Chapter 61 - 70
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A tattered-robed monk who seeks fame and fortune is not equal to a country bumpkin dressed in straw-filled clothes.
"Sakyamuni Buddha spat at the crown and then entered the Himalayas." A thousand Buddhas may appear but this principle97 will never change. During this era of the Dharma’s decline, herds of sheep wearing tiger skins will shamelessly seek to wield power. They will secretly conspire to glory. Alas! What punishment is appropriate for their offense?
He whose mind is defiled with desire for worldly gain flatters influential people. He follows the blowing dust only to become a laughing-stock. Such a monk is said to be like a disguised sheep that reveals himself in his every action.
The Buddha said, "Why are thieves donning my clothes and selling the Tathagata to produce all sorts of bad karma?"
There are many kinds of names applied to monks in the era of the Dharma’s decline. They are called "bat-monks," "mute sheep-monks," "bald laymen," "hell’s slime," and "thieves donning robes." Alas, there are reasons for this.
Those who discredit the notion of cause and effect, misdeeds and merit are said to "sell the Tathagata." The bodies and mouths of such people are on fire, feelings of like and dislike arise in rapid succession. It’s really a pity. Someone who is neither a monk nor a layman is called a "bat."98 A monk who does not explain the Dharma is called a "mute sheep." One who is only outwardly a monk but still has the mind of a layman is called a "bald layman." A monk whose misdeeds are so heavy that he cannot do anything is called "hell’s slime." One who sells the Buddha for a living is called "a thief donning robes." All these names refer to this "thief donning robes."
Oh, followers of the Buddha! The food you eat is produced from the blood and sweat of the farmer. The clothes you wear are made from the toil of the weaver. How can you use these things while your True Eye99 is still not bright?
The Transmission of the Lamp relates the story of a practitioner whose True Eye was not yet bright. Because of this, he was born a mushroom in his next life in order to pay back the faithful for their support.
And so it has been said, "Would you like to find out how a beast puts on its hide and horns? You will be such a beast if you receive alms from supporters without practicing." Those who eat when they are not hungry and put on extra clothes although it is not yet cold — what are they thinking? Such people never consider the fact that the pleasure now before their eyes will turn into suffering in the next life.
The Tai-chih-tu-ching-lun tells of a monk who became an ox because he wasted just five grains of millet. When the ox was alive, it repaid its debt with its muscles and bones; and when it died, it repaid its debt to its previous supporters with its hide and meat. The waste of the offerings of a faithful person must be repaid as an echo resounds.
And so it has been said, "It is better to enclose one’s body with hot irons than to wear the clothes given by a man of faith. It is better to drink iron water than to take food from a man of faith. And it is better to jump into a molten pot than to live in a house built by a man of faith."100
The Fan-mang Sutra101says, "Do not receive any goods or offerings from the faithful if you have broken the precepts. A Bodhisattva who fails to establish this as his vow creates a minor transgression."
And so it has been said, "The Man of the Way approaches food as if it were poison; he receives offerings as if he were pierced with an arrow." A Man of the Way fears kind treatment and sweet words.
One "approaches food as if it were poison" for fear of losing one’s True Eye. One "receives offerings as if pierced with an arrow" for fear of losing the fruit of the path.
A man cultivating the Way is like a whetstone. When men come and use it, their knives get sharper and sharper. But the stone gradually gets rubbed away. In spite of this, there are those who still want others to come and sharpen their knives on this stone. This is really a pity!
There are some practitioners like this. Their sole concern in life is to get warm clothing and food.
The ancients have also said, "The suffering of the Three Lower Realms102 is not real suffering. To lose a human life after donning monk’s robes - that is suffering.
The ancients said, "He who does not make his mind clear during this lifetime will find it difficult to digest even a single drop of water."
This is what is meant by "losing a human life after donning monk’s robes." Oh, Buddhist disciples! Become angry and aroused by these words!
How absurd! This body’s nine holes are constantly oozing. The million bumps and boils inside the body are covered up by one thin layer of skin. In this leather bag full of excrement, the blood congeals and clots. This smelly, dirty, base thing is more to be pitied than desired. What’s more, even if you take care of this body for a hundred years, it will turn its back on all your kindness and leave you in a single breath.
The various forms of karma mentioned above all arise due to our body. At this, you should yell and scream. You should be deeply alarmed. This body is the basis for all forms of attachment. If you fully realize that it is an empty deception, all your attachment will automatically come to an end. Excessive attachment to the body leads to unlimited transgressions and worries. Therefore, I’m especially clear about this so that you may open the Eye of Practice.
The Four Elements have no master. The body is therefore called "the deception of the Four Enemies." The Four Elements betray the kindness you have shown the body. The body is thus said to "raise four snakes."
You have not fully realized the empty and false nature of the body, so you get angry at people and look down on them. Others have also failed to realize this and thereby treat you in the same way. This is like two ghosts fighting over a corpse. The body of the corpse is composed of a conglomeration as fragile as a bubble and as false as a dream. It is a collection of suffering and a bag of feces.103 It quickly rots and is extremely dirty. The upper seven orifices constantly ooze tears and mucous, whereas the lower two constantly ooze excrement and urine.
For this reason, you must constantly keep your body pure and clean throughout the twenty-four hours of the day so that you can be with others. The good spirits will surely turn then-backs and depart from one who is impure in his behavior. The Yin-k’e (Cause and Effect) Sutra says, "Those who pick up a sutra with dirty hands or spit in front of the Buddha will surely receive the body of an outhouse maggot as retribution." The Manjushri Sutra says, "When defecating or urinating, one should be like a tree or a rock, taking care not to speak at all. One should not write graffiti on the walls or spit in the outhouse." The sutra also says, "If you have not washed your hands after going to the toilet, you should not meditate on your cushion or enter the Dharma Hall."
To repent when wrong, to be full of shame when his karma becomes activated - this is the character of a great man. If such a one can constantly renew his efforts to correct his faults, his misdeeds will disappear in accordance with his effort.
Repentance means to regret your previous mistakes, and to make a commitment not to repeat the mistake in the future.104 Shame means to criticize oneself and to disclose one’s mistakes to others.105 But the mind is fundamentally empty and quiescent; there is nowhere for unwholesome karma to attach itself.