November 24, 1973 | Saturday noon

On Speaking Dharma Suited to the People's Potentials

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua  


Are there any other opinions? [Editor’s note: People raise a translation question, and there is a discussion.]

As to the question of whether or not to put an end to desire, the text in question was discussing the dharma door of the Sudden Teaching. In the Sudden Teaching’s approach to Dharma, desire must be cut off—otherwise one is fundamentally not in accord with the Sudden Teaching. What most people are afraid of is not the words “cutting off”. They fear the Sudden Teaching, because they don’t want to become enlightened and realize Buddhahood that fast, but would rather take their time. It’s a matter of speaking Dharma that is appropriate for a person with that kind of potential. If it’s not suited to the person’s potential, then no matter how well it’s phrased, the person won’t accept it. On the other hand, if it matches the person’s potential, then even if poorly stated, the person will still become enlightened. The problem lies with matching or not matching potentials.


Timely Teachings, page 86.