A gift from our Teacher, Venerable Jih-Chang, on Mother’s Day
(Extract from Venerable Jih-Chang’s Lamrim Discourse, MP3 track 94B, Lamrim, Volume 2, chapter 3, page 39 in relation to the statement:)
“Moreover, when you were hungry and thirsty, she gave you food and drink; when you were cold, clothes; when you were poor, she gave from her wealth those things which were very dear to her”
Our mother’s benevolence is something you really can’t imagine; even when you are old…I remember when I returned home last year, my mother was already more than 80 years old. When it comes to going out, my mother would tell me, “To also note this and this…” My younger brother then said, “Mum, don’t bother, don’t you think he knows ?” Then, he turned to me and said, “She just can’t let go !” I told my brother, “Ah, you’re wrong, don’t think in this way ! Think about it, in this world, other than your mother, who else will care for you in this way throughout his/her life? Is there such a person ?” Think about this carefully. In the future, especially for the lay persons, if he always thinks, “Ah, parents are so long-winded !” Look from her perspective. Yes, she is long-winded, but why is she long- winded towards you and not towards others ? In her heart, she sees you as her child from beginning to the end. From the time you were born from her stomach until the time she dies, she wholeheartedly has nothing else in her heart but to care for you.
I had not been back home for 40 years. Upon reaching home, ah, my mother couldn’t run anymore, but when she heard the sound from the door, she still walked out with her small feet. Of course I was very happy to see her. And, when I was going out, she would definitely remind me of this and that…Yes, that was her concept from 50, 60 years ago, which was totally not concordant with present times. However, what I saw was definitely not her long-windedness; what I saw was that she had always regarded me like a child and all her attention was placed on me. I kept telling my younger brothers this, thus in the end, they totally changed. No matter how long-winded my mother was, ah, the more she was like this, the warmer I felt in my heart ! Indeed, in this world, if you all think carefully in this way, none of you will be unfilial. You definitely won’t think of going against your parents in any way; you won’t be able to find it.
Then, will you do as she has said ? In fact, I did not. We should understand that when one is outside, it is not possible to do according to the method of one’s mother. That’s not possible ! What I did was totally different from my mother’s. Sometimes, after returning home and she has given some reminders, she would forget about them. When you have returned home, she only sees that you have returned and she is very happy ! Sometimes she asks you, “How was today ?” and you tell her. Ah, even though what you tell her is totally different from what actually happened; she reminded you to go east but still you went west, she would be alright with that. This is the greatness of our mothers!
Hence, as long as you realize this frame of mind, no matter what she does or what she says, you will only have one thought; at that time, you will only have one thought: In what way can you repay her kindness?