Monday, April 27, 2009

At the wake of LP Tim Wat Phra Kao

As we all know LP Tim passed away on 22.3.2009 at the age of 96 yrs old. I was at Wat Phra Kao on 22.4.2009 to pay my final respects to this master.

A video of the Sala housing the body of LP Tim Wat Phra Kao, who passed away a month ago in Nonthaburi. Many other devotees have came to pay their final respects to the highly respected LP Tim in Ayuttaya.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sampogong at Wat Phanancheong

On 22.4.2009 I was at Wat Phanancheong, Ayuttaya to pay homage to Phra Sampogong, the oldest Buddha statue in the ancient city. This is something I always do whenever I'm visit Ayuttaya.

A video of the the newly gold plated Sampogong (Luang Por Toh) at Wat Phanancheong, Ayuttaya. This revered Buddha image looks more magnificent than before!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Vegetarian Cat

2 days ago there was a report on Dante, which is UK's and perhaps the world's only vegetarian cat. Apparently, Dante ate only vegetables and fruits, refusing to eat traditional cat food like meat, fish and everything else cats usually like. It had been that way since its owner Becky found it as an abandoned kitten. And the miraculous thing was Dante is perfectly healthy living on a vegetarian diet, which is almost impossible for ordinary cats to survive on. This is indeed a case baffling for vets and animal researchers.

Now, what could be the cause of Dante's behaviour? According to Buddhism, there's 2 possible explanations. Dante was probably a Dharma practitioner in its past life who kept the precepts and refrained from eating meat on a life-long basis. However, he or she did not practice meditation and did not have any insight into the true nature of all things. He or she could not separate Rupa (Form) and Nama (Mind), and when the person passed away, his or her mind was still clouded by Moha (ignorance). Moha conditions rebirth into the animal realm, and the next thing we know, his or her consciousness ended up in a mother cat's womb. However, due to its moral behavior in its previous life, it did not forget its dietary habit as a human and was also able to find a good owner. So even as an animal, past merit ensures that it did not have to suffer starvation, heat, cold or being devoured by other animals. Merit is the basis of happiness for all sentient beings as they wander endlessly through the wheel of samsara. Yet merit without wisdom and insight is ultimately Dukkha (unsatisfactory), for no matter how great it is, it will still be exhausted one day. That is why Master Yongjia said in his Song of Enlightenment:

"To dwell on form when giving & being rewarded with a heavenly rebirth, is like looking up and shooting an arrow towards the sky;

When its force it exhausted the arrow falls back onto the earth,
which is to say future lives will not be in accordance to one's wishes

How then can it be compared to the gate of the unconditioned,
with a single leap one enters straight into the ground of the Tathagatas

The other possible explanation is that this cat is a Bodhisattva who purposely took birth into the animal realm to teach us the Dharma. Even though Dante is a cat and cannot speak, yet it is using its body to tell us that even as a common animal, it is possible to live life without harming other animals. So how much more so for humans, who can speak and have the intelligence to differentiate right and wrong? If Dante is really a Bodhisattva cat, then we must clasp our palms and show reverence to it, sadhu.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

True Modern Karma Stories - Story 04

7. Wastage of natural resources is a great sin

A certain female reporter from a newspaper agency has heard Venerable Miaofa preaching the Dharma to devotees coming to seek treatment for their ailments and explaining their causes on many occasions. One day she asked the Master: she had gastric problems for years, and they did not seem to improve with treatment. Is it due to some misdeed she did in her previous lives?

The Master asked her, “Is it true that you hate eating bun skin, peeling and throwing them away every time you eat buns?”

The female reporter replied with surprise, “Oh Master, that’s completely true. I hate eating bun skin since young. Is that considered sinful?”

The Master smiled and said, “All those bun skin you threw away ended up in your gut. With time they became fermented, so how could it not cause pain? Know that the wastage of natural resources is a great sin. Grain and vegetables exist in this world to nourish human beings, but you wasted them because of your own dislikes. You must be aware that in the world today there are still many people who suffer from hunger daily, even starving to death. You should be ashamed of yourself. Furthermore, in many countries there are still people who survive on food scavenged from trash, and developed countries are no exception. Those people end up in that situation because they have wasted edible food in their previous lives. What you throw away in the past life, you have to pick them up to eat in the present life. So take heed!”

The female reporter asked in shame, “So what should I do, Master?”

“Repent in your heart, and from now on do not waste any more food. In this way your gastric problems will slowly be cured.”

The female reporter asked again, “Should I also perform the Precious Repentance of Emperor Liang?”

“Very well.” The Master smiled in satisfaction.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Fountain-head of Chan - Nanhua Si (南华寺)

Last October (2008) I visited Nanhua Si in Shaoguan, Guangdong with my wife. This is the famous temple where the 6th Patriarch Huineng spent most of his life, preaching the Doctrine of the Correct Dharma Eye. It is also the final resting place of his undecaying body, which sits in eternal samadhi for devotees to venerate until the end of the kalpa. Above we see the Caoxi Gate, which is the main entrance of the temple.
A big map showing the layout of the temple. Nanhua Si was first built in 502 CE during the Southern Liang dynasty by Indian Tripitaka Master Prajnabhaisajya (Zhiyao). He prophesied that 160 yrs later there would be a great Bodhisattva who would come and occupy this temple and benefit countless sentient beings. True enough in the year 667 CE of the Tang dynasty, Huineng came to Nanhua Si and became the abbot here. That was the beginning of the mass propagation of the Chan school in China. Today there is a Vihara in the temple to commemorate this master.
General Hum guarding the entrance.
General Ha opposite.
The Pavilion of the 5 Fragrances, which symbolizes Morality, Concentration, Wisdom, Liberation and the Insight that leads to Liberation according to Huineng's teachings.
The Baolin Gate. Nanhua Si was originally known as Baolin Si. It was renamed Nanhua by the first Emperor of the Song dynasty, Zhao Kuangyin in 968 CE.
The Golden Bowl that stands in front the Hall of Heavenly Kings.
Laughing Maitreya Buddha greets all visitors to the temple.
Kings Virupakkha and Vessavana.
Kings Dhatarattha and Virulhaka.
Outside the Grand Hall.
The gold-plated Buddhas of the 3 Worlds, Amitabha, Shakyamuni and Bhaisajyaguru.
The Hall of Scriptures.
This is the Lingzhao Pagoda which used to house Huineng's undecaying body.
The base of the Pagoda.
The Patriarch Hall, where Huineng's undecaying body is located.
A quick shot of the 1,296 yr old undecaying body; no photography was allowed inside the Vihara. The body is coated with dark brown sandalwood paste for better protection from the elements. But it was absolutely amazing that the facial features and even slight smile on his face was still so clear after nearly 13 centuries. Throughout history, the undecaying body was only damaged twice - both times in the last century. The first time was by Japanese soldiers who occupied the temple during WW2. Some of these audacious men wanted to know whether the body was real, so they cut open the back of the body to see whether there was anything inside. They were shocked to find Huinengs organs still intact inside his body! Immediately they quickly prostrated towards him, asked for forgiveness and left. So the hole had to be sewn up and repaired. The second time was during the cultural revolution, where fanatical Red Guards again cut open the body to see whether it was real. Those ignorant fools were not convinced and even paraded Huineng's body along with the undecaying bodies of Master Hanshan and Master Dantian in the streets to denounce them as fakes. They were going to destroy the bodies, but luckily, thanks to the timely and clever intervention of Mr Lin Dezhong, they were returned to Nanhua Si so that "the whole world could see the fake bodies". It was only because of this ruse of Mr Lin that we are still able to see and venerate the undecaying bodies today.
The sanctioned photos of the 3 bodies. On Huineng's left and right sits Master Hanshan and Master Dantian. Master Hanshan was a great Chan Master of the Ming dynasty, but not much is known about Master Dantian, or why he deserves a place beside the Patriarch.
The Fuhu (Subduing Tiger) Pavilion.
The Gate with the words Tianxia Baolin inscribed above. It means "Precious Forest Under Heaven".
The Zhuoxi Fountain. This is the original mystical fountain where Huineng stuck his ritual staff into the earth, and lo and behold, a fountain started to gush out from underneath. The reason for creating this fountain was for him to wash the Buddha's robe passed down through the ages. The bas relief behind the sacred fountain depicts this story from the Platform Sutra. This is the bigger fountain for people to wash their hands and face.
And this is the smaller fountain at the side for people to drink from. I drank some of the holy water and it was totally refreshing indeed.
This is Master Xuyun Memorial Hall. Master Xuyun was perhaps the most influential Chan Master of China in the last century. In 1934 Master Xuyun came to rebuild Nanhua Si as it had become very run down in the chaos and turmoil that ensued since the fall of the Qing dynasty. This hall was built to commemorate his great contribution to the temple.
A live-sized statue of Master Xuyun on the main altar.
The Stupa that houses Master Xuyun's relics.
The Wujin Nunnery next to Nanhua Si. This Nunnery was started by Huineng's first female disciple, Wujin Zang, who questioned him on the meaning of the Nirvana Sutra. Huineng replied he could not read and asked her to recite the verses she could not understand out loud for him. Wujin Zang asked how he could understand the meaning when he did not even know the words. That was where Huineng gave the famous parable of the finger pointing to the moon. He said to see the moon, it was not always necessary to rely on the finger, and that "the subtle meaning of the Buddhas had nothing to do with words". Wujin Zang was deeply impressed by Huineng's wisdom and followed him ever since. Later when he came to Nanhua Si, Wujin Zang also came and established a Nunnery here so that she could continue to learn from him.
The Main Hall of the Nunnery. A special feature of this Nunnery was the use of Burmese white jade for all the holy buchas. On the main altar is this Burmese style Buddha as well as the images of Ven Maha Kassapa and Ven Ananda (the 1st and 2nd Indian Patriarchs). Bodhidharma was the 28th Indian Patriarch.
The 18 Arahat statues at the left and right side of the hall were also carved out of white jade.
The opposite side.
Inside the Memorial Hall of Master Weiyin, the previous abbot of Nanhua Si. His statue is carved out of marble.
The Stupa of Master Weiyin.
The lotus pond and the corridor that leads to the Nanhua Si Buddhist University.
The temple shop. Actually there are a few in the temple (sign of commercialization) but this was the main one.
A parting shot before we left.
The 5" gold-plated bucha of Huineng that I obtained from the temple. It is now one of the "trinity" of Huineng buchas that sits on my altar.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

True Modern Karma Stories - Story 03

6. Phobia of darkness

One day a 40 something laywoman came to visit Venerable Miaofa accompanied by her husband. She said she was afraid of the dark since young, not daring to enter any room without any lights on. Thus whenever it was near to dusk she would on all the lights in the bedrooms; otherwise she did not even have the courage to go in and on the lights. Even then if something fell and rolled under the bed or furniture, she also did not dare to stretch her hand into the shadow to retrieve it, being so afraid of seeing darkness. Since young she was brought to many hospitals and seen by many specialists, but none was able to identify her problem with all the money spent. This problem could not be treated all along and it was quite stressful for them.

The Master said she was a man in her previous life, and his family was so poor that they could not even afford to buy kerosene for their lamps. At the entrance of their village there lived a kind family. Whenever there was a moonless night they will hang a lit kerosene lamp outside their door to brighten the road for any passerby, so that they won’t be in fear of not being able to see the road clearly. This also served to indicate the location of the village to nighttime travelers. That man thought of stealing due to his poverty, and he often stole kerosene from that lamp at night. Because the lamp was extinguished, night travelers would become afraid as they couldn’t tell the direction in the dark. Such is the cause and such is the effect. Thus in this life she is afflicted with a phobia of darkness.

The laywoman had no doubt at all in what was revealed, but she was worried whether her present condition could be treated in consideration of the past causes. The Master told her that her condition would be gone since he already revealed to her the cause and effect. This was also one of the wholesome benefits that came from her Sutra and Buddha chanting in this life. It was as if one has a boil and when it’s ripe, one should squeeze it to let it burst. Venerable Miaofa also advised her to perform the “Precious Repentance of Emperor Liang” 7 times to expiate her unwholesome karma. The laywoman was totally convinced and went home.

Monday, April 06, 2009

True Modern Karma Stories - Story 02

5. Whatever the factory has, my house also has

One afternoon a 50 something year old man who looked liked a veteran worker came along with another old layman to pay a formal visit to Venerable Miaofa. He behaved like an old acquaintance; laughing and saluting the moment he entered the house and bowing thrice before the Master. Before anyone asked him to take a seat, he already sat himself down. One look and you know this is a straightforward man.

The Master asked him, “Did you come because of your waist ache?”

He appeared surprised, “Wow you are quite amazing, Master. You know before I even said anything.” As he was speaking he stood up and lifted his shirt to show the Master his back, “Please take a look at by waist.”

Around his waist was a 15cm wide back brace made from a machine conveyor belt.

He sat down again and said, “I have been wearing this thing for almost 10 years. The hospital told me it was lumbar muscular strain. This problem can’t be cured by medicine or injections. I can only rely on this back brace to give some relief; otherwise I can’t even straighten my back! It feels ok in winter and spring, but hurts the most during summer. I probably worked too hard in my youth to get this kind of ailment. I heard from my old friend that you are a living Bodhisattva, so please help me! If you can cure my waist I will burn joss sticks everyday as an offering to you, even kowtow 100 times a day if necessary.” After he finished speaking he saluted the master with clasped fists again.

Venerable Miaofa smiled and replied, “Firstly I am not a Bodhisattva, and secondly I don’t know how to cure diseases. If I’m a Bodhisattva, how can we be talking to each other here? If I can cure diseases I might as well become a doctor in the hospital. Whether or not your ailment can be cured depends on yourself, because he who tied the bell must untie it himself. Let me ask you; if I tell you to stop smoking, boozing, stealing and eating meat, can you do it?”

“As long as my ailment can be cured, I’m willing to do anything. But I’ve never stole anything before!”

“Other than the ache in your waist, do you feel much weight pressing on it?”

“Yes, it is as if there were many kilos of things pressing on my waist.”

“Did you ever steal steel hinges, screws and nails from your workplace? They come in whole boxes.”

He was stunned for a moment. A while later he nodded saying, “Yes I did, I’m a machine bench worker in my unit. Due to the advantage of being in that position, who won’t reap some benefits from the state? Can that be considered theft? Even our factory head had not stopped himself from taking stuff back to his house.”

“If taking state resources back home is not theft, than what is? Did you openly take those things away? Or did you stuff them in empty meal boxes before smuggling them out of the factory?” Venerable Miaofa sounded quite stern at this point.

That question startled the veteran worker, and he could only stare at the Master speechless.

“Not only those few. There were also pincers, screwdrivers and wires. You used galvanized steel plates from the factory to make your house chimney, dustpans, and steel wire rods to make stove heaters, fire chopsticks, fire hooks and so on……”

He suddenly interrupted the Master saying, “Enough Master, say no more. Whatever the factory has, my house has. But how did you know all these?”

“It is the weight of these things that make you unable to straighten your back!”

Looking at the veteran worker again, he no longer showed the coolness that he displayed earlier. I suddenly felt this study room turning into a police interrogation room. Now he was as pitiful as a deflated ball.

He continued softly, “Those things I took were not all for my own use and they were also not sold for profit. I mostly gave them to friends, relatives and neighbors. We ordinary folks don’t make much money, so since they are all for public use, why not take advantage of them? I’m a bench worker with some skill and able to help with many tasks. So being on good terms with the store keepers and helping each other are all perfectly understandable. Nobody thought that was considered stealing. Hearing what the Master told me today is truly shocking for me! Perhaps Heaven really has eyes to see. If not how would you know all these? And how would they all press on my waist? This is retribution! I could not understand why my ailment seemed to worsen with treatment these years; now I know it is due to constant theft. I realized that the saying that ‘If you don’t want others to know, don’t do it’ is quite true! I guarantee to you that from today onwards I will stop smoking, boozing and eating meat. I will never take advantage of state resources again. Everybody knows I’m a man of my word; tomorrow I will get a Buddha image for praying in my house. Master, what Buddhist books should I buy to read? I regret that I have not believed in Buddhism earlier; I would have done much less evil in that way.”

I did not expect this person to have such a sharp aptitude. Listening to his repentant confession, I was filled with appreciative Dharma joy, and so was the Master.

I said, “I will give a few Buddhist books for you to read first. You can go to the monastery later to get more if you like.”

He thanked me and asked, “What about all those things I stole from the factory in the past? Should I pay them back with money?”

Venerable Miaofa replied, “If you really did that, you will get into big trouble. When you feel repentance in your heart, your sins will automatically be dissolved. As for paying back the factory, you can choose to make extra contributions in your work to compensate for it. At the same time you should preach to your friends and relatives more citing yourself as an example, so that they too will learn not to take advantage of state resources. This is called correcting your own faults and practicing what you have learned. It will surely allow you to make amends for all past misdeeds.”

Before he left, he carried a stack of Buddhist books in his hands and said to Venerable Miaofa seriously, “Just wait and see, if I do not change into a better person I will have let down all that you have taught me today.”

Half a month later he came back to visit. This time he prostrated to the Buddha image in my house when he entered. When he stood up, he lifted his shirt and showed me that he was no longer wearing any back brace.

Before I had the chance to ask, he quickly said, “When I went home at that time I felt that I have already recovered a lot. I have kept to all the promises that I made to Master Miaofa. Giving a new coat of paint to my wine cabinet, I converted it into an altar and Buddhist book cabinet. I also got a Guanyin image for making offerings. Now I read the Sutras everyday, rejoicing in the well expounded Dharma. I feel so much better in my heart and have also cured myself of the ailment! These days my family passes the time with joy, as if it was Chinese New Year everyday.

I’m truly grateful towards Master Miaofa.” I was truly happy for him. This old fellow had succeeded in “Dropping the butcher’s cleaver and becoming a Buddha right there”!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

True Modern Karma Stories - Story 01

4. The rooster with golden feathers

There was a farmer surnamed Zhang who contracted lung cancer. He was diagnosed as untreatable by 2 hospitals and they told his family to prepare for his last rites. One of his relatives knew I was studying Buddhism at home, so she brought Zhang’s wife to my house to seek help from the Buddha Dharma. Coincidentally Venerable Miaofa was also around. Thus they pleaded with the Master to help.

Venerable Miaofa asked, “The patient has done much killing, especially of chickens right?”

Zhang’s wife replied, “Yes, my husband is fond of cooking. He is the main cook for all the wedding or funeral events in the village. He believes that the way other people slaughter chickens is not swift and clean enough, so he does it personally. Every time he will slaughter up to dozens of chickens, causing the drains by the road to be flowing with blood.”

Venerable Miaofa continued to ask, “Did you once stole and slaughtered a big rooster from a neighbor? This rooster has golden feathers around the neck, reddish brown feathers on the body and its tail feathers are shiny dark green. When it stands upright, it is almost half a meter tall, very sturdy and handsome.”

Zhang’s wife was shocked after hearing that. She dropped to her knees and started to repeatedly kowtow to the Venerable. “Oh my dear old Bodhisattva, how did we know that it was a sin to slaughter chickens? During the poor harvest years we didn’t have much to eat and suffered from hunger everyday. When our neighbor’s rooster flew into our yard, we secretly killed and ate it seeing that they were not around. The old Bodhisattva is able to see it entirely; such is our retribution isn’t it? We won’t dare to take advantage of others in the future. At that time we also stole feed from the farming team for our food as well as crops from the common fields. Now I realized I have sinned. It is I who instigated the old man (her husband) to do those things.. Please reduce my lifespan! Let me die in his place! …..”

She mumbled and crying at the same time, almost moving me to tears as well. I did not expect this lady to have such a sharp aptitude, allowing her to be awakened by a single prod. Those honest words and sincere feelings for her husband are hard to come by. I quickly helped her up and instructed her to listen to the Venerable’s teachings.

The Master also sounded somewhat agitated in his reply, “Your tearful confession just now is true repentance. When you return you must let your husband repent as well, to refrain from taking any more lives in the future. Go to the monastery to get a copy of the “Ksitigarbha Sutra”. Recite the Sutra 49 times and transfer the merits to all those chickens you have killed. The best would be to let your husband chant himself. That rooster you have slaughtered is a King among the chickens. Did your husband suffered from constant headaches after killing that rooster?”

Zhang’s wife thought for a moment and said assuredly, “Yes, yes. He really did start having headaches from that time, recurring every 2 days. No medicine offered any relief at all for him.”

“That rooster had perched onto your husband’s head all along, sinking its claws onto his scalp and pecking his skull whenever it felt like it; so how could it not be painful? I suggest you create a tablet in the monastery for the rooster and recite the Ksitigarbha Sutra 7 times for its well-being. It may then be able to be liberated and reborn as a phoenix in the heavens.”

“Master, we don’t know that many words. What do we do if we can’t recite?”

“To recite the Sutra is to save your husband’s life. Those words you don’t know you can check a dictionary, or consult others. If you really can’t do it, you can pay others to recite for you, but it will not be as effective as you doing it on your own and obtaining the merits yourself. Take note that during the whole period of chanting you must refrain from taking all meat, pungent vegetables like onions, garlic, chives as well as consuming alcohol and smoking. Because if you chant with a stinking mouth, there would not be any Devas, deities or other divine beings willing to come and listen. No sentient beings will benefit and it is also disrespectful to the Buddha Dharma. What merit can you gain if that’s the case? If the rooster can’t be liberated, your husband will have no chance of recovery. If you can observe the precepts, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will surely give you their blessings.”

Again Zhang’s wife asked, “My husband is in a critical condition now and may die any time. Won’t it be too late to recite the Sutra now?”

Venerable Miaofa replied, “If your husband did not slaughter so many chickens he wouldn’t be dying now; killing reduces one’s lifespan. But because you repented from your heart the situation has taken a favorable turn. True repentance can cleanse away one’s sins. If your husband can do this, reciting the Sutra as well as the Buddha’s name, he is sure to be able to recover from all danger. Please seize this opportunity well.”

Zhang’s wife returned to the hospital to find him miraculously sitting up on his bed. After enquiring she learned that he just vomited 2 and half spittoon-full of white phlegm, giving him much relief in the chest. This was the first time he had vomited phlegm since he had fallen sick! Zhang’s wife was very excited and related to him the whole story about the meeting with Venerable Miaofa. Zhang also felt quite surprised and happy. He discharged himself from the hospital the next day saying, “You people can’t treat me anyway!”

Not long after this dying cancer patient miraculously appeared in front of his own house to repair his bicycle, drawing the attention of many local villagers. Later when the roof of his house leaked in the rain, he again climbed up on top to repair it, to the amazement of the villagers.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

True Modern Karma Stories - Introduction

2. Aphorism - Sickness comes from what we eat

Braise meat fry fish to appease one’s gluttony,
unaware that the animals are mentally unwilling.
The kitchen becomes a slaughterhouse,
cutting open the belly to climb the mountain of knifes.

Frying cooking and all kinds of punishment,
to swallow and eat live are considered a good meal.
Their consciousness stays in your body,
demanding their lives back sooner or later.

Good and evil surely have their rewards;
do not take lightly the sickness that comes from eating.
In no time evil reaches its fullness,
sicknesses fasten your body right into hospital.

Cutting, slicing, splitting and chopping bodies up,
all are kitchen scenes replayed again.
If I knew I would be going to hell today,
how could I allow myself to indulge in gluttony?
3. Introduction

Everybody is sure to be afflicted with some form of sickness at some point in their life, bringing great suffering to yourself and your family. Whether rich or poor, powerful or ordinary, not many can be freed from the entanglement of sickness. Even as life slips away bit by bit, no amount of money and power can offer any help.

So why do people fall sick?

Other than normal aging, the declining of bodily functions, people believe most sicknesses come from what we eat. Ordinarily people think that eating unclean food makes one sick. If that’s true, what about those homeless people living on the streets, eating food scavenged from the trash others throw away? Whether in the winter or summer, they don’t have enough clothes to protect themselves from cold and heat. Their bodies are bitten by bugs, and even though they eat unclean food, yet have you ever seen these people get diarrhea from it? Or catch a flu or fever? But look at civilized people like us, observing hygiene everywhere, taking about nutrition at every meal; yet we can’t ever leave all the drugs and hospitals behind.

In the 50s, getting pneumonia was considered a major illness. Later with the development of tetracycline, pneumonia became treatable. Then came tuberculosis, but it was also conquered with streptomycin. They were followed by cancer, AIDS and other unknown illnesses, appearing into the world one by one, stupefying all the medical experts around the globe. We also read about other unexplainable diseases in the papers all the time. Even though science is progressing in leaps and bounds, and new expensive medicines are developed quite often, but it could not eradicate all these different diseases. It is as if Heaven is purposely challenging humans to prove how good they are. Don’t you see that it is difficult to get treatment in hospitals nowadays? The medical fees are expensive and it is even harder to find a good doctor.

I understood the true cause of people’s sickness only after reading the Sutras. This was again verified countless times in practical life. To put it simply, the cause of sickness is “greed, anger and ignorance”. To elaborate, the 10 unwholesome actions are the source of every kind of disease. And “sickness comes from what we eat” means to eat what we are not supposed to eat, to say things we are not supposed to say and do things we are not supposed to do. Here I will relate several karma stories on how killing and eating meat leads to sickness for the reference of fellow practitioners.