Master Xu Yun: A Cow takes Refuge in the Buddha


Master Xu Yun states, when in his 70th year of life (1909/10), the following in his autobiography:

‘There was another event worth recording. After my arrival at the Wan-shou (Long Life) Monastery in Tengyue, while talking with Zhang Sun-lin in the hall, a dun cow which had escaped from its owner came in and knelt down, shedding tears, shortly followed by its own Yang Sheng-chang and others. I learned that Yang was a butcher and said to the cow, ‘If you want to flee for your life, you should take refuge in the Triple Gem.’ The cow nodded and I immediately taught the animal the Triple Refuge Formula. After this I helped the cow up and it was most placid, like a human being. I took out some money which I gave to its owner who, however, refused it. He was deeply moved by what he saw, … swore that he would change his occupation and asked for his conversion to the Dharma. As he also became a vegetarian, Commander Zhang, who was deeply impressed by the man’s transformation, recommended him for work in a shop.’

(Empty Cloud: Translated by Charles Luk [1988], Page 75)

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