Record of Reincarnation: Choices
[PureInsight.org] About three hundred years ago, 28 people at one level within the Three Realms were waiting to reincarnate and I was one of them. One enlightened being came to us and showed us a picture of an emperor. The enlightened being said, “This is a great person and his name is Aisin Gioro Xuanye (Emperor Kangxi). His followers will establish great merits. Are there any volunteers to protect him?” Everyone said yes. The enlightened being continued, “Protecting an emperor can be difficult and risky. Please think carefully before you make the decision.” Some people wavered and 13 out of the 28 stepped back. The enlightened being said to the remaining 15 of us, “Please follow me.” He led us to another room, in which there were five pictures. But the pictures were each of a vast expanse of whiteness and it was unclear what was on them. The enlightened being then said, “A test is needed to qualify the emperor’s bodyguards. The purpose is to examine if you have perseverance and can endure hardship. The test includes five parts (ice array, lightning array, sword array, hail array, and standing array) and one has to pass all of them.” By then, seven more stepped back. The enlightened being said to the remaining eight of us, “Are you ready?” We all nodded. The enlightened being then waved his hand and all of us went into the pictures.
I first entered the ice array. It was freezing, and my entire body was shaking all the time. The only feeling was cold, from head to toe. Gradually I felt myself frozen, becoming numb, and hardened. Even my eyes could not move. The freezing feeling then went inside my body, as if all of my internal organs were being frozen, piece by piece. The freezing process was very clear and I could even hear the cracking sound as my organs clashed with each other upon being frozen. In the end, my whole body was frozen. I did not know how much time had passed, but I still had a little consciousness. At that time, I entered into another dimension, bright and sunny. In the beginning, I felt warm, then my body began to thaw and water came out. As my internal organs thawed piece by piece, it was very painful and itchy everywhere, the painful feeling was beyond description. When this process slowed down, I was able to have a short reprieve, then the sunlight became burning hot. There was nothing to cover me and the sunlight was so strong that I could not open my eyes. I felt the water inside my body evaporating, my skin wrinkling, and my body beginning to dry out. Then, the water in my internal organs also began to evaporate and my body withered. As I turned into something like jerky, and was on the verge of death, my body floated and went into another dimension. There, the god of sword appeared. He pointed at the sword array on the ground and said, “Go ahead!” I curled my body and rolled like a ball towards the endless sword array. The swords got sharper and sharper, cutting me one after another, making me hurt more and more. In the beginning, I felt my body was wounded by the swords one slice after another. After the flesh on my body was cut, my bones were exposed and cut by the swords. Then all my internal organs were cut by the swords, one after another, piece by piece. With my teeth clenched, I rolled uphill towards another sword array. It was even more painful there, since the swords changed quicker with different patterns. It was as if every cell of my body was cut open and the time seemed lengthy. I only had one thought, “I have to make it through.” In the end I reached the top of the hill. Surprisingly, it was a cliff and I began to fall. Finally, I hit the ground and, while in great pain, I hoped I could have a break. Just as I had that thought, hail began to hit me - I had entered the hail array. In the beginning, the hail that hit me was the size of soybeans. It was painful and made me numb. Then more hail, the size of eggs began to hit me forcefully from all directions. It made me almost lose consciousness. Then I felt my body become bigger, so that there was more area for the hail to hit, thus making me suffer even more. By then, my body had many cavities everywhere from the hail hitting my body. Inside the cavities, it was painful and cold. The hail hit me almost endlessly and my body nearly collapsed. I did not know how long it lasted, but finally the hail stopped. Then an ice goddess appeared. She helped me stand up and pushed me into another dimension. While I was trying to work out what was going on, a voice told me, “Now it is the test of standing and you cannot fall down.” Then two people came up and pushed me, almost knocking me over. As I was about to step aside and stand up straight, more people came up to me. They joined together to push me, making me out of breath. It was as if they pushed me forcibly all the time and there was even no time for me to breathe. I was very tired and wanted to squat down, but I could not. Because of the pushing, I felt my internal organs were becoming deformed and, as they were being squeezed so much, they almost came out of my mouth. I still had the sense that this was the test of standing. In the end, after being pushed so much I felt that I had become like a sheet of paper. Then, the pushing stopped and I transcended to another dimension. There, the enlightened being who came earlier showed up again. He nodded to us, “Congratulations! Eight of you have passed the test.” By then, all eight of us were refreshed, energetic and handsome.
Then another enlightened being came, who was in charge of reincarnation. He took out eight booklets and said, “Take a booklet and prepare for your reincarnation.” On the booklet cover, it was like a movie. I could see my birth, practicing kung-fu, protecting the emperor, all the way to my death. After watching this, the eight of us were called together again. The enlightened being took out a box labeled “The royal kung-fu master” and said to us, “This is your responsibility and your mighty virtue.” Then the eight of us entered the box, which then descended and we reincarnated once again.
I was born into a Manchu family in Manchuria in 1657 and my name was Kangcaier. I was the eldest son in the family and I had liked kung-fu since I was very young. When I was 12, my family offered a high salary to a kung-fu master in order for him to teach me. After six months, they felt the master was not good enough, so they switched to another one who claimed himself as Nanmen (he was actually a heavenly general from Nantianmen). This master liked me very much and said my physical body was ideal for practicing kung-fu. He taught me as much as he could and I learned quickly. I was able to endure hardship, and I soon became very capable. Not only was I able to climb up buildings and move between buildings swiftly, I also learned a specialty - iron billiards. There were two types of iron billiards: one was the size of a grape and the other - a combo type - was the size of an egg. The former one had a smooth surface, and is tossed directly, the latter one had a coarse surface and it contained a spring inside that connected to three small beads. This type was very powerful because as it approached the target, its shell popped open, ejecting three inner beads which targeted various acupuncture points. Because of its destructive power, the kung-fu master asked me not to use it casually and I normally did not carry it with me, either.
The Nanmen master taught me for three years and then left. After that I often met people who enjoyed kung-fu and stayed with them. As time passed, I turned 17. My mind was still pure and was fully devoted to practicing kung-fu. One day, a traveling monk walked by and, upon seeing me, said, “You exist as the ear exists; you disappear as the ear disappears.” No one in my family knew what he meant. My mother asked for explanation from the monk, who simply said, “Please do not worry about it” and left.
During that year, there was a recruitment drive for royal guards and I was selected. Because of my diligence, caution, and knowledge of kung-fu, I was soon promoted as one of the emperor's bodyguards. I was aware of the responsibility and stayed alert at all times. As time continued, I was able to recognize specific sounds, regardless of whether it was a cat crawling on a building or other sounds from far way. I also had superior eyesight and could see long distances, even at night. During those five years, I experienced dozens of life-threatening battles and it was a very intense period of my life.
As bodyguards, we followed the emperor wherever he went. We took turns to protect the emperor, either day shift or night shift, regardless of the weather. The emperor also treated us well and sometimes provided hot milk for us in the winter or cold tea in the summer. We were also very grateful. My shift was with another bodyguard Ahyige; we often patrolled at night, without making a sound. When tired, we sometimes leaned against a pillar for a break. Usually, the emperor would be still reading government files in the evening, or reading books. Sometimes, at midnight, he would occasionally invite one of us inside for a quick talk. Other than that, we seldom bothered the emperor and he usually did not know what happened during the night until the next morning.
One night, I saw someone moving around and, as he came closer, I tossed an iron billiard at him. With a weak sound, he fell down. I came up with my sword in hand, and found him already dead. Another time, one of my billiards hit an assassin. He was injured and ran off. The royal bodyguards searched everywhere and surprisingly, were unable to find him. During the next day, we found him lying in the royal garden, almost dead. He carried a letter that slandered the emperor.
Once we came across an assassin who specialized in use of drugs. One of the emperor’s bodyguards was an expert on this subject. He smelled something unusual and pretended to be poisoned, lying down. Another guard also became alert and hid nearby. As the assassin came between them, both guards immediately jumped up and subdued the assassin. Before we had a chance to ask any questions, the assassin had already killed himself by swallowing poison that he had previously placed in his mouth. These people used many different kinds of tactics in order to try to murder the emperor.
A bodyguard needs both courage and caution. Once, a bodyguard injured an assassin who had a concealed weapon. Without much caution, the bodyguard then directly went up to check the assassin’s body. The assassin suddenly opened his eyes and spat out a dozen poisonous needles at the guard’s face and body. Another guard came and killed the assassin. The poisoned guard soon had very serious reactions - his entire body became swollen with pus. While in tremendous pain, he asked the other guards to kill him, but none of us were willing to do it. In the end, he died in extreme pain. We were all very sad.
After working as a bodyguard for four and a half years, I encountered several highly skilled assassins. In the beginning, two showed up. Ahyige and I fought one each. Right at that moment, I saw three more approaching the door to the emperor’s quarters, attempting to get inside. Ahyige also saw this, and as he turned to stop them, the assassin he was fighting killed him. I was shocked. With three combo billiards, I killed the three assassins who were trying to get to the emperor. One of the two assassins in front of me however, cut of my left ear as I was tossing my billiards at the others. I was even more determined to stop them. Thinking that other guards would be coming soon, I waved my left arm pretending to toss more billiards and, while holding my sword in my right hand, dashed towards the elder assassin. He was prepared and waved his arm at me forcibly. I thus took the opportunity and turned to the younger assassin and killed him. The elder assassin was furious and ran towards me. I jumped to the side, and he went to the young assassin’s body, holding him and crying, “My son, my son!” It turned out that they were father and son. By then, other guards had arrived. The elder assassin put down the body of his son and took out a strange weapon. We did not give him any time and subdued him. Knowing that he could not succeed, the assassin took his own life. At that time, the emperor came out and we greeted him. The emperor asked how many guards were injured. By then, I began to feel a lot of pain at the location of where my left ear was. The next day, the emperor sent somebody to check up on us. The Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang also came to visit us in person. With compassion and dignity, her majesty was noble and sacrosanct. She told me to have a good rest and asked the royal doctors to examine my injury while preparing to install an artificial ear for me.
The term for royal bodyguards was five years. When the new bodyguards arrived, there was a transition period during which the former bodyguards shared many experiences and gave some tips on how to fulfill their duties. Back then, I replaced Batu and my substitute was Hayimu.
When our term was completed, the emperor invited six of us for a meal (there were originally eight bodyguards, among which two were dead). At the beginning, we were sad, thinking that we had to leave the emperor soon. The emperor said he would also miss us and talked with us for a while. When we toasted to our farewell, guard Aomu said to the emperor on behalf of all of us, “Your majesty, after today, we do not know when we will be able to meet with you again. If there is a need, we will be ready at any time for any assignment.” The emperor said, “We often talk about karmic relationship. When we have opportunities to meet each other again in the future, please do not hide.” We all felt much better upon hearing those words. In the end, the emperor gave each of us a well-decorated box. Inside each box, there was a big pearl and a jade scepter.
Three months after returning home, I began to feel pain in my left ear. The doctor could not find the reason. I requested to have my artificial ear removed, but it was still painful, accompanied by headaches and dizziness. Two weeks later I died at the age of 22. Upon dying, I remembered the monk’s words when I was 17, “You exist as the ear exists; you disappear as the ear disappears.” By then, I came to know that my life was already prearranged.
Kangcaier’s life was arduous and short. But I had no complaint or regret over my choice.
The original thought of coming down from heaven was a choice. In the following descending journey, throughout various reincarnations, there were also many occasions of decision-making. At my level, I found each of us have a thread connected to Dafa. Each correct decision by us formed a shining knot on the thread which, when being magnified, can display all the scenes that happened during that life cycle or at that level. The old forces set a limit of a minimum of 500 such shining knots for one to become a Falun Dafa practitioner. I had 618 knots and some everyday people had 498 or even 499 knots.
That is to say, we have been through a long, arduous and valuable journey in order to become a Falun Dafa practitioner today. It is not only the prehistoric thought of coming down, but also includes those choices made afterwards - the willingness to endure, to suffer, to become helpless, or to take responsibility. After all this, we have reached the stage today of becoming a Falun Dafa practitioner.
It is easy to understand the making of a choice to endure or suffer, but what does it mean by making the choice to become helpless? Here is one example. Kangcaier’s previous life cycle was Wei Zhongxian, a notorious high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty who killed many people and committed many sins. When deciding to play that role back then, I did it because there was no other choice. For enlightened beings who chose to come down here, they were not afraid of enduring or suffering, but they were hesitant to play a role of committing sins. This was because all the sins had to be paid back and, when the sins were too much, it could accumulate to the point that it could stop one from becoming a Falun Dafa practitioner. However, if no one picked up a particular role, there would be a blank spot, which in turn delayed the reincarnation of others. That is why I chose the role of Wei Zhongxian. I did it to avoid delaying others, and did it because there was no other option. One of Wei’s previous life cycles was a monk with a lot of virtue, which was all consumed by Wei’s bad deeds in his life cycle. After his death, although Wei did not go to hell, he was frozen for 100 years (corresponding to 25 years in this human world) in an ice palace at a heavenly level. During that time, his karmic debts were constantly paid back and his body was continually purified.
There are still many beings who came down from very high levels. They came with us, but were blocked from being Falun Dafa practitioners by the old forces, who said they had not made so many correct decisions and had not endured enough difficulty in the past. Of course, Master does not acknowledge these arrangements by the old forces and we should not acknowledge them, either. But from this, we know our opportunity of cultivation did not come easily and we really have to cherish it.
Our uncompromised courage and faith allowed us to walk through the past, all the way to becoming a Falun Dafa practitioner. This is unprecedented, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity of assisting Master with His Fa-rectification. We are not only saving sentient beings right now, but are also responsible for the future of the cosmos at various levels.
Today, we still face many choices. That is, we are deciding exactly how much can we contribute to the Fa-rectification and the salvation of sentient beings.
By cherishing our past, and by cherishing our opportunity today, we can make the right choice for tomorrow—something only Dafa disciples are privileged to do.
There is a 60-year-old practitioner who began to practice in 2003. She is diligent in studying the Fa and doing the exercises. However, she does not pay much attention to the issue of safety or to the cultivation of speech. She wants to know everything and often complained about things that we did not tell her. When writing this article, I realized she was Ahyige, my fellow bodyguard who was killed by the assassins.
Other bodyguards mentioned in this article are also practitioners around me.
In fact, as long as someone has become practitioner, we should give him or her our full respect. After all, we have traveled such a long journey together before coming here and meeting again today to assist Master with His Fa-rectification. This karmic relationship started in the heavens, all the way until today. With this in mind, is there any barrier between practitioners that we cannot break through?
Now, I find the term “fellow practitioner” is a precious word that we should all cherish.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2011/1/29/71465.html