PureInsight | July 19, 2020
[Pureinsight.org] In the summer of 2014, I was reading the section of inedia (bi-gu) when I saw the following scene: I was once a Daoist cultivating in a cave, where I later died. Every time I read this section, I continued to see scenes from that lifetime. These included scenes of heaven and of the Daoist master taking another “me” away, while the other “me” went through reincarnation.
Throughout history, it was the assistant consciousness that had cultivated. Our revered Master made this point very clear to us long ago.
In The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection, Master wrote, “For thousands of years, all other practices introduced among everyday people have refined the cultivator’s assistant consciousness; the person’s flesh and main consciousness have served only as mediums. Upon reaching Perfection, the cultivator’s assistant consciousness would ascend and take the gong away with it. There would then be nothing left for the person’s main consciousness and innate body—a lifetime of cultivation effort is in vain.” (Chapter I, The Features of Falun Dafa, The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection)
In Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun, Master wrote, “According to Buddhism, this person will still go through samsara. Since a great enlightened person has been successfully cultivated in his body, this person has also accumulated a lot of de. So what will happen? He might become a high-ranking official or make a big fortune in his next life. It can only be this way. Didn’t his cultivation end up in vain?”
I have written down my cultivation story in hopes for everybody to understand how bewildering cultivation was in the past, and I hope fellow practitioners can be more diligent after reading this story.
In that life, I was the son of wealthy parents who enjoyed prestige. I was named Fu Liansheng. In order to be famous in the future, I painstakingly studied the Chinese classics the Book of Songs and the Book of History from a young age. One afternoon when I was 15 years old, a Daoist with long white hair, a white beard, and a young face free of wrinkles appeared in my study room. He looked at me and said, “Your foundation is not bad.” I looked back at him in astonishment. It was weird; he did not even open the door. How did he pass through the wall like that? The Daoist said, “It is extremely exhausting to study so attentively. I have a wonderful teaching I would like to pass on to you. It can allow you to gain immortality and avoid the pain and sufferings of the human world, thus gaining ultimate freedom and leisure.” I shook my head and said, “My life comes from my parents. How could I abandon my parents? I will later attain glory and honor to repay my parents for bringing me up.” The Daoist laughed and said, “Follow me to practice cultivation and attain liberation. You can then come back to repay your parents.” I shook my head again. The Daoist said, “The pedantic adherence to old ideas has blinded and deafened my disciple. I have already decided to take you as my disciple. Even if you resist, it is of no use.”
The Daoist grabbed my arm and patted my head. I became dizzy and confused. I had the feeling I was riding on mists and clouds. All I could hear was the sound of wind. I could not open my eyes due to the wind in my face. After a little bit, I felt my feet touching the ground. I opened my eyes to find myself in a cave dwelling. It was very tidy. I noticed a great big Taiji symbol on the ground with something rotating inside. A kind of indescribable, fantastic energy attracted me. I could not stop staring at it. “Obedient disciple, take a careful look [at the Taiji symbol]. I am going out to take care of some matters.” The Daoist turned and left. I kept gazing at the Taiji symbol for a little bit and then felt hungry. I saw some mountain fruit atop a stone table and grabbed a few to eat. I also drank some water from a gourd. Afterwards, I kept gazing at the Taiji symbol. The more I looked at it, the more tranquil I felt. I had no thoughts in my mind. Now and then, I felt something spinning inside my head. I kept gazing at the Taiji until I felt sleepy. I then went to sleep on a wooden bed. I repeated this whole process in the cave again and again and did not know how much time had passed.
One day, I suddenly remembered my parents and felt quite vexed. I wanted to go home. I tried to find the mouth of the cave but could not find it even after walking a full circle. When I began to feel impatient, a voice said to me, “Diligently cultivate. Do not think of returning home.” I looked around the cave and saw that I was the only one there. Where did that voice come from? It sounded as though it came from above my head. I raised my head only to find nothing there. I was puzzled. I tried again in vain to find an exit from the cave. Eventually, I was tired and went back to sleep on the bed.
All of a sudden, I noticed a breeze beneath my feet, and I was full of excitement. I managed to run all the way back home. When I arrived at the front door, I was blocked by the gatekeeper, who said, “Where are you from young Daoist? You are not allowed inside.” I looked at myself and found that I was wearing a child's Daoist robe. I said, “I am the son of this house.” The gatekeeper laughed and responded, “Look, the son has arrived.” I took a look and saw a boy who looked exactly like me walk out. He was wearing my good clothes. I stared blankly. The gatekeeper pushed me over, and I fell head over heels on the ground.
At this moment, I heard a voice in my ear, “Quickly wake up, do not sleep.” The moment I opened my eyes, I saw the Daoist. I grabbed his arm and said, “I want to go home.” The Daoist told me, “You just returned home, but you were not allowed through the door. You even fell over. What is the use of returning home?” I felt heartbroken. The Daoist continued, “Why are you so obsessed? Others want to take me as their Master, but I ignore them all. I saw that your foundation was good, so I took you in. How about this? I have already fetched you some food you would like. It is on the table. Once you are done eating, I will allow you to return home.” I was really happy when I heard this. I approached the stone table on which there was some luxurious food. I picked up some chopsticks and began eating. Once I put the food in my mouth, however, it suddenly tasted awful. I could not eat it. I paused and looked at the Daoist.
The Daoist burst into laughter, “You have already been cultivating here for two months. You ate the mountain fruit and drank the water. Not even high-ranking officials or royalty could consume these things. You have already undergone changes. If you do not believe me, let us go out together, and you can check out your abilities.” Only partly believing him, I followed the Daoist outside the cave. The Daoist pointed out a large tree 20 meters away and said, “Fly over there and pick the fruit.” I levitated upwards and found myself as light as a feather. I flew over to the tree, picked the fruit, and flew back. The Daoist said, “There is a mountain spring over there; extract some water.” The Daoist told me how to extract the water from a distance, and I did so accordingly. I held my hands up in the direction of the distant mountain spring and saw a stream of water flying towards me from that faraway spring. The Daoist whipped out his gourd, and the water stream flowed inside. It puzzled me how the gourd could contain so much water. The Daoist then said, “Okay, that is enough.” I put my hands down. The Daoist placed the gourd on the ground. Afterwards, he picked up a few rocks and enclosed them in his hands, before rotating his hands twice. He indicated to me that I should collect the stones [from his hands], so I held out my hands. However, he handed me some chicken eggs. They were still warm too. I was very surprised. The Daoist said, “Just a little trick, it is nothing really. Take me as your master, and I will impart the Dao to you. You can become an immortal and attain liberation.”
I thought for a moment, then kneeled before the Daoist and said, “Your disciple wants to take thee as master, but I keep thinking of my parents. May I request you to show me my family?” The Daoist listened to me then burst into laughter. He casually drew a circle in the air with his hand and said, “Take a look for yourself.” Mists filled the circle before parting to reveal my family. I saw my wife giving birth to our child. Later, my parents found me a concubine, and she bore me a son. Ten years later, I fell ill and became bedridden. My father's concubine had poisoned my food, and I died. She also poisoned my mother's food, and she died too. Then, she became the hostess, [the main lady of the house]. My wife was kicked out of the house and had to return to her parent's home. My father's concubine mistreated my son. He developed tuberculosis and died.
The scene vanished all of a sudden, and the Daoist asked, “Is this kind of life interesting?” I was speechless. The Daoist then turned the gourd upside down and flung it onto a branch. He said, “The water inside the gourd is hot right now. After you take a bath, take me as your master.” I took my time in washing myself in the hot water, and then changed into a Daoist robe.
I kowtowed to the Daoist and said, “Master.” Master helped me up and said, “I have already re-arranged your life from today on. Do not have any more wild fantasies. I transformed the jade you used to wear into another “you”. He will fall ill half a year later and die. Your mother owes your father's concubine a life, so she will need to pay back that karmic debt.” I thanked my master for revealing this to me, and then followed master back into the cave to cultivate.
Master had me put my legs in the lotus position. Then, he tied my hands behind my back. He also tied my legs. I said, “Master, there is no need to tie me up.” Master laughed and said, “You should cultivate diligently. I am going out for a bit.” After master left, I cultivated according to the teachings of the heart he passed on to me. I was quite comfortable at the start, but my legs gradually became painful. Then, my legs became even more painful. I wanted to take my legs down, but I could not move my hands. I was sweating all over from the pain. My bones felt as though they were breaking. I was moving all about and could not remain seated on the bed. I became foggy-headed. The pain became increasingly real. It felt like a knife was cutting through my flesh, and then scraping my bones. It was so painful that I bit my lips to the point of bleeding. I could not bear the pain any longer and fainted.
I did not know how long had passed when I heard master addressing me. “Why are you goofing off and not practicing diligently?” I did not dare to speak. Master said, “Falling ill and being poisoned is more painful than this. Enjoying leisure and comfort while wishing to become immortal, how is that possible?” Master assisted me up into a proper sitting position for meditation. He indicated that I should open my mouth, and then he placed a small pellet-shaped dan pill into my mouth. He taught me two verses, and then left again.
For a brief moment, I felt light. But, the pain started rolling in again, making it hard for me to endure. No matter how I twisted or turned, the ropes binding me would not loosen. The pain caused me to faint again. Master got angry with me one day after seeing that I kept fainting from the pain. He picked up a whip and started whipping me, saying, “If you cannot endure the pain, then return home without delay. What kind of disciple are you? Once master goes out, you just sleep.” I was beaten badly. Master was extremely angry. I felt ashamed and could not help but cry, but this made master angrier. Master untied me and said, “What are you crying for? I do not want you. Return home without delay. Go and get married, and get your beautiful concubine. Even if you get poisoned, you do not need to go through all this hardship each day...”
With tears in my eyes, I kneeled before master and said, “Master…I am wrong. Even if you beat me to death, I will not leave. Please calm down, master!” I repeatedly kowtowed. Master said, “Raise your head.” I raised my head and looked at master. He looked at me and said, “You were born in a wealthy family and cannot endure suffering. It is best that you just go back.” Master untied me and put the ropes aside. In despair, he said, “I need to relax. By taking in an unsatisfactory disciple, I almost died of anger.” Master left, but my heart for cultivation solidified. I picked up the ropes and grabbed some stones. I spread the stones around my bed in a circle. I folded my legs in the lotus position and then tied them up. I made a vow, “Local spirits, please strengthen me. I must not and will not faint.”
Soon after folding my legs in the lotus position, I felt it difficult to endure the pain. However, regardless of how painful it got, I did not budge. After enduring the pain for a bit, I felt a brief spell of lightness. After a little bit, it became extremely painful again. At this moment, I heard a female voice, “Senior brother, are you there? I am here.” A Daoist nun holding a horsetail whisk appeared. She looked at me and said, “You are that disciple my brother took in. You are quite a good disciple. You look like this because you have been badly beaten and have been tormented by my brother. You should take me as your master. I will teach you.” After saying this, she took out a gourd, drank a mouthful of water, and puffed out her cheeks. Then, she sprayed a mist all over my body, and I felt extremely comfortable. I found that my wounds that were inflicted on me by being whipped were healed. My legs were not painful anymore either. The Daoist nun continued, “Brother's temper is not good. He abuses his disciple. Take me as your master. You can easily and leisurely learn a lot of techniques and skills from me. You do not even need to bear any suffering.” I said, “‘A master for a day is a father for a lifetime.’ I cannot betray my master.” The Daoist nun got agitated and angrily rebuked me, “I will smash down this cave and throw you into the deep lake, where the turtles will eat you.” I said, “If you do that, then you are not a cultivator.” The Daoist nun was angry; she then turned and left. Soon after, master returned. He looked at me and said, “You are a good disciple. Master made no oversight with you.”
Since then, those painful days gradually passed. Master would talk to me amicably and would often tell me about Daoist techniques and stories of immortals. He would teach me how to practice certain techniques. He would repeatedly stress, “The essentials of this school are, the shishen [“the Main Soul”] dies, and the Primordial Spirit is born. The shishen causes a person to be infatuated and grows all kinds of greed. You should inhibit your shishen and not allow it to exhibit itself. The Primordial Spirit shall attain great freedom and liberation.” Five years later, Master took out a rolled-up silk book. “Soon, I will hand over this secret book to you. After 20 days, go into the mountains to cultivate. You need to leave this mountain now.”
I left the mountain that my Master resided in. When walking, I bumped into another cultivator. He said to me, “Daoist friend, you carry in your backpack something most precious. It is bright and shiny, and connects straight to the heaven palace. However, there is still quite some distance on your journey. Moreover, there is a rotten demon on the road ahead demanding payments. Daoist friend, take care.” I said, “What kind of principle says that cultivation should be easy? I am completed devoted to my cultivation and have master protecting me. Once I discard all distracting thoughts, I can wholeheartedly practice cultivation.” The cultivator responded, “Many caves can be found on both sides of the three gorges of the Yangtze River. It is a fine spot for cultivation. You should quickly go there.” I thanked the cultivator. After walking a few steps, I unintentionally looked back and found that there was no trace of the cultivator, not even his footsteps. I thought to myself, “It must be a supernatural being from the secret book that I will be cultivating according to. He was giving me a hint.”
By this time, there were three more days from the time that my master designated to me. I suddenly thought to check out my hometown. I figured that there would be enough time. So, I returned home wearing a worn-out robe. I arrived at the front door of my home and heard someone say, “Madam [referring to my concubine] and her son have come out.” I turned and left upon hearing this. From then on, there was no longer anything I missed about home. When I was about to go, I noticed my neighbor approach, holding their 4-year-old daughter. The neighbor did not recognize me, but their daughter looked at me and smiled. Her smile was so incredibly pure. Unexpectedly, my heart was moved.
I put to use my supernormal powers and arrived at the Three Gorges of the Yangzte River. I found a cave I liked and used a supernormal power to seal its entrance. Then, I began to practice. Before I began to meditate, I made a vow. “I am determined to cultivate. So long as I have not cultivated to completion, I vow not to stand up and continue sitting in this cave. Should I violate this vow, I am willing to be struck by lightning.”
During the process of cultivation, interfering scenes kept manifesting. I saw my parents come to me weeping, but I was not moved. I heard the sound of a fierce tiger making its way through the sealed entrance. I could hear its breath. My heart remained unmoved. I saw a dragon fly into the cave and coil around me. I remained motionless. I saw heavenly maidens place food and drink before me in the cave, but I was not moved. I saw officials from hell come to me and say, “Come with us to the underworld to cross your name from hell's register. Then, come back to cultivate.” As before, I remained motionless. All sorts of humans, immortals, ghosts, and beasts from heaven and earth appeared before my eyes. I was not confused and was free of doubt. I did not stand up no matter what. Once, I heard the bizarre sound of a thin shirt being ripped, but I did not open my eyes. The joys of cultivation also came about. I saw myself wandering in the sky, flying at an inconceivable speed. The mountains, rivers, and the earth were vivid before my eyes. I vaguely felt the enormity of my body and that it could contain the high mountains and large rivers.
One day, a young girl appeared before me and said, “I am the girl who used to live next door to you. We have a predestined relationship. I am now 16 years old and long to practice cultivation. I wish to take you as my master.” I did not speak. She said, “From a young age, I could see many bizarre things, so I feel no attachment to this world. Higher beings keep pointing out to me that I should cultivate. Later, a higher being helped me to find you. I want to cultivate. I request that you teach me.” I pretended as if I did not hear her and remained motionless.
Every day, this girl would come and stay for an hour. Sometimes she would stay silent; sometimes she would keep chatting. She persisted in this way for four years. One day, this girl came; she did not say a word and sat to the side in meditation. Still seated, she ended up leaning against the cave wall and sat until nightfall. Then, she lay down on her side and slept. She did not say a word the whole day. I had cultivated for so many years and saw through all the affairs and predestined relationships of this world. But, I could not make sense of this issue [of the girl coming to my cave]. This was a real girl of flesh and blood. She was not a spirit or demon; neither was she evil. I was flabbergasted.
One day, the girl kneeled before me and said, “I will cultivate wholeheartedly. If master does not accept me, I will keep kneeling and will not stand up, even if I become emaciated. I vow not to stand up.” That girl kneeled there, enduring the pain for an awfully long time. Although I had my eyes closed in meditation, I could see the girl's skin creasing in pain. I determined to treat this as a demonic illusion and remained unmoved at heart.
One day the girl told me, “Jiang Ziya was a flying bear in a previous life. He wanted to take the Primitive God of Heaven as his master. But the Primitive God of Heaven refused to accept the flying bear because animals are not allowed to cultivate. That flying bear had a strong willpower and kowtowed there without moving. The Primitive God of Heaven took a nap in bed. When he awoke, 800 years had passed. The flying bear's body had already turned to ash, but its Primordial Spirit was whirling around on the ground there. The Primitive God of Heaven was moved and said: 'Go reincarnate as a human, I will definitely accept you then.' I now have a human body and want to cultivate. Master, why do you not accept me? When I die, if I reincarnate as a rock, I will miss the chance to cultivate. Would this be your fault?”
Her words caused me to ponder the matter. I thought what she said made sense. However, if it is the demon of temptation using her to bewilder me, if I stand up, I will definitely die in the cave. I best be careful.
I kept meditating as usual, and then saw a scene of the young girl's pure smile and then of the girl before me who was facing imminent death. I wondered what to do. I hesitated for a few days. This had already caused serious interference to my meditation. All of a sudden, a voice sounded in my head, “Make a decision after half a month.” It was a very strong voice. Then, I was finally able to enter into ding. The girl disappeared.
Very quickly, half a month passed and a line of golden characters appeared before my eyes, “The day of completion of cultivation is the time of death.” I did not realize that I would have to shed the human body when I completed my cultivation. An imperial chariot appeared before my eyes, albeit vaguely. I saw a celestial crane and heavenly officials. I was shocked to see one person stand up from among the heavenly officials. It was precisely that young girl that kept coming to my cave.
I was extremely surprised. A voice sounded in my head, “Quickly look at the one who was kneeling before you. Save her. You have your place you are to go.” I opened my eyes and saw the young girl. As before, she was still kneeling but dying. With the urging of the voice, I did not even think and suddenly stood up.
The instant I stood up, I saw the heavens full of immortals watching me. It was as if they were all waiting for this moment. One immortal in heaven unfolded the vow that I made when entering the cave, while another prepared an electric flower before striking me with lightning. I was killed in the cave at the moment. I emerged from my body but then stopped in midair. My body was light and graceful.
I saw my mangled body in the cave, together with that young girl. She was actually the reincarnation of a piece of magnetite from heaven. That magnetite was called Qi Zuoshi [“the stand up rock”]. It was when I started cultivating that Qi Zuoshi reincarnated as a girl. Her ultimate goal was to get me to stand up. She fulfilled her mission, which the immortals in the upper world entrusted to her.
What puzzled me the most was that I saw another “me” that was glowing in health and vigor. I saw that he carried with him all sorts of supernormal abilities. I saw him emerge from my body. Then I saw master appear, and the other “me” kowtowed to master. Master took that other “me” on a luan [a mythical bird related to the phoenix], and they flew away together. I was utterly bewildered.
One immortal told me, “Go reincarnate at once. You have endless glory and splendor for you to enjoy in your next life.” I asked, “I cultivated not for glory and splendor. Why did master not take me with him? Who was it that master took with him?” The immortal did not utter a single word. Another immortal said, “You should just quickly go and reincarnate. Do not miss the time.” When I was being led away by another immortal, I heard another immortal say, “This is not so fair.” The other immortal responded, “It has always been done like this, and this is how it is set. There is no mistake here. Although this cultivator has witnessed it, he is not clear on what is going on. Once his brain is cleared, he will forget all of this.”
When I heard this, I suddenly felt a sense of agonizing bleakness that no words can accurately describe. I reviewed my cultivation practice. It was absolutely painstaking, but the end result was reincarnation. That was a feeling of utter hopelessness and of despair. At that instant, I thought of so many things. In that state, my thinking became open and exceptionally active. I was able to make sense of many things by linking them together and guessing what happened. I knew that what I realized was right.
I recalled the time before I took the Daoist as my master. I had heard a voice, “Diligently cultivate. Do not think of returning home.” The voice I heard before I died said, “Quickly look at the one who is kneeling before you. Save her. You have your place you are to go.” These two voices were said by the same person. At critical moments, those thoughts and voices came from within me. Could it be that they came from that other “me” and that he was manipulating my thoughts and controlling my body?
I thought, “I painstaking cultivated with the end result being reincarnation, yet another life obtained righteous fruition. Who is he? Did that other life borrow my body to practice cultivation? That is what happened, right? Master said he changed my course of life, but it was actually that other life's course of life that was changed because I still had to reincarnate, right? Master said that he had arranged my path of cultivation. It was that my cultivation was doomed to be as such: I vowed to die in the cave, and that rock [referring to the girl] was arranged long ago? Everything had been set, and I was just going along with the arrangements. The one who obtained everything was actually another person. Wasn’t this arrangement just too heartless? Had I not been used?”
Nobody could affirm my guesses as to what happened, nor did anyone provide me any answers to my questions. I quickly reincarnated.
Three years had passed since I learned of this story. I reluctantly wrote this article. Even though I wrote it, once I came to the part about dying in the cave, I stopped writing for a long time. It was just too painful. I did not want to put it down in writing. Eventually, I put forth great effort into finishing this article. I thought I was avoiding it because I did not want to stir up my painful memory. I was not willing to face the helplessness and pain I felt at that time.
Memories from my past lives as a cultivator had also been awakened. I remember that after I started practicing Dafa, I read “Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun” revered Master said, “In the Dao School, only one or two disciples is brought up, and only one of them receives the true teaching. They’re really strict with their disciples, and they beat disciples for just about anything. They don’t care whether you can bear it or not, as they have to make you come through. So they usually adopt forceful methods, such as tying up disciples’ legs and tying the hands at the back; you wouldn’t be able to untie it yourself, not even if you were to lie down. So some people have felt so much pain that they fainted. That’s how some people did it in the past; cultivation was really tough back then.”
I was deeply moved when I read this paragraph. I grimaced as I read, and I felt a kind of pain in my heart. The pain and suffering described what actually happened to me. My heart trembled. When I read the section in Zhuan Falun, “Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong”, I felt an immense gratitude toward revered Master in a way I cannot put into words. My tears flowed uncontrollably. I was so moved upon learning that I can now truly cultivate. I can return home. I feel that revered Master truly treats His disciples well.
Cultivation in the past required enduring so much suffering, but one still did not truly cultivate oneself. The “rock girl” in the aforementioned story once existed at the 28th level of heaven. I accidentally flicked her into water. Before, she was in a special place where she was able to absorb the essential energy from heaven and earth. However, after falling into water, she could not get out. In the water, she began to resent me endlessly. Therefore, she complied with the immortals' arrangement to reincarnate as a girl to entice me to stand up. It seemed that everything in cultivation occurs for a reason. Nothing is random.
In the cultivation practice of Falun Dafa, revered Master has given us the very best of everything and provided benevolent resolutions to all resentment and hatred. Moreover, revered Master protects us and is saving us. So, how can we slack off? Moreover, revered Master has clearly indicated the mechanism and outcome of the Fa teaching in Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day, “Cultivate with the heart you once had, and success is certain.”
I have written down this cultivation story to remind fellow practitioners: cultivators in the past who did not handle themselves well would lose their lives. No matter how they cultivated, it would be the assistant consciousness cultivating. They cultivated according to arrangements laid out long before. Cultivating and cultivating…still, the main consciousness could never obtain righteous fruition. It would cultivate in vain and be used as a vehicle for another being. Therefore, we should cherish the predestined opportunity to cultivate in Dafa, genuinely cultivate ourselves, and unconditionally look within ourselves. By cultivating ourselves well will we be worthy of revered Master's merciful salvation and finally return to our true homes in heaven.
Chinese version: http://big5.zhengjian.org/node/241723