Plagiary of Teachings

Yutang Lin

Exposition of Dharma benefits a wide audience;
Why not allow people to propagate it at liberty?
Pretentious misuse could lead multitude astray;
Honoring lineage to sustain the right teachings.


The goal of Buddhist teachings is to ultimately benefit all. Spreading of the teachings meets exactly such goal; why is there such a notion of "plagiary of teachings"? In condemning others of such a crime is there a hidden selfish motive?

The right view of Dharma is very subtle and profound; it is not the case that any ordinary person could readily comprehend it. Furthermore, realizations can be attained only after long years of devoted practices but not enough to be just familiar with the theories. Therefore, those who will be capable of preaching the Dharma need to be selected and trained. Not to mention the fact that now and again there are pretentious persons who are ignorant of their own limited capacities but rush forward to be teachers. In addition, there are those who in the name of Buddhism are selling teachings and gathering followers to strive toward worldly gains. Such activities are misleading and damaging to great and pitiful extent. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the lineage of correct teachings. Hopefully thereby pure and correct views will be preserved and genuine practitioners will be honored so that the real benefit of the teachings would reach many.

In fact, bad persons would still commit plagiary of teachings, and good practitioners would not waste time on arguing with them. Consequently, they walk on separate paths and will reach the fruit of their own choosing.

Written in Chinese on January 26, 2001
Translated on January 27, 2001
El Cerrito, California

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