My Understanding of Various Causes of Long-Term Sickness Karma (Part 4 of 5)
(Minghui.org) (Continued from Part 3)
15. Taking Other's Money and Possessions Without Returning Them
In Zhuan Falun, Master told us this story:
“He used to take home pieces of towels from the textile factory, and so did the rest of the employees. After practicing Dafa, instead of taking things home he brought back to the factory what he took home before. When others saw his actions, nobody would take things home anymore. Some employees also returned to the factory what they previously took home. This situation occurred throughout the entire factory.”
This is a story we all know; some of us even had similar issues before we started cultivation. But after reading this, we began to correct our mistakes, though we may not have understood the story's deeper meanings then.
Some individuals, however, didn't rectify their actions initially in this respect for various reasons – be it embarrassment, apathy, or whatever – and after a while, forgot about this entirely. When they read this section, they wouldn't see it as being relevant to them.
For example, there was a practitioner couple who have practiced Dafa for nearly 20 years. He was a purchasing manager in a factory, and she was an accountant – both jobs having to do with money.
They hadn't been honest in doing business before they began cultivation: she had embezzled from her company, while he had taken over 100,000 yuan from workers' meals over the course of several years. But they hadn't made up for their mistakes even after practicing Dafa and chose not to return what they had stolen.
It was apparent that this couple didn't take their actions as the serious crimes that they were, both in an ordinary and a cultivation sense, and they finally met with consequences when they both developed serious cases of chronic sickness karma.
When other practitioners tried to help them find their attachments, they stayed quiet about the money issue and acted as if nothing was wrong. Now they are hospital regulars, and all they money they stole is being used to pay their medical bills. On top of that, they are getting worse and are desperate.
Two others had similar problems: one was a well-known practitioner who already passed away from sickness karma, while the other is a young man who took several hundred yuan from workers’ meals even after he began to practice Dafa. He didn't realize his problem until he was on the verge of death.
If a practitioner truly knows that Master’s words are the law of the universe, would he dare violate the Fa? This is a loophole that the old forces can exploit, and when they do decide to exploit it, very little can be done to stop them.
To all those who have obtained money and other valuables through illegitimate means – if you don't pay all of it back, you're simply lying to yourself and others. And if you don't pay it back voluntarily, you will be forced to pay it back eventually, like for medical bills or accident coverage.
These misfortunes are here to wake you up – everything is fair in the universe, and what you unjustly take will definitely be repaid in one lifetime or another. But you are cultivators, so how could you possibly succeed in your cultivation if you don't return the money in this lifetime?
I implore those who have similar issues to please take corrective measures as soon as possible.
What I've mentioned so far is only about funds embezzled from ordinary society; some practitioners have taken from Dafa resources to enrich their own lives, and that is a much greater issue.
Some have misused Dafa funds to support their families, while others have borrowed money from other practitioners without returning it for a long time – causing financial troubles for the lender. Even worse, after using this money for personal reasons, some practitioners even flat-out refuse to re-pay their debts when asked.
All these practitioners are part of the same group. The money you borrow from fellow practitioners is also a Dafa resource! Many diligent practitioners use most of their savings on Dafa projects, so spending their hard-earned savings on yourself is a grave sin. If you give this money to your children, they can end up being punished as an accessory to your crime. And if you spend Dafa resources especially lavishly, you may end up paying with your life.
Some of you may think, “After I succeed in cultivation, I will pay them back with my mighty virtue.”
But that's much easier said than done. Which level of heaven will dare accept someone who's violated the Great Law of the universe?
If these people stop cultivating, their sin will be even greater. Their karma will be passed down to their children and grandchildren, and their entire bloodline will be a negative example in the human world. The old forces will not stop until they can push such a practitioner to this extent and beyond.
The only way for these people to escape their fate is to express sincere remorse and take corrective measures; Master may provide remedies to amend the damage. But just how much of that damage can be reversed depends on the practitioner's heart and effort.
16. Dafa Coordinators and the Perception of Being Protected
This happens in China and beyond, where some coordinators secretly think, “Because I am working on such important assignments that will save many people, Master will definitely shield me from harm. My work is critical to many other practitioners' safety, after all.”
This very thought is a huge loophole.
Master told us:
“There was a person who was walking on the street with my book in his hand, yelling, ‘I have Teacher Li’s protection, so I’m not afraid of being hit by a car.’ That was undermining Dafa. This type of person will not be protected. Actually, a true practitioner will not do such a thing.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
These coordinators are thinking like the person mentioned in Zhuan Falun – it's a very dangerous notion to have.
A well-known practitioner passed away because of sickness karma, and this very notion was likely the reason.
He kept thinking, “How could Master let me suffer like this? This is not supposed to happen; it must be interference. I will destroy it with my righteous thoughts. The evil should not be able to harm me like this.”
The person did not look inward or try to improve his own cultivation. When he sent forth righteous thoughts, the evil elements were hiding behind the old universe’s principles, so he could not eliminate them. He also begged Master for help, but all of this was to no avail.
If the person had made earnest efforts to look inward, Master could have helped him overcome his hurdle, and his righteous thoughts would have been more effective. But he only talked about looking inward, and never truly carried it out.
As he went through the prolonged tribulation, he began to doubt Dafa: “Maybe the principles don't suit my condition.”
He also began self-aggrandizing: “I have assumed such a great responsibility. I must be a person with great inborn quality. Everyone praises me for being a good cultivator, so I am indeed a person with great inborn quality.”
Master told us:
“The main reason is that people such as senior monks, supervisors, or abbots in temples are not necessarily of great inborn quality. Though they are abbots or senior monks, these are only positions of everyday people.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
“Even in this class, there are people who think quite highly of themselves right now and speak with a different attitude. It is taboo even in Buddhism for one to find out what one is all about. What I just said is another form of demonic interference, which is called ‘demonic interference from one’s own mind’ or ‘transformation follows mind-intent.’ ” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
And this demonic interference began to take hold. Instead of looking for issues within himself, he began to blame the Fa, thinking that, “Although I am a person with great inborn quality, I am still unable to get rid of the sickness karma. It has lingered for years. Maybe the Fa does not have enough power to rectify this.”
This loophole gave the old forces an excuse to persecute him, but I saw Master blocking the interference and making more time for him to enlighten. If he had tried to relinquish his notion, he could have overcome this hurdle.
Unfortunately, his doubt grew with time. The old forces encircled him with an invisible maze and eventually killed him. After he lost his life, his main spirit saw the truth, but it was too late.
17. Old Forces Create the Illusion of Sickness to Test People
Since practitioners outside of China do not face the same harsh reality as those in China, the old forces said, “We will use sickness karma as a final test for everyone, to see if you've truly let go of your fear of death.”
“You might know that a few of our students passed away. Some of them reached Consummation, while some [died to] do harm to us. So I didn’t make any comments on the matter or offer any explanation. Yet I think those things were a test of life and death for our students. Although they didn’t happen to you personally, it was almost as if they did. You’re sure to have felt like that. It’s a critical test of life and death, then. If a person can’t abandon his concern for life and death, he absolutely won’t be able to Consummate.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore)
Sometimes, from what I could see, the sickness karma was not very serious in other dimensions – it just appeared disproportionately severe in the human world as an illusion. People who suffered from this type of tribulation were confused, and if one has no clear understanding of the Fa principles, one could be easily overwhelmed.
This is also a test to a group of practitioners. If everyone reaches the correct understanding and maintains strong faith in Dafa, the test will go away quickly. But we should not underestimate the consequences of the illusion; it is still a life threatening test.
If the individual can pass this test, he will have a positive influence on others. By the same token, if those near him can raise their understanding on this issue, they can inspire him to pass the test. Everyone should look inward and pass this test at their own personal level.
Master told us in:
“At a certain point in time, you will be made unable to discern clearly whether something is true, whether your gong exists, whether you can practice cultivation and make it, or whether there are Buddhas and if they are real. In the future, these situations will surface again to give you this false impression and make you feel as though they do not exist and are all false—it is to see whether you are determined. You say that you must be firm and sure-footed. With this determination, if you can indeed be firmly resolute at that point, you will naturally do well because your xinxing will have already improved. But you are not yet that stable at the moment. If you are given this tribulation right away, you will not be enlightened to it at all, and neither will you be able to practice cultivation whatsoever.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
Illusion is a huge test in any righteous cultivation – just look at Milarepa’s cultivation experience. His master created all kinds of illusions to test his faith.
Many practitioners in China pass these life threatening tests on a regular basis. But for practitioners in situations where the pressure is not as intense, the old forces may still use sickness karma to test them.
We must have the correct understanding and righteous faith, and validate our right fruit status. The great Tao is extremely simple and easy, and its manifestation is often subtle. We must not have any doubts about Dafa or let the old forces take advantage of our omissions.
(To be continued)