Not Working

Yutang Lin

Only sincere and solid practices could inspire favors;
How could inspirations be prompted casually at will?
Treating Buddha, as it were, a coin-operated manikin,
Unreflective of one folly still blames "not working."


Some people, after reading about inspirational events, would like to obtain such help for their own personal gains. When their wishes were not fulfilled they judged right away that Buddha or prayers were not working. They failed to understand that Buddha grants inspirational helps in order to teach and guide sentient beings toward the quest for ultimate liberation. Therefore, only matters that would eventually lead toward such long-term goals could readily gain such inspirational favors. Ordinary people mistook Buddha as a kind of coin-operated manikin; they thought that small tokens of faith and offering would readily prompt wish-fulfilling good fortunes. Buddha is full of great wisdom and deep compassion; how could he misled people into such delusion by granting favors readily? Precisely because Buddha is so omniscient that he does not respond to requests except those out of pure sincerity.

Written in Chinese on August 2, 2001
Translated on August 10, 2001
El Cerrito, California

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