Today is the day to pay homage to Tian Gong!

Tian Gong, also known as the Lord of the Trāyastriṃśa (thirty-three) Heavens, the Jade Emperor and in Buddhism, Śakra.

He is the lord of a hundred devas, seventy-two lands, the four dvipas and billions of living beings.

In a previous reincarnation, He was a Brahmin lady. Before Shakyamuni Buddha, there was Kassapa Buddha. When Kassapa Buddha entered parinirvana, this Brahmin lady wished to construct a stupa as a offering to Kassapa Buddha.

32 other ladies joined in her initiative.

  1. Building stupas have 10 karmic rewards:
  2. One will not be born in border lands. (where no Dharma is present)
  3. One does not suffer from poverty.
  4. One will not receive a body of ignorance and erroneous views.
  5. One’s lifespan is long.
  6. One receives the throne of 16 great kingdoms.
  7. One obtains the Vajra Indestructible Power.
  8. One obtains immeasurably vast and grand blessedness and merits.
  9. One receives the compassion of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
  10. One has complete three kinds of supernormal awareness.
  11. One will be reborn in the pure land.

Because of the virtuous cause from building a stupa, these thirty-three ladies ascended to the heaven. The Brahmin lady became the ruler of the Trāyastriṃśa Heaven, while the other 32 ladies became respective rulers of the 32 Heavens under it.

The Wuhan virus has everyone in a jittery mode recently.

As a human, one should fear being stupid rather than being poor. Yet when money is placed as a bait, the brains of some people seemed to have dropped right out of the head and straight to the bottoms.

(1)

If at this point in time, you choose to take advantage of this misfortune and make money unscrupulously, let me gently remind you: you are getting more than you bargained for.

This constitutes stealing. The goods you are selling are not worth that much money, but you deliberately raise the prices to fleece off the consumers.

The retribution for stealing will be having to spend your “hard-earned” money on prolonged/frequent sickness, and/or many lifetimes of poverty and lowliness. The same applies to your descendants.

As the epidemic spreads and worsens, should you remain callous, that means you have utter disregard to human life. You do not protect lives but choose to commit the sin of killing lives. This sows the seed for you to be banished to Infernal Hell upon your death.

(2)

If at this point in time, you spread false news without checking on facts, or out of sabotage, causing fear and panic in sentient beings, beware that you have planted the seed for ignorance and lack of enlightening wisdom.

In the future, you will have to undergo the retribution of being frightened by others, and live your days in tenterhooks.

(3)

There is another kind of people who likes to speak recklessly in times of disasters. They pick at everything and anything, lacking empathy, patience and forbearance.

It is very easy for a person with a sharp tongue and little wisdom to commit sins of the speech.

Do not underestimate the karma from that. Its karmic retributions can cause a person to suffer from a stinky breath, untidy teeth, ugly mouth, poor inter-personal relations, disharmonious family, flagging career, and/or lack of credibility and likability in his/her words.

When a disaster strikes the human realm, it is a very good time for us to cultivate our merits.

We should take a leaf out of Tian Gong’s book – donate money that you have, contribute your physical effort that you can, use your brain that you…erm…have. Do no evil and cultivate all good.

(Oh, come on, if you can read this, you sure have a brain. It’s just a matter of whether you have the heart to or not. )

Regardless of how you pay homage to Tian Gong, bear in mind how He generated bodhicitta to uphold Buddhism, benefit sentient beings and hence, obtained a distinguished rebirth.

There is no lacking in gold and silver treasures, delicacies and fine wines in the Heaven realm. In fact, they are a billion times better than what we have here in the human world.

The offerings we give are peanuts, but the Jade Emperor comes forth to receive our offerings out of compassion.

If you truly seek His protection, do your spiritual cultivation well, be diligent in your giving, uphold Buddhism, and have the heart to protect and help the common people, like the Jade Emperor’s heart.

When your virtues are so well-known that you win the respect of your neighbours, the Jade Emperor will definitely bless you with talents that astonish the world, plenty of wealth and a peaceful and healthy family.

Why? Didn’t you know? When a person is especially talented and capable, that is because behind the person, there is a great Deva, Buddha or Bodhisattva watching over him/her.

On the other hand, when a person’s destiny is very mediocre, that is because behind him/her is just empty space.

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