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百歲高僧無私奉獻 千年古剎歷劫重光
A Hundred-year-old High Master Unselfishly Sacrificed Himself; A Thousand-year-old Monastery Is Restored After Disaster


妙首 文 Compiled by Myau Shou


一九四零年,一日,日軍一零八架飛機狂炸成都。當天一早,人言昨日電訊:「今日敵機大舉轟炸成都。」飯後,師忽言有事,須往鐵腳巷葉青成家。眾人苦陳利害,師不從。抵葉家,警報大作,市民狂奔逃命。師踟趺坐,從容囑葉:「家人勿亂,即將有人到此。」話畢,叩門聲甚急,一中年婦女傖惶入門,見師撲地求皈依。師微笑,收為弟子,法名昌逃。笑謂:「 昌逃,逃命的逃。 」 事後, 人們上街, 見房屋倒塌, 遍地瓦礫, 獨存兩間舖房完好無損。 頓時, 好奇者湧進舖房充塞小屋。有識者驚呼 : 「離欲法師!神仙!活神仙! 」 立刻求皈依者, 室內室外, 拜倒一片。此事轟動成都,求皈依者接踵而至,川軍將領鄧錫候等人, 亦先後皈依座下。一九五一年,師重返報國寺,安寺護林,種地養蜂, 編織草鞋,躬親勞動,怡然自得。

  一九八四年落實宗教政策, 當時報國寺經歷十年浩劫,又遭火災,幾淪為廢墟,而師亦年滿九十七歲, 出於愛國愛教的赤誠, 毅然獨肩重建千年古剎的艱鉅任務,從整體規劃到具體施工,都親自料理。 在其無私奉獻、崇高精神的感召下,各地四眾弟子,踴躍輸將,不費國庫分文,集資逾百萬。


IN 1941 at the request of disciples of the  Triple Jewel, the Master went to Cheng-du to  propagate the Dharma. Everyone revered the  Master and all were eager to make pure  offerings to him. On the northern outskirts of  Cheng-du at Ren Jya Wan (present-day N. Ren  Min Rd.) a Li Yu Recitation Hall was  established. The land was 4900 square meters  (24,500 sq. ft.) and the building was 2100  square meters (10,500 sq. ft.). The conditions in  support of the Dharma were exceptionally  supreme. Many of the donors were people who  had been suffering from severe illnesses and  had been saved by the Master. They were  expressing their gratitude for having had their  lives saved. At that time Cheng-du was being  bombed by the Japanese army. Every time  there was a blitz, many people would take  shelter in the monastery. Never once was the  Way-place bombed.

One day during 1940, one hundred and eight  Japanese planes raided Cheng-du. On that morning someone radioed that Cheng-du would  be bombed that day. After lunch, the Master  announced that he had something to do--that he  needed to go to Tye Jyau Alley to the home of  Yeh Ching Cheng. Everyone cried that it would  be too dangerous, but the Master did not heed  their warnings. As the Master arrived at the  Yeh home, the alarms were already sounding  and people were running about madly seeking  shelter. The Master sat down in full lotus and  said calmly to Mr. Yeh, "Don't let your family  get upset. In a few minutes someone is going to  come here." Just then an urgent knock came at  the door. A middle-aged housewife burst in the  door. When she saw the Master she prostrated  herself and asked to be given the Three  Refuges. The Master smiled and took her as a  disciple. Her Dharma name was "Urgent  Escape." The Master smiled and said, "Urgent  escape" means you escaped with your life."  After that incident was over, people came back  out onto the streets to find that homes were battered and bricks were strewn all over the place. There were only two homes that escaped  damage. Suddenly everyone was curious and  pushed their way into the two unharmed  homes, filling up the rooms. Those who  recognized the Master were astonished and  said, "Ah! Dharma Master Li Yu is a spirit- immortal! He's a living immortal!"  Immediately they sought to take refuge--those  inside the rooms and those outside all bowed  together. News of this incident traveled through  Cheng Du and the number who came seeking  refuge was incredibly many. Those who took  refuge included Deng Si-hou, a high officer in  the Sz-chwan army and others of his rank.

In 1951 the Master returned to Bau Gwo  Monastery again to guard the monastery and  protect the Way-place. He planted the fields,  raised bees, sewed shoes--doing all these things  himself in a relaxed and natural way.

It was not until 1984 that the definition of the teachings and the schools was once again made  clear. During that time Bau Gwo Monastery  passed through ten years of disaster. It had been  burned and was on the point of being totally  abandoned. By that time the Master was  already ninty-seven years old. And yet based  on his pure, sincere love for his country and for  Buddhism, he resolved to single-handedly bear  the burden of renovating the ancient thousand- year-old monastery, despite any difficulties.  From the plans and drawings through to the  actual building of the structures--the Master  personally directed and oversaw it all. Moved  by the Master's unselfish sacrifice and  exceptionally lofty determination and spirit,  disciples of the Four-fold Assembly from all  over delighted in contributing financial support  and physical strength, so that not a cent of the  cost had to be borne by the government. The  contributions surpassed a million dollars.

To be continued


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