V 11-52 Don’t be Attached; Stay Far Away from Inner Demons 不执著 远离邪魔
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.
Some people dream of the Bodhisattvas, and then they immediately go and buy a lottery ticket when they wake up. Could they win a prize? That way, it’s easy for them to become possessed. “I’ve dreamt of the Bodhisattvas; why didn’t I win the lottery?” Don’t think of it as a reward; otherwise, it’s easy for you to be interfered with by your inner demons. If you treat supranormal experiences or goods things that happen to you as a karmic reward from your cultivation, that what comes next is that an inner demon would grow within your thoughts.
The example earlier was to illustrate this principle. If you dream about the Bodhisattvas, wouldn’t you feel happy about it? You then think that something good is bound to happen because you dreamt about them. Isn’t that a sign that you have started to deviate? Because of it, you went to buy a lottery ticket, aren’t you possessed? If a cultivator starts to deviate, it will immediately expose their weak point to their greed, hatred and delusion. The meaning of this is deep. Cultivators should observe their precepts strictly, and they mustn’t get greedy even for a tiny bit. For example, if somebody brought a cake today, everybody says, “You eat first.” The secretariats at the radio centre are very good; they would slice up the cake in pieces and pass it to everybody before leaving the last piece to themselves. They don’t eat first. That is how one behaves if one’re not greedy. Because if you’re greedy, your inner demon will exploit that weakness in your mind and you’ll become possessed.
What are inner demons? They are your greed. It takes advantage of your hatred and slowly drives you further into delusion. Here’s another simple example to illustrate it. Your neighbour hopes that you have an argument with your wife. When you do, you go to the neighbour and start complaining to him, “My wife’s crazy. She constantly picks a fight with me.” Then the neighbour reply, “Don’t be like that. Sometimes, women do that because they want an excuse to then stay out of the house and look for another guy. That’s also a possibility.” After sowing dissension, you begin to be possessed by your inner demons. You constantly target her, and your doubts breed your hatred. Your inner demons then exploit that weakness in your mind. Do you understand?
Because you don’t get what you wanted, you say, “I feel so bad.” Then a person next to you said, “Did you know? Others make money so easily. Look at how many people get rich. Why can’t you get rich? Do you want to know the way to make some easy money? Why don’t you sell drugs? Just do it twice, and I promise you that you’re rich for a lifetime. Do you see? That’s how your inner demons exploit your weakness. That’s why you must keep a close eye on your greed. Do not take what shouldn’t be taken. Do not look at what shouldn’t be looked. After an argument with their husband, many girls leave the house and have a stroll down the street. Some of the girls that work at the local bar see her and say, “Be open-minded about it. It’s okay. What’s the matter with your husband? Why don’t you come and have a drink? You can let go of your worries with somebody, and it’s okay.” When she returns home, and her affair is discovered, they divorce. It’s hatred that has clouded her judgement, so her inner demons managed to exploit that weakness in her mind. Afterwards, it constantly develops obstructions for you. Master tells you, you mustn’t give your inner demons even the slightest chance, do you understand?
Next, we will talk about another issue that makes one possessed. Cultivators mustn’t get obsessed with supranormal powers; otherwise, their inner demons associated with it will possess them. Do you know that there’s a type of inner demon called supernormal power demon? As long as you are obsessed with something, even if that obsession was to see Guan Yin Bodhisattva every day, “Guan Yin Bodhisattva, please visit me in my dreams.” As a result, Guan Yin Bodhisattva didn’t come, but a demon pretending to be Her came.
Just like when the waiter brings you a bowl of soup. You say to him, “Why doesn’t this have any seasoning?” The waiter reply, “The chef said that he has already put in seasoning. Please taste it again.” “Oh, the taste is quite good.” In reality, the chef forgot to put in the seasoning. You mustn’t be attached to anything. Don’t think about it; otherwise, you will start to overthink it. That’s the supranormal power demon. Some people think that they have the same supranormal powers as Master does. They close their physical eyes and try to see if they could see spiritually. There was a case when a child accidentally experienced an out-of-body experience while playing a video game where their spirit came out. It never returned, so the child remained mentally ill.
Buddhists shouldn’t pursue supranormal powers. If you develop a keen interest in its manifestations, feel knowledgeable about it, and sense it to a degree, you may already have a ‘false feeling’. Master mentioned it before, the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere is different. In Australia, some people take a wall calendar from Hong Kong that says auspicious and inauspicious activities for that particular day. When people see that it’s auspicious to travel, they got into a car accident instead. That’s because they used a calendar from the northern hemisphere in the southern hemisphere. Not only do they not get lucky, but they also meet misfortune. That’s why, don’t pursue the manifestations of supranormal powers. What you think you are false feelings; they aren’t real. That’s why you’re susceptible to being possessed by your inner demons and are fooled by them.
If a Buddhist likes cleanliness, it could also attract a clean inner demon to possess them. That is mysophobia. Some people have mysophobia. They would wash their hands immediately before and after doing something because they think that there are germs and they are dirty. They feel uncomfortable if they don’t constantly wash themselves or clean something. They are possessed. These people constantly feel dirty, so they have to shower a few times every day and change their clothes many times during the day. They also feel dirty when they get in contact with others, so they feel uneasy. A listener called Master on his radio programme and told him that her son has a problem. He has to take a bath eight times every day, and he would wake up in the middle of the night to take a bath. He keeps thinking that he’s dirty, so he’s upset. That’s a sign that he’s possessed by an inner demon obsessed with cleanliness.
Also some people are obsessed with watching TV dramas. After they return home from work, they don’t do anything, nor cook dinner to eat. They immediately watch the TV drama that they’re chasing. Aren’t they possessed? Aren’t those who play slot machines also seem possessed? You can be possessed for anything. Also, if a Buddhist likes to sleep, they could be possessed by their inner demons for sleeping and dreaming. If you’re obsessed with sleeping, you find it hard to get out of bed even if you had woke up. That’s because the inner demon of sleeping possesses you. What is the inner demon of dreaming? It’s when you have dreamt of something, and you want to continue with that dream. If you had a nightmare, you want to get a good dream. If you can’t, you continue to dream. Isn’t this behaviour seems like one is possessed? It’s just like when somebody wants to have children. There was a neighbour who gave birth to six daughters and wants to have a son. Her seventh child was a baby boy, but unfortunately, he was born with some defects. “If I don’t do this, I will not rest.” Attachment leads to being possessed by one’s inner demons.