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Vui Kong's Letters, Yong Vui Kong

Letters from Vui Kong – The Fourth Letter : Studying Buddhist Philosophy

Yong Vui Kong is a death row inmate in Singapore. He was arrested at age 19 with 47.27g of heroin, convicted of trafficking and sentenced under the Mandatory Death Penalty. His final appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on 4 April 2011. He can now only plead for clemency from the President (acting on the advice of the Cabinet).

If the President does not grant clemency to Vui Kong, these will be the last 12 letters he will ever write.

The following is the fourth letter:

第四章 :《我学佛》

野田:

不知不觉我们已经互相联络了4封信,请容许我感恩你这位最熟悉的陌生人,让我完成心愿;或许写信给你的机会不多,但是我会坚持写到最后一分钟。

今天,请容许我聊聊我学佛的经验。

我觉得每个年轻人都需要信仰,有信仰才能自救,因为一个好的宗教,不管是基督教、回教、佛教、印度教也好,都是教导众生什么是对的,什么是错的;这对我来说是非常重要的。当我还很叛逆的时候,我并没有信仰,所以我就误入歧途,踏上一条不能回头的路。

刚进来时,姐姐给我一本地藏王菩薩本願經,一本點亮心燈,一本般若波羅蜜多心經,這三本對我的學習、思想、生活,都有很大幫助和改变。

智慧、慈悲、道德、文化正覺,是沒分種族、年齡的,如自己努力學習就能得成好結果!

佛法有八万四千种法门,若你想了解我是学哪一门开始,我是学地藏法门,依地藏菩萨,经名“地藏菩萨本愿经”。因为从最基本之法学习,学到某个程度才增加更多的法门!学安乐之法,学帮有缘人之法等等的真实地法门。

不知道各位有没有看过我手画的地藏王菩萨?那一次,当我在梦里梦到地藏王菩萨时,我向佛学习的心更坚定,更想要学佛。

从那一天开始,我每天清晨起床做的早课,都是以地藏菩萨本愿经为功课;里头说到的孝顺,真的让我的心痛了,因为我没有好好的孝顺妈妈好多好多年了,也不知道还有没有机会孝顺。

母亲节刚刚过吧?大家是否有好好和妈妈吃一顿饭呢?

而我的问题则是同样的:“我有没有机会回家吃饭?”

佛书多能看到,若没有增因加缘,就难得听闻学佛法!我没机会和我妈说安心之法,因为我妈有病,所以不能和我妈说我已发生此罪刑。所以,野田,愿你与有缘看信的人更多加好好珍惜家人朋友!

感恩十方善主,我很感谢大家抄写般若波罗蜜多心经。那不是为了我写,而是为了同体大众全部人抄写,功德都不是属于我的,而是属于大家的;

野田,你告诉我说有一个网站说我写信出来,是因为贪生怕死,希望做最后的挣扎。我知道你很生气,我也知道很多帮助我的人也生气,可是我劝大家不要起无明火,因为一把无明火会让自己更加的错下去。

各位同体大众,我虽然是一个即将被处死的死囚,但是我希望我说我自己是一个不浪费时间的死囚;我希望借助这段时间来教导更多人,这是我的希望,在最后的时间里,做更多有意义的事情。

读佛让我学习到感恩,更让我学会什么是勇敢,对我来讲,读佛的最大经验就是如此。

心灵有了依靠得到现在、将来、来生都安心、安乐、快乐、自在,与满生命涌生的希望!

还记得第一封信我提起的那一串念珠吗?用面粉做的念珠,我用着它很久了。在我用的时候我都很细心的照顾它,因为它很脆弱,也可能随时会因为我的捏动而坏了;可是仔细想一想,如果一个脆弱的人,好好的照顾自己,不要被别人影响,那这个人就可以忍耐很久。

做人就是这样,你们一定要坚持。

停笔之前,我在这里替大家祈佛,愿大家健康平安喜乐!做事順利!所願所求隨意念!

伟光
9/5/2011

*****

野田后记:

请容许我在杨伟光与我的书信结束时,添加一小段我的看法。

在佛教的故事里提过一个人,他叫作鸯掘摩罗。在古印度时,这个人他是一个杀人魔,为什么他是一个杀人魔?因为被别人误导了。在鸯掘摩罗杀了第九百九十九个人后,他遇到了佛陀,佛陀度化了这个鸯掘摩罗,并问当时的国王:

“大王!如果你看见鸯掘摩罗剔除鬚髪,穿上袈裟,离俗出家;看见他戒杀、戒不与取、戒妄语;看见他晚上不进食,唯有日中一食,并且独身、正直与善良。如果你看见他如此,会如何对待他呢?”

国王回答道:“尊者!我们会礼敬他,或为他起立,或请他入座,或请他接受比丘的四种资具,且会为他安排妥善的保护与防卫。”

虽然鸯掘摩罗出家后还是面对之前的业障因果报应,他终究是革心了。

English translation:

The Fourth Letter : Studying Buddhist Philosophy

Yetian :

Without even noticing it we have already exchanged 4 letters. Please let me express my gratitude to you, a kind-hearted stranger, for granting my wish. I don’t have much more time to write to you, but I will continue to write until the very last moment.

Today, let me share some of my experience in studying Buddhist philosophy.

I feel that every young person needs faith. Only with faith can you save yourself, because a good religion, no matter if it’s Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism, teaches you what is right and what is wrong. This, to me, is extremely important. When I was a rebel, I didn’t have faith, and so I went astray and followed a path from which there is no return.

When I first came in, my sister gave me three book of vows, one are the Earth Buddha and another one is Heart Sutra. These three books are a great help and make a great impact on my studies, my thinking and my life.

Wisdom, compassion, morals, cultural enlightment do not differentiate between race or age. If one works hard to learn, one will be able to reap the benefits!

Buddhism teaching has 84,000 dharma. If you wish to understand where I’ve started from, that I started following the Earth Buddha, the scripture entitled “Earth Buddha vows”. I start from the most basic scriptures, and I wish to reach a certain level of understanding before adding more! I am learning about being happy with what we have in life, learning about helping others.

I am not sure if you have seen my drawing of the Earth Buddha? At that point in time, I dream about the Earth Buddha, and I am so calm. Since then, I am even more determined to learn Buddhist philosophy.

From that day on, I woke up early every morning to study, studying all the philosophy of Earth Buddha scripture. When I read about filial piety, my heart aches, because I have not been filial to my mother for so many years. I don’t know if I still have a chance.

Mother’s Day has just gone by, right? Did everyone have a good meal with their mothers?

My question is the same: “Will I have a chance to go home for a meal?”

We can read a lot of books related Buddhism teaching, but if we lack faith, we will not truly understand it. I do not have the chance to talk to my mother to calm her mind. My mother is ill, I cannot tell her about my impending punishment. That’s why, Yetian, we have to cherish our family and friends!

Thanks to all the good-hearted people, I am grateful to each and everyone who had copied the Heart sutras. It was not written for me, but for everyone. The effort was not mine, is everyone’s;

Yetian, you told me that a forum has talked about me, saying that I did all these because I am afraid to die. I know you are angered by it, and many others who have helped me. Don’t, don’t be angry, because it will cause us to make more mistakes.

Even though I am an inmate about to be executed, I wish to say that I am not an inmate who wastes time; I hope to use this time to educate more people. This is my hope, that in this last bit of time, I can do more meaningful things.

Studying Buddhism teaching allows me to understand about gratitude, and about what courage is. To me, this is the biggest experience I gained.

With a soul that found faith, we will be at peace, content, happy, free and full of hope, now, in the future and in the afterlife!

Do you still remember that in the first letter I mentioned about my beads? They are made of flour and I have used them for a long time. When I use them I take good care of them because they are fragile, and might be broken if I squeeze too hard. When I think about it, if a person is weak, and he takes good care of himself without being influenced by others, then this person can endure for a long time.

That’s what we have to do in life. We have to be strong.

Before I stop, I would like to say a prayer for everyone, hoping that everyone is healthy, safe and happy! Work well! Let things go your way!

Vui Kong
9/5/2011

*****

Note from Yetian:

Before the end of this letter, please allow me to add a short note on my thoughts.

In Buddhism teaching, there is this one story about a man in ancient India. He is a monster, killed many people. After he killed the 999th man, he met Buddha. Buddha has changed him with his teaching.

He asked the King, “if you seen this monster, he shave his beard and hair, and became a monk; he did not kill anymore, he did not eat when night falls, and eat only once a day, and he became good and kind, what will you do if you met him?”.

And the King answered “I will respect him’.

Even though this man still faced the consequences for what he has done before, he is, afterall, repented and changed.

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