The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Twelve: Exemplary Acts


One day when the Founding Master was staying in Yŏngsan, a district policeman came to a neighboring village and sent someone over to summon the Master. The Founding Master was willing to accept the summons, but the disciples around him were indignant at the policeman’s insolence and tried to stop him from going. The Founding Master said, “What’s so wrong about going to see him?” A disciple replied, “Even though this world may not recognize the value of the Way and its power, how can a mere policeman dare to summon of his own accord a teacher who instructs a congregation of several hundred people? If you comply, not only will you harm the dignity of your dharma status but it will also be a considerable disgrace to our Order.” The Founding Master said, “Your words are true enough, but don’t worry. I’ve already thought about it.” The Master went right over to meet the policeman and upon his return, said to the disciples, “When I went over to see him, he looked humbled, greeted me warmly, and went away looking completely satisfied. I am sure that his eagerness to oppress us has greatly diminished. Had I not gone to see him, that eagerness would have grown stronger. What would have happened, then? These days, don’t Japanese officials try to find any excuse possible to suppress all Korean organizations? Therefore, in this sort of situation, it is better to respond as I did. Generally speaking, if you want to be treated well by others, you should first show cause for being treated well. If you do so, others will treat you accordingly. However, the minds of buddhas and bodhisattvas have no thought of status even though they have attained it.”