Stories from Buddhism: Qi Yu

Mu Mu

PureInsight | April 7, 2007

[] Qi Yu was
from India. He was very unconventional and mystical, and people were
unable to figure him out at all. He was often seen in the area south of
the Yellow River and the Western Regions of ancient China, but people
often didn't know his whereabouts.

One day, Qi Yu was going to take a ferry in Xiangyang region (in
today's Hubei Province). The boatman looked down on him because of his
ragged clothes and refused to take him. When the boat arrived at the
opposite shore, quite surprisingly, people found Qi Yu was already
there. Suddenly, two tigers appeared. But as soon as they saw Qi Yu,
the tigers dangled their ears and tails. Qi Yu touched the tigers'
head, and the tigers turned around and went away. People watched and
followed the mysterious monk and wouldn't leave.

During the later years of the Emperor Hui (290 A.D. - 306 A.D.) of the
Jin Dynasty (265 A.D. - 316 A.D.), Qi Yu went to Luoyang City, the
Capital, to spread Buddhism. During his lectures to the monks, he would
tell them something about their past lives. For instance, he said
Zhifayuan's previous life was as a sheep, and Zhufaxing's previous life
was as a human. Upon seeing the Imperial City of Luoyang, he said to
others, "It looks just like the Palace of the Trayastrimsas Heaven.
(The second of the desire-heavens. See reference
Only the Palace was formed by nature, and men built the Imperial City.
The men who built this Imperial City were from the Trayastrimsas Heaven
and returned there when they finished. They had put 1,500 wares under
the crest tiles." At that time, there was indeed hearsay that the men
who built the Imperial City had put wares under the crest tiles and
were murdered upon finishing.

The Governor of the Hengyang region, Teng Yongwen, was housed in the
Manshui Temple in Luoyang. One day, his legs suddenly had
uncontrollable convulsions and he couldn't walk. Qi Yu went to see him.
Holding a cup of clean water and chanting incantations, Qi Yu dipped a
branch of a willow tree in the cup and sprinkled the water on Teng
Yongwen. After he did this three times, Teng Yongwen could walk as if
nothing had happened. Qi Yu told him the reason for his strange illness
was his imprudent conduct. Teng Yongwen regretted very much his past
doings. A moment later, while taking a walk with Teng Yongwen within
the temple, Qi Yu noticed several dozen dead Bo trees. Qi Yu asked,
"How long have they been dead?" Teng Yongwen answered, "For many years
already." Qi Yu then started chanting incantations towards the trees.
In a short moment, the dead branches started turning green, growing
buds and leaves, and blossoming. People were amazed by his supernormal

There was a man dying of a very strange illness. Qi Yu put a bowl on
top of the patient's abdomen, covered it with a piece of white cloth,
and chanted several thousand words of incantations. In a short while,
the room was filled with stinking smell, and the patient said, "I'm
back to life." Qi Yu had the white cloth uncovered. People saw the bowl
was filled with several liters of silt-like things, which were
extremely stinky. The patient recovered very soon after that.

Due to the war in Luoyang, Qi Yu was leaving for India. Several hundred
monks invited him for lunch before he left. The next day, five hundred
people had lunch with Qi Yu in their houses, and everyone thought Qi Yu
only went to his house. When they talked about it with each other later
on, they realized those were all Qi Yu's split bodies.

Upon returning to the Western Regions, Qi Yu's whereabouts became unknown.

From Stories about Mysterious Monks, Volume 1

Translated from:

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