[7] [89] Later Wèi Dynasty’s Bìgǔ’s Monastic Tánluán 后魏壁谷僧昙鸾

[7] Later Wèi [Dynasty’s] Bìgǔ’s Monastic Tánluán


Tánluán, first personally [from] Táo [Hóngjǐng (陶弘景), who] lived [in] seclusion, attained [the] Immortality Classic’s ten scrolls. Luán [was] glad [to] personally attain [them], assuming immortality can certainly [be] achieved.


Later meeting [the] monastic Bodhiruci, [he] asked, ‘[Does the] Buddha path have [a method to have] long life, [that is] able [to] retreat [from] ageing [and] not die?’


Ci said, ‘[For] long life without death, [is] my Buddha path.’ Thereupon, with [the] Sixteen Contemplations’ Sūtra given [to] him, saying, ‘You can recite this, then [in the] three realms without again born, [to the] six paths without again going. [Of the] abundant [and] empty, rising [and] falling, [of] disasters [and] blessings, successes [and] failures, [with] non-attainment [of them] then reached. [Of] that as lifespan[‘s analogies, there] are kalpas’ rocks, [and there] are rivers’ sand [grains. The] numbers [of] sand [grains and] rocks have limits, [while the] number of [the Pure Land’s] lifespan’s [number of years is] inexhaustible. This [is] my golden immortal’s [i.e. the Buddha] clan’s long life.’

[Note: The Buddha spoke of an analogy to describe the lengthiness of a kalpa, which is one world cycle, the time for a world to be formed and destroyed, about 1,334,000,000 (one billion, three hundred and thirty-four million) years. He spoke of a great rock mountain of 40 lǐs (i.e. 20 kilometres) in height, with a long-living person using a piece of fine and soft cloth, wiping it once every 100 years to gradually reduce its size. By the time this rock is completely ‘sanded’ away, the end of one kalpa will still not be reached. Thus, ‘kalpas’ rocks’ (劫石) are used to describe a duration of time that is long and distant. As the ‘Ganges River’s sand grains’ (恒河沙) are extremely fine like powder, they are also used by the Buddha to describe the innumerable or immeasurable. Note that this is not the same as the infinite.]


[As] Luán profoundly believed him, [he] thereupon burnt [the] Immortality Classic, then [with] focused cultivation [of the] Contemplation Sūtra. Although [with] changes [of] winter [and] summer, [and] coming of sicknesses, likewise not lazy.


[As the Eastern] Wèi [Dynasty’s] Emperor sympathised [with] his Aspiration, also [for] commending his personal practice [and] transforming [of] others, [with] circulation [of the Dharma] extremely great, [he] named [him] as [the] ‘Divine Luán’.


One day, [he] told [his] disciples, ‘[The] hells’ all [forms of] suffering, cannot [be] not feared. [The] nine grades’ pure karma cannot [be] not cultivated [for].’


Thereupon ordering [his] disciples [to] recite aloud Āmítuófó[‘s name], Tánluán towards [the] West closed [his] eyes, bowed [his] head, [and] then departed. [At] this time, [the] monastics [and] laypersons together heard sounds of wind [and] string [instruments’] music, from [the] West then coming, [for] a long time, then stopping.

第五卷: 感应事迹三十篇

Sòng [Dynasty’s] Wáng Rìxiū
Lóngshū’s Pure Land Text:
Fifth Scroll: Thirty Essays [On] Deeds [Of] Connection [And] Response

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Related Teachings:

Previous Essay:

[6] Southern Qí Dynasty’s Yángdū’s Monastic Huìjìn

Next Essay:

[8] Suí Dynasty’s Kāijué Monastery’s Monastic Dàoyù

Thirty Essays:

Lóngshū’s Pure Land Text:
[5] Fifth Scroll: Thirty Essays On Deeds Of Connection And Response

Related Biography:

Biography Of The Chinese Pure Land Tradition Great Master Tanluan

Related Sūtra:

Contemplation Sūtra

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