Arriving at the mental hospital, Ye Cang met with the ladies’ mother - Evena. Her hair was snow white but there was not a single trait that suggested she was old. When she saw her daughter visiting her, her frown gave way to a frail smile, especially when she saw Alliya. She was awe-struck seeing their hair and actions, shocked and not knowing how they got themselves in this appearance, “You guys are admitted here too?”
“I knew this day would come. Sigh…”
“......” the three of them were speechless.
“Mother, this is Master Sanzang, Alyssa’s and my master. He is a reincarnated monk. It was him who introduced us to Buddhism and led us to seek for peace and calmness. We hope that you can join us to accompany our master to go on a pilgrimage to surpass ourselves…” Alliya put her palms together.
Evena examined Ye Cang, “What’s your purpose behind all these?”
“To help the people get out from torment…” Ye Cang returned a smile at Evena’s fierce expression.
“Mother! You can’t be this impolite!” The two daughters stood in front of Ye Cang, protecting him from their mother.
“Master, please forgive our mother for treating you impolitely…” Alliya quickly apologised.
“Master, please don’t be mad at her…” Alyssa lowered her head.
Ye Cang floated in the air and caressed their heads, “She is just protecting you two as she is afraid I could be some kind of weird person. This is the nature of a mother but it is also the strongest form of kindness. Why would I be mad?”
“I wouldn’t go with you guys. There’s something I haven’t understood…” Evena sat down and stared at the moon outside the window as her mind went blank.
Ye Cang pondered. This lunatic looks more like an ordinary person than the other two. What do I do now? Let’s try the secret code. “There are no wisdom trees; nor stands of a mirror bright. Since all is void, where can the dust alight…”
The frown on her face created nothing but stress for Ye Cang. He then planned to spam her with ‘Emptiness Is Not Different From Form’ and the Diamond Sutra. If it were to no avail, he would then lie to them that he retrieved some of his memories because of the mother, saying that Buddha assigned a task to him to save her from torment. He could also throw out the second half of the Diamond Sutra, to make the two girls more interested to persuade her. If that was still useless, he would show them the Lotus Sutra and Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra, not to mention Tao Te Ching! Never mind if it doesn’t work, here’s the Analect and even the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī! I already have Wukong and Wuneng. Do you think you, Wujing can run away?!
“My fellow devotee, there’s a saying in Buddhism that ‘Emptiness…” Evena’s tears could not wait for Ye Cang to finish and they went running down her cheek, “Thank you to the great master for your teachings. Now I realized that what I have been holding on to was just dust. I’m sorry for the rude words. Please forgive me, master. I’m willing to serve you along the journey!”
“Well...sure…” Ye Cang was shocked at her reactions and quickly put his smile back on, “You are indeed wise.”
“Master, please help her to do the tonsure.” The two daughters sincerely requested and Ye Cang took out his utility knives but did not carry out any actions yet, “This is half of the sutra from my memory.”
Evena was reading the Diamond Sutra while Ye Cang was cutting her hair. That looked almost like a scene in a hair salon, but with the Diamond Sutra instead of Old Master Q comics.
Evena’s insane eager to know the second half of the content was written all over her face. Ye Cang knit his brows, “One must not be arrogant nor bad-tempered… What’s the problem even if you don’t get to read the second half? You are a Buddhist who practices its teachings. Scriptures are just references for you to get closer to the high-ranking monks’ realizations and knowledge. It doesn’t belong to you. You must depend on yourself to complete the ultimate challenge of surpassing yourself.”
Evena calmed herself down and her eyes were on the white hair on the floor. Her inner peace was found as she felt the removal of the pain and problems perturbing her. The pestering noise ringing in her ears and mind had long gone. With her palms clasped together, she closed her eyes. Ye Cang then etched a dot on her head and she let out a grateful smile.
“From today onwards, your Dharma name will be Wujing. For a person to be called ‘jing’, one must be cleaned, with six roots of pure sensations. He or she must also have no evil thoughts but a pure heart.”
“Thank you, master for bestowing such a name. I will forever remember the word ‘jing’,” Evena was hoping for this word.
“Alright, these two are your senior sisters. Wukong and Wuneng. Even though you guys are mothers and daughters, we still go by rankings on who joined first. I don’t care how you address each other in private. But, when you are discussing Buddhism, please do bear in mind your actions and words. Alright, I’m going on a journey to get the scriptures. There’s no need for you three to follow. The journey is dangerous. You and I might die… It’s still too early for you guys to enter the netherworld. The three of you have already realized the things you wanted. There’s no need to take the risk with me. Practice well and you will definitely surpass yourself one day. This is my destiny. I shouldn’t be dragging you guys in in the first place anyway… Even though I might be weak alone, being able to put an end to my reincarnation with the will is still worth it. This might be the last reincarnation…” Ye Cang’s voice reflected his sorrow but his smile had never faded. “Ten reincarnations of hardship end by achieving excellent karma... Alright, I have to get going… Amitabha...”
Just when Ye Cang turned around...
“Master! I couldn’t ask for more to stay by your side and to listen to your teachings, even if it is only a minute! In order to free the people from torment, I’m willing to give my life!”
“Master, Wuneng is willing to live and die by your side! Please don’t leave me alone, alright?”
“I don’t care about death. Master, Wujing is more than satisfied. I’m willing to follow you on the journey in search of the book to free all beings apart from surpassing myself.”
The three ladies kneeled before him and Ye Cang sighed. He turned around with a kind smile of an elder, though appearing on a little girl’s face. The audience was also stunned after witnessing such a scene. This level of acting skills is...!
Staring into the night sky, Ye Cang sang the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī with her little girl voice, “Ná mó ·hé là dá nā ·duō là yè yē. ná mó ·hé là dá nā ·duō là yè yē. pó lú jié dì ·shuò bō là yē…”
The voice reciting the holy mantra was far-reaching and ethereal that the three ladies felt enriched as if they saw the people suffering in torment and the master's kind look disappeared in every reincarnation and hopped on the journey to free them again and again. Even if he was to be laughed at by the people, it was still the same old shadow spreading the knowledge. Tears filled their eyes and they felt guilty.
“This fella knows how to sing?! I can’t even master the breathing techniques for this!” Wu Na slammed the table and paid attention to Ye Cang’s singing. She knew how hard it was to pronounce the terms in Sanskrit.
After he finished chanting, Ye Cang pondered. Luckily, I’m good at tongue twisters. This mantra really managed to challenge me. He turned around to see the three ladies sitting on the floor with tears in their eyes. “......”
“Master, what’s the name of the song?”
“It’s called the Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī. It is not really a song but something I came up with myself,” Ye Cang helped the three of them to get up after misleading them and snatching away the credits. “Chanting to the melody of the verses in scriptures is part of our foundation. If you guys have the chance, you must do it too.’
“We understand,” the three of them bowed to Ye Cang with their palms together and Ye Cang did the same. The group of four then went on the journey.