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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 for rebirth.

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 more years."

"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 reincarnation."

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 more complicated.

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 the dirt

I see no one who realizes me and accompanies me

Naturally, the suspicious thought becomes the fog

Come alone,

Go alone.

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