Forty-one years ago, I was pregnant with you, the second child, only after being married to your dad for three years. I wasn't too concerned about this pregnancy. At that time, I have yet to study the Buddhadharma and didn’t understand the truth, and thus out of ignorance I committed a heavy karmic offense by having an abortion. This mistake has caused me everlasting sorrow. I was unconsciousness after the operation, and I dreamed that I died on the hospital bed. I also heard your grandmother said: “If you had known this earlier, you should not have gotten an abortion!” When I woke up, I realized that I just came back from death’s door. This dream is still vivid in my mind.
Three years later, I was pregnant the fifth times with you, the fifth child. At that time, I still had not studied the Buddhadharma, and I didn’t understand that when one becomes pregnant, regardless of the amount of trouble, one must act responsibly by giving birth to the baby and raising him or her. I created this karma myself, and I should have accepted the responsibility for my actions. However, being confused, I was greatly afflicted by your upcoming birth. Your two elder sisters and one elder brother were still young, and I got pregnant because of ineffective birth control. Therefore, I had another abortion, and created another karmic offense!
Later on, I was very fortunate to encounter a Good and Wise Teacher, the Venerable Master Hua, and started to study the Buddhadharma. I also drew near the monasteries that he founded, in which the proper Dharma flourished. Only then did I understand that I should cultivate every day, repent and reform, recite the Buddha's name, and dedicate the resulting merits to you. In addition, I did various wholesome acts on your behalf, such as setting up rebirth plaques and receiving the Precepts for the Deceased on your behalf. I hope both of you will quickly leave suffering and attain bliss, and be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.
Now I am already over sixty years old. Last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I knew that the cancer was the ripening of my retribution from killing two fetuses, and I must accept it peacefully. Maybe because of my study of the Buddhadharma and the compassionate aid from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, although I had cancer, I didn’t feel much pain; even the operation to remove the cancerous cells was not painful. For over a year now, I have been living a normal life. Therefore, I am very grateful to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
However, your aunt was not as lucky as I am. Let me tell you her story. Both she and her husband had careers, and in their busy lives they didn’t have time to take care of children. Her husband was not present when she was delivering their second child, a boy. She did not study the Buddhadharma, and thus without consulting her husband or thinking more about it, she told the doctor with no hesitation that she didn’t want the baby. The doctor also killed the baby with no hesitation. Out of delusion, she committed a serious killing offense. When she was fifty-five years old, her retribution came -- she got cancer. Although she went through various treatments, such as surgery and chemotherapy, she still died in two years. Actually, your aunt was a very nice person, and many people were surprised that she had cancer. The principle of cause and effect is not something we should treat lightly!
We had another relative, who also had career. She was very gentle and good-natured, but she didn’t study the Buddhadharma. I have no idea how many abortions she had. Later on, she got cancer, and there were tumors all over her body. She was very sick and in tremendous amount of pain, but her doctors could do nothing to help her. She died when she was only forty-five years old.
Talking about this relative’s age reminds me of you. If you were in this world, one of you would be forty-one years old and the other thirty-eight years old. Usually by this age, you would have a career and your own family. Speaking of being married, husband and wife should respect each other and control their sexual desires; this way, they won't get into the trouble of having too many children. A Buddhists family would be the best, since they understand cause and effect, and with wisdom and the ability to distinguish the true from the false, they won't commit karmic offenses. In addition, one should be a vegetarian, because a vegetarian diet will make one's body and mind purer, and one's desires lighter. In contrast, if one eats meat, one will have stronger desires, which makes it more difficult to control one’s sexual desires. If one gets pregnant, never ever shirk one’s responsibility. Don't create offenses like I did; I was truly ignorant then.
I am sorry, my children! Please forgive me for my ignorance which took away your opportunity to be born as human beings. I vow that I will leave the home-life and cultivate the Bodhi Way in every life. I would not have created these karmic offenses if I were not afflicted by the burden of having a family. I also would like to dedicate the merit and virtue of my cultivation to both of you, and respectfully ask Amitabha Buddha to take care of you. Finally, I wish that the word “abortion” will disappear from this world, and all living beings can leave suffering and attain bliss!