National Master Wu Da lived during the Tang Dynasty. His Dharma name was Jr Sywan (Understands the Profound). Once while traveling on a study tour, he cared for a monk from India who was afflicted with infectious sores. Wu Da extended himself in service to care for him. He brewed medicines and offered them to him. Very indebted, the Indian monk at the time of parting said "In the future when you are in difficulty, come find me in Western Szechwan, by the twin pines." The Master later became the Abbot of An Gwo (Pacify the Country) Monastery in Chang An; he was a noble Sanghan who realized the spiritual Path.
The Emperor Yi of the Tang Dynasty designated him as a National Master, and presented him with a precious throne made of aloes-wood. The Master thereupon grew arrogant and haughty. As a result, a boil with a human face grew on his knee. A number of doctors had no success in curing him, and his suffering was unbearable. The pain would abate only if the sore was fed some pork everyday.
Remembering the words of the Indian monk, he went to Szechwan Province to seek help. Arriving at the twin pines, he saw an Indian-style temple, radiant with golden light. He caught sight of the Indian monk from a distance, and he explained his reason for coming. The Indian monk comforted him, saying, "Tomorrow at dawn, bathe in the clear spring at the foot of the mountain and it will heal."
The next morning as he scooped up water to rinse the sore, it suddenly spoke, and said, "Stop! Have you read the history of the Western Han Dynasty?" The Master replied, "Yes." Then the sore asked, "Do you know about Ywan Yang killing Chao Tsuo?" The Master replied, "Yes."
The sore said, "You, Master, were Ywan Yang, and I was Chao Tsuo. For ten lives, you have been a noble monk. Now you chose to seek fame and profit, thus I got an opportunity for revenge, and I took the chance to pay you back."
Out of compassion, the Venerable Kanaka used samadhi water to wash away the enmity of the past. Afterwards, Master Wu Da wrote the
Water Repentance of the Samadhi of Great Compassion, especially to rescue the world.
A verse of praise says:
The path of officialdom makes people muddled,
They plant causes which then bear fruit.
Complicated is the retribution when disasters befall,
They slap their breast and stamp their feet (in regret).
Fortunately, he met the Indian monk and avoided an
Encounter with death.
Another verse says:
Committing offenses in the Han Dynasty, being repaid in the Tang. Ywan Yang and Chao Tswo injured one another.
The evil, human-faced sore ate pork,
Holy water washed away the calamity.
The strange disease illustrated cause and effect;
The wonderful Dharma bestowed salvation and dissolved enmity.
From ancient times, living beings learn their lessons after the fact.
The wise preserve themselves and prevent what has not yet occurred.
Dharma Master Tsz Shou
The Dharma Master composed a verse on liberating life, which exhorts people to be moral. The verse says,
"So much killing in the world,
Leads to weapons, warfare, and calamity.
If you owe him a life, he will murder you.
If you owe him wealth, he will burn your house.
Disunion with your wife and children,
Comes from destroying others' nests and burrows.
Each retribution is right and just.
Wash clean your ears, and
Listen closely to the Buddha's words. ."
For example, in the early Ming Dynasty, there was a man named Fang Syau-ru, who was by nature very straight-forward and direct. He denounced Prince Yen for usurping the throne, provoking the anger of the Ming Emperor Cheng. As a result, all ten branches of his family clan were massacred in a disaster unprecedented in history.
What causes and conditions brought about such grief and misery? It's said that his grandfather, a prosperous and wealthy man of noble estate, was once selecting a site for burying his ancestors. That night, he dreamed of an old man in red who bowed to him three times and said, "Sir, the site you have selected happens to be my home. Please allow me three days and I will move to another place." When the grandfather awoke, he did not believe the dream, and ordered workers to begin digging. Indeed, there was a deep burrow containing many red snakes, and the workers scorched them to death with flames.
That night he again dreamed of the old man in red, who wept as he said, "Today you burned to death eight hundred of my kin. In the future I will annihilate eight hundred of your family." Indeed, the ten branches of his clan who had been slaughtered amounted to exactly eight hundred people, corresponding to the old man's words. The distant kin who escaped the tiger's jaws changed their surname to Tsai.
A critique says:
Cause and effect continuously revolve,
And are transmitted from generation to generation.
Those who kill will surely die,
Those who owe debts must repay.
The grandfather of Syau-ru of the Ming Dynasty,
Created enmity by burning snakes.
His ten branches of kinfolk were slaughtered, and
The Tsai family heaved a deep sigh of relief.
Another verse says:
If the character for king has no stroke on top,
Who will be master?
If the character for water lacks a dot,
It has not yet dried, and becomes ice.
Order and chaos, prosperity and decline, all
Follow the heavenly principle.
Loyalty and treachery, good and evil, each
Originates in conditions on the causal ground.
Because of a crooked event in the ancient days of Ming,
Now, members of the same clan harass one another.
All things speak the Dharma; can you understand it?
It does not rely on language and is
Conveyed outside the teaching.
Dharma Master Lang Ye
This lofty Sanghan of the Tang Dynasty was an eloquent speaker of Dharma whose every word contained principle. When he lectured, the response was such that heavenly flowers rained down in profusion and golden lotuses welled up from the earth. One day, he "ascended the hall" and lectured on the following: "It is difficult to get a human body, but now we have gotten one. It is difficult to get to hear the Buddhadharma, but now we have heard it. If we do not take this time to cultivate in our present life, then in which life will we decide to cultivate?"
In the Dharma Assembly there was a disciple who had an awakening after hearing these words. Putting down the myriad conditions, and without giving in to a single thought, he certified to and attained the state of "understanding the mind and seeing the nature," and was liberated from birth and death.
Another sincere disciple recited the Buddha's name, single-mindedly, without distraction. He used the three words: "let it be", to deal with all matters. Because of this, he was able to open up his mind and put everything down. Not bound or hindered by the Five Desires for wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep, he cultivated until the "fire was pure blue". At that time, the Five Skandhas of form, feeling, thought, Another disciple sincerely recited the Buddha's name single-mindedly, without distraction. He used the three words: "let it de ", to deal with all matters.
formation, and consciousness were all emptied, and he attained liberation. The above stories are worthy material for us to use as a mirror. We should be diligent and vigorous, and not impede our journey in cultivation.
A verse in praise says:
Birth and death is a great matter,
Impermanence comes quickly.
Be diligent and vigorous,
Seek only to advance.
Put down the myriad conditions,
Do not step outside the door.
Single-mindedly recite the Buddha's name.
And be reborn in the Pure Land.
Another verse says:
Concentration is efficacious,
But distraction is child's play.
Do not pass the time in child's play!
With faith and vows,
Hold the name and cultivate samadhi;
The mind dwelling in peace,
You unite with the profound secret.
The nine grades of lotuses are your parents;
A thousand auspicious clouds gather, to
Form a wholesome abode. Amitabha Buddha constantly welcomes you - -
The question remains: are you willing to go or not?
The Emperor appeared before him all of a sudden, and in a thunderous rage, demanded his head.
Bhikshu Di Syu
Bhikshu Di Syu was the younger brother of the Indian Emperor Asoka. He cultivated the ascetic practices worshipped by externalists, and harbored doubts about the precepts held by Bhikshus. The Emperor knew his brother's mind, and wanted to rectify his deviant views. Together with a ranking governor, he planned out a strategy.
King Ashoka took a bath, and purposefully left his robe and crown outside the bathroom. The governor cunningly lured him on, and out of curiosity, he put on the imperial robe, donned the imperial crown, and ascended the imperia'i throne, as if it all were a child's game. The Emperor appeared before him all of a sudden, and in a thunderous rage, demanded his head. The governor tried to placate him, and the Emperor said, "I will grant your wish temporarily; you may be the Emperor for seven days."
Then he gave him beautiful consorts, gourmet meals, fine music, fancy clothes and so on, providing him the ultimate enjoyment. But he also ordered soldiers armed with swords to stand outside the gates, and announced at sunset, "Today is already over. There are still six days left before your decapitation."
When the time arrived, he went before the Emperor. The Emperor asked him, "Did you attain your heart's desire as Emperor for seven days?"
He replied, "During the seven days, I saw no sights, heard no sounds, smelled no fragrance, tasted no flavors, and felt no sensations of touch." The Emperor soothed him, saying, "During these seven days, you have reflected on the misery of death and knew fear . Although you fell into the five wonderful pleasures, you felt no greed for them."
Having been Emperor for seven days, he saw through "the crimson dust". He left the house-holder's life to become a monk. He preached the Dharma to benefit living beings. Later he propagated the Agama Sutras, written in the language of Pali, to Sri Lanka, where they were honored and studied by the Southern Tradition (of Buddhism).
A praise says:
Not enjoying the five desires,
Staying far from the six dusts,
Painfully aware of birth and death,
In the time of life-threatening difficulty,
He put down the myriad conditions.
Without producing a single thought,
Liberated and at ease,
He left home to become a monk.
Another verse says:
Right on the brink of death, he is born again.
Through expedient and skillful means, the Emperor's robe changes hands.
After seven days, the spirit and appearance are renewed.
Unstained by even a single speck of dust, in the style of an old tradition.
The word 'death' deals the head a sharp blow.
The Buddha's light shines everywhere below.
And the lamp is passed on.
Inheriting the Buddha's treasury of Dharma in Pali,
He benefits all sentient beings in the universe.