(Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)
HOW SHOULD WE MANAGE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ELDERS AS BUDDHIST PRACTITIONERS?
Filial piety, paying respect towards elders is a traditional virtue of the Chinese. Many Buddhist friends know about these morals. However, it is hard to exercise a harmonious relationship with elders in real life. May Master Lu teach us how Buddhist practitioners should manage their relationships with elders?
First of all, you should have pity on sentient beings, and always contemplate how hard it was for your parents to have raised you since you were a child. Parents do have some ingrained bad habits as they still haven’t started to cultivate. Some parents are not well-educated, some have many ingrained bad habits, and some have bad tempers. So, when a child sees that, it really is quite unfavourable.
However, viewing this with compassion, and from the perspective of filial piety, no matter what shortcomings parents may have, we must learn to tolerate and accept. After all, they are our parents; they have educated us, nurtured us and raised us. Therefore, as Buddhist practitioners, we must have compassion, we must take pity on them. Just think about this when you feel hate towards them: who would live longer, you or they? If they passed away in the next couple of years, you would be sad. When you feel in this way in your heart, you will gradually comprehend the idea of impermanence. They are pathetic. They have reached their later years in life and do not have much time left, but still they do not know what Buddhism is, and they still do not know what it is to be spiritually cultivated. You, however, have already learned at a young age how to cultivate spiritually. Why would you, as a Bodhisattva, who cultivates spiritually, be bothered by those who will soon be leaving this world, who have not heard of Buddhism, who are with little blessing? And you still quarrel with them? Isn’t then your level of spiritual cultivation too low?
OK. With me saying this, do you understand?
Yes, gratitude to Master Lu.