Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Twelve: The Way of Public-Spiritedness


29. The Master continued, “But root and branches are nondual, predecessors and successors are nondual, and central headquarters and regional institutions are nondual. Without predecessors, how can there be successors? And without successors, who would acknowledge the efforts and toil of predecessors? Without central headquarters, how can there be branch temples and institutions? And without branch temples and institutions, how can central headquarters realize its plans? Therefore, when making a vow, you always must first examine carefully the foundation and establish the vow there. In pursuing your individual practice, too, you must examine carefully the foundation and proceed with practice based on that foundation. In proceeding with any enterprise, you must carefully examine each one’s particular situation so that predecessors fulfill the duties of predecessors, and successors the obligations of successors; parents, teachers, and superiors fulfill their responsibilities as parents, teachers, and superiors, and children and disciples their duties as children and disciples. If each person thus carefully examines the foundation and one’s respective situations and thereby fulfills one’s duties and responsibilities, then all matters will be flawless. However, if one’s vow or practice follows the branches while neglecting the root, and if successors forget predecessors, or branch temples and institutions ignore the central headquarters, then that will be neglecting the root and following the branches. It will then be difficult to expect the enterprise genuinely to progress. Also, if predecessors and central headquarters neglect successors and other institutions and only seek their own benefits and rewards, that is following only the root and neglecting the branches. How, then, can we experience an optimal result in which root and branches are unified? Therefore, we must always examine carefully the root and particular situations in all matters, in order to strive for the Order’s development and for the individual’s vow, in a spirit of mutual foundation and mutual reliance.”