The Many Calamities along the Journey
- Guru's Talk: The Many Calamities along the Journey of
- By Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated By Cheng Yew Chung
I often wonder:
I took up the study of land surveying in my college years. After
graduation, my career as a surveying engineer spanned ten years.
If I have not had my strange encounter and entered into the religious
field, I would have maintained a stable working life in the surveying
division until I got old and died. Perhaps this would have been
Yet, upon having strange encounters with spirit and devoting myself
to the study of Buddhism and Taoism, propagating the Buddha Dharma
to the world, major and minor calamities have rolled continuously
into my life. Like waves, they rise and fall in continuity, never
I have made a vow to serve and sacrifice, and strive to fulfil all
good deeds. Yet I suffer much humiliation and have to put up with
false accusations, learning how to tolerate them. As my enlightenment
expands, calamities rain ever more. My practice of Buddhism has
brought little comfort in removing misfortunes and receiving blessings.
Rather, it has brought much turbulence to my life, leaving me completely
worn out in my mind and body. These calamities are not minor, as
they can cost me my life. I am baffled by their appearance.
My earnest efforts in cultivation, doing good deeds, and maintaining
harmony among people have attracted calamities instead of blessings.
How does one explain this?
Later, when I looked into my past karmic deeds and subsequently
received guidance from the Golden Mother of the Jade Pond, I realized
that these individuals who affected my cultivation were karmic creditors
from my past lives. In other words, [even though] I may have the
decree from heaven and be born of the Buddha gene to help liberate
sentient beings, I must still work out my karmic debts.
I also discovered the fact that upon entering into cultivation,
the more sentient beings you help liberate, the more interference
from the Mara King comes your way. The Mara Deva shall assign his
descendents to create obstacles and interfere with the mind of the
practitioners, arising in them the vices of attachment, stubbornness,
and afflictions. They shall influence the practitioners, causing
them to leave the right path and enter the doorway of evil, thereby
losing all sense of spirituality. They even make them destroy the
The Golden Mother of the Jade Pond enlightened me with two approaches
to avoiding calamities:
1) Cultivate the practice of Dharma Protectors. Only through receiving
protection from the Dharma Protectors can one hope to transform
calamities into blessings. When Dharma Protectors stand guard alongside
the practitioner, the practitioner shall avoid interference from
2) Keep your thoughts pure and proper, not attaching to form, not
abiding in any state, staying neutral, remaining free from the ego,
from defiled thoughts, from wandering, and not being fixated on
The Golden Mother of the Jade Pond says, "If the ego is unborn,
calamities from Mara shall not arise. Contemplate on it."