How can one accumulate merits after receiving Tien-Tao? (13)
The constant maintenance of the True Nature in one’s heart is the
virtuous nature. When the virtuous nature is manifested in one’s
daily practice, it is the true ethics and morality. If one has Tao but
lacks virtues, he is a devil. Confucius said “Only with perfect virtues
can a person attain Tao.” Virtue means to attain Tao. To accumulate
merits is the same as to establish one’s virtues.
To establish one’s virtues, one should help the needy, vow to relief
disasters and bring salvation, follow the teachings of the five religions
and carry the teachings into practice to the fullest extent. Merits are
accumulated through donating to print Sutras and Scriptures,
establishing God’s Altars, exhorting and touching the sinful,
spreading God’s truth in the land of non-believers, advocating
Tao and virtues, stimulating the wisdom of others, and introducing
and supporting others so they can attain Tao. When the external
merits are fulfilled, the internal merits will be facilitated.
In terms of social work, one can donate his own wealth to help the
needy and to provide relief to disasters, or to raise funds if the need
is too great for a single person to fulfill. In all cases, we must adapt
and adjust our approaches according to the time, the place, the people
and the task. We should persuade parents to care for children;
children to fulfill filial devotion; siblings to have friendship and
respect for each other; spouses to live in harmony; friends to trust
each other and be trustworthy; government officials to be loyal and
fair; the sinful to repent; and the ordinary to become Sages. True
merits are accumulated as long as one does not intend to build
reputation and expect praises, nor deploy harsh words and attitudes.
If one intends to build reputation or receive praises, he accumulates
no merit despite doing the good deeds. He will only be rewarded in
his next life. If one exhorts others in a harsh or infuriated tone, then
he is not a practitioner of Tao.