Question: How to get your wishes fulfilled when you pray for wealth, an official position or a prosperous career? Answered by Acharya Zhiguang: You praying to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for wealth, an official position or a prosperous career is like your son asking for money from you. Are you going to give it to him? If your son is very promising, having moral virtues, refraining from all evils and doing good deeds, benefiting both self and others, and practicing Dharma diligently with the hope of helping all beings, I think you will certainly fund him as long as you are…
How to get your wishes fulfilled when you pray for wealth, an official position or a prosperous career?
Answered by Acharya Zhiguang:
You praying to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for wealth, an official position or a prosperous career is like your son asking for money from you. Are you going to give it to him?
If your son is very promising, having moral virtues, refraining from all evils and doing good deeds, benefiting both self and others, and practicing Dharma diligently with the hope of helping all beings, I think you will certainly fund him as long as you are able to when he asks you for 10,000 RMB. You are probably willing to fund him with 100,000RMB, not to mention 10,000 RMB.
However, if he indulges in eating and drinking every day and lives a dissipated life, will you still give him 10,000 RMB? You certainly won’t.
Similarly, when we pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to fulfill our wishes, we should ask ourselves if we have sufficient merits to support the wishes, or are we simply being greedy?
One doesn’t need much to live. In many cases, we need very little but we want a lot. Think about how many poor people in this world are struggling for survival. Comparing to them, we are all very rich.
Do you have unnecessary stuff at home? I bet you do. Do you have excess clothes that have never been worn? I bet you do. Do you have things which have never been used while taking up every corner of your place? I bet you do.
In this sense, we are all rich. If we still want to have more, that is essentially greed. Would Buddhas and Bodhisattvas fulfill your greed?
In fact you already have a lot of belongings, so you can help the others. If you are to benefit all beings with your belongings, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will surely help you. The more you want to benefit all beings, the more Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will give you. This is beyond all question.
Many people complain that their practices are not working. Actually, it is so important for you to dig into your mind and observe it very carefully in order to understand what your motivation is behind your wishes. Do you really set out to benefit all beings, or just use it as an excuse?
All these practices taught by the Buddha are ultimately meant to develop our inherent true nature, disclose our inherent Tathagata wisdom, help us attain supreme Bodhi and have complete merits of benefiting both self and others.
But the motivations that many of our practitioners have are not that great. Maybe they pursue profound Dharma teachings just because they want their business to do a little better, or to live a better life.
Of course these motivations are not corresponding with supreme Bodhi, so some practitioners are losing faith in Dharma because their personal goals are not fulfilled with all the practices they’ve done.
The profound Dharma teachings are to help us attain supreme enlightenment. But if we only wish for a happy life, this is certainly not corresponding. Why are the practices not working? It’s not that the teachings are ineffective, but our mind is not corresponding with the teachings.
We should observe our mind and self-reflect. At the meantime, we must hold on to our faith in Buddha, Dharma and ourselves. It says in Flower Adornment Sutra that “all beings have the Tathagata wisdom”. Every one of us has complete Tathagatagarbha, but it takes practice to disclose our Buddha nature.
Of course, it is not saying that we can’t wish for wealth, official positions or prosperous careers, and etc. The Buddha also granted us such wishes. But we need to make wishes in the correct way, which is to enlarge our mind and practice diligently for benefiting and enlightening both self and others.
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