Spiritual aspect of Inheritance Money and Assets- with great money come greater responsibility

Article related to Buddhism, Finance
This article is part of the article which contains advice from the late Master Lu Jun Hong (卢军宏). Click HERE  to view the full listing.

Distribution of assets and money often cause a lot of rift between the descendants.

If the assets are distributed evenly, some may not be happy especially those who felt they should get more because they took care of the parent, etc, etc.

If it is distributed unevenly, it often cause permanent rift and tension between the siblings. We often see this in Chinese families where most of the assets go to the sons and not the daughters.

If the parent leave assets to only one sibling, it will cause permanent discord and everyone else would hate or spoke about that sibling with sarcasm. They may curse or speak badly about that sibling which would cause bad luck, ill health and discord in that person’s family.

With bigger share, comes bigger responsibility

Most people feel happy when they get the lion’s share of the inheritance. But they do not understand the enormity of the responsibility that they have just ‘inherited’ from acquiring the money and assets.

I always believe that inheritance money does not really belong to us. We are merely the trustee or guardian of the funds and assets. This is especially so if the inheritance is an accumulative of wealth that had been passed down from our parents as well as our ancestors.

If we do not do good with the money, the inheritance would bring us ‘misfortune’ or take away another aspect of our life like health, relationship with children, family tragedy, etc. You may find it hard to believe but I have seen enough cases that had long confirmed my suspicion.

A daughter who got the lion share of the inheritance from her father got very rebellious and unfilial children.

A son who all the inheritance (from a few generations) had a very bad rift with all his siblings. They constantly cursed him behind his back. His family was never happy, his wife passed away suddenly and his children were all not close to him. In his later years, he suffered from cancer and eventually pass away from a fall.

There was a man who mistreated and physically beat his aunt, shifting out and leaving her and her adoptive daughter alone on the eve of Chinese New Year. When the aunt got sick, he pretended to be kind and went to see her each day to visit her. At her deathbed, the aunt softened and said the house she had was to be divided between the adoptive daughter and the man. Many years later, the land price appreciated and he got half of the funds. He just went for a tour with his family with the inheritance money. Not long after he came back, he had a fall and broke his back. The cost of the operation cost was about the same cost as the money he got, but after the operation, his mobility was permanently affected. 

Another lady was good at buttering up her father, always speaking courteously and looking concerned for him. The father, who had worked hard all his life had acquired a lot of land. He signed over a large chunk of the land to her compared to other siblings. He did this when he was still alive. Later he developed lung cancer- the government hospital was not that efficient – they could not detect his cancer cells but another private hospital was able to detect. The specialists in that private hospital was confident they would be able to treat him. But this lady was not willing to part with any money. Another poorer sibling was willing to send the father to the private hospital but this lady, scared that later she may need to pay money, convinced her father not to go for the treatment. Eventually the father passed away. Not long later, her health went into a decline and she was gradually losing weight and was very weak. Doctors could not find what was wrong with her.

The worst case scenario is if an adult son or daughter got the parent to transfer all the assets to them, and then send their parents to nursing home. They abandoned them and seldom go to visit them. There would be a very high price to pay down the line when they get old. They would often be riddled with illness and/or have kids that do the same back to them. And when they themselves end up in nursing homes, they would receive bad treatment because somehow the staff do not like them. There is usually a painful or mysterious illness that would come- you may read more of true stories of disgruntled old ladies who took revenge after they had passed.

Don’t be unhappy or bitter if you get a small share or ‘unfair’ distribution

Actually, money from our parents are not our money. It is something that they or their parents had worked hard for. If we even get anything, we should count ourselves fortunate. Please don’t compare with other siblings or keep score with them, like so-and-so never bothered to take care of mom/dad, why should they get anymore/more? It would only make us unhappy and cause a rift in our relationship with our siblings.

It is our parents money and we should respect how they want to distribute their asset.

The simple fact that they have raised us, given us an education which sets us up for life…..itself is an enormous debt that we cannot even begin to repay.  They may not be the best parent to us – most often due to they themselves may not receive the proper nurturing as a child.

Another aspect is also the karmic relationship. We cannot choose our parents and often we have very strong past karmic ties in order to be born as their children. These karmic ties can be positive or negative. There are children who come to ‘collect debts’ and some come to ‘repay debts’. However in majority of the cases in this era, many children are coming to ‘collect debts’, ie their parents had owed them in past life. Hence they would end up causing their parents to spend a lot of money or caused their parents a lot of heartbreak.

So when your parent give your sibling more money than to you, take it that your parent is repaying settling a debt to your sibling. Or that your sibling would end up owing your parent and would need to come back next life to serve your parent. It is between both of them. Either way, your parent is not losing because after all, they cannot take the money with them to the afterlife. So, use it to settle debt or get someone else to be indebted to them.

If you get angry or bitter, you end up dragging yourself into their karmic link.

I speak from personal experience. Because I am a daughter, my father (old fashioned thinking) preferred to leave more money to my brother. And my mother felt that due to my kind heartedness, I can be more gullible so she prefer to pass most of her savings to my brother too. We did not have much but it is what my parents did with the little they have saved up.

My dad did not leave us much as he had used most of his savings to pay for house renovation (we lived in a run down home which leaked both the front and back when it rained). Sadly, he got to enjoy the newly renovated house for less than a year before he passed away from stroke. Whatever he left me, I ended up donating the money to worthy causes in his name, plus I kept topping up my own money when making donation.

That time I was having a more successful and higher earning job than my brother.

When my mother got sick, I was the one who give up my job to take care of my mother. My mother sacrificed so much for us, she had so much beauty, intelligence and capability and yet she just kept a low profile and went to work, then come back to cook and clean. She gave up so much for us.

Hence, it is an honor now for me to be able to care for her, even though I was never trained in caregiving and have to constantly pick up and learn on the job. Initially it was tough and I had my own challenges and personal hurdles to go through but once the hard times passed, I feel a lot of contentment in the way my life is at now. Even though I have nothing much, but I can say I have most inner peace than I have ever had in my life (including the time when I was in my corporate job and could afford most things I wanted).

There was also another lady, one of my mom’s colleagues. She was intelligent at school but her father refused to let her study to be a doctor. Hence, she enrolled in nursing school and become a hard working top notch nurse. Her father was rich and distributed most of his assets to his sons. She hardly got anything. And yet, when her father was sick. she was the one who took her father in and took care of him. Her siblings hardly came to help.

Not long after her father passed, she developed cancer. She went for treatment, suffered but recovered. It has been close to 20 years and she is now enjoying her retirement,  healthy, driving around and keeping herself busy in church activities with many friends. She has more than enough savings and properties of her own from her own hard work.

What if our parent had passed and we regret not doing our best for them?

I would explain this from Buddhism perspective but I believe other faiths have similar practice to revere their parents. Maybe we had been ignorant, immersed in materialism and now is filled with a lot of regrets.

If we do dream of our departed parent from time to time, please do meritorious deeds or spiritual practice for them. We need not necessary part with our money. If we are Buddhist, we can do chanting and volunteer work with a sincere heart, and then transfer the merits to them.

The method taught by the late Master Lu Jun Hong of Guan Yin Citta which involves “Little Houses” chanting can help to elevate our ancestors and the deceased to a higher level of rebirth through systematic chanting of established Buddhist sutras and mantras. Example in cases below, the grown children were not particularly filial when their mothers were alive but were filled with regret after their mother passed. They did the chanting of “Little Houses” and Master Lu was able to describe how their parent looked like and the higher realm of rebirth their parent had moved to.

The first case below, the girl’s parents separated when she was young. She was not particularly in good terms with her mother when her mother was alive. In fact, she made her mom very angry when she insisted to marry someone who her mother did not like. After her mother passed, she dreamt of her mother often. She felt a lot of regret, you can see she cried when she spoke about her mother. She then chanted “Little Houses” for her mother and was able to cause her mother to move to the Heaven realm.

When her chanting was sufficient and reached a certain number, she dreamt of her mother coming to her with a note that said “thank you”. Master Lu said that she was a ‘karmic creditor’, come to collect debts from her mother, hence caused her mother a lot of heartache. But it is commendable that while she was not able to do much when her mother was alive, she made amends by chanting and helping to raise her mother to a higher realm of rebirth.

Another case of a daughter who asked Master Lu about the whereabouts of her late mother:

Master Lu advised in the above that if we had not been filial when our parents were alive, we can help them to transcend by chanting the “Little Houses”.

Another case when the mother passed, they invited monks to do transference of merits ceremony. Then the daughter herself also did chanting of “Little Houses”. The mother is now at the Heaven realm.

Like Master Lu said, doing something now is better than not doing anything at all. To do deeds to help our parents, we need not use a lot of money. After my dad passed, I had donated a lot of money but because I did not know how to transfer merits, he did not receive much the merits (the merits got returned back to sender). Basically I just wrote his name when I donated money to charities.

In the end, I learned that just spiritual practices are able to help my parents. Similar to the “Little Houses”, it requires time and effort but need not cost a thing. We start out because we wish to help our parents, we would find the chanting itself gradually calms down our mind and would in turn, help us to face life situation calmly, let us pass through tribulations and dangerous periods of our lives and meet with help.

 

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