Why All Beings are Our Benefactors
Why are all beings our benefactors? To this problem I give the following answers under seven headings.
It is only Christianity which does not recognize transmigration. All other religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and all the eastern religions believe there has been transmigration since the very beginning of time and it continues without end. We all have passed through many countless life times. Each time we have had parents. They are surely our benefactors.
In our mother's womb from the initial stages of an oval spot and oblong lump, the embryo has been built up in a special and gradual way by the nutritive essences of her flesh and blood. It has grown bigger by the nourishing properties of her food; and it has been produced through the endurance of all the
kinds of birth acts. Even after birth, by nursing us from a tiny little infant to a big, strong person she contributes to the form of our body. She goes through hardships for our sake which means that she not only dresses and adorns us but gives us her inheritance, keeping nothing of her own, not even a
crumb, giving us all her food and drink so that when we set out for foreign parts we should not suffer from hunger and thirst, giving us cloths to keep out the cold and money to prevent our pining in poverty. She goes to the market or works in the fields day and night with the coarse soil as her shoes, wearing
the stars as her cap, riding her legs as a horse, using the woolen threads of her torn frock as a whip, offering her feet to the dogs; she gives whatever she has gained by her efforts to us. She loves the helpless baby more than she loves her own benefactors. She looks on her baby with eyes of love, wraps him in gentle warmth, dandles him on her knees, strokes him with her ten fingers and calls him with words of sweetness.
She took us on her lap, protected us from fire and water, knife and poison, held us back from precipices, removed what might harm us, made religious offerings for our well-being. She did things nobody else would even think of or could be enumerated, such as consulting astrologers, observing omens,
another might well be able to finish counting them; but no one can count what his mother has done for him. In each life one has at least one mother; we transmigrated through many lives so that there is no one who was not our mother once or twice. That is why every sentient being is our benefactor.
Either I was a man and married a woman or vice versa. My spouse tended me, nursed me and mended me; aired my linen, dried my tears, shared my fate. Whenever I would be pleasant, she was happy. Whenever I might be sad, she participated in my sorrow. She was my companion in middle age and a kind nurse of
my old age. We have shared all the beautiful landscapes, flowers, waterfalls, forests, rivers and also the children's zoos and museums. We enjoyed all kinds of foreign restaurants together. She made me each meal as a supper of our Lord. If I could remember my past lives, I would like to thank her as the second benefactor, next to my mother.
Don't think you can live alone without other sentient beings. Don't think that through your livelihood all the daily things you need are exchanged with money. If there were no bankers and tellers, who would give us the bank notes, checks, drafts and money orders? If there were no farmers, who would produce
trousers, coats, dresses, wraps, and garments to wear. If there were no carpenters, who would give us chairs to sit on, tables to use, houses to live in? They are all our benefactors.
Not only mankind, but even animals are also our benefactors. Pigs growing fat with flesh, eating for us, sleeping for us to get their meat to eat everyday. They offer their lives for us. Dogs guard our doors, watching for thieves or strangers, burglars or bandits, by standing and sleeping close to the door and
barking loudly to waken us. Cats always catch all the mice, while bees prepare our honey. Hens offer us eggs, oxen help us plow the ground and till the soil. Horses help us to carry heavy loads. Sheep offer us their wool. They all are our benefactors.
they drive away all the saints, sages and Holinesses, such as Karmapa and Kalu Rinpoche from Tibet into many Western countries to promote their Lamaism, Tantras, and yogas for our spiritual food. They are also our benefactors.
Everybody does have some dangers in their everyday life. We have so many kinds of insurance working for us. There is accident insurance, automobile insurance, airplane insurance, marine insurance for our safety of transportation; business interruption insurance, casualties insurance, disability
insurance for our business and body; fire insurance for our home and shop; liability insurance for our economy, health insurance and life insurance for our life, social security insurance and unemployment insurance, workman's compensation insurance for our job and social intercourse. And beside this we have tontine for our old age and risk tontine, and many kinds of warranties.
Furthermore, since in this Kali age there are many bad persons wanting to harm us. We still are safe and this is helped by the military and police. They are our benefactors. They cannot make reply, they cannot reason why, they just fight for us and die. All policemen are soldiers who act alone: soldiers are
nurses to take care of us; when we are cheated or involved in trouble by someone, we have lawyers to help and settle it in court. Those are also our benefactors.
Suppose you are a woman; to keep the beauty of your face safe, there are workers to prepare some lipstick for your lips, powder and oil and rouge for your face, mascara for your eyelashes, and eye lash curlers. Someone prepared glasses for your eyes, whether sunglasses or night glasses, or snowglasses, either in black or in green or in red or in yellow, whatever color you like. When you want to look over your whole face to examine whether it is really beautiful or handsome and perfectly arranged or not, you have someone prepare you a mirror in a large size or in pocket size. If you are nearsighted, you can't see
your boy friend raise his hand down the street at a far distance, so you have glasses for far sight. If you are farsighted, you can't see your girl friend's letter written in a fair but small script, so you have glasses for near sight. Those who prepare all these things are also your benefactors.
In addition, there are many postmen or postwomen to send you express letters, parcels, money orders and mailgrams, telegrams, and long distance telephone
calls; there are many teachers, professors, and doctors guiding you to write a letter, or compose a poem, even a book; there are many businesses where men and women arrange the lovely groceries such as fruits, snacks, juices, and drinks for you to choose and purchase.
It is because all the sentient beings in hell suffer many miseries, they are burned or boiled alive, some are in freezing weather with ice and snow blisters on their bodies which break and begin to ooze, that we are able to develop our great compassion and desire to free them from such miseries. As our great compassion is produced by them, so they are our benefactors.
It is because all the sentient beings in the ghost realm are pained by thirst and hunger and suffer with disease and fever and are disheartened by fear and anxiety, that we can develop our great compassion and wish to free them from such painful difficulties. They are our source of great compassion and should be our benefactors.
It is because all the sentient beings of the animal realm have worked hard for us their whole lives, such as the ox working on the farm, and dogs guarding our door, horses carrying our loads and have become old and feeble and powerless so that they are then beaten till death, that we develop our great compassion and hope to liberate them. They are utilizing their pain and misery to teach us to stop the bad Karma which leads us to become dogs and oxen ourselves. They should be our benefactors.
It is because all those sentient beings, bad Gods and Asuras, demons and men, have distress through finding themselves on the brink of a precipice and about to fall into a deep abyss out of which they could never climb, that we have sympathy which allows the arising of our great compassion. They are all our benefactors.
There are many groups of welfare-fields in Buddhist doctrines.
One is the welfare field of Rewarding Benefactors which includes parents and teachers; the other is the welfare field of Merit which includes the Three Gems, i.e. the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. The third is that of poor people. Among all of them only the Buddha and Dharma are not of sentient beings.
One is the welfare field of Realm which is of animals, the second is of Pain which is poor and painful people, the third is that of Benefactors which is our parents and teachers and the fourth is of Merit which includes the Three Gems. Most of these above are sentient beings.
To make a very good and wide bridge to help those people.
To serve and help those ill persons.
To prepare an unlimited party of food for those people who come from any place, of any race, of any age, sex or stature. All these are also called welfare fields. They all are connected with sentient beings. In doing these, one works in the field of welfare and gets many kinds of blessed merits with which one may fulfill his spiritual food on the holy journey leading him to arrive at the final goal of full enlightenment. That is why all sentient beings are our benefactors.
A. When we are proud of our body or badly attack it and fight with others over this body, if we think of our parents who gave birth to our body, we just feel that our parents are our benefactors and we have nothing of our own. This idea leads us to non-egoism so that we will not fight for the body, do something bad to attack it, or be proud as peacocks.
B. When we are proud of our knowledge or wisdom or ability, if we think of our teachers as our benefactors we feel that there is just nothing of our own. This idea leads us to non-egoism and we will be humble and not have words to say for ourselves.
C. When we are proud of our property or possessions such as great buildings, wide-set farms, rich banks, and so on, if we think of our inheritance which
was from our ancestors, the production of which was from the labor of farmers and carpenters, we feel they are all our benefactors. We have nothing really belonging to ourselves. We will not be proud as Lucifer and by and by will be close to non-egoism.
From the above three examples, my good readers may recognize all other things and I need not say more. Chung Tsu says, "To be in one's innermost heart in kindly sympathy with all things, to love all men, to allow no selfish thoughts--this is the nature of benevolence." The Rig Veda writes, "He who keeps his food to himself has his sin to himself also." Even though the religion of Hinduism still keeps the high-self, they do emphasize non-selfishness of the low-self.
See! The tree bears no fruit for itself, nor for itself does the Pacific Ocean collect its water. Hence non-egoism practice is very important and this practice is helped by our benefactors. When we love our benefactors as our own body, this is the nature of the Dharmakaya; when we bring them goodness and
increase our merits this is the attainment of our Sambhogakaya. When we think of them as our benefactors and do everything for them to make all of them happy and healthy and follow Buddhism to become Buddhas without one person remaining in the painful Saha world, then this is our Nirmanakaya.
See! Our Dharmakaya with its permanent and silent light not only covers sages but all the sinners among sentient beings, not only healthy heroes, but also dangerous lepers, not only emperors and presidents, but also ants and crickets. This is our final attainment of Dharmakaya.
There are five kinds of Bodhicitta.
Bodhicitta of Good Wills, which is a practice in the Causal position
Let me describe them one by one below:
Our Buddha Gautama developed the Four Great Vows before he attained Full Enlightenment at Bodhgaya. All of these four vows are connected with sentient beings, whose four poisons are very heavy. They are our benefactors who caused our Buddha Gautama to develop these great vows. If there were no sentient beings such developments couldn't have happened.
The second said, "I shall reveal my great power to all the beings."
Beside these our Buddha Amita developed 48 great vows, all of which are connected with all sentient beings. Buddha Gautama when he was a Bodhisattva developed 500 great vows before the Buddha Gems-Treasury. The great Bodhisattva Manjusri developed 10 great vows. The Indian great sage Nagarjuna also developed 10 great vows.
When the Bodhisattva named Precious Ocean develops his vows he says: "May all the three lower states of sentient beings such as animal, ghost, and hell leave their sufferings and each have a Buddha to teach him."
When the great Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara develops his Bodhicitta he says, "May all sentient beings be very happy and leave all their pains." When the great Prince of Dharma whose name is Manjusri develops his vows he says, "May all sentient beings get their pleasure of Dharma with wisdom." When Vajraprajna Bodhisattva develops his Bodhicitta he says, "May all those sentient beings who are still in the bad and painful states of animal, ghost, and hell leave their bad state and ascend to the Pure Land."
When the Bodhisattva named No Fear develops his Bodhicitta, he says, "May there be no such state as that of animal, ghost, and hell." Beside the above mentioned, there are many others. I have not enough space to write all of them down. All sentient beings are connected with the Bodhicitta and the Bodhisattvas. If there are no sentient beings, all those Bodhisattvas will not develop their vows. Hence all beings are our Benefactors.
The Bodhisattva named Powerful Might who teaches all sentient beings informs, "If there is a being who wants to know how to practice goodness, I teach him with goodness, or one who wants ahimsa, I teach him ahimsa, or wants Six Agreements, I teach him Six Agreements, and so on."
It is written, "Where there is a fight or quarrel, they give the Dharma of kindness and love. Where there is anger and confusion or arguments, they give the Dharma of pure peace and silence. Where there is laziness and tiredness, they give the paramitas of diligence, and so on."
Some Bodhisattvas give their eyes, as many as sands of the Ganges for as many lives. Some give their blood, as much as the four great oceans. Some give their flesh, as much as the great mountain Sumeru, some, their tongues as many as the four great iron mountains.
A Bodhisattva named "Silent Mind" says he cuts his two legs on the request of a Brahmin named "Rutze." He takes out his two eyes on the request of a Brahmin named "Interconnect;" he cuts his ears on the request of the Brahmin named "Steadfast." He cuts his Penis on the request of a "Mahavira."
All the above good conduct is done for all sentient beings. If there are no sentient beings, there might be no such good conduct. If there is no such conduct, there is no such merit. Hence all sentient beings are the source of all good merits. That is why we should treat them as our benefactors.
When one practices almsgiving there are three wheels, i.e. the first is the subject which is the giver, the second is the object which is the sentient being, the third is the way or the means to give. All these three wheels are of Sunyata because the giver and the receiver and the things or ways to give
all are of non-ego. Hence one's almsgiving is done by a common person who gives one penny to a poor beggar without the idea of Sunyata, such a goodness gains the merit to ascend into heaven. If it is given by a learned Buddhist with the idea of Sunyata, the giver neither proudly treats himself as a rich
be aimed at Full Enlightenment and the poor beggar may not only get material help but also get the blessing for Buddhahood. Hence sentient beings become our benefactors as without them our victorious significance of Bodhicitta has no object with which to practice.
This natural mind is neither selfish mind nor flesh heart but the truth itself pervading all sentient beings in a total entity. If the practitioner treats anyone as a foe, or as someone outside his entity and hates him, he will himself fall out of this natural mind and will never achieve his Dharmakaya even
The exoteric practice of Bodhicitta is concerned with only one's consciousness or mind without any symbol. Tantric mundane Bodhicitta is symbolized by a moon whose size is visualized as eight inches situated on our heart, but its light shines upon all the ten Dharmadhatus and it induces all the wisdom of
the four holy beings and collects and transmutes all sins and evils of the six transmigrated worldly sentient beings. Without these six transmigrated worldly sentient beings there would be no object of this Bodhicitta practice and thus salvation. That is why all sentient beings are our benefactors.
Exoteric Bodhicitta never has this adjective term of Vajra. Esoteric Bodhicitta not only has it but it is also symbolized with a Tantric instrument Vajra whose five spokes on the upper side symbolize the five wisdoms, while the five spokes of the lower side represent the blessed five realms of transmigrating
sentient beings. When it is visualized as enlarged to equal the Dharmakaya, all sentient beings have received its light and are saved through its power and compassion. If sentient beings were not visualized there, there would be no object of salvation. That is why all sentient beings are our benefactors.
To carry on the Vajra Bodhicitta one needs a vajra body and this body is an instrument to save all sentient beings. If there were no sentient beings, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will not incarnate in this world. The practitioners who learned from Buddha and the Bodhisattvas do the same holy Karmas as their Gurus and should treat all sentient beings as their benefactors.
Samantabhadra is a Mahabodhisattva and also a representative of Buddha. His name in Sanskrit "Samantabhadra" means universal equality of goodness which concerns all sentient beings without one left out. Surely all sentient beings are the only measurement or standard of the perfect Bodhicitta and perfect Buddhahood. How can one forget such a class of benefactors?
This is belonging to the Anuttara yoga. One who has achieved all the realization of practice of the first initiation knows himself as a yidam and all sentient beings as the yidam's Nirmanakaya and that his wife is a Dakini, and among four women there is one known as the Lotus Dakini who is not thought of
as a lustful laywoman. Practitioners of the second initiation are skillful in holding an inhalation for at least two minutes, in Vajra boxing, and the secret method of keeping his Bodhi without any discharge. Then, in the third initiation, he must practice Vajra love with a Dakini, shining the light of
the Red Bodhi to all sentient beings, helping them to get the deep, profound Buddhist wisdom of Sunyata and to shine the light again of the white Bodhi to all sentient beings to bless them to get great compassion.
If there are no sentient beings, there can be no Dakini. If there is no Dakini, there is no red Bodhi and white Bodhi; if there is no red and white Bodhi, there is no hope to achieve the highest Buddhakaya which is called Mahasukhaprajna-kaya.
Buddha has made many a parable about Bodhicitta and each of them connects with all sentient beings. In the Danaparamita he says Bodhicitta is like a great treasure because it satisfies all sentient beings. In the Silaparamita he says Bodhicitta is like a jewel mine enriching all sentient beings. In the
diamond shining light to every sentient being. In Dhyanaparamita he says Bodhicitta is like the king of a mountain protecting all sentient beings; in the Prajnaparamita he says Bodhicitta is like medicine saving all sentient beings.
In the Avatamsaka Sutra, Buddha has pointed out the purpose of developing Bodhicitta for sentient beings. "For to know all sentient beings' sorrows, delusions, and habits one should develop Bodhicitta; for to know all sentient beings' karmas, abilities, and expediences one should develop Bodhicitta; for
Bodhicitta; if there is no Bodhicitta, there is no Bodhisattva; if there is no Bodhisattva, there is no Buddha; if there is no Buddha, there is no Buddhism. That is why sentient beings are our Benefactors.
For the above seven reasons we do believe that all sentient beings are our benefactors. How to reward their benevolence? Last but not least I should point out the methods below as a conclusion of this booklet.
Ecclesiastes taught us, "Lose thy money for thy brother and thy friend, and let it not rust under a stone to be lost." Those who keep money in a bank until death are as foolish as those who keep their money under a stone.
always remember that all sentient beings are our benefactors, we might be able to awaken our mercy and do every kind of goodness to help them as a reward to our creditors. Such repayment should be sevenfold more than our buying.
The Talmud taught us again, "If you have taken of a man his plow or his pillow for debt, return his plow in the morning, and his pillow at night." We have taken many things from sentient beings in our time of need; we should return all kinds of things in the time they also have need.
Ecclesiastes taught us again: "Add no more trouble to a heart that is vexed; and defer not to give to him that is needed; reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thy face from a poor man. Turn not away thy eyes from the needy, and give him no occasion to curse thee."
the ox that treadeth out the corn." I'm very glad to find many organizations now trying to save the whales, deers, tigers, elephants, and birds in America. I do donate a little money to them as I'm not rich and take the idle bread from my Buddhist sponsor. I just fast one meal a day and save this money to do so.
Whatever we have we should share with all our benefactors. A Bible proverb taught us, "Drink waters out of thine own cistern and running water out of thine own well. Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad and rivers of waters in the street."
In the Confucian Analects we know a single sentence of speech could make a country prosperous; a single sentence of speech, also may make a country ruinous. The same result can happen through a bad word uttered roughly toward anyone which may make him sad and hate you. A soft and sweet word uttered
We should keep our speech under the following four conditions, i.e. firmness, resolution, simplicity and slowness, and forbid ourselves to speak lies with a double-tongue, coarse language and filthy language. Don't call names at sentient beings with imperfect bodies or senses such as the blind, deaf, mute, crippled, paralyzed, hump-backed, leprous, lunatic, mad, or those with other illnesses. We must have pity on them and know the ten kinds of coming:
The upright from the forebearing come.
The poor from the mean and greedy come.
Those of high rank from worshippers come.
The low and common from the prideful come.
Those who are dumb from slanderers come.
The long lived from the merciful come.
The short lived from life-takers come.
The deficient in faculties from command breakers come.
The complete in faculties from command keeperscome.
Don't argue with anybody; don't quarrel with anybody. From quarrels come cold war, from cold war comes bloody war, from individual war comes national war, from national war comes international war. This time a large war will kill all sentient beings and destroy the whole world. While we still have tongues in our mouths we should advise every sentient being to not emphasize struggle, either individual or classical.
Our mothers in the long transmigration.
Refugees and wanting for salvation.
A part of our Dharmakaya.
B. Besides the right remembrance, one should keep right view of Hinayana that is the four Dharma mudras:
We should always have good will as to be a Protector of unprotected sentient beings, a guide of wayfarers of sentient beings, a ship, a dyke and a bridge for them who seek the further shore of Paramita. A lamp for them who need a lamp of Prajna, a bed for them who need a bed of Nirvana, a slave for them who
needs a slave of compassionate service; a magic gem, a lucky jar, a spell of posies, a sovereign balm, a good wishing tree, a cow of plenty, for all sentient beings in different desires. As the earth and other four elements are for the manifold service of the countless sentient beings dwelling in the
Full Enlightenment and held fast to the role for sons of Full Enlightenment in the order thereof, so do we frame the thought of Full Enlightenment for the wheel of the universe and so will we observe the rules in their sequence without quitting.
let me bring love to them.
Where there is offense among all sentient beings,
let me bring pardon to them.
Where there is discord among all sentient beings,
let me bring union to them.
Where there is error among all sentient beings,
let me bring truth to them.
let me bring faith to them.
let me bring light to them.
let me bring joy to them."
A very special wish of mine to add to these is:
We should keep right view of Mahayana and advise all our sentient beings to practice Sunyata of personality and that of Dharma. We should practice together with all sentient beings the six paramitas. One should keep the right view of Vajrayana that the only final way, the perfect and integrated methods, are
the four initiations and their special practice of two yogas--Evolutional Yoga and Perfect Yoga which are aimed at Full Enlightenment in this life time which makes ultimate salvation for all our benefactors possible.