The History of Thi Kinh

Once upon a time, Thi Kinh, a young girl lived in "Trieu Duong Tinh" country (Country of a Calm Morning). Famous thanks her beauty; the most riches and brilliant pretenders were queuing at her door. But, with her craving for herself-devotion, Thi Kinh rejected all of them to choose a graceless man without money.
The spouses have to live in difficult conditions but young wife gladly carried out the hardest works, finding her happiness in their faithful and true affection.
one afternoon, she stopped her task in a while to look after her sleepy husband. A beard-hair growing in wrong way on his chin attracted her attention and she was intended to remove it. A Sharp knives in her hand get closer and closer from sleepy face. Suddenly awaken, the husband gat frightened, agitated and was slightly wounded. Then he started to cry out for help, accusing his wife of putting an end to his life.

Surprised at the first sight, then disappointed and condemned by her furious husband and hostile neighbours, the poor Thi Kinh chose just to keep silence in her weakness and sweetness. Peoples saw in her silence as a confession of being guilty and her husband sent her packing.
Nobody pitied her: Her long standing friends avoided meeting her. The pretenders she refused few years before and the women, who had never forgiven her beauty, insulted her. Even her own family repudiated her.
Abandoned by everybody and despised, Thi Kinh chose the way of oblivion and renunciation. Wearing man-clothes, she came to a pagoda and required admission into the community of bonzes.

In spite of this the peace hour didn't sound for her. Among the devotees who frequented this pagoda, a young girl soon recognized Thi Kinh's beauty despite the humility of her religious clothing. She desperately tries to call her attention. One day, she Game to her and shamelessly declared her feelings. Thi Kinh strongly stopped her first words, begging the girl to respect her wishes. Out of spite, the funny girl gave herself to a man who paid court to her. Later on she was pregnant.

When the child came into the world, she put the newborn in a basket and left it in front of the pagoda's door with a letter blamed Thi Kinh to be the child's father. The Bonze Superior was surrounded by all her bonzes when the basket was brought inside. While she read the letter, the child started crying. Thi Kinh bent over and with hands of women took him up to lull the child to sleep. Finally, this natural behaviour was not well understood; moreover, it had confirmed to everybody the obvious and odious blame. She was dismissed from the community.

For a while, the poor woman was tempted to put an end to her life. However, she pitied on the abandoned child and resigned herself to her fate. She begged in order to feed the child and she lived like this during several years. Wandering wherever with the child in her arms, and a bowl in her hands. By the end, when she felt that her forces were betraying her, she dragged herself to the pagoda and for the last time, she knocked Buddha's door.

In a few words, she related to the Bonze Superior her long misfortunes, requiring that no punishment would be considered for all the past circumstances. She begged the Superior to forgive her for dressing up and she also confessed that she was still attached to this world and to herself when she was living with her husband. Then, she entrusted the child to him and died.

When he heard about the story of Thi kinh, the China's Emperor was truth with admiration by her chastity and abnegation. Thanks to an imperial decree, He raised her to divinity "Quan Am Tong Tu" - the Merciful Protesters of Children. Her cult was spread to the whole Far East. 

Nowadays, one may still see her in the oblivion where the odd Vietnamese pagodas are sleeping. Under the beams blackened by secular incense smoke among wooden and worm-eaten statues, which looked at the half-light, the Saint is sitting there with her child in her arms and an eternal smile on her face of indulgence and serenity.

Sidst opdateret : 05. december 2006
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