2 Pretious-Scroll Narratives of Guan-yin & Her Acolytes, III


pp. 1-43 “Introduction”, by the translator (Idema)





The first, a withered apricot tree about to be chopped down, and the second, an old buffalo about to be slaughtered, both side with the wold, but the third, an old man, feigns disbelief and first want proof that the wolf could really have fitted into the chest. The wolf climbs into the chest to demonstrate”. {cf. tale from the 1001 Nights : man feigns disbelief that jinn could have fitted into bottle; jinn re-entering bottle in order to prove}

Tale of the Wolf of Z^on-s^an” in the Ocean of Stories from Past and Praesent [‘Past-Praesent Story-Ocean’] (Gu-jin S^uo-hai), printed in 1544


A young girl, Li Ji, ... volunteers to be sacrificed. She tricks the monster and succeeds in killing it with the help of a dog and a sword ... . When Li Ji enters the monster’s cave, she finds all the skulls of its earlier victims.”

In Search of the Supernatural (Sou-S^en Ji)

p. 205, n. 0:134 “the legend of Linshui furen. One of the many theme of that rich legend too is ... rampant female sexuality in the shape of a (white) snake. See Brigitte Berthier, La Dame-du-bord-de-l’eau (Nanterre : Socie’te’ d’ethnologie, 1988).”

Pretious Scroll of Good-in-Talent and Dragon Girl (edited by the Angler of the Misty Waves)




Jinzha had stopped by, and from him she had heard about a good friend of Jinzha’s named Summoning Riches Lad below the throne of the Heavenly official for Bestowing Riches in the Communing-with-Heaven Office”. [“Jinzha was the oldest son of general Li Jing, the guardian of the gate of heaven. The best known of his offspring was his youngest son, Nezha.” (p. 213, n. 3:4)]


His Star o the Ground rises straight up to Dipper and Cowherd. [“The Star of the Ground is the first star of the Big Dipper ..., in charge of the virtue of yang. In physiognomy it refers to the nose. The Cowherd (also known as the Buffalo Star) in the Chinese name for the star Altair.” (p. 214, n. 3:8)] ...

His one pair of phoenix eyes rests on the tallest of parasol trees. [“The phoenix ... will alight only on the parasol tree.” (p. 214, n. 3:11)] ...

Walking like a crane, breathing like a turtle is what immortals do”.


The Spirit Peak is the original home from which I hail, ...

I constantly long for the pleasures of the Peach Banquet.”


Guan-yin said : “Availing myself of the opportunity that ‘his hole of passion has not yet been opened,’ I will lead him ... into the domain of misty flowers.” [“ “Misty flowers” is a common euphemism for courtesans and prostitutes.” (p. 214, n. 3:16)]


I want to seek the divine immortals’ ways of leaving the world,

I want to learn how to achieve a diamantine indestructible body.

I want to achieve not-being-born and non-being-extinguished,

I want a life eternal without aging”.


He then heard someone calling from the woods for help,

Piteously imploring him to be so kind as to save her life. ...

The bewitching sprite replied :

... I am a little snake-sprite from these mountains.

Because I offended an immortal, I’m confined, ...

For a full eighteen years I’ve lived in this jar,

[cf. 18 years in the transfiguration of Marvelous Goodness : “there appeared a blinding blaze of light, and suddenly the appearance of the immortal was even more beautiful than earlier at the age of eighteen.” (pp. 150-151)]

I am now so starved ...!

If you, dear monk, ... save me, I will

Express my thanks to you with a thousand-storied [storeyed] pagoda! ...

By the side of the pine tree is a huge rock. Below it you’ll find a tiny jar. You have only to remove the sealing skin, and I will be able to come out.”

Good-in-Talent did exactly as he had been told. When he removed the sealing skin, there was a flash of light from the bottle, and a little snake wriggled out onto the ground. Then she immediately transformed into a terrifying creature more than twenty yards long with eyes as big as copper bells!” {cf. the Kemetian “Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor” : “'island of the ka' (the part of the person receiving sustenance; also the word for food to sustain the person) where a giant serpent ruled. The serpent tells the shipwrecked sailor how he was one of seventy-five serpents, but that a star fell and burnt the rest of his family: this further tale within a tale echoes in later religious writing, in the seventy-five addresses to the sun-god and his seventy-four forms (the Litany of Ra in tombs of New Kingdom kings).” (ELCML 4.1)}


autobiography by buffalo : “I happen to be the Golden Buffalo Astral Official, the Great Strength King. ... Because Lord Ks.itigarbha could not see ... the living beings of the eastern world, ... both his eyes fell down to the earth. There they turned into snails ... . {cf. snail-shell when emergeth Kuk-c^an in the Maya cippus; and Ehecatl’s snail-like eyen-in-stalks} ...


When my skin was flayed {cf. Xipe Totec?}, it was made into a booming drum,

Which scares Heaven and earth, distressing ghosts and gods.” {cf. Lemba tribe’s noma as variation (according to Tudor Parfitt – LAC) on the “Ark of the Covenant”, which was covered with the hide (cf. drumhead-hide) of the tah.as^, a beast identified (IGK, TUME) as the giraffe – cf. the “giraffe’s tails” (AELO&MK, p. 214) given by the serpent to the “Shipwrecked Sailor”}


The female snake-sprite said to him : “You little monk, quickly let me eat you!” [“ “Little monk” is also a common euphemism for the penis.” (p. 214, n. 3:19) {– So, is this tale an allegory of a whore’s offering to suck a man’s penis? ‘Female snake’ could well be a euphemism for ‘woman’s vagina’.}]


autobiography by Daoist priest :

I am no one else but Master Zhuang, and am

A renowned philosopher of the Western Zhou. ...

I came here by way of Mount Southern Flower,

And in a pavilion there I saw a ... corpse ... no longer whole :

It had been partly eaten by wolves and dogs.

{cf. the “greyhounds” (AELO&MK, p. 214) given by the serpent to the “Shipwrecked Sailor”}

Reciting true words, I summoned the god of the earth

To investigate that dog and wolf, and borrow an heart.

The god of the soil, thus instructed, ...

Arrested a dog and a wolf, and took their lungs and heart.”

The fellow was still missing a thigh, so

I used a mulberry branch for the bone and clay for the flesh.”


As the moon at night as before shines on the dry bones,

The white clouds are the coffin lid, a cool spring flows.”


harangue by girl to the female snake-sprite :

the Ancestral Teacher of Pure Yang [Lu: Don-bin (p. 214, n. 3:24)],

afraid in his compassion that you might be executed by the Thunder,

confined you to a jar ... .


If you can wriggle into the jar ..., you may eat the two of us. ...


If you indeed still hope to get out of this jar one day,

It can only happen once your

Poisonous heart has been completely turned into cinnabar.”

The bodhisattva ... with her willow branch ...

sprinkled a single drop of sweet dew into the jar. ...

The bodhisattva took the jar with her to the Southern Sea

So she could cultivate perfection in the Roaring Tides Cave.”


disquisition on meditation at mt. Pu-tuo, by Guan-yin :

one yin and one yang will be stewing in the tripod.

In the crescent-shaped burner creation is born :

Travel down the twelve stories [storeys] of the layered tower. ...

The spirit-light shines, and the jade hare rises :

The golden crow wakes with a cry the midnight moon.

On the year’s shortest day a new yang emerges :

Red lotuses manifest numerous new flowers.

In utter bewilderment, in deepest darkness :

Nothing generates Being – enjoy Ascending Peace.


... The fire of samadhi is called ‘noncompeting’

And brings about a sixteen-foot purple-gold body.”


This bird’s been as white as silver from the day of its birth,

Although a parrot, ... it flew to the east of the city to pluck some red cherries.

... it would be captured ... in a cage for longer than a year. ...

This moved Bodhidharma from the western regions

To teach it a trick by which to escape from its cage :

Bu pretending to be dead even though it had not died,

It managed to escape from the cage and go back home.”


One grain of golden cinnabar is heavier than a pound –

Those who can fathom this truth will live a life eternal. ...

Increase the fire of samadhi below the earthen pot,

And in the Yellow Court refine your original nature.”


Good-in-Talent explained to Guan-yin :

The numinous terrace swept clean, ... the mystic work is done.

The hundred veins have all returned to the point wuji,

I’ve gathered the single true breath preceding creation.

The nine-cycle divine cinnabar enters the golden tripod, ...

A sagely sun, a sagely moon illuminate the golden court.

As fire and water cooperate, thee true mercury appears,

And turns into one clump of gold made of purest yang.”

Riding a cloud, the mahasattva took Good-in-Talent with her to a tiny island, which was nothing more than a single white rock surrounded on all sides by water. As soon as the bodhisattva with her willow wand sprinkled [some sweet dew] on the sea, myriads of lotus flowers appeared. ... But all of the sudden he saw a golden whale emerge from the sea ... . While the bodhisattva stood on the head of the whale, Good-in-talent walked on the lotus flowers, and in this way they leisurely arrived at the Purple Bamboo Forest. There he watched as the white parrot came flying toward them, carrying a rosary in its beak. ... It was at this at this moment that the virginal lad Good-in-Talent escaped from the mortal world”.


Let’s tell again of the snake-sprite. After having cultivated herself for seven years in the Roaring Tides Cave, she had completely transformed her poisonous heart ... . Her practice of refinement had resulted in the creation of a night-shining pearl, and she herself had been transformed into Dragon Girl. That why it is said “Dragon Girl at seven years offered a shining pearl.” The mahasattva ... brought her to the northern rock, where she escaped from the mortal world”.

ELCMK = http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/literature/midegsummaries.html

LAC = http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1715337,00.html citing Tudor Parfitt : The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500 Year Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark (HarperOne).

IGK = http://www.zootorah.com/VirtualTour/giraffe.html

TUME = http://chareidi.shemayisrael.com/archives5760/shelach/oslifkin.htm

AELO&MK = Miriam Lichtheim : Ancient Egyptian Literature : the Old and Middle Kingdoms. U of CA Pr, 1975.

Wilt L Idema (transl.) : Personal Salvation and Filial Piety : Two Precious Scroll Narratives of Guanyin and Her Acolytes. U of HI Pr, Honolulu, 2008.