The Yellow Book of Changing Fortunes: The Four Sutras of the True Parents Explained (4)
If you dare to recognise your mistakes and shortcomings, develop shame, reverence and courage, and immediately correct your mistakes, then you will immediately receive new results. Do more good deeds and you will receive incredible results. Remember, you can receive results in as fast as 1 month, and in as slow as 6 months.
-------- Zhuge Handbook
The second method of reformation
Since man is not born a saint, how can he be without faults? Confucius said, 'If you have faults, do not be afraid to correct them.' If one has a fault, one should not be afraid to change it. Therefore, after having talked about the principles and methods of transforming one's destiny, Mr Yuan explained in detail the methods of reforming one's faults to teach his son, Yuan Tianqi. This article is about the method of reformation. If one is able to change a small transgression, it is only natural that one will not repeat a big sin.
If a man can treat others with the utmost sincerity, then his heart is in harmony with the way of heaven. When a man is about to be blessed, he will know it beforehand by his good deeds, and when a calamity is about to come, he will know it beforehand by his evil deeds. Now if one wishes to be blessed and avoid calamity, one must begin by correcting one's faults before one can speak of doing good.
But the way to correct faults is, firstly, to initiate a sense of shame. Imagine how the ancient sages, who were men like us, were able to live on through the ages and become examples for the public to follow, while why have I achieved nothing, even to the point of losing my reputation? It is because I have indulged too much in pleasures, and have been tainted by worldly desires, and have secretly done things that are not righteous, thinking that others do not know them, and acting arrogantly and without any shame; and so I have sunk further and further into the state of a beast, without being aware of it. There is nothing more shameful and disgraceful in the world than this.
Mencius said: 'The word shame is of great importance to a man! For if one knows shame, one can achieve the way of the sage; but if one does not know shame, then one is only like a beast.' These words are important tips for correcting faults!
The second element of reformation is to be cautious and fearful. We must know that the gods of heaven and earth are watching over us, and that they cannot be deceived. Even if we commit a sin in a dark place, it is not easy for people to notice it, but the gods of heaven and earth shine on us like a mirror and see it clearly. Even a minor transgression will diminish our existing blessings. How can we not be afraid of this?
Not only that! Even in places where no one is present, the gods are still clearly watching and pointing out everything that people do. If we are seen, we will be worthless, so how can we not always be in awe?
Not only that! As long as a person has breath left, he can repent even if he has committed a great sin in heaven.
That is to say, one good thought, if it is courageous and resolute, is enough to wash away the sins accumulated during a lifetime. For example, if a light shines in a dark valley for a thousand years, then the darkness of that thousand years can be completely removed. So whether the transgression was committed a long time ago or recently, the most valuable thing is to be able to change it.
But in this world in which we now live, everything is not constant; our physical body is also prone to death, and as soon as a breath does not come and breathing stops, this physical body will no longer belong to me. At this point, even if one wants to change one's ways, there is no way to do so.
At such a point, in the visible worldly consequences, one will have to bear a thousand years of bad reputation and be scorned by others, and although one has filial sons and grandsons, these good offspring will not be able to clear away this bad reputation. How can such evil retribution not be feared?
The third element of reformation is that one must develop a courageous mind. Most of the reasons why people do not correct their faults are because they are too proud to do so. We must make up for our faults as soon as we understand them, without delay, without doubt, and without hesitation, without waiting to make up our minds.
If we commit a minor transgression, it must be removed as if a thorn had been poked into our flesh. If one commits a major transgression, one must cut off the finger as quickly as possible, just as a poisonous snake bites it, without the slightest hesitation or pause, otherwise the poison will spread throughout the body and one will die immediately. This is the reason why wind and thunder form the 'Yi Gua' in the I Ching.
[To change one's ways, one must have the heart! To change one's ways, one must have a heart. What heart! What kind of heart? The first is to have a heart of shame, the second is to have a heart of reverence, and the third is to have a heart of courage. Change immediately.
If you have these three minds - shame, fear and courage - you will be able to correct your faults as soon as you discover them.
However, in general, there are faults that one abstains from committing, those that one corrects by realising the reason for them, and those that one corrects by thinking about them; the degree of effort that one puts in varies, and so does the result.
For example, if one used to kill, one now abstains from killing; if one used to curse, one now abstains from anger; this is a reformation of what one has done.
But it is a hundred times more difficult to be restrained externally than it is to be corrected naturally from the root; and the root of the transgression still exists, and after it has been destroyed in the east, it comes up again in the west.
He who is good at correcting a transgression should know the reason for not doing it before he is forbidden to do it. For example, if the transgression is the killing of a living being, one should think: "Heaven has the virtue of goodness, and all animals love their lives, so how can one be at peace if one kills it to nourish one's own body?
And when it is slaughtered, it is put into a pot and boiled before it dies, and all the pain penetrates into the marrow of the bones.
In order to nourish their own lives, people enjoy all kinds of precious and fatty things, without realising that after they have eaten them, they turn into faeces and are excreted, and in the end everything is empty. In fact, vegetable soup is enough to fill one's stomach and provide energy to feed one's body, so why kill them and compromise one's blessings?
Even if we are not able to cultivate the highest virtues, so that they will respect me and be close to me, how can we kill animals every day, so that they will have an eternal grudge against me?
When I think of this, whenever I am confronted with a table full of flesh and blood, I naturally feel sad and compassionate and cannot bear to eat any more of it.
For example, if you used to like to lose your temper, you should think: everyone has shortcomings, and this is a reasonable thing to pity and forgive; if someone offends me against reason, it is his own fault, what does it have to do with me? There is nothing to be angry about.
If you do not do what you want, it is because you have not cultivated your virtue well enough, and you do not have enough power to move people.
We should reflect on all these things, and then all slander and harm from outside will be a help to sharpen us and make us better; therefore, we should accept this teaching with joy, and what is there to be angry about?
Moreover, if we hear slander and do not become angry, even though these bad words are spoken like flames in the sky, they are only like a foolish man holding a torch and trying to burn the emptiness, which will eventually extinguish itself and stop.
If one is angry when one hears slander, though one takes great pains to defend oneself, it is like a silkworm spitting out its cocoon in spring, and will only entangle itself. Therefore, anger is not only unprofitable but also harmful to oneself.
As for all other faults and sins, they should be carefully considered on the basis of objective reasoning. If one understands such reasoning, one's faults will naturally cease and one will not violate them again.
What does it mean to reform from the heart?
There are a thousand different kinds of faults that people commit, but they are all committed from the heart; if one does not think about them, where do they come from?
A scholar who pursues learning does not have to look for ways to correct his faults, such as love of beauty, love of fame, love of possessions, love of anger, and so on, as long as he can be single-mindedly good and do good deeds, and watch his mind at all times, and wait for righteous and bright thoughts to emerge, then naturally he will not be tainted by evil thoughts. This is like the hot sun shining in the sky over the earth, so that all demons will naturally hide and disappear.
It is as if to cut down a poisonous tree, one must cut off its roots and prevent it from sprouting again, instead of cutting down branch by branch and removing leaf by leaf.
Whenever a bad thought occurs in the mind, one can immediately perceive it and then let it go, so that the transgression will not arise again.
If this is not possible, one must understand the reasoning behind it, so that the bad thought can be dispelled. If this is no longer possible, then one has to forbid oneself from committing a transgression by force whenever it is about to be committed.
It is a good way to discipline oneself if one is able to use both the lower means of reasoning and forbidding, as well as the higher means of healing the mind, but it would be foolish to stick to the lower means and not to use the higher means.
But to make a vow to change one's ways, one needs help. In the light, one must be reminded by a good teacher and a friend; in the dark, one must have a ghost to prove it. If one is sincere and earnest in repenting one's past misdeeds, and does so day and night without laziness, then after a week, a fortnight, a month, two months, three months, one is sure to get results.
What are the acts of abstaining from killing and releasing
1. Do not kill a living being with your own hands.
2. Do not abet others to kill.
3. Do not help others to kill.
4. Abstain from eating meat.
5. Do not engage in trades related to killing.
6、Whenever there is worship, regardless of what is being worshipped, use vegetarian dishes, flowers and fruit, not animal gifts.
7. If you see someone killing a human being, you should discourage them or buy the animal to be slaughtered with money and release it. If this does not work, or if the person does not sell the animal, then you should have compassion for the slaughtered animal, and even better if you can recite the Buddha's name or mantra for it.
8. Do not abuse the animal.
9、Other actions that are contrary to killing.
10. Abstain from killing and releasing animals yourself, and advise others to do the same.
(This article is an original article by Zhuge Changqing, and the pictures are selected from the Internet. Welcome to forward it, and please indicate the source for forwarding)
Introduction to Zhuge Changqing: Zhuge Changqing, the inheritor and promoter of traditional Chinese culture, is willing to "learn from sages, promote virtue, revitalize China and benefit the world" together with people with the same ideals in the world.
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Selected Articles in Previous Periods
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1The wisdom of traditional Chinese culture changes the destiny: filial piety to parents+five in one+self-improvement
2Zhuge Changqing's Three Golden Keys to Changing Destiny
3Zhuge Changqing's Greeting Ritual (15 Steps Concise Version)
3 诸葛长青施食仪轨 （十五步简洁版）
4How to repent: the ritual of repentance and the method of repentance (full version)
5How to read the Dizang Sutra: Methods for reciting Dizang Sutra (complete version)
6How to release? The ritual of releasing life
7Zhuge Changqing's Repentance Culture: A Case Study of Repentance Methods for Changing Destiny
8Free Life Culture: Free Life Culture in Ancient China
9Shocking photo of feeding: Buddha, Bodhisattva and Dharma Protector come to the scene
10Feeding Rite Return: the return is changed to simple return