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Chapter 1


Once there was an old cultivator of patience. He wrote out a sentence on a sign-board and hung it on his door. It said, “My nature is like ashes.” That is, his nature was like burnt out ashes and had not even a spark of fire in it. He never got angry; he worked hard and cultivated until he was very mellow, just as flexible and yielding as water. Then, along came a Bodhisattva to test him. He looked at the sign and said, “What does that sign say?”

“It says, ‘My nature is like ashes,’” replied the cultivator.

A few minutes later, he again asked, “What does that sign say?”

“My nature is like ashes,” came the reply.

A moment later: “What does that sign say? I can’t remember clearly...”

“My nature is like ashes.”

He asked the question several thousand times, and finally, the old cultivator ignited. “It says, my nature is like ashes. MY NATURE IS LIKE ASHES!!! What are you trying to do anyway? What are you trying to prove? I’m cultivating the Way. Just who are you to come and stir up trouble?!!”

“Oh?” came the reply. “It would seem that the ashes have a bit of fire in them after all,” and so saying, he ascended into empty space. Who was he? He was Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and he had come to test the cultivator. But after several decades of cultivating a nature like ashes, he flunked the test. Guanyin Bodhisattva said, “You’d better cultivate some more. I’ll be back in another twenty years to see you again.”

See? It’s not easy. Patience means that you have no temper. When I was a disciple, I never dared get angry, whether I was in my teacher’s presence or not. Why? Because my teacher wasn’t stern like I am. He was very compassionate. If I got angry, he would refuse to eat. He’d say, “I haven’t done a good job teaching my disciple, so I won’t eat.” Because of this, I didn’t dare get angry.

Did I have a temper? My temper was huge, bigger than anyone’s, but because I left home to cultivate, I learned to control it. So now, in America I have just accepted three Americans as left-home disciples. Before they left home, they weren’t bad tempered, but now that they have, they haven’t learned anything except how to get angry. They have mastered the art of blowing their tops. Yesterday, two of them came complaining to me. One said that the other had gotten angry and the other said that the first one had gotten angry.

In the end who did get angry? I don’t care. But I decided to establish a rule which I announced yesterday and announced again last night and will repeat once again this evening. I don’t care who gets angry, who is in the right or who is in the wrong, but whoever gets angry must kneel in front of the Buddhas for a day and a night, twenty-four hours. During this time they are not allowed to rise, either to go to the bathroom, eat, drink, or sleep. That’s my rule and if you don’t kneel before the Buddhas, I will do it for you myself. Try it and see.

But not only does the one who gets angry have to kneel, all of the disciples, that is, the three Americans, all have to kneel together, which means that the two who did not get angry also have to kneel.

“But that’s unjust!” you say. “If only one gets angry why should the other two also have to kneel?”

If you are worried about justice, you should be informed that there simply is no justice in this world. If you’re afraid, then don’t get angry. Don’t think you can get away with getting angry when I’m not around either, because you’ll be punished just the same. You may think I don’t know, but for all you know I may have a secret information service, or someone may tell me and you’ll have to kneel all the same. Is that clear? Patience: Why will you have to kneel without eating, drinking, or sleeping? So that you can cultivate patience. If you get angry, that means you must cultivate patience and learn to bear the pain in your knees as you kneel. Did you hear that clearly? If so, the law goes into effect immediately.

A number of people who were thinking of leaving home are suddenly afraid. “The Master is really stern! I don‘t think I’d dare leave home under him.”

If you’re afraid, then just don’t get angry, and everything will be all right. I didn’t invent this law; it’s an age-old custom. But whether or not you kneel is up to you, not me. Why did I establish the rule? If I didn’t, then as I accepted more disciples, they would constantly be fighting and bringing their silly arguments to me. There wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to pass judgements on their stupid cases. How can cultivators of the Way get angry? They can’t. If, as a teacher, you get angry at your disciples, that’s permissible. But to get angry at one’s peers is not.

Patience is a priceless gem
Which few know how to mine;
But if you can master it
Everything works out fine.

If you’ve mastered patience, then everything goes well. If you haven’t, everything goes wrong.

d. The fourth perfection is that of vigor. Last summer, one of my disciples spoke about vigor and now he is being vigorous because he has come to the lecture illness and all.

There are two types of vigor; bodily and mental. Bodily vigor refers to bowing to the Buddhas, reciting Sutras, and holding mantras, working hard at cultivation and never ever relaxing--sleeping less, too. It‘s no easy matter to be a monk. You can’t just sleep all day. Vigor by day and vigor by night. Those who vigorously apply genuine effort do not just put on a show for other people. They cultivate vigorously whether anyone is looking or not. The work of cultivation is done for oneself; it is not done as a show. You must be vigorous.

e. The fifth perfection is Dhyana samadhi. This refers to cultivating skill in investigating Dhyana meditation. Perfection of mental vigor lies in constant mindfulness. Mental vigor is the diligent cultivation of precepts, samadhi, and wisdom and the eradication of greed, hatred, and stupidity--evicting thoughts of greed, hatred, and stupidity from your heart.

Then, once you are vigorous, you can cultivate the investigation of Dhyana meditation. Dhyana meditation needs the aid of vigor. If you are not vigorous, it’s like setting something in the sun for one day and then freezing it for ten. You shouldn’t be one who is fond of the lotus today and fond of the peony tomorrow--in other words, fickle. If you heat something in the sun for one day and then freeze it for ten, what use has it? Don’t cultivate for one day and rest for ten. In Chinese both words sound the same:

修 cultivate (xiu)
休 rest (xiu)

You’ll never obtain skill in Dhyana samadhi that way.

f. The sixth perfection is Prajna. Prajna is the most important of the perfections. Roughly, it means “wisdom”. In cultivating, one must have wisdom. Without wisdom, there is no way to cultivate. Stupid people may cultivate and try to make progress, but they never get anywhere. Those with wisdom can apply effort in any situation because they have genuine Prajna.

Of the green bamboo
and yellow flowers,
None is not Prajna.

Everything’s a manifestation of wisdom. For example, one of my disciples told me that another one said, “Every time (the disciple who told me this) talks to me, he scolds me.” Who is he scolding? Isn’t that stupid? If you were intelligent, how could you receive a scolding? Even if he was scolding you, if you had wisdom you wouldn’t accept his scolding and it would revert right back to him. The Sutra of Forty Two Sections says that someone once scolded the Buddha, but the Buddha made no reply.

The Buddha said, “You insulted me but I didn’t respond and so the insult reverts to you. It is like trying to spit at the sky: The spit will fall right back into your own face.” So even if he does scold you, if you don’t react, it’s just as if he hadn’t. If he scolds you, pretend he is singing you a song or that you don’t understand him because he is speaking Japanese, or Chinese, or French. If you can’t understand him, then, there’s no problem whatever.

This is genuine wisdom. If you do understand him and think, “He’s scolding me!” Well, then ultimately who are you? Bodhisattvas do not have the mark of self, others, living beings, or a lifespan. How can they hold onto an “I”? Those who have left home especially must take their “selves” and throw them into the Pacific Ocean. Get rid of them! Have no self and then everything will be okay.

This has been a discussion of the fifth of the Seven Qualities of a Mahasattva: They cultivate the great conduct, that is, the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand Conducts.

We have been discussing the Seven Qualities of Greatness of a Mahasattva and have discussed the first five: they are complete with great roots, they possess great wisdom, they believe in the great Dharma, they understand the great principle, and they cultivate the great conduct.

Within the cultivation of the great conduct we have talked about the Six Perfections. The Ten Thousand Conducts indicates many practices. To speak of them in detail, there are not merely ten thousand, but eighty-four thousand. However, because of the limitations of time, we cannot discuss each one in detail.

Now, we will discuss the Three Phases of Thought.

Bodhisattvas sweep away the
Three Phases of Thought,
And annul the Four Marks.

They sweep away the Three Phases of Thought as one would sweep the dirt up off the floor. What are the three phases of thought? They are: 1) past thought, 2) present thought, and 3) future thought.

What is past thought? It is thought which has already gone by. Having already gone by it’s in the past.

Present thought: You may say, “This is the present,” but just as you say it, it passes and becomes the past. The present does not stand still and the past has already gone by. The present does not stay. If you say this is the present, it’s already gone by. It’s turned into the past. So present thought cannot be obtained.

And what about future thought? Future thought has not yet arrived. Since it hasn’t arrived, where are you going to find it? So it is said, “past thought cannot be obtained, present thought cannot be obtained, and future thought cannot be obtained.” If these three, the past, present, and future phases of thought are entirely unobtainable, what is there to be attached to? There is nothing to be attached to. When there is no attachment, that is the attainment of liberation. The attainment of liberation--that is genuine freedom.

Bodhisattvas also cultivate the Four Methods of Conversion: 1) giving, 2) kind words, 3) helpfulness, and 4) cooperation.

Bodhisattvas should be resolved to give, to make gifts of wealth, Dharma, and fearlessness to all living beings as discussed above. Kind words: Bodhisattvas must practice affectionate speech. But only Bodhisattvas can do this; those who are not Bodhisattvas cannot. Bodhisattvas use kind, affectionate words which spring from the compassionate affection they hold for all living beings.

How did they become compassionate? Bodhisattvas have no mark of self. They see all living beings as identical with themselves. Not only do they see all living beings as identical with themselves, but they see themselves as identical with all living beings, not only identical but as a unity. They make no distinctions between “him and me”. So they like to rescue living beings because it is the same as rescuing themselves. They do so by means of compassionate and kind words to all living beings.

Helpfulness: All living beings like to receive benefit. You should benefit them, help them out in their affairs. There are many ways to help others, but in general, Bodhisattvas do deeds which cause others to obtain advantage.

Cooperation: Bodhisattvas can transform themselves into thousands of millions of bodies. When they see a living being, they determine which kind of body they will need to assume to save them. Then they transform to that kind of body to teach it. For example, when Shakyamuni Buddha was practicing the Bodhisattva Way, he turned into a deer in order to teach and transform the deer.

Practicing the Bodhisattva Way, you must practice what is hard to practice. If it’s basically difficult, you have to do it. That’s the Way of the Bodhisattva. They must give up what is hard to give up. If it’s hard to renounce, you must renounce it. The harder something is to give up--your riches for example-- the more genuine the renunciation becomes. You must bear what is difficult to bear. Things which are difficult to endure must be endured. This is the duty of one who practices the Bodhisattva Way. What is hard to yield, you must yield. If it is difficult to yield in a given situation, you must be able to do so. I often say:

You must eat what others cannot eat and bear what others cannot bear.

This is not to say “eating what others cannot eat” means that you rush in and eat all the good food before anyone else gets a chance to have any. It doesn’t mean that one eats the most delectable delicacies in the world, those which others have never tasted. It means that one eats those things which others do not like to eat. Bodhisattvas can eat such things.

I will tell you something: I am not a Bodhisattva, but I can eat the things which others do not like to eat. When I was seventeen years old, in Manchuria there was a Virtue Society which exclusively taught the Way, virtue, humaneness, and righteousness. I joined the Society when I was sixteen. When I was seventeen, I became the head instructor of about sixty or seventy people. I was very young and the students were men and women in their forties, fifties, and sixties.

The society advocated thrift and economy to the point that we even ate our potato skins. People would usually throw the skins away, but in the Virtue Society we talked about morality and eating what others do not like to eat. So I said to the students, “When everyone eats their potatoes, they shouldn’t spit the skins out. Force them down. This will show that we actually do eat what others cannot eat.”

I said it and I ate my own potato skin, but the students for the most part let my words blow past their ears like the wind and spit the skins out on the tables or on the floor. When we ate, no one was allowed to talk. I had already told them not to spit out the skins so I didn’t pay any attention to what they did. After lunch I went around the tables with a bowl, picked up all the potato skins that the students had spit out on the tables and on the floor and I stood in front of them and ate them. The students were aghast and very embarrassed.

From that time on, not a single student dared to spit out his potato skin. They never spit them out again. If I hadn’t actually practiced what I preached with my own example, I could not have influenced the students to change. They spit the skins out of their mouths and I put the skins in my mouth and ate them. They were greatly ashamed. This is called “eating what others cannot eat and bearing what others cannot bear.”

Bearing what others cannot bear: What is it that people cannot bear? Temper! If you bully a person a little bit, he will get angry. If you can bear others’ anger, perhaps by pretending that they are singing you a song or speaking a foreign language, it is as if nothing happened. Bearing, enduring, yielding, and renouncing are all primary prerequisites of those Bodhisattvas who cultivate the great conduct.

6. The Sixth Quality of a Mahasattva is that they pass through great kalpas. How great are the great kalpas that they pass through? I will tell you: One kalpa is 139,600 years. One thousand kalpas is a small kalpa. Twenty small kalpas is a middle kalpa. Four middle kalpas is a great kalpa.

How many great kalpas does the Bodhisattva pass through? Three great uncountable numbers of kalpas. The Bodhisattva traverses three great asamkhyeyakalpas. Asamkhyeya is a Sanskrit word which means “uncountable”. Think it over: what does it add up to? Three great asamkhyeya kalpas--how long would you say this was?

So it‘s not easy to be a Bodhisattva. It takes a long, long time. You must pass through many, many great kalpas to be a Bodhisattva Mahasattva.

7. The Seventh Quality of a Mahasattva is that he seeks the great result. What is the great result? The result of anuttarasamyaksambodhi, that is, of supreme equal and proper enlightenment, the result of the realization of Buddhahood.

A Bodhisattva who has all seven qualities is therefore called a Mahasattva, a Great Being.

How many Mahasattvas were present at the speaking of the Lotus Sutra? There were eighty thousand of them, all of whom had entered the path towards certification to the supreme equal and proper enlightenment. Once on the path, they only made forward progress.

All irreversibly established in anuttarasamyaksambodhi . There are three kinds of irreversibility. 1) Irreversibility of Position. As Great Vehicle Bodhisattvas, they would never retreat to the position of the Two Vehicles. 2) Irreversibility of Thought. Bodhisattvas are ever mindful in the practice of the Bodhisattva Way, in the practice of the Six Perfections and the Ten Thousand Conducts. In every thought they think only of going forward; they never retreat. It would never occur to them, “Ah, I’m not going to practice the Bodhisattva Way anymore. I’ll go back to the Two Vehicles and be an independent Arhat instead.” It would never happen because they are irreversible. 3) Irreversibility of Practice: They only go forward; they do not retreat. Thus, there are Three Kinds of Irreversibility: position, thought, and practice.

All had attained dharani and the eloquence of delight in speech.Dharani is a Sanskrit word interpreted as meaning “unite and maintain” or “suppressing and holding”. “Unite” means that they unite all Dharmas. “Hold” means that they hold limitless principles. The Dharmas spoken by the Buddha contain an unlimited number of principles and the irreversible Bodhisattvas had all obtained dharani, the uniting of all Dharmas and the holding of all principles.

Dharani also means “spell” or “mantra”. It means suppressing and holding because dharanis give rise to goodness and eradicate evil. They suppress evil and uphold the good. They suppress evil and cause good deeds to be practiced. It also carries the meaning of “doing no evil and practicing all good acts,” which is the meaning of the term “morality”. However there is a slight difference in that the moral precepts must be upheld by you. With the dharani, you recite a mantra which helps you to sever evil and cultivate goodness. The power of the mantra aids you.

There are many kinds of dharanis. The Sutra text states, “all had attained dharani and the eloquence of delight in speech.” This could also be interpreted to mean that they had attained the Dharani of the Eloquence of Delight in Speech.

And turned the irreversible Dharma Wheel.. The Bodhisattvas turn the Wheel of Dharma to teach and transform living beings. What is meant by turning the Dharma Wheel? There is a common phrase, “The Dharma Wheel Forever Turns.” The eternal turning of the Dharma Wheel refers to the irreversible Dharma Wheel. What is meant by the turning of the Dharma Wheel?

For example, here we lecture on the Sutras and speak the Dharma. We are also translating the Sutras into English, and introducing the Buddhadharma to all people and this, too, is turning the Dharma Wheel. There are not just one but many different types of work involved in propagating the Buddhadharma, all of which are considered to be the turning of the Dharma Wheel to teach living beings. Therefore, as disciples of the Buddha, we must take the work of turning the Dharma Wheel as our own work, as our duty and responsibility. We should do whatever work we can do to turn the Wheel of the Buddhadharma.

For example, now in the scientific age, we have a wet-copier and every day we put out typescript copies of the English translation of the previous night’s lecture so that everyone can have a copy. This is called turning the Dharma Wheel. Turning the Dharma Wheel is the circulation of the Buddhadharma so that it flows like water and never stops.

When I was young, I also did the work of propagating the Buddhadharma. At first, before I was able to lecture on the Sutras, I printed Sutras. Whenever someone was printing a Sutra, I would contribute enough money for the printing of a few hundred or a few thousand copies. Then I would give them to my friends or relatives, perhaps at New Year’s or some other holiday, or on their birthdays I would make them a present of a copy of a Buddhist Sutra.

The Chinese like red paper, so I wrapped them in red paper so that they made beautiful gifts. I would say, “I am giving you the most important gift there is. Why? Because it can save your life, the life of your wisdom and your Dharma body. Because you are my friend, I am giving you that which I like most--the Buddhadharma.” I spoke to them very sincerely and earnestly and they could not but read them. Once they read them, they would become interested in the Buddhadharma and come to me saying, “Where did you get those Sutras? I have some friends I would like to give copies to. Can you give me a few more?”

Then I was in business distributing books. No matter who was printing Sutras, I would subscribe. While I was in Manchuria, my wealth consisted of nothing but Buddhist Sutras. I had more Sutras in my room in Manchuria than there are in this entire lecture hall--a whole lot. Wherever I go, I have a lot of Sutras.

In Hong Kong I spent the most money on Sutras. I probably printed more than a million dollars HK worth of Sutras. When I was about to come to America I gave away over several hundred thousand dollars worth of Buddhist Sutras; I would give each person a big package of them as gifts. I had planned to give them away gradually, but because I was going to America, I hurried up and gave them away because I had no place to store them. The thing I liked to do most was print Sutras. Now that you are making copies of the lectures this is also a very good way to spread the Dharma. It pleases me a great deal. This is how I turned the irreversible Dharma Wheel; I hope that everyone will exert themselves vigorously in this regard.

They had made offerings to limitless hundreds of thousands of Buddhas.Not only did they turn the irreversible Dharma Wheel, but they made offerings to all the Buddhas, limitless numbers of them, an uncountable number. How many? Hundreds of thousands of Buddhas.

And in the presence of those Buddhas had planted the roots of a myriad virtues.These great Bodhisattvas throughout limitless kalpas and in the presence of limitless Buddhas had sent down and nourished the roots of the virtuous nature. How did they plant them? How did they nurture them? By making offerings to the Triple Jewel and turning the irreversible Dharma Wheel. If you can make offerings to the Triple Jewel, that is to nourish and nurture the roots of your virtuous nature.

They were constantly receiving those Buddhas’ praise. The eighty thousand Mahasattvas were constantly, at all times receiving the praise and commendation of all the Buddhas who said to them, “Good men! You are truly fine! Good men! You practice the Bodhisattva Way and you are not bad at all. The Buddhas all praise the Bodhisattvas.

They cultivated themselves in compassion.They had always used a compassionate heart to teach and transform beings, and they cultivated compassion in their own persons.

And were well able to enter the wisdom of the Buddhas. They were quite capable of attaining the Buddhas’ wisdom.

They had penetrated the great wisdom and arrived at the other shore.They had penetrated the greatest wisdom there is, that is, the understanding of the Buddhas. Great wisdom is the Buddhas’ wisdom, the Buddhas’ wisdom is the great wisdom. Having attained the great wisdom of the Buddhas, they were then able to arrive at the other shore. The “other shore” refers to the Sanskrit word “Paramita,” perfection.

Their reputations extended throughout limitless world realms.The eighty thousand Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas’ names had been heard in all the limitless worlds by all living beings who were constantly aware of them.

And they were able to cross over countless hundreds of thousands of living beings. They could save and transform an uncountable number of hundreds of thousands of tens of thousands of them.


Their names were: the Bodhisattva Manjushri, the Bodhisattva Who Contemplates the World‘s Sounds, the Bodhisattva Who Has Attained Great Might, the Bodhisattva Constant Vigor, the Bodhisattva Unresting, the Bodhisattva Jeweled Palm, the Bodhisattva Medicine King, the Bodhisattva Courageous Giving, the Bodhisattva Jeweled Moon, the Bodhisattva Moonlight, the Bodhisattva Full Moon, the Bodhisattva Great Strength, the Bodhisattva Unlimited Strength, the Bodhisattva Who Has Transcended the Three Realms, the Bodhisattva Bhadrapala, the Bodhisattva Maitreya, the Bodhisattva Jewel Accumulation, the Bodhisattva Guiding Master--and other Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas such as these, eighty thousand in all.


E3. Partial listing of their names.


What were the names of the eighty thousand Mahasattvas? Since there were eighty thousand of them, if we were to list every name, the Lotus Sutra would be too long. So only the few who are leaders have been listed to represent the rest.

Their names were: the Bodhisattva Manjushri. Manjushri, a Sanskrit word, is interpreted as “wonderful virtue” or “wonderfully auspicious”. Of the Bodhisattvas, Manjushri has the greatest wisdom and so he is known as “The Greatly Wise Bodhisattva Manjushri.” Among the Bodhisattvas he holds the highest rank and so he is listed first, before the Bodhisattva Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World. There are four great Bodhisattvas: Bodhisattva Manjushri, the Bodhisattva Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World, (Sanskrit--Avalokiteshvara, Chinese--Guanshiyin), The Bodhisattva Universal Worthy (Sanskrit--Samantabhadra, Chinese-Puxian) and Earth Store Bodhisattva (Sanskrit--Kshitigarbha, Chinese--Dizang).

Bodhisattva Manjushri dwells in China on Wutai Mountain where his Bodhimanda is located. His efficacious responses are marvelous beyond all reckoning. He realized Buddhahood long ago and was called Buddha of the Race of Honored Dragon Kings. After realizing Buddhahood, he “hid away the great and manifested the small,” in order to practice the Bodhisattva Way, and teach and transform living beings, and help the Buddha propagate the Dharma. His spiritual penetrations and miraculous functions are inconceivable.

In China, the great contemporary late elder master the Most Venerable Hsu Yun, made a vow to bow once every three steps to Mount Wutai to pay reverence to the Bodhisattva Manjushri. He bowed from Mount Putuo, an island in the South China Sea, one thousand miles to Mount Wutai in Shanxi province. Every time he took three steps, he made one full prostration to the ground. Then he rose, took three steps, and bowed again. He was bowing to the Bodhisattva Manjushri, seeking a response so that he might open his wisdom and become greatly wise just like that Bodhisattva. The distance was approximately one thousand miles. At one bow every three steps, how long would you say it took him? A long time. If you want to know the details, see Elder Master Hsu Yun’s Year-to-Year Autobiography or his Pictorial Biography.

When the Venerable Hsu Yun had reached the Yellow River it was winter and snowing. He took refuge from the storm in an old vendor’s straw hut beside the Yellow River. The snow fell unceasingly and the Venerable Hsu Yun was right on the verge of dying from the cold and hunger.

Just then, an old beggar came by. He melted some snow in a pan and made some yellow rice gruel and gave it to the Elder Master. When the Elder Master had eaten it he felt revived and asked the beggar his name.

“My name is Wen,” the beggar said.

“And what is your other name?” the Master asked.

“I am called Wen Ji,” the beggar replied, and he asked the Master, “Where are you from?”

“I have come from Mount Putuo in the South China Sea,” the Master replied.

Wen Ji pointed to the snow and said, “Do you have this in the South China Sea?”

The Master replied, “No.”

“Then what do people eat there?”

The Master was speechless.

The two of them decided to journey together to Mount Wutai. The beggar didn’t bow; he carried the Master’s pack. Without the heavy pack to carry, his bowing and walking was much easier. Before, it took great effort to bow and rise. Now he was able to bow faster. When Master Hsu Yun was bowing, the Master asked Wen Ji, “Where are you from?”

“I come from Mount Wutai,” said the beggar, “and all the monks there know me. They are all my good friends.”

They continued their journey. Sometimes they stayed in monasteries along the way, and the monks would gang up on the beggar and scold the Master. “If you are making a pilgrimage, make one. If you’re bowing you should just bow. Why have you got an attendant? What kind of show are you putting on?” they jeered.

Everywhere they went, the two of them were harrassed. Sometimes people wouldn’t even allow the beggar to stay in the temples, but would immediately throw him out. He underwent a great deal of harsh treatment.

Although the beggar had been able to endure a lot of abuse, when the two of them had nearly reached Mount Wutai, he finally decided he had suffered enough at the hands of the monks and he told the Master, “Up ahead, someone will come to help you, but I am going to leave now,” and he took his leave.

The Master went on ahead and sure enough, he soon met an official from Hunan with a horsecart. The official put the Master’s pack on the horsecart and the Master continued to bow once every three steps.

When they arrived at Mount Wutai, the Master asked if they knew a beggar named Wen Ji. But no one, not a single monk on Mount Wutai knew of such a beggar. Later, someone asked the Master, “What was the beggar’s name?”

“Wen Ji”, the Master replied.

“Oh! That’s Manjushri Bodhisattva! ‘Wen’ stands for ‘Wenshu’ [the Chinese transliteration of Manju] and ‘Ji’ stands for ‘auspicious’ [one of the meanings of ‘shri’ in Manjushri]. The beggar was the Bodhisattva Wonderfully Auspicious, Manjushri.

So the Venerable Master Hsu Yun had bowed all the way to Mount Wutai seeking a magical response from Manjushri Bodhisattva and he moved the Bodhisattva to come and carry his backpack for him. Master Hsu Yun made the tremendously difficult journey of over a thousand miles to pay reverence to Manjushri Bodhisattva and Manjushri was walking right along with him for ever such a long time but he didn’t recognize him. When, later, he realized that it was Manjushri Bodhisattva, he was nowhere to be seen.

So the wonderful occurrences of Manjushri Bodhisattva are indeed inconceivable.

Because the Bodhisattva is wonderful, he transformed himself into a beggar. He could have transformed himself into a wealthy elder with a horse and carriage to help the Master, but instead he went with the Master on foot, and shared his hardships. There are many such incidences of his magical deeds, but we won’t go into them now.

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