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175.虽乱世犹海单 Despite the unrest, still receiving visitors by sea
 
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虽乱世犹海单

癸酉九十四岁。日本进入山海关。民心慌慌。兵乱纷纷。到处不宁。十九军在闽举事。全省寺院均止单。惟鼓山公住持故。仍留海单。十方海众。云水僧人。云集于鼓山者。数达千五六百之多。斋粮困难。然仍维持一粥一饭水准。

宣化偈曰:

佛教己任担如来。僧伽饥渴身受怀。
患难颠沛必于是。世变流离更宜栽。 

Despite the unrest, still receiving visitors by sea

In 1933, the Master was ninety-four. The Japanese Army occupied Shan Hai Kuan and caused great trepidation among the people. Soldiers were reckless and unruly. Unrest was widespread. In Fukien, the Nineteenth Army started an uprising. All the other temples and monasteries in the province stopped receiving visitors. However, because the Master was Abbot, Ku (Drum) Mountain continued to receive monks coming by sea. Wandering bhikshus from the ten directions gathered in large numbers at Drum Mountain. Supplying adequate food for all as difficult, since there might be as many as fifteen or sixteen hundred, and rationing permitted just one bowl of gruel and one bowl of rice per day per person.

The gatha says:
Personally bearing the Buddha's teaching, he carried it on into the future,
While bodies of the Sangha members were subject to hunger and thirst.
Times of trouble and difficulty are a certainty,
So wandering through this changing world is the best place to cultivate.


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