得每晚只睡一個小時－－從2:30 到 3:30，便趕緊起床上殿作早課。
的開示和佛書經典，並真誠地依教奉行；並在 1997 年受了五戒。
Upasaka Lim Teow Chuan (Dharma
name: Guo Chuan), is a retired official of the Malaysian government.
This year (1998) he led eleven fellow cultivators to attend the Jeweled
Repentance before Ten Thousand Buddhas. Having made the long journey,
it was a test of their stamina to participate in the entire session,
given the great variation in temperature between morning and evening at
the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. At the end of the Dharma session,
Upasaka Lim was all smiles, and it was clear that he was filled with
faith and Dharma bliss.
Special circumstances led Upasaka
Lim to take refuge with the Venerable Master. In 1988, while leading
his disciples on a Dharma tour in Asia, the Master was preparing to go
from Taiwan to Malaysia, but had not yet obtained a visa. At that
critical moment, a lawyer friend asked Upasaka Lim to help, since he
had worked in the immigration agency before and was then the chief
secretary of the vice-president of the Youth Culture and Physical
Education Department. Although Upasaka Lim was not yet the Master’s
disciple, he sent documents and met with immigration officials, with
the result that the visa was granted within a week’s time.
“Really, I should have taken
refuge with the Venerable Master then. It’s too bad I didn’t recognize
what kind of man was in front of me, and only took refuge four years
later (1992).” He had already met and talked with the Master, yet he
missed his opportunity. Upasaka Lim recounted this incident with a sigh.
However, he believes that he did
plant good roots then; the time just wasn’t ripe yet. “To be frank, I
was not that interested in Buddhism then. I was just doing a favor for
a friend, nothing more.”
It just so happened that when
Dharma Master Heng Sure led a delegation to Malaysia in 1992, the group
also had problems going through customs. By then Upasaka Lim was
working in the Printing Bureau. The organizing committee for the
delegation, a new group whose members did not know Upasaka Lim,
suddenly showed up at his door and asked for his help again; and the
delegation obtained visas without problem.
Upasaka Lim could not figure it
out: Why was it that both times when the Master or his disciples came
to Malaysia and had difficulty at the customs, he was called upon? He
did not even know the organizers of the visit, and he himself had
already changed jobs. He concluded that perhaps there were past
affinities which he could not escape, so he had better return to the
ranks, take refuge with the Triple Jewel, and become the Master’s
“If you want to be good, karmic
obstacles will seek you out. If you want to become a Buddha, you must
first endure the demons.” A few days after he took refuge, the demons
showed up. One night when he went out to get gas, an old woman stepped
into the road in front of him and asked for a ride. Upasaka Lim said he
was only going a short distance to get gas. The woman refused to get
out of the way, however, so finally he let her get into the car.
As soon as she entered the car,
Upasaka Lim smelled a foul odor and could hardly breathe. She also
started to make a lot of vulgar gestures and said suggestively, “Don‘t
worry, I don’t have a husband.” Her words gave Upasaka Lim the
goosebumps, and he was sure that she was a demon. He started to shiver
in fear. He had only recently taken refuge, and had not even learned to
recite any mantra to help him out.
Fortunately he had a flash of
inspiration and started to recite “Namo Amitabha Buddha” without
thinking. As soon as he recited, the foul smell disappeared and the
woman stopped making vulgar gestures. But when he stopped reciting, she
began moving her hands and feet again, and so he immediately resumed
the recitation. After battling like this for five minutes, she finally
got out of the car, saying to him, “You are a good person, and your
life will be good.” She then got out and he never saw her again.
From that evening on, Upasaka Lim
often mumbled in his sleep. His wife, who had taken refuge with the
Venerable Master in 1988, begged the Master to save him. When the
disciple was in trouble, how could the teacher stand by and watch? The
Master asked Upasaka Lim to come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
The demon came with him, and was outside his window for thirteen nights
in a row; it seemed as if he was trying to break the door down with a
hammer.Upasaka Lim was so fraught with anxiety that he only slept one
hour each night--from 2:30 to 3:30 a.m., before getting up for morning
On the 14th day, the Venerable
Master came to the Buddha Hall and tapped Upasaka Lim on the head three
times, saying to him, “You’re fine now, you can go home.” From that
time on, there were no more problems. Strange, isn’t it?
All these trials and tribulations
inspired Upasaka Lim’s interest in the Buddhadharma and faith in the
Venerable Master. He knew that he had found a great and wise teacher.
He became increasingly vigorous in cultivation, studied and practiced
in accord with the Master’s instructional talks and the Buddhist
Sutras, and received the five precepts in 1997.
The Venerable Master has said that
ghosts, demons, and monstrous beings are particularly numerous in
Southeast Asia. As a government official, Upasaka Lim was often sent to
the countryside. Sometimes at midnight he would be driving on roads
where few people ever went, and some strange things would happen. He
has been caught in sudden downpours that only hit the front of his car;
no rain fell on either side, but he could not see through the front
windshield. In such situations, he would switch on the tape of the
Shurangama Mantra, and after a few minutes the rain would stop and he
would be able to see the road clearly again.
One time when he was staying in a
rural inn, he forgot to wear the miniature copy of the Shurangama
Mantra. In the middle of the night, a ghost came to bully him, pressing
itself on Upasaka Lim’s body and immobilizing him. It was as if his
hands and feet were tied up, and he could not even open his mouth to
shout for help. He felt extremely uncomfortable, as if his guts were
about to burst. This is the kumbhanda ghost (winter melon ghost)
described in the Shurangama Sutra. It has no hands or feet, and it’s
body is shaped like a barrel or winter melon.
Upasaka Lim struggled for a long
time before the ghost finally let him go. He immediately got out of
bed, took the Shurangama Mantra booklet, and put it in his pajama
pocket. Then he feigned sleep and waited eagerly to see what would
happen when the ghost returned. Before he fell asleep, the ghost did
return to attack him. It pressed the Upasaka’s body lightly, also
pressing the mantra, and was at once thrown up into the air as if it
had hit a land mine. Upasaka Lim was wide awake, for he had been
waiting to watch the Dharma-contest.
From then on, Upasaka Lim always
slept with the Shurangama Mantra whenever he went out. For six years,
he has slept peacefully without any disturbance.
Upasaka Lim has also used the
Great Compassion Mantra and water over which the Mantra has been
recited to save his dying pet dog. Two years ago, he mistakenly used
kerosene to bathe the little dog, hoping to get rid of its lice. After
the dog had been soaked in kerosene for a little while, it could no
longer stand up. The dog shut its eyes and was barely breathing.
The vet examined the dog and said
that the kerosene had penetrated the skin through some wounds and had
already entered the bloodstream, poisoning the blood. He said the dog
would die within three hours and there was nothing he could do.
Upasaka Lim had no choice but to
bring the dog home. His family prayed to Guanyin Bodhisattva to help
the dog. By then foam was coming out of its mouth, and it could not
move, eat, or drink. His family recited the Great Compassion Mantra 108
times over water, and then placed the water drop by drop into the dog’s
closed mouth. They also made a vow on behalf of the dog, saying that if
it lived, it would be vegetarian for the rest of its life.
On the third day, a miracle
happened. A breeze blew over the unconscious dog, and it suddenly
started vomiting. Then it got up on its feet. A week later it was fully
recovered. The week after that, it completely shed all of its fur and
turned into an ugly, bald little dog. A few weeks after that, it grew
new fur. The dog began to eat vegetarian food and often sat at the door
listening to the family recite Sutras and do the morning and evening
recitations, as if it also wished to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate
The great mantra of great
penetrates heaven and earth.
One hundred recitations for one thousand days
causes ten kings to rejoice.
Its great compassion and kindness
cure all disease;
And so an announcement is projected high
upon the offense screen.
This verse composed by the
Venerable Master describes the miraculous functioning of the Great
Compassion Mantra. If one recites it 108 times every day, the ten King
Yamas will utter joyful praise. Curing illness, prolonging life, and
reviving the dead are some of its small functions. Liberating one from
birth and death and bringing one to Buddhahood are the great functions
of the Great Compassion Mantra.
All good and wise advisors: Please
do not consider Upasaka Lim’s experiences to be simply bizarre ghost
stories. We must have the Dharma-selecting vision to be able to
distinguish true from false principle. “If it is the Way, then advance.
It if is not the Way, then retreat.” I urge everyone to heed these