Saint of Mt. Koya
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"I felt ill and a cold sweat began to form on my skin; my legs turned to rubber. I tried to tell myself that it would never do to be so terrified each time I saw a snake because there are so many of them in this area, and frightened though I was, I tried to hurry along the path only to encounter yet another snake almost immediately. This one had been torn in two and all that remained was the midsection and tail of the serpent. The part of the snake's body that had been sundered was tinged with blue, and a yellowish fluid oozed from the gaping wound. The snake was still writhing and twitching.

"At that point I completely lost my head and tucked up my robes, preparing to run back the way I had come, but then I remembered the snakes I had encountered earlier on the trail and knew I could not go back to where they were waiting. I would rather have died than to have to jump over that huge snake again. I knew in my heart that if the old peasant had told me in advance that I would find all these snakes on this road, I would never have taken it even if it meant suffering in hell for eternity for abandoning the peddler."

Pressing his head with his hands the old priest concluded, "I was weeping tears of fright and reciting prayers to the Lord Buddha, and even now just the thought of that experience terrifies me."


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Intangible