A Person of Great Virtue is Like Water
The Book “Laozi” says: “A person of great virtue is like water. Water benefits all things but does not contend with them. It endures in lowly places others disdain - and thereby approaches the Dao (Way).” This means that a most virtuous person is like water, assuming no forms but being flexible enough to follow and fit in the form of others, whether square or round. It does not contend with other things nor think of its own interest. It occupies a position beneath everyone in a humble and modest manner. Because of this, it forever benefits all sentient beings, and accommodates and nourishes everything. It does not oppose or compete with other things. This is why it is said that “The law of nature is to benefit all things and not harm them. The sage's code of conduct is not to compete with others for anything.” It requires a person to have the inner quality of ‘gentleness’. Laozi uses the nature of water as a metaphor for an obliging person who is tender and kind. Such a person is almost like an obliging bodhisattva who serves the needs of sentient beings in order to benefit them. He does it with a mind of ‘no self’ and ‘no possessions’.
A humble and gentle person who has no quarrel with others and gets on well with people finds happiness and tranquility. If everyone is like that, there will be harmony and peace at all levels: family, society, nation and the world. Therefore, a gentle and yielding temperament leads to blessings.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings