The Cultivation Story of Buddha Milarepa (Part 9)
(Minghui.org) Throughout history, the Himalayas have been an area with many cultivators. The people there lead a simple, modest life, and everyone sings and dances. They also revere the Buddha Fa. Almost a millennium ago, there was a cultivator in this region named Milarepa. While the multitude of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas had taken many lifetimes and gone through many calamities before cultivating to fruition, Milarepa achieved equivalent mighty virtue in one lifetime and later became known as the founder of the White Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
(Continued from Part 8)
“Another year passed, and all the clothes I had were really worn out. Even the leather coat that aunt had given me for selling the land was like a corpse's skin. I thought about sewing them together to make a cushion, but then I thought that human life is transient and unpredictable. It was even possible that I could die tonight, so I would be better off spending the time practicing meditation. So I put the worn-out clothing under me, covered my lower body with something random, and draped a piece of the tattered roasted barley flour sack over my upper half, with a piece of tattered cloth covering the necessary parts of the body. But the piece of cloth was too tattered and too old, there was no way to use it. I thought I could darn it, but there was no needle or thread. In the end, I made a rope from teasel to tie these three things together, tying them around my upper body and waist. My lower body was also covered a little. In this way, I managed to continue staying there. I used the leather coat and the ragged mat to cope overnight. I kept meditating every day, and another year passed this way.
“I heard some noise one day and saw many people coming toward the cave. Looking inside the cave and seeing a green pile in human form, they were frightened and screamed, 'Ghost! Ghost!' They turned and ran without looking back. The people coming after them did not believe them and said, 'How could there be a ghost in broad daylight? Did you see clearly? Let's go take a look.' They walked up close, looked inside and were also scared. I said to them, 'I am not a ghost. I am a practitioner doing meditation in this cave.' I then told them my story in great detail.
“In the beginning they did not believe me. After thoroughly examining the cave and finding nothing except for nettle, they believed me and gave me a lot of roasted barley flour and meat. They told me, 'We really admire cultivators like you. Please help the souls of the animals we killed find peace and eliminate our sinful karma.' They sincerely kowtowed to me and left.
“This was the first time in all those years that I had obtained food made by humans, and I was very joyful. I cooked the meat and ate it, and my body immediately felt very comfortable. My health improved, my wisdom increased, and my understanding of dharma deepened and broadened. The empty bliss I had was also different from before. I thought, 'If someone can provide a bowl of food to a true cultivator, the merit and virtue is much greater than providing large amounts of treasure and money to masters who live like princes in the earthly world. Many people help the rich unnecessarily, while few support the poor in real need. What a pity!'
“I ate the flour and meat very frugally. Some time passed, and the remaining meat was full of worms. I was about to remove the worms to eat the meat. But thinking it over further, I realized this was against Bodhisattva precepts, because one should not take a worm's food as his own. So I continued to eat nettle.
“A thief came one night for my food and property. Seeing him creeping around the cave and groping around everywhere, I could not help laughing and said, 'Hey, my friend, I cannot find anything here even during the day. How do you expect to find something at night?' The thief thought about it and laughed with me. He was very embarrassed and quietly slipped away.
“Another year passed. Hunters from my hometown of Kyangatsa had not caught anything and were at the entrance of my cave. They saw me sitting there like a skeleton, huddled up in a shrunken green heap, draped in three pieces of cloth. Trembling with trepidation, they pulled their bows toward me and asked in trilly voices, 'Are you a human, ghost, animal, or a shadow? By any standard, you look like a ghost!'
“I coughed and replied, 'I am a human, not a ghost.'
“They heard my voice, and one person who knew me asked, 'Aren’t you Topaga?'
“'Yes, I am Topaga.'
“Ah! Could you give us any food? We hunted the entire day and did not catch anything. If you could lend us something now, we will return much more to you later.'
“I said, 'Unfortunately I don't have anything to give you to eat.'
“'Oh, that's fine. Just give us whatever you eat.'
“I only have nettle here. Please set up a fire so you can boil it.'
“Hearing my words, they started a fire to cook nettle. 'We need to put in a little butter to boil with it,' they said.
“'I wish I had butter, but I ran out of it several years ago. There is oil in the nettle anyway.'
“'Then could you please give us some seasoning?'
“'I have not used seasonings for many years. There is flavor in the nettle.'
“The hunters said, 'You need to give us a little salt at least.'
“I replied, 'I would give you salt if I had any. I have lived without salt for many years. There is salt in the nettle.'
“The hunters said to me, 'What you wear and what you eat make no sense. It's not a life for a human. Even if you were someone's servant, you would at least have enough food to eat and warm clothes to wear. Ugh! Ugh! You can't find anyone in the world more miserable and pitiful than you.'
“I said, 'Please do not say that. I am the most fortunate and the greatest person in the crowd. I met the great translator master Marpa and learned verses to attain Buddhahood in one lifetime. Living in this remote mountain and forsaking thoughts of longing for this life, I practice meditation to achieve Samadhi. Reputation, fame, respect, clothing, food, money, or assets–nothing can disturb my heart. This is because I have already subdued all my worldly concerns. No one in this world could be better described as a true great man than me. You all live in a nation where the Buddha dharma is flourishing, but you have no interest in even listening to dharma, let alone practicing it. You spend this lifetime busy committing crimes and doing evil, unconcerned about how deep hell is and how long you will stay there. In this world, people like you are the truly miserable and pitiable ones! In my heart I am always safe and happy. Now let me sing you a song about the joy of cultivation.'
“They were all curious and quietly listened to my song with great interest:
'Dear benevolent master Marpa,I dedicate my lifetime to your salvation;From Mila, a yogi,living here in the Drakar Taso cave.
'To seek the unsurpassed Bodhi,I give up my life and clothing and food;A small, thin mat under me gives joy,the cotton-padded coat on me is joy.
'The meditation belt around me is joy,no hunger or cold the illusory body has joy;Cessation of deluded thoughts is joy,free of discomfort means joy.
'Here and there is joy,to me everything is joy;Inferior base far from dharma,I am doing this to benefit myself and others.
'Cultivation is the ultimate joy,your pity on me is funny;The sun already went down in the west,gentlemen time to hurry home.
'I don't know when my life will end,there is no time for meaningless talk;I am here to attain consummation of Buddhahood,staying in the cave alone is my luck.
“Hearing my words, the hunters said, 'You really have a great voice! These joys you mentioned could be real, but it's not something we could accomplish. See you later!' They all went down the mountain.
“There was a large festival in my hometown of Kyangatsa every year to celebrate the completion of clay Buddha statues. During this year's gathering, those hunters were all singing my song about the joys of cultivation. Everyone praised the song, saying it was really good. My sister Peta had also gone there to beg. Hearing the lyrics, she said, 'This song must have been written by a Buddha!'
“A hunter laughed and said, 'Ha! Ha! I don't know if it came from a Buddha or a sentient being. But your bony brother Topaga sang it when he was nearly starved to death!'
“Peta replied, 'My father and mother died very early, and all our relatives and friends became our enemies. My brother is nowhere to be found, and I am left with the bitter fate of being a beggar girl. Yet you still make fun of me. How could you be so cruel?' She then began to sob. Dzese was also at the festival. Seeing Peta crying, she said, 'Please don't cry. Please don't cry. This song could have come from your brother. I saw him a few years ago. How about going to Drakar Taso cave and taking a look? We will find out if it was him. I can go with you.'
“Peta agreed. From the alms she had received from lamas, she took a bottle of wine and some roasted barley flour and came to Drakar Taso cave.
“Peta arrived at the cave entrance and looked inside. She saw me sitting there with eyes sunken in as if two pits and the bones on my body protruding one by one like mountains. I did not have muscle, and my skin almost separated from my bones. My hair was long and messy, falling on my back, and the pores all over my body were green. My hands and feet were dry and shriveled, as if they would crack open. Thinking it was a ghost, Peta was scared and about to flee. Then she remembered the words, 'your bony brother Topaga ... nearly starved to death.' So she asked skeptically, 'Are you a human or a ghost?'
“'I am Mila Topaga!'
“Knowing it was my voice, she rushed in and grabbed me, calling out, 'Brother! Brother!' She promptly fainted.
“Seeing that it was sister Peta gave me mixed feelings of grief and joy. It took me a long time to rouse her. She covered her face with her hands and cried, 'Mother missed you so much that she died. Nobody in the village was willing to help me. The suffering was too much, and I had to wander around begging. I always thought: is my brother dead or alive? If he is alive, he must have a happy life. Who would have thought you would become like this? Is there anyone more tragic in this world than us siblings?' Calling the names of father and mother, she cried loudly, thumping her chest and stamping her feet as she wailed.
“I tried my utmost to console her, but it did not work. With sadness I sang a consoling song to sister Peta.
“Peta said, 'If it is so, what you are doing is great, but I am not sure I believe it. If what you said is true, why are other dharma practitioners not like you? Even if they are not completely the same as you, there should at least be some similarities. I have never even heard of this kind of practice that you are doing.' While she said this, she gave me the wine and food. After I ate the food, I immediately felt wisdom and clarity. That night, my practice improved dramatically.
“After Peta left the next morning, my body and mind experienced unprecedented happiness as well as sharp pain. All kinds of good and bad changes and good and bad omens arose in my mind. Though I practiced hard at clear observation, it did not help. Several days later, Dzese brought lots of aged butter, preserved meat and a jar of good wine. She came with Peta just as I happened to go out to fetch water. As I came back from fetching the water, because I had almost had no clothing on me–just a greenish naked body–they felt embarrassed to see me. They turned their heads and stood aside. They started weeping.
“After I came in and sat down, the two of them gave me barley flour, butter, wine and meat.
“Peta said to me, 'Brother, by any standard you do not look like a human. How about going out and getting some human food to eat? And I will try to get some clothing for you to wear.'
“Dzese followed, 'No matter what, you need to get some food. I will also think of ways to get some clothes for you.'
“I said, 'I don't know when I will die. Going out for alms only wastes time and is meaningless. Even if I die from cold or hunger, I would have lost my life for dharma and would have no regrets. One may give up one's practice, rushing about for clothes and food, and work hard to accumulate a fortune. One may eat well, dress well, and enjoy feasts and drinks with relatives and friends. One may spend a life singing and chatting about random topics, laughing and joking as one goes about one's meager existence. That type of lifestyle is frittering away a precious human life, and I am absolutely against it. So you need not find clothing for me, and I will not go out for alms. Let each of us take care of himself or herself!'
“Peta replied, 'It's practically like you are looking to suffer. I don't know how you will be satisfied. It looks like you have no other way to torment yourself and cause yourself suffering!'
“I said, 'This is not a big deal. The Three Lower Realms are true suffering. But sentient beings commit wrongdoings easily. Those who bring that kind of suffering upon themselves are truly too numerous to mention. I am already quite satisfied with my current situation.' I then sang a song about satisfaction for the two of them.
“Hearing my song, Dzese was very impressed and said, 'What you said earlier is exactly what you are doing now. It is truly admirable!'
“Peta replied, 'No matter what brother says, my heart really cannot bear him not having clothing or food. I will do anything I can to get you a piece of clothing. You say you won't go to find food or clothing because of your practice, and you will have no regrets even if you die. But before you die, I still need to think of a way to get food and clothing for you.'
“The two of them then left together.
“After eating the good food, the sting of suffering and joy, as well as the disturbance from thoughts became more and more severe. I later basically could not continue practicing. I opened master's letter and read it. In it were all kinds of verses on how to remove obstacles and increase benefits, as well as how to turn fault into merit and virtue. Master specifically reminded me I should eat good food now. My unceasing hard work at practicing had caused the essential factors of the physical body (earth, water, fire and air, also known as Four Great Elements) to all aggregate in my energy channels. Because my food was too inferior, I did not have the energy to dissolve them.
“So I drank a bit of the wine from Peta and ate the food that Dzese had brought. Following the instructions in the letter, I worked hard practicing mind, energy and visualization. Small energy channels opened up, and so did a central energy channel close to the navel. An unprecedented sensation of bliss, clarity, and non-conceptuality arose. The realm was beyond description. The distinct understanding and realization of merit and virtue were firm and profound, and they could turn fault into merit and virtue. I came to understand clearly that all dharma, including reincarnation and nirvana, have karmic relationships. Wrongdoings lead to reincarnation, while kindness and liberation result in nirvana. Distinct merit and virtue start from hard practice and proper actions, and they are assisted by food and advanced verses. They merge as opportunities are ripe to achieve completion. I thus gained strong confidence in the convenience of Mantrayana. I also knew deeply that the merit and virtue of Peta and Dzese providing the food were unimaginable. To repay their gratitude, I made a specific vow of dedication to Bodhi.
“I continued to work hard at practicing cultivation and gradually found myself able to change my body at will during the day. I could also soar in the air and demonstrate all kinds of supernatural powers. In dreams at night, I was able to travel to the top of the world and smash mountains. After turning into hundreds of transformation bodies, I could go to the pure lands of Buddhas to listen to dharma or give lectures to countless sentient beings. My body was able to enter and exit water as well as fire, together with all sorts of other unimaginable supernatural transformations. Feeling very happy in my heart, I tried them while continuing to practice. Soon afterward, I was able to fly freely. I flew to a mountain top to meditate for clear observation, and there I produced unprecedented warmth of Tummo.
“As I was flying back to Drakar Taso, I passed a small village and saw a father and son plowing a field. The father, from the same gang of scoundrels as my uncle, was hoeing, while the son was plowing with a yak. The son looked up and saw me flying in the sky. He immediately called out, 'Father, look! Someone is flying in the sky!' He forgot about plowing and kept looking at how I was flying. His father replied, 'Ugh! It's not worth looking. Nyangtsa Kargyen of Kyangatsa had a demon son. He was starving, but he did not die of starvation. People call him Demon Mila. I think that is him. Don't let his shadow cover you and continue plowing.' To avoid my shadow, the old codger dodged everywhere. The son said, 'It's so much fun to see a living person fly! If I could fly, even if I were to fall and break my legs I would still want to do it.' He thus stopped plowing the field and just stared at me in the sky.
“At that time I had the thought that I already had the ability to do things to benefit sentient beings, so I should spread dharma to people. But a deity manifested himself and said to me, 'Following master's instruction to cultivate throughout your entire lifetime is the right thing to do. There is nothing else in this world that would spread dharma better and benefit sentient beings more than your practicing dharma.' I realized that by spending my entire lifetime practicing, I could serve as an example for future practitioners. It would offer great benefit to sentient beings and to teaching methods in the future. So I decided to continue meditating in the mountains.
“I then thought, 'I have lived here for many years. More people have gradually come to know about me. That child saw me flying today, and I am afraid more people will start coming here. If I continue to stay here, I would probably fall back into the eight worldly concerns. Tempted by demons, fame and reputation, I probably would not succeed in the end. It would be better to go practice in Chubar, a sacred place that master prophesied.' Carrying the clay pot for cooking nettle, I left Drakar Taso.
“Because of practicing in ascetic conditions for a long time, I was physically weak. The ragged clothing I was wearing dragged along the ground, and I accidentally stumbled to the roadside. The rope broke, and the pot was smashed. A pile of fresh, green nettle that had been inside the pot was scattered over the ground. Seeing this, I thought about the principle of impermanence and had a stronger determination to leave this earthly world. On the back of a hillside, I happened to come across a hunter who was eating something. He walked over to me. Seeing me holding the pieces of the pot, he asked, 'The clay pot is already broken. Why do you still carry it? Your body is so skinny and looks greenish. What happened?'
“I briefly told him about my journey of cultivation. He replied, 'That is magnificent! How about coming up the hill and having a meal with us?' I followed him up the hill, where several hunters were sitting. One of them said, 'Hey, my friend. I saw that you have pretty nice eyes. If you were to use your ascetic practice methods on something in society, you would definitely ride a nice lion-like horse and have the best livestock and servants. While you enjoy great wealth, no one would dare to take advantage of you, and you would live very comfortably. Or, at the very least, you could do some business to support yourself and have a comfortable life. Even if your bad luck continues and you were to stay with someone as a servant, you would have enough to eat and clothes to keep you warm. It would be much better than what you have now. Perhaps you did not know what to do before, but follow my advice from now on and it will definitely be good for you.'
“Another old man continued, 'Come on! Stop that! Don’t talk nonsense. He seems to be a real cultivator and won't listen to worldly people like us. Stop blabbing. Hey, sir, your voice is beautiful. Could you please sing us a song?'
“I said, 'Looking at me, you think I am the most miserable. But in this world, you probably cannot find someone who is more blessed and has a happier life than me.'
“I left the hunters and traveled to Chubar. After arriving in Dingri, I stopped at the roadside and lay down to rest for a moment. Several girls passed by, all dressed beautifully for a dharma assembly. Seeing my emaciated body, one girl said, 'Come look! What a pitiful person! We should vow not to have such bodies in our next incarnations.'
“Another girl said, 'What a poor person! Anyone who sees him will feel sad.'
“They did not know that I was thinking to myself, 'These ignorant sentient beings are so pitiable!' I could not hold back a strong feeling of pity for them. I stood up and said, 'Hey, please do not speak like that. And there is no need to feel sorry for me. Honestly speaking, even if you vowed to get a human body like mine, it might be hard to get one. Do you think me pitiful? Do you pity me? Let me tell you this, wrong views are truly pitiable, and ignorance is truly pitiable.'
“One of the girls said to the girl standing beside her, 'He is Milarepa! We only looked at others and did not look at ourselves. We said inappropriate things, so let's seek his forgiveness and make a vow.'
“Two of them thus came to me kowtowing and seeking forgiveness. They gave me seven clamshells as an offering. The other girls also kowtowed to me and asked me to teach them dharma.
“After arriving at Drin, I inquired in detail about the circumstances at Chubar and Kyipuk and decided to meditate in Kyipuk Nyima Dzong (Pleasant Sun Citadel). I stayed there for a few months, and my enlightenment improved rapidly. The residents of Drin often gave me food as offerings. Occasionally, quite a few people came to visit me. I gradually began to feel that it could hinder my meditation, so I thought about meditating in a remote mountain as master had instructed earlier.
“By then, Peta had found some wool and had woven the bale of woolen. She took it to Drakar Taso, but I had already left. She then asked around about me. Someone told her, 'There was a yogi who looks like a nettle insect, and he headed south.' Knowing it was me, she went south to find me. On the road, she happened to see lama Bari Lotsawa having a dharma assembly. The lama's seat had several layers of mats and a grand umbrella with colorful silk streamers that was suspended above his head, waving in the wind. The lama's young disciples were blowing triton shell trumpets or busy drinking wine or tea. The assembly was lively and packed with attendees. Seeing this, Peta thought, 'When other people learn dharma, they can enjoy such festivities. But what my brother learns is really unusual. Other than seeking suffering for himself, he does not benefit from it at all. He is even subjected to others’ ridicule, and even his family members lose face. When I see brother this time, I really must have a good talk with him. Hopefully, he can become a disciple of this lama.'
“At the assembly, Peta inquired about my whereabouts, and someone told her I was in Kyipuk. She traveled through Drin and found me in Kyipuk. The moment she saw me, Peta said, 'Brother, the dharma you are studying is one that gives one no food to eat and no clothing to wear. It is very shameful, and I feel disgraced. Among other things, you don't have anything to cover your lower body. It looks very ugly. Now please take this wool and make an apron from it!'
“'Look at others who learn dharma. Look at Bari Lama, who has a seat with several layers of mats, and he was covered with a grand umbrella. He wears silk and satin and drinks tea and wine. The assembly drew a loud crowd, and his disciples were blowing triton shells surrounded by countless offerings. That will truly benefit sentient beings, relatives, and friends, and everyone will be satisfied. So I think he is the best dharma practitioner among all practitioners. Can you try to become his apprentice? Even if you were the most junior lama, you would live comfortably. Otherwise, my brother, think about your dharma and my life. I am afraid we two siblings will not live long.' With those words, she began to sob loudly.
“I said to Peta, 'Please do not say that again. You and others may think it is shameful for me to be naked. But I think this is the body that everyone has, and exposing it is not disgraceful. I was like this when my parents brought me into this world, so why is it shameful? Some people know there are crimes we should avoid but continue to commit wrongdoings shamelessly and make their parents worried. They steal assets from the Three Jewels. To satisfy their selfish desires, they employ all kinds of methods to deceive sentient beings, harming themselves and others. Gods despise people like them, and this type of person's conduct is truly shameful. They are sinful not only in this lifetime, but also in the future. Plus, you think that the body from our parents is shameful, but when our parents brought you into this world, your chest did not have these two big breasts. Why do you also feel ashamed about these breasts now?'
“'You think I practiced in ascetic circumstances with no food or clothing because I could not find food or clothing. That is wrong. The reason I practice this way is because, first, I'm afraid of suffering in the Three Lower Realms; second, I consider reincarnation as frightening as throwing a living person into a pit of fire. The chaos in this earthly world, with people fighting with each other over fame and gain, and all of these eight worldly concerns, disgust me. For me, these are as detestable and nauseating as the stench of the food that an ill patient vomits. When I see these things, it is as if seeing the flesh of one's own murdered parents, and my heart is filled with an indescribable sorrow. The third reason is that master Marpa instructed me to forsake the eight worldly concerns and chaos, regardless of food, clothing, and others' comments. He asked me to live in an uninhabited, remote mountain and abandon all hopes and thoughts for this life, dedicating myself to cultivation. So my ascetic practice is actually following master's teachings.
“While obeying master's instructions to practice, I benefit not only myself but also all sentient beings in the long term. We live in this world and could die at any moment. Rather than being bothered by the eight worldly concerns, I would rather seek ultimate liberation. As to becoming an apprentice of Bari Lama as you said, that was indeed ridiculous. If I wanted to achieve something in this society, I would be at least as good as Bari Lama. Because I want to attain Buddhahood in this lifetime, I chose ascetic practice. Sister Peta, you should also forget about the eight worldly concerns and study dharma well. Come with your brother to cultivate in the snowy mountains. In the future, the benefit for us and other sentient beings will illuminate everywhere like sunshine.'
“Hearing my words, Peta replied, 'The eight worldly concerns you mentioned is happiness in this human world! We siblings need not abandon them! You clearly know that you cannot achieve what Bari Lama has, but you deliberately made many grandiose remarks to cover it up. You want me to freeze in the snowy peaks, with no food to eat and no clothing to wear? I will not do that! I don't know where I will go in the future. But brother, please don't run around everywhere like a panicked deer chased by a hound. How about just staying here? You can cultivate, and I will be able to find you easily. The people here seem to believe in you. So the best way is for you to live here for a long time. Or please at least stay here for a few days and first make an apron with the wool to cover your lower body. I will leave now and will come back in a few days.'
“In this way, I promised Peta that I would stay there for a few more days. She went out to beg for food in Drin.
“After Peta left, I split the wool cloth into a few pieces. From one large piece, I made a large hat that could cover my entire head. With another piece, I made a pair of shoes. I turned the third piece into twenty sheaths, ten for my fingers and ten for my toes. I also made a sheath for my private parts.
“Several days later, Peta came back and asked whether I had sewn the clothing. I said it was done and showed her the sheaths.
“She saw those and yelled, 'Brother! You're practically not even human! You are shameless! I worked so hard begging for food and then exchanged that food for the wool cloth, and you have turned it into tatters. You have ruined all of it! Sometimes you seem so busy practicing that you have no free time. Where did you find time for such a joke? Ugh! You’re really not like a human.'
“I replied, 'I am an upright person, and I am a person doing something meaningful. I know most clearly what is shameful, so I have obeyed all the precepts and vows well. You, sister, think my private parts being exposed does not look good, and you feel ashamed, but I cannot cut it off. So although it cut into some of my time for cultivation, I patiently made these sheaths to satisfy you. I also thought that if exposing the protruding parts of my lower body is shameful, then all my fingers, feet, toes, and head, all protruding parts, would also be shameful if exposed. So I made sheaths for all of them. I did not waste the wool. I just used it to make shame-covering sheaths. In fact, you seem to know better than me what is shameful. If my private parts are shameful, then how about yours? How about those people who accumulate a shameful fortune?' Hearing my words, she did not say anything. She was so angry that her face turned blue and a little grayish.
“I continued, “People in this world treat non-shameful as shameful, and shameful as normal. They harm and deceive people, committing karma and sinning, and do not think it is shameful.'
“Peta's face was still blue and grayish. Handing me the food and butter from her begging, she said, 'You never agree to do what I tell you to do. But I still cannot leave brother here like this. Please eat this, and I will go down the mountain for more food.' She was about to leave, and I thought, 'Is it really true that Peta's heart cannot be saved by dharma?' So I said to her, 'No hurry. You can stay here till this food is finished. During the time you remain here, even if you do not practice dharma, you can avoid committing karma down the mountain. Please stay here for a few days.'
“So Peta stayed. During those days, I tried my best to explain to her the principle of good deeds and rewards, as well as karma and retribution. She gradually began to have some understanding of Buddhist dharma. Her mood also changed some.”
(To be continued)