Cultivation Issue: Attachment to Fame and Money Will Ruin a Person
(Minghui.org) I read a story about a person pursuing fame and money, but ending up with nothing. The story reflects some issues that come up on our cultivation path.
Zou Ziyin of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) practiced Buddhism and did good deeds for people. He would not hesitate to do anything to save people, treat illnesses, or help others, even if it was challenging and brought suffering to him. People called him “The Great Good Man.”
Towards the end of his life, Zou was very ill and went into a coma. After he woke up from the coma, he said that he met Yamaraja, the god of death, in Hell. Yamaraja showed him the record of his actions in the human world. He'd noted that every good deed he did was either for fame or for money.
“Whoever wants to do good deeds must use his true heart,” Zou said with great regret. “Purge bad things from your mind before you start. Don't be like me and do things for the sake of fame and money.”
He died five days later.
The moral of the story is that as practitioners we cannot pursue fame or money. We are assisting Master to save sentient beings, which is a great good deed. But, being in the human world, we also are members of society, and cannot live without money. Thus, we must watch each and every thought in this regard. We must remember that the old forces can take advantage of our gaps to interfere with us or even ruin us.
For example, some practitioners, after helping many people quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), may show off, brag, and be arrogant. Also, some practitioners who have collected funds in excess or borrowed money for Dafa projects may forget to return it or pay it back.
“The Buddha Fa is passed on to man to save him. If you use it to make money, that is an enormous, evil sin! Of course, demons don’t care about that.” (“Fa-Teaching Given at the Conference in Sydney”)
Master also warned us,
“Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa.
Those who are attached to money seek wealth and feign their cultivation. Undermining the practice and the Fa, they waste their lifetimes instead of cultivating Buddhahood.” (“Cultivator's Avoidance,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
It is clear that we cannot reach our cultivation goal if we fail to pass the test of fame and money. To a cultivator, cultivating our heart is the first and most important thing.