(Continued from last issue)
Fish jump in the water; people make trouble in the world.
Not knowing to foster wholesome virtues,
With blind consciences they commit offenses.
Treasures are heaped as high as mountains,
But when they die, it's all gone.
Empty-handed, they go to see King Yama.
With hearts full of regret, their tears fall.
This is saying that people do nothing to benefit others, but only do things which harm others. If there's benefit for themselves, then they'll exhaust their brains to do it. If that's not being a bitter melon, then it's melon bitter! It never occurs to them that if they have too much money, they should use it to help others. Some people do a little charity, but they're just fishing for fame. They go around saying, "I donate padded clothing in winter and unlined garments in summer. I also donate food..." They just want a good reputation; they're not genuine. Actually, the clothes, food, and housing in the world should be worn, eaten, and lived in by the world's people. If we see everyone the way we see ourselves, then our lives would be as vast as the sea and sky! If we can love people as we love ourselves, is that not happiness? "Not knowing to foster wholesome virtues": Wholesome virtue benefits others. Unvirtuous deeds benefit oneself. Fostering virtue means denying oneself to benefit others. Losing virtue means injuring others to help oneself. "Treasures are heaped as high as mountains, but when they die, it's all gone. Empty-handed, they go to see King Yama. With hearts full of regret, their tears fall." It’s too late for regret. The sign on the gate to the hells says, "Too late for regret!" "The blood relations of the present are temporary." With emotion, one is stuck and can't leave the Triple Realm. One keeps taking the path of defilement, and never thinks to walk the path of purity. Thus it’s said, "Wealth and high position are a wisp of floating cloud. The blood relations of the present are temporary." People are also securely bound by cangues, handcuffs, and ankle fetters.
Don't put a golden collar around your neck,
Or bind the body with shackles of jade.
With a pure mind and few desires, transcend the world.
The scenes of happiness are originally yours.
All my life, I've been direct in speech and action, and don’t know how to say things that people like to hear. The saying goes, "Honest words are hard on the ear, but beneficial to one’s practice. Good medicine is bitter to the taste, but effective in curing the illness." "If it’s the Way, then advance along it. If it’s not the Way, then retreat from it. Select what is good and follow it. Take what is bad and change it."