Master Says


We Create Our Own Heaven and Hell

Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai in Tainan, Formosa,
October 13, 1988 (Originally in Chinese) MP3-CG02

When you hear someone say that it’s not necessary to keep the Precepts or purify the body, speech and mind in spiritual practice, you should know that they’re joking. They are not serious in spiritual practice and treat spiritual practice like a children’s game.

Since ancient times, no spiritual practitioner has been able to attain the ultimate Truth very easily. Only those superior beings from beyond the Three Realms who don’t have any problems and have very few obstacles can attain the Truth soon after embarking on the spiritual path. Even if they have obstacles, at the most it’s just seeing some demons, or it’s like Shakyamuni Buddha, Who, when He was about to reach Buddhahood, saw the Maya King transformed into His wife, son or a pretty woman to seduce Him. That’s all. However, at that time He simply said, "You are all but illusions!" Then He controlled the illusions and conquered them. That was the obstacle that confronted Shakyamuni Buddha; otherwise, He didn’t have any obstacles and attained Buddhahood after practicing for six years. If the method we practice is not the right one, even after six hundred years or six hundred eons, it will bear no fruit because we cannot cook rice from sand. But if we practice the Quan Yin Method we will definitely succeed!

Also, we spiritual practitioners should ensure that our actions, speech and thoughts are pure regardless of whether our level is within or above the Three Realms. When we hear people say that we’ve transcended the Three Realms, we shouldn’t believe them immediately. Instead, we should first introspect ourselves, and if we’re still bound somewhere that shows we’re still within the Three Realms because we’re still chained, still not relaxed or free. At that time, we should quickly practice spiritually and then very soon we will go beyond the Three Realms.

Every Buddha has to practice very hard before attaining the Truth. Jesus Christ said that He was the son of God, yet when He was practicing in the desert, the Maya King still came to tempt Him. He practiced very hard and when He was about to attain Sainthood, the Maya King said to Him, "All the Three Worlds I will give to you if you worship me." And Jesus Christ said, "Get thee behind me, Satan!" This meant that He was telling the devil to go away and out of His sight. In fact, it’s not an easy thing to become the king of the Three Realms.

It’s best for us to always focus our thoughts on the Supreme Power. We should think of Hirm intensely while craving to go back to the highest realm and not linger in any other realms. In this way we can create a very positive, intense atmosphere and use it to build our own Heaven the way you build your own meditation Center. First you conceive and design it and then get together to build it. That’s how you have this Center now.

Similarly, if we don’t conceive of a good design of Heaven, after we go there we won’t be able to find anything. But if we have a superior concept of Heaven’s design, we’ll go to a superior realm because "all is created by the mind." It’s very simple for us to create Heaven or hell. So don’t forget the Almighty Power within and pray every day to Hirm for help by saying, "I want only You! As for the other things, it’s fine if You give them to me; it’s also all right if You don’t. It’s fine if I can have enough to make a living, but if I don’t, I also don’t mind. Really, I only want to go Home. I don’t want to again become a deva, a human or an asura who has to transmigrate in the cycle of birth and death."

That’s why I teach you to purify your actions, speech and thoughts. To pursue spiritual practice we must observe the Precepts. However, when we’re advanced on the spiritual path we naturally observe the Precepts. The more advanced we are in spiritual cultivation, the more sensitive we feel, and so we observe the Precepts spontaneously. At that time there’s no need to emphasize the Precepts, samadhi or wisdom; we naturally attain them. Only then do we have the true Precepts, samadhi and wisdom. We have wisdom as though we don’t have it and we don’t think we have it. It’s as natural and simple as breathing, washing our hands, washing our faces and going to sleep.

It’s not necessary to deliberately renounce the world. We just need to persist in spiritual practice and the world will naturally let go of us one day. Don’t worry about being bound tightly by the world. Even if sometimes I’m rather stern and reprimand you for not being able to let go, and for continually clinging to this world, you don’t have to become agonized or irritated. Instead, you should introspect and persist in spiritual practice and sooner or later you will be able to let go. Sooner or later, all the fame, profit, money, all those things will mean nothing to you. It doesn’t mean we can’t use these things, but we don’t care about them. We use them if we have them and if we don’t have them it’s also fine.

Therefore, when we think about things related to fame and gain, we’re chaining ourselves. In the very beginning, before anything came into being in the universe, there was absolutely nothing. We should trace our thinking back to that time. Everything was originally nothing. Before a flower came into being, what was it? Who were we before we were born? Nothing existed in the first place. Everything comes into being through the convergence of causation so we mustn’t be attached to these ephemeral things, all of which things come into existence only due to causation and they will disperse when the causation ends.

To really understand this truth, we need to practice for a long time and then one day we’ll naturally realize that this is indeed the Truth. Having attained this realization, we will never lose it. Now as you listen to me telling you all this, it still belongs to me. I’m just letting you have a glimpse of it; you still don’t have the "money" to buy it. It only becomes your property after you have bought it so you must continue to practice. It’s not enough to just listen to me and then think, "Since everything is nothing and all karma is originally void, we have no need to practice anymore. This is too great! Whatever Master says is true. Just believe in Her!" This won’t do because you have not yet really understood.

So we must be pure in our actions, speech and thoughts. The purer we get, the fewer disasters and illnesses we’ll have. We can’t blame anyone for any situation we run into; all the Heavens and hells are created by us.


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