Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: The Six Practices: Ten Faiths Part 1(十身五)
Ten Bodies (Part 5)
Ten Bodies: Sentient Being-body, Land-body, Karma-body, Sravaka-body, Pratyekabuddha-body, Bodhisattva-body, Tathagata-body, Wisdom-body, Dharma-body, Absolute Space-body.
Yesterday we discussed Tathagata-body and Wisdom-body. There is also a ninth Body, the Dharma-body. The Dharma-body is “the body that realizes the flawless Dharma Realm”. Achievement of Dharma-body validates a spiritual practitioner. To be flawless is to have no afflictions. If we can attain flawless wisdom, we will not be defiled by afflictions. Thus, flawlessness can exist in all Dharma Realms. Whatever anyone says, our minds are innately pure. They are free from afflictions and can pervade the Dharma Realm. That is called Dharma-body. The Buddha taught us that the origin of all Dharma is the Ultimate Reality, or True Suchness which is undefiled. Thus, if we can comprehend that the Dharma-realm pervades the universe, then we will see Dharma-body everywhere conveying the Dharma to us and guiding us. Thus we have nothing to worry about. As describes in the Jataka Sutras, Buddha took different forms in many incarnations in order to tell different stories so we can comprehend the Truth of this world.
One such story depicted a king who ruled his country honestly and selflessly, and earnestly governed his national affairs. The country was peaceful and harmonious, but he never left his palace to see how his people actually lived. One day, his prime minister suggested, “My king,you earnestly attend to national affairs because you hope for our people to be prosperous and for our society to be at peace.
However, you have never seen them,so I suggest you go out and see for yourself.”
The king thought about it and realized he did not know how his people lived, so he agreed “OK, get everything ready. I will go out tomorrow.”The next day, the king and his dignified procession left for the city. His people were affluent. Every home was beautiful and lavish. Previous stones decorated the exterior of houses, and gold and silver adorned the roof tiles. After his visit, he said, “There are so many wealthy people.Isn’t it wasteful to lead such lavish lives?Since my people are so rich,perhaps other countries would invade someday，we should strengthen our military.”
He issued orders for prosperous individuals to contribute money to the state treasury so that he could acquire additional weaponry.
Once the order went out, everyone in the country panicked.
Among them was a businessman who owned a large enterprise.
He was a wealthy elder, and when it was his turn, he wrote down all his assets, cash properties, etc. on the register.He pulled out a ledger and told the king, “My king, my personal assets are recorded here, please review them.”The king opened the ledger and saw that the man claimed to be a millionaire 30 times over.He was very angry with the businessman.“You are very wealthy, how dare you deceive me by claiming to have only 30 million?”The businessman responded, “My king, this amount is from my personal account.”
The king said, “you have so many assets. Don’t you own all that?”
The businessman replied, “The 30 million here is for my personal use. I know I can spend it freely, so I use it to help the poor, make offerings to the Three Treasures, and provide poor virtuous scholars with better living conditions so that they can focus on their studies and research. I do all this freely with my own money.”
The king asked, “What about the rest?” “The rest belongs to the Five Groups. It appears to be part of my wealth but it is shared among the Five Groups.”He showed the king those accounts and they consisted of a lot of money.“What are the Five Groups?”
He said, “they are fires, floods, bandits and thieves, government, and heirs. Everything is impermanent. If a flood happens, it will destroy assets such as fields and houses. A fire may burn everything down. When earth, water, fire, and wind are not in harmony, disasters occur. No matter how much wealth we own, everything will be wiped out. If someone has money, then those with bad intentions, bandits, or thieves will rob and steal from him. I can never be sure when those types of people will terrorize me in my home and seize some of my wealth. Nobody knows when it might happen. Next, like today you, our king, can suddenly decide that you want the rich to contribute their wealth, and give some of these assets to you. Lastly, we do not know if our heirs are filial. If they are not, they may squander my fortune while I’m still alive by eating, drinking playing, and expecting me to pay their debts. When I die and leave them with this inheritance, will they use it to create blessings or cause trouble? Wealth cannot be saved forever because of the Five Groups. Whether while I’m alive or after I am gone, I cannot guarantee all this will be preserved, so I dare not claim it as my own. It is shared among the Five Groups. Now I have offered up all my accounts.”
The king listened to this thorough reasoning. “In this world, natural and man-made disasters and misdeeds by those in power have a tremendous impact on the people. For a nation to be truly at peace, everyone must be wealthy. If people are wealthy, do not, in a moment of weakness, strive to collect all their money and use it to increase weaponry to strengthen the country. That is a mistake.”
After the listening to the businessman’s analysis, the king also analyzed everything in the world to re-evaluate what is valuable. He said，“I’ve never heard anyone analyze the impermanence of world wealth this way.” So he was very grateful to the businessman. He said, “Now I understand I’m very grateful you. Here, take back all your personal wealth and continue your charity work of distributing medicine, making offerings to the Three Treasures, and nurturing virtuous schools. I want to thank you for doing so many good deeds for my country. Since your wealth belongs to the Five Entities, I’ll return it to you in hopes that you use it well. I hope you can strengthen your influence and contribute more to society.” The businessman was very grateful. The king had a deep realization. After the businessman left, the king immediately reversed his orders and returned the money that wealthy submitted to the state treasury. He stored the assets and figured out everyone’s contribution, and refunded the proper amount. He taught his people to use the businessman’s principles. When you have money, and your business is flourishing, you can strive earn more money. With the additional money you earn, plan and set some money aside to benefit society.
I used to say people “have one, lack nine.” But if we “have ten, give one,” then our lives will be much better it is just like the businessman’s concept. In our life, if we often have one, lack nine, then we suffer unspeakably. Our minds are flawed and afflicted, so how can we attain Dharma-body? How can the pure Buddha-Dharma enter our minds? To attain the Dharma-body, we must attain purity.
Take this businessman, for example, He possessed so much wealth, so he split it into public and private wealth, and allocated a certain percentage for business and another percentage for charity. He realized these things were shared by the Five Groups, so whenever one of those consumed his wealth, he could remain unconcerned. This is flawless because nothing increases or decreases. In our lives, what is there to gain or lose? Flawless means no gains or losses. If we each understand that the nature of the world is just like this, then there is nothing for us to be worried about. When our mind is without any issue, we are free of afflictions and in a flawless Dharma Realm.
Since we have this ability, we should use t to benefit others. If we have nothing, we should not be worried and just live our lives. That is the Dharma Buddha taught, also called Dharma-body. Buddha’s Dharma will remain in this world in this world forever.
People are afflicted because they “have one, lack nine.” The world is inherently empty, so when we have something, we should benefit others. When we have nothing, we need not worry. When the mind and body are pure, we have attained Dharma-body.
Next is Absolute Space-body. Absolute Space is emptiness, “unlike lands of living beings with finite forms.” There are no national boundaries, and no forms, and no volume. Absolute Space is formless and infinite. It is also nameless and devoid of appearance.
This is Absolute Space. Absolute Space is a general term.
Since everything is empty, all Dharma returns to oneness. If we can recognize this emptiness, our minds will be without hindrances. So we will not fear and will naturally be free of confusion and delusions. In life, we are unable to deeply comprehend the concept of “All things return to oneness.” What we see are the aggregates of conditions. If we split the whole into parts on by one, at the end, we realize that nothing is there. I am sitting here and you are sitting there. The colors of your clothes and mine, and your appearance and mine are all different. There are so many different variations and things. What is the original or base color? White is not a base color, bleach makes it white. Brown color requires brown dye. Brown itself is a mix of other colors. If we keep breaking it down, we are left with nothing at the end.
Thus, breaking up the whole into nothingness and creating a whole with nothingness is Relative Dharma. There is not much to it. Take a table, for example. It did not start out as a table. It was originally limber. There are also many types of lumber. Where does lumber from? It comes from trees grown in the ground, in mountains and on the plains. Why is there lumber? Lumber was not originally lumber, it was a tree. And there are many of trees. What are these trees? Are they cypress or teak? They are all different.They all require soil, seed, dirt, water, and then sunlight and many other combined elements to form one thing. This thing can have many names, and take many forms and shapes. Therefore, when we reduce them into parts to analyze them, we realize it is all empty. If we comprehend these principles, we will not fight over anything in this world.
If we can clearly recognize everything returns to oneness, to emptiness, then our minds will have no hindrances, no obstacles, no fears and we will then be free from delusions.
Learning Buddhism is comprehending the Truth. We can unlock our wisdom and be free of the flaws and afflictions that often cause unspeakable suffering in our minds. So, please everyone always be mindful.
(Source: Da Ai TV 靜思晨語 法譬如水)