Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Ten: Being Assiduous and Sincere


2. The Master continued: “Nowadays, in accordance with the development of material civilization, the splendors of the world are becoming ever more dazzling. If one wants to possess and utilize to one’s heart’s content all these conveniences of civilization, one needs fame, power, and wealth. As a consequence, human sentiments are naturally swayed by that aim, so that those who have managed to acquire some of them becomes arrogant and conceited, whereas those who have not will undertake any demeaning action in order to fulfill their desires. In the process, people commit all sorts of transgressions and sow the seeds of numerous enmities. Then, one morning, when the hunter of adverse conditions suddenly threatens them, they are thrown into utter confusion and look for a place of escape, trying to overcome the danger with all the single-mindedness, knowledge, and action they can muster. But since their abilities have not received any training in advance, they can hardly produce much effect. The fame, power, wealth, and other such things that they have previously acquired tend to become hindrances in various ways, leading them deeper into a fatal state. How pitiful it is! What is more, at the moment of death, which every person faces, the fame, power, and wealth acquired over a lifetime will be utterly useless; instead, these will have caused one to accumulate unwholesome karma and to have become tangled in attachments, constraining one’s unhindered spirit and obstructing one’s affinities with the path of wholesomeness. Therefore, you must think deeply about this and bear it in mind, so that, whenever you face any situation, you will always assess your mind’s capabilities and devote yourself sincerely to fostering the three great powers of Cultivation, Inquiry, and Choice.”