Lessons from Chinese Idioms: Ti Hu Guan Ding - Being Filled with Wisdom

Wenlong Yu, Ed.

PureInsight | August 15, 2005

[PureInsight.org] The idiom "Ti Hu Guan Ding – Being filled with wisdom" is a Buddhist proverb. Its meaning is, immersing people in wisdom to make them enlightened.

"Ti Hu" is the finest cream (crème de la crème) extracted from milk through repetitive processes. In the Nie Pan scripture, it represents one's Buddha nature. Ti Hu is highly valued as a medicine, and in Buddhism "Ti Hu" is often used when referring to "superior principle" (the highest teaching), "Buddha Nature," etc.

"Guanding" – Filling energy from the top of one's head. This word was originally part of the ceremony in ancient India when a new king ascended the throne. Water from all four seas would be filled in an ornate bottle and poured on the new king's head. This action symbolizes the power the new king holds henceforward -- he controls the four seas. Tantrism also uses the method to "fill the top of a monk's head with sweet dew water, ensuring that the seeds of Buddha live eternally" when a monk reaches the position of A She Li (Gui Fan Shi) (See Da Ri Jing Shu, Volume 15).

"Ti Hu Guan Ding – Being filled with wisdom" can also be found in Tang dynasty poems. Examples are:

"How could one know that Ti Hu is used to fill the head with energy to become clear and cool" in Gu Kuang's "The Difficult Path of Cultivation."

"As if being filled with Ti Hu, I experience the joy of becoming clear and cool" in Bai Ju Yi's "Jie Luo Fa."

"Upon hearing the three characters of Sun Wu Kong, Sha Seng feels immediately as if being filled with energy and the heart being nourished," in "The Journey to the West" (Chapter 31).

Translated from http://zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/7/8/32995.htmll

Add new comment