English | Vietnamese


November 17, 1973, Saturday evening

On Developing Oneís Own Wisdom

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua


When you lecture on the sutras, you shouldnít just recite the commentary. I have noticed that when you lecture on the sutras, you simply read the English version  of what I have lectured. Thatís not right. You should develop your own wisdom. I have not completely explained everything fully in my lecture, and you should use your wisdom to expand upon certain points more fully. Look at the meaning, and then, based upon what you discern through your own wisdom, give your own lecture. Donít simply read what I have said. That doesnít count as your own lectureĖitís still my lecture, except that you are reading it aloud.

Iíll tell you something: When I lecture on sutras, I donít just reiterate material from the commentaries. I might look through them, but I donít strive to remember then in the way that Guo Hu does. When he heard we would be lecturing the Śastra onAwakening of Faith in the Great Vehicle, he first looked at the Explanation of the Śastra on Awakening of Faith in the Great Vehicle. Of course, that is permissible. But if all you do is look at the works of others, they will never be your own, and eventually you will lose them. You will forget them.

When I tell you to develop your own wisdom, that doesnít mean taking an opposing stance, or protesting against what your teacher has lectured, pointing out ways in which your teacherís explanation was incorrect. Since you are so correct, you donít need to study with a teacher. You can withdraw and set out on your own!

In summary, if you do look at commentaries, you should also add some of your own interpretation.


Timely Teachings, page 34