The Scripture of the Fo...

Dictionary

The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter One: Prologue

17

The Founding Master continued, saying, “The Buddha’s unsurpassed, great path is immensely high, deep, and vast; hence, his wisdom and capacity cannot be expressed and recorded either verbally or in writing. However, if I were to give the gist of his teaching, we know only that all sentient beings are subject to birth and death in this lifetime but do not know of their many other lives, while the Buddha knew the principle that is free from birth and death and the existence of endless lifetimes through the process of rebirth. We do not even understand the fundamental principle governing our own selves, but the Buddha understood the fundamental principle governing all things in the universe. We let our-selves fall into unwholesome rebirth destinies because we cannot make clear distinctions between destinies that are wholesome and unwholesome. But the Buddha, after delivering himself, gained the ability to deliver all sentient beings throughout the worlds of the ten directions from unwholesome destinies to wholesome destinies. We do not understand even the suffering and happiness we create for ourselves, but the Buddha understood the suffering and happiness that inadvertently occur as well as those which sentient beings create for themselves. We enjoy the fruits of our merit but can do nothing when it is exhausted, but the Buddha has the ability to restore merit once it is exhausted. We live without discerning whether our wisdom is becoming dull or bright, but the Buddha has the ability to illuminate wisdom that has been dulled and to sustain wisdom once it is attained. We often commit wrongful actions under the influence of our own greed, hatred, and delusion, but the Buddha never acts on greed, hatred, and delusion. We are attached to the existence of all things in the universe but are ignorant of the realm where all things in the universe are nonexistent; but the Buddha knew even the nonexistence amid existence and the existence amid nonexistence. We have no knowledge of either the six rebirth destinies - of heavenly beings, human beings, asuras, animals, hungry ghosts, and the denizens of hell - or the four modes of birth-viviparous, oviparous, moisture-born, and metamorphic; but the Buddha knew even the principle gov-erning rebirth between the six rebirthdestinies and the four modes of birth. We take advantage of others for our own benefit, but the Buddha, in dealing with any matter, sought to benefit both himself and others, and when that became impossible, he found merit and happiness in benefiting others regardless of gain or loss, even at the risk of his own life. We only possess the limited objects that actually belong to us, our home is only the actual house in which we live, and our family only the people to whom we are related; but the Buddha called all things in the universe his possessions, the worlds in the ten directions his home, and all sentient beings his family. Hence, our aim is to strive to attain the Buddha’s wisdom and abilities and exert ourselves to deliver all sentient beings.”

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