Mistaking Fingers for the Moon
(Clearwisdom.Net) In Chinese, there are many phrases and analogies that preach the principles of enlightenment. One phrase, for instance, says, "Insistently taking the fingers for the moon." The story says that there was once a man who had never seen the moon until, one clear night, his friend showed it to him. The man, however, immediately looked at the pointed finger and ceaselessly admired it. In the end, he lamented, "The moon is actually not as beautiful as it has been reputed to be."
The moral of the story - and the phrase - is rather profound. It tells people that the words of the enlightened beings are just like the finger, whereas the underlying principles of their words are like the moon. Unfortunately, many disciples who follow those enlightened beings are attached to the superficial meanings of their words and remain un-awakened to the principles behind them. Their mistake amounts to "taking fingers for the moon."
With the continual human degeneration, all sentient beings are drifting in a sea of karma. Their karma has snowballed to a great magnitude, and their inborn quality has waned. As a result, there are more and more people who are mistakenly taking fingers for the moon. This opportunity, however, has been seized upon by demons who are wreaking havoc with the Buddha Law. They reincarnate into temples to "cultivate" themselves into "supreme monks." In droves, they exhibit their bewildering motley "fingers," which all point to the deepest hole: hell. Needless to say, the minds of those who are attached to the flashy varieties of "fingers" are already warped. What's more sad is that even if those people can cast aside the "fingers," they are still moving in the direction those fingers are pointing to. Thus, they cannot avoid plunging into the sea of bitterness or even hell--with no hope of being saved through cultivation. Otherwise why would it be called the "Dharma ending period?"
Among those who've wandered to the gateway of cultivation upon reading Zhuan Falun, many have insistently taken the fingers for the moon. They nit-pick over small details in the book, such as "nonstandard grammar" or "inelegant language;" they were even hindered during their reading by superficial human principles. For them, I only want to make one candid suggestion: "Please lift your head and see what that finger is pointing to." This is the universal law!
When you quiet your heart and read through the book again, and once you cast aside those petty principles governing the nitty-gritty ideas of ordinary human life, you will experience, in a most gripping fashion, a holistic transformation in your body and mind. Remember: you are not alone in your experiences; millions of people have gone ahead of you. What's more, the changes have been fully demonstrated by the greatest wisdom, the most incomparable valor, and the incomparably immense compassion of practitioners in China; they've woven this into their world-shaking saga of Fa-rectification.
Turning to any page in human history, you will never find a similar book, which opens the minds of millions, moves them in their hearts, awakens them to truth, and helps them regain physical and mental health. Never will you find such a book that makes good people better and turns scoundrels into role models. The book is truly remarkable and it is a cherished, daily must-read for millions of Chinese. It enables the elderly, the weak, and the young to stand firm in the face of detention, to endure all varieties of unimaginable hardships and torture, and to continually follow in the footsteps of those fallen in the bloodstained battle to safeguard the truths in the book. Never will they give up their right to read the book -- not even at the risk of being beaten to death. They will never yield to an arbitrary power, not even when the temptations of being "converted" seem so irresistible. What can be so powerful as to temper the most almighty enlightened beings in the most magnificent and touching chapter of human history? It is Zhuan Falun and only Zhuan Falun.
When I first read this book, I could not set it aside for a whole day. After finishing it in one stretch, the first thought that came to my mind was, "My goodness! How lucky am I! What a pity it would have been if I had left the world without an opportunity to read this book." Friends: the Buddha school believes in predestined relationship. If you're able to read this article, then you must have a predestined relationship. Having read thus far, perhaps you can lightly close your eyes and feel my rough words from your heart. Can you feel my trembling fingers on the keyboard? Can you feel the tears in my eyes? Can you feel the anguish in the past days of my human life? If you can, you will also be able to join in the joy of the Buddha's brilliance.
Come join me in reading Zhuan Falun.