Hi Dharma Master Yong Hua,
I have read the commentaries of Master Hsuan Hua on the Dharma Flower Sutra and also have read the Sutra itself many times. The Sutra and Master Hsuan Hua emphasized that by writing out or employing others writing it out, one can gain infinite merit. The more sincere one is the more merit one gains.
From that i started writing out the Dharma Flower Sutra with my own hand. I gained so many benefits from writing it out. I have understood more about the Sutra, gained more appreciation on the Sutra, and also realized how wise the Buddha is by encouraging us to write out the Sutra by hand. From that benefits I wanted to employ others to write it out. So can you give me some suggestions?
Thank you for sharing your experience from writing the Lotus Sutra!
Your wonderful response can be attributed to the Lotus Sutra because of the following:
- When you spend time to create things of pure beauty and goodness, you reset your mind and free it from worldly preoccupations. It’s a nice break from mundane afflictions.
- To focus on the writing of the Sutra increases your concentration. I would not be surprised at all if while doing this, you felt a general sense of well-being and this feeling would increase as you continually wrote out the Lotus Sutra, day after day. That is called Chan bliss.
- In my humble opinion, one of the most precious gifts you have received from this experience is your growing trust in the words of the Buddha and sages; this has resulted in even deeper faith.
One cannot go further in cultivation without more profound faith.
Traditionally, another reason that we were encouraged to copy and write scriptures was because of the lack of printing presses. Nowadays, most people prefer to make donations to print sutras. This is more “efficient” because it makes the Buddha’s teachings more widely available. It also generates tremendous blessings.
There are many sponsors of sutra printings. Master Xuan Hua’s explanation is one of the more outstanding ones. He has plenty of sponsors who make generous donations to print his books.
A Dharma protector once came and inquired to the Buddha what to do if he wanted to make offerings to the Dharma Jewel. The World Honored One replied that he should make offerings to Ven. Ananda because he held the treasury of the Dharma. After receiving the offering from that Dharma protector, Ven. Ananda offered it to Ven. Shariputra. His rationale was that Shariputra thoroughly understood the teachings and was the chief teaching monk of the Buddha. Shariputra then immediately brought the offerings to the Buddha because he felt that the Buddha was the best teacher of the world.
Perhaps you would consider supporting left home people with the request that they explain Mahayana sutras. This would help increase the understanding and continuation of the teachings of the Buddha. Mahayana sutras do not exist in books; they actually reside in all of us. They must reside within many members of the next generation so that they will be able to take on the mantel and continue the propagation of the Dharma after my generation is done. Each of us must do our part to keep the Triple Jewel alive in the Saha world.
I am rather concerned that many left home people are preoccupied with building temples and increasing the numbers of their following instead of building understanding in Mahayana. Instead of making donations to build temples and edifices, I wish that the faithful would make donations to those who explain Mahayana sutras so that they can concentrate on teaching the principles. The building of minds and hearts is much more monumental and has longer lasting effects.
As to personally transcribing sutras, it is more of a personal practice rather than a group effort. You could encourage others to write sutras too if they are interested. Those with sincerity will enjoy the experience just like you.