Some Thoughts After Reading the Sharing Article “Hoarding Food Is an Indication of Lack of Faith”
(Minghui.org) At the beginning of the pandemic, I stocked up on some groceries and daily necessities. Now the second wave of the pandemic is coming. My local practitioners are again talking about whether to stock up more food.
This reminded me of a sharing article that I read recently. It was titled “Hoarding food is an indication of lack of faith,” and the author mentioned how some practitioners in his local area, including himself, purchased an excessive amount of food that could last them for several years and how some food had already gone bad.
This author wrote, “My own hoarding of food and supplies was a manifestation of my selfishness, of wanting to protect myself from potential hunger and having to go without many things. It also revealed my weakness at not being able to think independently based on the Fa-teachings, but instead drifting along with the maddening crowd.”
He realized that “How we make the best use of our time during this coronavirus pandemic to save people is critical.”
I saw that I was similar to the author and did not clearly understand everything from the Fa's standpoint and did not follow the standard required of cultivators. I did not use the opportunity to raise my level and eliminate my attachments.
The recent discussion of whether to stock up on food also reminded me of the following Fa-teaching.
“When one insists upon doing things this way, one will take advantage of others and do wrong deeds. 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.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation version)
If there is indeed a shortage of food and if practitioners stock up more food than necessary, then the food goes bad. I recalled that Master has taught us to cherish food and to never waste food. Wouldn’t practitioners be doing a bad deed if our hoarding of food caused everyday people to not have enough food? Wouldn’t that bring practitioners karma?
I thought of a beggar’s story, the moral of which is that when one can let go of the pursuit of one's own interest, one will be blessed for their kind heart.
The beggar had been begging for years, but he did not see any increase in his stocks. At night, he saw a big rat eating his grains. He shouted, “Why don’t you eat grains from the rich? Why did you come to eat what I got from begging?” The rat said, “You are only worth these many grains. No matter what you do, you would never have over one liter of it.”
The beggar asked, “Why is that?” The rat said, “I don’t know. You can ask the Buddha.”
On his way to look for the Buddha, the beggar stopped at a home to beg for food. The homeowner asked him why he continued on his journey even at night. The beggar shared his story.
The homeowner gave him a lot of food and money and asked him to help ask Buddha a question. The homeowner's daughter was 16 years old and still could not speak. The homeowner said whoever could make his daughter talk, he would have her marry him.
The beggar then arrived at a temple to ask for some water to drink. A monk with a tin cane asked him where he was heading. The beggar shared his story and the monk also requested the beggar to ask the Buddha a question for him. The monk had been cultivating for over 500 years, yet he still could not reach consummation. He was wondering when he could reach consummation. The beggar agreed.
The beggar came to one side of a river and could not pass it. A turtle surfaced and carried him to the other side of the river. The turtle also had a request for the beggar to ask why after over 1,000 years of cultivation, he still could not become a dragon to fly away. The beggar agreed again.
One day, the beggar was very tired and fell asleep. In his dream, he saw the Buddha. The Buddha said he was only allowed to ask three questions.
The beggar thought about it and felt that the other people’s questions were all more important than his.
So he asked the first question. The Buddha told him that the turtle had 24 night-lit pearls in his shell. If he could let go of the pearls, he would become a dragon.
The Buddha gave the answer to the second question and said the monk’s tin cane was very precious. The moment you poke the ground with it, clear spring water would come out. If the monk could let go of the cane, he would be able to rise to heaven.
The beggar then asked the third question. The Buddha said, when the mute girl meets the man she loves, she would be able to talk. Then the Buddha disappeared.
On his way back, the beggar came to the river and shared the Buddha’s words with the turtle. The turtle removed his shell and gave it to the beggar. Then the turtle became a dragon immediately and flew away.
With the 24 pearls, the beggar came to the temple and shared the Buddha’s words with the monk. The monk gave the tin cane to the beggar and immediately went to heaven.
The beggar came to the homeowner’s gate. A girl ran out and shouted, “The man who went to ask the Buddha questions came back!” Her father was surprised that his daughter started talking all of a sudden. The beggar shared what he heard from the Buddha. The homeowner kept his promise and had his daughter marry the beggar.
The turtle could not become a dragon without letting go of the pearls. The monk could not reach consummation without letting go of his precious tin cane. The beggar let go of his own needs and took care of others’ requests first. He ended up getting blessed.
My understanding is that if we let go of our obsession with stocking up food to prepare for the second wave of the pandemic and instead put sentient beings' interest before our own insecurity about food, we'd be blessed and wouldn't have food problems. With that attachment removed, we'd also be able to focus our energy on saving more sentient beings during the pandemic.