1. Long ago there was an official who was a Buddhist and who sincerely recited the Dharma Flower Sutra...
He was able to memorize the first three and a half rolls of the seven-roll Sutra very quickly and without forgetting a single word. Yet he couldn't remember a word of the last three and a half rolls. Puzzled, he went to seek the advice of an enlightened Master.
This enlightened Master looked into the official's past lives and said to him:
2. "In your past life you were an ox who was sent to the monastery to be liberated."
"On the sixth day of the June, the Sutras in the monastery were set in the sun to air so that they would not become moldy or be eaten by worms. You happened to lumber over and sniff one of the copies of the Dharma Flower Sutra. But you only sniffed the first volume, and not the second. That's why you are able to memorize the first volume and not the second."
3. The official was still rather skeptical and asked if there was any proof of this.
4. The enlightened Master told him:
"Behind the monastery is the grave of the ox that was liberated here. It's written very clearly on white cloth. If you don't believe it, you may dig open the grave and see for yourself."
5. "How did I become a person?" asked the official.
"Through the merit you established by plowing the fields of the monastery and by sniffing the Dharma Flower Sutra, you have now been reborn as a human and have become a high official."
6. Hearing this, the official realized that cause and effect is not off by a bit. He redoubled his vigor in supporting Buddhism and making offerings to the Triple Jewel.