(英)佛遺教經REMINDERS UNDER THE SALA TREES
About the Author
Dharma Master Cheng Yen was born in 1937 in a small town in Taichung County, Taiwan. When she was twenty-three years old, she left home to become a Buddhist nun, and was instructed by her mentor, Venerable Master Yin Shun, to work “for Buddha’s teachings, for sentient beings.” In 1966, she founded a charity, which later turned into the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, to “help the poor and educate the rich”—to give material aid to the needy and inspire love and humanity in both givers and recipients.
In recent years, Master Cheng Yen’s contributions have been increasingly recognized by the global community. In 2011, she was recognized with the Roosevelt Institute’s FDR Distinguished Public Service Award and was named to the 2011 TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people. In 2014, she was presented with Rotary International’s Award of Honor in recognition of her humanitarian efforts and contributions to world peace.
Lying between the twin sala trees, the Buddha was about to enter Parinirvana. It was the middle of the night, quiet and without a sound, as he summarized the essence of the Dharma for his disciples.
The Sutra of the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings was originally called “Teachings and Precepts Given by the Buddha as He Was About to Enter Parinirvana.” Its teachings form a foundation for all Buddhist practitioners, and can lead to the attainment of the ultimate goal of Buddhahood.
In this sutra, the Buddha reminded his disciples one final time how to take care of their own hearts and how to maintain their spiritual practice after he was gone; he again reminded his disciples to have correct thoughts, to diligently practice precepts, Samadhi, and wisdom, and to eliminate greed, anger and ignorance.
In her explanation, Dharma Master Cheng Yen relates this key teaching in the Buddhist tradition to our modern lives. By applying these teachings in our lives, we can improve ourselves and grow in our spiritual practice.