THE DHARMA DISCOURSES O...

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THE DHARMA DISCOURSES OF CARDINAL MASTER CHŎNGSAN(CHŎNGSAN CHONGSA PŎBŎ)

Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Nine: Attending to the Fundamentals

57

57. The Master said, “There is a story about a man who gave each of his three daughters a one-mal (18 liters) bag of unhusked rice as he was sending them off to marriage. A few years later, he went to see how things had turned out. One daughter had eaten all of the rice and was living in poverty. Another daughter had hung the bag up as a keepsake and was living just as before. The last daughter had used the rice for seed stock for farming, and was living well. Likewise, when coming into this world, each person is born with the seeds of merit and wisdom. However, some live poorly and in ignorance because they use up all the merit and wisdom they accumulated in their previous lives. Some are prudent and do not lead a profligate life, but they do not know to cultivate merit and wisdom anew and so always live as before. And finally some prepare merit and wisdom endlessly by fostering the Three Great Powers; they only use a small portion of their merit on themselves and use the greater share on just causes, thereby accumulating even more merit. Even if a person is born with abundant merit, if that merit is used profligately or wasted, then one’s merit will be reduced and there won’t be much to say about their road ahead. For those who work hard at right practice and enterprises without sparing their effort or property whether in body or mind, their merit and wisdom will always be abundant.”