There is a saying:
“When we walk past and rub shoulders with someone in the street, consider the number of people we have walked past in comparison to those whom we have never walked past. The number of years of affinity that we have with the people whom we walked past in the streets and may never speak to, is about three hundred years. For us to be in the same room and on the similar spiritual path of Tao, it is likely that we have at least three thousand years of affinity and affiliation with each other.”
We do not know about our past lives and what happened to us before. For two persons to be together, be it husband and wife, brothers and sisters, a family etc is not something that just happened. For better or worse, it has something to do with the past. There is a lineage of Tao with a history of 5,000 years and all Tao predecessors made considerable sacrifices. Their selfless giving and the heavenly knowledge passed on by them deserve great reverence and respect. We can see in their books, great sayings and works done by them for our sake. My Grandmaster Han (Lao Qian Ren) is one of the most important Tao predecessors and briefly this is his story:
Lao Qian Ren was one of the eighteen (18) main disciples under my Heavenly Teacher JiGong (64th Patriarch) during the 1940s. Upon his departure and return to Heaven in year 1995, his Heavenly title is “Pai Sui Sean Ti” conferred by God (Lao Mu). “Pai Sui” means “Plain Water”, “Sean” means “Saint or Immortal” and “Ti” means God or Emperor. Millions of Tao devotees bow, get down on their knees and offer respect to him daily because of his great sacrifice. He was the one who was given the responsibility of taking Tao out of China and during that time (in the late 1940s) China was facing turbulent period. There were rapid social and political changes and war occurring between the Communist, Japanese and Dr Sun Yat Sun.
Lao Qian Ren was instructed by his master to pioneer Tao in Taiwan. He was a family man who ran a very prosperous business. He owned a dye factory and was living a mundane life with a promising career and family just like most people. Although he was doing very well, he chose to leave everything behind in China to pioneer Tao in Taiwan. At that time Taiwanese spoke Hokkien which is a different vernacular from Lao Qian Ren’s native language, Mandarin. He was not able to communicate effectively, but, however he was not deterred. With great faith in Heaven, he would ask for divine guidance during his every morning daily prayers.
In the hope that he would find people with whom he may have affinity, he traveled in the general direction indicated by the smoke from the burning incense. He would walk and speak to people along his journey. Eventually he succeeded in not only introducing some of these people to Tao but they also became the core of the Tao movement in Taiwan. Once he walked for forty miles in the rain to speak to a person who was not only disinterested but also shut the door on his face. His persistence, endurance and determination eventually bore fruits as can be seen in Taiwan today and all over the world with thousands of Tao temples. In Malaysia alone there are more than 2,000 Tao temples under him. His big temple in Taiwan can accommodate more than a hundred buses.
During his funeral in 1995, his eldest son on his knees confessed that “father when you left us, all of us cannot forgive you, but father you are right.” His longing to be with his family and his homesickness was understandable. When writing about his return trips to the mainland, he expressed the pain and the temptation to reunite each time the train passed his hometown. He knew very well that, if he should stop and visit, it would be very difficult for him to leave his family again. That would have been the end of his Tao pioneering work in Taiwan. He put the spiritual interest of others before his self-interest. It is not because he was a heartless person but rather the spiritual wellbeing of other people to be more important. It was also known that he kept all his letters from home unopened under his pillow and his pillow was wet with tears. He knew he would not be able to control his emotion if he opened the letters.
With his great sacrifice, thousands or millions of people received elevation and the true understanding and realization of Tao all over the world. With just over 50 years after his arrival in Taiwan, the world sees more vegetarians than any other spiritual paths. At least 90% of the Chinese vegetarian shops in Malaysia are operated by devotees of Tao and there are more than 800,000 devotees. He was indirectly responsible for those with affinity in Malaysia including myself to receive Tao and continue to cultivate its essence today.
Tao propagation is the combined effort and partnership between human and divinity. The divine dictates the general direction of its propagation and humans actually carry out the main effort and put into action. Tao is the universal essence of the spirit which has always existed since the beginning of time. It needs the sincerity of the heart to be able to ignite it. It has to be done with true heart and it is not something that we can gain from studying a book or seeking to understand it with our rationale and intellect. The 5,000 years of Tao lineage is also called the Golden Thread and this is the saying of my Heavenly Teacher JiGong:
“For those who have sought Tao (received the seal of the living God) and obtained the Pointing-Out from the Bright Master (master with Heavenly decree to transmit Tao), the spiritual Hole or Door of the soul has already been opened. As long as they remove all delusions (deceptive within the mind) and practise the heavenly virtues that are inborn within their original nature, and as long as they benefit the multitude and preach Tao for Heaven, then they are linked with the Golden Thread.”
Author: T.A Chew