"All evil karmas that 1 have created in the past, are caused by beginless greed, hatred, and stupidity. From being born of body, mouth and mind, I now repent and feel remorse for all." We people have created both good and evil karmas in the past. The good and the bad mixed together, with no clear distinction. Therefore, sometimes, we have a good mind, but, we can also have an evil mind. Once we have wholesome thinking, then, we are like the verse which says, "Refrain from doing all evil, and offering up all good deeds." But, once an evil thought arises, then, one will "Do all evils, and refuse to do all good deeds." Our conduct has been mixed with good and bad from countless kalpas past. Today we do some good deeds, tomorrow we shall do some evil deeds, and day after tomorrow we shall do some deeds which will be neither good nor bad. Therefore, it is very hard for us to get rid of karmic retribution while we are cultivating the Way. Sometimes, we want to cultivate and sometimes, we do not want to cultivate. Sometimes, we want to be pure and sometimes, we think of defilement. We are merely drifting along with the current and do not know where we are going to. It is the result of thinking that arose in the past. So, in one thought one wants to cultivate the Way and in another thought, one wants to go back to lay life. At some other times, one may first want to propagate the Buddha Dharma, but later, one wants to destroy the Buddha Dharma. It is extremely complicated. What should we do? We have to learn the Prajna Wisdom. "We choose what is good and follow it, and correct what is not good; we progress if it accords with the Way, and retreat if it does not accord with the Way." We want to be very alert at all times, and very cautious in cultivating the Way as if we were standing upon the edge of an abyss or we were walking on thin ice.
As the saying goes, "When it is off by a hair's breadth at the beginning, it will be off thousands of miles in the end." Thus, cultivation is to "guard one's own conduct and behaviour". One does not separate from his mind while walking, sitting, standing, or lying down." We should make our every thought pure and bright, not defile our thoughts and lead them into darkness. In every thought, we should all be very careful. If our thought is good, then, we shall get brightness in return. The more evil thinking that we harbor, the more darkness that we shall get. Good people have a bright light around them. Evil people are surrounded by dark energy. Therefore, good deeds or bad deeds that have been done will naturally be unfolded. You may think you can cheat people, but, you cannot cheat ghosts, spirits, the Buddhas, or the Bodhisattvas. Thus, no matter whether you are left home people or lay people, do not create offenses and refuse to establish meritorious deeds. We should know that the reason that we can not get out of the suffering of birth and death, the reason that we are still so confused is that we cannot clear our confusing account, we mixed right and wrong, or purity and defilement together. Therefore, we cannot transcend the cycle of the six destinies.
If we want to truly cultivate the Way and accomplish Buddhahood, we have to be courageously vigorous. We cannot be lax, We should know that, "This day is already done. Our lives are that much less. We are like fish in a shrinking pond. What joy is there in this?" The Ghost of Impermanence is coming soon. Is that worthy for us to be so scattered and not cultivating? "0 Great assembly! We should be diligent and vigorous as if our own heads were at stake. Only be mindful of impermanence and be careful not to be lax."
Some people doubt the existence of King Yama and the Ghost of Impermanence. It has to see whether you can avoid dying. If you can avoid dying, then, there is no Ghost of Impermanence. If you feel that you are in control of yourself, you do not undergo retribution, then, there is no King Yama. If you cannot avoid dying, if you cannot master your own cause and effect, then, there are King Yama and the Ghost of Impermanence. Do not think that you are very smart, you are just cheating yourself, like one who covers his ears and steals a bell. We should know that the reason we are still in the cycle of six destines and cannot get out of wheel of birth and death is that we do not believe in the existence of King Yama and the Ghost of Impermanence from countless kalpas past.