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On Training Tigers with Horns

December 7, 1972 , Thursday evening (Timely Teachings, Ch. 1 Part II, page 62, following paragraph 1)


In this country, I advocate reciting the Buddha’s name as well as investigating chan. Why? Because I want to train “tigers with horns.” When people see those tigers, they will be scared. Tigers are fierce to begin with, but with horns on their heads, they are even fiercer! In the future, all of you have to be horned tigers. That doesn’t mean you should go out and gobble people up. It means that you should go everywhere to propagate the Buddhadharma, and that when the demon kings see you, they will behave themselves. You must subdue the celestial demons and people who follow wrong paths.

This is an analogy. Don’t think that tigers will really grow horns on their heads and prowl up and down the mountain. There is a saying, “To practice chan and the Pure Land is to be like a tiger with horns.” Someone who investigates chan and also recites the Buddha’s name is like a horned tiger. That is what the analogy stands for.

Timely Teachings", page 3.