V 11-33 Cultivate Worldly Dharma and Transcend as a Buddha 修世间法 成出世间佛
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, one must first learn worldly Dharma and know what wholesomeness and unwholesomeness are. When you do, and you know what benefits society and what actions make you evil or good, then you are cultivating worldly Dharma. From time immemorial, there has never been an evil person who becomes a Buddha or Bodhisattva. Go and check. Guandi became a Bodhisattva because he’s a good person; he’s kind-hearted and righteous, is that right? Evil people can never become a Buddha or a Bodhisattva; you must understand that. A person’s integrity is very important; it contributes to the development of one’s Buddha-nature and inherent nature. Buddhists should act like a Buddha, and you will forge your integrity. Many men are very morally just; no matter how their wives behave, they would never look for another woman. While some men look like they treat their wives very well, but they regularly go out and act promiscuously with other women. These men lack integrity.
Buddhists must pay attention to putting it into practice, in other words, to properly cultivate. You mustn’t pretend; it’s useless. If you are pretending to practise Buddhism, it’s completely useless, and you’re just wasting your time. The Bodhisattvas won’t come to bless you. That’s why learning Buddhism is about putting it into practice. It’s meaningless no matter how much you preach. You must take note, many of you say that you’ve done this and that, and you are so and so. Don’t say. It’s useless. Look at the venerable monks and great Bodhisattvas; they never ever talk much. That’s because it’s useless no matter how much they talk. They do instead, and their actions are like a Bodhisattva. If you constantly tell your husband, “Please believe me. I must attain Buddhahood. My dear, I will control my temper. I promise that I won’t argue with you.” If you only say, then it’s useless; you must also do what you say. That way, then he would view you as a Bodhisattva.
A tree must have roots in order for it to bear fruit. We possess Buddhist roots in our mind, and that’s why our cultivation in Buddhism could gain fruition. If you don’t establish the foundation, then you will never become a Bodhisattva or a Buddha. What is that foundation? The foundation is our moral integrity, our Buddha-nature, or, put into simple terms, our conscience. Currently, many people lack a conscience when making money or fighting for fame and gains. They hurt others for the sake of themselves. The Buddha-Dharma will make sentient beings awaken. Within the six realms of samsara, the sentient beings of the Human Realm are the easiest to awaken. Don’t you agree that you are relatively easier to awaken? If you asked a tiger, “Please, could you let us pass? Could you be more merciful?” It’s useless; it will still bite you. If you say the same thing to another person, they might still act in accordance with their conscience, is that right?
The Buddha expounded about the ‘Five vehicles’. They are the human-vehicle, heavenly-vehicle, Disciple-vehicle, Pratyekabuddha-vehicle, Bodhisattva-vehicle, and the human-vehicle is the foundation. Of these five vehicles, the human-vehicle is the most important. Why is that? It’s because all the other realms lack a physical body. You must rely on your own hands to do meritorious deeds, so you need a physical body. Within the six realms, only the Human Realm possess both foundations, which are your physical body and your Buddha-nature. The sentient being that possesses both is only humans. The sentient beings of the other realms only possess a spirit but lack a physical body. That is why humans could directly become a Buddha.
Cultivation of the mind requires one to pay attention to their moral integrity, and they could attain Buddhahood in the Human Realm. Buddhas could be categorised as great Buddhas and lesser Buddhas. Bodhisattvas also could be categorised as great Bodhisattvas and lesser Bodhisattvas. Ghosts could also be categorised as great ghosts and lesser ghosts. People could also be categorised as great and lesser. What makes a person great? It’s when they are honourable or wise. What makes a person lesser? It’s when they act dishonourably. ‘The Buddha-Dharma is in the world; one is inseparable from the world to awaken’. Now, do you understand the meaning of the Sixth Patriarch’s words?
Buddhists should aim to cultivate themselves to become a Buddha in the Human realm. People only possess one life. If you are currently awakened, then you should cultivate fervently. You must attain fruition in this current lifetime; you must become a Buddha. Don’t return to samsara because next time, you don’t know which realm you will reborn into. If you’re reborn in the Heavenly Ream, then you won’t have a physical body. If you’re reborn in the Animal Realm, then you won’t encounter the Buddha-Dharma. If you’re reborn in the Ghost Realm, then you won’t learn Buddhism. The Ghost Realm is managed by another realm, you don’t have a physical body, and you don’t have the capital to do meritorious deeds. You don’t even have hands and feet; you won’t have the energy to do it if it’s just your spirit. Just like when you fall gravely ill and lying in bed, and your mother comes over to see you. You want to get out of bed to prepare a seat for her as she’s already seventy years old and also in a weary state. “Daughter, I came to visit you.” But you can’t move your body, yet you want to grab a seat for her. Could you accomplish it with just your intention?
Within the six realms of samsara, only sentient beings of the Human Realm have a physical body and also a spirit that could be cultivated. That’s why the Human Realm provides the best opportunity to cultivate oneself to become a Bodhisattva. Bobbing up and down the realms within the sea of samara is very painful. Is there any woman out there who doesn’t suffer? Master sees that women suffer more than men. For example, they have to spend a lot more time preparing their hair and makeup while men don’t have to do it. Also, they have to take care of most of the housework, their children, work, and they also get treated worse than men in society. From a physical and mental perspective, they have to bear with a lot more stress. So never abuse women. Men who abuse women are not men.
When the titanic sank, over a thousand people died. At the time, the richest businessman took off his life jacket and gave it to a woman he has never met. Many other rich gentlemen also insisted on giving away their life jackets to the other female passengers while they smiled gently whilst the ship was sinking. There were three Japanese men who wore makeup to look like a woman to get themselves a life jacket. Then they escaped alive and returned home to Japan, this incident was exposed, and they lived the remainder of their lives in shame. Because of this incident, they died painfully. Is that what a man should do? That’s why men who fight or scolds women are not men. Learning Buddhism is to learn how to become a morally upright individual. One must think of others first before themselves. That is why we must take care of women.
We mustn’t keep on living and dying ceaselessly in samsara. You must transcend it so that you can escape it. That’s why Buddhists must learn how to cultivate to go beyond the three realms. In the Human Realm, it looks like you have learnt a lot, so you act arrogantly. Master tells you, if you can’t transcend beyond samsara, then everything you learnt is useless. Why is that? It’s because you couldn’t do it, so everything you say is just empty words. You can’t become a Bodhisattva or a Buddha. That’s why only those who practise Buddhism diligently could leave the three realms thoroughly. Now you understand why we must first learn about worldly Dharmas before transcendental Dharmas? That’s because learning worldly Dharmas is for the sake of transcending the world and samsara one day.