Part 8 of 10 of “What is Life?" is the Admonition Eight of Lao Mu and this is what she said:
To encounter this rare event in tens of thousands of years is truly mystic and wonderful. The examination of Saints and Sages begins by Heaven. The Three Buddhas meet in the “Long Hua Assembly" to select candidates to confer immortality on earthly saints and sages.
Looking around Lao Mu sees all the children still do not wake up from the mortal world. Infuated by the false pleasure and bearing the true suffering, all work laboriously day and night. So many are attached to emotions and desires, violate the Truth and forget the teaching of the Saints. The true Tao of Heaven is accompanied by true tests and that is an eternal law and so many are afraid of the tests by the devils. The tests will refine your wills to be as strong as the hardest gem and as perfect as faultless jade. Real gold needs to be refined repeatedly before its magnificent luster is exposed. A tree used as a pillar or ridge beam must have its branches removed first. The foundation of any construction or edifice must be solid. Wisdom will only be stimulated when taking adversities and punishments. Only when a country is in ruin can the character of a loyal citizen be truly manifested. Without tests, the sincere cannot be distinguished with the hypocrites.
Stories of true practitioners are plenty such as Confucius who suffered great adversities. He was trapped between the states of Chen and Wei, his footprint was erased and his school was closed. He was also besieged between the states of Chen and Cai without food for seven days. It is hard to explain to commoners who treat Saints as lunatics or fools. Princess Miao-Shan (Kuan Yin) was beheaded and strangled during her practice of Tao.
To compare the present practice of Tao to that of the past, the tests brought on by the devils are reduced to a hundredth so one can practise Tao easily. Tests are given and focus on those who have strong foundation and profound faith. Through the tests by the devils, the true Buddha nature is restored to its full radiance. The ladder to become Immortals, Buddhas and Saints is established this way. Those who see the tests clearly and pass them can return to the Kingdom of Bliss. Lao Mu set ingenious plans with wonders within wonders. Disturbances cover the surface so the outside appears dull but yet the inside is bright. If practitioners of Tao are not tested by the devils than those who lead a corruptive life can all return to Heaven. Without the tests, how can the fool, the sages, the sincere and the hypocrites be distinguished? Many do not realize the purpose of the tests and give up their practices, and this trouble Lao Mu.
Despite thousands and thousands of tests from the devils, let your hearts be faultless. Adhere to the utmost benevolence of Tao and persist from beginning to the end. Maintain the utmost sincerity so that the devils will abstain and disturbance will rest. To practise Tao in ancient time, one had to climb mountains and wade streams. Abandon wealth, wife and children and travel throughout the world. Traveling through thousands of mountains and waters, he still could not meet the true Patriarch. Even wearing out iron shoes, he still could not meet the true Dharma. Of thousands of setbacks and temptations, the sufferings could not be fully depicted. Only the utmost sincere heart could move an Immortal to point out the true path after repeated tests to verify that the will is true and sincere. Then one could find the essence of life in the human body to refine the true water. This is only after three thousand merits and eight hundred accomplishments but yet he only stay in the spiritual world to enjoy the glory for a short period. At this present time, how effortless it is to practise Tao! You receive the Heavenly Three Treasures first and then begin the practice to convert the mortal world. It is the opposite from the ancient time because the timing has arrived otherwise it remains unknown.
Lao Mu grant a special favour so you can practise for immortality as well as care for your family. Since the fate of Heaven is critical, you should emphasize the sacred mission over daily chores. Be diligent and firm and do not be slackened. Lao Mu writes this admonition in blood and hopes her children will wake up. This is not an article of persuasion for gossips or conversations. Worrying for her sons and daughters, Lao Mu's heart and energy are worn out. All practitioners remember firmly and propagate the true Dharma.
Author: T. A Chew
T. A Chew, an accountant by profession, in the practice of Tao, encountered many great tests and each time he overcomes the test, he feels a big relief taken off and becomes wiser. True Tao, true test; any spiritual practitioner has to bear in mind is true to differentiate between the sincere and the hypocrites.