There are many grades of Bodhisattvas: First Grade, Second Grade ... Eighth Grade to Tenth Grade Bodhisattvas, and also the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. Mahasattvas are Bodhisattvas of the highest grade - the bosses of all Bodhisattvas.
However, there is another kind of Bodhisattva who does not seem to save people. We revere them as Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas. Their merits are as vast as the ocean - very pure and tranquil, so they are the Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas. Their power is like the ocean and they work in absolute silence. Like pure water, no one can perceive their existence, though we are still aware of the manifestation form of the Bodhisattvas. The Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are superior to the Mahasattvas.
In the universe, there are many levels waiting for us to attain, and many positions for us to achieve. Therefore, being new to the practice, there is nothing we can be proud of. Possessing only trivial magical powers, some people boast arrogantly. What is the use of knowing a little bit about the past, present and future? Even if we know that the world will be destroyed tomorrow, we cannot change anything. As well, during the time between now and tomorrow, we would be extremely frightened, and wouldn't be able to sleep or eat. For those who do not know that the world will end tomorrow, at least they can sleep sweetly and enjoy twenty-four hours more of peaceful time.
Therefore, it is really useless to know about the past, present and future. To pave our future, we should begin with our present actions. In our daily life, endeavor to be a moral person, clearly observe the Five Precepts that I taught you: do not kill, do not steal, refrain from sexual misconduct, do not lie, and do not consume alcohol. It is enough to keep these Five Precepts strictly; no need to talk about too many commandments. Should you be able to keep the Five Precepts clearly, it doesn't matter even if you don't believe in me, do not practice the Quan Yin Method, or do not want liberation from birth and death. Even though you don't believe in me, you still have to be a good person, and keep the Five Precepts well; so that at least you can come back again as a human. Otherwise, there is no other way.
I have never taught you any bad things. You may not believe in me -- the person, but you should believe in my teachings. I only teach you good things. It is simple if you want to be a human being. Simply keep the Five Precepts strictly, then you won't have any trouble. By strictly observing the Five Precepts, even though you do not practice the Quan Yin Method, you can still be a human being. Otherwise, it is not easy to get the human body again.
The human body is very precious, without which we would not have the six sense-organs and the six senses, which are essential for our spiritual practice. Of course, we know the six sense-organs and the six senses are the most disgusting obstacles, but we must also use them in our spiritual practice. We cannot pursue spiritual practice without them. Understand? Truly, we don't need the ears to hear the inner sound, but how can we listen without ears? The visions in meditation are also not observed with the eyes; but without this body, we also cannot perceive, cannot see the Buddha's world. We would be ignorant about heaven or hell, or the Western Paradise. Therefore, the human body is very precious.
It is easy if you don't wish to become a human; it is only difficult if you wish to become one. However, it is even more difficult to become a Buddha. It is difficult enough just to become an ordinary Bodhisattva; but to become a Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattva, there are many more ordeals. To become a "Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva" -- a formless, supreme Bodhisattva, one must go through innumerable inconceivable, indescribable and severe tests, which are extremely difficult to pass. We may have transmigrated into this world millions of times, yet we have never heard of such severe tests; we could never hear of them.
If we have read extensively, we would have read about the great spiritual practitioners of the past, about the ordeals and painful sufferings encountered on their spiritual path. However, even the most outstanding and painful ordeals could not match those suffered by the Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas, both in frequency and intensity.
The Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas are almost the same as the Buddha, except that the Buddha is "inactive" while the Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas are "active." They travel the universe taking good care of it, and keeping it in good order. Their responsibility is to take care of the universe, while that of the Mahasattvas is to save human souls and bring them home. Whoever wishes to go to the Western Paradise should study under the Mahasattvas. They manifest themselves in this world to save people and bring their souls back to their homeland -- the Heavenly Kingdom, the Western Pureland.
You often chant the names of the Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas, but without knowing who they are. Even if they'd appear before your eyes, you would not know. Only the Mahasattvas know who are the Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas. Ordinary people could not possibly know, because they do not wish to reveal their level and power. They look very ordinary, very commonplace, more ordinary than any person. Even when they are in this world, no one knows that they are Bodhisattvas. They absolutely refrain from showing any magical power, and simply work silently, totally unnoticed by ordinary humans.
The work of the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas is different from that of the Mahasattvas. They absolutely refrain from intervening with people's karma, while the Mahasattvas do. They can save a person from hell and take him to heaven; or take any person, heavily burdened with karma, to the Western Paradise. In the same situations, the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas just observe on one side without taking any action. Their work is to take care of the functioning of the universe and maintain the existence of the universe. They don't save people. You may be starving to death or are being roasted by hell-fire, they are simply oblivious. To us, the ordinary humans, the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas may seem very cruel and remote; but they are not. It is only due to the different nature of their work.
However, it is not simple to become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva; I don't think you can pass the trials. To become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva, the training system that one must go through is extremely strict and severe. This agonizing training process cannot be described in words, and is totally unheard of and inconceivable by ordinary humans. Just like in the army, there are various types of training: infantry, navy, air force, spy, and the most risky--special task force. Trained even to kill enemies face to face, the training of the special task force is the most arduous. Right?
To become Bodhisattvas, different training is also required to attain different grades. Therefore, to become Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas, extremely arduous practice is required. Arduous practice alone does not make one a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva, but it is essential to go through the most bitter training. Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are specially selected; we cannot become one just by wishing. Any spiritual practitioner who has not surpassed the three realms, has no hope of being selected.
All the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are selected in the fifth realm. No one can become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva within the three realms, as we still have to transmigrate. Our lessons in this world still have not been learned, so we won't be picked to undergo the most severe training. One must first become a Bodhisattva of the fifth realm, and be willing to become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva, before one is qualified for selection. However, once selected, one has to undergo the most severe training, which is even more painful and severe than the system in hell.
There are many levels in spiritual practice, and the road of cultivation is very long. Therefore, as a new practitioner, one should not boast and exaggerate. I tell you not to reveal your experiences to others for your own good, not for me. You can tell the whole country if you like, I will not be affected. You only hurt yourself by divulging your own treasures.
So, practice in silence; because we have to protect our level, and climb slowly to become Buddhas, Mahasattvas, and superior Bodhisattvas. If a new practitioner has some magical power, and goes out to advertise himself because he is not stable within, you should know this kind of person is unreliable. Upon seeing these people, an attained spiritual practitioner can tell that they are experiencing obstacles -- suffering from the "Zen Symptom" we often mention. People not suffering from the "Zen Symptom" will not go out bragging.
Spiritual practitioners should be humble. The higher their level, the more humble they are and the more they fear that people may detect their level and power. Some people are still okay in the initial stages of their practice. However, after attaining a trivial level and having some experiences, they brag everywhere. They talk so much that they run into many evil obstacles. The higher their level, the more evil obstacles there will be.
Therefore, the most terrible mistake in spiritual practice is talking about experiences. Having talked too much, the experiences become distorted in nature, or they simply do not come anymore, leaving only illusions. It is because the concentrated power is wasted, and the spiritual ambience is damaged. Originally, the spiritual ambience is a protective wall. However, as one leaks out too much, the devil will dig a hole in it and enter. In spiritual practice, we dread boasting and arrogant attitudes. The prouder one is, the greater his trouble.
I also know that it is not very easy for a spiritual practitioner to believe in a master. Therefore, if you do not believe in me, it is not your fault. It is due to the atmosphere of this final stage of the Dharma. This is why the present era is called the final stage of the Dharma.
Spiritual practice is indeed not easy. It is said in the Surangama Sutra: In the final stage of Dharma, if a person is truly sincere in his practice, though he might have only practiced a little, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will come and render great help to him. Unfortunately, few people have the sincerity and faith for serious practice. Most of them choose the easier and more relaxed way, reluctant to take the difficult and austere path. To practice our method, one has to be a vegetarian and meditate for at least two and a half hours each day. Besides, we are forbidden to kill, lie, commit sexual misconduct, steal and consume alcohol. To most people, this is too strict and arduous.
Even in this world, if one wishes to get a Ph.D -- become a doctor or lawyer, or to earn prestige in society, one must study assiduously. Isn't it true? Naturally, it must be more arduous for those who wish to become a Buddha or Bodhisattva, and be liberated from life and death in one lifetime.
In this final stage of the Dharma, for a little bit of our sincerity, the Buddha and Bodhisattvas will help us a lot. This is really great. Otherwise, your two and a half hours meditation is nothing really! Shakyamuni Buddha meditated all day long. Many people meditate for ten to twenty hours without gaining anything. If the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas did not help us with their power, we would get nowhere in our practice.
Actually, spiritual practice is not really so bitter; it is more difficult to eliminate the arrogance, and even more difficult to keep this big mouth from leaking. Arrogance and exaggeration are the most difficult to rectify. Practitioners who do not have much experience or progress in their practice are mainly hindered by their arrogance. They talk too much. They are still new to the practice, yet they talk so much.
Shakyamuni Buddha also forbade His disciples to brag. Maudgalaputra possessed magical power, but the Buddha forbade him to use it. I also give you the same advice. As you practice, magical powers naturally come, but you must not boast about them. If you have the power to read minds, better not to let anyone know. Otherwise, people will be afraid of you, fearing that you will read their mind whenever they come to see you. Then, no one would dare to come to see you. Right?
Should you possess other powers like "heavenly legs" or "heavenly eyes," keep it a secret too. Other people may harm us if they know about it. There are no advantages. Some people would be jealous, as they would hate us for being higher than them. If we talked about something that they dislike, they would think of ways to harm us with black magic. Just like Maudgalaputra. He loved using magical power, but eventually he was harmed by heretics with black magic.
Therefore, I have kept advising you and warning you not to reveal your spiritual level to others. Nevertheless, some people still cannot remove this shortcoming. Being part of their personality, it is very difficult to change them, and this causes great troubles. If we notice this type of person, better keep away from him, and do not listen to his words. Otherwise, you will be infected, as with an infectious disease.
When we live with a person with evil obstacles--you don't even have to live with them, just by sitting close to them, you are already infected with half his problem. When you go to visit a patient -- mix around and have contact with him, half his illness has passed to you. You have to accept half his karma. Otherwise, why do the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, when they manifest and come to this world, become ordinary humans after they are born? They first become ordinary humans, and then practice to become Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. Although they are manifestations of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, they will still be contaminated by the world if they do not pursue spiritual practice.
Take Shakyamuni Buddha for example; you all know that He was the Prabhapala Mahasattva descending from the Tusita Heaven. His mission was to save the people on Earth. However, for thirty years after He was born, He didn't do anything to benefit sentient beings. He was a prince who didn't have to work, only enjoyed worldly pleasures everyday -- having no idea about spiritual practice.
When He was born, He could walk seven steps. Still aware of who He was, He said, "I am supreme, in heaven and on Earth." However, as He grew up, He also became ignorant, even more ignorant than ordinary people. Surrounded by so many pretty girls, He simply enjoyed the world everyday, and thought about nothing else. He was deliberately surrounded by a comfortable environment, badly pampered by His parents, and flattered by His subordinates. They kept Him from knowing any undesirable situations, and forbade anyone from reminding Him to pursue spiritual practice. Therefore, before He reached thirty, He was an ordinary human. He was the manifestation of a Mahasattva, and had attained Buddhahood long ago. Yet, when born in this world, He inevitably became an ordinary human.
Therefore, this world is really horrible. Without pursuing spiritual practice, even the one incarnated from a Buddha or Bodhisattva will definitely get lost. Therefore, under any circumstances, He must practice again.
You often ask me: "Doesn't every person have a Buddha-nature? Why are we still ordinary humans?" It is because, after coming to this world, we are "infected" and "delivered" by the ordinary humans. The world is just like an epidemic region. At first, only one person gets the disease. Soon it spreads to two or three persons. Then to more and more people, until the whole region is infected. Sometimes, all the people and even animals in a town are killed, not even a kitten or puppy can survive. So, infectious diseases are truly horrible.
Similarly, when the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas come to this world, they will also become ordinary humans if they do not pursue spiritual practice. Originally, we were all Buddhas, possessing a Buddha-nature. Then why are we not aware, and do not perceive it? It is because, we have been "delivered" by this world for a long time. Now that we have just begun to practice, how can we know immediately? However, through diligent practice, sooner or later we will become Bodhisattvas. "Those who practice will become Bodhisattvas; those who do not practice will become ordinary humans"--this logic is definite, and there is nothing else to be said.
You can see that even Shakyamuni Buddha took six years of practice to become a Buddha. Jesus Christ practiced for over a decade, and finally became a great Master. The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng was already enlightened when he met the Fifth Patriarch Hong Ren, yet he had to hide himself and practiced for sixteen years, after the Fifth Patriarch Hong Ren had passed the Dharma to him. Bodhidharma did not deliver sentient beings during his time, because his power seemed insufficient still. (Master laughs.) No one listened to him, so he talked to the wall for nine years. I heard that because of his prolonged meditation, he could not walk afterwards. In later generations, we often saw his pictures portraying him walking--that was the image of his manifestation body for people to see.
The saying goes: "He who stays near vermilion gets stained red, and he who stays near ink gets stained black." Mixing with bad people, one will become evil; mixing with virtuous people, one will become virtuous; staying with learned people, one can learn something; staying with foolish people, one will also become an idiot. A person who speaks English fluently would also forget, if he has not spoken English for thirty years. To speak English one must practice everyday. If you stay with a non-English speaking person for a long time, later you cannot speak English, or cannot speak fluently.
Just like me, I do not speak Au Lac language very fluently now because I have not spoken it for a long time. I even have a problem with my English. (Laughter) However, there won't be any problem after I have stayed in the United States for a few days. However, if I carry on speaking Chinese everyday like this, thirty years later, perhaps I won't be able to speak English at all. So it is with spiritual practice. By staying with a certain type of person, you will eventually become like him. This is why one must be careful in choosing a real master in spiritual practice.
Now, do you still want to become Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas? (Someone answers: Yes.) Some people would immediately put on a long face just after a trivial scolding from me. How can they expect to become Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas this way? (Laughter) It is not simple to become this type of Bodhisattva. Once you have vowed to become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva, you are in great trouble. Even an ordinary master has so many troubles, can you imagine those of the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas?
In this universe, besides the Buddha, the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas have the next highest status. The supreme position in the universe is the highest Buddha, the Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi. Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are the second highest. They are above the laws of the universe. They go to heavens and hells just like we go to the markets to buy food. They go wherever they wish, and do whatever they like. Nothing else is more superior than they are because the highest Buddha is originally motionless -- the Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi is absolutely still. Therefore, in reality, the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are the highest.
Q: May I ask, Master, is there only one Buddha?
M: No, the Buddha means the power. For instance, in England, the Queen is of course in the highest position; but she does nothing, and does not intervene in politics. She is only a symbol of the supreme position. However, Mrs. Thatcher is the most famous, and every country knows about her. Any person in the position of the Prime Minister is always the most famous. She is more well-known than the Queen. Everyone is afraid of her, and she can do whatever she wants. Of course, the position of the Queen is supreme, but not as powerful as the Prime Minister. Right? The Queen does not go from place to places, does nothing, and will not change any laws. However, the Prime Minister has to do everything. She is very stern, and is sometimes rejected by other people. For instance, Mrs. Thatcher is famous for being a stern Prime Minister. People call her the Iron Lady because she is very staunch in attitude, and has great power. Even the Queen of England can do nothing about her. She can only advise her, "Please don't be so stern, try to give in a little bit sometimes." However, she simply won't give in. Isn't it the case?
So are the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas. In this universe, they have the highest power. Be more diligent if you wish to become one. However, I am afraid you cannot endure the most severe training system. Therefore, take it slowly. Become a Bodhisattva first, then climb slowly. However, if you vow wholeheartedly, one day you will definitely become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas. We can become what we are determined to be--this is definite. But, it may not be realized so quickly -- perhaps in the next lifetime, or several lifetimes later. However, if you are willing, you may eventually succeed.
Q: Will the Pure-Tranquil-Ocean Bodhisattvas come to this world?
M: Yes! Why not? They are everywhere.
Q: Will they have karma when coming to this world? Will they also be infected by this world? (Laughter)
M: No, They won't have any karma, nor will they be infected by the world.
Q: Do they also come to this world with their manifestation bodies?
M: They are different from the manifestation bodies of the Mahasattvas. They are the law, and they possess all their powers -- fully equipped with magical powers, and can become whatever they want. Their magical power, their power and their authority are always there. They are different from ordinary Bodhisattvas.
Q: In this case, I would like to become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva.
M: I know you want to be a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva, (laughter) but it is not that easy. Talk about it again when you have reached the fifth realm in your practice.
Q: May I ask, Master: do the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas have to go through the process of birth and growing up, when they come to this world?
M: It is not always necessary. They are different from ordinary Bodhisattvas.
Q: Do They come to the world only for their work?
M: Right! They come and go as they wish.
Q: But the ordinary Bodhisattvas must first be born when they come? Is that right?
M: Right! The ordinary ones must first go through birth, which the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas don't have to. They can transform themselves into anything they wish. Instantly, they can become a fly or a stone, but there is power within this stone or fly. Whatever they have transformed themselves into, they are fully aware that they are the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas. They vanish or come into being as they wish. They can transform themselves into a human or a dog as they prefer. However, this transformed dog is no ordinary dog, and is free of karma. When in the human form, they will not be infected with the karma from other people, nor will they be contaminated by the society. Whatever form they have taken, their consciousness is always fully awake. The Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are at the highest position. If there is really a highest God, then they are only slightly lower than God. God is number one, they are number two. Understand?
Q: Where do the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas receive their training?
M: They are trained in the superior dimensions.
Q: Will They remain forever Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas, or will they eventually become Buddhas?
M: They are forever Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas. They can become Buddhas if they wish, but they don't have to.
Q: Master, You said the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas are absolutely apathetic to outer influences. Suppose a sentient being happened to meet the manifestation body of the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas, will they help him?
M: They won't help.
M: It is because there are other Bodhisattvas doing that job!
Q: But They can still save people by the way!
M: Why should they save you? The Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas have no relationship with you. They take care of the whole universe, not only one or two persons, or groups. They are different from the Mahasattvas.
Q: If They found a dying person, would they save him?
M: How can they save him? If you are not a doctor, how can you heal patients when they come to you? They cannot do this type of work. They are too busy to care about matters concerning one or two persons, or even the whole world. They are very busy, extremely busy! They have no time to care about one or two persons.
Q: Would Master please illustrate with an example, the severe training that the Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas would have to undergo?
M: This cannot be described in words because there is no such training system in this world. (Laughter) I have just told you that this training is more severe and painful than in hell. It is beyond your imagination.
Q: How can there be such evil things in the superior worlds?
M: These are not evil things, but essential training.
Q: Can every person become a Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattva?
M: This is decided by their selection. Once you are picked, they will train you slowly.
Q: Who makes the decision?
M: The Pure-Tranquil Bodhisattvas do. They select whoever they want, and we won't know about it in advance. We only know after we have been selected, because we will have to go through certain ordeals or sufferings. However, you won't be picked while still in this world -- this I can assure you. (Laughter) Talk about it after you have reached the fifth realm. You can only possibly be selected, after you have surpassed the three realms.
It is not by talking that we love a person. Most people shout very loudly their love -- "love, love, love!" It sounds disgusting. If you truly love a person, people would sense it without seeing you, without hearing from you. If you do not have the duty of being a Master or any great mission that requires you to leave home, you should treat your family well, take care of your relatives and friends, and influence them by love. True love is not shown by word of mouth -- not by talking. If you truly love your husband you should learn how to cook well for him and put on makeup to show your beauty to him.
Dress Up Only For Your Husband
Being a wife previously, I did not dress up when I went to work during the day. It was truly like that. For whom do you dress up for during the day time? Even if the whole world adoringly stares at you, what benefit would you get? If your husband does not even want to look at you, can you bear it? During the day time it is necessary to protect and nourish your skin by putting on skin cream, etcetera. In the evening when your husband comes back, then you may light up the candles, wear beautiful clothes, and put on makeup for him. It should be like this that you love your husband; it is not by talking.
You do not know how to cook, your body smells awful but you just do not care, and you dress like the head of a gang of beggars everyday; but still you expect your husband to love you. How can he? He is merely a human too. He has his own shortcomings. He has his preferences, but nothing in you can delight him. Still you force him to love you, but even God cannot force him!
I know this kind of situation would be uncomfortable for the husband. He wants to love his wife but he cannot. There is nothing that can make him love her.
Therefore, when we love a person, we should be aware of what he loves the most, and then offer him what he is fond of. Only in this way can you say you love him. It's not by speaking repeatedly day and night, without taking care of yourself and your family.
The house is not cleaned for two or three months. The face is not washed for two months. You dress untidily. Even though you dress up beautifully when you are away from home; but after you come back home, you look like a beggar for your husband. This is because you do not understand the essentials.
If you give much thought to your marriage, it must be happy ones. You don't have to be as pretty as Hsishi (an ancient Viet beauty). Every girl is pretty in some aspects. If you think you are not beautiful, you can learn how a movie star walks, how a beauty sits, and learn how she takes care of herself. Nowadays, you can learn these things by reading books or making a phone call to consult a specialist. You can learn. There is no reason why a wife or husband cannot do house work.
I know it's not a question concerning practice, but you often come over or write letters to ask about family problems which trouble you the most. I understand that if you do not have peace with your family, you would have no way to calm down, you would not be able to enter samadhi when you meditate. Marriage is also connected with practice. That's why it's said, "Buddha's way cannot be isolated from the mundane way." I cannot just say because they are mundane things, I will not answer your questions. However, you did not apply what I have told you. All of you said, "I understand! I understand! I have listened to many boxes of video tapes." (Audience laughs.) But you always ask the same questions.
Master's Wise Ways Should Be Applied
The problem is not that Master does not answer you, rather you do not practice what I say. If medicine is prescribed, but you do not take it, then your disease will not be cured. Master has talked and told both husbands and wives; but there are some trivial things you have not yet learned, such as you should brush your teeth for 3 - 5 minutes. If you do not know how to brush, ask your dentist. You may brush twice or three times! Brush, then brush again or twice more. Your teeth should be clean by then. Nowadays there are many kinds of mouthwashes, perfumes, soaps, etcetera, which can remove body odor.
You should dress beautifully to look nice. The clothes do not necessarily have to be expensive ones; otherwise, you would not be able to change them everyday. You may make them yourself or buy cheaper ones, colorful ones. If you are lively, whatever clothes you wear would make you look beautiful. It's not necessary that they have to be expensive ones.
Most of the clothes I wear are made here -- very cheap. I just buy a piece of cloth, it can be made immediately into a dress. Sometimes I go to buy clothes on sale on the roadside. That colorful skirt I wore two weeks ago was bought in Taipei. It's worth less than a few dozen NT dollars only. The way it's made is also simple. You all said Master was beautiful, but in fact it did not cost much.
Different Ways For Different Occasions
Don't buy clothes that are too expensive; otherwise, you cannot change frequently. Be wiser. They are sold cheaply in some places, but they are beautiful. It's good as long as it suits you. If you knew how to match your clothes, you would look better. This wouldn't cost you much. No need to complain that your husband didn't give you much money, so you cannot make yourself beautiful. Only a stupid person would donate money to dress shops. We should donate to ourselves, instead of the bosses of dress shops. (Audience laughs.)
It's the same for men. When you practice, sure you should wear simple clothes -- comfortable and loose, which make you feel comfortable when you sit. However, when you go back home or go out with your wife, you should dress fashionably, tidy yourself up, and make yourself look good. Accompanied by a handsome, nice looking man, the wife would be proud. Do you think she would like to go out with a beggar? (Audience laughs.) You want your wife to look beautiful and nice, then how about yourself? You wear worn out sports trousers when you sit in the Ashram, and when you take your wife out, you still wear clothes like this.
Practice has its principles. Going out to do worldly things also has its principles. The two cannot be mixed up. Then you complain to me: "Practice makes me become like this." You guys really humiliate your Master. You don't know when to advance and when to retreat. You don't know the proper way. You don't know what to do according to the situation. You don't know how to handle an altered situation. That means you do not have wisdom. Master's disciples should not be like this. Don't shame my name. If you are like this, don't tell others that you are the disciple of the " Wu Shang Shih Supreme Master Zhu." (Master and audience laugh. Audience applauds.)
Be Dedicated To Maintain You Marriage
It's not very difficult to obtain something, but it's difficult to keep it. You have to know what to do. You have to pay the price for everything. Is it not so? If you want to have a Benz, you have to pay back the loan for a period of time. The Benz also drinks gasoline like a fish and you need to pay a lot of insurance. You also have to pay a lot of money for the maintenance of the car. If you want to keep a Benz, you have to pay the price. Or you may buy a Yulong or some other model of car.
You became careless after you got married. You did not look after yourself. Then your husband ran away from you and you came crying to me. What's the use of crying to me? You should go to the beauty parlor and cry, then they will help you and tidy you up. (All laughed.) They would cut and perm your hair, stretch your skin, cut your eyelids, prop up your nose, and rebuild your ears. These things may help. But what's the use of crying to me? Even if I can summon the wind and rain, I cannot call your husband back. Sometimes when I see you, I also want to find another wife for your husband. (Master and audience laugh.) You yourself are in a mess, but you still force your husband to love you. How can it be possible?
Nowadays both the wife and the husband have to look after themselves. The body has to be clean -- bathe frequently, brush your teeth and rinse your mouth carefully. Go to see your dentist or other doctors regularly. See what needs to be fixed and fix it. You have to be neatly dressed. If you dress untidily with clothes that are worn out, your husband would not even want to look at your face. How could he love you? Those girls outside, they are not married. Therefore they put a lot of attention on applying powder, spraying perfume, taking baths, brushing teeth, visiting beauty parlors, etcetera. You have to look after yourself, then your husband will love you. This is the person you were before and this is also the reason why your husband loved you, isn't it?
It is a psychological problem of we human beings. It's the same for both men and women. Having one is not enough because one person only has one quality and is only good in one aspect. For example, if she can cook, then she is not good at cleaning the house. She may know both -- how to cook and clean the house, but she may not know how to do other things. Maybe she doesn't know how to put on makeup. Even occasionally going out with her would make you lose face and want to hide her somewhere. When she goes to talk with others, they would hold their noses because she smells awful. Sometimes when the body smells awful or is dressed untidily, everything is terrible. In addition, if you cannot even cook, then "Good bye!" (Audience laughs.)
We cannot force others to love us, if we are not worth it. If you failed to be a good husband or wife, you have to think for yourself: "Why have I failed? How can I improve? Can I succeed next time? Why couldn't I do well in this aspect?" If you really cannot, then quit. If you can, then improve yourself; learn diligently until you succeed. It's as simple as that! Why does your husband love another woman? We don't have to hate her. We should go and learn from her whatever advantages she may have. If you know that woman, go and learn what made your husband fond of her, and do the same after going back home; or you may do better than she does. Then your husband would of course not want to leave you. It is because the husbands or wives love us that they married us. Where has that love gone? It is impossible that the love has disappeared completely. It is we who did not take care of the marriage, or we did not pay much attention to it, or did not love the husband or wife, or were too lazy to improve ourselves. Later we realize that it was our fault; but then it is too late.
It's the same in doing worldly things. If we want to succeed, we have to work hard. Understand? Worldly things have to be done in a worldly way rather than in a spiritual way; otherwise, it is taking useless advantage of the spiritual power.
When I was in Africa, I got to know a prince and several princesses. They told me that all the members of the royal family have to learn witchcraft and a lot of magic. They would then be able to know who is bad, who is good, etcetera. They can also make you love them using their magic, which would make you follow him without your awareness. Is there any benefit in using magical power?
Long time ago, when disciples just started to come, I did not have time to teach them. One female disciple's husband left her, so she came to me and cried loudly. She requested me to teach her magic, to make her husband come back and love her. I told her, "I don't have such magic. Even if I had, I would not impart it to you. I do not like black magic but I know a lot of white magic. Do you want to learn?"
She said, "Yes."
I said, "You should speak a bit softer, put on makeup more beautifully. Occasionally you should wear new clothes, but not necessarily expensive ones. You should sometimes change your moods; do not always be sweet, graceful or stubborn everyday. You should occasionally change according to the situation."
This is because men like different kinds and different characteristics of women. It's the same with us, the woman. You cannot like only one characteristic everyday the same -- dull (audience laughs), without a change. It seems good but not truly good. Sometimes it is not bad to be a little bad. Have a change!
Variety Keeps Love Fresh
Most men like variety. If you already know this and you also want to keep your husband then keep changing yourself. Otherwise take a few woman home as wives for your husband. What do you prefer? If you prefer having peace in the family and keeping your husband at home, take a few wives for him because he likes variety and different characteristics for different days. It would be the best if you could play various characters to meet his needs. It's the same for the husband. Then the family would have peace and there would be no need to come to me and cry loudly.
You all have magical power. Keep your body clean and sweet smelling all the time. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth before you talk. Don't do this: after eating garlic and onion, you go to him and tell him, "I love you!" (Master and audience laugh.) At that time, no matter how romantic it may be or how many candles you light, it won't help. Those trivial matters may scare him. I was scared previously.
If someone smells awful, I cannot bear it. I would want to vomit and cannot talk with him about anything. My attention would be diverted, and I would always think: "Why didn't he clean his mouth?" I would keep thinking like this and my mind would not be able to concentrate on him, but only think how to escape from this atmosphere: "When will he stop talking?" or "How can I let him know it?", etcetera. All the inspiration would be lost.
So don't blame him for not loving you. How can he love you? He does not even have enough time to try to run away from you! If you were him, you would not like it as well!
But it also depends. Maybe your husband likes that kind of smell, then keep it! (Audience laughs.) You have to clarify this with him!
For those people who are at high levels, they will not like that kind of awful smell. Therefore we have to raise our level, look after ourselves without blaming others. In case someone doesn't like us or your husband or wife runs away from you, we have to ask ourselves: "Why?" Truly and frankly ask ourselves what mistakes we have made and whether we have achieved what the other party has expected us to achieve. Then we would know the reasons. No need to come and ask Master and request for magic. That's no use! Even if I taught you that kind of magic -- like seizing your lover's heart, controlling his mind, making him stay beside you, would you prefer this? Would you love that dull-looking wife or husband who is obsessed with you? He would not truly love you, but would be only bound and lost in you. His mind would become confused. He would start to like what he did not like before. It's also a kind of mental disorder. Would you like this abnormal wife or husband? (Audience answer: "No, we would not like this.")
Therefore I tell you that magic is useless. We should only convince others with our own qualities, virtues and inner beauty. Externally we respect ourselves, which would be pleasing to the eyes of others; your voice would melt the hearts of whomever listens to it; or our behavior, action and the manner with which we treat others will touch them. This kind of love will last longer instead of resorting to magic so easily.
I know that family problems trouble you the most, don't they? (Audience: Yes!) Sometimes it makes us feel bad. I know it. For example, you are very loyal people. Especially after initiation, you want to abide by Master's instructions and sincerely want to take care of your family -- loving your wife or husband. But sometimes you cannot bear it; you feel bad, struggle, and feel guilty. I know these are the most troublesome things that bother you. But some wives just stagnate and refuse to improve. She does not look after herself, does not care whether her husband loves her or not, does not care whether she is attractive or not, whether she is lively. She does not express to her husband that she respects and cares about her husband's opinions. She doesn't even care whether her husband loves her or not. Both the husband and the wife are stuck there. The husband, as well as the wife, are like this. Both blame each other and drag each other down. One rots, the other rots more. No one cares about the other. Then it becomes worse and worse until no one wants to look at each other, and finally throws the precepts back to Master and says: "I feel really bad. I'm sorry, but I have to find another one anyhow." Sometimes it's useless to find another one. Changing to another doesn't mean things will become better. Later it will be the same. You marry another lady and she will rot as well as the previous one, exactly the same.
Only When You Can Do Small Things Well Then You Can Attempt To Do Great Things
After marriage few people still try to preserve the marriage -- respect each other like a guest, or pay attention to one's behavior and manners, as well as the internal virtues and attractiveness. Most people who annoy each other, stick there and become worse and worse. Life can not be beautiful like this. If you want to be monks, you may come here and rot together, no problem. But if you want to live in society, you have to try to protect your family -- offer each other a joyful atmosphere and make life happy. When you are at home, you should look after yourself and look after your husband or wife. Sometimes the husband should remind her, ask her: "Why haven't you combed your hair lately?" Ask her: "How long since you last took a bath?" Say it humorously. Remind each other and respect each other.
If we lose our spirit, the marriage will be lost for sure. Both parties cannot attract each other. If we ourselves do not want to live, how can the other party love us? We do not have inner spirit; we do not want to strive; we are not happy inside and do not care about anything. If you do not care about yourself, who else will care about you? Your husband is also a human being, not a piece of wood. All human beings love truth, virtue and beauty. If something is beautiful, for sure he will like to look at it. But if the one at home is so ugly, of course he will look somewhere else. I would do so as well. (Audience laughs.) Then you blame each other. That's no good!
We have to examine ourselves first. If you do not know how to cook, cook according to the recipe! Life is busy for some, that's true. But some are not that busy. The husband goes to earn money, and you stay at home. You may use some of the time each year to learn something. You may tell yourself that within these three months I must learn how to cook. Even though you know nothing about it, you would know after you learn it! I'm sure it would work. I guarantee it! There are many places that teach people how to cook vegetarian meals. Even though you cook meat dishes, you still have to learn. Those who do not want to follow Master's teachings and who are not fellow practitioners would still have to learn if they wanted to cook meat dishes for their husbands. Since you were never taught to cook when you were young, how can you know this automatically?
After learning how to cook, you may continue to learn how to make clothes, how to dance, etcetera. It's not enough just to cross your legs in practice everyday, you should also accompany your husband for leisure activities. What happens after you become a Buddha? -- Aren't there still things to do? Life still goes on. Is that not so?
Therefore life must have some variety and vitality. Otherwise you may also build a cave, lock yourself inside, and die! (Master laughs.) If you want to die, die definitely. If you want to live, live with spirit, interestingly and meaningfully; because we also have to set an example for others. Otherwise, everyone would think that after learning with "Ching Hai Wu Shang Shih Supreme Supreme Master Ching Hai Zhu" (audience laughs), one becomes good at nothing and even looks worse than before -- dressing like the head of a gang of beggars.
After eating what you cooked, he even considers escaping abroad to study (audience laughs). Or you cannot speak even a sentence properly. "I-do-not-want-to-talk." But you still have to talk! Do you think I like to come to talk every Sunday? But if I have work to do, I do it well. I have to read and research. Sometimes what I read is not used. It doesn't matter. Sometimes I make use of a book or a story, and it provides leads or extended meanings for other stories. With reference to history and examples, you can understand immediately what I am talking about.
Even though this world is by no means permanent, God has granted us this life and this body. That means Hes wants us to do something with it. Hes gave us a husband or a wife, so Hes want us to take care of him or her, cooperate with each other, live and learn together, respect each other, learn to be courteous in life. So we have to do it well. If you cannot even handle a husband or a wife, what else can you do -- run for presidency? (Audience laughs.) Too many people run for it. You don't have to try. You will not be able to squeeze in. You don't have much chance. Practitioners like you only know how to cross their legs. It looks awful sitting in the president's office with crossed legs. When state affairs are waiting for you to deal with, you say: "I haven't finished two and a half hours meditation yet. (Master and audience laugh.) I have told you that it's okay to run for the presidency or office, but you have to do it well. If you cannot deal with trivial matters, you will not be able to handle great works.