Discussion with Fellow Practitioners Regarding Video CDs Describing Hell and Some Other Phenomena That Deviate from Righteous Actions (With Master's Comments)
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, some practitioners in our local area obtained some pamphlets and video CDs from other areas. They considered the materials very helpful for saving people and asked other practitioners in our area to make some more of the same materials. After we carefully evaluated the materials with the Fa, we discovered many problems with them. Although we have successfully dealt with some individual cases, we saw the trend of similar problems getting worse. As a result, we want to ask everyone to seriously and in a timely manner consider the issues based on the Fa. We also want to wake up practitioners making these materials and remind every practitioner to genuinely study the Fa well and stop the actions that deviate from the principles of Dafa.
Here we want to share our understandings about several cases, in hopes that practitioners from other areas could share their understandings; we respectfully ask the understanding of those practitioners or areas we mentioned, especially about any incorrect we may say.
1. The Spreading of "Hell Transformation Tableau Imagery" CDs
Recently, some of our local practitioners brought back from Gansu Province some CDs named "Hell Transformation Tableau Imagery" -- the CDs were made by some practitioners. The "Hell Transformation Tableau Imagery" is a set of 2 CDs with photos, text and narrative voices. We don't know if the CDs were made by practitioners in Lanzhou City (in Gansu Province) or if they were brought to Lanzhou City from other areas.
A practitioner brought the CD set to our area. A handful of practitioners ()watched it and thought it was good, and() asked the truth-clarifying materials production sites in our area to produce the CD set in large quantities through a coordinating practitioner. Some practitioners think that practitioners could obtain more "knowledge" about Hell by watching the CD set, which might be useful in clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to people.
After carefully watching the CD set, we found the following: the words in the CD are in traditional Chinese, introducing Buddha Amitabha and the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss, the "Ten good acts," "Ten evil deeds," "Five precepts," and describing each and every building of the Buddhist Hell. The language used in the CD set consists of those of the Buddhist and Taoist religions. Also, the CD clearly indicates that some content was quoted from Buddhist sutras and Taoist scriptures, including paragraphs from Jing Lu Yi Xiang, Zheng Fa Nian Chu Jing, Qi Shi Jing, Yu Zhun Lun Ke, Yu Li, Suo Qi Jing, Yin Guo Jing, E Gui Bao Ying Jing, Di Zang Jing, San Fa Du Lun, A Kun Tan Lun Jing, and Tai Shang. The CD set also contains comments on modern phenomena from the author.
We were surprised that materials like this, which are obviously not a part of Falun Dafa, have been circulated by Falun Dafa practitioners. We think the matter touches upon the following issues:
No Second Cultivation Way
Teacher said, "We teach that a person must practice only one cultivation way. No matter how you practice cultivation, you should not mess up your cultivation by adding other things. Some lay Buddhists practice both Buddhism and our FalunDafa. I am telling you that in the end you will not obtain anything because no one will give you anything." ("Practicing Only One Cultivation Way" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun)
Teacher also said, "Upon learning that we practice qigong from the Buddha School, some lay Buddhists take our practitioners to temples for conversion. Let me tell each of you sitting here that no one should do such a thing. You are undermining both our Dafa and the ordinances in Buddhism. At the same time, you are interfering with practitioners, rendering them unable to attain anything. This is not allowed. Cultivation practice is a serious matter. One must be single-minded in one practice." ("Practicing Only One Cultivation Way" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun)
Teacher added, "This Fa is taught only to those genuine practitioners. Therefore, one must be single-minded in only one practice, and even ideas from other practices should not be intermingled." ("Practicing Only One Cultivation Way" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun)
Teacher said, "We are teaching Falun Dafa. In practicing cultivation of our school, you will not have any problems as long as you can conduct your xinxing well, since one righteous mind can subdue one hundred evils. If you cannot maintain your xinxing well and go after this or that, you are bound to get yourself into trouble. Some people just cannot give up what they once practiced. We require people to practice only one cultivation way since one should be single-minded in true cultivation practice. Though some qigong masters have written books, I am telling you that those books contain all kinds of things and are the same as what they practice: they are snakes, foxes, and weasels. When you read those books, these things will come out from the words. I have said that the sham qigong masters outnumber the real ones by many times, and you are unable to distinguish them. Therefore, you must conduct yourselves well." ("Spirit or Animal Possession" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun)
Some fellow Falun Gong practitioners might think, "When we made these VCDs, we didn't treat their contents as the Fa or as a form of guidance to our cultivation. We simply felt these VCDs would aide us in our truth-clarification work. We were merely using them as supplementary materials to our truth-clarification effort."
The contents of the VCDs talk about a specific school of doctrine. When you watch, approve of or use the VCD, you are summoning the doctrine to your dimension and it will be under its influence.
Teacher said, "I've made many things easy for Dafa disciples as they validate the Fa. There are a lot of things that actually can't be done in cultivation but I have allowed you to do them under special circumstances. And that includes some of the approaches you use to clarify the truth. Since they are done to save all beings, you're doing it like that, and it's not wrong. If they were associated with personal cultivation, though, many of them wouldn't be allowed and couldn't be done." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference")
What are the Three Things we must do? There is no doubt every Falun Gong practitioner will be able to answer the question right away. But what type of truth are we supposed to clarify? Why are we clarifying the truth? How do we save the world's people? As Falun Gong practitioners, we are supposed to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and validate Falun Dafa because only Falun Dafa can save the world's people!
Besides, are the visions of Hell contained in the VCDs the absolute true reflection of it? Should this type of information be spread by Falun Gong practitioners?
Giving an example, the VCD mentions that everyday people were condemned to the circle of hell where their backbones are roasted by fire after they killed mosquitoes. These were visions of individual lay Buddhists and Buddhist monks at their limited levels of cultivation. It does not concern us that everyday people choose to spread this type of information, but should we Falun Gong practitioners spread this type of information while the persecution is still very severe and while there is very limited human and financial resources at our disposal? In addition, how should we position our relationship with the world's people?
If we try to use external force to frighten the world's people when we encounter resistance or obstacles during our truth-clarification work, it appears that we have descended to a level where we are trying to stop them from slandering Buddhas and from attacking Falun Gong and to improve their morality. In doing so, we have forgotten that the only thing we have a role in is saving sentient beings.
In order to clarify the truth well, we must upgrade our xinxing. Each time we upgrade our xinxing, we will be able to clarify the truth better. The only way to upgrade our xinxing is through our cultivation practice in Falun Gong. Our wisdom and capabilities with grow during our cultivation based on the Fa and during our efforts to do the Three Things solidly. Many fellow Falun Gong practitioners look for materials that appeal to non-practitioners based on their attachments to facilitate our truth-clarification efforts, but we must evaluate these materials according to the Fa before we use them in our truth-clarification work. We cannot go astray as we continue on our path of cultivation. We must rectify the selected materials before we use them wisely and well in our truth-clarification work.
It is also part of our cultivation to select and use these truth-clarification materials. Isn't it necessary to rectify materials that are not part of the Fa before we use them? Isn't it necessary to forge and reshape these materials based on the Fa? After all, these truth-clarification materials will become implements of the Fa during our cultivation and truth-clarification work.
In our opinion, we should not use everyday people's materials for the truth-clarification purposes without any modification. Even if we do not rewrite the words on the surface, we must rectify and re-forge its content with the Fa.
Meanwhile, these materials are also lives, and they are to play their role in clarifying the truth and saving the world's people after being rectified. We need to give them a better end by rectifying them first, just like the computers and printers that we use. By doing so, we will be helping them. We, instead of these materials, should be taking charge of our truth-clarification work.
We are sometimes daunted by the difficulties of the truth-clarification work. These occurrences are indications that we are short on wisdom and rationality, and that it is high time for us to upgrade our xinxing. We shouldn't depart from using multiple ways at different levels to clarify the truth and become reliant on one particular way of doing so. For example, if we become attached to only telling people about karmic retribution, hell, prophecies or the healing power of practicing, our wisdom will be limited when we clarify the truth to people.
Clarifying the truth in ways that everyday people can understand does not mean that we should lower our standards or use everyday people's materials indiscriminately. In order to truly clarify the truth well, we Falun Gong practitioners need to evaluate these materials based on the Fa and round them into shape, while harmonizing with non-practitioners' level of understanding and using expressions they can accept and relate to. Our energy field ought to be deeply profound yet unobstructed to those peole.
In many regions in China, there are many truth-clarification material sites in an area, and there are now many practitioners capable of producing truth-clarification materials, but those practitioners must never neglect to study to the Fa well. Although every practitioner has a different level of understanding of the Fa and a different level of ability in being able to use the truth-clarifying materials, every practitioner shares the same goal of validating the Fa. Those practitioners who are responsible for distributing truth-clarification materials should regard it as their responsibility to review all truth-clarification materials before each distribution and help maintain the appropriateness of the truth-clarification materials. They should not obstruct the distribution of genuinely good materials because they fail to attain the sufficient understanding on the Fa, nor should they be led by their human notions to distribute inappropriate materials. We should support genuinely good truth-clarification materials with our righteous thoughts in order to help maximize their effect and help them become merciful implements of the Fa to save the sentient beings.
2. Only by Studying the Fa Well Can We Get Rid of the Deviation Caused by the Imperfectness of the Laws of the Old Cosmos
Some practitioners still cannot keep up with the progress of Fa rectification, even though they spend lots of time studying the Fa. At the different phases of Fa rectification, some deviations among practitioners still emerge.
(1) About Making Items for Celebrating the Time when the Fa Rectifies the Human World
A couple of practitioners had a chat with practitioners in another area and thought that the time when the Fa rectifies the human world would come quickly, and thought that they should make some decorations for celebration. So some practitioners began to embroider a big Falun emblem on some silk fabric.
With the progress of Fa rectification getting closer to the human world, the time left for saving sentient beings is limited. Practitioners have realized that the time is passing by more quickly and many things have not been done yet, so they are taking every minute to do the three things we are supposed to do. If the practitioner's action mentioned in the last paragraph is only happening among individual practitioners, we can help them correct the action by talking with them. But in fact, such a phenomenon began in that area several years ago. The practitioners at the material-production site told us, "Look at the period of time we're in -- I can't believe you are still doing the truth clarification work. The Lanzhou area is busy making clothing for the time when the Fa rectifies the human world." They also offered to help practitioners in our area order the clothes. We politely declined the offer and told them our concerns about their actions. Several months later, many Falun Gong material production sites in Lanzhou were severely damaged and suffered big losses. Early this year, a similar situation appeared in the Lanzhou area again. We wrote down our concerns in an article that was published in the Minghui website so as to remind the practitioners in Lanzhou, but the situation there has not fundamentally changed.
(2) About Not Going to Extremes while Handling Things
In August 2005 during a meeting among coordinators in our area, we found this problem: Some coordinators burned their graduation certificates, identification documents and award certificates, saying that those things had the evil party's elements. They even burned their certificates of their houses, and the Registration Book of Residency because, they said, the evil party's symbols, and seal are on them. During the meeting, they also urged other practitioners to do the same thing. The practitioners who did these things have received higher education and served positions in the party. They read Minghui Weekly and study the Fa, and normally behave righteously with a clear mind. So why did they do this?
From "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference":
"Disciple: In Mainland China, after some people withdrew from the Party using aliases, the CCP decided to reinforce the study of Party ideology and required Party members to study it and take notes. If those who have withdrawn from the Party with aliases are forced to participate in those study sessions, will they again be marked by the beast?
Teacher: Once someone withdraws, that's it. He understands things deep down inside. And once he declares his withdrawal, there will be certain beings looking after him. (Applause)"
The Fa was taught to us very clearly, and Teacher also mentioned the issue of the CCP membership fee. But why did practitioners still behave in an irrational way? The irrational behavior also threw the practitioners who still have the notion of "better a leftist, than a rightist" from evil party, into a confused state. We think that one cause for this situation is the culture of the evil party. The other is the practitioners' attachment of pursuit while studying Teacher's new articles. When the practitioners who had taken detours in their cultivation, or had damaged the Fa realized their mistakes and woke up, they usually behaved very imprudently. The practitioners who are often interfered with and unsteady on the path of cultivation, were used by the evil to affect other practitioners at most critical times. But when they calmed down, they admitted that their actions were "sins." So shouldn't they learn from their mistakes and not go to extremes? They have a strong intention to get rid of something, to achieve something, or leave people with a strong impression. Their actions reflect "a strong" desire of "self." Perhaps, the reason for their improper actions is a strong desire of achievement and achieving some goal.
"Bringing up these things is not to say that some students can't keep up with things or that they are dim-witted. What it is, is that some people's thinking is being interfered with by the evil party's factors--the evil party's factors are having an effect. In the midst of the party culture that was created by the evil, those people's thoughts that would enable them to see it clearly for what it is have been muddled. That warped culture was formed through its being purposefully instilled in you since elementary school, then high school, and all the way up to adulthood, and it started even as far back as when you started to learn and remember things. In other words, nowadays everyone in Mainland China is thinking in the evil-party-culture's way."("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference")
Some practitioners do Dafa related work very actively, but they cannot properly deal with issues in their families according to the Fa. Even in a family where everyone is a practitioner, the family members' have a very tense relationship. If family members who are practitioners cannot form a righteous field, how can they not have problems when doing Dafa related work?
Some practitioners very easily lost their tempers towards other practitioners, and so cannot work well with others in doing Dafa work. With attachments growing out of control, their demon characters overshadow their good qualities. With such an irrational style in doing very important Dafa work over a long period of time, how much damage have they already brought or will they bring to Fa rectification?
In fact, such practitioners have lots of time to study the Fa compared with other practitioners. Why is it that their demon character, irrational behavior and human attachments are so hard to get rid of? Teacher said that it is cultivation when you really put it into action. Then why are we always in such an unsteady state in cultivation? Cultivation is a very serious matter. Practitioners cannot only do things but not cultivate themselves. Otherwise, how could we maintain a practitioner's xinxing state and rationality? In the current situation of little time and much truth-clarification work to be done, we should calm down to study the Fa with a pure heart, pay attention to rectify ourselves' in every aspect, cultivate ourselves step by step, and truly guide ourselves with the principle of Zhen-Shan-Ren in cultivation. Everything a practitioner runs into has the element of cultivation in it, and only by cultivating according to the Fa can we truly get rid of human attachments.
Teacher wrote "Walk Straight Your Path" after reading the practitioner's article "Discussion with Fellow Practitioners Regarding Video CDs Describing Hell and Some Other Phenomena That Deviate from Righteous Actions" published on Minghui (September 25, 2005). Teacher asked us to put it after the practitioner's article. We hope that all practitioners inside and outside of China can pay attention to this issue, improve based on the Fa, and walk righteously on the path of cultivation in Fa rectification and validating Dafa.
September 25, 2005
Walk Straight Your Path
Fa-rectification means rectifying the cosmos's past Fa--a Fa no longer right--and it encompasses [rectifying] all living beings, high-level as well as low, found in the cosmos. Of course, this also includes the Fa that they have left at different levels, among which are the Fa they have passed on to human beings to guide man's cultivation. Fa-rectification Period Dafa Disciples are to take validating Zhen, Shan, Ren and attaining the Dafa of the new cosmos as fundamental, so how could they disseminate and validate things that are not part of Zhen, Shan, Ren or the new cosmos? Don't let the pursuit of some particular goal cause you to ignore the meaning of a Dafa disciple's existence. In fact, making progress in one's own cultivation is a part of the process of saving beings. Saving beings, improving yourself, and resisting the persecution are all acts that validate the Fa; only walking straight your path amounts to validating the Fa. Also, don't use the wicked things that happen during the persecution as an excuse for not validating the Fa or not validating it well, for the reality is, the wicked persecution arranged by the old forces was put in place to test you. Even though we don't acknowledge the old forces' existence or arrangements, they have done what they've done. You play the leading role in this period of history, and the existence of everything at present, whether it be evil or the upright gods, has to do with you. It is walking straight your path that is most important. In the final time, the evil's factors will dwindle, circumstances will ease up, and the world's state of affairs will change, but never will the path that you are to walk straight change.
September 25, 2005