The Spiritual Mantra of
Great Compassion Penetrates
Heaven and Earth
If we recite the Great Compassion Mantra sincerely, it certainly works. We also have to refrain from lying for it to be efficacious.
Good and Wise Advisors! People who study the Buddhadharma should not have thoughts of greed or contention. Some people are such that the more they study, the more they want to contend; the more they study, the greedier they become.
This is my first visit to Belgium. The majority of the people in the audience here are Vietnamese. Although there may be some difficulty communicating because of the language difference, people are very orderly. When I went to Malaysia and Taiwan, there were Buddhists there whose every move manifested their greed and contention.
Due to some miraculous events that occurred during my first visit to Malaysia, I was able to see what those people there were really' like. What miracles am I talking about? In Malaysia there are many people who are victims of hexes cast by teachers of deviant cults.
There was one person I remember who had been under the influence of a hex for fifteen years. Every day the hex drove him to the point of committing suicide, but then another part of him would tell him not to kill himself. With one part of his mind telling him to commit suicide and another part telling him not to, every day was a struggle between life and death for him.
When I went to Malaysia, I believe it was in Muar, there was someone who got on his knees and begged me to help him get rid of a hex. He was in his fifties. When I heard his request, I picked up my gnarled cane and dealt him a blow on the head. That was on my first trip to Malaysia. I was sick at the time and barely had the strength to walk. Seeing me walking so slowly, someone gave me that stick to use as a walking cane. And so when I heard about the person's hex, I was so upset that I picked up the cane and gave him a whack with it. After being struck, he stood up and ran. After he had run a dozen steps or so, he vomited uncountable thousands of worms. After that, he was well.
When news of this incident spread, many people came to wait for their turn to receive a beating, but I didn't have time to hit them all. This person had a sickness, and that one had another sickness. The room I was staying in was about a hundred paces from the restroom. Every day the path from my door to the restroom was lined with people on their knees who were waiting to ask for a beating. I don't know if it was sincerity or greed on their part, but they started lining up at my door first thing in the morning. When I came out of my room to go to the restroom, there was no space left for me to walk. They blocked my way and surrounded me, asking me to hit them. I had no choice but to recite a "mantra." It was the mantra for going to the restroom, and it went, "If you don't get out of my way, I'll relieve myself right on your heads. If you're not afraid of being sprayed with urine, then stay kneeling where you are." When they heard that, they finally opened up a path for me to pass. What is the point of this story? It shows that those Buddhists didn't understand the Buddhadharma. When they weren't contending, they were being greedy. They didn't care whether a person had time or not; they would block his path and struggle to be first. They were contending. To study Buddhadharma like that is not to understand the Buddhadharma.
In studying Buddhadharma, you should defer to others and be courteous in all you do. Don't contend with anyone. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas has six "demon-spotting mirrors," and the first one is not contending.
When I was in Manchuria [northeast China], once there was a devastating epidemic of a contagious disease. In one household of eleven people, there were thirteen deaths in three days. How could that be? It was because there were two visitors when the epidemic struck, and so the whole family of eleven along with the two visitors died, making thirteen in all. There were deaths in many families. Observing the situation, I didn't wait to be called upon. I took a few disciples with me, and we went to recite the Great Compassion Mantra on the outskirts of the village. After that the epidemic subsided. Afterwards, many people became Buddhists. They took refuge with the Triple Jewel and became my disciples.
Anyone who sincerely recites the Great Compassion Mantra can obtain a response. There was one couple who had quarreled, and the wife tried to commit suicide by drinking lye. Drinking even a mouthful of regular lye can be lethal, not to mention a whole bowlful, but she drank the kind used to make bean curd, which is not as strong. After the woman had drunk the lye in anger, her son came to find me, as I happened to be in, their village at the time. He didn't really know whether I could help him, but in this emergency he was willing to try anything. Since he couldn't think of a better solution, he ran to find me, got on his knees, and told me what had happened. He begged me to save his mother. At first I declined, but he kept kneeling there for twenty or thirty minutes. Seeing that he was quite sincere, I went to his home to recite the Great Compassion Mantra.
When I arrived at his home, his mother's eyes had rolled upwards and the whites were showing; her pupils could not be seen. White foam came out of her mouth, and she was unconscious. It seemed hopeless. Nevertheless, I still decided to try and recite the Great Compassion Mantra. As I recited, the lye started flowing out of her mouth. She then regained consciousness and vomited all the lye she had swallowed. After that, she became well.
When she was in medical school/ people made fun of her/ saying, "You dare to study medicine? In medical school you have to perform autopsies on human corpses. Are you daring enough to do that?" Hearing that, she immediately took a knife, cut a piece of flesh from a corpse, and ate it. Her classmates were stunned and exclaimed that she really had guts, daring to eat the flesh of a corpse. This woman was a surgeon, and her surgical skill was both swift and precise. However, the ghost of the corpse whose flesh she had eaten often bothered her in her sleep. From somewhere she heard that ghosts were afraid of me, and that if she took refuge with me she would get better.
She looked for an opportunity to take refuge with me. After she had taken refuge, the ghost stopped bothering her at night. Then she began to lecture on the Buddhadharma, using her status as a doctor. She told people that the Buddhadharma is very flexible. She said that everyone could become a Buddha without having to cultivate or hold the precepts, because everyone is a Buddha to begin with. She said there was no need to lead a morally disciplined life, so she herself smoked and drank. She went everywhere saying such things, and eventually her retribution caught up with her. She got cancer. She had an operation and thought she was cured, but she was still in terrible pain. She ended up having five or six operations in all. The doctors told her that there was no hope and that she would die.
Then she called a friend in New York to say goodbye. She told her friend how the doctors had said she would die and how there was no cure, and that she was still in great pain after all the operations. Her friend, who didn't know me personally, wrote to me saying, "My friend is a doctor who understands the Buddhadharma. She has cancer. If she were to get well, she would be able to save other people. She could use her status as a doctor to propagate the Buddhadharma, and would be of great help to Buddhism." I wrote back asking who the person was. Her friend knew that she had taken refuge with me.
I remember that after she had gotten cancer, she had come to see me in Canada once. When I asked her if she was sick, she had denied it. She wasn't ready to admit it. Then I scolded her. I scolded her until she couldn't bear it anymore. When she stood up and was about to run away, I slapped her face and said, "I'm chasing away the little ghost! Let's see what this big ghost can do!" Strangely enough, that slap chased her cancer away. That happened in Canada. How could this happen? Because I have never told a lie. If you tell lies, nothing is efficacious. If you don't, everything is efficacious. That's why I hope Buddhists will not contend, be greedy, seek things, be selfish, pursue personal advantages, or tell lies. This is very important.
A talk given on October 14,1990, at the Avatamsaka Temple in Brussels, Belgium