Carrying a Sedan Chair

Yutang Lin

Three disciples with one intention to lift Guru high up,
Not yielding to men, they tried to move ahead for Dharma,
Respectful and humble, satisfied with one's lower position,
Exerting all one's might, only then could one carry the load.


On our way up to the Yu Ping Lou (Jade Shield High-rise) on Yellow Mountain (Huang Shan), we passed by some Hua Gan (simple sedan chair) unemployed along roadside. The three female disciples who accompanied me asked me to sit on the sedan chair so that they could lift me up for a while as a token of their sincerity in uplifting the Guru. With help from a professional carrier, they accomplished the goal. Seeing how strenuous it was for them to do so, I could not feel at ease, and yet I was also happy for them for having such ardent devotion in revering Dharma and Guru.

This reminded me of a related parable in Guru Chen's Collection of Close Parables. The main point therein, as I remembered, is to remind practitioners that we are only the carriers of the sedan chair for Buddhas and Bodhisattvas but not the occupants of the sedan chair. Hence, we should not become arrogant beyond our proper places and forgetting the limitation of our behaviors.

Furthermore, it occurred to me that a carrier can uphold only as much share of the load as the strength he put into it. A Dharma practitioner who aspires to sustain heavy responsibilities for Dharma should, first of all, reflect on how much effort had one put into it, instead of just expecting that Buddha will entrust great responsibility on one.

Written in Chinese on July 18, 2009
Translated on July 20, 2009
El Cerrito, California

[Home][Back to list][Back to Chinese versions]