Venerable Master Hua Address Chang Geng Hospital

by Venerable Hsuan Hua ,Taipei, Taiwan, October 31, 1989

All of you Bodhisattvas who have returned on the strength of your past vows, you are now doctors and nurses, and have come back on your vows. Since this is the case, then do not forget those past vows to save people, and relieve their suffering.

Illnesses come about from several causes. Some people killed too much in the past, and so in this life they are much afflicted by illness. Some people in the past stole too many things, and so in this life have to suffer many unhappy illnesses that cause them great losses. Some people engaged in sex too much in the past, and in this life experience a weak body that is never healthy. Their essence and energy are not full. They experience many diseases of "emptiness," deficiencies. Some lied too much in their past and in this life are stupid, lacking wisdom. Where do these illnesses come from? They are all resulting from greed, hatred, stupidity, arrogance, and doubt. These are the cause of all illnesses.

There are also illnesses caused by cause and effect. Illnesses can also result from deviant spirits, monsters, and goblins. Ordinary doctors have no way to cure these illnesses. The patient seems not to be sick, but in fact he is not healthy. It is a case of possession by an imp-demon. These goblins and monsters cause the person's spirits to be disturbed.

Medicines cure illness. Buddhism has a mantra, The Mantra of Great Compassion. If you can recite it until it is effective, magical for you, then it can cure all 84,000 kinds of illnesses, but you must concentrate as you recite , and gather in body and mind. Only then can you get a response.

At this point, I will tell you doctors and nurses quite frankly, that I am also a doctor. I am also a nurse. The doctor that I am requires that I use no medicines. I use the Da Bei Jou instead. When I was very young, eighteen or nineteen, I used the Da Bei Jou to cure people. At that time, most of the illnesses I encountered came about because the person owed a karmic debt. The patient had a karmic obstacle that came looking for repayment. Most people referred to these situations as "possessions" of deviant illnesses.

The first time I tried to cure an illness, it was a case of a woman who drank lye-water. Do you know what that is? It is the liquid that people use to make bean curd. When you add a bit to soy-bean milk, it curdles into bean-curd, and you can make bean-cake from it. If people drink this lye liquid straight, however, they can die from the poisonous effects. A little bit in bean-cake is not toxic. I remember a place in Manchuria called Eastern Well. There was a headman in the village called Li Sheng-syi. His wife had a fight with him and in a rage, committed suicide. She drank a whole bowl full of lye water.

Her mouth spit out white foam. Her eyes had rolled back and she was speechless. Her son heard that I was nearby and came looking for me.

In those days, in the coldest part of Manchuria, no matter whether it was winter or summer, I always wore three layers of cotton clothing, and no shoes, socks, or hat. I was young then. The boy came, hoping I would save his mother. At that time I didn't answer him or look at him. He knelt for twenty minutes, kneeling there. He looked very sincere.

Usually after a person has swallowed lye for twenty minutes, it is fatal, too late to save them. But I agreed to go with him to his house, where I recited the Da Bei Jou for about five minutes. Suddenly this person in a coma spit up all the lye that she had drunk. She vomited it all up and she was cured. This is a true story of the Da Bei Jou's efficacy in curing illness. Lots of people in Eastern Well, after this incident, began to recite the Great Compassion Mantra.

One time there was a contagious epidemic there. A family of nine people, within three days, sent out eleven corpses to be buried. How is this possible? Two relatives came to visit, and died together with the family. In this little village, many people died of this contagious epidemic. I recited the Da Bei Jou on the outskirts of the village, and the epidemic passed on, it was quelled. The Da Bei Jou can cure all illnesses. This is my personal experience.

There were many demons, goblins, and banshees who came to get even with me. They had sent illnesses to people whom I cured. If you save a person, you anger the ghost that is afflicting the victim. If you cure someone, there is still the matter of the unpaid debt, and the ghost is angry. As a result I made angry the li mei and wang lyang ghosts of the mountains, and the water-goblins and spirits of the oceans. I met all of the many imps and spooks of every description. Although the sick people all recovered, the spirits that possessed them wanted revenge. They wanted to kill me.

When I stayed at Eastern Well, they sent a flood to try to drown me. The water-goblins tried to drown me there, and the flood they sent washed away over eight-hundred houses. Over thirty people were drowned. The waters rose and receded in only four hours. Even those people who tried to escape by standing on their beds were drowned all the same. It was a flash-flood that came and left quickly.

Another time near Tyanjin, the same bunch of water-goblins tried to capsize a ship I was travelling on. It didn't overturn because Gwan Yin Bodhisattva came to my rescue, and I didn't have to disappear into the ocean. For this reason, after I reached Hong Kong, I decided not to play around any longer with other people's affairs.

I also met many unusual illnesses, and incurable maladies that I was able to cure. Unfortunately, if you take care of people's illnesses, their ghosts get upset and come looking for you.

Doctors and nurses dispense medicines to cure illnesses. Sickness can be cured by using the five elements to mutually destroy or produce each other. For example, heart disease, liver troubles, the five organs, can be dealt with by taking the right medicine. This method of dispensing medicines is based on the five elements' cycles of production and destruction. If you can produce the right cycle, the person recovers. If you destroy the elements, the illness will not get better.

There are subtle and wonderful principles behind this work. To cure illness, a person must be replete in his personal merit and virtue. No matter whether you are a doctor or a nurse, your virtue must be intact. Why did I say that doctors and nurses are walking the Bodhisattva Path? Because as you cure people and save their lives, you relieve their suffering; this is part of the Path of Bodhisattvas.

Although it is a good thing to do, it hinges on a person's virtue. What is the Virtue of the Physician? "I regard others' sickness as my own sickness. I must exhaust my skill and strength to make that person well."

When I was a student I read a lot of medical texts. They were titles from Chinese Medical Lore, such as, The Nature of Medicines Verses; Ba Shr Yi Nan Bing; (Jing): The Pulse Secrets; Sz Bai Rwei Tan Tou Ge; Yi Sheng Jin Jyan: San Han Lun Shang, San Han Lun Jung; San Han Lun Sya; Fu Ren Ke; Syau Ren Ke; I studied them all.

But you know that after I finished my period of study, if I had become a doctor, I could have been a very successful healer. Why didn't I do it? Because I didn't have the gall, I lacked sufficient courage. I was afraid that I might cure someone to death. If I could cure ninety-nine out of a hundred people who came to see me, and there was one-half a person I couldn't cure, then I would feel that I had wasted this person's life. So I didn't dare go be a doctor.

Moreover, I didn't want to make money. Although in this life I can't say I hated money, all the same I didn't want it either. At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, when we had the grand opening, and over two thousand people came, I said to everyone there, "All rich people, please pay attention! As a left-home person I have had a big fault my entire life. The people I look down on the most are rich people. They are wealth-guarding slaves, people who love money more than life itself. They go into the grave holding grudges and ledgers; they would rather die than let go of their bank-accounts. I look down on these slaves to their wealth."

After I gave this speech, over fifty people who had come from Malaysia wanted to liquidate me, and said, "We have all come to protect you, and now you turn around and scold us, saying we are wealth slaves. How can this be?" They wanted to get even, and do me in. In their delegation there was a left-home person named the Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda. They consulted this advisor and asked him if they could struggle with me and throw me over. Ven. Dhammananda comes from Sri Lanka, and is a Theravada monk.

He blew up and said, "You people have been studying Buddhism for decades, some of you are eighty and seventy years old. Your hair is already white and you still don't understand the Buddha-dharma! I have sat next to Dharma Master Hsuan Hua, and the words he says, every word and every phrase, reflect the Proper Dharma. If you go overthrow him, I will never have anything to do with you again. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I won't be your advisor any longer."

This speech subdued them, and I wasn't forced to go through the inquisition. That was the end of CTTB's relationship with rich people. As a result, rich people never came to CTTB. The left-home people all said I was too clumsy. "Saying that cuts off your access to money!" So the CTTB is still as poor as ever, even to this day. We eat left-over, salvaged rice and vegetables.

Time now for questions. Don't ask me questions that are too intelligent, because I am a stupid person, and I can't handle the tough questions. Stupid questions I can deal with, after a fashion.

Q: Lots of people are habituated to eating meat. How can you change them?
A: "There are two people inside the word for meat. The one inside is stuck to the one outside. Living beings in turn eating the flesh of other living beings: Isn't this just a form of cannibalism?"

Q: Can we give euthanasia to "vegetable people?" ("Joyful peace mercy death.")
A: I am not a vegetable person, so I won't answer this question. But if I put a person to sleep, I offend heaven and earth's preference for life. If you don't kill him, and he has no chance to live happily? I can't answer your question.

Q: How do I open the five eyes and the six powers?
A: What in the world for? Why would you want to do that?

Q: To walk the Bodhisattva Path.
A: Why do you want to do that? If you know what you are walking it for, then you know how to get the eyes and powers. Look at a baby. He knows how to drink milk very naturally. If you can cut off desire and put down all worldly dharmas, and can be adorned with the myriad virtues, then you can get them. If you only know to seek shortcuts, forget it. It's not possible for you.

Q: How can you cultivate the world-transcending path at home?A: Layman Pang off the T'ang Dynasty succeeded in cultivation while at home. Don't forever be asking "How? How? How?" Use your time well. Don't ask about the five eyes and six powers. This is like climbing a tree to look for fish. You won't find any fish there.

Q: How can you make all living beings seek the Tao?
A: If you yourself cultivate the Way and seek Buddhahood, just this is "all living beings seeking the Tao."

Q: What is the ultimate Dharma?
A: Sweep out all dharmas and leave all traces behind.

Q: How can I leave home?
A: Think it over carefully. Leaving home is not done on the spur of the moment, or briefly.
Q: I brought a glass of water. Can you bless it so I can use it to cure sick people?

A: Bless it yourself. This is much better than relying on external conditions. Don't rely on me, don't rely on yourself. Recite the Da Bei Jou sincerely, and use your own will-power. You will naturally get a response.
Q: I have a patient who seems to get better, and then gets worse. What is going on?

A: This is difficult. If a demon of illness comes and goes, it can be a pig ghost or a horse ghost, who comes and says, "You ate too much off my flesh and now it's time to pay it back." Cancer comes from having done too much killing. If you are afraid of getting sick, then eat less meat. If you don't fear sickness, eat all the meat you want.

Q: Does the Off to Rebirth Mantra really work? Do you have to be enlightened?
A: It doesn't take eight hours, eight hours is not apart from one single thought. If you have gung fu, then with the first recitation, a person can be crossed over. Without gung fu, you can recite until your throat breaks and it won't be effective.

Q: How about holding the precepts?
A: Taking them is one thing, holding them is another. If you truly understand, then do no evil and do all good deeds. Get rid of desire. If you can end desire and have no lust, then just that is it. If you can't cut off sexual desire, then whatever good you do is still considered demonic karma.

Q: If I recite the Buddha's name will it solve all my problems?
A: We don't recite the Buddha's name to solve problems. It's to be reborn in Amitabha's Land of Utmost Happiness. Reciting sutras builds your wisdom. If you have enough wisdom, then all problems are solved at the first touch of the blade.
Q: What does it mean to not seek?

A: Try your best. Don't take what you don't deserve.
Q: How do I get rid of greed, hatred, and stupidity?
A: Kill them.