Practitioners Who Like to Praise Others
(Clearwisdom.net) When several practitioners came from another city recently to discuss certain issues, one of them kept praising us, saying things like, “You have done a superb job... You have cultivated really well.” I knew her words were sincere and said out of good intention, but I told her that it would not do any good for practitioners to continuously praise others and that we should rid ourselves of this habit.
I then started to wonder, “Why did this happen to me? Was it because I had hoped others would praise me or agree with me?” I had had these attachments in the past and had learned the hard way. I then became very careful about accepting praise from others. My capability and skills are rather limited, but they were given to me by Master because I want to validate the Fa.
Why do some practitioners praise others so often? I think this is related to a lack of clear understanding of the Fa-principles, and I would like to share my understanding on this.
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” (“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I have seen that a practitioner, or practitioners as a whole in a particular region, faced severe tribulations when they were excessively praised. There are many reasons behind this, but when a practitioner always praises others or admires them, this can create a loophole for the old forces to take advantage of. I have learned this lesson and become wary of it. But I've noticed that many practitioners have yet to pay attention to this issue. When practitioners receive more and more positive comments, they gradually develop attachments to self and become less clearheaded. Loopholes then arise and the old forces exploit their gaps.
When we praise practitioners repeatedly, we are adding extra hardship to their cultivation. So are we in fact helping them with the praise, or harming them?
When practitioners have strong righteous thoughts, have special skills, or do well in validating the Fa, they are actually just fulfilling their vows. Our cultivation path is arranged that way, and we still need to establish our own mighty virtue.
One practitioner used to comment upon seeing other practitioners doing well, “Master and the Fa are so great, since they are responsible for these practitioners ascending to this level!” On this issue, this practitioner is clearheaded and able to appropriately differentiate the relationship between Master, the Fa and sentient beings. Many practitioners have benefited from her understanding. When I did something to validate the Fa in the past, I used to expect positive comments from her. Now, with a better understanding on this issue, I feel guilty over my previous attachments of pursuit and having an overly large sense of self-importance.
Over the past few years of trials and tribulations, many practitioners have become arrogant and irrational because of continual praise from others. This has lead to enormous losses that could have been avoided. Practitioners who receive positive comments should be very careful not to allow their human notions be affected by it, and those who gave such praise also need to look inward to ask why they feel it necessary to praise others so much. We need to mind our speech, and stop allowing the old forces to take advantage of practitioners' loopholes, and repeatedly “test” them and make their cultivation paths more difficult.
When practitioners are doing well and things go smoothly, we should remind them with sincerity to remain clearheaded and rational, since all achievements come from Master and the Fa. To decide what to say and what not to say, we have to make judgments based on the Fa, rather than our attachments or human notions.
There might be a prehistoric karmic relationship for two practitioners to meet each other and work together. Because these kings and lords descended from high levels in the past, they might have reminded each other, “When I am trapped by fame, personal gain, or emotional attachments in the human world, please do wake me up.”