Forbearing and Magnanimous

PureInsight | February 22, 2007

[] The really
wise people among the human beings are those who are broadminded and
super tolerant.  Those who are broadminded and forbearing own
superior wisdom and spiritual force.  On the other hand, there are
also some narrowed-minded people in the world.  However, only the
broadminded and extremely tolerant wise people are capable of reaching
high accomplishments and achievements.  

Once upon an ancient time, a cultivator asked a Buddhist master, "With
respect to one's mind, why does its capacity differ between large and
small?"  Rather than directly answering his question, the master
said to him, "Please close yours eyes.  Make a castle in your
mind."  The cultivator closed his eyes and thought deeply. 
He worked out a castle in his mind.  Then he said, "The castle has
been constructed."  The master said to him, "Please close your
eyes again and make a hair."  The cultivator made a hair in his
mind and told the master, "The hair has been made."  The master
asked him, "When you constructed the castle, did you do it solely with
your own mind, or by the joint effort with other people's minds?" 
He answered, "Only with my mind."  The master asked again, "When
you made the tiny hair, did you do it with your whole mind or only part
of your mind?"  He replied, "with my whole mind."  The master
laughed, "When constructing a big castle, you  used solely your
own mind.  When making a tiny hair, you still used your own
mind.  Now you know that human being is able to adjust the
capacity of his mind to become larger or smaller."

There is a famous story from the Han Dynasty about the high ranking
General Han Xin's draining a cup of humiliation.  A teenager bully
insulted Han Xin in the presence of all, "You are tall and strong, and
always wear a sword.  But you are a coward from the bottom of your
heart."  He continued, "If you do not fear death, you just kill
me.  If you fear death, crawl between my legs."  Han Xin
carefully looked at the teenager and then lay prostrate on the
ground.  He crawled through the teen's legs.  People on the
street laughed at Han Xin for being timid.  But later, Han Xin was
appointed to be a high ranking General by the Emperor of the Han and
led the troop to charge the enemy lines.  He went through fire and
water and achieved brilliant results in his battles.  This proves
that he was a brave man with magnanimity and forbearance, rather than a
coward.  Because of his magnanimity, he became a pillar of the
country and was trusted to take over important tasks and heavy
responsibilities.  More incredible, when a rank of the kind that
was granted a territory was conferred on him, when he arrived at his
land he appointed the former teenager who insulted him in the past as
an official to patrol the city.  He told his subordinates, "He is
a hero.  When he insulted me in the past, I could have killed
him.  But it would have been meaningless to do so.  I forbore
the humiliation."   This is the nature of the forbearance of
a person who has high ambitions and aspirations.  

In the Qing Dynasty, there was a premier whose name was Lin Zexu. 
He was famous in history for banning opium.  He wrote couplets and
put them on the wall of his house.  One said: "An ocean takes in
the streams of numerous rivers, it is broad and vast.  A wall of
bronze and iron stands firm and indomitable, it is strong without
lust."  The couplet was so vivid and figurative that it was
pregnant with meaning.  The first part earnestly admonished him to
extensively listen to and bear with different opinions.  By doing
this, he was able to do things better and put himself in an invincible
position.  The second part warned and reminded him that he should
absolutely refuse and stop any longings and desires, because he was a
high-ranking official.  By doing this, he was able to maintain
justice and stand firm and upright.  The spirit of forbearance
that Lin Ze Xu promoted is very much admired and has become a teaching
to later generations.  

It is a virtue to treat other people in a lenient and forgiving
manner.  Being lenient to others can accomplish great
causes.  Being forbearing to others can allow one to become a
great person of outstanding talent.  A broad-minded person always
inspects himself to find out the shortcomings of his own, but he never
haggles over other people's wrongdoings.  Therefore, he can
accumulate great virtue and his nature and mind can reach to very high

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