The Annotated True Buddha Sutra
Written by Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by Janny Chow
Discourse No. 8:
(December 3rd, 1988)
(cont.) Red Padmakumara the Vow Light, Purple Padmakumara the Proper and Dignified Light, Blue Padmakumara the Virtuous Fruit Light, Yellow Padmakumara the Fortune Fulfilling Light, and the Orange Padmakumara emitted the Child Innocence Light.
`Red Padmakumara (emitted) the Vow Light. ` As I have said before, every good and kind-hearted person who performs charities, who generates a great vow to help others, who practices alms-giving and entirely donates his or her time, money, and deeds to the welfare of other people will have a kind of `red vow light` emitting from his or her crown.
I have often contemplated this quotation from the Bible: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Why? It is indeed true! I realize that, in the past, I have not done that much charity work, and I have recently started to do a little more. I have learned that, when we give away things to other people, or perform almsgiving or other good deeds, we feel an extraordinary happiness and peacefulness in our hearts. This kind of happiness reaches an even higher level when you give to other people the object you are most fond of, the item you cherish most, or something you are most reluctant to part with.
We have to shatter the concept of ownership, that `this is mine and this is yours.` If you want to transcend the idea of ownership, you have to enact your vows. By integrating your vows and your actions, you can transcend the view that `this is mine and that is yours.`
Give this some thought! If, in the future, it occurs to you that `what I have is what all beings have,` your crown will manifest the red vow light. If everyday you still indulge in thinking that `What`s mine is mine, what`s yours is mine, and what`s everyone else`s is also mine,` then you will have a black light above your crown. To become a Buddha or a Bodhisattva or to engage in spirituality is to do away with these words: This is mine.
In fact, in all the world, there is not one thing that is yours. Therefore, when you reach the realization that `there is not a single thing in this world that belongs to me,` the red vow light will appear above your crown. Your heart will expand and become as immense as heaven and earth, and you will have a heart of infinite kindness to help others. Such people will in the future be the Red Padmakumaras.
`Purple Padmakumara emitted the Proper and Dignified Light. ` Purple is the color of stateliness and dignity. The light of stateliness and dignity also is generated from one`s heart and expressed through one`s deeds and actions. `Stateliness` comes from an inviolate uprightness. When we learn to tune our heart into a state of pure awareness without any modification, our behaviors will become stately and flawless. This is a purple light that is completely flawless and devoid of shortcomings.
`Blue Padmakumara emitted the Virtuous Fruit Light. ` Why is the Blue Padmakumara emitting the `virtuous fruit light`? Because the help that the Blue Padmakumara has rendered to others has resulted in a fruitful harvest. It is like planting a fruit crop that matures and blossoms and bursts into loads and loads of perfect fruit! What is the force behind the forming of the fruit? Virtuous actions. This is a beautiful blooming lotus that is emitting a blue light signifying perfectly round and wholesome fruit.
`Yellow Padmakumara emitted the Fortune Fulfilling Light. ` Why is the Yellow Padmakumara emitting the `fortune fulfilling light`? Why is the yellow light a `fortune fulfilling light`? As I have said before, the color yellow is close to that of gold. In this world, what denotes the most expensive color? Gold. Although diamonds are also very valuable, there is not a consensus about diamond prices. While there is a current standard pricing of pure gold based on its weight, none exists for diamonds. Why is the yellow light called the `fortune fulfilling light`? One should know that fortunes come from both virtues and wisdom. Spiritual cultivators also have to cultivate their fortune as it is just as important as the cultivation of wisdom. If one only has good fortune and no wisdom, one becomes a mundane person. If one cultivates only wisdom and no good fortune, one can only help oneself and not others. Therefore, there should be an integration of both types of practices in one`s cultivation. The Yellow Padmakumara is manifesting the `fortune fulfilling light` because he has gained access to all kinds of fortunes.
`And the Orange Padmakumara emitted the Child Innocence Light.` What is `child innocence`? Just now a group of small children was walking by. The hearts of small children symbolize a very pure and innocent state that is free of the dualities of good and evil. Small children do not do evil things, and they basically do not dwell on evil thoughts. They also do not much care about what others think. Like just now, with so many of us here and all these masters sitting in the front, the children just walked through, free from any concern of lowering their voices because adults are attending a sutra discourse. They are not concerned with this. Why? They are just being children. How is it possible to ask the birds on the tress to stop chirping?
Innocence also means that children show their true feelings! They do not know how to be hypocritical. When they are happy, they laugh; when they are beaten, they cry. If they like you, they give you a kiss; if they do not like you, they turn away from you. They do not know how to hide their feelings. I find that the older one grows, the more hypocritical one becomes. When one is clearly displeased, one will still say, `Thanks for your help.` When it is obvious that one dislikes you, one will still say, `I have been looking forward to meeting you!` When it is clear that one does not welcome you, one still says, `Please come again when you have time.` This is the ugly side of grownups. Spiritual cultivators have to recover this `child innocence` and get rid of hypocrisy.
The light manifested by the Orange Padmakumara is totally honest, child-like, and innocent; this kind of light has not been contaminated. We have all been exposed to pollution.
So, let us look at all these lights. There is the light of `great wisdom,` light that `pervades the whole Dharma realm,` light that brings out `ten thousand kinds of treasures,` light that `subjugates wickedness and demons,` light that is red and signifies `actualization and fulfillment of vows,` light that is `proper and dignified,` light of `virtuous fruits,` light of `full fortunes,` and light of `innocence and honesty` like that of a child`s. Imagine what a bright and beautiful world the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds is with so many of these lights shining and reflecting on each other.
Therefore, this Pure Land of Maha Twin Lotus Ponds shall in the future create uproar around the world and send tremors throughout the whole globe. Recently, True Buddha Sutra has already caused uproars in many countries around the world. Buddhists as well as other religious groups have already started to light up `firecrackers,` albeit `firecrackers of dissent,` to help with the celebration.
We will stop here today.
Om Mani Padme Hum
The Annotated True Buddha Sutra