Meanwhile Yung Wun, with absolute determination, climbed
higher and higher until he reached the sacred mountain,
where he found a secluded place near the summit of Mount
Jijang Bong. There he fasted and meditated for a thousand
days until he had attained complete clarity of mind, thus
gaining bright insight into all human affairs and the Way
of Life and Knowledge. Consequently, he knew that his former
master Dong-ji was dying, and when he had died he heard
the voice of the god of the Underworld say, “Bring hither
the soul of Myung Dong-Ji.”
Yung Wun heard Dong-ji being sentenced to spend a thousand
years in the Black Serpent Hole and thereafter another thousand
years in the Yellow Serpent Hole. The young monk prayed
for a thousand days that his master might be released from
Hell and be allowed to be reborn on earth as a baby in order
to start his apprenticeship all over again. As a result,
Dong-ji was advanced to the Yellow Serpent Hole at a very
Again Yung Wun prayed and fasted until Dong-ji’s soul
was finally released from the underworld. The young monk
kept watch at the entrance to the cave that gave access
to the other world, and true enough, he recognized the soul
of Dong-ji when it came out, fluttering like a bat or floating
sleepily like a cloud.
Wun followed it, watching carefully lest it enter the
wrong body. When the soul was on the point of entering a
cow Yung Wun stopped it just in time; and again when it
wanted to enter a bitch. After many miles of wandering,
Yung Wun finally saw the soul-cloud flying into an old cottage.
Inside he found a childless old couple, but Dong-ji’s soul
was nowhere to be seen.
Yung Wun knew immediately what had happened. He announced
solemnly to the couple: “You will have a son within a year,
and when he is seven years old I will come back to claim
him as my pupil.” The old man protested that he and his
wife had never been able to have children, but that if they
did have a son they would certainly be prepared to entrust
him to the care of a great scholar. And thus it happened.
A son was born to them, and after seven years Yung Wun came
back to claim his pupil.
By that time Yung Wun had built a monastery in the
hills. The monastery is still there; its name is Yung Wun
Am. Now he brought his young pupil (who had been his master
in a previous life) to the monastery and took the boy to
his room. The window of the boy’s room looked out onto a
courtyard, where Yung Wun had ordered a bull to be tethered.