As Buddhists, we should have true faith. What does true faith mean? It is about having proper beliefs that comes from a sense of realisation within oneself. When we completely understand that good has its reward and evil has its retribution, we would not do any evil, as we are convinced that negative consequences will surely come about. This is the mindset of a person who has Buddha in their heart. The realisation that comes from within them is regarded as true faith – it is the mindset that guides us to be inclined towards kindness. Sadly so, in the quest for and upholding of what they perceived as true faith, many people fall onto the wrong path which leads them to delusional belief instead.
Delusional belief is a habitual belief where one embraces another’s point of view if it confirms existing prejudices. For instance, someone is planning to contend against another. A person with delusional belief strongly believes that such contention is necessary as what is right is worth fighting for; it is only fair that everybody should get a share to their rights and for what it is worth, it should not be made exclusive to just one specific person. When delusional beliefs results in someone doing wrong incessantly, that person is said to have bewildered belief. In fact, anything that causes the minds of sentient beings to be bewildered and distorted are regarded as delusional beliefs.
How do we differentiate true belief and delusional belief?
The following are some characteristics of true belief:
No. 1 – it should guide us to be inclined towards kindness
No. 2 – its aim in cultivation is to uncover our true nature (innate nature) to eliminate greed, anger and ignorance.
No. 3 – it is able to help sentient beings to be liberated from ignorance and delusion – this is true Buddhist teachings.
In fact, true Dharma forms part of the understanding of a proper Dharma Door. It enables us to gain wisdom and realisation; with realisation we will be enlightened and attain the state of Buddhahood. Guan Yin Bodhisattva, also known as ‘True Dharma Brightness Tathagata’, marks that true Buddhist teachings will have to be at the core of one’s being as a prerequisite for the attainment of Buddhahood. We have to cultivate with the aim of uncovering our innate nature and eliminate greed, anger and ignorance, find a method to help sentient beings to be liberated from ignorance and delusion, and help ourselves to be inclined towards kindness at all times.
Using Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door as an example, we may use the following three methods to determine whether Guan Yin Citta is a proper Dharma Door.
No. 1 – does Guan Yin Citta encourage everyone to be inclined towards kindness?
No. 2 – does Guan Yin Citta aim for everyone to cultivate and uncover our innate nature, and teaches that we must have a good conscience? Does it teach everyone the importance of eliminating greed, anger and ignorance and not to engage in thoughts and acts of such nature?
No. 3 – does Guan Yin Citta guide and help everyone to find liberation in the midst of ignorance and delusions? In the past we did not understand many principles of life and was ignorant of many things. However, after learning Buddhism, have we thus been liberated from our ignorance and delusions? Many people have learnt to see through and understand the nature of things after learning Buddhism — they have understood and verified the truth of dharma.
If a particular sect is constantly accusing others of being improper, distorting their words, slandering them and misusing various Buddhist teachings so as to suppress them or certain situations, then they are not an upright dharma. All Dharma Doors can be likened to doctors who help us to find a road to liberation. The only difference is that along our journey of learning Buddhism, each one of us needs to identify the method that is most suitable for ourselves, and that would be the best doctor or Dharma Door for us.
Extracted from:True dharma is only possible with true belief — Master Jun Hong Lu’s discourse in the Guan Yin Hall
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