V 3-29 Adorn the Buddha’s Pure Lands; A Strict Teacher produces Outstanding Students (2) 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.
It’s important for one to go and understand, find the solution to one’s problem and take action. In other words, both cultivations of one’s behaviour and mind are equally important. If you don’t have a full understanding of something, and just simply do that wholesome deed, then you would only accumulate a small number of merit-virtues. Some Buddhists would visit care homes to take care of the elderly, or go and visit the cancer centre and keep the cancer patients company, make them happy and then return home. Later on, they discovered they got cancer. They thought that doing these wholesome deeds could alleviate their suffering and make them happy so that when they pass away, they won’t be in too much pain. Firstly, can you liberate somebody from suffering? Even you developed cancer. You don’t have enough energy and merit-virtues. How can you save others? They don’t understand; it’s very pitiful. Also, many cultivators only practise sutra recitations, and they don’t perform meritorious deeds. That also won’t do.
They got better from reciting sutras, but then they’re unwilling to help others. Now Master teaches you that not only must you understand, you must also take action. Are you doing meritorious deeds at the Dharma conventions? When you’re going it, you must’ve had any selfish thoughts. You must be careful as it would create an outflow of merit-virtues. For example, you are a business person. You visit the Guan Yin Temple and cultivate because you’re also a Buddhist. But then while talking about the Buddha-Dharma, you then try to sell one your products to them. That is a sin, you understand? There will be negative karmic consequences. Understanding and action are equally important; they are like your power. Do you want power? Then go and properly understand and execute what you know.
Master expounds, you must cease your greed. Every day, you want this and that, in the end, you won’t have anything. What do you have? You came naked, and you will die naked, and all you leave on this planet are your bones. Even if you have money, could you take it away with you? That’s why you must cease all your afflictions and greed.
Afflictions are the source of all obstacles in your life, and you must control it. When afflictions appear, use wisdom. When you feel greedy, then donate things to others. The more you donate, the less greedy you’ll feel. Master likes giving away presents to others continuously. No matter who comes to visit Master, he would them leave away happily. It’s so that they would be more diligent in learning about Buddhism, in learning to give away things and in learning the Dharma. All of these things accumulate merit-virtues. You must give. Master is currently using this method to save and spiritually awaken others. He leads by example. People are pitiful. Only those who lack wisdom are greedy. If one simply recite sutras and don’t cultivate their mind, they won’t develop wisdom. Master wants every one of you disciples to help, support and love each other. Learn to give away things to each other likes brothers and sisters.
The power of your mind is shown by your ability to concentrate. One must have sufficient mental power. If they don’t, they can never concentrate. Master repeats again that cultivation of your mind requires one to be absolutely pure-hearted about it without a single flaw. If anybody cultivates with even a shred of selfishness and distracting thoughts, then they are wasting their effort, and there will be outflows in their merit-virtues. Every time, at the Dharma Convention, Master gets very tired after talking for a few hours and be surrounded by so many people. But why does he always stand up and give a last speech after the Totem Enquiry segment or Dharma segment is over? It’s to set an example that one must always stay close to the people you want to save. Guan Yin Bodhisattva has delegated him to save others, how could he hide in the back?
Could Master, like many prominent public speakers, just leave after receiving a round of applause like that after the speech is over? What kind of impression would that give? The Buddha-Dharma resides here with us in this Human Realm; he has to make people feel that Bodhisattvas are with us in the Human Realm. You have to give them hope; you have to make them believe that Bodhisattvas truly exist in this world. It’s because they can’t see the Bodhisattvas, and that’s why the Bodhisattvas want Master to show their power. And yet you all hide Master away. Master currently save others with disregard of himself. He wishes that you all could understand. Otherwise, you will regret it in the future. Those who don't cherish Master is the same as not cherishing sentient beings. You must give out some of your private time to save others, and you must diligently do so. You must go and help others with the utmost sincerity. If you are limited in ability, then just try to foster their awakenment, and try to persuade them to recite sutras.
Do you know? Wisdom is, in fact, the halo of light above your head. If this halo of light is weak and scattered, then this person will lack in wisdom. When this light is gathered together, then this person would be very wise. That form is made from the collection of other wisdom. Just like how Master describes foreign spirits to you. For example, when you kill a mosquito, it leaves a dot. When you kill another, it leaves another dot. If you killed a swarm of mosquitos, then these mosquito spirits will group up together to form a greater spirit, and it may reincarnate into a larger animal like a pig, chicken etc. When a pig dies 300 times, then it can reincarnate into a person. The same applies to dogs. That’s called the accumulation of tribulations. While some dogs could reincarnate as a human directly. That’s why one must focus so that one’s wisdom does not get scattered.
Those who don’t have wisdom will not radiate any light. Take a look, which portrait or paintings that depict a Bodhisattva or God doesn’t have a halo? Doesn’t Jesus also have a halo? You must properly learn about it. When a person is hasty, their light is scattered away, and their wisdom is gone. Don’t be constantly depressed as it leads one to become narrow-minded; resentment will attract hatred from others, sadness will cause one to be restrained, and anger will create enemies. Master focuses on saving good people, not bad people. When Jigong Bodhisattva came to the Human Realm, he also said the words, “Evil will be punished, and the good shall be saved.” As disciples, you must help share Master’s burden and go and save others. If your light is scattered, you won’t have wisdom. A person’s aura of light is very important.
Master expounds, what are the ‘sutras’ we are reciting? In reality, ‘sutras’ are the relics of the Buddha’s Dharma body. It’s their body’s treasure. The sutra acts as a medium between their Dharma body and yours, and it’s gold and shiny. Relics are something that’s formed from cultivation, and it’s transparent and radiant. That is what Master sees from heaven, not in the Human Realm. Also, if one is not respectful towards the sutras, for example, putting it away somewhere randomly, many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would sigh. The Bodhisattvas won’t punish, but they’ll sigh. Next, the Dharma protectors and the Vajra protectors come with rage. That’s why one mustn’t recklessly put their Buddhist scriptures away; there will definitely be negative karma generated. Have you heard about it, on my radio programme, the caller said that that he put Master’s book next to his bed, and he regularly dreams of being in heaven.
You must understand, if you can’t find the right path, it will ruin you. If you learn or find a master recklessly, you will ruin yourself and the people around you. Today, somebody who cultivated another Dharma Door came. In the beginning, he seemed mighty and started to discuss the Buddha-Dharma with Master. After the discussion, he said, “Master, I’m impressed; I must properly learn from you.” Master replied that it’s the same if he learned somewhere else. When he’s at home, he could let his wife beat him until he’s black and blue. Master told him, learning Buddhism is the same as finding a doctor. He must find a doctor that’s the most suitable at treating his illness. All doctors are good, some are very famous, but they are specialised at treating problems with the heart. But your problem is with your bones, so they aren’t suitable. Do you understand?
You must find the most suitable Dharma door for you to learn Buddhism to truly save yourself. As long as you’re alive, your mood is constantly changing. You must properly reform your mind. Take note; Master does not want people who don’t properly cultivate. If everybody praises that every disciple is good, then he will be happy. If you are currently doing well, then others won’t mention your past misconduct. But if you’re not good, then people would talk about all the negative things you did in the past. Is there anyone of you who has a clean history? That’s why you must really cultivate, and remain discreet in doing meritorious deeds and work hard.