It is of utmost importance to be a vegetarian after one receives Tien-Tao. The True Self is pure and clean. To retain such purity, one should not allow any contamination.
If the True Self is contaminated, it becomes lost. To restore the True Self to its original brightness, the practitioners of Tao must filter out all impurities.
The impurities consist of the onion family, garlic family, leeks, shallot, and tobaccos among vegetables, and all animals such as poultry, meat, and seafood.
The onion family, the garlic family, and tobaccos carry strong odors and will damage the foundation of the five organs – heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys.
All animals belong to yin and if eaten, will harm the soul, which is pure yang. In order to return to God’s kingdom, one must restore the True Self to pure yang. It is to our advantage to avoid taking in any substances that are yin and safeguard whatever yang that is already in us.
Needlessly to say,
God is benevolent and
gives life to this world;
so as a practitioner of Tao, we should model after Him and avoid taking lives for the pleasure of our tastes.
If one cannot exclude the onion family, the garlic family, tobaccos, and animals from one’s diet immediately, one still should attempt a gradual approach.
Keeping this goal in mind, one could start the vegetarian diet on the first and fifteenth of each month in the Chinese lunar calendar and slowly extend the diet to other days of the months. Eventually, one can adjust to a fully vegetarian diet and maintain it for life.
42. Is it a sin if one does not practice Tao after receiving Tien-Tao?
Those who received Tien-Tao must have a purpose or he would not have the thought of receiving Tien-Tao.
The purposes of receiving Tien-Tao obviously are to avoid catastrophes and disasters and to transcend the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth which can lead to the enthusiasm of receiving Tien-Tao.
To avoid catastrophes, we must first realize why catastrophes will come.
Catastrophes do not materialize
without a cause.
Catastrophes result from the sins accumulated by mankind through many lives. That is why if one wants to avoid catastrophes, one must first repent all his sins.
Repentance can be manifested as honoring to teachers; respect to Tao, and the practice of doing good deeds and suppressing evil thoughts. Only by doing so can we follow the Truth and our sins will be forgiven.
When we all repent and are forgiven,
we can bring salvation to ourselves
and avoid catastrophes.
At the same time, we also fulfill our purpose of receiving Tien-Tao. If one does not repent and practice Tao, not only his sins are not forgiven, he sins more and in turn, leads to more catastrophes.
When his time is up and catastrophes come, such a person certainly cannot escape from them. Even worse, he cannot transcend the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and has to receive his punishments in Hell.
sins committed by mankind are the causes of catastrophes. Catastrophes are the results of sins. Once one understands this rule, one must practice Tao after he receives Tien-Tao. If not, one cannot fulfill his vows and sins. When one sins, he is the only one who has to face the consequence.
43. Why can’t Tien-Tao be explained first then be transmitted?
Tien-Tao should only be transmitted to the righteous who have faith in God and the wisdom to recognize the Truth. Nowadays men are not as innocent as those in the ancient days. The sinful lives among the good. If Tien-Tao is explained first, how could one be sure that the person is the right one?
Throughout history, even the Saints dared not to reveal the essence of Tao, the essence transmitted among Immortals and Buddhas through the meeting of the hearts, to anyone without exercising prudence, not to mention the ordinaries. There is a saying that:
“Tien-Tao is not descended
unless it is the right timing,
Tien-Tao is not transmitted
unless one is the right person.”
Although this is the time Tien-Tao is made available to everyone, It should still be transmitted only to those who have been proven to have sincerity. Otherwise, who dares to reveal Tien-Tao imprudently and be punished by God?
44. Even though Tien-Tao is true, why are there so many non-believers?
Whether a person will believe in Tien-Tao when he hears it depends on the collective merits of his ancestors and his own foundation in wisdom. If one has faith in God, he will follow Tao earnestly. Those who do not have faith will not practice Tao even if they are coerced to do so. It is difficult for those who do not have faith to receive Tien-Tao.
Only the family with collective merits from their ancestors will give birth to children who will receive Tien-Tao and practice Tao.
This can be illustrated by the following parable. There is a mountain rich in gold ore. The sovereignty is willing to grant mining privileges to anyone. The commoners, who lack wisdom, think that gold cannot be found in stones and take no action to this opportunity. The wise ones act immediately and file claims.
Soon, the output of the mines rises to a thousand ounces of gold a day. All the wise ones become rich instantly. By the time the commons realize that there is indeed gold in the ore, they rush to file claims. By then, it is already too late, for the wise ones have claimed all the mines. As much as the commons regret, there is nothing they can do now.
This parable illustrates the saying:
“The blessed will be born
along with the Saints
so he can learn Tao.
The unblessed will be born
when Tien-Tao is not available.”
45. What is the meaning of “If one can understand One, Two, and Three, one can learn to become an Immortal”?
Tao Itself cannot be named, so One is forced to represent It. This is why “Tao gives rise to One”. The essence of Tao is quiescent. When It is quiescent to the extreme, motion comes about. When there is motion, Heaven and Earth are created. This is why “One gives rise to Two”.
Heaven and Earth are yang and yin. All things in the cosmos are interactions of yang and yin. Heaven created mankind, and mankind is in between Heaven and Earth. This is why “Two gives rise to Three”. When Heaven, Earth, and Mankind – the “Three Powers” of the cosmos are established, all things flourish in accordance with God’s will. This is why “Three gives rise to everything”.
The exquisiteness and wonderment of One permeate through the universe. If a person can truly understand the word One, he surely can become a Saint or a Sage. Emperor Sun gave the following advice to his successor, Emperor Yu,
“The Human Nature is precarious;
the True Nature is obscure;
be refined and be One;
be amenable and uphold the center.”
The word “center” in the sentence really is the word One. This word One is the Dharma passed on from one Saint to another. If one wants to trace the root of the word One, one must sincerely receive Tien-Tao. It is only after one received Tien-Tao can he really be enlightened about the true origin of the word One. The saying
“To talk about Tao
one goes no further than one’s body.
To hammer iron
one goes no further than the anvil.”
implicated the root of One. One of the Saints illustrated this point by saying
“If you look inside yourself,
you will discover it.”
These are all sincere words.
One is one’s True Self. In Heaven, it is the Truth and Order. In human, it is the soul. The soul is One. The yin Qi and yang Qi (yin and yang spirits) in human form Two. The vitality of a human body is Three.
This is why if a person understands the true meaning of One, Two, and Three, he can learn to be an Immortal. Tao encompasses everything in the cosmos. If one can unify with Heaven and Earth to become One through actions and inactions (yang and yin), he will attain the true Tao.
46. What are the meanings of “predestined to encounter” and “chance to participate”?
To understand the meanings of “predestined to encounter” and “chance to participate”, one must first examine the cumulative merits of a person. If a person is a Yuan-fu-zi 30 and his True Self is not completely covered, he will develop and strengthen his faith as soon as he hears Tao. When his faith develops and strengthens, he will practice Tao. This is the true meaning of predestined to encounter Tao.
The phrase “chance to participate” really means peerage. He who is predestined to encounter Tao will hold fast to Tao in his heart. He will not relax at all in building his merits, for he is afraid of falling behind others. This type of person will eventually attain Tao. Once he attains Tao, God will ordain him a peerage in accordance with his merits. This person is both predestined to encounter Tao and has the chance to participate in the Holy Mission of God.
On the other hand, he who knows Tao but is not willing to learn is not predestined to encounter, and he who learns but does not practice tenaciously will not have the chance to participate. There is an old saying
“He who would not learn in childhood
possesses no skills when grown.
He who would not learn in adulthood
worries as he ages.”
So one should never say that there is tomorrow or next year as one’s excuse for refusal to learn and waste today or this year. With each passage of time, less time is left. One surely will regret his inactions later when he realizes he should have acted.