Fangzheng felt things surging into his head the very next instant. Then his mouth was no longer his. He lost complete control of it as his tongue began to wag. He began talking and explaining sutras he had never heard before…
Yi Xing did not believe that Fangzheng could speak so much. They were about the same age and he did not believe Fangzheng could be much better than him. He was dumbfounded once Fangzheng finally spoke!
Fangzheng was speaking Sanskrit!
The Sanskrit sounded like music. It was not spoken but sung. It was loud but not deafening. The voice seemed to contain boundless righteousness and the voice instantly dispersed all the hazy clouds in his heart! All his selfishness from before was wiped clean. Yi Xing’s eyes were filled with shock! From a young age Hong Jin had often brought him along to lessons and sutra recitals but he had never heard such a delivery before!
Yi Xing did not understand Sanskrit but he knew what Fangzheng was saying as though Fangzheng wasn’t speaking Sanskrit but Chinese. It also didn’t feel like Chinese but something all sentient beings in the world could understand. The voice was filled with a Buddhist charm that led one to introspect and ponder deeply…
When Fangzheng spoke, all the monks present were taken aback. They became immersed in Fangzheng’s world of Buddhist scriptures.
Two monkeys screeched. A monkey ran over from the Guan Yin Hall and sat on the roof, looking at Fangzheng with widened eyes. It was as though it was listening to the scriptures and even appeared to understand it! At times it would nod…
A few birds landed from the sky and landed across from Fangzheng. They stood there and cocked their heads as though they were listening too.
However no one saw any of this. Everyone was immersed in Fangzheng’s preaching of the scriptures.
Fangzheng suddenly recalled a rumor. After Patriarch Bodhidharma came to China from Central Asia, he was unable to preach the Dharma as he did not know the local language. Therefore, he went up a mountain and sat there to meditate on the Zen. He did not say a word but was able to express the scriptures and Dharma. Fangzheng did not understand previously but now he had a rough idea. Language was a tool for communication but it was not the sole tool! What Fangzheng was speaking was definitely not Sanskrit, nor was it Chinese. Instead, it was of a higher level. It was a language that spoke to the heart. Anyone who heard him could understand!
This meant there was nothing strange about Patriarch Bodhidharma being able to communicate without speaking.
Fangzheng was extremely displeased when he saw everyone looking intoxicated. This was because after understanding what he was saying initially, he realized he could not hear what he was saying after a few lines! Fangzheng felt like it was a scam. He wanted to listen to the scriptures too and deepen his understanding of the Buddhist Dharma! He felt a string of curses run through his mind but he could only bear with it since he was helpless! This feeling nearly gave him a mental breakdown. It felt like he was squatting in a movie theater and an extremely boring movie was being played. Others enjoyed watching it but only he could not see the screen. Nor could he leave early. It was boring!
Seconds changed to minutes and the sun finished setting. The moon rose into the sky as its silvery glow scattered onto the land. As the monks were engrossed in listening to Fangzheng no one switched on the lights. The entire monastery was blanketed in the moonlight, making it a little blurry. It also exuded sacredness.
Fangzheng seemed to see things moving amid the crowd. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make them out because they were too distant.
With the passage of time, there were objects constantly appearing and moving. When Fangzheng tried his best to discern them, there was a loud crack. A tender shoot sprouted out from the cracks of the granite ground in front of him! The tender shoot grew rapidly and began growing leaves before a flower bud appeared. Finally, it bloomed!
Fangzheng was instantly dumbfounded. It was a lotus flower!
Simultaneously, Fangzheng heard even more cracking sounds. Like mushrooms springing up after a rain, lotus flowers appeared everywhere as they bloomed in the cold winds! The silver moonlight landed on the lotus flowers leaving them sparkling. While they looked exuberant, they also appeared solemn, sacred and unfathomable!
“Lotus Flower Conveyance! Lotus Flower Conveyance! Holy Buddha! Lotus flowers are really blooming! If golden springs really surge out from the ground… wouldn’t I be rich?” While Fangzheng was reeling in shock, he considered how he had to preach in One Finger Monastery after obtaining the Golden Fountains Arise card. Would he need to worry about money from then on?
“Croak!” At that moment, he heard the sound of a frog’s croak. Even a hibernating frog had been awoken by Fangzheng’s scriptures. It had jumped onto a lotus leaf to listen!
Fangzheng became completely numb to shock. All he did was look at everything happening in front of him in a daze.
The fascinating scenery of that night passed. When the Lotus Flower Conveyance Card’s final second came to an end, Fangzheng finally recovered control of his own tongue. His tongue was no longer wagging by itself.
“Man the feeling of regaining control is great!” Fangzheng experienced the existence of his tongue and sighed inwardly.
At the same time, Fangzheng surveyed his surroundings. He saw that the monks were still immersed in the Buddhist Dharma, unable to extricate themselves from it. Fangzheng immediately heaved a sigh of relief when he saw this. If they woke up and saw the animals and lotus flowers everywhere, he was unsure how he could even explain everything.
Fangzheng quickly got up. He did not return to his room since there was nothing he needed to take with him. He went to the entrance and began to run! But then he realized that Baiyun Monastery’s main door did not only use a bolt, it was an electrical lock! Out of options, Fangzheng could only climb over the walls. He leaped up and placed his hands on the wall’s ledge. With a bit of strength, he pushed himself onto the ledge. But the scene outside the door left Fangzheng completely flabbergasted!
There were five oxen, two dogs, more than a dozen rabbits, and an eagle sprawled on the ground just outside Baiyun Monastery’s entrance… These animals looked like they were listening. As for whether they looked devout or not, Fangzheng was unable to tell from their furry faces. After all, the Buddhist scriptures only led one into a deep introspection. It guided one towards correct values. People were different so they understood different things. As for what it did to animals, Fangzheng had really no idea.
“Is the zoo having a meeting? Where is the elephant? Did someone stuff it into a refrigerator?” Fangzheng’s mind began wandering but he was not slow in his actions. He jumped across the wall and quickly ran off.
Fangzheng charged down the mountain with big strides. As it was still early, the ferries were not in operation. Out of options, he did not even use a reed. He walked across the river directly before walking home. It was not like he had any other option available to him. The buses were still not running and most importantly, he really did not have any money.
About ten minutes after Fangzheng left, a particular monkey on the roof suddenly woke up. It lowered its head and realized that the monk that had brought the rice dumplings and preached the scriptures was gone! It immediately turned anxious as he scratched its ass and ran off. It ran down the mountain and when it saw Fangzheng walking across the river without any aid, its eyes nearly popped up. It refused to have its beliefs shaken as it jumped onto the river’s surface, hoping to take a step or two. But…
The monkey jumped out of the water due to the biting cold. It screeched as it jumped up and down on the bank. It kept waving its arms at Fangzheng. Who knew what it was saying…
After the monkey descended the mountain, the monks in the monastery gradually woke up.
“It’s like awakening from a dream!” Someone said with a sigh. He had comprehended many of the things that stumped him in the past during the sermon.
“That’s right. It’s like awakening from a dream. All of us were wrong.”
“Abbot Fangzheng lives up to his title as abbot. Such a level of preaching is truly unprecedented!”
“Eh, what’s this in front of me? Lotus flowers!? Lotus flowers are blooming in winter?”