Spoken By Master Ching Hai, Hsihu Center, Formosa October 25th, 1994
(Originally in Chinese)
In the very beginning, we were with God; we were one with the essence of the highest Buddha. At that time, there was nothing to do in the universe. It was empty like an ocean of love, so pure and tranquil, without any movement, or anything interesting. Therefore, when God or the Creator suggested that we have some activities and add some excitement to the universe, we all agreed with joy. Thereafter, we shared in part of God’s creative work. Each one of us has to do something and has to play a role. We each cast our own character. That is why there are so many different colors of skin, different temperaments and even different shortcomings. Thus, we created the universe. We created different planets, different nations and different people.
When we came down, we brought some tools or toys along with us, such as our characters and the roles. Since we created them, we also need to destroy them in order to rest and then to create new ones. Suppose you had created a bad character, perhaps a hot tempered or murderous one, even though it was your role, it was not meant to be played forever, because the roles in the play still have limitations. You may play it for a hundred years at most, or you may murder a few people, so as to carry out the drama, thus making the universe have activities, have the virtuous, the evil and transmigration. But you cannot continue to kill people like this or be so hot tempered. At the end, you still need to eliminate this character.
The character you created is only for you to come down and play with for fun. After the play is over, this tool or this malevolent character has to be eliminated. How do you eliminate it? You have to try your best to overcome this character. It was created for you to play with, but because it is defective you have to destroy it. This has to be done by no one but yourself. You will have to destroy and dissolve this character completely by yourself in order to reclaim your original quality, which has no discrimination of good or bad. Do you understand what I mean? Otherwise, you carry this character with you as you transmigrate through the universe, contaminating yourself and others as well. Unless it is cleansed off, you cannot recover your original self that existed before the creation, and before the drama was set on the stage.
In case you have not eliminated the qualities before you die, then you cannot return to where you came from. Because before we came down here, we did not have these toys, such characters and temperaments. At that time, we were in an ocean of love and purity; we were just as loving, as perfect and as almighty as God. In order to have some fun, to carry out the drama, and to make the universe more interesting and diversified, we played our roles as different characters, like the performers in a drama.
Originally, we were the children of God and we were with God. Later, we wanted to have some fun so we signed a contract with God. We all supported His plan of creation and agreed to follow it. Subsequently, according to the plan, we created Africa, Europe and the Americas to be this way, and Formosa, Cambodia, Thailand… to be that way; each one being unique and beautiful in its own way. But the trouble is, sometimes we overplayed our roles; we forgot to wash off our stage makeup or to remove our masks, and we continued on with the play. We forgot the will of God and couldn’t stop playing. That is why this worldly game is no longer fun and it gets worse as we go along.
Now, those who are tired of playing and wish to rest must eliminate all those characters borrowed from the second realm, for such characters do not exist above the second realm, not even our brain, the computer within us exists. These tools are not needed up there; without karma, there is no need of temperament, no need to have good or bad. It was originally quite uneventful! Now, if we want to go home, we must dissolve all these tools and characters; we must destroy all these qualities that we have borrowed, before we can become our original self again. Do you understand what I mean? You continue to play because you have been here for so long that you have forgotten.
If you want to go back now, you must follow the Master and listen to the Master’s instructions. You must eliminate all those borrowed and defective tools. There must be no more greed, anger and obsessions, no more alcohol, no more meat… no more malevolent qualities. If you still cannot let go of these, then you have to stay here. Why is that? Because these tools and qualities belong down here, and if we are still attached to these, then we have to stay here with our tools. We can go up only after we have let go of them.
It is like if we were to visit the president at the presidential palace, we have to leave our luggage or guns at the gate. If you don’t want to leave your weapons, your baggage and other junk with the security guard, then you will not be allowed to go inside to see the president. Similarly if we still indulge in greed, hatred, obsession, fame, gain and other vicious qualities that are unfitting up there, then we will not be allowed to see the King of the universe.
When we came down here to have fun together, some people chose the roles that had the worse qualities, while some others chose those that had higher positions. In fact, only in this world we have the good and the bad, we see others as virtuous or evil, superior or inferior. When we picked our roles before we came down, no one intentionally chose anything. It was like God put out a big pile of different qualities, the good, the bad, the greedy, the angry, the obsessed, the irritable, the benign, etc. for us to pick one to wear, just like costumes. No one complained that his position was not what he wanted, that he wanted to be the king and not the policeman…, etc. At that time, no one had such ideas at all.
When we were up there, all things were equal. We were not impressed by fame or gain, we did not care about being poor or unfortunate, or worse yet, having a poor figure. We and God agreed to create a universe in which there should be a variety of different people, animals, flowers, trees…, etc. Besides, we were all willing to come down here to each play a role, choose a character in the creative plan. But after the role was over, the character was supposed to be eliminated and not left to roam around the universe. For the universe can only be an ocean of love, nothing but simplicity and purity.
At the end, if we were still unable to learn our lessons, or unable to fight, conquer, and destroy the character, then we had to keep it in our bag; just like when you keep leftover money in your pocket. If we come down again another time, we will have to choose another tool or another character before we can come here.
No one was born into this world exactly perfect. From birth until a certain stage at least, we have to be imperfect, which means that we must have a lot of junky qualities. So the last time, if you did not eliminate that character, now this time you have to come down with another lousy character, that becomes two to make things more difficult for you. And if you do not eliminate both characters this time, then next time around, you’ll have three. Your qualities will become worse and worse, with more and more shortcomings. If all three are not eliminated, later you’ll have four, or five, or six, or seven, or eight… and you’ll end up in a mess indeed! (Master and everyone laugh.) Therefore, we say that some people are really bad and have a lot of shortcomings, because life after life, they did not practice and learn their lessons well; instead of eliminating their rotten qualities, they accumulate more bad qualities each time they came down. In addition to that, they even contaminated themselves further by imitating their neighbors.
Therefore, the faster we advance in our self-cultivation the better off we are! You must persevere and try to eliminate any undesirable qualities that you may have; otherwise, there is no guarantee that it’ll be any better the next time! The baggage might be too heavy to carry! When we came down the first time, we jumped down with empty bags. Now we try to go back up, wow! We have so many tools, habits and burdens, and all are unnecessary baggage. We have become used to working with them, that is why we hang onto them so dearly. We have developed a serious attachment to them and that is troublesome.
The negative qualities we have are also a type of obsession; we are immediately liberated if we can let them go. Therefore, it is said, “Let go of the butcher knife, be a Buddha instantly.” Aside from the butcher knife, the same applies to anything that binds us in this world. So if you want to go “home”, then practice diligently.