Buddhist Koan- Elder Monk Xu Yun Tamed General Genyuan Li Who Wanted to Demolish Temple and Destroy Buddhism

Buddhist Koan- Elder Monk Xu Yun Tamed General Genyuan Li Who Wanted to Demolish Temple and Destroy Buddhism

By Zhengjian Li

General Li Genyuan was the commander of the Yunnan New Army at that time. He had studied overseas in Germany before returning to China and was a young and energetic general. He regarded himself a strong believer of science and perceived Buddhism as superstition. He wanted very much to have Buddhism removed. Because of that, he came up with the excuse that there were tens of thousands of monks in Mount Jizhu and they might organize armed resistance. Therefore, he personally led his troops to Mount Jizhu. On their way, the several thousands of officers and soldiers were demolishing temples and arresting monks.

When Elder Monk Xu Yun, abbot of Zhu Sheng Temple in Mount Jizhu, heard about this, he decided to come down from the mountain in person to persuade Li Genyuan to stop. When Li Genyuan saw this thin yet spirited elder monk who had his long beard hanging down, noticing Xu Yun’s uncommon grace and peaceful and calm manner, he was spontaneously startled, “Oh! This is Xu Yun. He does have a little uncommon demeanor!”

Li Genyuan harshly shouted, “I want to catch you. Now you even dare send yourself to me! Maybe you label yourself as not fearing death. Let me ask you, how many lives do you have?”

Xu Yun kept his head up and replied calmly, “Great Commander, I, Xu Yun, have only one life. Also, I am not any hero or brave man who does not fear death. I am just a monastic person. Today, I do not shy away from your killing weapons and risk my death to meet you, Great Commander. My purpose is to beseech an order from you, Great Commander, to save Buddhism. I ask you, Great Commander, to immediately stop demolishing temples and destroying Buddhism.”

“Are you really not afraid of death?” Li Genyuan had a cold smile.

Xu Yun did not have the slightest fear on his face and smiled gently and calmly, “I, Xu Yun, have made up my determination to die for Buddhism long ago. If, before my death, you, Great Commander, can give me an opportunity to state my cause clearly and stop doing damages to Buddhism in the future, I am willing to die.”

Li Genyuan spoke coldly, “You answer me first. You kept saying wanting to die for Buddhism and tell me not to destroy Buddhism. Let me ask you. What benefit does Buddhism have?”

Xu Yun replied with a smile, “The Buddha established Buddhism to advocate great love and great compassion, serve the world and benefit the population, and broadly save living beings from suffering and hardship. Buddhism persuade and transform people in the world to do goodness and remove evil, cultivate conduct and virtue, and save oneself as well as others. Buddhism first teaches people to cure their minds. The mind is the source and origin of all afflictions. Once the origin is correct, all things can be in serenity and peace will be everywhere. The world will be calm and peaceful.”

Li Genyuan’s face turned a little milder, “I admit that you have good eloquence of debate. However, what is the use of these statues sculpted with mud and carved from wood? These statues lead people into superstition for nothing!”

Xu Yun stated calmly, solemnly, and respectfully, “The Buddha spoke about the appearance of Buddha-dharma. The appearance is to express the dharma. Not expressing with appearance, the dharma cannot be publicized. The Buddha statues made of sculptures are to symbolize the Buddha’s solemn elegance and loving compassion, to let people generate homage, confidence, and respectful fear from viewing. Without respectful fear in mind, people will do all kinds of malicious acts, thereby creating calamities and upheavals. Even if we just talk about customs in the world, examples are Confucius’ statue in his temple at Mount Ni, an ancient person named Ding Lan carved wood statues of his parents to repent for not being filial enough earlier, worshipping ancestors in ancestral temples by all clans in China, and bronze statues seen in all Western countries. All are for the purpose of letting people view and generate respect and faith. Buddha statues are sculpted with mud and carved from wood. However, what we respect and pay homage to are not the materials of earth and wood. Rather, we respect and pay homage to the symbolized Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with great love and great compassion. As a result, thoughts of all kinds can develop in the mind to induce us to save ourselves and save others. The enthusiasm of respect and faith arises from seeing Buddha statues. The merit and effect are inconceivable!”

Li Genyuan nodded, “It does sound reasonable, hearing what you said. However, my mind does not submit to that. You monks talk about cause and effect and talk about samsara (transmigration). These superstitious views and concepts are elusive without bases in science. I studied science and military in the West. I despise these old superstitions the most. That is why I am determined to uproot them. I would like to hear how you can skillfully argue about that.”

Xu Yun smiled, “First, I need to explain what superstition is. The so-called superstition refers to blindly following and obeying without clearly understanding the truth and knowing the ultimate reason and, moreover, without distinguishing good or bad and upright from evil. Examples are, killing people to sacrifice for evil deities, slaughtering cattle, sheep, chicken, duck, or other lives to worship ghosts and gods, presenting gold and silver to bribe and beg ghosts and gods for blessing wealth, engaging in sexual misconduct to please demonic ghosts and demonic deities, using ghosts and deities as excuses to raise money with selfish purposes, mocking ghosts and deities to carry out despicably intolerable malicious conduct or direct people to do things violating loyalty, trust, and benevolence, teaching people to steal, rape, and kill, teaching people to commit fraud and extortion, and encouraging cruelty and disorder. All acts of these types belong to superstition! If a faith teaches people with loyalty, filial act, benevolence, and love, advocates faith, trust, and peace, praise and spread etiquette, firmly cultivate humility, promote great love and great compassion of Buddhism, broadly save living beings to leave suffering and hardship to arrive at bliss and peace, teach people in the world to help and support each other with loving compassion, use loving compassion, benevolence, and virtue to teach and transform the world, pursue goodness and break away from malicious deeds, and take refuge in correct teaching and abandon evil dogmas, how can superstition come from such correct faith and correct wisdom?”

Li Genyuan quietly listened and the cruel and offending expression on his face gradually disappeared. He said, “Elder Monk, these statements are truly reasonable! However, you did not explain cause and effect and samsara clearly. These do not agree with science!”

Xu Yun said, “The so-called science is the accumulation and investigation of the wisdom and knowledge of humanity. The approach is inheriting from the past and developing the future, knowing the past to probe the future, and using what is known to investigate and validate the unknown. The learning from such investigation and validation never stops or stays at the same place. People must quest and probe incessantly. Only that is the true spirit of science! The scientific knowledge at the current time is of course greatly advanced from that of the ancient and middle ages. However, does that mean there is nothing unknown already? Does that mean we have completely understood all subtleties and secrets of the universe?”

Li Genyuan said, “Of course we have not been able to do that yet.”

Xu Yun smiled, “Sutras of Buddhism already studied the genuine knowledge exhaustively several thousand years ago. It has been known that the universe never ends through all lifetimes. Matters in existence will annihilate and will be reborn after annihilation, in different shape and state. It is just a process of transforming between different form bodies. On the other hand, only in the current era, Western scientists stated the law of matter’s conservation. Buddhist sutras stated the world’s continuity and living beings’ continuity long ago. These agree completely with the law of physics of the universe. Why do you say the concept of samsara is not scientific?”

Li Genyuan asked, “What do these have to do with samsara and cause and effect?”

Xu Yun said, “The law of cause and effect is the law and principle governing the cycle of the universe! All things must first have the causes of birth and annihilation and then have the consequences. This is the cycle from the law of cause and effect! All sentient beings have wisdom and power of consciousness. After the death of the physical body, the power of consciousness still exists, which is the soul that worldly people talk about. A person who cultivates, practices, and carries out good conduct has a concentrated mind and calmed spirit and knows to go toward goodness and avoid calamity by instinct. Focusing the mind to chant Amitabha Buddha’s name will let one to know about going to the World of Ultimate Bliss. If this person practices good conduct, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will naturally come to receive him. Conversely, if a person has done a lot of malicious acts and evil deeds and has a surly, hostile, and unkind mind nature, then his conscience is closed and his wisdom is also all lost. That means his power of consciousness and soul also got lost. Moreover, because he does not know chanting the Buddha’s name, he will naturally devolve. With a muddled head and not knowing the direction, he can only follow his karmas to transmigrate and cannot get out. Consequently, he has to suffer life after life and also has to pay back for his earlier malicious acts. This is the law and principle of the universe. Things all have coming and going and undergo the never-ending cycle. What is unscientific in the law of cause and effect and samsara?”

Hearing this, Li Genyuan was horrified. He was sweating all over but felt chilling to the bone. He was extremely moved and said sincerely, “Elder Master Xu, hearing this speech from you is more beneficial than studying in school for ten years to me, your disciple! I, your disciple, studied overseas in the West and only learned some skin-deep and hair-thin science. I really do not know the profound principles of the universe and even absurdly wanted to destroy Buddhism! From listening to your teaching and discourse, I am now completely clear. I ask you, Elder Master Xu, to allow me to take refuge before you to become a Buddhist disciple!”

Xu Yun smiled, “Great Commander, please get up. Since you, Great Commander, have become clear and have the determination to believe in Buddhism, this shows you, Great Commander, still has a very deep root of goodness and can realize the truth quickly. However, please first develop more opportunities to get close to Buddha-dharma and let real faith develop in your mind and become firm and unmovable, the matter of taking refuge can be talked about after that.”

Li Genyuan immediately said, “Elder Master Xu, please do not call me, your disciple, great commander anymore. Even though you, Elder Master Xu, do not want to accept me as your disciple today, I, your disciple, have already submitted to you in my mind. Please call me by name directly.”

In that evening, Li Genyuan gave the order to light up candles to talk with Xu Yun at night about the principles of Buddhism. From the clear manifestation of the law of cause and effect to the inter-webbed net of karmas, consequences of karmas and karmic conditions, the continuity of the world, the continuity of living beings, and other fundamental principles of Buddhism, and to the profound axioms in Buddhist sutras, Xu Yun introduced the profundity of the universe. Li Genyuan was completely convinced and had full admiration. They spoke until after midnight and were very high-spirited.

Li Genyuan sighed, “Without hearing Elder Master Xu’s earnest teaching and explanation today, I really do not know the fact that the principles of Buddhism and Buddha-dharma are so broad, great, and profound. I now have the complete faith and submission! I am determined to take refuge in Buddha-dharma.”

The next morning, Li Genyuan personally guarded Xu Yun to return to the temple. Wearing his military uniform indicating a general’s rank, Li Genyuan led the horse in person. Xu Yun, who was 72 years old, was sitting on the horse. They slowly walked to the temple’s gate. Behind them were several dozens of horse-riding guarding officers. With the shining Sun, golden light appeared from the mountain. Starting from the mountain top and coming downward, trees and grasses were covered with golden color. The scene of the entire mountain shining golden light was extremely splendid and solemn.

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/08/11/buddhist-koan-elder-monk-xu-yun-tamed-general-genyuan-li-who-wanted-to-demolish-temple-and-destroy-buddhism/

After Generating Great Compassion in Mind, Master Asanga Was Able to Meet Maitreya Bodhisattva

After Generating Great Compassion in Mind, Master Asanga Was Able to Meet Maitreya Bodhisattva

Master Asanga was born with uniquely deep talent and wisdom from his past lifetimes. When studying sutras and commentaries, he was able to understand the meaning with a quick reading. Later, he practiced meditative concentration and became free of desires. He repeatedly thought about the “meaning of emptiness” but was unable to deeply understand and explain it. He was quite unhappy for that. An Arhat named Pindola-Bharadvaja heard about his difficulty and came to him to teach “the Small-Vehicle (Hinayana) School’s view of emptiness.” Then, he practiced contemplation according to the teaching and achieved a deep understanding. However, Master Asanga was still not satisfied after learning the Small-Vehicle School’s view of emptiness because he still did not have perfect answers for many doubts and questions he had.

At that time, the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism (the Large Vehicle) was available from Maitreya Bodhisattva. However, to receive Maitreya Bodhisattva’s teaching in person, one must successfully enter into the state of concentration. Due to his urge to quest for the dharma, Master Asanga longed for the opportunity to meet Maitreya Bodhisattva in person to be taught with the dharma. Therefore, he chose a mountain cave in a sparsely populated area and began practicing cessation and contemplation diligently.

As time was flowing away continuously, six years elapsed. Master Asanga still was unable to see Maitreya Bodhisattva while practicing concentration in the cave. A thought came up in his mind, “If it is impossible to see Maitreya Bodhisattva, I should just give up!” Thus, he decided to take a break from cultivating and practicing in the cave. He put on his regular clothing and walked out of the cave. On his way of coming down from the mountain, he saw a white-haired elder lady, who held an iron stick and was laboriously grinding it on a flab of stone. The scene caught Master Asanga’s attention.

“Elder lady. May I ask what you are doing?” Master Asanga asked.

“Oh, I am grinding this iron stick into a thin needle.”

“You are grinding it into a thin needle?” Master Asanga was very much astonished and also greatly moved. He thought, “This elder lady was willing to grind it day after day with a seemingly silly movement. In contrast, as a cultivator, I could not adhere to practicing true Buddha-dharma to pursue wisdom.” The arising of this extremely precious thought caused Master Asanga to introspect himself and generate humility in mind. Then, he returned to the cave to devote himself into the difficult and hard cultivation and practice once again.

During the next three years, Master Asanga still did not make any achievement. Another thought rose in his mind, “Why should I waste time? It is simply impossible to see Maitreya Bodhisattva!” So he again broke his practice in retreat and went down the mountain. This time, he met a person, who was using a feather to scrub an enormously big rock. Master Asanga asked that person what he was doing. That person said, “This big rock blocks sunlight. I am grinding it to make it smaller, so that sunlight can shine into my room.” Upon hearing that, Asanga was alerted and began to introspect himself, “This person can be so unyielding in doing such a ridiculous thing. Comparing to him, I am so ashamed. I receded from my determination just because of a small setback!” With regret he again returned to his retreat chamber in the mountain.

Thus, another three years passed. Master Asanga was still unable to see Maitreya Bodhisattva appearing. At last, he receded from his determination once more. With discouragement, he left the retreat chamber again. On the way of coming down from the mountain, he saw a dying old dog, whose body had already begun to rot. The wounds were totally covered by maggots that were diffusing an awful stench. Compassion rose in Master Asanga toward this dog. He cut off a piece of flesh from his own body to feed the dog and also intended to remove the many maggots from the dog’s wounds. At that time, Master Asanga thought, “These maggots have very tender and fragile bodies. If I use my coarse fingers to move them, they will definitely be harmed.” Therefore, he decided to use his tongue to carefully lick up the maggots to move them to an inhabitable place for them. However, those maggots really looked very terrible. Master Asanga had to kneel on the ground and close his eyes. He then lowered his body to lick the maggots with his tongue.

As he was lowering his body, Master Asanga actually felt that his tongue was touching the ground. He opened his eyes and saw that the dog was no longer there. The solemn and majestic Maitreya Bodhisattva was standing in front of him. After the moment of excitement, Master Asanga asked Maitreya Bodhisattva, “I wholeheartedly prayed and beseeched you, revered Bodhisattva, to manifest before me for the last twelve years. Why didn’t you?”

Maitreya Bodhisattva replied, “Starting from the first day when you entered the retreat and began to pray, I was with you and next to you at every moment. However, due to the obstruction by your karmic forces, you were never able to see me. Through your diligent cultivation and practice during these twelve years, most of the karmic hindrance has been purified. Additionally, you generated great compassion in the occasion that just passed. Now all your karmic hindrance has been removed. That is why you can see me now! If you do not believe what I said, you can carry me on your shoulder and walk around at the market to see if people can see me.”

Thus, Master Asanga carried Maitreya Bodhisattva on his shoulder and walked to the market. While walking, he yelled to people, “What do you see that is on my shoulder?” People all thought that he had mental problems. They laughed and said, “There is nothing!” Only one old lady said that he was carrying a dog with scabies. Thus, Master Asanga was totally convinced and free of any doubt. Uncommon respect and faith rose in him toward Maitreya Bodhisattva.

After meeting Maitreya Bodhisattva, Master Asanga politely sought teaching from the Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva asked, “What do you want to learn?” Master Asanga said, “My wish is to propagate the Mahayana Dharma.” Maitreya Bodhisattva was delighted to hear that and brought him to the pure land within the Tusita Heaven. Maitreya Bodhisattva expounded to him the precious views of Mahayana Buddhism and the “Five Shastras (Commentaries) by Maitreya.” The teachings enlightened Master Asanga like pushing away clouds to see the Sun. Many doubts that he had had before were completely removed. Since then, he followed Maitreya Bodhisattva’s teaching to dedicate himself to study “the View of Emptiness of Mahayana Buddhism.” Maitreya Bodhisattva gave him a series of discourses and also explained the essence of the Mahayana sutras to him in detail. Master Asanga was enlightened from listening to the teachings and basically gained the understanding and proficiency in the sutras and shastras of Mahayana Buddhism. Later, Master Asanga also practiced the Dharma of Sunlight Samadhi. Through learning and practicing diligently, he eventually attained holy accomplishment. From then on, he was able to understand what he could not before and could forever remember all Buddhist scriptures he read. Later, he built a big lecture hall and dedicated himself to expound all Mahayana sutras to the great masses.

Master Asanga lived in the world for 150 years and made great contributions to the undertaking of widely propagating the teachings and dharmas of Mahayana Buddhism. He benefited countless living beings.

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/08/03/after-generating-great-compassion-in-mind-master-asanga-was-able-to-meet-maitreya-bodhisattva/

Empowerment Of The Buddhas And Bodhisattvas

Empowerment Of The Buddhas And Bodhisattvas

A Personal Experience

by Qiu Hui Yu, a Buddhist disciple of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III

Writing articles has never being an easy task for me, the challenge only compounded when it comes to speaking from the heart and the impact the Buddha dharma has had on my life since I embarked on the journey of learning Buddhism.

I have the great fortune to have the opportunity to respectfully listen to the Dharma Discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III on a frequent basis. The Buddha repeatedly reminds me that a Buddhist cultivator must resolutely and clearly believe in the laws of cause and effect and be mindful of constantly improve our speech, thoughts and actions.   I planted these teaching deep in my heart. In daily life, I am constantly mindful of my speech, thoughts and action during social interactions and how I manage affairs. And often contemplate and rectify my short comings.   As a result, I become less agitated and my worries and troubling thoughts have reduced.   Things that used to mire me in worry and despair, I can now wave them away with a chuckle. Individuals, whom used to cause me unpleasantness, no longer impose such an unwelcome impression. Just when I commended myself about the improvement, something happened that almost obliterated my clam and peaceful state of mind.

About half a year ago, when a good friend of mine ran into difficulties, I did all I could to help him as a friend. However, things sometimes have minds of their own, not only the results were not as expected, but it roused dissatisfaction and misunderstanding from my friend.   He twisted my pure intention and accused me of purposeful deceit, and even threatened me with legal recourse. Other friends were well aware of my honest intention and supported me with their heart, but they could not tangibly help me in any way. I found myself between a rock and a hard place. I have never found myself in such a precarious situation.   I can honestly say I did nothing wrong, but things were careening down a narrow one way street with no room for maneuvering. I did not know how to face the situation calm and collected. In deep despair facing this seemingly helpless troubling situation, the only thing that I could do was to go to Hua Zang Si and confess to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas everything and to beseech blessing.

Walking in Hua Zang Si that day, I felt depressed and helpless beyond words. I even felt that I could not breathe. After I paid my homage, I joined my palms and knelt down in front of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and started to report the entire situation. Then what happened next was something that I shall remembered for the rest of my life. After only three to four sentences, my complex despondence suddenly lifted and my heart became unbelievable calm. It was as if an ominous grey sky suddenly transformed into vast limitless blue sky. This very situation regarded as even more serious as “the sky is falling” just a few seconds ago, suddenly no longer had any effect on me. I felt an indescribable calm and peace that I have never experienced before; it was as if I had been transported to Shari-la. I felt complete ease and tranquility.

I immediately registered this sudden change of my state of mind, tears rushed down my face before I even knew it. I finally felt the empowerment of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, something I have yearned for a very long time. From that day forward, nothing fazed me again, I could completely let go of anything. Awhile later the situation with my friend ran its course and resolved in a positive manner. Once again, I want to express sincere gratitude to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

As consequence of this experience now whatever thrown my way, I may feel misunderstood or sad, but I never have even a slight hint of hatred. I could forbear and never put blame on anyone. Reflecting upon it, I am grateful for such an opportunity, because ever since this situation I am able to face anything in my life constructively with rectitude.

This self- transformation could only become possible when I began to learn Buddhism, I understand the laws of cause and effect never errs. Everything that we experience in this life is simply what we have done in the past coming to roost. Whatever happens, do not let it affects us, and definitely there is no need to complain about it. Instead, do our best to pay back the debt and dissolve all the negative karmic causes that we have planted since time immemorial.

From this moment forward, we should faithfully follow the teachings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; abide by precepts without deviation, and to correct any imperfection of our speech, thoughts and actions little by little but persistently. As long as we stay on this course persistently, it is unequivocal that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will confer empowerment upon us, and such empowerment is without bound.

I just want to share this very experience with my fellow cultivators and let it serve as a mutual encouragement. The path of learning Buddhism is long and arduous. We will face challenges and calamities. But as long our goal is clear and correct and we are resolved to reach that goal, as long as we can persist and forebear insult, we will be able to pacify all difficulties and obstacles and be on our way to the brilliant path of enlightenment.

From the bottom of my heart I wish all the cultivators be persistent and plant good karmic causes and elevate ourselves to a higher level in our pursuit of learning Buddhism and may all of us realize Bodhi. Amitabha!

Link :https://wisdomtea.org/2022/07/28/empowerment-of-the-buddhas-and-bodhisattvas-2/

Why Do We Need to Learn Buddha Dharma? What Is the Fundamental Reason for Doing so?

Why Do We Need to Learn Buddha Dharma? What Is the Fundamental Reason for Doing so?

Rather than saying “Buddhism” is a type of religion, it is better to regard it as “teachings by the Buddha.” Also, the most basic foundation of Buddhism is to “clearly believe the law of cause and effect.” Where we go after death and if we will no longer transmigrate and can break away from the suffering of birth, aging, illness, and death all depend on what you do from now on and what teachings and lineage you follow. All the consequences are determined by the causes we have created due to “The law of cause and effect never errs.” That is why the Buddha taught us, “Abstain from whatever that is evil, and do all that is good.”

Why do we need to learn Buddha Dharma and understand Buddha Dharma? The most fundamental reason is as we live in this world, we must clearly believe the law of cause and effect. You need to know what effect will be created in the future from the mindset and ideas you give rise to at this moment. If today, you waste your time and ruin your health, be aware of the consequences tomorrow.  Causes and effects form the incessant transmigration. Therefore, good causes will lead to good results. The same is true on the opposite. That is why we need to have a positive attitude to face our life and treat every day and every consequence in a proactive manner.

How can one attain liberation and end the cycle of birth and death? His Holiness the Buddha told us to proceed in the two aspects of cultivation and Dharma practice and not to miss either of the two!  “If you practice the Dharma but do not cultivate yourself, you will not be able to attain accomplishment. If you cultivate yourself but do not practice the Dharma, you will not be able to generate realization powers. If you have listened to the teaching of the Dharma and cultivation, yet you do not put it into practice, it is as if you are trying to catch the moon from the moon’s reflection in water.

When you look at the many so-called Dharma masters, Dharma kings, rinpoches, and great knowledgeable and beneficent persons, if they do not mention cultivation to you and only say practicing a Dharma or just studying the theory of emptiness in Buddhist sutras can lead to accomplishment, then they are absolutely outside practitioners or demons.  They can even be called evil practices.  They are not authentic Buddhism. This is also a very important criterion for evaluating holy gurus.

In other words, other than concretely implement “cultivation” and “Dharma practice,” there is no second path leading to “accomplishment and liberation!” “You must cultivate yourself. If you do not cultivate yourself, you cannot attain accomplishment. You must learn the Dharma. If you only cultivate yourself but do not learn the Dharma, you also will not be able to attain accomplishment. These two points are very important and are interrelated. Neither can be missing.” This is also an important standard for you to judge whether the master you choose to follow can lead you to accomplishment and liberation.

Perhaps many people would say, since they have done very little study in Buddhist books and due to other conditions, “We do not know…” and “Who should we believe after all?” Actually, the answer is very simple. His Holiness the Buddha has told us long ago to rely on the “four points,” which are, “relying on the Dharma, not people;” “relying on wisdom, not consciousness;” “relying on the truth, not words;” and also “relying on the definitive truth, not non-definitive truth.”  All need to use these four points to measure. What is to be measured?  Following the principles of causality and attaining accomplishment, you measure if your master has taught you to transform causality through cultivation, and how many disciples have attained accomplishment from the Dharma transmitted by this master. All must be based on real examples and real evidence, not empty theories or meaningless words!

The above is my understanding from learning from Buddha, benefits and reflections that I would like to share with you all. I respectfully pray for all living beings to take refuge in true Dharma early and thus attain enlightenment early! Amitabha!

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/07/21/why-do-we-need-to-learn-buddha-dharma-what-is-the-fundamental-reason-for-doing-so/

Buddhist Stories

The Karmic Retribution of Reluctance in Making Offerings and Respecting Parents

Buddhist Stories

The Karmic Retribution of Reluctance in Making Offerings and Respecting Parents

Here is a story in the Avadanasataka Sutra: At the Buddha’s time, in Sravasti, an elderly Brahman’s wife gave birth to a baby boy. Whenever the child was hungry for milk and as soon as the breast milk entered his mouth, the milk would turn bad. It was the same situation whenever he took in other food. Therefore, this had been how he grew up in a semi-starvation state. After he grew up, he beseeched the Buddha for renunciation from household life. Out of compassion, the Buddha approved it.

After the renunciation, other Bhikkhus always returned with a bowl full of food after they went out to ask for offerings. Yet, he was the only one who returned with an empty bowl. One day, it occurred to him that he had to do something for the Three Jewels. Through the physical work, he wished to eradicate his negative karma. He resolved to clean up the monastery and miraculously, the next day, he returned with delicious food. Therefore, he became even more determined to serve the Three Jewels. This way, he got to have food every day.

One day he slept in and missed the clean-up. Sariputra cleaned up the monastery as he passed by. He was very upset about this and told Sariputra, “I only get to eat after I clean up the place. Now, you have done it. I will definitely have nothing to eat today.” After Sariputra heard about that, he said, “It is no problem. I will go to the city and get food for you.” After he went to a layperson’s house, the couple happened to be in a quarrel. He returned with an empty bowl. The next day, Sariputra told him that an Elder had made a meal offer to the Buddha and the Sangha. The Buddha would take them along. After they arrived at the Elder’s home, everyone’s bowl was full of food, except his. They had missed filling up his bowl. He went to inform the owner about his empty bowl, yet no matter how he yelled out to the owner, somehow, he never could hear him.

After Ananda knew about this, he felt sympathy for him. He volunteered to get food for him the next day. Ananda was known as the first in memory, yet, this time, he totally forgot about his promise. On the fourth day, he finally got a bowl of food. However, on his way back, a dog ran to him and spilled the food. Venerable Maudgalyayana also had learned about this. The following day he went out and got the food for him. On his way back, he took a break under the tree. All the birds in that tree flew down and ate up the food in the bowl. Venerable Maudgalyayana singed, “In spite of being the first in supernatural powers, I also cannot do much due to his heavy negative karma.”

Sariputra could not bear to see this. He made up his mind to find food for him. The next day, he went out and got a bowl of food. When he got to the entrance, the door which used to be open suddenly shut closed with a bang. The bowl of food was hit by the door and spread all over the floor.

Until the seventh day, the Bhikkhu had not taken a bit of food still. He cried out of sorrow and shame. He ended up eating the sand and died. Everyone was amazed by what had happened. They went to the Buddha and inquired about the karmic condition of the Bhikkhu. The Buddha told everyone, “At the time of Indradhvaja Buddha (Sovereign Sign Buddha), there was an Elder who loved to do good deeds and give donations. He often offered vegetarian meals to the Buddha and the sangha. He also had a son who followed after his conducts. The family property was managed by the father at that time; therefore, the son was not against the donations.

After the Elder passed away, the son inherited the property. He became greedy and was unwilling to give. Other than being unwilling to give to the sangha, he also did not allow his mother to make offerings. However, his mother was frugal and tried to save to give to the sangha. One day, the mother told him, “I have nothing left to eat. Can you spare me any food?” He talked back at his mother, “I gave you food, but you gave it away to the sangha. Why don’t you just go and eat the sand?” Later, his mother died of starvation. Due to the negative karma of reluctance in making offerings and respecting parents, he degenerated into the hell realm after his death. After countless of eons he had finally made his way back to the human realm. In the same way, he still had to go through the negative karmic retribution of hunger and starvation. Because he did not oppose his father making offerings to the Buddha in the past, he then had the karmic condition to renounce in this life time. Nevertheless, because of the heavy negative karma of disrespect to his mother, in this life, he experienced extreme hunger and eventually died of eating sand.

This is the karmic retribution of greed, disrespect to parents, and negative speech. In spite of the fact that he had renounced himself from the household life, he still could not escape from retribution. From this, we learn that negative karma can be very horrifying.

link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/07/14/buddhist-stories/

What Should We Do about the Matter of Death?

What Should We Do about the Matter of Death?

Written by: Hua Jing

I most sincerely prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
I most sincerely prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
I most sincerely prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!

Layperson Hou Yushan, a university professor in physics, ascended to the World of Ultimate Bliss (Webpage in Chinese)

Layperson Lin Liu Huixiu in Seattle ascended to the World of Ultimate Bliss in a sitting pose (Webpage in Chinese)

While they were alive, the dharma brother and dharma sister worked diligently on their own duties to take care of their family and do volunteer work. Later, they became seriously ill. At such critical moment, they encountered extremely magnificent affinities with the dharma. They respectfully and faithfully listened to the recorded dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and had the opportunity to pay respect to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in person. With boundless compassion, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III transmitted the dharma to them. Through diligently practicing the dharma, they ascended to the World of Ultimate Bliss. Living beings should all think and seriously ask themselves a question. Who can be guaranteed to ascend to the World of Ultimate Bliss??

After attending the funeral/farewell ceremony for Layperson Hou Yushan, I recalled the time I was having dinner with Layperson Lin Liu Huixiu while she was already terminally ill. The memory of her reminding me to start eating was as fresh and vivid as yesterday. The karmic condition that caused me to learn the Buddha-dharma of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III also resurfaced in my mind…

At the age of over 80, my grandpa was stricken in bed with pneumonia. In the early morning on that day, he was unable to breath on his own and a tube had to be inserted to feed oxygen in. The suffering caused him to be tied up on the bed yowling for several hours. Eventually, the misery ended at four o’clock in the afternoon. Despite having a strong will to live, he was nevertheless overpowered by the devil of illness and left the world unwillingly. The tragic scene before his death still appears before my eyes…In the morning of that day, grandpa could still talk and move normally. Using hand gestures to help explain, he repeatedly mentioned the time of 4 o’clock in the afternoon to me and my mother. Perhaps he already knew that the Yama King would soon come to take him…

Grandpa’s passing away greatly affected my view toward life. He was at the hospital at the time. I watched with my own eyes him stepping into the impermanence of death. I was unable to help him in any way. His death was like a horrible dream to me. I suddenly woke up to the fact that a person will die… Even the doctor can’t do anything. Where does one go after death? What can we do about that? What can we do about that?

I had never heard about H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III before then. My karmic forces were very heavy. I would doze off when listening to chanting sutras. I was only fond of pursuing worldly good fortune. To quest for the answer of what to do about death, I began to listen to the dharma expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. At the very beginning of listening to the recorded dharma discourses, to tell the truth, I could not get most of what I heard due to my inability to understand the accent. However, any small paragraph that I could understand made me feel like getting precious treasures, even though I did not have any background in Buddhism. Through this process of entering deeply to achieve a simple and explicit understanding, I heard the truth about the universe and human life. The words of “formation, abiding, decaying, and vanishing” sounded extremely precise and accurate. What is impermanence? Why do we have to end birth and death! The dharma expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is so great and magnificent!

After respectfully listening to the recorded dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, I have understood what impermanence is about. I am no longer worried or in fear. I also have adjusted the emphasis of my life and do not solely go after worldly enjoyment.

A person will die… Even the doctor can’t do anything. Where does one go after death? What can we do about that? What can we do about that? Actually these questions have been explained very clearly in the recorded dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and are very minor problems……

Do you have questions about ascending to the World of Ultimate Bliss?
Do you have questions about ArhatBodhisattva, and Buddha?
If you can respectfully and seriously listen to the recorded dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, you will have all the answers.
The accomplishment one attains depends on one’s own cultivation, conduct, and level of practice.
I am boundlessly grateful to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
I beseech and wish living beings have the opportunity to hear the dharma expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and all attain perfect good fortune and wisdom, great accomplishment, and great liberation!

I most sincerely prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
I most sincerely prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
I most sincerely prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/07/07/what-should-we-do-about-the-matter-of-death/

Experience and Benefits Sharing- Report of Miracle

Report of Miracle

By Kent Wilson Long

In the first week in October I noticed some kind of growth inside my left nostril. It looked like a pink skin tag that is about one eighth inch long. About two weeks later I noticed the growth had grown and was hanging out of my nostril. Not only was it unattractive, but I didn’t know what it was. Cancer runs in my family and I started worrying that it was a malignant growth. Since I didn’t have insurance I started to look for a low cost clinic to go to. I didn’t have much luck finding a clinic, or doctor that was cost effective and trust worthy.

I talked to Ningbu Rinpoche about my dilemma. In our conversation she told me about the mediation class the Sunday before, which I missed because I was working overtime. She told me about the story that Qupei Rinpoche related in class about a man chanting the six syllable heart mantra, which had a powerful effect on me. Here is a summation of the story Qupei Rinpoche told.

Reciting the sixth syllable heart mantra brings great merit. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to receive the empowerment of Quan Yin Bodhisattva. Many people chant it and gain good results from it. Today I will tell you about a story of an ordinary man. This man was working with a friend who was a Buddhist. His friend told him about the sixth syllable heart mantra and how beneficial it is to chant. He began reciting it 1000 times a day. He experienced tranquility and a great joy in his heart. Since he liked doing it so much he began to increase chanting the mantra ten thousand times a day.

One day he was invited to a diligent practice event. When he went to the retreat he increased chanting the six syllable mantra to thirty thousand times a day. Several days after the retreat began he saw Quan Yin Bodhisattva appear before him. Quan Yin Bodhisattva’s appearance was very solemn and she was imposingly large and tall. Since he saw Quan Yin Bodhisattva appear before him, he decided to increase his chanting to sixty thousand times a day.

After half a month Quan Yin appeared before him again. This time she took him to the Western Paradise where he saw his own white lotus flower that was the size of a car wheel. The white lotus flower looked very beautiful and pure. It dawned on him that reciting Amithaba Buddha’s name, or the six syllable heart mantra, will help one be reborn in the Western Paradise. Seeing the Western Paradise state strengthened his faith and he now began to recite the six syllable heart mantra seventy thousand times a day. After a period of time he had another visitation of Quan Yin Bodhisattva. She again took him to see his lotus flower. Now he can see the center of the flower. Right in the middle of it is a seat he can sit upon. After this experience he chants even more diligently.

As the retreat is about to conclude he now sees Amithaba Buddha appear before him. The Buddha was as tall as a skyscraper and emitted a bright golden light. Amithaba Buddha was very solemn as he descended from the sky and stood on his lotus flower to speak dharma. The man looked up at the sky and saw Quan Yin Bodhisattva and Mahashamaprapta Bodhisattva standing together. Their image is identical to a picture he had seen depicting them. They were both several dozen floors tall.

Amithaba Buddha began to speak to him. He told him that he would be born in the Western Paradise in the future. Now I will transmit you a high dharma. You must focus on this practice. This will guarantee your rebirth in the Western Paradise. When it is time in the future I will personally come to retrieve you. The Buddha told him to write down all his experiences to help strengthen Buddhist cultivator’s faith and encourage them to practice better. He wrote down his story and that is why we can listen to it today.

After I heard the story it motivated me to sit down to do some serious chanting that night. Before I went to bed I chanted the six syllable heart mantra over seven hundred times. I went to sleep and woke up at around 1:30 AM. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to do meditation for about 45 minutes, which helped increase my energy. Then, ironically, my body was too energized to get back to sleep, so I decided to take a walk in the neighborhood. This was at around 2 AM in the morning. When I got back I decided to chant the one hundred syllable bright mantra. When I chanted this about one hundred and sixty times I felt something wet around my nose. I dabbed my nose with a tissue and found blood on it. I was able to stop the bleeding in a short time. I went into the bathroom to check on it. When I looked at the reflection of my left nostril in the mirror, I discovered that the growth had disappeared. At the place where the growth had been now had fresh healthy looking skin covering the area. I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to report this to Master. To me this is concrete proof that the dharma is real and beneficial for our life. It has motivated me to put more energy into my practice and when I get spare time I utilize the time to chant.

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/06/30/experience-and-benefits-sharing-report-of-miracle/

The Holy Man Who Tried To Be Too Holy (Extremism)

The Holy Man Who Tried To Be Too Holy (Extremism)

Once upon a time, the Enlightenment Being lived in a world where most religions were very similar. They taught that the way to remove suffering from the mind was to make the body suffer instead. As strange as it seems, most people thought that the holiest of the holy were the ones who tortured their bodies the most! Since everyone seemed to agree with this, the Bodhisatta decided to find out for himself if it was true.

He stopped living as an ordinary everyday person and became a holy man according to the custom of the times. This meant that he gave up everything, even his clothes. He went naked, with his body covered only by dust and dirt.

So he wouldn’t be spoiled by the taste of good food, he forced himself to eat only filthy things – dirt, ashes, urine and cow dung.

So he could concentrate without being interrupted by anyone, he went to live in the most dangerous part of the forest. If he did see a human being, he ran away like a timid deer.

In the wintertime he spent his days under the trees and his nights out in the open. So in the daytime he was soaked by the cold water dripping from the icicles hanging from the tree branches. And at night he was covered by the falling snow. In this way, in winter, he made his body suffer the most extreme cold in both day and night.

In the summertime he spent his days out in the open and his nights under the trees. So in the daytime he was burned by the most severe rays of the sun. And at night he was blocked from the few cooling breezes of the open air. In this way, in summer, he made his body suffer the most extreme heat in both day and night.

This was how he struggled, trying to bring peace to his mind. He was so determined that he lived his entire life in this way.

Then, just as he was about to die, he saw a vision of himself reborn in a hell world. The vision struck him like lightning, and instantly he knew that all the ways he had tortured his body were completely useless! They had not brought him peace of mind. Lo and behold, as he gave up his false beliefs and held on to the truth, he died and was reborn in a heaven world!

The moral is: Even at the very last moment, “The truth shall make you free.”

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/06/23/the-holy-man-who-tried-to-be-too-holy-extremism/

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Four on a Log (Gratitude)

Four on a Log (Gratitude)

Once upon a time, King Brahmadatta of Benares had a son. He grew up to be a mean and cruel he-man – the type that’s always trying to prove he’s tougher than everyone else. He was a bully who constantly pushed people around and picked fights. Whenever he spoke to people it was with a stream of obscenities – right out of the gutter. And he was always quick to anger – just like a hissing snake that’s just been stepped on.

People inside and outside the palace ran from him as they would from a starving man-eating demon. They avoided him as they would a speck of dirt in the eye. Behind his back everyone called him the ‘Evil Prince’. In short – he was not a nice man!

One day the prince decided to go swimming. So he went down to the river with his servants and attendants. Suddenly it became almost as dark as night. A huge storm came up. Being so rough and tough, the prince was always trying to show he wasn’t scared of anything. So he yelled at his servants, “Take me into the middle of the river and bathe me. Then bring me back to shore.”
Following his orders, they took him out to midstream. Then they said, “Now is our chance! Whatever we do here, the king will never find out. So let’s kill the Evil Prince. Into the flood you go, good-for-nothing!” With that they threw him into the stormy raging river.

When they returned to the bank, the others asked where the prince was. They replied, “We don’t know. As the rain came up, he must have swum faster than us and gone back to Benares.”
When they returned to the palace, the king asked, “Where is my son?” They said, “We don’t know, your majesty. When the storm came up, we thought he went back ahead of us.” King Brahmadatta collected a search party and began looking for the prince. They searched carefully, all the way to the riverside, but couldn’t find him.

What had happened was this. In the darkness and wind and rain the prince had been swept down the flooding river. Luckily he was able to grab onto a floating dead tree trunk. Frantically he held on for dear life. As he was being swept along, the tough he-man was so afraid of drowning that he cried like a terrified helpless baby!

It just so happened that, not long before, a very rich man had died in Benares. He had buried his treasure hoard in the riverbank, along the same stretch of river. His fortune amounted to 40 million gold coins. Because of his miserly craving for riches, he was reborn as a lowly snake, slithering on his belly while still guarding his treasure.

At a nearby spot on the riverbank another rich miser had buried a treasure of 30 million gold coins. Likewise, due to his stingy clawing after wealth, he had been reborn as a water rat. He too remained to guard his buried treasure.

Lo and behold. when the storm came up, both the snake and the water rat were flooded out of their holes and washed into the raging river. In fear of drowning, they both happened to grab onto the same dead log carrying the frightened wailing prince. The snake climbed up on one end and the water rat on the other.

There also happened to be a tall cotton tree growing nearby. There was a young parrot roosting in it. When the storm-flooded river rose up, the cotton tree’s roots were washed away and it fell into the water. When he tried to fly away, the wind and rain swept the little parrot onto the same dead log with the snake, the water rat and the Evil Prince.

Now there were four on the log, floating towards a bend in the river. Nearby a holy man was living humbly in a little hut. He just happened to be the Bodhisatta – the Enlightenment Being. He had been born into a rich high class family in Kasi. When he had grown up, he had given up all his wealth and position, and had come to live by himself next to the river.

It was the middle of the night when the holy man heard the cries of panic coming from the Evil Prince. He thought, “That sounds like a frightened human being. My loving-kindness will not let me ignore him. I must save him.”

He ran down to the river and shouted. “Don’t be afraid! I will save you!” Then he jumped into the rushing torrent, grabbed the log, and used his great strength to pull it to shore.

He helped the prince step safely onto the riverbank. Noticing the snake, water rat and parrot, he took them and the man to his cozy little hut. He started up his cooking fire. Thinking of the weakness of the animals, he gently warmed them by the fire. When they were warm and dry he set them aside. Then he let the prince warm himself. The holy man brought out some fruits and nuts. Again he fed the more helpless animals first, followed by the waiting prince.

Not surprisingly this made the Evil Prince furious! He thought, “This stupid holy man doesn’t care at all for me, a great royal prince. Instead he gives higher place to these three dumb animals!” Thinking this way, he built up a vengeful hatred against the gentle Bodhisatta.

The next day the holy man dried the deadwood log in the sun. Then he chopped it up and burned it, to cook their food and keep them warm. In a few days the four who had been rescued by that same log were strong and healthy.

The snake came to the holy man to say good-bye. He coiled his body on the ground, arched himself up, and bowed his head respectfully. He said, “Venerable one, you have done a great thing for me! I am grateful to you, and I am not a poor snake. In a certain place I have a buried treasure of 40 million gold coins. And I will gladly give it to you – for all life is priceless! Whenever you are in need of money, just come down to the riverbank and call out. “Snake! Snake!”

The water rat, too, came to the holy man to say good-bye. He stood up on his hind legs and bowed his head respectfully. He said, “Venerable one, you have done a great thing for me! I am grateful to you, and I am not a poor water rat. In a certain place I have a buried treasure of 30 million gold coins. And I will gladly give it to you – for all life is priceless! Whenever you are in need of money, just come down to the riverbank and call out, “Rat! Rat!”

Such grateful generosity from a snake and a water rat! A far cry from their previous stingy human lives!
Then came the parrot to say his good-bye to the holy man. He bowed his head respectfully and said, “Venerable one, you have done a great thing for me! I am grateful to you, but I possess no silver or gold. However, I am not a poor parrot. For if you are ever in need of the finest rice, just come down to the riverbank and call out. ‘Parrot! Parrot!’ Then I will gather together all my relatives from all the forests of the Himalayas and we will bring you many cart loads of the most precious scented red rice. For all life is priceless!”

Finally the Evil Prince came to the holy man. Because his mind was filled with the poison of vengeance, he thought only about killing him if he ever saw him again. However, what he said was, “Venerable one, when I become king, please come to me and I will provide you with the Four Necessities.” He returned to Benares and soon became the new king.

In a while the holy man decided to see if the gratitude of these four was for real. First he went down to the riverbank and called out, “Snake! Snake!” At the sound of the first word, the snake came out of his home under the ground. He bowed respectfully and said, “Holy one, under this very spot are buried 40 million gold coins. Dig them up and take them with you!” “Very well,” said the holy man, “When I am in need I will come again.”

Taking leave of the snake, he walked along the riverbank and called out,’ “Rat! Rat!” The water rat appeared and all went just as it had with the snake.

Next, he called out, “Parrot! Parrot!” The parrot flew down from his treetop home, bowed respectfully and said, “Holy one, do you need red rice? I will summon my relatives and we will bring you the best rice in all the Himalayas.” The holy man replied, “Very well, when I am in need I will come again.”
Finally he set out to see the king. He walked to the royal pleasure garden and slept there overnight. In the morning, in a very humble and dignified manner, he went to collect alms food in the city of Benares.

On that same morning the ungrateful king, seated on a magnificently adorned royal elephant, was leading a vast procession around the city. When he saw the Enlightenment Being coming from a distance he thought, “Aha! This lazy homeless bum is coming to sponge off me. Before he can brag to everyone how much he did for me, I must have him beheaded!”

Then he said to his servants, “This worthless beggar must be coming to ask for something. Don’t let the good-for-nothing get near me. Arrest him immediately, tie his hands behind his back, and whip him at every street corner. Take him out of the city to the execution block and cut off his head. Then raise up his body on a sharpened stake and leave it for all to see. So much for lazy beggars!”

The king’s men followed his cruel orders. They tied up the blameless Great Being like a common criminal. They whipped him mercilessly at every street corner on the way to the execution block. But no matter how hard they whipped him, cutting into his flesh, he remained dignified. After each whipping he simply announced, for all to hear: “This proves the old saying is still true – ‘There’s more reward in pulling deadwood from a river, than in helping an ungrateful man!'”

Some of the bystanders began to wonder why he said only this at each street corner. They said to each other, “This poor man’s pain must be caused by an ungrateful man.” So they asked him, “Oh holy man, have you done some service to an ungrateful man?”

Then he told them the whole story. And in conclusion he said, “I rescued this king from a terrible flood, and in so doing I brought this pain upon myself I did not follow the saying of the wise of old, that’s why I said what I said.”

Hearing this story, the people of Benares became enraged and said to each other, ‘This good man saved the king’s life. But he is so cruel that he has no gratitude in him at all. How could such a king possibly benefit us? He can only be dangerous to us. Let’s get him!”

Their rage turned the citizens of Benares into a mob. They pelted the king with arrows, knives, clubs and stones. He died while still sitting on the royal elephant. Then they threw the dead body of the one-time Evil Prince into a ditch by the side of the road.

Afterwards they made the holy man their new king. He ruled Benares well. Then one day he decided to go see his old friends. So he rode in a large procession down to the riverbank.

He called out, “Snake! Snake!” The snake came out, offered his respect and said, “My lord, if you wish it. You are welcome to my treasure.” The king ordered his servants to dig up the 40 million gold coins.
He went to the water rat’s home and called out, “Rat! Rat!” He too appeared, offered his respect and said, “My lord, if you wish it, you are welcome to my treasure.” This time the king’s servants dug up 30 million gold coins.

Then the king called out “Parrot! Parrot!” The parrot flew to the king, bowed respectfully and said, “If you wish, my lord, I will collect the most excellent red rice for you.” But the holy man king said, “Not now my friend. When rice is needed I will request it of you. Now let us all return to the city.”
After they arrived at the royal palace in Benares, the king had the 70 million gold coins put under guard in a safe place. He had a golden bowl made for the grateful snake’s new home. He had a maze made of the finest crystals for the generous rat to live in. And the kind parrot moved into a golden cage, with a gate he could latch and unlatch from the inside.

Every day the king gave rice puffs and the sweetest bee’s honey on golden plates to the snake and the parrot. And on another golden plate he gave the most aromatic scented rice to the water rat.
The king became famous for his generosity to the poor. He and his three animal friends lived together in perfect harmony for many years. When they died, they were all reborn as they deserved.

The moral is: Gratitude is a reward, which is itself rewarded.

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/06/16/four-on-a-log-gratitude/

Clear-sighted the Great, King of the World (Impermanence)

Clear-sighted the Great, King of the World (Impermanence)

It is said that there are two ways to practice religion. One is to live apart from the ordinary everyday world as a monk, a nun or a holy one. Those who are sincere in this way have as their highest goal the direct experience of complete Truth – full Enlightenment.
The other way to practice religion is within the ordinary world. Those who are sincere in this way have as their highest goal the harmony of an undivided world, living peacefully under a perfectly wholesome ruler – a ‘King of the World’.
Once upon a time the Enlightenment Being was born and given the name ‘Clear-sighted’. As he grew up he developed ten rules of good government: absence of hidden ill will. absence of open hostility, harmlessness, self-control, patience, gentleness, charity, generosity, straightforwardness and goodness.

The people of the world began to notice the wholesomeness and fairness of Clear-sighted, who lived strictly according to these rules. Gradually those in his vicinity volunteered to live under his authority as king, rather than under the dishonest politicians of the time.
As his reputation spread, every king in the world came to Clear-sighted and said, “Come, oh lord. You are welcome. My kingdom is your kingdom. Advise me how to rule in your name.”
Then Clear-sighted said, “Do not destroy life. Do not take what is not given. Do not behave wrongly in sexual desires. Do not speak falsely. Do not take alcohol that clouds the mind. My commands to the world are only these five. As long as these five are obeyed, my sixth rule is freedom for all to follow local customs and religions.”
After all the people on earth had come to live under his peaceful rule, he became known as Clear-sighted the Great, King of the World. His royal city, the capital of the whole world, was called Kusavati. It was a beautiful and prosperous city with four magnificent gates – one golden, one silver, one jade and one crystal.

Outside the gates, Kusavati was surrounded by seven rows of palm trees – a row with golden trunks and silver leaves and fruits; a row with silver trunks and golden leaves and fruits; a row with cat’s-eye trunks and crystal leaves and fruits; a row with crystal trunks and cat’s-eye leaves and fruits; a row with agate trunks and coral leaves and fruits; a row with coral trunks and agate leaves and fruits; and finally a row with trunks and leaves and fruits of every kind of jewel found in the world!
When breezes blew through these marvelous palms the sweet sounds of gentle music were heard throughout the city. This music was so enticing and pleasant that some of the citizens were enchanted into stopping their work and dancing for joy!
Clear-sighted the Great, King of the World, had a couch encrusted with jewels from the wonderful palms. After a long, righteous and peaceful reign, he lay on the rich couch for the last time. He knew that his end was near.

Of all his 84,000 queens, the one who loved him most was called, ‘Most-pleasant’. Sensing the state of his mind she said, “You rule over all the cities of the world, including this beautiful Kusavati with its four magnificent gates and seven rows of marvelous palms. Think about this and be happy!”

The King of the World said, “No, my dear queen. don’t say that. Instead you should advise me to give up attachment to the cities of the world and all they contain.” Surprised. she asked, “Why do you say this, my lord?” “Because today I will die,” he said.

Then Queen Most-pleasant started to cry, wiping away the tears as they flowed. And all the other 84,000 queens also broke into tears. And the king’s ministers and his whole court, both men and women, could not keep from weeping and sobbing. All eyes overflowed with tears.

But King Clear-sighted the Great said, “Your tears are useless. Be at peace.” Hearing this the wailing subsided and his subjects became silent. Then he said to Queen Most-pleasant, “Oh my queen, do not cry, do not lament. Anything that comes into being, whether it be a kingdom including the whole world, or just a tiny sesame seed – it cannot last forever. Anyone who comes into being, whether it be the King of the World, or the poorest petty thief – all must decay and die. Whatever is built up, falls apart. Whatever becomes, decays. The only true happiness is in the moment when becoming and decaying are not.”

In this way the Enlightenment Being got them to think about what most people don’t want to think about – that all things come to an end. He advised them to be generous and wholesome. Then the King of the World, like everyone else, died. He was reborn as a god in a heaven world, where in time, like everyone else, he died.

The moral is: “All good things come to an end.”

Link: https://wisdomtea.org/2022/06/10/clear-sighted-the-great-king-of-the-world-impermanence/