Upasaka Ng Kok Chong had a very unpleasant childhood. He was born in a little village in Singapore in 1960. Being the youngest in a family of six, he has three older sisters and two older brothers. Due to some superstitious belief that he would bring bad luck to his family, he was given away to a relative when he was a child. However, he was returned to his family when his relative also feared that he would bring bad luck to him too.
He only had a few years of education for he was sent out to work at an early age. Eventually, he became a taxi driver. All these years, he has been trying to discover the cause of his misfortunes. He sought advice from many teachers and unknowingly landed himself in heterodox sects. Fortunately, Upasaka Ng was an honest and upright person and was able to discern between right and wrong.
Because of his limited education, he resorted to using his listening skills to understand the Buddhadharma. He attended lectures delivered by Dharma Masters in the Chinese dialect Teochew and, in the process, learned how to read Chinese characters. Shortly afterwards, he realized that the ultimate truth was to be found in the
Shurangama Sutra. In the year 2000, while searching for the Chinese commentary of the
Shurangama Sutra, he was introduced to Buddhist Books Distribution Centre--Singapore (BBDC) by his friend’s sister.
Upon coming to BBDC he immediately placed an order for the 120 audio tapes of the
Shurangama Sutra lectures delivered by the Venerable Master Hua. After he had listened to all the tapes, he decided to join BBDC and to take part in the activities every Saturday and Sunday. In spite of his loss of income, he faithfully attended the weekend activities--bowing the Great Compassion and Flower Adornment Repentances, reciting the Conduct and Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, chanting the Shurangama Mantra, and reciting the
Amitabha Sutra and the Eighty-eight Buddha’s Repentance during evening recitation.
Although his business on weekdays was not that lucrative, he did not have any regrets at all. Upasaka Ng had tried to recite the Great Compassion Mantra for a long time without success. However, within a month of joining BBDC activities, he found to his surprise that he could memorize the whole Mantra. Following this, he tried memorizing the Shurangama Mantra and succeeded within the incredibly short period of three months.
At first, he devised his own phonetic symbols to aid his learning and sometimes stayed up till the early hours in the morning. On June 30, 2000, he went to Prajna Guanyin Sagely Monastery in Kuala Lumpur to receive the Three Refuges and Five Precepts and was given the Dharma name Chin Sheng. Afterwards he gave up smoking and became a vegetarian. A monk once told Upasaka Ng that he would become very rich one day. He had always wondered how a person like him could be rich. It was only recently that he realized he had struck it rich not in the material sense but in the Buddaharma.
At present he is learning how to play the Dharma instruments and occasionally he leads the Saturday afternoon Shurangama Mantra sessions or the evening recitations.
Upasaka Ng has chosen the Pure Land Dharma Door as his practice and he is cultivating diligently to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death in this lifetime. Encountering the orthodox Buddhadharma in this Dharma-ending Age is the most fortunate event that has happened to him.