Li Qiye traveled across the plateau and entered numerous temples to debate against the high monks. Despite the countless temples located here, he couldn’t find a match. No matter how great the monks were, they would be stumped the moment he spoke one or two Buddhist sentences or revealed a mudra.
His visits to the temples made him gain many followers. Wherever he went, a large group of followers consisting of both cultivators and mortals would be right behind him.
When he walked around, spectators from the distance saw this and couldn’t help but point at him: “Which high monk is that? To have so many followers…”
“So young yet they have such high attainments in Buddhism. This is truly incredible, maybe he can join Nalanda.” An expert commented with a tinge of emotion.
After being uncontested through all the temples, Li Qiye’s Buddhist affinity was at the highest level. At this time, he didn’t have any holy radiance or spouted mantras, each of his actions was affecting the rhythm of the entire plateau. Just like he said before, he was Buddha.
“We’ll go to Spirit Mountain.” Eventually, he told Wo Longxuan who was following right behind him.
She was still shrouded in black so no one could see her true appearance. She couldn’t help but look back at the followers and asked: “What about them? They’re coming as well?”
She had been witnessing the power of Buddhism in these last couple of days. Once they were converted, they would act completely different, as if they were lost in a dream.
Just looking at the followers behind her made it apparent. They didn’t know who Chu Yuntian was, but after listening to his scripture debates and dharmic preachings, they immediately joined him to become his devout worshipers.
They had different expressions; some were peaceful, some were dazed, and some were unchanged. There was one similarity despite the variety of expressions — a fanatic level of certainty!
At this time, Li Qiye placed his palms together vertically and shouted: “The dharma is boundless, repentance is salvation!” 1
His shout resonated like thunder. It was an awakening like a bowl of cold water being poured down on one’s head or a thunderclap resounding in one’s mind.
In this split second, the Buddhist seal in the minds of these followers set off many ripples that affected their soul. They were all roused and became clear-headed again. Some looked around and one even asked: “Where is this place?”
It resembled a group of drunkards turning sober; they were completely unaware of their location. At this moment, they were at a loss.
Wo Longxuan took a deep breath and even felt a chill running down her spine. Cultivators had a name for this — possession.
Entering the Buddhist mindset at the plateau was just another kind of “possession”. Once entranced, they would be mesmerized and forget all else while indulging in a Buddhist rhythm, bringing about peace of mind and a firm conviction.
After waking up the crowd, Li Qiye only smiled and left, leaving behind the confused followers that didn’t know where to go.
Wo Longxuan calmed down and quickly caught up to him. She walked shoulder to shoulder with him and had to ask: “Was that the dharma?”
“Of course.” Li Qiye chuckled and flatly said: “The doctrine says, the dharma is boundless, repentance is salvation! Once they enter this boundless state, they would travel forever within the boundless dharma if a high monk doesn’t give them an answer.”
She exclaimed: “This is a demonic art!” She was not a closed-minded person. Prior to this, she had a very positive view regarding Buddhism — peace, kindness, equality. However, after coming to the plateau and seeing Li Qiye’s peerless dharma, she felt a bit creeped out.
Because of this, whenever he debated against the high monks, she didn’t dare to linger nearby as she was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to protect her dao heart and would fall into the boundless dharma like the other followers.
“One thought to become Buddha, one thought to become Devil. Don’t forget, this is the Buddhist Funeral Plateau.” Li Qiye leisurely smiled: “Even if you don’t believe in Buddhism, you will more or less be affected after staying in this place for a while.”
She looked at him and asked: “What about you? Are you affected?”
Of course she knew about the effect of the plateau during a long-term stay. Because of this, many would only stay here for one or two years before leaving.
In fact, a huge group had been affected by it before. Even extraordinary Godkings who stayed here for long felt the urge to convert to Buddhism.
“Me?” Li Qiye unhurriedly answered while his Buddhist affinity continued to spread: “I am Buddha. I am the one affecting the plateau, not the other way around.”
She contemplated quietly. These words were not empty and meaningless. She was a bit shaken and wondered if this Chu Yuntian had been a Buddhist believer and practiced this doctrine since a young age.
“Why is it that Buddhism in the plateau is different? Why is it so much stronger compared to other locations? High monks have a much greater influence here. Is there a secret? Is it because of Nalanda?” She unleashed a barrage of questions.
In fact, she was not the only person who had these questions. Many had thought about why the power of the Buddhist faith was greatly amplified in the plateau.
In the nine worlds, there had been many Buddhist temples. However, no place was like the Buddhist Funeral Plateau in terms of its influence.
“It’s a secret and always will be. If a secret can be easily found out by others, then it would no longer be a secret.” Li Qiye laughed and continued onward.
“Forget it then.” She snorted and went after him. In her eyes, it was not only the plateau hiding a secret, this person named Chu Yuntian was hiding something as well.
Eventually, the two reached the most important location of the plateau, the most sacred area with the name Spirit Mountain. This remained true for all the Buddhists in the nine worlds.
A mountain does not need to be high; the presence of Buddha alone makes it divine. This phrase was very appropriate when used to describe Spirit Mountain.
There were countless tall peaks at the plateau. Some even reached far into the sky with stars surrounding it. Spirit Mountain was not small, but when compared to the other great peaks, it was definitely not a match.
However, this fair-sized mountain was very famous. Millions of believers kneeled with numerous high monks chanting at its base.
Spirit Mountain, the most sacred location in the plateau where the Nalanda Temple was located!
While staring at the mountain, one would find flashing Buddhist radiances everywhere. Even those who were very far away could see them no matter the time of day. They still flashed and illuminated this world.
It was as if Spirit Mountain was upholding this area for the Buddhist Funeral Plateau. No matter the time and place, its Buddhist light was eternal and burned bright even during the darkest era.
The temples built on its adjacent hills were sacred and majestic. There were holy monks chanting above while being protected by heavenly dragons. Arhats and Bodhisattvas were performing sermons. The entire mountain seemed to be a celestial kingdom, away from the mundane world and the maddening crowd.
Anyone would have the urge to prostrate while standing at the base of this mountain. They would want to bow every three steps or to forever prostrate before its grandeur!
Because of this, there were countless followers kneeling right outside. There were mortals, cultivators, and even rulers. Even famous Virtuous Paragons could be found here!
In this place, whether one was a mortal or a paragon was no longer important. All sentient beings were equal before Buddha!
Outside of Nalanda, there were also eighteen temples referred to as the four grand Void Tribulations. They were different from the other temples at the plateau; they belonged to Nalanda. In this vast plateau, only these eighteen were recognized by Nalanda.
The four Grand Void Tribulations were the Four Buddhas Temple, the Three Grand Temples, the Six Tribulation Temples, and the Eight Void Temples. 2
The Four Buddhas Temple had the highest status outside of Nalanda and was the most mysterious and powerful.
The Three Grand Temples were directly below the Four Buddhas Temple. They were divided into the Grand Heaven Temple, the Grand Earth Temple, and the Grand Mortal Temple. These three were almost on the same level as Nalanda and Four Buddhas.
The Six Tribulation Temples was a level below them. They consisted of the Deity Tribulation Temple, the Saint Tribulation Temple, the Sage Tribulation Temple, the Mortal Tribulation Temple…
The Eight Void Temples were next. They were made up of the Zen Void Temple, the Comprehension Void Temple, the Capability Void Temple, the Heart Void Temple… 3
These eighteen temples right below Nalanda were full of golden lights. Inside were Buddhist hymns and phenomena of great Buddhist existences. Before one knew it, they would find themselves in a kingdom of Buddhism.
As for the eminent Nalanda Temple, it was built at the peak of Spirit Mountain. It was also dazzling with radiance. However, its gates were closed so no one could see inside.
1. Just a common Buddhist saying. 2. Four Buddhas is just one. 1 + 3 + 6 + 8 = 18 3. Some of these names might not be accurate because they have multiple esoteric meanings. The author would have to go in depth so I can distinguish them in English. For example, heart/mind/thought is the same word. The translation is usually contextual.