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