Teacher Zhen-Ru once said in Global Lamrim that Bodhisattvas Manjusri and Maitreya can take on infinite forms and roam the worlds so they can guide and teach all sentient beings.
She then posed the question:
“If you could take on infinite bodies, what would you do?”
The question had never really crossed my mind. After all, to have infinite bodies is something you’d only see in science fiction. I paused to ponder.
Teacher Zhen-Ru then said:
Because Bodhisattvas aspire to help beings be free from all suffering and obtain all happiness, they work to attain the ability take on endless forms in order to complete such majestic task.
Aha! So it’s not something they’d planned for right from the beginning!
Instantly, Venerable Janet, the monastery’s senior deacon came to mind. Though almost 70, Venerable Janet is still in charge of many affairs–big and small–in the monastery. From logistics to public relations to gardening, and even making celery noodles and braised soup, Venerable Janet could easily solve the complications we all face. She’d take on and overlook each and every task personally.
Venerable Janet once modestly said that when she first arrived at the monastery, she didn’t care much for others; she would stay in her room and study on her own. It was only after her teacher asked her to undertake tasks within the monastery did she learn to observe and care for those around her. By opening herself up to others, she could better understand her teachers’ aspirations to propagate Buddhism. Because of this, she can now readily react to and solve whatever comes her way; she often find others on her mind more often.
Her shining aspiration showed me the possibilities a grand aspiration brings, and encouraged me to look forward to shouldering the Buddha’s responsibilities. One day, I will also travel throughout the worlds so I can help all beings.