Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs
|THE TWENTY-FIRST INDIAN
THE VENERABLE VASUBANDHU
A verse in his praise says:
Non-outflow wisdom penetrated,
Daylight speaking in a dream;
Jade concealed in thorny mountains,
Pearl within an aged oyster;
Light pierced through repeatedly,
The Venerable One did not repeat;
Taking up the Lamp of Wisdom,
Startling Heaven, moving Earth.
The Venerable One was a native of the City of Rajagriha. He ate only one meal a day and never lay down to sleep. In the six periods of the day and night he bowed to the Buddhas. The assembly took refuge with him. The Twentieth Patriarch came to where he was and asked the assembly, "Can this ascetic attain the Buddha Way through cultivation of Brahma conduct?"
The assembly replied, "Our Teacher is so vigorous, how could he fail to?"
The Patriarch said, "Your teacher is far from the Way!"
The assembly asked, "What virtuous conduct has the Venerable One amassed that he ridicules our Teacher?"
The Patriarch replied, "I neither seek the Way, nor am I upside-down. I neither bow to the Buddha nor despise him. I neither sit for long periods, nor am I lazy. I neither eat only once a day, nor eat at random. When the mind does not hope for anything, that is called the Way."
When the Venerable One heard that, he brought forth non-outflow wisdom. The Patriarch then transmitted the Dharma to him. Afterwards he went to the Country of Magadha where he met Manorhita. He then made his body rise to a height of half a yojana and settled as if on a mountain peak. The four-fold assembly gazed up at him and begged him to return. He sat in full lotus and departed.