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Volume 4  No 3

The Voice of Bliss

Eradicating Egotistic Karma

All sentient beings have egotism. They are afraid to 'loose face' and sometimes guard their pride so zealously that they land themselves in a lot of unnecessary encumbrances. Egotism is a cause that has hindrances as an effect. When we are able to revere others with the same humility, modesty and politeness as we revere the Buddha, then our egotism will gradually and naturally diminish. In this way we eradicate our egotistic karma.

It is difficult to eradicate one's egotism. However, if you pay reverence to the Buddha more frequently, a day may come when you can even pay reverence to the people whom you meet. Then, you have eradicated your egotism. Many people misunderstand that paying reverence to the Buddha is for the purpose of seeking the Buddha's protection. This is the most elementary perception, and a wrong one.

There once was a Bodhisattva named "Never Despise" Bodhisattva. Outwardly he appeared to others to be mentally unsound but in fact he was already an elightened Bodhisattva. He would greet people wherever he went, humbly bowing to them and bringing his palms together in salutation. They thought he was of unsound mind and threatened to beat him up. Instead, he would bow to them and say, "I do not regard you with contempt. You are all destined for Buddhahood". In his entire life he cultivate by not despising others.

We should always pay reverence to the Buddha. If, in the course of our life, we revere others with the same humility, modesty and politeness as we revere the Buddha, then our egotism will gradually and naturally diminish. If, on the other hand, your egotism is not eradicated, and you ignore others and are indifferent to them, then naturally others will reciprocate in the same manner towards you. This is called egotistic karma. When you understand this principle, you will know that the best way to eradicate egotistic karma is to pay reverence to the Buddha as well as to others.

In the eyes of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas all human beings are Bodhisattvas and Buddhas to be. However, when sentient beings view the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, they also view them as sentient beings. Now that we are learning to be Bodhisattvas, we ought to view all human beings as Bodhisattvas. When you deal with others with a warm smile, in earnest, are humble and polite in your words, then naturally your impartial mind can guide them to the shore of enlightenment.

If, while walking on the streets you cast your eyes on a stranger and he draws a knife on you, how should this be dealt with? It could be because he is a fugitive and he is always suspicioius of others. A person without egotism could instantaneously offer him a warm smile and instantly use wisdom to deal with it, for example, by saying, "Excuse me, I am not familiar with the streets here. Could you ........" Thus, the hostile situation is diffused. If, on the other hand, seeing that things could be wrong and yet you continued to challenged him, then surely there will be trouble. With regard to situations like these, students of Buddhism should be vigilant and apply wisdom to handle them. If at every moment we maintain a clear mind that is free of illusions, we will know how to be flexible and react according to the situation. These are all Buddhadharma and we should work diligently to realize them.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre