Although human is the supreme being of all creatures, how much can he learn within just a few decades? Times are constantly changing, and human intelligence and abilities are constantly developing. But at times, when I look at the behaviour of animals and then reflect on the development of humans, I cannot help but feel deeply ashamed.
Since ancient times, wild geese would flock in large numbers to the south, thousands of miles, to escape the cold and bitter winter so that they could breed comfortably in warmer climates. When spring returns, they will fly back with a new generation to the north, where it is cooler. Birds have the wisdom to choose their habitats. They know how to choose the right climate suitable for living and can pass down this practice to the next generation. The mother bird flies to the south to give birth to chicks and then brings them back home to the north. When the weather gets cold, she flies south again. The new generation of birds will also follow the same flight route. Generations after generations, they abide by the rules diligently. However, can humans do the same? I believe it is hard.
Although the older generation is eager to educate the next generation, the new generation tends to follow the trends and social norms of the time. They often protest: "The past belongs to the past; we are in the present time, and it is different!"
The current generation refuses to follow what the past generation has gone through. They are often unwilling to accept the ways of life their elders teach. This is "people not following human ethics and principles."
The Buddha was compassionate and benevolent, he gave up worldly things to gain enlightenment and spread dharma to all living beings. He wanted his disciples to get rid of ignorance and selfishness and to abandon their ego self for the greater self. However, some people remain ignorant and stubborn and are unable to follow the Buddha's teachings. Thus, they cannot attain sagehood.
So, I often say: Wholeheartedness is the bedrock of our practice. If one can follow the teachings of the enlightened ones and study and practice diligently, there is nothing one cannot achieve. But many are duplicitous and try to achieve unrealistic “dreams” with their little wits. They refuse to heed the teachings of past gurus, so they never succeeded.
Some things can be masqueraded with falsehood. However, if one is prideful and swellheaded, one can fall into traps easily. It is like a tree whose leaves are almost exactly the same as grapes. Except that grapevines will bear fruit, while that plant only has thorns. If one only looks at the leaves, thinking they are grapes and tries to pluck them, one will definitely get pricked.
In the same way, if one cannot distinguish reality from ideal, one will definitely be hurt. Life is impermanent, and time flies, so we must be rational and sensible. If one abandons the truth and clings to arrogance, one will get pricked without even reaching out to the leaves.
Time is precious, so I hope everyone can abide by the rules and follow the teachings of the enlightened ones. Migratory birds can find their path in the vast and limitless sky without losing their way because that is the way! There is a right path in life for everyone, but if one is unwilling to follow it, one is no better than a bird. It would then be a pity to keep losing direction in life and wasting time.