Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Amazing Protector

I wrote something like this in my new post before I deleted it yesterday:

"Referring to this post:

I have recently purchased a Vajrapani statue in the aspect of the Vajra Guards from a Trocadero website. The website sells various antique items. However today I got a notice from the local Post Office to inform me that it had been withheld there for customs purpose. I might have to pay them because it required me to show them the invoices and other details before I can collect it. And if they see the value, for sure I have to pay import tax.

Dear Vajra Guardian,
If it is possible, I do not wish to pay any taxes at all. So, now you know what I want. Please do your best.

Thank you. "

In my mind, when I wrote that, I was quite upset that the statue didnot protect itself by having it sent direct to me; and not withheld by the customs. I had some wrong thoughts about the protector. That was why I wrote the above that I didnot wish to pay any taxes at all. But later, I deleted the post because I felt maybe it was a little bit too demanding. I thought to myself, how is it possible to ask the protector to do something that I know would not be possible?
Anyway, if it didnot happen, it will be like I am shooting on my own feet. Then would I believe in the protector if it didnot materialise? Anyway, I decided it was best not to request such things from the protector. If I am required to pay taxes, I will pay. I decided that cheating in anyway to procure a statue will not be good (including cheating by creating my own lower-valued invoices).

And I was told for bronze statues, the tax is as much as 30%. And the $250 is in USD, mind you. I will have to pay enormous import taxes!

Guess what? I didnot have to pay a single cent, apart from my petrol cost and 7.70 ferry toll. But that's all. When I heard they exempted my statue from taxes, immediately I knew it was the blessing from my protector. I felt "weak in my knees" and wanted to apologise profusely to the protector for making the initial unnecessary demands, which I took out later from my blog. Now I am putting it back in because the power of the Vajra Guards need to be told.

Before I went to the customs office, I had trouble thinking what to say to the officers, how much do I declare to him, what document do I show him. I didnot have any invoices, because it was purchased by internet and I only can print out my emails, at most. And the value is inclusive of shipping charges, I was debating with myself whether to take out a portion of the total cost and declare only $190 and tell him that the actual cost minus shipping charges is only $190. But if the office start to ask for proves, I wouldn't have any. So, how to prove to him? I was trying to think of ways to reduce the taxes I have to pay wihtout being a cheat. After all, it is not only about karma, if I am caught point blank cheating, then I may have to end up paying more or even go to jail. And I will end up getting a statue that has been defiled by my own cheating. I would not want that to happen. I want to get it in a clean manner. I do not want to "defile" the statue in any way.

But I found out that all my thinking and thinking about what and how much to declare prove unnecessary. The officer had always asked to show your document and compare regardless of whatever value is written by the sender. So, the actual miracle was that the customs officer didnot ask for any document from my end and accepted the value declared by the sender and just asked me if it was made of stone. I answered, "Is it?". He shot back, " I am asking you!". Then I answered, " says there it is made of metal!' Before that, I told him this statue is for making prayers since Wesak Day is coming soon.

Then right after that, he asked his colleague to come and chopped on the document of release "Exempted". My heart just stopped at that time. It was too shocking. I thought he will start calculating how much to charge me and I had brought with me a few hundred in cash just in case. Then I knew that was my protector who had read of what I wrote to him as above. So, I didnot have to lie to the customs and I obtained the statue clean in all ways. And I cannot say for sure that the sender had lied. No, perhaps that was the value to him and the rest is profits , which he didnot declare. Now I know the reason why the statue didnot protect itself from the customs, but allow it to be withheld. It was to show me its protective powers.

And what a way for the statue to reach my hands than by an auspicious and miraculous ending that I didnot expect. The reason I deleted what I wrote to the Vajra Guardian above was that I thought it will be an impossibility and I donot wish to trap myself in a ridiculous situation that will not happen. But the impossible became possible!

So... now I humble prostrate to my protector - Vajra Guard Ni'0 - with a heartfelt gratitude for making the customs officer exempt my statue from import duty and for showing me (and everyone else through this post) what you are capable of! And I would like to apologise if I had made any incorrect thoughts or commit any action that is improper in this whole episode. But why me? Do I deserve such a mighty guardian as you? Anyway, THANKS!!!

Can't stop thinking of what had happened.

I was having so many thoughts in my mind on this issue, including how do I pay as little tax as possible and what docs do I need to show them, do I need to create my own invoice as someone suggested, what do I tell the customs officer, etc.... these and many more questions were circling in my mind before I went there to collect it and settle the tax..

And I brought extra cash just in case the tax amounted to a lot. But I did tell the deity of the statue I bought that if it was possible, I do not wish to pay any taxes at all. I prayed to the deity to "do its best".. After I had made that momentary plea to the deity, I decided that it was an impossible wish to be fulfilled. I didnot want to disappoint myself.. I sort of prepared myself to pay some taxes anyway. After all, it was made of bronze and someone said the tax is as high as 30%. So, it occured to me that it was ridiculous to wish for no taxes at all. It was a miracle that could not happen, so I thought.

BUT ...

The impossible did happen. The officer looked at it, didnot even ask any document from me and exempted it. So quick. I was shocked. Seriously. I really cannot believe it.

In my mind, arises these thoughts, "What? The deity knew what I had wanted or read my mind?"

So, what I had thought to be obstacles became auspicious blessings from the deity of that statue. I must apologise to the deity, though, for being annoyed that it didnot protect itself from the customs. Now it seems more likely it was meant to prove a point to me (and indirectly to you guys too) that situations can and will change if there is blessings from the Buddhas and his "agents".

O-yes, the statue is a protector statue. Whenever I see it, I will always remember this incident. Thank you, dear Protector!

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