. Fearless people are wise. If a person possesses a great fearless spirit, they would help others and regularly think on behalf of others. They have nothing to fear, so they are wise, and they will gain the love and care of others. These kinds of people will live meaningfully.
Currently, the minds of people of modern society are in chaos. Many religions are also in chaos. Just like when we first arrived in Australia, many religious groups want to recruit you into their religion. When you’re walking on the road, you will encounter many religious groups who want to recruit you. It can be compared to famous and renowned doctors in the world, although there are many but to find a good one is hard. Do you understand? What’s the use of famous doctors? All they have is reputation. But a good doctor is one who is ethical and morally upright. Currently, there are few compassionate doctors in the world. We must use true Buddha-Dharma to activate people’s conscience. Why are people so bad nowadays? It’s because they lack conscience. They must have a conscience before they could do things ethnically.
You must know how to clear your mind and discover your inherent nature. Master has already mentioned it many times before. You need a clear and understanding mind before you could see your inherent nature, and then you would eliminate the forms of self and others. What does ‘form of self’ and ‘form of others’ mean? It means that there’s a differentiation between and ‘others’ and ‘me’. Because of the differentiation, there is discrimination, so you won’t cultivate your mind well. That’s because you will think that they treat you differently, so you’ll treat them differently. But think about it, would the Bodhisattvas treat them differently? Guan Yin Bodhisattva saves and awakens sentient beings. If Mr Zhang offered one box of apples while Mr Li offered three boxes of apples, would Guan Yin Bodhisattva only help Mr Li? Think about it; the Bodhisattvas are not attached to the ‘forms of self’ and the ‘forms of others’, is that right? People must learn to see things from other people’s perspective to do things. There’s a Chinese phrase called ‘to lose is to gain’. When you had been scammed before, then you won’t fall for a scam next time. Master has seen the news that there was an old lady in Hong Kong who had never been scammed or cheated before in her entire life. But when she was old, she was scammed for over a hundred thousand dollars and lost even her funeral expenses. If she had been scammed before when she was young, then maybe she won’t be scammed when she grew old.
You must learn how to reach the spirituality of non-birth of Dharma-forbearance’. In other words, no matter what happens, we must see through things and understand. This world is where something may exist today and disappear tomorrow. Although our physical body exists within a physical world, and it seems that you can find anything in the world, but we must know that everything is illusionary and empty. It may exist today and disappear tomorrow, is that right? You will lose what you own, and you may gain what you’ve lost. One must understand these principles.
The Buddha-Dharma Realm expounds that the inherent nature of conditioned genesis is empty. What does it mean? In reality, people live within a web of karmic affinities. Today, you have that karmic affinity, so we good friends. But when it’s gone, then we go our separate ways, and it’s ceased. Even if you want to go back to how things were, could you? That’s why, when you want to throw a tantrum, or before you want to break your relationship with somebody, you should think it over. There will be one day when you will recall the good things about the other person. Just like us Buddhists, we should be kind-hearted. As long as the other person leaves, we must first think about their wholesome aspects and don’t keep their unwholesome aspects to mind. If we keep holding on to unwholesome things within our mind, it will wound us. That’s why we must only keep wholesome things in our mind. That’s why when someone leaves, and we could no longer be with them, we will get upset.
Master wishes that every person don’t decide things rashly. Regardless of whether you are facing your children, partner or fellow Buddhists, you must think and rethink. We depend on karmic affinities to live. ‘If there’s nobody to receive, there’s nobody who will give’. Everything is empty. There is nothing that one ‘should’ or ‘have the right’ to enjoy, or something that others should bear from you. ‘There is no giver’, others don’t have to give something to you, it’s all karmic affinity. When one day, the karmic affinity disappears, that you will lose that friend. Think about all the friends and acquaintances in the past who made you happy or upset, or who you admired. Where have they gone now? When they’re gone, they’re gone. That’s why one must cherish everything they possess.
The Dharma has no self-nature; the Buddha-Dharma of the Human Realm has no self-nature. That’s why when we’re doing things, we must not get into the habit of taking things for granted or expect a positive reward from a good thing you did. “I treated you so well, why don’t you reciprocate the favour?” That thought will only bring you disappointment. Whenever you do good deeds, you must give while not attached to forms. So when you give, when a wholesome karmic reward appears, you will be filled with Dharma bliss.
The more you give, the more you want to receive. If you lose something, you would definitely want to gain something as compensation. That is all a kind of deep-rooted bad habit. There was once two sisters, the younger sister was too young and couldn’t fight against her older sister. The older sister embarrassed the younger sister in front of many people, so the younger sister suddenly pinched and twisted the back of the older sister behind her back so that she feels a bit of pain. That is a kind of reciprocation. She felt that she lost something, so she wanted to be compensated. It’s because of that that we develop afflictions, and we suffer. Think about it, if you don’t expect any reciprocation after giving, do you feel mental pain? It’s because you keep expecting others to reciprocate you. “I have given, so I must have something in return; otherwise, I’ll be depressed.” That’s the suffering of not getting what you wish for. So your greed will never be satisfied. Even if you got something, you would lose it. “I want this; I want that.” If you don’t get it, will you be upset? You definitely will.
Master once saw something like this in Australia. There was a guy sprinting down the street towards a bank. The bank closes at 4.30 pm, and when he arrived, he was late by one minute, and the door was locked and the bank closed. The man got furious and repeatedly knocked on the door very hard. Master went towards him and said, “Don’t knock anymore. If they call the police and accuse you of wanting to rob them, then it will be troublesome.” That man pulled back his fist and hurled insults at the bank. When we were young, we had also encountered a similar issue when we tried to get on the bus. When the bus driver sees somebody running towards them, they will wait for a moment. Then when you’re actually at the door, they would shut it and drive off. Don’t these events sometimes happen? What kind of heart do they have? It’s uncompassionate. They intentionally want you to run. We must remain kind in whatever thing we do.