Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs
The Fourth Patriarch of the T’ien T’ai School
Dharma Master Kuan Ting of Chang An
MASTER'S NAME WAS DHARMA CLOUD AND HE WAS FROM the City of CHANG AN which
was in LIN HAI County. Most people, out of respect, called him
"Dharma Master Chang An" not using his name but the place he was
from. HIS FAMILY NAME, his father's name, WAS WU. WHEN HE WAS ONLY THREE
MONTHS OLD HE COULD SAY THE NAMES OF THE TRIPLE JEWEL. Three months after
he was born he could say, "Namo Buddha, Namo Dharma, Namo
Sangha." A SANGHAN, a monk, TOLD HIS MOTHER: "THIS CHILD IS
EXTRAORDINARY," because he was able to do that at three months of
age, AND SO HE WAS NAMED KUAN TING, "ANNOINTING THE CROWN,"
which refers to the position Bodhisattvas enter prior to becoming Buddhas.
WHEN HE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD HE LEFT THE HOME LIFE UNDER MASTER HUI CHENG AT SHE CUING MONASTERY. HE RECEIVED THE CONTEMPLATIONS DHARMA OF MASTER CHIH CUE. He received the Dharma transmission of Great Master Chih Che. AFTER INQUIRING INTO IT CONTINUOUSLY FOR A LONG TIME, HE SUDDENLY RECEIVED SEAL AND CERTIFICATION. He investigated the Dharma door of stopping and contemplating of the T'ien T'ai School with its three contemplations of emptiness, falseness, and the Middle Way. Eventually he was certified as having opened enlightenment by Great Master Chih Che.
HE COMPILED THE COLLECTIONS OF LARGER AND SMALLER WORKS WHICH COMPRISE MORE THAN A HUNDRED SECTIONS OF THE TEACHINGS AND CONTEMPLATIONS OF THE T'IEN T'AI SCHOOL. The Collection is called The Essentials of the T'ien T'ai. THE MASTER HAS GREAT MERIT! He made a great contribution to the T'ien T'ai School helping Great Master Chih Che propagate its teachings.
HE WROTE THE NIEH P'AN HSUAN YI "The Profound Principles of the Nirvana Sutra," IN TWO VOLUMES AND ITS ACCOMPANYING 20-VOLUME EXPLANATION. AFTERWARDS, when it was completed, HE THOUGHT TO BURN IT, BUT IT WOULD NOT CATCH ON FIRE.
CLOSE TO HIS DEMISE, HE SAT UPRIGHT on his sitting cushion BEQUEATHED THE TEACHINGS TO HIS FOLLOWERS, telling those of his School to cultivate and apply their efforts and not to have false thinking. THEN SUDDENLY STOOD, PLACED HIS PALMS TOGETHER, AND RECITED, "NAMO AMITABHA BUDDHA," AND THE NAMES OF THE TWO GREAT BODHISATTVAS, Kuan Shih Yin Bodhisattva and Great Strength Bodhisattva. THEN HE DIED. He completed the stillness standing up.
PRIOR TO THAT a Dharma Master named CHIH HSI, ON THE VERGE OF DEATH HAD SAID: "I AM BEING BORN IN THE TUSHITA HEAVEN AND SEE FORMER MASTER CHIH CHE. BESIDE HIM next to Great Master Chih Che, IS AN EMPTY PLACE ON THE MAT. A GOD IS TELLING ME THAT SIX YEARS FROM NOW MASTER KUAN TING WILL FILL THAT PLACE, when he comes." COUNTING FROM THAT TIME of Dharma Master Chih Hsi's disclosure, THE TIME WAS NOT OFF. The interval between was exact.
A VERSE IN PRAISE SAYS:
TEACHING CONTEMPLATIONS OF NAGARJUNA BODHISATTVA WERE FIRST MADE GLORIOUS
ONCE THE MASTER COMPILED THEM THE SWELLS OF DHARMA EXPANDED AND SPREAD.
HE WENT THROUGH HARDSHIPS TO COMMENT ON THE SUTRAS.
CLOTHED IN SNOW AND WRAPPED IN ICE
HE SET A FIRE THAT WOULD NOT BURN.
HIS BANNER FLIES FOREVER.
The Three Contemplations of Nagarjuna Bodhisattva, that of empty, false, and the Middle Way were compiled in the time of Master Kuan Ting. His work for the Dharma was not easy; sometimes it was as hard as being in a bed of ice with blankets of snow. He compiled the essentials of the T'ien T'ai, enabling many people to understand.
ANOTHER VERSE IN HIS PRAISE SAYS:
THE GLORIOUS FLOURISHING OF THE T'IEN T'AI WAS TOE WORK OF MASTER KUAN TING.
A GENIUS, IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF HE WAS QUITE EXCEPTIONAL.
AT THE AGE OF THREE HE COULD SAY THE TRIPLE JEWEL'S NAMES.
AT SEVEN YEARS HE WENT TOE THE SEVEN SAGE'S GROVE.
SITTING UPRIGHT HE LEFT IN GENUINE SAMADHI.
HE STOOD AND ENDED BIRTH WENT OUT THE DOOR OF GREAT LIBERATION.
HIS COMPILATION OF THE DHARMA TREASURY IS A RAIN OF SWEET DEW.
WHICH FLOWS INTO MASTER CHIH CHE'S WONDERFUL ESOTERIC PALACE.
||Master Chang An made a great contribution to the T'ien T'ai School, helping Great Master Chin Che by writing lots of books, the three great divisions of the T'ien T'ai Teachings. From the time he was born he was not like other people because when he was only three months old he could pronounce the names of the Triple Jewel: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. He left home at seven years of age at She Ching Monastery, bowing to Dhyana Master Hui Cheng as his teacher, and entered the flow of the Sages. His intention has been to go to rebirth|
|while seated, but when he saw Amitabha Buddha arrive, along with Kuan Yin Bodhisattva and Great Strength Bodhisattva, he stood up and put his palms together and went off to rebirth like that. He obtained great wisdom, and his compilations of the teachings were a rain of sweet dew, which were totally in accord with the Mind Seal of Great Master Chin Che. Having received the Mind to Mind Seal from the Great Master, he was in turn able to transmit it.|