The Story of Bhiksuni Weimiao

The Story of Bhiksuni Weimiao

Sutra about Wisdom and the Foolishness [賢愚経] ( A sutra translated into Chinese in 445 by Hui-chüeh and others. It contains sixty-two Buddhist tales (sixty-nine tales, in a separate extant edition). A Collection of Records concerning the Tripitaka, the catalog of the Buddhist canon compiled by Seng-yu (445–518), ascribes the translation of the Sutra on the Wise and the Foolish to others. According to that work, T’an-hsüeh, Wei-te, and six other priests went westward from northwestern China to Khotan on the southern edge of the Takla Makan Desert to seek Buddhist scriptures. They happened upon a great Buddhist ceremony that was held once every five years at a monastery. There they heard the learned monks expound the Buddhist scriptures and rules of monastic discipline in the language of Khotan. T’an-hsüeh and the others translated and recorded the lectures in Chinese. Later they returned from Khotan and, upon reaching the region of Turfan, compiled the lectures given by the monks in Khotan as a single sutra, which is known as the Sutra on the Wise and the Foolish. The sutra contains stories explaining the causal relationship between incidents in one’s past existence and those in one’s present existence. In each of these stories, Shakyamuni Buddha makes a connection between someone living in the present and a person involved in a past incident. The law of cause and effect states that every single action in the universe produces a reaction no matter what. We need to abstain from anything that is evil, do everything that is good, and use the correct understanding and views to cultivate. Don’t violate any of the precepts, otherwise you will end in miserable retribution. 

This story comes from ” Karma Scriptures about Wisdom and Foolishness “, the third volume in the ” Weimiao Bhiksuni “. In the era of Buddha Sakyamuni, many aristocratic women after ordination were very worried that their habits, such as lust, anger and ignorance, had not been eliminated yet. So they gathered to consult Bhiksuni Weimiao who had already attained the arhatship. Weimiao Bhiksuni told everyone the pain of the desire to bring, and tells the story of her previous life experience…

The Story of Bhiksuni Weimiao




Achieving Nothing (No Thing)

Achieving Nothing (No Thing)

Once upon a time the Bodhisattva – the Enlightenment Being – was born into a high class family in northern India. When he grew up he gave up the ordinary desires of the everyday world and became a holy man. He went to the Himalayan Mountains where 500 other holy men became his followers.

He meditated throughout his long life. He gained supernatural powers – like flying through the air and understanding people’s thoughts without their speaking. These special powers impressed his 500 followers greatly.

One rainy season, the chief follower took 250 of the holy men into the hill country villages to collect salt and other necessities. It just so happened that this was the time when the master was about to die. The 250 who were still by his side realized this. So they asked him, “Oh most holy one, in your long life practicing goodness and meditation, what was your greatest achievement?”

Having difficulty speaking as he was dying, the last words of the Enlightenment Being were, “No Thing.” Then he was reborn in a heaven world.

Expecting to hear about some fantastic magical power, the 250 followers were disappointed. They said to each other. “After a long life practicing goodness and meditation. our poor master has achieved ‘nothing’.” Since they considered him a failure, they burned his body with no special ceremony, honors, or even respect.

When the chief follower returned he asked, “Where is the holy one?” “He has died,” they told him. “Did you ask him about his greatest achievement?” “Of course we did,” they answered. “And what did he say?” asked the chief follower. “He said he achieved ‘nothing’,” they replied, “so we didn’t celebrate his funeral with any special honors.”

Then the chief follower said, “You brothers did not understand the meaning of the teacher’s words. He achieved the great knowledge of ‘No Thing’. He realized that the names of things are not what they are. There is what there is, without being called ‘this thing’ or ‘that thing’. There is no ‘Thing’.” In this way the chief follower explained the wonderful achievement of their great master, but they still did not understand.

Meanwhile, from his heaven world, the reborn Enlightenment Being saw that his former chief follower’s words were not accepted. So he left the heaven world and appeared floating in the air above his former followers’ monastery. In praise of the chief follower’s wisdom he said, “The one who hears the Truth and understands automatically, is far better off than a hundred fools who spend a hundred years thinking and thinking and thinking.”

By preaching in this way, the Great Being encouraged the 500 holy men to continue seeking Truth. After lives spent in serious meditation, all 500 died and were reborn in the same heaven world with their former master.

The moral is: When the wise speak, listen!