I reread this story every couple of months. For me it illustrates the dangers of Pornography in more ways than once. I leave this here as a reference in hopes that it can help people abstain from Pornography.
Disasters of the Highest Degree
Written by Living Buddha Lian-sheng
Translated by Janny Chow
A renowned writer by the name of Xie Yun came to see me one day for a consultation.
Knowing I have written over one hundred books, and that I never skip a day without writing, Xie Yun expressed admiration for my perseverance.
Xie Yun himself is a superbly talented writer who has written many outstanding expositions with brilliantly incisive and unique views. I also highly respect him. So when a writer of such stature sought me out, I was naturally very pleased.
Living Buddha Lian-sheng, I have heard that you can communicate with the world of the spirits. Is it true? he asked me.
To a certain degree.
Can you ask something on my behalf?
You are such a fine person with such international fame. Your philosophic theories demonstrate a supreme faculty of reasoning. Is there really any problem you cannot solve?
Xie Yun said sternly,
What you say is true. In all my life, I never believed any of the superstitions about gods, ghosts, and the worlds of spirit, nor did I believe it possible to communicate with them. As for the books you have written, I used to sneer at them. But, this was the past. I hope you will forgive me. I am sixty-four now, and looking back upon this life of mine, my talents and scholarship have definitely not been inferior to or weaker than anyone else𠏋. Yet, in the academic field, I have never held any important positions. In the field of public service, several opportunities have also passed me by. Although I may be a well-known writer, in reality, I am quite depressed. Throughout this life of mine, I have always been pushed out by others and unable to achieve my ambitions.
Do such things happen to you? I was flabbergasted.
Xie Yun continued,
You look at me and see a famous writer. But the truth is, I have no money and no official title. My marriage is broken, and my family is gone. My health is also deteriorating. After these sixty-four years, I have only several old books to my credit. I repeatedly run into difficulties, as if an invisible hand has pushed all scholarly honor and official titles away from me. Can there really be such a thing as fate? Otherwise, why have I encountered such bad luck? Would you be able to ask for me?
All right, I agreed.
Before Xie Yun, I closed my eyes and prayed silently to my three Personal Deities: Golden Mother of Jade Pond, Amitabha, and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.
I have this individual, Xie Yun, before me now, who desires to learn of the karmic reasons behind his merits and demerits. Spiritual divinations, authentic channels to the subtle realm, please quickly bestow me with an answer. Disperse the web of bewilderment and fulfill our request to seek understanding. Jiji-rulu-ling.
At that moment, a sparkling white light suddenly appeared before my eyes. Amid the white light appeared a large hole, and from the hole, a green robed youth emerged with a registry in hand. On the cover of the register, I noticed the name𤦹ie Yun.
The green robed youth opened the register for me to read the contents, and after perusing through, I was greatly shocked.
According to this register, Xie Yun should have held an official rank. At a university, he was not merely to have attained tenure as a professor, but he should have become president of the university as well. Additionally, he was to have been employed as a government administrator. Right there in the register, were the listings of wealth, official rank, a happy family, good health, and a life span of eighty-nine years.
A loyal and honest man, Xie Yun is always filial to his parents and has never cheated anybody. What has happened to all these
predestined merits of his?
As I continued reading, I came to the final page of the register. There, a small paragraph described an incident that occurred in Xie Yun𠏋 youth. On one occasion, he had wanted to earn some extra money from a publisher and for fun, hastily had written six slim volumes of pornography𡐤ewd and explicit writings that were essentially all nonsense. It was the publication of these six pornographic novels that had whittled away all his merits in marriage, wealth, children, rank, health, and life span!
It was at this point that I completely understood.
I opened my eyes and asked,
What did you do when you were young?
I studied. I have always been first in my classes.
Did you write anything?
Yes, I contributed articles to newspapers and journals.
No, not at that time.
I am sure you did, I spoke with firmness.
No, I had not, he replied.
What about several slim volumes of pornographic novels? I asked candidly.
This time, Xie Yun𠏋 mouth dropped open and his face turned red in astonishment and embarrassment.
Oh! You found out! Yes, it is true.
Yes, six of them. Xie Yun nodded.
These six volumes of pornography have whittled away all auspiciousness and cause for celebration in your life, resulting in one disaster after another. If it were not for the degree and nature of virtuous deeds accumulated in a previous life, you would not be alive today.
Xie Yun was shocked,
How could those works have been so damaging?
Pornography causes one𠏋 mind to become unbridled and lecherous. Such novels will encourage men and women who read them to act disgracefully and immorally.
I quoted aloud,
Between heaven and earth, only birds and beasts mate promiscuously
Without a sense of shame, embarrassment, or infamy.
Humans, the crown of all creatures, should cherish a sense of shame and honor.
By committing incest, a human is no better than the birds and beasts.
Sexual misconduct is the primary demon and illness bringing degeneration.
To seriously pursue spiritual cultivation,
One must uproot all licentious desires.
I continued further,
Human beings are born out of sexual desires. At birth, everyone has within him the seed of sexual desire, which is why we have a particularly strong drive towards sex. According to the laws of karma, men are born out of sex and will therefore die from sex. Only when one understands this reasoning, will one exercise control and not over indulge one𠏋 desires. Restraining one𠏋 desires has many benefits including good health and long life, success and auspiciousness. Leading others down the path of sexual indulgence and degeneration, causing others to lose their chi, will result in the deterioration of one𠏋 own family and visits from the gods of misfortune. Instead of attaining one𠏋 wishes, one will get just the opposite.
Xie Yun then asked,
What about marital sex between husband and wife?
Even with sex between a husband and wife, one should still not over-indulge. Practice restraint in all cases. Complete disregard of taboos will inevitably lead to diminished health and loss of life.
But my mistake has already been made, Xie Yun lamented.
How can I amend the past?
As far as I know, karmic transgressions generated from the writing, painting, or creation of pornographic books, pictures, or sculptures, will disappear only when the works themselves vanish. Otherwise, the resulting karmic hindrances will always follow one around!
Xie Yun was greatly shock,
Can it really be this serious?
That𠏋 right, I said.
If these six pornographic novels continue circulating, they will continue to influence all who read their contents. Think about it. How could the karmic hindrance created by these books ever be eliminated?
At the time, I had only written them rashly for money. It never crossed my mind that the works would give rise to such disasters of the highest degree. What should I do now?
I told Xie Yun,
It looks like you have two methods. First, you can start writing books to warn people against sexual indulgence and misconduct. Secondly, whenever you come across pornographic books, burn them up.
That sounds like a good solution, Xie Yun responded satisfactorily.
Some time later, I received a thank you letter from him in which he acknowledged the accuracy of my spiritual divination. He now believes in the existence of the spiritual realm and has taken up the practice of Buddhism. No longer does he dare make the claim that karma is mere superstition.
To confirm that my readings had been accurate, Xie Yun actually mailed me the six volumes of pornography𤪔is own set that he had still held on to for all these years. The books had been written under the pseudonym
Sex Stalk and some of the titles are: Pleasure Amid Pleasures, The Happiness of Coupling, and The Wife of the Director?
When I was young, I remember visiting the street book peddlers at the night market on Liu He Er Road in Kaohsiung and seem to remember coming across these books. They have done quite a bit of damage to many young students.
As a sign of his repentance, Xie Yun requested that I burn the six pornographic books. I carried the task out for him.
Here is a poem in commemoration of this incident:
If a lecherous person does not awaken from his dreams,
Dazed, befuddled, entrapped
by indulgences and licentiousness,
Sooner or later, disasters will descend.
Form is emptiness,
And true self-nature is luminous and perfect.