The sincere advise from a cancer patient

Update: 08/05/2015
I was born in a small village in the north of An Huy province.

The sincere advise from a cancer patient

Basically, I was a docile, thrifty,  obedient, studious child, respecting elders and making concessions to his inferiors. My parents worked miserably hard to bring me up. When I grew up, I passed the entrance test of a university in Thanh Dao. As a result, I attended this school and left my native village and started the urban life ever since for 18 years long. On my college graduation, I worked for an automobile repair company. Thanks to my assiduousness and diligence as well as my studiousness, I gradually became a leader of this company.

In 2006 I quit work for the automobile repair company and thanks to my co-worker’s introduction, I was transferred to a service unit in Peiking where my accommodation expenses were paid by the unit or its customers. Thanks to this, in those years I travelled almost around the country and wherever I went to, I was treated with all kinds of delicacies. Roughly reckoning, each of my airplane ticket did not cost less than 100 thousands Chinese currencies, and each of the meals I was treated cost at some thousands. I was asked to stay in at least in three-star hotels, sometimes even in five-star ones. I am basically a very thrifty man, But as these expenditures were not paid by my own money, I did not realise that I was wasting money. Instead, I considered it my blessings and that was why I thought I should indulge in pleasure. As a result, I gained weight very rapidly  -  reaching up to 100 kilos. I did not think that I was spending money wastily, which was spoiling my very blessings!

In August, 2010 a thunder exploded right in the sky and this made me awake from my dream. It was that a medical examination showed that there was a scale cell epithelium tumour in my neck and in its final stage. Since then I had to start a very long treatment, from valency to  therapy and ordinary people could not understand the grief and suffering I had to bear. As a result, my weight lost gradually, from 100 kilos down to a little over 65 kilos.

In July 2011, when I came to Trung Son Hospital in Guangzhou Province for a check up on the reason why I had a permanent fever. The result from PET/CT (standing for Positron Emiision Tomography/Computed Tomography) returned me a verdict of death. It was because there was a big tumour of the size 8.5 cm x 9.2 cm on my diaphragm. It even injured my ribs, my waist and chest vertebrae  -  some of my lung areas were also injured. My treatment medical doctor said to me bitterly, “I’m sorry!” That means the doctor was not able to continue curing his patient who was me.

Returning to Thanh Dao, I started in vain the treatment called valency. So, I tried the treatment using one or many anti-cancer medicines aiming to stop the quick development of injured cells called radiation therapy.

But after three times with this treatment method, I failed to bear it. Up to now I cannot even sit up by my own force  -  my body is as thin as a rail.

On about the lunar October fornight I recalled that I had previously read some books on Buddhist Dharma. I then took refuge in Trinata and also started reflecting on myself what were the wrong things I had previously done. I realised that I had not done anything wrong to anyone, for I had been leading a thrifty life and behaving gratefully to old people, … So, why do I have to bear these consequences now?

Later, it was thanks to my Buddhist monk’s explanations that I understood that it was due to the slaughtering I did previously! In addition, the expenses I enjoyed in the past years had taken away my blessings. I now realise the proverb, “Once your blessings have ended, you have to die!”

In his sutras the Buddha has taught us, “All such the false view of things made are real as dream, delusion, foam and bubble  -  all are like a flash light”. Looking back to my life, I realise that it was nothing but a dream to me. When I was struggling for life, it was a tired dream; when I got married and had my chidren and got promotion to higher ranks as well as prosperity, these were my best dreams; when I contracted a cancer and was mistreated by diseases, I had the suffering dream. Buddha is a honest being who has never told lies. Each word and each sentence in Buddha’s sutras all open to us the universal truth, even in the ten dharma worlds. At this moment, when I am going to end my life, is there anything I possibly take with me? The answer is, “Nothing but my karma!” All the tangible things I have collected during my wordly life cannot be taken with me, even my wife and my houses, money, etc. In short, all the things I have striven very hard during my wordly life to obtain  -  they cannot be taken with me when I die! Likewise, the delicacies I ever enjoyed previously and all the things that brought the feeling of happiness to me  -  all have become my power of karma. Countless numbers of animals were killed by my mouth and my three-inch tongue!

The time for my retribution has come. As a result, I no longer have the taste for food, even I am no longer able to talk  -  my wife has to strive very hard to understand what I am talking to her. And, once more this proves that the meanings in the Buddha’s sutras are right - our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and opinions, all are false including colours, taste and touch. I completely no longer feel the pleasure I previously enjoyed in my high-quality hotels. Instead, I now am lying on a small bed with less than 2-meter long and my lower body has been completely in necrosis while I am too weak to turn over myself on my bed. It is only at this moment that I understand that the saha world is filled with countless sufferings and how human beings have to endure them! The things mentioned in Buddha’s sutras are really true and none of which is false, and Sakyamuni Buddha was so wise  -  2.500 years previously he already showed us the sufferings in the self-contained circle of birth, aging, illness and death that any human being must go through.

According to Buddhism, a living being has to spend thousands, even ten thousand of life to obtain the body of a human being. But then a human body is considered nothing but a set of clothes. Fame and fortune can easily misguide man to the extend that he may be led to the six miserables states known as hell-dwellers, hungry ghosts, animals, titanic demons or assuras, human beings, and celestials. We can borrow the false to improve the truth and this is the application of our wisdom and our ultimate goal is to escape ourselves from samsara at any cost. We should face our life with our normal, calm and sufficient heart. We should follow and practise our sages and saints’ teachings, find out what universal truth is, show consideration for all what we have obtained and materialise the permanent extreme happiness. This is the summary of my wordly life while my illness can no longer be cured.

I am in the hope that my previous time can be returned to me now!

If only I could have met my good friends and Buddhist Dharma a little earlier! If only I could have changed all the delicacies I enjoyed previously into vegeterian foods and could have set free all the animals I killed previously for meat …

If only I could have saved all the sums of money I spent wastely on my air trips and my hotels to donate young orphans or needy people, or use it in the printing of books and making traditionally cultural tapes and disks …

There are so many ‘if only’s’, …

I still hope that there is much time for me to perform penitence for my wrong doings, to transfer my merits to the animals whom I killed for meat or injured them previously. I would like to sincerely tell my excuses to them. I also respectedly ask Amitabha Buddha to take them to the World of Extreme Bliss. I pray that once I have ended my life in the world of the Western Bliss, I would be able to return to them to help them first of all!

I also hope that I will have one more time the chance to perform massage for my parents’ ached backs, to cook them a good meal so as to repay their service on giving birth and growing me up. But those are just my wishes because in reality now I no longer have any force to materialise those wishes!

The Pity Sutra has taught us, “You have the fear for harming your body as well as your hair and skin you receive from your parents; this fear already shows the first step of your being dutiful toward your parents. My slautering leads to my shortened life span which, as a result, will not permit me to take care of my parents’ burial observances. On the contrary, it shows what our proverb says, “White-haired people have to see off black-haired ones,” and in this case young people can no longer perform their dutifulness toward their parents, which is a striking point in the eastern culture of which we have been proud. I have ever heard this sentence from a learned master, “A really dutiful person should remind his parents to pray to Buddha so that they may be reborn into the Western Bliss World. And this is the real and complete dutifulness that a child should repay his parents. My dear parents! I now understand that only my one-minded praying to Buddha for me to return to the Western Pure Land and Jambudvida as well as help all living creatures and only in this way can I repay your favour in bringing me up.

It is said that Bodhisattvas have the fear for causes while living creatures for effects. In his sutra the Buddha taught us that if vulgar people like us perform our religious improvements by strictly following the five commandments of Buddhism and the ten good deeds and sincerely chant the Amitabha Buddha’s name then we may be reborn into the world of the Western Extreme Bliss. We may also avoid being involved in the six miserable states, and may even become Buddhas. In Buddha’s eyes we are their offspring. Buddhas as well as Bodhisattvas are not contented to see any of us harmed, even at the lowest level. It is regretful that I undrestand these moral codes too late. Vulgar people are all like that  -  only when we are injured then we believe in Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ teachings. And I am such a type of person  -  I have ever read a lot of Buddha’s books but I did not believe in any of his teachings. How stupid I have been!

I sincerely advise you all that whether you have studied Buddhism or not, please believe in what wise people ever say, “One good turn deserves another.” When you harm a living creature, you are harming yourself and vice versa. That is, if you lead a wicked life then you will surely reap cruel or malicious things. When you harm a living creature, you are harming yourself. Blessings are limited. Therefore, when still alive, you should not save much of your time in making money, and you should highly appreciate your blessings. Try to accumulate them as much as possible by sincerely chant Buddha’s name for being able to be reborn into the Pure Land after death. Don’t be like me  -  only when I am on the point to die then I start performing my penitence!

After Jingtu Zazhi (The Pure Land Magazine)

The author: Gong Qingguo.

Translator: Tinh Son

Translated into English by Mr. Hoang Huan, layman.

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