Most importantly, if he had split the draw into two, Fangzheng might not be able to receive a corresponding set. For comparison he could draw two guns instead of a gun and its bullets. The synergic effects would be greatly reduced.
Fangzheng was obviously no stranger to the Buddhism’s Nine Syllables. Buddhism originated from India and was adapted by China. The Buddhism practiced in China and India is now completely different from how it used to be. Buddhism was now a part of tradition and considered deeply rooted in Chinese culture. As for the Nine Syllables, he had spent quite some time to study it.
The Nine Syllables stemmed from a chapter titled ‘Into Mountains and Over Streams’ in The Master Who Embraces Simplicity, written by the Eastern Jin Dynasty’s Daoist Ge Hong. It wrote: “May all who preside over warriors be my vanguard” it is a prayer to be constantly recited in secret to avert evil influences. It meant that one could avoid all evil by frequently reciting the nine words. Ancient Japan was influenced by Chinese Daoism but when copying the nine characters as the kuji, there was a transliteral difference.
Buddhism as it presently is could be considered Indian Buddhism influenced by Chinese culture before forming a new system of its own. It was not pure Indian Buddhist Dharma.
“System, I have never understood. Why would Boss Buddha borrow the Nine Syllables from the Daoist religion in China. What’s that? Is it considered plagiarism?” asked Fangzheng out of curiosity.
The System answered matter-of-factly, “Buddhism treats everything in the world as its teacher. China has a shining culture. Why should it not learn from others and borrow from others in humility? From as small as a lone person to as big as a Buddha, for a school of thought to develop, it is impossible to just rely on itself. That is because no matter how big you are, you are nothing but a ripple in the proverbial ocean that is the world. Only by giving up all arrogance to absorb its essence and discard the dregs while constantly improving and enhancing yourself is the meaning to existence and eternal life. Therefore, Buddhism uses it and acknowledges where it derived it from.”
Fangzheng scratched his nose when he heard that, seemingly learning something as Confucius said: “When I walk along with two others, they may serve me as my teachers.”
“Cut the crap. Are you accepting it or not?” asked the System.
Was there even a need to consider the answer? Obviously, he would accept it!
The moment Fangzheng accepted a Buddha statue appeared in his mind. It sat cross-legged on a lotus flower but its face was indiscernible, making it impossible to identify. However, the statue’s arms were extremely clear. The thumbs, index fingers, and little fingers were pointed towards each other while the middle finger wrapped around the ring finger of the otherhand1. It was none other than the Inner Lion Seal. It corresponded to the ‘warriors’ syllable of Buddhism’s Nine Syllables!
The instant Fangzheng understood, he gained a new insight. The seal was not only a hand seal but a heart seal. Only when body and mind formed a seal would it be effective.
Simultaneously, Buddhist chants sounded. It was the Inner Lion Seal’s Demon-felling Incantation: “N lu jn ch p ji lu y. Su p h. M p l shng ji lu y. Su p h…”
The incantation was used to aid in the formation of the heart seal. It could be verbalized or done silently in one’s mine. With the incantation, one would form a seal in their heart.
When he worded the incantation a huge word appeared in Fangzheng’s mindwarriors!
The word covered the sky and Fangzheng felt as though he had a brand new understanding of his body. It felt as though every cell in his body was under his control. It was absolute control. At the same time, Fangzheng oddly discovered that he could sense Lone Wolf’s body beside him. He had a feeling that if he so wished with the empowerment of his hand and heart seal, together with the chanting of the incantation, he would be able to control Lone Wolf’s body. Such a feeling felt abstruse…
But compared to controlling Lone Wolf’s body, Fangzheng preferred the feeling of being able to fully control his own body.
Just as Fangzheng was reveling in joy, he saw Monkey walk in with a glum expression.
Fangzheng raised a brow. “Monkey, what’s wrong with you?”
“Abbot, I have a matter I can’t figure out,” said Monkey as he scratched his head.
Fangzheng smiled. “What is it?”
“The woman jumped into the river that day to commit suicide and you saved her. But if that woman were to attempt suicide again, what would you do? Abbot, would you still attempt to save her?” asked Monkey.
Fangzheng patted Monkey on the head. “This Penniless Monk is happy that you have begun thinking about such things. To put it simply, you have already taken the initiative to gain enlightenment. From This Penniless Monk’s point of view, a person’s life does not belong to just the person. This body of flesh and blood originally resulted from the union of one’s parents.” “Furthermore, the person receives the nurturing of society in various ways. The completion of one’s life is done through the efforts of everyone in society. One should repay society. Therefore, everyone has the duty to live happily and with meaning. They do not have the right to destroy any life. Most importantly, they have to live in joy and in hope, specifically to live out a world in one’s heart with life, karma, and reason. That is a correct outlook in life.”
“As for committing suicide, it is an act that many people think means the end of karma. They believe it is deliverance and the end. But in fact, that is a wrong way of thinking. Karma does not end with death. On the contrary, being alive means you have a chance to end the karma. Once you are dead, you are void of an actual existence. How is one to end the karma?”
“The forces that are generated by karma will follow your spirit and repeatedly rear its head, forever plunging you into suffering. Also, committing suicide is a grave sin that sends one to hell. Furthermore, there is only a very, very tiny chance of being reincarnated into a human again.”
“Therefore, committing suicide is a sin.”
“It may be This Penniless Monk or yourself. We can save a person for a moment but not their entire lives. If one who has a brush with death still cannot figure out how to lead life, they deserve death. She jumped into the river and experienced death. This Penniless Monk saved her, causing her to experience hope in life. If she still can’t set her thoughts straight, This Penniless Monk will not help her again.”
When Monkey heard that, he nodded while deep in thought. “I kind of understand. In short, you should save and help when you can. If you have done your best but she still secretly chooses death, then we will not save her again. Is that right?”
Fangzheng nodded in satisfaction. “That’s how it is.”
It was impossible not to lend a helping hand but if the worst outcome continued despite having tried one’s best, that was nothing they could do.
Monkey continued sweeping the floor as he pondered over the question.
Fangzheng sat in his meditation room and studied the Syllables as well as the Inner Lion Seal.
As he got more famous and the weather got better, Fangzheng realized that more One Finger Monastery received more visitors by the day. Early on, he would not even see a single soul for months but now, he would almost have visitors every day. Now, there would be ten to twenty visitors a day. Furthermore, most of them came from Songwu County to offer incense and pray to Buddha.
Fangzheng was naturally overjoyed seeing the amount of incense he was receiving. The only thing that upset him was that the people that came in the recent days were a little odd…
“Master, can we take a picture together?” Two girls ran over and asked in embarrassment.