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元嘉十八年。宋江夏王世子母王氏以地施瓊。瓊修立為寺。號曰南外永安寺。 至二十二年蘭陵蕭承之為起外國塔。瓊以元嘉十五年。又造菩提寺。堂殿坊宇皆悉嚴麗。因移住之。以南安施沙門慧智。

瓊以元嘉二十年。隨孟顗之會稽。至破綱卒。敕弟子云。吾死後不須埋藏。可借人剝裂身體以[飢-几+人]眾生。至於終盡不忍屠割。乃造句容縣舉著山中。欲使鳥獸自就噉之。經十餘日。儼然如故。顏色不異。令使村人以米散屍邊。鳥食遠處米盡。 近屍之粒皆存。弟子慧朗在都聞之。奔馳奉迎。還葬高座寺前堈。墳上起塔云

2.7 (Tsai no.20) Shih Hui-ch'iung

The nun Shih Hui-ch'iung (Rare Jade of Wisdom) (in the lineage of Shākyamuni) (ca. 368-447) of Southern Eternal Peace Convent

Hui-ch'iung's secular surname was Chung. Her family was originally from Kuang Province [in southernmost China].

Hui-ch'iung's practice of religion was both exalted and pure. She tasted neither fish nor flesh, and, when she reached the advanced age of eighty, her resolve was even more zealous. Never touching fine silks, she wore only straw sandals and hempen robes. She was in charge of administering the convent, and in addition she lectured [on the Buddhist scriptures]. At that time she lived in Southern Peace Convent in Kuang-ling [which was on the north bank of the Yangtze River, northeast of the capital of the Sung dynasty].

In the eighteenth year of the yüan-chia reign period (441), Madame Wang [mother of the eldest son, Lang (d. 453), of the prince of Chiang-hsia (413-465), fifth son of the founder of the Sung dynasty], presented some land to Hui-chiung who used it as the site of a convent that she named Southern Eternal Peace Convent. In the twenty-second year of the same reign period (445), a man named Hsiao Ch'eng-chih, originally of Lan-ling [a town some miles to the east of the capital], built a foreign-style pagoda for her.

In the fifteenth year of the yüan-chia reign period (438), Hui-ch'iung also had Bodhi Convent built. Because all its halls, shrine rooms, and living quarters were so beautiful, she moved there and donated her original convent, Southern Eternal Peace, to the monk Hui-chih.

In the twenty-fourth year of the yüan-chia reign period (447), she traveled in the party of the [official] Meng I, who was going to Kuei-chi [Commandery as administrator]. They got as far as the P'o-kang Canal [southwest of the capital near Chü-jung County, when Hui-ch'iung died]. She had instructed her disciples, "After I die you should not bury me, but rather give my body to someone to chop it up and feed it to the animals." When she expired, however, her disciples could not bear the thought of chopping up her body, so they carried her to the mountains in Chü-jung County [only a short distance from P'o-kang], and left her where the birds and beasts themselves could come up and feast on her. After ten-some days, nevertheless, the corpse was undisturbed, and the complexion had not altered. The county magistrate sent nearby villagers to scatter uncooked rice around the body, with the result that the birds ate up all the rice lying at some distance but left untouched the rice near the corpse. When her disciple Hui-lang, who was in the capital, heard about this, she hurried to bring the body back. She buried it on the hill in front of Eminent Dais Monastery, and she had a memorial pagoda erected over the burial mound.

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IATHPublished by The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, © Copyright 2003 by Anne Kinney and the University of Virginia