Host: On Friday, March 26, 2021, our Most Beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai, while still in an intensive meditation retreat for our world, graciously shared of Her precious time by calling the Supreme Master Television team members and lovingly reading a story titled “The Phoenix” from “A Treasury of Jewish Folklore” compiled by Nguyễn Ước. Prior to it, Master kindly answered questions which team members had on a variety of topics, together with some current ones concerning the Christian clergy.
(Master, in recent news, it’s reported that the Vatican is re-affirming its stance against gay marriage, stating, “God cannot bless sin.” It has ruled out any possibility of same-sex couples having a Christian blessing on their marriage. Master, would You be able to share Your opinion on this? Is it really true that this is a sin and that God cannot bless such a marriage?)
Human stuff again. According to Leviticus, a man should not do anything like in the loving kind of… having physical relationship with another man as if he does it with a woman. It’s one of those sins that God has conveyed to the people at that time. But aren’t we all sinners? (Yes, Master.) Even if we didn’t sin today, maybe we sinned yesterday. (Yes, Master.) Even if we did not sin in the flesh, we sin in the thought. (Yes, Master.) So we all have to pray for forgiveness. (Yes.)
Actually, when Adam and Eve, our foreparents, ate the apple, the sin had already begun. (Yes, Master.) That’s why God asked them to leave Eden. (Yes, Master.) Just eating an apple, you lost your paradise. So, what to talk about any other thing? (Yes.) In the Kṣitigarbha Sutra of Buddhism, it’s also stated that He observed the beings on this planet, anything they think, anything they do, any little movement, any little thought, is all sinful. So we are confirmed now that we all sin. We’re all sinners. But what to do? I think God is all forgiving as long as we repent and be humble in our heart.
A marriage between two beings is not just about physical pleasure or sexual… I normally am shy to talk about that word, but I’m old enough now, I guess I should not be so shy anymore. A marriage is not just about sexual stuff. It’s about companionship. It’s about friendship. It’s about support for each other in times of happiness as well as sorrow. In this sense, the people of the same sex, saying lesbian or gay people, they can get married. And the thing is, it’s the hormones that rage inside them that sometimes cause them to have more intimate physical relationships. (Yes, Master.) But after a long while, after long years, they just kind of taper off. After a while, like many married couples, they grow old until 90-plus, 100 years, they are not having any physical intimacy anymore. (Yes, Master.) (You are right, Master.) But they still love, love each other, so much, so much like the best friends in the world. And that’s what marriage should be. (Yes, Master.)
It is about love. (Right.) (Yes.) So you can bless love. And do not think about these physical things that men and women, gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, alike are forced into due to the hormones raging in their bodies. (Yes, Master.) Then, anyone can bless any marriage. Because a marriage is like a sacred promise from one human being to another so that they will be forever together under any circumstances. It’s about loyalty. It’s about deep, genuine friendship, and companionship in this lonely planet. Even though we have more than seven billion humans now, (Yes, Master.) but we are lonely as a human.
So I think, if it was up to me, I would bless them because they love each other. (Yes.) And love is important. Anything else is a secondary side effect. (Yes, Master.) Just like you take medicine because you need it, otherwise you would die or you would be languishing daily with this disease. So you take it with the side effect. So, about the blessing, it’s to make the couple happy (Yes.) and feeling assured that their marriage, their loyalty to each other, their love and commitment to each other are shared with someone else and witnessed and recognized, and being happy with them. (Yes, Master.) That’s why married people throw a big party and everything, (Yes.) (Right.) so they can share their happiness with other people. (Yes.)
So if I’m a priest, I would bless them. And whatever sin, I will take it. I’m a sinner anyway. I don’t feel I’m better than anyone else. Just as Jesus said, “Who among you who has never sinned, then you can throw the stone (Right.) on that woman who is supposed to be condemned as a sinner.” (Yes.) And nobody threw any stones. (Yes, Master.) Maybe God said that, “You should not do this, you should not do that,” but we did everything already and we are still doing it. So what’s a little bit more with the gay couple, or lesbian couple? Let them be happy, wish them well. (Yes, Master.) Don’t you think so? (Yes, Master. Absolutely.) And one more happy couple, the world is a happier place. (Yes, Master.) At least this is what we can do. We cannot do anything to make them happy because it’s their life, but we can wish them well. (Yes, Master.) And we can say, “We bless you.”
And God, even if Hes doesn’t agree to that, oh, that’s God’s business. Don’t you think so? (Yes, Master.) “I bless you in the name of God, but if God doesn’t want to give that blessing, that’s Hiers business. I am a human with you here, on this lonely sojourn, and so much trouble, so much temptation, and so much weakness and pollution into the human mind, body, and spirit. So at least, I as a human, I will bless you, I bless all of you, sinners or not.” Whoever thinks they are not sinners, they should think twice. Are we not here for sinners? (Yes, Master.) We are not here only for the virtuous. If the whole world are virtuous people, we don’t need any churches, we don’t need any temples, we don’t need any monks, we don’t need any nuns, we don’t need any… nothing, we don’t need any blessings. (Yes, Master.) (Understand, Master.) That’s why Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva, the Saint, He went to hell, (Yes, Master.) to stay with the sinners and help them whatever He can, because Heavens don’t need us, do they? (No, Master.) So, if we are not here for sinners, what are we here for? As monks and nuns. So, I am trying to help whomever I can, in my capacity, if they let me. (Thank You, Master.) That’s the way we should be, as a human, to each other, even. (Yes, Master.) So even if I don’t have the authority to bless any – I don’t do any wedding stuff anyway – but if I can, I bless them from God, from God Almighty, immense loving kindness, forgiveness, and always there for Hiers children, no matter what. (Thank You, Master.)
(Master, why are there so many sex scandals involving the clergy in Christianity?)
I guess it’s that, you know like… In Buddhism we don’t often hear of that. Hardly any, right? (No, Master.) Buddhist monks and monastery and Buddhist nuns, rarely hear anything. (Right.) (No, Master.) The reason may be because they are more strict. And Buddhist monks and nuns, they realize what they’re doing. (Yes.) They fear karma. (Yes.) The reason may be that in the Bible, many of the karmic consequences have been cut. (Oh.) Doesn’t say there is a consequence a lot. But in Buddhism, for example, it explains very, very detailed and far, far, far to the horizon about consequences of what and what and what and what. The Buddha even tells you which kind of business is meritorious; which kind of business is bringing you to hell. (Yes, Master.) Because the Buddha lived long. Our Lord Jesus, He lived only thirty-three something years according to the history. (Yes, Master.)
And I think the diet has something to do with it also. (Yes.) The meat and the wine (Yes.) which the Christians can drink and eat freely. And that doesn’t help them to temper the inner fleshly desire of humans that we are made with, that we are installed inside without our consent even. You are born, that’s it, and you are a man, and then you will desire women, mostly. Or you’ll desire another man. And this hormone inside just makes you like that. Makes you crazy also. So if you don’t have a very profound teaching and a solid ground set of rules or regulations, emphasized again and again, and then you don’t have a true goal in your mind, then it’s difficult to control the chemicals inside your body that make you thus. It should be more emphasized. (Yes, Master.)
So thus, you remember the story of Ananda. He was bewitched by the powerful incantation, (Yes.) the most powerful in the world, to seduce him by a most beautiful woman. He cannot control himself but he can pray to Buddha to come and help him. (Yes.) (Yes, Master.) He still knows that that is “no-no,” that is not the thing that you should do with a woman. Should not be with any woman. Because the Buddha emphasized that if you’re a monk, you look only one meter ahead of you. (Yes.) So you can see if any insect, that you don’t step on them only. You don’t look left, you don’t look right. You don’t look at anybody. And they take 250 precepts as a monk, as a high priest or high nun. They’re called bhikkhu and bhikkhuni. They are a higher order of monks. Not the novice. (Yes, Master.) And they vow to keep it. Or they would defrock and go out and be like ordinary people again. (Yes.) If they feel the urge to do that, then they honestly will defrock themselves or tell their Master that “I cannot stay.” (Yes, Master.) Some of my so-called nuns and monks also, they do that. They say they cannot stay, they have to go out and then they married and have children and all that. (Yes, Master.) Even Saint Paul doesn’t accuse them. He said, “If you can, then stay single like me. If not, then you can marry.” Because all the Saints understand the weakness of humans and the chemical makeup of their bodies. (Yes.) (Yes, Master.)
There are truly no sinners in this world, according to what I’m thinking. (Right.) Because they are only victims. They are victims, victims and victims, victims everywhere. (Yes, Master.) Victims of ignorance. Victims of the makeup of their own physical body that is before they were born already. (Yes, Master.) A priest or a nun, they are also human. And if there’s no control, no strict regulation, and supervising, then they also fail. (Yes, Master.) They will fail, now or later, or some days, or sometime in their life. And then they try to get up again, control again, but they cannot. The wine and the meat and all that, it doesn’t help you to reach your goal as a holy person. Very difficult. That’s why all religions forbid meat and wine. (Yes, Master.)
“It is best to ABSTAIN FROM EATING ANY MEAT, OR DRINKING ANY WINE, or from any other activity which might cause a brother to fall away, or to be scandalized, or to weaken.” ~ Romans, 14:21 Holy Bible
“Then said Daniel to Melzar, whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 'Test thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days, and let them give us pulse [vegetables] to eat and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the youths who eat of the portion of the king’s meat. And as thou seest, deal with thy servants.' So he consented to them in this matter, and tested them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the portion of the king’s meat. Thus Melzar TOOK AWAY THE PORTION OF THEIR MEAT AND THE WINE THAT THEY SHOULD DRINK, AND GAVE THEM PULSE [VEGETABLES].” ~ Daniel, Holy Bible
“Do not be among those who give themselves to wine-drinking, or among those who make themselves full with meat.” ~ Proverbs, Holy Bible
“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them.” ~ 1 Corinthians, Holy Bible
I mean animal products, alcohol, and intoxicants. All these kinds of things are ruining your brain, your intellect, and your reason capability. You can’t control too much, if that kind of evil even added onto your system. And also, they rely on Jesus. They think Jesus died already for all the sinners, so they can go on sinning. It’s not like that. No, no, no. He died for His disciples, for His followers and for the people at that time whoever believed in Him. But after Jesus is gone, somebody else has to take up the cross. (Yes, Master.) That’s why Jesus said, “I am the Light in the world as long I am in the world.” He doesn’t say, “I’ll be the Light forever for you, for next generation, forever, forever.” No. He said, “I am the Light for the world as long I am in the world.” That’s why life after life, we have different Masters coming into our planet, into our world, to help us, to teach us again.
So, in my own observation, I think the Buddhist monks, even the Tibetan monks, they eat meat also, but they have so many teachings to learn. They have no time for their mind to be used by any of the devious influences of the world. They have to learn by heart many sutras. They have to do many mudras, meaning the special gesture of the fingers and the hands. (Yes.) So many things to learn, so that so busy, busy. So they all have to concentrate on that, all day long. And it was a strong tradition, national religion. So, even the Tibetan people, they eat meat, but they don’t eat as much. I don’t think they drink wine. They’re not allowed to drink alcohol. It’s very clearly stated. In even the normal five percepts, you don’t use any intoxicants, including alcohol. (Yes, Master.)
But the Christians, they are more liberal, they can drink wine. And they eat meat and all kinds of things, anything, anything. And there are not enough teachings for them – just one Bible. (Yes.) Jesus did not live long enough to leave them a lot of guidance. And they’re not allowed to study any other’s doctrine. (Right.) It’s like heresy to them. So the young, idealistic priest, with his able, strong, beautiful body; and the hormones surging inside with not a lot to do; (Yes.) and freedom to experience this and that and others; and the false belief that Jesus will rescue them, even if they sin. (Yes, Master.) This is a very false concept.
You don’t have to always be in the Catholic denomination. There are also other branches of Christianity, they also marry, have children and still be a missionary or minister. (Yes, Master.) And nowadays women can also, some. (Yes.) So, if you really cannot hold onto that, then be honest. Because God is watching. Heaven is watching. God is forgiving, but you cannot continue mocking Hiers rules and teachings like that. (Yes, Master.) Maybe one time Hes forgives, but you have to be really humbly repentant. You have to repent knowing that it’s really sinful and don’t just do it like normal, like watching a movie, or like you are a normal person outside, you can marry. You can also marry as a gay, nowadays. So, why don’t just be honest? Defrock yourself. Go out, find a lover or something. (Yes, Master.) Even the law nowadays protects you. As a gay person, or as a lesbian person. It’s all open now. Even celebrities, they openly married same sex. (Yes, Master.) Nobody says anything. People support and understand their love, and understand their need to be with each other – as company, as friend – the trusted friend in life. (Yes, Master.) Because in this life, it’s lonely, lonely. You grow up, and then you have to have so much responsibility. And nobody really understands you, and you cannot talk to anybody. You can talk to your parents, but different things. (Yes, Master.) You come home from work, you want some people there with you to share your hard day, (Yes.) and just to laugh with each other, to talk about nonsense things, just to ease your mind, you know, (Yes.) so that you can survive on this planet. (Yes, Master.) Because it’s really darn hard to survive here. (Right. True. Yes, Master.) For anybody. (Yes, Master. True.) So on top of that, if somebody also condemns you, says you are a sinner, sinful like that, my God, I don’t know how they live. (Right.) It’s really very harsh on them, on their mental, on their psyche, on their heart, on their emotions. (Yes.) They will feel terrible.
In the old times and now even, the Jain people, in Jainism, (Yes, Master.) the Lord Mahavira teaches them they have to wear the mask just like you are doing now. (Yes.) The whole world becomes Jain. It’s also good like that and it’s less attractive, so maybe the priest will be less tempted to sin. (Yes.) And that is really a sin because when you are a man of the cloth, you wear that holy garment, meaning you are dedicated to God completely all your life, with all your heart, all your soul, you forget the whole world already, and you know that and you vow celibacy and if you did this kind of thing, especially to the minor boys, same sex… Because mostly they have altar boys, and the priests are mostly men up to now. (Yes.) That is really sin. If we talk about sin, let’s talk about that. (Yes, Master.) Not the gay people, because they cannot help it. They are too lonely and feel burdened and feel sad already by the society’s judgment, by their own complexity, that they don’t understand why they are like this. They feel not normal already, they feel burdened already. So if we cannot do anything to make them feel more confident, happy and normal, then don’t hurt them, (Yes, Master.) don’t hurt their feelings. If we cannot help, then don’t harm, that’s what I say. (Yes, Master.) You don’t have to bless their marriage, you just refuse them quietly. (Yes, Master.)
Don’t have to make a norm in the society and condemn one-sixth of the population. One in six humans are trans, you know that? (Wow, that’s a lot.) I mean trans, meaning gay or lesbian or others, or bisexual. So, we don’t condemn one-sixth of the planet. One-sixth is official, maybe more because some people, they don’t recognize their own sexual orientation until later on. (Yes, Master.) Even past their maturity, they don’t know. And I just feel very, very sorry for them. My heart feels very aching for their situation, because it’s not their fault to be born like that. I told you many times already, between being a man and a woman, you go through this stage if you have not completely been doing all the manly stuff when you were a man. Then you are going stage-wise to be a woman. So you come in between as a lesbian or a gay. But if you are completely well and have a lot of merit, then you just jump from being a man last life to be a woman in this lifetime, (Right.) (Yes, Master.) and no need to go through that transitional station. (Yes, Master.) They are just in transitional station. So, if God wants to accuse gay people – I mean the same-sex people – to love each other, and like if I’m a priest and Hes forbid me to bless them because they sin, then I would say to God, “I would still do it and You put the sin on me.” Because how can you as a human, have a human heart and knowing the emotion and knowing the hardship in this life, put another yoke on another human being, make them feel more miserable, more destitute, (Yes, Master.) more desperate, more lonely?! My God! Isn’t God the one who made them this way! Or who made them? You think the devil made them? (No, Master.) No! So God will forgive me if I forgive the gay people’s sin. But I don’t think they sin more than anyone else − even less.
We are sinning because we are destroying our planet. (Yes, Master.) We are sinning because we are torturing other humans and bombing them, killing them, (Yes.) innocent bystanders, for any reason. And we are sinning because we’re torturing, oppressing the helpless animals every second of our life. (Yes, Master.)
Now talking about sin, then let’s talk more sin. (Yes, Master.) For money, you kill people. For fame and position, you oppress opponents, you blame them for things they did not do, you wrongly accuse them. You give fake news all over the nation or the planet so that people will hate them, not vote for them, or harass them or harass their followers. These are not sinning? Then what are they then? In a big, big, big, huge scale. (Yes, Master.) The gay people, they only love one person. Even if they sin, they only sin small scale (Yes, Master.) compared to the people who are bombing, killing other nations’ citizens, no matter what reason. (Yes, Master.) And then killing innocent animals every day, (Yes.) the ones who have no defense, no one to protect them, no law, nothing.
Even they make law themselves, they say, “Oh, the citizens cannot oppress animals, cannot harass them, cannot torture them, cannot cause them pain or anxiety or anything at all.” But what are they doing every day in the slaughterhouse?! (Yes, Master.) Tell me! And all the lawmakers know that! Or don’t they!? (They know, Master, they know.) Yes! From the president to the policeman to the sweeper on the street. The lawmakers made them for them, but including the lawmakers themselves! (Yes, Master.) If you make a law, you expect that to be followed. (Yes.) Because the government said, “Oh, you don’t steal, and if somebody because they are hungry or poor or has no job, has to go steal some food or some money to survive, then he goes to jail. Does he not? (Yes, Master.) And how about the law – not harassing animals, not cause them pain and suffering, not causing them fear and all that? Nobody… excuse me, I’m just too, I’m just freaking out, talking about raw emotion. Sorry. I think you don’t think I’m a Master anymore, I’m talking like a… I don’t know what, politician or something. It really freaks me out. It really hurts me. (Understand, Master.) Don’t bother cutting this. Let them see. (Yes, Master.) It’s all real, I’m all real. (Yes.) I don’t have anything to hide or to play theater or anything.
So, you see what I’m saying now? (Yes, Master.) If we want to talk about sin, well, we can make a list of it or books about them. (Right. Yes, Master.) Why trampling upon those poor, helpless gay couples? All they want is just the loving company for their life, to have them, taking care of each other in times of need, and to share happiness when they are joyful together. Even if it’s a sin, I would ask God to overlook it. Because everybody else sins more than they do. (Yes.) What do you think? (Yes, Master.) (We agree.) I feel sorry, I could cry for them. Can you imagine how they feel, (Yes, Master.) these people? (Yes.) It’s still shunned by many. (Yes, Master.) Feeling they are not normal, they are sick or something. It’s not fair. If God wants to blame, then Hes has to blame Hirmself. That’s what I think. I’m sorry if God wants to put me to hell or something, I say the truth. You accept it. Even if God tells me not to bless them and I’m a priest, I would. (Yes, Master.) I cannot give them more pain than they’re already in. Don’t you think so? (Yes, Master.) Yeah, I cannot trample upon somebody who is already almost on the ground. (Yes, Master.) I don’t know if God said anything like that, or somebody added it on. (Yes.) Because why say only about men? Why not about women Woman lesbians, they’re also together. (Yes, Master.) That’s not fair. I don’t think God said anything like that. I think maybe added on, later on. (Yes, Master.) Or somebody for personal purposes. I think I abolish this, if God permits. Even if God doesn’t, I would like that to be abolished, this sin or law or whatever that is, because it’s not fair. (Yes, Master.)
Sin is the one who knows that he should not do it. In his position as a priest, and still harassing, molesting an innocent, helpless teenager, minor, who is looking upon him as a god, as the representative of God, as a holy person, as a teacher for the blurry road that he’s treading on every day in this world; he looks up on the priests, the monks, as his master, as someone who is wise and holy. And if he turns around, and betrays that trust from an innocent, and even causes pain and suffering, psychologically, mentally, physically to that little minor, then that is a sin! (Yes, Master.) It’s also clear in Christianity because in Leviticus, it says that you don’t do that anyway. So, if they believe in the Bible, as a Holy Bible, then they shouldn’t do that. Especially forcing the minors who are vulnerable, helpless, and don’t dare to tell anybody. Probably shocked them for whole life. (Yes.) And stunt their growth. Or smashing their faith, forever. So that is a real sin. (Yes, Master.) Anything else, I think it’s better just don’t talk about it. Oh, I just… All people would feel like it’s all fake, all fake, it’s all fake, and false, and… My God, what are they doing with Jesus’ teaching? Oh, my God! They make an empire out of it, for gain and fame, and respect, and privilege. That is a sin. (Yes, Master.)
Not a couple who love each other and want to be together all their lives and just ask them to be witnesses, and to bless them. If they even have any blessing, at all. (Yes, Master.) Otherwise, if they are sinners, then a sinner blesses a sinner, what’s the use of that? (Yes. Right. Yes, Master.) I’m very angry inside. I’m an angry Master. (No, Master.) I’m a very angry vegan Master. When it comes to injustice and the suffering of children, and animals. Because they are helpless. (Yes, Master.) The adults, they can fend for themselves, but children, they don’t know what to do. (Right, Master. Yes.) They probably never dare say to anybody. So many of these incidents never come to light. (Yes, Master.) Only a little bit recently, and the church didn’t do much. Symbolically here and there. My God! Oh, may God forgive us all, Ultimate Master, God Almighty, forgive all of us. Please. Because we also don’t know what to do with each other, with cases like this.
We just have to pray for forgiveness and not accusing any of them. I’m not accusing. I’m just feeling tremendously painful for the children. Imagine if it’s you. (Yes, Master.) You’re a kid only, you never knew anything like this, and you are taught to respect these priests and monks or nuns, whatever. And they sell you! (Yes.) They abuse you, they molest you, and they sell you even. (Yes.) You read the news. I don’t want to talk anymore. (Yes, Master.) My God, make a business out of an orphanage, out of the orphan boys! (Yes.) Or girls. What wicked evil! (Unimaginable.) Talking about satan and devils, and all that. Where are they? So when we talk about sinning in this world, there is no surprise. The only solution is forgive whom you can. Forgive what you can – especially those who don’t harm anyone, they just love each other. No matter if a man loves a woman, or a man loves a man. It’s love that counts. (Yes, Master.)
Host: Most Compassionate Master, our gratefulness for Your endless empathy and protection for the defenseless, as You remind us that love and forgiveness are always the answer. Through Your inspiration, may we humans learn to understand and feel for one another, thus seeing the true way to live as caring children of God. May Master always have excellent health, peace and safety, in the Mighty Heavens’ Magnificence.
For the full broadcast of this conference with Supreme Master Ching Hai, please tune in to Between Master and Disciples at a later date.