The Master’s [Xu Yun] age was sixty-four years in the cyclical year Kuei Mao. Liberated at Ying Hsiang Temple there was a dauntless cock. Whose nature was fond of fighting, and it injured those of its kind. The Master taught it to be mindful of the Buddha, and it received the Three Refuges.
After that [taking refuge], the cock no longer fought, but perched alone in a tree. It did not harm insects, and so if no one gave it food, it did not eat. One day, it died standing up, reciting the Buddha’s name. The Master then wrote the following verse:
To be fond of fighting was the disposition of this dauntless cock,
Which injured fowl, pulling out their plumes, making their red blood flow.
But, knowing fear, it took the precepts; thereupon, its mad mind stopped.
Roosting alone and a vegetarian, it no longer injured insects.
Its eyes would gaze up and contemplate the yellow-golden images [of Buddha and Bodhisattvas],
While it crowed reciting the Buddha’s name without any difficulty.
After circling around and bowing three full bows, it peacefully passed away.
What difference can be found between beings and the Buddhas?
Even the dauntless cock recited ‘Buddha’, and then went off to rebirth [in Pure Land], so how can we who are people afford not to be diligent?
Being ever mindful, ever reciting without interruption, single-minded, without confusion, one enlightens to non-production [ultimate enlightenment].
How a Cow Took Refuge
How a Mynah Recited Buddha’s Name
How a Fox was Mindful of Buddha