Living This Moment in Purity
By Living Buddha Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by Janny Chow
This was translated from Grandmaster Lu's 145th book, 當下的清涼心.
CHAPTER 01 - The Reason For Writing This Book
While sleeping one night, a colorful swirl of clouds, with two youths holding Buddhist banners, manifested before me in the spiritual realm. Bowing to me they spoke, " Living Buddha Lian - sheng, our master would like to invite you to visit him. "
" Who is your master? "
" Our master is Virtuous Light Buddha, " they replied.
My mind momentarily drew a blank. After all, among the three thousand Buddhas, many names are quite similar, and some Buddhas even share identical names. So instead of inquiring further, I flew up to the auspicious clouds with the two youths. Soon we arrived at a land known as Green Flower Heavenly Grotto. Inside a great crystal hall, the Virtuous Light Buddha descended on his throne to welcome me.
" Lian - sheng, how have you been? "
Puzzled, I still did not recognize this Virtuous Light Buddha. Seeing my bewildered reaction, Virtuous Light Buddha immediately understood my thoughts. He spoke with a smile, " Lian - sheng, you are looking at my Bliss Body now. Of course you won't recognize me. Take another look. "
A Buddha has three bodies: Dharma Body, Bliss Body, and Emanation Body.
The Dharma Body radiates boundless light
The Bliss Body is the majestic Tathagata with the thirty - two Buddha marks
The Emanation Body undergoes transformations among the many worlds
In my case, for example, my Dharma Body radiates boundless lights just like the great sun; my Bliss Body is Amitabha (Padmakumara); and the Emanation Body is Living Buddha Lian - sheng Sheng - yen Lu.
As I took a closer look, the face of Virtuous Light Buddha began to morph until I finally recognized him. " You are Lord Wen Chang (Lord of Literature) of the Ci Ji Temple! " I declared.
I had met with Lord Wen Chang of Ci Ji Temple several times in the past. Though the two of us are quite familiar with one another, I had not learned of his new name, Virtuous Light Buddha, after his attainment of Buddhahood.
Virtuous Light Buddha then said to me, " In today 's world, people are becoming greedier and stronger in their cravings. Few are those who live simply with scant desires. Although civilization has made much progress, the presence of virtuous light is fast becoming extinct. I cannot help but feel sad, seeing how so many in the world will wind up in the three lower realms. I ventured to invite you here today to borrow your talents for the writing of a book. This book will be of great benefit to humans if it will wake them up so they will be more cautious and discipline their lust. "
I then asked, " What should the contents of this book be? "
Virtuous Light Buddha replied, " I will send you the material. Just go ahead and write it in your own way. "
" Who will bring it to me? "
" Lü. "
I chatted with Virtuous Light Buddha a while longer, while admiring the beautiful scenery of Green Flower Grotto Heaven. After sipping the wine he offered me, I finally bade farewell and left.
Not long afterward, I went to a Buddhist temple, Fo Qian Yuan, to offer incense.
The abbot approached me and asked, " Mister, would your last name happen to be Lu? "
" How did you know? "
" Last night in my dreams, Virtuous Light Buddha appeared and told me that when a Mr. Lu comes to offer incense today, I should give him this manuscript, " he stated, handing me a large envelope. Inside were worn pieces of parchment with handwritten script advising people to do good.
" Who was the writer? " I asked.
" I don't know. " The abbot explained, " When I first came to this temple as abbot, the manuscript was already here. I flipped through it and thought it would be a waste to toss out, so I saved it. I was surprised when the Virtuous Light Buddha appeared and wanted me to hand it to you. " I knew I would not get any further information from him.
Before leaving, I asked the abbot, " What is your last name? "
" Lü. "
And that is how this book came about.