Entering Baiguo Temple Three Times

When it comes to temples, everyone can name a few, such as Shaolin Temple in Songshan, Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, Xiangguo Temple in Kaifeng and so on. Where there is a monastery, there must be monks. Although they all recite scriptures and Buddhas, their motives are quite different.

After the thirteen stick monks rescued Li Shimin, the king of Tang Dynasty in Shaolin Temple, martial arts all over the world belonged to Shaolin, and the purpose of going to Shaolin Temple was to learn martial arts.

In the Water Margin, Lu Tixia beat Zheng Guanxi to death with three punches, and fled to the temple to become a monk. Later, in Kaifeng Xiangguo Temple, he performed the flower monk pulling up willows upside down. He is a fugitive.

Graduates of Buddhist colleges are assigned to work in temples, and it is just work to discuss scriptures with well-known monks at home and abroad. The story I want to tell today is different from the above.

At the junction of Jiangsu and Anhui between Nanjing, Jiangsu and Chuzhou, Anhui, there is a mountainous area. Although it is not a group of mountains, it takes two days to walk there. Deep in the mountains, there is the highest mountain called Mengjiang Mountain. At the foot of the mountain, there are two huge ginkgo trees, both of which are more than hundreds of years old. A temple was built here, and it was named “Ginkgo Temple” because of the trees. Baiguo Temple was built in the 1930s. A Kuomintang lieutenant general surnamed Meng built a Meng family ancestral hall here. Firstly, to honor the ancestors, and secondly, to control the Meng family. Due to factional struggles within the clan, opinions could not be unified. A lot of houses are left unoccupied here.

Before the Battle of Huaihai was over, the National Gate Party and Military Command estimated that the situation on the battlefield would be greatly unfavorable to the national army, so they arranged for four spies, two men and two women, to pretend to be monks and nuns to lurk for a long time. After the liberation of the whole country, two local farmers heard that being a monk could not pay public grain, and there was a subsidy of 300 catties of rice every year, so they brought their family and their children to Baiguo Temple to become monks and nuns. After a long time, they were recruited by military special agents. passed. This is how many years later to know.

One winter, our troops went to Mengjiang Mountain for winter training, which was less than ten kilometers away from Baiguo Temple. When young people arrive in a new environment, they always ask for interesting places, such as temples, mountain springs, waterfalls, cliffs, etc. The local militia battalion grew up with me when I was two years old, and within a few days we became friends. He said that there was a Baiguo Temple not far away, which was strangely tight, and there was no burning incense and chanting Buddha, but it looked like a large courtyard where farmers lived in the countryside. There are a few words circulating among the nearby villagers:

Baiguo Temple, three monsters,

Monks and nuns live together,

There are no incense candles for sale in the temple.

A group of children are playing outside.

What the militia battalion commander said aroused our curiosity even more. The next day was Sunday. I made an appointment with two comrades in arms to go to Baiguo Temple to see the three monsters. I asked for leave early in the morning and started on the road. We walked fast, and it only took more than an hour for the ten-kilometer mountain road, and we saw these two ginkgo trees from a long distance.

Ginkgo, also known as ginkgo, is a precious tonic food in traditional Chinese medicine. Mountain people all over the country like to grow ginkgo trees, but there are few such tall ones. There is a house not far from the ginkgo tree, which is probably the ginkgo temple.

The main hall is quite tall, but there is no plaque of Baiguo Temple, and the wing rooms on both sides are full of farm tools such as plows, rakes, sickles, and hoes. There are quite a few rooms, about 20 to 30, all with brick walls and tile roofs, which are rare even in rural areas in the south of the Yangtze River.

Push open the main hall door, a wooden statue of Tathagata sitting in the middle, look carefully, the wood and workmanship are excellent, but it is covered with dust and cobwebs, there are incense burner and candlesticks, they are all messed up on the case, I do not know How many years no one cleaned up. On the east wall of the main hall was a portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong, and on the west wall was a huge photo of Zhu De posing with religious representatives. Such a nondescript occasion was really meaningless, and we quickly withdrew.

There is no adult in the whole Baiguo Temple, probably all of them are doing farm work, only a few children are chasing and playing there. After asking, I found out that there is no school here, and the children have no chance to go to school. When they are older, they help their parents with farm work in the temple. Alas, Baiguo Temple, a group of backward farmers, in order not to pay the public grain, in order to subsidize a little rice, they have delayed their children.

As soon as we entered the Baiguo Temple, the three of us went back in disappointment, and walked for three hours on the ten-kilometer mountain road.

The military training was very stressful and tiring, and I had long forgotten about this unpleasant “sightseeing”. It’s just that I can hear a strange radio call sign every Saturday night. I am a radio operator, and I can tell that the power of this radio station is very high, and the method of sending the report is much better than mine. Clear like a bowl of water. Who could be in this barren mountain? Most of the radio operators in the People’s Liberation Army are conscripts with only two or three years of training time, and they definitely don’t have the skills to send reports. I reported this to my superiors.

One day at lunchtime, we had two guests, a second lieutenant and a sergeant, both tall and handsome, each with a pistol. As soon as I opened my mouth, I knew that both of us were from Huainan, but they were very affectionate. After talking about the nostalgia for a while, we broke up. They had to climb over Mengjiang Mountain and go back to their camp. There was still fifty miles of mountain road to go. I rushed home before dark, so I left in a hurry without delay.

In the middle of the night, the company headquarters received a call from the brother troops, asking if they had seen the two soldiers, the second lieutenant and the sergeant, and the company commander told them to leave after lunch. It seems that two of my fellow villagers are missing, but it doesn’t matter, they are all armed, they may have lost their way, and it will be fine at dawn.

In the morning, a deputy company commander led the five soldiers carrying submachine guns to find here along the way. There are no villages, no farmers on the fifty-li mountain road, but only one Baiguo Temple. You should go there and ask. The disappearance of the second lieutenant and the sergeant must have been within the fifty miles range. I volunteered to lead them the way, and the company commander agreed.

This is my second visit to Baiguo Temple. The sun at noon was very bright, and the temple was also different, and the children playing did not know where they were. The cobwebs and dust on the body of the Tathagata Buddha were all brushed off, the incense burner was filled with smoke and fire, and the sound of nuns chanting scriptures came from the next room.

A monk knocked on the wooden fish, muttering words. The deputy company commander gave a military salute and asked a lot of questions, but the other party just didn’t answer a word, like a mute. The five soldiers held their submachine guns and followed closely behind the deputy company commander.

The monk sitting in the middle is wearing cassock and looks like an abbot. I went forward to give a military salute and was about to ask a question, the monk raised his eyes to look at me, and suddenly there was a cold war, goose bumps all over his body, his eyes were as cold as ice, it made my heart tremble, and my words were hard I swallowed it back, I was a little scared.

Suddenly I thought of that strange radio station. It is common sense that all high-power radio stations must have regular antennas, which are eight to ten meters high and twenty to thirty meters long horizontally. If the strange station is in Baiguosi, just find the antenna. I am a radio operator in a field army, and I have the skills to install antennas and the knowledge to conceal antennas, so I searched all over the place, and found no clues in the woods, under the eaves, or on the hillside, so I retreated disappointed.

Back to the main hall of Baiguo Temple, the deputy company commander and his five soldiers were gone.

They left early? You should call me!

Had an accident? Should have heard the gunfire! Besides, they have five submachine guns,

I can’t find an opponent even if I fight

I felt alone, scared, and had a ghostly feeling. I shouted “Deputy Company Commander” a few times with all my might, and I could even hear my voice trembling. The monks and nuns were still reciting their scriptures, as if nothing had happened.

I backed up slowly step by step, turned around abruptly as soon as I exited the gate, and ran back desperately, my brain seemed to be frozen along the way, without thinking about anything. I only heard the whirring of the wind in my ears, and the trees on the side of the road only fell backwards, so hurry up! After returning to the station, he plunged into the company headquarters, holding the company commander with both hands, and it took him a long time to speak.

The company commander listened to my stammering account of the incident, and immediately dialed the phone number of his superiors to report the process of the emergency.

Really quickly, the head of the headquarters, the police of the Public Security Bureau, the security cadres of the People’s Commune, the leaders of the Religious Affairs Office and the relevant people of the CPPCC all felt connected overnight. I was the only one who was alive. Just a few words, repeated over and over again, losing eight comrades at once, is a major event!

A few days later, it was concluded that the matter was related to Baiguo Temple, but there was no conclusive evidence. Because it is a temple, the army cannot intervene, the police cannot search, and the people’s commune has no control. Only the CPPCC and religious departments can conduct internal investigations. Eight young comrades, just let it go. Entering Baiguo Temple twice broke my heart.

But I couldn’t figure it out after tossing and turning. The six comrades carrying five submachine guns disappeared in an instant. There must be a watermark on the ground, and it will take a while to evaporate. Even if they suddenly encounter ten times as many enemies, there will be a battle. I made all kinds of inferences and guesses, all of which were overturned one by one. When I was in elementary school, I liked to read the stories of detective Sherlock Holmes. I thought, even if Holmes really came, there is nothing I can do. I can’t file a case and use criminal investigation methods. How can I obtain evidence?

Since then, I have never been in Baiguo Temple for more than a year. I am a little afraid of its cold environment, and I always feel that it is like a hell. Of course, I am also full of curiosity about Baiguo Temple, it is too mysterious, and I often miss the missing comrades in arms in my dreams. Several times I walked to the vicinity of Baiguo Temple alone, wandered around for a while and then returned to the station. I was not allowed to enter Baiguo Temple, neither discipline nor courage.

Time flies to the late autumn of 1966, and the winter training of the army came to Meng Jiangshan again. At that time, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was being vigorously launched across the country, and the sweeping of the four olds swept the country, including old ideas, old culture, old habits, and old forces. Baiguo Temple believes in Bodhisattva and promotes feudal superstition, so it should be destroyed, so hundreds of young Red Guards came from Nanjing to come to Baiguo Temple in a mighty manner.

As soon as our winter training troops put down their backpacks, we received a notice from our superiors saying that some Red Guards were going to smash the Baiguo Temple, and we asked the troops to go immediately to dissuade them. We assembled urgently and ran forward. When we arrived, the “battle” was over, and the Red Guards withdrew after winning a big victory. The troops were late, and the consequences were already done. Buddha statues were knocked down, doors and windows were smashed, scriptures, wooden fish, Buddhist clothes, etc. were left everywhere. Monks and nuns fled long ago, and their children did not know where they were. The whole scene could not be found to a person.

This was commonplace during the Cultural Revolution, and no one could do anything about it. This is the third time I have come to Baiguo Temple, and I suddenly thought, why not take the opportunity to go in and investigate. So I passed the main hall and came to the back hall. The tables, chairs, benches and other household items were smashed to pieces, and even a big hole was smashed into the wall. These Red Guards are a mob who will smash anything and leave.

I stared at the hole in the wall for a while, and then removed a few more bricks, which turned out to be a sandwich wall. When I stretched my head out, there were steps going down, and there must be a basement. I made an appointment with a few comrades around me, pushed open the mezzanine wall, and walked into the basement. It’s a big place, the light shines obliquely from the slit, and the things inside can be seen clearly.

There’s a big thing that looks like an oxygen cylinder or a liquefied gas tank that says “USA”, Made in the USA. There are also a few lines of letters in English, which I don’t know. I learned Russian when I was in school, but the logo of human head and skull is painted on the cylinder, which is a symbol of dangerous goods. I saw another rubber hose going upwards, and I suddenly understood something, so I searched quickly, and finally found three pistols and five submachine guns in a wooden box, which were already rusty, and now everything is clear.

Reasoning, the process of the incident is very simple. That day when our comrades walked into this back hall, the monks in the basement released highly toxic gas. The comrades were poisoned to death, and they were quickly dragged into the basement, where they found a chance to bury their bodies. Today, thanks to the Red Guards breaking the Four Olds, they solved the truth of the matter, otherwise it would be an eternal mystery. I also think the Red Guards are too cute, and those hidden spies are too hateful.

Entering the Baiguo Temple three times solved one of my heart problems, and the missing comrades finally found their whereabouts, and I could comfort their spirits in heaven. It’s just that the strange call sign of the radio station still appeared regularly, and the method of sending the report was much better than mine, so it was impossible to know whether it was an enemy or a friend.

The monks and nuns who ran away were quickly captured by the local militia. It is pitiful for those children. Several of them are missing. If they can live to this day, they will all be in their forties.

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