The BODHI SEAL OF THE PATRIARCHS
HUI SSE OF NAN YAO
by Tripitaka Master Hua
THE VENERABLE ONE'S LAYNAME WAS LEE, AND HE LIVED AT WU CHIN. HE WAS FOND
OF THE DHARMA FLOWER SUTRA. SO HE BORROWED A COPY AND ENTERED A TOMB. He
chose that place because it was quiet AND CRIED OVER THE SUTRA. He loved
the Dharma Flower Sutra and he knew that the Dhanna is not easy to meet
The unsurpassed extremely profound subtle and wonderful Dharma
knew not how many lives had passed where he had not met with it. So this
life he cried over the sutra.
THE PASSAGES HE FORMERLY COULD HOT FIGURE OUT HE NOW SPONTANEOUSLY UNDERSTOOD. He didn't need to have anyone explain it to him, he understood by himself. He opened great wisdom. AT THE PLACE WHERE HIS CROWN HAD BEEN RUBBED A FLESH COWL AROSE. HE LEFT THE HOME LIFE WHEN HE WAS FIFTEEN. WHEN THE VENERABLE WEN TRANSMITTED TO HIM THE SECRET OF THE MIND CONTEMPLATION--The three Wisdom’s of the One Mind-the contemplation of empty, false, and middle, in order to obtain the wisdom of All-wisdom, the Wisdom of the Means to the Way, and the Wisdom of All Modes.-- HE IMMEDIATELY ACHIEVED GREAT ENLIGHTENMENT. It was as if the sky had been overcast and suddenly cleared. He immediately fathomed and penetrated all the myriad things. He understood everything. HE OBTAINED THE DHARMA FLOWER SAMADHI. He entered the Dharma Flower Samadhi and was clear about all the principles explained in the Sutra. AFTERWARDS HE NEVER HAD DOUBTS ABOUT ANY SUTRA. HE HEARD. HE SET UP A HUT ON TA SU MOUNTAIN. AT THAT TIME THE CH'I REIGN WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE OVER: it was about to be overthrown. THE VENERABLE SSE IN ORDER TO AVOID DIFFICULTY WENT TO NAN YAU to Heng Mountain, at Hunan. EFFICACIOUS OMENS ABOUNDED. For instance the flowers blossomed over and over. Auspicious birds gathered in flocks and sang. Deer came to listen to the Sutra lectures. All kinds of unusual things happened. Bright colored clouds appeared in the sky; light was emitted, a rare fragrance filled the area. For instance, one layman who lives here at the City notices that although there are no flowers nearby, every morning when he goes out, the fragrance of flowers fills his nostrils. That's an efficacious omen. What more do you want? If you deny that’s an auspicious portent and you go looking for auspicious portents, you'll never find any. Just living at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas you feel your body and mind are clear and pure. (Quite naturally you bring forth a resolve for the Way. That's an auspicious portent.
So, too, at the place where the Venerable Sse was, the auspicious events kept occurring. THERE WERE HEAVENLY YOUTHS WHO CAME TO SERVE and PROTECT HIM. WHEN HIS TIME HAD COME, that is when he was about to die, when he was about to enter extinction, HE GATHERED ALL HIS DISCIPLES TOGETHER AND SPOKE DHARMA TO ADMONISH THEM. He said, "You should cultivate. If you don't cultivate it will soon be time to die. You should cultivate. If you don't cultivate you will soon fall into the hells. You should cultivate. If you don't cultivate, you will soon turn into animals. Understand?" He used bitter effort to let them know truly how things were. "You should cultivate. If you don't cultivate,
One life as a human being
Is hard to get again in a million aeons.
Don't let the time go by in vain. 'This day has already passed and life is that much shorter. Like fish in evaporating water, what bliss is there in this? Great Assembly, you should all be diligent and vigorous.' Don't have false thinking from morning to night and too much desire. That's impermissible. 'It should be as if you're trying to save your own head.' As if someone was about to decapitate you and you had to think of a way to save yourself. Or as if your head had caught on fire and you had to think of a way to put the fire out." So he exhorted them in this way AND THEN SAID, "IF THERE ARE EIGHTEEN PEOPLE WHO WILL SPARE NEITHER BODY NOR LIFE; who don't fear suffering or difficulty who don't fear dying AND WILL CULTIVATE THE DHARMA FLOWER REPENTANCE, if they will bow to the' Dharma Flower Sutra ..." He suggested that eighteen people could cultivate in this way probably so they could trade off and cultivate nine at a time day and night. Or maybe they'd bow six at a time for eight hours, each and trade off to cover the twenty four hour periods. It's just my guess that this is what he had in mind. "I WILL SUPPORT THEM. Whatever you need to eat and drink and wear, I will provide." When he said this, his meaning was, if eighteen people would cultivate the Dharma Flower Repentance he would not die. He would continue to live and not enter nirvana at that time. It was not that he couldn't bear to die; it was that he wanted to continue the Wisdom Life of the Buddha. "IF THERE AREN'T, I WILL GO FAR AWAY. If there aren't eighteen people who want to do this cultivation of the Dharma Flower Repentance, I am going to leave." His meaning was, he would go to rebirth.
disciples were extremely intelligent. Die if you must, we’ll pay no
heed," was their attitude. They were all Mahasattvas who pay no
attention to others. Amitabha, everyone's on his own. Not one of them
said, "Shih Fu, don't die, we will select eighteen people to
cultivate the Dharma Flower Repentance." NOBODY REPLIED. They all
silently ascended. Their meaning being, "Fine. Go ahead and die
otherwise we always are under your watchful eye, and if we're wrong you
come and scold us. Better if you die a little more quickly." Such
filial disciples! I imagine the Great Master Hui Sse was very pained by
this. "Ah, I've taught and transformed so many people and not one
cares about his teacher. When it comes down to the wire, no one has any
regard for the teacher." So Great Master Hui Sse, pained and in
tears, SAT IN FULL LOTUS AND SAID. "THE BUDDHA COMES TO RECEIVE
ME." AND HE LEFT. "You see, he played the last trick. And when
he was really gone the disciples cried, "Shih Fu, why do you pay us
no heed and leave?" They displayed a false sense of filiality. Why
didn't they think of a way to prevent him from going when he asked? All
that he wanted was eighteen people to cultivate the Dharma Flower
Repentance and he wouldn't have left. The disciples were just acting like
they cared for their teacher, crying and wailing and carrying on. Others
jumped and danced and said, "Great! Now no one will be watching our
every move." "Right. Now no one will scold me. I've waited for
so many years Amitabha " Do you believe they acted that way? No. I'm
the only one that thinks so.
A VERSE IN HIS PRAISE SAYS:
CHERISHING THE SUTRA
HE ENTERED AN EMPTY TOMB.
WHY DID HE WEEP
UNIVERSALLY WORTHY RUBBED
IN A SILENT
HE FORESAW THE FALL
OF THE NORTHERN CH'I.
SUDDENLY MESHED WITH
THE DHARMA FLOWER
HE UNRAVELLED AND TOOK IN
ALL ITS MEANINGS.
FOREVER WILL HE BENEFIT
THOSE OF TIME TO COME.