Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Pintung, Formosa, January 24, 1993
(Originally in Chinese)
Why do most people reincarnate in the cycle of life and death? It is because they are reluctant to leave this world, and so they want to come back again. There is something that they can't give up, so they want to come back to enjoy it. Or, some people have serious guilty feelings and so they want to come back to repay their debts. However, we no longer have karma! Our past karma has been burned by Master and now we don't create new karma anymore. We keep the Five Precepts and are vegetarian. We don't owe anything in the world. If we earn money for our own use and don't accept any offerings from others, then do we owe anyone? The karma in our storage is very simple to get rid of; a fire can do it. With the San Mei fire (Holy Fire), the whole world can be burned, let alone your little karma.
Only the present is important. In the present and future, we are not creating any new debt so we will not owe anyone. If we are no longer reluctant to leave the world, then why would we want to come back? At the time of dying, although we try our best to think of something that we like, we just can't find anything. What we think of are all very painful and very terrible so that we only want to run away fast. Therefore, spiritual practice is not blindly believing, but is, instead, logical.
Even if you do not believe that I can incinerate your past karma, you still have other logic to believe. For example, a farmer has saved a lot of taros or rice in his storage for the next season's planting, or he has saved the seeds of a new crop. However, when the planting season comes, he does not take them out but keeps them in his storehouse. So, the longer he keeps them in there, the more rotten they become. They can be eaten by insects, become rotten, or be carried away by mice and ants. Then they have no chance to develop and no chance to sprout. No one gives them water, no one gives them enough soil, and there is not enough sunshine. They lack everything. Therefore, they will become rotten themselves.
Similarly, our past karma remains in our memory. When it has a chance to come in contact with the outside, it will develop further. Now, we don't do that anymore and we don't give it any chance to develop. For example, now we no longer make mistakes like we did in the past. In the past, we did many things wrong. If we continue to do a wrong thing now, it will trigger our past mistake and develop into present or future karma. However, we don't do that anymore so that it has no chance, no material and not enough conditions to develop further. Therefore, we should keep the Precepts, we should be vegetarian, and we should meditate. Even though we meditate, we still create a little bit of karma each day. In case we have created new karma carelessly, we can do the Quan Yin to wash it out. Therefore, we are very safe and have no leakage to let the karma sprout.