Events in the Life of the Venerable Master Hua


We then had to find the demon. How did we do that? There are five kinds of dharmas in the Shurangama Mantra. One is the dharma for extinguishing calamities. If you are due to suffer a calamity, you can use this dharma to avert it. There is also the dharma for creating auspiciousness, which turns inauspicious events into auspicious ones. With the dharma of summoning and hooking, you can catch goblins, demons, and ghosts no matter how far away they are. There is also the dharma of subduing and conquering, which allows you to subdue any demon that comes. I employed these dharmas from the Shurangama Mantra to capture the As-You-Will demon woman. When she entered the room, she had about her an intense and nauseating stench. She came in and tried to put her magic weapon--the black hat--on my head, but couldn't get it on me. Then she took out her round balls and tried to hit me, but they missed my body.

Both of her magic weapons had failed. Knowing she was finished, she turned to run, but when she first arrived, I had set up an invisible boundary that would trap her no matter where she tried to go. The gods, dragons, and others of the eightfold division of Dharma-protectors watched her from the left, right, front, rear, above, and below.

Seeing that she couldn't get away, she knelt and wept. She said, "I never thought I would meet my subduer today. Please forgive me and let me go." "I will certainly let you go, but I can only forgive you if you reform and take refuge with the Triple Jewel," I said. She nodded in acquiescence. I then spoke the Dharma for her. I explained the Four Noble Truths, the Twelve Causes and Conditions, and the Six Perfections. She immediately understood, resolved to realize Bodhi, and asked to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. I accepted her and gave her the name "Vajra As-You-Will Maiden."

I had a small hut then, and I let her stay in there after she took refuge. Later she often followed me around to save people, but her basic make-up was that of a demon, and no matter where she went she emitted an overwhelming stench. The putrid odor didn't bother me, but it made most people so nauseated that they wanted to vomit. Seeing that it wouldn't do for her to follow me, I sent her to Leifa Mountain in Jiaohe County, Jilin Province, to cultivate in the Exquisite Cave of the Ten Thousand Saints. She is still there now. She was a great demon leader that I encountered in Manchuria when there was no government in force there.

I have sent many of my strange and unusual disciples there to cultivate, and I have also been there myself. She cultivated vigorously and soon attained spiritual powers and could rescue people. When she rescued them, she didn't like it to be known, since good done hoping others will know is not true good, and evil done in secret for fear that others will know is truly great evil. Thus, the former demon woman became one of the Buddha's followers.

Why is the cave called the "Exquisite Cave of the Ten Thousand Saints"? It's said to be exquisite because it has three entrances, which are mutually visible to each other. It's like a glass cup, in that one can see in from the outside and out from the inside. The three entrances to the cave are mutually connected. Inside the cave there is a temple made of bricks and lumber that were carried up the steep mountain crags on the backs of goats. One goat could carry two bricks or a piece of lumber at a time. Off the western entrance of the cave, there is another cave called the Cave of Lao Zi. Off the eastern entrance is the Dripping Water Cave, which drips enough water to satisfy a troop of ten thousand men and horses.

The cave in the back is called the Cave of Patriarch Ji, named after Ji Xiaotang, a native of Manchuria who, in the Ming Dynasty, subdued five ghosts, one of whom was the Black Fish Spirit. The Black Fish Spirit was a Ming Dynasty official in Beijing called Blackie the Great. His last name was Black, but he wasn't a human; he was a fish. Ji Xiaotang knew this and was determined to capture him. He knew that "Blackie" would pass by the mountain one day, and so he waited for him. When he passed by, Ji Xiaotang released thunder from the palm of his hand and killed him.
No one actually knows how many caves there are in Leifa Mountain. Each time you count them, the number is different--seventy-two today, seventy-three tomorrow, and maybe seventy the day after that.

A man once went there and saw two old men playing chess in a cave. When he coughed, the two long-bearded men said to themselves, "How did he get here?" and then the stone gate of the entrance closed by itself. The man knelt there seeking the truth from them until he finally died. His grave may still be seen outside the Stone Door Cave. How sincerely he sought for the truth!

There are many spirits and immortals up in the mountain. One was a man named Lee Mingfu, who had mastered kung fu and could run as fast as a monkey. Once I visited the cave at four in the morning and saw him bowing to the Buddha. His hair, which he never washed, was held by a hairpin and matted in a lump that weighed five or six pounds. His facial features--eyes, nose, and mouth--and his body, were very small, but his body was strong. He alone could carry two railroad tracks so heavy that eight ordinary men would be needed to carry one; he would tuck one track under each arm. No one knew how old he was or where he was from. He was one of the strange men I met there.

I was very inspired today, and that's why I told you these things. These are true stories; I didn't make them up. Most of you probably don't believe them. Whether you believe or not is up to you. But I have told you the truth.

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