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Where Do Illnesses Originate?

For the most part, these people with strange illnesses had sought "bargains" in their past lives and had been unwilling to take a loss.
Dharma Realm Buddhist University, under the auspices of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association, organized a tour of Southeast Asia to spread the Buddhadharma. Before we set out on the journey, I was aware that we would face a variety of obstacles, because wherever I go to propagate Dharma, I always encounter jealousy. Why is that so? Because I am too straightforward; I've never been able to just flow along with the crowd. As a result, I run into others' jealousy. However, I have confidence, because the deviant cannot overcome the proper. Devils and spirits cannot disturb me.
I have faith that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas protect my Dharma at all times. Wherever I go, although I encounter tremendous obstacles, they have no effect. Accidents do not occur. Everywhere, the inauspicious becomes auspicious. Due to the aid of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, everything is calm and peaceful.
Wherever I went on this trip to Asia, I met people every day who sought cures for their illnesses. The causes of their illnesses were always serious karmic obstructions. If they'd had no such obstructions, they would never have caught their strange diseases. All the people who came to see me did so because of unusual diseases, problems that neither Asian nor Western medicine could cure, such as cancers that would not respond to treatment. For the most part, these people with strange illnesses had sought "bargains" in their past lives, and had been unwilling to take a loss. Perhaps they had been stingy penny-pinchers by nature, tightwads who wouldn't give a cent to help poor people, who thought exclusively of their own advantages. Such people never considered the welfare of others as important, but instead were constantly selfish out of personal indulgence. Hunger for profits obscured their good conscience; thus, their karmic obstacles increased daily, and eventually emerged in the form of an unusual illness.
People who contract curious diseases are invariably people who have slandered the Triple Jewel in past lives. They may even have slighted the Great Vehicle Sutras, an offense that can send people to the hells. Once they left the hells, they ascended to the realm of animals, where they may have been reborn as birds or beasts. Once their debts in the animal realm were repaid, they could be reborn as human beings. Reborn as a person, nonetheless, they invariably suffered birth defects--were paraplegic or otherwise disabled, blind or deaf, mute or lame--in general, they lacked a complete share of humanity. People such as these created evil karma in the past, and so in this life they are undergoing these kinds of retribution.
People who receive these kinds of retributions ought to be deeply ashamed and remorseful. They should busily earn more merit and virtue. That would be the right thing to do. Unfortunately, they fail to realize this and love money more than their own lives. They expect to get a quick bargain from this left-home person. They come demanding that I heal them, yet still seek a bargain, hoping to be completely cured without spending a penny. When their illness is better, they "generously" donate a red envelope as an offering. The envelope will most often contain one dollar (Singapore or Malaysian currency), or perhaps two dollars, but never more than five dollars. Even with karmic burdens as heavy as theirs, they are still greedy for petty profits. How pitiful!
Why have I related this to all of you? In order to alert you to the need for caution. You must not create bad karma, nor can you slander the Triple Jewel of Buddhism. You must not slander Great Vehicle Sutras. Do not hang on to doubts that keep you from cultivating; do not tell lies and cheat people. Evil karma such as this will certainly send you to the hells. Then in the future, even if your teacher wants to help you, he can't, because you'll be beyond salvation. I'm telling you in advance, so that when the time comes, you won't complain that your teacher didn't come and rescue you from the hells.