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China Trip - Mount Wu Tai

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  • Lotus Hermit
    Mount Wutai (also known as Mount Cool) According to the Buddhism sutra, China (similar pronunciation in ancient Hindu) will be the place where Buddhism dwells
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2000
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      Mount Wutai (also known as Mount Cool)

      According to the Buddhism sutra, China (similar pronunciation in
      ancient Hindu) will be the place where Buddhism dwells and spreads to
      other parts of the world. Among all, there is a place call Mount
      Cool, looks like lotus blossom of five petals with snow on top in
      summer, is where Bodhisattva Manjusri, the teacher of all Buddhas,
      teaches and show his presence¬Ö. 500years after Buddha left, two
      Indian monks came to China. When they passed by Mt Wutai, they knew
      this is the place for Mensuri, the Buddhisattva of Wisdom.

      Mao Tze Tong once went to Mt Wutai and met a monk in early 1940s.
      The monk told him four digits 8341. No one knew the answer, not even
      Mao, until Mao died in 1976. It means Mao would live for 83 years
      and be in power for 41 years. Matched exactly. He visited Mt Wutai
      several times when he was young and always said he had a special
      feeling about it. In 1950s, when Daila Lama met Mao the first time
      in his life, DL told Mao, you know, you are actually the
      reincarnation of Bodhisattva Manjusri. Mao was shocked, but
      dismissed immediately that he was an atheist. Nevertheless, the
      legend continues.

      A young college student from the prestigious Beijing University in
      1940s (before communist party took over) became the title news. She
      was raped by an American soldier and caused a nationwide anti-
      American movement. Under all the pressure and chaos, she decided to
      go to the Gate of Emptiness, a Chinese way meaning becoming a
      nun/monk of Buddhism. She spent the rest of her life in temples in
      Beijing and Mt Wutai. As if life was not hard enough, she was house
      arrested for over 7 years during Cultural Revolution in a small room
      in a temple in Wutai. Without sutra, she kept chanting mantra and
      the names of Buddha and Mensuri during that period until she was
      released in later 1970s. In 1987, she passed away. After cremation,
      her student found 96 crystal colorful pearls in her ashes, a sign
      indicated she's now among the enlightened and finally freed out
      the cycle of life.

      A famous Zen monk, Empty Cloud (his autobio is available in English),
      born in 1839 and would live for 120 years, made his journey to Wutai
      in early 1920s. He walked over 1000 miles, kowtowing once every
      three steps. He was almost frozen to death twice in the snow but was
      saved by a beggar named Wenji. Wenji asked Empty Cloud, "Do you
      snow in the south?" Empty Cloud replied "No, I have never
      snow." Wenji "But you have a lot of water right", Empty
      nodded. As Wenji was boiling snow that turned into water gradually,
      Wenji pointed at the snow and water asked, "What is this?"
      Cloud stunned and did not answer. By the time Empty Cloud reached
      Wutai and asked monks about a popular beggar named Wenji, an old Monk
      answered, "He is not a beggar. It was Bodhisattva Manjusri (in
      Chinese "Wenshu")."

      Zen, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism, pureland, and many other schools
      revere Mt Wutai, housing over dozens of Buddhism temples. Many
      visiting monks and nuns around the world come here to receive
      certification. An old neighbor of mine, a young man of early
      twenties with a good government job, gave up everything and became a
      monk by the time I met him during this trip. Even more Buddhists
      travel a long way to here. I witnessed how they pay their tribute to
      Mensuri. There is a place call Dai Lou Ding. To reach there you
      have to climbed 1080 rock stairs. Many people, old and young, get up
      at 5 am and then start climbing. They walk up one stair, then
      kowtow. By the time they reach the top, it is already 11:30am. They
      will keep one step one kowtow all the way to the center of the temple
      after reaching the top.

      The regions surrounding Mt Wutai are almost half desert. However,
      there are tall trees all over within the Mountain, as if they are all
      standing straight listening to the words of wisdom. All five peaks
      of the mountain spread out like the legend says "a lotus with
      petals", smoothly round, hiding behind the thin veil of cold
      Countless legends, mystery stories took place and endless great
      masters dwelled here in 2000 years of history of this Buddhism
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