Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Six: Exposition of Scriptures


60. The Master continued, “’Chastity’ includes any action, in any matter, that involves keeping firm, resolute restraint. This is because, regardless of who it might be, one should value resolute restraint, just as women value their chastity. If a woman does not consider her chastity to be important, how sincere would she be about restraining herself in other types of conduct? Therefore, along with chastity for women, the practice of chastity for all people, including men and women, old and young, means not to neglect resolute restraint each time they are facing myriads of circumstances. No matter what the circumstance, the observance of chastity means always to keep one’s mind firm and to be true to one’s status in life, thereby doing what is right and refusing to do wrong even at the risk of one’s own life. This is not the foolish interpretation of chastity of the old days where a woman had to live and grow old at her dead fiancé’s home, or a wife had to immolate herself following her husband’s death, denying all her other duties and responsibilities to humanity. Therefore, the significance of chastity is truly grand and all-encompassing, and, throughout the past and present, has been the principle of the world and the standard for the Way of humanity.
If you examine the public sentiment of people today, for far too long chastity has been weak. People confuse roots and branches, host and guest; what one thought in the morning changes in the evening; yesterday’s theories often change today. Order in the world is murky and human standards are unclear; the doctrines of the sages have lost their authority and people’s lives have become more and more demented. Therefore, if we want to rectify this demented life and construct in its place a divine world, we will have to promote the spirit of chastity by whatever means necessary so that public sentiment will return to chastity; otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to accomplish.”