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Global disasters are the fruition of collective karmas; and collective karmas derive from the collective consciousness. (There are also the individual karmas that are the fruition of one’s personal deeds and thoughts.) In order to escape from or transform global disasters, people’s minds must be corrected. Without the transformation of social mores, global disasters would be inevitable. Without uprooting the causes for such disasters and the resulting sufferings, the bitter fruits will be difficult to avoid.
2. 經云：天地之間，五道分明。善惡報應，禍福相承。身自當之，無誰代者。五惡五痛，譬如大火，焚燒人身。敢有犯此, 當歷惡趣，痛哉可傷。
According to the Buddha Speaks of the Mahayana Sutra of Infinite life, Splendours, Purity, Equality, and Enlightenment, from Heaven to Earth, there are five distinct realms of existence for celestial beings, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hellish beings. The joys and sorrows they experience from their fortunes or misfortunes are the retributions of their good or bad deeds. They must personally experience such retributions; no one has the ability to take their place instead. The five evil deeds (of killing, stealing, adultery, lying, and drunkenness) incur five kinds of sufferings, like the burning flames scorching people’s body. Anyone who dares to commit any of the five evil deeds must live through the three evil realms of animals, hungry ghosts, and hellish beings, one after another unabatedly. What a grief to see them suffer, it hurts like an arrow through the heart.
The formula for successful leadership
The Grand Duke of Jiang (1156 ~ 1017 B.C.) said: “Heaven creates the seasons. Earth provides sustenance. One who shares benefits with his fellow citizens is benevolent. Wherever there are benevolent rulers, the world will pledge allegiance to them (take refuge under their wings). One who can deliver people from the threat of death, rescue them from untold miseries, and provide them with emergency relief is virtuous. Wherever there are virtuous rulers, the world will pledge allegiance to them (take refuge under their wings).
One who can share weal and woe with his fellow citizens; and understand what they like or dislike; will be praised for his righteousness. Wherever there are righteous rulers, the world will pledge allegiance to them (take refuge under their wings). Ordinary people have a delight in life and an aversion to death; as well as a desire for gaining that result in profits. A person who can create profits is a person who has the Way. Wherever there are rulers who have the Way, the world will pledge allegiance to them (take refuge under their wings).”
The Grand Duke of Jiang said, “The reign of a worthless ruler will put the country in peril and the people in upheavals. The reign of a sagacious ruler can safeguard his country and maintain world order. The fortune or misfortune of a country lies in the ruler not the mandates of Heaven (destiny). ”
A sagacious ruler protects his people the way parents love their children, or the way elder brothers take care of their younger siblings. To see them cold and hungry, he will lament for their sufferings; to see them exhausted from hard labour, he will grieve for their misery.
The able leaders will regard the sagacious as superior and precious, and the unworthy inferior. They value honesty and trustworthiness, abhor deceit and treachery, forbid all forms of violence and riot, and discourage a life of luxury.
The reign of a sagacious ruler will dispense equal justice to all. The officials are not harsh to the civilians. Taxations are restrained and regulated. The income of the ruler should be meagre (The lifestyle of the ruler should be simple and modest). Public law will not be violated in the pursuit of private interest. Honours and rewards will not be bestowed upon the unworthy. Punishments or sentences will not be imposed on the innocent. Those who harm the public interest will be condemned; and recommendations of the wise and capable men to the government will be rewarded. Government officials have no hidden agenda or corrupt practices (cannot hide their corruptions or leeching activities); and the country is without drifting homeless, derelicts, or people starving.
If a ruler regards those whom the majority of people admire as the wise and virtuous and those whom the majority despise as the unworthy, then those in the majority clique will be promoted and those in the minority clique will be rejected. The coalition of devious cliques may conspire to pursue private interests and stifle (obscure) the sagacious. The loyal subjects will be framed to die, while treacherous subjects, with fabricated reputations, will beguile the ruler of ranks of nobility. As a result, the whole country will be more and more chaotic and thus cannot avoid her inevitable extinction.
The humane ruler has “six safeguards” and “three treasures.” The six safeguards are benevolence， righteousness， loyalty，trustworthiness，courage, and wisdom; the three treasures are experienced farmers，skillful craftsmen, and prudent businessmen. Implementing the “six characteristics” and the “three treasures,” the country will be prosperous and secure.
The Grand Duke of Jiang said: “When righteousness overcomes selfish desires，the state will flourish. When selfish desires surpass righteousness，the state will be annihilated. When cautiousness overcomes dilatoriness，the state will be auspicious. When dilatoriness surpasses cautiousness，the state will be conquered. Therefore，those whose righteousness overcomes their dilatoriness can rule the world，those whose dilatoriness surpasses their cautiousness will be ruined (destroyed).”
Following are the greatest evils for a country: no ethical relationships，no etiquettes between the nobles and the plebeians; enjoy listening to flatteries and appoint or advance people recommended by sycophants; rewarding those without any contribution; enrich those without virtue; no propriety and righteousness，no honesty and loyalty，no saints and sages，lawless and without standards of measurements and systems. (from pdf.)
Grand Duke of Jiang said, “When the officials are violent, perverse,
inhumane, overthrow the law and make chaos of the punishment,
and without anyone noticing, it is time for the state to perish. When
the monarch indulges in pleasure and comfort, his underlings
covet personal benefit, whereas the sages escape or hide, upheaval arises.”
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