When we realize Buddhahood, we are realizing the Buddhahood of our own nature, not some Buddhahood from outside.
After taking refuge, all of you should remember that the Four All-Encompassing Vows are the bright path to Buddhahood.
"Living beings are boundless, I vow to save them all." Always ask yourself, "Have I saved them?"
"Afflictions are endless, I vow to cut them all off." Have you cut off your afflictions? Do you still have a temper?
"Dharma-doors are limitless, I vow to learn them all." Have you studied them?
"The Buddha Way is unsurpassed, I vow to realize it." Of course we haven't attained the Way. We should hurry and cultivate to attain Buddhahood.
Of all the Dharma-doors, none are apart from our own nature. All living beings are living beings within our own nature. We must vow to take them across to Buddhahood. As for all the afflictions in our own nature, we must vow to cut them off. We must study all the Dharma-doors of our own nature and not let the time pass by in vain. "The Buddha Way is unsurpassed, I vow to realize it." When we realize Buddhahood, we are realizing the Buddhahood of our own nature, not some Buddhahood from outside. We should pay attention to this and go forward every day, without retreating.
Do you all hear and understand? [Everyone: "Yes."] Will you practice according to the teaching? [Everyone: "Yes."] Will you practice not according to the teaching? [Everyone: "No."] Then do not forget the vows you have made in taking refuge today. Okay?
A talk by Venerable Master Hua during the Transmission of
the Three Refuges at Blessings and Wisdom Monastery
on January 7, 1993