The Mystery Of The World Beyond
United Nations, New York June 26,1992.
Q. Hi. I see so much destruction going on around me, environmental destruction.
Q. Cruelty. Cruelty to animals.
M. It's true.
Q. I just wonder how You perceive this and what You can recommend to people who are trying to release themselves from this world in the spiritual fashion, to help them cope with their surroundings and cope with all the devastation that is going on around them. And do You think that going beyond this world is enough for us to recognize what we are leaving behind, or do You feel we in this plane have a duty to try to alleviate the suffering? And will it do any good?
M. It will. It will. At least for us, for our conscience so that we feel we are doing something and we have tried our best to relieve the suffering of our fellow beings. I do all the same. Whatever you ask, I am doing. I did, I do, and I will. I have told you already, our finances are distributed to different organizations, sometimes, or different countries, when there are in disasters. And I would not like to boast much about it, but since you ask... And for example, we gave one million dollars US to Philippines last year for their release of their... relief of their Mt. Pinatubo. And we helped the flood victims in Vietnam, and the flood victims in China etc. And we are trying to help the Vietnamese refugees now to release...to.... to help with the U.N.'s burden, you understand, provided the U.N. wants us to help. But we are trying. Yes, understand now? We help them with financial support, and also we could relocate them if the U.N. lets it happen - with the blessing of the U.N. Understand? Yes, so we do all these things that you have requested and also because, since we are here, you understand, we might just as well clean our environment as much as possible. Therefore, we help with the suffering and we help with the moral standard of the world. Yeah? Both spiritually and physically. Yes. Because some people don't want to take spirituality from me. They only want to take physical help. So we help them physically. And that's what we do, that's why I have to earn money. That's why I don't want to live on people's donations. Understand? All my monks and my disciples have to work, just like you do. And then, apart from that, we help spiritually also, understand, and help with the suffering of the world, help to relieve the suffering of the world. We have to do this. Doesn't mean we sit in samadhi all day long and enjoy ourselves. That's a very selfish Buddha (enlightened being). We don't want to have him here. (laughter)
Q. I just have one more question. I was wondering if You knew anything... I heard many reports that the Dali Lama eats meat and I was just wondering if You knew if that was true and how he would excuse that.
M. I don't know why you asked me, you have to ask him.
Q. I just wondered if You had heard it or if You knew anything about that.
M. You see I very much not like to talk other people things, especially when that person is not here to defend himself; should things not be the way we understood. All right, please excuse. He is a lovable person as far as he can be. And anything else is his own responsibility and choice of life.
Q. Thank You Master Ching Hai, for having the patience with us today, [Master: It's okay] for answering our questions and being so generous. You spoke about a level where one is aware that they have powers that come from that awareness. Now what if you are aware of the powers, you don't know that you have them but you are aware of them. You may even feel like you do. How do you access it or not access it? If you don't access it, how do you not become impatient with the process that's going on around? Like you see the process taking a slow, mundane way when you know you can just pray or do something else to bring about a better or quicker resolution.
M. Yeah, understand.
Q. What does that mean and how does one access it with the blessing that it will come out okay? Do you understand what I mean?
M. I understand, I understand. What you meant is that when we have the power to change things and when the things around go in a bureaucratic way and a slow way, how would you have the patience to bear it, right? Or would you just pray or do some magic or point a finger and push it, right? No, I have patience because we have to work with the pace of this world in order not to bring it into chaos. Yes. For example, a child cannot run. Not because you are in a hurry or you want to run that you make the child stumble and fall. So we have to be patient. Even though we have the power to run, we walk with the child, yes. That's why sometimes I am also frustrated and impatient but I have to teach myself to be patient. That's why I have to go and bow my head from one president after another for the refugees, even though we want to add all the financial support. We would give all we have, everything, millions of dollars, or billions even. We have to go through the bureaucratic system. Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Understand? I am not going to wield my head or to point a finger at the U.N. even make them run. No, no. We cause disaster in this world if we use physical, magic power. Understand? It has to go the way it goes. But we can elevate people's consciousness by spiritual healing, by spiritual wisdom, understanding. Impart to them the knowledge that they are willing to do it, you understand, and cooperate. That's the best way, not to use magical power. I never intentionally use magical power in any aspect of life. But miracles just happen around the spiritual practitioners. That's very natural, but not intentionally. You understand? Not trying to push things. Yes, that's no good. The child cannot run. All right? You satisfied with my answer? If any of my answers don't suit you, please let me know, because I can explain further. But I trust you are very intelligent, being the most chosen and intelligent people of all nations. Therefore I don't elaborate very much, yeah. Any more question? Yes, behind there. It's good that we have United Nations, I have to say, by the way. Yes, yes. We eliminate many of the world's conflicts and wars, even though we cannot completely minimize. But I read your books of United Nations. Everyone is United Nations. And I have followed some of the United Nations work. And I must praise its effort and efficiency in rescuing hostages where other people cannot rescue, all the power of the world cannot rescue and one United Nations' commissioner did it.
Yes, and many other things concerning disaster relief, refugee problems. You have about twelve million refugees, I heard, responsibility. No? It's a lot of work, and the wars and everything. So it's good that we have United Nations, yeah! It's very good.
Q. Thank You, Master Ching Hai, for sharing Your wisdom with us. I have a question. It's about the escalating world population and its accompanying problem of further environmental abuse and the further greater demand for food. Would You like to comment something on this escalating world population? Is this a world karma? Or is this going to create certain kind of karma in the future?
M. Ummm, to have more people for this world is also very good. Why not? More crowded, more noise, more fun. No? It's not that we are overpopulated, really. We just not spread out evenly. People just condense in certain areas of the world and do not want to move to another area. That is all. Yeah, we have so many vast areas of wild land that have not been used. Many virgin islands, many vast.. you know, plateaus which are only green with forests and nothing there. Ummm, people just like to concentrate in New York, for example (Laughter) because it's more fun here. Yes, because if a government or any government is able to create jobs, you understand, and industry... and employment of different kinds in different places and people would go there also to work. They just condense in some places because it's easier to find employment here, or safety. If the safety, security and employment opportunity presents itself in those other different places, people would go there also. They would go for security, for their livelihood. That's very natural. Yeah? So, it's not that we should fear about overpopulation. We should be more organized to give people of the world more benefit of employment opportunities and housing and security. Then everywhere is the same. We would never be overpopulated. And about your question concerning food, you should know better. Because in America, we have so much information concerning how to preserve the world. Vegetarian diet is one of the best, to preserve the world's resources, to feed the whole population of the earth. Because we waste a lot of vegetarian food, energy, electricity, medicine, to raise animals. Understand? Whereby it could feed other people directly. And many countries of the third world nations, they sell their protein-enriched vegetarian food for cheaper price. But that is not a help to the other world nations' populations. If we spread all the food evenly and vegetarian diet will help this, not only for ourselves, not only for the animals, but for the whole world. One of the research something... magazines, they already said that if want... if everyone in the... how to say... Oh, last time, I was in United Nations, I mentioned that already. I've forgotten. If we eat vegetarian, the world will not be hungry anymore. And also we have to organize, yeah, organize. I know some person, he can make rice bran into nutritious food and milk even. And we have talked last time about that. He said he spend about three hundred thousand dollars and he can feed six hundred thousand people in Ceylon - the poor, the under-nourished, the mothers, and all that. Yeah, it was fantastic. Because the way we do it in many parts of the world, it's that we waste the natural resources, not that we don't have enough. God wouldn't put us here to starve. Actually, we starve ourselves. So we have to rethink... rethink, reorganize, and that needs the blessing of many countries' governments. They have to bless us with their absolute honesty, cleanliness and, you understand, dignity, and the will to serve people instead of serve themselves. If we have this blessing from all the countries' governments, you understand, we have no problem really. No problem. We have to have good leadership, good economic organization and ruling talents and honest governments. But that can come about more rapidly when many people or most of the people or all the people become spiritual. Then they know the discipline. Then they know the precepts. Then they know how to be honest and clean. And they know how to use their wisdom then. Then they can think of many things to do and reorganize our lives. Understand? Otherwise if you just run for power with your pocket money or with the money collected from the public and then you try to collect the same money again before you run out of power then. Does not help at all. Does not matter if you sit on gold mine, we die all the same of poverty. The leaders of many nations have to be aware of their power and responsibility. Have to think of the people, reorganize the system. Uh! Yes.
Q. That seems to be very difficult because as I see, much of the... as I understand, much of the environmental abuse today has to do with a growing population's demand for more living space, for homes, for living the way we in the 20th century know and want to live. Say the jungles in Brazil. The environmental abuse there. The destruction of the forest there, the rain forest. The land, it's being defoliated and that results in floods. And these are not unrelated to the problem of overpopulation.
M. Yes, everything is related to each other, of course, in this world. And the only solution is to solve it from the root, not the branches. And the root is spiritual stability. Understand? So all we have to do is to try to spread the spiritual message, what we know, and keep to the spiritual discipline. That's what people don't have. It's okay to plug yourself in the electric machine and have some lights and some buzzing music and get samadhi. But if you don't have moral discipline, then you only use the power for bad things sometimes. Can't control it. You understand? That's why we in this group, we keep... teach people the precepts first. Precepts are important. We have to know where we go and maneuver our power. Power without love, without compassion, without proper understanding of the moral value, then it's no use. It becomes black magic, abuse. Yeah. That's where black magic comes from. Understand? So it's easy to get enlightenment, it's hard to keep it. In our path, if you are not truly disciplined and morally equipped, the master will take away some of your power so that you cannot abuse it and do bad things to the society. Understand? That's the difference. Master has control. The master power, the master power, okay? Yes, I am very happy with all of your intelligent questions. Very intelligent. People do these things because they are not wise enough, you know, like abusing the land that you have said, or doing something just because their lack of wisdom. Yes, so the root is wisdom, spiritual practice. Get enlightened. Yes man.
Q. I've read a couple of Your books and I've listened to several of Your tapes.
M. You have! Amazing! So we knew each other then.
Q. I am intrigued by the concept of asuras.
M. A..S..U..R..A..S...What is that? Asura! Asura! Ah, astral! Ah, asuras! Yes, yes, yes. This is the Sanskrit language for astral entities, astral entities. Okay now. I didn't know you speak in the Sanskrit. Right so!
Q. So my question is that I know that I struggle to do the right thing to do my practices and I know that I am struggling against something that is struggling against me. And my question is how do I get beyond the struggle? How do I win?
M. That's where fun is. If something is too easy, you know you lose the challenge and you don't even want to win it. Yes. Therefore, we have two powers inside us. We call "yin and yang" in Oriental terms, and Chinese. Uh. We call negative and positive in the western terminology. Negative power just pushes us to do something which is against our will, and positive power helps us to conquer that tendency. And sometimes we lose, sometimes we win, depends on our spiritual discipline and power. So try to struggle and continue. Just like the United Nations struggle with refugees issues and the wars in the world. Sometime you win at the end, it takes some struggling. I thank you for your attention. All the best.