孔子是什麼來歷呢？他是佛教裏的水月童子。水月童子和釋迦牟尼佛都有默契的，釋迦牟尼佛生到印度，水月童子就說：「好！將來佛教會傳到中國去，若突然間傳到中國，恐怕中國人不能接受；我先到那地方去，提倡禮、樂、射、御、書、數、提倡做人的道理，然後再講修行。我是提倡『修身、齊家、治國、平天下』的，將來佛教到那兒再講『格物、致知、誠意、正心、修身』」；這八條目，是互相遙遙呼應的。他是為佛教來做一個開路先鋒 ─ 先來教化中國的老百姓；以後佛教傳到中國，一般人容易接受。
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溫伯雪子很久也沒有來，因為孔子想見他，有一天，他也就來見孔子。這正是「得其所哉」，兩個人應該談很多話吧？可是他們兩個人，你看我、我看你，互相都「目擊」，一句話也沒有講。坐了大約有半點鐘的時間── 雖然在書上沒有記錄，我知道的；我想最少是半點鐘，最多不會超過一點鐘── 一句話也沒講，溫伯雪子就走了！不像你們，女人見著男人也迷了，就talking, talking, too much talking；或者男人見著女人，也邁不動步了，就是沒有話，也想出一些話來講一講。這是人情之常，一般人都有這個毛病；尤其慾念太重的人，都是這樣子的。
What was the origin of Confucius? He was actually the Youth Water Moon in Buddhism, and he had a tacit agreement with Shakyamuni Buddha. When the Buddha was born in India, the Youth said, “Splendid! Buddhism will spread to China in the future. I’m afraid that, if it is introduced there all of a sudden, the Chinese people may not be able to accept the teaching. I shall go to China first to prepare them for the advent of Buddhism. Before talking about cultivation, I shall first advocate the six arts: rites, music, archery, charioteering, writing and mathematics, as well as the principles of humanity. Then, I will expound the principles of
‘cultivating the self, regulating the family, managing the state and bringing peace to the world.’ In the future, when Buddhism arrives there, the following can be further taught:
‘investigating things, extending knowledge, rectifying the mind, making the intent sincere and self-cultivation’.” These eight articles, though introduced at different times, are mutually complementary. As a forerunner of Buddhism, Confucius went to China first to teach and transform the Chinese people so that the general population would be receptive to the Buddhist teachings.
As for Laozi, he too was a Buddhist personage who went to China. Actually, he was a transformation body of the Venerable Mahakashyapa. Laozi advocated Taoism while Confucius promoted Confucianism. Later on, when Buddhism was introduced into China, the people had no difficulty in accepting Buddhist principles. Everything in the world is interrelated. For example, genuine Buddhism exists in America now and, as a result, all the demonic beings, evil spirits, heretics and non-orthodox sects have appeared. They all hope to make a last-ditch effort to secure a base here. Take, for instance, that guy called Rajneesh. In his heyday, he was loaded with wealth and had countless followers. Now, he has lost everything and is finished! Therefore, this is an excellent validation of how the deviant cannot vanquish the proper.
As Confucius was a transformation of the the Pure Youth Water Moon, his every word and deed accorded with Buddhist doctrines. He once lamented,
“Indeed, I have become old and feeble! For a long time, I have not dreamt of Duke Zhou again.” This is talking about the sufferings of birth, old age, sickness and death. From birth, he went through the prime of life and was now old and nearing death. Some people suggest that the word ‘dreamt’ cannot be interpreted literally. They are correct because Confucius
‘had an innate aptitude for everything’. Furthermore, he might have possessed the Five Eyes and the Six Spiritual Powers. Why is it said that he possessed the Five Eyes?
In ancient times, there were many people who possessed the Five Eyes. Small children have the Five Eyes when they are born. If they are nurtured and educated properly, they can perfect these Five Eyes through their cultivation. It is because nobody nurtures them properly that they lose this ability. Confucius was endowed by nature with favorable conditions and so he did not lose his Five Eyes. He could recognize things that ordinary people did not know about. For example, he was aware of the symbolism of the
shang yang, a one-legged bird. One morning, before he went out with his students, he advised them to bring along their rain apparel for he knew that the appearance of a
shang yang hopping about on its one leg was a sign of an imminent rain. From various incidents such as this, we know that Confucius did not merely dream of Duke Zhou. He could see Duke Zhou even at ordinary times and could communicate with him. This is what is referred to as ‘spiritual contact’. However, discussing things like this were discouraged in Confucianism because there is no concrete proof. Confucius ‘did not talk about the supernatural, about fighting for superiority, about rebellion or incest, or about ghosts and spirits’ because the time was not ripe.
Confucius lamented, “Indeed, I have become old and feeble! For a long time, I have not dreamt of Duke Zhou again.” The character
fu means ‘again’ and is pronounced as ‘fou’ in this sentence. What is the reason? It is because Confucius was a native of Shandong Province and the character
fu is pronounced as fou in the Shandong dialect. Therefore, in this sentence, the character
fu should be denoted by a falling tone symbol. You can gauge a person’s knowledge just by looking at his written work or by listening to his speech. Although Confucius did not say it explicitly, this sentence is to teach people not to forget about birth, old age, sickness, and death.
From Confucius’ remark: “Indeed, I have become old and feeble! For a long time, I have not dreamt of Duke Zhou again”, it is evident that the two sages had frequent spiritual contact. Whenever Confucius had any problem in his younger days, Duke Zhou would guide him in his dreams. As he grew older and his nature was more stable, there was no need for guidance and so Duke Zhou did not appear in his dreams again.
The culture of the Zhou Dynasty was the most advanced and it was the lifeline of the Chinese nation. Cultural innovation was at its peak during this period. This type of cultural legacy cannot be cut off, for it is the body and spirit of a people and is as much of a human necessity as food, drink, clothing, bedding, and medicine. Confucius was aware of this, so he took it upon himself to shoulder the responsibility of promoting this culture, thus fulfilling the role of one who inherits and transmits a body of orthodox teachings. Culture includes the true principles and righteous energy present between heaven and earth, which cannot be interrupted or cut off. King Wen of Zhou transmitted this culture to King Wu and it was passed down through successive generations until the time of Confucius who, being aware of his purpose in life, acknowledged that he could fulfill the role of transmitting the orthodox teachings. Hence, he once said,
“Since King Wen of Zhou is deceased, doesn’t the mission of transmitting this culture rest with me?”
Consider the saying: “One look is sufficient to know that the Way is accomplished.” What is the meaning of the characters mu ji? It means ‘to see’ or ‘to look’. Do not mistakenly think that the character
ji means ‘attack’ and that one uses one’s eyes to hit or kill people. If you were to do this literally, you would become blind! This line means that by just taking a look at a person, one knows that the Way abides in him. There is a historical record on this.
During the time of Confucius, there was a person called Wen Bo (alias Xuezi). On hearing the character
zi, you should not think that this person is a Japanese lady since Japanese women have the character
zi in their names. Do not be presumptuous and think you have achieved awakening upon hearing something. Wen Bo was a virtuous person of that time. Confucius wanted very much to meet him and wondered: “Can I cross him over? I think I shall invite him to my place and have a chat with him.” However, Wen Bo did not come despite countless invitations.
Since Confucius wanted to see him so badly, he eventually turned up one day. It was truly a case of ‘having come to the right place’. You would probably imagine that the two of them should have plenty to talk about, right? However, they just looked at each other without uttering a single word, and they sat there in silence for about half an hour. I know this even though it is not recorded in the books. They sat there for at least half an hour, or at most one hour. Without speaking even one sentence, Wen Bo got up and left. Now, this is unlike you people. When a woman sees a man, she gets befuddled and starts talking without end. Similarly, when a man sees a woman, he freezes and attempts to say something even though he is tongue-tied. This is human nature and most people have this weakness, especially those who are burdened by too much lust.
Not a word was exchanged between Confucius and Wen Bo and the latter soon left. Zilu was perplexed and wondered: “The Master had wanted to meet him for such a long time. Yet, now that he had a chance to see him, why did he let him leave without saying anything?” It was truly puzzling. Thereupon, he inquired of Confucius: “Master, you longed to meet with Wen Bo, but why didn’t you say anything to each other today? We didn’t get to hear any stories, nor did we have an opportunity to learn any conversational skills.” To this, Confucius replied, “With just one look, I know that the Way abides in this person. In such a state where sounds are rendered obsolete, there is no room to utter a single word!” This means that both of them had experienced the joy of mutual understanding, a phenomenon known as ‘understanding others’ thoughts’ in Buddhism.
Someone may ask, “Does Confucius possess the spiritual power of understanding others’ thoughts?” Well, he has a little bit of this ability, but not much. If he kept his mind still for long time, he would know what other people were thinking, but it was not as great as the Buddha’s. I’m sharing this information with all of you. The reason why so many people believed in Confucius is because of his tiny bit of spiritual penetration. Wen Bo understood Confucius’ mind and so they did not have to engage in conversation. This is known as the mutual mind-to-mind seal, which leads to the joy of mutual understanding. Although you understand the other person’s mind, there is no way to express it in words, there is nothing to talk about. This is called ‘dispensing with speech and communication, one should contemplate thus!’