The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Six: Doubts Clarified


A disciple asked, “In the section ‘An Agenda for Gratitude to Parents’ it says, ‘We should follow without exception the essential Way of practice and the essential Way of human life.’ How can this be showing gratitude to parents?” The Founding Master said, “Once you carry out the essential Way of practice, you will attain the Buddha’s knowledge; once you follow the essential Way of life, you will attain the Buddha’s actual practice. As a child of your parents, if you accomplish the Buddha’s work by attaining his knowledge and practice, then your honorable name will spread throughout the world, which will naturally cause the grace of your parents to be known. Once this occurs, then, thanks to their offspring, the parents’ good name will spread forever throughout all time, becoming an object of respect for myriad people. How can this be compared to caring for one’s parents just for the short period of their lives? Therefore, this actually becomes a Way to show unsurpassed gratitude.”
The disciple asked again, “We are taught to ‘protect to the best of our abilities the helpless parents of others, as if they were our own.’ How can this be showing gratitude to our parents?” The Founding Master said, “According to the principle of rebirth that the Buddha of the past taught, throughout many thousands of kalpas in both past and future, there actually are countless numbers of parents who have been, or who will be, designated for us. How can we say that we have requited this tremendous amount of gratitude we owe to these many parents when we show it only to the one or two parents of our present life? Therefore, whether our current parents are still alive or whether they have already passed away, if we do our best to protect the helpless parents of others, this then will be showing great gratitude to all our parents of the past, present, and future.”