There are 2 interpretations of this picture, which is called "The Vinegar Tasters". The three men standing around the vat are Buddha, Lao Tsu, and Confucius.
One interpretation is that, since there are 3 men and only one vat, the three religions are, in essence, one.
The second is that the vat of vinegar represents life. Confucius pronounces it sour, and in need of rules to correct the degenrative tendencies of humanity. Buddha pronounces it bitter due to the pain and suffering humanity experiences. Lao Tzu pronounces it sweet because he believed that life was fundamentally good in it's natural state.
To which of the three outlooks do you subscribe, and why? Or would you offer a fourth choice?
I found a book awhile ago, and wanted to bring it to your attention. It's called The Lunar Tao, the author being Deng Ming-Dao. This book goes day by day through the Chinese Lunar year, and gives a…Continue