The Scripture of the Fo...

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The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Thirteen: On the Order

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The Founding Master said, “When a person is active in this world, even where there is the same degree of integrity and effort, the value is commensurate with the scale of his undertaking, and its history may vary in length according to the duration of the work. The scale of an undertaking refers to activities undertaken variously for the sake of one’s own household, one’s country and nation, or the whole world. The duration refers to activities whose histories might continue for several decades, for several centuries, for several thousand years, or endlessly. Hence, the relative scale and relative history of an undertaking are commensurate with its particular conditions. Therefore, in this world, the undertakings that have the greatest scale and longevity are those associated with the enterprise of the Way and its power, for these transcend national territory and era. In the past, whether it was the Tathāgata Śākyamuni living by going on alms rounds with his twelve hundred disciples, Confucius journeying from state to state without attaining high position, or Jesus traveling from place to place with his twelve disciples, their influence at those times was quite insignificant. But isn’t it the case that today their teachings have been transmitted throughout the world, shining ever more brightly as more time has passed? You too, having already entered a religious order, ought to become masters of a great enterprise that will spread the widest and last the longest, by first understanding fully the value of this enterprise of the Way and its power and by continuing with your steadfast effort.”