The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Twelve: Exemplary Acts


When the Founding Master was staying in Yŏngsan, a few prostitutes joined the Order and occasionally visited the temple. Those around him were bothered and said to the Master, “If such people visit our pure dharma site, then not only will outsiders laugh at us but it will also become a hindrance for our development. We think it best if you do not let them visit our temple anymore.” The Founding Master smiled and said, “How can you say such petty things? Generally, the great intent of the buddhadharma is always to deliver all sentient beings everywhere in the spirit of ‘great loving-kindness and great compassion.’ How can we exclude these people alone from that domain? The gate of deliverance is opened even more for sentient beings who are suffering from their transgressions. The original duty of propagation is to accept those sentient beings even more warmly, so that they may realize their transgressions and attain awakening on their own, as well as to feel ashamed of their occupation and abandon it on their own. How can we let go of our original duty because we fear ridicule from others? What is more, in the world there may be both high and low classes of people as well as high and low occupations, but in the buddha-nature there are no such distinctions. If you do not understand this fundamental principle and dislike practicing together with them when they visit the temple, then you are the people who are difficult to deliver.”