--By Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
--Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Shou

      Born in India into the Pai family, the Venerable Buddhacinga arrived at Loyang in 311 C.E., the fourth year of the Yung Chia reign period. According to tradition he lived more than a hundred years.

      The Master had an opening in his side, which he ordinarily plugged with a ball of cotton. Whenever he removed the plug light poured forth and lit up the entire room.

During that particular time in history, the troops of the usurper Shih Lei were ravaging the countryside, slaying countless innocent people.  Buddhacinga decided to visit Shih Lei hoping to influence him to be less cruel. When he arrived, the Emperor demanded a test of his spiritual powers, whereupon the Master drew forth his begging bowl and chanted a mantra over it. A blue lotus immediately appeared within, floating on a pool of water. Dazzling beams of light radiated everywhere and Shih Lei could barely open his eyes for all the brightness. From that moment on he always believe in Buddhacinga.

      Emperor Chi Lung, who was the next to ascend the throne, showed even greater faith and reverence for the Master. When he was finally ready to leave the world, Buddhacinga traveled to the palace to bid farewell to the Emperor. The Emperor cried, "But Master, why must you cast me aside and leave me behind?"

Buddhacinga replied, "Whatever is born must certainly die. This is the inviolable law of the Way. When one's life-span has already been set, he can neither extend nor decrease it. Bear in mind these words as you rule the land: if the country cherishes the Buddhadharma, establishing monasteries and aiding people who wish to enter the Sangha, blessings and felicity will definitely abound. However, if your reign is cruel and tyrannical, and if you blatantly disregard the principles of the Sutras, disastrous calamities will ensue." Then, the Venerable Buddhacinga sat upright and departed.

Shortly after his burial, a traveling bhiksu reported that he had seen Buddhacinga walking toward the mountain passes which lead away from Ch'ang An. When Emperor Chi Lung was informed of this, he ordered his workmen to dig up the grave. When the last of the earth had been scraped away and the coffin lid finally pried open, the Emperor found that nothing remained within except a single stone.

The eulogy to Buddhacinga states:

"The tyranny of Shih Lei was as savage

As the raging of a wild tiger.

Pray tell, why did the Master come?

Was it to play at being the Emperor's guest?

He beamed forth a myriad brilliant rays

And genuinely practiced humane compassion.

His appearance was like the moon's reflection

Captured in a pool of water;

His departure was as rapid

As the passing of an illusory cloud."

      Although the Sanskrit reconstruction of this name is far from certain, the suggestion Buddhacinga for Fo T’uo Ch’eng makes good sense. R. L. Turner, A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, London (1966), #4785 cinga ‘young bird’, modern ‘child’; so it might be equivalent to ‘Buddha son’.

--Chinese text below--

      “Swiftly, swiftly may he speed
            To the country filled with happiness.”
                  Know the joys of Sanskrit.

On one occasion the Master Hsuan Hua said:

"Having heard me speak about the wonder of empty space, someone wants to become empty space. He says, "Hey, there was one time when I was meditating and several times when I was listening to Sutras when there wasn't anything at all. It was just like empty space. It was really like this. I saw it..."

What did you see? You still haven't realized emptiness. If you were empty how could you know you were like empty space? If you were empty how could you, moreover, see empty space? If you were empty how could you have the feeling that you were like empty space? Look into this yourself and see if you are empty or not. If you are empty how can there still be a "you"?  How can you have an "I feel"? Is this "I feel" empty?