Pleading for Turning the Wheel of Dharma
Truths as formulated in Dharma are clearly prevalent among evolution of phenomena—impermanence, non-self, conditional arising, causality—thus, one might as well say that the Wheel of Dharma is constantly turning by itself. Nevertheless, sentient beings are accustomed to grasping to forms, to self, and are narrow-minded and prejudiced, and hence, instead of recognizing the real situations, they have fallen into the mire of entanglements. Buddhists, out of compassion for sentient beings' suffering, want to save them from transmigration through showing them the Buddhist teachings and practices. Therefore, Buddhists would plead for "Turning the Wheel of Dharma," i.e., whenever they notice Sutras or articles that reveal the true significance of teachings and teach the correct way of practices, they would recommend, print and freely distribute them to interested parties; whenever they encounter learned teachers, virtuous and seasoned practitioners, they would reverently plead them to give exposition on Dharma in speech or in writing so as to benefit all parties that will have the opportunity to come across it; whenever they run into extraordinary Buddha images, chanting, Mantra wheels, calligraphy of Dharma works, etc., they would duplicate them and offer them freely to the public. All such efforts aim at making Dharma available to people through their seeing, hearing and reading, so that they are constantly aware of Dharma, and will gradually become accustomed to Dharma teachings, and eventually will become motivated to pursue the enlightenment path.
As to focusing on the puzzles or predicament of certain kind of sentient beings or even those of one particular sentient being in certain situations under particular circumstances, or focusing on lack of clarity on some particular points in Dharma theories or particular Dharma practices, to plead to Dharma teachers who have harmonious comprehension of the teachings and attained some degree of realization, that would be even more opportune for and suitable to the recipients, and hence especially need to be carried out. This is because how to apply Dharma theories in daily life and carry them out in a harmonious manner is extremely difficult to comprehend.
Whenever an opportunity to plead for turning of the Wheel of Dharma arises, one should do so right away. Do not complain that it is repetitive because exposition on Dharma is of tremendous benefit to all involved. Furthermore, depths of comprehension could vary from time to time, so one should not hinder a turning of the Dharma Wheel out of prejudice and thereby lose an opportunity to gain deeper comprehension. Even to topics that one is well familiar with one should remain humble in receiving the teachings anew so that one might gain some fresh perspectives. All in all, seeing and hearing Dharma is far superior to engaging in worldly affairs.
Written in Chinese and translated on April 13, 2009
El Cerrito, California
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