PureInsight | October 31, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Preface: At present, Falun Dafa is being persecuted in Mainland China. Dafa practitioners have withstood enormous pressure under this unprecedented tribulation and made it through several years. There are many heroic and inspiring stories of Dafa practitioners. This article is a review from the historical perspective and discovers how we had steadfastly cultivated ourselves in our past lives. The story may clean out some dust and dirt in our hearts and minds, enable us to cultivate diligently, make further advancements during the final moments of the Fa-rectification, and make us truly treasure this hard-won opportunity of Fa-rectification cultivation!
When someone mentions the Ganges River, ancient India may come into our mind. Sakyamuni started to spread the Dharma of Buddhism in ancient India about twenty five hundred years ago. After Sakyamuni reached Parinirvana and departed from the earth, Sakyamuni's Dharma of Buddhism was spread widely, with the support and promotion of the Ashoka and Mauryan Empires. Hundreds years later, because the then-rulers of India began to ban Buddhism, and also because Sakyamuni's disciples mixed principle of Brahmanism and other religions from primeval ages into the Dharma of Buddhism, Sakyamuni's Dharma of Buddhism gradually declined.
Around that time, there was a gentleman who lived in the upstream region of the Ganges River. He owned a manor and made a living planting fruit trees. He advocated Sakyamuni's Dharma in Buddhism firmly and cultivated by strictly following Sakyamuni's Dharma. One day his wife delivered a baby boy. Because persons in the Buddha school like the lotus very much, they gave the baby the name Ailianduo (愛蓮多), which, in Chinese, means someone who loves the lotus very much.
Soon after the child was born, his father held him in his arms and took him to a statue of Sakyamuni. He pressed the hands together in front of his chest, and said, "Today, I consecrate my son to Buddha, I do wish Buddha will strengthen his future cultivation on a good path, make him leave the Three Realms, and obtain his cultivation Fruition!" At this moment, Ailianduo opened his blinking and bright eyes, and suddenly said: "I will firmly follow Buddha's will and cultivate with my whole-heart! My life would be in vain if I couldn't leave the Three Realms!" His father became so shocked that he lost his grasp and almost dropped the baby to the ground. His father then realized that Ailianduo had just spoken and taken on his own vows of cultivation. He immediately knelt down in front of the statue of Sakyamuni and kept touching his head to the ground to show his respect to the Buddha.
Ailianduo was raised under an environment of Buddha Fa cultivation. He had a clear understanding on Buddha Fa even in his youth, and he had many supernormal capabilities. At age of twelve, his father sent him to a nearby temple, where he became the youngest Sramana there. In the temple, he learned to chant scriptures and go to scripture study in the morning and evening. In his spare time, he also chopped firewood and prepared meals for the monks in the temple. He became a genuine "little Buddhist monk."
Because it was South Asia, the weather was sometimes extremely hot. During the rainy season, heavy rain was continuous. When Ailianduo was eighteen, the entire temple collapsed in a violent storm, except for the house in which he and the abbot were living. Fortunately all the other monks in the temple were out at that time, and only Ailianduo and the abbot, who was close to eighty, were in the temple. After the rainstorm passed, the other monks returned and saw the temple had been severely damaged. They became worried. What a big project it would be to rebuild the temple! How much money they would need to raise for the rebuilding effort! How many times they would have to go out to beg for food and alms! Therefore, all the other monks left one after another. Soon after, the old abbot died, and Ailianduo was the only one left in the temple.
Looking at the ruined temple, a strong feeling came up in his heart. No words could describe how he felt. He thought to himself, "How transient and uncertain the human world is! In front of the power of Nature, humankind and all things built by humans are so tiny and lowly. On the other hand, the Buddha Fa cultivation is extremely serious. The ruined temple is a test for us and has exposed so many human thoughts. I shouldn't leave by any means. Perhaps this is the trial given by Buddha to test how much I respect the Buddha and how much I believe in the Buddha." From then on, he started to go out and wander about and beg for food and alms. Wherever he went, he would preach the Dharma of Buddhism to people while raising funds to rebuild the temple and repair the statue of Buddha.
During the next four or five years, he covered most parts of the Deccan Highland. Dangers always followed him. Peopled ridiculed, mocked and even cursed him. But nothing could touch his heart. When the capacity of his heart was not big enough, Buddha would manifest Himself and gave him hints and guidance, which strengthened his determination to persist in carrying on with his mission. When he finally gathered enough material and money to rebuild the temple, Ailianduo found that the temple had become very spectacular and majestic (but its appearance was still dilapidated). Then he thought to himself, "It must be encouragement from the Buddha."
In a few days, a flood took place nearby and the houses of villagers in the vicinity were all destroyed. However the ruined temple not only did not continue to fall down, instead it really became splendid. The large walls and rooms became better than that when Ailianduo first came to the temple, as if they had been freshly built. Ailianduo realized that this is the power of the Buddha. So he knelt down and said: "Thank you, Buddha, I will live up to the hopes of Buddha and cultivate well and become more diligent on the path of cultivation!"
Afterwards, he went outside of the temple and saw the sufferings of the villagers. He wept. He thought, "Why don't I take the material and money that I had begged to rebuild the temple and give them to the villagers so they can rebuild their homes?" So he called on the surrounding villagers and said, "All these materials and money are supposed to be used to rebuild the temple, however Buddha is benevolent and has already used Buddha's power for rebuilding the temple. I want to give these materials and money to you so that you can use them to rebuild your homes. Let's share the benevolence of Buddha!" Everybody was very moved and later all of them became believers in Buddhism.
Later on, one of the monarch's top ministers somehow heard about the benevolent manifestation of the Buddha. The minister had a Brahman monk as one of his advisors. The monk was wicked, catty and prone to jealousy. When the minister told him the benevolent manifestation of the Buddha, the Brahman monk immediately suggested that the minister go to the king, asking the king to promote Brahmanism in a large scale, eliminate Sakyamuni's Buddhism, and force Ailianduo to convert to Brahmanism. As expected, the muddle-headed monarch accepted the minister's suggestions. So he publicized a manuscript in which the monarch forbade all the people in his country from believing in Buddhism, forced all his people to convert to Brahmanism, ordered people to offer virgins as living sacrifices to the God of Brahman during the Brahman festivals. Anyone who dared to violate the order would be beheaded immediately. The complaints from all people in his country were heard everywhere as soon as the order was given. Most believers of Buddhism gave up their beliefs. Only Ailianduo and several dozen monks refused to follow the order. They still firmly believed in the Sakyamuni's Dharma. This offended the monk under the ruling of that minister, so he himself led some people to kill Ailianduo and others. Ailianduo was not afraid of their despotic power, instead he benevolently tried to persuade them not to destroy Buddha Fa. He told them that if they continued to carry on their evil deeds, they would fall into the Avici hell. They closed their ears to Ailianduo. Ailianduo offered his hands to them. They cut off all Ailianduo's ten fingers, along with his head, and also dismembered his body. When they finished, they swaggered off. Soon Ailianduo's body appeared again and he sat on a cushion. The body that had been dismembered by the bad people was a "fake body" evolved by him. This miracle caused a huge stir to villagers far and near, and more and more people believed in Sakyamuni's Dharma in Buddhism.
When the news was passed to those evil persons, they were so angry that they even got mad at him. In an evening with a bright moon and sparse stars, they sneaked into Ailianduo's room. At the time Ailianduo was sitting in trance and he did not have any impure thoughts in his mind. He knew that they had already come inside but he did not pay attention to them. Besides, he saw Buddha emerging in front of him and looking at him very seriously, which made him feel more confident in his cultivation. So he went on with his meditation. These evil persons thought it was an opportunity they could take advantage of. So they carried weapons and came up behind him. They dismembered Ailianduo's body. Just as they were celebrating their success, they found that their bodies were rapidly descending down to the Avici hell. Many of them are still suffering there today. Although some of them reincarnated, they have done many things to destroy Dafa in this life. Their bodies and primordial spirits have already been completely destroyed. However, because their life expectancies haven't ended and the Fa-rectification isn't completed, they haven't been cleaned out yet.
In face of the test of life and death, Ailianduo chose the righteous belief and steadfastness so he ascended to a lotus throne, flew out of the Three Realms, and went to the Pure Land Paradise of the Buddha!
This is right about:
All say that cultivation is difficult and bitter
Human and selfish thoughts severely block the path
To live or die has to be decided in front of the test
Step on lotus and Fly up into the heaven!
The purpose of this article is not to advocate anything, but only to recount how we persisted in the righteous faith in the Buddha Fa while conducting ordinary cultivation in previous periods of history.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/10/15/34224.html