Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference (Question & Answer Section, Part I)

Mr. Li Hongzhi

PureInsight | May 2, 2005

Disciple: Venerable Master, please spell out what "Holy King Who Turns the Wheel" is about. (Audience laughs, applauds)

Teacher: Our students who have read Shakyamuni's scriptures probably know that back when Shakyamuni taught the Fa, he talked about a "Holy Law-Wheel King," otherwise known as the "Holy King Who Turns the Wheel." The name Holy King Who Turns the Wheel has been used more often in the human world, whereas Holy Law-Wheel King is the title used in the heavens.

Buddha Shakyamuni once said that the Holy Law-Wheel King is the most omnipotent and powerful Tathagata in the universe. A Tathagata Buddha is a King of Law.1 The king of a Buddha's paradise is a Tathagata. We call it "Tathagata" based on ideas in cultivation and enlightenment. "Tathagata"2 means that the Buddha has come with the truth and the power to do what he wants. So the world's people call Kings of Law "Tathagatas," which is another correct way to understand it, since they [the Tathagatas] grasp the truths at that level, and among all of the beings in their respective domains they are the highest and grasp the highest truths of those levels. That's why they are Kings of Law, that is, kings of the beings at a given level or of that group of beings. There are many Kings of Law. Of course, to humans there are countless beings who are Tathagatas, one of whom is the Holy Law-Wheel King. Why did Buddha Shakyamuni name specifically the Holy Law-Wheel King? It was because the Holy Law-Wheel King was going to descend to the human world to teach the Fa and save people. Of course, you might have heard that Buddha Shakyamuni also said that Maitreya would descend to the human world and save people. Actually, "Maitreya" is a name, and "Holy King Who Turns the Wheel" is a title--the title of a king--which, if it's put in human terms, is, well, a job title. (Teacher laughs) (Applause)

As I have explained before, the gods at the levels close to the Three Realms need to be replaced after a certain period of time. The act of replacement brings about a problem, namely, that the sentient beings in lower realms are supposed to have a perpetual concept of gods, and yet if, say, one god leaves and people were not to know where he had gone, if nobody knew, then this kind of constant replacement could leave the sentient beings of the Three Realms in a state of disarray. The sentient beings of the low realms have emotion (qing), so they would be puzzled. The beings would think, "What happened to the god I believe in? Oh no, he's gone. Then who is to look after me in his absence?" That's the problem that would arise. So the god who takes over continues to look after the people who were going to be saved by the previous god. And because he replaces the previous god, he thus assumes the previous god's title and even his image, all at the same time. Their images are not identical, but they are basically the same, they're quite alike and similar. Fundamentally speaking, though, what is taken over is the god or Buddha's title. Everyone is familiar with Bodhisattva Guanyin. Well, you know how many Bodhisattva Guanyins there have been? If they were all to sit together it would make for quite a crowd. Phew... it would probably take some time to count them all! And what about Buddha Shakyamuni--how many of him have there been? It is again a sizable number. Over the past twenty-five hundred years there have been as many as thousands of him. How many Buddha Amitabhas have there been? How many Jesuses have there been? How many Saint Marys have there been? How many Honorable Divine of the Origin have there been? They too would amount to large throngs with their numbers. And I'm not talking about things like their Law Bodies or when they replicate themselves. Because they are so close to the Three Realms--and when one is close to the Three Realms the emotion in the Three Realms, what the sentient beings in the Three Realms act out, and the factors that come from the many notions the worldly people have, are seen directly and are directly projected to where one is--these things will interfere with those gods. They are gods outside of the Three Realms and are different from the sentient beings inside the Three Realms, but still, when things carry on for long, it amounts to interference for them.

You know, I've told you a principle before: everything a person sees is infused into his brain. When he is infused with a lot of good things, he will be a good person. And if he is infused with a lot of bad things, he will be a bad person. When a Dafa disciple continually reads the books of Dafa, he is a being of upright Fa, and when he cultivates into a god he will be a King of Law. Gods observe from high places the behavior of sentient beings in the Three Realms. And though they are gods, they can be, over time, affected just the same. The beings in the Three Realms, though very different from gods, can still affect them. That's why at a certain point in time the gods beyond the Three Realms need to be replaced. They have to leave, to go away. When they leave, the people down below who they were trying to save still call out to Jesus, Shakyamuni, Bodhisattva Guanyin, [or whoever it is]. Then what happens after that god leaves? Who will look after them? When a god leaves, he really stops handling all of the things he handled before. So before he leaves, he will save someone and bring the person up to replace him, give him the same Fa power, and have him cultivate an identical image, which is a divine body; they end up having the same image. Because the previous god had him cultivate the previous god's image, he looks very similar to the previous god. But his own factors are incorporated as well, so there is a difference in how they look, though the similarities are strong. And their mighty virtue, grace, and divine powers are about the same. That is because the one who takes over has to reach that level before he can do so. It can't be that your name is, say, John Doe, while his is Jack Smith, and when you get up there and someone asks you who you are, you say that you are John Doe and not Jack Smith. That wouldn't work. You will have to be Bodhisattva Guanyin, you will have to be Jesus, you will have to be Buddha Shakyamuni, you will have to be Honorable Divine of the Origin, and so on. Your earthly name can no longer be used. So all of this is to say that after a certain length of time gods are replaced, though the divine position, the divine title, and the god's mighty virtue aren't changed.

As for Buddha Maitreya, you know, in the human world there have been many who have managed to become Buddha Maitreya by cultivating. There was a "Cloth-Bag Monk," for instance, who cultivated into Buddha Maitreya. When he was in the human world, he always had a cloth bag on him. When he was begging for alms he would put the food he received inside the bag and carry it on his back. Cloth-Bag Monk was often in the Hangzhou area. During the summer it gets pretty hot in the region south of the Yangtze River, so he often left his shirt unbuttoned, exposing his belly; and he was kind of chubby. So, ever since, Buddha Maitreya has been depicted that way in China's Han region. [They made that association] because when he reached Parinirvana [and was about to depart the earth], he left a poem indicating that he was Maitreya, saying "Maitreya, Maitreya, the true Maitreya." Monks and others back then didn't understand what that was about. They thought that he was a reincarnation of Maitreya. They thought, "Oh, so Cloth-Bag Monk was actually a reincarnation of Maitreya." But in fact, he wasn't a reincarnation of Maitreya. He had cultivated into Maitreya. And it's for the same reason that in Tibetan Buddhism monks are taught to cultivate toward a designated god. They aren't clear on what the fundamental reason is. But that is in fact the purpose. Once the person completes his cultivation, he becomes the replacement of that previous god. But it has always been the assistant soul who was cultivating and doing the replacing.

Many persons throughout history have cultivated into Buddha Maitreya. Each was in fact chosen from a heavenly paradise and sent down to cultivate. Maitreya is the position of a Buddha, and the Fa-name of a Buddha. During Buddha Shakyamuni's time, one of his disciples was going to cultivate into Maitreya, so Buddha Shakyamuni talked about how Buddha Maitreya would descend to the human world at the Time of Law's End. But he wasn't in fact talking about the Maitreya of that time. He was speaking of a Buddha title and how in the future a Buddha Maitreya would descend to the human world. In other words, since it was the title of a Buddha, who that succeeding god is was not something to reveal to the world's people, and his original name no longer was important. But having arrived at this point today in history, sentient beings have learned that the Holy Law-Wheel King and Buddha Maitreya were to descend to the human world and so the exact relationship between the two becomes important. Just who really would be the Buddha Maitreya that comes this time becomes something sentient beings are concerned about. Before, human beings weren't allowed to know about the succession of the Buddha titles, and even less could they know who really is the god who holds that position. But talking about it in the sphere of celestial beings, among Dafa disciples, is okay.

So in other words, the Maitreya that Buddha Shakyamuni spoke of is as a matter of fact the Buddha Maitreya who descends to the world to save people during the final time of the world, in man's final days. In fact, some people in the human world did know--and it's not limited to people of the East, as some in Western society knew as well--that the one who would really come is Maitreya. The god who holds that Buddha title is the only savior of the cosmos's sentient beings, is the supreme King of Kings in the heavens, and saves the cosmos's sentient beings under the title of Buddha Maitreya. So, given that he uses the title of Buddha Maitreya, who was he before he descended to the human world? He came from an even higher place, reincarnated at many different levels, and as he came down, level by level, he was different gods at various levels and he assumed the Fa titles of those levels as he passed through. And when he descended to the Fa Realm, he was the Holy Law-Wheel King, otherwise known as the Holy King Who Turns the Wheel. (Applause)

Under normal circumstances it is rare to have someone from a high level come down and directly replace a certain god. And it's rare to have a god directly replace [another god] of the same level in the heavens. But it is normal to have gods created at the same level as one another. It's not as if all the gods have to cultivate up there from down below. In other words, many [gods] are created in higher realms in the normal course of things, and since the time of the Three Realms' creation the number of those who have been sent down and who then cultivated back up hasn't been small. That's why later on the practice of inheriting the title of a Buddha or a god became quite common. The Holy Law-Wheel King is the Maitreya who would descend during this period of time to save people. And "Maitreya" has become a Buddha's title. Shakyamuni said that the Maitreya who was among his disciples held the attainment status of Bodhisattva. So in people's minds, especially among [believers of] the religion, the idea formed that before Maitreya would descend to the human world he would hold the attainment status of "Bodhisattva," and that when he would descend to the human world and complete his task of saving people, he would validate the attainment status of Tathagata, that is, the attainment status of "Buddha." Buddha Shakyamuni was talking about a general principle that holds under normal circumstances, instead of the full story of Maitreya or the specifics of a particular Maitreya. In fact, though, the Holy Law-Wheel King was spoken of by Buddha Shakyamuni in great detail, he said much about him. As you know, the Buddhist scriptures were compiled some five hundred years after Buddha Shakyamuni had left the human world. So as later generations handed them down, they came to lose, little by little, much of what the Buddha had once said. When the Buddhist scriptures were composed, much of what was recorded was not Buddha Shakyamuni's original words. And on top of that, the scriptures couldn't fully capture the circumstances, the times, or the places of Buddha Shakyamuni's Fa-teachings or just what exactly he was referring to. So what was said about the Holy Law-Wheel King's descent to the human world wasn't recorded in full.

I'm not saying that the scriptures of Shakyamuni's Buddhism aren't good. In the past people could cultivate by his scriptures, and there were Buddhas looking after things. But because the human world is a vile world that's full of vice, the upper realms stipulated that any Fa to be bequeathed to the world's people couldn't be entirely true. That is why much of Buddha Shakyamuni's original words couldn't be recorded in his times. As humans would put it, it was "Heaven's will." As gods see it, it was what Fa-rectification dictated. Why was it that Jesus' original words were likewise compiled from memory by those who came later? Why did Lao Zi leave behind merely five thousand words after a lifetime of teaching the Dao? Exactly because true and complete scriptures couldn't be left to the vile world; higher gods had forbid true and complete scriptures from being left to man. Actually, true scriptures aren't left to man because, for one, human society is not a society of gods, and, the Three Realms is supposed to be a world where principles are reversed. Leaving true scriptures here would be an insult to the gods. Only the Fa Realm and the realms above it are worlds of gods and Buddhas that have true Fa and true scriptures. Another reason is, gods would never do something just for one purpose alone, and thus many, many factors are involved. They knew that the ultimate reason for the creation and existence of the Three Realms and the human race was for them to be used, at last, in the Fa-rectification. They didn't want the Fa they had taught to be left behind to man and interfere later on with the fundamental Great Fa of the cosmos that would be taught during the Fa-rectification at the end. That's the fundamental reason. When people later on recollected certain things and compiled scriptures it was a matter of people trying to do good and searching for god, and that's altogether different. (Applause)

Student asks: Does the requirement that you set forth in Zhuan Falun about not drinking alcohol hold for all beverages and food that contain alcohol? For example, having a beer as a beverage with your meal (audience laughs), having a bowl of fermented rice porridge for breakfast, or occasionally having a piece of chocolate with an alcoholic filling in our daily life (audience laughs). Do these things violate the rule against alcohol?

Teacher: If you really understand what cultivation is for, you will understand all of these things. But today's society has made a mess of everything. Even when you don't drink alcohol there are alcoholic things mixed in to the food we eat. So even when you haven't drunk any alcohol you still have alcohol in your stomach. Now that society has become this way, to avoid it altogether you'd have to stop eating, wouldn't you? Also, in Western society there is the matter of custom: they (especially the French) have an alcoholic beverage with their meal, it's part of their diet. So when everyone is doing that and you don't, your family might think you are a bit weird. That is why back when I first imparted the Fa I said that if this is the situation, then for new students drinking a small glass of it isn't a big deal. In cultivation what matters is your heart and mind. But being a cultivator, if you want to be diligent, you will take cultivation very seriously. If a person can truly hold himself to a high standard, he will manage to do better with such things. But if instead he thinks these things don't matter, then he will be more lax with himself, and that's how you get differences.

While we're on this subject, I will talk a little about myself. You know, a few years back Master seldom stayed in one place for long. That was because amidst the persecution swarms of evil beings in other dimensions were searching everywhere for me. There were so many evil factors at the time that they saturated all of Three Realms' dimensions. And they would have bad people look for me so as to disrupt my focus on doing Fa-rectification and eliminating the evil things. That's why I kept moving about. At the time I was basically in a car around the clock, traveling daily. A line from a poem I wrote, which said, "Journeying thousands of miles by car," is in fact describing what it was like. With my constant movement, and with the protection of gods and powerful gong, things were kept invisible to the evil, and the evil couldn't locate me. Hardly anybody knew where I was. I wanted to swiftly eliminate the evil factors and speed up the progress of Fa-rectification, and I needed to prevent many matters of Fa-rectification from being disrupted. Along with this I was watching how our students were doing. This led to a problem with eating. Not everywhere I went had Chinese restaurants (everyone laughs), so a lot of times I had American, Japanese, Korean, or European food. All kinds of food are fine for me. But with many restaurants, when you go in there and just eat without ordering anything to drink, the owners get a bit upset (Teacher laughs), especially when there's a long line to be seated; a lot of restaurants make most of their profits from drinks. So I came up with a solution. There is non-alcoholic beer nowadays, and so I would order a non-alcoholic beer to get around that. Now with that said, I'm not telling you to follow my example.

Talking about this reminds me of something. In all these years there is one facet of Fa I haven't brought up with you. When the persecution was really intense, back in 2000, students in Mainland China were exposing the slanderous propaganda about Master that the evil had made up, and something said by one student has really stuck with me. And it is a view that needs to be corrected. The evil ringleader and the CCP made up lies and told our students how their teacher was so rich, how he had such-and-such luxury apartments in Beijing and Changchun, and how he led such an extravagant lifestyle. When I taught the Fa in China my lifestyle was in fact quite basic. Well, a student in Mainland China said, "Our Master is the best and he wouldn't be like that. If our Master were that way I wouldn't follow Him." I was saddened by that, and more than ever I understood the hardship and pains felt by the previous divine beings who had descended to the world to save people. Cultivation is about cultivating oneself--why look at others?

I have taught you cultivation, but that doesn't mean I am cultivating just as you are. If that were the case, and if we had become bad, then you'd just stop cultivating? Is that how it would work? Nothing in the Fa I've taught says that the Master must go through grueling cultivation just as cultivators do. The evil has assaulted me because I have been suffering on behalf of sentient beings. And when it's Dafa cultivation--where people don't leave the secular world to cultivate, and the disciples are from all walks of life--how could the Master be the same as all his disciples? And why would he have to live like those of his students who have the most karma or the most hardship? If it happens that your Master does things differently from you and you find it objectionable, then are you going to stop cultivating? Isn't [your notion that] the master who saves you must be like his disciples, the result of being poisoned by the Party-culture of the CCP? Do human beings really want their master, who brings people salvation, to undergo human suffering along with them? And only then will they approve of him? In fact, what I want to establish and the problems that I intend to resolve during the Fa-rectification include no longer having divine beings who come down to save people be persecuted by the sentient beings in the Three Realms. Divine beings who save people come down to rescue them, so they can't be the same as human beings. In the past they went through the same ordeals that human beings experience, or suffered even worse than humans, for it was hard to save people, and those divine beings bore the karma of human beings. That was also to leave their own examples and to help people learn from them. They willfully went through that for the sake of human beings and to teach people how to live properly. So should divine beings, who don't have karma, have to suffer even a bit? It was human beings' karma weighing them down.

Divine beings who save people really can't be the same as those being saved. Say someone has fallen into a mud pit: would it make sense for him to refuse help if I offered to pull him out, and he insisted, "You have to jump in here and be like me before I'll let you save me"? There's no such thing. During this evil persecution, [think about] how many students who had such thinking fell after seeing, reading, or hearing the slanderous propaganda against Master. While teaching the Fa before, I discussed a principle. To illustrate the issue, one thing that they say in the CCP's Party-culture is, "Before you advise others to do well, you have to first do well yourself." So after some people have done something bad and others point it out to them, they say, "You haven't done well yourself. Don't tell me what to do. If you want to tell me what to do, you first have to do well yourself." Just like with the notion I mentioned above, their reasoning is deviant here. There is no such issue as a master who saves people not handling himself well. That is a crooked idea born of the malevolent Party's warped culture. In other words, the idea that a divine being, regardless of what approach he uses to save people, must be the same as human beings is absolutely not the case. Divine beings might choose, though, to teach people with words or by example, but that is an act of those divine beings being merciful, and absolutely not because they are supposed to do that. You must be clear on this. (Applause) While they walked the earth Shakyamuni and Jesus did suffer a lot for human beings. But the fact is, they didn't have to do that at all. That was caused by the enormous karma they bore for human beings and the fact that there were related things that couldn't be harmonized by the cosmos's past Fa. It entailed that they beg for alms among human beings and be mistreated and harmed by them, even to the extent that their entire lives were difficult. You all must be clear about this.

Going back to what I was saying before, if there is something alcoholic in your meal or in a piece of chocolate, that's not a big deal. But if you set a high standard for yourself you will do better in these situations. New students and students who haven't studied the Fa much won't be thought of as not doing well just because of these things. Gauge it for yourself. The Fa on this has been taught, and Master has taught you to conform to ordinary people as much as possible as you cultivate. As always, though, there are people who are set on being more diligent [than others] and have higher standards for themselves. That's what accounts for the differences [between people]. If you, as a Dafa cultivator, say that you just have to drink alcohol, then you have an attachment.

Student: The Fa's rectification of everything in the cosmos has reached its final stage and history is about to enter a new stage, but our gesture of salute to Master is still not uniform. (Audience laughs)

Teacher: You mean how you should greet Master? I've actually made clear since I first taught the Fa that people can address me in whatever way: you can call me by my name, call me Teacher, call me Master--whatever is fine. Master isn't a stickler for these things. But if you are a true Dafa disciple, you can't address me directly by my name. It doesn't matter if ordinary people call me by my name--they can call me whatever they want. But Dafa disciples should call me "Master," or "Teacher," etc. It's up to you, and you can address me however you like. But be sure not to address me as "Buddha." That's because whatever the case, Master is teaching the Fa with a human body and saving you using a human form, he is manifesting in this world with a human body. A human body cannot be called a Buddha. Calling a human body Buddha blasphemes Buddhas. Some students might think, then: "I know in my heart who you are." Well, that's you knowing in your heart then (audience laughs, applauds), and it's fine for you to call me whatever you want to in your heart. (Teacher laughs)

Disciple: Dafa disciples from Chengdu and Nanchong of Sichuan province send Master their highest regards and wish to pass on greetings to Master. Master, what should we do about those people in remote mountainous areas who have no access to information?

Teacher: Thank you, Dafa disciples from Nanchong. It's not a problem. Let's not forget that as for many things, aren't there Master's Law Bodies? And there are many gods who are playing a positive role helping out, too. What's more, there are so many Dafa disciples in Mainland China, and they will do many things. Even if those people really can't access the information, there are still ways to handle things. And if they are really getting left out, then there are ways to take care of that. But they actually won't be left out. Did you know that after the Nine Commentaries came out, within just one month's time all of China knew about them? Since they are for all people--and especially Chinese people--everybody will for sure be given an opportunity. (Applause) Some remote villages are pretty isolated, but gods are helping to spread them. And as they are spread, people will learn of them quickly, since at this most crucial time everyone must give their stance.

Disciple: For many people in Mainland China, especially the 60 million CCP members, coming to see clearly the evil Party's wicked nature and completely break from it takes some time. Once the denunciation and removal of the malevolent Party begins, what will happen to those people who have been branded with the mark of the beast?

Teacher: When gods go about doing something they definitely take everything into consideration, and all will be given an equal chance. As you will see in the future, it will have been impossible for somebody to go without hearing about this [Dafa] during this Fa-rectification and at this time when Dafa is publicly spread. When the world's people try to avoid being persecuted and say that they have never heard of Dafa, that's just not true. Of course, this time around, where Dafa disciples cultivate as they validate the Fa, is different, and not everybody can become a Dafa disciple. But this is a major thing that involves sentient beings' very existence; even the Three Realms' existence is for the sake of Fa-rectification. If the salvation of all beings--something so significant--were not relayed to every single person on earth, if it weren't relayed to the sentient beings when all was said and done, then I, he who administers the Fa-rectification, would definitely not let those responsible off the hook. (Applause) All people will know about it, not a single person will be left out. And then the choice is in their own hands, and that is the crucial thing. The entire Three Realms, the long, drawn-out years of history, and the sentient beings in the Three Realms were all created for this, so how could today's people be left out? That's impossible. I don't think [what you described] should be a problem.

Disciple: Venerable Master, recently certain students have felt substances from other dimensions badly repressing them. Does that have to do with the state of Fa-rectification?

Teacher: Some students were coughing a while ago, and some students have had certain abnormal reactions, especially in the period after the Nine Commentaries came out. It was the work of the factors, lodged in people's bodies, that belong to the malevolent Party's evil specter. You need to eliminate them when you send righteous thoughts. They can't have that much of an effect on Dafa disciples, but they do interfere. Basically all of the recent interference, including interference of other sorts, has been the work of those evil factors.

The evil factors that were pressing down into the Three Realms from beyond at the time of July 20, 1999, have been cleaned out to the point that basically few remain. Before the mighty force of Fa-rectification reaches this surface dimension, there will still be factors here which were created by the old forces before that, along with the factors of the malevolent Party's evil specter, doing evil. But since in this dimension there is gong that I left here earlier on, and there are some righteous gods, along with Dafa disciples and their righteous factors, they have now cleaned out the evil factors that persecute Dafa disciples to the point that not even one out of 100 million parts is left--a lot of the evil has been cleaned out. What remains in the surface dimension now is only eight or nine percent of what used to be here. (Applause) And the factors of the malevolent Party's evil specter are being destroyed on a large scale; and of late, especially, they have been cleaned out rapidly. They have been eliminated in the other dimensions where Fa-rectification has been completed. [What remains in] the surface dimension now doesn't even amount to one ten-thousandth of the total amount from before, and it only accounts for about seven percent of the surface dimension. The field that Dafa has established in this world occupies forty-five percent of what should be filled up in this dimension. If you look at the proportion, [you will see that] the factors left by the old forces in the surface dimension, the rotten demons, and the factors of the malevolent Party's evil specter altogether account for fifteen percent, while the field established by Dafa in this dimension occupies forty-five percent--and that doesn't even take into account the effect of Dafa disciples themselves. When I added up all of the evil factors that persecute Dafa disciples, they only amounted to fifteen percent. This says that during this time before the mighty force of Fa-rectification arrives at the surface, Dafa's factors occupy forty-five percent of the dimensional field at the surface, where human beings are, and that doesn't even include the Dafa disciples themselves.

Disciple: Please talk about how we should distinguish our cultivation from our work. A lot of our projects now face challenges in their management.

Teacher: If it's something that involves Dafa disciples working on validating the Fa, then that [process] in itself is cultivation. But you can't replace Fa-study with doing Dafa work--that wouldn't do. Haven't I said that you need to do all of the three things, and do them all well?

Outside of Mainland China some students have set up media outlets and other company-like entities that aim to validate the Fa, and they are managing them in the way ordinary companies are run. And there is nothing wrong with that, don't think that this is wrong. If something can't be run in a normal manner, then that might not be good for validating Dafa. Running a media outlet, starting a company, etc.--these are forms in human society. Human beings take a methodical approach to managing things, and Dafa disciples can learn from it, which you can't say is wrong. But for a certain period of time before the company is fully able to operate normally, there will be some challenges. Gradually you should arrive at the point where it really is run like a company, though, and that way it can more effectively play its role of directly or indirectly validating the Fa. So I think you should do your best to cooperate with others and coordinate things well. When something is beneficial to Dafa disciples' validation of the Fa, you should try your best to do it well.

Disciple: Some of my family members who don't cultivate cannot understand why the Nine Commentaries were published. This reflects shortcomings in my, your disciple's, cultivation in the past. How can I clear away this kind of interference?

Teacher: Even though your family members understood things before, it was at a shallow level. You didn't help them to really understand the truth.

Since the time when the Nine Commentaries came out, one thing that has happened is that [some students have] made declarations of withdrawal from the Party on behalf of their family members. When a few of the family members refused, [the students would say,] "You can't refuse! I'm going to represent you and withdraw you from the Party." (Audience laughs) In fact, it really doesn't count if they refuse. You may do it on others' behalf, but they have to agree to it, and it doesn't count if they do not consent to it. Even gods have to look at what a person chooses. This shows that many students haven't done well, done enough, or had success in clarifying the truth to their families. Do you know what the biggest reason for that is? It's that you see them as your family, rather than as part of the sentient beings or as just like all of the other independent lives. You should earnestly and carefully clarify the truth to your family members, just as you would with other people in the world. When you regard them as family members and don't take it seriously, the results won't be that good. Or, if you think, "He's family, so I can represent him," that won't work. Even the formation of the Three Realms was done for the sake of today's Fa-rectification, so people can't be flippant about something as monumental as this. Is any life that simple? At the critical moment, is there any being who can be fully represented by someone else? Is there any being who can be denied the opportunity of choosing his own future? At the critical moment, all beings have to verify how they are. So if in your family you have this scenario [you described], then you need to carefully clarify the truth. You can do any ordinary things on your family members' behalf, but when it comes to something that involves a being's future--something that major--nobody can represent someone else. If you really want to save your family members, then clarify the truth to them as you would to other people. That's because their knowing sides all realize, "In this life you are my family member, but in the next life who knows who we will be related to. Just in this lifetime is our relationship predestined." It's just like staying at an inn: you lodge there briefly for a night and then part ways the next day. Who could possibly take someone else's place? That's really how it is.

Disciple: How can we help the lawsuits in Africa against the evil people to move forward better? Right now there is constant interference. What's the role, in Fa-rectification, of the lawsuit against Jiang in Africa?

Teacher: I affirm all of these things that you have done, and you have done a great job. I'd say you have done several brilliant things in Africa, which have shocked and frightened the evil and the bad people, helped the world's people to see the nature of the evil, and had a good impact in saving sentient beings and with many other things. They are things that should be done, and you haven't done them in vain. As for how to do things even better and how to move things forward, that is still up to you. And the extent to which you accomplish things depends on you as well. Actually, as far as each cultivator goes, you are all walking down the path that you need to take on your own. And you have done those things very well. Sometimes when I look at the things you have done, I really want to say "Bravo!"

Disciple: A relative of mine is a [Communist] Party member and lives in Mainland China. He doesn't want to quit the Party. I have tried to persuade him many times but he refuses to listen. When the weeding-out takes place, will he lose his life? (Audience laughs)

Teacher: (Teacher laughs) Whether someone will be weeded out or not, or kept or not, these are things that belong to the next stage. Right now we should just think about saving people. Getting attached to [what will happen in] the future does no good, for when the Fa-rectification arrives here it has its standards [to judge by]. But one thing is for sure: no matter what we do, a large portion of people are no longer savable. Among them may be those who don't want to listen to the truth, who refuse to listen when the truth is told, and who don't want to read the Nine Commentaries. That is their choice. You have done what you should do. While being subjected to the most evil persecution, Dafa disciples are still saving sentient beings and overcoming all sorts of challenges in order to tell people about the truth. Yet some people don't want to listen. And what's more, Dafa disciples are saving people while being persecuted. Well, people's unwillingness to listen to or read about [the truth] is also a way by which people make their choice. If they don't want to be saved, then we have no option but to let them go with the malevolent Party.

Disciple: I didn't work before I started to cultivate and I haven't worked since. Since taking up cultivation I have had a good amount of leisure time to do things to spread the Fa. Is this in accordance with our cultivation way that conforms to ordinary society? Do I need to go out and look for a job now?

Teacher: If your family has no financial hardship or other burdens, then it's up to you whether or not you work, and it has nothing to do with being out of line with our cultivation way. I know that some students have borrowed a lot of money and yet they don't go out to work, saying that that they're "too busy validating the Fa" to work. They can't pay off the money they have borrowed, and yet still they keep borrowing more. That is a problem. Have you thought about the principle of Fa that Master has taught about the obligation to pay off debts? If you, having taken up cultivation or reached Consummation, were to leave or consummate and become a god and yet have not paid off any of your debt, who would pay it off? Even if the debt is owed to a Dafa disciple, that's still unacceptable. Of course, when some students say, "I don't want it back. It's a gift to you," that is a different matter. That's a gift then, and it is a different concept than incurring a debt. You cannot go to extremes. You might be thinking, "Since validating the Fa will end soon anyhow, I won't need to pay back the money I owe you. When the time comes everything will be over and it'll all be wrapped up." (Audience laughs) How could it work that way? Is that thinking right? It is being irresponsible. Haven't I said that a Dafa disciple should be a good person in every circumstance? Most Dafa disciples are both working jobs and validating the Fa. Of course, if you don't need to work, have no financial challenges, and don't have to worry about affecting your family when you do things, then that's different. Everybody has family and societal obligations, and everybody is cultivating himself in the setting of human society and validating the Fa in the secular world. Why must you [who don't pay your debts] do something that diverges from the Fa's requirements? Of course, if those you owe say that they don't need the money, or if your family doesn't need you to work, then that's a different matter, and of course not a problem.

Disciple: Master, please spell out for us the deeper meaning of "Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World."

Teacher: "Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World"--so which wheel is it that's being turned? Of course it is the Law Wheel (Falun). (Applause) Isn't turning the Law Wheel towards the human world doing Fa-rectification towards the human world? That is what it means. (Applause)

Disciple: Since Master's scripture "Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World" was published, some disciples have thought that the scripture is for disciples to read, while others have thought it should be run in newspapers so that ordinary people could read it. I'm not sure how to handle this.

Teacher: It's okay to let ordinary people read it, too. Among ordinary people, there are some who are clued-in and who can understand it. But there are definitely many foggyheaded people who won't be able to understand it, so it might have a negative effect. That's how human society is now. So when it comes to specific things, discuss them among yourselves. It's just like with printing Master's photos in the newspaper: since Master said that you could do that, you did that, and it was no problem. But you can't print in flyers what I have written or what I have said and then distribute them. You need to do these things as rationally as possible. Being responsible to the Fa and to saving sentient beings is being responsible to yourself.

Disciple: In Western society there are some ordinary people, especially professors and scholars, who are heavily into studying evil Communism and evil Marxism. But these ordinary people are not members of the malevolent Party in China. Master, please tell us how we can help these ordinary people.

Teacher: Show them the Nine Commentaries and ask them, "How does our study fare against yours?" (Applause) Right? We have come from that society and this is our study, which is born of first-hand experience. Let's see who has researched it more thoroughly and astutely, and let's hash it out. (Teacher laughs) (Applause)

Disciple: I obtained the Fa last May. Thank you, Master, for mercifully saving me. After I obtained the Fa I soon got involved in Dafa work, and sometimes I am so busy that I have simply no time to do the exercises. I'm very worried about this. Master, please tell us again how a new student can walk well the path of cultivating himself and validating the Fa.

Teacher: There's no shortcut in cultivation for any student, and that holds for new students too. Just cultivate steadily and solidly, and do well the three things that Dafa disciples should do. Those things may appear ordinary, but all of your mighty virtue, and everything that Dafa disciples will consummate in the future, come from them. Don't get anxious, and don't do anything extreme. Just do things normally and rationally. That's how you are supposed to cultivate. "Where there's a will there's a way."

Disciple: How should Western students look at withdrawal from the Party? Have Western students who lived in Mainland China before been affected by the CCP's evil specter?

Teacher: Some have, and some have not. When Westerners go to China many of them don't necessarily become part of Chinese people's circles, so most of them are not affected. But there are a very small number who have tried to make their way into the malevolent Party. As far as Dafa disciples are concerned, [the specter] won't affect them, wherever they are.

Disciple: Greetings, Master! I have already quit the Party. But party dues are being automatically taken out of my salary. What should I do about that? (Audience laughs)

Teacher: Consider it robbery by the evil cult. (Audience laughs, applauds). It's not a problem.

Disciple: Some students want to help withdraw their deceased relatives or family members from the Party. Is that necessary?

Teacher: That's fine. There is no problem with that, for they have passed away and it's not as if they can come over and ask the Epoch Times to publish their statements in print or online, right? (Audience laughs) (Applause) So yes, you can do that. And does it make any difference? Yes, it does! (Applause)

Disciple: Some overseas disciples use aliases when they quit the Party. Is that the same as quitting the Party using their real names, that is, in terms of their righteous beliefs, righteous thoughts, and righteous actions?

Teacher: It is the same. As I said earlier, using an alias is fine, for gods look at people's hearts. But the formal act [of public renunciation] can inspire people in human society and is necessary for saving people.

Question: How should I apply my wisdom and use cinema or television media so that we can do better in making our way into mainstream society?

Teacher: If you have skills of that sort then go for it. Using those approaches to validate the Fa, expose the persecution, and save sentient beings is of course better. You can make your way into mainstream society as long as you solve one issue, which is, to truly be able to produce good work. But financial constraints should be taken into consideration as well. The same goes for the media entities. If they are truly run well, they will definitely manage to make their way into mainstream society and join the ranks of mainstream media. That would of course be great. I know that you have in fact been working hard on many things and that you will do them well. I believe that with time that day will come, it definitely will. (Applause) I'll repeat what I said before: they will not only be run well, in the future they will definitely be the number one, primary media. (Applause) When the human race comes to understand all of this I don't think it will have much interest in anything else anymore, and being able to hear Dafa information and choosing a wonderful future for themselves will be what's first and foremost to them. (Applause)

Disciple: When products that are made in China are sold in the U.S., the money will flow to China and be used to persecute Falun Gong students. So I will no longer purchase a product that is made in China. Is my thinking right?

Teacher: Of course there's nothing wrong with that. Aren't many of our fellow students boycotting them, too? (Teacher laughs) But it appears that when only our students boycott them, the impact isn't that big. (Teacher laughs) And don't do that if it's going to bring you financial hardship. If you buy them owing to life's necessities, then it doesn't matter. But if all people in the world could realize what you've hit on, it would be terrifying to the evil.

Disciple: If an ordinary person has a positive attitude toward Dafa but doesn't yet have the right understanding of the evil Party and its evil specter, what will happen to him?

Teacher: Then it depends on his specific circumstances, since a person's attitude toward Dafa is first and foremost. But if he is dead set on supporting the evil Party and recognizing the evil Party, then he is in grave danger.

Disciple: Students in Mainland China would like to ask Master: Many ordinary people were at one point members of the [Communist] Little Red Guards and the [Communist] Youth League. Please tell us if they too need to still withdraw [from those organizations]?

Teacher: It's necessary to remove the mark left by the evil. Even though declaring withdrawal is a formality, if the person can come forward and make that statement, that is, if he is able to take that step, then his thinking is changing through that process and his body is cleansed of the poisonous factors. Some people have said, "I don't need to write it out. In my heart I have withdrawn." That might not really effect a cleansing of poisonous factors from the body. And gods are watching whether people are firm. Since the deeper motives behind a person's thoughts are complicated, his actions are the most accurate expression of himself.

Disciple: Many ordinary people are saying, "I stopped paying dues to the Party or the [Youth] League long ago. I stopped being a Party member long ago. I don't need to go through the formality of withdrawing from the Party." How should we look at this?

Teacher: It's still the same issue. The problem is not just with the formality of joining the Party. [The Party] has truly branded people with the mark of its evil cult and made people join its ranks. That mark must be erased. The mark doesn't manifest in the human world, and what is at work also includes the [Party's] factors that are inside people's bodies. People made deadly pledges to its blood-red flag, promising to give even their lives to it, so would you say that only thinking about it in your heart, instead of renouncing it openly, could do the job? Actually, now that we're on this subject, [I'll say that] this malevolent Party is truly evil to the utmost degree. It asks people to make deadly pledges to its blood-red flag, to dedicate their lives to the evil Party, and to dedicate their whole lives to doing its bidding. From ancient times to the present, not a single political party or human organization has been so sinister or brutal.

Disciple: Some Western students think that the tone of the Nine Commentaries makes them hard for Western society to accept. What should we be mindful of when we introduce the Nine Commentaries to Western society?

Teacher: It's not like that. Doing it the way you have been is just fine. Don't emphasize those things. There are differences between the Eastern and Western ways of thinking, sure. But there are divine factors behind the Nine Commentaries, and they will have a positive impact on people, Asians and Westerners alike. In some people's cases, factors left by the old forces are preventing the person from getting involved in Dafa for the time being--they might be restraining him. It depends on the specific situation. Many Westerners haven't been harmed by the poison of the malevolent Party, and in those instances the person might come across as a bit indifferent. That's not a problem. As for the Nine Commentaries, at this time they are an important step in saving humankind. Perhaps, during the next stage, every single person on this earth will soon have to give his stance on whether he wants that evil Party around or not. Each person must choose his future. In countries that aren't ruled by the malevolent Party, Communist things are still, in reality, being practiced. Didn't a prophecy say that **** would rule the world?

Some people have said that the Nine Commentaries are too long and have asked whether they could be made more concise. The answer is no. During the last hundred or so years, the gangster-like Communist clique has been constantly at war with the free world, but nobody has been able to spell out what this malevolent Party really is. The Republic of China [Taiwan] has fought with the CCP for decades, and articles about the CCP have been written one after another. But they too haven't managed to really spell out what that malevolent Party is. We have managed to completely explain it, which is a first. How could it be made more concise? Should it be turned into a short, toothless article like what's been done before? Could such a piece take on the enormous responsibility [this one must] and fulfill the duty history has bestowed upon it? The goal of our fully explaining that malevolent Party is to expose its malevolent nature and help people to see it for what it is, thus saving the world's people. It is also done to help the world's people understand why it has persecuted Dafa disciples so wildly. We aren't "playing politics." And this isn't something politics could handle. In my heart is a great wish to save sentient beings. We needn't promise anything to the beings who have crooked thoughts. History will prove everything. I have given that malevolent Party many chances, and when its evilness peaked I warned it time and time again, saying, "I, Li Hongzhi, know and can explain everything." But the evil has gotten so wild that it has lost all reason. Even today it is still senselessly persecuting Dafa disciples. Let's see what is in store for it.

Disciple: Some ordinary people think that the Nine Commentaries are great, but they don't accept Dafa.

Teacher: A lot of the thoughts that ordinary people have result from their notions taking effect, and they say things without really thinking it over first. They often say things they don't really mean and say things that may mean something else. When that's the case, you need to help them come to their senses. What do you mean by "they don't accept Dafa"? That they don't want to learn it? If they won't learn it, that is fine. No one is forcing them to learn it. Only an evil cult would force somebody to learn its things, and it won't let people out even if they wish to leave. In Dafa, however, we don't go in for those things. If you want to learn it, go ahead. And if you don't want to, that's fine. What I tell people today is to make people aware of the truth: I want people to know what Dafa is and why the malevolent Party has persecuted it, and I do so in order to help people rid their minds of poisonous factors. As for whether people want to learn it, that's up to them. If they really don't approve of Dafa then they have chosen their future.

Disciple: Ever since the Nine Commentaries came out, I've been very into writing articles that expose the evil Party, but I have slacked off in my Fa-study. How should I balance things?

Teacher: That's not necessarily interference. You just need to find time to study the Fa. Study the Fa steadily and solidly, and don't just go through the motions. You have to do all of the three things. Writing articles is a part of your validating the Fa, but it can't take the place of the other two things.

[1] Or "Fa King."

[2] Translator's note: The Chinese term here, ru lai, could be rendered as "thus come," as in "the Thus-Come One." The explanation given in the text here thus relates to the sense and meaning of the two Chinese characters ru and lai. We have followed convention in using the Sanskrit gloss "Tathagata."

Translator's note: This teaching on Fa is being posted in three parts as a temporary convenience while the translation is completed. The question and answer portion is being posted in two parts, of which this is the first.

The translation is subject to further improvement so as to be closer to the original text. Last updated: April 26, 2005.

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