Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs
DYNASTY VINAYA MASTER TAO HSUAN OF
by the Venerable High Master Hua
The Master was the son of Ch'ien Shen, President of the Board of Rites in Ching Chao.l Before he was born the Masterís mother had a dream in which an Indian monk said to her, "The child you are carrying is Vinaya Master Yu of the Liang Dynasty."2
The child grew up, left home, and disciplined himself according to the Vinaya. He dwelt at Chung Nan Mountain and cultivated the Po Chou Samadhi.3 The dra≠gons and spirits were moved, and changed into human forms in order to listen to the Dhanna, and the gods brought him offerings of fine food. Once, in the middle of the night, as he was walking, he stumbled over a room-divider and was about to fall when a youth in armour came to his aid and caught him. The Master asked him who he was. "Your disciple is Chang Ch'iung, the son of the god Po Ch'a; because of your moral virtue he has come to your aid." Many magical occurrences followed that one, and he was also given one of the Buddha's teeth.4
In the Spring of the second year of the Ch'ien Feng reign (A.D. 667) a heavenly spirit said to him, "The con≠ditions of your retribution are about to be exhausted and you shall be born in the Inner Court."5 Towards the end of the tenth month, the assembly saw canopies and flowers, and heard heavenly music inviting the Master to meet Maitreya. He then died.
His circulated writings, including commentaries and biographies, come to 81 volumes. He was a Patriarch of the Vinaya School.
A verse in his praise says,
Buddha cautioned his disciples
the next issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea, the Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs will
introduce T'ang Dynasty Vinaya Master Yuan Chao of Ling Chih Monastery.