(Comment: Some people claim to be realised and enlightened and Buddhas and so on and so forth. When one is truly realized, abilities like those in the below-mentioned account arises naturally. There are very definite wisdom qualities and strong changes in the person. In this day and time, there are many people who fantasize about realisations and yet nothing much has changed in them. This is a very clear indication that one is no where near the mark. Therefore, do not be deceived by nice names and good presentations and delusive experiences, observe clearly for yourself…)
According to my experience, some great monks who have never been educated or even attended a single day of school, who do not even recognise a single word, developed astonishing abilities of composing poetry and other such literary skills after attaining realization. They became good at almost everything. This is truly beyond our ordinary conception.
Eighty years ago, my teacher met a monk who gave others tonsure, he carried a knapsack and wandered all over the country side. It was the time of the Man-Qing, and all bare-headed children were disallowed from attending the examination and the restrictions were extremely harsh. However this great meditation master who was also bare-headed had attained great realisation and knew every subject. There was nothing beyond his ken. He had a monastery which was given to him by the administrators after the previous abbot expired.
Some people called him Monk Yang, some people called him the Head-shaving Yang. Many scholars went to test him saying, “Monk Yang, I have forgotten which book this line of prose came from, can you please tell me?” The monk would reply that it came from such-and-such a page of this book. My teacher who was very mischievous in his youth picked one line from the famous secular novel “Dreams of the Red Mansions” to test the monk but the monk was nonetheless able to give the correct answer. It was really strange! There was a opium-addict who was very rich and he couldn’t kick the opium habit no matter how he tried. Later, he went to Monk Yang and said, “Dear Monk Yang, can you just help me to shave my head?” Monk Yang agreed and in the process of shaving, the man’s addiction kicked in; his nose started running; his eyes teared, it was pure torment. Monk Yang then gave his back a slap and said, “Release”. The shaving was completed and the addiction never came back again.
~Nan Huai Chin