Thursday, October 02, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Karmic Debtor Children 债主儿女

Recently there was a 19yr old boy who passed away right after he thanked his parents and bid them goodbye. He had been autistic and suffered from muscular atrophy since very young, and thus required full time care from his mother for the entire span of his short life. What is amazing is that this boy himself knew his time was up; which means he had finished claiming his debt from his parents, and it was time to leave them. This is another example of those karmic debtors who come to be reborn as our children. Typically they will suffer from all sorts of long term medical conditions which require a lot of money, time, effort and tears from their parents to take care of. But these parents will have no choice but to take up the responsibility as a result of their own karma. These debtors are sometimes the animals, slaves, servants that worked for us in our past lives, and died without being well taken care of. As such they bear a strong grudge in their minds, and will one day find us again in future lives to become our children. And at that time we will have to pay them back all that we owed them both financially and emotionally.

Is there no way to free ourselves from such a vicious karmic cycle? The Ksitigarbha Sutra offers a solution:

"If inhabitants of Jambudvipa in future times shall, at the advent of newly-born children, cause the parents to chant the Ksitigarbha Sutra and his name ten thousand times, then the newly-born children, whether male or female, will achieve expiation of the sins of their previous lives and will live long and happy lives. If all those about to be born into this life have done meritorious deeds in their previous existences, their lives here will be even longer and happier."

This means that if the parents can chant the Sutra as well as the Bodhisattva's name "Namo Dizang Wang Pusa" 10,000 times for their unborn children, this great merit will appease those that come as debtors, dissolving their bad karma. They will be able to grow up as normal and healthy children. If they come as creditors, their good karma will be multiplied and both parents and children will grow in prosperity and happiness. Or if one prefers the Theravada method as taught by LP Jaran, one can also chant the "Bahum Mahaka" katha as well as "Itipiso" katha your age plus one times and transfer merit to one's children regularly. The effect will also be similar.

This is a teaching of excellent benefits and may all new parents learn it well for the sake of their children, sadhu.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mind and Movement 论心动

A disciple asked Bodhidharma, "How is the Mind able to move?"

Bodhidharma replied,

"Movement is the Mind moving,
Movement is its function.
Outside of Movement there is no Mind,
Outside of Mind there is no Movement.
Movement is not the Mind,
Mind is not the Movement.
Movement is fundamentally without Mind,
Mind is fundamentally without Movement.
Movement is not apart from the Mind,
Mind is not apart from the Movement.
Without Movement the Mind is detached,
Without Mind the Movement is detached.
Movement is the Mind's function,
Function is the Mind's movement.
Neither Moving nor Functioning,
That which functions is fundamentally empty.
Emptiness is fundamentally unmoving,
Moving and functioning is same as the Mind.
The Mind is empty and unmoving,
The Mind is fundamentally without movement."

Thus the Scriptures say,

"Moving all day yet the True Mind does not move,
Coming and going all day yet the True Mind neither comes nor goes,
Seeing all day yet the True Mind never sees."

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

How the 6th Patriarch's body was saved during the Cultural Revolution

          As we know during the cultural revolution members of the Red Guards tried to destroy the 6th patriarch's body. One of them used a saw to saw his spine from behind, and to everyone's shock fresh blood flowed out from the body! The guards were petrified and did not dare to continue sawing. Later the body was paraded in the streets to denounce superstition, but faithful devotees stole the body at night and had it hidden away in a secret location.
After the revolution, the respected Mr Zhao Puchu learned of the matter and wrote a letter to the then party chief of Guangdong province, Xi Zhongxun, imploring him to get some men to protect the patriarch's body and relocate it to a suitable place. Xi Zhongxun is the father of the current China President, Xi Jinping. As we can see the law of karma never fails to bear fruits.
As the body had been hidden by Ven Master Foyuan, he personally instructed Ven Shengyi of Hong Kong to go to Nanhua monastery to find the location and secretly take photos. Ven Foyuan himself was only vindicated in 1979. He was then invited to the Chinese Buddhism College in Beijing to give a lecture, and during that time he informed Ven Mingzhen, Juzan as well as Mr Zhao Puchu of what happened to the body. Mr Zhao realized how important this matter was and acted upon it immediately by writing a letter to Xi Zhongxun seeking his help.
Xi Zhongxun quickly sent specialized men to Nanhua monastery to do the job. However at that time the party policy towards religion was still unclear, and the monastery was unwilling to restore the body to its rightful place for worship. But Xi sent a clear message to the monastery saying the body WILL BE restored whether they were agreeable to it or not. So they had no choice but to comply. Mr Zhao also sent Ven Foyuan down from Beijing to assist with the restoration. Xi gave strict orders for the body to be well protected at all times.
Ven Foyuan recalled with great emotion that when they dugged out the patriarch's body, the ribs had became moldy due to being buried in damp soil for 10 over years. Due to the humid climate of Southern China, the spine had also become moist and crooked. The body of Master Dantian was in even worse condition. He had to carry both bodies back to his hut and baked them dry over a charcoal fire. After cleaning them Ven Foyuan used pieces of sandalwood to repair the spine and ribs before putting them back into their bodies. As the patriarch's internal organs have decayed (which were intact before being buried), they were also baked and mixed with sandalwood powder, molded back into the original shape and put back into the body. Ven Foyuan broke into tears after the repair works, vowing to protect the patriarch's body in all his future rebirths. He said that if he knew he would survive the ordeal of the revolution, he would never have buried the bodies in the mountain behind and caused them such damage. The Ven felt much regret and swore to carefully protect the bodies from then on, even at the cost of his life.  
According to Ven Foyuan, even after 1200 years the patriarch's body was still golden in color, and felt firm and heavy. On the other hand Master Dantian's body appeared much darker and weighed much less. It was amazing that undecaying bodies had such different standards as gold and bronze.
Ven Foyuan concluded that, "If it was not for the cultural revolution, the 6th patriarch's body would never have been damaged so badly. As one of the patriarch's Dharma descendants I have cried countless times over it through the years. But during that era I could not showed my tears as there were many eyes watching me. Some men only wanted to show off and cared not about who or what they were desecrating. Even Master Hanshan's body was slashed opened by such a worm, but luckily it was only punctured with a cup sized hole in the torso, unlike the other 2 bodies which had their organs dugged out."
Truly that was a painful episode in Chinese Buddhist history which hopefully will never be repeated again.