Wisdom from Chinese Literary and Buddhist Classics
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY SONS
My young sons, hear these instructions:
Study with diligence, be filial and kind-hearted.
Be humble and modest, abide in justice.
Control your diet, abstain from leisure.
Do not lie, never be greedy for profit.
Do not be capricious, never throw a tantrum.
Do not challenge others, only be in control of oneself.
Learn to be modest, humbleness is beneficial.
Tolerate others, for it makes you big-hearted.
Everything about being a man lies in the heart.
With a kind heart, blessings will be within reach.
With a wicked heart, misfortune will be inevitable.
In the metaphor of a fruit, the stalk is the heart;
When the stalk rots, the fruit will fall to the ground.
My teachings for you holds such intentions,
Listen attentively, and remember them well.
INSCRIPTIONS ON THE DOOR
Serve your sovereign with loyalty,
Care for your parents with filial piety.
Accept your community with magnanimity,
Cultivate yourself with cautiousness.
Follow the rules with clean conduct.
Instruct your people with sincerity.
Treat nobilities with modesty,
Face poverty with joyful content,
Enhance your learning with diligence,
Clear your mind with tranquility.
Provide for those in need with agility,
Express utmost honesty with straightforwardness.
Maintain your esteem with discipline,
Give to others with tremendous generosity.
Command your subjects with solemnity,
Treat your guests with respect.
Follow your principles with consistency,
Lead others with benevolence.
Be a son at home, and a minister to the nation.
Determined to realize these words in order to
enhance one’s virtues, they are thus inscribed on
my door instead of a sash to serve as a constant