The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Goraksa was the son of a poor incense seller, who was employed as a cow herder. It was a simple life, but Goraksa enjoyed the countryside and the company of the animals. One day, Minapa appeared to Goraksa and pointed into the distance and told him, the vultures circling in the distance is awaiting the death of a young prince who was gravely wounded from the lost of all his limbs. Minapa then asked “who would care for the prince?” Immediately, Goraksa replied he would and went to save the prince while Minapa helped him watch after the herd. Goraksa cleaned and bound the wounds with bandages torn from his own clothes and made the prince feel as comfortable as he could, then returned to Minapa to report what was seen and done.
Minapa ask, “Will you find a way to feed him?” and Goraksa replied he will share half of the food and drinks he receive from the owner of the herd every morning and evenings. Minapa was happy with the boy and instructed him on how to care for the prince, which is to provide him the four basic functions of life: eating, drinking, sleeping, and defecating.
Upon that instruction, Minapa went back to the prince and build a comfortable shelter with branches and leaves. Each day thereafter, Goraksa shared his food and drinks, bathed the prince, cleaned away the excrement, and did all that was needed for the prince’s comfort. 12 years later, the prince, to whom Minapa thought the yoga for the regeneration of limbs, regained his mobility through his regenerated limbs, and to repay Goraksa’s kindness, he offered to reach Goraksa how to meditate. Goraksa was touched, but declined as he already have a Guru of which he has been following instructions from.
When Minapa returned, Goraksa updated him on all that has happened. Very delighted of his student’s diligence and faithfulness, he gave Goraksa initiations and empowerments, and carefully instructed him in the precepts he should follow.
Goraksa then travelled to practice meditation according to Minapa’s instruction and attained a more mundane level of awareness. Minapa appeared before him again, and told him he can only attain awakening by liberating one hundred million beings.
Filled with enthusiasm, Goraksa began initiating anyone who would stop and listen to him, however, he neglected to make careful assessment of his students’ ripeness for instruction. This upset the Great God Mahadeva, who appeared before Goraksa to warn him to only instruct those who come to him and request teachings. From then on, Goraksa thought only to those whose karma had prepared them for initiation and to this very day, he continues to teach to those who are pure in mind and ready for instructions.