PureInsight | October 31, 2005
[PureInsight.org] The founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi, said, "I once talked about what a good person is and what a bad person is. It is not that one who appears to have committed a bad deed is a bad person and one who has done something good is a good person. Some people's minds are full of bad thoughts—it is just that they have not shown them or have slyly concealed them relatively well; yet these are truly bad people. Some people, on the other hand, are not bad to begin with but occasionally commit wrong deeds; these people are not necessarily bad people. Then how should we understand good people and bad people?" (From "Melt into the Fa" in Essentials for Further Advancement.)
We often described people as having "a good heart" or "a kind heart". That's because genuine kindness and goodness comes from within. On the other hand, however, if someone always has wicked thoughts, even if he or she appears to behave very nicely, he or she is a truly bad person and only performs good deeds with ulterior motives. Isn't there an ancient saying - "Gossips whispered in the human world are as loud as thunderbolts in heaven; bad deeds committed in the dark are seen clearly as if in broad daylight by gods." Our every thought can be seen in the other dimensions. Therefore, it is important that we purify our mind, and only when we are clean and pure both inside and outside, are we really good. This is the path of a truly upright person.
The following is a story which illustrates our topic and the importance of having a kind and pure mind:
Also known as Yu Du, Mr. Yu Liangchen (俞良臣) lived in the Jiangxi region in the Jiajing Period (1521 – 1566 A.D.) of the Ming Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Jiajing (or Emperor Shizong.) Yu read widely and was a rather knowledgeable person. He passed the basic level of the national civil service examination when he was eighteen. Yu thereafter made a living by teaching and he told people around him to perform good deeds. He taught for many years and during this time, he attempted the higher levels of the national civil service examination seven times but failed each time. To add to this misfortune, four of his five sons died and the remaining one went missing; Yu had four daughters and three of them also died; his wife was very upset about their misfortune and as the result of constant crying, she turned blind. Yu himself lived in constant poverty.
Yu Liangchen thought to himself: I've never done any major wrongs and I've been doing good deeds all my life, why have I been punished by the Heaven in this way?" He felt unfairly treated and indignant in his heart; therefore, when he turned forty, he wrote a complaint letter and prayed to the god of the kitchen to pass this letter to Heaven.
Seven years later on the New Year's Eve, while Yu and his wife was again feeling miserable and bitter about their life, an elderly man came to visit them. During their conversation, the old man told Yu, "You think you've done a lot of good deeds yet not getting any good in return and you're feeling unfairly treated and bitter because of this. The truth is, you have too many wicked thoughts in your mind and when you performed good deeds, you only did it for others to see. You are in fact not sincere in your heart. The letter you've written was imbued with much complaint and jealousy and was not respectful to Heaven. The result may be that not only won't you get what you want; but instead, you may be subjected to punishment from Heaven."
Yu Liangchen argued: "I've always known that good begets good. Were all the good deeds I've done in vain?"
The old man explained to Yu, "When you freed captured animals in the past, you didn't do it out of genuine compassion; but rather, you did it because everyone else was doing it; and at home, you still cooked live fish, shrimps and crabs." The old man continued, "Although people around you thought highly of your eloquence and you also considered yourself a good person, the truth is that your speech often offended public decency and hurt other people's feelings. As for the issue of lust, although you haven't physically committed any adultery and you were proud of this; the truth is that when you saw beautiful women, you always stared at them and fostered lustful thoughts in your mind."
The old man told Yu Liangchen that in fact Yu had never really done any good thing in those years and whenever Yu was alone, he would frequently think greedy, lustful, jealous, arrogant and other vice-filled thoughts. He warned Yu Liangchen that if he continued in this manner, great misfortune and due retribution would be awaiting him and Yu should not expect to have a good life.
Yu Liangchen was shocked by what he had heard. He knelt down on the ground and broke into tears. He made up his mind to change himself completely. Yu was determined to get rid of all his bad thoughts so that he could be sincere in his action and speech. From then on, he called himself "a Taoist with a pure mind" to remind himself to always have a kind and clean mind.
When Yu Liangchen was fifty, he passed the highest level of the national civil service examination and was assigned to a senior official position in the imperial capital; and eventually, he was also reunited with his only son who had gone missing years ago. From then on, Yu performed good deeds every day and always examined himself for any misconduct. He wrote his story down to be passed to his descendents. Yu died at the age of eighty-eight.
Translated from: http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2005/10/13/112111.html