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Aulacese (Vietnamese) Modern Folk Opera: The Heavenly Lamp - P1/4 (In Aulacese)      
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Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

In Aulacese (Vietnamese) culture, cải lương (modern folk opera) is a popular theater art that dates back about three centuries, when the flourishing South was a new land. Among those who settled in the South at that time were musicians from the royal palace in the ancient capital Huế. Since then, the kind of ceremonial music often heard in the palace became more widely known among the populace.

Eventually, new songs were composed. Many amateur musical groups were formed, adopting music and song as a form of elegant entertainment. From about 1912 to 1915, the artists of these musical groups began to combine gestures to their songs. Since then, a new genre called ca ra bộ was born. Performers conversed; sometimes a song would be used as dialogue. Ca ra bộ continued to develop to create the theatrical art that is now called modern folk opera.

The orchestra for Aulacese modern folk opera usually consists of the six-string guitar, the moon lute, the pear-shaped lute, two-string fiddle, sixteen-string zither, and monochord zither. The themes of Aulacese modern folk opera highlight humanitarian and moral values. The dialogues are profound, the song lyrics and tunes are rhythmic and rich in melody. These are some of the reasons cải lương (modern folk opera) has an enduring place in the hearts of the Aulacese people.

In the Lunar New Year 2007, during an outdoor gathering with our Association members in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai was moved to spontaneously sing a folk opera song “Spiritual Practice is a Source of Blessing” written by Mr. Viễn Châu, which she knew by heart since her youth. We now invite you to listen to an excerpt of this folk opera song through the voice of Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Kneeling down, she sobs in the main hall of worship
As the temple bell sounds the hour of prayer O young devotee, why do you wish to be a nun?
Finding comfort in the scriptures, and acquainting yourself with spiritual practice?
But how can you achieve enlightenment when earthly traces are still evident on your seasoned countenance?
Are you rid of worldly debt or are still entangled?
Did you renounce the world because glory and fame have lost their appeal and life seems like an abyss?
Or was it because of a fleeting moment of jealousy and distress that you intend to hide yourself behind the temple’s gate to bury your grief and forget your sorrow?

On Enlightening Entertainment, Supreme Master Television is pleased to introduce different forms of arts from Âu Lạc (Vietnam), as well as from other countries in the world, in order to share the beauty and cultures of the peoples on our planet.

The modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp” recounts the tale of the fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên who was chastened for transgressing divine laws. Only when those who loved Bạch Giáng Tiên could help her find the light of wisdom would she be liberated from the regressive bindings that she herself created.

We now invite you to enjoy part 1 of the modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” written by playwright Bạch Mai and presented in 4 episodes,
with performances by Vũ Linh as Hữu Lương the student, Ngọc Huyền as Bạch Giáng Tiên the Fairy and Hữu Nhân, Thanh Thanh Tâm as Liên Hoa Fairy, Chí Linh as Deity Dương Tiễn, Đức Lợi as Hữu Sinh, Minh Long as King, Linh Châu as Ten Great Monks, Tào Thành as Prime Minister, Minh Thâu as Pampered Young Nobleman, Trung Quang as Giant Heavenly Dog, Đức Vinh as District Chief, Hồng Nhung as Mẫu Đơn Fairy, Vân Hà as Hồng Nương Fairy, Bạch Mai as Fabric Seller, Bạch Thu as Hồng Loan a village young woman, Bạch Lan as Hữu Phùng, and other artists.

The sky, clouds, Jade Emperor and Celestial Palace have been in creation for thousands of years. In the heavenly throne, the majestic Jade Emperor is attended by the fairies. There are rainbow dance, graceful dancers, and melodious music. Celestial singing is accompanied by sounds of flutes and lutes. Seven beautiful fays gently move in the rainbow dance and present to the dragon throne divine peaches and golden ambrosia. In the celestial court, saints and fairies enjoy the singing and dancing. Melodious rhythm accompanied by sounds of flutes and lutes.

Melancholy night mist penetrates deeply and chills the heart of the one away from his homeland. Alas, rank and fame make people lose their dignity. From the examination grounds, I came home in bitterness and shame, feeling pity for my fate in poverty. The loss of my parents makes me more weary of rank and honor.

The dishonest and greedy only covet silver and gold, disregarding righteousness and kindness. Mind not people’s sneer and scorn, don’t be attached to them, stay firm in your determination.

Hữu Sinh, brother! It’s not that I covet rank and title, but I’m fed up with people who change their hearts. All my hard work in studying ended up in vain for worthless people.

With diligent study, you’re well-versed in literature and poetry, and mastered the skills of martial arts, yet you’re unable to reach the dragon cloud.

Master, what happened?

Please tell me everything.

Sinh! At the archery competition, I got three arrows right on target, while other candidates missed one or two. When it was time to present the essay...

O fellow villagers!

Yes!

Come see the competition!

Let’s go! Quickly!

Hurry up!

How exciting! There, over there!

Where? Show me.

The Capital’s examination opens today after ten years. In this day of glory, one just wished to repay his country with his talents. Thousands of people were eager to see the competition. There was a handsome and intelligent man. His name is Hữu Lương, his archery skill extraordinary. The Prime Minister envied him and schemed a wicked plan to bury a talent.

There! That’s what happened.

My god! And you didn’t give him a few blows so that he’d have a taste of bitterness and give up his corrupt way? To be honest with you, if I had known about this, I’d have jumped in to give him a good blow.

You’d commit a royal offense by doing so. It’s not simple to beat up a court official. I’m too disheartened. Besides, I don’t want to go back home, but I want to spend the rest of my life here with the graceful and kind fairies who aren’t wicked at heart, especially the graceful fairy in white. Her face is as lovely as a flower, her lips a fresh rose.

Goodness! It’s a bronze statue, not a human being. Why are you smiling and joking with a ghost?

A mindless statue is better than some worldly people, who move and smile yet are without conscience. Am I right, O extraordinary fairy in white? I wish to join you in matrimony.

Wake up, master! I’m so worried.

Go quickly to the forest to find food!

Yes, I’ll go to the forest. But, you must stay calm here for me. Look, this ancient shrine is for worshipping. We’re just standing and admiring it. Don’t say anything inappropriate, or the fairies will get angry and scold you.

I understand. All right, you should go now!

Yes, I’m leaving. Remember to be careful. Don’t say anything inappropriate, master.

A love vow of a hundred years. The wind wafts in fragrance of a youthful love. A soul in a beautiful dream, dazed, awakened at dawn, I feel melancholy.

You’re so beautiful!

Who are you?

I’m a student with bad luck. I failed the examination and very much resent this ungrateful life. False virtue and empty talk make me weary of the way of the world.

But, dwelling in the far-away celestial abode, I can’t converse with you about worldly matters. It’s hard for a fairy to live with an earthling. Please let me go.

I’m already mesmerized by your beauty. Come closer to exchange our vows.

I’m a fairy. I can’t stay on Earth.

The earthly world is poetic and very charming.

If you wish to see me, play a flute.

Play a flute?

Now I bid adieu, for I can’t stay here long.

I’ll wait for you to exchange our affection.

Farewell.

Anyone for brocade? This brocade was woven in Giang Nam. Silk from Giang Bắc are made with golden threads.

Please buy some for me; I’m alone and poor.

You’re very pretty. Now, the golden silk seller! Give it to me, I’ll help and buy from you.

Please take a look at the beautiful and soft silk.

No need for checking, I’ll take it all. And money too if any – give it to me right away.

Wait, why are you asking for money? How peculiar!

We’re robbers. Everyone knows about us.

What! Robbers? Oh god! Help! Help me, anyone!

Be quiet! If you scream, I’ll kill you now. Give me your money!

Sir, I only have a silk pillow, which you already took. I... I don’t have any money. I’m very poor, sir. Please spare my life and acquire merit.

Be quiet! You’re poor? Then give me the jewelry you have now. Otherwise, don’t blame us.

No, no.

Give the bag to me!

No, I won’t.

This girl is doomed. Watch me!

Help! Anyone, help me!

Stop!

Stop!

Hold it!

Run! Run, man!

Woe to you!

Thanks for saving my life. This bow is to express my gratitude.

Stand up, miss. Don’t humbly pay your respects. Where were you heading all alone to get yourself in unexpected trouble?

I have no family. I lost my parents and lead a wandering life. I travel from place to place, selling silk to earn a living, enduring much bitterness. A life in hardships, I care not for tomorrow, leaving it to my luck. Wind and dew weigh down my shoulders.

Listening to you, I feel pity for the fate of a woman who is all alone in a heartrending situation. Having neither parents nor husband, whom do you rely upon for a living?

I wander to sell silk, unaware of possible troubles. I unfortunately encountered the bandits on the way. But now I’m empty-handed and down-and-out, I don’t know what to do.

I live nearby with a single older brother. If you don’t mind, please follow me. Look, the sun is about to set. You’re a young woman all alone in this desolate, deep forest; I’m afraid you will encounter mishap.

I thank you again for your kindness. You said you have an older brother... and who else?

There are just us two brothers, but please don’t worry. We’re not the flirtatious kind of people. Despite our poverty, we’re learned people. So we value kindness, righteousness and are well-taught in morality.

You two already lead a hard life, having me will distress you even more.

Don’t worry about it. A frugal life with simple food is also fine. Look, it’s getting dark, miss! All right, please follow me.

Thank you, benefactor.

Please.

Watch out.

I’m dazed from a secret yearning for her. Missing Giáng Tiên, I feel as if in a stupor. Like a bird flying to a distant land, know you not that I’m waiting? I was advised to play the flute for a meeting with Giáng Tiên. Melodious flute music resounds in the sky in hopes to reunite with someone.

Hữu Lương!

Giáng Tiên! I’ve longed for you, and now we meet. Heaven and Earth are far apart; I’m surprised to see you again. O Giáng Tìên, I forever love you.

Your genuine love makes it hard for me to dwell peacefully in the celestial abode. The fairy flute’s earnest sound sent me into a dream. I’ve come to join you in a harmonious melody.

Please don’t leave me. Without you, I can hardly live in peace.

Despite all suffering and danger, I vow to tie a lasting bond with you.

I vow a faithful love to you.

Seven beautiful fays gently move in the rainbow dance and present to the dragon throne divine peaches and golden ambrosia. In the celestial court, saints and fairies enjoy the singing and dancing. Melodious rhythm accompanied by sounds of flutes and lutes.

O Giáng Tiên! Goodness, Giáng Tiên has fainted.

How strange! Could it be she’s seriously ill?

Let me check. It’s all right. Go back to your duties. Giáng Tiên is just tired, nothing serious.

But why doesn’t she regain consciousness? This makes me so worried. Since the day we set foot on Earth, Giáng Tiên has been mooning about. She seems to keep a secret that makes her sad with illusory hope.

We’re so worried that we asked her to share with us, but Giáng Tiên just sighed and refused to reveal.

I understand clearly now Giáng Tiên’s plight. She has fallen in love but forgotten that she dwells in Heaven. She can’t tie a matrimonial knot.

What is she to do then? Giáng Tiên has sinned.

Wait for me to arrange everything.

Please have pity on Giáng Tiên.

Be at ease, sisters! Giáng Tiên! Wake up, dear!

Oh, Liên Hoa! Sister! I’m sorry for becoming unconscious and troubling my kind sisters in the Celestial Palace.

That’s not important. I want to ask you why you fainted. (I...) Giáng Tiên, why are you so foolish? As a heavenly being, why get entangled with earthly stuff? What bad karma (retribution) makes you sink into sentimental romance? What happened has tainted the palace. The Fairyland now has a pregnancy.

O sister! Please let me explain it thoroughly. When we came to Earth to have fun before, Mr. Lương secretly fell in love with me and dreamt of joining me in a conjugal bond.

Your words astound me. How could Heaven and Earth be together? I pity your carrying an unborn child already taken form. Brother Dương strictly abides by the penal law. He won’t tolerate your serious misconduct.

Even if I must die, I won’t ever lament. I vow to faithfully return his affection.

O Giáng Tiên, I understand well how you feel, but think again. As a heavenly being. how can you lead an earthly love life? An earthling and a fairy can’t expect a union. Heavenly saint Dương Tiễn is strict, iron-willed, and cold. A word from him sends storms everywhere. You’ll have to go back on your promise to your old flame.

No. I can’t just fail in my vow of marriage as we both have made a joint promise.

Then Five Thunder Genies will never give way. Your form will be shattered like water flowing along the current.

I accept that my life be ruined. Ill-fated, I shall live with my own sorrow in the Celestial Palace. O Hữu Lương, a tragic love – a boat can’t stay with the pier.

Don’t sorrow, suppress your grief, so that our elder brother won’t suspect. I’ll find a way to get you out.

O elder sister, have pity on me because falling in love, a woman is committed to a lasting bond.

I’ll replace you during the Deity and Fairy grand ceremony. If you escape to Earth, you can fulfill your vow of a harmonious marriage.

I bow to you for giving me a chance to life.

Don’t linger and endanger your departure.

Farewell, gentle elder sister Liên Hoa.

Giáng Tiên, my dear!

Seven beautiful fays gently move in the rainbow dance and present to the dragon throne divine peaches and golden ambrosia. In the celestial court, saints and fairies enjoy the singing and dancing. Melodious rhythm accompanied by sounds of flutes and lutes.

Liên Hoa Tiên, my younger sister!

Yes.

Why is the rainbow dance in disarray? There’s something unusual. What is the reason?

Elder brother! Please stay calm. Lessen your wrath, so that...

What now? So that I may clarify matters. Then why don’t you say it? Instead, you just hem and haw!

The recent rainbow dance was void of Giáng Tiên’s presence.

Where’s Giáng Tiên? Didn’t she know the festival is today?

Giáng Tiên has been gravely ill since yesterday.

Stay calm, elder brother. Lessen your wrath. Let me explain. It’s not worth your concern. We’ll visit Giáng Tiên in her room.

In the Celestial Palace, during the Deity and Fairy festival, when the rainbow dance commences, we’re here to take care of it.

All right then. Let me go visit Giáng Tiên and cure my fairy sister of her illness.

O elder brother! Giáng Tiên isn’t feeling well. She’s in deep sleep in her chamber. Please do not disturb her.

How can I be at ease when Giáng Tiên is lying sick? Liên Hoa, explain it! I feel rather suspicious.

How can I say it now? There’s nothing suspicious.

I suspect that there’s some mishap. Let me use my heavenly eye to view the earthly world. Goodness! What’s left of a fairy! She’s having a romantic affair on Earth. Heavenly soldiers!

Yes.

Quickly descend on Earth and bring Giáng Tiên back here to be punished! (Yes.)

Please wait. O brother, Giáng Tiên was caught by the web of her bad karma (retribution). Please have great mercy and forgive our sibling. Don’t let the heavenly soldier get to Giáng Tiên; otherwise she won’t be able to reunite with her loved ones. She has fallen in love and built a family with the poor student Hữu Lương, a handsome gentleman proficient in both literature and martial arts. Giáng Tiên left the celestial abode to fulfill her marital obligation. The impure matter is now exposed; you need to let it go.

If you judge Giáng Tiên, you’ll also get implicated. When Holy Mother finds out, the rudder must be responsible for the wrongly steered bow.

Enough! Be quiet! Don’t be insolent and threaten me! I’ll personally discipline the heartless one.

Elder brother! O brother Dương, how have you the heart to sever a deep tie with your gentle younger sister?

O Liên Hoa, it’s the first time a heavenly general is emotionally overcome by resentment and grief when Giáng Tiên chooses to indulge in worldly pleasure and destroys her thousands of years of spiritual practice. The Five Thunder Genies won’t spare her life. My tears shed out of overwhelming love for her, but it’s hard for the celestial law to tolerate Giáng Tiên. Her pregnancy taints the celestial abode. Put her in the Thunder Wind Tower to be purified.

Then her child will be bereft of motherly love. Please have great compassion to let mother and child unite.

The day he comes to the Celestial Palace and take down Thunder Wind Tower, their deep love will be fulfilled. Heavenly generals! Heavenly soldiers!

Yes.

Prepare your iron armors and gold swords. Bring Giáng Tiên back here for punishment!

Elder brother!

Autumn evening wind chills the frail shoulders. I lull you into a peaceful dream. Go to sleep, child, in my tender arms. You’re the joy of a Heaven-and-Earth loving bond. I lull you into a fairy dream.

O Giáng Tiên, I’m overcome with happiness. When I’m with my gentle Giáng Tiên, I’m mesmerized. Our innocent child in his peaceful sleep looks so angelic and carefree.

O Hữu Lương, to fulfill my love vow of previous lives, I left the celestial abode without regret. I wish to be a dutiful wife. During the day, I weave fabric to provide for my husband’s academic endeavor. At night, I comfort my child to sleep, finding bliss in family life, so that you can focus on your studying.

How grateful I am to my Giáng Tiên!

I’m only afraid that our marriage won’t last.

What prompts you to talk about separation?

Because it’s hard to live in peace away from the Fairyland.

Giáng Tiên! Why are lightning and thunder upon us? I worry for our young and innocent child.

O master, dark clouds are circling but it’s not about to rain. It blusters as if there will come a hurricane.

I’m also nervous and worried while comforting our child. O mistress, you’re a fairy, do you know what’s going to happen?

O Hữu Lương, my prediction has come true. Deity Dương Tiễn has come to take me away.

Who is Deity Dương Tiễn?

He is a divine being in Heaven. He’s my eldest bother and the uncle of my son Hữu Nhân.

If he’s an uncle, why is he wreaking havoc? If he’s an elder brother, why is he punishing his sister?

O God! The case of our mistress the fairy is Heaven’s affair. Don’t talk nonsense, or you’ll be reprimanded.

O Giáng Tiên, you should stay calm. If disaster should come, we’ll endure it together.

That’s impossible. Whoever errs must bear the painful consequence. An earthling can’t go to the Fairyland.

Elder brother!

Thank you for joining us on today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. Words of Wisdom is coming up. Farewell for now, and we’ll see you next time.
Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

In Aulacese (Vietnamese) culture, cải lương (modern folk opera) is a popular theater art that dates back about three centuries, when the flourishing South was a new land. Among those who settled in the South at that time were musicians from the royal palace in the ancient capital Huế. Since then, the kind of ceremonial music often heard in the palace became more widely known among the populace.

Eventually, new songs were composed. Many amateur musical groups were formed, adopting music and song as a form of elegant entertainment. From about 1912 to 1915, the artists of these musical groups began to combine gestures to their songs. Since then, a new genre called ca ra bộ was born. Performers conversed; sometimes a song would be used as dialogue. Ca ra bộ continued to develop to create the theatrical art that is now called modern folk opera.

The orchestra for Aulacese modern folk opera usually consists of the six-string guitar, the moon lute, the pear-shaped lute, two-string fiddle, sixteen-string zither, and monochord zither. The themes of Aulacese modern folk opera highlight humanitarian and moral values. The dialogues are profound, the song lyrics and tunes are rhythmic and rich in melody. These are some of the reasons cải lương (modern folk opera) has an enduring place in the hearts of the Aulacese people.

In the Lunar New Year 2007, during an outdoor gathering with our Association members in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai was moved to spontaneously sing a folk opera song “Spiritual Practice is a Source of Blessing” written by Mr. Viễn Châu, which she knew by heart since her youth. We now invite you to listen to an excerpt of this folk opera song through the voice of Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Kneeling down, she sobs in the main hall of worship
As the temple bell sounds the hour of prayer O young devotee, why do you wish to be a nun?
Finding comfort in the scriptures, and acquainting yourself with spiritual practice?
But how can you achieve enlightenment when earthly traces are still evident on your seasoned countenance?
Are you rid of worldly debt or are still entangled?
Did you renounce the world because glory and fame have lost their appeal and life seems like an abyss?
Or was it because of a fleeting moment of jealousy and distress that you intend to hide yourself behind the temple’s gate to bury your grief and forget your sorrow?

On Enlightening Entertainment, Supreme Master Television is pleased to introduce different forms of arts from Âu Lạc (Vietnam), as well as from other countries in the world, in order to share the beauty and cultures of the peoples on our planet.

The modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp” recounts the tale of the fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên who was chastened for transgressing divine laws. Only when those who loved Bạch Giáng Tiên could help her find the light of wisdom would she be liberated from the regressive bindings that she herself created.

We now invite you to enjoy part 2 of the modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” written by playwright Bạch Mai
with performances by Vũ Linh as Hữu Lương the student, Ngọc Huyền as Bạch Giáng Tiên the Fairy and Hữu Nhân, Thanh Thanh Tâm as Liên Hoa Fairy, Chí Linh as Deity Dương Tiễn, Đức Lợi as Hữu Sinh, Minh Long as King, Linh Châu as Ten Great Monks, Tào Thành as Prime Minister, Minh Thâu as Pampered Young Nobleman, Trung Quang as Giant Heavenly Dog, Đức Vinh as District Chief, Hồng Nhung as Mẫu Đơn Fairy, Vân Hà as Hồng Nương Fairy, Bạch Mai as Fabric Seller, Bạch Thu as Hồng Loan a village young woman, Bạch Lan as Hữu Phùng, and other artists.

Hữu Lương was a poor student who excelled in both literary and martial arts skills but faced misfortune in passing royal court’s examinations. On the way home from the capital, he met fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên at the Seven Fairies ancient shrine. Upon discovering that she had fallen deeply in love on Earth, Bạch Giáng Tiên’s eldest brother, Deity Dương Tiễn, together with heavenly soldiers, compelled her to return.

Thank you for joining us on today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. Words of Wisdom is coming up. So long for now.

Giáng Tiên, quickly return to Heaven with me.

No, brother Dương!

Quickly leave the earthly world. Plead not for I won’t tolerate it.

Due to fate, I’m attached to this mundane world, binding a tender matrimonial tie which results in an innocent child.

How have you the heart to sever our deep bond? Please pardon her. I’ll be forever grateful to you.

Heaven’s law is strict and clear, I can’t be biased. Leave the earthly world right now. Hasten back the Celestial Palace.

Please think of our family relations.

Don’t wail and grieve.

I beg you, elder brother! Please take pity on us. I had to leave the fairyland, accepting my bad karmic retribution, wishing only to join with the one I love.

You are a true spiritual practitioner who has transcended the ephemeral world. Please bestow an autumn shower to revive plants and brighten flowers. How have you the heart to bring on separation?

Please consider our deep affection and resolve our difficult situation. O elder brother, do you realize even birds long for the tree and their home when away from it. It’s pitiful for humans to be separated. I’ll weep tears of pining for my innocent child. I’m wrong in creating trouble for my eldest brother.

We realize the bad retribution of a fairy-and-earthling bond. Yet her hands are now indigo-tainted, bringing disgrace to the fairies and deities. How will she dare go back to the High Heaven? I beg you to think of family affection and forgive her.

Look at the young innocent child, elder brother. He hasn’t done anything wrong to suffer sorrow.

I know that Giáng Tiên is caught by her bad retribution, but my love for her forces me to take action. She must go to the Thunder Wind Tower to be chastised, to be cleansed of the karma (retribution) she’s got herself into now.

Sir, if I may have a few words. As a brother, you must love your younger sister wholeheartedly. If it’s truly so, why are you so quick to anger and force your sister to separate from her husband and child? We’re poor people who all undergo unfavorable transmigrations due to past retribution. You’re a divine being due to your diligent spiritual practice. How have you the heart to separate a married couple? That will offend the celestial court.

I bow to you, Great Fairy, for forgiveness. The innocent child needs his mother. He longs to hear words of love whispered. Though not related, we still feel tormented for a motherless child. You’re her eldest brother, why are you indifferent?

Having attained the Deity state, I realize the impurity of the earthly world. Thus I don’t want my younger sister to tread that path.

If so, mother and son must part.

O Deity, what is the possibility of our reunion?

I’ll grant you this grace. When your son is fifteen years of age, he’ll have to find Liên Hoa Fairy. Only she who has great magical power can penetrate the Five Cloud Grotto, enter the Golden Gate Tower, and secure the Heavenly Lamp. With the Heavenly Lamp, he will be able to find the key to the Ten Monks’ palace and demolish the Thunder Wind Tower. That is the day of their reunion.

Big brother!

Heavenly generals and soldiers! (Yes.) You have the heart to separate us? O God, what an unutterable pain! Our affinity of many lifetimes is no longer. O Giáng Tiên!

O beloved husband, to the fairy palace I now return. All our hope is gone. My heart is chilled. I’m even more saddened looking at our child. How I grieve for my first love! If you love me, please raise our innocent child.

How bitter I feel! One is upstream, the other is down dale. O son, it’s a vast distance apart! You’ll be a motherless child all your life. Father and son are left in this world with our sorrow.

Why sow a tragedy, O the old God, to create lament and grief by turns! O Deity, how do you have the heart to separate a loving couple?

Mournful atmosphere veils the rosy cloud. A reunion isn’t possible for a thousand autumns. Save an innocent child from years of loneliness. It’s hopeless now. Sadness and yearning are evermore overwhelming.

Enough! Don't cry and wail, that’d only create more trouble. When your son is grown up, he should go find his relation. I’ll now hasten back to the Celestial Palace.

Giáng Tiên!

O mistress!

Giáng Tiên!

Giáng Tiên! I’ve grieved for many years. Whenever I see our child, I miss the one in the fairyland. Lonely on Earth, I pine for my beloved. O darling, what’s there to hope? My heart is gravely pained.

We were apart before yet even further apart now. Our young child longs for deep affection.

Then why are you hiding away in the Celestial Palace? O Giáng Tiên!

Master, master! Are you all right? O husband!

What? What? For God’s sake, what is all this fuss?

When I went to the market, I reminded you to stay home to care for master. He’s ill. What are you doing in the back there? If I didn’t get back in time, master would have fallen and endangered himself.

You keep talking blah, blah, thinking you’re so good and so great.

But wasn’t I right?

Have you calmed down yet? You’re calm now? Then listen to me. After master took the medicine, I saw that he was much better and he lay quietly as if asleep. So I went to the back to tidy up things to lessen the burden for my wife and son. I wasn’t being useless. How come you raised your voice to scold me!

As a wife, I wouldn’t dare scold my husband. I know you well. You’re very composed and look after everything; You love your wife and son. You’re noble-minded and wholeheartedly loyal to your master. But master is sick, you should take good care of him.

Hữu Sinh, I was just a little dizzy. It’s all right. Don’t be too concerned for me that you two get into an argument, ruining your harmony. You hear?

But master, the joy in this house seems to have gone since over ten years ago.

You mean...

I mean your sorrow has tormented you physically and eroded you mentally, making you withered, dismal and mentally adrift since mistress was taken back to the Celestial Palace to be chastised.

I’m more pained to be reminded of it. Our affection was deep, our love tender. Then separation came all of a sudden. I blame brother Dương for being so strict and inflexible. I’d rather be parted in death, not while living. What good is a life burdened with grief? I miss my gentle wife who is serving her sentence in the Thunder Wind Tower, where she endures piercing winds and besieging thunders.

Why tie the love thread only to make people suffer separation?

I thank you both for your loyalty. All this time, if it wasn’t for your support, I wouldn’t know how to take care of Hữu Nhân until he grows up like now. And I wouldn’t know if I have enough strength to wait for the day of reunion. I’m greatly indebted to you both.

Why do you say so? There’s an old saying: “An army raised in a thousand days only to be deployed once.” Our family for a few generations has been greatly indebted to your ancestors. Even if we jumped into a burning fire or boiling oil, I’m afraid we still can’t repay their past kindness, master.

Honey, help him lie down for a rest. Let me cook some porridge before he takes the medicine.

It’s all right, master.

There you are, young master. What is it? What’s the matter? What? Hữu Phùng! (Yes.) Where have you been with young master since early morning? Why is he crying? Look at you! Why are your clothes all muddy like that? You got into a fight again, didn’t you?

Hữu Nhân, son! (Dad!)

It’s not a fight.

What is it then?

Respected mother, I went out with young master this morning. Master has been ill for a few months and couldn’t teach students, so we have no money left.

Don’t talk nonsense to make master more distressed and worried. Look, the money he gave me is still plenty.

We still have money, but we’re eating rice with vegetables and soy sauce?

But where did you and young master go, and what did you do?

Our family is short of money, so he told me to go to the forest to collect firewood and sell it to earn money for the medicine.

Really?

Hữu Nhân, son! How agonizing for me to hear that! Must you endure hardship at such a young age? O blue heaven, why bring about this situation? I’m a father yet I’m unable to take care of my son, causing an innocent child to know sorrow.

Don’t be concerned, father. When in good health, you taught to earn money to raise me. Now in illness, you’re bed-ridden and semi-conscious all day. Loving you, as a filial son, I must repay your kindness. I’m grown up now, no longer a child.

Oh, my poor son!

Hữu Phùng, come here! Quick! (Yes.) But why did you get into a fight? Why is young master so sad?

O mother, our peers who played with us before met me and young master this morning. They asked us to join them and divided into groups to play. Young master refused, saying: “My father is ill, so I don’t feel like having fun.” Yet they had no sympathy; instead they said our young master was playing hard to get. They even called him “a motherless kid,” “one that comes from a crack in the ground,” one that...

Stop it!

O father! Am I a motherless child who came from a crack in the ground?

No. It’s not so, son. How could someone who came from a crack in the ground become a human, son? A human has his origin. You were given birth by a mother like any other child. Understand?

So I have a mother; I didn’t come from a crack in the ground. But father, where is my mother?

Your mother...

What about my mother?

O God! How am I to tell my son?

O father! Why are you all emotional and speechless, making me even more miserable? Seeing your tears of sorrow, I’m speechless and bewildered.

Son, I’m not heartless. But what can I say now? O God! Why did You devise tragedy to distress an innocent child and torment me by fits and starts? Just like water comes from an upstream river, a human come from both parents.

O father! You’ve just said that a tree has its root; water has its source. Humans are formed by their parents’ blood. So where are my root and source? Who bore me for 9 months to give birth to this form of mine? All this time, the insults and scorns make me feel more self-pity. You’ve taught me from the words of the sages: “Among the hundred traits of a worthy human, filial piety is placed above all.” So I want to know who bore me for 9 months, carefully fed and arduously nurtured me for 3 years?

O God! A young child’s earnest words pain me even more. But son, how can I begin to tell you?

Dad, where is my mother? You seem to hide some secret. Your eyes are tearful, your voice is choked with emotion.

No. There is no secret, child. I’m speechless because I...

Because of what, Dad?

Because... your mother died already.

Died? But why did she die?

She died because...

No, my mother didn’t die as you said. Don’t keep hiding it to make me miserable. If Mom indeed left the earthly world, why don’t we have an altar to remember her with incense burning? And I’ve never seen my beloved mother’s grave.

O son, though you’re still young and innocent, you must understand that we’re in poverty. Don’t make me feel tormented.

Without a mother, the house feels cold.

Hữu Nhân, son!

Yes, Dad.

If you love me and your mother, try to do what I teach you. When the time is right, I’ll tell you in more detail.

Master!

Remember, only you can save your mother. Courage and perseverance can help you overcome hardships. Talent and intelligence will help you face obstacles and perils on the worldly path. Your filial piety will touch Heaven and alter the course of karmic retribution.

Master!

I’ll keep in mind what you said, Father. Standing on earth under the sky, I vow: I’ll live worthy of a human so as not to betray your trust.

O master! I think you are very tired now. Let me help you go inside to rest.

Help take him inside.

Let’s go, master.

Elder lady Hữu, has my father taken medicine since this morning?

Young master, we really have no money left. Everything in the house has been sold piece by piece. Now there’s nothing valuable to trade for money. This morning, I... sold my earrings to buy medicine for him. The medicine is still being prepared.

Great lady Hữu, why did you... O God! O elder lady, how will I be able to repay your great favor? The most precious souvenir of your life, you sold it because of my father. I’ll forever remember your noble heart. I have no words to thank your deep affection and kindness. Please accept this one bow as an expression of gratitude.

O brother Nhân Only love and kindness is long-lasting. Even precious materials can’t compare with that. Our bond has been strengthened through poverty. We’re like hands and feet of the same person.

Our family for several generations has been greatly indebted to yours. We only wish to repay it with our service.

You shouldn’t need to be concerned. We pray that he recovers from his serious illness.

As long as I live, I vow not to forget your family’s deep love. Uncle Hữu Sinh!

What is it, son?

Does my father’s health improve any, Uncle?

He looks better today. If he continues taking medicine, it won’t be long before he regains his health.

In this situation, where do we find money to buy medicine for my father? I wish to ask Uncle and Auntie one thing.

What is it, son?

To have money for my father’s medicine, Hữu Phùng and I will demonstrate our martial art skills at the market.

No, it’s not possible. Your martial art skills are not that much. Being young and innocent, you’ll invite danger.

You can’t. It’s not possible.

Mom and Dad, brother Nhân is great in his martial art skills.

Who taught him to be good in martial art?

Uncle Sinh taught me.

What? Goodness! This man taught you? What does he know to teach you?

What do you mean? If I didn’t know martial art, how could I rescue you before? You were mesmerized with my martial art so you agreed to be my bride, isn’t that so?

Now, children! If you go demonstrate your martial art, be careful. “A soft answer turns away wrath.” You may get into trouble if not careful.

Yes, I shall listen to you. I demonstrate martial art skills to earn money to take care of my ill father, so he doesn’t worry.

I’ll be there to scrutinize it. Be at ease, Father. There’s nothing to worry.

Come back as soon as you finish; otherwise I’ll be anxious. Be cautious, young master. A quick-temper begets trouble.

I’ll follow your advice. I’ll go now, Uncle.

Respected Father, I take leave now.

Remember to be careful, children.

Good! Amazing! Whose children are they that are quite good in martial art at that age?

I must say they’re great, not just good. Those two boys, aren’t they bright and adorable?

They’re indeed lovable.

Well done!

Respected elders! Ladies and gentlemen!

Respected brothers, sisters, and lovely ladies!

We’re young and cannot estimate our ability, “showing off our axes before the master carpenters.”

Please forgive us. It’s because we’re poor and now having a dire need for money, so we perform some public entertainment. We hope you can help us with some money to weather through our difficult time. Your deep favor, this young person will remember forever.

What a verbose chatterbox!

Mister, why are you scolding people?

Wow, what a beauty!

Why are you staring at me with wide-opened eyes? Have some manners!

What are you laughing about?

Well, let’s go away. Just the kind that relies on power to oppress decent people!

Let’s go, brother!

Oppressing decent people.

O uncles... O aunties...

Look, young lady! The world is topsy-turvy, and people are deceitful. Don’t listen to the boastful and cunning boys.

It takes one to know one. Only the boastful perceives others as boastful. Ouch!

There, you see? They’re indeed the kind who eat to tell lies. He’s only good at bragging, good-for-nothing. What a shame!

We’re just poor people trying to earn a living. What’s shameful about it? Only the one who relies on power, twists his tongue to deceive people, and flirts with girls is disgraceful.

Be quiet! Your time is over now that you provoke me! All fear and respect me when they hear of me, the most powerful. At my command, your life is over.

What is your name? Why are you so wordy? This is our first meeting. You started it and even prattled arrogantly. You slandered people without consideration.

Who are you that I have to show my respect? Your days are over now that you anger me, the first son of the powerful incumbent Prime Minister.

So you’re a mandarin’s son. We’re still young and innocent. If we’re really at fault, you should use gentle words to admonish us. That is how the state law is at work. Why rely on power to bully us like that?

Guards! Arrest them for me!

Please lessen your wrath. We weren’t aware of your authority and so offended a great nobleman. Please forgive us.

Forgive you? All right. Get on your knees and bow to me, and I’ll pardon you.

What?

Don’t bow to him. Nobleman, you can’t abuse your power to oppress people like that.

And you? You’re afraid that I will let you go? No. A beauty like you, I can’t simply ignore. After I teach these two a lesson, it’ll be your turn. Leaving? It’s not that easy. Guards? (Yes.) Take this girl to my private residence!

What? Guards? (Yes.) Hand me the sword!

Thank you for rescuing me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to escape the ruin of jade and gold.

We acted not just because of you. He pushed us against the wall. What else could we have done?

Young master, we’ve caused a catastrophe. Let’s go home now to figure out what to do.

Fine. Young lady, you should also leave this place now.

Benefactor, may I offer you this bag of money for your expenditure?

No. Don’t do that. What we did was nothing. Don’t bother to thank us and make us feel uncomfortable.

Actually, I don’t want to get in trouble. It must be our fate. Young lady, you should leave this place quickly.

I’m about to leave yet my heart lingers with fondness. Let’s look at each other for a moment, then we’ll be a thousand miles apart. It’s our first meeting yet I already admire the hero. That profound act of kindness by a valiant spirit will be remembered.

Please don’t bother saying words of gratitude. When we turn to walk away, please consider us as strangers.

Be it an adventurous journey or chains and prison awaiting me, I’ve resigned myself to the death penalty.

O Providence, where is justice? O the decision maker for the public, please consider the root and cause! May Heaven help my benefactor escape the prison term and his wish be fulfilled.

Thank you for your sympathy in saying so. We’d like to bid adieu. We’ll meet again if affinity allows. Farewell.

Farewell.

Farewell.

Father!

Hữu Nhân, son!

Father, keep this bag of money for spending on master’s medicine.

Hữu Phùng! Where did you get so much money, son?

A girl requited a favor done by me and young master.

Hữu Nhân, what favor is it that she repaid you for?

It was just a normal thing, Father.

If it was a normal thing, why did you accept her money?

Respected father, Hữu Phùng and I strongly rejected it, but she insisted and offered it to us. We kept refusing to no avail, so we had to accept it.

It happened already, but in the future you should keep in mind: “One who sees a righteous thing yet doesn’t act on it, is a coward. One who sees someone in danger but doesn’t help out, isn’t a man of courage.” And there is also: “Doing favors without expecting any return.”

Yes.

Hữu Phùng! (Yes.) Turn this way, son!

Yes.

What happened? (Dad.) Why are your clothes stained with blood?

No, they’re not.

Hữu Phùng! (Yes.) Whose blood is it? Whose is it?

Hữu Nhân, what is it that you two are trying to cover up? Tell me the truth. (Yes.) Hữu Nhân!

Father, please lessen your wrath so that I may explain. It began with the incumbent Prime Minister’s son. He relied on his father’s power to humiliate Hữu Phùng.

He also attempted to forcibly take a young woman home for his own pleasure. Unable to turn a blind eye to cruelty, I stepped out to stop him.

Unfortunately Hữu Phùng was defeated. I couldn’t remain indifferent, so I killed the power-abusing man.

O God! You’ve caused a grave disaster. They will hunt you down. Leave this place quickly, son.

I can’t seek safety to put you in trouble.

Before you leave home, I’ll reveal to you about your gentle mother. Your unwavering filial piety is witnessed by Heaven. With love and righteousness, you’ll meet your mother. Your mother is Fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên in the distant higher realm. Find your mother for a reunion. Head toward Đông Thành to the Seven Fairy ancient shrine. Cry out for Fairy Liên Hoa. Your earnest prayer will touch Heaven. Be courageous to save your mother who languishes in longing. I’ll be waiting anxiously for your return.

I’ll be fine in my search for mother. But how will you manage to live at home?

Don’t worry! Hold back your tears.

Your uncle and I will look after him. Don’t be concerned, child.

O brother Nhân, later on the long journey, you’ll confront many dangers and difficulties. I wish to join you on the myriad roads you travel to support you. Your departure will leave me longing for you forever. I’ll go stand at the riverbank every evening, gazing at the small ferry, yearning for one person.

O Phùng, if you truly love me, then wait for me in gladness. I entrust my aged father to you. Remember to take care of him.

I’ll care for him on your behalf in good or bad times, just like he is my own father.
Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

In Aulacese (Vietnamese) culture, cải lương (modern folk opera) is a popular theater art that dates back about three centuries, when the flourishing South was a new land. Among those who settled in the South at that time were musicians from the royal palace in the ancient capital Huế. Since then, the kind of ceremonial music often heard in the palace became more widely known among the populace.

Eventually, new songs were composed. Many amateur musical groups were formed, adopting music and song as a form of elegant entertainment. From about 1912 to 1915, the artists of these musical groups began to combine gestures to their songs. Since then, a new genre called ca ra bộ was born. Performers conversed; sometimes a song would be used as dialogue. Ca ra bộ continued to develop to create the theatrical art that is now called modern folk opera.

The orchestra for Aulacese modern folk opera usually consists of the six-string guitar, the moon lute, the pear-shaped lute, two-string fiddle, sixteen-string zither, and monochord zither. The themes of Aulacese modern folk opera highlight humanitarian and moral values. The dialogues are profound, the song lyrics and tunes are rhythmic and rich in melody. These are some of the reasons cải lương (modern folk opera) has an enduring place in the hearts of the Aulacese people.

In the Lunar New Year 2007, during an outdoor gathering with our Association members in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai was moved to spontaneously sing a folk opera song “Spiritual Practice is a Source of Blessing” written by Mr. Viễn Châu, which she knew by heart since her youth. We now invite you to listen to an excerpt of this folk opera song through the voice of Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Kneeling down, she sobs in the main hall of worship
As the temple bell sounds the hour of prayer
O young devotee, why do you wish to be a nun?
Finding comfort in the scriptures, and acquainting yourself with spiritual practice?
But how can you achieve enlightenment when earthly traces are still evident on your seasoned countenance?
Are you rid of worldly debt or are still entangled?
Did you renounce the world because glory and fame have lost their appeal and life seems like an abyss?
Or was it because of a fleeting moment of jealousy and distress that you intend to hide yourself behind the temple’s gate to bury your grief and forget your sorrow?

On Enlightening Entertainment, Supreme Master Television is pleased to introduce different forms of arts from Âu Lạc (Vietnam), as well as from other countries in the world, in order to share the beauty and cultures of the peoples on our planet.

The modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp” recounts the tale of the fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên who was chastened for transgressing divine laws. Only when those who loved Bạch Giáng Tiên could help her find the light of wisdom would she be liberated from the regressive bindings that she herself created.

We now invite you to enjoy part 3 of the modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” written by playwright Bạch Mai
with performances by Vũ Linh as Hữu Lương the student, Ngọc Huyền as Bạch Giáng Tiên the Fairy and Hữu Nhân, Thanh Thanh Tâm as Liên Hoa Fairy, Chí Linh as Deity Dương Tiễn, Đức Lợi as Hữu Sinh, Minh Long as King, Linh Châu as Ten Great Monks, Tào Thành as Prime Minister, Minh Thâu as Pampered Young Nobleman, Trung Quang as Giant Heavenly Dog, Đức Vinh as District Chief, Hồng Nhung as Mẫu Đơn Fairy, Vân Hà as Hồng Nương Fairy, Bạch Mai as Fabric Seller, Bạch Thu as Hồng Loan a village young woman, Bạch Lan as Hữu Phùng, and other artists.

Hữu Lương was a poor student who excelled in both literary and martial arts skills but faced misfortune in passing royal court’s examinations. On the way home from the capital, he met fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên at the Seven Fairies ancient shrine. Upon discovering that she had fallen deeply in love on Earth, Bạch Giáng Tiên’s eldest brother, Deity Dương Tiễn, together with heavenly soldiers, compelled her to return.

Since his separation from fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên, Hữu Lương, in pining for her, fell seriously ill. Determined to care for his father, Hữu Nhân went out to demonstrate his martial arts skill to earn some money for medicine.

However, while defending a helpless person, he harmed the Prime Minister’s eldest son and was subsequently pursued by soldiers. In this urgent situation, Hữu Lương disclosed about Hữu Nhân’s kind mother’s origin in Heaven, hoping to send Hữu Nhân off to search for his mother and escape danger.

Thank you for joining us on today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. Words of Wisdom is coming up. We’ll see you next time.

By all means, find the key to the place of the Ten Great Monks.

Father, I’m determined to search for it despite all obstacles and perils.

Son! (Dad!) Son! Leave now! Quickly, son, before the soldiers get here. Go, son! Hữu Nhân, take care! (Father!)

As I bow to bid farewell, my heart aches. In separation, I’m full of tears.

Seeing my son off to escape danger, my heart is torn apart.

Please take care of his comfort every night for me. Filial duty I haven’t yet fulfilled. I let my aged father sorrow because of me.

Why is high Heaven so heartless as to devise such a tragedy? I feel pity for an innocent child in his arduous journey all alone.

I’m taking leave now, Father.

Hữu Nhân, my son!

Respected mandarin, there is no one else in the house, except these 3 people.

Did you search carefully?

Yes, sir, we’ve searched very thoroughly, omitting not a single place.

Hữu Lương, where is your son? Where’s the murderer?

The rudder should bear responsibility for the wrongly steered bow. Just perform your duty.

Fine. Soldiers! Take him away!

Master! Master!

Where is this place? What? An ancient shrine! Who inscribed this poem here?

“A love vow of a hundred years. The wind wafts in fragrance of a youthful love. A soul in a beautiful dream, dazed, awakened at dawn, I feel melancholy.” Oh? It was signed by Hữu Lương. So this is where mom and dad met. How am I to reach the fairy palace to save Mother? Alas! Deep gratitude is hard to forget. I feel bitter and painfully sad. Tears flow unceasingly. O Heaven, why am I being tormented? Who’d realize my grief?

Oh my! Why do I feel so pained and restless? My four limbs are burnt with anxiety as if my kin is being torn to pieces.

Beloved Aunt Liên Hoa, how could you remain indifferent? That screaming voice is mine.

Your face resembles that of Giáng Tiên, my gentle younger sister!

That’s right. O Auntie, this is Hữu Nhân.

I left the earthly world of sorrow, seeking eternal convalescence to practice spiritually. Unexpectedly, my spirit is troubled with woes. What am I to do to help resolve this? Seeing my nephew suffer, I can’t be at ease.

If you ignore me, my life will be so lonely, and I can’t hope to save my parents. I’d rather sacrifice and end my tragic lot for good. I’ll risk my life to fulfill my filial duty.

I’m moved hearing your lament. Your golden vow shows your commitment. (Auntie Liên Hoa.) You’re not familiar with this place.

I’m happy now with you by my side. O Auntie, it’s Hữu Nhân!

Hữu Nhân, child!

O Auntie, where’s my mother? Please let me see her.

Hữu Nhân, child!

I yearn to meet a long- separated loved one. Thinking of my father’s tragic life, I shed more tears. So I had to drag my feet despite all obstacles to search for a loved one from whom I’ve been separated. Have pity and help me meet my mother.

Your mother has been banished to the Thunder Wind Tower. Since the Fairy Palace is under strict supervision, I don’t know how to help you two reunite?

I can’t live peacefully as long as we’re far apart. I beg you to take pity on me.

Stay calm and wait. I’ll see what to do.

My father said to ask you to take me to the Five Cloud Cavern where I’ll be able to find a way to meet my mother.

All right. I’ll take you to my palace to hide there, then I’ll go check out the Five Cloud Cavern. If you don’t hide in my palace, brother Dương’s Heavenly Dog will scent you, and you’ll have little hope of saving your mother.

Yes, I bow to you to help me.

Follow me quickly.

Heavenly Dog! (Yes.) How is fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên in the Thunder Wind Tower?

Respected Deity, she’s crying her heart out in sorrow, while murmuring the names of her husband and her son. Her face is tearful; her jade form languishes.

I also felt tormented when severing their love, but it was out of sympathy for my younger sister. Her arduous effort in spiritual practice all this time can’t be let adrift like the water-fern floating aimlessly on the vast river.

But she’s already had a son with her husband. When that child grows up, he won’t easily give up. He’ll find his way here.

As an earthling, how can he reach the Celestial Palace?

I’m afraid Liên Hoa will wholeheartedly help bring mother and son together.

If he relies on Liên Hoa’s magical power, he won’t be able to unite with his mother because it’s impossible to meet the ten Great Monks.

Respected Deity, who are the ten Great Monks? Kindly explain to me.

They’re the ten spiritual practitioners detained in the Golden Tower. It takes someone who is very righteous and filial with extraordinary talent and virtue to save them and free fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên.

According to what you said, mother and son will never see each other.

And Bạch Giáng Tiên will escape worldly bindings.

Hữu Nhân, son! Come with me to the Golden Tower to fetch the Heavenly Lamp and save the ten Great Monks immediately.

How happy I am! I bow to thank you for your love in helping me unite with my mother. I’m deeply touched.

Have courage to overcome the many dangers awaiting us.

Anxious to see my mother, I won’t be deterred even if I must endure physical torture. Don’t worry, Auntie. Hold back your grief.

You and I must set out quickly gliding on the clouds to find the Golden Tower.

O Mother, I vow not to waver. I hope to rescue you for our reunion.

O High Heaven, witness my prayer: let not mother and son be divided. Why must one be forever separated from his dearest kin? Oh, I cry and plead in anguish! Hear my lament, O happy and contented fairy land!

O Father, know you not the countless hardships I’ve been through. How could I find peace? My tears flow in distress. I feel sorry for you, Fairy Auntie, for accepting to endure troubles with me.

O Heaven knows not, I vow to save my younger sister.

Help me, anyone!

Wait, Auntie! I think I heard someone crying for help.

You’re right. That’s from the ten Great Monks who have been locked up at the base of the Golden Tower for their wrongdoing. O ten Great Monks, how can we rescue you?

In order to rescue us, it takes a valiant person who is willing to sacrifice himself by cutting his hand to sprinkle his blood on the tower’s amulet. The chains will then shatter and we’ll be released. But it takes the courage of a filial person whose talent and virtue are like the brilliant sun and moon without a trace of obscuring cloud. A man of bravery though he is only 15. His miraculous red blood will save me.

Don’t worry, Venerable. The one you’re waiting for is here. Hữu Nhân, cut your hand to save the lives of the virtuous! With immense merit, your wish will be fulfilled.

Your order, I dare not decline. I’ll cut my hand and let my blood spill.

Sprinkle it on the amulet, then come stand by my side.

I’ll obey you to save the many lives in distress.

Amitabha Buddha be praised! We’re deeply grateful to you two for compassionately coming to our rescue.

It’s all right. Please don’t over thank us. It’s my courageous young nephew who set you free.

Pitying the spiritual practitioners, I can’t turn a blind eye. You’re free now. Hurry back to the temple to continue your spiritual practice.

You’re a very good child. Buddha be praised! Where were you two going that you ended up in the Golden Tower? Please let me know. If I could be of any help, I wouldn’t refuse.

I’m Liên Hoa Fairy in the High Heaven. And he...

I’m Hữu Nhân, Fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên’s son.

From Earth, he came to Heaven to fulfill his filial duty. Wishing to save his gentle mother, he risked his life to arrive at the celestial realm.

Fifteen years of separation torment my heart and agonize my soul. Please help set my mother free from the Thunder Wind Tower so that mother and son may reunite.

The Thunder Wind Tower is a place stringently guarded under Deity Dương Tiễn’s governance. He is well staffed with heavenly generals and soldiers and the Heavenly Dog too. So how can you reach the fairy palace to rescue your kind mother? Only one sacred treasure can help you accomplish everything.

What is that sacred treasure? Please show me where it is. If my mother is saved, your immense favor I will deeply remember.

The Magic Hammer, if you possess it, will spare you the hard work. Its magical power will help you successfully fight your way to the fairy palace.

Where is that Magic Hammer? Please show us.

It’s in the Golden Tower, right next to you.

In the Golden Tower and right next to me? I don’t see it at all. Please show us. Don’t tease us, Great Monk.

I beg you; have pity for a young soul and help us. My father is languishing in misery longing to see his loved ones.

Be at ease. I’ll requite your deep favor. I’ll help you acquire the Magic Hammer so you may fulfill your filial duty. Listen to my humble advice. Use the Heavenly Lamp from the Golden Tower to ignite a high flame in the midst of the Fairy Well. We, humble monks, will jump in to self-immolate. As a dutiful son, you should try to sustain the fairy flame. The Magic Hammer will appear to you in a short while.

No. We can’t accept the sacrifice of ten monks who will destroy their own bodies because of us.

I’d rather ruin my own life to save my mother. But I can’t sit watching you burn yourselves to death miserably.

You and the little one don’t look at things in perspective. Life or death is determined by the law of cause and effect. I sacrifice myself to requite an immense favor. Wouldn’t I be carefree in Nirvana? Listen to me: Ignite the flame! Come on! Let my next life be finished with all karmic retribution.

Oh, no, Great Monk! Do not act recklessly and torment me further. You need peace of mind to pursue your spiritual practice.

My life would have been over if it hadn’t been for your help. How can I turn a blind eye to my benefactor’s pitiful plight? Listen to me, hand me the Fairy Lamp. As the flame sparks, my wish is fulfilled. Giáng Tiên is longing for her son. (No.)

Hữu Nhân, son! (Auntie!)

Set the fire quickly!

I’ll be forever indebted to your compassionate favor. The merit of a Zen master shines forth.

Make it blazing hot for my heart to feel warm, for me to repay a favor. My spirit goes to the Western Buddha Land now. I bid farewell. Come in, my fellow monks.

Oh, I grieve for the Zen master who is willing to sacrifice himself.

Monks, offer yourself!

Great Monk!

No, Great Monk!

Great Monk!

Great Monk!

Great Monk!

Great Monk!

O fire, I treasure the great favor.

Listen to me: don’t immolate yourself!

Be an example of diligence for the earthlings. Amitabha Buddha be praised!

Ten Great Monks!

O Venerables! You let your forms be destroyed out of gratitude. And I, I’ll fulfill my filial duty as your wish for me.

Hữu Nhân, son! Listen, don’t be distracted from your task. Your filial piety is witnessed by the high Heaven.

Your words are the illuminating moon that I’ll inscribe in my heart. I’ll cultivate diligently so that my mother be saved and my wish come true: Our family will be reunited, speaking words of deep affection.

Try harder and be sincere, child. I’ll be on the watch while waiting for you. Things wear with time, but a steadfast heart perseveres in its goal.

How I love my gentle aunt who has to confront the celestial soldiers at intervals because of me. But what else can I do? O Mother, my heart is so troubled. O Auntie!

Hữu Nhân! Don’t give up, child!

I’m so exhausted, please lend me a hand, Auntie!

This task requires a filial son. How can I help you? Don’t give up, Hữu Nhân!

What can I do, Auntie? I’m now exhausted physically, yet the Magic Hammer is nowhere in sight. Gone is my hope to reunite with my mother.

Hữu Nhân! Where is your sense of righteousness? You’re discouraged and afraid of losing your physical body, so you don’t care to uphold filial piety? I’m just an aunt who loves devotedly, but what can I do to save my younger sister?

O Auntie, I’m just physically exhausted, not that I’m heartless.

You must try hard to pass through the celestial court to rescue your mother. You must forge the Magic Hammer to shatter all chains.

The celestial generals and soldiers are coming! O Auntie Liên Hoa! Pitying a filial child, you’ve extended your help. If I’m too sentimental, I’ll betray your kindness.

Being a man of letters, let not the world scorn you. Let not your father languish in longing. Let family members reunite.

Yes, I’m trying very hard here. Oh look! The Magic Hammer is here! How happy I am! Wait for me, Mother!

Let’s ride the clouds to the Thunder Wind Tower to rescue my gentle sister.

You brat! How dare you come to Heaven to disturb the whole celestial court! Liên Hoa Fairy! You’re in serious trouble for abusing your magical power.

Hữu Nhân, quickly use the Magic Hammer to disrupt the stranglehold.

Woe to you!

Hữu Nhân, Thunder Wind Tower is where your mother is retained.

Mother! We’ve been separated for so long. Mother and child are now reunited. Didn’t you hear, O beloved mother, my heart-rending cry, my tearful lament? Oh, what an agonizing pain!

O Giáng Tiên!

O Mother, I’m so happy I could die right here.

Thanks to the Magic Hammer, my sister is saved. Bạch Giáng Tiên, dear!

Liên Hoa, kind sister!

Mom!

This is your son, Hữu Nhân, whom you have longed to see for the past 15 years.

Hữu Nhân, my son!

Mom!

I think of my innocent child all these 15 years of separation. Heaven takes pity on us, so this reunion is predestined. Missing my son, I feel tormented.

Tears quietly roll down rosy lips. Celestial realm is tinged with melancholy. Torn asunder from your mate, you languish with time. In reunion, your dream is now fulfilled. Giáng Tiên, there your son is.

O Mom, I long for you like a fish in a dry pond longing for water, like a barren field longing for a blessing rain. Meeting you, my wish is fulfilled. Please return with me to the earthly world to find the one you deeply love. My father languishes alone in his longing. He’s undergoing torture in my place. I’m afraid I must live the rest of my life as an orphan.

I felt such a torment when I was separated from you. I violated Heaven’s laws, so I had to accept the consequence. How could I gain brother Dương’s sympathy so that mother and son, husband and wife aren’t divided?

O Mother, my aunt has a noble and compassionate heart. Without her help, I wouldn’t be able to see you.

I bow to my kind sister in gratitude of your lofty spirit. Your favor is mountain- high and sea-deep.

Stand up, Bạch Giáng Tiên, gentle sister! We’ve met again in tears of joy. I thought we’d be separated for thousands of years. The majestic Thunder Wind Tower stands imposingly amidst the celestial realm. It locked up a woman who had to part with her husband and dolefully longed for her son. But it’d be hard to retain our happiness for long as our eldest brother will not tolerate this, neither will the Thunder Deity. I’m so worried as we’re at fault. O Giáng Tiên, how can we find a way out?

There’s no escape because once Deity Dương Tiễn casts the heavenly net, we can’t possibly survive.

The Magic Hammer will help me freely roam the fairy palaces. I’m determined to save my beloved mother despite all oppositions.

Don’t be insolent!

Brother Dương!
Today’s Enlightening Entertainment will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

In Aulacese (Vietnamese) culture, cải lương (modern folk opera) is a popular theater art that dates back about three centuries, when the flourishing South was a new land. Among those who settled in the South at that time were musicians from the royal palace in the ancient capital Huế. Since then, the kind of ceremonial music often heard in the palace became more widely known among the populace. Eventually, new songs were composed. Many amateur musical groups were formed, adopting music and song as a form of elegant entertainment.

From about 1912 to 1915, the artists of these musical groups began to combine gestures to their songs. Since then, a new genre called ca ra bộ was born. Performers conversed; sometimes a song would be used as dialogue. Ca ra bộ continued to develop to create the theatrical art that is now called modern folk opera.

The orchestra for Aulacese modern folk opera usually consists of the six-string guitar, the moon lute, the pear-shaped lute, two-string fiddle, sixteen-string zither, and monochord zither. The themes of Aulacese modern folk opera highlight humanitarian and moral values. The dialogues are profound, the song lyrics and tunes are rhythmic and rich in melody. These are some of the reasons cải lương (modern folk opera) has an enduring place in the hearts of the Aulacese people.

In the Lunar New Year 2007, during an outdoor gathering with our Association members in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai was moved to spontaneously sing a folk opera song “Spiritual Practice is a Source of Blessing” written by Mr. Viễn Châu, which she knew by heart since her youth. We now invite you to listen to an excerpt of this folk opera song through the voice of Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Kneeling down, she sobs in the main hall of worship
As the temple bell sounds the hour of prayer
O young devotee, why do you wish to be a nun?
Finding comfort in the scriptures, and acquainting yourself with spiritual practice?
But how can you achieve enlightenment when earthly traces are still evident on your seasoned countenance?
Are you rid of worldly debt or are still entangled?
Did you renounce the world because glory and fame have lost their appeal and life seems like an abyss?
Or was it because of a fleeting moment of jealousy and distress that you intend to hide yourself behind the temple’s gate to bury your grief and forget your sorrow?

On Enlightening Entertainment, Supreme Master Television is pleased to introduce different forms of arts from Âu Lạc (Vietnam), as well as from other countries in the world, in order to share the beauty and cultures of the peoples on our planet.

The modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp” recounts the tale of the fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên who was chastened for transgressing divine laws. Only when those who loved Bạch Giáng Tiên could help her find the light of wisdom would she be liberated from the regressive bindings that she herself created.

We now invite you to enjoy the conclusion of the modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” written by playwright Bạch Mai

with performances by Vũ Linh as Hữu Lương the student, Ngọc Huyền as Bạch Giáng Tiên the Fairy and Hữu Nhân, Thanh Thanh Tâm as Liên Hoa Fairy, Chí Linh as Deity Dương Tiễn, Đức Lợi as Hữu Sinh, Minh Long as King, Linh Châu as Ten Great Monks, Tào Thành as Prime Minister, Minh Thâu as Pampered Young Nobleman, Trung Quang as Giant Heavenly Dog, Đức Vinh as District Chief, Hồng Nhung as Mẫu Đơn Fairy, Vân Hà as Hồng Nương Fairy, Bạch Mai as Fabric Seller, Bạch Thu as Hồng Loan a village young woman, Bạch Lan as Hữu Phùng, and other artists.

Hữu Lương was a poor student who excelled in both literary and martial arts skills but faced misfortune in passing royal court’s examinations. On the way home from the capital, he met fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên at the Seven Fairies ancient shrine. Upon discovering that she had fallen deeply in love on Earth, Bạch Giáng Tiên’s eldest brother, Deity Dương Tiễn, together with heavenly soldiers, compelled her to return.

Since his separation from fairy Bạch Giáng Tiên, Hữu Lương, in pining for her, fell seriously ill. Determined to care for his father, Hữu Nhân went out to demonstrate his martial arts skill to earn some money for medicine. However, while defending a helpless person, he harmed the Prime Minister’s eldest son and was subsequently pursued by soldiers.

In this urgent situation, Hữu Lương disclosed about Hữu Nhân’s kind mother’s origin in Heaven, hoping to send Hữu Nhân off to search for his mother and escape danger. Helped by his aunt Liên Hoa Fairy, Hữu Nhân courageously rescued the Ten Great Monks who were detained in the celestial realm. In gratitude, the Ten Great Monks showed Hữu Nhân how to save Bạch Giáng Tiên from the Thunder Wind Tower.

But before mother and son could rejoice in their reunion, Deity Dương Tiễn appeared to chastise Hữu Nhân for disturbing Heaven.

Thank you for your company on today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Coming up is Words of Wisdom. Please tune in on Supreme Master Television next Thursday for the Aulacese chèo traditional opera entitled “The Lullabies of Two Mothers” by playwrights Nhật Minh and Doãn Hoàng Giang. May you and your family be graced with bountiful spiritual blessings. We bid you farewell for now.

Liên Hoa Fairy dared help the earthling, causing disturbance and harming the Heavenly Dog. You slight the Five Thunder Genies’ power, or are you attempting to change hands and rank? Your offense is obvious! Repent now. I’ll let you join younger sister Bạch.

I bow to you to forgive me. It’s all because I pity my younger sister Giáng Tiên and my innocent nephew Hữu Nhân. They’re not strangers; how could I betray them?

I’ve suffered much already. Please reconsider, eldest brother. Don’t divide us, mother and son.

I bow to you, Uncle, to take pity on me. It’s for filial duty that I transgress the law, not that I dare abuse my power.

Enough! Be quiet! It’s your fate. You disturbed the Palace. Celestial soldiers, carry out your duty!

Brother Dương!

Brother Dương!

Stop it!

Uncle!

Elder brother, don’t sever family affection. A human fate is like a floating water fern. Looking at my innocent nephew, I have no heart to refuse. O gentle brother, please forgive him. Giáng Tiên is heartbroken. How can you be heartless?

Please pity your younger sister and extend your help. My husband on Earth is charged with a felony; his life is at risk. I can’t remain indifferent to his suffering.

O brother, hear our plea.

I plead with you.

Elder brother!

Stay out!

Uncle!

Having attained the true state of a fairy, I realize the karmic binding: a boat must return to its old pier. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t bother thinking about it. I’d let you drift on the vast sea, life after life. The Earth is where karmic retribution works its tempestuous course. Don’t be attached to nor share bed and board with earthlings, lest you will perish one day. Hữu Nhân needs to return to the earthly world. I pardon Liên Hoa of her willfully providing guidance. It’s Hữu Lương’s fate to meet with danger. Trying to rescue him, Giáng Tiên will violate the earthly precept.

I’ll listen to your advice, but allow me to see him one last time to bid farewell and entrust my young son to him, then I’ll return to the Fairy Land.

I don’t want you to get caught in a karmic debt. If you go against my order, I won’t tolerate it.

I must rescue my mother to fulfill my filial duty. I bow to you, gentle Uncle, to pardon my wrongdoings.

You brat! You dare trespassed the Fairy gate. Celestial generals and soldiers! (Yes.) Besiege and arrest him for his punishment.

Elder brother!

Be quiet!

Hold it, O eldest brother, Deity Dương Tiễn! How have you the heart to destroy Giáng Tiên’s child and sever their bond? As a fairy who has escaped the earthly binding, I still can’t help shed tears, when a young child, out of love for his gentle mother, struggles against the celestial soldiers. Please have great mercy to let him meet his mother in peace. She’s endured loneliness in the Thunder Wind Tower. As an enlightened spiritual practitioner, please spare an unintentional offender.

Be quiet! Don’t be foolish and interfere! I won’t tolerate anyone who committed violence. Celestial guards! Arrest him!

Stop it, respected Deity Dương Tiễn, please receive Holy Mother’s letter.

Respectful greetings, Holy Mother.

Deity Dương Tiễn, Bạch Giáng Tiên has gotten entangled in her bad retribution. Have compassion to help her escape from her karmic affinity. Let her unite with her past karma (retribution) on Earth and save her husband to fulfill her conjugal obligation. Then she’ll bid him farewell to return to the Celestial Palace. Do not go against my order. Holy Mother’s Letter

I dare not disobey Holy Mother’s words. Bạch Giáng Tiên, you and your young son may go down to Earth. But remember: after you rescue Hữu Lương, hasten back to the Fairy Land. By then, the six fairies and I will go there to bring you back.

Order obeyed.

I loath to part with Giáng Tiên, feeling sorry for my sister who is still burdened with worldly debt.

O elder sister, it’s heart- rending to bid farewell. Caught in my bad retribution, I must endure hardship.

In the higher realm, I’ll long for Giáng Tiên. How come I feel weighed down with melancholy?

I still hope for our reunion. Let not sorrow keep you from having joy and harmony.

May the time quickly come to receive you back. Then rainbow dance and singing will fill the air.

I take leave for Earth in hopes of saving my husband from distress.

Seeing Giáng Tiên off, we long for your return.

O Heaven, how could you heartlessly inflict tragedy? Husband and wife are separated; an innocent child had to drift to a strange land at an early age. I now bid them an eternal farewell. Where is hope of a happy reunion, as my physical form will soon decay? I pray to Heaven that my son grows up fast to meet his mother to satisfy his yearning.

O master, have you been subjected to very painful torture?

Hữu Sinh, why do you two still come here?

O master, I’m so sorry that you’ve met with misfortune. How could I heartlessly hide away? So I’ve come to ask to take the death sentence in your place. I’d rather die yet feel at peace in the other world.

I thank you for your loyalty, but he who sins must bear the consequence. I’ve accepted this death already. You still have an innocent son and a gentle wife who need your loving care.

O master, only in time of trouble shall loyalty be proved. My husband’s family for many generations has been indebted to yours, so even if we must die, we gladly accept it to repay a favor as immense as the sky and sea.

Master, we can’t help shed tears of sorrow. O Heaven, why subject a righteous man to calamity?

We vow to requite your kindness. Should our bones turn to smoke, we’d smile happily in the other world. We wish to sacrifice this physical form to save you and repay the favor.

I appreciate your loyalty. On my behalf, please raise my young child to become a good man.

O master, why is the fate of a virtuous person so distressful? I’m frustrated with my incompetence as to let my life be swept by the whirlwind of authority. O High Heaven, why sow sorrow and trouble and make the virtuous suffer many misfortunes while the tyrants remain atop?

Being born a human, one must live as such to not feel ashamed when looking at the surrounding plants and grass. If you still think of me, you two should take care of Hữu Nhân until he grows up.

No matter how life changes, I won’t forget your noble words. I pledge to take care of Hữu Nhân wholeheartedly so that you are at peace in the other world.

O master, I feel like the wild grass, being of no help to you in your difficult time. So I’d rather be a kind of fertilizer to nourish the trees, making them lush, so that you may live on and be able to help the world later.

That’s our heartfelt wish. Please kindly accept it. Right now, in his life, Hữu Nhân needs your guidance and protection.

I’ve made up my mind. You two should leave this place quickly if you still consider me your master.

Master!

Master!

If you two still don’t listen to me, then we have nothing else to talk.

Master! Yes, we will leave this place right away.

Then I’ll feel at peace. All right, you two take care.

Hey, that couple there! Get out of the way quickly! The high-ranking official is coming. Leave quickly!

Master, I’m leaving now.

Master, I’m taking leave.

That man, do you agree to hand over your son? Or you want to die for him? Speak up! It’s been three days already. I can’t wait any longer.

District Chief! I’m in your hands; just kill me. It’s a waste of your time hoping. And my son, you’ll never see him.

Very well! You’re still stubborn. I’ll let you see what I can do. Upon my order, your life will be ended.

You’re a parasite to people and the country. For luxurious living, you’d slave at the tyrants’ feet. Your turn will soon come.

Death is near, and you still talk with airs. You’re indeed someone who knows not his time. Then don’t lament why your life is full of bad luck. You’ve chosen poverty instead of wealth. So don’t blame me for it!

I only regret that being a student, I couldn’t mend the sky and fill the sea with my hands, so you guys freely rule and harm the good people, creating many sorrowful plights.

I’ll see if your flesh is made of steel. Guards! (Yes.)

Beat the drum of command! As soon as the drum stops sounding, I want that man beheaded. Start now!

Behead him!

Hữu Lương! Wake up, beloved husband!

I’m still alive? Whose voice was it from a distance? Was it...

It’s me! It’s Bạch Giáng Tiên, darling.

O cherished, we’re hand in hand, yet I still think it’s a dream. The swallow of yore who left for the lone horizon without hope of a return day, leaving me with my vow of faithfulness. I’ve spent the past 12 years in loneliness. Looking at my young child, I miss my beloved of old. There were nights when dew fell gently on the stone doorway, I thought they were the footsteps of my love coming back. I hurried out with warm open arms and was disappointed to see but the lone shadow of a waning moon.

From now on, we’ll no longer pine for each other or suffer woes. I feel sorry that you had to raise our young child all by yourself.

The boat now returns to the old shore to re-tie a love thread.

O darling, we have each other in life now.

I’m only pained that on your day of return, our innocent son is nowhere to be found.

Please don’t be quick to feel miserable, bitter and tearful, because it’s he who helps us reunite. Hữu Nhân has undergone trials and dangers to reach the Five Cloud Cave to find me.

What were you saying? Hữu Nhân already met you?

Yes. It’s thanks to our filial son that I came back here in time.

Father, I’m back! Our family is happy now.

I thank Heaven for giving father and son this day.

Darling, your difficult time is over. As a man, you should establish fame and position.

O Giáng Tiên, I’m already fed up with wealth and honor. I wish to lead a pure and simple life by my gentle wife for the rest of my days.

You care not for position and fame, but remember: Our son must become a useful man later on. Our life was full of hardships. Don’t let our child walk our old path.

So, what do you think I should do?

O beloved, His Majesty is visiting the Western Lake. He is unaware that the corrupt mandarins have been plotting. They want to seize this opportunity to rebel and assassinate the King while he travels incognito among the commoners. It’s hard for His Majesty to secure his life because he is weak and helpless to the wicked minions of the Prime Minister who wants to murder the king to take over the throne.

So, what can I do now to rescue His Majesty as he is a true and wise king?

Before you leave, take this sword. Quickly head to the Western Lake, disguise as a boatman, and wait to rescue His Majesty.

Father, may I follow to give you a helping hand?

It’s a very dangerous task. You should go home with Uncle Sinh first.

Mother!

Please let Hữu Nhân accompany you. He’ll be of great help to you.

Father, Mother allows me to accompany you already.

All right. You may go with me.

May I follow to take care of young master?

No, no. We can’t afford many people on this important mission.

Beloved husband, I think you should take all with you. It’s probably to your advantage.

Everyone, follow me then.

Farewell, darling. I’ll see you.

Listen to me. When you see me throw the glass of wine, all must jump out to seize and tie up the King for me, you hear?

Yes.

Remember to capture him alive. You’re not to kill him.

Order obeyed.

Now, you all go back to your place.

Greetings, Your Excellency! How long have you been here?

Eunuch! (Yes.) I’m waiting for your report. (Yes.) So? Is everything going smoothly? (Yes.) Where is His Majesty?

Your Excellency, His Majesty is preparing for a sightseeing trip to Western Lake. And since everything is overseen by me, nothing could ever go wrong.

Very good. I’ll keep in mind your top service. (Yes.) You should remember.

Remember what?

Try to induce the King to leave the boat and enter this island. (Yes.) I’ll take care of the rest.

When you’re in charge, I’m overjoyed. Your Excellency, need I poison His Majesty’s wine?

No need. I want him alive to hand me the royal seal. Then I’ll tie him up, put him on the pleasure boat, and set it on fire. In such a quiet night with a high wind, who can save him in time?

You plan things like a genie. This time His Majesty is supposedly heading to his death. And the throne will fall into your hands.

Now, Eunuch! (Yes.) Are there people on this island?

Your Excellency, this is a small unoccupied island on Western Lake.

Tonight, does His Majesty travel alone or with any royal bodyguard?

Since this is just a tour on the lake, no bodyguard comes along. All stay behind in the inner palace. Only a number of imperial guards and female attendants accompany him.

Excellent! Try not to let the King feel suspicious or take any precaution, so that my work is easy.

Yes, I’ll follow what you said. Now, I’d like to go back to arrange for the King’s journey into his death.

With the title of Chief Eunuch overseeing the three palaces, all the gold (What about the gold?) is waiting for you.

I’ll eat gold this time. I’m very grateful to you. Let me take leave.

O master, I’ll hide in one place just in case. Be careful, master.

All right, I’ll wait here.

Father, I found that there are many soldiers lying in ambush on the island.

All follow me in this direction.

This way, Your Majesty!

Stop!

Who are you? Why are you blocking my way? Don’t you fear death?

Death? That isn’t for me, but for you.

Prime Minister! You intend to revolt?

Not intending, but doing. Guards! (Yes.) Tie up this king!

I never expected this. I’ve bestowed on you so many benefits and the high position of prime minister, yet you’re still not satisfied.

High, yet there’ still someone higher than me. I’m just a prime minister, not a king. So I very much desire that topmost position.

You’ll pay for your insatiable greed.

That’s way in the future.

Right now, hand me the royal seal if you’re smart. Otherwise...

Never. If you’re bold enough, just kill me. But don’t expect me to hand the royal seal over to a rebel.

You’re being stubborn? You think I dare not kill you, so you raised your voice arrogantly? Don’t hope that someone will come to your rescue. You should know that when I take action, I’ve planned carefully. No one can enter this place.

I never expect luck; I only blame myself for over-trusting you. That’s why today you’re able to abuse your power as such.

Enough, be quiet! If you want to live, hand over the royal seal!

Respected New King, let me present you the royal seal.

What? Eunuch! So you’re involved in everything that took place?

Regretfully, by the time Your Majesty realizes, it’s already too late. Respected New King, please be at ease. All imperial guards were tied up by our men.

Well done! Good job!

Your Majesty, here is the royal seal!

The royal seal? I get hold of it, finally!

Holding it, you hold the entire kingdom in your hand.

And your life as well.

Remember today’s lesson, so you won’t be foolish and harbor resentment in your next life.

Alas! Wealth and fame! What are you that can cause people to be unconscionable?

It’s what makes a wife unfaithful to her husband, a child unfilial to his father, and a subject disloyal to his lord.

Stop it, you betrayer!

What a pity!

Who are you? How did you know that I was in danger to rescue me in time?

Your Majesty, I’m an ill-fated student who was flunked twice by this Prime Minister.

You were flunked twice by the Prime Minister?

Yes. Because I’m the son of the convicted mandarin Triệu Hữu Ngôn who was harmed by the Prime Minister years ago.

You are the son of the Internal Chancellor Triệu Hữu Ngôn?

Yes, Your Majesty.

O Hữu Lương! Forgive me for being so thoughtless as to lose a meritorious state official. Because I listened to false reports, my mind and heart were obscured. Forgive me for my transgression. When I saw my stained hands, I realized they were steeped in indigo.

Your Majesty is the most venerated and a wise king. It’s normal for a king to decree the death of his subject; disobeying is disloyal.

Now I understand everything. I invite everyone to the Palace to be rewarded with ranks and titles. Rescuing the king is a very great merit. I entrust the country to you; please serve it for me.

I await your order.

Quickly bring your helpers, wife and son to the Court to receive your title as Prime Minister of Left Ministry.

I’m grateful to Your Majesty.

I will return to the Palace and wait for you all.

Long live, Your Majesty!

Beloved, thanks to you that I was able to vindicate my father and receive His Majesty’s conferment.

Why did you say that? It’s my duty.

Mom! Dad!

What is it, son?

Mom, Dad! Take me to see the fireworks. People are celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival.

Bạch Giáng Tiên, you’ve fulfilled your vow of love. Hasten back to the Celestial Court to report.

Giáng Tiên, my sister! Heaven is an abode for peaceful enjoyment. The mundane world is a place of karmic retributions.

Elder sister, hasten back to the fairyland.

Finding joy in scripture reciting and leading a leisurely life.

Order obeyed.

Giáng Tiên, my love!

Mom!

Beloved husband! Hữu Nhân, my child! Bidding farewell to Earth, I’m taking leave. What a grievous and agonizing situation!

You have the heart to leave me, my love? A swallow deserts the flock, leaving her family pining lifelong.

Please lessen your sorrow of parting. Earthly and celestial beings can’t possibly stay together.

O people, try to forget this love bond. Giáng Tiên will dedicate herself fully to her spiritual practice in Heaven.

O Mom, how have you the heart to abandon me?

Our innocent child is crying in anguish.

You people will enjoy a wealthy life on Earth.

I can’t stop the tears, having no hope for our reunion.

Farewell!

Giáng Tiên!

Mom!

Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly sent gifts to the artists and specialists contributing to the modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” broadcast on Supreme Master Television, who conveyed their appreciation.

Actress Bạch Thu as Hồng Loan, a young village woman:
Greetings, Supreme Master Ching Hai. I’m Bạch Thu. I heard that Master watched the opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” and Master sent me a gift. I’m very grateful and wish Master lots of luck and good health.

Actor Trung Quang as Giant Heavenly Dog:
Master has sent us gifts and remembered us. I am very grateful to Master and wish Master good health and to be forever young.

Actor Chinh Nhân as Pampered Son of a Nobleman:
First, I’d like to thank Master for sending us precious gifts and heartfelt words that Master very much loves Aulacese modern folk operas. “The Heavenly Lamp” was made with elaborate efforts by artists Bạch Mai and Đức Lợi, who are my parents. I’d like to share further why we should be vegetarian. Being vegetarian means we eat fruits, roots and vegetables. Being vegetarian is very beneficial. It keeps our body completely pure and not aging.

Eating meat, first, is toxic; second, we’d commit the sin of killing. Honestly, I hope you will try to be vegetarian for a month or two, then you will realize that being vegetarian is the best thing. Because nowadays, vegetarian food is sold everywhere. I hope we will watch Supreme Master Television to listen to Master’s explanation. It’s the best.

Actor Tào Thành as Prime Minister:
I am actor Tào Thành. I’ve received Master’s gift and I’m very grateful to Master. I’ll promote vegetarianism to friends and relatives, so they understand the goal of being vegetarian to save the Earth. We should know the benefits of being vegetarian.

First, mentally, we’ll feel at ease and light-hearted, and we show our compassion to all beings. Physically, our body will be clean and have less illnesses. Second, environmentally, we’ll reduce livestock farming to counter global warming. We should be vegetarian, our family should be vegetarian, and the whole world should be vegetarian, because being vegetarian is very beneficial. I wish Master abundant health.

Actor Linh Châu as Great Monk:
My respectful greetings to Master. I’ve received your gift. With all sincerity and respect, I’d like to thank Master. Also, I’d like to inform Master of some good news. I’m planning to produce the opera “Maudgalyayana and His Mother.” A number of artists here have become vegetarian now, because being vegetarian calms and purifies our hearts. We’re no longer plagued with greed, anger, and ignorance. Therefore, many artists are now vegetarian. I hope your program will continue to grow and reach deeply in viewers’ hearts.

Actor Minh Long as King:
Respectful greetings, Master. I’m actor Minh Long. I sincerely thank Master for your gifts. I wish Master live forever in this world to save sentient beings. I hope someday I will be able to go over there to meet Master.

Technical specialist Giang Trường:
Respected Supreme Master Ching Hai, I’m greatly touched by Master’s caring concern in sending me gifts. I very much wish that someday I will be able to see Master. May Master meet with abounding good luck, all wishes fulfilled, and great health to continue contributing to life. October 19, 2010 Giang Trường

Technical specialist Trí Dũng:
Today I received a gift from Master Ching Hai. I’m so touched beyond words. The opera “The Heavenly Lamp” was produced a long time ago, but I’m surprised that Master remembers to send gifts to the film crew. I’m very grateful to Master. I wish Master good health and peace always.

Actress Thanh Thảo as Fairy:
I’m Thanh Thảo. Since I began my career until now, this is the first gift I received from someone from far away who thinks of me. The artists now are very spiritual; they eat vegetarian. For example, during the seventh month of the lunar calendar, everyone in this opera company, from the leaders to the artists, all eat vegetarian for the whole month.

As for any flood relief effort, they all contribute their best. So what Master teaches, we are able to carry out. We’re doing it and we do a very good job. I’d like to wish Master abundant health. And I’ll spread this to our brothers and sisters to together practice and promote vegetarianism. And we artists sincerely wish to send our love to Master from afar.

Director Lê Văn Lộc; opera actors Vũ Linh as Hữu Lương, Chí Linh as Deity Dương Tiễn, Đức Lợi as Hữu Sinh, Đức Vinh as District Chief; opera actresses Thanh Thanh Tâm as Liên Hoa Fairy, Vân Hà as Hồng Nương Fairy, Hồng Nhung as Mẫu Đơn Fairy, Bạch Mai as Fabric Seller, Bạch Lan as Hữu Phùng; lighting specialists Văn Lâm and Đức Thái; designer Trường Quang; and script supervisor Thành Chiến also received gifts and loving wishes from Supreme Master Ching Hai.

We sincerely thank all artists and specialists who have contributed to the modern folk opera “The Heavenly Lamp,” which viewers have enjoyed on Supreme Master Television. We respectfully wish you and your family all the best in the love of Heaven and Buddha, and that the precious genre of modern folk opera will continue to shine to elevate noble values in everyone’s heart.

I am actor Chinh Nhân. You’re watching Supreme Master Television. And let’s Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

I am actress Bạch Thu. You’re watching Supreme Master Television broadcasting globally. Let’s Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

I am actor Tào Thành. You’re watching Supreme Master Television broadcasting worldwide. Let’s Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

I’m actor Minh Long. You’re watching Supreme Master Television broadcasting around the world. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

I am actor Linh Châu. You’re watching Supreme Master Television airing worldwide. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

I’m video specialist Lê Trí Dũng. Greeting, viewers of Supreme Master Television, broadcasting globally. Let’s Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

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