The Master's injuries improved slightly in 1952, his one-hundred-and-thirteenth year, as he led the assembly sitting in dhyana meditation, practicing the Way, and readjusting to the aftermath. The government in Peking telegraphed four times between the first and third lunar months, requesting the Master to come to Peking. Officers were sent to accompany him, and he told the community: "The time has come for me to go, for the Teachings are in difficulty..." He composed a matched couplet, which reads:
Five emperors and four dynasties have passed me by,
And yet the changes gone with them, I know not how to measure.
Completely worn through by the nine tribulations and ten difficulties,
I thoroughly know the impermanence of worldly affairs.
On the fourth day of the fourth lunar month, he headed north with four attendants.
The gatha says:
The Master vowed to go to Peking
To rescue the Teachings and the Sangha,
To join the groups of the ten directions,
Through the strength of united cultivation.