Records of the Lives of the High Masters

From the lecture of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
Trans: Bhiksuni Heng Chih
Revised: Bhiksuni Heng Yin, Sramanerika Heng Chen
Edited: Bhiksu Heng Kuan

DHARMA MASTER GUNABHADRA: PART I

AFTER DECAPITATION HE SPOKE FLUENT CHINESE

Dharma Master Gunabhadra, "Worthy One of Merit and Virtue," was an Indian, as you can tell from his name, but he had great conditions with the Chinese people and went to China (arrived 455 A.D.) to teach and transform living beings. He was determined to cross over the Chinese and vowed to do so.

In his early years this Dharma Master was not very intelligent. After studying the Buddhadharma, however, he became greatly wise and smarter than everyone else. He mastered the Tripitaka, the sutras, the sastras, and the vinaya, and cultivated dhyana with single-minded effort until he attained deep dhyana samadhi.

Why was the Dharma Master stupid when he was young?

It was because his family believed in an outside way, another religion.

What kind of outside way was it?

They were so far outside that they would not allow anyone in the household to draw near bhiksus, to believe in sramanas. When they saw a bhiksu coming they considered him to be fiercer than a tiger and more deadly than a poisonous snake. "If you get near them you'll lose your life," they warned each other. "Whatever you do, don't get near a sramana." Because these were the rules of their household, their child was very stupid. He did not even know how to count--couldn't distinguish fours from sixes.

But eventually Gunabhadra became extremely intelligent.

How did that happen?

The causes and conditions were very peculiar. On one occasion he saw a copy of The Nirvana Sutra, read it, and experienced an enlightenment. He said, "Buddhism is so wonderful. The Buddhadharma is so high," and he ran away from home. He walked right outside the door of that outside way. From inside the outside way door he drilled his way outside, and ran away to find a good knowing advisor.

His causes and conditions were pretty good, because once outside right away he met up with what they commonly called a "tiger" or "snake," that is, he met a bhiksu. The bhiksu spoke Dharma for him and said, "Leaving the home life is not easy. Not even to mention leaving home yourself, just being able to see people who have left the home life means you have to have good roots."

So you see, now all of you young Americans have good roots and so you have been able to see people who have left the home life. The people in this country who are twice your age very rarely see a person who has left the home life. Some who travel around a lot on vacations may have seen bhiksus, or some may have seen pictures of them in books, but rarely are bhiksus seen in America. The people who have genuinely drawn near to bhiksus are even fewer. Now the roots of you young people have matured, and so there are bhiksus and bhiksunis in this country.

So the bhiksu said to him, "To encounter the Triple Jewel is difficult and very rare, and if you can leave the home life to be a bhiksu, that is even more inconceivable." Gunabhadra immediately asked the Dharma Master to shave his head, and he left the home life to become a sramanera. Later he received the complete precepts of a bhiksu.

Gunabhadra means "Worthy One of Merit and Virtue." Someone asked me if he is the same Gunabhadra mentioned in Fa Hai's introduction to the Sixth Patriarch Sutra. Since the text says that, Gunabhadra was also from the Sung dynasty, it is likely that they are the same person. However, you should keep in mind that many Indian people had the same name. It is the same in America. Take the name Steve, for instance, how many Steves are there in America? In the same way, many Indians had the same name. Then, too, even if the Sanskrit names were spelled slightly differently, they both could have been transliterated by the same Chinese characters, because those who translated admittedly would sometimes say, "Just get it more or less the same. It doesn't matter if it is off a little." Steve is just Steve, you don't have to bother with the last name, was their attitude. So not only might there have been two Gunabhadras, there might have been a hundred or a thousand. There's no way to figure out exactly what went on. Anyway, it is not that important.  After all, it is just a person's name, you don't have to go to a lot of trouble over it and waste valuable time.

Historians just ask for trouble by continually doing research to find out when that person lived and when this person lived. It is a case of having eaten their fill; they don't have anything to do so they get involved in doing meaningless things. The best thing to do would be to hurry up and get rid of them altogether; all they do is eat the world's food without doing anything of worth for the world. We don't need them at all. The more they investigate the more trouble there is, the more they investigate the more they draw the conclusions, "This is false." What is true? In this world, what is false and what is true? Nothing. If you think something is false, it is false, and if you think something is true, it is true. For instance, a certain country says they have a certain man for their president, but if you haven't seen him for yourself, you can simply draw the conclusion that he is false...On the other hand, if he weren't president, you could simply go ahead and say he was. There is no way to be decisive about it.

Originally Master Gunabhadra was stupid, but then he became smart.  What reason is there for this? Because people in his household believed in an outside way, another religion, he was stupid, but as soon as he came to believe in the Buddhadharma he became intelligent. So you see, there is nothing fixed. After Master Gunabhadra ran away from his outside way home and became a monk, he propagated the doctrine of the dhyana school in India for many years. One day he had a false thought and said, "The root-nature of Great Vehicle Dharma has matured in China. I should go there and teach living beings." He knew that it was an extremely difficult matter to go to China and teach; for one thing, the languages were not the same. Then, too, the road was very long. So he thought of a plan to save effort.

What was it?

He said that the walk from India to China of over ten thousand li involved too much suffering and that it would be better to take a ship. "I'll ride a ship every day instead of having to walk, and gradually I'll get to China and it won't be so hard." That was his plan. Now is that intelligent or not? If he had not been intelligent he would have walked, but because he was so smart he thought of a way to avoid walking. He took a ship.

Taking a ship, however, was still no guarantee that he would make it to China. When the ship sailed out into the ocean it got stuck on a sand bar. Then the water around it dried up and left the whole ship high and dry.

It was a big vessel, and the crew and passengers combined could not budge it. There they were, surrounded by ocean, yet it looked for sure like they would die. There were no communications and there was no way out. It wasn't like the oceans of today on which there are many vessels. At that time there were very few ships. Master Gunabhadra thought, "We have encountered a demon obstacle and the ship won't go."

It was an unexpected difficulty, but the Master was intelligent and didn't get nervous or upset. He said, "I will teach all of you, passengers and crew alike, to call on the Buddhas of the Ten Directions and on Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva. We will return our lives to the Triple Jewel of the Ten Directions and to the Greatly Compassionate Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva." Then they all put their palms together and recited, "Homage to the Eternally Dwelling Buddhas of the Ten Directions. Homage to the Eternally Dwelling Dharma of the Ten Directions. Homage to the Eternally Dwelling Sangha of the Ten Directions. Homage to the Greatly Compassionate Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva." They recited and recited and Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva, who was sitting, probably could not sit still, and said, "I have to go rescue those people." So Kuan Yin Bodhisattva ordered a rain, and pretty soon the ship floated free. Not only that, but imperceptibly a gentle wind rose and blew the ship right to China. Master Gunabhadra was very intelligent; in that difficult situation he did not become agitated or nervous, but continued to believe in the Buddhas of the Ten Directions. Because of this the Buddhas of the Ten Directions escorted him to China.

He arrived in China during the Sung dynasty (in 435 A.D.) and Prime Minister Ch'iao Wang, who believed in Buddhism, was very good to him. Once the Prime Minister asked Master Gunabhadra to explain The Avatamsaka Sutra.  He asked to hear that Sutra because he discovered that earlier, when Dharma Master Gunabhadra first left the home-life in India, he had, according to custom, selected the Sutra he would study during a formal ceremony where lots, on which the names of different sutras were written, were drawn. He picked the piece of paper, which read "The Avatamsaka Sutra," and his draw moved his teacher to say, "You certainly have conditions with the Great Vehicle Buddhadharma that you should study the Avatamsaka Sutra."

Master Gunabhadra had studied the Avatamsaka Sutra. He recited it and had learned how to explain it, and at all times he thought about the principles contained in it. For this reason when he arrived in China the Prime Minister asked him to lecture on that Sutra. Unfortunately, although the Master knew the common expressions such as "good morning, good afternoon, good evening" and the like, he could not speak enough Chinese to lecture the Sutra, and at that time there weren't any Chinese people who could translate for him. Under such circumstances he began bowing to the Buddhas in repentance, asking them to open his wisdom and enable him to speak Chinese. His resolve was firm, and he bowed the repentance for more than a year. One day it was as if he was in samadhi and yet as if he were having a dream. He saw a man in white clothing holding a knife in one hand and a man's head in the other. The head of the man looked Chinese.

"What are you worried about?" asked the man in white.

Master Gunabhadra replied, "I come from India, and although someone has asked me to explain the Avatamsaka Sutra, I cannot do it because I cannot speak Chinese. Because I cannot do it, I am requesting the Buddhas to help me."

"That's no problem," said the man in white. "I'll give you a new head and you'll be able to speak Chinese is that all right?" Do you want to do this or not? I'll give you this head and cut off the one you have."

Master Gunabhadra said, "Well, if you think it's all right, then, all right..." So the man in white took the knife and sliced off Master Gunabhadra's head and put the one he was holding in his hand on in its place.

"Does it hurt?"

"No," replied Master Gunabhadra, "it doesn't hurt!" Suddenly he woke up. From then on, he didn't know how or why it happened, but he could speak fluent Chinese and was able to explain the Avatamsaka Sutra.


The Ten Dharma Realms Are Not Beyond A Single Thought. A clear description of the realms of being as Buddhism teaches them--from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to gods, men, animals, ghosts, and beings in the hells. Verses and commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. With delightful line drawings. Paperbound, 40 pp. $2.00.

DHARMA MASTER GUNABHADRA: PART 11

WADING ONLY KNEE-DEEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE YANGTZE
HE REACHED THE FAR SHORE IN A FEW STEPS

Dharma Master Gunabhadra also had the name "Mahayana," and so he was known as "Dharma Master Great Vehicle." At Ching Chou during the Sung dynasty (420-477) Prime Minister Ch'iao Wang requested Master Gunabhadra to lecture the Avatamsaka Sutra. After three years of lectures, the Prime Minister kept having a recurring bad dream, which he asked Master Mahayana to explain to him.

Master Mahayana said, "I fear that within the year there will be an inauspicious demonic circumstance which will arise in the Sung dynasty.  Someone wants a revolution. Sure enough, within the year there was a revolution in the Sung, following which the Prime Minister himself decided that he, too, wanted to be Emperor, and was determined to start his own revolution. At that time Master Mahayana, Dhyana Master Gunabhadra had a worried expression on his face. However, he didn't say anything.

Finally the Prime Minister asked him, "Mahayana, you are a person who cultivates the Way, why do you have such a worried expression these days?"

Dhyana Master Gunabhadra began to cry bitterly and urged the Prime Minister not to revolt, warning him that the revolution would not be successful. But the Prime Minister was so intent upon stirring up a revolution that he did not take heed. Not only did he intend to revolt, he intended to take the Master with him.

Why did he want to take the Master along?

Many people believed very deeply in Dhyana Master Gunabhadra, and if he were in on the revolt, the troops and common people would have faith in it and the maneuver would be successful.

So the Prime Minister and Gunabhadra want together from Ching Chou to Nanking. On their way they passed through the Liang Mountains, and there the armies clashed. Ch'iao Wang and his troops were defeated in that initial battle, which ended in the middle of the Yangtze River. The Master thought he would certainly be killed, so he took his staff and jumped into the river. Although they were far from shore, the water only came up to his knees, but when he used his bamboo staff to test the depth of the water, it did not touch bottom.

He was a long way from shore and thought, "I'll certainly die now. Even though the water is only up to my knees. I'm too far from shore. There is no way to get across this river." Just then a little child about seven or eight years old came up to him from behind and tugged at his clothes, pulling him forward. "How can a little child like you take me across?" the Master asked, and no sooner had he said those words when suddenly they had reached the shore of the river even though he felt he had gone but a few steps.

When he got on shore he removed his clothing and turned to give it to the small child by way of thanks, but the child was nowhere to be found. He didn't know where he had gone. Then he realized that because he had been single-minded in reciting the name of Kuah Shih Yin Bodhisattva while he was in the river, Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva had sent the Youth Sudana to take him across the river and help him get through that dangerous situation.

When he reached the shore there were still troops around and he was captured by them. The Emperor of the Sung had sent out troops to take care of Ch'iao Wang with these orders: "No matter which of you captures Dhyana Master Mahayana, you should be very good to him and bring him back to the capital." They escorted him to the Emperor who held an audience with him and said, "I have looked up to you for a long time. I have long hoped for the opportunity to meet you but conditions have only now matured. Today the conditions are ripe, and at last I have met you."

Mahayana said, "It has been the condition of my karma that has caused me to meet with this situation. Now, for you, the Emperor, not to have me executed makes me especially grateful."

The Emperor then sent him to Jeta Grove Monastery to dwell, made abundant offerings to him, and often asked him to come to the Imperial Palace to receive offerings of vegetarian food. The officials all took refuge and bowed to Dhyana Master Gunabhadra as their teacher.

Once when the Emperor invited him to receive offerings at the palace, the Master did not have time to shave his beard or the hair on his head, both of which were snow white. As he was on his way to the palace the Emperor of Sung said to his officials, "Mahayana has incomparable wisdom and eloquence and is noted for his humaneness and righteousness. No matter what you ask him, he gives clear and wonderful answers. I'll question him now and we'll see what he says." Then the Emperor and officials welcomed the Master and the Emperor said, "Master Mahayana, you have come from afar, but now, there is only one matter remaining." The Emperor did not say what matter he was referring to.

The Master replied, "This old Sangha member has come from afar to draw near the Emperor and has been here some thirty years now. There isn't anything else; there is only death remaining."

Since what the Emperor had been referring to was just death, and since that is what the Master had answered, the Emperor was extremely pleased and asked Mahayana to sit at his side. The officials were all delighted and were particularly attentive to Dharma Master Mahayana.

Afterwards the Master dwelt at a place called Phoenix Pavilion, and west of the pavilion he built a monastery. When it was finished, a lot of bhiksus came to live there. In the middle of the night there was continual knocking on their doors; for example, a bhiksu would be sleeping in his room when someone would come and rap on his door, but when he got up and went to see who was there, there wasn't anyone in sight. This happened all the time until people began to think that a demonic ghost was bothering the place and keeping the Bodhimanda in an uproar.

Dharma Master Mahayana heard people talking about this, and one evening he lit some incense and made the following statement: "All of you have lived here a long time and we have many conditions together. Now I have built this monastery and if you can live here, you can be the Dharma protectors and good spirits of this monastery. If you cannot live here, then do whatever you want, but don't hang around here giving people who cultivate the Way a lot of trouble." On the night the Master made that statement, more than ten monks and laymen had an identical dream.

What did they dream?

They saw an uncountable number of ghosts pack up their baggage and move out. After that there wasn't any more knocking on the doors.

In the first month of the new year (468 A.D.) the Master had a slight illness, said goodbye to the Emperor and the officials, sat in full lotus, and entered Nirvana. He was 75 years old.

      Originally the Master came from a family which believed in an outside way. After he left the home life he converted his parents and they took refuge with the Triple Jewel. After he became a monk they used to write him quite often, asking him to come home to see them. Finally he wrote them a letter--he was fully ordained at the time, having taken the sramanera precepts, the bhiksu precepts, and the Bodhisattva precepts, in which he said, "If you are still holding on to that religion it would be useless for me to come and see you. But if you were to take refuge with the Triple Jewel, then we could see each other quite often." His parents were so moved by his letter that they changed from the deviant and returned to the proper. They renounced the outside way, took refuge with the Triple Jewel, and became Buddhist disciples. Think it over. Originally this Dharma Master didn't have any wisdom, but then he cultivated, became wise, and was able to convert his parents. It should be clear that Dharma Master Gunabhadra is worth emulating.

People who cultivate the Way should find a good model to follow. If someone is not a good model you should regard him as you would something prohibited and be careful only to imitate the good. You should see which virtuous high master you admire and respect the most, and then study his life and imitate him. Don't just listen to these stories about the high monks and then forget them. You should be particularly attentive to each of them.  Confucius said,

"Seeing a worthy one, you should resolve to be like him; seeing one who is not worthy, you should examine yourself."

{Analects, Bk.IV, Chpt.l7)

This means that what is good you can accept as Dharma; what is not good you should realize is in violation of precepts. If we see something good we can attempt to imitate it, but we should not try to be like those who set a bad example.

Before you understood the Buddhadharma, you could do whatever you felt like. But now that you have come to understand it, you cannot do whatever you please. You should be extremely careful at all times. Be cautious, 8&if standing on the edge of an abyss, or walking on thin ice. You should be as if you are in deep water where, if you don't watch out, you'll drown. You should be as if you are walking on ice; if you make one wrong step, you'll plunge into the water. That is the way you should cultivate.

These high masters went from low places to high places. They did not become high monks as soon as they left the home life, but accomplished the Way gradually, bit by bit, through cultivation. So too should those of you who cultivate the Way progress little by little in cultivation. You should not follow your own inclinations and say, "I'm going to be whatever way I like to be." That won't work. It is necessary to continually examine yourself, and continually make the vows, "I shall not be lazy today. I shall not follow my own inclinations. I shall not be greedy, hateful, or stupid." Having made such vows in the morning, in the evening you should take stock and say to yourself, "This morning I made vows. Have I acted in accord with them? Or did I make the vow not to be greedy only to end up being greedier than usual; and the vow not to get angry only to end up even more angry; and the vow not to be stupid, only to find that no matter what I did I got confused?"

At all times you should see if you are able to subdue yourself and return to propriety. Always watch yourself. So it is said, "Mahasattva, don't pay attention to others. Amitabha Buddha, every man looks after himself." If you don't wish to sincerely advance in your cultivation toward the true, then the Bodhisattvas won't pay any attention to you. But if you wish to tend toward the true, the Bodhisattvas will help you.

LETTERS

International Institute for the Translation of Buddhist Texts
3636 Washington Street

Dear Everyone,

Though it has been a long time since you were kind enough to let me interview you, my impressions of the experience are still with me. From our talk (with or without my inane questions) sprang a paper, which Dr. Lancaster was pleased with. However, I still felt at a loss to express my deepest feelings about the experience in the paper. The tactile seems so difficult to convey within the confines of an assignment, so to speak.

I would like to thank you immensely, however belatedly, for the very moving experience of having at least touched a surface of a world/realm outside of my daily round. It had implications, which still remain. Little did I know how much your efforts affected so many others. Your efforts have indeed touched many and I was extremely aware of the sincerity, honesty which exemplified your practice.

Your time and patience was much appreciated and I am forever grateful to you all.

Thank you.

Please do take care. I wish to perhaps visit once again this time with a somewhat better idea of where and whom.

Metta,
            Yoko Yanari
            Enrolled in Dr. Lancaster's 171B
            Class at U.C. Berkeley, Fall, 1974.

DHARMA MASTER KANG FA LANG:

ENCOUNTERING A SICK BHIKSU, HIS PATIENT COMPASSION BROUGHT HIM TO SAGELY FRUIT

Dharma Master K'ang Fa Lang lived in Canton at Chung Shan during the Chin dynasty. From his youth onward he enjoyed investigating the Buddhadharma and left the home life when he was quite small. Because he was extremely intelligent, when he investigated, read, and recited the Great Vehicles Sutras, he also memorized them very rapidly, and soon could recite by heart the Surangama Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, and the Avatamsaka Sutra.

Sometimes when he was reciting the Sutras he would come to a passage which mentioned the Deer Park or the Bodhi tree, at which point he would close the Sutra text and sigh, "My karmic obstacles are very heavy. I have not been born at a time when there is a Buddha in the world, and so I cannot meet a Buddha. But I should go see all the holy traces left by Sakyamuni Buddha: how the Buddha cultivated in the Himalayas; how he sat beneath the Bodhi tree saw a bright star one evening and awakened to the Way; and after becoming a Buddha, how he went to take the five bhiksus across. I should look into all these matters."

On the strength of that vow, he began to look for companions who had made similar vows and who might be interested in travelling with him. After looking for a long time he found four, and they set out from China destined for India.

Their journey took them through an arid desert, which stretched, for over 800 li. After three days they had left all traces of men, animals, and even vegetation behind, when suddenly they came upon an oasis where the grass grew taller than a man and the trees were ancient. In the midst of the oasis were two dilapidate temples inhabited by two impoverished bhiksus. Not only were they poor, but one of the bhiksus was sick. The elder healthy bhiksu had not been paying any attention to the young one who was confined to a single room, his body covered with a mass of sores which seeped pus and blood so that the stench was unbearable. Not only that, the bloody, pus filled sores were infected by clutches of worms. He was a filthy sight. One glance at him made you want to vomit.

K'ang Fa Lang and his companions discussed the matter. "Buddhadharma is a oneness," they said, "Buddhists are of one family. That bhiksu is really sick and the old bhiksus isn't paying any attention to him. We should stay here and care for him. So they remained there, boiled water for the sick bhiksu, and made tea for him to drink. Then they bathed his sores, washed his clothing, and sincerely tended to his needs. They looked after him for six days, and on the seventh he was cured. The room no longer stank, but was filled with the fragrance of flowers. The young bhiksu told the five of them, "The old bhiksu in the other room is my teacher. He is a certified sage. You should go seek the Buddhadharma from him."

At that point they realized that the young sick bhiksu had feigned his illness. He had not really been diseased, but had merely been testing them.  They went in to see the old bhiksu and the old bhiksu said, "What are you planning to do?"

They replied, "We are headed for India to seek the Buddhadharma and that is how we happened to come here in the first place."

The old bhiksu said, "In cultivation it is not necessarily the case that you have to go to any certain place to seek the Buddhadharma. If you yourself cultivate intensely and do the work you can accomplish the Way. If you yourself don't do the work, then even if you go to the end of the heavens--no matter where you go--it won't be any good and you won't be able to accomplish your Way-karma. If you follow my advice you will dwell here, and we will develop our skill together."

K'ang Fa Lang and the four bhiksus listened and believed the words of exhortation spoken by the sage, and dwelt there. Eventually, however, K'ang Fa Lang again set out to travel through other countries, and met with many learned advisors.

When people who cultivate the Way encounter a state, regardless of what it is, they should be patient. Dhyana Master K'ang Fa Lang met up with a sick bhiksu, but if he had not been willing to tend to the bhiksu's disease he never would have known that he was in the presence of a sage who had certified to the fruit. He would have missed the opportunity. Later the monk Fa Lang did himself certify to the fruit, after which no one knows where he went. As to where he completed the stillness (died), or whether or not he did in fact complete the stillness, no one knows.

MASTER KANGS DISCIPLE DHYANA MASTER LING SHAO:

The Light of the Mountain Converted the Villagers

Dhyana Master K'ang Fa Lang had a disciple whose Dharma name was Ling Shao. His family name was Lu and like his teacher, he was unusually intelligent. When he was still at home he engaged in some frivolous pursuits and was also fond of hunting--he killed a lot of animals and enjoyed eating their meat. He continued eating meat until it began to dawn on him, "Oh, animals don't like to die. Why do I keep killing them? The correct thing would be to stop killing." After that he bowed to K'ang Fa Lang as his teacher, and investigated the doctrines of the Dhyana School. He could sit for many days straight and developed his skill in Dhyana samadhi, cultivating until he lost his teacher.

One day he didn't know where his teacher had gone, and unable to find him, he went into the mountains and sat in a cave, constantly sitting and never lying down. He carved his teacher's image out of a piece of wood, and every day he recited sutras and bowed to the image of his teacher. He cultivated that way for over a decade and then he, too, certified to the fruit, and-completed the stillness while sitting in the cave. At that time the people in the nearby village saw a brilliant glow on the mountain. Some of the more curious went to the mountain to investigate, and found a bhiksu there who had just died. Then everyone knew that the light had come from the bhiksu, and it caused many of the people in that area to believe in the Buddha.

When people get near rouge they become red, when they get near the ink they become black. Rouge is red and ink is black. If things are dyed green they become green, if they are dyed yellow they become yellow. The kind of people you involve yourself with are the kind of people you will come to imitate.

Why did the people in the town near Dhyana Master Ling Shao's cave come to believe in the Buddha? They saw that a bhiksu had sat there and completed the stillness and that at the time of his passing a light had come forth from the mountain. Those with good roots resolved to realize Bodhi, having been influenced by that Bhiksu.

Now we are spreading the Buddhadharma in a country, which has no Buddhadharma. If all of you work hard so that there are people who can sit ten days straight without letting their heads slump or their backs slouch, if there are those who can enter sam5dhi for ten days running, or twenty days running, even to the point that once they go into samadhi they can remain there for a month or two or three--a hundred days--then those who do not now believe in the Buddhadharma will come to believe.

Why?

They will see that you really have skill. "How could an ordinary person sit for a hundred days straight? That one certainly is a sage who has certified to the fruit."

For example in China there was the Elder Master Hsu Yun. Why did so many people believe in him? Because he could sit for a week, ten days, or over twenty days straight. When he went to Thailand where it is extremely hot (I've been to Thailand and it's hard to take the heat there; people take cold baths every day in order to bear up under it), he sat for nine days straight.  As a result the King invited him to the Imperial Palace to lecture the Heart Sutra, after which the King took refuge with him and gave him a lot of land.  The elder Master did not wish to keep the land, however, and later gave it to Chi Le Monastery.

Those who wish to blaze the trail for Buddhism in the West must actually cultivate the Way and do the work necessary to obtain genuine samadhi power. Then it will be easier to teach and transform living beings. The beginning is difficult, but the beginning is also the most worthwhile, the most beneficial time. So I hope that you Americans, bhiksus, bhiksunis upasakas, and upasikas, will forget your "selves" and for the sake of Buddhism undergo a little suffering. This is something which disciples of the Buddha should do.


MEDICINE: ITS NATURE AND APPLICATION

Everything has a nature. If you understand the nature of a thing you can interact with it in an appropriate manner without upsetting the balance of natural laws. Failure to understand can create disharmony and bring Injury, unrest, or even destruction to yourself and your surroundings. If you wink to look more deeply into this principle, you will find the weekend classes on "Medicine: Its Nature and Application" of interest. The classes will be held on Saturday or Sunday afternoon at Gold Mountain during the 1975 summer study and practice workshop. For registration information call or write Gold Mountain Monastery. The classes are open to the public and require no prerequisites.