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淨行。即淨淵尼第五妹也。幼而神理清秀遠識遒贍。爽烈有志分風調舉止每輒不群。 少經與大[袖-由+末]令郭洽妻臧氏相識。洽欲害其妻言泄于路。行請兄諫洽。洽不從之。行密語臧氏。臧氏不信。行執手慟泣。於是而反。後一二日洽果害之。

及年十七從法施尼出家住竹園寺。學成實毘曇涅槃華嚴。每見事端已達旨趣。探究淵賾博辯無窮。齊竟陵文宣王蕭子良厚加資給。僧宗寶亮二法師雅相賞異。及請講說聽眾數百人。 官第尼寺法事連續。當時先達無能屈者。竟陵王後區品學眾欲撰僧錄。莫可與行為輩。後有尼聰朗特達。博辯若神。行特親狎之。眾亦以為後來之秀。可學為儔也。行晚節好禪觀菜食精苦。皇帝聞之雅相歎賞。


4.8 (Tsai no.59) Ching-hsing

The nun Ching-hsing (Pure Conduct) (444-509) of Bamboo Garden Convent

Ching-hsing was the nun Ching-yüan's (no. 58) fifth younger sister. While yet a child she had remarkable intelligence and great foresight; ardent in determination and elegant in behavior, in every way she stood far above the crowd.

When Ching-hsing was young she was acquainted with Madame Tsang, the wife of Kuo Hsia, who was the district magistrate of Tamo. Kuo Hsia wanted to murder his wife, and, when word of his intention leaked out, Ching-hsing requested her elder brother to remonstrate with him, but Kuo Hsia refused to listen. Ching-hsing secretly spoke to his wife, but she did not believe her. Holding Madame Tsang's hands, Ching-hsing wept sorrowfully and then departed. A day or two later Kuo Hsia indeed killed his wife.

When Ching-hsing was seventeen years old, she left secular life, becoming a nun under the direction of the nun Fa-shih and living in Bamboo Garden Convent, where she studied the Discourse on the Completion of Reality, the Discourse on the Abhidharma, the Nirvāna, and the Flower Garland. Whenever she first encountered a topic, she immediately grasped the essential meaning and tirelessly searched out its nuances and profundities.

Hsiao Tzu-liang, the Ch'i prince of Ching-ling, Wen-hsüan (460494) [second son of Emperor Wu], abundantly provided her with material goods. The two masters of the law Seng-tsung (438-496) and Pao-liang (444-509) regarded her highly. Whenever she was asked to give lectures on the Buddhist scriptures and teachings, the audiences numbered several hundred persons. In official residences and in convents religious activities were carried out continuously. No scholars were able to confound her. The prince of Ching-ling, when later ranking the Assembly of Nuns with the intention of composing records about them, found that none could equal Ching-hsing.

Later there was a very intelligent and accomplished nun who was extraordinarily competent in disputation. Ching-hsing was especially intimate with her, and the whole community considered her to be a talented and bright woman of the younger generation who could be favorably compared to Ching-hsing.

In her old age Ching-hsing especially liked to practice meditation, and she rigorously maintained her vegetarian diet. When the emperor heard of her, he praised her highly. In the eighth year of the t'ien-chien reign period (509), she died at the age of sixty-six and was buried on Bell Mountain [located immediately to the northeast of the capital].

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