[10] [92] Táng Dynasty’s Táizhōu’s Monastic Huáiyù 唐台州僧怀玉

[10] Táng [Dynasty’s] Táizhōu’s Monastic Huáiyù


Huáiyù, focused [on] contemplation [for his] pure karma, [for] nearly forty years. [In] Tiānbǎo’s first year [i.e. 742 C.E.], Yù in mindfulness [of] Buddha, suddenly saw [the] West[ern Pure Land’s] noble assembly, numbering like [the] Ganges’ River. Within was a person, [with his] hand holding up [a] silver throne, with [it] showing [to] Yù.


Yù said, ‘[As] those like Yù, originally hoped [for a] gold throne, why [is this a] silver throne?’ [The] throne then disappeared, [and the] person also disappeared. Thereupon, [he] extensively increased [his] diligent strive.

[Note 1: The Contemplation Sūtra《观经》does not state any non-golden lotus throne for any of the Nine Grades (九品) of birth. It only explicitly states a golden lotus flower (金莲华) for the (1.3) High Grade’s Low Birth (上品下生) and the (3.3) Low Grade’s Low Birth (下品下生). It also states the below, which are perhaps all gold in colour too – a vajra throne (金刚台) for the (1.1) High Grade’s High Birth (上品上生), a purple-gold throne (紫金台) for the (1.2) High Grade’s Middle Birth (上品中生), a seven treasures’ lotus flower (七宝莲华) for the (2.2) Middle Grade’s Middle Birth (中品中生), a treasure lotus flower (宝莲华) for the (3.1) Low Grade’s High Birth (下品上生), and a seven treasures’ pond’s lotus flower (七宝莲池华) for the (3.3) Low Grade’s Low Birth (下品下生). For the (2.1) Middle Grade’s High Birth (中品中生) and the (2.3) Middle Grade’s Low Birth (中品下生), the vehicles of birth are not stated. Interestingly, the throne for the (1.1) highest grade of birth (上品上生) and the (3.3) lowest grade of birth (下品下生) are both gold in colour. Thus, all the nine grades of birth might be with gold thrones.

Does this mean that the Dharma Master saw a non-gold throne to represent a grade of birth less than that of the lowest grade? If so, there is only one more ‘grade’ of birth left, that is still applicable in Pure Land. It is for those who have meritorious virtues and aspire to reach the Pure Land, however with doubts and confusions about the Buddha’s supreme wisdom, thus born in its borderland’s (边地) seven treasures’ palace halls (七宝宫殿) for five hundred years (which translates to less than one second in the Pure Land’s time) with regrets first. Although not having punishment, they are with not encountering the Triple Gem, for making offerings and cultivating good roots to create meritorious virtues as ‘suffering’, despite having other joys. However, there can be continual and more diligent mindfulness of Buddha, to swifter practise repentance, thus eradicating evil karma, which should lead to swifter entry of the Pure Land’s ‘mainland’.]


Reaching three [of] seven days, that former [person, who] held up [the] throne, again came, telling him, ‘[The] Dharma Master, with diligence strife thus, [will] ascend [to the] High Grade.’ Also saying, ‘[As those in the] High Grade reborn, [will] definitely first see [the] Buddha, [you] can sit [in the] lotus posture, [to] wait for [the] Buddha, [to] come [and receive you.’ In the] time yet [to] turn [on the] heel, extraordinary light illuminated [the] room.

[Note 2: Although the Contemplation Sūtra’s Nine Grades of birth did not mention the appearing of the Buddha to receive those with Low Grade’s Low Birth (下品下生), it also does not say the Buddha will not appear after the golden lotus flower appears. Also, for the Middle Grade’s Low Birth (中品下生), there was also no mention of the Buddha appearing. Yet, for the next higher grade (which is the Middle Grade’s Middle Birth) (中品中生), and the next lower grade (which is the Low Grade’s High Birth) (下品上生), both mentioned that the Buddha will appear. This means not mentioning the Buddha appearing need not mean the Buddha will surely not appear. (As the Dharma Master had cultivated pure karma for nearly forty years, it was extremely unlikely that he would attain only a Middle or Low Grade of birth.)]


Furthermore, three days [later], extraordinary light again emitted. Yù said, ‘If smelling extraordinary fragrance, my retribution body [has] then ended.’



[The] next day, [he] wrote [a] verse,

‘Pure [and] sparkling clean, without dust [and] dirt [i.e. defilements], [from] lotus flowers [with] transformed birth, as Father [and] Mother. I, passing ten kalpas, [for] cultivating [of the] path coming, showing [in] Jambudvīpa, revulsion [of] all suffering. [In] one life [with] ascetic practices surpassing [those in] ten kalpas, forever departing [from the] Sahā [World, for] return [to the] Pure Land.’


[With the] verses completed, fragrance [in the] air [from the] four [directions] came, [and his] disciples have [those] seeing [the] Buddha and two Bodhisattvas together riding gold thrones, [by the] thrones’ sides [were a] thousand hundred manifested Buddhas, from [the] West then descending [to] welcome Yù. Yù reverenced [with] joined palms, [with his] mouth smiling, long returned.

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:

[9] Táng Dynasty’s Capital City’s Monastic Shàndǎo

Next Essay:

[11] Táng Dynasty’s Fénzhōu’s Monastics Qǐfāng And Yuánguǒ

Thirty Essays:

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

Related Sūtra:

Contemplation Sūtra

Related Articles:

Verses On Borderland

Verses On Kalpas As Days

Will All See The Buddha Receive Them When Practising Mindfulness Of Him?
Verses For The General Person

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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