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Between Master and Disciples

Buddhist Stories: The Story of Magha, Part 7 of 10, Sept. 12-13, 2015

2020-10-28
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Perceiving that she had been reborn as a crane in a mountain cave, he thought to himself, “Because she did no work of merit, the foolish girl has been reborn as an animal. It is my duty to have her perform some work of merit and bring her here.”

 

I keep interrupting myself with a joke or with a cough. And you probably wonder when will I finish the story ever. You want me to finish quick? OK. Sakra surveyed his wives and considered within himself. Goodness has been born, and…... OK, finished. You want that? No? (No.) OK, OK, you are the boss. The guests are the boss. They say so in India. But when I was there, I wasn’t treated like the boss. No, I worked. I worked for whatever ashram I went to. I just liked to. Everybody loved me including the Guru and his wife, and all his drivers. They always tried to come and hug me and I always tried to run away. You don’t treat a visitor like a boss if you’re wanting to hug her, right? No, so that’s not a treatment of a boss. OK. So I wasn’t a boss in India. I’m not complaining, I’m just telling you.

 

Nine hundred miles in extent, the hall, the meeting hall of the gods, the most charming of all places in that Heaven. Here, on the eighth day of the month, the Dharma is preached. Probably a Master came, or one of the Master’s Dharma body, Transcendental body, seen in the different places and on the eighth day of the month, the Dharma is preached. Even today, when men behold a charming place, they would say, “It is like Goodness, the meeting hall of the gods.” When Joy died, she also was reborn there. And at the same time, there came into existence a lotus tank called Joy. Oh, because they have such a merit. They were helping with the hall and offering things for the people. So when they’re born in Heaven, as soon as they were born in Heaven, these precious things, halls, and lotus ponds adorned in Heaven, just appear together with their rebirth in Heaven. The lotus-tank called Joy, Joy was appearing at the same time, 500 miles in extent. Oh, less than the Goodness, almost half of the length of Goodness. Maybe Goodness was the first one to think about it. Or maybe she offered more, the most essential things. When Thoughtful died, she also was reborn there. And at the same time, there came into existence Thoughtful’s creeper grove, five hundred miles in extent. There they conducted the gods whose prognostics have appeared, till they are overcome by confusion. But when Wellborn died, she was reborn as a crane in a certain mountain cave. She offered nothing, right? Did not even try, even think that she will possess all these because Prince Magha will marry her. He didn’t even mention it. He probably didn’t even look at her yet. Such is the fate of the selfish people. Do nothing but want the best, always.

 

Some of your brothers and sisters are also like that. So sometimes I had to use a different method because all these years of sweet teaching -- you have to be selfless, you have to help one another, you have to think of others more than yourself, or at least equal to yourself -- It didn’t work, so sometimes I have to use a different method. I have to invite them to go home. After so many decades, still stamping the feet over there, then it’s no good. Either go home or just leave. There’s no need to keep taking precious space in my golden house. Actually, this is more precious than in the Golden Garden of the Buddha. Why? Because it’s too small. Every inch counts, you see? Always have to invite, “OK, there are three places here, one place there. Extra, so you can come here, you sit here.” Otherwise, you sit in other rooms, for example, or sit outside if it’s not raining of course. I was so worried, but I thought last night we made a lecture.

 

Stretch your legs out, I will, too. Example, just stretch. Stretch it out. Relax, OK? Because I’m going to make jokes and cough and sneeze and laugh and wait for you to finish laughing; then the story will last forever. Stretch yourself out if you feel uncomfy. You’re supposed to relax here in your house, OK? I said it is my house, but you know it’s your house. I don’t know wherever my house remains my house. How many houses I have all become yours. So I quit calling it my house. I quit living in here. Because I know sooner or later, it will be occupied by... (Disciples.) Disciples. Yes, you are right. How you know? How can she guess? Oh, all right. You see, that’s how the story keeps lengthening then. I want to finish but then it would too boring. You can read it yourself. Why should I read it for you? You see what I mean? But you are so spoiled rotten; everything Master does, spoon feeding you with all these teachings. You could read it yourself. At least the Buddhist people know all this, or can read it. Can research on Internet and read it themselves, but no. All come here waiting for Master. Master can read everything also. Not just do everything but can read everything, like they are illiterate or something. There’re all kinds of languages, translated into all kinds of languages: English, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, Korean, etc. These Buddhist Society translating people, they are very diligent in spreading the Dharma in this modern digital age and we laud them. We thank them also. Because if I pick up another Aulacese (Vietnamese) sutra and translate again, then I think I’ll retire.

 

All right. So the girl who offered nothing but was dreaming to take over everything. Then she was reborn as a crane in a certain mountain cave on Earth. Very good already. At least she did not go to hell. Sakra surveyed his wives and considered within himself, “Goodness has been reborn here and likewise Joy and Thoughtful.” Three girls. “Now where has Wellborn been reborn?” He knew all of them. Perceiving that she had been reborn as a crane in a mountain cave, he thought to himself, “Because she did no work of merit, the foolish girl has been reborn as an animal. It is my duty to have her perform some work of merit and bring her here.” So saying, he laid aside his proper form, and assuming a disguise, he went to her and asked, “What are you doing here?” And the crane answered, “But Master, who are you?” Master is just the polite form that people addressed each other at that time. But nowadays, people even question you why you call me Master. They don’t do anything to each other and they called each other Master. I am doing some hard work. At least I teach you some word or two, one word or two, right? “She cannot be called Master.” I don’t care. Mostly I addressed myself to the Aulacese (Vietnamese) as Chị Hai. Chị Hai means the second sister, not even first sister. Or sometimes Chị Cả, it depends. Meaning the first born, that’s all. I say the same to the Taiwanese (Formosan). Some of you know, right? Yes. When I talk to them, sometimes I say Shifu because they keep calling Shifu, and I also record it and I just like played it out, forgot. But I don’t care what’s the name. So she said, “But Master, who are you?” He said, “I’m Magha, your husband.” So he has four wives. So the fourth one is absent in Heaven; that’s why he went and looked for her. Good husband. “Where were you reborn, husband?” she asked. “I was reborn in the heaven of the 33. Do you know where your companions were reborn?” Meaning the other girls.

 

I don’t like to appear in the public because I have to wear a lot of clothes and cover myself. But at least here I feel a little bit more relaxed. I just wear what I normally wear in the house. I feel like I’m at home. I don’t have to worry that much. But still, we women need a lot of time to wear this and that and stuff. Men they could just sit here with shorts and nobody says anything. Yes, some Masters did that, you know that, right? Or in India … Oh no, in America also some Masters did that. How convenient. If I do that, what do you think? Even the cameraman would say, “Master, what are You doing?” There was a film, a French film, I think. I don’t remember a French film or not. The title says, “My Wife Is an Actress.” So in one of the films, the director or the script and the director demanded that the main character woman has to strip. She refused. After they kept edging, she said, “If all the staff go without clothes while doing filming, working, whatever, around here, then I’ll do it.” She thought nobody would do it. Everybody did. But it’s not like a nudist film or anything. They covered, like a woman would wear her... This kind of bag, what do you call that? The bag that you wear on the waist and put your money, ID card and all that. (Pouch. Pouch?) There’s a special name for that bag. I also have it sometimes, like a belt but there is a bag in the front. (A pouch.) A pouch, yes. She was wearing in the front like that. And then she was slinging something around here, equipment, camera. And the man also did similar. So they just showed like... It’s supposed to be done but nobody saw anything. It’s a cheat, you know what I mean? It’s funny. So it’s like that. So it just looked OK. And they specially filmed with the angle, that you see nothing. Everybody was going to see that film for something and then they saw nothing. Just pouch and belts and camera, you know what I mean? Or hearing stuff that’s hanging all the way down here. An ear muff hanging, whatever. So then of course the main actress had to. But it is so funny. It looked funny, everybody goes slinging things around. That thing, they’re just slinging around. It looked very funny. It’s supposed to be a funny film also. It’s really funny. Why did I talk about that? Where were we before?

 

So the husband asked, the Sakra god asked her, “Do you know where your companions were reborn?” “No, husband, I do not.” Normally you’d say, “No, darling, or sweetheart.” and she said, “No, husband.” But it’s just a translation of the old time talk. So the Sakra, her husband, said, “They were also reborn in the Heaven of the 33 as my wives.” Heavenly god has wives? Wow, then it’s good! So nobody’s scared to go to Heaven now. You guys like to go there. Even four wives. The women don’t like that. The men do. But I don’t know if they are doing anything up there. Probably just the names, the position. Or they do? Anybody knows? I never check on these things. Probably similar in different ways. Some sort of mimic from this world. The sensual Heaven, so probably similar. “Should you like to see your companions also?” So the wife asked, “How can I get there?” Said Sakra, “I will carry you.” So placing her in the palm of his hand... I told you how big we look compared to them … he carried her to the realm of the gods and set her free on the bank of the lotus tank named Joy. Then he said to the other three, “Should you like to see your companion Wellborn?” “Sire, where is she?” Sire is a more respectful address for the king. Sir is for common positions or high positions even, or even the low, normal person when you want to respectfully address him. But Sire is a proper address for king or prince, high prince. “She is on the bank of the lotus tank named Joy.” Must be lotus pond. Translation you know; it cannot be a tank, is it? Sounds like cement built. In Heaven it cannot be a tank, right? So the three went and looked at her, and they cried out, “Alas! See what has been the result of the noble woman’s spending her life in just adorning herself! Look now at her beak, look at her feet, look at her legs; she presents a beautiful appearance indeed.” Thus they ridiculed her, you know, sarcastic. Having done so they departed, just left her standing there. Yes, wives, they normally would never like each other anyway, so it’s no surprise, right?

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