Recite Mantras with a Proper and Sincere Mind
By reciting, upholding, and silent chanting,
diminish thoughts and words.
Explain the teaching to bring benefit and joy,
transforming the universe.
The enacting of these Dharmas can lead to the
With nothing more and nothing less, reach Nirvana.
studying mantras, you must first have a proper and sincere mind. If
your mind is not proper, then no matter which mantra you learn, it will
be deviant. If you learn a mantra with a proper mind, you can obtain a
response. Not only should your mind be proper, it should also be
sincere. That means devoting your full attention to the mantra and not
being the least bit casual. There will be a response only if you aren't
sloppy or careless.
If you harbor deviant views and wish to
harm people, your practice is demonic. Demons want to harm people,
while genuine cultivators would never harm anyone under any
circumstances. You should want to benefit beings. Don't learn mantras
thinking that you'll be able to subdue demons and ghosts or fight
people. Buddhism does not regard anyone as an enemy. Don't seek revenge
on anyone. No matter who mistreats you, endure it. Be patient, and
don't harbor grudges. The nobility of Buddhism lies in that.
particular quality is not embodied in other religions. Although
Christianity avows to "love thy enemy," many only pay that lip service
without being able to actually do it. Some even view Buddhism as an
enemy; how could it be said that they love Buddhism? It can't be, not
when they refer to Buddhists as devils. The Buddhist attitude should
be: "Even if someone is a devil, we won't harm him. We will gather him
in and will refrain from attacking him." Buddhism teaches us to treat
all beings with compassion and not harm them.
Mantra is the most efficacious mantra; its power can awe heaven and
earth and case the ghosts and spirits to weep. For this reason, after
we learn the Shurangama Mantra, we must constantly keep a compassionate
frame of mind and make sure that we don't have even the thought of
harming others. No matter how badly someone treats you, don't blame or
hurt him or her. Your heart should be as vast as the universe, so that
it can encompass all the myriad phenomena. That's the right attitude
for a Buddhist to have.
We should never engage in rebellious activities, for that's very dangerous. By reciting, upholding, and silent chanting, diminish thoughts and words.
That is, don't talk so much and have so many discursive thoughts.
Singleminded concentration is efficacious, while being scattered is
What's meant by singleminded concentration? It
includes not having malicious thoughts towards others. If you harbor
thoughts of malice, you'll later find yourself in danger. It's sasid,
"If you engage in many unrighteous acts, you only bring death upon
yourself." In harming others, you are actually harming yourself. "If
you kill a person's father, someone will kill your father. If you kill
a person's brother, someone will kill your brother." This is the law of
cause and effect. We Buddhists should avoid planting evil causes, so
that we won't have to suffer evil retributions in the future. So the
first line says, By reciting, upholding, and silent chanting, diminish thoughts and words.
Explain the teachings to bring benefit and joy, transforming the universe.
The line of mantra this verse is explaining can also be translated as
"explaining the teaching" and "benefit and joy." That is, one explains
the Buddha's teachings to beings, enabling them to obtain benefit and
joy. This means that when we have the chance to help people, we should
immediately make use of it. As it's said,
- Cultivate the mind ground;
- Nurture the sky of the nature.
you frequently benefit others, you will eventually perfect your own
virtuous conduct. You shouldn't be constantly asking others to help you
without ever helping them in return, because that way you'll become
dependent and won't accomplish anything on your own. You'll become a
totally worthless person. In this world, those always on the lookout
for advantages end up failing in their endeavors. If you don't believe
this, take a closer look: Whenever people fail in something, the
failure occurred due to their insatiable greed for advantages. If you
can benefit others and make them happy, then you'll be able to exert a
wholesome influence on people wherever you go.
"If one's words are trustworthy and one's conduct is sincere and
reverent, one can walk at ease even among barbarians." The words you
speak must be truthful and honest. You shouldn't tell lies with an
innocent face, pretending to be truthful when in fact you're lying
through your teeth. Your actions must be sincere and relevant. Be
modest, humble, and respectful towards everyone. Do everything with a
humble, respectfuly, and courteous attitude. Don't become arrogant and
think, "No one is as good as me. I'm the Lord of Heaven."
p.63 - 71, "Talks on the Dharma, Vol. V"