[13] [94] Táng Dynasty’s Mùzhōu’s Monastic Shǎokāng 唐睦州僧少康

[13] Táng [Dynasty’s] Mùzhōu’s Monastic Shǎokāng


Shǎokāng, [in] Zhēnyuán’s first [year] [i.e. 785 C.E.], arrived [at] Luòxià’s Báimǎ [i.e. White Horse] Monastery. Seeing [the] hall within [with] writings continuously emitting bright light, probing [to] obtain it, [it was] then [Great Master] Shàndǎo’s ‘Text [For] Transformative Guidance [To Reach The] Western [Pure Land].’

康曰:「若于净土有缘,当使此文再发光明。」言未已, 光乃闪烁。

Kāng said, ‘If with [the] Pure Land having affinity, [then] should this text [be] caused [to] again emit bright light.’ [With] words yet ended, light thus twinkled.


Thereupon, arriving [at] Cháng’ān’s Shàndǎo’s Patriarch Hall, [he] arranged [to] make great offerings. Shàndǎo within [the] sky said, ‘You, relying [on] my practice, [to] benefit [and being] joy [to] sentient [beings], then [with] your merits, [will be] together born [in the Land Of] Nurturing Peace.’


Also encountering a monastic, [who] said, ‘You, desiring [to] transform people, should go towards Xīndìng.’ [With these] words completed, [he] then disappeared.


Xīndìng, [is] today’s Yánzhōu. Arriving there, [he was with] people still without those recognising [him]. Kāng thus gave money [to] entice small children, with them [making an] agreement, saying, ‘Āmítuófó [i.e. Amitā(bha) Buddha] is your Fundamental Teacher. [If] able [to] recite [his name] one time, [I will] give you one qián. [i.e. With one qián (or coin) being one-tenth of a tael.]

[Note 1: Technically, Śākyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) is our Fundamental Teacher, through whom we learnt about Amitābha Buddha. However, the Buddha whose related teachings we practise the most, whom we aspire to meet the most can also be regarded as our Fundamental Teacher. As the Dharma Master first taught the children about Amitābha Buddha, in this sense, he was indeed their Fundamental Teacher. Could the Dharma Master also be hinting that he is his manifestation, there to teach them in person?]


Small children sought [to] attain his qiáns, [as they] followed [the] sound [of the Buddha’s name to] recite it. Later, after [that] month, those small children [who] recited [the] Buddha[‘s name to] seek qiáns [became] many.


Kāng thus said, ‘[If] reciting [the] Buddha[‘s name] ten times, then giving you [one] qián.’


Small children followed him. Like this [for] one year, regardless [of the] elderly [or] young, honoured [and] lowly, all those [who] saw Kāng, then chanted ‘Āmítuófó’. Therefore, people who recited [the] Buddha[‘s name] filled [the] paths [and] roads.

[Note 2: The Dharma Master used great skilful means, by first using small and economical worldly gains to encourage the young to take up the simple yet profound spiritual practice of reciting the Buddha’s name, who then spread his name to more children, who also spread his name to their parents, the adults, thus propagating his name to everyone.]


Later, Kāng at Mount Wūlóng built [a] Pure Land place [for realising the] path, constructing [an] altar [with] three levels, assembling people [at] midnight [to] practise [the] path. [With] Kāng ascending [his] seat, [he] led [the] people [to] face [the] West.


Kāng first [recited] aloud ‘Āmítuófó’, next [with] everyone harmonising with him. When Kāng recited aloud, all [would] see one Buddha from his mouth emerging. Continuously reciting ten recitations, then having ten Buddhas, like [a] string [of] beads [in] shape.


Kāng said, ‘[Do] you see [the] Buddha or not? If [there are] those seeing [the] Buddha, [they will] definitely [be] born [in his] Pure Land.’


Those people prostrating [to the] Buddha numbered thousands, also having those completely not seeing it. [He] later instructed everyone, ‘[You] should for [the Land Of] Nurturing Peace, give rise [to the] mind [of] increased diligence, [and] for Jambudvīpa, give rise [to the] mind [of] revulsed renunciation.’


Also saying, ‘You [and] others, [at] this moment able [to] see bright light, [are] truly my disciples.’ Thereupon emitting extraordinary light [of] several rays, [he] then departed.

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:

[12] Táng Dynasty’s Zhēnzhōu’s Monastic Zìjué

Next Essay:

[14] Táng Dynasty’s Bìngzhōu’s Monastic Wéi’àn

Thirty Essays:

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

Related Biographies:

Biography Of The Second Patriarch Of The Chinese Pure Land Tradition Great Master Shàndǎo

Biography Of The Fifth Patriarch Of The Chinese Pure Land Tradition Great Master Shǎokāng

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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