Master Reminded Me Not to “Buy Reputation and Fish for Praise”

A Dafa Disciple

PureInsight | May 27, 2013

[] Yesterday I had a dream that I was fishing with a rod, but the fish I caught was ugly, black, odorous, and almost dead. Looking at it could make one disgusted and afraid to be near it, so I threw it away immediately and continued to fish. Then my hook broke in half. The dream was so clear that it left a very deep impression on me upon waking up.

After sending forth righteous thoughts at noon, four characters were clearly imprinted in my mind: “Buy reputation [and] fish [for] praise.” I finally enlightened that benevolent and magnanimous Master saw that I still hadn’t enlightened to why the hook broke, so Master was pointing out to not be attached to reputation anymore and not to “fish” for praise1.

I am a young adult practitioner who has cultivated for more than ten years. I was only eleven when I attained the Fa. After starting cultivation, I no longer fought with classmates, my morality was corrected, and I treated people more politely and with humility. Benevolent Master kept using Dafa to open up my wisdom, and my ranking at school went from being among the bottom few students to the top few. I was later accepted into a prestigious college and then moved overseas to attend a famous institution to obtain my doctorate degree. I gradually became the pride of my family and an excellent student in the eyes of my teachers and fellow students. Relatives and friends praised me, professors and fellow students complimented me, and I did research very well abroad, which made me gain recognition. I also had a professor commend my outstanding work in various meetings and on public occasions. Nevertheless, internally I was very clear that without what Master and Dafa had bestowed upon me, I definitely would not be this extraordinary academically.

In most situations when faced with various compliments and flattery, I was able to not have zealotry and continuously remind myself, “I have to remember that Master endowed me with all these skills in order for me to validate the Fa instead of validating how smart and capable I am.” Master said in “Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference:” “Some are more capable when it comes to one thing, others with another—you definitely shouldn’t let your thoughts run wild based on that. You say that you have such great abilities and so on and so forth, but that was all bestowed upon you by the Fa! Actually, it wouldn’t work if you failed to attain that level of abilities.”

I enlightened that doing the work that I’m responsible for well validates the Fa at the same time. For students, if they do well in school and have upright morality, they will certainly be convincing when clarifying the truth. Therefore throughout my entire path, I utilized every opportunity to tell my fellow students and teachers in China the truth and most of them agreed with Dafa and chose to quit the CCP. Before I went abroad I collected the phone numbers and contact details of almost all of the fellow students and alumni that I knew (from elementary school, middle school, college, and graduate school), so that after I moved abroad I could call all of them to clarify the truth. During several years of truth-clarification my fellow students agreed with what I said, believing that Dafa is good and the CCP is evil. Most of them firmly said that they would quit the CCP and hoped to keep in contact with me, asking me to call them when I had time and tell them about life overseas. When I joined academic meetings in other nations, I would clarify the truth to the professors and scholars from China. When they saw my manner and my achievements in research, they were all very willing to talk with me and eventually they were all very resolute in quitting the CCP and remembering the Nine Character fortunate words “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance is good.” I clearly knew that saving sentient beings was the mission of Dafa disciples during cultivation and the oath we made before coming down to earth. Therefore Master gifted all of these things to disciples.

Over time however I was unable to withstand years of continuous praise and compliments and I did not restrain myself according to the Fa in every moment. In addition to that, sometimes I did not study the Fa enough or did not take the Fa to heart while reading. Gradually I would be grandiose in front of various compliments and felt that was the way it should be. Sometimes the attachment to finishing tasks also came up. Even though I put in all my effort toward clarifying the truth, my attachment to fame was also a material that was not completely eliminated. As a result it would be present when I was validating the Fa. Sometimes I was not clearheaded enough to treat the compliments as tests or wouldn’t remember to thank Master and Dafa. What a filthy heart this was. Wasn’t this being greedy about achieving consummation for myself?

No wonder the fish I caught in the dream was black, odorous, and ugly. It was that forgot-my-origin, self-adulating, and pursue-and-enjoy-fame heart that was so filthy that I did not even realize it and continued to nurture it. It was benevolent and magnanimous Master who let me see what this heart was and how filthy and ugly it was.

When I carefully looked back at how I did Fa-rectification activities (such as promoting Shen Yun and joining Dafa activities to clarify the truth), this unclean heart was specifically embodied like this: when fellow practitioners complimented me on how well I did, I myself clearly knew that it was Master saving people and I only just did what I was supposed to do, and I would respond to fellow practitioner’s compliments accordingly. But while I seemed to be humble internally I still subconsciously really enjoyed the compliments and thought I really did well. I did not consciously, clearly, and resolutely discard this minor bit of zealotry. Gradually the old forces magnified this heart, and as a result, this unclean heart grew. Its manifestation was that when doing Dafa work, I would always subconsciously hope for recognition and praise from fellow practitioners.

This heart is so filthy and shameful. How can one consciously or subconsciously validate the Fa with a heart hoping for praise? Is that validating the Fa or oneself? How strong is this selfishness? Wouldn’t it be breeding demons in my own mind if it kept developing? It is the opposite of the compassion that Master wants. In Zhuan Falun Master said: “That’s not out of compassion. He hasn’t gotten rid of his attachments to reputation and personal gain one bit, and no compassion is about to come out.” It was so filthy and shameful, and I am exposing it here. Fellow practitioners, please be witnesses. This mentality absolutely was not my true self. I’m determined to thoroughly eliminate this heart and cultivate away the fake self that exists for selfishness and fame.

When I first discovered this heart, I felt that my entire body was really released. This afternoon I attended an international academic meeting and the professor talked about the research work I was involved with. Usually in meetings when the professor talked about my work he would always insert my photo in his power point and introduce me as one of his doctors and then proudly praise my work for a while. But this time he neither inserted my photo nor mentioned me. Then to my surprise, the ‘fake me’ with the attachment to fame reflected an ineffable sense of loss in my heart. But I suddenly realized, isn’t this fake sense of loss caused by the attachment to fame? Isn’t this the time to thoroughly get rid of this filthy heart? Isn’t this the time for taking action after enlightening? I promised to Master that I would definitely cultivate away this heart. At that moment I suddenly completely understood and really felt the happiness of being melted into the Fa.

I am forever unable to thank benevolent and magnanimous Master, all of whose painstaking arrangements when saving me were only so that I could quickly improve according to the Fa. When I reached this point in my writing, every cell in my entire body could feel that Master’s light was illuminating me. It was so benevolent and peaceful, pure and wonderful. I also hope that practitioners who have the same attachment to fame as I did carefully dig out this attachment. Let us together remove it and purely help Master to rectify the Fa and finish our historical missions.

Lastly, I would like to use Master’s words to mutually encourage fellow practitioners: “Fame is a great obstacle to reaching Consummation” (“Dafa Will Forever be Pure Like Diamond,” Essentials for Further Advancement I).

Please kindly point out anything that you see is incorrect in my understanding.


1The Chinese idiom Gu Ming Diao Yu, which means pursuing for reputation, can be literally translated as “buy reputation and fish [for] praise.”


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