Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
on June 26, 1985
Today I want to talk with you about the essential Dharma-door. You all like to eat honey, right? "Honey" is also a term of endearment that men use with women, and women use with men, since it's something people like to eat. However, although honey appears sweet, it's actually the most poisonous of poisons. The reason we don't realize it is because it's a slow-acting poison. Even scientists haven't figured out that honey is poisonous, so they still eat it.
"If the scientists and chemists haven't made this discovery, then how do you know it?" you ask. You don't have to ask. Whether you believe it or not is up to you.
Three hundred years after you eat the poisonous honey, the poison will affect your soul and you'll turn into a honeybee so you can make more poison. Actually, you don't properly turn into a bee until three thousand years later. Three hundred years after eating honey, you start having thoughts like: I want to go around collecting pollen from flowers so I can make honey and give people some of this slow-acting poison. Once people eat honey, they are bound to become bees.
What are bees? They are asuras. You see a swarm of poison-loving asura bees. They love to fight. If you bump into them, they'll sting you until your face and arms swell up, and you get sick all over. If they weren't that way, why would your body swell up like that? The poison that causes the swelling is also found in their honey.
Vajra Bodhi Sea, No. 316. COMMENTARY ON THE LIVES OF THE PATRIARCHS: Patriarchs of the Seventieth Generation Dhyana Master Sanyi Mingyu. Composed by the Elder Master Hsu Yun. Commentary by the Venerable Master Hua on June 26, 1985.