(Minghui.org) I came across an article titled “The Role of Shen Gongbao” a few days ago while tidying up some old editions of Minghui Weekly. Usually, I would read all the articles in Minghui Weekly, but I somehow missed this one. Maybe I thought that Shen Gongbao and his conduct had nothing to do with me and skipped the article.
I read this article a number of times in the last few days and was startled to realize that I had played the part of Shen Gongbao many times due to my human attachments.
When we talk about Shen Gongbao, many practitioners naturally think of his story as a cautionary tale. It reminds us that, as Dafa cultivators, we must never harbor any jealousy. In fact, Master has repeatedly emphasized the devastating consequences of harboring jealousy in the Fa teachings.
“Jealousy is definitely something you must get rid of. It is something formidable and can make you slack off in all aspects of your cultivation and ruin you. You mustn’t harbor jealousy!” (“Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading”)
The Fa principles tell us that as cultivators, we must relinquish jealousy, otherwise all our efforts in cultivation would be futile. However, we often fail to be strict with ourselves, which has greatly impacted our cultivation.
I have encountered a few incidents lately that tested if I could truly look within as a Dafa practitioner, unconditionally reflect upon my own conduct, rectify myself, and quickly make up for my shortcomings.
For a long time, I have developed a notion about myself. I subconsciously think that I am pretty good and better than others; to others, I act humble and sometimes say things just to keep up appearances.
I’ve now realized this is being cunning and crafty. I didn’t realize that I was behaving this way, and neither did my fellow practitioners. They all thought I was pretty pure and innocent. Now that I’ve realized this, I feel really ashamed of myself!
Though I was aware of my own jealousy, I never took it seriously. As a result, this demonic element in me grew stronger as time went on.
In everyday people’s society, jealousy can drive people to act ruthlessly and senselessly, without regard for justice. To get what they pursue and aim for, people are prepared to turn against each other, be it their family members, colleagues, or friends. And they end up lonely and anguished as a result.
For spiritual practitioners, if one does not restrain and dissolve such dangerous thoughts, one would do irrational things, such as talking behind others’ backs, spreading groundless rumors, or even trying to obstruct projects that save sentient beings. I could see these elements in myself to varying degrees, but I wasn’t clear that these destructive behaviors were all rooted in the demonic nature of jealousy.
Looking back, I can see many situations where I unwittingly became the “Shen Gongbao” of certain situations.
The root of my jealousy lies in the attachment to fame and face. I attached great importance to my ego, and to how others may appraise me. When I failed to receive what I thought I deserved, I started to think of ways to achieve what I was after.
Put frankly, I was harboring evil thoughts. I could not see the good points in fellow practitioners and was quick to pointing fingers if something was not to my liking. The most frightening thing was that I wasn’t even aware of the intensity of this deep-rooted attachment.
“When what you do has just a little bit of success, you’re so pleased with yourselves. But are you playing the lead role [in your field]? You haven’t even managed to play a supporting role, and some are playing the role of a clown! Is that what Dafa disciples should be doing?” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)
Shen Gongbao thought he was very capable with his plethora of supernormal abilities. He viewed Jiang Ziya as both old and incompetent, and grew bitter when their master, Yuanshi Tianzun, dispatched Jiang Ziya to assign titles to deities instead of him.
So he tried by hook or by crook to obstruct Jiang Ziya, and even almost killed him. Some spiritual cultivators and deities were also bewitched and ruined by Shen Gongbao.
Isn’t it blasphemous to act against God’s will out of one’s jealousy? If one brings his own attachments and discontent to fellow practitioners and deceives them so that they would take his side—and worse still, if they ally with one another to interfere with divine arrangements, wouldn’t they disrupt the whole body of practitioners? Shen Gongbao played precisely this role.
After Shen Gongbao was captured for his evil deeds, he was given another chance to repent. However, instead of making up for his wrongdoings, he continued to make trouble by defying the will of God and helping the tyrannical King Zhou do evil. As a result, he ended up being completely destroyed and used to fill the hole in the North Sea, as he said in his vow earlier.
The appearance of Shen Gongbao and his tragic ending on the stage of history was by no means accidental and can still serve as a stern warning and reminder to Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples.
“In the Fa-rectification, there are those who ascend, there are those who descend, and there are those who are destroyed. Regardless of whether they are gods, humans, or ghosts, all will be placed anew in one of the positions in different realms—from survival to total elimination.” (“Determination and Solidity,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
The author of the article “The Role of Shen Gongbao” also reminded us: “Sometimes, one thought is all that it takes to determine whether it is righteous or evil. When cultivators still possess a jealous, competitive mentality and are not careful, they might play a role like Shen. They may cause harm to others as well as themselves. It is particularly the case for those who feel capable, special, and talented.”
This warning touched my heart deeply and I was determined to root out all those impure substances in my dimensional field. I would leave no room for them to survive.
At the same time, I decided to write out my understanding on the issue to share my understanding with fellow practitioners who might also have similar attachments. We should constantly reflect upon our thoughts and deeds based on the Fa so that we do not go astray.
Another year has gone by in a blink of an eye and a new year has started to unfold. Let us keep reminding ourselves to always act with righteous thoughts, be more diligent in cultivation, and do better in fulfilling our mission as Dafa disciples.
The above is just my personal understanding. Please kindly point out anything that is not in accordance with the Fa.
Editor’s note: This article only represents the author’s understanding in their current cultivation state meant for sharing among practitioners so that we can “Compare with one another in study, in cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin)
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