Transformation of a Bodhisattva,
Footsteps of an Ascetic Monk

Compiled by Shi Hengchi

The following are excerpts from the printed edition of
"In Memory of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua"

l950 Guanyin Cave, Furong Mountain, Hong Kong


When the Master returned to Hong Kong after a visit to Thailand, he was penniless. A layman helped him find Guanyin Cave--a small, dark hole in the face of the mountainside. Bending low to enter the mouth of the cave, the Master found a flat rock inside. He sat down on it and pulled his legs up into lotus posture. He had no furniture or utensils, no bedding or food; he had only his tattered, patched robe to wear.

The Master sat unmoving on the rock in the barren cave for several days and nights, only deciding to get up after about 100 hours of uninterrupted sitting. But when he tried to stand, he found that his legs wouldn't move. The Master paid no attention to his paralysis, but simply continued to sit on the rock in the dank cave. He remained in the full lotus meditation posture day and night for two full weeks, and then gradually began to recover the use of his legs.

Western Bliss Gardens Monastery

The Master arranged for, planned, and supervised the construction of Western Bliss Gardens. He printed no announcements or advertisements; he asked for no donations; he dropped no hints to wealthy lay people; and he did not go begging from door to door. Standing firm in his guiding principles, he refused to take advantage of Hong Kong's affluence. His pure and lofty courage and determination inspired his disciples.


Since there was no water in the vicinity of Western Bliss Gardens, everyone in the area had trouble getting water to use. After the Master moved into Western Bliss Gardens, he found a crack in a stone at the base of the cliff behind the temple. He knelt before the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and prayed for a sweet spring on the site. Every day he recited the Great Compassion Mantra before the cleft. Soon a little moisture appeared at the cleft.

Gradually, drop by drop, the water began to flow. Sweet dew began pouring forth and flowing down to form an abundant pool. The serious problem of Western Bliss Gardens' water supply had been resolved by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

When news of the miraculous spring spread, everyone in the neighborhood was astonished. How could water flow from a dry rock on that barren mountain?

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