Very few people know about the power of doing merits and the immense
power that comes with it. Most of the times we are taught to do meritorious
acts but the benefits from such actions are not explained to us.
We are not told that this immense power of meritorious actions can liberate us from
suffering. Is this immense power the secret of all the 84,000 scriptures of the
Dhamma? The truth is, it is beyond the secrecy. Is this immense power
the heart of the Lord Buddha? It is not the heart, but the bone marrow of
the Lord Buddha. It is embedded deeper inside the body than the heart.
This power is collectively the hearts of all the Buddhas in the universe.
It is the bone marrow of all the great Buddhas that have ever existed. It is
the infrastructure of the Buddha's wisdom; it is the soul of all the Pacceka
Buddhas; it is the flesh and blood of all the Buddha's disciples whose duties
are to continue the Buddha's teaching for future generations.
Our spirit is like our home and mindfulness is like the door to a home.
We are mindful when we recognize that we have to close the door whenever
we see strong wind whirling the dust our way, or when rain starts gushing
toward the house, or when we learn that a thief is on the loose. A person
who is not mindful is like a house with a door left opened. Consequently,
we are the victims of robbers, who, not only rob us of our belongings but
also rob our spirit. We allow our spirit to be soaking wet and polluted with
all the dust and trash that is blown right into us. Therefore, children, if you
ask me what mindfulness is. It is the door and the window of our spirit. A
mindful person is the person who is on alert and is in control of opening
or closing of the door and window. The person who is not mindful is like
a person who occupying a house with no means to protect. Any thing can
come and go as it wishes. He doesn't know, he doesn't pay attention, and
he doesn't even recognize the danger he is facing. Finally the opened door
may bring about the consequences of sadness, heartbreak or death.
Lord Buddha teaches us to be mindful in order to guard the gateway
to our inner being. We prepare ourselves and try to avoid the danger from
robbers. We cautiously peek through our window and door ready to shut the
danger out. When we do invite a guest into our home. We enjoy our
conversation, be it good or bad, praise or criticism, laughing or gossiping,
but even after our guest has left, the conversation still lingers and the feeling
and thoughts still occupy our mind. We have let down our guard. We allowed
our mind to cling to the enemy from outside. We do not know whom we
should welcome or refuse to our house. We are not mindful, We have lost
our energy and we don't know how to use our energy properly.
What is a power? Concentration is a power. In order to fully understand
what the power is, we need to understand the meanings of doors and windows
and the valuable belongings in our home. As mentioned before mindfulness
is the door and window; it is also the fence, the wall, the roof, the floor and
the structure of the house. The power of concentration is like our valuable
belongings inside, which is protected by the shell of the house. A person,
who wants to develop power (concentration) but he is not mindful, is like
keeping a diamond outside our home, on the front porch. The diamond
becomes an easy target for robbers because it does not have any protections.
Anyone can steal that diamond in an instant. In order to develop power
of concentration, one needs to be mindful.
As I have said before, a sacred Buddha is not a Buddha medallion that
hangs around the neck. It is the Quality of mindfulness that makes one's life
sacred. A mindful person will not accidentally step on broken glasses; a
mindful person doesn't anger others; a mindful person will not act differently
for others to criticize or admire him; and finally a mindful person doesn't
need approval or disapproval from others. He is his own self; he earns his
own respect. He preserves his energy, develops his energy and maintains
his energy. He knows how to utilize his energy.
It is very important to understand the difference between immense power,
eternal power, mindfulness and consciousness (spirit). They seem to have
very similar meanings and characteristics on the surface. However, each one
of them is different and serves a different purpose. Merits endow immense
power. There is a question whether we could explain this power of merits in
a mathematical formula. It is not possible because mathematics deals with
numbers and tangible values. We cannot measure or evaluate merits in term
of definite numbers. We can only feel and be aware of this immense power.
For example, people near and around a person with this power of merits can
feel his or her radiance of peace and tranquility.
To summarize, a person with the power of merits brings peace and
happiness, tranquility and wisdom to any beings that come in touch with him.
Unlike tangible things, one cannot measure peace, happiness, tranquility and
wisdom in terms of mathematical calculations. But, then how can we measure
merits? We can only measure merits by comparing it with other phenomena.
We considered the Neutron, Proton and Atom to be very minute, delicate and
have enormous energy. The power of merits exceeds in value and subtlety
even to the Neutron, Proton and Atom. The power of merits is a boundless
power that is possessed by all great beings, by the Buddha, by the Arahant,
by the Bodhisatta, by the Pacceka Buddha, and by the emperor.
Are there any differences between the power of merit and spiritual power,
if so, which one is more powerful? Yes, there are differences between the
power of merit and spiritual power. Spiritual power supersedes the power of
merit. Although the power of merit is boundless, but it still arises from the
actions of each individual beings (the law of karma). The power of merits
is like nutrients for plants. It is the food or pre-requisite for human spiritual
power. Its enormous power cannot be robbed by robber, lost in the flood or
perished by fire.
The spiritual power is so superior that it cannot even be described by
or be compared to any concrete examples such as doors and windows. Our
spirit or consciousness has no shape; it is like a vacuum space (Sunyakad)
endowed with an infinite energy. The Lord Buddha called this energy "Sunyata",
which means voids, nothingness, emptiness, with a feeling of light heartedness,
relief, and a feeling of freedom. This spiritual energy is eternal; nothing in
the universe can destroy it. Every single moment of our consciousness (citta)
possesses this eternal energy equally. But how well can we be in touch with
our own consciousness, in order to really understand it? That depends on how
we perceive our consciousness at a particular moment. When we open the
door to our soul, do we perceive our consciousness truthfully, calmly, deeply,
One who attains this spiritual power also attains the solar system, the
galaxy, the Milky Way, and the infinite universe. THE LORD BUDDHA HAD
ATTAINED THIS SPIRITUAL POWER or the power of consciousness and
he proclaims: "I am the world, the world is I, consciousness is the world,
the world is consciousness, consciousness is I, I am the world." Whoever
attains this spiritual power, which is the eternal power, would clearly
understand and be able to demonstrate the power of the world, so easily
just like a person displays the line on his palm when he shows his hand.
But the person, who attains the immense power of merits, attains only the
food for his spirit. Unlike the eternal power, the power of merits is the
nutrient that nourishes the soul, just like the sunshine photosynthesizes
nutrients for plants, or like the nutrients inside leaves, inside bark, inside
tree root, inside pulp and inside tree trunks.
Merit is the source of spiritual power; and spiritual power is the
product of the power of merit. Both spirit and merits are dependent on
each other. For example, a blessed meritorious person, a person with
meritorious heart, and the person who continues to develop meritorious
acts; his mind is clear, clean, tranquil and illuminated. The mind of that
person is always full of meritorious thoughts; it is free from anger and
vengeance, jealousy, selfishness, stinginess, and greed. His emotions
would not get stirred up easily. This unpolluted mind is very close to
the state of Sunyata (Voids, non-self), but has yet to attain this state
because this mind is not completely depleted of the feeling of SELF (Atta).
The state of Sunyakad (a vacuum space) is not the state of Sunyata
(Voids). If we compare the difference between these two states in terms of
distance, the distance between Sunyakad and Sunyata is endless. They
are many billions of light years apart from each other. These two
phenomena are so different that it is not possible to explain it with concepts
of time or space; that is how different they are, beyond any descriptions.
A person with a heart full of merit is a person who leads his life with
meritorious deeds in all his thoughts, speech and actions. His spiritual
power grows beyond the immense power of his merits. He attains this
eternal power that is immortal and not destroyed by any force. One who
attains this spiritual power can transform the world from black to white,
change darkness into daylight, turns the lengthy into briefness. This
person with spiritual power has the power over all things, all beings,
all living things, and all nature. He is beyond the reach of the Lord of
death throughout the world-period and the end of the universe.
The Lord Buddha might have lived for thousands of years, had he been
asked by venerable Ananda to do so. Before the supreme teacher relinquished
his life, he had shown many signs for venerable Ananda to appeal for him to
remain longer. He hinted to venerable Ananda with Omen, with illness, with
manners and finally with speech. But venerable Ananda was unable to grasp
the suggestion because of his unclear mind and unrefined psyche. So he did
not appeal to the Buddha to remain. The Lord Buddha explained in the Maha
Parinibbana Sutta as follows: "Bhikkus, Sariputta, The Tathagata has the
power over the Lord of death. The Tathagata could, if he so desired, remain
for thousands of light years or eternity without leaving this body or leaving
this present form."
This proclaims that the eternal power or the spiritual power that one attains
is the supreme power: the power that is greater than any things, any natural
force, any soul and even death. When I was asked regarding the power of
merit and spiritual power, I replied that they are different, but they are the
cause and effect to each other. Merit is an immense power that transforms
a pauper into a king, that turns an ordinary person into an extraordinary
person, that helps the near dead person become alive. Merit is the immense
power that helps anyone fulfill any desires and achieve any goals. However,
the power of merits is still inferior to the eternal power of consciousness.
He who's in touch with his mind.
He who unifies his mind.
He who knows his mind, and he who understands his mind.
That is he, the great one, who comprehends the world and the life beyond.
Although we are oblivious of spiritual power, all of us have it within
ourselves but needs to be cultivated; although we may acknowledge this
spiritual power, we do not know how to use it. Although we tell everyone
that we do not know what spirit and spiritual power are, we are in fact
using this power wastefully. We do not know how to preserve and accumulate
this power. Therefore, Lord Buddha taught us to be in touch with our own
spirit, in other word our own consciousness. He pointed out to us the benefits
of the spiritual awareness, which can lead any individual with this power to
nibbana, (the cessation and cooled down, the release of all suffering.) A
person with the power of merits alone cannot enter nibbana; the immense
power derived from the power of merits does not possess enough force to
thrust that person into nibbana. The only force that can help an individual to
attain nibbana is THE SPIRITUAL POWER. This spiritual power must be
properly cultivated and developed through one's body, speech and mind.
This supreme power which is eternal does not come from any outside
source, is not given by any teacher, nor was bestowed to us by the Buddha.
It sprouts from the heart of a blessed meritorious person: the heart that is
full of compassion, the heart that is pure and virtue. This power develops
from our good deeds, as we called it, the act of meritorious deeds. Moreover,
we must not be attached to our merits, we must not be infatuated or proud
of doing them, we must let go of our merits and enter the state of a vacuum
space (sunyakad), and finally we must transcend to the state of Sunyata
which means voids or emptiness.
The process of spiritual development starts with filling up our body, speech
and mind with meritorious deeds. As mentioned before merit is the food for
our spirit. It is similar to nutrients for our body. When we go to war; our body
is subjected to hardships, lack of sleep and goes through harsh environment.
If the body were weak from lack of food and nutrients, we will not be able to
use it for any effective means. This undernourished body cannot walk long
distances or even help with any tasks, let alone winning the war.
The supreme teacher, the Lord Buddha, taught us to do merits. It means
to do good deeds wisely and selectively. When one is wise, one does good
deeds, and these good deeds become our storehouse of merits. Merits mean
full, fulfill, and contentment of the heart. Whenever we possess the food for
our mind and the food for our body; it is absolutely certain that our mind and
body can make the journey into the realm of the eternal energy and arrive at
the final spiritual destiny, the state of NIBBANA. This journey is a journey
undaunted, a journey without delay, a journey without dismay, and a journey
without weariness. And all of this is because of the properly developed power,
because our heart, our stomach, and our soul are filled with nourishment.
Therefore the supreme teacher, the Lord Buddha taught us to "cultivate merits
to strengthen the spirit." It is the responsibility of an ordained person, to
accept merits, to develop merits, to manage merits and to act as a recipient
to the provider of merits. He is to lead the people with meritorious intention
to go beyond the immense power of merits and attain the eternal power.
These are the duties of the disciple of the Blessed one. The disciple of the
Blessed one guides all children, kinsmen, and the Buddhist community to the
door of grains, the door of food, and the door of abundance; altogether they
are the door of MERITS. With the most compassionate and sympathetic heart
toward all beings, the disciple of the Blessed one teaches the arriver to let
go of the word merits, to relinquish the word merits, to abandon the word
merits, to be unattached to and to rid oneself of the word MY MERIT. Once
arriving at the door of merits, one must cross beyond the state of meritorious
awareness, beyond the treasury of merits, through the door to the realm of
Sunyakad, the vacuum space. Then one must transcend into Sunyata, the
voids, and the emptiness. Only then can that certain individualized
consciousness, that certain person arrives at the state of NIBBANA (the
cessation, cooled down and free from suffering.)
Again the answer to the question, if the immense power of merits and
the eternal spiritual power the same, is no, they are not the same. They are
different. They are the cause and effect to each other. Only the blessed
meritorious person can attain the spiritual power.
There are ten kinds of meritorious acts that the Lord Buddha taught us:
1. Generosity, the act of giving.
2. Maintain virtue, observe the precepts
3. Attentive to the Dhamma teaching.
4. Be compassionate toward other beings
5. Mental development (meditation)
6. Fulfill duties as parents or children
7. Reverence and humbleness
8. Rejoice in others' merit.
9. Practice the Dhamma
10. Forming correct views
This is the path to attain the immense power of merits. We can explain
the meritorious act with a scientific comparison of the power booster for a
rocket of a spacecraft. Scientists use a certain kind of fuel to thrust the
rocket beyond earth's gravitational force. The power of merits is similar to
this kind of fuel. It generates an immense thrust of power to an individual's
journey out of this worldly suffering. Once in space, astronauts eject this
primary rocket booster and deploy another kind of fuel to propel the spacecraft
This is because the atmosphere in outer space is different from the
earth's atmosphere; there is no atmosphere and no gravitational force.
Therefore it is necessary for the spacecraft to use a different kind of fuel,
which is lighter, more powerful and which can withstand the pressure. Spiritual
power is similar to this second kind of fuel. It generates the special power
for an individual to attain Nibbana. Our duty is to transcend ourselves from
this world, utilizing these two kinds of energy: the immense power of merits
and the eternal spiritual power. It is the duty of the supreme Enlightened
One, the Lord Buddha, to teach people about the power of merits and spiritual
power, and it is the duty of his noble clans, the Sakyas, to continue propagate
the path (these two great powers) to enlightenment.
Birth is suffering; death is suffering; old age is suffering; sickness is
suffering; satisfaction and dissatisfaction is suffering; these are the sufferings
in this world. When we realize that this world is full of sufferings, we try to
find the way to overcome these sufferings. The Lord Buddha showed us the
path, which consists of the two powers. These two powers will transcend us
beyond this world of suffering. Just like scientists who realize that this earth
is becoming too crowded and mankind needs to look for new habitats on other
planets. They need to build a spacecraft that can travel through space and
utilize the two kinds of fuel to propel it. More than two thousand years ago,
the Lord Buddha discovered powers that can salvage humans from these
sufferings. These two powers are the power of merits or the immense power,
and spiritual power to which I called " the eternal power." Our duty is to fully
develop these two powers in our heart and soul. That is the main duty of
human beings. We, the disciples of the noble clan, the Sakyas, also have
the duty to point out, to explain, and to clarify the path to the cessation of
sufferings to all beings; so they can be of benefit to themselves and to the
people around them. This is the duty of the disciples of the Blessed One,
nothing more. Just like an aerospace engineer whose main duty is to develop
a spacecraft that defy the earth's gravity and reach the universe beyond. Just
only a few decades ago, scientists discovered the knowledge of using matter
to thrust matter beyond the earth's gravitational force. But it has been more
than 2,000 years ago since the Lord Buddha discovered the knowledge of
transcending the consciousness, the spirit, the body and the energy beyond
The Lord Buddha is perfectly enlightened, he is endowed with all the
knowledge in the universe; he is the supreme being who possesses the two
greatest powers in the world and in the universe: the immense power of
merit and the eternal spiritual power. We cannot deny that the Lord Buddha
is the greatest man of all mankind. More than 2,000 years ago, the Lord
Buddha discovered, perceived, understood and spoke about the energy of
light, the speed of sound and the speed of all the cosmic energies in the
universe. But the scientific knowledge of these phenomena had yet to be
discovered until just recently. Scientists are following the footsteps of the
Lord Buddha. This generation is following behind the footsteps of their
We should always remember that we are the descendents of a great clan
in the universe. Whenever we pronounce his name: ARAHANTA
SAMMASAMBUDDHA (The Blessed one, the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened
One), that is when we are the children of this Supreme Being, the Lord Buddha.
He is the greatest benefactor in the universe. We are not shy or ashamed to
call out his name if we practice his teaching earnestly. But if we do not
practice, nor investigate and verify his teachings, then, what is the use of calling
out his name a million times a day. Calling out the Lord Buddha's name is
not much of a salvation in our lives.
All my life, I have always felt very proud, and bold enough to announce to
the whole world and the whole universe that I AM THE SAKYA CLAN, I AM
THE SAKYA, THE VALIANT ONE, THE BRAVE ONE. No one in this universe
possesses the courage that could surpass the courage of the Sakyas. Only the
valiant one, the brave one, the one who can fully control and manage his own
mind and soul, is the one who is to continue, to carry on the duty, and to
inherit the spirit and the soul of the Lord Buddha. It is very difficult to find
and there is very few of such great men around, who have attained the true
nature of the immense power. It is also very difficult to find, during this
period of time, and there is very few of such great men around who could
explain, point out and clarify the conditions of these two supreme powers
endowed within the bodies of all the Exalted Lord Buddhas in the past.
I do not feel embarrassed to speak of the power of the Lord Buddha; nor
do I find it difficult to explain the spirit and the consciousness endowed within
the power of the Lord Buddha. This is one way to glorify his name, to honor,
and to expand his spirit and consciousness. It is our duty to transfer the
spiritual power from one consciousness to another and to continue this process
indefinitely until every single one of the existing individual consciousnesses
receives the spiritual power. Consequently, this power will stay eternally to
help relinquish and salvage all beings from this suffering world.
Ten years ago I talked about the duty of a monk in this religion that it is:
"TO RELEASE ALL BEINGS FROM BONDAGE TO HIMSELF AND TO THE
My Dear Children
The inheritance your grandfather (The Buddha) gave me is the following
instruction; "You must rely on yourself and make yourself available for others
to rely on you."
My Dear Children
You must not practice the Dhamma on a part time basis, not like the
way you just barely fill up your stomach when you feel hungry, but you
must continuously practice the Dhamma, like the water that is continuously
absorbed by the earth.
My Dear children
The path to knowing yourself starts from when you know how to
distinguish between your good and evil qualities. After you know how to
separate these two qualities from yourself, you will be able to choose your
own conducts with an enlightened mind, an awakening mind, and an
illuminated mind. And whenever you decide to quit, you will be able to
My Dear Children
The virtue of Dhamma, for me, is not used for discriminating against
good or evil, but it is for me to live my life like the one without any attachment
My Dear Children
You must always question yourself of how you got here; why you are here;
what you obtain from here; and what you are doing here at this time. You must
also always remind yourself that all of us are approaching ... death.
My Dear Children
I have discovered that no one bestows the supreme power, the supreme
force, and the supreme being to us; it is up to us alone to practice, develop
and search for these qualities from within ourselves.
My Dear Children
Human wealth means anything that yields happiness and great benefits to
a person immediately in this life. To acquire it, one must exchange it with
one's sweat and labor.
Heavenly wealth means virtue, good behavior, morality, and wisdom of a
person. That person poses no danger to the society; he gives nothing less
than friendship and kindness to others. He receives blessings from his good
deeds in this lifetime without having to wait until his next life.
Nibbana wealth means the complete termination and the extinguishing of
all defilement, which causes attachments and delusions in life, in birth, in old
age, in sickness, and in death. Finally it is the peace, the cooled down and
the cessation of all sufferings.
Children, if you earnestly try, you should be able to obtain these three
kinds of wealth immediately and right here in this life time without having to
wait until your next life. Only when you succeed, will you be considered a
true beneficiary of the Buddhist religion.
My Dear Children
MERITS ARE THE FOUNDATION OF THE PATH TO OBTAIN ALL WEALTHS.