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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

我家與常仁大師、宣公上人的一、二因緣
My family’s affinity with Great Master Chang Ren and Venerable Master Hua

文 吳璽邦 by Wu Hsi-Bang

我們世家祖籍東北雙城縣東關鄉吳家窩堡。從滿清入據中原以來,我們家就一直是鐘鳴食鼎之家,因為清朝江山的奠基者努爾哈赤將滿族子弟以八旗制編軍,我們家屬正黃旗、皇族一遠脈,所以較受優遇。當時如有人生男孩,朝廷即賜地;生女,即賜胭脂錢。賜地時,牽一馬至田野,猛抽一鞭子,馬受驚狂奔;從它開始跑到它停下來,以這一段距離,來劃方圓,劃出多大,即賜多大的地。

富貴並不稀罕;稀罕者,是我們家與佛門非常有緣,在他們未出家以前,太爺與常仁大師,祖父與宣公上人,都結過金蘭之好,在上人給哈爾濱的恆庵法師的親筆信中可作證藉。以不忘舊友故,上人十年前就開始打聽我祖父的後代的下落。聽祖母講,當時我們門庭甚大,養了許多門客;從常仁大師廬墓六年完畢,隻身上千山下來到他出家,前後十七年,我們家都一直供養著他,還專門給他修一間精舍。當時人稱王孝子,不過我們是感其孝名而供養他的;雖未出家,我們卻都知道他是得道之人。何以見得? 在他守孝時,日日以生高粱米子和水而食;且吃得非常少,他手數高粱米子,多一粒不吃,少一粒不吃。別人有時送一些好的飯菜,擺在他跟前,他看都不看,有時送飯的人,躲在遠遠的樹叢後窺視,看他有沒有動,結果都失望而回。而且,東北數九寒天,一口痰出去,便凍成小冰雹,落在水泥板上時,粘不上的;耳朵如不罩住棉帽,用手指輕輕一彈,就飛了。而王孝子當時,臉色仍紅撲撲的,他在(墓碑)長石板上打坐時,周邊都不落雪花;他口中一直持誦著咒語,聽祖母講,可能是楞嚴咒或是大悲咒。

王孝子在我們家的十七年,我們家就沒有碰到過什麼橫事。因為上人在水鏡回天錄中,曾講到過王孝子定中持咒,關公顯聖,化解匪劫的事,以及我們家過年宰豬時,有一頭豬狂奔到王孝子跟前求救的故事(因是一大戶人家,逢年過節,必得宰殺幾十頭豬。)但自那次事情之後,我們家即斷了這種殺業。上人所寫的,字字真實不虛;我這裡不再重復,而只補充一則家父的故事。

王孝子那時雖現在家相,卻常常為許多人說法;當時東北人稱「講道」,一次講道時,眾家人或坐或立,簇擁而聽;就連門口的家兵也伸長耳朵來聽。有一家兵,因站累了,就將槍托頂地,槍口朝上,支著下齕,全身的大半重量都落在這槍上,一時忘了還是荷槍實彈的。家父當時十歲光景,調皮得很,在那講法大廳裡跑來跑去,不一會兒,密到那兵勇腳下,手指往那板機一拉;只聽「鉲」的一聲,那兵勇嚇得魂兒都飛了。他是我們家的一員長工,如出了人命,那可麻煩了。但是只聽有出膛的聲音,沒聽有炸開的聲音。祖父以為是一發臭彈,就開膛將子彈從新壓進去,高舉向天而發,只聽「轟」的一聲,子彈呼嘯而出,火光衝天。我們家人一下子明白是怎麼回事了,連連向王孝子稱謝不已。

時過境遷,隨著中國革命的浪潮一波接一波,我們家道江河日下。待到反富,分田,鬥地主時,我們家已是人人自危了。看著周邊一家家家破人亡,我們家人乃決定全家疏散,各人改名換姓,埋頭隱面,遠避千里。感謝佛菩薩,我們家雖然家破,卻得全命之福。老家方圓百里內,就我們一家得以跑出人來;感謝祖上,因為他們誠信供養三寶,好施濟貧;以其陰德,福延三代。

一九九五年春夏之交,上人將我們倆兄弟接到萬佛聖城,盡其他於朋友的一段「托孤」之義,上人還是非常有人情味的。

For generations, my family made our home at WuJia Bao (Wu Family Compound),Dong-Gwan(Eastern-Pass)Village,Swang-Cheng(Twin-City)County, Manchuria. Ever since the Manchurians took over China, we have been a large family of affluence and honor among the local gentry class. The founder of the Ching Dynasty ,Nu Er Ha Chr, used an Eight-Banner system in grouping and organizing his troops. My family was classified as the Pure-Yellow-Banner troops and had a kinship relationship with the royal family. Therefore, we were able to benefit from some privileges, for example, when a male baby was born, some lands would be given; when a female child was born, some money for her future dowry would be given. The size of the land to be given was determined in this manner: A horse was taken out to an open field, and was whipped hard with a quirt.The horse would run far. The distance between the starting point and the stopping point was used as a radius to draw a circle. All the lands that fell within the circle were given as a grant.

Our family's great wealth was not unique; what was unique was that our family had a long and special affinity with Buddhism. My great-grandfather and Venerable Master Chang Ren became blood brothers. My grandfather and Venerable Master Hsuan Hua did the same. The fact  can be proved by a letter written in Venerable Hua's own hand to Heng An Shr in Harbin,the capital city. Remembering his friends, about a decade ago Venerable Master Hua began looking for the whereabouts of the offspring of my grandfather.

Our family was big, and we used to feed and keep many people on a long-term basis. After Venerable Master Chang Ren finished the six years of vigilance by his parents’ graves , out of respect for his filiality, we made our offerings to him for seventeen years--from the day he went up alone to Chian Mountain until the day he left the homelife. We even built a fine abode for him. Athough he was still a lay man, we all knew he possessed the Way. How did we know? During his filial observance, he ate raw corn meal mixed with cold water. He ate these simple austere meals, measured with his hands, no more and no less ,day after day. When some people brought  him better food, he did not move in his meditation. He paid no attention to the food. Out of curiosity, some hid away to observe in a grove of trees not far away. They always went home disappointed. What was more, the winters in Manchuria are extremely cold . When a person spits,  the spit freezes even before it reaches the ground and will not stick to a stone. If one dosen't cover his ears with a thick cotton hat , his ears will freeze solid and fall off at the touch of a finger. Yet Filial Son Wang looked very sanguine and was even able to sit on a long tombstone in meditation.The area around his seat was free of snow flakes. According to my grand-mother, he was holding some sorts of mantras all the time, which might have been either the Shurangama Mantra or the Great Compassion Mantra.

For the seventeen years he stayed with my family, we encountered no disasters.In Venerable Hua's book of Reflections in Water and Mirrors, he told the stories of Filial Son Wang: one of the stories related to how our compound was besieged by a crowd of bandits. They attacked by day and by night,yet they could not enter. During that time, few family members stayed with us, most fled to town. Filial Son Wang held off these bandits. In Samadhi, he recited the Mantra and invoked the power of Gwan Gung.

On another occassion, on the eve of a Chinese New Year, as usual we were about to slaughter dozens of pigs for the festivities. One pig broke loose from the binding ropes and rushed in a frenzy to Filial Son Wang. It knelt and begged to be spared. Filial Son Wang saved the pig. Ever since then, our family stopped killing pigs for meat.

Every word Master wrote about our family is true. I won't repeat those stories in detail, but I will just add one story about my father.

Although Filial Son Wang was still a layman, he spoke Dharma for quite a few people. One time,Layman Wang was speaking Dharma for our family. Many others were attracted to come to listen too. They thronged about him, sitting or standing.They listened quite attentively. One security guard who was tired leaned on his rifle. The butt end rested on the floor; the barrel end pointed at his chin.. He totally forgot that the gun was loaded. My father was about ten years old then and very mischievous. He was running all over the lecture hall. Suddenly , he sneaked under the guard,unseen, and with all his strength he pulled the trigger. Instantly there was a popping sound. The guard was scared out  of his wits. He was one of the hired full-time workers . Had he died, we would have faced a great deal of trouble. Strange to say, we heard the sound but the rifle did not fire. My grand-father thought it must be a dead bullet, so he opened up the gun and reloaded it with the same round. He aimed high at the sky and fired,“Bang!”.It rang loudly. It was a good shot. We instantly realized who saved the guard. We hurried to Filial Son Wang to give him a thousand thanks.

Time passes and situations change. Wave upon wave, a sea of revolutions swept over China. Our family fortune dwindled like  evaporating water. Then it came to the point of the Land Reform launched by the Communists, in which the landless got lands, the landlords lost, the rich went to hell”. Seeing others tortured to death, their families shattered to pieces, we decided to break up and run before we were doomed too.We changed names and hid far away.Thanks to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, we survived, although the family members were scattered and our properties were gone.We were the only people who managed to escape successively in our home town.Thanks to my grandparents who were faithful and giving and always helpful to others. The merits they earned have blessed three generations.

In the spring and summer of 1995, Venerable Master Hua helped my brother and me leave China and come to City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Thus he fulfilled his wish of taking care the children of his boyhood friend. He was ultimately  very humane.


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