Poem to awaken the world – Part 6

Continuing from previous article…..

HRline

The sixth part goes like this.

榮華原是三更夢,富貴還同九月霜
老病死生誰替得,酸甜苦辣自承當。。

and it can be roughly translated as follows;

榮華原是三更夢 – prosperity and power are like midnight dreams

富貴還同九月霜 – wealth and social status are like autumn frost.

 

The master reminds us that success in life is temporal in nature. It is easy for us to be intoxicated with the dizzying effect of success or lose sight of life while chasing after material success.

Master DeQing is cautioning us to take stock of life and prioritise what really matters.

For many of us who are busy with career or business, we may find ourselves sacrificing all our time and energy on work; to the extent of not being part of our family anymore.

In a flash, our parents grow old and our kids are adults. Our closest of kins become strangers in our life.

In a flash, time had passed and we had aged. We regret not taking the opportunity to pursue our interest, hobby or religion.

Understanding that material success is not everything in life, we equip ourselves with wisdom to re-evaluate how we wish to spend our precious time as a human.

For a Buddhist, precious time should be allocated to enable mind training.

老病死生誰替得 – nobody can take over the suffering of old age, sickness, death and rebirth

This is a stark reminder of what is in store for everyone of us. Many people like to avoid this topic of life and pretend that it will only happen to others.

However, in reality no one can escape them and no one can help us bear them.

酸甜苦辣自承當-  the ups and downs of life is our own

 

This is again a reminder that life has its ups and downs. Such experience in life is unique to each and everyone. In Buddhism , we believe that the ups and downs in life is a result of our previous karma (actions)

Thus whatever we do now affect our future. As long as we are unenlightened, we continue to be reborn. Do we want to be reborn in a future where this world had became a nightmare? If the answer is no, then shouldn’t everyone be actively trying their best to build a better future by being eco and social responsible? Shouldn’t we be promoting love instead of hatred?

More importantly, we have to create the karma that enable us to continue our spiritual quest for enlightenment in our future rebirth. This is the reason why Buddhist are taught to

  1. Keep Buddhist precepts and make them second nature to your way of living
  2. Practice meditations and chanting, engage in Buddhist spiritual practice
  3. show respect towards Buddhist articles and books, put them on high places, do not step over them, venerate them
  4. Participate in charity of supporting the monastic orders

In summary, this prose is advising us to re-evaluate and reprioritise our life. Should we invest all our time pursuing temporal achievement or should we spend time pursuing enlightenment?

That’s my limited translation and interpretation of the 6th prose. (to be continued…..)


醒世歌 (poem of awakening)

紅塵白浪兩茫茫,忍辱柔和是妙方。
到處隨緣延歲月,終身安份度時光。
休將自己心田昧,莫把他人過失揚。
謹慎應酬無懊惱,耐煩作事好商量。
從來強弩弦先斷,每見鋼刀口易傷。
惹禍只因閒口舌,招愆多為狠心腸。
是非不必爭人我,彼此何須論短長。
世事由來多缺陷,幻軀焉得免無常。
吃些虧處原無礙,退讓三分也不妨。
春日才看楊柳綠,秋風又見菊花黃。
榮華原是三更夢,富貴還同九月霜。
老病死生誰替得,酸甜苦辣自承當。
人從巧計誇伶俐,天自從容定主張。
諂曲貪嗔墮地獄,公平正直即天堂。
麝因香重身先死,蠶為絲多命早亡。
一劑養神平胃散,兩種和氣二陳湯。
生前枉費心千萬,死後空持手一雙。
悲歡離合朝朝鬧,壽夭窮通日日忙。
休得爭強來鬥勝,百年渾是戲文場。
頃刻一聲鑼鼓歇,不知何處是家鄉。

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