A pictorial biography of the Venerable Master


(Continued from issue #43)

Composed by the Venerable Tripitaka Master Hua

Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Yo

Illustrated by a Student of Prajna


In the third year of the Hsien Feng reign period, (AD 1854), the Master's father, realizing that his son cherished the idea of leaving the home-life, engaged a Taoist sorcerer to tutor him at home in the devices of alchemy, exhalation and inhalation.1 From this time on, he was prevented from leaving the home life. However, the Master's innate selective Dharma eye would not let him be content with this situation. He saw that the externalist teaching was inferior to Buddhism's great renunciation, and wished to have no part of it. His studies at this time were as effective as scratching an itch through one's boot. But the Master was sincerely filial, and didn't disobey his father's commands. He remained tolerant and compromising.

The Gatha says:

All three thousand extraneous doors reveal their special skills,

And the ninety-six other religions display their wonderful words.

Who would guess that the Master had the Selective Dharma Eye,

Right or wrong, improper or correct, he could distinguish clearly.

1These Taoist practices are mentioned in Chuang Tzu, in the beginning of Chapter 15. For more references, see page 1923. under the entry  .