The Crazy Guy
- By Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated By Cheng Yew Chung
- Edited by TBN
When I was reading Venerable
Master Xu Yun's (Empty Cloud) biography, I came across one of his
Why should this crazy guy
Try so hard to teach the dharma
When the way of dharma in this world is on the wane-
(sigh) The sacred link held only by a strand of hair, indeed at
a crisis point?
My dedicated task should be the concern for others
I try to climb the highest peak, [from there] to plumb the depths
to catch the carp,
I try to dive to the ocean bottom to make a fire to cook the gull
I try so hard, but have no listeners, no understanding of my teachings
I feel sorry for myself
[Then] Laughing loudly, breaking through the silent sky, at all
who scold me
Their grumblings endless like an endlessly weaving loom
Why not let everything go?
[Because] The people's suffering never ends.
When I read this poem, my heart was touched. The two words "crazy
guy" left me sighing for awhile.
I recalled two incidents experienced by Master Xu Yun which left
an impact on me.
Xu Yun wanted a monastery built, and midway through the construction,
the temple was destroyed in a battle. He rebuilt it, and again it
was destroyed in a bombing. Again he rebuilt the monastery. Someone
advised him to wait until the war was over before he started construction
again. Xu Yun replied, "Building a monastery is my business, and
bombing it is someone else's business. I only mind my own business."
Another incident involved one of Xu Yun's disciples who had once
been ordained as a monk. He went up the mountain looking for Master
Xu Yun and beat the old monk senseless, leaving him for dead.
Master Xu Yun was almost beaten to death by this disciple and his
accomplice. Xu Yun recalled later that while he was lying unconscious,
he ascended in spirit to the Tusita Heaven and met Maitreya.
Through these two little incidents and his poem, I thought of myself
and felt that I, being a crazy guy [also], am much too fortunate
and blessed. Just look at Master Xu Yun's life and you will know
that he is the true crazy guy.
I shall pen a verse in praise of Xu
It takes many rounds of refining before the finest steel is formed.
Throughout the ages, crazy guys like he who liberates sentient beings
share similar traits.
Unorthodox, he must go through the tests and trials that await him,
Just to fulfill the mission of propagating the Buddha Dharma throughout
the Ten Directions.