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 expounds that if a person doesn’t observe the precepts, then they aren’t really cultivating, and they haven’t learnt the foundations of the Buddha-Dharma. That person will definitely descend into the three unwholesome realms. Why is that? That’s because the unwholesome realms are the easiest places to go to for people who don’t really cultivate. Do you understand how dangerous that is? The three unwholesome realms are the Hungry Ghost Realm, the Animal Realm and the Hell Realm. When you are reborn as an animal, then it’s too late. You’re a cultivator, but if you don’t cultivate sincerely, then the highest level you may reborn as is an animal, like a pet dog raised in a very wealthy family. There will be people hugging you, grooming you, clean you and feed you. While you only know how to wag your tail. That’s the fruit of your cultivation because of outflows.
The net of Heaven has large meshes, but it lets nothing through. Master begs you not to keep causing trouble; you must be sensible. Don't perform meritorious deeds while harbouring some selfishness. If somebody treats you well and you decide to reciprocate the favour, that kind of thought still has outflows, do you understand? You must lock yourself up; you must observe the precepts. All of you disciples must tell Master in the future which precepts you are observing. If you don’t, then you lack the foundations of a Buddha, and you will slide to the unwholesome realms. Can you tell Master which precepts you are currently observing? Have you abstained from lying? Have you abstained from stealing? Have you abstained from sexual misconduct? Have you abstained from alcohol? Have you abstained from killing? Think about it; these five precepts are the most basic.
Observing the precepts is the foundation, one must do so when practising Buddhism. What is it? It’s how one behaves in an orderly way from appearance and actions and is very sincere when behaving, speaking and doing. Monks look very genuinely sincere, and it comes from observing precepts. If one casually laughs out loud and acts however they wish, then they will be looked down on. When you see a young lady and smile in a playful manner, it will make others look down on you. You should reflect on the mistakes you made in your life. Your mistakes are monitored by the Bodhisattvas and other spiritual deities. You won’t be fine if you don’t reform yourself. You’re almost at ‘the time of harvest’. The period before a great calamity appears called ‘the time of harvest’. Those who develop serious illnesses all have significant negative karma, and they have reached the period of karmic retribution.
If every one of you can rest in peace, then Master is impressed. He can see how you will pass away. Can you guarantee that you won’t develop cancer, can you guarantee how you will die? Can you die in the middle of your sleep? Can you say confidently to Master that you can guarantee that you will die in your sleep? You made so many mistakes in the past, so you must truly cultivate. Real cultivation is the truth. You must change immediately, not tomorrow or the day after. Like trying to change one’s habit of smoking, “I’ll stop today and immediately.” Master wants to save your face, and so won’t call out names. But everybody must look our for themselves, and restrain their spirit. When you see a cute girl say something to you, your spirit is already loosened, and you stutter when you speak. How could you propagate the Dharma? If your eyes widen when you see money, how could you propagate the Dharma?
There are no shortcuts to cultivation in Buddhism, there’s only one path, and that is real cultivation. That applies to any Dharma doors. Then after cultivating, one enters into isolated cessation, which is the liberated state of nirvana. There’s no end to cultivation. Even if one has become a Bodhisattva, they would still have to descend to save others so that they could become a Buddha. Bodhisattvas also have to cultivate, not to mention humans. So when Bodhisattvas descend to the Human Realm, they must experience a lot of suffering, like being badmouthed, slandered and defamed. What is nirvana? It’s the state of having no ego, an empty state. That’s why in our daily lives, our mind must be in the spirituality of isolated cessation. So before you die, you must regularly think that you’re empty, and you being here in this world is just like going on a holiday, and you will return where you came from after. That is the state of isolated cessation. So don’t get too excited or obsessed with the things in this world.
Many people who came to the Human Realm becomes too obsessed with the things in this world. So they can’t return. When they have to leave, they’re in a lot of pain. Like when you’re on holiday at the Gold Coast and lay on the sandy beach fully relaxed under the sun. You would wish that every day was like that, but is that possible? Can you stay obsessed with this scenery? When the time comes, don’t you have to leave? You still have to return and continue with your work.
What is real? While living your life, you must think that you’re only here temporarily. “I must borrow the false to cultivate the real; I must properly recite sutras, I must do my best not to return.” Yet you’re still obsessed with these things and your children, and can’t let go. But you still have to leave, and increase your children’s pain. Just look at those mothers who dote on their children. In their final days, they tell them, “Child, I don’t want to leave you.” If the child asks Master what their mother’s condition is, they will immediately weep. Think about it, isn’t the mother also upset? You have to leave, but you still have to make your children upset, how is that treating them well? If you truly treat them well, then you must let go when the time comes. A child won’t grow up as long as they’re with their parents. When something must be let go, you must do so. In the Human Realm, this shows that your spirituality has increased.
That’s why one’s mind must be liberated. When it is, it’s called ‘partial nirvana’, which is conscious nirvana. It doesn’t mean that you have completely cleared up your mind and empty. It’s because you have temporarily let go and cleared up your mind on one aspect, that’s why it’s called partial nirvana, or partial emptiness. True nirvana after death is the complete nirvana. After you die, then you are liberated and won’t get upset. Also, after you die, you can still see your children in spirit form, “It’s okay, I’m supposed to go anyway. Please take care, and don’t get sad.” That’s emptiness. How many of you can empty yourselves? Today, you’re thinking about your child. Tomorrow, you’re thinking about your mother. Then in the days after, you’re thinking about your spouse, your house etc. When is there a day that nothing happens or there’s nothing bothering you?
Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism can help you achieve isolated-cessation; it’s just a Wayplace of spirituality. Theravada Buddhism’s isolated-cessation is only partial; in other words, cultivation is for the purpose of protecting and improving themselves. That is partial awakenment. Didn’t Master mention before that if a person only cares about cultivating themselves, then it indicates that their awakenment is partial? Those who are constantly thinking about others and the suffering that occurs around the world are those who have properly learnt Mahayana Buddhism. That’s the true state of isolated-cessation. Isolated-cessation is about digging everything about themselves until they’ve become completely empty and selfless, then they won’t suffer anymore.
Master mentioned before that people’s suffering happens because their self-awareness is too strong. “I’m losing face, how could I face others? I can’t live anymore.” That’s why, take note, that cultivating is about getting rid of ignorance. Ignorance is not knowing. We’ve cultivated so long yet we’re still ignorant. That’s because we feel that we’re knowledgeable, but we’re actually not. Think about, when Master’s Dharma door appeared, many fellow Buddhists who practised Buddhism for decades still say that they know nothing.
That is true ignorance. It’s because there is no limit to how much one can learn; there’s too much to learn. If you don’t have much spirituality, you won’t be capable of understanding. That’s why we can’t cease our suffering of birth, old age, illness and death. You don’t know about your journey in the Human Realm. Everybody will go through the process and endure the same suffering. In fact, there is suffering from the beginning to the end of life, when is there a period where you can completely enjoy yourself? No matter how rich you are, what can you enjoy permanently? Impermanent enjoyment is not a true enjoyment.
After a day’s work outside and you return home all sweaty, do you enjoy taking a shower? After you have taken the shower, what’s your feeling then? You will still get dirty in the day after, can you call this true enjoyment? If you’re capable, try to keep yourself clean permanently after your shower. Then that’s truly permanent enjoyment. Temporary enjoyment isn’t true enjoyment. Whereas if you’re in heaven and have truly liberated from samsara, that is true enjoyment. It’s because you won’t come back down, isn’t that great?
You must think; clearly, you must understand the Bodhisattva’s mind. Master’s disciple must observe the precepts and aren’t allowed to make mistakes. One mustn’t get greedy. Look out for yourself and practise abstinence and properly behave. One mustn’t create groups and allow personal feelings to affect public duty. You can deceive Master or yourself, but you can’t deceive the Bodhisattvas, the Dharma protectors or the spirits. That’s why everything you do is futile. What’s fake is useless. Master is unwilling to talk further. His last advice is about the phrase ‘No ignorance and no end to it’. We must end ignorance so that it disappears, and so we must go and understand. ‘No old age and death and no end to it’ is where we come to an understanding that there is no life or death, where one’s wisdom shines brightly and never have afflictions. That’s why in the Heart Sutra, it mentions about ‘No ignorance and no end to it’ and ‘No old and death and no end to it’.
After you have truly awakened, you are liberated from the suffering of old age and death. It’s because you know that the body is temporary. We can illustrate that it’s like a car, when the car is broken down, you can change to a different car, and your spirit is yourself. You can get in a different car to drive. When you are reborn in the next life, then you have just changed to a different body. Because there is no old age and death and no end to it, you have not died. You will eventually know that so there is no ignorance and no end to it. It’s really not easy to practise Buddhism and cultivate one’s mind. When you talk about somebody’s sensitive topic, they become unsteady and upset. But that person still wants to cultivate their mind, extend their longevity and improve their life, but they also feel like wanting to save face.
There is no ‘face’ in Buddhism; everybody no matter what age they are is the same. Currently, your children might even be one of your ancestors reborn, in front of your ancestors, what ‘face’ do you have? Why is it that the younger generation nowadays is becoming more intelligent? It’s because they descended from the Heavenly Realms to give aid. It’s been mentioned long ago that during the period of Dharma decline, there will be countless Bodhisattvas descending from the Heavenly Realms to save others and also the people who had a karmic affinity with them in their past lives. Many children are there to save their parents. Aren’t there many families where it’s the child who starts off reciting sutras and then bringing their parents into Buddhism? Isn’t that the same as the child saving their parents? That’s why you must properly cultivate.
Master regularly helps cleanse your soul; it’s because you’re all really defiled and your minds are very defiled. It’s because currently there are too many defiled people, that’s why many of you feel pure in comparison. We can illustrate this with coal miners. Their face, body and hands are constantly blackened in soot when working, so when the coal miners look at each other, they don’t feel like they’re very dirty. Every one of you has a lot of dark aurae. When this person does an unwholesome deed, and that person does an unwholesome deed, then everyone doesn’t like it’s anything special.
That’s why it relies solely on oneself to resolve their flaws. Don’t deceive yourself, practising Buddhism is all about sincerity. One must use their true inherent nature to monitor their conscience and purify their body and spirit. A body’s purity is just one part, while the other part is purifying their spirit. There are many people who have a clean face and body, but their minds are completely filled with unwholesome and defiled things. So they are impure. While there are people who have pure minds and never do any unwholesome deeds, but their body is dirty. They are also impure. That’s why one must cultivate their mind and behaviour together. Their actions and thoughts must be pure. That way, they will be truly pure.
If Master continues to see so many people not making any effort. If you are one of them, then you can’t become his disciple. He has said that you must thoroughly reform yourself. If you don’t, it’s not about Master not accepting you but whether the Bodhisattvas allow you to be initiated. Many people don’t understand; they think it’s Master who’s not accepting them. In reality, it’s because they lack the karmic affinity. So many people want it, but they don’t, in reality, it’s because they aren’t qualified. That’s why during the period of Dharma decline, cultivating one’s mind and practising Buddhism is very important. Master is only a medium who is transmitting messages from Guan Yin Bodhisattva. If you don’t accept it, it isn’t that you didn’t accept Master as a medium, but you aren’t accepting Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s grace.