You are practicing too well. Every time you come here, you bring summer, autumn and a good atmosphere. Okay, story time. Let's start with some funny ones
.Now, there was a person who was blind, even his wisdom eye was not open yet. Maybe it's open, I didn't check. It's not mentioned in the story. However, he could smell things. For example, he could smell the news articles. He could tell who wrote the article immediately by smelling it. Better be careful not to let him come here. If he came here, he would smell your strong scent of Zen. Those who do not practice well, don't go near these people.
There was a person who tried to test him. He was a writer, literary writer. He just wanted to find out if he really had the talent. He brought the “Journey to the West” for him to smell. The blind man said, “Oh, this is `Journey to the West.'” So the writer was very surprised and asked, “How did you know?” The blind man said, “I smelled curry.” It's because Xuan-Zang went to India in search of the scriptures, didn't he?
The blind man also said that there was the smell of monkey's hair. That writer thought that was just sheer coincidence. No big deal. He brought another book. One of the famous historical classics, “Records of Three Kingdoms.” He brought the “Records of Three Kingdoms” for the blind man to smell. The blind man smelled it and asked if it was the “Records of Three Kingdoms.” The writer was amazed and asked how he knew.
The blind man said that he smelled wars, the smell of blood. Wow! So extraordinary! That writer almost bowed down to him. Then, he brought another article for him to smell. The blind man said, “It must be written by you.” The writer was very shocked and asked, “How did you know?” He said, “It smelled very bad.” Okay. That's it. You'd better improve your practice, otherwise your smell will be detected. If you were like that writer, it would be very troublesome. So, I'll tell you another story.
There was a person who was very rich, with a lot of money, but he was very stingy. He dared not spend a single penny or dime, but he often complained to others, saying, “Ah, it's so miserable to have money. It's really bothersome. Strange! How come being rich is so troublesome? So much suffering - I can't stand it! I really don't like money.” He complained like this everywhere he went.
There was another person who knew him and said, “Okay, since you're suffering so much, just give the money to me and you will be free.” That person said, “Oh, I wouldn't dare! I dare not give you this bad karma (retribution).” Now, we're going to be serious. We'll talk about national affairs and world peace. We'll follow the examples of the ancient sages.
Now, let's pretend that we are saints so that we can understand the story of the saints. Just pretend. It's okay, a few minutes won't do any harm. Do you remember the story of Bao Shu Ya and Guan Zhong? Okay. We have heard many stories about the two, but there is another story that I feel compelled to tell you again.
I see that there have been many saints in ancient China. However, people have not learned from their teachings. What a pity! So whenever there is time, I'd like to remind you. Now let's talk about Bao Shu Ya and how he managed to recommend Guan Zhong. He did it very brilliantly. Bao Shu Ya went to a place called Tang Fu to open the prisoner's cart, because Guan Zhong was locked up in the prisoner's cart for shooting Prince Huan of Qi with an arrow. Right? He shot him here only.
Then, Prince Huan pretended to be dead, ran away, and went back to become King Huan of Qi. So Guan Zhong fled to another country. After he had fled to another country, and since Bao Shu Ya knew that Guan Zhong was talented, he wanted to capture Guang Zhong and bring him back to serve under the King Huan of Qi. Bao Shu Ya knew that Guan Zhong was the prime minister who could bring peace among the states.
Without him, China could not be united, nor would there be peace. So Bao Shu Ya used every possible means to save and bring back his friend. When he went to get Guan Zhong, he sent his subordinate to ask for Guan Zhong. But in the Lu State where Guan Zhong had fled to, there was a chancellor who was also very capable. He thought highly of Guan Zhong and said to the King of Lu State, “Your Majesty, you cannot release this person. If you do not use him, then kill him.” Wow! So fierce and terrible! It's scary to have talents.
The King of Lu asked, “Why should I use Guan Zhong? And why should I kill him?” The talented chancellor, the very intelligent chancellor of the Lu State (where Guan Zhong fled to), said, "Because Guan Zhong is a man of great capabilities. If you allow him return to the King Huan of Qi, he will surely be put in an important position. Then you will be doomed! So if you don't want to use him, you must kill him.
Don't let him fall into the hands of others. That is too dangerous.” That's how politics is. Very terrifying! It is so rare to find a talented person. If you don't use him, it's all right for others to use him. What does it matter? Maybe because they didn't practice the Quan Yin Method, they didn't have the mentality of sharing, nor any noble ideals. That was why they behaved like this. The king initially took his advice since the chancellor was very wise.
So originally the King of Lu wanted to kill Guan Zhong, but the subordinate sent by Bao Shu Ya was smarter. He said, "If Your Majesty kills this person and then returns his body to us, it's the same as if you have never given him back. This shows that you disrespect our king, because Guan Zhong shot our king with an arrow before and our king has not taken revenge on him yet. He will not rest in peace."
This was the ruse of inflicting an injury on oneself to win the sympathy of the enemy! "If Your Majesty refuses to return this fugitive to our king to personally handle it, I'm afraid there will be disputes between our two countries." Having heard this, the King of Lu had no choice because his state appeared to be weaker. Besides, he had no reason to kill a fugitive of another state.
No reason. So, even though he knew Guan Zhong had great talent, he had no choice but to let him go. Both the king and his chancellor had to accept it and sent Guan Zhong back. As you know, Guan Zhong was really brilliant. He knew that the chancellor would surely chase after him to kill him, so he immediately composed many songs for the soldiers who escorted him to sing out loud as they marched.
In this way, the soldiers walked very fast as they sang the songs. Therefore, the chancellor of Lu State who was after him for his life could not catch up with them. That was so brilliant. They were all very brilliant. It sounds very astute. If we were as brilliant, how great that would be!
Now we know the background. You all know it already. I talked more about the background for the foreigners in case they didn't understand. Otherwise, if I suddenly talk about Bao Su Ya and then a prime minister, it would be awkward. Now, Bao Shu Ya had succeeded in rescuing his friend and Guan Zhong had also succeeded in saving himself while being locked up in the prisoner's cart. He saved his own life. Then, he went to Tang Fu.
That was a place where they went. They entered their country. It was in Qi State. Bao Shu Ya was in Qi State. He then went to that place. Upon hearing of Guan Zhong's arrival, Bao Shu Ya immediately went to greet him. He then opened the prisoner's cart to free Guan Zhong. Guan Zhong said, "You have not received the order. Don't open the door. Don't open it so soon.”
Bao Shu Ya said, "Don't be afraid, I am going to recommend you to the King of Qi State. Do not be afraid.” Then, Guan Zhong pretended to be quite humble and said… Normally, we should be like this as that is the social etiquette. He said, “My master is already dead. I couldn't protect him, How could I face him in the other world?" He felt embarrassed and needed others to persuade him to come out. He couldn't suddenly rush out of the prisoner's cart and said, “I am okay and ready.” Understand?
So Bao Shu Ya also pretended to understand and believe him, saying, "It doesn't matter. This is a trivial matter. We capable people should focus more on national affairs and world peace, instead of clinging to a corner or a deceased person. We are serving the world, not just one or two persons.” That was great. After hearing that, Guan Zhong saw himself as being very worthwhile, so he didn't want to die anymore.
Initially he might have wanted to die, I'm not so sure. If he'd wanted to die, why did he tell the soldiers to sing songs and to move so fast? Okay, let's believe him. Believing him in this, but not the other, is all right. So both of them came to an agreement. Bao Shu Ya then went to King Huan of Qi, and told him, "I have two things to report to Your Majesty. First, for the benefit of the State, you should forsake personal and family feelings. For this, I am very sympathetic and sorry, Your Majesty.
But there is another matter that I wish to congratulate Your Majesty. The most capable man in this world, Guan Zhong, has arrived here. He has been rescued and returned. From now on, Your Majesty will have the help of this able person.” King Huan of Qi said, “That man shot me with an arrow. This enmity hasn't slipped my mind. I still keep the arrow. How can I use him? When he comes back, I shall kill him and tear him apart into a hundred pieces. How can I use him?”
Then… He was just being silly. The kings are all silly like this. Oh no, not all of them are silly like this, but most of them are; they are all similar. Understand? As the great king of a country, he still couldn't forget a resentment. Whoever said a good word about him, he would remember for a long time. Whoever spoke ill of him, their three generations would be “elevated,” killed. Most kings were very narrow-minded.
That was why kings should have a lot of virtuous and capable people around for consultation. The more high monks and virtuous people around, the better; however, most virtuous and spiritual people would not go to a king's palace because they knew it was all an act. They didn't feel like acting. They didn't want to act in that place. Maybe, sometimes, if they were bored, they would go there to act, but most of the virtuous and spiritual people would not go to that place.
They wouldn't take the trouble to get there. What for? Fortunately, there were Guan Zhong and Bao Shu Ya. Maybe the half-enlightened ones were good enough. It's because they were destined to help the king as prime ministers.
They should help the king, otherwise, what would the king do? It would be worse. The king had good fortune but lacked virtues. He became the king because of his blessed rewards, but the king had no virtues to be able to rule the country and the world with wisdom. Understand what I mean? The prime ministers had virtues, but they didn't have great blessed rewards.
They didn't have the blessed reward to be a king. They only had the fortune to be prime ministers. Therefore, they used that to help the king. A good match. In fact, they all came down here to play a game. One chose to play the king, the other chose to play the prime minister. It's the same as in a movie. One plays the key role, and the other plays the supporting actor.
Less money. Otherwise, there is not much difference. Because without the supporting actor, the lead actor can't play his part, right? Without the lead actor, the supporting actor is of no use. The director is even more useless. So Bao Shu Ya said, "To be a loyal subordinate, one should be devoted to his master. At that time, Guan Zhong only knew Prince Jeou whom he served.”
He was the brother of King Huan of Qi. Prince Jeou was the older brother. “At that time, Guan Zhong only knew Prince Jeou. He didn't know Your Majesty, because at that time Prince Jeou was his lord. Of course he would shoot Your Majesty for Prince Jeou. But if you value and use Guan Zhong now, he will `shoot' the whole world for you with this `arrows.'”
King Huan of Qi was absolutely delighted to have gotten such a person. He certainly heard and understood it, fortunately. As I have said, to be a king is easy. To be a president is also easy. The main thing is to listen to the advice. Right. Listen to the intelligent people who have wisdom and talents, then you can remain a king for a long time. You can also manage national affairs very, very wisely.
Similarly, why do we need to be spiritual practitioners? Because if we do not follow the saints' instructions or listen to the ancient teachings, when can we ever manage our trivial matters well? Right? Since we don't know, we should listen to the wise ones who know more. Since ancient times, any king who had good ministers and advisors serving on his side were very wise, weren't they?
The king himself didn't have to have talents or wisdom. The main thing was that he was humble and intelligent enough to listen to others' good advice. Then he could be a king. So, you see, it was so easy to be a king. Do you want to be one? Give it a try. Find some wise people to work together, then you can become a king. Just be a king at home for a while, that's enough.
After King Huan of Qi heard what Bao Shu Ya said, he spared Guan Zhong, but he didn't want to use him for anything. Although he heard Bao Shu Ya say that Guan Zhong had great talents, he didn't know how great his talents were, so he didn't want to use Guan Zhong. Thus, he wanted to entrust all the country's affairs to Bao Shu Ya. Bao Shu Ya then said, "No, no, no! I can't do it.”
He said, “Your Majesty had already bestowed enormous grace upon my whole family for which we are all satisfied. We have enough for living expenses, for which we are very grateful. As for national affairs, I really don't have enough capabilities to dare to take on such responsibility.”
King Huan of Qi kept pushing Bao Shu Ya to accept it, but Bao Shu Ya said, "I really can't do it. I am well-versed in etiquette, knowing the rules, and respecting Your Majesty very much; however, in terms of politics, I can't handle it as well as Guan Zhong. Should Your Majesty impose it upon me, it will definitely do more harm than good. Those with the capacity to deal with politics should be meritorious to the king above him and be gracious to the feudal lords under his control.
One should bestow much grace to stabilize the country, and to glorify the king with an everlasting good name in history. These things can only be accomplished by an exceptionally talented person. Ordinary people cannot do them.” So he saw himself as an ordinary person without such talents. He said, “If Your Majesty really needs this kind of talent, I can recommend no one but Guan Zhong since I've never seen anyone more capable than him.”
That was for certain. Bao Shu Ya was such an excellent judge of character. How wonderful it would have been if we had someone like this here. Should you see anyone like him, bring him back. So King Huan of Qi reluctantly said… It was because he trusted Bao Shu Ya very much, who had been with him through life and death, just like friends or brothers, so he would offer Bao Shu Ya anything that was good.
When Bao Shu Ya rejected it, of course, he did not feel very comfortable. He didn't trust anyone else. Of course, we humans are all like that, aren't we? We prefer those whom we are used to and have gotten along with. A lot of personal feelings are also involved. That's why we are in emotional debt to each other and can't do things well.
Sometimes, when we handle official business, we should be impartial. Whoever has talents, we should recommend and place them in important positions for the good of the general public. We can't use someone just because he is our friend, sister or brother.
That is wrong. So we do things based only on personal feelings and often cause a lot of trouble. It's the same with the country. Many kings spoiled their queens, concubines, and beauties in the palace. They treated the country affairs as laughing matters, which then led to the collapse of their empires and the ruin of their families. It has always been like this since ancient times.
Therefore, for us spiritual practitioners to learn these lessons is not bad. Before we become Buddhas, these strategies are also quite useful for the time being. After Bao Shu Ya had said so much, King Huan of Qi was still hesitant. Then he said, “All right, since you said so, send for him and let me see him. I'd like to test how talented he is.”
King Huan of Qi said it as if he didn't care. So Bao Shu Ya said, “No, according to my humble opinion, if a person has a very low position, he will not be able to control a wealthy person. I mean that a poor person cannot control a rich person.
A person who is not a relative cannot handle others' family affairs. It's hard for a person with a humble background to talk to the nobles, let alone make them listen to him. If Your Majesty want Guan Zhong's talents, first of all, let him be prime minister. Then, you should treat him like an older brother or a parent.” What do you think? Is that right? He had to treat him like an older brother or a parent. “In this way, he will then help you.” No wonder you call me “Master.” Now I understand!
For your own benefit, you gave me all kinds of names. You gave me this empty title and made me work so much. I have been tricked! Today, after I read this ancient story, I realize that I have been tricked for a long time.
Then Bao Shu Ya continued, "Since you want him to be the prime minister, how can you send people to look for him as if you are looking for a child by saying, `Hey, come here!' For example like this, or as if you are looking for a man of no importance or just an ordinary person? How can this be? This is not respectful. This makes him feel that you don't value him. It's too casual. Guan Zhong is an extraordinary person with exceptional gifts and superior talents.
Your Majesty should pick an auspicious date and personally invite him." You see? You see? This is what you should do to hire a prime minister. No wonder King Huan of Qi later on became the overlord of all the feudal lords, right? He deserved it. Being the king yet being able to be so humble is not bad. Today, how many kings in this world, and how many politicians or national leaders in the world, can be so humble? Are there any?
Maybe there are. We don't know. If so, that is very good. We joyfully congratulate the world. We are happy for those countries that have such kings or presidents. We are happy for them. The more the kings are like this, the more the national leaders are like this, the more peaceful and comfortable the world will be. So, can you see that? A king should be humble like this. The higher one's position is, the more humble one should be, much less you and I. We don't have any positions. In this world, we are small potatoes. We should be even more humble, shouldn't we?
Bao Shu Ya continued persuading King Huan of Qi. He said, "Knowing that Your Majesty respects virtuous and able persons so much, people around the world will admire and respect you greatly. Because Your Majesty can disregard personal animosity for the sake of the country and show great respect to capable people, the world will definitely be yours in the future.” He talked like a fortune-teller. It became true later on. King Huan of Qi nodded and agreed.
This king of Qi State was really very good. So later he became the overlord of China. He was also a very worthy person. You see, from this we should know Bao Shu Ya was a very great person. He didn't rely on his merits to fight for fame and fortune, nor did he stifle talent. Wasn't it so? That means he didn't hide Guan Zhong or speak ill of him. Instead, he tried his best to rescue him and then recommended him to his king.
As an officer, he was already the most honest and upright in the world. As a human being, he was the most virtuous and wise person in the world. As a friend, he was number one in the world. If there were more people like him in our world, it would be wonderful. At least in our spiritual practice, we should remind ourselves that this is the least we should do as human beings.
We should manage things with integrity. We can't suppress or stifle talented people because of personal enmity or personal feelings. We should let the country and the world prosper and become more peaceful.
We can see that in this era, whoever has a little talent will be in a more dangerous position. It has been like this during many eras. But there were still some who would value and use the talented people. Even though Bao Shu Ya claimed to have no political talents at all, I think he was a very good person.
Knowing oneself is wisdom.“Victory belongs to those who know themselves and the opponents well.” If he already knows his shortcomings, that means he is very good. He is a perfect person. Our concept of perfection is wrong. We think that a perfect person should just sit there with eyes closed, or open, not moving. When someone scolds him, he doesn't respond, nor does he respond to any compliments. He has no feelings, no relationships, no friends, none of the human emotions. That's not right. If so, we can just put a piece of wood or a rock here, which are plentiful in our Rainbow Garden, and call it perfect. That's not possible. Understand?
A perfect person is the one who knows his own shortcomings and strengths. He subdues his shortcomings by putting them aside or keeping them under control, and makes use of them when necessary. As for his strengths, he continues to develop them for the benefit of others and himself. That is a perfect person.
If a perfect person is good in everything, has no feelings for anything, and lives a life without any changes, that would be too boring, wouldn't it?