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Reflections in Water and Mirrors:
Turning Back the Tide of Destiny

宣化上人編著 Commentary by Ven. Master Hua
國際譯經學院 Translated by the International Translation Institute



贊 曰:

善謙善謙 雙十參禪 毫無所得 趑趄不前
知識觀機 送信湖南 宗師勸請 別有地天


應無所住生其心 破大執著念觀音
反聞自性無所得 退藏於密有真文
豁然貫通明物理 頓時朗耀照乾坤
歸去來兮施普度 傳授法要自在尊



贊 曰:

七歲驅烏 十九遇戰 奉母洞穴 乞食供膳
自常忍飢 母得飽飯 尋父骸骨 念佛達旦


精誠所致金石開 戰場白骨遍地排
日以繼夜求感應 廢寢忘餐尋父骸
骷髏跳動通幽顯 夢魂歸來善節哀
葬親祖墓滿慈願 佛門大孝坐蓮臺

Dhyana Master Shan Chyan
(Good & Humble) July 2, 1988

He lived in the Sung Dynasty. Leaving home as a youth, he cultivated the Dharma door of investigating Dhyana. His master ordered him to deliver a message to Chang Sha. The Master thought, "I have been investigating Dhyana for twenty years, without any result yet. If I make this journey, all my effort will go to waste." In his mind he did not intend to go.

A fellow cultivator of the Way from a neighboring monastery, Dhyana Master Dzung Ywan, exhorted him, "You cannot not go. Walking, standing, sitting and lying down are all situations in which to investigate Dhyana. I shall accompany you!" The Master said, "Climbing mountains and fording streams, how can there be a response in our work?" Dzung Ywan said, "During the trip, I will take responsibility for all matters which can be done by another person. However, there are five matters which I cannot do, and you yourself must take care of them."

The Master asked, "What are the five matters?" Dzung Ywan said, "The first is wearing clothes, the second is eating; the third is defecating, the fourth is urinating, and the fifth is dragging a corpse along the road. Aside from these, I will be responsible for everything else." Hearing this, the Master suddenly had a great enlightenment.

An ancient one of virtue said, "Sleep when tired, and eat when hungry. "That is to say, "Although one eats all day, one does not consume a single grain of rice. Although one wears clothes all day, one does not put on a single thread."

A Verse in Praise Says

Shan Chyan, good and humble, investigated Dhyana for two decades,
Without a hair's worth of
attainment, hesitant, he did not advance.
A Wise Advisor observed his opportunity and dispatched him to Hunan to deliver a message.
When Master
Dzung exhorted and entreated him, he entered another world.

Another Verse Says:

One should produce the thought which dwells nowhere.
Be mindful of Gwan Yin, and break great attachments.
Turn around and listen to the self-nature, with nothing attained.
Retreating into concealment, there is true meaning within the secret.
Suddenly penetrate through and understand the principle of all things.
In an instant, brightly shine upon heaven and earth.
Coming and going, bestow universal salvation. Transmit the essentials of Dharma and be the Honored One of Self-Mastery.

Dharma Master Dau Pi
July 8, 1988

He was a native of Chang An in Shan Syi Province during the Later Chou of the Five Dynasties Period. He became a scarecrow shramanera at age seven. When he was nineteen years old, war broke out in Chang An. His father, a soldier, died fighting on the battlefield.

From amidst the chaotic uproar of soldiers and horses, he and his mother took refuge in a cave in Hwa Mountain. Because they had no money to buy rice, he begged for food to offer to his mother, while enduring hunger himself. His mother would ask him, "Son, did you have enough to eat?" The Master would say, "I am already full. Mother, please do not worry."

After the war ended, the mother said, Your father's bones lie exposed to the wind and frost. You should go find them and bury them properly."

When the Master reached the battlefield, white bones entirely covered the ground, making it impossible to recognize his father's. Day and night, he recited Sutras, and then prayed. In ancient times, a person is pure sincerity evoked a response, and the bones were marked with blood so that he could identify them." Among the multitude of bones, if there are any which move, then those are the bones of my father."

As a response to his filiality, he indeed saw a skeleton suddenly rise up and then fall down again. Knowing it to be his father's bones, the Master carried them in his arms and hurried back home, even under the stars and moon. That night his mother dreamed of her husband's return. The next day, the Master returned carrying his father's bones, and buried them in the ancestral grave.

Officials and commoners alike were full of reverence. Later on, he spoke Dharma and lectured the Sutras in the royal court, and was often the monk in the top position.

A Verse in Praise Says

A scarecrow at age seven, at age nineteen he encountered war.
Serving his mother in their cave, he would beg for food to offer as her meal.
He often endured hunger himself, so that Mother could eat her fill.
Searching for Father's bones, he recited the Buddha's name until dawn.

Another Verse Says:

When intense sincerity reached a peak, the golden stone broke open.
On the battlefield, white bones lined the ground.
Day and night seeking a response,
He forgot about sleeping and eating in the quest for his father's bones.
As the skeleton jumped and moved, the hidden and the manifest communicated.
In a dream, the spirit came and offered consolation.
The father is buried in the ancestral grave, fulfilling Mother's wish.
A great filial one in Buddhism sits upon the lotus dais.


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