Saturday, July 4, 2015

Essential instructions in the Dharma

Bai Juyi (772-846 CE) was an important poet and government official during the Tang Dynasty in China. On one occasion, he sought essential instructions in the Dharma from a monk.

The monk quoted summary of the doctrine that the Buddha Shakyamuni offered:

 "Avoid evil. Do good. Purify your mind”. 

Bai Juyi was not impressed.  "Even three year old knows these words. What I want to know is the most profound and fundamental statement of the Buddha".

 The monk replied," Yes! A three year old knows these words, but even the elders of eighty still have not put them into practice."

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