How are you doing?
I’m reading your Medicine Master Sutra slowly, hoping to absorb your teachings at a deeper level. I planned to ask all my questions upon finishing the book but I already have so many, that I hope you don’t mind that I ask as I go along.
1. Will the person who is praying for the benefit of another incur any sickness when transferring the merits and virtues to the patient because he is interfering with the debtors’ business?
2. Must the beneficiary of the Medicine Master Buddha plaque believe in Buddhism and in this particular dharma in order to enjoy the benefits? Besides the offering procedure, are there any other requirements needed to request this efficacious plaque?
3. In reference to your story about a nun who healed illnesses by using water that had been purified with sacred mantras, I learned that she often got sick for getting into the creditors way. As I understand it, you won’t encounter the same consequences when practicing the Medicine Master Dharma. What is the difference between you and that nun? Isn’t it the type of dharma being practiced and the Samadhi power of the practitioner that makes a difference?
4. Will you be suffering gravely from illnesses like Master Xuan Hua did at the end of your life if you continue practicing the Medicine Master Dharma? Did Master Xuan Hua practice this dharma to help his patients while he was still in this world?
5. Somewhere in the book you advised us not to interfere with other people’s business. However, Master Xuan Hua did it. Was it because he was free from life and death before he took action? He must have had some type of Samadhi power or great dharmas to back him up.
I’ve been thinking about these questions for some time now but previously I didn’t know how to express my thoughts and along with that, I had my doubts that they were even worthy to mention. But your book on this sutra has given me the courage to ask. Please kindly teach me so that I can understand more about this dharma. Thanks for your help!
Please feel free to send your questions as they arise. We will attempt to address them as time permits.
1. To transfer merit and virtue to the sick is to meddle into his affairs. Therefore there is a price to pay for meddling. One could incur illnesses, whether they manifest or not. Or one will not be sick, say because the creditor owes one to you.
2. The recipient does not need to believe in Buddhism. In general, the Medicine Master Buddha Buddha plaque Dharma can be used to generate blessings that can repay the past debts instead of having to repay them through suffering or illness. When requesting the plaque, the more sincere you are, the more blessings will be generated to repay past debts.
Speaking of the effectiveness, there is nothing definite.
For example, in the case of extreme sincerity such as making great donations to the Triple Jewel, this action will result in curing the most incurable illnesses. This is explained in the Earth Store Sutra. We hope to be able to make it available next year.
Another aspect is the behavior of the debtor. If he is immoral then there is less effectiveness. For instance, there is little progress if the drug addict continues to take drugs while going through a treatment program. Or perhaps, there are some who are quite astute. Instead of paying great amounts for surgery and medical treatments, they’d rather invest in a plaque because it costs so much less. If such are the only conditions, wouldn’t our intervention be detrimental to the medical professions of the world?
Buddhism is to help everyone. We do not impose our will or oppress any living being. Think about it: if we give protection to only those who are ill, then who will protect the creditors? We must be fair to all, and seek to resolve the matters in a way that is amicable and beneficial to everyone involved.
Dharma power is clearly an important factor. The stronger ones will be able to help more. That is why we cultivate vigorously to develop the Dharma power to aid others.
In general, the Medicine Master Buddha Buddha plaque Dharma can be used to address a multitude of problems and difficulties as elaborated in the Sutra. However, sometimes before we can get to the king, we must first go through his generals and lieutenants, and that takes time. Regardless, that Dharma gradually generates blessings to resolve difficulties and extend life.
The reason we still make this Dharma available is because it has become increasingly effective for more people over the years. Some benefits particular to this Dharma of the Mahayana School are not found elsewhere such as blessings to quell disasters and prolong life. These types of blessings carry no bad consequences, bring about great benefits for this life as well as transcendental benefits.
In truth, at times, the Dharma may not be able to help immediately; not because it lacks power but because proper conditions are lacking. In the Amitabha Sutra, Ven. Xuan Hua related on how he was not able to cross over a bee colony turned human but had to ask Mahamaudgalyayana to help.
3. If we incur debts then we should pay it off willingly. To aid healing others’ sickness will result in one having to bear the consequences. For example, if I brag and exaggerate my ability to heal others in order to become more famous and receive more offerings then I definitely will have to pay dearly because of my greed.
Each person is different. Our policy is to protect those who come to us to request for help. This is my aspiration. Otherwise, who would dare come to us for help?
4. In my humble opinion, Great Master Xuan Hua manifested severe illnesses in order to remind his disciples not to meddle into others’ affairs before they can fully understand the consequences of their actions. He had in his possession, a multitude of Dharmas that he used depending on the conditions.
I have great admiration for him. Therefore I choose to imitate his conduct and am prepared to incur problems and difficulties in order to help others. You should not do it because you are not ready to bear the consequences. For example, if you still discriminate between benefit and loss, then you should not. Or if you complain and have regrets after helping others, then you should not. Or if you help others and expect gratitude or reward, then you should not, etc…
5. My advice is applicable to those who are not Buddhas yet, especially those who are not yet enlightened. Great Master Xuan Hua is a great Bodhisattva. He is an exception.