November 15, 1973 Thursday evening
151.1 On Reflecting on Retributions
Ven. Master Hsuan Hua
Itís not all that easy to lecture on the sutras. Donít consider it a very simple thing to do. Once you start lecturing youíll know itís not easy, especially if you havenít heard the sutra lectured before, so that you donít know which interpretation is right. Also, you may be unaware of misprints in the sutra text. Thatís why itís not easy to lecture on sutras.
Not only do I make mistakes when lecturing, very few Dharma Masters can avoid doing so. If the explanation is wrong, donít listen wrongly. When you are translating the sutras, donít translate wrongly. Donít deliberately find fault and say, ďOur teacher made a mistake when lecturing.Ē If you know your teacher made a mistake, you ought to correct it. Whoís forcing you to accept the error? Who stops you from correcting it in your translation?
Why do people say I make mistakes when lecturing? Itís my retribution. Previously I didnít fear falling into the hells, and I criticized other people as lecturing wrong. If you find fault, then when you lecture on the sutras in the future, your disciples and your disciplesí disciples will criticize you. That will be your retribution. You think itís a lot of fun now, but later on you will know, just as I now know Iím undergoing retribution.
Timely Teachings, page 210