In the past, Shakyamuni Buddha “cultivated blessings and wisdom for three asamkhyeyas of eons, and planted the seeds for good appearance for a hundred kalpas.” And so he attained the Thirty-two Hallmarks and Eighty Subsidiary Characteristics as peerless physical adornments. Cultivators must cultivate blessing and wisdom. How? By doing meritorious works. We should do our best to do any and every deed that brings benefit to living beings. This is cultivating blessings. When we study and recite Sutras and investigate the principles of the Buddhadharma, “deeply entering the Sutra Treasury to attain wisdom like the sea,” we are cultivating wisdom. To put it simply, if we do a lot of meritorious deeds, we’ll have blessings; if we listen to Sutra lectures and speak the Dharma, we’ll have wisdom. It’s a very natural principle.
Blessings and wisdom come from cultivation. If you don’t cultivate, you’ll never have any blessings or wisdom. Cultivators shouldn’t feel that they can get away with an evil deed, however slight it may be; nor should they neglect doing a good deed even if it is small. If you can cherish, cultivate, and plant blessings day after day, you’ll certainly have great blessings in the future. If you don’t do that, where could blessings and wisdom come from? If you merely wish for blessings and wisdom without doing anything, you’re just foolishly indulging in idle fantasies that will never come true. It’s like looking for fish in trees－something that could never be.
A talk given on June 4, 1981