Exemplary life of Master Guang Qin

Continuing from previous post…..

Master Guangqin lived simply and frugally. Just like how a monk would live during Buddha’s time.

No desire for mundane materials.

He never initiate any fund raising to build temple or statue. He focused on living a perfect monastic life. People who were impressed and inspired by him, offered land and temple to him. Even then, he did not participate in worldly concern throughout the construction.

Noble qualities in a person takes a lifetime to uphold. Lay people should lookout for such qualities when they wish to associate with noble monks and nuns.

Diligent and non slothful.

As Master Guangqin was illiterate, he was exempted from ritual functions in the temple. Instead, manual task such as ringing the morning temple bell etc were assigned to him. On one occasion, he overslept and rang the bell late. Feeling remorseful, he decided not to lie down to sleep for the rest of his life. From that day onwards, he rest in meditation posture. Such ascetic practice is acceptable in Buddhism. (but please do not simply copy what you read)

Perfection of practice

Master Guanqin retreated into the mountains to perfect his practice. According to legend, Master Guangqin once sat motionless and meditated for 4 months in Samandhi absorption, while he was living in the mountain (China). The woodcutters thought that he had died because his breathing seemed to have stopped, there was no pulse and heart beat. They even prepared firewood to cremate him on the spot and informed the temple abbot at the foot of the mountain. Luckily, the abbot stopped them and suggested consulting a famous meditation master, HongYi ( 弘一大师).

After observation, HongYi exclaimed that such meditation power is extremely rare. He roused Master Guangqin by snapping his fingers thrice beside Master Guangqin’s ear. Amazingly, Master Guangqin who had no pulse or heartbeat opened his eyes and looked around. The monks who were present, apologised for disturbing his meditation. They explained the situation and took leave.
Master Guangqin trained seriously and undertook retreats to practice alone. He started engaging with society only when he attained spiritual maturity.

After leaving China, Master Guangqin went to Taiwan. While staying in the mountainous area in Taiwan, he became known as the tiger taming monk or fruit monk.

Simple diet throughout his life

Like a true renunciant, Master Guanqin prefers simple food and did not cause inconvenience to others. He constantly encourage his believer to become vegetarian.

When he lived in the mountains, he would simply observe the animals and learn what were edible fruits; especially from monkey. That way, he survived in the mountains. Fruits became his prefered diet when he completed his retreat. People who met him experienced the scent of citrus. Thus they nicknamed him fruit monk.

Compassionate and able to live peacefully with all

The mountain that he stayed in, was terrorised by ferocious tigers. After Master Guanqin settled in a cave there, the woodcutters and occasional visitors witnessed the tiger prowling near his cave but did not harm him. Furthermore, the tigers also stopped harming humans. People believed the tiger must be guarding Master Guangqin. Consequently, the nickname Tiger taming monk became well known.

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2 replies »

  1. Being a skeptical person I have always been dubious about stories from long ago. But with Master Guang Qin we have facts about a monk who lived in our own time. His teachings are surely a treasure he left behind for us. Amitabha

    Liked by 1 person

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