PureInsight | September 19, 2005
Unlike writing a novel, one cannot make up any fictitious details when writing a true story. It has to be a completely true story. One must not add anything that is not true for any reason. When I wrote each article in this category, I carefully inspected each sentence and each detail. I must be responsible to myself, to Falun Gong practitioners' websites, and to the world's people. Naturally, I also must be responsible to the Fa and to society.
This is a true story that started in Suzhou, a famous city in southern China, in the environment of the late Ming Dynasty. Because of the severe corruption in the imperial government, the Chinese people were suffering from poverty at the time. To make matters worse, the court eunuchs, led by a eunuch in power named Wei Zhongxian, held a lot of power in the imperial court, making the civilians' life all the more miserable. At the time, a political party named the Dongling Party opposed Wei Zhongxian and his Eastern and Western Eunuch Secret Agencies. The secret agents of Wei started to arrest members of Dongling Party in Suzhou, which enraged people in the entire city and caused bloodshed in Suzhou. The true story of my incarnation in that lifetime started there.
A widow surnamed Zhang lived in Changzhou Prefecture near Suzhou. Her husband had died young, leaving their ten-year-old son named Letian and her behind. She had almost nothing to live on because her husband's younger brother had squandered every penny of her husband's savings. She had only a thatched hut and a crippled donkey in her possession. Fortunately, Zhang was excellent in embroidery and was able to make a living by sewing embroidery in an embroidery factory in Changzhou Prefecture.
One day a businessman who owned a very famous embroidery shop in Suzhou came to Changzhou. He noticed her talent and offered her a job at his shop. He felt sorry for her being a widow, so he helped her and her son Letian to move to Suzhou. He also enrolled young Letian at a private school in town. In the later Ming Dynasty, Suzhou became well known in China for its embroidery. It provided the imperial government with a large quantity of embroidery and a large amount of business taxes. Because China was not very prosperous at the time, agriculture was the main source of income that sustained the Ming Dynasty. Prosperous cities and towns that relied mainly on handicrafts and trades, such as Suzhou, were very rare at the time. Because the court eunuchs held power, the special agents from the Eastern and Western Secret Agencies were crawling all over China, especially along the coasts of the Yangtzi River. These special agents intensively extorted money from larger handicrafts factories in Suzhou. If anyone made the slightest complaint, people would report him to the special agents and he would end up in prison or in the morgue. The owner of the famous handicrafts factory who had helped the mother and son also fell victim to the court eunuchs. One day the special agents insisted on taking a very precious purple teapot that had been passed down in his family for generations. All he did was to briefly argue with the special agents, but he was still arrested and sentenced to prison. Later the special agents began to extort money from the handicrafts factories in Suzhou even more intensively. Eventually, the entire Suzhou town became enraged with the special agents. Angry mobs seized all the special agents in town, hung them up in the south part of the town, and beat them up hard. The government sent troops to suppress the riot and a lot of blood was shed.
After the owner of the handicrafts shop was imprisoned, Letian's mother naturally lost her job. She took Letian out of Suzhou and began to wander about in many places. Finally they settled down in an area in today's Huaibei and Xuzhou. There little Letian met a very learned man surnamed Li. Under Mr. Li's tutelage, little Letian studied many books and passed the town's civil service examination. However, the government's severe corruption had already spread to its civil service system. Although Letian studied hard, he could not pass the higher civil service examination because he did not try to bribe the examiners and get in through the back door.
When Letian reached 20 years of age, he attended the civil service examination one last time. A fellow examinee told him, "I heard that a Buddhist cultivator with lofty character lives in northern of Kalgan in Inner Mongolia. Life is full of variables. Birth, aging, sickness and death are parts of life. Nowadays the morality in society has declined. As a result, life has become all the more difficult for me. Why don't you try to locate this cultivator and find a way out of the cycle of reincarnation? Why do you have to torture yourself to pass the civil service examination to attain fame and power?"
After he returned home, Letian had a dream in which he was searching for the Buddha Fa on the high plains of Mongolia. Like the Tripitaka (or the Priest of the Tang Dynasty in The Journey to the West), he endured thousands of tribulations and finally transcended the Three Realms. After he woke up from the dream, Letian shared the dream with Mr. Li and his mother. They both told him, "This dream is a very good sign. If you truly have a predestined relationship with this Buddhist cultivator with lofty character, you are bound to find him. However, we are over ten thousand miles away from Mongolia. Besides, we heard that people there are very ferocious and barbaric. There is nothing but an open expanse of prairie where wolves, tigers and mountain lions roam. Is it safe for you to travel alone?" Letian replied, "God will help people with great virtue. Besides, I am traveling to Mongolia to seek the Buddha Fa. When Tripitaka in the Tang Dynasty traveled to India to obtain the Buddha scriptures, he endured countless tribulations but he eventually got the scriptures and returned to China safely. Meng Zi said, 'When Heaven bestows an important mission to a man, it will first temper his mind with tribulations and …" His mother cut him off, "Save your books of classics to yourself. I don't understand a word you are quoting. Hurry up and leave immediately!" Letian said to his mother, "Mother, why don't you come with me? Otherwise, you will always worry about me." "OK!" Thus the mother and the son bade farewell to Mr. Li and took off.
They crossed the Yangtzi River and passed by Anyang, Xingtai. Finally they arrived at Kalgan. Along the way they had suffered from hunger, cold and countless nameless tribulations. Sadly Letian's mother caught a severe cold in Kalgan and passed away. Before she died, she told Letian that he must find the Buddha Fa and cultivate the Buddha diligently. Letian burst into tears.
After his mother's death, Letian understood even more how fleeting life is. Time flies in the human realm. He thought of the three most important people in his life: the respectable benefactor who owned the handicrafts shop, Mr. Li who educated him, and his mother who raised him alone. All of them suffered different degrees of tribulations. Villains imprisoned the benefactor and he had to part with Mr. Li. Now his mother had passed away. Only when he finds the Buddha Fa will he have the opportunity to transcend the Three Realms! Letian became all the more determined to follow the Buddha Fa if he could find it.
After the humble burial of his mother, Letian packed light and left Kalgan for the boundless plains of Mongolia.
Letian was a very thin and frail man. He did not know his way around Mongolia, so he had to ask everyone he encountered about the location of the Buddhist cultivator with lofty character. He became more and more frustrated as no one had heard of such a man. Sometimes he would walk for several months on an open prairie before he was able to cross it. Sometimes he would encounter dangerous beasts such as wolves, but for some strange reason they didn't harm him. When he was extremely hungry, he would accidentally find steamed buns on the ground. When he was extremely thirsty, a pool of spring water would appear on the ground. When it rained or snowed, a thatched hut or several houses would suddenly appear. The people in those huts or houses were unfailingly friendly and treated him with hospitality. They were not at all barbaric as the rumor had portrayed. After they treated Letian with food and water and provided him with shelter from rain or snow, they would suddenly disappear. At first Letian was dumbfounded by the strange encounters, but later he realized that Buddha had been encouraging him to seek the Buddha Fa. Letian became more determined to cultivate in the Buddha Fa.
Two or three years went by. Now Letian was 26 or 27 years old. He had become a seasoned traveler in the vast prairie. He had also become very strong and healthy, no longer thin or frail. But one thing remained the same. Letian still enjoyed writing poetry. His life experiences for the past few years gave him a lot of inspiration and made his poems more meaningful and profound. He had no plans to share his poetry with others. He often wrote poems and recited them facing the tall mountains or open plains of Mongolia as a way to entertain himself.
One day when he was walking alone on the prairie as usual, he noticed a few parts of colorful clouds touching the nearby mountaintops. He was immediately inspired to create poem: "The mountains are accompanied by flying colorful clouds. Who am I in the midst of sea of bitterness? I wish to seek the immortals and the Tao to return to my true self. The greatest tragedy would be to miss the Buddha Fa!" After creating this poem, Letian felt there was someone behind him. He turned his head to find a young maid in red. She was trying to hide herself from him. He was very curious so he asked, "Young lady, why are you following me?" The young lady replied, "Actually I have been following you for days. I am the daughter of a tribe's leader. My older brother is also a leader of a tribe. A few days ago, I came out to take a walk and saw you. I was very curious about you because you look like a Han person. Why do you come to the desolate plains of Mongolia?" "Young lady, let me tell you about myself…" Then Letian told his story to this young lady, especially the part that he had come here to seek the Buddha Fa. The young lady told him, "Stop calling me young lady. You are only old enough to be my older brother. I am not a young girl. I am already twenty years old." The young maid looked a little offended. Letian thought, "It looks like I have met a fussy woman. I must try to get rid of her." Letian told her, "Since you don't want to be addressed as young lady, I will call you younger sister. Sister, why don't you go home right away? Otherwise, your father will be worried about you." The young lady told him very directly, "I do need to return to my father soon, but I too am interested in finding the Buddhist cultivator with lofty character because I would like to cultivate in the Buddha Fa as well. Did you know that many Mongolian people believe in the Buddha Fa? We do believe in cycles of reincarnation. You are not the only person who fears the cycles of reincarnation. I, too, am afraid of it. I am also interested in finding a Buddha Fa school and cultivate in the Buddha Fa to transcend the Three Realms. Why don't I return to my father and tell him that I will join you in your quest? Then we shall seek the Buddha Fa together. What do you think? We will look after each other." Letian finally agreed with her plan.. After all, it is very difficult and very lonely to search for the Buddha Fa alone. He told the young lady, "You must hurry. I will be waiting for you here. You must return in ten days." "I promise you I will return!" the young lady in red turned and left.
About eight days later, the young lady in red returned in tears. Letian asked her what had happened, and she told him everything. When she returned to her father, he told her sad news. Her brother's tribe had been wiped out in a battle with another tribe. Her brother had been killed and his body cut into pieces. Before his enemy burned her brother's body, a kindhearted man saved a piece of bone in her brother's lower leg. He risked his life and brought the bone back to her father. He also told him that the tribe that had killed his son was about to attack his tribe and advised them to flee. After the young lady in red told her father about Letian, her father told her seriously, "My child, perhaps our family is blessed. Our entire family will be blessed if you can find the Buddha Fa, especially when our family is under the threat of death. Life is unpredictable. My child, you must learn to look after yourself from now on. The world outside is not at all like home. You must not be willful any longer!" The young lady replied, "Father, you have such a low expectation on me. If I leave, no one knows when we will see each other again, especially when those villains are hunting for you. I am very worried about you." "My child, haven't I told you often, 'Buddha will protect people with high morality.' Do not worry. Just look after yourself!" Her father wiped his tears and comforted her. Then the young lady in red returned to Letian.
After he heard the tragic story, Letian sighed and chanted a new poem, "When will the life of sword and blood be over? Who should be responsible for the favors and vengeances of life? Free ourselves from the unpredictable life and remove our attachments to fame and self-interest. I will not rest until I find the righteous Fa!"
From then on, the two of them traveled everywhere in the high plains of Mongolia. They faced tribulations together during the journey. They helped and encouraged each other. They overcame countless tribulations. Each time they arrived at a larger town, they tried to find news about the young lady's father. At first people told them that her father's tribe had been wiped out and her father was nowhere to be found. About a year later, the young lady became pregnant. But they were unable to find the Buddhist cultivator with lofty character that Letian had been searching for during the last several years.
One day they came to a larger village and asked people about her father. It turned out that her father was doing well. The tribe that wiped out her father and her brother's tribes had severe conflicts within and people in that tribe began to kill each other. Finally another tribe came and wiped out that tribe. Because her father was a very moral and respectable man, he was elected the leader of the union of all the tribes. Her father had been looking for the two of them. They immediately asked people to send word to her father so that he would stop worrying about them.
A few days later, her father came in a horse carriage to pick them up. When her father saw his beloved daughter that he had not seen for years and his son-in-law he had never met, he was overwhelmed with joy and sadness. He told them in tears, "Children, the misery is all over now. The disasters have gone. We will now be able to lead a peaceful life." The three of them felt as though they were finally free to run around on the boundless prairie between heaven and earth. While they were talking, several large Chinese characters suddenly appeared on the ground --- "留得中中存." It means that they will obtain the righteous Buddha Fa in central China.
I wrote this article in December 2002, but I didn't publish it for various different reasons. I wrote a very condensed version last year when Minghui.org/Clearwisdom.net published "Call for Papers for 'The First Mainland China Falun Dafa Practitioners Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference on the Internet." Now I decided to share the complete version of this article with fellow Falun Gong practitioners and people with a predestined relationship with Falun Gong.
By sharing this article, I would like to illustrate the boundless tribulations and difficulties we have suffered in many of our previous lives in order to seek the Fa. We weren't even able to find the Buddha Fa in one lifetime! But because we were able to let go of our attachments to self, fame, sentiment and self-interest, we were blessed with the precious opportunity to listen to the compassionate and magnificent Lord Buddha's Fa lectures in person during this lifetime! There is no predestined relationship that is more sacred than this! When we fail to cultivate ourselves diligently, why don't we think about this: In order to obtain the righteous Fa, we have risked our lives searching for it throughout many of our previous lives! We must cultivate diligently and bring our respective sentient beings home because it is our greatest grand pledge!
In order to prevent fellow practitioners from developing attachments, I will stop identifying which fellow practitioners around me are the current reincarnations of the characters in the true accounts of my previous lives. My intention is to encourage everyone to treasure our predestined relationships with the Fa. As for our relationships in previous lives, they are no longer significant. The more important thing is for us to treasure the relationships that we have today and become genuine "Dafa Disciples." That is something that we should never forget.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/9/5/33736.html