My Understanding of Shakyamuni's Compassion
(Clearwisdom.net) After I read a story about Buddha Shakyamuni I gained a new understanding about having great tolerance in one's heart.
The story goes like this. While practicing in the mountains, Shakyamuni encountered a king who was leading his people on a hunt. The king asked Shakyamuni where to find wild animals. Shakyamuni thought, if I tell him the truth, the king will kill the animals, which is indirect killing; but if I do not, I will be telling lies. Because Shakyamuni was thinking and didn't answer immediately, the king became furious and cut off one of his arms. Then the king asked the same question again, but Shakyamuni still pondered over how to answer the question, so the king cut off his other arm. While in excruciating pain, Shakyamuni bore it with compassion and made a vow, “When I become a Buddha, I must first save this man in order not to let others follow him to do such bad things.” How could Shakyamuni not have become a Buddha when he had such great forbearance and compassion in his heart? Later, when Shakyamuni attained Buddhahood, the first person he saved was this king.
Today, Falun Dafa practitioners are being persecuted, and they can face danger at any moment. Even while in extreme pain, they still try to save sentient beings. When I read the story, I see that what had happened to Shakyamuni is also happening to Dafa practitioners. They hold no grudges or hatred toward those who harm them because cultivators have no enemies. When we send forth righteous thoughts, we are clearing away the evil spirits existing in other dimensions. Of course, Dafa cultivation is different from past personal cultivation. We don't recognize the persecution arranged by the old forces, and we cannot be persecuted passively. Only by warning and preventing the evil from doing evil things are we actually compassionate, because they are not just causing personal injury but also persecuting Dafa. If they do not repent, what awaits them is a most horrible ending.
I think of what Teacher said,
“What I just talked about was attachments that obstruct cultivation. When many of you, my students, have run into conflicts and become angry, did you think about the fact that your anger was directed at everyday people? Think about it: Buddhas and Gods—those magnificent enlightened beings—would they get angry with humans? Absolutely not. That’s because they are not at the level of humans and don’t have emotion (qing) as do everyday people. How could they position themselves among everyday people? When you deal with conflicts the same way as everyday people, you are then at the same level, or in the same realm, as everyday people. That is to say, you are one of the everyday people. Only when you are not like them are you not one of them. Of course then, what you will display will be tolerance and an immense capacity to forgive. Everyday people will see it this way, but in fact it is the manifestation of your xinxing level in cultivation. So, regardless of the setting or circumstances in which you run into problems, you must maintain a compassionate and merciful heart in handling everything. If you cannot love your enemy, then you cannot reach Consummation. (Applause) Then why is it that when an ordinary person angers you, you cannot forgive him?! And instead you argue and fight with him like an everyday person? Doesn’t this also hold true for the interactions among practitioners?” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia”)
I hope that we can all save more sentient beings in the coming year with great compassion.