「晨昏定省」：昏定，晚間他爸爸媽媽睡覺的時候他到那邊看看；晨省，早晨他到那也看一看，這叫昏定晨省。冬溫夏清：冬天的時候他到他父母被裡邊把那個被先溫暖了它。夏清，夏天呢？把他父親母親房裡的蚊蟲先把它打跑了。朝夕請安，早晨晚間他給父親母親請安，就向父母親禮叩，就叩頭；向父親叩頭，向母親也叩頭。「畢恭畢敬」：他叩頭不是那麼馬馬虎虎的，慌慌張張的，或者又怕醜怕羞的樣子，那麼快一點叩完了，就跑了。不是的。必恭必敬，他一定要很恭敬的樣子，必定要恭敬。「一切飲食」：所有無論什麼吃的東西。必「先奉慈嚴」：一定先給爸爸媽媽吃了之後。「而後始自食」：然後他自己才吃。你看這小孩子，也沒人教他，才五歲就知道這麼樣子恭敬父母。我見到他的時候，他啃向日葵， sunflower那個 seeds。他自己把它剝出那個仁，給他父親一個，給他母親一個，我在那兒他就那個樣子。他做得很自然的，一點也不造作，一點也不勉強，做得好像天天都做慣了，把他父親母親歡喜得，高興得不得了。
「所以各逞其三寸不爛之舌」：每一個外道的論師邪眾都統統能講的，很會說的。所以三寸舌頭，你量一量，從舌頭尖到舌頭根那個地方有三寸。不爛，它不會爛的；但是你若是死了之後一定會爛的；在活的時候，不會爛的。用那個「爛」說是不亂講話，本來是不應該亂講話的這個舌頭，那麼它不爛，這個爛是壞，它不會壞的，但死了之後，一樣會壞。除非是鳩摩羅什法師，他那個舌頭沒有壞。除了鳩摩羅什法師以外，誰的舌頭都壞了。「一味胡說之口」：他所說的道理都是不正確的，胡說八道，亂七八糟那麼講，胡說八道之口。「懸河狡辯」：懸河就是吊著一條河似的，說的話 continue， continue，繼續繼續不斷，這叫懸河。在空中懸一個河，那水流像瀑布， waterfall似的，水在上面流。這個說話就好像那個水從上面流，滔滔不絕的這叫懸河。狡辯，狡就是狡猾，沒有道理他說出個道理；沒有理由他講出個理由來。狡辯就是狡猾的辯，不正直說。他們轉彎抹角地狡辯。
There was a boy named De ("Virtue"), son of the Zheng family who lived at Wuchang County in the eastern part of Jilin Province. He had an innate understanding of how to be filial to his parents. He would inquire about their well-being in the morning and evening with utmost reverence. He would never taste any food or drink himself until he had first offered them up to his father and mother.
I have spoken to you before about Zheng De. He was truly an excellent child, and so he was my favorite. He had a squarish face. His eyes, eyebrows, and all his other features were extremely fine. He had the appearance of a very blessed person. He lived in Shuangcheng County of Jilin Province, a son of the Zheng family. His father's surname was Zheng, and his name was De-Zheng De.
By the time he was five, he had an innate understanding of how to be filial to his parents. No one had to teach him this. He decided to be that way on his own. It was in his disposition to be very good to his father and mother. At night when his parents retired, he would see them to bed. In the morning, he would also go to check on them. He would make sure that they were warm in winter and cool in the summer. In wintertime, he would crawl under his parents' blankets to warm them up. In the summertime, he would chase out the mosquitoes in his parents' room before they went in. In the morning and evening upon greeting his parents, he would make a full bow to his father and a full bow to his mother. And he didn't bow casually or hastily, as if he were embarrassed to do it and wanted to get it over with. He did it with the utmost reverence. He was absolutely respectful. Whenever there was any food or drink, he would first let his father and mother eat, and after they had eaten, he himself would eat.
Take a look at this child. Without being taught, when he was only five he understood how to be respectful to his parents. When I met him, he was shelling sunflower seeds. He would give one seed to his father and then one to his mother. That was how he acted when I was there. It was very spontaneous, not at all artificial. He acted as if that was what he did everyday, making his father and mother happy as could be.
By and by the virtue of his filial piety became known, and people near and far admired his conduct. Many heterodox teachers and exponents of deviant sects came to call at his house, wishing to recruit the boy into their camp so they could exploit him for their own advantage. Each of those teachers revealed his "indestructible three-inch-long tongue" and spouted forth glib and crafty talk that flowed like a waterfall. But their wild ravings failed to inspire faith in the pure youth's mind. And although their theories were as incessant and profuse as the waves of the Yangtze River, nonetheless, they could not move the sincere resolve of that young boy.
By and by the virtue of his filial piety became known. Because he was so filial, his virtuous reputation spread afar and everyone exclaimed what a filial son he was. Soon many people knew about Filial Son Zheng.
And people near and far admired his conduct. Far and near, people were amazed by the way he acted. "This five-year-old boy already understands how to be filial to his parents! Remarkable!"
Many heterodox teachers and exponents of deviant sects came to call at his house. There are many heterodox teachers in Manchuria, and the doctrines they propound are very strange. They are hucksters selling the position of emperor or president, or other sorts of good things. They say, "If you give me fifty dollars, you will definitely become the emperor in the future." "You will be an emperor in your next life." They don't say it will happen in this life, because they have no way to make it happen. They promise you will be an emperor in your next life, provided you pay fifty dollars. Some superstitious people actually give them fifty dollars and then wait to become emperors in their next lives. Other teachers say, "Give me ten thousand dollars, and you'll definitely become the President in your next life. When your children grow up, they will definitely be elected as presidents as well." And rich people will give them ten thousand dollars.
Some say, "I have such and such a marvel. I have a food-finding jewel. What is a food-finding jewel? When there is a world famine and no one has food to eat, simply put this jewel in your mouth, and you can go for days without eating and not starve. You'll be able to make it through the famine." But how much does it cost? It's not too expensive, just thirty dollars, and then you will never starve. Whether or not you have food to eat, you won't starve. Teachers of outside ways specialize in selling such things.
There are also vendors of door plaques. When you nail such a plaque on your door, the military will not come to bother you. It will keep your family safe. There is also a password. They say, "This password is not being used yet. In the future there will be a military division, and their password will be such and such. If you buy it now, you will have it when the time comes, and then they won't bother you." That's what heterodox and deviant teachers talk about.
When they meet women, they might say, "Do you know how Wu Zetian got to be the Empress? It was because she bought this marvel. She paid such and such an amount for it, and then she got to be the Empress."
This one came and that one came to see Zheng De, all
wishing to recruit the boy into their camp, so they could exploit him for their own advantage. They thought that if they could convert this filial son to their own religion, it would raise their own reputation. They could then say, "Even Filial Son Zheng has taken refuge with our sect. He is a disciple of ours." Their fame would grow and they would be able to exploit the situation.
You American young people have no conception of the problems in those religions; you don't have any experience with this. At present you cannot distinguish heterodox teachings from the right path; you cannot distinguish Buddhas from immortals from other entities. You have no idea. And so when you went to that place to meditate, before meditating they told you to make a half bow and you got confused as to what was what.
Each of those teachers revealed his "indestructible three- inch-long tongue." Every one of those deviant teachers was a skilled talker. Their tongues were three inches long, from the root to the tip. Their tongues are said to be indestructible, but they certainly rotted after they died. Their tongues didn't rot when they were still alive. The word "rot" sounds like the word "reckless" in Chinese. Basically one should not speak recklessly, and then one's tongue will not rot. But when people die, their tongues rot all the same. The only exception was Dharma Master Kumarajiva.
And these teachers
spouted forth glib and crafty talk that flowed like a waterfall. Their doctrines were not correct. What they spouted was pure nonsense. The analogy of a waterfall implies that their talk went on and on without end, like the continuous downward flow of water in a waterfall. They craftily fabricated reasons where there were none, and they were not honest and straightforward. They beat around the bush and were slippery in their arguments.
But their wild ravings failed to inspire faith in the pure youth's mind. The boy did not believe in their nonsense. They could not convince him to have faith and join their sects. They had no way with him.
And although their theories were as incessant and profuse as the waves of the Yangtze River, nonetheless, they could not move the sincere resolve of that young boy. The waves of the Yangtze River follow one upon the other, and their talk was the same way. But after they finished saying what they had to say, the boy would ask them something that would render them speechless. For example, if the teacher said, "If you join my sect, you can become a king in the future," the boy would say, "I am filial to my parents right now. Why would I want to be a king? What use would that be?" The teacher would have nothing to say. Rendered speechless, he would come up with another idea. One wave had passed and one theory had been discussed, and then he would find another theory. Such a dialogue resembled waves following one after the other. When he ran out of principles, he would find yet another principle to talk about. That's called "talking in waves." You don't understand? Of course you don't! I made up this term myself.
Since you've never heard it before, you don't know what I'm talking about. With all those theories, they were unable to sway the boy's sincere resolve. Now do you think there's anything you could have said?
To be continued