In the evening, we all arrive at the same time. The Meditation Master invites us to the bank of a shallow brook where many fine stones are scattered. It is quiet, and the mid-autumn weather brings in a fresh, cool breeze. We circle around the Meditation Master.
The Master says, “Human life is controlled and nourished by the Universe and the Earth. What reasoning can we use to demonstrate the above statement? Please observe the Earth, on which there are many nations. Each nation has a language of its own. Even within one country, in each region and each province, one’s nature and behavior are affected by the customs of his or her residence. The accents and dialogue are different between each resident region, and the customs of nourishment and social behavior also vary. Such a situation is called the local air and earth of each place.”
“Humankind lives on and is mostly affected by the Mother Earth. In a place or region where the earth is peaceful and fertile with green plants, the inhabitants’ lives are easy, pleasant, and healthy. On the other hand, in a place or region where the Earth is arid, the plants are exhausted and the inhabitants are poor, cruel, indifferent, and unhappy. The above illustrations reveal that the Universe controls human life and that the Earth provides human food.”
“From these illustrations, we know that the Universe and the Earth decide the comfortable and plentiful lives of human beings. Millions and millions of years ago, the Universe and the Earth responded by metamorphosing and nourishing humans and all living creatures; later, however, they gradually subsided in that responsibility. Humans must reproduce by themselves, now. It is the same with plants and animals. Flowers and fruits are self-sown and grow. When humans and animals know that they are relying on the Universe and the Earth for nourishment, the Earth is tardy to be destroyed. When humans take pride in creating life and attempt to create a better life with modern technologies, the greater the suffering that humanity receives. Later, the Earth will be quickly destroyed.”
“Facing the problems of the Destruction and Vacuum Periods, how can humans avoid them? Humans are at the point where they should be self-reliant in order to have food, and being self-strengthening in order to be powerful and rich. Additionally, human knowledge is wisely and wildly developed, millions of times larger than in the previous period. Because of wild wisdom, humans do whatever it takes for advancement without thinking of the consequences for human living conditions. When the Earth is dry and cracked, and the inner earth is unstable, engineering and science were born in order to support humanity, replacing manpower with machinery. However, the better the engineering is, the more efficient the weapons are. Why? Engineers explore mines underground to self-strengthen, become rich, and increase national resources. One country starts exploring, and then many other countries compete in the enterprise. Every country has its own wild wisdom and deceptive tricks. Once a country begins developing more advanced weaponry, other countries must do the same in order to compete. It proceeds in such a way that countries manufacture advanced weapons even if they do not want to, in fear of being conquered or invaded. Facing the problems in the Destruction and Vacuum Periods is no different from facing a storm. One only sees the immediate advantages without realizing the future harms; the richer and stronger that a country is, the more efficient its weapons are, and the more destructive the Earth becomes—but humankind doesn’t seem to realize that yet.”
“As for science, it aims at helping humankind, from making materials more abundant to raising the spirit. Civilization and culture are making enriching advancements through positive research and experimentation. Science searches the supreme space and the Universe and has discovered many different planets from its starting point. The objective of science is noble. However, science still has a tendency to develop more advanced weaponry. It vigorously competes and improves, turning engineering marvels into weapons. It’s reached to the point that the development of nuclear power plants are now everywhere.”
“How tragic it is for humankind in the Destruction Period! The whole world unanimously intends to build a safe and happy life for humans, but the Destruction and Vacuum Periods do not let the world’s objective be achieved. The world plans in one direction, but it turns into another direction. The more humans try to improve the quality of life, the more suffering humans undergo. Is it true that human life is meant to be controlled by the Universe and nourished by the Earth? Facing the situation of the continuous competitive improvement and misuse of science, many nations have to raise their concerns more than once, asking for the restriction of nuclear development. That’s enough to notice that humans have begun to worry about the annihilation or total destruction of human existence. Humankind often massacres human beings; there must be one objective between the two.”
“You all should know that humans must rely on the Earth and the Universe for their living. One must behave in rhythm with the movement of the four Periods. The Earth, during the Formation and Residence Periods, is in its adoption stage. It is closely connected with humanity. During the Formation and Residence Periods, whether they want it or not, humans enjoy being friendly to everybody. They are very afraid of causing resentment and offense. They often unite with those around them, sympathizing with them and never doing anything to harm those relationships. They neither know how to get food and clothing by force and competition, nor suffer from serious disease; every word and every gesture is adopted.”
“Furthermore, all of the different kinds of flower and fruit trees have the required qualities in these Periods. They nourish humankind, making humans healthy and increasing humans’ longevity. Toward the end of the Destruction and Vacuum Periods, flower and fruit trees are scarce and lack quality. The Earth loses most, if not all, of its nutrients and ingredients because it is hard and sterile. Food is adopted at the Formation and Residence Periods. Toward the Destruction and Vacuum Periods, it greatly decreases and is reduced in nutritive value to the point where humans no longer get food from nature. Humans have to transform substances and process food themselves. The Earth becomes as hard as stone. I tell you this so that you can fully comprehend what I am saying. When the Earth and the Universe assume the responsibility, they nourish humankind. The more self-strengthening and self-reliant humans become, however, the less responsible the Earth becomes. When the Earth takes no more responsibility, humans must take on that responsibility themselves. If one was born in the Formation and Residence Periods but one’s mind and thoughts want to break good feelings and relationships and one’s actions are destructive, aiming to reach destruction and vacuum; it is impossible. Similarly, if a person who is born in the Destruction and Vacuum Periods wants to adopt the behavior of the Formation and Residence Periods, it is also impossible.”
“These are my sincere words; they are not intended to please a negative humankind. I speak them in order to decrease competition among humankind and the worlds, using engineering to serve human living and using intelligence and wisdom to show human affection. We should not use intelligence to nourish hundreds of doubts; this makes everyone unhappy.”
As the Meditation Master says these words, he looks at the clouds that are lazily crossing in front of the residence. The breeze blows gently through the branches of leaves, the brook burbling softly above the poor pagoda, and our hearts are obsessed with boundless thoughts of the human Destruction and Vacuum Periods. On that early evening, the sky is blue and clear.
The Meditation Master continues. “Human situations constitute a dilemma that is hard to solve simply because wisdom is improperly applied and therefore spurs a competition of ideology. Suppose that one side wins; what do they really get? In the present situation, a lot of people either want to stand still or stop, but they can’t because the Destruction and Vacuum periods are proceeding.”
“In terms of Buddhism and science, Buddhism utilizes wisdom properly; one is aware of one’s own suffering himself or herself, and so one dares not make anybody suffer. The practitioner knows that we are all endowed with the same original nature impartially. However, out of the inequality of form springs different castes. The practitioner is well aware that every person is endowed with all of the essential elements that are no different from the Universe. A human stand in the Universe, human is miniscule. If one can release completely specific elements and specific forms, then he or she becomes the master of the Universe. Therefore, a well-founded statement would be: ‘No matter how small a thing is, if it is properly utilized, it can be the biggest and greatest.’ For instance, let’s consider things from space particles to atoms—things unseen by our own naked eye, yet space metamorphoses the Universe and atoms destroy the world. Since the day when human science discovered atomic energy, humans simply knew that it had a powerful force that could destroy a huge region or disintegrate any combined substances. Humans don’t truly realize that it was created in the present time of ruin and destruction of the Earth. This is to point out that humanity is coming into the place of the Destruction and Vacuum Doomsday.
“Buddhism takes a far-reaching and wide view of the Universe and humankind to its finish. It is Buddhism that builds the foundation for each human individual with completely enlightened intelligence. Buddhism leads humankind to the living place of immortality because humans are being metamorphosed. Buddhism cultivates and fosters friendship among humankind because humans are trapped in errors of individuality and ego, with competition and doubt causing separation.
“Buddhism has long known about the inanimate objects lying underneath the Mother Earth’s surface, such as repositories of coal, copper, and iron, which are mixed with space in order to make up the air that nourishes humanity and promotes human health. Doesn’t Buddhism help humans? Buddhism has witnessed herbs and plants in the desolate forest that keep on serving humans. Every morning, they expel breath that is entrusted with all of the substances mixed with space in order to make up the air. The plant forest air is an everlasting drug that saves humankind, recovering from diseases. Is Buddhism purely theoretical without helping for humankind?”
“You all should also know that, if a human puts in the right practice of the Buddhist program, he or she can escape from the present birth. He or she doesn’t need to reach to the moon or other planets in order to seek a new world. Science has long known that the Earth will be destroyed and void; it also believes that tomorrow will be a doomsday. Even if science discovers a new world on another planet and can bring humans there, it is not certain that humans could survive in such a new climate. Why? Because each planet is endowed with an atmospheric substance of its own, it would be hard for humans to live on another planet.”
At that moment, we all see and realize the Destruction and Vacuum Periods. Human beings are living in the Destruction and Vacuum Periods. This is no different from all of humankind riding on an old, patched ship that is about to disintegrate, but they don’t notice it. They still go on dancing, fighting, and competing. The more they do, the more seriously the ship cracks and breaks. We ourselves do not know how to say it better. We simply hope that humankind chooses to be safe by stopping the dancing, fighting, and competing.
We all bow and take leave of the Meditation Master, recalling that we have met the Meditation Master when the Meditation Master preached.
Completed on September 19, 1976 (August 26 Dragon Year, Lunar Calendar)
At THE CENTRAL LONG-HOA SUPERIOR CONGREGATION
NHA TRANG, VIETNAM
By THE SUPREME PURE KING,
Who is THE LONG-HOA SANGHA CHIEF,
Who also was THE SUPREME MAITREYA BUDDHA incarnate in Vietnam, 1918-1993