Being Clear on Who We Are Following
(Minghui.org) A friend told me a funny story: “I went to the convenience store downstairs to buy cigarettes. When I entered I saw the owner of the store beating his son. I said to him, 'Why are you beating your son? Shouldn't you reason with him?' The owner responded with anger, 'He deserves it. He has changed my God of Wealth to Ultraman (a superhero in a famous Japanese TV series)! I have worshipped Ultraman on my alter for several days!”
The store owner was just going through the motions during his rituals of worship. He just bowed and left. Therefore, he didn't even notice that this God of Wealth statue had been replaced by an Ultraman figurine by his son.
We thought that the son was just a kid, and the store owner should be responsible since he chose to worship the God of Wealth for more profit. He should then take care of his shrine and make sure he was worshipping what he intended to.
I thought more about this story and the actions of a cultivator.
When cultivators worship Buddha, they should not just worship the sculpture and treat it as a formality. We should pay respect to the Buddha statue with a pure mind, appropriate dress and solemn behavior. The respect is from the inside out and should be consistent with our actions. Only when people genuinely believe in Buddha, will he protect and save people.
Some practitioners admire other practitioners and look up to those who are eloquent. Some worship those who have successfully escaped from a labor camp, or admire those who have done a lot of projects. Others even just follow other practitioners and set aside Master and the Fa.
Aren't such fellow practitioners similar to the store owner in the story? Who are you following? We should only follow after we are clear exactly who and what we are following. If we follow others but not the Fa, isn't it that we are following humans and not Master?
If we follow demons we will be in dire danger. When we start a project, we should do it after thorough consideration instead of blindly jumping on the bandwagon.
“If you casually take such a being as your master and follow him, where can he take you? He cannot even attain Right Fruit. Won’t your cultivation be in vain? Eventually, your own gong will be messed up. It is very difficult for one’s mind to stay undisturbed. I am telling everyone that this is a very serious issue, and many of you will have this problem later. I have taught you the Fa; it is up to you whether you can conduct yourself properly. What I have addressed is one of the situations. Don’t let your mind be disturbed when you see an enlightened person from another school of practice. Stay with only one school of practice. Whether it is a Buddha, a Tao, an immortal, or a demon, they should not move your heart. In conducting oneself this way, success is bound to be in sight.” (Chapter Six of Zhuan Falun)
We should pay attention to the fundamentals of the Fa and evaluate situations from its principles. We will then be able to clarify the truth and act with righteous thoughts and righteous actions.
Cultivation is not about formalities, as we should study the Fa with our heart and assimilate to it in all aspects of our life. When we worship a Buddha, we should know exactly what we are worshiping. When we do things, we should adhere to the xinxing standards of a cultivator.