V 11-46 Know about Suffering and understand about Happiness 知苦懂乐 离苦得乐
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.
The happiness from ‘permanence, happiness, true self and purity’ comes from thinking about other sentient beings' well-being and having a mind of magnanimity. Maitreya Buddha’s magnanimity tells us of a great principle, which is that people must be tolerant. Aren’t those who are always happy and smiling have great tolerance? Some people glare at others and don’t speak, but when you comment about them, they start to scold you and say awful things about you. They’re constantly afraid of being hurt by others. When somebody says a word about them, they feel as if they were sarcastic. They don’t speak nor smile; do they have tolerance? When you make a comment about somebody who is always cheerful, they’ll just brush it off, and the problem isn’t big. Only cheerful people are pure. When one’s spirituality reaches a certain level, one could maintain happiness and cheerfulness no matter what one encounter in the Human Realm. They have found their path of happiness. This ‘path’ refers to a kind of mental thought process, a method to adjust one’s state of mind, a method where one could advance or retreat. To maintain one’s mental state of happiness is, in fact, uneasy to do. But one must be mentally liberated for them to become truly happy.
Look at the faces of business people. They smile for a moment, but that smile would disappear very quickly. Then look at Master when he’s speaking to the fellow Buddhists. If he’s happy, his face is always smiling. That’s because that smile is genuine. You must truly know about the Human Realm’s level of spirituality and not just speak about it superficially. You must learn to let go, then experience and comprehend the truth of life. Why must you experience and comprehend it? Many people are still worried about what they'll be like during their later years. Why do fathers and mothers feel stress constantly? It may be because, for example, that they could see that their children wouldn’t recite sutras and help them to spiritually ascend when they pass away.
You must understand about life because there’s nothing to gain and nothing to stay attached to. There’s not a single thing in the Human Realm that you could keep. Once you understand this reason, you would begin to feel indifferent about everything in the Human Realm, and then you’ll find happiness. People become unhappy because they keep obstructing their mind with attachments about everything. Happy people should learn from Jigong Bodhisattva – not attached to anything, not desiring to gain anything and indifferent. Then you’ll be happy, and your mind would be pure and content. You must feel content so that your mind doesn’t casually develop distracting thoughts. If it does, then your mind would start to move. One’s desires mustn’t keep fluctuating. Don’t fantasise about it; otherwise, your health would grow worse. Why is that? Think about it, how many of your fantasies actually go the way you thought they would go? After you don’t get the outcome you thought it would go, are you happy?
If you’re unhappy, your mind would be in a state of unrest. Only when you have thought through it, would your mind calm back down and you’re indifferent. Your body would feel light and peaceful, and then you would develop a natural sense of bliss. Happiness from within can’t be made up. Natural bliss comes from peace of mind. If you aren’t happy naturally, your rationality would be messed up because you’re suffering from too much pain of not getting what you wanted, and you have too many things that you can’t let go of. How many things can’t we let go of in our lives? How many things that we wanted but can’t get in our lives? Sometimes, Master wants you to experience times of solitary hardship. You would benefit from it. If you can’t even tolerate a slight bit of adversity, how could you cultivate your mind well?
To illustrate this with an example, if your leg wasn’t hurt before, how could you feel the sense of bliss with your leg doesn’t hurt? Just like when your teeth are healthy, would you think how painful toothaches are? If you currently have a toothache, when you visit the dentist two days later and fix it, wouldn’t you be happy? Recalling bitter memories so that the present seems blissful isn’t a bad thing. Look at how many hardships Gautama Buddha faced during his time to propagate Buddhism to how it is now. Look at how comfortable we are now in comparison. You must eliminate all excess greed from your mind. If you feel that something is excessive and shouldn’t be possessed, then immediately get rid of that thought of wanting it. That is letting go. For example, you really want to buy something, but you don’t have enough money for it. Then immediately get rid of the thought of buying it; otherwise, you will regret it.
Sometimes, temporary pain can help us avoid and get away from the foolishness of the Human Realm. But instead, many people choose to intoxicate themselves with alcohol or divert their attention by fooling around. In reality, that is very foolish and would only aggravate their pain. When our health is bad, we must feel the urge to hasten our cultivation. Those who don’t cultivate their mind are wasting their mind. In the future, their suffering will only increase. That’s why pain isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s only in pain where we enlighten ourselves about life and death. In times of fortune, many rich people don’t do any charitable deeds. Master once told a story, there was a compassionate priest who looked for wealthy people who could donate to the impoverished people in his town. It was wintertime, so the temperature was freezing. If the families didn’t have any coal, their house wouldn’t get warm. The priest knocked on the doors of the wealthy households and would speak with the homeowner outside the house. The person naturally couldn’t stand the cold, and then the priest said, “Could you donate some money to the impoverished people in the town so that they could buy some coal to last through the winter days?” The wealthy individual replied, “Ok, I’ll donate. Why didn’t you mention it sooner?” “It’s because I wanted you to experience the frigid cold so that, perhaps, you might agree with alacrity.”
You must understand that if people haven’t personally experienced something unpleasant, they wouldn’t be so sincere and ready to help others who are experiencing the same thing. If people don’t know what pain is, then they won’t know what happiness is. It’s only after people had gone through the days of hardship where they cherish their happiness. During times of hardship, we contemplate and think about changing our selfish behaviour, attachments, and stubbornness. Although it’s difficult, if you are determined and prepared to face hardships to get rid of all your shortcomings, then even though you’re suffering, but you will remove your stubbornness and selfishness. Many people live selfishly, filled with greed, hatred and delusion. When they don’t get what they want, they begin to hate, and then when they hate, they begin to do many foolish things. Also, they are constantly thinking about themselves. When would they find help from others? Master tells you, only seriously foolish people live like that.
You must learn to live on a simple diet. Even if you have the money, you should eat thriftily. In the past, why do the monks only wear a gown? It’s because they didn’t have any clothes, so they used a gown to cover up their body while they uncover only one arm. Only by facing hardships, you could keep some of your blessings. That’s because only through hardship would you experience happiness and understand what the true blessings in life are. If you could integrate cultivation with your daily life, it will be the same as work for you, where you have to do it every day. That way, you would achieve completeness in your life. That way, you won’t sink into depravity.