[112] Táng Dynasty’s Luòyáng’s Wǎngjí Monastery’s Huìrì’s Biography 唐洛阳罔极寺慧日传

[4] Fourth [Of ‘The] Pure Land [Tradition’s] Ten Essentials’
: Appendix Two

[112] Táng [Dynasty’s] Luòyáng’s Inexhaustible Monastery’s [Wǎngjísì] Huìrì’s Biography

[Travels (To) Western Regions (And) India]


Shì Huìrì, [with] secular surname [of the] Xīn family, [was a] Dōnglái person. [In the] Zhōngzōng Dynasty [i.e. 705 to 710 C.E.], attaining ordination, reaching ascent [to receive the] Complete [Precepts (具足戒)].


Later encountering Yìjìng Tripiṭaka [Dharma Master, who] collected [the] utmost [teachings] of [the] One Vehicle, [by] personally visiting India, [his] mind [was] constantly envious [with] admiration, thereupon vowing [to] travel [to the] Western Regions.


Beginning that [by] drifting [on a] large ship [to] cross [the] sea, from [then] passing three years, within [the] southeastern sea’s many countries, [of] Kūnlún [i.e. Côn Lôn Island (崑岛)], Buddha’s Vows [i.e. Sumatra (苏门答腊)], Lion Continent [i.e. Sri Lanka (斯里兰卡)] [and] others, passing through [them] briefly once.


Thus reaching India, [with] propriety visiting [to see] holy relics, seeking Sanskrit texts, [and] visiting good-knowing [friends, for] thirteen years, [he] inquired [on and] reported [with the] Dharma [for] teaching.

[Seeking Bliss (And) Sight (Of) Buddha]


Contemplating [the] desire [to] benefit people, raising [his] tin [staff to] return home, [with his] single shadow alone proceeding far. [Through] snowy mountain peaks [of the Himalayas and] Hú villages, also crossing [with] four [kinds of] vehicles, [of boats (for rivers), carriages (for land), sleds (for snow) and sedans (for mountains)].


Since experiencing much suffering, [there was] deep revulsion [of] Jambudvīpa. [He wondered] which country [in] which direction, has bliss without suffering. [And with] which Dharma [and] which practice, [is] able [to] quickly see [a] Buddha.


Everywhere asking Indian Tripiṭaka scholars, [with] that said all praising [the] Pure Land [Dharma Door (净土法门)]. Reconciling [this with that spoken from the Buddha’s] golden mouth [in the sūtras, then knowing that it is with the] utmost of speed, [and] truly [is this] one lifetime’s path, [at the] end [of] this retribution body, [with] definite attainment [of] rebirth [in the] Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss, [to] personally attain attendance [of] Amitā[bha] Buddha.


Hearing [this] already, respectfully receiving [it], gradually arriving [at] northern India’s Gandhara kingdom’s royal city’s northeast, [where there] is a great mountain. [The] mountain had [a] Contemplator [Of The World’s] Sounds [Bodhisattva’s (观世音菩萨)] image, [where those] having sincerity [and] single-mindedness [when] requesting, [have] many attaining [sight of her] appearing [with her] body. [Huì]rì thereupon [for] seven days kowtowed, [and] also fasted, [with the] end [of] life as [the final] date [i.e. if he does not attain sight of her].


Reaching [the] seventh day, [with] night moreover yet [to] end, Contemplator [Of The World’s] Sounds [Bodhisattva] appeared within [the] sky [with a] purple-gold coloured form, taller than one zhàng [i.e. 3.33 metres]. Seated [on a] treasure lotus flower, [she] extended [her] right hand, rubbed [Huì]rì’s crown [and] said,


‘You, [if] desiring [to] transmit [the] Dharma, [for] self-benefitting [and] benefitting others, [with reaching of the] Western Pure Land [Of] Ultimate Bliss, Amitā[bha] Buddha’s Land, [should] encourage [and] enable mindfulness [of the] Buddha[‘s name (i.e. Āmítuófó: 阿弥陀佛)], recitation [of his] sūtras, [and] dedication [of meritorious virtues to be] reborn [there]. Reaching that land already, seeing [the] Buddha and me, [you will] attain great benefits. You should certainly know, [that the] Pure Land Dharma Door, surpasses all [other] practices.’


[Having] said [this] already, [she] suddenly disappeared. [Huì]rì [with] fasting since fatigued, [when] hearing this, [became] strong.

[Note 1: For the biography of the Pure Land Tradition’s Fourth Patriarch Great Master Fǎzhào, which records his sight and slightly similar dialogue with Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva (文殊师利菩萨), see]

[Encouraging Cultivation (For Reaching) Pure Land]


Reaching [and] ascending Lǐngdōng [to] return, [he] planned [and] walked [through] more than seventy countries, together [for] eighteen years.


[In] Kāiyuán’s seventh year [i.e. 719 C.E.], then reaching Cháng’ān. Entering [the] emperor’s [palace with the] Buddha’s true appearance on palm leaves between pieces of wood, awakening [the] emperor’s mind, [who] bestowed [him the] name called Címǐn [i.e. Sympathy (With) Loving-kindness] Tripiṭaka [Dharma Master].


[In his] lifetime, [he] constantly encouraged cultivation of Pure Land’s karma, [and] wrote Rebirth [In] Pure Land’s Collection [for] circulating in [the] world. His path, with [the Great Masters] Shàndǎo [and] Shǎokāng, [although at] different times, [is with the] same transformation [of others].

[Note 2: For the biography of the Pure Land Tradition’s Second Patriarch Great Master Shàndǎo, see

For the biography of the Pure Land Tradition’s Fifth Patriarch Great Master Shǎokāng, see]

[Asafoetida (Is) Neither Rape (Plant Nor) Coriander]


In addition, regarding monastic disciples, many [are] confused [by the] five pungent [roots’] asafoetida. [Of] asafoetida, [it is with] many people saying [what it is] differently, perhaps calling [it the] rape [plant or] coriander, perhaps calling [it] ferula resin [i.e. hing, which is another name for asafoetida]. Only [the] Pure Land’s Collection within, specially [has these] lines written [and] published, saying,


‘[Of the] five pungent [roots], this land [i.e. China] only has four. First [is] garlic, second [is] leek, third [is] onion, [and] fourth [is] chive, [with] mistaking of asafoetida [here. In the] Sanskrit language [(as hiṅgu), it is] slightly mistaken, [when] just speaking [of its] appearance [to] describe [it. In] other countries not seeing [it], returning to Yútián [in the Western Regions], then attaining sight [of it].


[With] roots’ thickness like [that of] thin turnip roots and white, its smelliness [is] like [that of] garlic. That [western] land’s people plant [it to] obtain [its] roots [for] eating. When at the time [of] winter, arriving there, not seeing [its] branches [and] leaves. [As the] rape [plant and] coriander [are] not [the] five pungent [roots, having] those eaten [is] without [any] transgression, [with Huì]rì personally seeing [this] for examination.’

[Note 3: For reasons why the five pungent roots should be avoided, see]

[Rebirth (In The) Western (Pure Land)]


In Tiānbǎo’s seventh year [i.e. 748 C.E.], [he] died when living [in a] monastery. [His] reported age [was] sixty-nine, [with] burial at White Deer Plain, [which] became [a] small pagoda.

High Monastics’ Biographies: Third Collection: Voice Virtues’ Chapter

宋左街天寿寺通慧大师赐紫沙门赞宁等奉 敕撰
[By] Sòng
[Dynasty’s] Zuǒjiē’s Tiānshòu [i.e. Heavenly Lifespan] Monastery’s Great Master Tōnghuì, Śramaṇa Cìzǐ, Zànníng [And] Others Offered, [By] Decree Compiled

Namo Amituofo : Translation and notes by Shen Shi’an

Related Teachings:

The Pure Land Tradition’s Ten Essentials

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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