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Master Daobiao

Master Dao Biao(740AD–823AD) who with the family name ‘Qin’, was originally from Fuyang, Zhejiang. At the age of 7, he became a Buddhist novice under the guidance of Master Baiyun Fenghai in the mountains of Lingyin. In 757AD, national decree promulgated the person who was able to chant 500 papers of Buddhist scriptures would become the monk recognized by the country. Master Dao Biao was the first from Lingyin Temple to pass the test. He then followed Master Yi with his Upasampada (Buddhist precepts in becoming monk) in Lingguang Temple. In 758AD, Master Dao Biao’s proficiency in 700 volumes Buddhist scriptures made him the Abbot of Lingyin Temple in the public campaign. After 765AD, he focused on Vinaya study (Buddhist precepts) in Tianzhu Temple and became the

Master of Vinaya. According to Song Gao Seng Zhuan (Biography of Eminent Monks in Song Dynasty), he conducted 6 Upasampada rituals for monks and nuns in 12 years. Around 795AD, he moved to a thatched cottage situated in Xiling, stopped his daily routine as a monk but concentrated on self-cultivation, as well as poetry study. His talent for poetry was equally famous compared to Jiao Ran from Huzhou and Lingche from Shaoxing. (Both were poet monk). There was a Chinese adage going around South of Chang Jiang area which described Master Dao Biao’s poetic talent was as high as the sky. Lu Yu, the author of Cha Jing (The classic of Tea) also spoke highly of Master Dao Biao. He described him as a humanness standard one must follow. Master Dao Biao associated closely with government officials, scholars and literati such as Chief Secretary Li Jifu, Officer Yan Shou, Officer Wei Gao, Assistant Minister Lv Wei, Bai Jvyi, Provincial Governor Liu Changqing, etc. He was respectfully known as ‘Xiling Monk’ in Hangzhou. In 823AD, Master Dao Biao passed away peacefully at the age of 84, he was buried at Mount Lingyin but the pagoda with his remains has yet been verified.

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