Record of Water and Mirror Turning Back Heaven
should have a sense of responsibility in everything we do. We should carry out
our duties to the utmost. It is most important, neither to ignore
responsibility, nor to conduct affairs in a slack or partial manner, nor to be
remiss in fulfilling commitments.
who deal loyally with others will be dealt with loyally, whereas those who deal
falsely with others will be dealt with falsely. The cheater cheats himself; he
who does harm harms himself. If one sends out counterfeit money the same returns
to him. How can we do anything but be careful?
IMPORTANCE OF FAITH
is the foundation of cultivation of the Way and the mother of virtue because it
is capable of nourishing wholesome roots. The Buddhadharma is like a vast sea;
only by faith can it be entered. Therefore the single word, faith, is the
essence of escaping from birth and death, and is the wonderful means for
returning to the source. It is a precious raft in the stream of defilements, a
torch in the dark cave of ignorance, and at the fork in the road, it is the road
to be taken. It is a compass when foundering in the waves on the sea of
affliction, and a wise guide on the way of the three paths and the eight
difficulties. It is the origin of awakening for the four kinds of creatures born
within the six paths. Faith cannot be ignored. An ancient author said, "If
a man has no faith, I do not know what can be made of him."
two bhiksus were travelling to see Sakyamuni Buddha, the World Honored One. As
they traveled they became extremely thirsty but could not find any water. As
they walked they happened upon a human skull containing water in which some
small bugs were swimming. Extremely joyful, one of the bhiksus picked up the
water and offered some to his companion. The companion replied, "Although I
may die of thirst, I cannot violate the precepts while I am alive." After
this incident he died of thirst.
the bhiksu who had drunk the water reached the place where the Buddha was
residing, he bowed and said to the Lord, "Your disciple was travelling in
the company of another bhiksu who perished of thirst on the road. I hope the
Buddha will be compassionate and rescue him."
Lord replied, "Because he Stringently maintained the precepts and was so
firm in his faith that he would not violate them even in the face of death, he
arrived here before you and received the awesome power of the Buddha."
CONCEPT OF PROPRIETY
word propriety is defined by a homonym in Chinese, which means "to set
up" or "to stand." Therefore Confucius said, "If a man has
no sense of propriety he has nothing to stand on." It is also said of one's
parents, "Serving them with propriety while they are alive, burying them
with propriety after death, and sacrificing to them with propriety is filial
disciple Tse Hsia asked about filial piety. The Master replied, "It
consists of not getting angry."
Tse Yu asked about filial piety the Master replied, "What people nowadays
call filial piety is simply feeding the parents. But dogs and horses are capable
of doing the same thing. If there is no respect involved, how do we differ from
Yuan asked about humaneness and the Master replied, "It consists of
principled self-regulation." The disciple asked what was meant by
principled self-regulation and the Master replied, "Look at nothing
improper, listen to nothing improper, say nothing improper, and do nothing
Kuan's name was Yu and his Style name was Yun Ch'ang. He was an outstanding
personage of the late Han and Three Kingdoms period, and the great hero of the
Western Han. His entire life was noble and marked with an overwhelming air of
righteousness, which no one could equal. He protected his imperial
sister-in-law, holding a candle until dawn to resist the opportunity for
misconduct offered by a darkened room. He galloped a thousand miles to rescue
his brother. Granted gold and silver, he remained noble and did not lust after
them, nor was he moved by poverty. He never lost his awesome martial virtue.
Since ancient times there has never been anyone like him.
ancient times the Emperor Yao wished to abdicate, and sought a sage to whom to
yield the empire. He had heard of two sages. Wo Fu and Hsu Yu, and humbly went
in person to visit them. When he met Wo Fu he explained his intent to yield the
empire to him. On hearing this. Wo Fu covered up his ears and ran off to wash
Yu, who happened to be at the riverbank watering his ox, was surprised by this
strange behavior, and inquired about it. Wo Fu replied, "The Emperor Yao
just offered the empire to me. Such words defiled my ears and so I am washing
Yu answered, "Washing your ears in this water pollutes it. How can I let my
ox drink such defiled water." Thereupon he moved his ox upstream. Ah! How
modest these two were!
LEST THEIR ACTIONS NOT EQUAL THEIR WORDS.
Yi and Shu Chi were brothers who lived at the time of King Chou of Yin. When
King Wu of Chou arose to avenge the people and punish the wrong doings (of King
Chou of Yin), the two went out on horseback to remonstrate with him and say that
a subject could not punish his sovereign and bring about confusion in the world.
Wu replied, "King Chou is infatuated with his concubine; he has sliced open
the wombs of pregnant women. His lust is unbridled and he robs the people. He is
rejected by the gods and is nothing but a common fellow. I ride against a mere
commoner. I have 'come to save the people who are as if trapped between water
and fire. How is this creating confusion?"
this he went on to destroy King Chou and change the name of the dynasty from Yin
to Chou. Pai Yi and Shu Chi were ashamed to eat the grain of the state of Chou
and retired to Shou Yang Mountain where they starved to death. To this day the
are praised for their righteousness and sense of shame.
completes the first book of the
OF WATER AND MIRROR TURNING BACK HEAVEN