The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Thirteen: On the Order


The Founding Master said, “Our ordained devotees (chŏnmu ch’ulsin) originally consecrate their spirits and physical bodies only to the public; thus their true duty is to devote themselves solely to the work of the public, disregarding reputation, privilege, and self-interest. However, when I observe some of you lately, you seem gradually to have forgotten your beginning minds and to create irrelevant excuses, thus harboring resentments for no apparent reason, or unjustly arousing a discriminating mind. As people who claim to care for others, your thoughts have become increasingly selfish. How can we call this the true role of ordained devotees? Your original vow was to accumulate merit that is free from the contaminants throughout the endless future and to cultivate bodhisattva actions among sentient beings. If you instead produce transgressions where you had vowed to create merit, and if a sentient being’s mind grows where you meant to cultivate bodhisattva actions, then your transgressive karma will be several times greater than if you had done this in the secular world. How can you not fear this? You must remind yourselves of these words and always reflect on your own minds. Examine carefully whether you are a devotee who cares for others or who wants others to care for you. If you are the former, then proceed continuously as you have been doing. But if you are the latter, then correct your thinking right away. If you cannot finally correct it, then you might as well return to your private households, in order to avoid accumulating a great transgressive karma in your future that you didn’t look for in the first place.”