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淨賢。本姓弘。永世人也。住青園東寺。有幹局才能而好修禪定。博窮經律言必典正。 雖不講說精究旨要。宋文皇帝善之。湘東王或齠齔之年眠好驚魘。敕從淨賢尼受三自歸。悸寐即愈。帝益相善。厚崇供施內外親賞。及明帝即位。禮待益隆資給彌重。建齋設講相繼不絕。當時名士莫不宗敬。後總寺任十有餘載。


4.6 (Tsai no.57) Ching-hsien

The nun Ching-hsien (Pure Virtue) (431-505) of Eastern Green Garden Convent

Ching-hsien, whose secular surname was Hung, was originally from Yung-shih [to the southeast of the capital]. She lived in the capital in Eastern Green Garden Convent. Capable and talented, she liked to practice meditation; well read in both the scriptures and the books of monastic precepts, her words were certainly elegant and seemly. Although she did not give lectures on these texts, she had thoroughly examined their essential teachings.

Emperor Wen (407-424-453) of the Sung dynasty held her in esteem. When the prince of Hsiang-tung [eleventh son of Emperor Wen] was a young child, he often had nightmares. After the emperor ordered him to take the Three Refuges [in the Buddha, in his teaching, and in the monastic assemblies] from the nun Ching-hsien, the prince's disturbed sleep was cured. The emperor thus esteemed her all the more and generously honored her with gifts, and everyone both within and without the palace personally rewarded her.

When the prince ascended the throne as Emperor Ming (439-465472), he treated her with even greater courtesy and presented gifts in even greater abundance. Religious feasts and meetings for talks on the scriptures were held one after another, and all the famous scholars of that time honored and respected her.

Later she was in charge of the convent for more than ten years. She died in the fourth year of the t'ien-chien reign period (505) of Liang at the age of seventy-five.

There were also the nuns Hui-kao and Pao-yung, who were both famous. Hui-kao practiced meditation and chanted the scriptures in addition to diligently managing the affairs of the Assembly of Nuns. Pao-yung expounded on the Flower of the Law Scripture and was adept in the practice of contemplation.

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