AWAKENING TO THE MIND OF THE BODHISATTVA
When one awakens to True Wisdom, it means that one is willing to save all living things be- fore one has actually saved oneself: whether a being is a layman, priest, god or man, enjoy- ing pleasure or suffering pain, he should awaken this desire as quickly as possible. However humble a person may appear to be, if this desire has been awakened, he is already the teacher of all mankind: a little girl of seven even may be the teacher of the four classes of Buddhists and the mother of True Compassion to all living things. One of the greatest teachings of Buddhism is its insistence upon the complete equality of the sexes. However much one may drift in the six worlds and the four existences, even they become a means for realizing the desire for Buddhahood once it has been awakened: however much time we may have wasted up to now, there is still time to awaken this desire. Although our own merit for Buddhahood may be full ripe, it is our bounden duty to use all this merit for the purpose of Enlightening every living thing: at all times, there have been those who put their own Buddhahood second to the necessity of working for the good of all other living things. The Four Wisdoms - charity, tenderness, benevolence and sympathy, are the means we have of helping others and represent the Bodhisattva's aspirations. Charity is the opposite of covetousness; we make offerings although we ourselves get nothing whatsoever. There is no need to be concerned about how small the gift may be so long as it brings True results, for even if it is only a single phrase or verse of teaching, it may be a seed to bring forth good fruit both now and hereafter. Similarly, the offering of only one coin or a blade of grass can cause the arising of good, for the teaching itself is the True Treasure and the True Treasure is the very teaching: we must never desire any re- ward and we must always share everything we have with others. It is an act of charity to build a ferry or a bridge and all forms of industry are charity if they benefit others. To behold all beings with the eye of compassion, and to speak kindly to them, is the meaning of tenderness. If one would understand tenderness, one must speak to others whilst thinking that one loves all living things as if they were one's own children. By praising those who exhibit virtue, and feeling sorry for those who do not, our enemies become our friends and they who are our who are our friends have their friendship strengthened: this is all through the power of tenderness. Whenever one speaks kindly to another, his face brightens and his heart is warmed; if a kind word be spoken in his absence, the impression will be a deep one: tenderness can have a revolutionary impact upon the mind of man. If one creates wise ways of helping beings, whether they be in high places or lowly stations, one exhibits benevolence: no reward was sought by those who rescued the helpless tortoise and the sick sparrow, these acts being utterly benevolent. The stupid believe that they will lose something if they give help to others, but this is completely untrue, for benevolence helps everyone, including oneself, being a law of the universe. If one can identify oneself with that which is not oneself, one can understand the true meaning of sympathy: take, for example, the fact that the Buddha appeared in the human world in the form of a human being; sympathy does not distinguish between one- self and others. There are times when the self is infinite and times when this is true of others: sympathy is as the sea in that it never refuses water from whatsoever source it may come; all waters may gather and form only one sea.
Oh you seekers of Enlightenment, meditate deeply upon these teachings and do not make light of them: give respect and reverence to their merit which brings blessings to all living things; help all beings to cross over to the other shore.