May 9, 1974 , Thursday evening 

189. On Not Disturbing a Snake in Its Own Territory

Ven. Master Hua


Today I will say a little more about what happened in Taiwan . There are many wise people in the world, but the foolish people are also very numerous. This time when I lectured in Taiwan , I was accompanied by three American Dharma Masters, all of whom ate only one meal a day and slept sitting up. This aroused some jealousy. Someone called, saying he was from the National Assembly. He said, “You people are just putting on an act when you eat one meal a day and sleep sitting up. If your practice were right, then Taiwan ’s Buddhism would all be in the wrong. If Taiwan ’s Buddhism is right, then you are just trying to appear different from Chinese Buddhism.”

     How would you answer him? Think it over. You could hardly say that Taiwan ’s Buddhism is right. However, we cannot say that Taiwanese Buddhism is wrong, for ‘a green dragon would not oppress a snake in its own territory.’ He was the host, the local boss, and we were guests. We weren’t on familiar ground, and we couldn’t very well put the host out and take over. Now, how would you answer him? Later we investigated, and there was no such person in the National Assembly. Someone within the Taiwan Buddhist circles had deliberately arranged for this person to come give me trouble. Dragons are basically superior to snakes, but they will not bother snakes.  

     I said, “In the United States , we are right. In China , you are right.” I couldn’t say that they were wrong, nor could I mention the issue of the Proper Dharma versus the Dharma’s Ending, for that would have infuriated them too.

Timely Teachings