萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea


Vajra Bodhi Sea: HomeMain IndexIssue Index




蓽路藍縷話慈興 空谷回音憶上人(續)
Memories of the Venerable Master
The Toil of Building Cixing Monastery—Echoes of the Past (continued)

*比丘恆興師 比丘尼恆益師講於華嚴聖寺2000年9月25-27日梁皇寶懺法會
Spoken by Bhikshu Heng Sying Shi and Bhikshuni Heng Yi Shi on September 25-27, 2000, during the Emperor of Liang
Repentance Ceremony at Avatamsaka Monastery
*編輯室整理 Compiled by the Editorial Staff
*摩尼珠英譯 English translation by Mani Pearl









One Chan Session was attended by an old disciple in his nineties, who had killed a creditor in a past life and was wealthy in this life. He cultivated on the one hand, but dreamed of building a big mansion for himself on the other. He had to eat swallow nests [a delicacy] when he was ill. Since he was chronically ill, the Master encouraged him to make vows, but he refused. During the third sit of the Chan Session, the women heard the clacking of iron chains and the Ghost of Impermanence calling out Liang Guixian's name. They heard Liang Guixian cry out. The incident ended when the Master blessed him and asked him to repent and to support the Way-place.

The Master spent little time at Cixing Monastery, going there only once a week. He lectured Sutras and gathered in living beings at Western Bliss Garden Monastery and the Buddhist Lecture Hall the rest of the time. From the Buddhist Lecture Hall, he would go to Aberdeen to catch a fishing boat and ride for five hours to Taio Pier at Mount Dayu, then walk three hours to Cixing Monastery. The Master always set out before dawn, carrying vegetables, fruit, and soy sauce, reaching the monastery sometime past nine o'clock. He carried food supplies to provide for the Dharma Masters living at the monastery. Since the monastery grew its own rice, there was no need to bring it in.

A boatman once remarked, "Your teacher is really unusual. Everyone else hides in the cabin when it rains, but he stays at the front of the boat, totally unmoved by the rain." Someone once offered the Master a flashlight as he set out down the mountain in pitch dark at two o'clock in the morning, but the Master declined. Another person said, "Why would the Master need a flashlight? He has eyes all over his hands and feet." The Master would walk to Taio Pier in the rain, then sit in meditation on the boat, being drenched by the rain all the way to Hong Kong. When he arrived at Western Bliss Garden Monastery, his attendant nearly wept to see the Master in that condition.

It was inevitable that Heng Yi Shi would inadvertently kill some creatures, for she worked in the fields all day long, clearing and tilling land. Many earthworms and snakes lost their lives under her hoe. During meditation, she once saw earthworms come to claim her life. Heng Yi Shi said to them, "I didn't kill you on purpose. It was just that I didn't see you. If you want my life, please let me inform my companions first!" When Heng Yi Shi returned after telling her companions, the earthworms glowed, circled the crown of her head three times, then flew out the window and vanished.

Since Heng Yi Shi needed an ox to plow the fields, the Master asked her if she could avoid beating the ox. Heng Yi Shi said, "The ox won't walk if I don't hit it. How am I going to plow then?" The Master told her that by working for the Triple Jewel and making offerings to disciples of the Triple Jewel (that is, the twenty-some residents of the monastery), that ox would be reborn as a judge in the underworld after it dies, and it would sit in judgment on her.

"Then I will repent," replied Heng Yi Shi. After the ox died and Heng Yi Shi left the home life, she had a vision in which she saw herself in court being sentenced for beating the ox. Heng Yi Shi promptly repented to the judge.

There is an insect that feeds on flowers and leaves, named "red­headed soldier" on account of its red head and black body. Since these insects devoured the crops, Heng Yi Shi would collect them and release them in a place that was several hills away. But each time, they would return. There were huge numbers of them and she was too busy to play games with them. Once she placed them in a mooncake box and forgot to release them. Upon returning from Hong Kong, the Master went to the fields and indicated the box with his foot. In response to his inquiry, she replied, "Those are red-headed soldiers." The Master opened the box. They were all dead. Asked why she had not released them, Heng Yi Shi replied, "I was too busy, I forgot about them."

The Master told her, "Every night, several tens of thousands of red-headed soldiers have come to complain that you had killed them. " The Master told Heng Yi Shi and the others to kneel before Guanyin Bodhisattva. Many red-headed soldiers and other insects appeared, and the Master instructed his disciples to repent and to ask Guanyin Bodhisattva to liberate the creatures.

One rainy day when they could not work in the fields, Heng Yi Shi and others were reciting the Buddha's name in the monastery. Suddenly a creature with a pair of red eyes appeared before her and started bowing. When she asked what it was, she was told it was a monkey. "Maybe it wants to take refuge," she thought. Then she remembered that it was the lunar tenth and the Master would be transmitting the refuges at Western Bliss Gardens Monastery. She told the monkey, "Dharma Master Du Lun transmits the refuges every month on the tenth at Western Bliss Gardens. Go take refuge!" The monkey vanished, but reappeared a little later and bowed to Heng Yi Shi. It was holding something in its hand. It was a refuge certificate.

To be continued


法界佛教總會Dharma Realm Buddhist Association │ © Vajra Bodhi Sea