Zen Master Danxia Tianran was accomplished disciple of Great Zen Master Mazu Daoyi and Master Shitou Xiqian. His monastic title was Tianran and once stayed in a monastery in Mount Danxia, Nanyang (today's Nanyang, Henan Province), so he called Danxia Tianran (Tianran of Danxia).
It is said that something during Xianzong' reign of the Tang Dynasty, once when Danxia was staying in the Huilin Monastery in Mengjin, Henan, the day was bitter cold; he made a fire to keep warm by burning a wood-carved Buddha which had been placed in the Grand Hall for enshrine and worship. The abbot of the monastery was shocked and shouted at him. "How could you burn the wooden Buddha?" Danxia poked among the ashes and said, "I burnt it to get the holy crystallized relics Buddha leaves behind." The abbot said,"You can never get relics from a wooden Buddha." Then Danxia said, "Since there are no holy relics, I'd better burn a couple more."
What Danxia did seemed guilty of heterodoxy; in fact he wanted to tell other monks that Buddha is in one's clear nature, not in the status and sutras. One who worship icon all day, not insight own pure nature, can't get the way of Buddha.