Unlike asking a friend for a favour and physically seeing him/her follow it through, it’s hard to know the exact moments where Dorje Shugden played a major role in the outcome of a situation. I feel like I’ve gone through life pretty smoothly and perhaps that itself could be how he has helped: removing major personal obstacles.
Without me even knowing, Dorje Shugden has always watched over me and my family. Since 1996, my mum has been a Dorje Shugden practitioner and even though we had a 3-feet statue in the house, I never knew who it was as my siblings and I were told it was Manjushri!
It was when I was 17 that I had done my first Dorje Shugden retreat and during that period I was in the middle of doing my A-levels at a local college. Studying at that local college was a decision made based on the result of a Dorje Shugden divination. After graduating from an international school, I was given the choice of studying in the school’s 6th form, in a boarding school in England or at a local college. Obviously wanting to remain in the same school (with the same friends) or to jet-set over to England were very favourable choices for me, but at that time my family was not in a good financial situation, and choosing those options would’ve put a heavier strain on my parents.
The divination came out stating that I should pursue my pre-university course in a local college, and so following the words I left the bubble of an international school to a college where half of the student population was on government scholarships. Prior to entering the college, I never had any friends who were from local schools and those that I mixed around with were from the same social circle and social class, where our school fees per month were double the minimum wage.
I entered the college 2 weeks late, as I tried dragging my holiday on for as long as possible, and I walked into a class full of studious faces staring at me as if I had a booger on my face. I was asked to introduce myself in front of everyone and so I shyly muttered, ‘Hi, my name is Lily and I just graduated from the International School of Manila’. I realized that as I spoke, everyone was looking at each other, whispering and looking a little amused.
During lunch, I talked to some of my classmates and they kept asking questions regarding my life as if I was from a different country. After what seemed like an interview, one of the guys asked me politely how much my school fees were and after I told him he replied, ‘My parents don’t even make that much in a year’. His reaction hit me really hard as I realized that every single one of my classmates was not from the city and had worked really hard to get the scholarship to study where I thought was ‘such a piece of crap’.
I spent the next 2 years surrounded by down-to-earth, innocent (in a sense that they haven’t been corrupted by social politics) and really kind people. Those two years took me out of a silver-spoon-fed bubble and showed me people of my generation who reminded me of where my parents came from. Through a paralleled comparison, it reminded me of how hard my dad had to study to be able to provide what he can today.
With all outward things stable (finances, family etc.), I believe that our personal attitude and personality might be an obstacle that would probably be the hardest to overcome. We pray that we might get this car, get this job or get this grade, but never pray that we will be nicer, less angry or less miserly.
Like I wrote above, I feel that my life has been pretty smooth. However, I strongly feel that Dorje Shugden has shaped my personality to what it is today, and had I gone down a different path, I would most probably be someone quite spoilt, arrogant and obnoxious. I might not even be attracted to the Dharma or volunteer in charitable work like I do now.
It might be that some readers of this testimonial will find it silly that such a subtle impact is the one that I’m writing about, but if that divination has influenced me to becoming who I am today, i.e. being open and attracted to Dorje Shugden’s practice and actively promoting it, then I feel that it is worth mentioning.
~ Anita ~