Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Retribution for Killing: A True Story

The Shin Min papers carried an interesting article on 7.1.06 abt a woman in Ipoh, Malaysia who gave birth to a "Snake Girl" after killing a snake in the vegetable plantation when she was pregnant. This woman believed she had offended a Snake Spirit, and she would carry this regret with her until her last day. The Snake Girl that is her retarded daughter is now 29 yrs old. From young she refused to wear any clothes and constantly twirls her tounge out like a snake's tounge. After she's fully fed she would coil herself up like a snake and go to sleep (see above)!
This Snake Girl was named Wen Jinlan by her mother, Yang Yamei (60 yrs old); not that a name had any meaning at all to her. Whenever her family tried to dress her, she would angrily tear up her clothes and throw them far far away, much to her mother's frustration. As Mdm Yang's husband is old (72 yrs) and in ill health, she had no choice but to get help from the Petaling Guanyin Temple. The temple managed to get the Ipoh Disabled Children's Home to take Snake Girl in. Last week Mdm Yang had finally taken Snake Girl to the home. Although she is 29, she looked no older than a teenage child, and is less than 4 feet tall. Still refusing to wear clothes, the mother had somehow put Snake Girl in a pair of shorts. After being hand-fed by her mother, Snake Girl lazily coils up on the floor to sleep, legs in the air & tounge still slithering.

Besides Snake Girl, who is Mdm yang's eldest daughter, she had also given birth to 6 other children. But they all suffered some form of misfortune; her 3rd son had gone missing for many years, the 5th son suffered from insanity and the rest of the children all lived hand to mouth. Mdm Yang knew this is her bad karma and had resigned herself to her fate.

The chairman of the Disabled Children's home, Mr Zhang Guoliang, sympathized with her and said they would take care of Snake Girl. But she must learn to dress herself and Mr Zhang would get the staff to slowly re-educate her into more human behaviour.

This true story tells us that very often, those sentient beings that you have gravely offended in this life or in past lives can and will come to take their revenge on you when the opportunity arrives; and what better way to do this than to become your children! Children are born into our families all for a karmic purpose; either they are your creditors or your debtors. If they are the former, then you have no choice but to clothe them, feed them, raise them to pay pack, and yet still be abused or even killed by your own flesh and blood if their hatred is deep enough. Of course, in taking revenge these beings create even more negative karma in the process. Although they cause their parents to suffer, they themselves stand a high chance of falling into the Hells when they die. Especially if they commit the Parajika sins ie. kill their own parents, they will be reborn into Avici Hell where they will suffer unspeakble torment for countless eons.
Terrible indeed are the fruits of hatred and revenge, for it is a raging fire that burns both debtor and creditor alike without discrimination. It is a vicious cycle where nobody stands to gain anything at all in the whole painful process. The only way for sentient beings to break this samsaric cycle is for one party to give up the hatred in his or her heart and for the other party to sincerely seek forgiveness. Throughout the eons of samsaric existence, all of us have made innumberable enemies in ignorance and therefore we are both creditors and debtors in one body. The wise Dhamma practice is to constantly douse with Metta (loving-kindness) all thoughts of hate that arise in the delusional mind, and at the same time seek forgiveness from all sentient beings that we might have trangressed in our past and present lives. Observe the percepts, guard the mind so as not to make any more future enemies. In this way, with our enemies gradually reduced, the path to enlightenment will become smooth. Let us have unwavering faith in the Triple Gems, sadhu.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

One way to help alleviate this karmic retribution is to practise vipassana meditation regularly, share the merits with the spirit of the snake killed and asked for forgiveness from the spirit of the snake killed. While it may not totally absolves to bad karma, I believe it will help significantly.