BODHI SEAL OF THE PATRIARCHS

NATIONAL MASTER CHIH CHE HUI YAO OF THE LIANG DYNASTY

óBy Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua --Translated by Bhiksuni Heng Yin

The Master's name was Te Su and his family name was Lou. An extraordinary youth, he set his heart on leaving home, but didn't know where to turn. One day he suddenly saw a monk and asked him where to go. The monk pointed east and said, "In Kuan Chung1 the Buddhadharma flourishes and there are many good knowing advisors." Just as quickly, the monk vanished and Chih Che then knew that he had met a holy man.

Chih Che left home at Tung Shan Monastery when he was seventeen. He dwelt in an exposed cave and ate no cooked food, living only on pine needles.  Official Chou Yu, Chief Minister Ch'u! Yuan and General Wang Chien all requested him to speak about the Dharma. Wherever he dwelt the wild beasts were docile and tigers acted as his Dharma Protectors, guarding his door as if they were housedogs. His life was filled with many such magical occurrences.

During the Liang Dynasty, many ordination platforms were held. The Master was asked to act as Acarya and was honored with the title "Chih Che", "The Wise One." When he explained the precepts, a magpie and two peacocks came to hear him. The Emperor himself received the Bodhisattva precepts from him.

After his nirvana, a rare fragrance filled the room. He was buried in a stupa to the left of Great Master Chih Kung2 and at his funeral a pair of white cranes circled the stupa crying mournfully. After the burial, they left.

A verse in praise of him says,

This great Bodhisattva Appeared in a Bhiksu's body,

Morality arose from his nature.

Did he need to cultivate for his penetrations?

He was the Emperor's teacher,

The host of the Dharma covenant,

The peer of Master Chih Kung,

A model for a thousand years.


NOTES:

1 The region near Ch'ang An

2 See VBS #25, pg.1 .