The child who was sent away
During one of my class, I wanted all participants to chant the name of Buddha for their parents. Almost all participants chanted sincerely except for a young lady who refused to open her mouth from the beginning to the end. After the class, I took the young lady aside and asked her why she had refused to chant earlier.
She told me: “Master, I really cannot think of anything that inspires feeling of gratitude toward my parents!”
I asked her: “Why is that so?”
She replied: “When I was born, my family was not well off financially. To save money, my parents sent me away to my granny who was staying in a village to take care of me. They only fetched me back when I was six or seven years old. However, at that point in time, my mother had just given birth to my younger sister. I did not understand why they only sent me away and not my sister? Probably they loved my sister more! I still remembered sharing with my mother excitedly about my excellent high school examination results. Unexpectedly, she asked me to give up my university studies and start working so that I could help to lighten the financial burden of my family and also enable my sister to have the opportunity to gain a good education.
I thought to myself then: “My results were obviously better than my sister’s. Why did my parents asked me to sacrifice my studies for my sister?” Hence I was more convinced my parents loved my sister more and even disliked me! In anger, I left home with all the money I could find in the house. I paid for my University school fees using the money I had taken from home and stopped all contacts with them because I hated them. I did not want to see them, not to mention chanting for them!”
After hearing her story, I asked her: “You seem to be doing well now. Do you have children?”
She replied: “Yes. I have two children, aged six and four years old.”
I told her: “Your children have good affinity with Buddha. Send one of them to me so that I can bring her around the world to spread dharma teachings!”
She responded angrily: “Are you joking? As a mother, how can I bear to part with my children?”
I asked her: “You cannot bear to part with your children but your mother had no qualms to part with you? If not for the fact that there was no other way out, which mother would willingly part with her children?” She thought about what I had just said and remained quiet. I continued: “Tell you what. Why not call your family now and vent out all your grievances.” Though she was not very willing, she still did what I told her to. Her mother was the one who picked up the telephone. She started to cry shortly after talking to her mother. Both mother and daughter cried throughout the conversation. As I was not paying close attention, I did not know what was the content of their conversation but I guessed they had cleared up their misunderstandings.
When I met her again after some time, I asked her whether she had patched up with her family? She happily answered: “We had cleared our misunderstandings. Some time back, I even brought my husband and children to visit my family! I sought clarification from my mother why she showed me less concern as compared to my younger sister. My mother explained that was because she felt I was more sensible and independent hence I needed less attention. It was definitely not because she did not love me.” Only then did I realize I had been mistaken about her! After our tele-conversation, I immediately lighted a lamp for my family and all hatred melted away. Now I chant for my family daily to repent for my past actions and accumulate karmic merits for them.”
In reality, the people who have the ability to hurt us the most are the ones we are closest to. This is especially so for parents and children.
All parents love their children. The only difference is their way of expressing their love. As children, we may not understand them. It is very normal to have conflicts within a family, just like our teeth may accidentally bite and hurt our lips. Hence as a family, whenever we face conflicts and unhappiness, we should talk with them calmly to avoid any misunderstandings. In this way, we will continue to love our family members and that is what makes family members special! The ability to talk with them openly resolves misunderstandings!
Treasure people around us because though conflicts may exist, our family members will still be the ones to accompany us through life at the end of the day!
Lastly, may all enjoy a harmonious and cohesive family relationship!!
#Parents, #Love, #FamilyMembers, #LightOffering, #Chanting, #Repentance