Pictorial Biography of the Venerable Master


Composed by the Venerable Master Hua

Illustrated by a Student of Prajna

Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Yo


After the Master's father had returned to Hsiang hsiang, he thought of his wife1, and knew that he was also soon to die. He remembered his son who had fled from home, and overcome with grief and worry, he left the world.  The Master's stepmother Wong, moved by his death, encouraged the Master's two wives to go forth from home as Bhiksunis, which they all did. His stepmother Wong was given the dharma name Miao Ching (Wonderful Purity); his wife T'ien was named Chen Chieh (True Purity); and the dharma name of his wife T'an was Ch'ing Chieh (Pristine Chastity). They single-mindedly repented of their numerous karmic obstacles, let go of the threads of defilement, and sought rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss in order to see Amitabha Buddha.

The Gatha says:

Mortal kinsmen and relatives are the demons of Buddha-lands,

They were the very reason for the sage's trouble and adversity.

About to arrive at the other shore, he turned his head to see it,

Inverting confusion he returned to awaken, thanks to Devadatta.2

1 See #5. The Master's mother died while giving birth to him.
2 Devadatta was a rival cousin of Sakyamuni Buddha who tried to harm him.