The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Eight: Buddhahood


The Founding Master addressed the congregation at a meditation hall, “Since ordinary beings are attached solely to worldly happiness, their happiness does not last long; but the buddhas and bodhisattvas are gratified by the formless happiness of heaven, so they are also able to acquire worldly happiness. ‘Heavenly happiness' is the happiness of the mind that takes pleasure in the Way. ‘Worldly happiness’ is a term for the pleasures of the five worldly desires in our tangible world. To explain it simply, worldly happiness means gaining self-satisfaction through one’s spouse and children, property and position, through any other tangible material things, or one's surroundings. The crown prince Siddhartha in ancient times had the status of a future king and was already above all his subjects, and could satisfy himself by doing whatever he liked and enjoying whatever he pleased. This was worldly happiness. On the other hand, after he attained right enlightenment, he was able to transcend tangible material things and his surroundings and liberate himself from suffering and pleasure, birth and death, as well as the causes and effects of wholesome and unwholesome deeds, so that his mind was always at peace no matter what situation he was in. This was the happiness of heaven. In ancient times, Confucius said, ‘Even if I am just eating vegetables, drinking water, and lying down with my elbow as my pillow, my happiness lies therein. For me, unjust wealth and fame are like floating clouds.’ These words are the statement of a heavenly being who has acquired the happiness of heaven while still being in a human body. Moreover, worldly happiness eventually must come to an end: the impartial law laid down by heaven is that what comes will go, what is prosperous will decline, and what is born will die. Even if a person possesses the most wealth, honor, fame, and reputation under heaven, no one has the power to resist old age, sickness, and death. When one’s physical body finally dies, one’s spouse and children, property and position, and indeed everything in which one previously invested all one’s effort and desire, will scatter like floating clouds. However, since the happiness of heaven is originally recognized and achieved through the formless mind, that happiness will never change even if you change bodies. To make a comparison, it is like a person’s talent, which remains the same even if he moves from one house to another.”