Today is the Independence Day of the United States of America, the day for commemorating the founding of the nation. The country has a day of commemoration; each person should also have a day of commemoration. What is each person's day of commemoration? Starting now, we want to become true Buddhist disciples, and we want to remember how much work we have done for Buddhism and what contributions we have made. Is Buddhism supporting me, or am I supporting Buddhism? If Buddhism is supporting me, how am I going to repay the Buddha's kindness? If I am supporting Buddhism, how much strength have I put forth on its behalf? Do I still have garbage in my mind? Do I still have defiled thoughts? What kind of effort should I be exerting to support and protect Buddhism? When I have figured out the answers to these questions, I can be considered a true Buddhist, a true supporter of Buddhism.
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is one of the fundamental Way-places of Buddhism in the West. It is the source of the world's Buddhism and also the point of return for Buddhism throughout the world. Moreover, it is also the point of return for all religions. Followers of all religions are welcome to come study the Buddha's doctrines here. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is everyone's City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. It is also the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas of all Bodhisattvas, sages and worthies in the Sangha, Arhats, and Pratyekabuddhas. It is also the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas of all kind and faithful people. If you want to be a part of Buddhism, you should definitely support and protect the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and you may not harm the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
In the past, the Dharma-protectors Weituo (Vajrapani) Bodhisattva and Qielan (Sangharama) Bodhisattva merely observed the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas from afar, watching to see if such an incapable person as myself would be able to establish a Way-place as I wished to. Now I am telling you, Dharma-protectors Weituo Bodhisattva and Qielan Bodhisattva, you can no longer just watch from a distance. You ought to fulfill your duties as Dharma-protectors and come support the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. If the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas exists, Buddhism exists. If there were no City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there would be no Buddhism either.
Buddhism in Asia has already contracted a cancer which is difficult to cure. In America, Buddhism is newborn, and so we must uphold the Proper Dharma in all respects. Dharma-protectors Weituo Bodhisattva and Qielan Bodhisattva, the Proper Dharma has appeared in the world, at this Way-place. If you don't exhaust your efforts to support Buddhism, you don't deserve to be called Dharma-protectors Weituo and Qielan. You will also be going against the vows you made in the past. I am telling you very clearly right now: I have already established the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and you should take up your responsibility of protecting and supporting it. You should not allow any celestial demon, unbeliever, ghost, or goblin, to come and stir up trouble at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. They may come if they want, but they may not cause an uproar or break the rules.
Of the ten Dharma Realms, the Buddhas are managing this Way-place. The living beings in the other nine Dharma Realms, including heavenly demons and unbelievers, must support the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. They absolutely may not break the rules of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Instead, they must obediently follow the rules. At the very least, when you heavenly demons and unbelievers come here, you are not allowed to kill, steal, engage in sexual misconduct, tell lies, consume alcohol, or take drugs. This is what I want to say to you today. Whether you are a left-home person, a layperson, a ghost, an immortal, an animal, or any other being, you must follow the rules at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. No laxity is allowed!
A talk given at noon on July 4, 1982
at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas