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One of Master's Stories When She Was in India

Narrated by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Recorded by Resident Disciple, Dan Chu, Hsihu Center, Formosa
(Originally in Chinese)

Many years ago, when Master went to India on pilgrimage, She was seriously ill twice - first infected by mosquitoes, and then food poisoning. Master ate very little then, so Her bodily resistance was weak. Infected by mosquitoes, She suffered from malaria and often felt cold.

At one point, She was seriously ill when passing through Mrgadava (Deer Garden - the place where Shakyamuni Buddha first preached the Truth). A group of lamas lived nearby, and one of them could speak some Chinese. However, Master didn't communicate with him verbally. That lama was a vegetarian; he pointed at a piece of beancurd to show that he was a vegetarian. He took good care of Master and gave Her medicine. Later when Master came to China, She continued to send gifts to this benevolent lama.

It was a tedious pilgrimage for Master then; She travelled fourth class by train, because She could not afford to travel second or third class. Later, when going on a pilgrimage to Bodhimanda (Shakyamuni Buddha's ashram), Master was again very ill.

April and May are the hottest months in India. Despite the hot weather, Master was extremely devoted and made the pilgrimage even though She was ill. When She eventually got too sick to walk anymore, the people in a Chinese Temple offered food to Her, but She couldn't take anything. The people in the temple cooked some porridge to feed Her with salty beancurd, then She gradually recovered.

Wherever Master went, the Chinese She met always liked Her very much. For instance, She remembers the General Secretary of the Buddhist Association - Master Liao, dearly favoured Her. The Chinese treated Master very well, so She also did a lot for them.

When seeking the Truth in India, the food that Master mostly ate was Tibetan bread and butter mixed with Job's-tears powder, salt and water. (Wealthier people would use tea, but Master couldn't afford it, so She used water or got the water from the Ganges River.) Master didn't eat much then, but She looked wonderful.

Many great Masters gather at the Kumbha Mela (a grand spiritual fair held every twelve years in India). Though Master was wearing lay people clothes then, many people tried to bring Her home to take care of Her. After She changed into monastic robes, many people still wanted to care for Her and wanted to give offerings the same way as before.


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