PureInsight | June 27, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Lately I have experienced some interference, and have had many wicked thoughts in my mind.
Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference," "The evil takes advantage of the slightest gap and glares menacingly at every single word and action of yours. Whatever you're attached to, that's what the evil beings will strengthen, and when your mind is off they will make you irrational."
By chance I read several historic stories, and they moved me deeply.
I. The first story talked about how Chao Cuo who was wrongly killed by Yuan Ang. Chao tried to seek revenge against Yuan in many lifetimes, but he always failed because Yuan had been an accomplished monk for ten lifetimes and adhered to Buddhist precepts strictly. Later on, in one lifetime, Yuan Ang received favor from the Emperor and became attached to fame and self-interest, and Chao Cuo was finally able to seek revenge against him. (1)
In fact, in the long history of our lives, we have no idea how many wrongs we have committed while in the maze. But because of our cultivation practice in Dafa today, Teacher has helped us resolve all of them. However, as soon as our minds are not righteous, troubles and interference will surface. Although they come in different forms, the results are the same: keeping you from being diligent and dragging you down from your path little by little.
I remember when I first learned Dafa, I couldn't hold my joy as if I was a piece of farmland having a welcome rain after a long drought. I felt I had found the most precious thing in my life, and I wouldn't trade it even for the whole world's treasures.
Several years have passed now. When I pick up the Dafa book to read or when I send forth righteous thoughts, do I still hold the same pure and steadfast heart that I had before?
Teacher said in Zhuan Falun, "…Only if one truly practices cultivation can one's journey of life be changed. But as a regular person, this person is practicing qigong only for healing and fitness. Who will change his path of life? As an ordinary person, he will catch an illness one day or come across some trouble on another day. He might become psychotic someday or drop dead. An ordinary person's whole life is just like that."
If I feel pretty content with myself as long as I do the "Three Things" more or less every day, then do I meet the standard of genuine cultivator and Dafa disciple?
Cultivation practice is serious. In my humble opinion, when we allow ourselves to relax, interference may come. Or we may remain in a bad state for a long time and not be able to break out of it.
From time to time, a person in cultivation practice tends to be affected by the ordinary human sentiments. For example, we might like certain people, dislike certain people, and have negative thoughts toward certain people, and thus fail to "spread the Fa and save people with mercy." (Essentials for Further Advancement)
From history, we can see how sentimentality can control a person, or even a country.
Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty had fourteen sons. Li Zhi was the ninth. His mother was the virtuous Empress Zhangsun. Li Zhi had a very kind personality and was nice to his friends in his childhood. After he read "The Book of Filial Piety," Emperor Taizong asked him, "What do you think the most important words in this book are?" Li Zhi answered, "Filial piety is about treating parents nicely from childhood, assisting the emperor and serving his people after growing up, and when getting old, examining his morality and finding no regrets. In assisting the emperor, one should exhaust his loyalty, remedy his mistakes, be obedient to the emperor's merits and prevent any bad things from happening due to the emperor's shortcomings." Upon hearing this, Emperor Taizong was very pleased and treated him very favorably after that.
During the 17th Year of Taizong's reign, the emperor stripped Crown Prince Chengqian's royal title. Another prince, Tai, the Duke of Wei, also had his royal title stripped away because he had committed crimes. Emperor Taizong then conferred the crown prince title on Li Zhi, who later became Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty.
In the royal court, there was a beautiful woman named Wu Zetian. She was a concubine of Emperor Taizong. After Emperor Taizong died, according to the custom, Wu Zetian was forced to leave the palace, shave off her hair, and become a nun in Ganye Temple. When Emperor Gaozong was a prince he had been attracted to Wu Zetian, even though she was one of his father's wives. After he ascended the throne, he recalled her into the palace and conferred the title of Zhao Yi (a high-ranking concubine) on her. In less than a year, Wu Zhao murdered her own daughter and shifted the blame for the princess's death on the Empress, and later on she became the Empress. In 660 A.D. Emperor Gaozong was forced to hand over the power to Wu Zetian completely. In 690 A.D., Wu Zetian officially crowned herself as the ruler of China and changed the Tang Dynasty to the Zhou Dynasty.
Li Zhi, previously known for his filial piety, later on committed incest unexpectedly and favored Wu Zetian, which was eventually a huge disaster for the Tang Dynasty.
Let's take Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Dynasty as another example. He ascended the throne at age twenty-eight. At the beginning, he was a very good emperor. He encouraged outstanding people's ideas and promoted talented people, and thus founded the flourishing age of Kaiyuan. As time went by, he gradually indulged in entertainment and women. During the 2nd Year of Tianbao, he began to focus all his attention on Concubine Yang and stopped tending to imperial matters. Concubine Yang's name was Yang Yuhuan. She was originally a concubine of his son, the Duke of Shou, Li Mao. Emperor Xuanzong fell in love with her at first sight. So Emperor Xuanzong took her as a concubine and then conferred the title of the highest-ranking imperial concubine on her. In Bai Juyi's (a famous poet in Tang Dynasty) famous poem "Chang Hen Ge," he described Emperor Xuanzong's feelings, "The night of pleasure is so short that the sun rises high too soon. From that time on the emperor never held the morning court."
Emperor Xuanzong's indulgence in his love for Concubine Yang had led him to forget about governing the country. He started to be hoodwinked by treacherous officials. The royal government became corrupt, which resulted in the Anshi Rebellion, and caused the Tang Dynasty to decline.
The course of history has unfolded exactly like what's said in prophecies such as the "Push Back Picture." In my humble opinion, the reason that history develops according to what the prophecies predict is that human beings have sentiments. When it comes to sentiments, a human cannot control himself at critical moments. Therefore the gods can operate the human world as easy as turning their hands upside down.
For a person walking on his/her path of cultivation practice, if one is attached to sentiment and human notions, it is very difficult for him/her to break away from the control of the old forces as well as the dark minions and rotten ghosts – because he/she is a human.
Only when one soberly takes the Fa as the Teacher at every moment, can one transcend the control of these old elements and walk the path of Dafa Disciple.