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Saturday, 30 May 2015 13:54

Repent for Past Cruelty with Deep Compassion

Written by  Low Hui Cheng, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Ng Lay Hoon understood the importance of harbouring a virtuous thought after participating in the sutra performance. She sincerely repented for her past wrongs and used the Dharma to cleanse her defilements. [Photograph by Sam Pin Fook]

Ng Lay Hoon’s life deteriorated in 2009, followed by her cancer diagnosis in 2014. She then adopted a vegetarian lifestyle but her body continues to be tested. After joining the “Dharma as Water” sutra performance and learning the story of Master Wu Da, she repented sincerely for her past wrongdoings and cleansed her defilements with the Dharma.


The Law of Karma never fails;
for the karma created, we must repent.


After hearing the above verses from the song, “Perfect and Radiant Buddha Nature”, Ng Lay Hoon has come to appreciate better the word “repentance”.

In 2009, Lay Hoon had to undergo treatment for goitre, psoriasis and eye floaters, all of which were cured. However, in 2014, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

As a Tzu Chi volunteer, she seized the opportunity to partake in the sutra performance of Dharma as Water and has finally understood the Karmic Law of Cause and Effect. During the sutra study, she learnt the story of Master Wu Da, who suffered greatly from a man-face sore as a result of his arrogance. His sore was later healed through the blessings of Dharma water and a sincere repentance.

“When I got sick, I was puzzled. I have not done any unscrupulous evil. In fact, I have done some good deeds too. Why am I the chosen one?” She was later enlightened by Master Wu Da’s story that it was not sufficient to do good but to have a kind thought. One must repent for the wrongdoings committed in the past reverently.

Stunned by the piglets

When she was young, Lay Hoon had taken care of her younger siblings as the family was not well-to-do. She recalled, “Mum would grow vegetables, keep poultry, collect glass bottles and do anything to make money; and I would be helping her.”

During the rainy season, their farming produce would be affected. To supplement the family’s income, her mother would catch freshwater fishes or edible frogs at nearby farm.

Lay Hoon informed, “This type of frog is killed alive when sold. To kill it, you must press the frog firmly on the ground. With the head held in one hand, the other hand would chop the head off with a knife. The skin would then be removed.” By now, the decapitated frog would be struggling with its dying breath. She never viewed it as an act of cruelty or killing.

There was a period when she stayed in the mountain 10 km away from town to follow through a construction project. To her and the other site staff, the main entertainment after work was to go to a nearby river for fun, or ride a motorbike into the forest for hunting.

Once, they found some baby snakes coiled up near the riverbank. Unafraid and out of curiosity, they cut open the snakes, only to find the intestines, gall bladder, stomach and some other internal organs. The remains were then discarded.

They continued with this inhuman pastime. One night, on their way to the forest after work, they met a wild boar. It would mean a sumptuous meal, so everyone chased after the wild boar. Although being stabbed, the wild boar still ran for its life squealing in pain.

The wild boar eventually succumbed to its injuries. When the belly was cut open, they found baby boars inside. That explained why the female boar wanted to escape desperately so as to protect its babies. Lay Hoon was shocked; her heart tightened. Since then, she was never involved in hunting again.

Felt the pain of being slaughtered

Through the sutra verses, came the realization of the Law of Karma. When she was lying on the operating room table for surgery, she finally understood the pain of being slaughtered. She remarked, “The feeling was indescribable, I was scared to death.”

I repent casting nets to entrap and harm living beings;
from the clutches of retribution, I surely cannot escape.


Whenever she sang the above verses, she would become emotional. Her sickness made her realize that she had not been respectful of living beings in the past. Worst still, she found joy in hunting and killing the animals.

“I know it is the Law of Karma at work. We reap what we sow. The negative karma will eventually bring retribution,” said Lay Hoon, who finally felt the pain of surgery.

Her participation in the sutra performance has enabled her to repent for her past wrongdoings. The Dharma has also eased her bitterness and nurtured her heart, allowing her to lead a carefree life. She vowed not to kill in the lifetimes to come and to be a vegetarian, resonating the verses below:

May I realize my aspirations and vows,
walking the path of enlightenment life after life.

 

Despite her illness, Ng Lay Hoon continues doing recycling in order to strengthen the compassion within. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]   During sutra study, Ng Lay Hoon shared her understanding of the creation of unwholesome karma from unwholesome thought. Only through sincere repentance and reform will one be liberated. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]

Despite her illness, Ng Lay Hoon continues doing recycling in order to strengthen the compassion within. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]
 
During sutra study, Ng Lay Hoon shared her understanding of the creation of unwholesome karma from unwholesome thought. Only through sincere repentance and reform will one be liberated. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]
 
Ng Lay Hoon would feel emotional when hearing these verses, “I repent for casting nets to entrap and harm living beings; from the clutches of retribution, I surely cannot escape”. Her illness made her realize that she had not respected lives previously. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]   Besides Tzu Chi, Ng Lay Hoon has volunteered in other charitable organization to serve the needy. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]

Ng Lay Hoon would feel emotional when hearing these verses, “I repent for casting nets to entrap and harm living beings; from the clutches of retribution, I surely cannot escape”. Her illness made her realize that she had not respected lives previously. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]
 
 
Besides Tzu Chi, Ng Lay Hoon has volunteered in other charitable organization to serve the needy. [Photograph by Low Mai Yin]
 
After taking care of her mother, Ng Lay Hoon would make use of her spare time to practise the sutra verses and sign language. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]  

After taking care of her mother, Ng Lay Hoon would make use of her spare time to practise the sutra verses and sign language. [Photograph by Choo Kok Choi]