PureInsight | June 24, 2002
People who do not believe in reincarnation ask, “Who can prove the existence of our past and upcoming lives?” and “Why can’t I remember it if it is true?” Actually, reincarnation is quite common. At least the reincarnation details of the Living Buddha in Tibet, China have been recorded. The Chinese official press reported during the 1990s, the process of identifying two of the famous lama reincarnation children. The report, appearing on the Official Press of Atheism, hinted in itself about the objective reality of reincarnation.
In countries outside of China, such as India and throughout Southeast Asia, Europe and America, cases of reincarnation among people of different races and beliefs have been studied extensively. From the viewpoint of contemporary science, when a person is dying, only the particles of his molecular layer die, yet the original matter of his life exists in much smaller particles. If we compare the molecular cells of a human body to clothes, death is just like a person taking off his clothes; his real life exists in his Yuanshen (Primordial Spirit). After settling all of the debts of his life, Yuanshen will be searching for another set of clothes for reincarnation according to a certain arrangement. He is usually brainwashed before going to the next life, so as to erase all of his skin-deep memory, yet the Yuanshen is formed by microcosmic matter and cannot be wiped out.
There are many convincing cases about memories of past lives. Lots of children are able to naturally recall what happened in their past lives. It is popular in the West to help people recall past life memories by hypnotism. When a cultivator becomes enlightened, he can clearly remember his past life and even the much earlier ones. This article presents a couple of Falun Gong practitioners’ cultivation experiences that indirectly represent a certain state of the gradual enlightening process during cultivation.
From the very beginning of cultivation, crossing my legs in the fifth exercise was fairly difficult for me. When I put one leg on the other, they began to feel very painful and uneasy, let alone double crossing. Having not cultivated for long, I did not understand the Fa very deeply at that time. I considered myself “unlucky” for being born with a pair of “stiff legs,” but on the other hand, I believed that if I practiced “painstakingly,” I could make it one day. When I saw fellow practitioners do the fifth exercise easily, I could not help but sigh painfully. Why was I so different from the others?
One afternoon, I was supposed to meditate for fifty minutes. However, I felt a huge pain and mentally uneasy during the first fifteen minutes, and almost fainted. I was sweating; soon my clothes were all wet. Finally, I took down my painful leg after persisting for forty minutes, and thought desperately that maybe I could never do the double leg crossing. With such pain, I soon fell into an unconscious state like dreaming. Suddenly, a man’s voice, which sounded like Master Li’s, came up to me and began to tell me a story. It happened approximately during the Land Reform or the Cultural Revolution, and the location was a remote village in Mainland China. There was a landlord who had a daughter. Later a young man from some other place came to the village, and fell in love with her. It was not long when the others found out about the two and escorted them angrily to the head of the village (I could faintly feel that it might be forbidden to fall in love with a landlord’s daughter at that time). Soon the head of the village determined that their relationship was “an immoral relationship.” That sentence was treated almost as the judgment of the law. Ever since then, whenever there was a public meeting for criticizing and denouncing (At that time people often held different kinds of routine meetings for criticizing and denouncing), the young couple was brought to the rostrum and criticized and denounced. (I still seemed to hear people at the meeting yelling, “Overthrow...” while in that state).
Then the voice suddenly paused for a while and continued, “At last, one day, a meeting was out of control and the angry people began to beat the young man.” I immediately became very worried and hastened to ask, “Was he beaten to death?” “No.” he said, “But a man hit him on his left face with his fist and disfigured it. The young man was good looking before the fight, but since then he never looked into the mirror or came out to see any one. Every day he holed himself up in a dark room and spent the rest of his miserable life writing some documents for people.”
The voice disappeared and I woke up. I watched the time. Ten minutes had passed. In one second I understood why I had two “odd troubles” which I suffered from for twenty years. One was that I did not like looking into the mirror since I was a child. My mother had her mirror at her dressing table and I always turned it upside down. She joked with me about that frequently. The other ailment was that the left side of my face constantly hurt for no reason.
Master was telling me, “Everything in the world has its causal relationship.” I could not tell whether I was the head of the village who determined the sentence of the young man’s interest in the landlord’s daughter or the person who beat him and disfigured his face. But one thing that was clear to me was that the young man’s life was destroyed out of my foolishness and cruelty. Furthermore, I came to know why I had a faint feeling in my mind since I went to high school that my health would become terrible after I turned thirty-six years old and that I would have a horrible life. Probably at that time the unclouded part of my mind had realized what heavy karmic debts I had to pay for in the future. We all know that a non-cultivator has to pay with his life for the life he owed before and repay the money he owed from before. Everything is arranged according to the Law of the Universe. While people are suffering pains, loneliness and helplessness, they tend to blame the buddhas and luck for being unfair to them, yet they seldom blame themselves for suppressing and even persecuting others.
Before cultivation, the relationship between my father and I was very bad. It seemed like there was a wide gap existing between us. He frequently beat me when I was a child. Although I knew he loved me very much, he always denied me basic liberties, which made me feel frustrated, self-abased and not understood. My father still insisted that he was right and accused me of being unable to discern good from evil and of being impractical. Due to his criticism, I was always too upset to figure out what to do. There had been a couple of times that I thought of ending my life.
I always wondered why our relationship went on like that. One morning, some pictures suddenly flashed before my eyes, telling me a story.
About a thousand years ago, there was a war between two states. My father was a general of the enemy state, and I was a spy sneaking around there. After earning his trust, I poisoned the water and killed him.
I could not help but cry when I was watching that scene. The general did not deserve to die. He was assassinated just because he was the general of the enemy state. There might have been similar stories during the course of the war. However, retribution is always happening. The mentality of my life in that dynasty urged me to kill the enemy general with my own hands. Nothing but karma is accumulated life after life. The crime of killing and hostility towards enemies was brought to my present life. I came to know those karmic debts should be paid off. Moreover, I had not paid enough.
Another story is quite incredible. Karma in three lives cannot be spared at reincarnation. Once you owe a debt, you have to pay for it. It is all arranged without the slightest error.
When I met one of my friends for the first time, he looked familiar to me. I had a feeling of distant love for him. Later I remembered a memory from my past life. It was a scene of an ancient wedding ceremony. My friend looked like my husband at that time, but he obviously did not share the same feelings for me. During the course of my cultivation, I gradually gave up the attachment to this feeling, and then I remembered more of my past life. This man, who was my past husband, was sent off to war and died in battle. Everything happened very quickly, which was upsetting to me. No wonder I sighed from not seeing him for a long time when we came across each other again in this life.
However, the next memory was shocking. It revealed to me another story, which happened before the memory of my ancient marriage. Two states were in a battle. One was victorious over the other. The king of the defeated state picked some young women and sent them to the king who won the battle. As one of them, I was lucky to be doted on by the king. However, I had a mission, which was to bring the king closer to the sycophant people and sway him away from the wise ones. Finally, it was just like the story between Xi Shi and the Wu and Yue States during the Spring and Autumn Period when the two states were striving for supremacy. I indirectly caused a country to fall, although the enemy king might not have blamed me. According to the principle of karmic retribution, people have to pay for even the slightest debt they owed in their previous lives. As a result, in my next reincarnation, my husband was killed in a battle and had his debt paid off, and meanwhile made me suffer so as to pay the debt I owed him. The pain on my mind was the same.
It is unimaginable how shocking it was for me to rediscover these past memories. There was a certain causational relationship involved. It is not a coincidence to fall in love with any random person. It is a kind of debt called love. Everything has to be paid off throughout our reincarnations. If one commits bad deeds out of a bad heart, no matter what kind of excuse he has, he cannot escape from the principle of karmic retribution and reincarnation.
If I had a pure mind during the time of the first assassination story, I wouldn’t have gone through with the assassination. I would have made use of the general’s trust in me and done my best to influence him so as to influence his king. In this way, I could turn the hostility into friendship. For the second subversion story, I would have persuaded the king to listen to his wise people and find a way to settle the resentment caused by the war between the two states.
Although wars result from changes in the cosmos, it does not mean people can do whatever they choose. Everything is appropriate when done under “truthfulness, compassion and forbearance”.
(Falun Gong practitioners’ articles extracted and collated from the Pureinsight Net)
The several stories that have been translated and edited here are just a small part of the whole we possess. As time was limited, we were not able to translate all of them, so we just released these few for our readers. Later, if there is more interest, we will have more translated. All of your comments, suggestions and thoughts on reading these would be a wonderful gift us. If you change your views on reincarnation, and even come to believe the truth, it would be the best reward and encouragement we have ever received. Thank you!
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