The Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs
Commentary by Tripitaka Master Hsuan
T’ien Tai Patriarch
THE VENERABLE TAO SUI: "Sui" means "profound." It also means "dark inside," but this Dharma Master wasn't dark inside, he emitted light. NO ONE KNOWS WHERE HE CAME FROM. He came from nowhere and went nowhere. IN THE 21ST YEAR OF CHEN YUEN HE TOOK REFUGE WITH THE VENERABLE CHING HSI. AT FWO LUNG HE UNDERSTOOD THE MYSTERIOUS TEACHINGS AND HAD NO DOUBTS OR OBSTRUCTIONS. THE VENERABLE CHING HSI HIGHLY VALUED AND PRAISED HIM, "You are a worthy vessel of the Way. YOU CAN BE SUCCESSOR FOR MY TEACHING." THEREUPON HE TRANSMITTED IT TO HIM. THE MASTER USED WRITINGS ON THE METHOD OF STOPPING AND CONTEMPLATING TO INSTRUCT BEINGS. HE REVEALED THEIR PROFOUND MEANING SO THAT ALL WHO LISTENED UNDERSTOOD. WHEN MASTER YUEN SAW THE VENERABLE ONE HE WAS AWED. As soon as he encountered Master Tao Sui he felt great respect and reverence for him.
IN THE 21ST YEAR OF THE CHEN YUEN A SANGHA MEMBER FROM JAPAN CAME TO SEEK THE DHARMA. HE LISTENED TO THE LECTURES AND RECORDED THE TEACHING DAY AND NIGHT WITH GREAT VIGOR. HE WROTE OUT THE TEXT OF THE T'IEN T'AI TEACHINGS AND RETURNED TO JAPAN. SELECTING A MOUNTAIN, HE CALLED IT "T'IEN T'AI" AND BUILT A TEMPLE THERE. FROM THEN ON THE T'IEN T'AI FLOURISHED IN JAPAN. THE VENERABLE TAO SUI BECAME THEIR FIRST PATRIARCH.
HOW GREAT THE VENERABLE CHING HSI!
HOW DIFFICULT TO INHERIT HIS TRANSMISSION!
ONLY THE MASTER WAS BRILLIANT ENOUGH
TO TALLY WITH THAT TEACHING.
THE DHARMA FLOWED BEYOND THE SEAS
ITS LIGHT REACHED THE EDGES OF HEAVEN
AS THE SUN COMES UP IN THE EAST
AND DISPELLS THE COVERING OF DARKNESS.
ANOTHER VERSE IN HIS PRAISE SAYS:
OUT OF THE T'IEN T'AI SECT ALONE
ROSE ELEPHANTS AND DRAGONS.
THE VENERABLE TAO SUI
CONTINUED THE FLAME OF THE LAMP.
SUDDENLY ENLIGHTENING TO THE ORIGIN
HE UNDERSTOOD THE PROFOUND INTENT.
IMMEDIATELY HE FATHOMED THE MYRIAD DHARMAS
AND KNEW THEY TRULY MESHED.
THE LOFTINESS OF HIS VIRTUE EXTENDED FAR
EVEN BEYOND THE SEAS.
HUMANE AND KIND, A UNIVERSAL SAVIOR
HE TAUGHT THE JAPANESE.
AS THE SUN APPEARS IN THE EAST
SHINING ON HEAVEN AND EARTH,
AND THE UNIVERSE WITHOUT END.
The T'ien T'ai school produced many great men and lofty masters the dragons and elephants of the Dharma. The Ninth Patriarch, Venerable Tao Sui, carried on the pulse of the Patriarchs. He realized that the myriad things did not obstruct one another that relative truth did not hinder actual truth; and that actual truth did not obstruct relative truth. His cultivation reaped virtue. Without virtuous conduct it is difficult to cultivate the Way; you can't teach and transform people. If you have virtue, however, then even if people just hear your name, they will be taught and transformed. Master Tao Sui brought the Dharma to Japan.
VERSE FOR THE NEW YEAR
Year of the monkey, year of the monkey,
but do not learn to be like the monkey.
It roams everywhere:
east, west, south, and north,
such precious time.
Toiling all its life,
it's never at rest.
By Master Hua