Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Delaying Death By Buddhist Means

While we are having fun with our fleeting joys and jokes, there are many people suffering from one pain or another. When people in pain come to you, what can you do? Can you relieve their pain? I like to donate to hospitals run by Buddhist groups that are in need of financing. One such hospital is the Amdo Eye Hospital.It is also known as "Qinghai Woeser Cataract Treatment Center". Another example is Namdroling hospital. Refer this link -
Helping a hospital is a good way to repent the evil karma that we ourselves have accumulated.

You never know what the power of good karma can do to us. Granny's life got extended for one more year due to the positive karma generated. She was taken to the hospital in August 2011 with late stage of cancer. The doctor told the family she had only a few weeks at most. With that news, many relatives and family members from outside the state or country were asked to return for a last chat with granny. But I had a problem with that if she were to die in a few weeks time. It would have clashed with my retreat and I would have to skip it. So I decide that for the sake of my practice, any death will have to be postponed. And how do I go about postponing it? Do I think that I am Buddha? Even Buddhas don't just postpone people's death. So I did not think about it that much anymore.
But at that time I was in fact copying the Heart Sutra for Japan. I wrote 10 sets and my family wrote hundreds more. These Heart Sutras were to be sent and enshrined in Japan at the place where there was a terrible earthquake, followed by a tsunami earlier. I wrote before on this. The merits from this deed were dedicated to sick granny, hoping that it could buy her a little bit more time. It worked. I managed to go for my retreat. After the retreat, I went straight to see her to recite the Heart Sutra for her. I was having the thinking that it did not matter any more if the death were to happen since the retreat was over. I thought her death was "postponed" by 10 weeks. But she was discharged a few weeks after that. She can still talk and smile. And not wringing in pain or anything like that. She had good karma. Sometime after Chinese New Year I visited her and she was still emitting a happy aura around her. That gave me confidence that she will not die yet. I told myself perhaps she got 10 months. But June came and gone. I was happy she got more than 10 months. Guess how long she got? She passed away in August 2012 recently. She got roughly about another 12 months! Amazing, right? Scientifically I cannot prove that her life was extended due to the Heart Sutra. But I believe that there are genuine Buddhist methods to extend a person's life a little bit more. The only thing is we must never be greedy and start asking to live forever. Limit your request to a certain time period. State it clearly how long you want. And what would be the benefit to Buddhism if that wish came true? Also, what would you be prepared to do for getting the wish come true? At the end of the day, whether it will come true or not, you need to leave it to karma. Sometimes it is perhaps better to die. We may not understand the reason but we must trust karma. It works through karma. There is no external entity that grants or extents life. Other religions may think that that responsibility lies in God's hands. But in Buddhism, we know nobody does that job. How long we live depends on our own individual karma as well as collective karma. If karma can cause illnesses, it can also heal. In a very poignant miment yesterday, I saw someone on a wheelchair yesterday. He had suffered from a stroke. The brandname of the wheelchair was "Karma". The moment I saw it, something struck deep inside me. It connects to something deep inside. Karma. Karma. Karma.  

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