Mount Ji Zu Cliff Exhibits Face of Master Xu Yun (1840-1959)

aXuYunMin-02

aXuYunMin-01

Original Chinese Language Article By: Yang Guang Tu (杨广图)

Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD

Mount Ji Zu is located near Dali City in China’s Yunnan province. Mount Ji Zu is one of the most sacred mountains associated with Buddhism within Southeast Asia. This area is referred to as the ‘First Gate into China’, as one of Shakyamuni Buddha’s great ten disciples entered China through this area. This is why this area also carries the descriptive titles of ‘First Prominent Buddhist Monk’, and ‘First in Excellent Morality’, as this is believed to be where the Venerable Monk Mahakasyapa Thera (the First Indian Ch’an Patriarch) is said to have guarded (the transmitted) robe, and entered deep and profound meditation. This is why the area is respected as the ‘First Gate into China’. More recently, this place has caused internet users in China to claim that on the cliff wall a likeness of the face of the Old Venerable Monk Xu Yun (1840-1959) can be seen as if engraved in the stone.

This reporter was informed about this phenomenon by friends, and decided to travel to the area to see for himself. Upon arrival at Mount Ji Zu, I did indeed discover a likeness of Xu Yun within the stone of the cliff opposite and to the right of the ‘First Gate into China’ that matched the pictures seen on the internet. The image of what looks like a head has very prominent eyes, nose, and mouth. However, the eyes appear to be closed, and the facial expression seems very similar to that of a monk engaged in deep meditation. When ordinary people see this image, many think it is some kind of miracle or magical manifestation.

The Venerable Old Master Xu Yun existed in the time of modern Buddhism and was an outstanding teacher. He was a Buddhist monk who strictly adhered to the Vinaya Discipline for over a hundred years, and cultivated the Dao in at least fifteen different temples, which included the temple of the Sixth Patriarch (Hui Neng). When the time was right, he inherited the lineages of all Five Ch’an Schools. He was a very highly respected Ch’an monk, and had tens of thousands of disciples (both ordained and lay), to whom he transmitted the genuine Ch’an Dharma. He was recognised as an eminent Ch’an monk during the reign of the Guang Xu Emperor (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty. It was on Mount Ji Zu that Xu Yun presided over Bo Yu Temple. Much later, after he had left Mount Ji Zu, Xu Yun heard that it had fallen into disrepair and vowed to renovate it. He did this by collecting donations from the coastal areas of southern China, Southeast Asia, and other places. In the first year of the reign of the Xuan Tong Emperor (1909), Xu Yun was presented with a ‘Dragon Tripitaka’ (or a complete set of ‘Imperial Buddhist Sutras’), as a gift from the Beijing palace to the Bo Yu Temple. The temple’s name was also changed by imperial decree at this auspicious time from ‘Bo Yu’ (i.e. ‘Alms Bowl’) Temple to that of ‘Hu Guo Zhu Sheng’, (or ‘Protect Country Respect Sage’) Temple.

Today, the temple on Mount Ji Zu is venerated as a very sacred Buddhist area because of its association with Mahakasyapa and Xu Yun, and attracts thousands of devout Buddhist pilgrims and interested tourists from around the world (but particularly from Southeast Asia) every year.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Original Chinese Language Source text:

http://finance.chinatradenews.com.cn/html/china/2014/0414/46926.html

大理鸡足山华首门石壁现神似虚云头

云南大理鸡足山是东南亚佛教灵山,华首门又是佛祖释迦牟尼的十大弟子之一、被称为“头陀第一”、“上行第一”的摩诃迦叶尊者的守衣入定处,华首门也因此被称为“中华第一门”。而最近,有网友在华首门石壁,发现有神似虚云老和尚头像出现。

根据网友提供的信息,记者来到鸡足山华首门,站在华首门正对面,只见靠右侧,确实有一片石壁神似虚云老和尚的脸谱,头像的眼睛、鼻子、嘴巴都很突出,其中,眼睛紧闭,极似僧人坐禅时候的表情。许多游客看到这个头像,都惊呼神奇。

虚云老和尚是近代佛教史上,坚持苦行长达百年,历坐15个道场,重兴6大祖庭,一身兼承禅门5宗,法嗣信徒达数百万众的高僧,为禅宗泰斗。清朝光绪年检,虚云至大理鸡足山主持钵盂庵,后发心重兴鸡足山,并自往南洋等地募缘建寺。到宣统元年,虚云从北京请得《龙藏》全部回鸡足山,敕改钵盂庵为护国祝圣寺。

如今,鸡足山已经成为东南亚佛教徒心中的朝山圣地,而去鸡足山参拜摩诃迦叶和虚云老和尚,更是佛教徒和游客到鸡足山必不可少的一个项目。(杨广图文)

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