This opera, which is set in today’s China, tells of a mother and her two grown sons. As a single parent, she struggled and endured hardship for years to bring up her two boys. Now, her older son has an office job and her younger son is a policeman. ... Read more
For as long as the brothers can remember, their mother had suffered from severe seasonal asthma that would afflict her every spring. One day, though, she took up the meditation discipline of Falun Dafa and, through practicing its exercises and studying its spiritual teachings, she found new meaning in life and rejuvenated health.
This spring, the brothers hear about a folk remedy for asthma, and hurry home to concoct it for Mom. Once home, they are surprised to hear that she has started practicing Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong). The younger brother is terribly alarmed. As a policeman working for the Chinese Communist Party, he knows that the Party Chairman has ordered a brutal persecution campaign of people just like his mother. But just as he’s about to admonish her, his phone rings, and he is instructed to report to the police station.
The station is a seedy scene, as a gang of policemen—the younger brother included—indulge in wild talk and wisecracks. Just then Police Chief Liu enters and calls a meeting to order. They have received their marching orders: round up, jail, and torture practitioners of Falun Gong in their district with the goal of eradicating the spiritual group once and for all. The officers are champing at the bit. Only the younger brother is panic-stricken, and immediately steals home to warn his mother.
Upon arriving, the younger brother frantically combs their home for Falun Gong books and any other materials that might give his mother away. Seeing him in such a frenzy, mother and brother step in to try to reason with him.
In the middle of their heated debate, Chief Liu and a swarm of policemen barge in. The younger brother begs Chief Liu to spare his family, but the chief is not about to concede. Roaring that he knew all along that the mother practiced Falun Gong, he commands his subordinates to attack, and they bash mother and older brother unconscious. As the younger brother protests, Chief Liu jabs an electric baton into his abdomen, electrocuting him mercilessly. Then with a swing of a heavy club, another policeman knocks him out.
A sliver of light appears on the horizon. When the light grows clearer, it transforms into a band of heavenly fairies. Their gentle voices in chorus are like drops of sweet dew, nourishing a desolate soul on the verge of being lost. Slowly, the young brother regains consciousness and picks himself up from the ground.
At this moment, the image of an enormous Buddha appears on the horizon—surrounded by a field of brilliant energy and with a face radiating compassion. Awed by the miraculous and merciful scene, the brother’s pain and confusion melt away. He feels as if he hears the Creator calling him. And he calls back with all his strength, “Who am I really? And where is my true home?”
Everything around him dissipates into the vast universe, dissolving into the Creator’s boundless mercy.
In time, the younger brother finds himself back in his mother’s home. He can see his family and hear his mother’s gentle voice, but then, suddenly, he realizes the voice is coming from above, and he sees his mother and brother standing together in the resplendent heavens, looking down and watching him with a smile.
As the apparition disappears, the younger brother is left alone. By and by, he sings, questioning himself, “Who really am I?”
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