Yao passed the rule to Shun, and Shun passed it to Yu.
Their secret transmission was to "Uphold the Middle Way."
Reminder from the last issue:
Public spirit, sincerity, humaneness, equilibrium and practice are the foundation for dealing with people and handling matters in Chinese culture, which has been transmitted for thousands of years and has become the cultural tradition.
How has this cultural tradition been formed? When we examine Chinese history prior to the Emperors Yao and Shun, the recorded documents are insufficient. Confucius, in the truth-seeking spirit of science, said, "If you know, say that you know. If you don't know, say that you don't know." Thus he didn't write about it. He compiled records starting from the time of Yao. Yao was a great person ("Only Heaven is great, and only Yao can follow it.") and a very open-minded ruler, and he selected from the commoners an extremely filial and fraternal individual named Shun (Filiality and fraternity are the basis of humaneness), and made him a regent for twenty-eight years. He transmitted to him the secret instruction to uphold the Middle Way. After Yao died, Shun received the people's support and assumed the throne. Unfortunately, Shun had an unkind father named Gu Sou (Blind Old Man) and an unfraternal brother named Xiang. But his respect and affection for his father and brother were not lessened because of that. And so Confucius called him the "greatly filial one."
In his governing, he emphasized recruiting talent. He loved to question others, and to study their words, although they might be shallow. He concealed what was bad in them, and displayed what was good. He grasped their two extremes, determined the median, and employed it in his government of the people. Confucius also called him the "greatly wise one." He emphasized human relationships and selected Qi to be the Minister of Education. At that time there was a flood. He selected a hydro-engineer named Yu, and made him a regent for seventeen years. He transmitted this secret to him: "People's minds are changeable. The mind in the Way (humaneness) is very subtle. One must be sincere and singleminded. Then one will be able to uphold the Middle Way." At that time people were influenced by the flood and the accompanying recession, and so people's minds were corrupted day by day. This is what the first two lines refer to. Only by sincerely controlling the flood could misfortune be averted. That's why he added the first three lines. However, the original instruction to uphold the Middle Way must still be emphasized. Yu singlemindedly controlled the waters, dug canals among the nine rivers, and directed the water to the sea, making it possible for people to live on flat land, till their fields and harvest the five kinds of grain. This hydraulic engineering, great beyond compare, only succeeded due to Yu's personal guidance. He was working outside for eight years and three times he passed his home without entering. With his ultimate sincerity and ultimately humane spirit, he forgot himself for the sake of the public good, and forgot his family for the sake of the country. His spirit will last forever and ever. Yu cherished his time most and detested rich food and wine. He liked to listen to useful speech, even to the point that he would bow to people when he received their advice. His strongest point was the way he respected those who were worthy, even if they were not in high positions. He also learned from his predecessors to regard the nation as belonging to the public, and so in his old age he passed the regentship to Yi. But after he died people in the nation considered his own son Qi more worthy than Yi and so the people supported Qi. That was the beginning of the royal family line, but it was not because Yu favored his own son.
Later Emperor Jie of the Xia Dynasty was corrupt and people had a hard time making a livelihood. Tang overthrew him and started the Shang dynasty. That was five hundred years after Emperor Yao. Tang lived at Buo, an area of seventy square miles, and carried on the humane governing. After eleven wars, he became the invincible ruler of China. People yearned for him to rescue them from suffering, just as one yearns to see clouds during a drought. When he came, the citizens welcomed him, bringing provisions from afar. And so it is said, "The humane person has no enemy." He succeeded because he supported those who were worthy and nurtured capable people, and he was especially helped by Yi Yin, who was a worthy and capable individual. His method of governing followed the idea of "Uphold the Middle Way."
To be continued
Nine times nine delusions stop, and the mad mind is put to rest.
When anxieties are quieted down, consider who was busy.
Now let go of the 84,000 "guest-dusts."*
The King of the Enlightened Nature will be at ease, unmoving.
The Guest-dust Verse by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
*Note: "Guest-dusts" refers to objects external to our inherent true nature.