Heavenly melodies teachings
Chula Longkon University, Bangkok, Thailand. June 12, 1993
Q. Is Your initiation method the same as in Taoism?
M. In the ancient time, originally the Taoist way is the Quan Yin way; but today Taoism is different. Many Taoist sects have only the written and oral doctrine, they don't have the speechless transmission. The same with many other religious divisions.
Q. The business life means hard-work, confusion, confrontation of problems the whole day. How can we provide time to study meditation, because I think it needs time?
M. I told you already that you can find time, anytime you have time. Business and obligations in this world we have to fulfill anyhow. Even if you are monks or nuns, you still have to do some kind of business, do kinds of work in the temple. So, there is no priority, no privilege for anyone.
Do you think we, this group, me and my close disciples, cross our legs all day long and do nothing? If that were the case, you would never see me tonight. I had to work for the airplane tickets for a lot of people. For all the equipment, for all the staff members that you have seen, we all have to work. So, don't have the illusion about a life in the Himalayas with nothing to do.
Enlightenment must be also useful to the society. Otherwise, what is the use? So, do your work and try to meditate at your free time. If you try your best, the Buddhas, God will know your efforts and bless you all the same.
Q. Could You explain about the cycle of rebirth?
M. You see, when we still have desire for anything in this world, we will be given another human body or another kind of body again, in order to make us satisfied. That is the cycle of rebirth. When we owe someone something, we have to go back and repay. Therefore, when I teach you meditation, I also tell you to keep the precepts. Make sure we don't owe anyone anything financially, emotionally, mentally, and even physically. Therefore, we keep the vegetarian diet; so we don't owe any living beings their life. (Applause) Thank you for understanding.
Q. To see God and attain enlightenment, are they the same or different?
M. Oh, yes, the same. God is enlightenment; and when we are enlightened, we are able to know God.
Q. Is it sinful to give meat to the dog we raise at home?
M. The dog can be vegetarian also, then you don't have to share his karma; or you don't have to have a dog, save the problem.
Q. How can we know that what we think is not wrong?
M. Whatever you think, if that doesn't hurt someone else, then it is not wrong.
Q. Can we go to heaven just eating vegetarian food?
M. You go the heaven if you behave according to heavenly rules. Vegetarian food is just one of the rules. Otherwise, you will go to vegetarian heaven, and see all the cows there. (Laughter)
Q. Who are You, Master Ching Hai? (Applause)
M. I am what you think myself to be. (Applause) I am different according to individuals, but I never change. According to your understanding level, so I will be.
Q. It relates to that question. Where are You come from?
M. I came from the exact place that you came from. (Applause)
Q. What do You want in Your life?
M. It's difficult, because I don't remember if I wanted anything. I used to want before but now, I forgot. Before enlightenment, I used to want many things. Like you, I wanted to be successful, I wanted to graduate with the best mark, I wanted to have a good husband, I want to have a harmonious family. Finally, I wanted enlightenment. Now, I want nothing. (Applause)
Q. In meditation, we see the white light in the middle. Can You explain about this?
M. It depends on the brightness of that light. If it is as bright as a thousand suns, then you have reached the third level of enlightenment. If it's still very dim, then you have to try harder. There are greater lights than this white light. Only those with the initiation will experience the greater light.
Q. If we have killed someone and practice the Quan Yin Method, can we be delivered in this life?
M. Killed someone? Yes, you can, if you repent and don't do it again. You did it because you did not understand, or because the circumstances forced you to do it. So it will be forgiven if you understand now and try to keep the precept. When the Buddha was alive, someone killed ninety-nine persons, and wanted to kill the Buddha to make it a hundred; because his previous teacher cheated him to do that. But when he came to the Buddha, the Buddha enlightened him, he knew it, he repented, the Buddha forgave him, and he became Arhat in a very short time. We have the same method to cleanse all the sins.
Q. How do we know our original self?
M. Get enlightenment then you know everything.
Q. Why is it that as the scientific world learns more and more, it goes closer to religions?
M. Religions originally are very scientific. It's just a science of life. Therefore, many enlightened masters know a lot of things before the scientific discoveries. For example, the Buddha said that in a glass of water, there are numerous sentient beings inside; and the scientists refer to them now as bacteria. The Buddha knew that over two thousand years ago. It took a lot of time and research before the scientists confirmed that; because the enlightened person sees with their real wisdom eye, and the scientists have to see with instruments.
Q. In order to get initiation, people have to eat vegetarian food for the whole life. It is very difficult. Don't You think that it prevents a lot of other people to do or to practice good things?
M. Yes, it's difficult; but we don't have to always do easy things. These are reserved for the babies, children. If we are grown up, we do something difficult; because we are strong. But it's up to you.
We have two kinds of methods. One is called 'the great way,' and the other one is called 'the small way'. 'Great way' is initiation, fully vegetarian, keep the precepts; and you can save five generations and give them liberation and save anyone that is dear and beloved to you. So, one person enlightened, many people get benefit. 'The small way' is, you are enlightened yourself and benefit your very own. 'The small way,' you can have, as expedient, convenient method. My disciples can teach you, if you require them. In this method, you don't have to be completely vegetarian. You try as much as you can to eat vegetarian to lessen your karma. 'Karma' means the bad or good effect from the action.
Q. How can we know that we attained Buddhahood?
M. We know, but we don't know; because Buddhahood is not candies or cakes that you can define, "Oh! I've got a cake. But we know, the Buddhas in the ten directions know, the whole world knows, and the whole universe knows. When you attain Buddhahood there are different signs. Without your knowing, you have all healing power, almighty power or all-pervading power. That means you can appear in a thousand and one places at the same time, while you are sitting in your house. That's one of the signs of the Buddhahood -- very important sign; so that you can help different sentient beings in different parts of the universe, not only this world, different heavens and hells as well. Your disciples will know that you are the Buddha.