A talk given on September 30, 1982
Translated by the Buddhist Text Translation Society
The Dharma-ending Age is a time when demons are strong and the Dharma
is weak. The power of the demon kings grows day by day, while the power
of the Buddhas decreases day by day. Actually, we don't speak of the Buddhas
as having power; we say they have awesome virtue. When living beings have
great blessings, the Dharma is strong and demons are weak. When living
beings have few blessings, demons are strong and the Dharma is weak.
The existence of the human race in the world is as precarious as a mountain of eggs. If one egg breaks, the whole mountain of eggs will topple and shatter; likewise, people's lives are in great peril. The world is filled with the offspring of demons, demon kings and demon subjects. No one wishes to listen to true principle, while countless people eagerly put their faith in deviant doctrines. People are reluctant to listen to Sutra lectures and show no enthusiasm for the Dharma. But if you ask them to go to a play, see a movie, or go dancing, they jump at the chance. People are not the way they used to be; their morals have degenerated. This is a sign that the demon kings are using their demonic powers to confuse people and wreak havoc in the world.
The biggest monster nowadays is the computer. Its invention has made people worthless and useless, because it can do everything. The computer has turned people into numb and dispirited morons who live as if drunk or dreaming and don't understand anything. If it's not a monster, what is it? It's a product of demonic intelligence.
Another monster that has come to the world is the television. Television has deluded people to the point that they cannot tell black from white and right from wrong. They are no longer clear about facts and principles. The programs shown on television teach children to be upside-down and confused. They teach them to commit murder, arson, robbery, and rape, and to take drugs. These crimes are all due to the influence of television. The computer and the television are two big monsters, but people don't recognize this. Instead, they treat them as prized possessions, spending fortunes to acquire them.
There is another class of monsters that includes rockets and satellites, which can be launched into space. Then there are the atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, lasers, and other deadly weapons. In Chinese, the word "laser" (literally, "death beam") is terrible, because it sounds like the expression "all are dead," that is, sooner or later we will all be dead. These violent weapons were invented by demon kings who wish to annihilate the human race. The demons praise and act as accomplices to these monsters. They emit all sorts of toxic vapors to contaminate plants and animals and intoxicate people.
Now there is a class of demons from "outer space" that want to destroy the world. They are out to ruin mankind. They spray toxic vapors onto the crops, so that people who consume them become poisoned. They also spray toxins on poultry, livestock, fish, and other aquatic creatures, so that people who eat those kinds of meat and seafood become poisoned, contract cancer, and die. In addition, they spray a slow-acting poison on the things we use every day. For example, the perfume used in the toilet paper causes serious diseases such as cancer of the rectum. In the past, when people didn't use perfumed toilet paper, they didn't contract such strange diseases.
The most serious source of poison nowadays is the "greenback" which people cannot bear to part with. The demons spray their poison onto the dollar bills, so that as soon as people touch them, they become avaricious. They are greedy for more of everything, whether it is food, clothes, housing, or activities. They are especially greedy for money, and they rack their brains trying to think of ways to get it. Their brains are poisoned with greed for money, and no medicine can save them.
However, because of the ten thousand Buddhas at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there is still a way to avoid these poisons in this universe. The people who study the Dharma at this place aren't greedy, don't fight, don't seek anything, aren't selfish, don't want personal gain, and don't tell lies. Thus, they won't be poisoned by money. They don't ingest the poisons in meat. Since they eat only natural vegetarian food, they have natural antidotes in their bodies which can neutralize poisons. No matter what kind of poison the demons and monsters spray, it is soon neutralized in their system. Therefore, being vegetarian is the best way to ensure health and long life.
Now that I have told you this, you should ask yourselves whether you have these faults. If you do, you should quickly change: Stop being greedy, stop fighting, stop seeking, stop being selfish, stop wanting personal gain, and stop telling lies. If you can eliminate these six faults, you can avoid being poisoned. Another most important thing is to clean up your own garbage. Sweep away all of your resentment, hatred, vexation, anger, and afflictions. If you still have these, you haven't dumped your garbage yet. If your self-nature is clean, you will not hate or resent people, be vexed by or get angry with people, or afflict them.
Therefore, whether you are a left-home person or a layperson, if you have taken refuge with me and truly have faith in me, you must reform your bad habits and faults and empty out your garbage can. Then, in this Dharma-ending Age, the world can borrow your light and hold out a little longer. Sooner or later, this world will be destroyed. However, people who truly cultivate can increase the proper energy and decrease the deviant energy in the world. They can increase the Buddhas' power and decrease the demons' power.
Don't let my words pass by your ears like the wind, because they are very important. They have a real, direct connection with today's problems.