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Master Wenxi

Zen Master Wuzhu Wenxi (820-899) was an eminent Zen monk in the late Tang Dynasty. Born with the secular surname Zhu in Jiahe, Yuxi, he was the successor of Zen Master Yangshan Huiji. He became a Buddhist monk at the age of seven and followed the local Zen Master Guoqing at Changle Temple to study Buddhist precepts and Buddhist classics. Later during the Huichang Persecution of Buddhism, a large number of Buddhist monks and nuns were persecuted, thus Zen Master Wenxi had to put on layman clothes to hide himself among the common people and keep low-profile. When Emperor Xuanzong of Tang began to restore Buddhism in 847, Zen Master Wenxi repented at Qifeng Temple in Yanguan, and became a Buddhist monk again. Received Buddhist guidance from Manjusri, he was enlightened.  

Before he passed away, Zen Mater Wenxi told the public at midnight, “Think over and over again and there is Nirvana.” Right after his words, he sat cross-legged and passed away. At that time the room was illuminated by white light. Bamboos and trees were of the same white color. In 901, Tian Tui, guard general of Xuancheng responded to the rebellion led by Xu Si, guard general of Hanghzou, and allowed his army to pillage everywhere. When they arrived in Hangzhou, they excavated the tomb of Wenxi but found that his body was intact and that both his fingers and teeth grew. Prince Qian, Wu Shuhe, was so surprised that he ordered military officer Shao Zhi to seal the tomb. In 1208, Wenxi’s grave was moved to Jingci Mountain and he was buried to the left of the pagoda of Zen Master Zhijueshou.

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