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Peacock Kings

Dreamed late 1196 ("8th or 9th month") by Myoe Shonin.

In a dream, there were two golden Great Peacock Kings which were larger in size than a man's body. Their heads and tails were decorated with an assortment of jewels, and from their entire bodies came a fragrant force that permeated the entire world. The two birds frolicked and flew through the sky, and from the jewels came a great voice of sublime beauty resounding throughout the world. The sound of that voice recited a verse:

"The 84,000 teachings and the means for countering [ignorance]
are the wonderful law preached by the honored Sakyamuni."
A man was there and he said, "These birds always dwell on Vulture Peak; they deeply love and delight in the unsurpassed Mahayana, and are far removed from attachment to worldly matters."

After the birds recited the verse, I held two sutra scrolls in my hands. On one scroll was written the title, "Butsugen Nyorai," and on the other was written, "Shaka Nyorai". I thought of how I had obtained these two sutras from the peacocks, and a feeling of great joy arose when I heard the verse. As I chanted "Praise be to Shaka Nyorai! Praise be to Butsugen Nyorai!," tears of joy began to flow and I rejoiced at holding the two sutra scrolls.

When I awoke from my dream, the bottom of my pillow was soaked with tears.

--Myoe Shonin

The monk Myoe Shonin meets two Peacock Kings taller than a man in his dream. Sketch by Chris Wayan
EDITOR'S NOTES --Chris Wayan



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