The Master's name was Jing Qin (Ultimate Respect). His family name was Wang. He was a native of Yizhou in Shu (Sichuan Province). In his youth, the Master went to Mount Emei and left the home-life at Black Water Monastery. At age twenty-one, he received the complete precepts, and then traveled around, paying respect to different teachers. Later, upon meeting Master Yunmen (Cloud Gate), he awakened to the truth and was certified by him.
At that time, Lord Liu made himself the ruler of the Lingnan region. He had great respect for Buddhism. He honored Dhyana Masters such as Zhisheng (Sagely Knowledge) of Lingshu (Magic Tree), and Kuangzhen (Truth) of Yunmen (Cloud Gate). Master Guangwu was also someone whom Lord Liu revered. Once Liu Sheng, the King of Nanhan, summoned the Master and had a discussion with him. On that occasion, the King was extremely pleased and presented the Master with a robe and sash.
During the second year of the Taiping Xingguo reign period of the Song Dynasty (977 c.e.), on the twenty-second day of the second month, the Master invited many Dharma-protecting laypeople and many left-home people, and he sat talking with them into the night. Then the Master got up and lit incense, put his palms together, and departed. The Master's precept age was sixty-two; his worldly age was eighty-two. His entire body was housed in a stupa on the mountain. Later, during the ninth year of the Dazhong Xiangfu reign period of the Northern Song Dynasty
(1016 c.e.), the stupa's door split open of itself. The Master's body appeared as if still alive. The Sangha and laity had his body lacquered, after which they respectfully transported it to Shuangfeng (Twin Peaks), where the local people were extremely reverent and paid homage to his stupa. The miraculous responses were many indeed!
This is Dhyana Master Guangwu of
Shuangfeng, a Patriarch of the 41st generation. Where is
Mount Shuangfeng? It's in Guangdong. The Master's name was
Jing Qin. The Chinese character 諱 hui translated as “name”
here actually means “unmentionable,” indicating that it was
not appropriate to refer to the Master by his given name, in
the same way that we do not refer to our parents by their
given names. When it is necessary to use names when
addressing parents or elders, this character is used to
indicate that the name is basically an unmentionable one.
Without using this character to introduce it, mentioning the
name would be disrespectful. In the same way, out of respect
for his teacher and elder Dharma brothers, a left-home
person does not mention their names. In Asian culture,
calling people by name indicates that you look down on them,
although in Western culture, some sons even call their
parents by their given names and do so quite casually. The
Master's name was Jing Qin (Ultimate Respect). He was also
named Guangwu (Vast Enlightenment).
His family name was Wang. He was a native
of Yizhou in Shu (Sichuan Province). In Sichuan, the natural
environment, the mountains and waters, is excellent and the
people are quite intelligent and endowed with wisdom. In the
past, there was Zhang Chong, who was from Sichuan. He
decided to work together with Cao Cao. But Cao Cao looked
down upon him. Cao Cao had a book he’d written, called “Meng
De Xin Shu,” that contained his favorite articles on
military strategy. It had never been published, or even
circulated, but it could be considered a masterpiece. No one
knew about it. There was only one copy of the manuscript,
which he kept. He gave it to Zhang Chong to read, in order
to show off his literary knowledge, writing prowess, and his
ideas. Who would have thought that Zhang Chong would take
it, look at it from beginning to end right there in front of
Cao Cao, and after reading it through once like that, put
the book down and say, “That book of yours is all over
Cao Cao was really surprised. He said,
“You've got this book in Sichuan? I wrote this book. I’m the
author, how could it be in Sichuan?” Zhang Chong said, “If
you don't believe me, I’ll recite it from memory for you. In
Sichuan, even three-year old children can recite this book
by heart.” And Zhang Chong proceeded to recite the book from
beginning to end without missing a single word. Cao Cao then
knew that this was an exceptional person and thought highly
of him. However, because of a lack of affinities, Zhang
Chong and Cao Cao never made any agreement. And so Zhang
went to chat with Zhu Geliang and Liu Bei. After their
visit, Zhang Chong gave a detailed map of Sichuan to Liu Bei,
who then went on to Sichuan.
There were many people from Sichuan who
were extremely talented. For instance, Su Xun (Su Lao Quan),
Su Dong Po, and Su Che were all from Sichuan. Since there
were so many talented laypeople, it follows that those who
left the home-life were exceptional as well.
In his youth, the Master went to Mount
Emei and left the home-life at Black Water Monastery. He was
probably ten years old at that time. At age twenty-one, he
received the complete precepts, and then traveled around,
paying respect to different teachers. A few years later,
when he was in his thirties or forties, upon meeting Master
Yunmen (Cloud Gate), whose name was also Wenyan, at Great
Enlightenment Monastery (see “Vajra Bodhi Sea” Issues 399 &
400) Master Wenyan was a cripple. He got that way because
when he went to seek the Dharma from his teacher, his
teacher slammed the door on his foot and broke it. Those of
old were even willing to lose their legs in seeking the
Dharma. Not to speak of losing a leg, people today would run
away if someone merely touched a hair on their bodies!
He awakened to the truth. As he talked
with Master Wenyan, he found that they had affinities with
one another, and right then he awakened and was certified by
At that time, Lord Liu made himself the
ruler of the Lingnan region. No one selected him; he just
decided on his own that he wanted to rule and made himself
the king. He was extremely reverent towards Buddhism.
Perhaps it was because of his belief in Buddhism that he
dared to assume the position of a king. He trusted that the
Bodhisattvas would protect him. He honored Dhyana Masters
such as Zhisheng (Sagely Knowledge) of Lingshu (Magic Tree),
and Kuangzhen (Truth) of Yunmen (Cloud Gate). Master Guangwu
was also someone whom Lord Liu revered, and he often drew
near to the Master.
Once, Liusheng, the king of Nanhan,
summoned the Master and had a discussion with him. This was
another king of a small region. On that occasion, the king
was extremely pleased, and felt that they had great
affinities with one another. And so he presented the Master
with a robe and sash, which of course were especially fine,
since they were a gift from a king.
During the second year of the Taiping
Xingguo reign period of the Song Dynasty (977 c.e.), on the
twenty-second day of the second month, the Master invited
many Dharma-protecting laypeople and many left-home people,
including greatly virtuous High Sanghans, to come and he sat
talking with them into the night. On the one hand, he was
speaking the Dharma, on the other hand he was saying
goodbye. It was the last time they would all see him. But he
didn't have any illness. Then the Master got up and lit
incense in the incense burner, which was in the middle of
the room. And as he was talking, he put his palms together,
and left. He entered stillness. Any of those people who
lacked courage must certainly have run out of the room when
that happened, because likely at that time such an event –
to die while chatting – was unheard of. How could he pass on
like that? It's because he had control over birth and death.
If he wanted to live, he could live. If he wanted to die, he
could go to rebirth any time he chose. King Yama had no
control over him, how much the less any heavenly or human
king. That is what's known as freedom over birth and death.
“My fate is in my own hands, and not in the hands of
others.” No one else can do anything about it.
The Master's precept age was sixty-two. His worldly age was eighty-two. His entire body was housed in a stupa on the mountain. Stupa is a Sanskrit word. It translates as “square grave.” Later, during the ninth year of the Dazhong Xiangfu reign of the Northern Song Dynasty (1016 c.e.), the stupa's door split open of itself. The stupa had originally been sealed shut, but at that time it opened naturally. Everyone looked in and saw that the Master's body appeared as if still alive. It looked just the same as it did when he was living; it certainly didn't look like he had entered stillness several decades prior. After reverently removing it, the Sangha and laity had his flesh body lacquered, after which they respectfully transported it to Shuangfeng (Twin Peaks), in Canton where the local people were extremely reverent and paid homage to his stupa. The miraculous responses were many indeed! People went before the stupa to pray. Those who were sick sought to get well. Some who wanted to have sons would go there to pray for sons. Some wanted to have daughters and would go to the stupa to pray for daughters. At times when things were not going their way, people would go to seek help, and then things would work out for them. After all those responses, one person would tell ten others, and those ten would tell a hundred others, and the hundreds would tell thousands, and
the thousands would tell tens of thousands. Soon just about everybody came to seek something, to the point that if someone got kicked by a fly, he came to seek help. If someone got bitten by a mosquito, he'd come seeking help. And then those places where people had been kicked by flies no longer hurt, and their mosquito bites got better. That's what's meant by “many miraculous responses.”
“But why did you bring up such small matters as getting kicked by flies or bitten by mosquitoes?” you wonder. Because those are very small matters. If even those who came to seek help in such small matters got responses, we need not go into detail about those who came to seek help with more serious problems. In general, this Dhyana Master was willing to help people in every way he could.
To be continued