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慈祥代天宣化 忠孝為國敎民

On behalf of Heaven, proclaim and transform with kindness. For the country, teach the people to be loyal and filial.

Rules for Being A Student

第六章 親仁
Chapter 6:On Drawing Near to the Humane

清 李毓秀 編 Compiled by Ll Yuxiu of the Qing Dynasty
孫秀美 註解 Explained by Jennifer Lin
王隆琴 英譯 English translation by Linda Wang

good points
to think about
being the same

When we see good points of others,we should want to become just like them.

zong qu yuan   yi jian ji
即使 距離   因此 慢慢地 升上
though to be distant far ahead by means of gradually to go up to a higher level

Though we are far behind them now,with perseverance one day we'll catch up.

jian ren er   ji nei xing
看到 他人的 過錯 就;立刻 向內地 反省,檢討
seeing others faults then;immediately inwardly to examine

When we notice bad habits in others,we should reflect upon ourselves.

you ze gai   wu jia jing
如果 就;立刻 改正 如沒有 更加 警惕
if have then;immediately to correct if none even more to be alert

If we have the same faults,then we should correct them. If not,we should never let them arise.






The ideas in this section come from a quote of Confucius found in the Liren Chapter in the Analects: "When you see worthy ones, strive to equal them. When you see those who are not worthy, reflect upon yourself." This section goes further to say that if one has faults, one should correct them. Confucius was someone who was able to learn from whomever he was with. He continued learning into his old age. He often said, "Among a group of three, there is bound to be someone worth learning from." If anyone was better than him in any skill, he would seek instruction and learn from that person. Those who are inferior to one can also serve as mirrors in which one can look for faults in oneself, so they also deserve to be called teachers.

For example, in the Dharma Flower Sutra, the Buddha says that although his jealous cousin Devadatta tried time and again to hurt and kill him, he was really helping the Buddha to go forward in his cultivation and accomplish Buddhahood. And it is primarily because of this merit that Devadatta will also become a Buddha in the future. Regardless of how good or bad people are and how well or poorly they treat us, as long as we have the attitude that we should emulate worthy ones and change our own faults, they can all be teachers to help us accomplish the Way.

The Venerable Master Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, regarded the Dharma Realm as a huge school in which everyone is a teacher and knowledge is everywhere. He said, "All people are my teachers, and I am everyone's teacher. I always teach myself, so I am also my own constant teacher." He even vowed to take across people who slandered him so that they would accomplish Buddhahood before he did. The Venerable Master often spoke about the practice of repentance and stressed that we should not be jealous of talented people, but should bravely change our own faults. He earnestly remonstrated with his disciples, often quoting the phrase from the Analects, "If people told Zilu about his faults, he was delighted"; and from the Mencius, "When Yu heard good words, he would bow." If any of his disciples were jealous or obstructive, the Master would sternly chastise them.

Li Shiming, the Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, was a ruler of rare wisdom. Although there have been other emperors skilled in both literary and military arts, such as Emperor Wu of Han dynasty and Emperor Gaozong of Qing, they all had the fault of arrogance and so most of their ministers were flatterers. Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty alone allowed his officials to speak freely and easily accepted criticism. Thus, he had many ministers who dared to say what they thought was wrong. The most famous of these was Minister Wei Zheng. Wei Zheng was an advisor of the late Crown Prince Jiancheng of the Emperor Taizu and had advised the late Crown Prince to get rid of Li Shiming—the Crown Prince's younger brother—as soon as possible because his merits were too overpowering and outshone the Crown Prince. But the Crown Prince didn't employ him and consequently lost his own life in the coup of Xunwu Gate. Li Shiming subsequently became the Crown Prince and before long was crowned as emperor. Later when Li Shiming asked him about this event, Wei Zeng wasn't the least bit apologetic and said matter-of-factly, "Had he listened to me, your Majesty would not be on the throne today." In other words he didn't think that his idea had been wrong. What was wrong was that Jiancheng, the former Crown Prince, had not listened to him.

Emperor Taizang fully appreciated Wei Zeng's obstinate adherence to what he thought was good, and not only didn't punish him, but promoted him to an official position. Wei Zeng also admired Taizong's broad-mindedness, and if the emperor ever said or did anything inappropriate, he would frankly tell him. The emperor also humbly accepted the criticism. Emperor Taizong was such a wise ruler because he not only recognized and employed worthy people, he also learned from them and became worthy himself. He was not like many emperors, generals, and ministers who lacked talent and knowledge themselves, didn't know how to employ others' abilities, and regarded those of talent with malicious jealousy, thus ruining themselves, their families, and the nation. Emperor Taizong was truly a worthy ruler endowed with both talent and wisdom.

We should always be open to learning. If you are not up to others, you should use your time well and apply effort in learning so that you make great strides and even surpass others. Don't waste your precious time and energy being jealous of others. Actually it's very foolish to be jealous. If you are jealous, you are just acknowledging your inferiority to others and you'll never be able to catch up to them. Why should you have so little self-confidence?


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