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Monday, November 30, 2009

True Stories - Testimony The Confession Of A Monk

The Confession Of A Monk

From LightHouse Evangelism

At the age of 23, Joseph Wee was looking for peace, happiness and answers to life. Some of the questions that bugged him were: “What will happen to my soul after physical death?”, “Why is there suffering?” and “How to lead a good life so I can go to Heaven?” Essentially, he was searching for the meaning of life.

He learned to chant in Pali, an Indo-Aryan language from some of his friends and seniors in the temple. This is a language that is still used in Buddhism. He was told that there was one particular word that could protect him from all devils, demons and gods if he were to chant it repeatedly. However, the meaning of that word was not disclosed to anyone in the temple, thus he did not know the meaning of the word. He merely followed the instructions. They were told that everyone could attain an exalted spiritual status, even more powerful than some gods with the frequent practice of chanting and meditation.

Furthermore, Joseph was so steeply indoctrinated that one would be reborn to a higher level of existence by doing good deeds in this life. However, one would be reborn to a lower level of existence if one does evil. With that misconception, he became very serious in the practice because he wanted to be powerful and excel above the gods. His meditation routine was 5 to 30 minutes before going to work every morning and at night, he would meditate and chant up to 1½ hours before sleeping.

Subsequently, he began serving in the temple during his spare time. Whenever the first or fifteenth day of the lunar month fell on a weekend or a public holiday, he would stay the whole day at the temple. As he became older, he would block out two weeks of his annual leave to practice the life of a monk in the temple. He even shaved his head bald and wore a saffron robe as practiced by the temple monks. In the temple, he would spend time to meditate and clean the various temple equipment. He even denied himself of watching TV or listening to the radio and refused to carry any money with him.

In recognition of his commitment, the monks trusted him greatly and elected him as the honorary treasurer of the temple in 1986. At that time, Joseph was understudying a Sri Lankan chief monk who was planning to return to his homeland. The prospect of becoming the resident monk of the temple and to succeed the chief monk excited him.

There came a time that Joseph became unsettled. Although he was taught to empty his mind while meditating and to concentrate on his breathing, his mind would be distracted and would wander. He was told that to achieve “Nirvana”, the highest state of existence, he must embrace celibacy and lead a virtuous life. His lifestyle should include eating only two meals a day, staying away from drugs, wine and pop music. The uncertainty of what “Nirvana” really is and when he could attain it made him question his mentors. Their replies shocked him. They themselves did not know what “Nirvana” is and obviously have not attained it! Disappointed, Joseph came to the realization that it was quite untenable to keep pursuing the career of a monk.

He became disenchanted when he found out that the Buddhist doctrine on “Karma” propagates that the actions of one’s past life would lead to the consequences of one’s present life. He was disillusioned because in this teaching, everything is left to fate and obviously no one can control what happens in his current life.

While Joseph was in that state, a lady brought him to church. At first, he was doubtful but since the temple could not provide him with his quest for answers, he just went along with her. Meanwhile, the lady just kept talking to him, persuading him and trying her best to answer his questions. One day, a great pain gripped him while he passed out blood together with his stools. Being desperate, he tentatively prayed to Jesus and was astonished that in a short while, the Lord healed him. Joseph then received Jesus as his Lord and Savior that day. The lady who brought him to church eventually became his wife. They now have two children and are happily married with eternity firmly settled in their minds and hearts. Joseph is presently serving as a Sunday school teacher and had even prayed with many children to receive Christ and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit! Amen!
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