(Clearwisdom.net) A fellow practitioner passed away recently because of what appeared to be a disease. Since she was thought to be a diligent and steadfast practitioner, her death caused a negative response among fellow practitioners. Some practitioners thought, "She has cultivated so diligently and steadfastly, but she still passed away. I just don't understand why." Their words reminded me about the issue of trusting in Dafa and Teacher, which is the factor of ultimate importance in our cultivation.
Actually, nothing in this world happens accidentally, and this is particularly true when cultivation is concerned. Many practitioners have passed away after being tortured in prisons and labor camps in China over the ten plus years that Falun Gong has been persecuted. Some practitioners died after they were released from prisons, some because of what appeared to be a disease, and some for unknown reasons. There were even those who had met with the Fa but failed to genuinely cultivate themselves in accordance with the Fa. The reasons behind such events are quite complex and hard to trace. Some people had physical symptoms that were visible, but some "illnesses" hid in other dimensions that are invisible. The way we understand illness is a reflection of our understanding of the Fa and it constitutes a genuine test of our xinxing.
In the famous Chinese novel Journey to the West, the Tang monk went through 81 tribulations on his way to India to receive the Buddha scriptures. Where did the tribulations come from? They were all arranged by the Tathagata and Bodhisattva Guanyin. The Tang monk needed to go through tribulations to attain his ultimate rank. He would not attain anything if he failed to pass any of these tribulations. Despite of all the hardships he encountered, he attained his ultimate rank with his firm righteous thoughts and obtained the genuine Buddha scriptures for the sake of saving sentient beings.
My personal understanding is that we have learned from Dafa where we are from, why we are here and where we are going. We should measure everything that happens to us according to Dafa. Everything that happens to us must be approached with the righteous principles of the universe instead of the human notions of society. Being human, we may become upset by the death of our fellow practitioners, but there must be some underlying reason that can only be understood and recognized by cultivators. The practitioner might be related to the old forces in some way or have signed some pledge with the old forces, or there may be some other reason that none of us can see, understand, or have the ability to negate.
Teacher negates the arrangements of the old forces and has taught us to do likewise:
"Why give top priority to the words of ordinary people who have been indoctrinated with the wicked party's culture? Why have you paid so much attention to the evil's persecution? This is worth giving serious thought to." ("Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference")
As practitioners, if we acknowledge the words of everyday people or the persecutors and fail to align our thoughts with the Fa, we will be leaving the old forces gaps to persecute us. In fact, Teacher has taught the Fa many times about karmic disease.
"When students exhibit severe sickness karma, it undoubtedly has two goals." ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005")
"You should take the Fa as the teacher. You can't look at how well a certain individual has cultivated and as a result learn from that person instead of the Fa."
("Teaching the Fa on Easter, 2004, at the New York Fa Conference")
If we can think of Teacher's Fa at every moment and take the Fa as Teacher, we will be able to maintain righteous thoughts.
As cultivators in the human world, we have human minds and human attachments. We need not fear our human parts as they will be cultivated away. That which is hidden and prevents us from aligning with the Fa is fundamental. If we have doubts about Dafa and Teacher then it is a big problem. Every practitioner should look inside to discover the human mind that hides deep inside each one of us when we are confronted with such problems as the death of a fellow practitioner. Although we may have other attachments that we can let go of gradually, our belief in Dafa and Teacher should never waver. Doesn't every test or tribulation in our cultivation, including those arranged by the old forces, take place so as to test us, test our ultimate belief in Dafa and Teacher? If we stay steadfast in the Fa and the righteous principles of the universe, we can free ourselves from the human mindset and notions, and nothing will be able to waver our belief in Dafa.
The above statements are some of my personal understandings, please kindly point out anything improper.