In this world of materialism, people look for wealth and happiness and very often neglected their health. Health is wealth but when one is young, he may not think about his health and pursue on material comfort. Some can be seen and some cannot. Most people want immediate result, unfortunately the reality is not that simple but if we are born with two hands and two legs, able to walk and talk and can think properly, we are considered very lucky. But how many really know and be grateful to God for their good fortune? If one is not lost in the jungle, he may not appreciate how safe he is when he is resting in the comfort of his house. If one is not fighting for survival in the deep ocean, he may not know the danger of his life from the shark.
There are five aspects that are “guarantees" or aspects of life we can depend upon and five that are “non-guarantees" or those that cannot be trusted. If we invest all our life and effort in the pursuit of the latter, then all may suddenly perish or disappear. If we pursue the former, then we can be rest assured that we will eventually achieve significantly at the end of our lives.
The Five Non-Guarantees are:
1] Money and wealth – they can be stolen by thieves, cheated by con-men, lose it in the course of business ventures or gamble it away etc.
2] Reputation and status – they can be destroyed by foes and enemies, carelessness or just one wrongful act by temptation or desire.
3] Relatives and friends – they can easily change their minds, some depend on how much you have in your pockets, once you lose it, you lose them too.
4] Physical body – it will be affected by the sufferings of sickness, old age and death; nobody can escape.
5] Good luck and misfortune – as one’s karma can be altered.
The above-mentioned are all “non-guarantees" because they are temporary entities and thus cannot be depended upon. They will change in time or according to circumstances. If we choose the path to pursue all these, then be prepared for disappointment. Furthermore, we will be attached and entangled, and may never be able to achieve freedom of will and peace of mind. The more we have, the more we have to take care and worry that someone may come and steal them away. Rich people are sometimes scare of poor relatives because in their minds, the poor relatives always ask for financial help.
The Five Guarantees are:
1] Performing good deeds and acts of compassion – merits can be maintained and they are registered in one’s soul eternally which nobody can take away.
2] Abiding by precepts and imposing self-restraints – misfortunes and disasters can be avoided or minimized. Big problems become small problems and small problems become no problem.
3] Propagating Truth to save the world – the resulting virtues can transform and inspire people and in return saving oneself.
4] Making contributions to others wisely – the inner wealth can be stored and develop inner kindness and outer holiness and have pleasant personality.
5] Cultivating the heart and nurturing the true nature – the state of enlightenment can be achieved.
These five pursuits in life are considered to be “guarantees" as they will ensure one to gain eternal life at the end of one’s finite lifetime. These were the paths invariably prescribed by the previous Saints and Sages, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Their prescription was based on their own experience of having taken such path during their lifetimes. Irrespective of the scriptures or any religious teachings, all of them point to the same way, which is the universal Truth. They can be regarded as the log book that documented the journey of the people who had walked the path of Truth.
The previous Saints did not have access to telescope or any apparatus of the modern people which could examine the universe, yet they were totally aware of the Truth and the mysteries of the universe. Guatama Buddha was six years older than Confucius, but when asked by one of his students whether there was any Saint existed at that time, he replied that there was a great Saint existed in the west of China who was known as Buddha. How could this be possible since Confucius had never met Buddha before and there was no telecommunication instrument available at that time! This is the greatness of Saint who knows the mysteries of the universe and able to lead people to the Truth. If we develop the five guarantees, then we can achieve the wisdom of the past Saints and Sages. This is the saying of Confucius,
“If the nature is folded then it will be secretly concealed. Once unfolded, then it will be able to occupy the vast universe. "
This is the advice from my Heavenly Teacher JiGong, “Disciples, it is hoped that you all can choose whichever that are wholesome and stick firmly to them. Although it is not possible that you can meet with the Saints and Worthies and the Light Beings again in person, however, the traces of their teachings can be sought and pursued. Although it is not possible that you can listen to their sayings again in person, however, you can learn from the volumes of their historical records. "
Author: T. A Chew
T. A Chew had read more than ten times the new testament of the Bible, more than fifty Buddhist books and most of the books on Tao of Heaven as well as many other spiritual books. He is grateful that he can share his articles with those who have affinity with him and hope they can benefit from them. Website: http://www.white-sun.com