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October 15, 1973, Monday evening 

On Analizing a Dilemma 

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua  

 

Master: Do you understand? 

Disciple:  No.  

Master: Then why didnít you speak up?  

Disciple: I was waiting for the Master to speak.  

Master: Since you were waiting for me, Iím asking you. None of them were waiting for me, so Iím not asking them. And by the way, since you wanted to get married, you got married. Isnít your wish fulfilled? Tell me.  

Disciple: I want to be married but I also want to become a monk. I donít know what to do.  

Master: Arenít these your own wishes and desires? Why donít you do whichever you want to do more? What is it you want to do most? Become a monk?  

Disciple: I want to become a Buddha.  

Master: To become a Buddha you have to cultivate. If you donít cultivate, and you canít give up your wife, how can the Buddha fulfill your wish? Tell me. Ah, the fish looks good to eat, but do so the bear paws; so you put the fish in your mouth and also the bear paw. Yet your mouth doesnít have that much room. How can you stuff so much in there?  Bear paws and fish are both culinary delicacies, but they canít be savored together. You would like to have a wife, and also to become a Buddha. If your wish for a wife far outweighs your wish to be a Buddha, you can figure out for yourself why you donít reach Buddhahood!

(Timely Teachings, page 21)