From around 1987, the Taiwanese government started implementing a series of more permissive policies on campus. Before that, the regulations governing the students were quite strict. For examples, there were rules prohibiting students from growing their hair long, forbidding male and female students from having relationships on campus, and preventing students from going to dance halls. After the more permissive policies came into effect, couples could frequently be seen on campus, and during school holidays, students would go dancing with their friends all night long. It was in a dance hall that I met the main female lead in this story. After dating for a while, she got pregnant and she decided right away to have an abortion. Somehow, I felt getting an abortion wasn’t right, and I even voiced my opposition. However, at my girlfriend’s insistence, I finally gave up and accompanied her to a hospital. In merely half an hour, a life was terminated. While I was waiting for my girlfriend, I felt as if a knife were piercing my heart and I was in such agony. I felt terribly ashamed and guilty about the lost life. All this happened in April of 1989; I couldn’t believe that as a student less than twenty years old, I did a terrible thing and brought a life into the world, then ignorantly deprived him of the right to live!
It was about the sixth night after the abortion that I dreamed about a little boy. He stared at me fiercely, with a knife in his hand. Suddenly, he thrust the knife at my neck, leaving a very deep cut. In the dream, I covered my neck with my hand, and I woke up from the pain. I knew in my heart that it was the aborted child who came for revenge! From then on, I often woke up from stomach-aches around four o'clock in the morning, and my health started to decline. I also got more and more irritable to the point that I frequently wanted to hit my girlfriend. At that time, I didn’t understand why my body and mind became like that. It was not until I took refuge with the Venerable Master Hua that I realized how terrible abortion was. I tried my best to repent and reform, bow to the Buddhas, recite Sutras and Mantras, and cultivate various merits and virtues. I only hope that “the child” would forgive me.
My retribution came ten years – I was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors found a malignant tumor about four centimeters in my neck, the place where the child wounded me in my dream. Although I seemed to be cured after the operation, I continue to cultivate diligently and transfer the resulting merits to the child, in the hope that I can make up for my big mistake.
At the time of the abortion, we were young and ignorant. We would not have made such a mistake if the society and schools held us to stricter standards, the prohibition on dancing was not lifted, we had more education on morality, or my girlfriend and I acted with propriety. In fact, in a couple, it doesn’t matter whether it’s the man or the woman who acts with propriety. Only one of them needs to insist on maintaining purity and a mistake would be prevented.
By sharing my experience, I wish to remind everyone to follow the moral standards on premarital relationship, and don’t commit the karmic offenses of sexual misconduct and killing. More importantly, I wish to encourage young people to learn how to control their desires, concentrate on their studies, and be mindful of the admonitions from their teachers and elders. Sometimes we think those admonitions are old wives’ tales and ignore them, feeling that we can manage everything just fine. Actually, once a big mistake has been made, it is very difficult to correct. Don’t become someone like me, who carries an unshakeable sense of shame and guilt for the rest of his life.
We still have a long way to go on our life’s journey. Therefore, we should stay calm when sudden urges arise. Don't think abortion is a mistake that only a woman can make. A man is also responsible and will experience the retribution as well. I sincerely wish that all of us will work together to provide more education and assistance to young people. I also wish that young people will quickly wake up from their confused dreams, and not let the mistake happen again!