Saturday, December 25, 2010

Good Children Bad Children

During the Qing dynasty era there was a rich man in Zhejiang province named Wang Weng, who had inherited much wealth from his ancestors. Wang married at 20 yrs old and in the 10 over years that followed, he had 9 children with his wife. However all these 9 children were retarded or of low intelligence. Despite their condition the parents still loved them very much.

In the reign of Emperor Qianlong, there was a severe famine and many people died of starvation. At this important time, Wang sold all his property and used the money to help with disaster relief in his hometown. Many lives were saved as a result of his generosity. Everyone who had received aid were very grateful and regarded Wang as a living Bodhisattva. What they did not know was that both Wang and his wife were strong devotees of Bodhisattva Guanyin. That was why they were able to perform Dana so readily, without any hint of stinginess. Dana is the foremost of the 6 Paramitas and Wang had indeed followed the Buddhist teachings wholeheartedly.

What happened after that brought a big shock to many people; Wang's eldest son contracted an acute disease and died soon after. In the space of a few years, the rest of his 9 children fell sick and died one after another! Everyone was puzzled and thought, "Wang and his wife made such a big merit by selling all their property to save so many lives; why did they not reap any good fruits for their good karma? Maybe their belief in Guanyin is not efficacious at all?" And there were also the foolish who thought, "Do good deeds and you get evil results. That proves there is no point doing good at all. Better for me to do what I want!"

Wang and wife were of course deeply saddened by their children's deaths, but due to their strong faith in Guanyin, they did not give up their belief even after what happened. They continued to pray to Guanyin everyday without fail. One day they wrote a proclaimation and burnt it in front of their Guanyin bucha to express their pain.

That night Guanyin appeared in Wang's dream and told him, "Good man, do not be sad. The 9 children you had previously were 9 demons, sent by the Heavenly Emperor into your family. As a result of hidden evil karma created by your ancestors, these 9 demons manifest as your 9 bad children to squander away all the wealth that they have accumulated. But due to the great merit that you have made by selling your properties to relief the great famine, he had decided to recall the 9 demons back. Not long after this the Scholarly Star will descend into your family. You have a bright future ahead, therefore rejoice!"

Wang woke up the next morning and told his wife what he dreamt about. To his surprise, his wife said she dreamt of the exact same thing! From then on the couple no longer felt sad and were inspired to continue helping those in need. Soon after Wang's wife conceived again and in the years that followed she successfully gave birth to another 5 children. All these 5 children were very intelligent, had excellent memory and were well-learned in all things. One of them was Wang Wenjian, who became the top scholar of the empire and eventually promoted to a Minister in the imperial court. Even up till today, Wang's descendants continued to be very prominent in their achievements.

This is a true story. The moral of the story is: Do not be happy if you have children; for they may well be your debtors from previous lives coming to claim what you owed them in the past. Do not be sad if your children die also, for they may just be leaving after claiming back the full debt from you. Or they may be your creditors, who will also leave once they have repaid what they owed you previously in full. Most of the time smart children who do their parents proud but die in their prime are such creditors. Complex as karma is, the intricate connections between close relatives can basically be summed up with 3 words - Debtors and Creditors. That's why those who can gain insight into the emptiness of worldly life and relationships will be able to remain calm no matter what happens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing this article.