The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Five: Cause and Effect


When the Founding Master was residing at Yŏngsan, a debauched young man in a neighboring village on his own had a spiritual inspiration, repented his past faults, and became the Founding Master’s disciple, vowing to do deeds worthy of a human being. Later on, when the Founding Master returned to Yŏngsan after several months of making the rounds, the young man had gone back to a life of debauchery and had squandered his assets on liquor, women, and gambling. He felt ashamed for not keeping the vow he had made, so he kept avoiding him. One day, however, they met each other on the road, where he couldn’t avoid him, and the Founding Master said, “Why is it that you haven’t come to see me even once?” The young man said, “It’s only because I feel guilty.” The Founding Master said, “What do you feel guilty about?” The young man said, “My previous vow has now ended up deceiving a sage, so how could I not feel guilty before you? Please grant me your forgiveness.” The Founding Master said, “All this time it was you who have been dissipated, squandering all your assets and placing yourself in many compromising situations. There is nothing for which you need to seek forgiveness from me. If I were to receive on your behalf the transgressions you have committed, then you would be right to apologize to me or to avoid me. Whether misfortunes or merits, what you have made will necessarily be received by you alone. Right now, you may think you deceived me, but in reality you have just deceived yourself. From this point on, do not needlessly try to avoid me, but instead once again work hard to regulate your own mind.”