What does it mean when someone, after dedicating merits to her deceased little brother, dreams of him buying a secondhand car? What do the numbers in her dream imply? Do not miss this teaching if you have been wondering how to help your deceased relatives be reborn into a good family. In this video, Grandmaster JinBodhi tells a story with a lesson on the importance of making offerings.

【You will learn】

  • The relationship between traditional Chinese philosophy and numbers
  • The importance of making offerings and dedicating merits to the deceased

【Featured aphorisms】

  • Wealth has nothing to do with intelligence—it’s about merits and luck.
  • Great merits attract great fortune.
  • A living hell awaits those who have been fated to miss all the blessings; a life surpassing Heaven awaits those who have been blessed with great fortune.


(Q: My younger brother passed away 7 years ago. Over the years, none of our family have ever dreamed of him. But I’ve always been accumulating merits for him. Recently, I offered a light for him in front of Earth Store Bodhisattva. Suddenly, my mother dreamed of my younger brother, who looked very happy.

He had bought a black secondhand sedan aworth $125,000. In the dream, he also hired 3 mechanics to repair the car and he bought them food. In the end, he gave them each $5,000. In total, he spent $130,000. Grandmaster, what does this dream imply?)

The connection between philosophy and math has existed in ancient Chinese philosophy for a long time. There’s a philosophical saying, “The Tao produced one, one produced two, two produced three. Three produced all things.” Three symbolizes endless development. It’s filled with life and unstoppable.

Let’s first talk about the “13” in the $130,000. Ten signifies completion and also represents wealth. Three represents reincarnation; a change in direction. Then why did he buy a car? He’s about to leave where he is now. If he is in the underworld, leaving means reincarnation. Maybe he’ll be reborn into a wealthy family; he’ll bring wealth as well.

This outcome is all related to the merits you’ve helped him accumulate. You helping him accumulate merits in this lifetime, even if it’s just a small donation of $18, he will benefit from it. He’ll reap the karmic benefits 1 to 10,000-fold in the future.

(Q: Why did he buy a secondhand car?)

It means he has merits, but they aren’t that great. Let’s say you donated $1,000 on his behalf; he is going to reincarnate as the next Li Ka-shing. The wealth you’re fated to have in this life has nothing to do with intelligence, it’s about the luck you’re blessed with; this luck is your merits, your aspiration, and positive actions. When we are making offerings before Buddha, if you offer on his behalf $400,000, he’ll get $400,000,000 in return. It’ll be magnified infinitely.

From an investment perspective, this is a 10,000-fold return. I already knew about this secret when I was in my 20s. I was in so much joy when I learned it, and I wanted to keep it a secret. Now, I’m sharing it with all of you. Some might question where this money goes if donated to us; you can donate to any Buddhist establishment you like. You will all be able to reap the immense reward. When you make offerings to a true Buddhist practitioner, you will gain immeasurable blessings. It’s guaranteed.

Great merits bring great fortune. There was a family in India; they were the world’s number one in the diamond industry. The second head of the family said, “Even though I’m already wealthy, I vow to find the largest diamond mine in India.” Not far from their home, there was a monk sitting alone and meditating. He approached the monk to seek advice. “I want to ask you, where can I find the biggest diamond mine?” The monk stayed silent and waiting; he wanted to see what offering the man was going to make.

The wealthy man got the hint and thought about it for a moment. He pulled out a bunch of gold nuggets, avoided the bigger ones, picked the smallest one, and threw it into the monk’s alms bowl. No one knew who this monk was, and he looked dirty, so the wealthy man didn’t completely trust him. Many ascetic monks don’t bathe for 5-6 years, so they tend to be dirty and smell bad. So, the man gave his smallest piece of gold to the monk.

The monk was also really honest. “Looking at this piece of gold, you need to walk that way for 60,000 km, then you’ll find it.” After making preparations, the man took dozens of servants and a large caravan of horse-drawn carts and went in the direction he was told. Upon arriving there, he searched the area thoroughly, only to find there were no diamonds at all. The money he had brought along was also quickly squandered and swindled away. And he was robbed by bandits.

As he lay by the road awaiting death, he noticed a filthy old man nearby. It was the monk who had brought him into this, to the place with supposedly the biggest diamond mine in the world. Again, the monk asked him for offerings. “I have no money now, everything that’s happened to me, it’s all your fault. I listened to you and it’s been nothing but trouble, I lost all my money and my servants abandoned me.”

The monk said, “I see you’re still wearing a silver ring.” “Why should I give it to you?!” After a while, he changed his mind. “I had so much wealth before, even my house was made of gold, yet I gave you that measly offering, how stingy of me.” He then apologized to the old monk. He realized how disrespectful he had been. The monk kept quiet and smiled. “The ring is a gift from my wife, it’s the most valuable thing I have now, please take it as an offering.”

The monk asked, “Do you still want to get rich?” “Of course!” “Then you should go home.” “Go home for what?” “The diamond mine is in your garden.” The man didn’t believe the monk. “Stop trying to fool me.” The man was skeptical, but eventually gave in. He hired a carriage, and settled the monk in it. And took the monk with him back home.

A few months later, they made it back home. “Where are the diamonds?” he asked. The monk pointed. “Right under your feet, just spray some water.” With a splash of water, a pile of sparkling diamonds, all as big as plums, were revealed. They even came in different colors. The man was puzzled and asked, “These were in my garden, why did you send me so faraway then?”

“Back then, even if you dug, you’d have found nothing, because you disrespected the Heavens, gods, and me, only caring about your own selfish gains. All you knew was money. Even when it came to cultivators, you only paid respect to those dressed well. Did you know even dung can be as valuable as gold? That’s why I put you through all that. But still, it doesn’t guarantee anything. I don’t know how many offerings you made to Buddha in your past life, but that’s the only reason I’m giving you this treasure.”

This is a true story. From that hole in his own garden, they dug up the world’s most beautiful diamonds. All in his own garden. That’s how much you gain in return from making offerings. Imagine if back then, he had offered all his gold, he wouldn’t have had to go through so much for the diamonds. It was right there in his garden.

So, when the Heavens steer you clear of any wealth, when they divert all happiness from you, all that’s left in life is suffering. Then that is truly hell on Earth. When you have enough merits, being on Earth surpasses the Heavens.