November 24, 1973 (Saturday evening)

On Admonishing Those Who Think They are Extraordinary

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua


[ed. note: Master responses to a question about translation.] Earlier, I discussed an ocean-ruling spiritís name as meaning either ďEver Dwelling in WavesĒ or ďEver Making Waves Dwell.Ē All of you should decide which interpretation is correct. Since we already discussed this spirit, we donít need to repeat the explanation. If you remember it, you remember; if you donít, you donít. Thereís no need to re-lecture it. Just use one of the names. You donít have to repeat the two meanings I gave before. If there is time left, the translators can use it to translate. If they donít understand or they forgot because they werenít paying attention, thatís their problem. I explained to you all very clearly, and yet you still donít know which meaning is correct.

     If you donít even have the judgment or wisdom to know that, how can you think of opposing your teacher? What abilities do you have to oppose your teacher with? You talk about it, but you donít actually oppose your teacher. Most of the time, all of you think youíre quite extraordinary. You think that in the heavens and below, you alone are honored. When a test comes, however, you hardly dare to call yourself honored.

     Which of the meanings is more accurate, more forceful, and more complete? It is decisions like this that determine whether you have Dharma-selecting Vision or not. You should use whichever interpretation expresses the principle more fully. There might not only be two interpretations, but millions upon millions of them. If you kept on explaining, there would be many, many meanings. And if you were to go into detailed and subtle analysis, then the meanings would be infinite and unending. However, just interpreting in a general way, which of the two meanings should be used? Do you know?

Disciple: Yes.

Master: Explain to the rest of them. 


Timely Teachings. Page 251.