A Wish Unfulfilled
- From TBN, issue 518 - 519
- Guru's Talk: A Wish Unfulfilled
- By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated by Cheng Yew Chung
- Edited by TBN
(From Book #176, "Various Feelings in the Rain")
In my samadhi at Leaf Lake, my original soul was out, to radiate
light to receive an "old" disciple," to deliver him to a rebirth
in the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds.
Why do I call this old disciple "old"? Because he was over 90 years
old and his life had come to an end. He was waiting for my blessing
This disciple had every day recited sutras, chanted mantras, and
cultivated without interruption. He was very devout. His level of
cultural refinement was very high as well. He was a role model for
the elderly, respecting his master, cherishing the dharma, and putting
the dharma into actual practice.
This old disciple was in a coma, and while in the coma, his soul
had left his body, whereupon he saw me in the great white light.
I said, "Please come in!"
He replied, "No!"
I was surprised and asked, "Why is that?"
"My wish is not complete yet."
"What kind of wish do you have still?" I was bewildered.
The old disciple told me that he had been married to his dear wife
for 57 years and that they loved each other very much. The feelings
between them were quite harmonious. They had supported each other,
from their younger years to their aging years. If he were to leave
now, alone, he would have to leave his dear wife all alone in the
world. Thinking about that, for a husband of 57 years, it felt pitiable.
The old disciple asked me, "Guru! Please allow me to live for three
"Why three more years?"
"To be married for 60 years, a full 60 years, would be memorable.
That is my wish."
When I heard, this, I was touched deeply.
I went to see the deity of the "Big Dipper" star constellation
to discuss the old disciple's situation, whether or not he could
be permitted to live for three more years.
The Big Dipper deity said, "His life is at an end. His internal
organs are no longer functioning. Forcing this body to live will
increase his suffering. Even if the Master Mother deity of all the
stars were to come, she could never save him. Even if the Buddha
were to come, the disciple's body is too damaged. There is only
I realized that it was hopeless, because if the old disciple were
to re-enter the cycle of reincarnation, the relationship between
the old disciple reborn as a baby and the old wife would be much
I immediately returned to see the soul of the old disciple. I said
to him, "The time schedule is fixed. You have to go."
"Allow me to live three more years!" he implored me again.
I told him very firmly, "No!"
He said, "I would rather not go!"
So Guru and the old disciple were at an impasse. If he wouldn't
go, then I wouldn't go either.
I told him that when the Buddha was about to enter nirvana, he
wished to return to his own place, but even if he had hurried on
his way, it would still not be in time. The Buddha entered nirvana
lying on a bed between twin sal trees in the Salavanodyana park.
His wish was also not finished!
As for me, if I return to the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds, my wish also
would not be fulfilled. Because my wish is to deliver sentient beings
in every life. When will my wish come true, I ask you? How can such
a wish come true?
After listening to this, the old disciple finally nodded his head.
After tossing about for more than ten days, the old disciple had
finally agreed to enter the great radiant light ocean of the Maha
Twin Lotus Ponds. He was reborn on a lotus.
I will leave you with a poem:
With wishes fulfilled, seldom in the human world
'Cause the deep emotions and feelings
Cannot be given up so easily
The word "feeling" is really something hard to explain
Even though no beauty, no wonderful appearance
The old couple's feelings were more firm and more strong
To be admired by others
To watch their departure
My heart inevitably feels bitter
The time in the human world is the same as that of the dust and
I see no one who realizes me and accompanies me
Naturally, the suspicious thought becomes the fog