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近墨易黑,
离朱难赤。
生人天道,
易成善恶。

– 朱墨偈 (1)

Those near ink are easily blackened,
departed from cinnabar, difficult to redden.
Born in the humanly and godly paths,
it is easy become good and evil.

– Verses On Cinnabar & Ink (1)

Imagine a two-litre bottle of water, with one or two grams of ink dropped into it, which will quickly diffuse throughout the water. A little ink (which represents poisonous wrong teachings) can corrupt a full bottle of water (which represents pure teachings), which is why problematic teachers who give no room for reasonable enquiries or suggested corrections should be renounced immediately. Worse than black ink that is easy to see, colourless ‘spiritual’ misconceptions are hard to filter away, with it subtly mixed with what seems ‘alright’. The most cunning poison will appear sweet as nectar, enticing more of it to be drunk, till one is so severely poisoned that one defends the poison as pure.

While those discerning enough will be able to filter away the poison, those not tend to assume they are discerning enough, which is why they keep drinking it. Those discerning enough will realise the tiresome effort needed to filter, and thus stop taking even a sip. However, those not discerning enough will not see the filtering needed, and happily drink it all up, thinking they are being well nourished. It is thus best to stay totally clear of even the subtly poisoned, to only learn the true teachings in the sūtras and their commentaries by great masters.

A minute spent on wrong teachings is a minute not spent on true teachings. One of Māra’s ways of destroying our attention on the right Dharma is by distracting us to no end with pseudo-Dharma, making us believe it is right Dharma, or that there is still some right Dharma within worthy of attention. Māra also wastes the time of those teaching the right Dharma by getting them to pick apart wrong teachings point by point, even though doing this is sometimes crucial when there are many misled by them. Time is always better spent on the right Dharma!  

近朱易赤, 离墨无黑。
生安乐国, 易成清净。  

– 朱墨偈 (2)   

Those near cinnabar are easily reddened,
departed from ink, without that black.
Born in the Land Of Peace And Bliss,
it is easy become pure.    

– Verses On Cinnabar & Ink (2)

Related Article:

朱墨偈  
Verses On Cinnabar & Ink
https://purelanders.com/2019/07/27/verses-on-cinnabar-and-ink 

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