Life is not money. It is a priceless treasure
that cannot be bought with money. However,
ordinary people sell their lives cheaply, eagerly
giving up their lives for the sake of money.

Life is not money. It is a priceless treasure that cannot be bought with money. However, ordinary people sell their lives cheaply, eagerly giving up their lives for the sake of money. Of all the kinds of people from all walks of life, there are none who do not put their souls and lives on sale for the sake of money.

Confucius said, "What Heaven has conferred is called the Nature; according with the Nature is called the Path; regulating the Path is called Instruction. One may not leave the Path even for an instant. If one could leave it, it would not be the Path." To reflect current trends, we can change this to say, "What Heaven has conferred is called Money; according with the Nature is called Money; regulating the Path is called Money. One may not leave Money even for an instant." Thus "the back door is flung wide open while the front door is tightly shut." [Ostensibly there is no corruption, but behind the scenes, corruption is widespread.] Students and teachers care only about money. If teachers feel that they are not getting paid enough, they go on strike. The students catch on to that philosophy and get poisoned by it, and the society goes to ruin. When the society is ruined, it is the professors and teachers who are responsible!

Many educational institutions these days are so absurd that they actually encourage students to take drugs, be promiscuous, and engage in all sorts of illegal activities. This age may be even worse than the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods [of the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China]. It is truly a time in which morals are degenerating daily and people's hearts are not what they used to be. Teachers and professors openly criticize this sage as being wrong, that hero as being bad, that minister as being incorrect, and so on. In general, they maintain that they alone are right and everyone else is wrong. What makes them do that? Money, of course! What else? If they are right, all the money goes to them.

People in the world are deluded by wealth, lust, fame, food, and sleep, not knowing that these are the five roots of the hells. The first one is wealth, which we have just discussed. The second is lust. In many households, the husband will have many girlfriends and the wife will also have quite a few boyfriends. Finally they get divorced, and their children end up as unwanted orphans. The children learn from their parents' example, and the outcome is terrible.

The third one is fame. Some people feel that they are not famous enough, so they deliberately try to make a name for themselves. Once they achieve fame, though, it's about time for them to die. Consider Mao Zedong. When he was alive, he was more powerful than the gods. All the Chinese people were waving his Little Red Book. Even the Dalai Lama's mantra could not measure up to this. Although the Dalai Lama could recite mantras, compared to Chairman Mao's power, his mantras were powerless. And so even now he is still a refugee, heading a government in exile.

Another example is the [Tibetan] "Great Dharma King Karmapa," who was glorious in his day, anointing people on the crowns of their heads wherever he went. Many people believed that his mantras were very efficacious, and every time I went to Malaysia and other such areas, I found many people who'd been hexed by Lamas. The evidence was obvious, but people still followed the Lamas blindly. They were truly foolish beyond measure! Some people say, "Dharma Master! Please don't scold the Secret School every time you talk!" All right, if that's how you feel, I won't talk about it again.

The fourth is food. Many people will do anything to be able to enjoy some rare delicacies or nutritional supplements. One example is the typical l08-course Manchu- and Han-style banquet, which is totally wasteful and reduces people's blessings and longevity. Be careful! Remember that the superior person seeks the Way, not food.

The fifth is sleep. Some people are not greedy for wealth, lust, fame, or food, but they love to sleep and never feel that they've had enough sleep. On account of these five roots of the hells, people become muddled, lose touch with their spiritual natures, and run blindly into the hells.