A generation of eminent monks, Elder Meng Shen


Elder Meng Shen (1915.7.13 – 2017.11.27), had personally taught eminent modern monks such as Zhi Xuyun, Cizhou, Tanxu, and Hongyi. He practiced both Sutra and Tantra, and preached both teachings and disciplines. He especially preached the Huayan Sutra and the Three Sutras of Ksitigarbha. . The elder devoted his life to restoring Sangha education, building temples to pacify monks, and spreading Dharma all over the world [1].

Chinese name Meng Shen Alias Meng Shen Old Monk Nationality Chinese Nationality Han Birthplace Kaitong County, Heilongjiang Province, China Date of Birth: July 13, 1915 Date of Death: November 27, 2017 Professional Buddhist Monk Graduation School Northeast Lecture Hall Military Academy Belief: Buddhism Main Chengcheng teaches at the China Buddhist Academy and the Minnan Buddhist Academy. His representative works include “Lectures on the Sutra of Zhancha”, “Recitals of Purity”, “Essays on the Principles of the Lotus”, etc. Table of contents 1 Life 2 Zen wisdom 3 Published works Life editor Meng Shen Lao Monk (or known as Elder Mengcan, Master Mengcan) was born on July 13, 1915 (the second day of the sixth lunar month) in Kaitong County, Heilongjiang Province, China (now Baicheng District, Jilin Province). In 1928, he joined the Northeast Jiangwutang Military Academy. In 1931, he became a monk at Doushu Temple in Fangshan County, Fangshan County, Beijing. His Buddhist name was “Awakening”. However, he thought that he was neither sleeping nor waking up. In addition, he was a dreaming monk, so he named himself “Meng Shen”. . In the same year, I received bhikkhu ordination at Nianhua Temple in Beijing. After completing the ordination period, I went south to Jiuhua Mountain to pay homage to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva’s dojo. I happened to meet with a ceremony to open the pagoda of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva’s physical body, which is held every sixty years. Due to the special karma, it laid a profound influence on the old monk’s subsequent promotion of Ksitigarbha Dharma. In 1932, he went to visit Yongquan Temple in Gushan, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province. He felt that everything in Yongquan Temple at that time seemed to be similar, as if he had returned to his old place. At that time, Master Xuyun founded the Dharma Realm Academy in Gushan and invited Master Cizhou to give lectures on the Huayan Sutra. He decided to rely on Master Cizhou to study the Huayan Sutra. After half a year, he still could not enter the Huayan Sea of Meaning, so he personally asked Master Cizhou for help. After that, he decided to recite the “Samantabhadra Vows” and burn his body. The ascetic practice of offering arms to the Buddha is turned on.

In 1935, Master Mengcan studied in the Gushan Dharma Circle and studied the Huayan Sutra for five years. His classmates at that time included Elder Daoyuan, Elder Lingyuan, Elder Huisan from Taiwan and Master Jingyan from Mainland China. In addition to relying on Master Cizhou and studying the Huayan Sutra, those who also follow Master Xuyun sometimes also follow the instructions of Master Cizhou to give lectures on sutras, such as the Amitabha Sutra and so on. In 1936, he went to Zhanshan Temple in Qingdao to learn the Four Tiantai religions from Master Tanxu, and served as the secretary of Zhanshan Temple, responsible for Master Tanxu’s general affairs and external liaison matters. While serving as secretary of Zhanshan Temple, on the one hand, he learned the Four Tiantai Teachings from Master Tanxu and promoted the spirit of discipline from Master Cizhou. Later, on the order of Master Tanxu, he respectfully invited Master Cizhou to go north to Zhanshan Temple in Qingdao to give lectures on the law. He also escorted Master Cizhou to Beijing to give lectures on the Huayan Sutra. At the end of 1936, under the orders of Master Tanxu, Zaineng went to Wanshiyan, Xiamen, Fujian Province to give Master Hongyi a lecture on Honglu Law in the North, which lasted for half a year. Due to the karma of teaching the Brahma Net Sutra, Master Hongyi agreed to go north to Zhanshan Temple to teach “Random Karma”. After that, I served as Master Hongyi’s external protector for half a year. I was deeply inspired by Master Hongyi’s personal teachings. At that time, I asked Master Hongyi to make a pair of chakras for practice based on the chakra signs described in the Sutra of Chasing Good and Evil Karma. . In order to thank him for serving as a guardian for half a year, Master Hongyi personally gave him a handwritten copy of the verses of “Jingxingpin” and asked him to promote the “Three Classics of Ksitigarbha”. From 1937 to 1940, he accompanied Master Tanxu to teach the four-point precepts in Changchun Temple. He also traveled to Northeastern provinces, Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong and other places to give lectures and spread the Dharma. During this period, he came into contact with Tibetan monks from Tibet, which triggered his desire to go to the West to study Tantric Dharma. After that, they traveled from Beijing to Hong Kong, Singapore, and India to pay homage to the Buddha’s relics. 1941: At that time, China’s internal and external troubles were intensifying, and the Japanese Kwantung Army gradually occupied North China. During his stay in Beijing, Master used his skill and wisdom to protect many anti-Japanese personnel from the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. In 1940, he was eventually hunted by the Japanese after being reported, so he disguised himself as a waiter for the Lama Lama and left Beijing, moving to Shanghai and Hong Kong. With the generous support of Hong Kong layman Fang Yangqiu, he successfully traveled to Lhasa, Tibet, via India. Learn Tantric Dharma, follow Xiapa Rinpoche at Sera Monastery, one of the three major Yellow Sect monasteries in Tibet, and learn the steps of Yellow Sect cultivation. After studying in Lhasa, Tibet for five years, the Tibetan Dharma name was “Guncho Tuden”. Due to the major changes in the political situation in Tibet at that time, the trend of excluding Han people and Han monks began, so he traveled to Qinghai, Xikang and other places. At the end of 1949, at the urging of Sherpa Rinpoche and his dreams, he left Tibet.

In 1950, the Chinese Civil War ended, the Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed in Beijing. In January 1950, Master Mengcan, who was in his prime of life, was arrested and imprisoned when he was in Ganzi, Sichuan because he was unwilling to give up his identity as a monk and to go to Tibet to participate in work. Even after two years of study, he was still unwilling; He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and eighteen years of reform through labor for promoting Buddhism in prison. Since then, the name “Meng Shen” has faded away and been replaced by various code names in prison. While in prison, he often sung a verse: “Even if the hot iron wheel spins on your head, I will not suffer this pain and retreat.” This established the confidence to return to Buddhism and promote Buddhism. In 1982, the central government implemented religious policies, and Meng Lao was rehabilitated and released from prison. He returned to Beijing from Sichuan and settled down. He taught at the China Buddhist Academy in Beijing at the age of 69. As a lecturer, he narrated the “Four Parts Law” and embarked on a new journey of promoting Buddhism. the first step. Meng Lao hopes to use the next thirty-three years to make up for this lost time. In 1984, he accepted the invitation from the elders Miaozhan and Yuanzhuo of Nanputuo Temple in Fujian to rebuild the Minnan Buddhist College at Nanputuo Temple in Xiamen and served as the dean. On the one hand, he was cultivating a new generation of monks, and on the other hand, he was teaching the Avatamsaka Sutra. When he got to the point of “Leaving the World”, he went to the United States at the invitation of the old monk Xuanhua of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and stopped the course of the Avatamsaka Sutra. In 1987, at the invitation of Master Xuanhua from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in the United States, he went to the United States for several months and then returned to China. In 1989, at the invitation of Master Xu Lang of the Miao Court in Los Angeles, he went to the United States again to promote Dharma and gave lectures on “The Sutra of Chasing Good and Evil Karma Retributions”, “The Avatamsaka Sutra”, “The Heart Sutra”, “The Diamond Sutra”, etc. Living in the United States and Canada. In the middle of 1991, at the invitation of lay people in Taipei, he started teaching “The Sutra of Chasing Good and Evil Karma Retributions” in Xindian. Meng Lao, who originally did not accept any disciples, accepted his first disciple at the end of the year due to various reasons. After his tonsure, he was given the title “Ji Meng”. Master Meng Shen and Ji Meng decided to have this fate after just two meetings. It was actually the Dharma Realm’s karma and the incredible blessing of the Avatamsaka Sutra! Later, Meng Lao gave lectures on “Three Dharma Realms” in Ningbo West Street Garden one after another. “Contemplation”, and lectures on “The Avatamsaka Sutra: Pure Conduct” at Qingquan Hall. In 1995, disciples of Sanbao living in Vancouver, Canada, specially invited the old monk Meng Shen to teach the Ksitigarbha Ten Wheel Sutra. In 2000, Meng Lao rebuilt the Yandang Mountain ancestral court in Zhejiang.

Since 2001, Monk Mengcan and Monk Mobao have been invited to live in Pushou Temple in Wutai Mountain to give lectures and guide monks in Yuancheng Temple in Shengbao Mountain to practice meditation. From 2003 to 2007, Meng Lao tried his best to overcome the obstacles of the physical and mental environment, and completed more than 500 lectures on the “Eighty Avatamsaka Sutra” at Pushou Temple, fulfilling his unfulfilled wish for many years. During this period, in response to the requests of disciples from various places, he successively gave lectures on Mahayana sutras such as the Mahayana Mahayana Ksitigarbha Ten Wheel Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, and the Surangama Sutra. In January 2008, at the request of Taiwanese disciples, he went to Taiwan again to promote the Dharma, gave more than 10 sermons and held a Dharma conference for thousands of people. During the Spring Festival of 2009, the lecture on “The Sutra on the Retribution of Good and Evil Karma” was resumed in Taipei. During this unprecedented event, the lecture hall was constantly changed, and the audience reached a maximum of 2,000 people. On the day when the Dharma Assembly was completed, another Dharma Assembly for 3,000 people was held for refuge, which became a beautiful talk of Dharma promotion in the Buddhist circles in Taiwan. In May 2009, a lecture on the main ideas of the Lotus was held in the auditorium of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He gave a lecture on Buddhism in the Department of the University of Hong Kong, and the audience was packed with thousands of people. During the Spring Festival of 2009, he resumed his lecture on “The Sutra on the Retribution of Good and Evil Karma” in Taipei. It was an unprecedented event and became a beautiful talk in the Buddhist circles in Taiwan. In June, he gave a lecture on “The Great Ideas of the Lotus” at the University of Hong Kong and a Buddhist lecture at the Institute of Buddhist Studies of the University of Hong Kong. The audience was thousands and the seats were packed [1]. In 2012, at the invitation of the Wutaishan government, he rebuilt the Zhenrong Temple of Ten Thousand Buddha Cave and ordered his disciple Longming to take charge of the specific matters of the reconstruction [1]. Beginning in 2013, I settled in my father-in-law’s room at Zhenrong Temple in Ten Thousand Buddha Cave for meditation. Unless there were special circumstances such as physical incompatibility, I still maintained my long-standing regular and quantitative personal daily classes[1]. At 16:30 on November 27, 2017 (the tenth day of the tenth month of the Dingyou year of the lunar calendar), Elder Meng Shen passed away and passed away peacefully. His life span was one hundred and three years old, and he was a monk of eighty-seven years [2].

Zen Wisdom Editor: After monk Meng Shen became a monk, he visited all the elders and practiced both sutra and esoteric Buddhism, but he never regarded himself as a sect. He kept giving banquets throughout his life, but he followed the opportunity to help people and formed many Dharma relationships. According to the dictation of a disciple who was close to the old monk, I quoted three interesting stories from Meng Lao’s life when he was traveling in Taiwan to preach Buddhism, in order to get a glimpse of the old man’s random teachings and interesting practical wisdom. (1) One day, the old monk saw the waiter wearing a pair of new slippers and asked: “Where did you get new slippers?” The waiter explained: “They were given by believers! You have a pair too! I have! You must have! You have! I don’t There must be!” The old monk patted his abdomen and said, “The doctor dug a hole in my belly. I have this, but you don’t. Do you want it?” The people present burst into laughter, and the waiter couldn’t help but smile. (2) The afternoon sun shone slantly on the TV screen. The waiter held the remote control and kept changing channels. Seeing this, the old monk asked the waiter to pass the remote control to him. The old monk turned the remote control on and off at a fast speed. The speed is dizzying. The waiter was puzzled and asked: “What are you doing?” The old monk repeated the switch action: “What are you doing? This is called the law of birth and death! Let’s see!” (3) After the lecture, a believer asked for enlightenment. The believer asked: “Old monk, I have been reading and reciting the Diamond Sutra for more than ten years and I don’t understand anything at all. Should I change my mind to another sutra?” The old monk said, “I have been reading and reciting the Diamond Sutra for more than sixty years and I still don’t understand anything.” I only understand a little bit and I’m still reading and reciting it, so do you want to recite it or not?”


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