When you encounter such a situation, if you are not careful and not wise, and don’t think correctly, there is a danger that you may lose your faith. You may think that the great, virtuous actions you have performed, all the merit you have collected by offering money or offering service to the guru are what have caused the failure, and you may become afraid and lose your faith. Instead of rejoicing, you may interpret your virtuous actions as bad.
There was a cancer patient who completely recovered from her disease through meditation. The doctors told her that she could only survive two to three months at most. Based on the results of a divination, I sent her the Vajrapani mantra to recite. Vajrapani is the embodiment of Buddha’s power. I also suggested she liberate many animals and later suggested that she live in pure morality by taking 24-hour vows of abstinence, called the Eight Mahayana precepts. I suggested a very simple meditation. Later I heard she had completely recovered, and some time after that I met her in Nepal.
She told me when I met her that after meditating as suggested, when she went to the hospital for an examination, they were suddenly unable to find any cancer. This shocked them. She was the first patient they knew who had been cured of cancer in such a way, and they wanted to write a book about it. She said she would write the book herself.
She came to Nepal to thank me and said the rest of her life was her gift to me. At that time, she told me how she has been incredibly successful in the business of designing clothes, selling ideas for next year’s fashions. She made thousands of dollars doing that, and at that time our organization had great financial hardships. I asked her to help finance three centers and she took on the responsibility happily.
After that she went back to work, and somehow her business failed totally. I explained to her later how it came about that she had to experience these difficulties. I realized what happened was that before her work was not aimed at Dharma, which benefits so many sentient beings, which eliminates the cause of suffering, delusion, and karma, and brings them to the highest happiness of enlightenment. Now that her business’s main aim was Dharma, much more merit was required. The benefit that sentient beings receive from those three centers is vast, so, of course, to be able to offer such help, the benefactor has to have great merit. So, the main obstacle to the success of a business aimed at offering such extensive help to so many beings is not having enough merit.
What’s more, if, after you have achieved strong purification and collected a lot of merit, offering very powerful service to the guru, to sentient beings, or to Sangha, then it is a sign of purification after this if you lose your business.
It is said in the teachings that performing powerful purification practice, such as generating bodhicitta, can prevent one from experiencing the very powerful heavy negative karma of having to be reborn in the lower realms and endure those suffering experiences for eons. Therefore, if, in this life, some catastrophe occurs or one experiences a headache, toothache, nightmare, or if other people criticize you, or you have an unhappy mind and depression, by experiencing all these problems in this human life, that means you will not have to experience many eons of suffering. Similarly, failure in business means you don’t have to experience a much heavier suffering for many eons.
If you had the choice, which one would you choose, not having the bigger suffering in later lives or to be free of such a small hardship in this life? Of course, a wise person would choose not to experience many eons of suffering in many lifetimes, but instead to just experience the problem in this life. You can see that in this case, these problems are very positive, extremely worthwhile things to experience.
This doesn’t mean that this happens to everybody who becomes a benefactor. It only happens to some people who have such karma, not to everyone.
Therefore, it is very important to be wise, and not to lose faith in the Guru Buddha. By thinking, “I did a good thing and then I experienced this problem, therefore there must be something wrong with Dharma,” is not understanding the teachings, especially the teachings on karma. From collecting virtue, the result is happiness, and from collecting non-virtue, the result is suffering. This very basic subject of karma should be kept in mind. Then you can protect your mind in this sort of circumstance, and in many other situations as well.