This is what Tathagata Shakyamuni Expounds
■Book 148 - The Power of Mantra
■Written by master Sheng-yen Lu
A businessman by the name of Gu Quan had contacted stomach cancer. He searched everywhere for a cure but his condition showed no signs of improvement. His illness deteriorated and both the Western and Chinese doctors could do little about it. On the other hand, his belief in secret remedy had made him spent considerably in purchasing such prescriptions, but they remained ineffective.
Gu Quan was so desperate he decided to approach the deity and asked, 'If I am cured of my cancer, I'll vow to build a temple and serve in the temple as an attendant for the rest of my life.'
The deity replied, 'You shall recover.'
Gu Quan asked, 'Which godly being can cure my cancer?'
The deity answered, 'Shakyamuni Buddha.'
'How can I find Shakyamuni Buddha? Where does he stay?'
'Go look for him at the Buddhist temple.'
Gu Quan had never stepped into a single monastery in his life. Thus when he arrived at the Buddhist temple, and asked where he could find Shakyamuni Buddha, the priest told him that the Buddha was in the Precious Hall of the Great Hero. When Gu Quan stepped into the main Buddha hall, he saw the golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha seated in the middle of the hall. He bowed to the Buddha and made his promise. But the Buddha remained still and did not treat his condition at all.
Gu Quan became frantic, and asked a monk, 'Can the Buddha cure illness?'
'If you're sincere, things happen.'
'Where can I find Shakyamuni Buddha who can cure illness?'
The priest had wanted to laugh, but held his laughter and replied, 'If you're sincere, things happen.'
Gu Quan then asked, 'I want to look for Shakyamuni Buddha to cure me of my illness. Where can I find him?'
The priest replied with a verse, 'Do not go the distance to seek for the Buddha who resides in the spiritual mountain. The spiritual mountain actually lies within thy heart.'
'In the heart?' Gu Quan did not understand.
The priest became impatient after Gu Quan's persistent questioning and finally told him, 'Go find Sheng-yen Lu.'
'Why Sheng-yen Lu?'
'Because...'the priest startled and said, 'Because Sheng-yen Lu and Shakyamuni Buddha always enjoy having coffee together.'
This priest had read my books and he remembered my detailing of how I had coffee with the Buddha at a cafeteria.
Gu Quan was thrilled to learn this and exclaimed, 'I want to have coffee with Shakyamuni Buddha!'
The priest hurried him along and said, 'Go quickly. Hurry up. Go fix an appointment with Sheng-yen Lu!'
Gu Quan actually did come to see me. I told him that Shakyamuni Buddha was actually the son of the King Suddhodana, ruler of Kapilavatthu. His mother was Queen Maha Maya. He was born in the Lumbini Park, east of Kapilavatthu, and was named Siddhattha.
In his youth, the Buddha contemplated on the inexorable nature of life, such as hardships faced by the farmers, the sight of animals killing each other for food, and viewed the fighting in life with much distaste.
Whiling travelling through the city, he witnessed the phenomenon of birth, old age, sickness and death. Thus, the Buddha, in his renunciation, became a monk. For six years he went into ascetic practices and later realized such austerities were not the way to enlightenment. He later bathed in the river Neranjara and accepted the offering of milk-rice from a village girl.
Finally, he sat in meditation under the bodhi tree, contempleted on the Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Links of Dependent-Arising, and became the Enlightened World-honored One, teacher of devas and men.
Since his Enlightenment, the Buddha had traveled to many places and preached to many groups of beings for forty years. In the year 487 B.C., the Buddha entered Nirvana under the two Sala trees near the city of Kusinaga.
I briefly recounted the life of the Buddha and upon listening to my narration, Gu Quan finally understood. Gu Quan said, 'I asked the god, and the god said my cancer will recover if I can find Shakyamuni Buddha to cure my illness. Now that I understand Shakyamuni Buddha's life story, it appears that my cancer is incurable.'
I told Gu Quan, 'Not true!'
'You mean you have a secret remedy?'