The Buddhadharma is Most Fair

An Instructional talk given by Venerable Master Hua

In Buddhism, the retribution you receive for each share of merit and each share of offense is created by
you yourself and it will not be off by a hairsbreadth.

The Buddhadharma is subtly very wonderful. You cannot feel the advantage when you are within the Buddhadharma; nor do you have a sense of disadvantage when outside the Buddhadharma. Nevertheless, in Buddhism, the retribution you would receive for each share of merit and each share of offense you have created will not be let off by a hairsbreadth. Buddhism provides a great deal of freedom and equality. It is not despotic or biased in the least.

Why do we say that Buddhism provides the greatest equality? In Buddhism, any living being who resolves to cultivate the Way can become a Buddha. The idiom, "a turn of the head is the other shore" can be applied to all living beings, i.e. hungry ghosts, hell-beings, evil spirits, ferocious beasts, evil people, and bad people. Unlike Buddhists, externalists advocate that bad and wicked people are eternally bad and beyond redemption, and that ferocious tigers and evil beasts are bestial by nature and cannot be saved.

During China's Ming dynasty, there was a Great Master by the name of Lianchi who took in a tiger as his disciple. This tiger disciple accompanied him around and protected him. Since tigers are known for their ferocious nature, everyone was terrified upon seeing the tiger. Therefore, Great Master Lianchi taught the tiger to walk backwards instead of forward. When the tiger did this, people felt assured that it was tame, and were no longer afraid of it. This tiger traveled around town to raise funds for the Great Master. People all crowded in to make offerings when they saw this well- mannered tiger coming. Hence, tigers can likewise take refuge with the Triple Jewel, protect and support the Buddhadharma and become Buddhas.

Buddhism gives people a great amount of freedom. Buddhism exhorts people to do good deeds and to abstain from evil deeds. It teaches us that if you do evil, you yourself must suffer the retribution. Buddhism does not coerce people to do good deeds, and say things like "If you don't listen, and you keep making bad karma, I'll build a prison and lock you up in it." That is because 'everything is created from the mind alone.' Heavens and hells transpired based on people's thoughts and their karmic force. Thus, Buddhism teaches people to "Abstain from all evil and offer up all good conducts," and explains the law of cause and effect, which is never off by even a hairsbreadth. It teaches people to truly understand principles and transcend transmigration.

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