Pictorial Biography of the Venerable Master


Continued from issue #55

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


During his twenty-seventh year, the Master resolved to practice austerities and vowed to end birth and death.  He thought of how in the past Dharma Master Hsuan Tsang, before going to India, first forged his own discipline with practices such as fasting.  The Master had a propensity for that sort of vigor.  Although he had fulfilled the requirements of his office, he had not yet completed his karma in following the Way.  Having made up his mind to complete it, the Master resigned from office, he returned to the cave to sit in dhyana, and subsisted on pine needles and spring water.

The Gatha says:

The eminent monk's practice and vows
Alarm the ghosts and spirits.
The sincerity of one true thought
Affects even stone and metal.
Resigning from office he withdrew to a cave
To practice still contemplation;
In precepts and samadhi he steeped himself,
While the sun of his wisdom grew bright.

To be continued