V 3-38 Learn the Concepts and Spirituality of Buddhism 学佛的理念,学佛的境界

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.


Master shall discuss the disciplinary rules in Buddhism. There’s a saying that nothing can be accomplished without norms or standards. Firstly, a Buddhist who hasn’t awakened yet isn’t somebody who understands the reasoning, yet they think that they’ve awakened. In reality, they’re conceited. Although it’s clear that they don’t really understand nor have learned the Buddha-Dharma properly, they think that they already know everything. How do you know? You will know from looking at how they reply to other fellow Buddhists.


When you tell others how many Little Houses they should recite and what they should do, do you properly understand first? Do you have the qualifications to help others spiritually ascend their foreign spirits? We are only borrowing Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s power to help others spiritually ascend. Is it because you think you have accumulated great merit-virtues or you think that your power is great? Think about it; if you don’t know and Master corrects you, you are still unhappy. Isn’t that an indication that you are prideful? Aren’t you already senior practitioners? If you don’t know, then you don’t know. Don’t act as you know; otherwise, that’s a sin. The act of misguiding others is a sin.


For example, let’s say that you’re walking on a road that you’re unfamiliar with, and somebody asks you for directions. If you just randomly direct them to somewhere, isn’t that wrong? You’re misleading them. That’s why if one isn’t awakened, then they will sin ignorantly. It’s simply. Originally they should be aware of the law, but because they’re ignorant, they break the law. So isn’t that a crime? If you are more knowledgeable about the laws, then you won’t break it, isn’t that right? It’s because you don’t know, that’s why you break it ignorantly. But don’t you still get arrested? Isn’t that still considered a crime? What’s the Buddha-Dharma? Buddhism also has disciplinary rules where one lives their daily life in accordance with it. That’s why we mustn’t say that we have awakened completely, only partially.


Master expounds about regular-views and decisive-views. What are decisive-views? Being decisive is a good thing, but in reality, one is decisive while being deluded. People make their decisions while thinking that they’re right. They are attached to their views. They only believe what they see. Think about it, there are many people who make mistakes, yet because they’re a man, or a husband, or a father, or whatever role, they are in the right. They’re clearly wrong, but they’re unwilling to accept it. So they’re doubly wrong. That’s why we must be obsessed with one’s views. What does it mean to have decisive-views? Many people subconsciously think that they’re right, so they develop deviated-views, in other words, prejudice. They think what they learnt regarding Buddhism is the right way, and they are able to explain many concepts and theories. Yet they’ve deviated, but they don’t know that.


When people learn about Buddhist theories, they always think that they’re right. Who would think that their understanding of what they learnt is wrong? They’ll be adamant that they’re right. They might take a few Buddhist phrases out of context and use it to attack others. Is that right? That’s why Buddhists must first learn how to suppress themselves. It’s like how some Buddhists think that offering one incense is right; others think that offering three incenses is right, and some think that they should offer one incense for each Bodhisattva while others think that they could offer one incense for all the Bodhisattvas. They think that by inviting many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to their homes, they will be blessed and protected. Do you understand?


It’s because they think that they’re right, so there was one person who had placed the statues of around 200 Bodhisattvas to their house and asked Master what he should do with it. So Master replied that since he has already invited all the Bodhisattvas to his home, then he should just properly worship them. Just like when Master isn’t careful when he takes on new disciples, doesn’t he also have to bear responsibility for it? You may ask, doesn’t Master have Divine eyes? Why isn’t he careful about who he takes on? Jesus took in many disciples; why did he end up dying because of his disciples? It’s because Jesus is a sage; he was compassionate and would always forgive others. Master is the same. Everybody must think about things clearly and completely. Don’t always think that you’re right.


Master knows about a person who set up an altar with Jesus, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, Muhammad and many other Bodhisattvas. What does that indicate? Ignorance, yet he pretended to be knowledgeable. Master even spoke to him about this matter, but instead, he replied with an example. He said, “Master, they are all leaders. To be able to greet all the leaders, isn’t that great?” That’s called deviated-attachment. That’s why it’s important to have the right views and understand the difference between it and deviated-views.


Deviated-views are where you view things from an un-rightful view, and right-views are where you view things from the right view. But how do you know what is right or not right? Only people awakened to their inherent nature knows what’s right or deviated. You have learnt many things in the past, do you know what’s right or deviated? Many people use the Buddha-Dharma to attack others while thinking they are right. In fact, they are using the Bodhisattva’s theories to attack others. It’s already an indication that they have deviated. Buddhism is a religion that doesn’t compete with others.


Master expound about regular-views – views that we think we regularly see. For example, there’s a phrase ‘If you have money, you can make spirits push the millstone for you.’ Why is there such a phrase? That’s because spirits also require money, the money that circulates in the Underworld. For any regular-views, views that you feel are concrete and true; in reality, they are also illusionary. There are times when we feel that something is real, but in fact, it’s not.


For example, you have suddenly seen something, but in an instant, the thing you saw disappeared. Does it mean that it’s fake? In one moment, the class is filled with people, and then after 1 pm, the room is empty. So does it mean the people you saw were fake? That’s what it means to be moving between the form and formless realms. One moment, something exists, and in the next moment, it’s gone. Just like us humans, we appear as an infant, then after a period, we die, and the ego that existed disappears. Then the cycle repeats itself. Regularly-views can also be regarded as impermanence.


When learning Buddhism, you must learn its ideals and spirituality. Master categorises it as ‘Scattered Material State’. That’s what the Bodhisattvas told him. It means that everything we see is scattered and empty. The material state we see is, in fact, just atoms that were bonded together and which formed the thing that we see. Like how humans are made up of 80% water, when they die, their organs and muscles decompose into a liquid and eventually evaporate and disappear. All that’s left are just the other 20% which are bones. So where did the 80% go? That’s why it’s considered as a scattered material state. It’s scattered and no longer exists.


A moment ago, you saw somebody’s face was full of sweat. But after they went to a room that has its air conditioner on, where did the water on their face go? A moment ago after you showered, your hair was wet. Then after you used a blowdryer to dry your hair, where did the water go? That’s also considered as a scattered material state. That’s why when we look at this world, we must use view everything as a temporal and developing state. ‘Today, something exists, but tomorrow it may disappear’, just like your marriage and your life. Today, it seems as if you’re alive, but your life can be gone in a few days later. Isn’t the old man from last time like that? He used a walking stick and regularly visited us every Saturday. Where is he now? He’s gone now.


Those who don’t learn Buddhism will always invite trouble. That’s why after they awaken and understand the principles of Buddhism, then they will try to persuade, guide and save others. That’s due to their sense of righteousness being evoked. In reality, a sensible person is someone who is righteous. Because they have learnt Buddhism and so they feel compelled to propagate to others and persuade others to hurry and cultivate their mind. They also cultivate hastily. That’s why as long as sentient beings, who are clear-minded and awakened to their nature, will perceive everything in the Human Realm using Buddha’s wisdom. Only so would they see their inherent nature, their conscience, their flaws and their compassion.


Only those who are clear-minded and are truly awakened can save and spiritually awaken sentient beings and use Buddha’s wisdom to see through everything. Could you? No, you can’t. People’s shortcomings are that they can’t see through the world, it’s very pitiful. Children, property, money, life, they can’t see through anything. Many people, in their hour of death, say things like, “That is mine. I don’t want to go.” It’s because they can’t see through it. They don’t know where their life came from. They are pitiful because they lack the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ wisdom.


There are many occasions when either the father or the mother is about to pass away; their child would say, “Mother, don’t leave,” by their bedside. The mother would reply, “Child, don’t worry, I won’t leave.” Then they pass away. Could you guarantee that you won’t die? You should think more about when you will pass away. It may be like an alarm bell to many people. They should think more about how short their lives are; then they will perform more wholesome deeds. From the past to the present, when a person knows they’re going to die, they will definitely think about doing more wholesome things. That’s why there’s a saying ‘When a man is near death, he speaks from the heart.’ When they’re about to die, they will start to apologise to many people and feel regretful for the things they did. “Oh, I shouldn’t have treated like so.” They still have yet to finish, and then they pass away. You must understand these principles.

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