August 24, 1973, Friday evening.

On Learning the Sutras Well

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua


The person who just discussed the dragon kings did a good job. All of you should remember those things. For example, suppose a Dharma Master were to come and ask you, “What sutras have you heard explained?”

And you said, “I’ve heard the Dharma Flower Sutra, the ŚëraÚgama Sutra, and the Flower Adornment Sutra.”
The Dharma Master might then say, “Oh, you’ve heard the Flower Adornment Sutra. Well, how do you explain the line, ‘Thus, Sagara contemplates the Buddha’?”

Now suppose all you could answer was, “Huh? I don’t know.”

What do you think he would say, “Ah, you have a muddled teacher who tries to teach a muddled student. Neither one of you understands. How pathetic!” In that case, not only would you lose face, you would also disgrace your teacher. Both teacher and disciple would have their reputations ruined.


Timely Teachings, page 313