November 1, 1973 | Thursday evening
On Avoiding Arrogance
Ven. Master Hsuan Hua
The investigation of truth should not take status into account. All of us are equal. It is a matter of your own wisdom. If your wisdom surpasses that of all other teachers, then you are the best teacher. I myself also wish to learn from the teacher who is out in front. I will be delighted if one of you wants to be the number one teacher. Donít be like me, always wanting to be last. You should be first; donít be the last one. I like to be last in everything, and so I donít amount to much. You ought to be a lot better than I am.
On the other hand, you shouldnít develop an arrogant attitude and proclaim, ďNow Iím Number One. I surpass everyone. I can beat my teacher, how much the more anyone else.Ē If you look down on everyone in that way, you make the mistake of being conceited. You will end up having wrong views and calling what is wrong right and what is right, wrong. You need to possess an accurate eye for distinguishing dharmas. You canít just go around stirring up trouble when there is none, nitpicking for nonexistent faults. Thatís not right. The right way is to maintain a proper understanding and outlook and develop genuine wisdom, authentic prajŮā light that dispels all darkness.
You shouldnít have the attitude that no monk is as good as you, much less the nuns, or that laymen are of even less use, not to mention laywomen. If you have an attitude that you alone are honored in the universe, there will be no hope for you in the future. Once you have blasted space apart at the seams, there will be no place to hold you. This is something important which you need to know.
Timely Teachings, pages 73 - 74.