Day 156 – Unenlightened beings beyond number, I will save

Raising the Four Great Vows
Unenlightened beings beyond number, I will save.

발사홍서원 發四弘誓願

가없는 중생을 다 건지오리다.

There’s not a lot to say about this one, really. It seems unrealistically ambitious on the surface, but, I think there are two things going on with this. At one level, just vowing to save *all* beings, takes us out of our ordinary, normal discriminations. I’m not vowing to save *some* beings, or just the ones I like, or just the ones I can get to, but all beings. There’s a spirit there that pushes and nudges us towards the unconditional.

Second, who’s to say, that at the fundamental level, that what we do doesn’t actually save all beings? That it doesn’t provide light and nourishment and a push on the path they need to take? The effects may take years or eons to be seen, not instantaneous, like we’d all like, but there’s no telling what we might be putting into motion. And again, even the word “motion” is likely a mistake when viewed from this all-encompassing, nondual place, where everything and time are already present.

(This text is from Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s translation of “The Thousand Hands Sutra”)

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