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Blog » Sweet Dews Of Dharma Talks » 2009 » Blessings Are Planted Ourselves

Blessings Are Planted Ourselves 2013-01-10


A Dharma talk given by DM Heng Rung
English Translation by Lotus Lee


Now I am going to tell a story. I believe that after you have heard it, you will become even more rigorous in supporting Gold Sage Monastery’s reconstruction. 

When the Buddha was in the world, there was a temple in the mountains. It was the home of many left-home people. Every day they chanted sutras, recited mantras and transferred the merit to all living beings. One day, 500 monkeys who also lived in the mountain went to the temple to see what the monks were doing. They saw the monks bowing to the Buddha. Everyone knows that monkeys are very good at imitating people. They went home and, using sand and dirt, they made their own little temple, complete with a miniature Buddha statue. After it was done, they bowed to the Buddha every day just like the monks did, muttering and mumbling all the while. Perhaps they were trying to recite Amitabha’s name or Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s name. The monkeys even learned to do the meal offering ceremony, picking wild fruit and offering it the way the monks did. The 500 monkeys entertained themselves like this every day. One night a storm came, and all the monkeys drowned in a huge mudslide. Because of the blessings the monkeys accumulated from building a stupa and bowing to the Buddha, they were all reborn in the heavens.  
These 500 heavenly people knew that they were monkeys in their previous life. It was because of the merit and virtue they had accumulated as monkeys by bowing to and making offerings to the Buddha that they were able to be reborn in the heavens, so they returned to the bodies on the mountainside and scattered flowers over them to show gratitude. 
Everyone might think, “After these 500 monkeys accumulated so much merit and virtue, why were they still drowned in the mudslide?” In order to answer this question, we have to go back to the past lives of these monkeys. In their previous lives, they were 500 Brahmans. One time they were traveling in the mountains and happened to see a Bhikshu building a stupa. Since he was working alone, he was very efficient, and seemed to be everywhere at once, getting water or digging the soil. When the 500 Brahmans saw how fast and efficiently he was working, they became jealous and mocked him, saying, “That Bhikshu looks like a monkey when he works. If a mudslide comes he will definitely be drowned.” For that, these 500 Brahmans were reborn as monkeys in their next life and were drowned in a mudslide. 
Let’s think about it. The 500 monkeys built a stupa and bowed to the Buddha for fun, and were reborn in the heavens. Just now Dharma Master Yun was speaking about Gold Sage Monastery’s reconstruction project. We should all ask ourselves, “What can I do to help?” A reward is not important. As long as you do your best, the blessings will be yours to keep. The reconstruction project is truly immense. When construction starts, all of the flowers, trees, and rocks that live in Gold Sage Monastery’s expanse property will have to be moved. We need every bit of help we can get. Let’s all pitch in and do everything we can so the project will proceed smoothly and complete according to plan.