Up Next

Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: “The Hundred-Headed Fish,” “The Peaceful Heaven Being’s Deeds,” and “The Trayastrimsa Heaven Gatherings,” Part 5 of 8, Aug 09, 2015

Lecture Language:English
Download Docx
Read More

“Moreover, sea spirits, river spirits, stream spirits, tree spirits, mountain spirits, earth spirits, brook and marsh spirits, sprout and seedling spirits.” And you thought you were eating from your own hands, from your own planting. You have to always give thanks. There are different fairies, spirits and elements.

This is a story of the Buddha. “‘Thus I have heard,’” again, from Ananda. Thank you, thank you that he has remembered all this for us. And thank all the sangha who collected them and wrote it all down at that time, even how difficult it was for them.

“At one time, the Buddha was in the Trayastrimsa Heaven speaking Dharma for His mother.” His mother already passed away after His birth, remember? She went to Tusita Heaven. Oh no, she went to Trayastrimsa Heaven. It is one of the Heavens in the Third World. I told you every level has many, many Heavens and different names. You see that Heaven is not all there is.

You see, that’s why Heaven beings always come down and make offerings to the Buddha. And because of the offerings, he continued to be able to live up there. Many Heaven beings cannot live there long, maybe two, three, five, four thousand, hundred years, but then have to be reborn again.

But this one kept continuing to offer to seven Buddhas already, means how many kalpas passed? And then another thousand Buddhas in the future. That means he will live long in Heaven, due to his merit of offering to the Buddhas. That was just symbolic only. He cannot always manifest himself to go down and make offerings to the Buddha like that. But it’s also because of his past merit. He offered the Buddha in the past, one time, so that became like his karma, his tradition. So whenever the Buddha comes to this world, he also manifests himself from Heaven, and offers one time, bath and food. So, history always repeats itself. You do good things, you will continue to do that, life after life. You do bad things, you will continue in this evil path for a long, long time, until don’t know when you wake up, and then you change.

At that time, numerous, uncountable many Buddhas and great Bodhisattvas or Mahasattvas from infinite worlds in the ten directions assembled to praise Shakyamuni Buddha, how Shakyamuni Buddha is able to manifest powerfully, great wisdom and spiritual penetrations in the evil world of the Five Turbidities. They lauded how He regulates and subdues obstinate beings so they learn what causes suffering and what brings cessation of suffering and brings bliss. Each sends his attendants to pay their respect to the World Honored One. At that time, the Thus Come One,” means “Not Coming, Not Going,” meaning the Buddha – same. He has ten titles, and “Thus Come One” is one of His titles. “Thus Come One” means He just comes anytime He wants, anywhere He wants; He goes anywhere anytime He wants. No come, no go. Rulai. (in Chinese).

He smiled, the Buddha smiled and emitted billions of great Light clouds, Light beams. There was a Light cloud of great fullness, a Light cloud of great compassion, a Light cloud of great wisdom, a Light cloud of great prajna, a Light cloud of great samadhi, a Light cloud of great auspiciousness, a Light cloud of great blessing, a Light cloud of great merit, a Light cloud of great refuge, and a Light cloud of great praise.”

Each beam that He emitted has special meaning and benefit to other beings. And this is also “Thus I have heard,” meaning Ananda wasn’t there. He couldn’t go to Heaven. It means another person was up in there with the Buddha together, one of His disciples, and he came back and told the story. Just like one of your sisters and brothers tells the story that he went to Heaven with the Master Ching Hai and all that, but you guys don’t know. You see what I mean? So you would say, “Thus I have heard.” The sister from Hong Kong says this, the brother from America says that. Because you have not seen. He has not seen, but he heard the story. He was always next to the Buddha so he heard many stories, so he remembered and wrote it down.

After emitting indescribably many Light clouds, He also uttered many wonderful subtle Sounds. There was the Sound of dana paramita, the Sound of shila paramita, the Sound of shanti paramita” – means peace, the Sound that brings peace, just like the Light cloud brings peace or happiness, things like that.

“The Sound of virya paramita.” I don’t know all of these. Sorry. Like shanti, for example, is peace. Every other thing, I have to check the dictionary. “The Sound of dhyana paramita,” that means meditation, samadhi, “and the Sound of prajna paramita.” Prajna, I guess, is wisdom.

“There was the Sound of compassion, the Sound of joyous giving, the Sound of liberation, the Sound of no-outflows, the Sound of wisdom, the Sound of great wisdom, the Sound of the lion’s roar, the Sound of great lion’s roar, the Sound of thunderclouds, and the Sound of great thunderclouds.”

After He uttered indescribably many Sounds, countless millions of gods, dragons, ghosts, and spirits from the Saha and other worlds –” Saha means our world, “and other worlds also gathered in the Palace of the Trayastrimsa Heaven. They came from the Heaven of the Four Kings, the Trayastrimsa Heaven as well, the Suyama Heaven, the Tusita Heaven, the Blissful Transformations Heaven, and the Heaven of Comfort Gained Through Others’ Transformations.” I told you there are many Heavens, and they have different names.

“They came from the Heaven also of the Multitudes of Brahma, the Heaven of the Ministers of Brahma, the Heaven of the Great Brahma Lord himself, the Heaven of Lesser Light, the Heaven of Limitless Light, the Heaven of Light Sound, the Heaven of Lesser Purity, the Heaven of Limitless Purity, and the Heaven of Universal Purity. They came also from the Birth of Blessings Heaven, the Love of Blessings Heaven, the Abundant Fruit Heaven.”

Heavens have fruit? That’s good for us. In case you think you might be starving in Heaven nothing to eat. Remember the Heaven being from Peaceful Heaven, he brought down food and all the delicacies from Heaven to offer to the Buddha. So don’t worry that you’ll go starving in there. Maybe you’ll starve here, but not in Heaven.

“The No Thought Heaven, the No Affliction Heaven, the No Heat Heaven, the Good Views Heaven, the Good Manifestation Heaven, the Ultimate Form Heaven, the Maheshvara Heaven, and so forth, so forth; to the Heaven of the Station of Neither Thought Nor Non-Thought. All those groups of gods, dragons, ghosts and spirits came and gathered together.”

Wow! Even the Heaven is very high of the Thought Nor Non-Thought, means very peaceful there, no desire, nothing. And they still come down to worship the Buddha, come down to that Heaven where His mother resides. His mother died after the birth and went straight to this Heaven. Now He came up there to pay homage to her and preach the Dharma to her so that she can go higher.

“Moreover, sea spirits, river spirits, stream spirits, tree spirits, mountain spirits, earth spirits, brook and marsh spirits, sprout and seedling spirits.” And you thought you were eating from your own hands, from your own planting. You have to always give thanks. There are different fairies, spirits and elements. They’re helping with your plantation, with your trees, everything, everything. We owe everything to everything. It’s not easy, it’s not like we are alone, it’s not like that. But of course you don’t see them. They don’t always manifest themselves for you to see, only when necessary.

Oh, I forgot! You haven’t eaten, right? (No.) Yes? (Yes, some.) Some yes, some no, right? (It’s OK.) It’s OK? (Yes!) (It’s OK, Master.) You won’t die, promise? (No!)

I also ate only once today. You also ate breakfast, right? Once. (Yes.) We both won’t die. I remember a few days ago, you told me, even, “We won’t eat! We won’t eat!” Because I told you how difficult if we go somewhere else and how do we arrange the food and everything immediately. You said, “We won’t eat! We won’t eat!” Just talking, easy. Even when I asked you to eat once a day, only one person volunteered. I did not say you should. I just said, “Would you like to?” Because after reading the Eight Ways of Purification, one of them is to eat once a day only at noon. Afternoon, you won’t eat again. Only one said, “I do,” but maybe she didn’t understand what she’s up to. She didn’t really get what I said. You know what I mean? She just came from the airplane and still … (Still jet lagged.) Still jet lagged, yeah, and then anything Master says is good, good. If Master says so, must be good, so, “OK, OK.” I guess she changed her mind a thousand times already. I didn’t say you should, I said according to that, would any of you want to follow up? Nobody volunteered – nada, not even one hand came up.

It’s OK. Please don’t die until the next meal; it will still be there waiting for you after we’re finished. Or you want me to finish now and come back later? (No!) You’re sure about that? (Yes!) You’re not cramped or anything? (No!) Oh dear, I am! I was hoping you’d say, “Yes, Master. Please come back later!” OK, on the strength of your blessing, I continue to sit here.

All right, so you see, they all… so many … even “day spirits, night spirits and space spirits, Heaven spirits, food and drink spirits, grass and wood spirits, and other such spirits from the Saha,” our world, “and other worlds came and gathered together.” Wow, so now you know why I tell you, before you eat you should give thanks. Thank all who helped to manifest this food for you.

“In addition, all the great ghost kings,” wow, “from the Saha and other worlds came and gathered together.” Imagine, even ghosts they have it better than us. Many of you couldn’t go to Heaven where the Master went. Some people can, but some cannot. But the ghosts, they all can come. What?

“They were the Ghost King Evil Eyes.” Oh, God. Even then has enough power to go up to this. This Heaven is not very high. Of course, not above the Three Worlds. So, many of them are allowed to enter, I guess just temporarily. Let me see, is that the Third Heaven or… this Trayastrimsa or what was it? I was thinking it was the Third Heaven, but maybe not. So many names, I might forget. Let me think. Sorry, just Second Level, bordering the Third Level, one of the Heavens in the Second Level.

“Even the Ghost King, the Ghost King Blood-Drinker” – oh God! “The Ghost King Essence and Energy-Eater, the Ghost King Fetus and Egg-Eater,” – God! “The Ghost King Spreader of Sickness, the Ghost King Collector of Poisons, the Ghost King Kind-Hearted” – oh, thank God, for a change – “the Ghost King Blessings and Benefits.” There are two kinds: positive and negative. Even in the ghost kingdom there are two kinds of ghosts. “The Ghost King Great Regard and Respect, and others, etc., etc.”

Only the ghost kings can come. Maybe the subordinate ghosts cannot come. I guess somebody has to govern these spirits and these ghosts. So maybe the king of the ghosts doesn’t mean he’s one of them. Probably he’s just assigned to govern these ghost kingdoms to take care that they don’t do wrong things, they don’t drink, eat people in the wrong area, maybe not to touch the virtuous people. Maybe like that.

“At that time, Shakyamuni Buddha said to the Dharma Prince, Bodhisattva-Mahasattva Manjusri,” Oh, here’s Manjusri.

Have any of you heard this story about Earth Store Bodhisattva already? Yes or no? (No.) Mongolia, no? The Tibetan monks don’t read this? Don’t give you all this? (No.) They should have. Should translate to others, other countries’ languages also, no? And Tibetan is a Buddhist country, Buddhist race, so probably they should know, but maybe they don’t read it. They don’t give it to the laypeople. When you ask, you probably have. When you ask, you might have it.

“The Buddha said to Manjusri, ‘As you regard these Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, gods, dragons, ghosts and spirits from this land and other lands who are now gathered, in the Trayastrimsa Heaven, do you know their number?’” Manjusri is supposed to be very wise and knowing a lot. “So Manjusri said to the Buddha, ‘World Honored One, even if I were to measure and reckon with my spiritual powers for a thousand eons, I would not be able to know their number.’” So we give up. If Manjusri cannot for thousands of eons, what about us? Forget it!

“The Buddha told Manjusri, ‘Regarding them with my Buddha Eye, I also cannot count them all.’”

Oh, even the Buddha gave up! So, OK, we are not so bad. Even the Buddha cannot, Manjusri cannot, then we don’t feel that bad, do we? Do you feel bad? (No!) No, good, good. It’s a comfort to know that the Buddha cannot count, because too much, too much, too much.

Too many that gathered to any Buddha gathering. So many, many gods and ghosts and spirits all come to see Him. Because it’s rarely that the Buddha appears anywhere. If He’s in Nirvana, nobody can see Him. Nobody can feel Him. But if He appears already on the physical planet, then He can connect Himself to all the other higher planets, higher level of spiritual. So then, even Heaven can see Him. But if He’s not manifested, then not everyone can see Him, even Heaven beings. That’s why they all gathered so quick, so great number, even the Buddha could not count.

“Those beings have been taken across,” meaning have been liberated; “are being taken across,” meaning being helped to liberate now at this time; or “will be taken across,” those spirits and ghosts probably have not been liberated yet, but will be. That’s why Buddha said, “Already been done or doing now or will be done.” “…will be taken across, have been brought to accomplishment, are being brought to accomplishment, or will be brought to accomplishment by Earth Store Bodhisattva, throughout many eons.” All these beings have been helped or will be helped by a Bodhisattva called Earth Store, Ksitigarbha. I think it’s Ksitigarbha, right? I think so. If it’s wrong, I will correct later. His name meaning Earth Store Bodhisattva.

Watch More
Part  5 / 8
Share To
Start Time
Watch in mobile browser
Scan the QR code,
or choose the right phone system to download