Dharma Talk by Living Buddha Lian Sheng on 05/07/96

`What do you think of Sutrayana, Tantrayana, and other schools of Religion?` someone asked me this question.

Below is my view:

Sutrayana is like a big and harmonious circle. As all schools of Buddhism have their own characteristics, they are of equal status. Therefore we must respect and revel in all of them as Shakyamuni Buddha told us.

Since each school extracted certain parts of Sutra that were expounded by Shakyamuni Buddha and popularized them, it has the same lineage from the Buddha. Hence we should treat them equally, as there is no difference between them.

As Shakyamuni Buddha had preached for many years, he expounded many Sutras in his life.

Each and every one of these Sutras has its own features. It is important for us to comprehend the essence of Buddhadharma, so that we may respect, revel and pay homage to them.

I have spoken about the difference between Tantrayana and Sutrayana. Use an analogy. The former is like a classroom where theory is taught. The latter is like a lab where experiment is carried out. In other words, Sutrayana stresses on theory and Tantrayana focuses on actual practice.

As Buddhists, we must maintain a harmony between Sutra and Tantric teachings. In other words, we must understand the theory and carry out experiment. So that new theory can be proposed, and more experiments carry out. We must strike a balance, and cannot ignore either of them.

In the True Buddha Tantra, there is a balance between Sutra and Tantra teachings. Elements of both teachings are incorporated in the Tantric Dharma.

`How do we cultivate Sutrayana and Tantrayana?` I was asked. The patriarch of Tantrayana Je Tsongkhapa once mentioned: `In order to be a true Guru, one must learn the theories from Sutra teachings for 12 years and carry out the experiments from Tantric teachings for 8 years - altogether twenty years.`

Hence it is important for us to fully understand all the doctrines of Buddhism and carry out Tantric cultivation personally.

In my view, Zen Buddhism is the most difficult to cultivate; Pure Land school is the easiest. And Tantrayana lies between them. Hence, when we cultivate True Buddha Tantra, we are taking the middle path - it is neither too easy, nor too difficult. This is also in line with Shakyamuni Buddha`s middle path.

If there is any difference between different religions, it must be the level of spiritual attainment. In other words, the difference in attainment is the main cause of attacks and slanders amongst the different schools. In the eyes of those who have very high spiritual attainments, this is never a problem. They will never slander others. Instead they will study the theoretical and practical aspects of different religions and come up with better theories and practices.

There should not be slandering between different schools of Buddhism. Likewise, there should not be slandering between different religions. The difference if any is the level of attainment.

Let me use education system as an analogy so that you can understand me better. We learn calculus and Geometry in the university. Those who have only completed kindergarten would not understand these subjects. Hence it is unwise for them to mount attacks on these subjects. Likewise, those graduates should not attack trigonometrical function and equations that are taught in secondary school, as the subjects are for different level of studies.

When an accomplished cultivator looks at other religions, he will notice there is a different level of spiritual attainment. Therefore, I want to make this statement.

`Those who do not understand, should not comment and condemn True Buddha Tantra, as they are not in a position to do so!`

If you have fully understood True Buddha Tantra, and cultivated them personally, you may engage in the research of its theoretical and practical aspects.

Let me conclude:

As cultivators, we must maintain a harmony between Sutra and Tantric teachings. We must respect the teachings of all schools and treat them equally i.e. without discrimination.

That`s all for today.

Om Mani Padme Hum

「一生一咒」800萬遍上師心咒活動,從今年師尊的佛誕日正式啟動,請參加者到TBSN官網以下鏈接登記資料: 每持滿十萬遍上師心咒者,宗委會將把名單呈給師尊加持。每持滿一百萬遍者,將列名護摩法會功德主,資料請師尊主壇護摩法會時下護摩爐。 億萬虎頭金剛心咒,招財鎮煞降伏瘟疫