News (2006-2016) Master's Teachings

Master's Teachings

The Water Ghost and the Spiritual Practitioner

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Photo taken from Tzu Chi Malaysia website

About 15km from the city of Sravasti in ancient India, there lived a spiritual practitioner. Every day, he would make his way into the city to beg for alms. There was a businessman in the city who made a living from the slaughter and sale of pigs. He was very generous and charitable, and was on especially friendly terms with the spiritual practitioner. Every time he saw the practitioner in the city, he would attend to his needs and sincerely make offerings to him, providing him with food and other daily necessities.
After the businessman passed away, he took rebirth as a water ghost in the Ganges River. There, his body was frequently pierced by blades and spears that rained down on him, causing him great pain all over.

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“This Ox Is My Elder Brother”

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20151012 This OX is my brother MT

Witnessing the suffering of the ox, the younger brother could not help but sigh sadly. He told the ox: “When one does not make timely efforts to cultivate spiritually and toils his whole life away pursuing worldly gains, one ends up heavily bounded by the chains of one’s negative karma. Hopefully you can contemplate this and be free of this body soon.”

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Putting Faith in Right Beliefs

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Photo taken from Tzu Chi USA website

During the Buddha’s time, one of his disciples, Kumara-Kasyapa practised spiritual cultivation in a village and at the same time also taught the Dharma to people. One day, a wealthy elder approached Kumara-Kasyapa and enquired, “Respected sage, you often say that when one leaves this world, it is his own karma that decides if he will take rebirth in the heaven or hell realms. It all sounds very reasonable, but how does one prove the truth of these words? Can you give a real example? You also teach that it is our mind that creates all our circumstances. Can you explain what the mind is about? What are its form and function?”

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A Donkey Repays a Debt

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Photo taken from Tzu Chi HQ website

Once, there was a scholar riding a donkey, hurrying to reach the city. But three li* before the scholar reached his destination, the donkey stopped and refused to walk any further no matter how he urged it on. Pressed for time, he had no other choice but to continue the journey on foot.

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The Grateful Servant Boy Who Became the Buddha’s Disciple

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Photo taken from Tzu Chi HQ website

"We have the remarkable opportunity to hear the teachings today all because of this monk. He was once a bond servant, yet he was able to learn and gain wondrous Dharma. How did he come to be so blessed?"

 

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To Be a Buddha or a Demon

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Photo taken from Jing Si Books and Cafe website

The Buddhist sutras tell us that a person’s outward appearance comes from his inner state. When our minds are pure and flawless, we will look very dignified, like the Buddha. But when tempted by external conditions, our minds would give rise to unwholesome thoughts, which lead us to do many wrong things. The evil acts that we commit would gradually cause our appearance to change and make us look like a hideous demon. Therefore, whether we are a buddha or a demon all depends on our state of mind.  

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The Destructive Power of Hatred ─ Massacre of the Sakya Clan

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Photo source: Tzu Chi Taiwan

More than two thousand years ago, ancient India, where the Buddha lived, was divided into several independent states . After the Buddha attained enlightenment, he returned to his birth place, Kapilavastu (the capital of Sakya state), to expound the Dharma. As the Buddha had achieved supreme realization, many people in India at the time believed that descendants of the Sakya  clan, to which the Buddha belonged, had great wisdom. They thought that if they could claim relation to the Sakya clan by marriage, their descendants would in turn, also have the wisdom of the Buddha.

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Giving With Utmost Sincerity

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Tolakele Mkhize, a dedicated Tzu Chi volunteer in South Africa, carries on her head a bag of rice to be distributed to an aid recipient. (Photo source: Tzu Chi Quarterly Spring 2015)

Our world is filled with suffering. Once you have resolved to be a real-life bodhisattva, you must make altruistic vows, act on your compassion, and give with utmost sincerity to cultivate yourself and benefit others. As long as you firmly resolve to live out the Bodhisattva spirit, you’ll be able to overcome all difficulties and fulfil your wish of helping others.

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A Way to Transform Our Minds

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(Photo by Alvin Tan)

I often share my “Three No’s” with Tzu Chi volunteers: “In this world, there is no one I do not love, no one I cannot trust, and no one I cannot forgive.” Though I use the pronoun “I,” the same statement can be said by anyone.

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The Peril of Young People’s Work Attitude Today

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Young people today ought to stand up and make their own way; they should not be afraid of taking on hard work, and should learn correct life values. (Photo by Lin Chi-Hao)

In recent years, we’ve been observing a phenomenon in which young people who are capable of working are not contributing themselves to society. Society calls them NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training). Instead of working to support themselves, they are living off of their parents. Such a mentality of shunning work in favor of an easy life is truly worrisome. It will bring about problems not only for the NEETs themselves, but also for our society.

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