[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, [with those] numbering like [the] Ganges’ sands. Within was a person, [with his] hand holding up [a] silver dais, with [it] shown [to] Yù.


Yù said, ‘[As] this Yù, originally hoped [for a] golden dais, why [is this a] silver dais?’ [The] dais then disappeared, [and the] person also disappeared. Thereupon, [he] extensively increased [his] diligent strife.

[Note 1: The Contemplation Sūtra《观经》does not state any non-golden lotus dais for any of the Nine Grades (九品) of birth, while 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).

Interestingly, the daises for the [1.2] second highest grade of birth (上品中生) and the [3.3] lowest grade of birth (下品下生) are purple-/gold (紫/金) in colour. Thus, all the nine grades of birth might indeed be with golden daises (above [1.2] and above [3.3]), without different colours representing different grades.]

[Note 2: Does this mean that the Dharma Master saw a non-golden dais to represent a grade of birth lesser 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 (功德) and aspire to reach the Pure Land, however with doubts and confusions (疑惑) 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 (三宝) (for making offerings and cultivating good roots) to create meritorious virtues as the only blessings amiss then, despite having other joys. However, there can be continual and more diligent mindfulness of Buddha (念佛), to swifter practise repentance (忏悔), thus eliminating evil karma (消恶业), which should lead to swifter entry of the Pure Land’s ‘mainland’.

As the Dharma Master has cultivated pure karma for nearly forty years, it was extremely unlikely that he would attain only a middle, low or borderland grade of birth.]


Reaching three [of] seven days, that former [person, who] held up [the] dais, 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 3: Although the Contemplation Sūtra’s Nine Grades of birth did not mention seeing of the Buddha coming to receive those with [3.3] Low Grade’s Low Birth (下品下生), it also does not say the Buddha will not be seen after the golden lotus flower is seen.

(Note that the person, who is a manifested Bodhisattva said that those of the High Grade born will see the Buddha first. This can also mean that those of other grades might see him a little later.)

Also, for the [2.3] Middle Grade’s Low Birth (中品下生), there was also no mention of the Buddha seen. Yet, for the next higher grade, which is the [2.2] Middle Grade’s Middle Birth) (中品中生), and the next lower grade, which is the [3.1] Low Grade’s High Birth) (下品上生), both mentioned that the Buddha will be seen. This means not mentioning seeing of the Buddha need not mean the Buddha will surely not be seen.

In fact, according to the Mindfulness Of Buddha’s Perfect Penetration’s Section《念佛圆通章》, Great Power Arrived Bodhisattva (大势至菩萨) taught clearly that, ‘With recollection or mindfulness of the Buddha, there will definitely be seeing of the Buddha.’ (忆佛念佛,必定见佛). This is a definitive, universal and assuring statement.]


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 [my] parents. 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 this] Sahā [World, for] return [to the] Pure Land.’


[With the] verse completed, fragrance [in the] air [from the] four [directions] came, [and his] disciples have [those] seeing [the] Buddha and two Bodhisattvas together riding golden daises. [By the] daises’ 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 departed.

[Note 4: The ‘mystery’ as to why there was a non-golden lotus shown in the first place by the person could be solved if it was just a skilful means for motivating more diligent practice to reach the grade aspired for. If it was for actual reception and guidance (接引) to Pure Land, the Buddha would have appeared with a golden lotus.]

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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