Years smile, and the warmest laughter of all.


Years ago, an average, run-of-the-mill family from china was sent on a journey to fetch some scriptures. However, their journey was nothing near as bland. The mother had an unborn child whose father was murdered. Immediately after the boy was born, he was tied to a plank with a letter written in blood and pushed into a river. This is the story of that boy,  “Hsüan Tsang”At that time, long ago, most monks usually looked very serious. But this boy grew up to be entirely different, even though he was quite dignified, he always wore a little smile. No matter what happened, this young boy never lost this glimmer of inner happiness. And on happy occasions, he had the brightest smile, and the warmest laughter of all. His sixth birthday was the day he found out about his parents. His master sat him down and explained it to him. The boy understood and a tear wept down him face; yet, he still retained his smile. He was thrilled to know the truth and He was so happy that everything bad was left behind him.Sometimes his friends asked him why he was so happy that he always smiled. He chuckled and said, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you! And if you think I lied, it would be a dishonor to my master.” His wise old master knew that this glowing source of happiness could not be wiped from Hsüan Tsang’s face and so, he made the happiest monk his favourite assistant.The summer after the boy turned seventeen, the wise old master and his followers went to the city. The king permitted them to live in his garden for the spring. As summer approached, the monks were preparing to return to the forest. Considering the health of the old leader, the king went to him and said, “My friend, you are now very old. You are growing weaker. What good does it do to go on a treacherous walk back to the forest? Send your followers back, you stay here.”The master then called his assistant to him and said, “You are now the leader of the monks. I am too old and too weak. I will stay here with the king.” So the monks returned home and the master remained.Hsüan Tsang continued his meditations in the forest. He gained so much wisdom and peace that he became even happier than he was before. However, He missed his master, he wanted to share his new peace and wisdom. So he returned to the city for a visit.He trekked back to his old place of solitude, with all of his belongings on his back, and when he arrived, he sat on a rug at the feet of the old monk. They didn’t speak very much, mainly cause the old monk was sick. However, every so often the assistant would say, “Thank You, Thank you so much!”The king then entered the room to pay his respects to the chief monk. However, the assistant just kept saying, “Thank You, Thank you so much!” He didn’t even stop to greet the king and show his due respect. This disturbed the king, and the king thought, “With all my concerns, looking after the kingdom, the citizens, I take my time out for a visit and this monk does not even respect me enough to even recognize me. “How insulting!” He said to the senior of the two monks, “Venerable chief, I think your friend must be lightheaded from overeating. That must be why he is so thankful. Does he lie here so unacquainted all the time?”The head monk replied, “Oh king, have patience, he is a far better man than what you see. He just has a few traumatic memories. Wait, and I shall tell you the source of his happiness. Not many know it.  Immediately after the boy was born, he was tied to a plank with a letter written in blood and pushed into a river. After being pushed into the river, Hsüan Tsang endured a treacherous life. Before I found him, he was found by a family of three; they raised him till he was five, but all they did was torment him. They laughed at him, tossed him around and treated him as a slave. When he was six, Hsüan Tsang ran away with a blood letter detailing what happened to his parents. That’s when I found him. After learning the tragical story of Hsüan Tsang’s parents from the blood letter. I took the boy under my own care and raised him as a monk. The mother had an unborn child whose father was murdered. He used to be surrounded by fear, nobody stood up for him or protected him. But, now, alone in the tranquil forests with nothing to fear, he has no need for fear. He is unshackled from the burdens of fear. Now, my friend advances through meditation to find such inner peace, that he cannot stop praising the lord for freeing him from his troubles.The king understood at once. He stayed for a while and received advice from the monks before returning to his palace. After this day, the king started visiting the monks more frequently. The king even visited the monk’s’ village in the lovely forest to receive more advice. Later, Hsüan Tsang paid his respects to his master and returned home. The old monk lived out the remainder of his life, died, and was reborn in a high heaven world. But, the old monk had something left for his number one assistant, a blood letter, detailing a mysterious journey to the west…

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