The humble and realistic
prepare for possible appearances
of Karmic Debtees any time.
Most of the time, when we hear the term ‘Karmic Debtees (Creditors; or ‘Yuan1 Qin1 Zai4 Zu3’), we think of unwelcomed unseen beings (wandering spirits) who create obstacles in our lives, or upon unexpected manifestation at our deathbeds, to whom we owe ‘debts’ to in terms of having done injustice to them when they were humans in a previous life. They are seen as vengeful distractors or obstructors of our safe and smooth passage to good rebirths, such as in Pure Land. The truth is, Karmic Debtees need not only be unseen beings. They can also be the living human beings present in our lives now, who ‘give’ us physical or mental distress, who present spiritual problems in our everyday lives. Of course, if we practise the Dharma well, these will not be seen as obstacles per se, but merely as negative karmic challenges to be overcome. It is precisely because Karmic Debtees can disrupt our spirituality, that we should further fortify our spirituality.
Thus, in a broader sense, even if we do not have any unseen Karmic Debtees who demand a tormenting ‘payback’ during our last minutes, any human so-called ‘enemy’ is already a Karmic Debtee if we are liable be spiritually disturbed by him or her due to strong attachment or aversion. We just need to imagine their approach or presence when we are on our deathbeds. Will we be agitated or able to maintain peace of mind, especially if they do what they habitually do to us? If we ‘cannot’ really control who arrives when we are on our deathbeds, we need to control our minds instead – to stay singleminded on mindfulness of Amituofo, who is our best ‘Good-Knowing Advisor’ (Good Spiritual Friend; ‘Shan4 Zhi4 Shi4’). When we do so, we ‘summon’ the compassionate blessings of Amituofo, who is the direct opposite of Karmic Debtees in nature. He will protect us from them and guide us to Pure Land, instead of misleading us to a lower rebirth.
How swiftly we are able to be calmly mindful of Amituofo when feelings of strong hatred or sticky love arise in daily life is a gauge of how ready we are to face them as Karmic Debtees, should they arrive at our deathbeds. If we can’t control our feelings towards them now, it won’t be any easier during our last moments. It is thus wise to resolve the unresolved best we can now, instead of letting a huge bubble of trouble balloon, which might karmically burst at the worst moment. We are our real Karmic Debtees, because we create, maintain and clear our own ‘debts’. May no one be their own unrepentant Karmic Debtees, or become the unforgiving Karmic Debtees of anyone. May we all resolve our debts best we can – by mindfulness of Amituofo and other necessary ways. By urging ‘together-practice’ of mindfulness of Amituofo to ‘appease’ and transform one another, may all Karmic Debtees and Debtors be joyfully reborn in Pure Land!.
If even the Buddha appeared to have some ‘Karmic Debtees’ in his life
(whom he successfully overcome),
who are we to imagine we have absolutely none?