A Pictorial Biography of the Venerable Master


                                          (continued from issue #44)

Composed by the Venerable Tripitaka Master Hua
Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Yo
Illustrated by a Student of Prajna


      When the Master was seventeen years old, he had already undergone the hardships of practicing Taoism for three years, and was indeed disappointed. He constantly thought about leaving the home life and joining the Buddhist Sangha. One day he took advantage of his uncle's being away and unaware, and furtively fled to Nan Yo. There, he would shave his head in an ancient temple, and officially leave the home-life. But he would never have guessed that on a winding mountain path, he would encounter the envois sent by his uncle to intercept and bring him back. His aspiration was not realized, and he was reproved and escorted home.

The Gatha says:

Renouncing the vulgar and leaving the dust,

he toiled to understand;

His intent was mature but

the rugged mountain's path was steep and narrow.

He lacked the Precious Thoroughbred

and the aid of the Heavenly kings,

So in the end he was overtaken

and went back home again.

                                                            To be continued