Mahayana Buddhism centres around saving all sentient beings, which is the direction for those who strive towards emulating Buddhas. It involves the display of a Bodhi-mind where practitioners spiritually cultivate along Bodhisattva’s path, observe the Six Paramitas, benefit oneself in order to benefit others, and pray to be able to emulate Buddhas in order to save sentient beings. Guan Yin Citta adopts Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s unconditional and impartial spirit of mercifulness and compassion where one should do all good and refrain from all evil; as well as strive to benefit and save all sentient beings. It is a dharma door categorised under Mahayana Buddhism that helps sentient beings to abandon sufferings and gain happiness.
In the face of one’s karmic affinities, if one is unable to cultivate by practising the spirit of Mahayana Buddhism — that is, to help sentient beings, then they are deemed as being unable to grasp the fundamentals of Buddhist studies. The reason for our sufferings today is how we had committed deeds of karmic consequences in our past life — because we led to pain in others, we will have to experience the corresponding karmic retribution in this life. In studying Mahayana Buddhism, it is paramount to transform our views on the study of Buddhism as being self-serving; instead, it should be geared towards helping sentient beings.
Hence, we need to unearth and purify our innate nature and conscience, serving as a positive role model for all in the hopes that the number of people who learn Buddhism will continue to grow. This is the true essence of Great Unity, wisdom of awakening, as well as supreme enlightenment. In fact, if one solely focuses on self-cultivation, that person has only gained partial enlightenment. This is because the strong notion of self in a person is the crux of one’s sufferings in these modern times.
On the other hand, one who is free from suffering constantly thinks about others, considers their multitudinous sufferings and wishes to help them. This is because they have emptied themselves of the notion of self, and as the embodiment of Mahayana Buddhism, it is only people like these that are truly enlightened.
In learning Mahayana Buddhism, one’s spiritual foundation is very important as it requires one to frequently evoke a great Bodhi-mind and extensively cultivate the six paramitas. In other words, one who studies Mahayana Buddhism not only needs to self-cultivate diligently but also needs to help sentient beings. Additionally, one also needs to cultivate the six paramitas and put it into practice in all aspects — all of one’s thoughts and actions should be cultivated to become just like that of Bodhisattvas, fully committed to helping everyone. Thus, we should aim to emulate Buddhas in order to save sentient beings.