A Few Understandings on "Hardships" and "Demonic Tribulations"

A Falun Dafa Disciple outside

PureInsight | January 16, 2006

[PureInsight.org] Recently, I asked Chinese practitioners around me if they have corrected the Chinese characters in their copies of Zhuan Falun according to the editor's notice on Minghui.org/Clearwisdom.net. I found out that although many of them knew about the changes, they have been procrastinating and haven't made the changes in their books yet.

The notice of character changes from Minghui/Clearwisdom editors was published over three weeks ago. I had been marking the changes on an on-and-off basis. It wasn't until yesterday that I had finished making all the corrections. During the process, I came to understand a lot of things. For example, I have come to see why "hardships" has been changed to "demonic tribulations." Here I would like to share my understandings with fellow practitioners.


There is a common saying that "the road to happiness is strewn with setbacks." There is also a Chinese saying, "The fragrance of the plum flower comes from a harsh and cold winter." I used to carry similar thoughts with me when I first started my cultivation. For instance, sometimes when I stayed up late to practice the exercises or got up a little earlier to study the Fa, the feeling that I felt was somewhat like hiding in my bedcover in the morning and not wanting to go to school when I was a child, knowing that I had to get up anyway no matter what. Because I knew in the heart that being diligent and is good for me, I was able to push myself to do the right thing.

Recently my attitude changed somewhat. I became less diligent in several aspects. For example, when fellow practitioners ask me to do something, I will do it, but when no one asks me do anything, my efficiency in doing work becomes very low. I'd spend some time checking into one thing, but I found it uninteresting. So I'd try another thing, but find it hard to continue… At the same time, I started to intentionally or unintentionally pay more attention to ordinary people's things, although they don't have much to do with my work, and my attachment to self interest and fame appear to be worse than the time I just began cultivation. In addition, when studying the Fa, I either can't become calm or became sleepy. When I sit down to send righteous thoughts, I would doze off. Moreover, various bad thoughts of ordinary people frequently surface in my head.

Although I know in my heart that a Dafa disciple should not be like this, I have muddled along in such a way with time passing by day by day. Aren't what I am experiencing "demonic tribulations"?


A cultivator is bound to experience different environments in his cultivation process. The state that a cultivator demonstrates under different conditions is the true reflection of his xinxing level. On one hand, I actively participate in Dafa work when others ask me to do so. On the other hand, if nobody asks me to do anything, I feel quite content living a life of leisure and even feel quite happy with myself. The difference shows my level of understanding on why one cultivates, as well as on Fa-rectification.

I know to a certain extent that we should do the three things well. But as I cultivate in ordinary society, I often carelessly forget to measure myself with the standard of a Dafa disciple, and even feel aggrieved with various attachments of ordinary people.

It is time for me to become clear minded. I know that by studying the Fa more, I will understand things more clearly.

I should ask myself from time to time: What would be your wish if you could only have one wish fulfilled in your life? What would you choose to do if you could do only one thing in this lifetime?

Comparing my answers with my present state, I find that I have spent a lot of my time and energy in unnecessary places. If I could put all my time and energy around that sole wish (or thing) in my life, all the aspects of my life and work will probably take on a new look.

If a god was in my position and asked to validate the Fa and save sentient beings in different ways, how would he or she do things?


Tripitaka (Tang San Zan, a Buddhist Monk in the Tang Dynasty) was on his way to the west to receive the true scripture. When he passed the Famen temple, all the monks there gathered under candlelight to talk about his journey. Some said that rivers were too wide and mountains were too high, some said that tigers and leopards roamed the roads, some said that the steep mountain roads were too hard to walk, and others said poisonous demons and evil spirits were too difficult to conquer. Yet Tripitaka kept silent. He simply pointed to his own heart with a hand and just nodded.

He ran into a widow named Jia in the state of Xiniuhe. She told Tripitaka: "I have plentiful wealth and thousands of acres of good farming fields. I would like you to become my husband. What do you think?" Tripitaka was silent and did not answer. Widow Jia said again: "I have more than three hundred acres of flood-irrigated fields, more than three hundred acres of dry fields, and more than three hundred acres of mountain orchards. I have more than a thousand head of water buffalos, large herds of horses and mules, and countless pigs and sheep. I have also sixty or seventy houses and farming meadows in the east, south, west and north. I have enough grain stored to feed a large household for the next 8 or 9 years and silk fabric for the next ten years. There are also gold and silver we could never use up in our lifetime. Wouldn't you like to become my husband living in my house, leisurely enjoying comfort rather than going to the west and suffering a lot?" Tripitaka was silent.

When Tripitaka finally arrived in the west, he stayed with an abbot named Wei Mo Ji. Before returning to the east with the scriptures, he wanted to write the date of his arrival on the wall and leave a mark for himself. With ink ground and brush pen ready, he walked back and forth for several thousand steps. In the end, he walked away without writing anything down.


When a person is alone, or when he is not doing anything, what he thinks is the reflection of his inner heart.

This is also the reflection of his realm. What he considers to be the most important thing in his heart also determines the kind of life that he is going to forge.

We all know that Dafa is the most righteous and cultivating in Dafa will bring good fortune. But suppose that we wouldn't be able to have good fortune after cultivating Dafa. Instead, after cultivation for a period of time, be it several years or several lifetimes filled with hardship, no one would understand you, people would complain about you, and the sentient beings you have saved did not know of your existence. In that case, what kind of choice are you going to make?

In this immense colossal firmament, what kind of life are you going to forge? You are the only one who can answer this question.


"When any being in this cosmos has enlightened to his Fa, his Fa-principles, or his Attainment Status—no matter at what level—he has to go through a truly serious test. This determines whether what he has enlightened to can hold ground in this cosmos, and it establishes his mighty virtue."(From "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference" in Guiding the Voyage.)

Demonic tribulations come in various forms. The key is that we know what kind of path we are walking on.


Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2006/1/3/35196.html

Add new comment