Friday, October 17, 2014

Last Words Of An Old Man (老人的遗言)

I have many times requested to perform ‘phowa’ (破瓦) or transference of consciousness (迁识) for the dying. This is the vow that I made to my guru rinpoche before he taught me the phowa ritual. Normally I only serve the poor and those who are willing to accept phowa method as a means of deliverance.


My guru’s idea is pretty simple:


“You must see how people die only then you can die properly.”


It is certainly true that Asian people don’t like to talk about death compared to the Tibetan. Consequently, when I stand in front of a dying person; it is not the dying that I need to console, but the dependents.


Just too many times that I see rich and highly educated people crying and moaning at the sick bead; there are also people bugging before the sickbed wanting to know where the old pa has kept all his money… and yet there are people arguing about which religious rituals to follow so as to create more merits etc. People would argue furiously even up to a stage that no one aware that the poor pa has long passed away.


On the other hand, the lesser well to do folks are more peaceful as most of them have accepted their fates and they are more willing to let the nature to take its courses. This also makes my work easier too.


People are afraid of dying, especially the old folks. Many times, I have to assure them that they are okay and healthy and that what they need is to have a strong fate. There is one old hawker whom I respected very much because of what he said before he passed away.


As usual, I was called to the sickbed of the old man. He was just lying peacefully in the bed. All his dependents were at his bed weeping and kept asking the pa, the husband not to leave them and go. They held the old man’s hands and shake his shoulders until one point; the old man opened his eyes and uttered his final words:




“Regardless if we had good time or otherwise together;

there is no need to repeat what we have gone through in the next life.”


After he has said these words, I quickly asked the old man to think of Amitabah and then made a short supplication to the lineage gurus. As soon as the old man’s head dropped; I shouted: “Hi! Phat!” and the old man had gone for good.


The old man’s last words have echoed in my mind for a very long time: indeed it is our urge to ‘repeat’ what we had missed in this life that causes us to be trapped in this cycle of birth and rebirth. I am sure that this old man was the reincarnation of a Bodhisattva as his final words indicated he has hidden wisdom more than that of an ordinary monk!

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