Review Article: Thirty-Two Episodes of Karma-Eliminating, Life and Death Tribulations
September 8, 2003
Editor's note: In May 1992, Falun Dafa was introduced to the public for the first time, in Changchun City, China. Why did it attract 100 million practitioners in merely 7 years?
In addition to publishing articles regarding cultivation experiences and stories during the Fa-rectification period, the Clearwisdom website will publish some cultivation experiences of Falun Gong practitioners in China before the persecution began in July 1999, giving insights to why so many people came to embrace the practice.
I am a retired teacher. Before I learned about Dafa, I had a severe hemorrhage in 1983, which was confirmed to be a tumor. I again had a serious illness in 1992 that lasted 4 years. In those 4 years, I was hospitalized 12 times, which cost me 280 thousand Yuan. I went through 3 major surgeries, and all these surgeries shared the same incision site, leaving a foot-long scar on my abdomen. The second surgery lasted 8 hours. Before the third surgery, the surgeon wanted my husband to sign a document stating: 1) The patient would die if she did not undergo surgery; the surgery would be very dangerous, but it could create some hope. 2) The patient could go into a coma after surgery. 3) Even if the patient did not go into a coma, internal organ damage could cause the patient to become physically impaired.
The tribulations seemed to be endless. Eight months afterwards, life became even more unbearable than before. Severe pain caused jaundice, fever, tremors, and even loss of consciousness. One time my temperature went up to 41 degrees Celsius (105.8oF), and I was unconscious for more than 3 hours. My tongue stiffened up and I could not speak.
I was in critical condition three times, due to cross-contamination of the bladder. After the Chinese New Year in 1996, the doctors were ready to perform the fourth operation on me. I refused, because there was no guarantee that I would live through it or that the surgery would be effective. The doctors had to take a more conservative approach.
I became a guinea pig for drugs. The strength of the antibiotics was continuously increased, and there were all kinds of painkillers. I took nearly 100 pills just for supplements, as well as bitter-tasting Chinese medicine. A nurse made fun of me for spending as much as the cost of a color TV everyday (color TV was very expensive at that time). Because of the long-term use of antibiotics, my blood cell count decreased dramatically. The white blood cell count was 2100/ml, and the red blood cell count was 2900/ml, at its worst point. This left me lethargic and bedridden all the time. Needle marks were all over my arms. The hard, swollen spot on my buttocks had made an intra-muscular injection there impossible.
Before I learned about Falun Dafa, I had always complained about fate being too cruel to me. After I graduated from teachers' school in 1959, at the age of 17, I became a teacher right away. I had worked so hard for 34 years; I spent all my time and effort taking care of the students. But all kinds of tribulations came, one after another. Before the New Year of 1980, my 7-year-old child was run over by a car and died. 12 years later, again during the New Year, while I was suffering from an illness, my 26-year-old son died from a lymphatic tumor, right in front of me. That day was my 50th birthday! It was so hard for me to handle, and the grief of losing my son was torturing me inside. Because of my illness and my son's death, my husband ended up getting a cataract and needed surgery. All these tribulations ravaged my body and my will. In the past 20 years or more, I had barely been surviving, with weak breathing. I often shouted in my heart: Where is God? Why does he pick on me and give me all these troubles? Is there a Savior? Who can save me?
In 1995, I saw a copy of Zhuan Falun, through one of the patients. By just flipping through it, I was immediately attracted to it. I came to understand so many things in life, simply from reading it once. The second time I saw Zhuan Falun, I read it thoroughly, from the beginning to the end. I had a deeper understanding of the Fa, and realized that everyday people create Karma from one lifetime to the next. My Karma from previous lives is the reason for all the tribulations and illnesses in this life. What I had gone through was fair. I had to suffer from the tribulations to pay the karmic debt. When Teacher mentioned in the book that he did not want people with serious illnesses to come to the class, because they could not give up the attachment of wanting to cure their illnesses, I was very disappointed at that time, because if Teacher did not want very ill people to be in the class, it would definitely not work for me, since I had only read his book.
So I did not take cultivation seriously at that time. But at that time, I stopped needing intravenous injections for 38 days, and I was released from the hospital not long afterwards. I was very confused after leaving the hospital, wondering why I did not need to take drugs and injections for 38 days. This was truly a miracle. Was it just because I read Teacher's book and Teacher was taking care of me? Was that it?
After that, one day, I was outside with my husband, and there were very few people or cars on the street. While we were walking across the street, there was a car going very fast that hit me before I knew it. I did not feel anything at all until I heard the driver yelling at me. For me, who was so weak and who could not withstand a gentle push, I was standing still, without a scratch. It was unbelievable. Not until then, did I realize that it should have been a fatal accident. This made me realize the power of Dafa, Teacher's care for me as a practitioner, and the real meaning behind "when one's Buddha-nature emerges, it will shake 'the world of ten directions.'" (Zhuan Falun) Master offers salvation unconditionally and asks for nothing in return. I was so moved, and realized I have a predestined relationship with Dafa, and have seen an end to the tribulations. After I got home, I studied the Fa very diligently. Within a week, I felt a big difference.
In the past 6 months, I have gone through 32 episodes of life and death tribulations, to eliminate my Karma. Every episode was as bad as those days when I was hospitalized. I tossed and turned in bed, had fever, trembling, terrible itches due to jaundice, and scratch wounds all over me. It got worse and worse, and the eleventh time, the extreme pain in the liver and intestines caused me to vomit uncontrollably. The worst illness I ever had was not even close to this one. I had struggled for 11 hours and could not stand it anymore. I had one shot of a painkiller, but the pain worsened after that. I did not know what to do, so I waited until the next day. Three o'clock in the afternoon, I could not take it anymore; I thought I did not get a high enough dose from the shot the day before, so I decided to increase the dosage by adding "6542" to the painkiller. It still did not work. Then I realized that Teacher was telling me that since I had to eliminate my Karma, of course the drug wouldn't work. I started to regret it, and the drug proved useless. My temperature was 39oC (102.2oF) at 5:00 p.m., but I felt cold and was trembling, even with 2 comforters on me. I had fever-reducing shots at home, but this time I insisted upon not using them. I told my husband: "If I go into a coma, don't be scared: at the most I'd die. I don't care. I won't feel sorry if I die. I want to learn Dafa in my next life." I fell asleep with a fever around 9:00 p.m. When I woke up, it was 12 midnight. I had thrown off the comforters, and the fever was gone. I was not in pain anymore, and three days later, my jaundice disappeared.
After this, I gave the painkillers and other drugs to other patients. I had two more, even worse Karma-elimination experiences afterwards. One time was in August and lasted for 6 months; each time the severe pain, vomiting and fever would last 3-8 hours. The 25th time, with no warning signs, Karma-elimination came. It was so strong that I was in severe pain for 14 hours in a row. I could not stop crying and vomiting. I did not drink any liquid for 14 hours, and it felt almost like my internal organs were shifting around. I thought, "My life has come near to Hell, so I should just close my eyes and die. I almost could not keep my thoughts righteous. When it occurred to me that this pain was actually eliminating my Karma, the pain stopped, and I became well in 2 hours. I realized that I was in debt, and I needed to pay. If I died now, that meant I would not be paying my debt. If I did not pay for it in this life, the Karma would still be with me in the next life, and I would still have to pay for it. No! The Karma that is with me in this life will be paid for in this life, so therefore, I have to hang on.
It was like this, with the blessings of Dafa, that I survived 32 life and death tribulations. After half a year, I was as healthy as a young person, could do housework again, and ride my bicycle outside like others do to study Fa with practitioners, not feeling tired. The color of the age marks on my skin lightened. Everyone who knew me was surprised, and could not believe I had recovered so fast. Now I am an energetic person.
Teacher said, "If you can let go of life and death, you're a God; if you can't let go of life and death, you're a human--this is the difference."("Teaching the Fa in New York City" from Lectures in the United States) Teacher also said, "This is why I have said that all of today's mankind has come to this point with karma rolling on top of karma; besides sickness-karma, a person has other kinds of karma as well. So people have hardships, tribulations, and tensions in their lives. How could they only pursue happiness without paying for karma?"("Sickness Karma" from Falun Dafa Essentials For Further Advancement) Teacher's words really have profound meaning, manifesting the great Compassion of the Buddha, and offering salvation. Also, I came to realize that the more tribulations I have, the more attachments I will give up, the more Karma I will eliminate, and the quicker I will make improvements. I know in my heart that these tribulations are not over yet. I need to prepare myself for more painful examinations, in order to enhance my Xinxing and eliminate my karma.
Thirty-two Karma-eliminating episodes of life and death tribulations: each time is a reminder and check of how well I study the Fa, and a test of my Xinxing enhancement and comprehension. I have to study the Fa, cultivate my Xinxing, and improve my comprehension, in order to reach Consummation.
In a life full of distractions and the unknown, Dafa never leaves my heart. I always remember what Teacher has said,
"The path for cultivating gong lies in one's heart
The boat to sail the boundless Dafa rides on hardships" (Hongyin).
I will be confident and cultivate diligently, to reach the shore of Consummation.
October 31, 1997