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January 25, 1974 (Friday evening)

On Watching Over Others Being Unadvisable

Ven. Master Hua


Students of the Buddhadharma should recognize the importance of the Dharma. If we study the Dharma every day without realizing the importance of the Dharma, we will not take our cultivation seriously. If we fail to cultivate, we will attain nothing and have no wisdom. Wise people do not live in places characterized by ignorance. Ignorant people do not live in places of wisdom. ďPlaces of ignoranceĒ refers to dark palaces. Ignorant people live in darkness and donít feel that it is dark. Wise people know that darkness is wrong and so they seek a place of light. Light represents the lack of anger. Ignorance is anger. If you get angry, you are ignorant. If you have no anger, you are wise.

We ought to reflect upon ourselves daily and watch ourselves so that we do not entertain ignorant thoughts all the time. Instead we should develop wisdom in thought after thought. Once we develop wisdom, we will not get angry at others. Ignorant people like to lose their tempers. 

As we study the Buddhadharma, every day we should become more and more intelligent, not more and more confused. If you can endure being scolded by others, then you have real skill in patience. Donít scold others or lose your temper at them. Not to mention your Dharma peers, you shoulnít even get mad at those who are your juniors. Itís understandable that you might lose your temper once in a while out of ignorance. But you cannot let your ignorance flare every day.

All of you continually endure tremendous hardship here, rising early and retiring late. It would be a great mistake to try to watch over others instead of watching over yourselves.


Timely Teachings. Pages 215 - 216.