Myths and Legends of China

Page: 119

The King Cured

On the arrival of the envoys Shan Ts’ai met them in the mutilated form of Miao Shan, and he bade them cut off his right hand, pluck out his right eye, and put them on a plate. At the sight of the four bleeding wounds Liu Ch’in could not refrain from calling out indignantly: “This priest is a wicked man, thus to make a martyr of a woman in order to obtain the succession!”

Having thus spoken, he left with his companion for the kingdom of Hsing Lin. On their return the King was overwhelmed with joy. The priest quickly prepared the ointment, and the King, without delay, applied it to his right side. At once the ulcers disappeared like the darkness of night before the rising sun. The whole Court congratulated the King and eulogized the priest. The King conferred upon the latter the title Priest of the Brilliant Eye. He fell on his face to return thanks, and added: “I, a poor priest, have left the world, and have only one wish, namely, that your Majesty should govern your subjects with justice and sympathy and that all the officials of the realm should prove themselves men of integrity. As for me, I am used to roaming about. I have no desire for any royal estate. My happiness exceeds all earthly joys.”

Having thus spoken, the priest waved the sleeve of his cloak, a cloud descended from Heaven, and seating himself upon it he disappeared in the sky. From the cloud a note containing the following words was seen to fall: “I am one of the Teachers of the West. I came to cure the King’s illness, and so to glorify the True Doctrine.” Page 283

The King’s Daughter

All who witnessed this miracle exclaimed with one voice: “This priest is the Living Buddha, who is going back to Heaven!” The note was taken to King Miao Chuang, who exclaimed: “Who am I that I should deserve that one of the rulers of Heaven should deign to descend and cure me by the sacrifice of hands and eyes?”

“What was the face of the saintly person like who gave you the remedy?” he then asked Chao Chên.

“It was like unto that of your deceased daughter, Miao Shan,” he replied.

“When you removed her hands and eyes did she seem to suffer?”

“I saw a great flow of blood, and my heart failed, but the face of the victim seemed radiant with happiness.”

“This certainly must be my daughter Miao Shan, who has attained to perfection,” said the King. “Who but she would have given hands and eyes? Purify yourselves and observe the rules of abstinence, and go quickly to Hsiang Shan to return thanks to the saint for this inestimable favour. I myself will ere long make a pilgrimage thither to return thanks in person.”