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Eternal Sorrow

  • From TBN, issue 506 - 507
  • Guru's Talk: Eternal Sorrow
  • By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
  • Translated by Cheng Yew Chung
  • Edited by TBN

(From Book #173, "One Dream, One World")

There was a couple, a husband and wife, who took refuge in me. They had a wonderful son and everyone who saw him adored him. But the son became very ill. All the medicines he took had no effect and sadly he passed away!

The couple was crying grievously in front of their shrine, almost beside themselves in anguish:

"Our son is gone. We do not wish to live anymore either [mournful weeping sound]..."

The wife was crying so hard that she fainted on the floor and had to be taken to the hospital emergency ward for an intravenous!

The husband was also devastated and felt all at once that there was no meaning in life. At first, he had thought life was very colourful, but now it had turned to black and white and grey. His body felt totally exhausted.

The two of them were facing each other, their faces awash with tears.

The taste of "the separation in life and death" - I can deeply relate to this feeling. When my mother left the human world, the image of her just before her last breath replayed over and over before my eyes. I knew that I should not have been crying. I just kept chanting the name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva with all my strength. But I could not hold it back any longer. I ran outside and wailed up at the sky in great anguish. Ai! I shouldn't have cried, but it was very hard! My mother entering the "perfect rest" of parinirvana is eternal sorrow in my heart.

This couple had lost their most beloved son; I could understand their feelings.

But the couple was very distraught in their sorrow and they ripped apart their refuge certificate. They took down their shrine and stopped participating in group cultivations, stopped practicing the dharma, stopped chanting the name of the Buddha. They closed themselves in and cut themselves off from the other disciples.

I entered their dreams:

"That one was not your son!"

They both saw Guru in their dreams telling them the same thing.

Although they each saw Guru in their dreams, it did not make them happy, and afterward they coldly asked each other, "If he was not our son, then who is? Guru did not bless us."

While I was at Leaf Lake, I knew about this and my heart ached with deep sorrow. But I really could not do anything to help. When my mother entered parinirvana, I could not do anything. When my disciples' son left this world, I could not do anything. I knew that this was because of "impermanence." What kind of Guru am I? I might as well drop everything and disappear! Even for my own body, I cannot do anything!

Later, I again entered the dreams of both of them:

"I will deliver you a son, and he will be like your last one! This one really is your son."

This couple was in their forties, and as predicted, she became pregnant.

It was a son, and he was beautiful and perfect.

It was like a great rain after a long drought. It was like suffering for a long time and then suddenly enjoying a taste of honey. Finally they were living their lives again.

They started to practice the dharma again, chanting, "Om, Guru Lian Sheng, Siddhi Hum."

They took refuge again.

They set up a new shrine and started everything anew.

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