The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Thirteen: On the Order


The Founding Master said, “One who intends to accomplish something in the world will face hardship and turbulence commensurate with the scale of the task. Throughout past and present, whether buddhas or bodhisattvas, sages or saints, great men or insightful teachers, there were virtually none who succeeded without hardship. Śākyamuni Buddha of the past, too, completely renounced all the glory of being a crown prince and, leaving the palace, became a monk. For the next six years, he underwent all kinds of self-mortification and asceticism; and, even after the establishment of his order, he experienced all sorts of hardships, even seeing one of his disciples murdered through persecution by non-Buddhists. Even so, the great Way of the Buddha, having subsequently been transmitted through an unbroken line of disciples, is deeply revered today by all living creatures. When Confucius was traveling from state to state in order to rectify the great principle found in the Spring and Autumn Annals, he was slandered as being like ‘a dog in a house where someone has died’ while also experiencing the Zhen Zai rebellion and all sorts of oppression. However, through the assiduous effort of his disciples, he managed ultimately to rectify morality and order so that today he is revered by all the world as a sage. Again, Jesus spread his gospel while undergoing all sorts of persecution and false incriminations and finally was even crucified on a cross. However, through the trials and tribulations of his apostles, doesn’t the merit of his vision reach the entire world? In our case as well, how can we avoid fault-finding and hardship when we have appeared in this turbulent world to work for a grand purpose? Thus far, there hasn’t been an instance of severe criticism or oppression, but as our members gradually increase and our enterprise expands, there may be those among us who make mistakes and reflect badly on our Order’s reputation. However, if our purpose is sincerely to benefit the world and our work of dissemination is truly necessary to deliver all sentient beings and to cure the world, then, even if one or two of our members are at fault or engage in wrongful incidents, our Order as a whole will not be led astray thereby; and even if we experience any false incrimination or persecution, the true substance of our Order will ultimately be recognized. This is like a mountain that is enveloped in fog and temporarily obscured, but once the fog lifts, the mountain appears even more clearly. In the same way, if you never let your minds be affected by any kind of hardship and turbulence, and each of you preserves your fundamental conscience while proceeding forward toward your goal, I assure you that our great enterprise will be accomplished smoothly.”