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by Venerable Master Hsing Yun (1927 - , Fo Guang Shan)
English translation: Zhi Yue

During our lives, we should make great vows to benefit everyone in the world so that they may be happy and at peace.

By vowing to be like a tree or a bridge, we offer others a shelter as well as a path to walk on. When we vow to teach the Dharma to others, others can benefit from our teachings and begin their lives anew.

We can bring harmony to our families by vowing to be a better spouse, a more loving child, and a more respectful sibling. In addition, we should vow to educate our children, so that they may become the future leaders of society.

Reading sutras, chanting the Buddha’s names, speaking good words, and smiling at others everyday are all ways to put our vows into practice.

── from Renjian Fojiao Xilie (Humanistic Buddhism Series)

English translation: 2005 Sounds of the Human World

I vow to be a candle,
Burning up myself, to shine upon others.
I vow to be a paintbrush,
Painting humanity with color, bringing forth beauty.
I vow to be a street lamp,
Breaking through the darkness, lighting the way.
I vow to be a great tree,
Flourishing with leaves, shading passersby.
I vow to be a book,
Manifesting the truth, giving others wisdom.
I vow to be the great earth,
Supporting living beings, giving life to all things.

── from Sounds of the Human World