The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Fifteen: Entrusting


On May 16, 1943, the Founding Master gave a dharma talk to the congregation at a regular dharma meeting, “On my way to this Great Enlightenment Hall just now, I saw several children playing in the woods beside the road. Seeing me, one of the children called out a signal, and they all stood up and bowed. They seemed quite orderly, evidence that those children were gradually maturing. When people are very young, they don’t fully understand the particulars of their parents and siblings or their relationship to them, and are even more ignorant about their proper duties toward them. As they mature, however, they come to understand their particulars, relationship, and duties. Likewise, when practitioners are ignorant, they do not understand the particulars of how one becomes a buddha, bodhisattva, or ordinary sentient being; the relationships between themselves and heaven, earth, and the myriad living things; or each person’s path between death and rebirth. As their practice gradually matures, however, they come to understand all about the particulars, relationships, and duties. Therefore, we come to understand the Way in the same manner that an immature child gradually becomes an adult. Thus a child grows up and becomes an adult, an ordinary being awakens and becomes a buddha, or a disciple learns and becomes a master. Therefore, you must acquire more and more real ability and become teachers of the younger generation, while each of you becomes a great pioneer in the great task of delivering all sentient beings and curing the world. It is said in the Yinfu ching [Dark Amulet Scripture], ‘Birth is the root of death; death is the root of birth.’ Birth and death are like the cycle of the four seasons or the recurrence of day and night; that is, it is the law that operates the myriad living things in the universe and the universal truth that makes heaven and earth circulate. The only difference is that buddhas and bodhisattvas are not deluded regarding such comings and goings and thus are free, while ordinary sentient beings are deluded, and thus are not free. However, the births and deaths of the physical bodies of buddhas and bodhisattvas or ordinary sentient beings are all the same. Thus, believe not in the person alone but in the dharma, and work hard to acquire the ability to be free and undeluded regarding birth and death, coming and going. The fact that we hold regular dharma meetings in this manner is like a merchant coming to a marketplace: having come to shop, he will feel it worthwhile only if he will receive assistance in his living by selling his own goods as well as buying others’ according to his needs. Therefore, convey such opinions as might be beneficial to others, each according to one’s knowledge, while revealing one’s doubts and learning from others, and taking their words as a precious mirror. Be especially careful not to come and go in vain. Because the matter of birth and death is great and change occurs so rapidly, it is not something to take lightly.”