Cultivators should not be selfish, nor
should they act only to protect themselves. They should work to
benefit the whole world, putting personal interests aside.
Instead of being enthralled with their own achievements, they
should consider the big picture.
Mr. Dachuan Hu's "Fantasy Poem" says it
Bobbing up and down, We lack a strong
resolve for the Way. Caught up in worldly entanglements, We feel
sorry for ourselves. There is no paradise within the four seas;
What place is there in the nine heavens To set our sorrows
Bobbing up and down, we lack a strong
resolve for the Way. People move up and down in the world;
rising when they do good deeds of merit and virtue, and falling
when they create unwholesome karma. In life after life, they
drift and flounder in the sea of karma; being rocked by the
waves of worldly affairs, it is hard to stand firm.
Caught up in worldly entanglements, We
can only feel sorry for ourselves. Worldly affairs are like a
huge net that binds people up. Fame-seekers are bound by the net
of fame; money worshippers get caught in the net of wealth; and
promiscuous individuals are trapped in the net of lust. In
general, the net of the five desires--for wealth, sex, fame,
food, and sleep--confuses people and binds them so tightly that
they can hardly breathe. Most people don't even know they are
caught in the net, and those who do cannot escape, so they can
only sigh in self-pity.
is no paradise within the four seas. Look around: you won't find a peaceful
place anywhere. All of humankind lives in fear from dawn to dusk. There are
refugees everywhere. In many places people lack adequate food and clothing.
Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, and other natural and manmade disasters
happen one after another. How could one not feel scared?
place is there in the nine heavens to set our sorrows aside? There isn't any
space within the nine heavens to store our cares and worries. Some people think
the world is a happy place, but actually, we are in danger of being drowned or
burned at any moment. Why should we be so attached to this world?
have all heard of the recent eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington State.
If the lava were piled up, it could reach as high as twelve miles. The ashes
have scattered everywhere. From this eruption we can see how unsafe the world
is. Living in these dangerous times, we should quickly bring forth the Bodhi
resolve and seek the supreme Way.
haven't there been any volcanic eruptions in California? One reason is that
there are more Buddhists and more temples here. Disasters are imperceptibly
transformed into auspiciousness. In 1968, astrologers, historians, prophets, and
scientists in the United States all predicted that a major earthquake would
occur in San Francisco that year. They said the earthquake would be so great
that the entire city of San Francisco would fall into the Pacific Ocean.
Fortunately, no earthquake occurred despite their predictions. There have been
earthquake predictions every year since then. However, the great one hasn't
Recently, I have been worrying that the earthquake is really going to happen.
That's why the fourfold assembly of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association at the
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Gold Mountain Monastery, Tathagata Monastery, and
Dharma Realm Buddhist University has gathered together to recite the Shurangama
Mantra on Saturdays. With the power of the mantra we hope to avert the
earthquake, dispel danger, transform big disasters into small ones, and make
small ones disappear altogether.
is asking, "Can catastrophes be averted?" Of course! Although it's said that
fixed karma cannot be altered, with the power of samadhi even limitless offenses
can be dispelled.