Beware The Monsters On The Spiritual Path
Spoken By Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hsihu, Formosa, August 1, 1991 (Originally In Chinese)
You see, everywhere Xuan Zang went, there were monsters and spirits anxious to capture him and eat his flesh. Here, "flesh-eating" doesn't mean cutting the flesh into pieces and eating it; rather, it means giving spiritual torment, making life unbearable, causing the loss of appetite and sleep, and zapping one's physical strength. Such spiritual torture is the same as having one's flesh eaten.
Some monsters can zap people's energy or vital life force. The greater our yang energy, the more hungry the yin monsters are for our vital life energy. Excessive loss of life force to these monsters can lead to loss in our level of consciousness. Some monsters take human form. In "The Journey To The West," there was a "white skeletal spirit" who killed a person by draining him of his vital life energy, occupying his body, and then seducing more people through him. We cannot recognize the spirit from its outward appearance. Some people who are possessed are monsters in human form. When they come near us, we feel weak all over and become unlike our usual self. If we fall victim to their seduction, we lose our original nature. I have seen people who have succumbed to Maya's temptations. They look different. Even after they regret it, they still look different and it takes them a very long time to recover. They may not even know that they have given in to temptation, just like a person asleep is not conscious of his state, a drunk person doesn't know that he is inebriated, or a mental patient is unaware of his mental condition.
Sometimes, a little carelessness or too many bad thoughts can let Maya make use of an ordinary person. Maya finds its way into him and contaminates him. He becomes half-human and half-Maya, acting strangely and having weird thoughts. He will not behave like his usual self. How terrifying! Therefore, we must keep our actions, speech and thoughts pure, and refrain from having negative or dark thoughts, otherwise we will have trouble. You all have free will. The Master cannot always forbid you to think about something. You have the right to think. You must take care of yourselves. Only when you let the Master protect you can She do it; otherwise She cannot intervene. It's fine if you don't seek Her help, but do not resist if She tries to help. You have free will. If you resist, neither God nor the Master can intervene. This is the law of the universe and this is why the world is in chaos. If God could interfere with our minds, we would be fine, but then there would be no play, no suffering and no joy. All realms would be the same. All the people would be transported to Paradise.
You must understand that you have to rely on yourselves to pursue spiritual practice, kindle your own light, and walk by yourselves. If you are sick and cannot walk, of course, the Master will carry you. But if you resist the Master and walk in the opposite direction, She can only follow you. Although She knows that you will walk farther and farther away, She still will follow you. She cannot abandon you, and She cannot intervene.
So, beware! There are many monsters. It's not that you encounter monsters only when you go on a pilgrimage to the West to get the Buddhist Scriptures. Here, you are also a pilgrim who is headed West in search of Buddhist Scriptures every day. It is farther away than India and your journey is more difficult. You may stumble and fall, but you must remember to come back. When you fall, you should know that you must not resist the person who helps you up. Only then will danger be minimized. Even when you fall, do not lie by the roadside. Do not intentionally let yourselves roll down, thinking that you are still very good.