*Greetings to you, Master. All the monastic practitioners, and all the Buddhas in the audience, how are you? I would like to take some time to introduce Master and share my experiences with you. I have been initiated for less than two years, but in my subconscious, it feels like it's been a very long time, and that I know Master so well. I was initiated on May 14, 1988, in Kaohsiung.
A month before initiation, I read Master's sample booklet which talked about immediate enlightenment and liberation in one lifetime. At that time, I had a little doubt because in ancient times there were cases of immediate enlightenment and liberation in one lifetime, like when Shakyamuni Buddha or the ancient Zen masters were alive. But nowadays, no one seems to hear about it.
Nevertheless, Master's name became indelible in my heart. I was once a very pious Yi Guan Tao practitioner. But after practicing for over ten years without getting any enlightening experience or immediate enlightenment as described in the scriptures, I started to explore Esoteric Buddhism with a fellow Yi Guan Tao practitioner. At the same time, I continued to practice Yi Guan Tao. To practice spiritually, one needs the guidance of a high level practitioner. It's even more so for Esoteric Buddhism.
That's why the fellow Yi Quan Tao practitioner referred me to Brother Cai in Tainan, who supposedly had reached a high spiritual level and possessed incredible magical power. He could see one's previous life clearly. When he was on the phone with someone, regardless of whether that person was in Taipei or Pingtung, while he was in Tainan he could clearly see what that person was doing.
While chatting with someone, he could also travel to America by astral projection and communicate with his master. It would only take him a few seconds to go out and come back. Even if he was sitting right in front of you, you would not know that he had gone out. One day, I set up an appointment with Brother Lin to go to Tainan to visit Brother Cai. But coincidentally, a colleague of mine told me at noon that Master Ching Hai had been giving lectures in Kaohsiung for three days.
On that day she was going to give initiation and he planned on signing up for initiation. As soon as I heard this news, I said, “It's so strange. Isn't Master Ching Hai in the north? How come I didn't know that she had come to the south?” He said, “She has been giving lectures in Kaohsiung for three days, but since I saw you practicing Yi Guan Tao so sincerely every day in the temple and that you are also keen on Esoteric Buddhism, I dared not tell you.” I said, “So, she is giving initiation today!
Where will it take place?” He said, “At two o'clock in the afternoon people should gather at the gate of Chenqing Lake.” Telling myself that I couldn't afford to miss this opportunity, I cancelled the appointment in Tainan to see Brother Cai. Instead, I signed up for initiation. Since I didn't meet Brother Cai who has magical power including clairvoyance, I went to Brother Lin's home after initiation. He immediately asked me, “Is your Master Ching Hai the incarnation of Manjusri Bodhisattva? According to Brother Cai, she is. He saw that she was.” When I heard that, I was overjoyed.
When Master walked in, wow! her eyes were so sparkling and powerful! Her words conveyed such an indescribable power that I clearly felt that she must be a great spiritual practitioner. Mencius said that to know a person, one only has to look at his eyes. A righteous person has a pair of righteous eyes, a snobbish person has snobbish eyes, an arrogant person looks at the ceiling all the time, and a person with an inferiority complex looks down at the floor all the time.
As for a thief, he would have a thief's eyes and a liar has shifty eyes. Before he opens his mouth, his eyes already tell you that he is going to lie. Therefore, the eyes of a great spiritual practitioner must be sparkling and powerful. So Mencius must have been in the ophthalmology department of fortune telling. I used his method and became quite clear about Master.
What's more, during initiation, Master not only explained clearly the Three Worlds and those beyond, but also explained the different levels of enlightenment. After initiation, when asked, “Those who have seen the inner Buddha Light or Self Nature, please raise your hands.”
Wow! A lot of people raised their hands. They had inner visions right away! I've been with Yi Guan Tao for over ten years and each year, I would watch a master give initiation to a few thousand people. Over the last ten years or so, among the tens of thousands of people, I have never seen anyone who immediately saw his true Nature and became enlightened.
But as soon as Master sat down and transmitted her power, among the few hundred people present there were so many who became enlightened and saw their true Nature.No wonder she proclaims “Immediate Enlightenment and Liberation in One Lifetime,” and no wonder that Brother Cai in Tainan saw that Master was the incarnation of Manjusri Bodhisattva. I've always admired Manjusri Bodhisattva.
Among all the Buddhas, he is my favorite. Shakyamuni Buddha said that Manjusri Bodhisattva was the incarnation of an ancient Buddha, and he was the teacher of seven Buddhas in the past. And even in the future, thousands of Buddhas will be Manjusri Bodhisattva's disciples. Among all the Buddhas in the universe, Manjusri Bodhisattva was famous for his wisdom.
That's why in the “Vimalakirti Sutra,” when Shakyamuni Buddha tried to send someone to check Vimalakirti's illness, he asked all the disciples who had become Bodhisattvas or Arhats to go, but none of them dared to. It's because Vimalakirti had reached a very high level in spiritual practice and possessed incredible wisdom. All of the high ranking disciples had been scolded by him before. That's why no one dared to go. In the end, he sent Manjusri to visit him.
In the “Surangama Sutra,” there were 25 saints who shared their experiences in spiritual practice, and they had to ask Manjusri to be the judge. As soon as Manjusri opened his mouth, in a few words he explained clearly the advantages and the disadvantages of the method each Bodhisattva was practicing. It's similar to the case when Master gives lectures - in a few simple words, she can clarify any confusion about the stories of the ancient saints.
In the “Avatamsaka Sutra,” the boy Shan-Tsai stopped at 53 places in his journey to the south along the river and visited so many great spiritual practitioners, but in the end, when he met Amitabha Buddha, he was referred to Manjusri. It's because to become a Buddha, the ultimate teacher was still “Mr.” Manjusri. In the “Lotus Sutra,” it's recorded that Manjusri elevated many beings in the dragon palace to the level of Bodhisattvas.
He even made an eight-year-old dragon girl become a Buddha. The power of Manjusri was unfathomable. That's why I have loved Manjusri since I was young. I have a picture of him on the wall in my meditation room; I worshipped him and regarded him as my idol. Now, I have found the real Manjusri. Oh! I am overjoyed. Therefore, after initiation, whenever I meditate I am filled with so much happiness that I often laugh out loud. In the evening when I sleep, I also smile quietly whenever I think about it. From then on, I could understand the scriptures and the Zen riddles I had read before, I am clear about the experiences of enlightenment of the ancient saints.
My heart is filled with bliss. It's true that I was given immediate enlightenment. After I had practiced with Master for a while, I often heard some fellow initiates talk about their inner visions.
Sometimes, they saw Master appear in the form of Quan Yin Bodhisattva; sometimes, she became the Sixth Zen Patriarch Hui Neng; sometimes she had big round eyes with a full beard - she was certainly Bodhidarma. There are also people who saw Master as Shakyamuni Buddha, Lao Tzu, Earth Store Buddha, and Amitabha Buddha.
Some people even saw Master as Jesus Christ and St. Mary. It's so strange. Who on earth is Master? Later, Master explained in her lecture that once she reached a certain level there was no such person as Ching Hai anymore. Her physical body is just a tool that transmits God's almighty power and Buddha's power. In other words, this tool is completely under the control of the power of the Buddha Nature.
Therefore, Master has no ego. But sentient beings have different ideas about Buddha and God. Some think that God should be as merciful as Quan Yin Bodhisattva; some think that God should be as great as Shakyamuni Buddha; some think that God should be like Lao Tzu, Confucius, Jesus Christ, St. Mary, or Amitabha Buddha. That's why she appears in different forms according to the ideals of sentient beings.
As it is said: A Buddha will appear in whatever form it takes to save sentient beings. If the Buddha takes the form of a monk, a nun, a Upasaka (male householder), Upasika (female householder), a minister, a king, a general, or a god to save sentient beings, he will appear in this form to teach the Dharma (true teaching) and save them. If this is not the Universal Gate of Quan Yin Bodhisattva, I don't know what it is.
That's why Master often says that she doesn't belong to any religion, yet she preaches the original teachings of all the religions. It's because all the founders of the religions taught us to realize the God within us, to seek the Buddha Nature within and use our own great power inside to obtain liberation. The teachings are the same, but sentient beings live in different countries which have different traditions, customs, languages and spiritual backgrounds, so the terminology used is different.
We have been studying Buddhist scriptures for 2,000 years, and there are still mistakes in interpretations, and the ways they are expressed are also different. That's why we have misunderstandings, especially because most spiritual practitioners nowadays have not obtained great enlightenment. That's why there are conflicts among different religious groups. When you practice with Master you will know that all religions are the same and you don't need to change your religion because every religion is perfect and has good teachings.
Master just helps us to find our own Buddha Nature, the God within, and through this power, we will be liberated and attain Buddhahood. At that time, you can visit the Western Paradise at will and you will become a truly free person. To practice with Master, you will discover that Master has billions of transcendental bodies and that she is omnipresent. She teaches you in every moment, protects you all the time and responds to your prayers at any time.
Our fellow initiates are in different places in Formosa (Taiwan), America, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, and other countries in the world, but whenever they pray to Master, she appears immediately to render help. Therefore, Master is running an “instant help desk.” The year before last, during the 7-day retreat in Yilan, a sister saw Master sitting on a big lotus flower with a circle of light like a big sun behind her. The circle of light emitted billions of rays of light, and from each ray of light appeared countless Buddhas.
This is the so-called “Countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas appearing in the light.” Therefore, Master is no longer a human; she has become a Buddha! Think about it, this is someone who can appear in front of you as soon as you think of her, or as soon as you recite her name, in any corner of the world, or you can even immediately receive her blessing.
Not only in this world but also within and beyond the Three Worlds. From Heaven to hell, anywhere fellow initiates can go, Master is there to teach and protect them. Compared to Shakyamuni Buddha, Jesus Christ or Lao Tzu in ancient times, Master is just as great. Where can one find such a Master?
Today, all of our fellow initiates finally managed to invite Master to our small town, Pingtung, to sit in front of you - all the Buddhas here. Hereby, I would like to share a few words from my heart with you. What exactly is initiation? Initiation is the time when Master uses the almighty power or the Buddha power she has obtained through her spiritual practice to open our wisdom eye, or the third eye, to allow us to see our own true Nature immediately, to see our true identity and the Buddha Light from our true Self.
After that, we will become an enlightened person, a living Bodhisattva. We will develop more and more wisdom, more and more power, and more and more supernatural power. We will become freer and freer, understand more and more things, and have less and less obstacles. That's why it's called “immediate enlightenment and liberation in one lifetime.”
Therefore, I would like to recommend to everyone here that if you want to see your own true Nature; if you want to know your true identity; if you want to obtain your all knowing great wisdom; if you want to obtain your infinite great power inside; if you want to obtain your limitless treasure and boundless merit; if you want to visit the Western Paradise, the Kingdom of God, and the Buddha's land; if you want to be free and get liberated forever from the suffering of the transmigration in the six paths, or if you want to become a Buddha or a Bodhisattva, please come to register for initiation quickly.
No matter how many good deeds you have done, no matter how much you have given to others, no matter how much you know about scriptures, or how many years you have practiced spiritually or how much money you have, I want to tell you honestly that if you are not enlightened and cannot see your own Nature, if you don't meet a living Master, a living Buddha, if you don't have the true liberating method - it's completely useless. It's mentioned clearly in the “Sutra of the Sixth Zen Patriarch” that “without seeing one's true Nature, it's useless to study the Dharma (true teaching).”
Therefore, on the day of initiation, no matter how busy you are, how sick you are, even if you can only crawl, you should crawl to attend initiation. Master is the incarnation of an ancient Buddha who has achieved Buddhahood billions of eons ago, and life after life, in the universe, she has saved countless beings, liberating them, allowing them to become Buddhas. Her power is incredible. She has come to this Earth many times.
If you have reached a high level in spiritual practice, you will agree with me. Our fellow initiates from all over the world have so many experiences and affirmations. Even if a person has only one thought of faith in Master, he will be liberated at the time of death. Let me give you one or two examples. In Pingtung, one of our fellow initiates' mother lived in Linnong.
Even though she didn't have the chance to be initiated by Master, she had faith in Master. Before she passed away, Master appeared in a dignified image with a big circle of light behind her. There were also four lotus flowers in blue, white yellow, and red colors that radiated light. Then Master held the initiate's mother's hand and took her away. Our fellow initiates saw this with their own eyes. There are so many examples like this that happened to our fellow initiates worldwide, as well as to our relatives and friends.
Therefore, if you want five generations of your ancestors to be elevated, you should come to learn with Master quickly. If you miss this opportunity, you might have to wait for another billion years! There is another fellow initiate who lives in Yanpu. One of his elderly neighbors once fell from a high place and was badly injured.
He asked the fellow initiate to take him to the hospital in Pingtung by car. On the way, the initiate saw that the old man was about to die, so he prayed quietly to Master to take care of him and started to play Master's chanting tape. Eventually, after the neighbor died and his body was cremated, there were relics (sarira).
The neighbor didn't practice spiritually, nor did he keep a vegetarian diet, but after he died and was cremated, there were relics (sarira). Similar things happened to other relatives of our fellow initiates in Puli. Therefore, to leave behind relics (sarira) is very easy - come and learn with Master quickly!
I often think of how our neighbors, relatives and friends who always share with us their tasty food, help us and take care of us when we are sick, fetch buckets of water to help us put out fires in our house; they might not practice spiritually or be vegetarian, but they all take care of one another.
So, if we call ourselves spiritual practitioners, how can we not share the news with others when we meet a Buddha, a living Master, and obtain the method of liberation? How can we enjoy the bliss of freedom and the happiness of being free from birth and death every day while watching others suffer in the cycle of transmigration? Wouldn't that be too selfish? Therefore, all of our fellow initiates in Pingtung tried all kinds of means to invite Master to come and introduce her to everyone in Pingtung.
But I was amused by one thing. If I told you that Hanshan and Shide, the two crazy monks from Chinese history were the incarnation of Manjusri and Samantabhadra Bodhisattvas, no one would doubt me. If I told you that the “baggy monk” who had a big belly and carried a big bag on his back was the incarnation of Amitabha Buddha, no one would doubt me either.
But if I tell you that now Supreme Master Ching Hai is the incarnation of Manjusri Bodhisattva or the incarnation of a Buddha, a lot of people would doubt. Why is it possible to have incarnations of Buddhas in the ancient times but not now? There were sentient beings who longed for liberation and practiced spiritually before, and there are such people now as well! Do Buddhas discriminate, only coming in ancient times and not coming now? Or, are sentient beings ignorant and only look at what happened in the ancient times but not now?
If Hanshan, Shide, and the living Buddha Ji-gong, who pretended to be crazy every day, could be Buddhas, why can't our Master, who does things with dignity and who practices spiritually every day and meditates diligently, be a Buddha? The Princess Miaoshan was a woman and she became the Quan Yin Bodhisattva. Our Master left home and reached the ultimate level by practicing the Quan Yin Method. Why can't she be the living Quan Yin Bodhisattva of today? So the logic is very simple.
Anyone who has reached the ultimate level by practicing the Quan Yin Method can become a living Quan Yin Bodhisattva, can have the ability to answer prayers in thousands of places at once, have billions of transcendental bodies and be omnipresent. Everyone can do it: it doesn't matter if you are Mr. Li, Mrs. Wang, or Mr. Zhao; it doesn't matter if you are a man, or a woman; and it doesn't matter if you are old or young. Master is an expert in teaching the Quan Yin Method. As long as you register in her class, you don't have to worry about not being able to graduate.
I want to tell you a secret: everyone in our class is guaranteed to graduate. Okay, I don't want to say more. You must be anxious to hear Master's lecture. Now, let us give our warmest applause to welcome Master to give us a lecture.
Thank you, living Buddhas in the audience. It's very touching to hear their sincere words, right? (Yes.) Let's give another round of applause for the fellow practitioners in Pingtung. If it were not for their sincerity, I would not have come here today. You may wonder why after becoming a Buddha, he will lose his compassion - it's because he just thinks that people don't need anything and the world is fine. If it were not for the fellow practitioners in Pingtung and Kaohsiung reminding me, I would not have known of what you need.
I would think that everyone is fine because everyone is a Buddha. What could you possibly need? Therefore, it's not because I don't want to come here to give lectures, I just believe that everyone is fine. Bodhisattvas like the fellow initiates in Kaohsiung and Pingtung, or in the whole province, who are very loving and compassionate are eager to drag me to many places to give lectures. Every time I come to Pingtung, I always feel a very welcoming atmosphere even though it's a small town. People here are very kind. They have a good mayor and the mayor is willing to come up to support us.
Any mayors or high officials who are righteous are welcome. They are also doing the work of a Bodhisattva. They are serving people and purifying our country. Of course we welcome them. So today, I've come here again. I thought I could come to join group meditation and by the way remind my fellow countrymen in Pingtung not to forget the good things, not to forget the loving kindness we originally have in our hearts. It's also useful to read scriptures.
Sometimes, it's not easy to control our greed, anger and lust; sometimes when we are angry or feel hatred towards somebody, it's helpful to read some scriptures. It's because scriptures are full of good teachings that teach people to do good things. There is no scripture that is useless. We should read the scriptures with the purpose of purifying ourselves and helping ourselves to live a more peaceful life in society and in the world, and to have a better temperament.
But reading scriptures can't make one become a Buddha. If we have this understanding, then it's fine to read scriptures. If one thinks that by reading scriptures, one can become a Buddha, it would be as futile as trying to make rice out of sand. It's because none of the Buddhas in the universe, none of the enlightened masters from ancient times, none of the Bodhisattvas, taught us to read the scriptures to achieve Buddhahood. Instead, they taught something else outside the theoretical teachings.
Even when Shakaymuni Buddha was about to go to Nirvana (the highest paradise) and needed to choose a successor to spread his teachings, he didn't teach his successor, Mahakasyapa, to read scriptures. No! Mahakasyapa, who succeeded Shakaymuni Buddha, meditated all the time. He meditated in a cave all the time. At that time, none of Shakyamuni Buddha's scriptures were compiled yet. Isn't that right? (Yes.) Do you remember? (Yes.)
It was long after Shakyamuni Buddha passed away that his disciples gathered together and compiled the scriptures. Right? So how did Mahakasyapa achieve Buddhahood? He didn't recite the scriptures every day until he could memorize them by heart. No. Also, he didn't stay with Shakyamuni Buddha very often either. As you remember, at the time when Shakyamuni Buddha was dying, there was only Ananda by his side.
On another occasion, one day Mahakasyapa came from a very far place to visit Buddha. His clothes were covered with dust, because he'd just come out of a cave where he'd been practicing ascetically. So we should know that he didn't read or recite scriptures. No matter how many scriptures we have read and recited, there are still some parts that we don't understand. It's because our level is not high enough and our wisdom is not opened.
But it's okay. Each time when I give a lecture, I always remind people that we can start from today. We can start anew each time and we can start again every day. Each day, we can start anew. No matter how much karma (retribution) we have accumulated in the past or how ignorant we were, we can always be liberated in one lifetime.
We can always be enlightened tomorrow or today. It's our brain or our physical body that committed sin; our soul did not. Our soul is our original identity, or our so-called Master, who uses this body to collect some experiences and to have interactions with other beings or to experience relationships. But sometimes, our tool breaks down. For example, this brain is a tool. Our true Self has to use it to interact with others, to exchange experiences with others, or to get an education.
But this brain is not very smart. It's just a machine, like the computers you use, right? It's a better computer, and that's all. It records whatever information we collect. So, if we push a certain button, it will play what has been recorded. For example, at first the brain didn't know about beating or scolding people, but if every day it saw that when a person said something wrong another person would hit him and scold him, the brain would record that information. Understand?
Then on another day, if there was yet another person who said something wrong, the brain would instruct the hand to hit that person. Understand what I mean? It's because the brain has learned it. It follows other people's examples without knowing if they're bad or good. It just does exactly the same thing. It can't tell the good from the bad, except when our inner Master wakes up and tells it, or if there is another awakened soul who teaches it. Then it will know.
But it won't happen so quickly and so easily, because it has recorded too many images and too many impressions, and it's not easy to cleanse everything immediately. That's why it's difficult to change one's personality. That's why sometimes, spiritual practitioners still have their own personalities. Understand? When you reach Buddhahood, the level of being egoless, you will have no individual personality anymore.
You will just react according to the situation like a mirror. A mirror reflects whatever you put in front of it. It doesn't change how you look. Why does our soul get liberated when we meet an enlightened master or a person who has become a Buddha? Why can we be liberated by just seeing him once or by hearing his name? He has practiced spiritually, but we didn't! Why can we still be liberated? Does anyone know? Brother Su just said that we can be liberated by just looking at the Master once. Do you know why?
*It's because of Master's blessing.
Master's blessing? This answer is too simple.
*It's because the person is longing for liberation and is very humble.
Not necessarily. Many people who slander a master can also be liberated.
*It's because when a great enlightened person looks at us, he can open our wisdom and bless us invisibly. Maybe.
*It's because a master has a lot of merit.
*It's because a master is very compassionate.
*It's because his true Self already believes in the master.
Oh, no! I am not talking about a person who already believes in the master. The real Self inside him believes in the master. It's like this. All of you made some good points. It's like this. The real Self inside us is forever intelligent. He is never born and he never dies, is never contaminated, is ever pure, never expands and never contracts, is forever wise, and knows everything and understands everything. But he didn't have the opportunity to remember that he knows everything because he is used to using the brain, he continues to use it. He doesn't think he should do anything else. He thinks it's enough to use this brain and he doesn't need to use his own wisdom. But he has a soul that has already been liberated.
How does he get liberated? He separates his real Self from this brain. Understand? He uses this brain, but he is not owned by the brain. So when he sees another liberated soul and sees how the liberated soul works, his soul knows immediately, “Ah! I am originally the same as him.” Understand? He knows immediately at that moment because he is very intelligent originally.
For example, two people went together to dive into the deep sea to look for treasure. They had to wear a lot of special gear, right? They had to carry an oxygen tank, and wear a mask that covered their eyes completely, and a wetsuit that covered their entire body. Suppose two of them went down into the sea and they got separated.
After they finished working in the sea and came up, one of them took off his diving gear immediately. When the second came up, he forgot he didn't look like this before. He forgot! He continued to use his fake hands or fake feet. They are not fake but are completely covered by the wetsuit that made him look like a frog.
Do you know what I am talking about? (Yes.) He was running around on land, wearing the diving gear. He felt it was hard for him to walk; it was not easy for him to work using these hands and it was difficult for him to breathe as well. He was struggling there, not knowing how he could walk faster and do his work better. Then he suddenly saw the other person next to him starting to take off his diving gear, including the oxygen tank, and so becoming free and at ease with himself. After seeing this, the person says, “So that's what I should do!” So he starts to do the same immediately. Understand?
Because they were the same originally, he knew what he should do after seeing what the other person did. So we just forget, but it doesn't mean we don't know. Understand? Sometimes things happen like this, right? For example, if we have been wearing gloves for a long time, we may forget. Then after going home, we eat dinner or do things wearing our gloves. We forget to take them off! It is very inconvenient and difficult for us to do things. Then someone next to us tells us, “You can just take off your gloves.”
Or, sometimes we also forget we are wearing a hat or something, and we struggle with it. Then someone next to us tells us, “If you take this off, you will be fine.” Similarly, an enlightened person standing next to us is not bound by his karma (retribution), his mind, or any concepts of an ordinary human being anymore. He still has the physical body and mind like an ordinary person, but he clearly knows that he is not the mind or the physical body. Understand? He can clearly separate them.
So if another person stands next to him and sees what he did, the other person can also do the same because they are originally the same. That's why the other person can get immediate enlightenment and be liberated in one lifetime. So this is why we can get liberated by just looking at a Buddha. Why can we also get liberated if we hear a master's name? It's also very simple. If we hear someone's name, that person's influence, personality, level, knowledge, and all of his abilities will be connected with us. Understand what I mean?
He will surely influence us because our real Self, our inner Master, is free; and the real Self can see everywhere. Even if our brain doesn't know, our soul knows. So if our soul hears a person's name, he will be curious. He will ask the brain, “Who is he?” Then the brain will start communicating with him, “This person doesn't need to know us, but if we call his name or think of his name inside, he will send everything to us because we are all one.
Moreover, he lives in the same world, breathes the same air, eats the same food, and wears the same clothes as we do. So, of course, if we think of him, we can communicate with him.” Therefore, if we hear the name of an enlightened person, our soul will also be awakened. Understand?
Because our soul can see a place far away and realizes, “Hey! That person did this and he got enlightened.” Then our soul also starts doing the same thing and our soul will also be liberated. Once our soul is liberated, our illnesses, suffering, trouble, and ignorance will all start to leave us.Understand? Because we have collected too much trouble and bad karma (retribution), and have been too ignorant life after life, we cannot get rid of them very quickly.
Therefore, it may seem like we cannot become a Buddha immediately. Actually, we did become a Buddha immediately. We are the same as that enlightened person. The enlightened person has gotten rid of all of his ignorance while we are just starting to get rid of it, so it appears to be a very slow process. But after a while, the two will be exactly the same.
After a while, the one who gets enlightened later will be the same as the one who got enlightened earlier. It's just a matter of time. It's just like those two who dived into the sea wearing the frog suits. Like those two divers, the one who has taken off his diving gear becomes free and can run around freely, so the other one who sees what the first diver has done, starts doing the same. And when he removes all the diving gear, he will look exactly like the first person.
It's just a matter of time. Why do we say that in the eyes of a Buddha, all sentient beings are Buddhas? It's because a Buddha feels very secure because he knows sooner or later all sentient beings will become Buddhas.
There is no need for him to hurry to see his disciples or sentient beings because it's enough for him to teach a few. Then his disciples can spread the Truth. They can also spread his name or spread his teachings in other ways, like putting up posters. People who are connected with his disciples are also connected to him. Understand?
There is no need for him to knock on everyone's door or to rush to save sentient beings. It's not because he doesn't have compassion; it's because he feels very secure. He knows what he should do. The way he does things is different from how ordinary humans do. We ordinary humans are always in a hurry.
We look for this person and that person, and we have to catch him and use a lot of theories to convince him to come for initiation or to do this or that. A Buddha doesn't need that many disciples. Understand? He only needs a few disciples and they will carry on the lineage. After he teaches his disciples, no matter where his disciples are, he will be there. So he feels very secure and he feels that everything is perfect in the world.
For example, if you haven't become a Buddha yet, after a while he will also help you become a Buddha. It's just like that. But sometimes sentient beings keep asking and crying for help. Or they say, “We are suffering a lot. We don't know where our Buddha Nature is. You say we are Buddhas, but we don't know!” So he still needs to drag his physical body, or this office, to run around to tell people again. Understand?
He tells us once and we don't understand, so he has to come the next day and tell us again. He keeps telling us until we understand. Actually, it's not what he says that makes us understand. We understand because our time has come, regardless of whether he tells us or not. Understand?
However, if he doesn't tell us, we will feel bored because no one comforts us or encourages us, and no one explains things to us. So he still comes to us, holds our hands and explains things to us. But no matter whether he explains things to us or not, we will become a Buddha eventually. So the way Buddha does things is different from us.
For example, when doctors or those spiritual healers cure our illnesses, we feel they are really great and we feel very grateful to them. But we forget that we will get sick again later. Although Buddha doesn't do anything special to cure others' illnesses, anyone who hears his name or prays to him will never ever get sick again. Even if they get sick, they will only get sick in this lifetime. Understand?
So a Buddha doesn't rush to do things like an ordinary human being. Even if he doesn't come to your house to perform operations on you or cure your illness, he can help you while staying where he is. Moreover, after he saves us once, we are forever free from sickness, and we are forever liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This is the true cure.