We lead the pig to slaughter: who could know it is our father in agony? We eat our sons without being aware of it. Ordinary people are the same as King Wen, who ate his kinfolk without realizing it. The loved ones of yesteryear are now sworn enemies. Rivals of days past are now our blood relatives. Our mothers of past lives are our wives of the present. Our fathers of old are now our husbands. Those with knowledge of past lives recognize these changes; they feel shame and embarrassment. Those with the Heavenly Eye see these situations; they find them laughable and pathetic. Amid excrement and filth we pass ten difficult months. We emerge from the path of pus and blood in a pitiable state. When young, we know nothing and cannot tell east from west. As adults, we become more aware, but our greed and desire arise.
We lead the pig to slaughter: Who could know that it is our father in agony? The pig is tied up and sent to the slaughterhouse. When it is slaughtered, it feels pain and outrage. The butcher, unaware that the pig was his father in a past life, says: "You are so fat, it's time for you to be slaughtered," but the father is undergoing severe pain.
We eat our sons without being aware of it. Ordinary people are the same as King Wen: King Wen was a sagely ruler whom the people wanted to trap and cause to fall into hell. They killed one of his sons, cooked the flesh, and served it to the King as a test of his wisdom. They thought that if he really was a sage, he would be able to recognize his own son on the plate and not eat him. Although he was a sage, the King didn't always contemplate everything in detail or check into every situation with his spiritual powers. Unaware, he ate the meal. If he had known that it was his son's flesh, he would definitely not have eaten it. This was fixed karma. Unbeknownst to him, he committed quite a few offenses.
We as humans also are unaware of these matters; for instance, when a girl pursues her boyfriend, that boyfriend could be her own grandfather, great grandfather, or perhaps even her own father—it's not for sure. Seeing how young and handsome he is, she goes in hot pursuit of him. When she gets him, she ends up confused and blundering about blindly. King Wen was such a highly intelligent person, a sagely virtuous one, yet he
ate his kinfolk without realizing it. We, too, eat the flesh of our own parents, grandparents and children without realizing it; we don't recognize them. All ordinary people are like this. Thus, it is difficult to escape the consequences.
The loved ones of yesteryear are now sworn enemies. Previously we were so close and affectionate with them. We were deeply in love with them. It never occurred to us that they would turn into cows and horses. When they become cows and we eat their flesh, they harbor hatred and think, "What an ingrate you are, eating my flesh like this! hi the future I will gnaw on your bones!" Therefore, we become sworn enemies. Rivals of days past are now our blood relatives: Those who were formerly thieves and robbers are now our relatives.
Our mothers of past lives are wives of the present. Previously she was my mother; in this life she is my wife. The spirit remains the same, but it has just changed to a different stinking skin-bag, so you can't recognize her.
Our fathers of old are now our husbands. Previously he was her father in a past life; now he is her husband. She considers this to be perfectly normal, so would you say we are any different from animals?
Those with knowledge of past lives recognize these changes. If they have the spiritual penetration of the knowledge of past lives,
they feel shame and embarrassment. If you are aware of the situation, will you be able to raise your head?
Those with the Heavenly Eye see these situations: With their Heavenly Eye, they see such workings of cause and effect, and
they find them laughable and pathetic.
Amid excrement and filth: The fetus lies in its mother's womb next to feces and urine.
We pass ten months while the embryo develops.
We emerge—are born—from the path of pus and blood in a pitiable state: we emerge upside-down, with the head first. It is truly pitiful!
When young we know nothing and cannot tell east from west: When we are born we know nothing. We do not know east or west. We understand nothing at all.
As adults we become more aware but our greed and desire arise. When we are grown up, we have some awareness, but greedy desire, love, and emotions arise. We are not aware of the law of cause and effect, but only think about romance. Girls chase after boyfriends, and boys also want to find girlfriends. When they can't be together or get married, they decide that they might as well commit suicide. When greed and desire arise, they don't realize that the outcome of it all is quite meaningless.
To be continued