Businessman in India: Calling for Master's Help in Tough Situations
Taking the First Step Forward in My Business
I run a business with meager resources and cash flow challenges. In the past I dealt with many customers who seemed to have plenty of money. These wealthy customers used to dictate the prices of the products businessmen like me made and demand even lower prices, advance cash payment, and sometimes immediate payment after the material reached them. They offered to pay less than the material cost. This caused us to adopt certain wrong measures to meet their demands and be competitive. I felt very bad upon being in such a situation, since I am a practitioner of Falun Dafa. My banker couldn't fully meet my working capital requirement, so finances were tight every day. In order to manage my financial resources, I accepted such proposals by some customers. I initially thought to myself that if I supplied the products without making any profit, it would be a good way to improve cash flow, so I continued to do it.
Master says in the Lecture One of Zhuan Falun:
"In ordinary human society, people compete with, deceive, and harm each other for a little personal gain. All of these mentalities must be given up. Especially for people who are studying the practice today, these mentalities should be given up even further."
Masters says in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun:
"We have said that no matter how much human moral values have changed, this characteristic of the universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren, will forever remain unchanged. If someone says that you are good, you may not really be good. If someone says that you are bad, you may not really be bad. This is because the criteria that evaluate good and bad are distorted. Only one who complies with this characteristic of the universe is a good person. It is the sole criterion which determines a good or bad person, and it is recognized by the universe."
After a while, I realized that what I was doing was wrong, as I would be adding karma by being a party to supplying such products to the end users, even though I didn't make any profit. With this sudden understanding from Zhuan Falun, I was eager to be a good businessman according to our practice.
To overcome the situation and seek a suggestion, I met with an established businessman in my field. He told me to not adopt any incorrect practices, and come what may, he advised me to be very strict. He also told me that implementing such a decision is very difficult initially, but that in the end I would benefit by being truthful. I immediately felt as if our great Master was talking to me and guiding me along the right path when I was confused. Once my clouds of confusion cleared, I became more bold and immediately refused such offers. I told my assistant that we would not resort to any underhanded means. I was happy at having taken the first step. Many thanks to our revered Master.
Master says in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun:
"It is the human heart that is indecent, rather than one’s occupation. There was a saying in the old days: 'Nine out of ten merchants are fraudulent.' That is a saying made by everyday people. I would say that it is a matter of the human heart. As long as your heart is righteous and you trade fairly, you deserve to earn more money if you make more effort. That is because you are rewarded for the effort you have put in among everyday people. No loss, no gain. You have worked for it. With any social status, one can still be a good person."
Pursuit Can Lead to Much Stress, Following the Course of Nature
I have always been clear and enthusiastic about handling my daily business tasks, however big or difficult. This is due to our great Master's grace and our practice. At certain times things are very tough, like when we are not very sure if our suppliers will deliver the goods, yet we still have to pay our old debts, as the new season approaches, and we have yet to collect huge outstanding payments from the market. The principals demand interest for delayed bills, though our customers will never agree to pay us the interest after delaying payments to us. These situations can be tough to handle. I have a very devoted, committed assistant on the sales team who has worked in my company for more than 20 years. Because of his background, he is very pessimistic, with a sharp tongue and a sarcastic nature. In fact, he helps me immensely to maintain my xinxing, and I evaluate every situation with him according to our practice and maintain my composure and tolerance. I always tell him not to worry, as I know that Master will show me a way. This is because of my utmost trust in Master, who has helped me through many complex situations. Because of that, I am able to continue my business without interruption. Our suppliers provide stock even though previous payments might be unduly delayed and even consider supplying us for the next season without demanding interest for delayed payments. This is not a small thing, to get supplies when the previous payments (which are very large) are yet to be paid, as most suppliers will not do business with such customers. My suppliers know that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner and are very considerate of me. This is possible because of solid trust in our revered Master. In spite of my busy schedule, I try to do the three things daily (although sometimes I fail) with two hours of exercises, and I take time to spread the Fa daily wherever I can, in my humble way. I feel many times that I am not doing that much when compared with the benefits I get from the practice.
Because of my business-related issues, I have unknowingly acquired the attachment of strong pursuit.
In Lecture Two of Zhuan Falun, Master says:
"Many people come to our cultivation site with the attachment of pursuit. Some people want to attain supernormal abilities; some want to listen to some theories; some want diseases cured; some also intend to procure Falun. There are all kinds of mentalities."
On one occasion my staff collected less from our customers than the amount I had to pay to a supplier for on a particular day. I had to honor the check by any means, and I had to struggle a lot to keep my word and mobilize funds. It was not as easy as it may sound. Due to this attachment of strong pursuit, I experienced very tough mental tribulations a couple of times. During such periods, my main assistant made very hurtful comments. I could not shout at him, as I am a practitioner, and had to show tolerance and forgive him. I also had to consider his positive points. I remained silent and bore it all. At the same time, I kept getting calls from other suppliers demanding payments for their supplies. Because I am a practitioner of Falun Dafa, I never avoid any incoming calls (my responsibility) and answer each one politely. At that time, however, I was having a great mental tribulation. In one such situation, when the attachment of pursuit became quite strong, I realized that I was unable to bear it and tried to rest in my workplace. But my mind was not at rest no matter how I tried. I tried to listen to the lectures, but I could not absorb anything. Then I played the meditation music and closed my eyes slowly, assigning the balance of the work to my brother. Thanks to our Master, I recovered from such a mental condition in no time, and I was able to endure. In such difficult situations, many times I called for Master's help. Probably because of my utmost trust in our Master, he was kind enough to bail me out at the last minute. In this case, miraculously a lady officer at the bank whom I didn't know held my check beyond the usual time at her own risk to pay the balance, which we did. This was a great miracle at the last minute. Next, my brother and I went to the bank and thanked that officer immensely, and gave her a flier about our practice. She was pleased with our gesture.
Master said in Lecture Two of Zhuan Falun:
"Accordingly, that is why cultivation practice requires time and time again that one should follow the course of nature since you will harm others with your efforts. If your life does not have something to begin with and you obtain what should belong to another person in society, you will owe that person a debt."
Thanks to our Master, I realized that this attachment of pursuit is a demon and I should immediately get rid of it, as it could stall my cultivation progress. I also realized that I should be extra compassionate towards my main assistant and not dwell on the sharp and sarcastic words he uses. I should in fact, thank him for providing me with such situations. I started thinking about my faults and tried to rectify them, telling myself that I am a practitioner. I also realized that I should not retreat and rest but improve from within more, and be more rational in my approach and able to handle any tough situations with more mental clarity.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine:
"When I practiced cultivation in the past, many great masters told me these words, and they said: 'When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.' In fact, that is how it is. Why don’t you give it a try when you return home. When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'"
After that realization, I felt light in my mind and heart. Many thanks to our compassionate Master.
Heshi to Master.
If any mistake is found, please correct me, without hesitation.
Category: Improving Oneself