- True Buddha News #355
- True Buddha Sword Column : The Solitary
Old Man Injures His Leg
- Written by Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen
- Translated by Tan Tywui
- Edited by Luljeta Subasic
- Proofread by Mimosa
- Team members of Padmakumara Translation
I went shopping for groceries at the market place
I noticed that one of the salesgirls at the entrance
of the market place was leaning on crutches. She
would usually greet customers and guests in a cordial manner.
"What happened to you?" I asked.
"I got into an automobile accident," she
"How long ago?"
"Two months ago. I've consulted numerous doctors
since, but to no avail. I am still suffering from the pain caused
by the accident." Her facial expression reflected the excruciating
pain she endured.
"Please give me a glass of water."
She provided me with one, not knowing what I intended
I went to a secluded place. I then blessed the
glass of water by visualizing the Golden Mother of the Primordial
Pond entering the water.
I instructed the salesgirl, "Drink this water.
Your leg will be healed, and your pain will subside."
She finished the cup of water.
Within two days, she recovered from all pain and
suffering. She no longer had use for crutches since she was able
to stand upright and walk on her own two feet again.
I was exuberant! I had successfully helped her,
yet I did not need her name, age, or address 1 to do
it. Therefore, when I returned to my cabin, I did not transfer the
merits to the Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond.2
A period of time passed by.
One day, I began to exercise by doing sit-ups. As
I lodged my feet under the edge of my bed, I concentrated on my
exercise. When I woke up the next day, I realized that my left
foot was as swollen as a bun. When my foot touched the floor, the
pain was so severe that I almost cried out in agony.
"This is terrible!" I
"Is it because of transference3, or
is it due to exercise?"
"Did I injure my tendons or my bones, or is
it an infection?"
In an instant, I thought:
"I am presently a solitary
man. Now that my foot is swollen, my movement is completely hindered,
and my foot will hurt if I touch it. I am in retreat now, completely
alone without anyone to help me. What am I going to do? I don't
even know a single doctor in this area."
Yet, at the time before I set out on my retreat,
"I am protected by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas
and even the Vajra Protectors, thus I should not encounter any problems
on this retreat. Even the simplest flu cannot affect me. Living
the solitary life at this time would be refreshing for me."
With such an advent of impermanence, I thoroughly
realized that everything went wrong, very wrong indeed.
Having a pair of arms and only one leg brought me
great inconvenience. At first, I was able to move by hopping on
my right leg. Not long after, I was reduced to crawling about by
using my hands and right leg, and raising my left leg, all the while
using great caution not to bump it into anything. Doing so would
be extremely painful!
I bathed, used the restroom and had breakfast as
I crawled all the while. My face was twisted in pain. I recalled
that I had prepared a first aid kit prior to my retreat. The kit
contained medications for influenza, gastritis, various digestive
ailments, eye problems, external medications, and several other
From experience, any sports injury would require
bone pain reliever, painkiller spray and gauze. Treatments for internal
use would include anti-inflammation pills, painkillers, skin tissue
medications, and stomach medications. But I only had Saronpasu,
medicated muscle relieving spray, in my first aid kit.
I had no one to turn to for help. At that moment,
I realized that this solitary old man must not fall ill. If I would
become sick, it would be a time of hellish suffering for me. I had
to twist and turn to get things done-whether it be for meals, getting
dressed or even using the restroom. It was extremely difficult for
me to crawl about in my cabin, as tiny as it was. As I scaled across
the wall with my hands, I remembered that luckily, I had packed
some snacks. Otherwise, how would I be able to go to the market?
I would certainly have died of hunger if I had not prepared any
I made the following prayer to the Golden Mother
of the Primordial Pond:
"I have been living peacefully for some time.
I have now been resigned to the hands of fate, should fate leave
me with two hands and one leg. I can remain in total seclusion in
this small cabin, twisting my way through the entire house if this
is destined to be. I can learn to enjoy this suffering till death.
If this is really destined for me, I pray that at least I can always
be at peace."
I sprayed some Saronpasu to my foot. I then used
a pillow to elevate my left leg, to help get rid of some excess
fluid. Finally, I began to meditate.
During meditation, the Golden Mother appeared before
me. Using her hands, she rubbed and massaged the channels and energy
veins in my foot, and blessed my foot with her fingers. This continued
daily until finally, everything became normal again. Sunshine brightened
my cloudy skies once more.
After this incident, I realized--even I have karmic
hindrances. This old man fears nothing but illness.
I stood firmly on my feet, gazing at the sunset
and the mountains through my window. I recollected thoughts of
Sheng-yen Lu, the Living Buddha Lian-sheng of the past. I thought
of the present me.
Through thoughts of the past and present, I found
that the verse still holds:
The fierce tides of the Yangtze River4
vanish in the East,
As the tides surge away, the heroes of past disappear as well.
Right or wrong, success or failure will be forgotten as we turn
The mountains still stand unmoved
Yet the sun has risen and set numerous times.
- Such personal information is commonly required
in order to effectively help one with spiritual consultation.
- Merits should be dedicated to a specific person,
reason, wish, etc. after completing dharma practice, especially
when the practice is to help another
- This term is used to describe a phenomenon
where karma is transferred from one person, place, or thing to
another person, place, or thing. It occurs most often when
doing cultivation on behalf of someone else.
- Chang River is the longest River in China