The Scripture of the Fo...


The Scripture of the Founding Master

Chapter Fourteen: Prospects


The youths asked again, “What, then, do you, oh teacher, think is the best way to edify the world forever?” The Founding Master said, “There is no specific method, but let me give you an analogy. Suppose a person farming a large field knows the proper methods of farming well and also diligently works so that person's harvest is far superior to that of others; then, all other farmers working in the fields will watch and follow that person's example. However, if a person has poor harvests and yet tells others what to do, then obviously others will not follow that person. Therefore, I always say that practicing first oneself is the means of edifying others.” The youths said, “You, oh teacher, edify the world with your consummate dharma, but that other religious order brings misery to our citizens with its bad conduct. So shouldn’t it be snuffed out?” The Founding Master said, “That order is engaged in work on behalf of the world, just as you are.” The youths asked again, “Why do you say that that order is engaged in such work?” The Founding Master said, “That order is like a hunting chaser: without the chasers chasing the quarry, how can the hunters find what they are hunting? Now is a time when we should construct a new world out of the old. The people of this world do not realize this situation and are still in deep slumber without any aspirations. Different varieties of religions like that order have arisen in all the four directions, waking people from their slumber and inspiring their minds; and only thus will all kinds of talented people appear in this world and experience things both true and false. Both victimizing, and being victimized by, others, they come to understand the truth and falsity, right and wrong of all things in the world. Finally, coming across the right religion and right people, they will accomplish right work. This is the merit that derives from different varieties of religions serving as retrievers. How can we say that they are not working on behalf of the world?” The youths asked again, “We understand, but then why do you say that we also are engaged in enterprises on behalf of the world?” The Founding Master said, “You scrutinize the conduct of the various religions, and when you see their good deeds you reveal them to the world; and when you see their bad deeds, you advocate censuring them. Anybody will be vexed when criticized; and when one is vexed, one will buck up one’s spirits and work hard to avoid criticism. You are all entrepreneurs who give strength to and demand self-reflection from the religions that are the entrepreneurs of the world. If you were not around, these religions would not gain the power to progress. Thus, I say that your merit is also great.” Deeply impressed, the youths bowed and said, “Your teaching is indeed well rounded, without a single obstruction anywhere.”