River with Fish

Yutang Lin

River with mud
Yellow currents flow
Inconvenient for drinking and uses
Difficult to benefit sentient beings

River with rocks
Waves rapid and swirl
Dangerous to sail by
Difficult to use for transportation

River without fish
Lifeless water flows in vain
Opportunities for life are lost
Incapable of nourishing beings

River with fish swimming
Opportunities for life are in abundance
River flows incessantly
To nourish and cultivate sentient beings


On September 9th of this year on the Yang Ming Mountain in the outskirt of Taipei, Taiwan Upasika Jiang You (River Having) was among the Buddhists who asked for refuge. She asked for a Dharma name, and I immediately gave her the name "You Yu" (Having Fish), and explained as follows: "Jiang You Yu, River with fish, is water of life. River flows incessantly, and that teaches us about impermanence. Furthermore, it can sustain fish, and that means it is capable of benefiting sentient beings. Thus it serves as an epitome of the Dharma teaching: To be free from grasping and yet capable of lively applications."

In addition, the precious vase she requested for offering to the Dragon King happened to be the number 2999th one. This number succeeded the previous ones to reach the number 3000th one, and the vase was requested by a Buddhist with the auspicious name "River with Fish" whose meaning is so much so in accordance with the Dharma, thus I was overjoyed. The number 3000th vase had already been offered to the Dragon King two days ago.

Written in Chinese and translated on October 22, 2007
El Cerrito, California

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