Zhen Shan Ren Is the Sole Criterion Used to Judge a Good Person from a Bad One
People in Buddhism have been investigating and studying what Dharma is. There are also some people who believe that the Dharma preached in Buddhism is truly all of the Buddha Law, but, in fact, it is not. The Dharma preached by Sakyamuni 2500 years ago was aimed at those simple-minded ordinary people at an extremely low level, just newly born out of primitive society. The Period of Decline he referred to meant today. People nowadays will not be able to use that Dharma to cultivate themselves any more. In the Period of Decline, even monks in the temple can hardly save themselves, let alone save others. Sakyamuni preached the Dharma in view of the situation at that time, but he did not bring to light all the Buddha Dharma in mind at his own level. So it is impossible for the Dharma he had to remain all the same without change for good.
With the development of society, the human mind is becoming more and more complicated, which makes it rather difficult for people to continue with their cultivation this way. The Dharma in Buddhism cannot cover the whole Buddha Law, or rather it is only a tiny part of it. There are many Great Laws of the Buddha School which have circulated among the people, and have been handed down to only one person for each generation through the ages. The Law differs from dimension to dimension, and from space to space. These are all the different manifestations of the Buddha Law in different spaces, and in different dimensions. Sakyamuni said in the same way that there are altogether 84000 schools of the Dharma cultivating Buddhas. However, in Buddhism there are only over a dozen of them, such as Zen Buddhism, the Pure Land School, T'ien-t'ai School, Hua-yan School, Tantrism, etc., which certainly cannot contain all of the Buddha Law. Even Sakyamuni himself did not preach all of his Dharma, but only part of it on the basis of the ability of the people at that time to understand it.
But what is Buddha Law after all? In this universe, the most fundamental qualities Zhen Shan Ren ( Truth Compassion Forbearance) are exactly the most essential Buddha Law, the highest manifestation of Buddha Law. Buddha Law differs in the way of manifestation, differs in the role it plays as a guiding principle, from dimension to dimension. The lower the dimension is, the more jumbled and numerous its manifestations are. These fundamental qualities, Zhen Shan Ren are found in all substances -- particles of the air, stone, wood, earth, iron and steel, the human body; ancient people stressed that the ten thousand things of creation in the universe composed of Five Elements also have these qualities, Zhen Shan Ren. The cultivator who has reached a certain dimension can only perceive the specific manifestation of Buddha Law in that dimension. This is his attainment status, the level of attainment. Broadly speaking, the Law is quite enormous. At the highest point, it is very simple, for it is quite similar to the shape of a pyramid. In an extremely high dimension, three words can be used to generalize it. They are Zhen, Shan and Ren. Revealing itself in each dimension, the Law is extremely complex. Take a human being for instance, Taoists regard the human body as a small universe. A human being has a physical body, but only a body itself cannot complete an integrated human being. It needs to have temperament, character, personality, and the existence of Yuanshen (the True Spirit) to become an integrated, independent and specific individual. This is also true of our cosmos. There are Milky Way galaxy, other galaxies, and life and water, the ten thousand things of creation in this universe. This is one side of the physical existence, but there also exist these fundamental qualities, Zhen Shan Ren simultaneously. They can be found in the particle of any substance. Tiny particles all contain these qualities.
The fundamental qualities, Zhen Shan Ren are the criteria of judging between the good and the bad in the universe. What is good and what is bad? It is only by this criterion that we can judge. The same is true of the virtues we referred to in the past. Of course, the moral standard of today's human society has already changed, and it has been distorted into the bargain. If a person were learning from Lei Feng now, he might be considered to be mentally ill, but who would have thought so if this had happened in the 50's and 60's? The moral standard of mankind is going downward; public morals are declining day by day; people are bent on nothing but profit; they try to hurt others for their own personal interests; they try to overtake each other for personal gain by fair means or foul. Just imagine! Can this be allowed to continue? Someone is doing wrong. If you told him he is wrong, he would not believe you. He really does not believe he is doing wrong. Some people even judge themselves by the deteriorating moral standard and consider themselves better than the others because the criteria of judgment have already changed. No matter how the moral standard of mankind has changed, the fundamental qualities of the cosmos will always remain the same. These qualities are the sole criterion of judging whether a person is good or bad. Therefore, as a cultivator, you must act according to the fundamental qualities of the cosmos rather than according to the standard of ordinary people. You have to act on these criteria if you want to return to the origin and go back to the truth, if you want to ascend in cultivation. As a human being, only by being able to go with the fundamental qualities of the cosmos, Zhen Shan Ren, can you become a good person; going against these qualities, you will become a truly bad one. At your work unit or in society, some people may say you are bad, but you are not necessarily really bad; some may say you are good, but you are not necessarily really good. As a cultivator, assimilating yourself to these qualities, you will definitely achieve the way. It is just so simple a logic.
The Taoist cultivation of Zhen Shan Ren lays stress on the cultivation of Zhen. So they go in for cultivating the truth and nourishing their nature, telling the truth, acting on the truth, becoming true, returning to the origin and going back to the truth, and eventually become immortals in cultivation. However, there is also Ren, and there is Shan, but with the emphasis on Zhen in cultivation. While the Buddha School puts emphasis on Shan of Zhen Shan Ren in cultivation, for the cultivation of Shan can give rise to the growth of the great loving kindness and compassion. Once their compassion is up, they see all sentient beings suffering. As a result, they make a vow to save them out of their suffering. However, there is also Zhen, and there is Ren, but with the emphasis on Shan in cultivation. Our school, Falun Dafa is based on the supreme criterion of the cosmos -- an integrated cultivation of Zhen Shan Ren, and therefore the energy we cultivate is enormous.