CASE STUDYPlaying with Fireเรียบเรียงจากรายการโรงเรียนอนุบาลฝันในฝันวิทยา ทาง DMCI pay my highest respect to you, Luang Phaw.I am a Dream in Dream Kindergarten student who was introduced to the Dhammakaya Temple because of my occupation as a journalist.
In 1999, I was asked to do a news report on the Dhammakaya Temple. The atmosphere during that time was very serious because there were many negative news reports against the temple. It seemed suspicious to people. Different media such as television, radio, and newspapers broadcasted news continuously for many months. When I first came to do a news report, the relationship between the staff and journalists were as if we were enemies until one of the staff said to me, “Why do you keep interrupting my work? We have never met before. Why do we have to hate each other?” These words made me think, step back and start again with a different attitude.
I remember when I was an editing assistant. During that time, I had the opportunity to tag along on a news report with a senior editor. Journalists called him, “Dhammakaya Temple follower.” I thought that he probably could give me some information about the Dhammakaya Temple because a person with such a high rank should have reason and would not be so ignorant to be easily fooled by the temple. In addition, he even advertised that he was a Dhammakaya Temple follower as others called him. He risked his reputation while the temple was facing many negative news reports. He must have a profound relationship with the temple. I felt as if I were a detective.
So I contacted this person. After I talked to him about the Dhammakaya Temple, I got some information. But to gain more insight, he suggested that I verify the truth myself. I thought that if I came as a journalist, I would not get to the core of the truth. Therefore, I came as an undercover, as if I were an ordinary person, to investigate the truth. I started coming as a layperson many times for a long time. The more I came, the more I truly know, see and understand what the temple is doing. As time goes on I began to value and admire Luang Phaw’s goal in dedicating his life to Buddhism and everyone in the world. I see Luang Phaw has done great things. I attest as a journalist that I did not exaggerate. But there are many people who did not understand, and said bad things about the temple, although they never investigated the truth by going to the temple. This is a burden in spreading Buddhism. Since we are Buddhists, why don’t we go to the temple? Our Thailand has many temples. Let us go to the temple; it does not matter which one. If you do not know which temple to go to, you are welcome to come to the Dhammakaya Temple.
I want everyone who is listening to my story to think together that, if there is one temple that steps in to help solve societal problems, intends to bring world peace to everyone, if this temple is not perfect in some aspects, since we are one human being who wants to see a better society, why don’t we come in and help? We should help fill in what the temple is missing. We should help support what is already good. We should expand the benefits to the maximum level. I think that would be better than trying to catch small mistakes and then blow it out of proportion, so that everyone in the country loses their faith in Buddhism.
Today, I understand why the temple has to use a lot of money. In truth, if the temple were to work at the international level, the money that is donated every day is still too little.
After I knew the truth about the temple, I began thinking in a new way. I began to present news about Buddhism that was true and in good light. I became a good Buddhist, practicing Luang Phaw’s teachings, and helping Luang Phaw spread Buddhism. Later, I had the DMC satellite dish installed. It made me appreciate dhamma better and learn about the truth of life. My life has improved. I have happiness, peace and more patience. I have received the best of what Luang Phaw has given.
Now I perform my duty as a kalyanamitta inviting people in the journalism industry to go to the temple.
I have a lot of freedom in my life because I am not married, do not have children or a family. But I work very hard and do not have much time. A fortune teller once told me that I will not have just one job; I will have two jobs. This is true because during the day, I work as a news editor, and at night I have a radio show to help society, and then arrive at home at 1 AM. And I still have other side jobs. The reason I work very hard is so that I can use the money from this area to make a lot of merit.
My younger sister was pretty and lovely. From the time she was very young, she never had any health problems. But when she was 18 years old, she suddenly had a stomach ache. We later found out that she was in the final stage of intestinal cancer. She underwent 2 operations after we found out she had cancer and could only live for another 6 months. The last day before she died, she dreamt that four men dressed in black came to visit her. The next morning, she passed away.
My father is the only child in his family. He does not have any brothers or sisters because his mother died when he was young. When he got older, he liked gambling, both in horse-racing and boxing. At some point, he even brought a boxer home to take care of him for a while. And because of his gambling problem, he and my mother argue frequently about him taking money to gamble. Luckily enough, although he is addicted to gambling, our family never went into debt because of it. That is because my mother controls the money in our house. She reluctantly gives him money according to the allowance she sets aside. Although he gambles, he has been a good father to me. He never stopped me from making merit or going to the temple. And when I was young, he encouraged me to study Buddhism every Sunday at Wat Mahadhatu.
I love both of my nieces very much. The older one is 5 years old, and younger one is 2 years old. When I come to the temple and if it is convenient for me, I will invite them to come along. Since I had them watch DMC, they know and understand more about merit and kamma. They have the opportunity to offer alms in the morning and drop money into their money jar every day to use it for making merit in the future. I feel that they are very lucky children to have the opportunity to learn how to walk the path of merit at such a young age.
I would like to ask Luang Phaw the following questions:
1. What kammic retribution caused me to work with journalists in this life and also like working in this occupation? Do I have enough merit to reach the highest position in this occupation and be more well-known than I am right now?
2. What are the kamma results for those who intentionally distort news about Buddhism even though they know it is not true? What are the kamma results for those who do not intentionally distort news about Buddhism and really do have a misunderstanding about Buddhism, but still cause harm to Buddhism? How will both of these people receive their kammic retribution, and how are the two different?
3. In the case where a monk does act truly incorrectly, how should I present this news so that it is appropriate and correct? Will a journalist receive kammic retribution for presenting this news and how, if any?
4. What kammic retribution do journalists have with our group if they do not like our temple and verbally attack our temple? Why did they verbally attack our temple in this life and what must I do so that journalists can understand our temple?
5. What merit caused my younger sister to be pretty and what kammic retribution caused her to have intestinal cancer and a short life? Why did she dream of 4 people dressed in black? Who are those 4 people? Where did she go after she died? Has she received the merits I dedicated to her? Does she have any messages for me?
6. What kammic retribution caused my father to be addicted to gambling and my mother to have a husband who is addicted to gambling? My parents frequently argue. Is it because they sought revenge with each other from their past lives? How can I stop my father’s gambling and both my parent’s arguments? Have they both pursued perfections with the group in their past lives?
7. What merit caused my 2 nieces to pursue perfections from a young age? How have they pursued perfections with the group in their past lives?
8. What relationship do the senior editor and I have with each other from our past lives? In this life, why was he my kalyanamitta? And in his last life, how did he pursue perfections with the group?
9. When the fortune teller told me I must do two jobs, it really happened. I must work so hard that I barely have any time for myself. Is it because of kammic retribution? And because I must find a side income to do merit, will the fruits of the merit be different from those who work one job and gradually collect money to make merit? If so, how?
10. In this life, what merit made me practice celibacy, study Buddhism on Sundays from the time when I was very young, and not have anyone stop me from coming to the temple or obstruct me from making merit?
Why is it that the reason why I started coming to the temple is not the same as anyone else’s? It began from coming to find news during the time when the temple was experiencing much negative news. Why is it that before a large merit ceremony, I tend to dream of Luang Pu in the morning? How have I accumulated merits with the group in my past lives? What duty did I perform? Have I attained my dhammakaya before?
11. I dream of being a spokesperson for the temple, to correct the news for the group. Do I have enough merit do this successfully? Have some of the co-workers at the 2 places I work at, pursued perfections with the group or have a path of merit, in their past lives? I will perform the duty of kalyanamitta continuously. How successful will I be?
Dream in Dream
Close your eyes and dream. Wake up (and yawn once). And I bring a tale to tell you.
1. You must work with journalists and you like to work in journalism because in your past life, in the life you were a man, you had been an officer of a region or state. You performed the duty of announcing official news. But in that era, there were no technological advances like in this era. The authorities had their officers, like you, to announce official news for the people to know in many locations, and you have done so for many lifetimes. Thus, you have a habit of doing this.
- In that life, you became the councilor who overlooked the news for the king in that region, which was the highest position for news occupations.
- In this life, you must struggle against many obstacles, with the will of your merit from your past lives and current life, and you will reach a higher level than this.2. Those who intentionally offer distorted news about Buddhism even though they know it is not true, and those who do it unintentionally but misunderstand it but still cause harm to Buddhism in the same way, will receive the following kammic retribution.
- The first kind will have heavier kamma because they have strong ill intent, which will make them go to the 4th Major Hell. The denizens of hell will distort their bodies, pull up their skins, and then use a hot, metal pen to write on their skins. Or the letters they used to distort the truth will fall on them like rain. They will be in pain and suffering. For details, you should study the miniseries about those who have kammic retribution in distorting the truth.
- The second group of people will have less kammic retribution. For example, they will only go down to the Purgatory in the 4th Major Hell.
- The officers of hell will punish them similarly to the first group in the 4th Major Hell. But it will lighter. For details, you should study the miniseries.3. In the case where a monk has truly acted inappropriately, what you should do is not present the news for the general public to hear. But you should have the sangha (monk) community, which is already governed by laws and the monastic discipline, take the steps to correct it appropriately. Presenting news about monks is a delicate issue that may destabilize the people’s faith in Buddhism. Also, religion is the foundation for all institutions in the country.
- When journalists make news about this and spread it, they will receive kammic retributions based on the strength of their intent. For example, even if it may be true and written truthfully, it will destabilize the Buddhist people’s faith. Those who do this kind of news will have kammic retribution, that is, in their next life, other people will look for mistakes in them. If there is a small mistake, it will look large. They will be reprimanded and criticized. And in this life, their minds might become sorrowful, so they might go to an undesirable place after they die.
- For those who make news with little truth, but they expand their story until people’s faith in Buddhism decreases, they will have more kammic retribution. The details are in the miniseries for the 4th Major Hell.4. Journalists who do not like the temple and verbally attack the temple, some of them have sought revenge from their past lives, because in the cycle of rebirth people still have defilements. If evil ways enter their minds, they will exploit each other.
- Therefore, for some people, it is their old kamma from seeking revenge, but there are few. For the most part, it is new kamma which they perform in this life, because evil ways have entered their minds to perform evil actions against the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha.
- To make journalists understand the Dhammakaya temple, you should have them open their minds widely and not close their minds. And have them prove it for themselves, just like you have done. You are a good example.5. Your younger sister was pretty but had intestinal cancer and a short life because in her past life, your sister made merit by offering flowers to pay respect to the Buddha, with a faithful mind. This merit sent its effects with beauty.
- But she had kammic retribution from another life when she was a man. She had been an officer of a king and captured a prisoner. She ordered her subordinates to slit the prisoner’s stomach, even though he was still alive, pull his intestines out, and leave it in a pile outside his body, so that the prisoner would suffer and die slowly.
- When she dreamt of 4 people dressed in black, it was her vision, showing she was going to die soon. The officers came to take her.
- When she first died, she was reborn as an earth sprite, at a good level, with the merit she made in Buddhism from the time she was young. Afterwards, she received the merits that you dedicated to her, but it was not very much. Then, it was time for her to be reborn as a human. She was reborn as a young girl not too long ago. So, she does not have any messages for you.6. Your father was addicted to gambling because he associated with fools. In his past life, he had been a gambler and in his present life, he associated with fools again, which is why he fell into this cycle again.
- Your mother has a husband who is addicted to gambling because she had accumulated merits with your father in her past lives and made a wish to be husband-wife in this life. So, they met again and became husband-wife, just like in their last life, because of the merits they did together. But your mother did not have this kammic retribution. It is only your father who has the habit of gambling from his past life. That is why the coupled life is like this.
- Both your parents argue a lot because your father likes and your mother dislikes your father’s gambling, because they have to lose a lot of money unnecessarily.
- To correct this, you should persuade him to leave these fools and invite him to enter the temple, like he had invited you to go to the temple when you were little. This will make him be in the circle of kalyanamitta. And you should invite him to go up and meditate to build a bright path for him in the last part of his life. This will make him better. But you must have endurance and be patient.7. Your 2 nieces pursued perfections from when they were very young because they have merit from associating with wise people in their past lives. And they made wishes when they made merit in Buddhism, to pursue perfections with the group from a young age.
- They have pursued perfections with the group as supporters, and have done it regularly for many lives now.8. You and the senior editor have a relationship from your past lives of being an uncle and a nephew. What happened was, in the last Buddhist era, he had been a government official at the level of “Minister,” who received his position from the father of the king who ordained.
- And in that life, you had been his nephew, but lived in another kingdom. Afterwards, when the king ordained, your uncle had all his children, nieces, and nephews serve the king and all those who ordained with him.
- And you had the faith to ordain for a short period with the group. Afterwards, you had disrobed because you were worried your girlfriends. And you had performed the duty of kalyanamitta to those with merit in your kingdom, so that they would give, observe the precepts, and meditate.
- The senior editor had been a supporter of the group for many lives now, by supporting the group fully and his past meditation experiences were good enough to make it to Tusita heaven.
9. The fortune teller said that you have to work 2 jobs, and that really happened. You had to work so hard you barely have any time for yourself. You do not have any kammic retribution though. You are an active person and do not really know how to stay still.
- It is not just 2 jobs like the fortune teller said. But in reality, you really want to do a lot of work so that you would make money and so that you would be a benefit to society.
- When you look for a side income so that you can make merit, it is not different from those who work one job. But what is necessary is that the money that they earn must come from an honest occupation.10. In this life, you practice celibacy, you studied Buddhism every Sunday since you were young, and once you entered the temple, no one stopped you or prevented you from making merit, because in your past life, you have a lot of merit in inviting others to do good deeds in both giving, observing precepts, and meditating. Also, you made wishes to study dhamma from a young age. Therefore, when the merits sent its fruits, it allowed you to study dhamma from a young age and enter the temple conveniently.
- You practice celibacy in this life because in the last Buddhist era when you were a man, you had many girlfriends. But you became bored of it when you were older and were not able to do anything. So, you thought that in your next life, you did not want this type of life anymore. But you should not be careless because you are still young and not unattractive either.11. Your entrance to the temple is not like anyone else’s, that is, you came to find news during the time when the temple had much negative news. You do not have any kammic retribution because in each lifetime, the circumstances of being introduced to the temple are different. Some lives are similar. Other lives are not similar. It is just in this life, that you were a journalist when the temple was being misunderstood. So, you came to perform your duty. But you have merit and wisdom, and old merit that you have made with the group, which is why you understood easier than others.
- Before large merit ceremonies, you tend to dream of Luang Pu in the morning because, your mind is thinking of good thoughts, so you had visions that made you see a great teacher. Also, in the past, you had a path of merit with him and the group.
- You have pursued perfections with the group for many lives, as I have mentioned, as a supporter, and performed duties of spreading the teachings. You persuaded people to pursue perfections with the group, and had a good enough meditation experience to return to the special merit circle of Tusita heaven.12. You dream of being a spokesperson for the temple, so that you can correct news for the group. You have enough merit to do this. But do not rush. Your mind must be calm, patient, and you must have endurance. And you must have an art in correcting news so that it is accurate.
- There are many co-workers at both of your workplaces that have a path of merit with the group. But you must be patient and use art in persuading them to do good deeds. And you already have the habit and perfection of doing this from your previous life. You can do it if you do it.
- You meet with the group again in this life. You should strongly intend to pursue perfections fully in every merit and make wishes to follow the group to the special merit circle of Tusita heaven, in the Bodhisattava area. Do not allow yourself to stray.