Q. Please explain the differences among the enlightenment - master, Buddha, Bodhisattva. Which of the above fit You the most closely?
M. Fit me? I do not care what you call me. Call me what you want. You see, I'm a 'garbage collector'. (Master and audience laugh.) Yeah, I collect the humans' Garbage' and clean them, so that the world will be in a better, harmonious atmosphere and people will be in less suffering and more wise. I take their 'garbage' and give them 'jewels', give them wisdom. I take their karma and suffering and give them joy and happiness. So you may call me 'garbage collector'. No need such a big title like Buddha and Bodhisattva - scares me to death. It denotes the glorious position. In fact, I only collect garbage'. Collect all the bad, negative atmosphere and you know, all the things scattered here and there which make our world miserable and unbearable. I collect all these and burn them up, clean the world. May I help you? May I ask you also to help me in this Garbage collecting' program by joining us to meditate on the positive power, on the God power which is almighty? We can clean all the sin, can bestow all the grace. This is my job. You may join also and become the same. No need for Buddha and Bodhisattva, these sound too glorious and honourable. (Master laughs.)
In fact, we work very hard. Whoever reaches this level and are commissioned by God are volunteers to help sentient beings. We work very hard and we suffer. Not much glory here in this world. You might get glorified when you go back to heaven, go back to the Buddha's-land, but here in this world, there is not much for Buddhas.
M. ...Ching Hai means "pure ocean". Actually in India they name it Vishudananda. I think I have to change my name into Indian name now to attract more Americans. (Master laughs) The other day one of the American disciples said to me, "Oh, all the Americans like Indian teachers only, so that's why You don't attract so many of them. You attract only the Au Lac people and the Asian." I said, "Okay! Why don't I change my name?" He said, "Do You have an Indian name, by the way?" I said, "Yes, I do, Vishudananda." (Master and the audience laugh.) That's the translation of my name. Anything "Ananda", Da Da Da, will do. (Laughter.) Sounds very much Indian. Now you may call me, Ananda, Vishudananda. It sounds very Indian, right?