Revere Heaven with Virtue
(Clearwisdom.net) Chinese culture was passed down to man by gods and has a long and glorious history. Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism constitute the essence of traditional Chinese culture and regulate people's way of thinking and behavior. They have deeply instilled the values of revering heaven and gods, cultivating virtue, and caring about others in the minds of Chinese people.
Ancient people thought that when heaven and earth created all beings, the lives of all beings would be endless. Therefore, the lives of all beings are full of energy and capable of producing and growing continually. The "Tao" is the origin of everything and all beings. Laozi said, "Man follows the earth, the earth follows heaven, heaven follows the Tao, and the Tao follows what is natural." Laozi was trying to explain the relationship between man and nature, and trying to reveal that everything in the universe has to comply with the characteristic of the universe and the immutable rules of life.
Confucius once said, "Does Heaven speak? The four seasons pursue their courses, and all things are continually being produced." "He who offends Heaven has no one to whom he can pray.'' Confucius' disciple Mencius, emphasized the importance of understanding and respecting heaven by saying, "If you fully explore your mind, you will know your nature. If you know your nature, you know Heaven." Everything in this world changes constantly. In his poem, "Bring the Wine," the famous poet Li Bai wrote, "Can't you see the mirror, high and bright, weeping over black hair at dawn, but white by night?" Only heavenly principles remain unchanged forever. People should "observe heavenly principles and follow heavenly principles" so as to live harmoniously with heaven, earth, and nature, and to have a serene and peaceful world that will last forever.
In ancient China, one traditionally was supposed to cultivate one's character and preserve virtue in order to achieve the "great unity of heaven and man." Every day, one needs to cultivate one's moral character and examine oneself to see if what has been done was in accordance with heavenly principles. The person who does not cultivate virtue will indulge in personal desires, and fall as a result.
In The Great Learning, sage Shang Tang inscribed the following words on a wash basin: "If you can one day renew yourself, do so every day. Let there be daily self-renewal." It means that a man's body collects dirt and dust every day, and should therefore be cleaned every day. Similarly, a man's spirit should also be cleansed every day. It demonstrated a gentleman's discipline of self-examination and being strict with oneself, which also reflects the traditional concepts of kindness and virtue, and one's ways of renewing oneself in daily life. Zengzi, who was also Confucius' disciple, said, "From emperor to common people, self-cultivation is the base." One has to cultivate one's moral character in order to understand and respect heaven, to reach a higher realm, and to have a broad and compassionate mind.
Man should follow the way of heaven and earth: Heaven is truthful, as well as just and fair. The world is filled with a noble spirit; Man should be truthful and sincere in order to comply with heavenly principles. That is why Mencius said, "Sincerity is the principle of Heaven, and pursuing it is the principle of man." One should conduct oneself by being truthful, sincere and broadminded, be able to tell right from wrong, and be able to establish a noble character. In doing so, one can integrate with the Tao, heaven and earth. Heaven has the virtue of saving lives. Heaven's heart is the most benevolent and compassionate.
The poem "Han Lu" in The Book of Odes, contains the verse,"The hawk flies up to heaven; the fishes leap in the deep." This describes how every being in the world is full of life. The universe is forever in motion and accommodates every being and gives to all beings, enabling every being to grow. Instead of taking anything, the universe is simple, modest, broadminded, and selfless. This kind of ultimate virtue and goodness is something man should follow. Men should learn from heaven and earth by practicing kindness and morality, and being tolerant, benevolent, and compassionate. An ancient Chinese motto from TheBook of Changes describes it, "As heaven maintains vigor through movement, a gentleman constantly strives for self-perfection. As earth's nature is to extend and respond, a gentleman handles and sustains all things with bountiful virtue."
A benevolent person cherishes lives, cares about all beings in the universe, and hopes that every being can flourish and thrive. A gentleman regards helping all people in the world as his responsibility, affects others with his moral character, and invites others to do good deeds with him. He therefore makes sure that everything is on the righteous path of following heavenly principles.
Ancient people revered heaven and gods, behaved themselves accordingly, accepted their destiny, accumulated virtue and did good deeds. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism all instruct people to "revere gods and heaven, cultivate kindness, cherish blessings, appreciate kindness and requite it, and to therefore gain real happiness and be protected by heaven." Traditional culture that reveres heaven demonstrates the profound understanding of the relationship between man and nature, man and society, and man and man. People all believed the truth that good and bad are rewarded accordingly: If a man does good deeds, heaven will reward him with blessings. If a man does bad deeds, heaven will punish him. That is why people constantly rectified themselves and maintained righteous thoughts, and made efforts to touch heaven's heart with their most sincere mind. Those people with noble character and those cultivators who fulfill the true principles all follow heaven's will. The reason they stand out is because they courageously take on the mission and responsibility of safeguarding morality and justice. They should be respected by the world's people because they are the role models of the world. How can people belittle and humiliate them?
Today, as moral standards decline, Falun Dafa is widely spread in the world, teaching people the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and bringing goodness and hope to the world. However, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has destroyed traditional culture and people's upright faith, persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, and led people down a path of no return. Only by withdrawing from the CCP and its affiliated organizations, abandoning the CCP culture, and choosing justice and goodness, can people have a bright future.