Take a look around, and you’ll see that most people in the world are crazy. They seem to be mentally ill. This world is going mad. Neither men nor women, neither young nor old, know the basic rules that human beings should follow. Therefore, people fight among themselves. They will stop at nothing to fulfill their own aims, forsaking justice in the pursuit of profit, and doing so at the expense of their friends. How awful this is! So, what are the basic rules that people should follow? They are simply the Six Guidelines of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. If everyone can observe these guidelines, there will be peace in the world.
The Six Guidelines are:
1. Not to contend: Never fight or quarrel with anyone. Accept your rightful due, and do not hanker for what is not yours. Avoid losing your temper at all costs.
2. Not to be greedy: In all things, don’t be greedy for more than what you need. Give your own possessions away to people who need them; don’t be stingy.
3. Not to seek: Don’t seek for external things. It’s said,
“When you reach the state of seeking nothing, your character will naturally be noble.” If you don’t seek things, you’ll have a lofty character. People of integrity desire little and are content with what they have. Those who don’t covet wealth, sex, fame, food, or sleep are peaceful and happy, and never troubled by fear or anxiety.
4. Not to be selfish: Things that belong to the public should be used by everyone and not stored in your own private place. If you are able to practice giving, then your heart is not selfish. We ought to
“care for all elders as we would care for our own elders, and love all children as we would love our own children.” This is an expression of unselfishness. It is also the philosophy followed by the university, the secondary and elementary schools, and the senior home at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
5. Not to pursue personal advantage: Renounce your own benefit and work for the good of others. Yield benefits to others, keeping unbeneficial things for yourself. Never crave fame or offerings, and never fish for praise and reputation, for such behavior is motivated by the selfish pursuit of personal advantage.
6. Not to lie: The mouth is capable of four evils: lying, indecent speech, harsh speech, and divisive speech. Committing any one of these will send you to the Hell of Pulling Tongues. Not lying is one of the Five Precepts. Buddhists should observe the Five Precepts carefully. What is not lying? It means never saying anything untrue. The following are all instances of lying:
To say you saw when you did not see,
or to say you didn’t see when you did see;
To say you heard when you did not hear,
or to say you didn’t hear when you did hear;
To say you understand when you do not understand,
or to say you don’t understand when you do understand;
To say you know when you do not know,
or to say you don’t know when you do know.
Why are the people in this world going insane? It’s because they are always contending, being greedy, seeking, being selfish, seeking personal advantage, and lying. Consequently they are always confused and unable to be free and at ease. This is a serious problem. We cannot treat it as a staged play. We should quickly reform the social customs, so as to avoid consequences too awful to imagine.