The Record of Waler and
THE GREAT MASTER CH'ANG JEN (FILIAL SON WANG)
BY TRIPITAKA MASTER HSUAN HUA
Commentary by Disciple Bhik~u Heng Chin
is the custom in China, during the first month in the first year of
marriage, for the newly married couple to go to the home of the wife’s
family to make the New Year’ s bows.
It is a custom among Chinese people to pay special calls during the first month of the new year. New Year bows are important in Chinese etiquette.
In accord with this rule Wu Kuo Chung’s grandson and wife traveled by horsecart to her family home to make the New Year’s call. They had to travel almost a hundred miles. Halfway along the route they suddenly saw the Great Master Ch’ang Jen seated in the cart; they asked where he wished to go. He answered, “I am just out for a stroll. I’ll accompany you to the Ho family.” The bride looked at him and saw that he was not elegant —— tattered clothing, filthy head and face —— and asked him not to accompany them.
The Master replied, “If you don’t go I won’t go. Otherwise, I will certainly accompany you.” The couple had no recourse but to turn the cart around and return home.
Soon afterwards they heard that further along the road they had been travelling were several hundred highwaymen who were holding up travellers, stealing their vehicles-and horses and tying up people whom they held for ransom.
Shortly after turning the cart around they encountered other travelers who informed them of the bandits further along the road.
They looked in the cart and found the Great Master had already left; they did not know when.
returning home, the grandson asked his grand—uncle, the elderly Kuo
said, “I have been meditating with the Master and he has not gotten up
from his seat for even a short time. It must have been his transformation
body which rescued you. Quickly go and bow your thanks.”
If there is an appropriate level of attainment in the work of cultivation, all manner of states will necessarily manifest as tests. Once the room in which the Master was secluded suddenly caught fire and began to burn. In that some building more than two tons of gunpowder and four crates of bullets totalling over 20,000 rounds were stored. If the flames reached them the entire household would certainly have been killed. The workmen then rushed in to rescue the Master, and pulled at him with their united strength, but he was like a stone image weighing nearly a ton and it was difficult to budge him even an inch.
Many of the little children of the Wu family saw more than ten Filial Sons Wang on the roof extinguishing the fire with water. In a short time the fire went out by itself and everyone exclaimed, “How strange!”
Such events are more likely to be visible to young children since the emotions and desires of children are much lighter than those of adults. Emotions and desires are an extremely great hindrance to cultivation.
Afterwards ,·the Great Master said to Kuo HsiXn, “The fire was in response to what is in my nature. If my samadhi power had not been sufficient, and if I had been the slightest bit moved, this flesh body of mine would long ago have turned to ash.”
At that time the Japanese had begun their invasion of the Northeast provinces of China. The entire region was confused and disordered. Soldiers and bandits could not be distinguished as they ki lied, robbed and tied people to poles, holding them for ransom. Not a single day was not like this.
The Wu’s, as the wealthiest family in the area, had long been the target of thieves. Fearing that the family would have many people and guns, the thieves did not dare to undertake a move lightly. At that time bandit groups banded together until they were more than 3,000 strong, and surrounded and attacked the Wu’s.
By then the people of the Wu family had already move into a city in Shuang Ch’eng County (i~ J,~). Only car takers and workers remained at home, seven people in all.
Wu Kuo Hsun and the Master Ch’ang Jen were among the seven remaining at the Wu house.
It seemed, in fact, difficult to repel the bandits until some of them, looking from afar, saw an uncountable number of soldiers with rifles trained on them atop the walls of the Wu household. Bandits who had already do in had no way to break in and attack because of the strength of the doors and walls, so they took firewood and brush and filled carts with fuel , set them afire, and pushed them up to the door. The sky suddenly cloud over, and great buckets of rain extinguished the fire.
The bandits, thinking they were through, began to reprove each other saying, “The Wu family is a great, compassionate, and good family in this area. We should rob from them or we will certainly incur the punishment of heaven.” With the speed of fire they withdrew.
After this event the Master told the Wu family, “Today Kuan Kung has made his spiritual power clear, and, protecting the good, has frightened the bandits into retreat. In the city, the clay horse in Kuan Ti’s Temple is extremely tired and his entire body is we with sweat as if it were being washed with water.”
The next day the news arrived and it was just as the Master had predicted.
The bandits’ attack took place on Kuan Ti Bodhisati festival day, the 13th day of the 5th month.