Stories from Buddhism: Faan

Mu Mu

PureInsight | May 6, 2007

[] Shi Faan was
also called Ci Qin. No one knew where he came from. He was a disciple
of Huiyuan and was good at explaining sutras and inspiring uncivilized
people so that they could correct their wrong deeds.

During the Jin dynasty's (A.D. 265-420) Yixi period Xinyang County
experienced a tiger-caused disaster. Every morning one or two civilians
were found bitten to death by a tiger. People were constantly in fear.
So they built a shrine in the countryside under a big tree. Hundreds of
residents lived near the big tree.

Shi Faan wandered by the village one day. He went to the temple,
thinking of spending the night there, but found the front door 
locked because the villagers were afraid of the tiger. Faan meditated
under the big tree for the entire night.

In the early morning the tiger approached the north side of the tree.
It seemed to be quite surprised and happy to see Faan and crawled near
his feet. Faan recited sutras and taught the tiger the precepts. The
tiger seemed to listen attentively without the slightest movement.
After a while it went away. At daybreak, the villagers rushed to the
tree and found Faan unharmed. They thought he was an immortal.

The tiger-caused disaster vanished. Villagers thus changed the place of
worship into a full-fledged temple and asked Faan to be the abbot. They
also donated nearby farmland to the temple.

Later on, Faan intended to draw some portraits and needed some
verdigris for his paintings but couldn't find any. One night he dreamed
of a person coming to his bed and telling him, "There are bronze bells
below this ground." When Faan woke up he immediately dug into the
ground and found two bronze bells. He was thus able to finish his
painting. He eventually donated the other bell to Huiyuan, to help cast
a Buddha stature.

As time went by, no one knew where Faan went.

(From Legends of Holy Monks, Vol. II)

Translated from:

Add new comment