到那時候，就好像犯了法，坐了監獄，才知道後悔，那時已經晚了，我不會太多的英文，但可以講一句 too late。
From last issue: Emperor Yao offered up his kingdom to Chaofu.
Buddhism and World Peace
When Xuyou saw Chaofu washing his ears in the river, he asked, "Why are you doing that? What happened to your ears?"
"Emperor Yao had nothing better to do, so he came and asked if he could give me his kingdom and let me rule as emperor," Chaofu said. "I feel my ears were defiled by his words, so I'm trying to wash them clean." Xuyou had been watering his cow, but when he heard that, he immediately led his cow upstream to drink.
"Why are you taking your cow upstream?" Chaofu asked.
"If you wash your dirty ears in the river, it'll make the water dirty," said Xuyou, "and I can't let my cow drink dirty water. Even though she's a cow, she doesn't want to drink dirty water, either."
Think it over. See how incorruptible the ancients were! They were so free of greed and contention that when someone tried to give them the whole kingdom, they didn't even want it.
Modern people are getting farther and farther away from the right track, all because of their "self." What is the self? We ourselves don't understand it, and yet all day long we're so attached to the self that we forget everything else. It's just that attachment to self that causes us to have no wisdom. If you can see through the self and let it go, then you'll be free and at ease and there will be no more problems. Because you can't see through it and let it go, you aren't free and at ease. Instead, the self is muddled and confused, living as if drunk and dying in a dream. When you get up from bed, you putter around for a while--I don't know what you do. Then when you're done, you go to sleep again. Eating is like that too. You eat your fill today, but then you have to eat again tomorrow. This goes on every day for several decades, and then it's all over. Who knows where your "self" goes then? You don't even know where your "self" goes, and yet this false "self" drives you find it good food to eat and nice clothes to wear. You slave away for the false "self," fussing over it when it gets hungry, or cold, or thirsty. You try to keep it in the best of health, but when the time comes, it still has to die. Take a look! You scramble around frantically your entire life, wearing yourself out until your ears grow deaf, your eyes grow dim, your teeth fall out, your hair turns gray, your legs can no longer walk, and you don't know quite what to do with yourself. Because you have not recognized your real "self," you've been cheated. When the time comes to die, you aren't free and in control of what happens.
We should all think it over. For thousands of years, people have been born, have died, and have been reborn, over and over. People live one hectic life after another. In all these thousands of years, we have merely undergone birth and death, death and birth. We have cried and laughed, laughed and cried. A verse says,
Fish leap in the water;
People clamor in the world.
They don't know enough to do virtuous deeds,
But create bad karma callously.
You may pile up gold and silver high as a mountain,
But when you close your eyes, it's all gone.
Empty-handed you go to see King Yama,
And regretfully you let your tears fall.
Only then, like a criminal who is thrown in jail, do you regret what you've done, but it's already too late. I don't know much English, but I do know the words "too late."
Great Britain is a highly civilized nation, a cultural leader in the world. I hope that it will infuse its cultured civilization with wisdom and use the culture of wisdom to guide the people in the world who lack wisdom. If people have wisdom, the world will be at peace. If people are stupid and ignorant, there will be no peace in the world.
The first requisite for having wisdom is not to kill. Killing is unwise, because if you take the lives of other creatures, they will seek revenge. Due to our stupidity, we become deluded, create karma, and undergo the retribution. If you kill others, they will kill you in turn. If you eat others, they will eat you.
A professor residing at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas heard about the benefits of vegetarianism. He heard that if one is vegetarian, one won't create ties of enmity with living beings and won't have to undergo the resulting retribution. His family was vegetarian, and so he raised his child as a vegetarian, too. He instilled this principle in his child's mind: "If you eat a lot of pork, you will become a pig in your next life. If you eat too much beef, you'll turn into a cow. If you eat a lot of mutton, you'll become a sheep. If you don't eat meat, you won't turn into any of those animals. You become whatever you eat." But the child didn't think much of her father's explanation. She was only three years old, and she asked, "You said that if I eat pork I'll become a pig, if I eat mutton I'll become a sheep, and if I eat beef I'll become a cow. Well, if I eat vegetables, won't I become a vegetable?" Her father didn't know how to answer this question, so he brought his daughter and her question to me.
I said, "Pigs, cows, and sheep all have legs, and when you go to kill them, they try to run away. When you kill them, their hearts are filled with hatred and in the future they will drag you off to become one of them. The sheep drag you off to become a sheep, the pigs drag you off to become a pig, and the cows drag you off to become a cow. But what about vegetables? When you eat them, they don't call out, cry, jump, or grow legs and run away. And so if you eat vegetables, you probably won't become a vegetable."
The Chinese character for "meat" (肉) is composed of two "people" (人) in a "mouth" (口). The "mouth" character is missing the bottom stroke, which means that the mouth is open wide for eating people.
In the character for "meat" (肉) there are two people (人);
The one inside is holding onto the one outside.
Living beings eating the flesh of living beings:
If you really think about it, it's just people eating people.
The two people in the "meat" character represent one who is eating and one who is being eaten. I remember someone once asking, "What are the advantages of being vegetarian? Isn't it kind of like cheating yourself into taking a loss?"
I replied, "You might feel like you're taking a loss while you're alive, but you won't be taking a loss after you die. If you aren't a vegetarian, then you won't take a loss while you're alive, but you will after you die. When the accounts are settled, you have to pay back what you owe." In light of this principle, if we want there to be peace in the world, we all have to stop killing and stop eating meat. Not killing is true peace. If you don't kill others, others will not kill you. If you don't eat others, they will not eat you. No matter what our religion is, if we can all be vegetarian, there will be peace in the world."
When I went to Taiwan several decades ago, the people there were very worried about a Communist invasion. Their lives seemed to be hanging by a thread, and everyone was in a panic. They wanted to know when the Communists would attack, so they asked me, "What will happen to Taiwan?" At that time there was one person who was very nervous about this question being asked, because if I answered inappropriately, I might have been thrown in prison. It was a very sensitive issue, and if anyone said something wrong, they would be arrested, accused of being communist, and sent to the prison on Green Island. This person feared that I would say something wrong. I said to the person who asked the question, "If the people of Taiwan become vegetarian, recite the Buddha's name, and refrain from killing, everything will be fine. But if the Taiwanese people do a lot of killing and commit all kinds of bad karma, things will go badly. If everyone refrains from evil and does good, Taiwan will be fine. But if you do lots of evil and don't do any good, Taiwan will be in danger." What I have said tonight may have some principle to it, or it may not. I hope everyone will use his or her own wisdom to determine where the principle lies. As it is said,
If it's the Way, advance upon it.
If it's not the Way, retreat from it.
I hope all of you will choose what is good and follow it, and take what is bad and change it. Finally I want to wish everyone health, happiness, and luck in all you do. Good night!