Biography of the
Composed by the Venerable Tripitaka Master Hua
Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Yo
Illustrated by a Student of Prajna
SETTLES IN A CLIFF CAVE AND CULTIVATES IN SECLUSION #17
At that time, the Master's father at his home in Chuan Chou enjoined a number of men to search for the Master. After receiving the precepts, Fu Kuo packed up and began his explorative Journey on foot. It is not known where he went in his travels for study. The Master had put down his body and mind, and sequestered himself on the backside of a mountain. The people who came to see him were few Indeed; however, there were tigers and wolves who came from deep in the mountains and valleys to the caves on the cliff. The Master ate pine seeds when hungry, and when thirsty, drank pure spring water.
The Gatha says:
Bitterly cultivating in a cave on a
Kuo P'u: (Bhiksuni Heng Hsien, a candidate for Ph.D. in Sanskrit at the University of California at Berkeley, successfully completed the 108-day Precept Transmission Session held last summer at Gold Mountain Monastery. This session marked the first orthodox transmission of precepts held on American soil and Heng Hsien became the first woman to receive ordination in America. She is proficient in many languages and is currently teaching both Sanskrit and German at Gold Mountain, is an acting instructor in Indian Civilization at University of California at Berkeley, and is concentrating her efforts on a translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra and Commentary from the Chinese.) "Because of my involvement with the class I am teaching, I have not been able to cultivate much this week. However, whenever I enter the hall I notice the air around me is clear; it becomes quite pure as I recite the Buddha's name as if my eyes could see more to either side, see further around my head. Also at times I have almost seen flowers, which are not yet clear, since I have not done much work. I can also feel the psychic heat energy when I am sitting in meditation, but again I haven't worked on it much yet."
These are initial stages in your cultivation. Continue to work hard.
Yesterday I said a woman used her minor spiritual penetrations to cause three suns to rise in the west and set in the east, and when this occurred the earth was actually on the verge of quaking. Someone said he didn't believe this. I already told you it was a false state, why would you want to believe it? Actually if I hadn't spoken of the false, how could the true appear in such a good light? This is why we sometimes juxtapose the false with the true, thereby making the truth apparent.
But when this situation came up it was truly as if the earth were about to quake, and. I was a bit frightened. But I quickly used the power of my samadhi and my fear immediately subsided. As soon as I was without fear the false state vanished. This is why one in dhyana meditation who is disturbed by a demon king, must certainly remain unmoved. He must not become involved in the state. If one has no fear he will not be attacked by a demon, but if the least bit of fear stirs in one's heart, the demon can catch him. So it is said, "Those with fear cannot obtain the orthodox."
Not long after I first arrived in San Francisco there was a small earthquake at which time I said, Kuan Yin (Avalokitesvara) Bodhisattva, why aren't you attending to this matter." From then on there have not been any quakes.
I have told you the story about the arrogant man before. Basically he had been caught by a demon, and considered himself higher than any other person, higher than any god, and even higher than the Buddha! He had some minor spiritual penetrations, which enabled him to understand past and present situations as well as predict future events. The accuracy of his predictions caused a lot of people to believe in him. One who studies the Buddhadharma must not believe in the spiritual penetrations of heavenly demons and externalists. If there is an earthquake then there is an earthquake. But predictions of earthquakes are empty and false and no one should believe them.
Today someone offered $20 so the great assembly could have milk to drink and someone else offered $5 toward the preparation of celery soup. These can be counted as a bit of response to the work we are doing.
To be continued