Stories from Buddhism: Huizhong

Mu Mu

PureInsight | May 20, 2007

[] Shi Huizhong,
whose original surname was Wang, was from Shangyuan, Runzhou. When his
mother was pregnant with him, she met a monk who said to her, "Your son
is a precious child, and he will be an immortal."

He was quite different from other children and never ate meat or
hun.  He was honest and kind.  When he was twenty-three years
old, he became a monk and lived in Zhuanyan Temple. He heard that
Master Wei Chan was at Niutou Mountain, so he went over to visit Wei
Chan.  Master Wei Chan met with Huizhong and said, "The master of
the mountain is coming here!"  And Wei Chan taught him the Fa.

Huizhong cultivated at Niutou Mountain very diligently. He drank the
water from the mountain and ate wild fruit.  He cooked everything
in one pot and hung the pot on the tree after his meal. He ate only one
meal per day and then meditated in stillness.  He wore a monk's
garment all year around regardless of the seasons. After forty years of
cultivation, his supernormal capabilities were gradually showing.

Huizhong came out of the mountain and returned to Zhuanyan Temple
during the beginning of the Tian Bao Period of the Tang Dynasty. He
believed that Zhuanyan Temple, the most prosperous one in the Liang
Dynasty, needed renovation. He wanted to add a new doctrine hall to the
east of the temple. There was an old tree by the temple and the magpies
liked to build their nests on the top. When the workmen tried to cut
down the tree, Huizhong said that they should wait until after the
magpies moved out.  Huizhong walked to the tree and said, "The new
hall is going to be built here, please leave soon." Immediately, the
magpies held the trigs in their mouths and moved to other places.

Everyone witnessing this was amazed by his talent.

Before the location of the doctrine hall was decided, two enlightened
beings came by one day and pointed out where the location should be.

One summer, the vine by the front door of his stone room withered, and
none of the vegetation would stay alive.  In September, when
Huizhong was teaching the Fa on a high block, suddenly water came out
the block and flowed around the block. About a year later, Huizhong
asked his attendant to shave his hair and give him a bath, and there
were many clusters of clouds and heavenly music above the temple. The
following day, he passed away peacefully while sitting in a full lotus
position. Everyone from the temple saw bright light flashing across the
sky.  Meanwhile there was a heavy thunderstorm, broken tree limbs,
and the wailing of the birds and animals which lasted several
days.  All that took place in the month of July, but the rain kept
the whole area very cool. In August, the day of his funeral, soaring
cranes accompanied the funeral procession to the edge of the mountain.

Half a year later, the body of Huizhong was cremated and numerous shiny, round sariras were in his ashes. He was 87 years old.

Two masterpieces were written by Huizhong: "Jian Xing Xu," and "The road hard to travel." These two books, carefully written with profound messages, have been popular for centuries.

(From Song Monk Biography)

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