Chapter 63: Would Ghost Grin Coldly? (Part Three)
“In the first ten years, I wondered what dust is. In the second ten years, I tried to find the dust in my mind but failed. Why?” The man in white looked at the ferryboats before him and said, “Of course, it doesn’t mean that there is no dust in my mind. If that is true, I would be sitting with Master. Now, Master could still make me kneel with a thought. I couldn’t find the way in ten years, and I got anxious. The more anxious I got, the harder it would be to understand this. When I heard the snores of these fishermen, I suddenly got an idea.”
He patted the forehead of the white tiger and said, “Since I couldn’t find any dust in my mind, then I can place a speck of dust in my mind and then take it out. What do you think?”
The white tiger shivered; it was hard to tell what it was fearful of.
“The river is before me, and the boats are before me. I need someone to ferry me, but no one is willing. What should I do?”
The young man jumped off the white tiger, and his spotless white robe fluttered in the wind. His steps were slow, but he moved forward at a great speed.
He murmured while moving, “Since no one is willing to ferry me, I can only ferry myself.”
This young monk with the dharma name of Chenya jumped onto a boat. When he landed on the boat, the boat that was floating on the water didn’t shake at all. The boat slowly swayed as the waves moved, and it felt like a leaf landed on the boat instead of a person.
Standing on the boat and looking at the bright moon in the sky, Chenya placed his palms together before his chest and said, “Wisdom King said that to ferry others, one need to ferry themselves first. However, I need to ferry others first before I ferry myself. I will borrow this boat today, and I hope that I can bless the world because of it.”
[TL Note: In Chinese Buddhism, ferry also has the meaning of expiating sins, typically that of the dead.]
When the sun came up the second day, Fisherman Luo Three stretched and came out of the compartment on his boat. He took a deep breath and inhaled the slightly moist and fishy air, and he said to his wife, “Can you go and buy a jar of liquor for me from the Maple Forest Town? If there aren’t many people who need to be ferried today, I will catch some shrimps and fish upstream and drink liquor at night.
His wife nodded and straightened her clothes that her husband made messy. She was blushing due to what her husband did to her in the morning, and she said, “You be careful. You drank Song Two’s liquor the day before yesterday, and he has been complaining. Drink the liquor with him tonight; don’t let him call you stingy.”
Luo Three laughed and said, “That lazy Song Two is still not up yet? Huh? Where is his boat? Were there people asking him to ferry them across the river early in the morning?”
His wife had sharp eyes, and she looked across the river and said, “His boat is there. Why didn’t he make any noises when he left?”
Luo Three smirked and said, “Is it because you were too loud last night? You probably couldn’t even hear thunder.”
The woman blushed and turned her head due to her husband’s flirt. However, as soon as she turned her head, she screamed out loud.
Luo Three was startled, and he quickly asked, “What is it?”
“Song… Song Two!” The woman pointed forward and sounded shaky.
Luo Three quickly looked over and saw Fisherman Song Two’s corpse floating on the river. This corpse didn’t get pulled away by the water since it leaned against his boat.
The corpse’s eyes were closed and faced the sky, and his expression was calm as if he was still asleep. However, a small hole could be seen on his forehead, and everything in his head probably got washed away by the water.
Luo Three took a closer look and saw that close to Song Two’s corpse, there was the corpse of Song Two’s wife who was holding a baby that just became a month old. Just like Song Two, this woman and the baby each had a small hole on their foreheads.
In the forest 15 kilometers away on the other side of the river, Chenya picked a leaf and slid the morning dew on it into his mouth. Then, he placed his palms together and chanted the reincarnation incantation once. Afterward, he picked a wild berry and put it in his mouth.
“Demon Vanquisher, remember that even flowers and grass are lives, and they know pain and sadness,” Chenya said to the white tiger with a compassionate expression, “I harmed this plant by picking the berry, and the berry is supposed to ripe, fall onto the ground, and grow into another plant next year. I ate this berry, so it counts as a killing. Therefore, I need to chant the reincarnation incantation to ferry it into the next life.”
It was hard to tell if Song Two’s ghost would grin coldly behind his back.
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