"The Little Prince"
Spoken By Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hsihu Center, Formosa January 26, 1992 (Originally In Chinese)
You have read The Little Prince, haven't you? (Audience answers: "Yes.") That book is very good, noble, elegant and pure. It doesn't force anything upon people, yet it makes a lot of sense. For example, on the little planet that the little prince lived on, there grew a kind of tree. The little prince said that if he didn't pull it out as soon as he saw such a tree, it would over-take his planet, and then it would be too late to get rid of the tree. For his little planet, such a tree was too big.
What does the little tree represent? It represents our intransigent, preconceived concepts inside us. If we let our distracting thoughts grow, it would be difficult for us to control them. They would bear "offspring," wouldn't they?
The little prince also said that there were three volcanoes on his planet. One of them was inactive, so he covered it with a cup. (Master laughs) However, he had to check on it every day, because he said, "We don't know if this volcano is really inactive." It's true! Sometimes we think that we've eliminated our greed, anger or infatuation, but we don't know whether it has truly been eliminated or not. So we must cautiously keep an eye on it.
This story also applies to spiritual practitioners. It means that if we don't really work hard on our spiritual practice, our greed, anger and infatuation will return and grow again at anytime.