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

宣化上人著 Commentary by Ven. Master Hua
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institute

修無法師  一九八八年七月九日


贊 曰:
汙泥不染  眾濁獨清
世事無常  出家修行
專心念佛  三昧相應
預知時至  告假往生

能說不行非真慧 一句道破口頭人
流俗多數犯此病 賢聖鮮矣履斯門
真修實證無別法 去欲斷愛了凡情
花開見佛生極樂 水流風動演真經

丁 蘭  一九八八年七月十五日


贊 曰:
漢時丁蘭  作人指南 刻木奉親  禮拜心虔
妻侮針刺  流淚難乾
善教改過  福德無邊

天地重孝溯本源 至德要道救坤乾乾
孔聖心法傳曾子 顏回血脈化女男
刻木奉親追思遠 引針暗刺痛心田
感而遂通不思議 偶像流淚示奇冤

Dharma Master Syou Wu July 9, 1988

Dharma Master Syou Wu lived at the end of the Ching Dynasty. He was a bricklayer from Ying Kou of Lyau Ning. He felt that the world was in a state of continuous flux, with frequent outbreaks of war, massive sufferings and fleeting pleasures. So he resolved to leave the home-life and cultivated the Pure Land School exclusively. This Dharma-door gathers in all those with the three kinds of faculties; both the sharp and the dull are included. Those who recite the Buddha name with one heart unconfused, can all be reborn in the Lotus Land.

In the summer of the eighteenth year of the Chinese Republic, in Harbin at Ji Le (Ultimate Bliss) Monastery, the three Platforms of Great Precepts were transmitted. The Master approached the abbot of this monastery to volunteer his services and offered to attend to the sick. Ten days later, the Master took leave to go off for rebirth. The manager of the monastery sent people to his room to aid him in his recitation. Those who assisted him with the recitation said, "Master Syou Wu, since you are leaving now for rebirth, could you leave a verse behind for us to remember you by?"

The Master replied, "I cannot read, much less compose a stanza. But I have some words that come from experience : If one merely speaks but cannot practice, it is not true wisdom." After imparting this line, he adopted a sitting posture. This was in the midst of the blazing summer: the Master face was still lifelike, and he remained seated calmly in an upright position. During the incineration, red flames and white vapor rose straight up to the sky without any unusual odor. The assembly exclaimed that this was strange and rare.

A verse in praise says:
Unsoiled by the mud, he alone remains pure, but the multitude are defiled. Terrestrial affairs are transitory.
Leaving the home-life to singlemindedly cultivate, reciting the Buddha name.
Within Samadhi there is a response.
And he foresees his time of leaving.
Taking leave, he goes off for rebirth.

Another verse says:
Merely speaking without practice, is not true wisdom. With one line he exposes those who prattle without action.
The mundane are afflicted with this disease.
Sages and worthies seldom tread inside this door.
There is no other way to true cultivation and certification,
Except through extinguishing desire, severing love and dissolving common emotions.
When the flower opens, one sees the Buddha and is born in Ultimate Bliss.
The water flows and the wind blows, proclaiming the True Doctrine.

Ding Lan July 15, 1988

He lived during the time of the Han dynasty. Even in his youth, he was extremely filial by nature. Unfortunately, both his parents passed away early. He yearned for his parents day and night. It was impossible to fulfill his filial intentions. It has been said, "The children want to care for their parents, but the parents are gone." So he carved out images of his parents, placed them up in the hall; and bowed to them in the morning and night as if they were still living.

When he married, he told his wife, "You should make offerings to your in-laws and perform your filial duties as a daughter-in-law." After a long period of time, his wife grew tired of this routine. She secretly pricked the wooden statues to show her resentment. When Ding Lan returned home and bowed to the wooden images, he saw the wooden statues shedding tears and could not understand why. So he asked his wife, "Why are there tears trickling down from the image? Did you do anything unfilial?" His wife began to feel deep shame and remorse, and honestly admitted that she had used a needle to prick the statues.

Ding Lan said indignantly, "For such unfiliality, I should drive you out of the house. But, since you feel regretful, I will forgive you. If you commit this kind of wrong again, I will not excuse you anymore." Ding Lan's filial heart moved his wife to honor the wooden images and she never dared to slight or ridicule them again.

Utmost sincerity can move things, transform and guide the minds of people; He served as a model for generations to come, and was a representative of those who came before. Great is this form of filiality.

A verse in praise says:
Ding of the Han dynasty, the guiding compass for people.
Sculpturing wood to worship parents, with a mind of sincerity, he bows to them.
Wife mocks by pricking with the needle, tears roll down unceasingly.
Admonishing her gently to reform, boundless blessings and virtue.

Another verse says:
Tracing back to the origin, filiality is stressed.
As the highest virtue and foremost method for rescuing the world.
Confucius, the sage, transmitted the Mind Dharma to
Dzeng Dz,
Hwei's life pulse transformed women and men.
Carving wood, serving his
parents,recalling his deepest memories of them.
Secretly, poking with a needle pains the heart, response and penetration are inconceivable.
Images with flowing tears reveal their grief.


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