V 3-28 Adorn the Buddha’s Pure Lands; A Strict Teacher produces Outstanding Students (1) 庄严佛净土，严师出高徒
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.
Do you remember that Master said that Australia would experience an earthquake last week? The area near Newcastle had just experienced an earthquake. Today, Los Angeles also experienced an earthquake; it was a magnitude of just above four. Geologists held emergency meetings a few times. In reality, the earth’s crust has already undergone changes. This world is originally a mess. There are also many doomsayers and cults who keep spreading the end of the world. You must understand that currently, karmic consequences occur much sooner and more frequently. Earthquakes are the same, minor one occurs first, and it gradually becomes more severe. Sichuan suffered from an earthquake again. That place has this problem so that it will certainly reoccur. A person’s body is the same, if there’s a problem with an area, that area will suffer from the same problem again.
Master is very unhappy; many of you are still not cultivating properly and don’t properly listen. You’re still attached with your ‘ego’; you must have first priority in everything. In the future, even if you have what you want, you still have to go. No matter how much you don’t want to go, you still have to go. Haven’t you heard of the term ‘separation between loved ones in life or death’? You have such a great Master by your side, but you don’t properly cherish. Some of you disciples are so lacking in diligence! It will be an instant when you experience your karmic retribution. Do you know know how many people have awakened after attending to the Dharma Convention over the last two days? Every time Master holds a Dharma Convention; he saves a lot of new people and accumulates merit-virtues. Master is really pitiful; he doesn’t abandon anybody that could be saved. When people come, he will show them as much of his supranormal power as he can, and it’s tiresome. He must look at how their house is decorated, what colour is their sofa, and he uses a lot of energy. He wants to make those who disbelieve him to believe.
You disciples must really self reflect what you have done, and how many meritorious deeds you have done. Have you calculated whether it’s proportionate with what you do? You must understand that the merit-virtues that you accumulate is for yourself, not for someone else. If you don’t properly cultivate when a calamity occurs, if you can’t escape it, then you’ll die. Can the number of people who develop cancer be compared with those in the past? In the past, if someone develops cancer, it’s seen as a rare issue. Nowadays, it’s a common occurrence. Currently, Master focuses on saving good people only. Guan Yin Bodhisattva is also only saving those who have a karmic affinity with Her. Why is Guan Yin Bodhisattva saving you? What did you do? Now that your family is well, what did you give? Did you deserve what you got? It’s been a long time that Master has criticised you. If you don’t properly cultivate, then even Master can’t save you.
Master expounds about merit-virtues of forbearance. Practising forbearance isn’t easy. Neither observing precepts nor asceticism is as good as forbearance. Observing precepts is considered great. Asceticism is also considered great. But both are still inferior to forbearance, and that’s because forbearance can reduce your negative karma. Asceticism may not reduce your negative karma. Every day, many people with emergencies seek Master, and his head would ache. Look at how Master is saving others, and look at how many meritorious deeds you’re performing. That day at the Dharma Convention, for the sake of getting more people to believe, he had used up a lot of energy. Do you think Master is doing it for fun? You must have an unwavering belief in karma; everything we do and experience is karma. Don’t get angry nor be attached. If you fool around, play smart or bicker around, then don’t come here to cultivate. Master has told you before that Guan Yin Temple is a noble place. You’ll know when your prayers are heard when you pray there.
Master heard that a Buddhist monk came to Sydney, and many other people followed. Somebody asked him, “What do you think.” Master replied, “It’s really good. They came to propagate the Dharma. I’m very happy.” The person who asked him wanted to see his response. What could his response be? Whoever propagates the Dharma is a Bodhisattva, but the method of propagation is just different. Let’s say, for example, that you’re propagating some old Chinese medicine knowledge. In the present, don’t Chinese medical doctors use the latest medical equipment to check? And then prescribe the herbs and medicine after they have evaluated the patient’s condition. Isn’t the principle the same?
Even if they’re an old Chinese medical doctor, if they don’t use the latest medical equipment, then they can’t check their patient’s health condition. So how could they prescribe the medicine for the patient? In the past, doctors would feel the patient’s pulse. Nowadays, they use ultrasound, CT scans, blood tests etc. Take note; more people are dying daily, and the rate of karmic retribution is getting faster. Master expounds, after 2010, the year of the Tiger, earthquakes are occurring almost monthly across the world. Arguments and divorce are the same. Minor disputes will escalate into serious arguments, and finally, the divorce of the couple.
It starts with something petty, when will it stop? The unwholesome aura that everyone has is significant; everybody is selfish; everybody is thinking about themselves. Master tells you that no matter how young or old you are, there is no place for selfishness in Buddhism. If you harm others for the sake of your self-interests, then that is a sin. You must deeply believe in karma. If you don’t believe it deeply enough, you will have thoughts like, “Aren’t I a vegetarian? Aren’t I already seeking refuge? Aren’t I already observing the precepts?” Then when you encounter adverse conditions, you would think, “Why isn’t it efficacious?”
“Are the sutras I’m reciting effective?” Then you start to have doubts where or not the Buddha-Dharma is efficacious, and you trigger another karmic force called the karma of ignorance. You lack wisdom, yet you think that you’re cultivating your mind well. You must understand, it’s a matter of time when you will face your karmic consequences. When you make any promises, you must be credible. If you have no credibility, could you say that you’re morally upright? One must be conscious of the meritorious deeds that you do; all of the karma generated from it belongs to you. For example, if you keep doing wholesome deeds, and you encounter adverse events, you must understand that the cause of it was from your previous lifetime, or generated from the unwholesome deeds that you did in the past. Your cultivation in this lifetime was not enough to eliminate some of this karmic force. That’s why you mustn’t withdraw from your cultivation. Those who withdraw from their cultivation would experience a more severe unwholesome karmic consequence than those who never cultivated. That’s because their withdrawal indicates betrayal as they had already received the blessings of the Bodhisattva.
To host such a grand Dharma Convention isn’t easy. Think back to the last time when we performed life liberations, there were so many people and over dozens of coaches. If it’s not for Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s merits, would there be so many people attending? You don’t cherish. When the Dharma convention was over, I was surrounded by people continuously. I wanted to give them a chance and give them faith that there is somebody there to save them. Self-reflect for a moment, how much meritorious deeds have you done? Master has done so much for others, but he still feels he hasn’t done enough. In reality, he can’t save that many people, as he could only give every person a short reply. You must learn from Master’s spirit, don’t just think about yourself.
When your family gets better, your children get better; you bought your dream house, your husband gets better, was there one moment when you have thought about others? Did you cultivate just for the sake of your family? You’re diligent one day, then slack off in the next. Then diligent for a few days and then slack off again. Your selfishness always seems to play tricks with you. How could you cultivate well? When something bad happens to Master’s disciple, would he feel sad? Yes. After a disciple had been formally initiated, then it means Master would have one more person to worry about. Who doesn’t have problems? Which family doesn’t have problems? Many people didn’t properly cultivate at the start, but when their family suddenly faced some problems, it gave them a predominant condition. You must put effort and properly repent. Don’t wait until something bad does happen to you and then start to change. You must start reforming yourself before it happens. Don’t wait until an earthquake occurs and then think about trying to escape. When it hasn’t occurred yet, you must start cultivating so that the calamity doesn’t arise.
Master expounds, life exists for you to race against impermanence. When you’re cultivating, you’re actually racing against impermanence. What is impermanence? The time we live in this world is short; everything is not long-lasting. You could be husband and wife one day, and break up in the next. Your child treats you well one day, and then die in the next. You must understand the tragedies of the Human Realm. Think about it; you’re continuously fighting against impermanence, what does that imply? In reality, you’re preparing for your day when you die. Many people don’t cultivate; they only care about playing mahjong and going on trips. Life is short; where would you go when you die?
You are Master’s disciples; you’re blessed yet you don’t appreciate it. You don’t properly listen to what he says. That’s why when karmic conditions align, you reap what you sow. Karmic conditions and consequences are as a shadow, it's just right next to you, and it’s next to you every day. When something is gone, it’s gone. What are you doing every day? You’re just toiling for the sake of wealth, fame, gains, family wellbeing, children etc. Many don’t know that if you’re doing things for the sake of sentient beings, isn’t your children and family included in there as well? How many of you does something for the sake of sentient beings? Master wants to ask, have you ever have thoughts like, “How many people who attended in Master’s Dharma Convention has now become my family?”
Master mentioned before that a lot of Dharma protectors came from the Asura Realm, they’re very powerful. Before you have your dinner, if you say a short prayer like, “Thank you Guan Yin Bodhisattva,” you will accumulate merit-virtues from it. If you eat well, there’s a small merit. If you eat badly, there’s a small sin. That’s why you mustn’t have arguments when you’re eating, especially don’t hit your rice bowl. Elders in the past said that hitting your rice bowl is the same as scolding at heaven. That’s because all grains and rice were bestowed from heaven. If you say a short prayer thanking Guan Yin Bodhisattva for the meal before you eat, then you’ll accumulate merit-virtues. Bringing forth your Bodhi resolve can increase the wisdom-life of your Dharma-body. Your Dharma body is currently your physical body, and the world if the Dharma-Realm. Wisdom-life denotes your wisdom and your awakenment. If somebody put poison in your meal and you had a habit of thanking Guan Yin Bodhisattva for Her mercy before every meal, then you won’t die from the poison.
In the past, there was once a monk who had his meal laced with poison. When he ingested it, the poison dissolved. It was very strange, just like when Jigong Bodhisattva ate meat. Many people witnessed him eating meat, but in reality, he was making fun of the people in the Human Realm. When the meat travelled through his throat, it disappeared. He had the body of a Bodhisattva. That’s why if somebody tries to poison you, the Dharma protectors will help you get rid of it so you’ll be fine. If you don’t want people to know what you’ve done, then don’t do it. You should reflect on all the unwholesome deeds that you did in the past. Master has given you a chance to enjoy a new lease of life so that you can properly cultivate your mind. Why aren’t you grasping on this chance? And you’re still repeating all the bad habits you did in the past. You must understand that all flaws are karmic obstacles.
Only those who focus on practising Buddhism would have a radiant mind that attracts the respect of all spirits and deities. Are any of your minds radiant? The Underworld is occupied with ghosts and deities. Deities manage ghosts as if they’re the leader. Many people who get spirited away to the Underworld for a long time are unwilling to return. Master is unwilling to say it, but in reality, those people are incarnations of deities, but they are deities of the Underworld. They eat meat and offerings. Master expounds, there’s a thief in your thoughts called ‘delusion’. All your delusional thoughts are thieves. You mustn’t clasp an enemy to one’s bosom, don’t think that your delusions are good. For example, you want to win the lottery. You then try to fit it into the narrative or idea that when you do win, you will donate, $10,000.00 to Guan Yin Temple. If your delusion is an enemy, aren’t you keeping it close to your bosom? You must ignore it and bring forth your noble thoughts. Then your delusional thoughts will leave you. Master is using layman terms so you can understand, he has no other choice. Do you want to get better in the future? Then do more meritorious deeds. If you’re performing meritorious deeds for the sake of personal gains, don’t you feel embarrassed? Please level up your spirituality, and think about noble things more regularly, then your distracting thoughts will leave you.