Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs

THE GREAT MASTER HAN SHAN (COLD MOUNTAIN)

 

  

--By Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua

--Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Ching

   

    The Master was from Cold Mountain in T'ang Hsing County (the present Moonlight Cliff in T'ien T'ai County) and took his name from this locale. He had a coarse look about him, clothes tattered and ragged; his hat was made of birch bark. He frequented Kuo Ch'ing Monastery and got leftovers from Shih Te. Most people considered him mad. He set forth his feelings regarding various matters in poems written on stone walls and trees. He was a good friend of the Master Feng Kan, Abbot of Kuo Ch'ing Monastery.

In the last year of the reign period Chen Yuan, Lu Ch'iu Yin was sent to T'ai prefecture to assume an official post. In the course of his travels he was taken with a severe headache which Feng Kan cured for him. Lu said, "Anciently sages often manifested among men, but nowadays this is a rare occurrence.

Feng Kan replied, "The Great Beings Manjusri and Samantabhadra have manifested transformation bodies in the forms of Han Shan and Shih Te of Kuo Ch'ing Monastery.  You ought to go and bow to them."

When Lu went to see these two he found them talking and laughing around the stove. When he bowed to them they scolded him by saying, "You don't bow to Amitabha, why bother with us?" Then each grabbed him by one hand and sang, "Feng Kan sure is a blabbermouth!

When Lu returned to the mountain the next day, the two masters entered a crevice in the rock, and as they said, "You should all work hard," the crevice suddenly shut.

His eulogy says,

When worldly people saw the Master, they thought him mad and wild.

The Master saw the worldly men, as laughable and sad.

They sang aloud beneath the pines, clasping hands by the side of the road.

With Feng Kan and with Shih Te, he played a fine mock show.