The Annotated True Buddha Sutra
Written by Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by Janny Chow
Discourse No. 7:
(November 26th, 1988)
At that moment, the Golden Padmakumara emitted the Great Wisdom Light. The White Padmakumara emitted the Dharma Realm Light. The Green Padmakumara emitted the Ten Thousand Treasure Light. The Black Padmakumara emitted the Subjugation Light...
`At that moment,` as I have said, does not refer to a moment in the past, a moment in the present, or a moment in the future. It is just `at that one moment.` `At that one moment` is a most fitting term to use in writing, as it encompasses all times.
The Golden Padmakumara emitted the Great Wisdom Light.` What is the `great wisdom light`? The adjectives `great` and `wisdom` have profound meanings. `Great` signifies infinity and `wisdom` signifies a wholeness of the highest order. This is a wisdom that is totally complete and boundless.
This `wisdom` is not the worldly wisdom. There is a great abundance of worldly wisdom. For example, from the rings of a tree`s trunk, we are able to deduce its age. We may study certain plants and classify them as trees or shrubs. From leaves we may determine the amount of chlorophyll. We may study different trees to find out which types can be used to make furniture, to build houses, or should be used as wood for the fireplace. A tree has many functions. In fact, a tree itself is a great source of knowledge for us to study. Knowledge about trees also provides a kind of wisdom, except that it is not the `great wisdom!`
What is the `great wisdom`? The `great wisdom` necessarily includes, of course, wisdom about trees, human beings, mountains, oceans, air, and movements within the Universe. However, this `great wisdom` is not limited to wisdom of the exterior domain; it also includes wisdom of the interior domain. You are, perhaps, thinking to yourself, `This wisdom of the interior domain, about which the Grand Master is talking, must have to do with the knowledge of the internal organs of a human being: heart, liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, blood circulation, lung capacity, serum level of cholesterol, etc.` No, it does not. The `great wisdom` refers to your mind, your thoughts, and the many levels of consciousness within your mind, which extend all the way to the deepest level of consciousness.
Today, a pilot for Malaysia Airline came to me and asked me to give him an empowerment. He said to me, `I know the Grand Master has taught many practices and the secrets to practices, but is there anything more secret than those?` He wanted me to tell him the most secret formula. I thought to myself, `I have immersed myself in the study and practice of the Buddhadharma for more than twenty years. I have risked my life with great effort, not just money and time, to trade for this great secret. I am waiting for a high asking price before I will sell it.` Well, I am just teasing you.
I told him, `This secret formula is very subtle and wonderful.` What is `subtle`? `Subtle` denotes a nature that is most minute and refined. What is `wonderful`? `Wonderful` denotes a nature that is most optimal and `just right.` Thus, to really find out this secret formula to Buddhahood [Enlightenment], one must understand the meaning of `subtle` and `wonderful.` One must go deep into the most refined levels of mind to reach the deepest level of consciousness. You might think to yourself, `Wouldn`t such a fine and deep penetration place one in a world that is like the eye of a needle? How can there be any `great wisdom light` in it?`
Let me say this, the `great wisdom light` is the `subtle and wonderful light.` When your mind penetrates through the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth levels, to reach the ninth level of consciousness, it is as if you entered a very dark room and lit a bright candle, which allowed you to see everything inside the room with great clarity and understanding.
At that moment, you will clearly understand what is your past, your present, and your future. At that moment, this light of yours will illuminate the whole Universe. You will have a lucid understanding of all times and spaces: the four sides, the eight directions, above and below, past, present, and future. Some people do not know what the life goal is of their present incarnation in the world. But, at that moment, their many previous lifetimes are completely displayed in front of them, and they can understand the present as well as the future. This kind of illumination is the `great wisdom light.` What I have obtained, what I have traded my life for, is just simply this.
`The White Padmakumara emitted the Dharma Realm Light.` What is the `dharma realm light`? As we know, in Buddhism, the whole Universe is categorized into a hierarchy of four holy realms and six ordinary realms. The four holy realms include the realms of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Solitary-Buddhas, and Sound-Hearers. The six ordinary realms consist of devas, humans, asuras, hell beings, hungry ghosts, and animals. The `dharma realm light` manifested by White Padmakumara shines not only in the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds, but also throughout the four holy realms all the way to the realm of the Buddhas, and extends below all the way to the realms of the hell beings, animals, and hungry ghosts. Thus, all `ten dharma realms` are bright and transparent under the equal illumination of this `dharma realm light.` This `dharma realm light` is very formidable as it literally shatters all boundaries and transforms the `ten dharma realms` into `one dharma realm.`
`The Green Padmakumara emitted the Ten Thousand Treasure Light. ` What is the `ten thousand treasure light`? As soon as one hears the `ten thousand treasure light,` one`s interest immediately peaks. You must be wondering if I am going to talk about emerald treasures, sapphire treasures, ruby treasures, diamond treasures, etc., thinking that their sum total would be the `ten thousand treasure light.` Actually that is not what it means. This `ten thousand treasure light` refers to the `dharma treasure.` As we know, all the dharma treasure contained in the Buddhist Tripitaka [Buddhist Canon], to which we have access in the human world, is just a tiny fleck found on the tip of the iceberg. I have said before that the dharma treasure transmitted to us by Shakyamuni Buddha is boundless and can be used to load up lines and lines of endless railway cars. Now, where has all this `dharma treasure` gone? It is said that sky horses and ocean dragons have been used to haul it to the Dragon King Palaces. These dharma treasures are now stored inside the Dragon King Palaces.
Let us give this some consideration: there are many dharma treasures inside the Dragon King Palaces. In the past, Nagarjuna Bodhisattva of India went to the Dragon King Palace to read the Buddhist scriptures. After he returned, he wrote down, based on his memory, what he had read in the Dragon King Palace. What he wrote, however, was only a chunk of the iceberg. `The Green Padmakumara emitted the Ten Thousand Treasure Light` means that the Green Padmakumara is capable of totally manifesting the ten thousand dharma treasures and their light. The Green Padmakumara is very great and must have a connection with Nagarjuna. Since green is a predominant color near the ocean floor, there is an inter-relationship between the `ten thousand treasure light of the Green Padmakumara` and the billions of dharma treasures stored in the Dragon King Palaces.
Next, `the Black Padmakumara emitted the Subjugation Light. ` What kind of light is this `subjugation light`? `Subjugation light` is a black-colored light. Generally, subjugation brings to one`s mind the Vajra [Ferocious Deity] Practices. Some people say, `Since Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are such compassionate beings, we can take advantage of them.` Buddhas and Bodhisattvas practice goodness and tolerance. Some people are unwilling to take up the Buddhist practice because they feel that to be a Buddhist is to remain silent and passive even when being abused by others. If one fights back verbally or physically, one will be challenged, `Aren`t you a Buddhist?` From this perspective it seems that to be a Buddhist is to be a loser.
When I was in Taiwan I used to think that the practice of Buddhism would eventually turn one into a `cultivator weakling.` If one emulates the Bodhisattva, one has to be tolerant of everything, act in a gentle manner and not volley back with any words. It seemed to me then that such a life was quite uninteresting!
But, in this Universe there exists another kind of god, the Vajra Dharma Protector, whose role is to render support and protection to the order of Buddhism. One should not be perpetually mistreated by others, so someone must act as a `dharma protector.` These dharma protectors are beings with wrathful and ferocious appearances.
I feel that subjugation as used here is tantamount to the administering of warnings. For example, in school, if a student gets bad grades and behaves in an unruly way, the administration will give him warnings. Perhaps a minor written warning will be given first, followed by a major one, then a detention.
The intent of wishing one well is implicit in `subjugation.` In other words, although I seem to be punishing you on the surface, in reality, I am giving you a well-meant warning. After this, I will again draw you to me, hoping that you will take heed of words of goodness, stay away from evil acts, and participate in wholesome deeds. This is the meaning of subjugation.
That is why, when a vajra master engages in an occasional `subjugation practice,` he only does it for one or two days because he will take pity on you. After performing only two days of subjugation practice on you, you have already become ill or injured! Perhaps you have fallen off a bicycle or gotten yourself scraped. Note this as a warning. Most vajra masters, after performing a subjugation practice, will perform in your service a purification practice. After letting you savor a taste of warning, they then help you resolve the calamity with a purification practice. When I was living in Ballard, Washington, I taught several masters this Vajra Practice for the first time. One of them right after he had learned this practice, exclaimed, `Wow, good, I can use this method to finish many people off.` Actually, when we do a subjugation practice, we must also engage in a purification practice afterwards for that person. Only this way can there be a balance and a recovering of the original condition. Only this way may a heart of true subjugation and magnetization be attained.
The light manifested by subjugation practices is a stream of black-colored light. People suffering under subjugation spells are easily discernible because their faces will display an unwholesome energy.
We will stop here today.
Om Mani Padme Hum
The Annotated True Buddha Sutra