Dharma Master aozhen was a native of Hubei Province. He was the beneficiary of Venerable Elder Master Yinguang's robe and bowl, and became abbot of Lingyan Mountain Monastery of Suzhou City. He had a rude and very cruel character, and a headstrong nature. All day long he faced others with frowning brows and angry eyes. He became a local despot, just like a feudal monarch. When the mainland China was overthrown, he was abused. As a result, he hanged himself in the city of Shanghai. This is painful to ordinary people and can be taken as a warning to those in the Buddhadharma. It was his own savage temperament that brought about his violent end.
Dharma Master Miaozhen (Wonderful and True) was from Hubei province. Even though he held the precept of not eating after noon, he was very fat. His face was puffed up, and he looked ferocious. His eyes were very small and unpleasant looking. He was manager when Dharma Master Yinguang was building Lingyan (Magic Grotto) Mountain Monastery
Dharma Master Miaozhen was from Lingyan Mountain of Suzhou city. He was the beneficiary of Venerable Elder Master Yinguang's robe and bowl, and became abbot of Lingyan Monastery. After Dharma Master Yinguang passed on into the stillness, the Dharma was transmitted to Dharma Master Miaozhen, and he became abbot of Lingyan Monastery.
He had a rude and very cruel character. He was always rough. He spoke in a loud voice, as if he were scolding people. He did not have the slightest bit of affability about him. He had
a headstrong nature, and acted like a dictator. He was not democratic, but was tyrannical.
All day long he faced others with frowning brows and angry eyes, as if they owed him a few million dollars.
He became a local despot, just like a feudal monarch. He acted like a king and overlord at Lingyan Monastery. Left-home people who stayed there had to obey his orders. He would be very rough to those who did not obey him. He would slap those who came late to the Buddhahall for ceremony and those who played the Dharma instruments incorrectly. He slapped the faces of the left-home people, especially his attendant, when they were reciting in the Buddhahall. He was quite fierce.
When the mainland China was overthrown— taken over by the Communists—he was abused. Because he had committed countless atrocities, he deserved to face the repercussions. Thus, the Communists gave him a lot of trouble. He could not take it, and hanged himself in Shanghai. There is a saying in Chinese, "In the sky there are nine-headed birds; on the ground there are Hubei people." Hubei people are known for being as fierce as nine-headed birds. That was why he was tyrannical. He was oppressed by the Communists, and as a result he hanged himself in the city of Shanghai. Why did this happen?
It was his own savage temperament that brought about his violent end. The retribution from the workings of cause and effect are correct in every detail.
A Verse in Criticism Says:
Kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity,
These qualities befit dragons and elephants within the Dharma's gate.
However, he was coarse, brutal, and cruel,
Endowed with a tiger and wolf-like nature.
Such being the cause, effect, and retribution,
He killed himself: Everything is marked by impermanence.
This unfortunate case within the Sangha,
Adds to the anxiety and uneasiness of the Dharma-Ending Age.
Kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity: These qualities befit dragons and elephants within the Dharma's Gate: Left-home people should have those four unlimited minds. If you have these qualities, then you are like the dragons and elephants—greatly virtuous persons and high Sanghans within the Buddhadharma. They do not use their power to oppress, beat or scold others. If others have really done something wrong, they still forgive the offenders—once, twice, or three times.
However, he was coarse, brutal and cruel, endowed with a tiger and wolf-like nature. Dharma Master Miaozhen was cruel. If he did not like the looks of what somebody was doing, he would slap that person. As a retribution, he took his own life. He was rough and fierce, his temperament like that of a tiger or a wolf.
Such being the cause, effect, and retribution, he killed himself: Everything is marked by impermanence. He had committed countless evils and deserved to undergo his retribution. So he hanged himself.
This unfortunate case within the Sangha adds to the anxiety and uneasiness of the Dharma-Ending Age. This unfortunate circumstance among left-home people adds to the apprehensiveness of people in this age. Because greatly virtuous high Sanghas do not appear in the Dharma-Ending Age, left-home people are apprehensive and have nothing to sustain them. Common people think that every left-home person cultivates the Way. Some of them commit offenses. For example, in the past, bandits who violated the law were sought by the government. They did not have any other place to go, so they left the home-life. Even then, they still did not follow the rules—they were still fierce. They killed people and committed arson. They would do all kinds of evil. Therefore we should not put all left-home people in one category and regard them as all being the same.
To be continued