PureInsight | June 7, 2013
[PureInsight.org] I haven’t seen a particular practitioner in over ten years. I later heard he was illegally arrested and harshly persecuted. When I saw him again, he had changed so much I almost couldn’t recognize him. He said: “Can you help me find a practitioner?” I asked: “Is there something you need from them?” He replied: “I borrowed several thousand yuan from him ten years ago. I’ve always thought about returning it, but he moved, and I can’t find him.” I told him: “His living conditions are much better than yours. I heard you’re having a hard time. We’re all practitioners. Why are you so insistent about returning the money?”
He was very surprised. “How can you regard the situation like this? Master brought up this issue in many lectures. This is a heavenly principle. How can Dafa disciples have the thought of dragging out a debt? We aren’t ordinary people. Ordinary people can find many excuses for not returning money, should we do the same? Our conduct must be righteous.”
I thought his words were very reasonable, so I brought up another question: “In these years, there have been many instances of practitioners borrowing money from each other. Some even borrowed lots of money and are unable to return it. What happens then?” He replied: “Master never said anything about not returning money just because one borrowed a lot. The important thing is where our hearts lie. That thought is crucial. That is a symbol of a practitioner’s character. Moreover, returning owed money is a heavenly principle that we must follow.” I said: “Some practitioners are suffering heavy economic problems and have difficult living conditions. How would they have the ability to return money?” He said: “The persecution was arranged by the old forces, not by Master. Everyone has been amidst the persecution these past few years. The key is how we reject the old forces’ plans, and the extent to which we enlighten from the Fa. How much did we reject? How much did we break through? If our thoughts are righteous enough, Master will help. Miracles can happen. Don’t blame everything on the old forces and neglect your own cultivation.”
I was shocked by the depth of this practitioner’s understanding. Especially because Fa rectification has come to the very end, I think we should have a clear understanding on the issue of borrowing money. Master said: “[The problem is when] some students are thinking, ‘I can borrow money without paying it back. I’ll just leave and that will be the end of it.’ (Audience laughs) That starting point doesn’t work. You can’t have the wrong motive” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference”). Master also said: “What is owed must be paid—it’s a law of this cosmos” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”).
Reflecting on Master’s lectures, I felt that my understanding, as well as the understanding of many nearby practitioners, really had a big gap. For example, I lent money to practitioners in previous years, but I never asked for it back for fear of hurting the other person. Selfishness was hidden even in these small thoughts. Isn’t this an omission? The Fa never said that cultivators can lend money to others without asking for it back. If we didn’t have any bad notions and compassionately reminded the other person to return the money, this is also upholding a principle of ordinary society. Especially if we don’t ask for money lent to an ordinary person, then are we also responsible for the karma that the other person accumulates? Is it our human attachments that caused the other person to accumulate karma?
There is a practitioner nearby who is the head of a company. A non-practitioner friend of his asked him to be a bondsman. The friend ended up owing the company 300 thousand Yuan. Afterwards, this friend kept telling him to deliver goods, yet the practitioner did not uprightly remind the friend to return the loan before delivering more goods. He was instead using his own money to help his friend repay the debt. His family and friends really did not understand his actions. In discussion, I realized that this practitioner had a notion. He said, “These years I never thought about the money people owed me. We’re all friends, and the other person knows the truth. How could I ask him to pay back the debt? Isn’t it just a little bit of benefit? Let it go.” My fellow practitioner, aren’t you ruining him? What will become of this friend in the next lifetime? Furthermore, the other person isn’t incapable of returning the money. No matter for what reason, if an ordinary person owes a practitioner, then he owes a God. This isn’t a small matter. We can’t allow our human attachments to make ordinary people create unnecessary karma. Also, it is easy for the old forces to exploit our gaps. Letting go of the attachment to benefits doesn’t mean forgetting about the debt other people owe you. By compassionately reminding the other person to return the money, this is also upholding a principle of the ordinary human world.
Practitioners who owe money must have a righteous heart and mind. You must at least have the intention of returning the money. If you acquire money, return it as soon as possible. Just like the practitioner mentioned above—it’s been over ten years, yet he still remembered to return the money. Even though his living conditions are poor and he’s suffered persecution, he still found the practitioner and returned the money. He said, “As long as you have the intention of returning the money, Master will help you.” If you think you’re in a difficult situation and don’t even have the thought of returning money, then perhaps that is asking for trouble, and the old forces will strengthen their persecution on you, exacerbating your economic situation so you will be even less able to repay the practitioner. They have locked on to the principle and are laughing at you: “Look at those cultivators, not even repaying money they borrowed from each other. They call themselves Dafa disciples?”
Once, a practitioner jokingly said: “Return what money? Perhaps the other person owed me in an earlier lifetime, and now we’re even.” Fellow practitioner, we can’t be even worse than ordinary people. How are you not inviting evil with this notion? It would be strange if the old forces didn’t persecute you. Cultivating to this day, many practitioners have a similar experience: in the past if they didn’t pass a tribulation well, they only thought: “I didn’t pass it. I’ll pass it next time.” Now if you they don’t pass a tribulation, they feel more stressed, thinking that it’s possibly even dangerous. The feeling is similar to that of the Arhat who became excited and then fearful and dropped.
There are also some practitioners who’ve formed tight cliques. As long as they have money, anyone can spend it. If one of them runs out they will borrow a few thousand from the other person. If the other person runs out, he’ll borrow a few thousand from another one. Rarely do they return the money. After several years, no one knows how much they owe each other. This isn’t a cultivator’s conduct. Master’s Fa never told us to do this. No matter what a cultivator does, he must be considerate of the other person. A cultivator should not just do whatever he wants, making it hard for family or ordinary people to understand us. We aren’t attached to money, but we must have a clear understanding. We must walk a righteous path.
In ancient times people took returning debt very seriously. For example, if someone borrowed money from a friend without written proof or family knowledge, and that friend later died, the borrower would still return all the money back to the family. There are many examples of this. Even though the human moral standard has slipped to the very bottom, the heavenly principles of “returning owed money” and “no loss no gain” will never change. We are restoring this. If we do well, then we are restoring humanity’s traditional moral standard. We are leaving a rectified path for the people of the future.
This is just a shallow understanding for the purpose of discussion. Please compassionately point out anything inappropriate.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/116527