Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Filmmaking was introduced to Âu Lạc (Vietnam) at the end of 1890s. It began to thrive in 1923 with the first movie co-produced by the French and the Aulacese based on the masterpiece “The Tale of Kiều” by literary great Nguyễn Du. Embracing the modern technology of our world's civilization and combining it with a diverse artistic foundation inherent in the country's traditions, Aulacese filmmaking nowadays continues to develop to enhance the nation's cultural landscape.

On Enlightening Entertainment, Supreme Master Television is pleased to introduce different forms of arts from Âu Lạc (Vietnam), as well as from other countries in the world, in order to share the beauty and cultures of the peoples on our planet.

This week, we’d like to introduce another Aulacese folk tale entitled “Not Yet a Doctor of Letters.” The story was adapted to a film of the same title about a poor student who was destined to become a mandarin later. Since he learned of his future of wealth and glory, what changes took place in the behavior of this diligent and kind-hearted student? There is a saying “Heaven’s will cannot be disclosed.” Thus, what happens when God’s plan is revealed to Earthlings?

We now invite you to enjoy the film “Not Yet a Doctor of Letters,” written by screenwriter Nguyễn Đông Thức, directed by Nguyễn Minh Chung, and produced by Phương Nam Films, with performances by Huy Anh as Hải, Trường Huy as Còi, Đức Huỳnh as Giàu, Lê Bình as Shrine Keeper, Tiến Hòa as Village Deity, and other artists.

You’ve just enjoyed the film “Not Yet a Doctor of Letters,” written by screenwriter Nguyễn Đông Thức, directed by Nguyễn Minh Chung, and produced by Phương Nam Films, with performances by Huy Anh as Hải, Trường Huy as Còi, Đức Huỳnh as Giàu, Lê Bình as Shrine Keeper, Tiến Hòa as Village Deity, and other artists.

The film “Not Yet a Doctor of Letters” illustrates the importance of cause and effect. Although our fate is determined by Heaven, if we do not uphold virtue and humility, and instead behave unrighteously, our future will change according to our present deeds. While everything is arranged by Heaven, we are also granted free will.

If we don’t use it to make wise choices, the most disadvantageous consequence will befall us. In a public lecture in London, the United Kingdom, on June 9, 1999, Supreme Master Ching Hai answered a question about free will. She also expounded on how enlightenment can affect free will.

God lets you do what you want, but then you create the bad consequence. As the Bible says, "As you sow, so shall you reap."

So if our free will, we use it in indiscriminate way, we do all kind of bad things, and when the bad consequence comes to us, at that time, no more free will, because we have to bow under the burdens of the consequence of "As you sow, so shall you reap." So, there is a free will, but we have to know how to use it wisely. When we are enlightened, we know how to use free will better because we can see what is right, what is wrong. Or, God teaches us silently, and we intuitively know what is right, what is wrong to do. Before that, most of us bow to destiny.

Thank you for your presence on Enlightening Entertainment, Words of Wisdom is coming up next. Please tune in on Supreme Master Television next Thursday for the Aulacese modern folk opera “The Legend of Quan Yin’s Bridge Building” by playwright Thanh Kim Huệ. Farewell for now.

O Shrine Keeper! Wake up! Wake up!

Respected Village Deity! Please pardon my sin!

What sin have you committed that needs a pardon?

Oh, yeah! I’ve committed no sin.

Then listen to me.

Yes, I’m listening.

Tomorrow, a high-ranking mandarin will pay a visit.


You must clean up the place to welcome him.


Did you hear me clearly?

Yes, very clearly.

Then do you duty properly or else you’d offend the great mandarin.

Yes, I will.

All right, I’m leaving. What? I ascend.


Thiên is Heaven, địa is Earth. Cử is to raise, tồn is to keep. Tử is children, tôn is grandchildren. Lục is six, tam is three. Gia is family, quốc is country. Tiền is before, hậu is after. Ngưu is buffalo, mã is horse. Cự is spur, nha is tooth.

Vô is emptiness, hữu is existence. Khuyển is dog, dương is goat. Qui is to return, tẩu is to run.

Bái is to bow, quỵ is to kneel. Khứ is to go, lai is to come back. Nữ is girl, nam is boy. Đái is belt, quan is cap. Túc is to have enough, đa is to have a lot. Ái is to love, tăng is to hate. Thức is to know, tri is to perceive. Mộc is tree, căn is root. Dị is easy, nan is difficult. Chỉ is delicious, cam is sweet. Trụ is pillar, lương is beam. Sàng is bed, tịch is mat. Khiếm is lack, dư is excess. Sừ is to rake, cúc is to plow. Chúc is torch, đăng is lantern. Thăng is to ascend, giáng is to descend. Điền is paddy, trạch is house. Lão is elder, đồng is baby. Tước is sparrow, kê is fowl. Ngã is self, tha is others. Bá is uncle, di is aunt. Diên is lead, tích is steel. Dịch is work, công is public. Hàn is feather, dực is wing. Thánh is saint, hiền is sage. Tiên is fairy, Phật is Buddha.

What are you doing? What are you doing? What is it? So strange!

Try harder, Giàu! Be quick!

Why are you chasing me for nothing? I’m not joking. I’m not joking. What are you doing? I said I’m not joking. Stay away, boy. So you boys are using me as the finishing line, right? I’m telling you in advance, I’m not joking. This place is not a playground. If you want to play, go somewhere else. Get out now!

1, 2, 3. Run in!

Where are you going? Put the bunch of bananas down. Return it to me. Return the bananas here!

The banana is so good!

I didn’t know Còi is that strong.

It’s probably because brother Còi has been carrying Giàu a lot, so he’s strong like that.

I lost, but I don’t feel bad at all. Because I sit on Còi’s back all the time, so my legs are getting lazy now. Anyway, I still like to sit on Còi’s back. Còi! Carry me home!

I’m so exhausted today. I won’t be able to carry you.

You must, even if you’re exhausted. You must carry me until your mother pays up all her debt to my father.

Wait! I have this idea. Còi has carried you almost a month already, but his mother hasn’t paid your father a penny. Are you going to make him carry you all his life?

Of course!

You sit on his back not even month yet and you already walk like a duck. If you keep on this way, next month your legs will shrink like those of a stunted duck.

Stunted duck! Stunted duck!

You dare making fun of me?

How can Còi and I dare make fun of a mandarin’s pampered son? I’m just telling you, so you can avoid it.

You want me to set Còi free?


But with one condition.

What condition?

You boys, gather the water for me!

Here’s my water! My water! There!

You must drink up all this water.

O God! That’s a lot to drink.

If I drink it all, then what?

I’ll set Còi free. I won’t make him carry me anymore.

What if I can’t?

You’ll have to kneel on the jackfruit skin for one day.

Hải, let me alone. Don’t drink. You can’t handle it.

Give it up! Give up now!

All right, I’ll drink.

Try harder! Try harder! You lost!

I already told you. Are you okay?

You lost! Go to the Village Deity shrine tomorrow to accept your penalty, understand?

O Shrine Keeper! Why aren’t there any fruits offered today?

You’ve snatched them all, now you’re asking me? Go to another place!

What were you saying?

I’ve already told you! Why do you still stand there and harp on the same thing?

What’s the matter?

Greetings, Deity.

What’s going on?

Please pardon me, Deity.

What makes you so angry?

Respected Deity, it’s nothing at all. It’s just the kids coming here to disturb the peace.

You scared me to death. So? How did you enjoy seeing the mandarin yesterday? Tell me.

Respected Deity, there was no fun at all. I waited the whole day yesterday and saw no mandarin whatsoever.

Why not?

There was no one, really. Just a bunch of kids who came and wreaked havoc.

There it is!

You mean...

Who else is there? One of the kids is the future first laureate.

First laureate?


Can you tell me that boy’s name?

Heaven’s will is not to be disclosed. Heaven’s secret, I can’t let you know.

O Village Deity, if I don’t know his name, how can I receive the first laureate properly? Maybe, you just draw a little something. Will you? Just a little bit only. And I can figure out from there. Is that okay?

It’s a secret, how can I reveal it?

A secret? You probably don’t know the name of that future first laureate, right?

What did you say? I myself don’t know? I’m a deity and I don’t know? But I must keep the secret.

Keeping a secret? Now I feel even surer that you don’t know the name of that future first laureate.

I do.

You don’t.

How frustrating! Why don’t you believe me?

If you want me to believe you, you must prove it.

Prove it?


How do I prove it?

By telling me the name of that boy. See? What’s so difficult about it?

Yes. That’s not difficult at all.

Not at all!

All right, let me tell you, so you’ll believe me.


That first laureate is...

Who is it?

You want to trick me, don’t you? Don’t dream about it!

You sure don’t know the name of that boy.

O how maddening! What should I do to make you believe me, yet still keep Heaven’s secret?

To keep Heaven’s secret... Ah, I have a way.

What way?

Now, let’s just say you don’t reveal the boy’s name to me.

Don’t reveal his name.

And disclose nothing to me at all.

Disclose nothing.

It’s like you and I say nothing about it.

Say nothing about it.

The secret is absolutely intact.

But how?

Here’s how. Tomorrow, when that mandarin steps into the shrine, you stand up. When I see you standing up, I know right away, true?

My secret is guaranteed?

We don’t say anything, how can the secret be disclosed?

Are you sure?


Good, good, good! Clever, clever! I think your way is fine.


Tomorrow, I’ll do as you said.


All right, I’m leaving.


Remember that tomorrow the future first laureate will come, okay? I ascend now.

So it’s you. Why do you visit the shrine so early today? Please come in for a cooling rest.

How come you are so kind today?

Never mind. Are you by yourself this time?

They’ll come later.

No problem at all. As long as it makes you happy. Please come in for a rest. Please! Please burn a few incense sticks for the Deity. What is that? Goodness! When did you get here?

Late last night.

How could you get through the closed door?

The dog hole.

Where do you live? Why did you come here to sleep?

His house was dispossessed by my dad last night.

How come?

His mother borrowed 200 quan (monetary unit) from my dad.

200 quan?

They couldn’t pay, so my dad must take possession of their house. Where’s Hải?

I don’t know.

He wants to hide from me?

He never would. He’s probably busy. Don’t you worry. If he doesn’t come, I’ll kneel in his place.

You’ll kneel? Fine. If you want to kneel, I’ll let you. Kneel!

I’ll kneel. What’s the big deal? But I won’t kneel.

Yes, you must.

Wait. What’s the matter?

It’s none of your business. Kneel!

Wait. Wait a bit. O Deity! Please help me! Who is he among these two? Otherwise I’d be committing a grave offense. O Deity, please help me. Don’t hold on to your secret anymore. Please!

Kneel down!

O Village Deity! It’s so painful, help me!

Ouch! It hurts so much! O Daddy, O Mommy!

You’re indeed the future first laureate.

What are you guys doing this morning instead of going to school?

I’m practicing to be a mandarin.

How can you become a mandarin, ditching school like that?

I’m destined to graduate as first laureate and be a high-ranking mandarin. What’s the big deal to stay out of school for a few days? My fate is like that; I’ll be a mandarin, studying or not.

Còi can be a mandarin without studying. But you guys aren’t fated to be mandarins, how come you don’t go to school?

Why go to school if you’re not fated to be a mandarin? It’s better that they follow to serve me. Later I’ll help them to enjoy a better life than others. Isn’t that right, guys?

That’s right!

Don’t listen to him. He’s crazy.

Hải! Have you seen Giàu anywhere?


If you see him, tell him to come see me right away. He must not dodge me anymore.

Go find him yourself. It’s not my business.

Let’s go, guys!

Why didn’t you go to school this morning?

I’m afraid to confront Còi.

You fear his revenge? You deserve it, anyhow. It’s because you relied on your wealth to bully him.

Hải, will you help me? You used to help him before. He probably feels indebted to you. Could you ask him to forgive me now? He probably will listen to you.

He wouldn’t listen to anyone now. But don’t worry. Just go to school tomorrow for me.

He has the Village Deity on his side. I’m very afraid of him.

Why? A deity would never defend the wicked. Yesterday, the Deity beat you because you were mean to him.

I admit that I have wronged him and you. Will you forgive me, Hải?

Forget about that. Just don’t drop out of school. I’m here, so don’t be afraid of him. All right, go home.

O brother Còi! When you become a mandarin, what will you do first?

Let me see. I’ll pay off my debt to Giàu’s father and redeem my house. Then I’ll buy a huge basket of potatoes to treat you all to your hearts’ content.

Oh, it’s Giàu!

Catch him for me! Quickly! Hurry up, boys! Capture him! Guys, capture him!

Hải, brother Còi calls you.

What is it he wants to see me for?

Brother Còi is making Giàu drink water to revenge for you. He calls you to come see it. Hurry up!

Drink up this water jar before I can let you stand. About your making me carry you to school almost a month, I’ll see to it tomorrow.

Drink it up! Drink!

Còi, let Giàu go! I don’t need you to revenge for me.

Why are you so dense? He made you drink until you threw up Aren’t you upset?

I volunteered to drink to help you.

But he made me kneel on the jackfruit skin.

It was because you wanted to kneel in my place. But the Deity already saved you, why do you still take revenge?

But he made me carry him to school almost a month. His father dispossessed my mother’s house. My mother had to sleep on the street. Didn’t you see that? You’re siding with him? Are you betraying me?

I’m not taking sides with him. I’m not betraying you either. But I don’t want you to become like Giàu. You’re Còi.

Now I’m not the poor and hungry Còi who was bullied by the rich. Heaven takes pity on me. I fear no one. Anyone who is against me, I’ll punish.

I’m against you. Beat me then. You dare?

All right, considering that you saved me before, I’ll let him go today. But you should remember that it’s not because I’m afraid of you.

It’s really calamitous now!

He was never like that before. He worked hard and studied diligently. It’s probably because Giàu bullied him too much, so he feels bitter and acts as such.

But it’s not good that he becomes like that before he’s a mandarin. Too naughty! Too misbehaved!

It’s your fault that Còi is naughty.

What? Why me?

Why did you tell him about his future as a mandarin?

That’s right. Why did I tell him that he will be a mandarin? How sinful! Too sinful!

But yours is a minor sin, that of the Village Deity is grave.

O Heaven and Earth! How dare you speak like that in front of the Deity?

Am I not correct? The Village Deity revealed Heaven’s secret. If he didn’t, how would you know, right?

That’s right. If he didn’t, how would I know?

Why didn’t you go to school this morning?

Còi made us bring him money.

Money for what?

He made each of us hand him 10 quan. I myself had to give him 30 quan.

My God! He borrowed that much money, how can he pay back?

He said when he’s a mandarin, he’ll pay double. And those who don’t lend him money he’ll make them do labor work until they die.

What a woe!

O Hải! I mistreated you, but you still help me. Còi is fated to be a mandarin, but you don’t side with him. I respect you a lot, but I’m afraid of Còi.

Hải! Today I have a lot of money. I’ll split half of it with you.

What kind of game is this?

Just take this much for now. When I’m a mandarin, I’ll repay your favor properly.

You guys just take the money home. From now on, don’t give Còi money anymore. I’ll be responsible.

Hải, don’t meddle in my affairs!

You think you’re fated to be a mandarin, then you can do anything you want? You’re not there yet but you already dropped out of school and even influenced them to do bad things. Now you even extort money?

I don’t extort money, I just borrow their money. When I’m a mandarin, I’ll pay them double. I don’t borrow your money, so don’t interfere. Watch out!

You’re threatening me? I’ve done nothing wrong, so I’m afraid of no one. Even if you’re a king I’m not afraid of you either. And you guys, go back to school.

We’re not fated to be mandarins, why study?

A mandarin will respect a civilian who is more talented than him. People will revere a mandarin who is wiser than them.

Hải! If you’re a hero, come to the Village Deity shrine to fight with me. You dare?

You want the Village Deity to help you beat me?

Even the king you’re not afraid of, let alone deities. Is that right?

What’s the condition?

If I win, you must follow to serve me, be my bodyguard and adviser. If you win, later when I become a mandarin, I won’t make you do labor work and will reduce tax for your family for a hundred years.

I don’t need that special treatment. I just need you to go back to school and drop your play of mimicking a mandarin. All right?

All right, I accept.

You’d better keep your word.

What are you planning to do today?

Greetings, Shrine Keeper! Today, please let me borrow the shrine for a little while.

This shrine is yours. You’re free to use. But what do you need it for?

You’ll know pretty soon. For now, please stand there, don’t ask questions, don’t intervene. You hear?

Yes, I hear you.

Respected Village Deity, if you help Còi to beat me, I won’t come here to clean your altar anymore.

Village Deity, please help me beat Hải. When I become a mandarin, I’ll make people pay taxes to build you a big shrine, bigger than this one even.

Fight! Fight now!

My God! What’s going on? Are you in for a fight? O God! Don’t fight anymore! Why do you come to the shrine to fight all of a sudden? O you two! Let go of each other. Let off! O God, what’s the matter? Why do you get in a fight all of a sudden? Let off! O God! Woe to me! Enough, let go of each other, please! Don’t fight anymore. Listen to me! My nose is bleeding here, O Deity! O Village Deity! Please intervene, O Deity! Why did they come to the shrine to fight all of a sudden?

Do you give up now?

I do! I do!

He’s defeated!

Why didn’t you help me, Village Deity? Fine, remember this. When I’m a mandarin, I’ll demolish your shrine.

Help me! Help me!

What does that mean, Shrine Keeper?

It means Heaven has crossed him off the list as a mandarin. Therefore, the Village Deity needs not stand to wait on him anymore. That’s the way it goes. He hasn’t become a doctor of letters, yet was quick to threaten his fellows.

Most of the Aulacese folk tales offer moral lessons. Stories often engage people’s attention more than any ordinary advice; therefore, ethical values, through these legends, would easily be absorbed by the children’s pure minds and help shape a person’s characters since childhood. But folk tales are not only fascinating to youth, there are countless stories that are loved by all ages and social backgrounds. They have been adapted into many works of arts such as films, modern folk operas, chèo traditional operas, and classical theater operas.

In the past, Supreme Master Television has had the honor to broadcast a number of these popular ancient tales, including “Offering Gold for Star Fruits,” “Thạch Sanh Lý Thông,” “What Belongs to Heaven is Returned to Earth,” “Tấm Cám,” “Lưu Bình and Dương Lễ,” “Thoại Khanh and Châu Tuấn,” “The Legend of Betel and Areca,” “A Good Wife Makes a Good Husband,”

“Vạn Lịch Coins,” “The Poor Student and Jade Emperor,” “Phạm Công and Cúc Hoa,” “Lâm Sanh and Xuân Nương,” “Trương Chi Mỵ Nương ,” “Quan Yin Thị Kính Bodhisattva,” “A Thumbelina in the Bamboo Tube,” “Quan Yin Diệu Thiện,” “Mountain Deity and Water Deity ,” “Tiên Dung and Chữ Đồng Tử,” “A King Named Pig,” and “A Woman’s Wits.”

Is there such a thing as genuine free will? Or are all our lives pre-determined? There are genuine free will and pre-determined. Yes, yes! Genuine free will is when you are really free. After enlightenment, you can use your free will better. Before enlightenment, we can only bow to fate and destiny. Sometimes our strong will wakes up in some emergency situation, and we turn things around. But rarely people have such a strong will. Therefore, free will is that God lets you do what you want.

Oh, poor villagers! What shall I do to help them? Lạc Dương River is vast and the water flows swiftly. How can a small, frail boat survive when tempests rise? What should I do to help the villagers escape mishaps and cross the river safely? Seeing unfortunate plights, I couldn’t be at ease. How can I stand by idly at such a frustrating situation? Doesn’t Heaven have any pity for the poor, decent people?

O God and Buddha, please save us. Bless us through miracles. Help me find a way to save people from dangers. Brother Tấn Hỉ, please help me think of a way to put an end to the perils so that villagers may cross the river safely.

You’re really good, I must admit. I stood behind you, but still you knew. I’m also thinking but couldn’t figure out anything. I think about it from night to morning, from inside my house to out the door, from the third to the fifth watch at night, but nothing comes out of my head. I think back and forth, be it wise or foolish, good or bad, yet I end up giving up.