Miraculous Encounters of Devout Buddhists

Blue Buddha statue sitting in lotus pose with his hand in open mudra.

There are many stories of miraculous encounters of devout Buddhists from the past. (Image: Elena Ray Microstock Library A(C) Elena Ray via Dreamstime)

Many devout Buddhists in the past have had incredible encounters. The Cavalry General met strange people and animals that saved his life, and he witnessed scenes of ascension to Heaven. The sincere heart and filial wishes of a devout young man moved Heaven, and enabled his grandfather to regain his sight after having been blind for three years.

Cavalry General’s miraculous encounters

During the Jin Dynasty, a man named Wang Yi from Taiyuan served in the north as a Cavalry General. He was a devout Buddhist throughout his life. Later, Wang’s father, who was serving as the Prefect of Zhongshan at the time, was framed by a scoundrel. In order to take care of their mother, Wang Yi and his elder brother chose to embark on a journey south.

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The journey was extremely difficult, and the two brothers experienced many challenges during their long journey by land and sea. After enduring fatigue and hunger, they had no food left and were at a loss. Throughout the journey, Wang Yi relied wholeheartedly on his Buddhist faith to help him through. Suddenly, a young boy leading an ox appeared before them and gave them some food without reason, allowing the brothers to continue on their journey. The mysterious appearance of the boy and ox helped them to persevere.

'Coming Home on the Ox's Back', one of the ten Ox Herding Pictures of Zen Buddhism, showing a boy playing the flute while riding on an ox.
The mysterious young boy gave them some food, then he and the ox disappeared. (Image: Pascal Deloche via Dreamstime)

After some time, a sudden torrential rain came pouring down from the sky. Wang Yi was at a loss concerning what to do about the road ahead, uncertain how to face this sudden disaster. At that time, a white wolf appeared before them. It was gentle and circled around them, then entered the water and returned, as if trying to guide them. After repeating this behavior three times, Wang Yi followed it into the water. When the water reached the level of his knees, he miraculously found the way back to his mother!

After their adventurous journey home, many years passed by. Wang Yi was promoted from the position of Cavalry General and became Governor of Xuzhou. One evening, he was preparing to hold a Buddhist ceremony, cleaning and arranging the altar, setting up statues of the Buddha, and offering incense and flowers.

At this time, he suddenly heard the sound of someone chanting Buddhist sutras coming from the Dharma hall. The sound of the sutra recitation was beautiful and pleasant, and the recitation was very smooth.

Wang Yi went to see what was going on. He saw five Buddhist monks sitting in front of the Buddha statue, each with a dignified and extraordinary appearance. Wang Yi was greatly impressed and filled with respect for them. Then, the monks flew up into the sky. The scene was witnessed by relatives and guests gathered there. This event reinforced their faith in Buddhism, and some even experienced enlightenment.

Silhouettes of Buddhist monks outside in front of a Buddha statue at sunset.
The Buddhist monks in front of the Buddha statue each had a dignified and extraordinary appearance. (Image: Adrenalinapura via Dreamstime)

Chanting sutras allows a blind grandfather to see again

During the later Zhou period, there was a 16-year-old boy named Zhang Yuan in Hebei Province whose grandfather had been blind for three years. Zhang Yuan felt deep sorrow and wept often because of this. He spent day and night chanting Buddhist sutras, hoping this would bring some blessings to his grandfather.

When Zhang Yuan read the Medicine Buddha Sutra, he saw the phrase “the blind can regain their sight.” He then invited seven monks, lit seven lamps, and they recited the sutra continuously for seven days and nights. At the end of each day, he sincerely prayed: “I was an unfilial grandson who caused my grandfather to go blind. Now, I offer these lamps to the Dharma Realm and beg for my grandfather’s eyes to be restored. I am willing to bear the consequences of his blindness.”

On the seventh night, Zhang Yuan met an old man in his dream who took out a gold comb to heal his grandfather’s eyes. He told Zhang Yuan: “Don’t be sad. In three days, your grandfather’s eyes will certainly be cured.” Hearing that, Zhang Yuan jumped up happily. Then he woke up from his dream and rushed to tell his family about it.

Three days later, as the old man in his dream had said, his grandfather’s eyes miraculously regained their sight.

Translated by Cecilia

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