unwholesome deeds we have accumulated will remain behind. Even though
many of our friends and enemies have died, the negative deeds we
accumulated in relation to them will always abide in our minds as long
as we do not adopt antidotes to purify and remove them. The disturbing
emotions and the negative deeds they gave rise to will remain fresh in
our minds until we purify them.
Because we have never understood our fleeting nature, we have never understood that we are only going to live for a short time.
Because of this lack of realization, out of ignorance, attachment,
and hatred, we have engaged in various kinds of unwholesome deeds. We
have displayed indifference toward neutral sentient beings, attachment
toward friends, and anger, jealousy, and hatred toward our enemies. We
have accumulated negative deeds like these for a long time. At the same
time, our live have been ebbing away and coming to an end. The day will
not wait, the night will not wait. Minute by minute, second by second,
time is being consumed and our lives are ebbing away. Our lives are
constantly approaching their ends.
At the end the only source of
refuge is whatever merit you have accumulated. If you have observed
morality, have practiced the ten virtuous qualities, and have cultivated
some genuine compassion, you may have some powerful virtuous quality
within your mind. It is only that virtuous quality that will help you.
No one else can help you, and there wil be no one to whom you can turn
for help. But since your own mind is not hidden from you, you may find
that you have not collected any of these virtuous qualities. You will
lament, "umconscientiously, carelessly, unaware of such a frightening
state as this, being attracted and deceived by fleeing pleasure, I have
done countless negative deeds for the sake of this fleeting impermanent
life. I have wasted my life in meaningless activity."
refuge is the Dharma. We take refuge in the Buddhas and bodhisattvas,
but, as it is said in the scriptures, the Buddhas do no wash away the
negative deeds of sentient beings. The Buddhas cannot remove the
sufferings of sentient beings with their hands; they cannot transfer
their realizations into the minds of other sentient beings. It is only
by being shown the truth of reality that sentient beings are liberated.
Therefore, we take refuge in the actual protector, which is the
Therefore, we need to rely on the practice of the
Dharma. Even when we are afflicted by an ordinary sickness, we have to
pay heed to the doctor's instructions. So, afflicted as we are by
hundreds of disturbing emotions like attachment, what need is there to
talk about taking refuge in the Dharma, the instructions of the
physicianlike Buddha? There is no medicine to cure the disturbing
emotions; the only remedy is the instruction and teaching of the Buddha.