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Home > The Monk That Wanted To Renounce Asceticism

1090 Got Something Good at the Draw

 This skyscraper's name was Mt. Dharma Characteristics. The name sounded a little odd, but if one carefully looked at the skyscraper, one could understand the reason for its name. From afar, it did look like a hill.

Fangzheng couldn't help but exclaim. "Hanoi is flat without any mountains. Yet, the people of the Dharma Characteristics Monastery were able to build a mountain by sheer human strength alone. To have a monastery at the top makes it quite special. Based on what This Penniless Monk knows, Vietnam doesn't have a condition that monasteries have to be built on mountains, right?"

Ong shook his head and said, "I'm not sure either. In fact, the last time I came to Hanoi, this Dharma Characteristics Monastery didn't exist."

Fangzheng was even more puzzled when he heard that. A new monastery? A new monastery actually had the means to convene an international summit? Fangzheng was really intrigued.

Although the summit hadn't begun, there was a huge board erected in front of Mt. Dharma Characteristic's entrance. On it was a banner with words that Fangzheng couldn't read. After all, his ability was only for speaking and listening, but it did nothing when it came to writing or reading.

Ong said that the sign was wishing the attendees a successful Southeast Asian religious summit.

And at the bottom of the board, there were instructions for attendees of the summit regarding their lodging. There was a reception inside to receive them.

Ong asked Fangzheng, "Master, are we going in?"

Fangzheng thought and asked, "Go in and ask how much it costs a night."

"Master, a hotel like this definitely won't be cheap. It will cost at least one to two thousand yuan a night. However, since you were invited, the organizers will definitely give you free lodging," Ong said.

Fangzheng chuckled and without a word, he turned and left. What a joke! He wasn't going to stay in something so expensive.

Finally, Ong brought Fangzheng to a motel and got them a room each. Ong thought nothing of it. He was a martial artist, a brute. Although he had an illustrious past, the present him had calmed down significantly.

As for Fangzheng, he definitely didn't care. He was only there for the buzz.

While in bed, Fangzheng was looking at the ceiling, and he said internally, "It's so boring... System Bro, let's have a draw."

"Now?"

"Yes, now."

"Ding! Congratulations on obtaining an embroidered kasaya!"

Fangzheng jumped up when he heard that, exclaiming. "What? What is it?"

"Image! Take note of your image! You are now an accomplished monk!"

Fangzheng grinned and as he jumped around, he said, "System Bro, is this the time to be silent? Besides, there's no one around. Why should I put on an act? Tell me, did I draw an embroidered kasaya like the one Tripiṭaka wore? It's not a mistake this time, right?"

Fangzheng couldn't hold back his excitement. An embroidered kasaya! That was what Tripiṭaka had worn when journeying to the West to meet Buddha! What was it if not an absolute treasure?

Realizing that Fangzheng was beyond redemption, the System replied, "Yes."

"Hahaha! Thanks, System Bro. Haha, This Penniless Monk finally has a kasaya! It sure wasn't easy." Fangzheng was on the brink of tears.

For a monk, a kasaya was much more meaningful than simply being his clothing. It wasn't worn for warmth, but something of great symbolic value.

'Kasaya' was a Sanskrit word. When it reached the Jin dynasty, a scholar, Ge Hong, changed it to kasaya in Chinese. It was also known as a cassock.

Kasayas were the Dharma clothing of monks and nuns. They were given names based on their color, so they were also called "rag-robes." In the sewing of a kasaya, one had to first cut up a piece of cloth into patches before sewing them together. It was also why they were called "many-pieced robes." And according to the fortieth fascicles of the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya and its commentary, under Buddha's advice, Ananda sew Buddhist robes in the same checkered pattern that rice paddies had. Just like how practicing the Dharma was like a fertile field in which seeds of virtue and merit were sown to benefit both present and future generations, sewing robes in the pattern of rice fields gave them the name "fields of merit."

Kasayas had always been the epithets of sages, and they had been respected by Buddhist organizations since ancient times. There were ten benefits to wearing a kasaya; spiritual awakening, the receival of blessings; the abilities to stand out in crowds, to purify one's body, and to gain enlightenment; the rights to receive the respect of a king, the bows of parents, and the bows of all people; help with staying away from harm, and with gaining the respect of devils.

Therefore, kasayas weren't just clothes to a monk, but more a part of their faith. A kasaya was a mark that one was a true monk! It had been mentioned before that Buddhism had Three-Clothing, Five-Clothing, Seven-Clothing, and major clothing categories.

Among the Three-Clothing category, there were differences. Pieces related to Five-Clothing were often worn after waking up, when it was time to do labor. However, in China, acolyte monks often wore Chinese-styled pants without using Five-Clothing when working. Seven-Clothing was worn when one listened to scripture, chanted the rites, or for mass gathering. It was also why it was called Mass Entry Clothing. Major clothing was meant for lectures, debates, karma, or for meeting the king and other important officials.

As for this embroidered kasaya, it was the one worn when Tripiṭaka met the emperor as well as Buddha Gautama. Therefore, it was considered a major clothing.

And major clothing had nine grades⁠. Every grade had a strict demarcation, and such kasaya weren't randomly worn. Without the merit required, wearing the wrong grade was a sin. Not only would there be no benefit to wearing the wrong grade, it would even bring about negative karma.

In the past, although Fangzheng had some cash, he wasn't sure what grade of major clothing was suitable for him. Therefore, he didn't think too much of it and waited for the System to give a kasaya to him.

Today, he had finally been given an embroidered kasaya! Was there a need to figure out what grade it was? It was definitely the best! How impressive would it be if this spread?

How could Fangzheng not be happy?

Furthermore, the embroidered kasaya didn't only symbolize status, qualifications, and holiness. It was a Dharmic treasure itself!

In Journey to the West, this was said about the kasaya:

"Of this kasaya,

A dragon which wears but one shred

Will miss the woe of being devoured by the great roc;

Or a crane on which one thread is hung

Will transcend this world and reach the place of the gods.

Sit in it:

Ten thousand gods will salute you!

Move with it:

Seven Buddhas will follow you!

This kasaya was made of silk drawn from ice silkworm

And threads spun by skilled craftsmen.

Immortal girls did the weaving;

Divine maidens helped at the loom.

Bit by bit, the parts were sewn and embroidered.

Stitch by stitch, it arose-a brocade from the heddle,

Its pellucid weave finer than ornate blooms.

Its colors, brilliant, emit precious light.

Wear it, and crimson mist will surround your frame.

Doff it, and see the colored clouds take flight.

Outside the Three Heavens, door its primal light was seen;

Before the Five Mountains, its magic aura grew.

Inlaid are layers of lotus from the West,

And hanging pearls shine like planets and stars.

On four corners are pearls which glow at night;

On top stays fastened an emerald.

Though lacking the all-seeing primal form,

It's held by Eight Treasures all aglow

This kasaya

You keep folded at leisure;

You wear it to meet sages.

When it's kept folded at leisure,

Its rainbowlike hues cut through a thousand wrappings.

When you wear it to meet sages,

All Heaven takes fright-both demons and gods!

On top are the ṛddhi pearl,

The māṇi pearl,

The dust-clearing pearl,

The wind-stopping pearl.

There are also the red cornelian,

The purple coral,

The luminescent pearl,

The Śārīputra relic.

They rob the moon of its whiteness;

They match the sun in its redness.

Along its edges hang two chains of melted gold,

And joins the collars a ring of snow-white jade."