V 3-17 Discussion of the Heaven-Earth-Man Trinity 漫谈“天地人”
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.
People of the Asura realm possess the blessings of the heavens but lack the virtues of heavenly beings. The Asura realm is a spiritual world, but their thoughts are generally distasteful. Just look what the men and women do when they descend to the human realm, and you know. When you have helped your deceased parents ascend to the Asura realm, you think it’s already very good so you won’t have to help them ascend further. But in reality, the resentment and karmic knot between the person and their parents might not have ceased yet. Master have also heard people say that they will offer less Little Houses so that they reincarnate in the human realm, do you think that’s adequate? Aren’t you already in the human realm? Aren’t you in pain? It’s unbearable, how many of you would choose to reincarnate as a human again?
Master tells you, nine out of ten criminals that you find inside the prison are intelligent. But the Buddha-Dharma expounds that intelligent people may be victims of their own intelligence. Many people are smart alecks, but they are actually entrapping themselves in their own ego. Similarly, in cultivation, many people think that they’re cultivating very well. When others try to persuade them to correct themselves, they can defend themselves articularly and rationally. These are karmic obstacles. These kinds of people lack wisdom. Here’s another example, let’s assume that you study computer science at the University of Sydney, and another person studies medical science at the same university. But you go to the medical student and ask him, “We’re from the same university, do you know how to use a stethoscope to fix my computer?”
Different cultivation practices are like that. You don’t understand their reasoning and principles, but how could you? There are 84,000 Dharma doors, could you use one of the Dharma doors to attack another? Every Dharma door requires the necessary conditions (right time, right place, right people) to manifest. But among the Dharma doors, some of them have appeared much earlier to spiritually awaken sentient beings, but it doesn’t mean that the Dharma door is the most suitable for you to learn. We must seek the most suitable cultivation practice for ourselves.
Then what’s the standard for the right Dharma door? In laymen terms, practice is the sole criterion for testing truth. The Dharma door must be efficacious and can immediately save and awaken sentient beings. Why are there so many people practising Guan Yin Citta and follow Master’s teachings to cultivate their mind recite sutras? If it isn’t efficacious, why are there so many families who said that their lives have improved after practising it? Originally they had problems, but after they recited sutras, it has been resolved. But many people also said that they didn’t feel any physical pain before reciting sutras, so why is it painful after they started to recite sutras?
Originally, the pain should’ve happened later, but after you recited sutras, you have agitated the foreign spirits, that’s why the pain occurred sooner. But after the pain is over, that tribulation is gone. If you don’t recite sutras and cultivate now, you must think about what will happen when you’re old and lack energy. At that time, when the pain does occur, it will be excruciating and will continue until you die. You are still young and still possess energy and a measure of power. Even if are hurt now, you won’t die from it. That’s why we prefer that we experience the pain sooner. So problems can be resolved earlier rather than later, don’t wait until it occurs when you’re old. When all the karmic retributions are triggered in one go, it means all the conditions will aggravate an already existing disease or problem. When that occurs, you can’t be saved. When all of your organs have deteriorated, who can save you?
The men look very aggressive in the Asura realm. Their basic facial features are very similar to the aliens you see in Science fiction films, but of course, they look much better than those characters. The movie ‘Star Wars’ is basically describing what the Asura realm is like. Two thousand years ago, the cultivational practices that were passed down were very good, but would it still be suitable for the modern-day people to practise it? That’s why, regardless of what Dharma Door, or what channel, or what method, the aim is to help you achieve fruition in your cultivation. When you do, you’re successful. If you want to know more about the Asura realm, go and watch science fiction movies, When Master watches science fiction films, he feels uneasy. It’s exactly like how it is when Master looks at the realm with the people, weapons, guns and lasers. The lasers are like bullets when firing at others.
When Master reads other people’s Totems, everything happens instantly, and he could read other people’s aura, that looks similar to light. Because you can’t see things beyond the capabilities of the physical eye, you imagine a lot of things. Typically, we imagine that it will be very painful when we die. But in reality, when do pass away, if you do manage to ascend, it will be painless. Why? There won’t be any pain because you won’t think about the things happening below. It’s not that you’re heartless, but it’s that when you’re about to enter into a new world, your mood is different. It’s like when you are on holiday or exploring new lands, you would forget about a lot of afflictions, and you’ll be happy.
When ghosts are ready to reincarnate into the Human Realm, they must drink the soup of forgetfulness to forget about everything that happened in the past. When you ascend into heaven, you will also forget about the past. The Amitabha Sutra mentions about the Lotus flower pool, the water of Eight Merit-Virtues and the pool of Seven Treasures. After you’re bathed in it, all of your afflictions and contaminants will be washed away. In other words, if your spirit ascends to heaven naturally, you will pass a layer that’s like a layer of clouds when you fly upwards on an aeroplane. After you pass through this layer, your level of spirituality will not be the same anymore, and you will possess the Heavenly level of spirituality. When that occurs, you won’t feel pain anymore; you won’t think about any more distracting thoughts. Master has a past-life karmic affinity with you all. Master is also pained to see you; it’s because Master can see your previous lives. Some of you have a karmic debt with Master, many of you were once Master’s students. But in this present life, you don’t have any feelings about it because you have forgotten about everything in the past. So you don’t know anymore.
Just like when you bump into somebody, and you feel the person is somebody you know before, and you like interacting with the person. But do you know what relationship the person had with you in the past? It’s just like how you can’t see anything now. When Master sees your previous lives, some of you are here to pay karmic debts, the person who’s now my disciple was once my student in the previous life, etc. Master rather not be able to see these things, as he would get upset. Do you understand? Do you still recall the things in the previous life? When you have ascended to heaven, would you still remember the things that happened in the Human Realm? After somebody passes away and ascends to Heaven, what’s relevant to them are the things in the Heavenly Realm. But many people don’t understand; they think that anybody who dies will automatically go to heaven. Many religions think that when a person dies, they will then go to Heaven no matter how many unwholesome deeds they had committed. Is this possible? Bad people will descend while good people will ascend, that’s the law of cause and effect.
Master wants you to know that as long we’re alive, we can only do wholesome deeds, not unwholesome deeds. We must act in accordance with karmic conditions with everything. There are many problems where we mustn’t force ourselves to establish an affinity with; otherwise, it will only cause suffering. If you pursue things that don’t belong to you, aren’t you pitiful? Do you know how many people want to get their children into the best schools? But how many people do successfully enter into their dream school? Now that you’re following Master, it means you have this worldly blessing to do so. Take note, as long as you cultivate with Master, not only will your life improve, but also your children’s. If you want your children to be well, you must regularly recite sutras and practise Buddhism. Then you will have this worldly blessing. When Master is teaching you, he is giving you his blessings. One must possess wisdom to practise Buddhism.
You must take note of a few questions. Everybody knows about taking refuge of the three jewels, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. So what about ‘faith of one’s own three jewels’? It’s realisation, rightfulness and purity. When one has reached realisation, they will gradually reform themselves and set things right, which would then purify one’s mental state. Then one’s Buddha-nature will gradually manifest itself. It’s after realisation, rightfulness and purity, would it gradually manifest itself. What you want to learn is this. When anybody loses their temper, gets upset, becomes greedy of foolish, it means they don’t have realisation. People who love gambling regularly tell others that occasional gambling makes one cheerful, while heavy gambling can help one take care of their family.
What do you think? Are heavy gamblers capable of taking care of their family? When you hear their reasoning, you know it’s deviated. When a person’s thought deviates, they will become evil, and gradually they will encounter misfortune. When a person’s thought is deviated, everything they do is deviated. Here’s an example, you’re driving on the road to Canberra, and as long as you follow the road, you will definitely get there. But if this road starts to deviate and go astray, then no matter how fast you drive, the greater the distance between you and your destination? It’s the same when it comes to practising Buddhism. If a person pursues a lot of different cultivation practices, why is it easy for them to deviate when they want to settle on a method? And it’s not efficacious when they pray to the Buddhas and reciting sutras? It’s because they deviated, so how could it possibly be efficacious?
Just like a lot of people start to take health supplements when they have fallen ill. When they’re ill, they should be taking medicine instead. Health supplements are only used to protect and maintain the body when you’re not ill. If you only take health supplements and not medicine when you’re ill, aren’t you prolonging your illness? Most of you are plagued by problems, and your negative karma is so significant, yet you want Master to give you ‘health supplements’? Master must use a surgical knife and remove all the flaws that you have, regardless whether you’re 82 or 28 years old. Does it hurt? It will hurt, but you’ll also recover a lot quicker from it.
If it doesn’t hurt, then you will constantly feel the pain. Although it may hurt after a surgical operation, you won’t feel any more pain afterwards. Many things are like that. When you grit your teeth and persevere through it, then you’ll no longer suffer. Here’s an example, many young people go out and date. They are always in a constant cycle of breaking up and getting together again, and they’re constantly in emotional pain. They always tell themselves that they must be decisive at breaking up with their partner and say things like, “Why must I go look for him? Why can’t I hold myself back?” The karmic affinity between you have already ended, yet you still pursue him, that is suffering, and it’s a suffering that you created for yourself. It’s because you’re not willing to let go, that’s why you will suffer constantly. When it’s time to let go, you must do so. When Master goes out and saves others, he will save who he can. If he can’t save somebody, he could only let go.
Purity refers to the purity of one’s soul and state of mind. No matter what happens, you must cultivate your soul to become more kind-hearted. When a person wants to attain realisation, they must fulfil a condition, which is that they must possess superior faculties and keen wisdom. In other words, their foundation is of superior grade. This kind of person is intelligent and have greatly developed wisdom. If they were not intelligent and unawakened, then their rate of realisation would be slow. Only people who have a good character and is kind-hearted can attain realisation. If a person’s mind is unwholesome, they won’t be to attain it. When you’re in the midst of saving others, and you encounter a hooligan or a bully, don’t bother with them. They won’t be able to awaken. They are too defiled to be saved. You must first spiritually awaken yourselves, then spiritually awaken others. If even you are not in a good and healthy state, and illnesses plague you, how could you save others? Many cultivators recite sutras throughout their whole lifetime. But they practise Mahayana Buddhism by saving and spiritually awakening foreign spirits, do they accumulate merit-virtues?
Yes, they do. But if the cultivator doesn’t eliminate their negative karma in their lifetime, then the merit-virtues accumulated from reciting the sutras will only eliminate some of it but not enough to let them ascend to heaven. So they are reborn in a wealthy, reputable or authoritarian family. They have cultivated for a lifetime, but they end up reborn to a wealthy family and lose their way, and indulge themselves. If they committed unwholesome deeds during that lifetime, they may even end up in hell or reincarnate into an animal. They may lose even the chance to become human again. It’s very difficult for animals to reincarnate into a human. That’s because animals, for example, horses, they only know that they are a horse. They lack the potential to develop wisdom. If you have encountered a good master, then you must properly cultivate.
Master likes to explain the Buddha-Dharma in a simple way that allows people to understand it with ease. Only by doing so could the listener be saved. That’s what Mahayana Buddhism is about. The greatly Guan Yin Bodhisattva has always manifested the most suitable and acceptable form to save others. When Master is on stage, many people could see that Master’s Dharma-body is a Bodhisattva. If you want to save others, you must manifest your sincerity; it isn’t for show. Many charity organisations visit nursing homes at times like Mother’s Day or Christmas. Many of the elderly there suffer from dementia and just sitting there. The people from the charity organisations engage in social activities with them like singing, dancing, playing games and then take a group photo at the end. What is it for? Aren’t they just troubling the elderly? What kind of show are they trying to do? Some people also kneel and kiss the earth in front of the live broadcast for a TV programme. It must be very hard for them. When Master saves others, he learns from Jigong Bodhisattva who save the people he encounters. He would punish evil people and save and assist good people.