So That People May Be Delivered
of actual events
recorded by Disciple Kuo-fook.
Wong Sung-chee, twenty one years of age, is a member of the Central Kedah Buddhist Association, Sungai Petani, Kedah State, Malaysia. He attends the Friday and Sunday evening Dharma assemblies and Sutra recitals faithfully except when he returns to his home in Semiling, which is an out of the way small town, fourteen miles north of Sungai Petani He works as a general worker in a small shop manufacturing noodles in Sungai Petani and has lodging here.
The Venerable Master and the Delegation of the Sino American Buddhist Association reached Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 29, 1978. On the fifteenth of August the Delegation started to tour northwards. It received tremendously warm welcomes in all the places that it toured.
Petani, Kedah. Central Kedah Buddhist Association
8/20/78, Sunday evening. Sungai Petani, Kedah.
After the Dharma assembly and Sutra recital, brother Khoo reiterated that the Delegation would arrive in Penang the following day. Sung-chee was present. That night after he retired the following events transpired, as reported in his own account:
"Someone was calling me from behind. I turned and saw the Venerable Master in the kashaya (robe) of Earth Store Bodhisattva, seated in lotus posture on a beautiful high seat suspended in space. The Venerable Master's left hand was holding a j shaped staff and his right hand was held in a blessing posture. Smiling, the Venerable Master looked at me. The high seat was decorated with an assortment of beautiful stones. The recitation beads emitted a red hue. The background was as bright as day. A glow of soothing white light rays surrounded the Venerable Master. It was a majestic sight. I was very happy.
said to me (in Mandarin Chinese), "Be seated, listen to me, I
Then Shih-fu rested his right hand as I "got seated" facing the Master. Though actually, I just felt a "something" on which I was seated. There was no chair or stool.
By then, Shih-fu started lecturing from a Sutra held open in both hands. Instantaneously, on hearing those words, I understood that it was the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra. Every sentence that the Venerable Master spoke I could follow and accept and perceive its meaning and truth. I felt as if there and then that I could get somewhat of a breakthrough and become enlightened. I was calm and serene.
About halfway through the lecture, the background changed; there were majestic pagodas, streams, trees, and the like. It gave me the feeling that it was an indescribably beautiful place something like the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss, and it seemed to surround the Master.
Near the end of the lecture when there were only six words left, I suddenly realized that I was seated very near to Shih-fu and was holding open the Sutra in front of Shih-fu for him to lecture from. Except for the last six words, I could see that the rest of the Sutra was blank! Then the background behind Shih-fu changed again to daylight brightness. The lecture ended, the Venerable Master folded the Sutra arid said, "Most probably you will hear this Sutra again." Then he disappeared, leaving the bright surroundings.
I became conscious that I was slowly waking up and felt like I was returning from a faraway place. On awakening, my room was the same as before.
The next day I went to the Buddhist Association after work to take a look at a picture I had seen before. (It is a picture of the Western Pure Land.) Sure enough, the pagodas, buildings, streams, trees, and the like were there. But the multitude of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the picture I had not seen in my dream and the central figure of Amitabha Buddha was the place the Venerable Master had occupied!"
The Venerable Master and Delegation reached Penang.
8/23/78 Wednesday evening. Voice of Wisdom Hall, Penang.
The Venerable Master was to continue lecturing on the Earth Store Sutra at the Voice of Wisdom Hall. It was a full house attendance. The Hall is situated a short distance away from the main road. Below is Sung-chee's account of events that transpired:
"I was walking by the left hand side of the short path leading to the Hall. There were a lot of other people, too, all like me, coming to attend the Sutra lecture.
A car was coming up the same path. In it I saw the Venerable Master seated in the back seat on the left side by the window, looking ahead. As the car passed by me, Shih-fu turned towards me and smiled. I, of course, smiled back.
That evening I heard the 31st Chapter of the Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra. I realized that it was the chapter Shih-fu had discoursed for me! Every detail was extremely vivid!"
-To be continued-
RECORD OF THE BEGGAR FROM LONG WHITE MOUNTAIN
There is a mountain in China which is covered with snow all the year round, hence the name Long White. At the base of the mountain is a county with two cities, one to the east and one to the west. Therefore it is called Twin Cities County. In the county was a farmer Pai "White", his given name was Shan "Mountain." From his youth he was stupid and straightforward. The family was poor; they had to beg. That is why he came to be called "Beggar."
When he was in his teens he liked to ride on horses and practice with swords. He favored the martial arts and was ready to fight. Whenever he saw something unjust, he would stand upright to rectify it and to help out even to the point of sacrificing himself for the sake of his friends. He regarded this as something honorable and glorious. Taking a loss to benefit others, he considered a happy turn of events.
At age fifteen he attended the village school and came to some accomplishment. He paid special attention to education. At seventeen he established a free school and among his fellow villagers, he personally took charge of the teaching. When he was nineteen, his mother passed away. He dwelled in a thatched hut by the grave.1 Thereafter he left the home life to cultivate the Way, and as a result he truly became a "beggar."
A verse says:
The beggar from Long White has a foolish and straight nature.
In aiding people and benefiting others, he only fears it will be too late.
Forgetting his body, for the sake of the Dharma he lays down his life.
Dispensing the medicine according to the illness, he gives his marrow and b
He wishes that the ten directions become one substance.
His practice exhausts empty space as he gathers the myriad conditions
of living creatures.
No past, no future, and no present,
There is no south, no north, no east, and no west.
1According to the rites of ancient China, one mourns for one's deceased parents by dwelling for three years in a hut by the side of the grave as an act of filial piety.