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Buddhist Koan- Elder Monk Xu Yun Tamed General Genyuan Li Who Wanted to Demolish Temple and Destroy Buddhism

Buddhist Koan- Elder Monk Xu Yun Tamed General Genyuan Li Who Wanted to Demolish Temple and Destroy Buddhism

 

Buddhist Koan- Elder Monk Xu Yun Tamed General Genyuan Li Who Wanted to Demolish Temple and Destroy Buddhism

By Zhengjian Li

 

General Li Genyuan was the commander of the Yunnan New Army at that time. He had studied overseas in Germany before returning to China and was a young and energetic general. He regarded himself a strong believer of science and perceived Buddhism as superstition. He wanted very much to have Buddhism removed. Because of that, he came up with the excuse that there were tens of thousands of monks in Mount Jizhu and they might organize armed resistance. Therefore, he personally led his troops to Mount Jizhu. On their way, the several thousands of officers and soldiers were demolishing temples and arresting monks.

 

When Elder Monk Xu Yun, abbot of Zhu Sheng Temple in Mount Jizhu, heard about this, he decided to come down from the mountain in person to persuade Li Genyuan to stop. When Li Genyuan saw this thin yet spirited elder monk who had his long beard hanging down, noticing Xu Yun’s uncommon grace and peaceful and calm manner, he was spontaneously startled, “Oh! This is Xu Yun. He does have a little uncommon demeanor!”

 

Li Genyuan harshly shouted, “I want to catch you. Now you even dare send yourself to me! Maybe you label yourself as not fearing death. Let me ask you, how many lives do you have?”

 

Xu Yun kept his head up and replied calmly, “Great Commander, I, Xu Yun, have only one life. Also, I am not any hero or brave man who does not fear death. I am just a monastic person. Today, I do not shy away from your killing weapons and risk my death to meet you, Great Commander. My purpose is to beseech an order from you, Great Commander, to save Buddhism. I ask you, Great Commander, to immediately stop demolishing temples and destroying Buddhism.”

 

“Are you really not afraid of death?” Li Genyuan had a cold smile.

 

Xu Yun did not have the slightest fear on his face and smiled gently and calmly, “I, Xu Yun, have made up my determination to die for Buddhism long ago. If, before my death, you, Great Commander, can give me an opportunity to state my cause clearly and stop doing damages to Buddhism in the future, I am willing to die.”

 

Li Genyuan spoke coldly, “You answer me first. You kept saying wanting to die for Buddhism and tell me not to destroy Buddhism. Let me ask you. What benefit does Buddhism have?”

 

Xu Yun replied with a smile, “The Buddha established Buddhism to advocate great love and great compassion, serve the world and benefit the population, and broadly save living beings from suffering and hardship. Buddhism persuade and transform people in the world to do goodness and remove evil, cultivate conduct and virtue, and save oneself as well as others. Buddhism first teaches people to cure their minds. The mind is the source and origin of all afflictions. Once the origin is correct, all things can be in serenity and peace will be everywhere. The world will be calm and peaceful.”

 

Li Genyuan’s face turned a little milder, “I admit that you have good eloquence of debate. However, what is the use of these statues sculpted with mud and carved from wood? These statues lead people into superstition for nothing!”

 

Xu Yun stated calmly, solemnly, and respectfully, “The Buddha spoke about the appearance of Buddha-dharma. The appearance is to express the dharma. Not expressing with appearance, the dharma cannot be publicized. The Buddha statues made of sculptures are to symbolize the Buddha’s solemn elegance and loving compassion, to let people generate homage, confidence, and respectful fear from viewing. Without respectful fear in mind, people will do all kinds of malicious acts, thereby creating calamities and upheavals. Even if we just talk about customs in the world, examples are Confucius’ statue in his temple at Mount Ni, an ancient person named Ding Lan carved wood statues of his parents to repent for not being filial enough earlier, worshipping ancestors in ancestral temples by all clans in China, and bronze statues seen in all Western countries. All are for the purpose of letting people view and generate respect and faith. Buddha statues are sculpted with mud and carved from wood. However, what we respect and pay homage to are not the materials of earth and wood. Rather, we respect and pay homage to the symbolized Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with great love and great compassion. As a result, thoughts of all kinds can develop in the mind to induce us to save ourselves and save others. The enthusiasm of respect and faith arises from seeing Buddha statues. The merit and effect are inconceivable!”

 

Li Genyuan nodded, “It does sound reasonable, hearing what you said. However, my mind does not submit to that. You monks talk about cause and effect and talk about samsara (transmigration). These superstitious views and concepts are elusive without bases in science. I studied science and military in the West. I despise these old superstitions the most. That is why I am determined to uproot them. I would like to hear how you can skillfully argue about that.”

 

Xu Yun smiled, “First, I need to explain what superstition is. The so-called superstition refers to blindly following and obeying without clearly understanding the truth and knowing the ultimate reason and, moreover, without distinguishing good or bad and upright from evil. Examples are, killing people to sacrifice for evil deities, slaughtering cattle, sheep, chicken, duck, or other lives to worship ghosts and gods, presenting gold and silver to bribe and beg ghosts and gods for blessing wealth, engaging in sexual misconduct to please demonic ghosts and demonic deities, using ghosts and deities as excuses to raise money with selfish purposes, mocking ghosts and deities to carry out despicably intolerable malicious conduct or direct people to do things violating loyalty, trust, and benevolence, teaching people to steal, rape, and kill, teaching people to commit fraud and extortion, and encouraging cruelty and disorder. All acts of these types belong to superstition! If a faith teaches people with loyalty, filial act, benevolence, and love, advocates faith, trust, and peace, praise and spread etiquette, firmly cultivate humility, promote great love and great compassion of Buddhism, broadly save living beings to leave suffering and hardship to arrive at bliss and peace, teach people in the world to help and support each other with loving compassion, use loving compassion, benevolence, and virtue to teach and transform the world, pursue goodness and break away from malicious deeds, and take refuge in correct teaching and abandon evil dogmas, how can superstition come from such correct faith and correct wisdom?”

 

Li Genyuan quietly listened and the cruel and offending expression on his face gradually disappeared. He said, “Elder Monk, these statements are truly reasonable! However, you did not explain cause and effect and samsara clearly. These do not agree with science!”

 

Xu Yun said, “The so-called science is the accumulation and investigation of the wisdom and knowledge of humanity. The approach is inheriting from the past and developing the future, knowing the past to probe the future, and using what is known to investigate and validate the unknown. The learning from such investigation and validation never stops or stays at the same place. People must quest and probe incessantly. Only that is the true spirit of science! The scientific knowledge at the current time is of course greatly advanced from that of the ancient and middle ages. However, does that mean there is nothing unknown already? Does that mean we have completely understood all subtleties and secrets of the universe?”

 

Li Genyuan said, “Of course we have not been able to do that yet.”

 

Xu Yun smiled, “Sutras of Buddhism already studied the genuine knowledge exhaustively several thousand years ago. It has been known that the universe never ends through all lifetimes. Matters in existence will annihilate and will be reborn after annihilation, in different shape and state. It is just a process of transforming between different form bodies. On the other hand, only in the current era, Western scientists stated the law of matter’s conservation. Buddhist sutras stated the world’s continuity and living beings’ continuity long ago. These agree completely with the law of physics of the universe. Why do you say the concept of samsara is not scientific?”

 

Li Genyuan asked, “What do these have to do with samsara and cause and effect?”

 

Xu Yun said, “The law of cause and effect is the law and principle governing the cycle of the universe! All things must first have the causes of birth and annihilation and then have the consequences. This is the cycle from the law of cause and effect! All sentient beings have wisdom and power of consciousness. After the death of the physical body, the power of consciousness still exists, which is the soul that worldly people talk about. A person who cultivates, practices, and carries out good conduct has a concentrated mind and calmed spirit and knows to go toward goodness and avoid calamity by instinct. Focusing the mind to chant Amitabha Buddha’s name will let one to know about going to the World of Ultimate Bliss. If this person practices good conduct, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will naturally come to receive him. Conversely, if a person has done a lot of malicious acts and evil deeds and has a surly, hostile, and unkind mind nature, then his conscience is closed and his wisdom is also all lost. That means his power of consciousness and soul also got lost. Moreover, because he does not know chanting the Buddha’s name, he will naturally devolve. With a muddled head and not knowing the direction, he can only follow his karmas to transmigrate and cannot get out. Consequently, he has to suffer life after life and also has to pay back for his earlier malicious acts. This is the law and principle of the universe. Things all have coming and going and undergo the never-ending cycle. What is unscientific in the law of cause and effect and samsara?”

 

Hearing this, Li Genyuan was horrified. He was sweating all over but felt chilling to the bone. He was extremely moved and said sincerely, “Elder Master Xu, hearing this speech from you is more beneficial than studying in school for ten years to me, your disciple! I, your disciple, studied overseas in the West and only learned some skin-deep and hair-thin science. I really do not know the profound principles of the universe and even absurdly wanted to destroy Buddhism! From listening to your teaching and discourse, I am now completely clear. I ask you, Elder Master Xu, to allow me to take refuge before you to become a Buddhist disciple!”

 

Xu Yun smiled, “Great Commander, please get up. Since you, Great Commander, have become clear and have the determination to believe in Buddhism, this shows you, Great Commander, still has a very deep root of goodness and can realize the truth quickly. However, please first develop more opportunities to get close to Buddha-dharma and let real faith develop in your mind and become firm and unmovable, the matter of taking refuge can be talked about after that.”

 

Li Genyuan immediately said, “Elder Master Xu, please do not call me, your disciple, great commander anymore. Even though you, Elder Master Xu, do not want to accept me as your disciple today, I, your disciple, have already submitted to you in my mind. Please call me by name directly.”

 

In that evening, Li Genyuan gave the order to light up candles to talk with Xu Yun at night about the principles of Buddhism. From the clear manifestation of the law of cause and effect to the inter-webbed net of karmas, consequences of karmas and karmic conditions, the continuity of the world, the continuity of living beings, and other fundamental principles of Buddhism, and to the profound axioms in Buddhist sutras, Xu Yun introduced the profundity of the universe. Li Genyuan was completely convinced and had full admiration. They spoke until after midnight and were very high-spirited.

 

Li Genyuan sighed, “Without hearing Elder Master Xu’s earnest teaching and explanation today, I really do not know the fact that the principles of Buddhism and Buddha-dharma are so broad, great, and profound. I now have the complete faith and submission! I am determined to take refuge in Buddha-dharma.”

 

The next morning, Li Genyuan personally guarded Xu Yun to return to the temple. Wearing his military uniform indicating a general’s rank, Li Genyuan led the horse in person. Xu Yun, who was 72 years old, was sitting on the horse. They slowly walked to the temple’s gate. Behind them were several dozens of horse-riding guarding officers. With the shining Sun, golden light appeared from the mountain. Starting from the mountain top and coming downward, trees and grasses were covered with golden color. The scene of the entire mountain shining golden light was extremely splendid and solemn.

 

 

Link: http://dharma-hhdorjechangbuddhaiii.org/buddhist-koan-elder-monk-xu-yun-tamed-general-genyuan-li-who-wanted-to-demolish-temple-and-destroy-buddhism/

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發表於 News

Buddha arrives in the Mission (Hua Zang Si- temple that propagates Dharma of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III)

Buddha arrives in the Mission (Hua Zang Si- temple that propagates Dharma of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III)

 

SAN FRANCISCO / Buddha arrives in the Mission / German Lutheran church now serves growing Asian community

(December 31, 2004, San Francisco Chronicle)

 

Buddha arrives in the Mission (Hua Zang Si- temple that propagates Dharma of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III)-1.jpg

Buddha-arrives-in-the-Mission_German-Lutheran-church-now-serves-growing-Asian-community-2.jpg

 

Inside an old German Lutheran church in San Francisco, Chinese nuns sit on the glossy wooden floors, wearing headphones, listening to Buddhist mantras on portable CD players.

 

Gone are the pews and the church piano, but the organ pipes and stained glass windows remain — a backdrop to giant Buddha statues at the Hua Zang Si temple, which opened its doors this week in the Mission District.

 

The Buddhist temple reflects the changing demographics of this working- class Latino neighborhood, and of the Bay Area.

 

“As the Asian immigrant population becomes more diverse and complex and comes into money, they want to do things that acknowledge and empower their heritage,” said John Nelson, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of San Francisco. “Temples are community centers, where people go to affirm their identity.”

On Dec. 26, Hua Zang Si began three days of ceremony to celebrate its opening and the birthday of Amitabha Buddha, one of the many Buddhas, who is believed to reside in the land of ultimate bliss. This Sunday, the temple will hold a ceremony starting at 10 a.m. to bless those who died as a result of the quake-caused tsunami in southern Asia.

 

Built in the 1900s, the structure originally housed St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Many in the immigrant German congregation likely worked at the nearby tanneries and breweries along Precita Creek, historians say. Located on 22nd Street, the church was just out of reach of the fire that razed much of the city following the 1906 earthquake.

After World War II, German, Italian and Irish families began moving from the Mission to the west side of San Francisco and out of the city.

 

In 1992, the congregation voted to serve the neighborhood’s growing Latino population, moving to a new church around the corner and renaming itself St. Mary and St. Martha Lutheran.

 

The old church became a private residence and was to be divided into condominiums, until the United International World Buddhism Association purchased it and the adjoining parish residence for $2.5 million in 2002, according to public records.

 

And so the temple was born, with a new set of red doors with traditional Chinese lion-headed knockers, Chinese signs and a Buddha in the lobby.

 

About two dozen nuns live at the temple compound. Each day, they rise around 5 a.m., and do not go to bed until midnight — meditating, praying and studying Buddhist teachings. The nuns watch television to get a better sense of what Americans are like, they say.

 

The nuns, in yellow and grey robes, venture out in the bustling neighborhood to buy groceries and supplies. The temple is down the street from Castillo Express, Elon’s Beauty Salon and Panchita’s, which serves South American food.

 

“We’re like other people. We have to eat, too,” Cheng Hsueh Shih said in Mandarin. The rosy-cheeked nun with a shaved head had hip rimless glasses and wooden prayer beads on her wrist. A vegetarian, she has tried the Mission’s famous burritos, but says she prefers Chinese food.

 

On a recent weekday, passers-by stopped and pointed at the temple, marveling at the Maitreya bodhisattva, or godlike being, visible behind the lobby’s glass doors. Chubby and smiling, he is a future Buddha, and is believed to currently reside in heaven.

 

“It’s great that it’s still being used for spiritual worship,” said Max Kirkeberg, a professor of geography at San Francisco State University who has chronicled changes to the city’s landscape for decades.

 

The temple bases its teachings on those of Sakyamuni Buddha, who lived about 2,500 years ago in what is now Nepal. It has not adopted the viewpoint of any particular sect and wants to attract a broad range of followers. Smaller branches of the temple are in San Jose and Sanger (Fresno County). Hua Zang Si joins more than a dozen Buddhist institutions in San Francisco, including the Sokoji-Soto Zen temple in Japantown and the Rigpa Center in the South of Market.

 

On the first floor of the temple, in the Precious Hall of the Great Heroes, a statute of Sakyamuni Buddha dominates. Skanda bodhisattva, a general clad in armor with a sword, stands to his right, protecting the temple from evil.

 

The temple’s giant Buddhas were constructed in Taiwan, divided into pieces and reassembled inside by artisans.

 

Before the Buddhas sit offerings of coffee, grapefruit, apples, boxes of raisins, cans of Coca-Cola, incense and artwork.

 

Dong Ai-Yuan, a disciple visiting from Fresno, said she became a Buddhist about 15 years ago. The religion helps bring her peace and good luck, and keeps her family safe, she said, adding that she has no fear of the future because she knows what her fate holds.

 

On the second floor, a 21-foot-tall Amitabha Buddha, draped in a red robe, fills one end of the room.

 

Before him, a thousand cups of water, changed daily, serve as an offering to Buddha. Nearby is a ceremonial wooden drum shaped like a fish. To learn as much as they can, the devoted must never rest and never close their eyes — like a fish.

 

The backyard — a city oasis in the shadow of surrounding Victorians —

is home to a magnolia tree, which the faithful say rained nectar for three days, along with a miraculous lotus tub used in the bathing of the Buddha dharma, or teachings.

 

In front, the building’s cornerstone carries an inscription in German referring to a New Testament text about the house of God, built upon the foundation of apostles, prophets and Jesus Christ.

 

Now, beside the cornerstone, in gold Chinese characters on black background, a sign reads: This temple will teach you how to become a better person.

Temple facts:

Hua Zang Si is located at 3134 22nd St. in San Francisco. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m and is open to the public. For more information, call (415) 920-9836.

 

Link: http://dharma-hhdorjechangbuddhaiii.org/homage-to-dorje-chang-buddha-iii-buddha-arrives-in-the-mission/

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發表於 Experience and Benefits Sharing

I Am Grateful to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and Hua Zang Si!

I Am Grateful to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and Hua Zang Si!

 

I Am Grateful to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and Hua Zang Si!

 

I got into contact with Hua Zang Si five years ago due to a very accidental karmic condition. Therefore, I feel very fortunate that I can have the opportunity to listen to the recorded dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.

 

Last year, due to being taken over, the company I worked for previously had a reorganization. The department I was working at was divided up as a result of the reorganization. Unfortunately, I lost my job that I had worked for 11 years. After becoming unemployed, I was depressed every day. One of the reasons was that my children are still young (in elementary school and middle school). Facing the financial pressure and a sense of loss that I could not explain myself, I just could not feel at ease. I also brought my emotional issues into my family, causing uneasiness to my wife and children. Therefore, the life in my family was no longer as harmonic and happy as before.

 

During this period of unemployment, I thought about the book Learning from Buddha that I had respectfully received. Within only a few days, I very quickly read it several times from the beginning to the end. I got the understanding that I should rather face and think about the next step with a positive attitude than having my heart filled up with dissatisfaction and bitter complaint. My previous job required me to travel to other countries often. As a result, I was always unable to listen to the dharma often. While staying home and looking for jobs now, I went often to the Hengfu Dharma-Listening Center to listen to the recorded dharma discourses. I am grateful to the discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and to the support from Buddhist sister. I cherished and upheld a mentality of learning from the Buddha and listening to the dharma as much as I can and made a good effort to go there and listen to the dharma every day whenever possible. So I listened to the dharma discourse of Learning from Buddha repeatedly, causing me to deeply understand the causes and effects in this world and think differently in my mind. At the same time, I had the time and opportunities to actively participate in Buddhist affairs and events of releasing living beings from captivity.

 

After being unemployed for three months, a very uncommon karmic condition caused me to apply for a job at a small company. The position and the nature of the work was quite different from my previous professional experience, but I was actually hired. I was very grateful to the recorded dharma discourses for leading me to think positively and the positive energy I have every day.

 

After starting the job, although I acted diligently and carefully and tried hard to learn, the experience and the background in electrical engineering required by the job were still very difficult for me. Three months later, perhaps due to the project being canceled by the client and also because of my inability to do the work successfully, I became unemployed again (that happened at the end of May)! Thinking back about that now, although I lost that job, the experience of these three months enabled me to learn some new things and experience. In another aspect, that was also very helpful to our family financial situation and health insurance.

 

I am very grateful to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III for the revelation and transformation I got from listening to the dharma. Because of that, I was able to face the incident of losing my job for the second time with an open mind and a positive attitude. During this period, I also saw some of my former colleagues passing away in their mid-age or after only a short period of illness, leaving their wives and young children behind. I witnessed or experienced in person the subjects of “Impermanence” and “The Karmic Retributions will follow like a Shadow.” mentioned in the recorded dharma discourses. Such experiences caused me to have many different feelings toward human life than before: The most important thing in learning from the Buddha is to truly apply cultivation in our daily life.

 

I am grateful that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has changed my mental intelligence. Now I try to look at everything or any matter with a very positive attitude and to think and understand more other people’s situations and thoughts. I believe that this form of energy that has been leading me to persistently learn from the Buddha and cultivate myself will definitely and absolutely help me in my life and how I interact with others and matters in the future.

 

I prostrate to express my gratitude to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!

 

Hua Yin

June 15, 2017

 

Link: http://dharma-hhdorjechangbuddhaiii.org/i-am-grateful-to-h-h-dorje-chang-buddha-iii-and-hua-zang-si/

 

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