Monthly Archives: September 2015

No Such Thing as True or False (page 167)

Speaking in silence, silent in speech,

The door of giving is wide open without obstruction.

If someone asks what basic principle I interpret,

I will say it is the power of Mahaprajna.

Others do not know whether I am right or wrong,

Even devas cannot fathom whether I oppose or agree.

I have practiced for many kalpas;

I am not deceiving you as some idlers are.

These verses describe the behavior of a person who has attained Great Enlightenment. He is the way he is. It does not matter what other people say about him or how they treat him. He cannot be influenced or forced to change in any way. A practitioner like this is the greatest of benefactors, the greatest giver of ultimate Dharma.

There are three kinds of donations: giving material wealth, giving Dharma, and giving non-action. Ordinary people give material wealth. Intelligent people give Dharma. People with great wisdom and merit give non-action. The person described in these verses is of the third category. Intelligent people must speak in order to give Dharma, but whether a great Ch’an master speaks or not does not matter. He is still giving. Speaking, he gives; not speaking, he gives.

An enlightened person with great merit can give people anything they need. Jesus Christ was extremely poor, yet those who followed him always had food to eat. If you do not have anything or want anything, then when you need something it will be there. If you were to ask a great practitioner how he is able to do these things, he would answer, “I don’t know or understand anything in particular. The power is not mine; it is the power of Mahaprajna, or great wisdom.” Great wisdom does not belong to the practitioner. He does not have or want anything. If he claimed to have any power, then it would be pride, not wisdom. Wisdom does not belong to him, or me or you. If it were your wisdom, it would be as limited as you are.

The Sword of Wisdom by Master Sheng-Yen (page 167)

The Elusiveness of Buddha-nature (page165)

It is not perishable and cannot be praised,

Its substance is like limitless space.

Without leaving where it is, it is constantly clear.

When seeking, you know it cannot be found.

It cannot be grasped, nor can it be discarded;

It is obtained only in the unobtainable.

It is impossible to attain Buddha-nature by grasping for it. Buddha-nature is not something that can be explained or praised. It is as big as empty space and as small as empty space. It contains everything. In the quickest snap of one’s fingers every moment of time is present within it. How can one possibly praise something that is beyond comprehension?

No matter where you are, it is possible to perceive Buddha-nature. But the instant you chase after it, it is gone; you will not be able to find it.

Buddha-nature can neither be grasped nor discarded. Only when it is unobtainable can it be obtained. As you can imagine, there is not much one can say about this. So if you cannot attain it, how do you attain it? How can you attain something by not attaining it? In truth, there is no attainment. Buddha-nature is here right from the start.
 The Sword of Wisdom by Master Sheng-Yen (page 165)