- From TBN, issue 521 - 527
- Guru's Talk: Good Fortune or Disaster
- By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated by Cheng Yew Chung
- Edited by TBN
(From Book 177: Stories About Seeing
Deities and Ghosts)
During my consultations with people, to tell them whether good
fortune or disaster awaited them, I learned that the philosophy
of good fortune and disaster depends upon each other. Good fortune
is hidden beneath the disaster; disaster depends on the good fortune.
Good luck or bad luck, fortune or disaster, whether it is good or
bad, it is simply destiny, nothing more.
I have learned:"Whenever good fortune comes your way, never
use it all up. Whenever disaster comes your way, endure it correspondingly."
There was a Mr. Ma, who was a journalist for a newspaper. When
he had been promoted to the position of director of the Interview
Department, he came to me for a consultation about his good or bad
luck and his good fortune or disaster.
I told him, "It's good fortune."
He replied, "Indeed! I have just been promoted to director
of the interview department."
I then continued, saying, "It's disaster."
He was very surprised, and said, "Where does the disaster
"In a few days, you shall know."
The director of the newspaper interview department took it with
a grain of salt.
How did I know this man's good fortune or disaster? Because when
he first entered my house, I saw a good fortune deity following
him in. Then I saw two ferocious ghosts pushing the good fortune
deity away. The two ferocious ghosts followed the man and stood
beside him. I therefore knew that he would have a disaster.
My eyes first saw the good fortune deity, then saw the ferocious
ghosts. That is why I knew the good luck would come first, and then
would be followed by the bad luck.
Actually, supernatural fortune-telling does not depend only on
this, but sometimes also by observing the visitor's face, to determine
what the person face says about him or her. A physiognomist is good
at reading someone's face. Great red colour on a person's face means
auspiciousness. A dark appearance on a person's face is bad. The
red colour or the dark appearance isn't the kind of redness or darkness
one gets from sitting in the sun. It indicates someone's expression.
Besides, as to good fortune or disaster, sometimes I get messages
reported to me from spirits or deities. This can be classified as
the "ear-reporting" method (or dharma), in which the spirits
or deities report the information close to my ear while I am in
There are others who can tell fortunes through mind-reading. When
a visitor comes for a consultation, they don't have to tell the
fortune-teller everything-the supernatural fortune-teller has natural
inspiration and can figure out everything after mentally organizing
As to other fortune-telling methods - "Metal plate supernatural
fortune-telling," "Huang-Ji Deity Divination," "Yi-Zhang-Ching,"
"Chi-Men-Den-Jia," "Zi-Wei-Dou-Shu," "Ma-Yi
fortune-telling," "San-Tin fortune-telling," "Emperor
Wen Eight Divinatory Symbols," "Poker (tarot)," "Crystal
Ball," "Supernatural Table (seance table)," "Physiognomy
(face-reading)," "Hand-fortune telling (palm-reading),"
"Bone fortune-telling," "Water Divination,"
etc. -- they are all in a lower class as far as accuracy.
As far as I am concerned, in this world, even though people consider
that human beings are the cleverest among all God's creations, it
is the spirits that haunt them - you could say that it is the spirits
controlling the human beings. But in some cases, it is the human
beings controlling the spirits, interacting with each other, influencing
I say this as an absolutely true fact. If you don't believe it,
I'm not going to force you to accept it. But as I've seen, it is
exactly like this.
The journalist, Mr. Ma, had been promoted to director of his newspaper's
interview department. He had been promoted to a higher position,
his salary had been doubled. It certainly was good fortune for him.
His newspaper colleagues celebrated with him at a dinner at a restaurant.
One colleague exclaimed, "Congratulations, Director!" Another exclaimed,
"Congratulations, Director!" Over here is a toast of drinks! Over
there is a toast of drinks! It consequently led to the dinking of
too much alcohol. Usually, Mr. Ma's capacity for liquor was pretty
good; in fact, he had a reputation that his capacity for liquor
was like an ocean. His ordinary behaviour was also especially heroic
and generous. The celebratory dinner party was without restraint.
They moved their party from one to place to another, several times.
After finishing drinking at one place, they would immediately move
to another place and continue their drinking. They did this three
or four times, going to three or four different places to drink
and party. Mr. Ma was dead drunk by now. When he finally returned
home, he went into his bathroom and soaked himself in a hot bath.
This new Director of Interviews fell asleep in his bathtub.
The next day, his family unexpectedly found him not breathing.
Extreme pleasure had been followed by extreme sorrow. Surprisingly
he had died, his position promotion "promoting" him to "the
Mr. Ma's colleagues visited my place and told me everything in
detail. That's how I learned what had happened. I gave a great sigh.
Mr. Ma had had so much alcohol to drink that he had a fatal stroke
- a blood vessel had burst in his brain. It really was a disaster!
One night, the soul of Interview Director Mr. Ma came to see me.
"Master Lu, you were right-first came good fortune, then came disaster."
"It is exactly like this."
"How did you know that I was going to have a disaster?"
"While you were a reporter, there was a time that you discovered
the secrets of a woman and you planned to write about it. The woman
begged you not to, but you took advantage of her. You threatened
her, you took her money, and you forced her to have sex with you,
"Yes, I did."
"That is why first came the good fortune, then came the disaster."
"Also while you were a journalist, there was a food company that
sold coarse oil as fine oil and you were planning to report it.
The company sent an employee to negotiate with you. You took the
bribe, didn't you?"
"Yes, I did."
"That is why first came the good fortune, then came the disaster."
The director Ma then angrily asked, "But there were some other
reporters who did the same things. Why are they still safe and sound
and no disasters have befallen them?"
I answered, "Their good fortune has not finished. When their good
fortune is finished, the disasters will arrive spontaneously."
There was another journalist, named Zhu, who came to see me about
a consultation for whether good fortune or disaster awaited him.
I told him, "It is an ill omen."
The reporter Zhu was concerned about the object lesson of the Interview
Director Ma. He looked careworn, his worries showing very clearly
on his face. He kept asking me about the ways to bring about auspiciousness
and avoid evil things.
I told him, "As in Buddhadharma, the ways to promote auspiciousness
and avoid evil are to free the living creatures, to recite sutra
a thousand times, to practice fire offerings until responses are
received, to practice charity and giving, to chant mantras or Buddha's
name more than a million times, to print sutras or virtuous books
for free distribution, to cultivate the dharma of eliminating disasters,
and so on."
The journalist Zhu thought over my suggestions and then asked,
"Which sutra would be good for me to print?"
"The High King Sutra." I gave him a copy of the High King Sutra.
"Which sutra would be good for me to recite?"
"How about if you just recite the High King Sutra?"
He asked again, "Would it be good enough to do this?"
"Try your best."
I also gave the journalist Zhu a True Buddha School amulet to wear
around his neck. As soon as he put on this talisman, I saw a ferocious-looking
spirit behind him immediately take three steps backward. The fierce
spirit glared at me, his eyes radiating cruelty. I simply laughed
this off. I ignored the ferocious spirit.
Reporter Zhu returned home and in a short time had printed 3,000
copies of the High King Sutra. And meanwhile, he also recited the
High King Sutra every day. Whenever he had free time, he would recite
the sutra. He recited with reverence and awe, reciting the sutra
over 1,000 times in a short while. He continued his sutra reciting
and continued to wear his amulet. He dared not forget my advice.
The journalist Zhu had also asked me about the amulet: "How about
when I'm taking a bath?"
"You can take it off temporarily," I said.
"No way! Director Ma died while he was taking a bath!"
"That's okay, then. I gave you a waterproof amulet."
He asked another question: "How about when I use the washroom?"
"You can take it off temporarily."
"No way!" He dared not remove the amulet.
"That's okay. You can wear it to the washroom. After you come out
from the washroom, use incense to clean and purify the amulet."
Journalist Zhu accepted my suggestions.
One day while the journalist Zhu was driving to a news interview,
he had to cross some railway tracks. But the guard rails unexpectedly
stopped working and did not lower to stop vehicles from crossing
the tracks as a train approached. Journalist Zhu drove onto the
In front of him, a car was stopped, blocking him from moving forward.
Another car was behind him, blocking him from moving backward. A
long train was rushing toward him.
Within seconds, there was a thunderous, explosive sound of metal
crunching metal, and the reporter's car was demolished. Everything
was totally destroyed. Journalist Zhu's car was rammed by the train
and dragged for 200 metres.
Surprisingly, the journalist Zhu sat in his car safely, not hurt
at all. His car was completely destroyed, yet he was safe and sound.
It was really a very strange thing. Everyone who saw this said,
"This reporter Zhu has a charmed life!"
I had foretold disaster for the reporter Zhu, yet it was a disaster
with an auspicious sign. That is the philosophy of good fortune
and disaster depending on each other.