On Showing an Extraordinary Sign at the Moment of Death Owing to Devotion to Buddhist Studies and Spreading the Teaching for the Benefit of All Beings

A tale from the Nihon Ryoiki
of the Monk Kyokai

The late Dharma Master Dosho belonged to the Fune family in Kawachi province. Under the emporer's auspices he went abroad for Buddhist studies to T'ang China, where he met and studied with Hsuan-tsang san-tsang. This master said to his other disciples, "This man will teach many on his return home. You should not slight him but guide him well."

After completing his studies, he came home to establish a meditation hall, call Zen'in-ji, and he lived there. His virtue in keeping the precepts attained perfection, while his wisdom was a constant source of light as clear as a mirror. He traveled far and wide, proclaiming Buddhist teaching to all beings. When he grew older, he remained at the meditation hall and lectured on the essentials of the scriptures he had brought back from China.

The Eternal Buddha

At the time of his death, he purified himself in the bath, changed his clothes, and seated himself facing west. Light filled the room, and he opened his eyes and asked his disciple Chicho, "Did you see the light?" Chicho replied, "Yes, I did." The Master Dosho asking him not to tell others of it. Very early the next morning a light emanated from the hall and moved round to illuminate to pine trees in the garden. Presently it flew away to the west. All of his disciples were struck with wonder, and it was at that very moment that the Most Venerable Master passed away seated calmly, facing west.

We are sure of his rebirth in the pure land of bliss. The note says: This member of the Fune family is extraordinary and not common, for he exemplified virtue, traveled far to seek for Buddhist scriptures, and ended his life in radiant light.

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Miraculous Stories from the Japanese Buddhist Tradition: The Nihon Ryoiki of the Monk Kyokai. Translated and edited by Kyoko Motomochi Nakamura. First published in 1973 by Harvard University Press: MA. This edition published by Curzon Press: Surrey, Great Britain. Copyright 1997. For non-profit educational use only. ISBN:0-7007-0449-3
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