The Master was born into the Chang family in Wen Shwei (Learning River) of Tai Ywan. He studied under the monk Wan Sung (Ten Thousand Pines). Sung asked, "What did you hear about this place that brought you here?" The Master said, "As an honored and great Elder, how could you utter such meaningless words to a mere student like me?"
Sung said, "Where does my fault lie?" The Master said, "Let me first pay homage to you, and then I will cover up for you." Sung was overjoyed at his answer.
In the reign year Ren Cheng, the Master became the abbot of Shau Lin Monastery. In the reign year Wu Sheng, during the reign of Emperor Ding, he was made the abbot of Sying Gwo (Flourishing of the Nation) Monastery in He Lin (Peaceful Forest) by imperial decree.
In the reign year Syin Hai, during the reign of Emperor Syan (Mandate), he was summoned to the Northern Palace to answer questions about the Spiritual Path (the Tao). In the year Geng Shen during the rule of Emperor Shr, the Master was made the over-all leader of the Buddhist religion. He rebuilt ruined monasteries and nunneries all over the land. The title of Dhyana Master Gwang Jung Jeng Byan (Proper Eloquence That Glorifies the Religion) was conferred upon him. In the seventh month of the reign year Yi Hai, he departed while meditating.
The Master expounded the Dharma for more than thirty years, with a sound as profound as rolling thunder, and brilliant as the unshaded sun and moon. Later on, Emperor Ren ascended the throne and bestowed a posthumous title upon the Master. He also commanded the officials of literary ability to compose a memorial essay which was displayed on his stupa. The Master received generous imperial favor and veneration.
The Master expounded the Dharma for more than thirty years, with a sound as profound as rolling thunder, and brilliant as the unshaded sun and moon.
A verse in praise says:
Lofty and inaccessible like a sheer cliff,
The lion leaps backwards.
The son returns to his father,
But the father does not recognize him at all.
A teacher for humans and gods,
He upholds the standards of the Buddha.
Rewarded and praised with imperial decrees,
His glory was bright and splendid.
Another verse says:
"Wealthy Valley" (Fu Yu) from Shan Syi gave the Lion's Roar,
The Elder "Myriad Pines" (Wan Sung) had nowhere to escape.
The student Sanghan bowed in homage and then covered up.
The Venerable One was delighted and ascended a tall tower.
The Dharma Host at Shau Lin and Sying Gwo Monasteries,
The head of the Sangha at the Eastern Suburb and also the Northern Court.
An outstanding, great knight of the Ywan Dynasty,
The virtue and kindnessof "Right Eloquence Who Glorifies the Religion" (Gwang lung jeng Byan) were sublime.
The Fifty-seventh Generational Patriarch, Dhyana Master Fu Yu (Abundant Blessings) of
Swye Ting (Snow Court) Monastery, The Fifty-seventhth Patriarch, Dhyana Master Fu Yu of Sywe Ting, was a patriarch of the Tsao Dung School. Some say he belonged to the Tsao Dung School, and others say he was of the Tsao Yun School. Also, some say he lived in Ywan Dynasty. In the Ywan Dynasty, Buddhism underwent extensive destruction. In China, Buddhism usually suffered whenever there was a change of dynasty or a new emperor took the throne. For example, during the reign of Empress Wu Dze Tyan of the Tang Dynasty, Buddhism flourished greatly. In the reign of Emperor Wu of Tang, however, the Court tried to destroy Buddhism, and the Dharma in China suffered great damage. Monks were forced to return to lay-life and cultivating the Way was forbidden. Dhyana Master Fu Yu (Wealthy Valley) happened to be born in the Ywan Dynasty.
The Master was born into the Chang family in Wen Shwei of Tai Ywan. The Master was a native of Shan Syi Province. We Manchurians call the people of Shan Syi the "Good old boys from the West." They are fond of "swallowing vinegar", that is to say, they enjoy sour beverages. People from Jyang Nan (South of the River), from Shanghai, like to eat "rotten bean curd." This "rotten bean curd" smells as foul as excrement, but they really enjoy it. Shan Syi (West of the Mountains) Province produces generals. That's why it's said,
"I carry a yard-long sword with a dragon-head handle; I've read a multitude of books. For what purpose did the Lord of Heaven bring me here ?"
The verse describes men who carry yard-long, special swords with dragon's heads embossed on the handle; and men who have studied ten thousand texts. Oh, Lord in Heaven! What do you want to make out of me?"
Another saying talks about "The prime ministers from Shantung (East of the Mountains) and the generals of Shanshi. (West of the Mountains.")
In dynasties past, Shantung produced many premiers, such as Confucius, who came from the Shantung town of Chyu Fu, and served as the Minister of Defense in the State of Lu. Within three months of his taking office, the state of Lu was well-governed. People didn't have to lock their doors at night, and possessions lost on the road were not picked up by others. Confucius employed many talented and capable people.
"The generals of Shanshi" For instance, the generals Kwan Yun Chang and Sye Ren Gwei were both natives of Shan Syi. Therefore it's said, "The premiers of Shan Dung and the generals of Shan Syi". These Prime Ministers and generals were great heroes. Now, I am also become a hero, and I can become a general or prime minister as well. That's why its said,
"Who is Shun and Who am I? One with the will-power can be just like him."
The Great Shun was a man, and I am also a man. If I work hard, I can become like the Great Shun.
Sung asked, "What did you hear about this place that brought you here?" The question means "What news brought you to my place? You just suddenly showed up here without first asking clearly." "Why didn't you bring a gift or token?"
The Master said, "As an honored and great Elder, how could you utter such meaningless words to a mere student like me?"
He answered Wan Sung, "You are a great Good And Wise Advisor, an old pro. Since I have come, you should speak Buddhadharma for me. You know my intent in coming here. There's no need for these senseless words. Why are you handing me rubbish? It makes no sense, and has no value. This talk is useless!"
Sung said, "Where does my fault lie?" Upon hearing his reply, Wan Sung knew the Master had not truly understood. So he pressed him further, and retorted, "Where has this old monk erred?" Elder Wan Sung said this purposefully in order to engage him in verbal combat. Being caught like this, the Master couldn't come up with any faults.
The Master said, "Let me first pay homage to you, and then I will cover up for you." He could only say,“ The student bows to the monk". I don't care what faults you have, but I won't mention them anymore. I've gone through all this trouble to cover up for you already.
Sung was overjoyed at his answer. Hearing him reply like this, Wan Sung knew that he had eloquence, and some wisdom. The question did not stump him. If he had no eloquence, when Wan Sung asked what his faults were, he would not have replied, "I've covered up your faults and won't mention them anymore." So when Elder Wan Sung heard him, he felt that this person could be of some use. He was quite okay, and could serve as a vessel of the Way. That's why Wan Sung was elated.
Kubfai Khan gave the Master the authority to manage all of Chinese Buddhism, both inside and outside of Mongolia.
In the reign year Ren Cheng, the Master became the abbot of Shau Lin Monastery. In the reign year Wu Sheng, during the reign of Emperor Ding, he was made the abbot of Sying Gwo (Flourishing of the Nation) Monastery in He Lin (Peaceful Forest) by imperial decree. In the reign year Syin Hai, during the reign of Emperor Syan, he was summoned to the Bei Geng Ting (the Northern Palace) to answer questions about the Spiritual Path (the Tao).
Bei Geng Ting is Mongolia. The Emperor invited him there in order to consult with him about the Buddhadharma.
In the year Geng Shen during the reign of Emperor Shr (Emperor Shr of the Ywan Dynasty was also known as Kublai Khan),
the Master was made the manager of the Buddhist religion. Kublai Khan gave the Master the authority to manage all of Chinese Buddhism, both inside and outside of Mongolia.
He rebuilt ruined monasteries and nunneries in the land. He re-established the temples of Bhikshus and Bhikshunis which had been destroyed. During that time, he rebuilt over 230 temples, using quite a substantial amount of money in the process.
The title of Dhyana Master Gwang Jung Jeng Byan (Proper Eloquence That Glorifies the Religion) was conferred upon him. The Emperor gave him the Dharma name Gwang Jung Jeng Byan.
In the seventh month of the year Yi Hai, he departed while meditating. He sat there and entered Nirvana. All of you think about what it means to "get liberation while sitting down, and die while standing up." Some monks enter Nirvana while standing up, some while sitting down. Some hang by one arm from a tree branch, give a yawn, and go off to rebirth! See how free they are!
In Buddhism, there is factual proof of these events; they are not mere "Ch'an banter." People like them know their time of departure in advance. For example, the Venerable Master Syu Yun lived to be 120 years old. Five years before he went off to rebirth he informed the assembly that he was getting ready to leave. The meaning of "Being liberated while seated and dying while standing;" is that a person can live if he wants to live, or die if he wants to die, without suffering the pains of illness or the least obstruction.
The Master expounded the Dharma for more than thirty years. He spoke Dharma in various places for over thirty years,
his sound as profound as rolling thunder, and as brilliant as the unclouded sun and moon.
He lectured the Sutras with a sound like a roaring lion, a sound like rolling thunder and beating drums. He could dissipate the clouds and fog which darken the sun and moon.
Afterwards, Emperor Ren ascended the throne when Emperor Ren of the Ywan Dynasty ascended the throne
and bestowed a posthumous title upon the Master; he conferred yet another title upon the Master.
He also commanded the officials of literary ability to compose a memorial essay which was displayed on his stupa. Emperor Ren ordered the most well-versed ministers, those who had passed the imperial and local examinations, and such cultured scholars to write a eulogy, making known his exemplary Way-virtue. This was made into a plaque so that future generations could use him as a model.
The Master received generous imperial favor and veneration. Even the Emperor himself respected the Master and showed him special courtesy, treating him with more deference than anyone else.
A verse in praise says:
Lofty and inaccessible like a sheer cliff. He couldn't be off by even a little bit. In the most subtle, lofty and profound places, he could clearly explain the principle. He engaged in debates, such as the one with Elder Wan Sung. The wisdom he employed in replying is not inferior to that of Elder Wan Sung. That's why it's very lofty and superior.
The lion springs backwards. When he replied to Wan Sung, he was not submissive in the least. He was like a lion springing backwards. He engaged in the debate with a righteous and resolute spirit.
The son returns to his father. It's like a disciple drawing near his master. It's also like a son returning to see his father.
But the father does not recognize him at all. Although the son recognized his father, he was a stranger to his father who did not recognize him. This refers to the fact that at first Elder Wan Sung did not understand him, whereas he already understood the Elder Wan Sung. That's why he said, "For now I will cover up for the monk." It was because he could not come up with any faults on the part of the old monk. By now they were completely engrossed in the verbal combat.
A teacher for humans and gods. Dhyana Master Fu Yu could truly be a teacher and model for people and gods.
He upheld the regulations of the Buddha. Everything he did accorded with the regulations left behind by the Buddha. He did not transgress the true principles of Buddhism.
Rewarded and praised with imperial decrees. The Emperor honored, rewarded and praised him to an especially high degree. He had a eulogy composed for him, which was engraved on a stone plaque and set on his stupa.
His glory was bright and splendid. In a grand fashion, very extraordinary. It was not an honor that ordinary people can attain.
Another verse says: "Wealthy Valley"
(Fu Yu) of Shan Syi gave the Lion's Roar. This Dhyana Master Fu Yu of Shan Syi engaged in verbal combat with the Elder Wan Sung and when they locked horns, he roared like a lion.
The Elder Myriad Pines (Wan Sung) had no place of retreat. In the debate, Elder Wan Sung was beaten until he had nowhere to go.
The student Sanghan bowed in homage and covered up. Since the Dharma-door of Dhyana Master Fu Yu was so lofty, he could be a vessel to carry the Way. So when he said, "The student bows in respect," he covered up whatever faults Elder Wan Sung had, and did not mention them anymore.
The Venerable One was delighted and ascended the high tower. Elder Wan Sung was very happy and relieved, and went upstairs to rest.
The Dharma Host at Shau Lin and Sying Gwo. Dhyana Master Fu Yu was the Dharma Host at Shau Lin Monastery and Sying Gwo Monastery.
The head of the Sangha at the Eastern Suburb and also the Northern Court.
He was the leader of the left-home people at Bei Geng Ting. All the affairs of the Shakyan religion, that is Buddhism, were entrusted to him.
An outstanding great knight of the Ywan Dynasty. He was truly an outstanding great Bodhisattva of the Ywan Dynasty.
The virtue and kindness of "Right Eloquence Who Glorifies the Religion" (Gwang lung Jeng Byan) were sublime.
The Emperor gave him the title Gwang Jung Jeng Byan, because the virtue and kindness he showed towards Buddhism and living beings were very meritorious. That's why the emperor treated him very favorably.