Stories from Buddhism: Dao Xian

Mu Mu

PureInsight | May 9, 2007

[] Shi Dao Xian
originally came from the State of Kang Ju of the Western Region. 
He had used to be a traveling businessman.  One day, he attended a
senior Buddha monk's lecture and became awakened.  He sank his
treasure ship into the river, farewell his wife and children and became
a monk at the Bamboo Wood Temple in Guan Kou.  At the tonsure
ceremony, he swore to the public, "I'll not leave the temple until I
become enlightened."  

Thereafter, Dao Xian lived all by himself without contacting the
outside world.  He repaired and extended the temple and paths
around it.  Gradually, some other Buddhist cultivators also built
huts near his temple.  Every time when he opened and read the
Buddha's Scripture, Dao Xian would sob and sigh with feeling. He
wondered why he had no alternatives other than the teachings of the
deceased that became available to him.  Since he began
cultivating, Dao Xian sat for 4 or 5 days each time when he
meditated.  If he had an appointment with someone to visit him, he
would sense the visitor's approach and stand up to greet the
guest.  If nobody came, he would stay in his room for
meditation.  His mind was as tranquil as if everything were gone.

When the State of Liang was established, the King Tan respected Dao
Xian as a teacher and invited him to Shan Xi.  At that time in
Shan Xi, Daoism was in vogue and there were many Daoist temples. 
Buddhism was discriminated against there.  Dao Xian took things
calmly although King Tan was worried about his safety.  One day,
some cultivators saw a fire from Dong Gang and were afraid the fire
would harm Dao Xian.  They carried water containers to rescue
him.  When they arrived at Dao Xian's place, they saw him sitting
in the big fire and giving out a roaring flame.  These monks
gasped in admiration for his super virtue.  Afterwards, a monk
named Li Xue Zhu donated his own land to build a statue and pagoda for
Dao Xian.  Since then, at least nine out of ten households from
the far and near villages followed the faith.  

At that time, a royal prince and duke, Fan Yan from Ci Zhou began to
believe in Buddhism.  He set up the statues of the four heavenly
kings at the Liang Tai Buddhist Temple on a mountain for people to
pray.  When Dao Xian came to the Buddhist temple, the heads of the
four heavenly kings gave off five colors of lights.  In fact, the
lights were the natural flames coming from the fire pot which Dao Xian
carried.  One day before Lu Fa He became a high ranking official,
he was very poor and lowly.  He came to the temple to fetch the
food.  Some cultivators complained about that.  Dao Xian
said, "He is the high ranking Duke San Tai.  What are you
condemning him for?  He will become wealthy and powerful in the
future."  Not long after, what Dao Xian had said became true.

When Dao Xian was not well, a celestial boy would come out of a green
stream, holding a bowl of miraculous medicine and kneeling before him
to feed him the medicine.  Dao Xian's illness was immediately

Dao Xian had been living in the mountain for 28 years.  He again
roamed around to save sentient beings.  Once upon a time, there
was a drought and people were praying to the heavens for rain. 
Dao Xian came to the Rain Dragon Palace and said, "Why have you been
sleeping so soundly that you did not hear the pray for rains?" 
Shortly afterwards, a heavy rain was pouring on the earth.  People
respected Dao Xian as a god.

During the period of Sui Dynasty, Dao Xian came back to the Buddhist
Temple in the mountain.  When he arrived, the paths were very
clean because the mountain celestials had swept them for him.  Dao
Xian passed away sitting as if in meditation when he was more than one
hundred years old.

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