Master One, Master All
- From TBN, issue 502
- By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated and edited by TBN
I remember when I was
little, my mother would tell people, "Kaz (my childhood name) is
very stupid. He can't do anything. He is a master of nothing."
My mother took me to a fortune-teller. She was very anxious about
me being so stupid.
The fortune-teller told my mother, "The child's wisdom is blocked
at the moment. However, once he becomes enlightened, when he masters
one, he will master all."
Later, during junior high school, I was held back twice. When it
wasn't possible for me to be held back again at that school, I was
transferred to another school, the "Kao-City Third Secondary School."
But when I studied at "Kaoshing Vocational Senior High School,"
my intelligence blossomed. Every term during my vocational senior
high school, my school grade was first place. I was granted a scholarship
from "Jia-Hsin Cement Company." And I was exempted from having to
pay my tuition and my miscellaneous expenses.
After I had learned Buddhadharma, when I read the Buddhist sutras,
I understood nothing from the text. It was especially so for the
But after my wisdom blossomed, I then became "Master One, Master
The reason I am writing this story is to tell you that when you
read books and don't understand, don't be afraid. Even if you don't
get it, don't be afraid. Even if you feel more foolish and stupid
about yourself, you don't have to be afraid.
Just one single personal deity mantra chanting all the time, the
whole time, until one day-"Wa-la!", the wisdom wells up like a spring,
everything is prajnaparamita. I see the "why" of everything. Then
I understand all. Master one, master all.
During my meditation in "Samadhi" at Leaf Lake, I saw a holy disciple
who read sutra but couldn't understand.
He pondering the sutra text over and over, but his thinking was
really stuck, blocked, tangled, contradictory, stopped up, puzzled,
no understanding.... But every day, he cultivated the dharma and
chanted the mantra of his personal deity.
I entered his dream. I stroked his head; I used the water of empowerment
vase to wash his head, to wash the dust and dirt from his brain,
completely clean. After the washing, the dust and dirt were gone
After the holy disciple woke up, suddenly it seemed that he understood
everything. The words he spoke, every sentence was filled with great
wisdom, the prajnaparamita. When he opened the sutra, he read and
understood right away. Even more deeper and difficult meanings or
the definition of "voidness," even more deeper cases of Zen stories-he
could understand them all, without any doubt.
It's really a supernatural magic power!