The Relationship Between Politics and Karma
A talk by Ven Master Hua
From the DRBA DVD An Encounter with a Good Knowing Advisor: Autobiographical Stories by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
Most people do not believe in the Buddhist law of cause and effect, however the law of cause and effect exists whether you believe it or not. The web of justice misses nothing. Cause and effect are just like the laws and systems of the universe, which are none other than you reap good fruits for good causes you sow, you reap evil fruits for evil causes you sow. Kill someone’s father and someone will kill your father; kill someone’s brother and someone will kill your brother; kill someone’s child and someone will kill your child. All these are about cause and effect, which is not wrong.
Most people around the world do not understand cause and effect, so they attempt to be heroic and try to overpower or oppress the weaker party. It is foolish for the weaker party to rebel as well. It is even more foolish to oppress others. The root of the problems must be fair solutions; where things are unfair, there will be problems. People who govern the country must be kind in their governance and honest with their citizens. Why do countries have defense systems? Defense systems are meant to protect the land rather than oppress the people.
When the students first protested, I suggested that the students and the government should not butt heads. Harsh conflicts like this only leave both sides harmed and damaged. The country is hurt, families are hurt, individuals are hurt, and assets and properties are hurt. For any country to do well, the State must value and protect its people Use reason instead of oppression and power to resolve any problem. Communicate and try to understand one another in a reasonable manner, avoid going against the grain. For instance, there is no need for a government without its citizens; citizens protest for the sake of benefiting the people.
Do not oppress people; if there is anything that the people do not understand, the State should deal with them using reasonable means. This is why when the events first began, I suggested that the State and the students use some taiji moves on each other. The State only knows about the Shaolin form of martial arts; the citizens only know about the southern or northern schools of violent moves.[big grin on Master Hua’s face] Every one of us should be reasonable.
If we all really love our lives, our citizens, and our assets, then we should place our emphasis on education. Teach the children well so that they know how to be people, how to cherish their bodies, their country, their family, and even everyone around the world; that would be the way to govern a country. Underhanded manipulations that oppress people will not earn the people’s respect.
During this time and age, we must wake up from our slumber. Do not control and manipulate people because we think they are fools. This is wrong. “Power does not win compliance in the heart of hearts.” People will not really follow you if you use strong tactics to oppress people; you must use humaneness and virtue. “Virtue wins loyalty and submission.” Really be good to people and they will not rebel against you, however, if what you say and what you do are inconsistent, then the citizens will never respect you. “The superior man is like wind; the petty man is like grass. Grass bends when the wind blows over it.” If you really are good to people, no one will object; however, if you pretend, there will always be objections.
These students are average young people who are ignorant enough to protest against the State through parades and fasts. These are not what wise individuals would do. The government ignores the students requests and suppresses them with large army troops, which is very much wrong too. Not only does this harm the country, but this will bring about the extinction of the people. They will not be able to exist in the world. Without people’s respect, you will cease to be.
If you want the country to be safe and peaceful, you must be selfless, just, and unbiased. That is why when President Bush ran for president, I told him, “The United States is a world superpower. Living in this powerful country, we have the responsibility to elect an intelligent and wise president. When this president issues orders, he does so out of protection for people, not only for those in the United States, but for all of the world’s humanity. So, this president must not fight, not be greedy, not be selfish, not pursue self-benefit, and not lie. Anybody who fulfills these criteria is most suited to become the president.
That is what I said during the U.S. presidential election. That statement is also for any national leader, though; if all of them do not fight, are not greedy, are not selfish, do not pursue self-benefit, and do not lie to the people, then I do not believe anyone will be stupid enough to object to that kind of leader. Thus I suggest to those in leadership positions that if you donate your assets to the people, so that everything is communal, then I am sure nobody will raise objections against you. “When the Great Tao is practiced, justice prevails in the world. People cherish not only their own parents and children, but cherish the children and parents of others as well. The elderly live their last years in happiness, able-bodied adults are usefully employed, and children are properly reared. Widowers, widows, orphans, and the childless aged, the crippled and the ailing are well cared for.” If you can achieve this, people will harbor no objections against you.