dao fullfillment

Chinese characters for "fulfillment"

Jina Parshvanatha with Attendants (liberated teacher)

Accomplish your visions.
Persevere in your ambitions.
Only then can you negate
Visions and ambitions.

Some say that one should not have ambitions; they equate these with greed and lust. However some ambitions are the result of curiosity and inner desire. They are individual interests, like wanting to know about a certain subject or wanting to achieve goals. As long as they do no harm to others they should be exercised rather than suppressed.

Many young people are held back by their peers and their elders. Sometimes there are valid reasons, but usually the motivations of the others are colored by fear, ignorance, jealousy, or inadequacy. No one should hold you back from achieving your life’s goals.

Whatever you want to do, do it to the fullest. There are just a few provisions. First, you must realize that nothing is forever. You may achieve your goals only to find out that they are no longer important to you. This is all right. That means you have come to the end of your interest and are now free to go on to something else. Secondly, your ambitions should not determine your life. You are a human being first, and your goals are merely adjuncts to your basic quest as a person. Finally, you should realize that the fulfillment of your goals should include the eradication of all fears. Once you have accomplished these things, you will truly have nothing standing between you and spiritual realization.


365 Tao
Daily Meditations
Deng Ming-Dao
ISBN 0-06-250223-9

Jina Parshvanatha with Attendants
India (Karnataka) dated 1589
Brass 8 ¾ in (22.2 cm)

According to Dr. S.V. Padigar, the brass image was dedicated on 23 February 1589. It portrays the Jina Parshvanatha, who is distinguished from the other twenty-three Jinas of the Jain pantheon by the seven-hooded snake that forms a canopy over his head. Otherwise, he does not differ from the others and typically is an impassive, naked figure seated in the classic posture of meditation, with his hands placed on his lap in the gesture of contemplation (dhyanamudra). The nudity of the figure indicates that the donor, not named in the dedicatory inscription, belonged to the Digambara (sky-clad) order of Jainism, which predominates in Karnataka.

Parshvanatha is one of the twenty-four Jinas, or liberated teachers, worshipped by the Jains. Various tutelary and protective divinities of both sexes are also worshipped, but they are subservient to the twenty-four Jinas. Hence, two such deities are represented here as diminutive figure standing in attendance in front of the tiered base with a pinched waist. The male on the Jina's right is Dharana and the female opposite is Padmavati. Although called yakshi and yakshi, rather than deva or devi, like the Hindu and Buddhist deities, they have multiple limbs and are venerated in a similar fashion.

Chuang Tzu: A Happy Excursion

(Chapter 1)

In the northern ocean there is a fish, called the k’un, I do not know how many thousand li in size. This k’un changes into a bird, called the p’eng. Its back is I do not know how many thousand li in breadth. When it is moved, it flies, its wings obscuring the sky like clouds.

When on a voyage, this bird prepares to start for the Southern Ocean, the Celestial Lake. And in the Records of Marvels we read that when the p’eng flies southwards, the water is smitten for a space of three thousand li around, while the bird itself mounts upon a great wind to a height of ninety thousand li, for a flight of six months’ duration.

There mounting aloft, the bird saw the moving white mists of spring, the dust-clouds, and the living things blowing their breaths among them. It wondered whether the blue of the sky was its real color, or only the result of distance without end, and saw that the things on earth appeared the same to it.

If there is not sufficient depth, water will not float large ships. Upset a cupful into a hole in the yard, and a mustard-seed will be your boat. Try to float the cup, and it will be grounded, due to the disproportion between water and vessel.

So with air. If there is not sufficient a depth, it cannot support large wings. And for this bird, a depth of ninety thousand li is necessary to bear it up. Then, gliding upon the wind, with nothing save the clear sky above, and no obstacles in the way, it starts upon its journey to the south.

A cicada and a young dove laughed, saying, “Now, when I fly with all my might, ’tis as much as I can do to get from tree to tree. And sometimes I do not reach, but fall to the ground midway. What then can be the use of going up ninety thousand li to start for the south?”

He who goes to the countryside taking three meals with him comes back with his stomach as full as when he started. But he who travels a hundred li must take ground rice enough for an overnight stay. And he who travels a thousand li must supply himself with provisions for three months. Those two little creatures, what should they know?

Small knowledge has not the compass of great knowledge any more than a short year has the length of a long year. How can we tell that this is so? The fungus plant of a morning knows not the alternation of day and night. The cicada knows not the alternation of spring and autumn. Theirs are short years. But in the south of Ch’u there is a mingling (tree) whose spring and autumn are each of five hundred years’ duration. And in former days there was a large tree which had a spring and autumn each of eight thousand years. Yet, P’eng Tsu1 is known for reaching a great age and is still, alas! an object of envy to all!

he is reputed to have lived 800 years!
(Translated by Yutang Lin) END PART TWO

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