Role Reversal

My husband had to become a househusband and look after our son whereas I became a breadwinner. My husband loves the family very much.As he felt so ashamed he did all the chores including washing clothes, cooking and minding our child. I felt nothing for him.

Dhamma Articles > Case studies
[ Feb 2nd, 2006 ] - [ read : 15251 ]
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Role Reversal
Dear most respected Luang Phaw
I am a student of the dream in dream kindergarten via the downdham satellite. I have six siblings. I am the fourth child. I have three elder brothers and two younger sisters. Our family has been pursing perfection with the community as my youngest sister has been our kalyanamittata.
My younger sister joined the temple since she was a student at Ramkhamheng university.
She was an officer in the Dhammavari division in 1984. Later in 1987 she joined the temple’s sixth training of volunteer kalyanamittata program she then urged everyone in the family to join in making merit with the community ever since.    
Father was quite slow and unorganized but he was kind and didn’t drink alcohol.  However, he smoked cigarettes every day since he was a teenager. Father was an easygoing person and never objected to anyone in merit making. Whoever invited him to make merit, he would regularly make it with much or little contribution.
And I used to bring father to Wat Phra Dhammakaya and to the meditation retreat at Suan Bua, Chiangmai province once. When he turned seventy two he suffered from lung cancer.
During his stay in the hospital my younger sister who was an upasika at the temple was taking care of him. Father felt uncomfortable and could hardly breathe. My younger sister gave him your meditation guidance tapes to listen to through the ear phone. He then slowly calmed down.
On father’s last day, my second brother took turn to take care of him and didn’t let him listen to the tapes. Father died of lung cancer at the age of seventy-four.
My parents were selling soft furnishing materials, beddings. My mother mostly managed the business. She was diligent. She minded the children and did all the household chores.
Mother was virtuous and when she made merit or when she was to offer things to monks, she would regularly make them herself and offer more delicate things to monks than the ones she used herself.
Mother joined in making merit with Wat Phra Dhammakaya since the kathina ceremony to buy the land at 62.50 Bahts a square meter.
Most of the time she went to the retreat at the temple in Samutsakorn province, she came to Wat Phra Dhammakaya only for big ceremonies. Towards the end of her life, she chanted and meditated every night. She said she saw herself looking very radiant meditating in her stomach.
She meditated every day continuously for two years. Later she had a headache, blurred vision, couldn’t walk straight and vomited. She was taken to a hospital and was diagnosed as having a brain tumor and had to have an operation.
Mother was much concerned about the eldest and the third brothers because they tended to disagree about the inheritance and the third brother had incurred lots of debts.
But as my younger sister who joined Wat Phra Dhammakaya already at that time talked mother out of worries and concern about her children, mother then meditated every day before the operation.  

After the operation, mother had to stay in the ICU and had to rely on the breathing device and nobody was allowed to visit her. My eldest brother was very worried about mother and had discussed with the doctor asking permission to visit mother. The doctor allowed him to do so. 
Brother told mother to meditate while lying. Mother laid still as if she was unconscious for about seven days, mother passed away on Sunday, 1st January 2004 at the age of sixty- three. No one had seen her last moment.
My husband is a nice person but had little education and not very intelligent. His father died when he was two years old, he lived with his mother. They didn’t have a house of their own. They had to live with someone else in a sugar factory.
His mother got a job, climbing the coconut trees to collect sugar from coconuts to make palm sugar.
Once she was climbing a coconut tree she inadvertently dropped the knife, which nearly hit his head, but he escaped, still it pierced his left foot and left him with a mark till today.
When my husband was about five to six years old, he was very naughty. His mother used to tie him to a tree and made him inhale chili grilled in a coconut shell until he choked.
When he turned seven, he had to live at a temple as monks’ attendant and lived on the leftovers. He studied at the temple’s school and took care of himself at a tender age.
He used to suffer from scabies and his body was covered with pus until his temple’s friends refused to get close to him. The abbot of the temple used to cover his body with clay rich in alumina. He gradually recovered.
When he was fourteen years old, he worked in a cord factory and he used to sleep in the plant, which was covered with engine oil.  I felt very sorry for him.
Then he worked in an ice-cream factory but earned little money which couldn’t meet his ends. He had to eat ice-cream for food and slept in the factory.
At the age of sixteen he worked as a crew in a fishing boat in Mahachai district with a better income (around five to six thousand Bahts) he let his mother use his salary. Whereas himself while at sea used his share of money from selling fish that the boat owner gave to him. Each time he spent fifteen days in the sea until the boat reached Singapore and stayed on land for two days and went back to the sea for another fifteen days. He did that for about five years.
When he turned twenty-one he was recruited as a seaman in the Navy in Chandaburi province.
During his days off (he was in the navy for two years) he helped my third brother selling materials and we met each other there. At that time I was in my first year at University.
After he was discharged from the Navy, he applied for a volunteer force and was employed as a public servant.
Due to his honesty he got to serve a senior officer  until I completed my studies. I worked for ten years and he still followed me regularly until I took pity of him and married him at the age of thirty-eight and he was thirty-nine years old. The senior officer whom he worked for had organized everything for us.
Then this senior officer had an overseas posting, my husband obviously lost his position but he still had some superannuation. It was the same time that my son was born.
My husband had to become a househusband and look after our son whereas I became a breadwinner. My husband loves the family very much.
As he felt so ashamed he did all the chores including washing clothes, cooking and minding our child. I felt nothing for him. Moreover, sometimes I felt irritated and angry with him when he did something I disliked. But he didn’t get angry and also told me to calm down.
I worked as a public servant in a government department. In my position, I received some bribe money of which my share in some months was more than my normal salary. This money had to be shared and passed onto the officers in charge who held higher status. This practice has been done for a long time even before I joined the public service. I used this money for the family’s needs and help many of my relatives.

1.What kammic retribution made my mother suffer from brain tumor? My mother meditated and saw herself, was it her refined body?
2. Mother meditated before the operation, had it helped her worry less?
3. While she was unconscious for seven days how did she feel? Was she mindful?
4.What was her vision? Where is she now? We dedicated merits to her, has she received them? Does she have any message for us? 
5.What kammic retribution made father suffer from lung cancer. Before death father didn’t listen to your Dhamma tapes, was his vision bright or dark?
6.Where is father at the moment? We dedicated merits to him, has he received them? Does he have any message for us? 
7.Father did not like the second brother who looked after him till his last moment, what was the kamma?
8.What kammic retribution does my husband have for him to have dull faculty, little education, hard time at a tender age,
9. was tied to a tree by his mother and had to inhale chili grilled in a coconut shell, had a knife dropped on his foot, had scabies until his body was covered with pus, currently he frequently suffered from pneumonia.
10. What meritorious deed made my husband became a royal page but lost his job because that senior officer had an overseas posting.
11.How did that senior officer relate to my husband as they were attached to each other like mother and son till this day?
12.How was my husband and I related that made my family life different to others i.e. my husband is a house husband?
13.and I am a bread winner and what kamma forced me to get very angry with him for no reason?. 
14.Will the bribe money from my work be sinful or not.  If it is, what is the retribution and if I used this money to make merit what will be the result?
15.At the moment I have to work very hard but the opportunity to gain supervisory position is rare because I have to have a circle of friends and network and there should be an exchange of favours.
16.What merit do I lack of that didn’t give me opportunity to gain the position?
17.My son is nine years old, what kammic retribution made him have allergies at this young age. He often sneezes and has runny nose. He is doing quite well in his studies but very naughty. He hardly sits still.
18.Even at the temple, he was told to meditate but he couldn’t sit for more than five minutes, what causes that? How can this be rectified? Does he have ordination merit?
19.My youngest sister pursues perfection at the temple for sometime but left to do business, did she pursue perfection with the community? Would she have opportunity to set herself up? 
21.How did my husband, my son and I make merit with the community? I make merit with faith but my mind was not quite happy, how could I rectify this?

  With my thank to most respected Phra Dej Phra Khun Luang Phaw
Luang Phaw's Dream
I closed my eyes, dreamed and woke up with these answers.
When you tell anybody the story like a tale, it will make anyone know more about retribution (Law of Kamma)

1.    Mother had brain tumor because of the kamma from killing animals for food in the past life such as “hitting fish head” came to fruition!
  • Mother used to see herself in meditation. Yes, that was actually her refine body!

  • The fact that mother meditated before the operation made her worry less!
  • While she was unconscious for seven days it was as if she was asleep.

  • Mother died like someone who fell asleep and woke up in the middle of a golden two storey mansion in the 3rd phase of Tavatimsa. She is an angel due to the merit she performed in Buddhism ever since. 
  • She has received the merit dedicated to her, this made her have more celestial wealth—she is smiling and look at the celestial wealth, she is very happy and has received all the merits dedicated to her!

2.    Father suffered from lung cancer due to the cigarettes smoking kamma in the present life mainly including the kamma from killing animals for food and for selling in the past life, came to fruition!


  • Father died with a bright vision, was reborn as an air sprite due to the merit you made for him and the merit he sometime performed including the merit dedicated to him. 
  • He said that he understood more about merit and demerit. He regretted that he made little merit but has received the merit dedicated to him!
3.    Father didn’t like the second brother but he looked after father in the last period of his life –Father didn’t really dislike him. Father loves all the children but this brother was quite naughty!
  • But he loves father and has gratitude as such he came to look after father. In addition in the past life he was father’s friend and used to support each other, they argued sometimes, reconciled other times. But in that life father supported him. Therefore he was born as father’s son. They didn’t have any kammic retribution with each other!

4.   Your husband has dull faculty, little education and had a hard time when young, his mother tied him to a tree and made him inhale chilies grilled in the coconut shell, was hit in the foot by a knife, had scabies until his body was covered with pus and often suffered from pneumonia. Because in the past life he was a wealthy but moody man.
  • When he was in the bad mood, he had a go at his children, grandchildren and his servants. He punished them by binding wrong doers and whipped them then he put chilies in the coconut shell, burned it and made them inhale until choke.
  • Sometimes when he got angry he would throw knife at them but they escaped so the knife hit their feet instead.

  • In addition he would swear at his servants and didn’t look after them well. He let them sleep in a moist place; pets also had the same treatments. This made him suffer from lung disease.
  • He also liked to drink alcohol before meals, this made him thick. His stinginess made him have a hard life when young!.

5.    Your husband served a senior officer well because of the merit he had from helping relatives in the life that he was a stingy wealthy man came to fruition.


  • Later he was unemployed because the senior officer had an overseas posting. This senior officer loved and was kind to him like mother and son because they help each other in this life and also in the past life when they were relatives.
6.    Your family is different to other families i.e. your husband had to do domestic chores on your behalf and you are the breadwinner because ---in the past life you were husband and wife. The wife liked to make merit by herself, whereas the husband only rejoiced in the merit. When these merits came to fruition the situation is as is now. In that life you were the wife of your husband was like this life!

  • You tend to get angry at him without any reason because of the past life’s kamma that he liked to release his anger by having a go at his children, relatives and servants in the life when he was a wealthy man, came to fruition and it is your new kamma to treat him like this because of exhaustion and stress from work. 
  • Therefore don’t do that to him, because he loves you and is a good house husband.
  • Be kind to each other and also this bad habit will not follow you into the next life, and if you do that often it will become your habit and you will be an irritable person.
7.  The bribe money that you got from your position will bring some kamma. Whenever the kamma comes to fruition there will be blood related disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) for instance.  But when combining with the killing kamma or intentionally committing fraud there would be cancer in the blood or bones cancer for instance.

  • If you make merit with this money, this merit will curtail some of the kamma but when the merit comes to fruition you will be wealthy but you will suffer from the above-mentioned diseases.    
  • Therefore you should accrue a lot of merit because it is hard to lead a pure and complete life like a cut diamond. On the mundane level, your life would be a mixture of merit and demerit!
8.    At the moment you work hard and the opportunity to gain a higher position is hard because your merit power is only at this level, as you just did it so.  
  • Don’t be discouraged; be diligent in accruing every merit with all your strength and resolve well. Set for the better in the next life because life span in this world is short for everyone.

9.    Your nine year old son suffers from allergies when young, tends to sneeze and has runny nose because in the past life when he was young he purposely harm animals i.e. sometimes he got small insects to fight such as crickets, sometimes he deliberately splash dogs and cats with water and sometimes he threw them into the water, for instance. This kamma comes to fruition!


  • He is doing quite well in his studies but couldn’t be still even at the temple because a child at this age is like this, which is better than a motionless child!

  • He has a short ordination merit. You should support him well!
10.    Your younger sister was pursuing perfection with the community for a while and left the temple to do business. She used to join in making merit with the community. In the last Buddha aeon she was a daughter of a good family, she had the habit of “being bored then wanted a change” for many lives.
  • When she was a householder and suffered then she felt sick of it and wanted to lead a celibate life but when she led a monastic life, she felt bored and wanted to be a householder like this!   
  • She has enough merit to keep herself well but if she is careless and does not accumulate more merit, she will be in a difficult situation when the merit she has is exhausted.    
11.    Yourself, your husband and son use to make merit with the community as a type of supporter in the provision division according to your mood. Sometime you would, sometime you wouldn’t

  • You make merit with faith but your mind is not joyful because you are used the habit of being irritable due to the stress from being a bread winner. You should rectify this quickly if not when the merit came to fruition it will not be powerful.
  • For, before you acquire any wealth, you would have to feel annoyed with something first! As you know this fact, you should keep your mind clear by meditating regularly.

  • As you’ve met the community, be determined to pursue perfection with all your strength in every merit and resolve to follow the community to Tusita (the 4th level of heaven), the special merit zone and never stray from it.

Case study in real life

The Law of Kamma (Pali:Compared to "Karma" in Sanskrit) segment or "Case Study" is one of the prominent sections on the Dream in Dream kindergarten program, conducted by the Venerable Phrarajbhavanavisudh, also known as, Luang Phaw Dhammajayo of the Dhammakaya Temple in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand.

Each individualized "Case Study" is based on the timeless Law of Kamma (the Law of Cause and Effect) which examines the reasons for many situations and complex inter-relationships people find themselves in. Viewers from around the world write personal letters to Luang Phaw wanting to understand the karmic reasons for many special circumstances in their life.

This program is not intended to convert anyone to Buddhism or any other religions persuasion. Rather the goal is to help spread genuine peace, happiness and understanding here in Thailand and around the world. By first discovering and cultivating inner peace within ourselves through meditation, we can help spread love and kindness outward, helping to make our world a better place for everyone.


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