The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Fourteen: Prospects


The Founding Master said, “One day I was reading a Buddhist sūtra and saw the following story. A disciple asked the Buddha, ‘When we have an audience with you, oh Buddha, and listen to your dharma talk, we are filled with limitless reverence and joy. But there are some people who instead slander and criticize you, even interfering with people coming to you. You, oh Buddha, always teach us out of your loving-kindness and compassion. I would like to know the reason why those sentient beings behave that way.’ The Buddha answered, ‘When the sun rises in the east, it first shines on the highest point of the tallest mountain, Mount Sumeru, then on the high plateaus, then finally on all the flatlands of this great earth. It is not because the sun has a sense of discrimination that it shines on the tallest mountain first and the flatlands later. The sun merely shines with no-mind but, depending on whether land is high or low, such discriminations as first and last occur. The dharma teachings of the Tathāgata are also like this: the radiance of infinite wisdom shines without discrimination, but according to each person’s spiritual ability, some understand this dharma first and others last. Even if you all listen to the same dharma teaching at one place, the bodhisattvas will understand it first, then the pratyekabuddhas) (solitary buddhas), śrāvakas (disciples), and those with determinate wholesome faculties (kuśalamūla); and only at the end will those sentient beings who have no affinities gradually receive the light of his wisdom. And benighted sentient beings defame the buddhadharma even while their lives are being sustained by the Buddha’s gracious light, just like a blind man who, because he cannot see the sun, says it offers no benefits, even while his life is being sustained by the sun. Hence, you had better mind your own business, never hating those foolish sentient beings, nor feeling discouraged or dejected. How, after all, would there not be differences in people’s understanding?’ Don’t listen casually to these words, but continue your practice by taking them as a precious mirror for your own futures. Never be too mindful of others’ faults or of their indifference toward you. The vicissitudes of this world are no different than the changes of day and night. When light comes to this age of darkness, all sentient beings everywhere will realize the Buddha’s grace and work hard together to repay his grace.”