Biographies

Biography Of The Fifth Patriarch Of The Chinese Pure Land Tradition Great Master Shaokang 中国净土宗五祖少康大师传

出家法名:释少康(大师)
地位:净土宗五祖
俗名:周(姓)
出生地:唐缙云仙都山人(今浙江省缙云县)
出生年:约736
往生年:805
作品:

Monastic Dharma Name: Shi Shaokang (Great Master)
Status: Fifth Patriarch Of The Pure Land Tradition (School)
Family Name: Zhou (Surname)
Place Of Birth: Tang Dynasty, Xiandu Mountain in Jinyun County (Present day Zhejiang Province’s Jinyun County)
Year Of Birth: Around 736 C.E.
Year Of Rebirth: 805 C.E.
Works: None

少康大师生于约736年,俗姓周,唐缙云仙都山人(今浙江省缙云县)。身世颇具传奇色彩。

Great Master Shaokang was born around 736 C.E. to a Zhou family during the Tang Dynasty era, at Xiandu Mountain in Jinyun County (now at Zhejiang Province). His life was filled with colourful legends.

据《宋高僧传》:「母罗氏,因梦游鼎湖峰得玉女手捧青莲,授曰:此花吉祥,寄于汝所,后生贵子,切当保惜。」后母亲怀孕。待到产日,「青光满室,香似芙蕖(荷花)」。

According to Song Dynasty’s Biographies Of Great Monastics, ‘[Great Master’s] Mother Madam Luo, in a dream, journeyed to Dinghu Peak, where a beautiful maiden with both hands offered her a blue lotus, instructing, “This flower is auspicious, now entrusted to you. After the birth of your noble son, you must protect and cherish him.” Later, she did become pregnant. About to reach the day of birth, ‘Blue lights filled the room, with fragrant similar to lotus flowers’.

大师幼年天庭饱满、眼碧唇朱、经常含笑端坐,人见人爱。然到七岁,未曾开口说话。一日母亲带到灵山寺拜佛。母亲以佛像问:「识否?」 大师忽发言:「释迦牟尼佛!」 母亲听了甚感惊诧,知道儿子宿具善根。

From childhood, Great Master had a full middle forehead, with bluish green eyes and orange-red lips. He, often smiling while sitting upright, was well loved by all. However, till the age of seven, he had yet to speak. One day, his mother brought him to Lingshan Monastery to pay homage to the Buddha. His mother, referring to the Buddha image and asked, ‘Do you know him?’ Suddenly, Great Master uttered, ‘Sakyamuni Buddha!’ Hearing this, his mother was extremely surprised, and knew that he must have past good roots.

母亲忆孕前之梦境,知儿子与佛有缘。遂择吉日,送大师到灵山寺出家修行。大师十五岁受戒于越州嘉祥寺,五夏学戒,广涉大乘经论,十多年后已能通晓《法华经》、《楞严经》、《华严经》等大乘佛典。

His mother recollected the dream scene before her pregnancy, and knew that her son has affinity with the Buddha. Thereupon picking an auspicious day, she sent Great Master to Lingshan Monastery to renounce the household life, for cultivating practice. At the age of 15, Great Master received his full monastic precepts at Yuezhou’s Jiaxiang Monastery, where he spent five summers learning the precepts, widely studied the Mahayana sutras and treatises. About 10 years later, he was already proficient with the (Wonderful) Dharma (Lotus) Flower Sutra, Surangama Sutra, Flower Adornment Sutra and other Mahayana sutras.

唐贞元初,大师49岁,游历到洛阳白马寺。一日在殿中礼佛,「见物放光,遂探取为何经法?乃善导大师《西方化导文》也,康见欢喜。」于是,心中默默念:「『我若与净土有缘,惟此轴文斯光再现。』所誓才终,果重闪烁,中有化佛菩萨无算。」

At the beginning of Tang Dynasty’s Zhenyuan year, when Great Master was 49 years old, he journeyed to Luoyang’s Baima Monastery. One day, while prostrating to Buddha image in the hall, he ‘saw something emitting light. Thereupon, he searched to see which sutra teaching it was. It was Great Master Shandao’s “Western Instructional And Guidance Text”. [Great Master] Shaokang thus rejoiced.’ Thus, in his heart, he silently recited, ‘”If I and [the Western] Pure Land have affinity, may only this scroll of text’s light again appear.” Just when his prayer ended, again indeed did light glimmer, manifesting innumerable Buddhas and Bodhisattvas within.’

大师目睹瑞相,深知乃祖师的灵迹感应,遂五体投地顶礼发誓:「劫石可磨,我愿无易矣。」由此下定决心,放下万缘,誓以善导大师为榜样,归心净土。

Great Master, having witnessed these auspicious signs, deeply knew that these spiritual miracles were responses from the Patriarch. Thereupon, with his five limbs thrown to the ground, he prostrated and vowed, ‘Rocks can be ground in kalpas, [but] my vow will be without change.’ Hereby, he made a firm resolution to let go of the ten thousand conditions, vowing to, with Great Master Shandao as a model example, set his mind upon the Pure Land path.

尔后,大师往诣长安光明寺善导大师影堂。恭敬瞻礼,倏见善导大师遗像升于空中,对大师说:「汝依吾事,利乐有情,则汝之功,同生安养。」大师遂更加坚定专修专弘净土决心。

Thereafter, Great Master went to Chang’an’s Guangming Monastery, where Great Master Shandao’s ancestral hall was. While reverently prostrating, he suddenly saw the portrait of Great Master Shandao rise into the air, and said, ‘You should rely on my teachings, to benefit and bring joy to sentient beings, thus with your efforts, to together be born in the Land Of Peaceful Nurturing.’ Thereupon, Great Master with even more determination, focused on cultivation and propagation of the Pure Land teachings.

一日大师弘法至湖北江陵(荆州),至果愿寺礼佛。「遇一法师,谓康曰:『汝欲化人,径往新定,缘在于彼。』说完,却不见踪影,只闻见香光往西而去。」大师觉知此乃佛菩萨指引,便毅然前往浙江新定(今浙西建德市)。

One day, while Great Master was propagating the dharma at reached Hubei’s Jiangling (Jingzhou), he went to Guoyuan Monastery to pay homage to the Buddha. ‘(Great Master) met a Dharma Master, who said to him, “If you wish to transform people, should take the path to Xinding, as your affinity is there.” After saying however, he disappeared without a trace, only smelt and seen were fragrance and light towards the west.’ Great Master came to realise this as guidance by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, thus becoming resolute in proceeding towards Zhejiang’s Xinding (now Zhejiang’s Jiande City).

大师初到浙江时,由于净土教法在浙江一带尚无人弘扬,大家对其理不甚了解,教化难以入手。于是,他每天在城中化缘,乞食得钱,诱奖小儿能念「阿弥陀佛」一声即付一钱。众儿童觉得好玩,同时为拿钱,争念「南无阿弥陀佛」。几个月后,念佛儿童剧增,大师又善巧引导,念十句给一钱。如是经过一年的劝化,新定地区大小贵贱念佛者,盈满道路。

When Great Master first reached Zhejiang, as there was still no one propagating the Pure Land teachings in the region, everyone did not quite understand it, which made it difficult to begin teaching and transforming. Thus, everyday within the city, he sought alms, for food, and received some money, with which he used to entice and reward children. Those able to recite aloud ‘Amituofo’ (Amitabha Buddha) once, would be given one copper coin. Many children felt that it was fun, while at the same time, for receiving money, they competed to recite ‘Namo Amituofo’ (Homage to and refuge for life in Amitabha Buddha). A few months later, as the children who reciting the Buddha’s name had dramatically increased, Great Master again skilfully guided them to recite 10 times to be given one coin. Thus, passing a year’s of persuasion and transformation, Xinding district’s adults and children, noble and lowly, who recited the Buddha’s name fully filled the streets.

唐贞元十年, 大师58岁, 在新定乌龙山南麓启建净土道场,升座说法,宣扬净土奥义。大师筑坛三级,聚人午夜行道唱赞二十四首,称扬净邦。每遇斋日,信者云集,所化三千许人。

In the Tang Dynasty’s Zhenyuan’s 10th year, Great Master at the age of 58, established a Pure Land Bodhimanda (Practice Centre) at Xinding’s Mount Wulong’s Nanluqi. He started teaching the Dharma, to propagate the profound meaning of the Pure Land teachings. Great Master built a three-storeyed platform, to gather people at midnight to practise the path, by singing 24 praises of Pure Land. On every Eight Precepts day, about 3,000 devotees would gather together.

少康大师每登高座,高声唱「阿弥陀佛」,每念一声,口中即出一佛,连诵十声,则出十佛,若连珠状。大师对大众说:「汝见佛者,决定往生。」众弟子听到这个授记,欣喜异常,念佛更勤。亦有少数未见者,悲感自责,因而加倍精进念佛。

When Great Master Shaokang ascended to the high seat, to recite ‘Amituofo’ aloud, with each recitation, from his mouth within, immediately exited a Buddha’s form. Continuously reciting 10 times, thus did 10 of Buddha’s form exit, as if strung like prayer beads. Great Master said to the great assembly, ‘You who see the Buddha’s form, will definitely be reborn (in Pure Land).’ Many disciples who heard this prediction gave rose to great joy, and recited the Buddha’s name even more diligently. The few yet to see felt grief and remorse, which drove them to redouble their diligence in mindfulness of the Buddha.

唐贞元二十一年十月,大师69岁,预知时至,召集弟子最后嘱示:「当于净土,起增进心;于阎浮提,起厌离心。汝曹此时见我光明,真我弟子。」

In the Tang Dynasty’s Zhenyuan’s 21st year in the 10th month, when Great Master was 69 years old, he knew in advance the time of his departure. He called to gather his disciples to give them his last instruction, ‘(You) should, for (reaching) Pure Land, give rise to increase of diligence. And for Jambudvipa [which is this defiled land], give rise to revulsed renunciation. You and the company, who at this moment see my bright light, are my true disciples.’

语讫,放光数道,奄然而化。尔时,天气陡变,狂风四起,百鸟悲鸣,乌龙山也一时变白。后大师的灵塔建于州东台子岩,再由天台德韶国师重建塔。

With his words completed, he emitted many rays of light, and suddenly departed. At that moment, the weather changed precipitously, as wild winds from the four directions arose, and hundreds of bird sang sadly, Mount Wulong for a short while turned white. Later, Great Master’s memorial pagoda was built at Zhoudong’s Taizi Cliff, which was eventually rebuilt by the State Preceptor Tiantai Master Deshao.

因善导大师念佛一声,则有一道光明从其口出,念十百千声,便有十百千道光明从其口出。而少康大师则一声一佛,与善导大师一声一光极其相似,故人们都尊称他为「后善导」,以及净土宗第五代祖师

As it was such, that when Great Master Shandao recited the Buddha’s name once, a ray of bright light emitted from his mouth. When he recited 1,000,000 times, a 1,000,000 rays of bright light emitted from his mouth. This is while when Great Master Shaokang recited once, out from his mouth projected a Buddha’s image, which was somewhat similar. Thus, everyone honourably addressed him as the Latter Shandao, and as the The Pure Land Tradition’s Fifth Patriarch.

完整中文原文 Complete Chinese text: donglin.org
图片 Pictures: 互联网 Internet
英译 English translation: purelanders.com

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!