見利忘義 害人無忌 生子三成 討債敗器
逢賭願輸 贏發脾氣 資產雖多 葬身少地
From last issue: Ming Laowu saw
his sworn brother come right before his child was born, and so he knew
there was no way to escape cause and effect. He named the child
Sancheng (“three tenths”). His meaning was, “When you collect the debt,
just take thirty percent.” When Sancheng grew up, he indulged in
eating, drinking, gambling, visiting prostitutes, and taking drugs.
Ming Laowu knew that his son
“Three Tenths” was not even going to keep “one tenth,” and that in the
future he would surely destroy the family, so he said, “My son! If you
become broke in the future and you have to sell the house, you should
tear it down and sell it in pieces. Don’t sell the whole house at once.
If you sell it in pieces, you will still have more money than you can
use in one lifetime.” But his son didn’t understand what he meant by
tearing it down and selling it in pieces. Why did he tell his son to do
that? Because if his son tore down the house, he would find four large
ingots under each brick. In those days, everything was very
inexpensive. One or two ingots could buy many things. Under the bases
of the pillars were silver pieces that served as the foundation of the
house. If he tore down just one pillar, there would be enough silver to
support him for his whole life. Ming Laowu had planned everything very
thoughtfully, so he told his son, “You should tear it down and sell it
in pieces.” What he didn’t foresee was that Sancheng’s reaction would
be: “You want me to tear it down and sell it in pieces? Well, I’ll do
just the opposite.” And so he sold the whole house. He sold it at a
very low price, too. For example, suppose he sold it for five million
dollars. If the buyer tore down the house, it could have turned out to
be worth more than fifty million dollars. That’s how great the
Therefore, instead of making our
own calculations, it would be better to follow the reckonings of
heaven. No matter how well you may plan in advance, if Heaven is not on
your side, your plans are useless. For example, you may be trying to
think of ways to make the country rich and prosperous, but suddenly
there’s an earthquake, and all the houses are ruined, and lives and
properties are lost. Or, when a hurricane strikes, do you see how many
thousands of houses are blown over? How much property is lost? How many
people are hurt? Seeing this, do you still wish to strike it rich? Ha!
Human schemes are no match for the plans that Heaven has in store for
us! So there is a saying: “Do not aim too high, for everything
has its own way to go. Our fate is predestined. What need is there for
shrewd and cunning plans?” Sancheng used up all the wealth of Ming
Laowu and became penniless. It is really “just as is the cause, so will
be the effect.” There is no way you can fail to believe in causes,
conditions, effects, and retributions.
critique in verse says:
Seeing profit, he forgot about righteousness.
Without scruples, he hurt people.
A son named Sancheng was born to him;
This prodigal son came to collect a debt:
In gambling, he wished to lose
And was furious when he won.
His assets and properties had been abundant,
Yet there was hardly any place to bury his
Seeing profit, he forgot
about righteousness. When he saw benefit, he forgot his sense
of right and honor. When he saw the money, thoughts of malice
arose. Seeing profit, he forgot about morality. He hurt people
without scruple. When he harmed people, he had no fear at all.
At the time he was not afraid of the cause and effect and the
retribution, so he did it without scruple at all. He was not afraid of
the cause and effect of what he had done. A son named Sancheng
was born to him. When his son was born, he knew his son was
coming to collect a debt from him, so he said, “You can take 30%, but
leave the remaining 70% to me!” What he never expected was that his son
took 100%. He took it all. This prodigal son came to collect a
debt. This was a prodigal son. No matter how much money you
had, it wasn’t enough for him to spend.
In gambling, he wished
to lose. He (the son) was fond of gambling. He indulged in
eating, drinking, fooling around with women, gambling, and taking
drugs. When he gambled, he preferred to lose and didn’t want to win.
You could say that he was really a great giver, a great philanthropist,
right? See, he would give away whatever he wanted, and take what he
didn’t want. Therefore, in gambling he was willing to lose. And
was furious when he won. If he won, he would scold the person
who was gambling on his behalf. He wouldn’t even bother to go take a
look. He would just lay there, smoking opium and scolding that person.
That’s the kind of son that Ming Laowu had. So you see, if you hurt
others, you are just hurting yourself. His assets and
properties had been abundant. Alhough he had owned a great
deal of property, when it came time for Ming Laowu to die, he didn’t
even have any place to bury his corpse. Yet there was hardly
any place to bury his body. “Hardly any” means there was a
lack of space; there was none at all. You don’t even have enough land
to bury yourself. If you don’t even have enough land for a burial
ground when you die, what was the use of obtaining the treasure?
Deep in the mountains and valleys, there is
an efficacious medicine;
Forming a partnership, they walked together
all over the mountain.
Suddenly encountering a rare treasure, he
And instantly conceived a malicious plot to
push the other over a cliff.
He raised his son Sancheng, who collected the
debt of blood,
And built hundreds of mansions in which to
enjoy his old age.
Who could have known the outcome would be
like bubbles and shadows?
Ming Wu was filled with regret as he wept
Deep in the mountains
and valleys, there is an efficacious medicine. There was an
elixir of immortality there. Forming a partnership, they
walked together all over the mountain. They searched all
through the mountains for it. Suddenly encountering a rare
treasure, he became selfish. He gave rise to a selfish
thought. And instantly conceived a malicious plot to push the
other over a cliff.He pushed his partner over an overhanging
precipice, so that all the bones of his body were smashed.
He raised his son
Sancheng, who collected the debt of blood. His son came to
demand the debt he owed. Basically, Ming Laowu’s son should have killed
him by making him fall, but was he actually killed by a fall? It’s not
known. If Ming Laowu wasn’t killed by a fall, then it could be said
that his son was easy on him and collected a lighter debt, only taking
away what was not his to begin with. As for whether his son pushed him
off the top of a tall building, making him fall to his death, this is
something we do not know.
And built hundreds of
mansions in which to enjoy his old age. He built over a
hundred mansions, hoping to enjoy the happiness of his old age. Who
could have known the outcome would be like bubbles and shadows? Who
could have known that the final outcome would be just like a bubble in
the water or a shadow—false and unreal? Ming Wu was filled
with regret as he wept without stop. It was only when he was
about to die that Ming Laowu realized he had done something wrong, and
so he died crying.
Therefore you should not want to
make money. You should amass virtue, not money, for your descendants.
You shouldn’t just want to buy houses for them. If you can buy them
some virtue instead, that would be good.
聯絡辦法：萬佛聖城 Talmage, CA
95481-0217 U.S.A., Tel: (707) 462-0939 信封請註明「應徵義務教師」。（聖城歡迎義工參與服務，不限學歷）
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
(CTTB) needs long-term volunteer teachers to teach a variety of courses
at the elementary, high school, and university levels. We welcome
capable individuals who have a firm resolve, do not crave benefits, and
will follow the Six Guidelines of CTTB: not contending, not being
greedy, not seeking, not being selfish, not pursuing personal gain, and
not lying. People who are ready to leave an urban life-style and want
to lead a simple but fulfilling spiritual life are welcome to apply for
a volunteer teaching position. We are also looking for people with
backgrounds in physical education, gardening, handicrafts, and
dormitory counseling. There are no restrictions of age, gender or
nationality. Please contact Prof. Chiang Chi-fu at CTTB, Talmage,
CA 95481-0217, U.S.A., Tel: (707) 462-0939. Please write: "Application
for Volunteer Teaching" on the envelope. Other volunteers
are also welcome to join in the work at the City of Ten Thousand
Buddhas, regardless of their educational backgrounds.