The Bodhi Seal of the
The Fifteenth Tien
Tai Patriarch Venerable I T'ung of Pau Yun Temple
THE VENERABLE ONE'S NAME WAS WEI
HE WAS KOREAN. His Dharma Name was I T'ung, his left-home name was Wei
Yuan. HE HAD A FLESH COWL ON THE TOP OF HIS
HEAD. HIS EYEBROWS WERE SIX INCHES LONG AND
HAD A CURLING PATTERN. It wasn't that he curled
them. WHEN HE WAS YOUNG, HE LEFT THE HOME
LIFE AT KUEI SHAN INSTITUTE. WHEN HE STUDIED
THE AVATAMSAKA, HE GAVE RISE TO FAITH IN IT.
He said, "The Buddhadharma is truly
inconceivable!" He knew that the Great Vehicle Dharma
was to be found in China so he went to find
the source. HE CAME TO CHINA. It wasn't
that he just took a holiday and went there
to tour. It means he went to practice and
study in China. He went to China to find a
Good Knowing Advisor. WHEN HE REACHED YUN CHU Mountain in Che Chiang, HE SUDDENLY HAD
AN AWAKENING AND TALLIED with the meanings.
This happened because he was sincere and
hadn't just come to play around, but instead had
come to seek the Dharma. THEN HE WENT TO HEAR INSTRUCTION ON THE THREE CONTEMPLATIONS IN
ONE MIND FROM THE VENERABLE LWO HSI. He
learned about the principle of empty, false, and
middle. HE SIGHED AND SAID, "THE
PERFECT, SUDDEN TEACHING IS THE ULTIMATE ROAD TO GO
ON." THEN HE RECEIVED THE TRANSMISSION. He
studied the Buddhadharma with the Fourteenth
Patriarch, the Venerable Master Lwo Hsi, who
transmitted his Mind Dharma to him, and so the
Venerable I T'ung became the Fifteenth
He thought that the Dharma Master from Korea had a big name so he invited him to live there. That's one way to explain it. The other reason might have been that when the Korean came to China no one would make offerings to him, so Ku Ch'eng Hui wanted to "offer coals in the snow" as it were, and invited him to his home to make offerings to him.
IN THE SEVENTH YEAR OF THE REIGN PERIOD T'AI P'ING, HSING KUO, THE EMPEROR BESTOWED A NEW TITLE ON THE INSTITUTE CALLING IT PAU YUN TEMPLE. THE MASTER PROPAGATED THE TEACHING OF THE CONTEMPLATIONS THERE FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS. IN THE FIRST YEAR OF THE TUAN KUNG PERIOD HE LAY DOWN ON HIS RIGHT SIDE AND LEFT. AFTER HIS CREMATION, HIS BONES WERE FILLED WITH SHARIRA. After the cremation some of the bones did not burn and in them were found many many sharira. THEY WERE PLACED IN E YU WANG MONASTERY IN A NORTH-WESTERN BRANCH. LATER THE STUPA WAS DESTROYED. It's not known if it was by war or some other circumstance that the destruction of the stupa occurred, BUT THE BONES EMITTED LIGHT AND THE SHARIRA SHONE WITH FIVE COLORS. ADDITIONAL SHARIRA HAD GROWN FROM THE BONES. The Korean wasn't easily discouraged. Even after his death he emitted light from his bones! A PRAISE SAYS:
MAGNIFICENT WAS HIS PURE COUNTENANCE:
A HERO FROM EAST OF THE SEA.
HE CAME TO STUDY IN CHINA AND FOUND,
"THE PERFECT SUDDEN IS THE WAY TO GO."
FROM PAU YUN THE TEACHING SPREAD FORTH:
HIS DHARMA SOUND WAS WORLD TRANSCENDING.
THE SHARIRA PILED UP IN LAYERS.
HE CERTIFIED TO EXTINCTION OF SWEET DEW.
ANOTHER VERSE IN PRAISE SAYS:
BUDDHISM IS BASICALLY THE UNITY OF RELIGIONS.
ALL RACES AND NATIONALITIES
INTERPENETRATE WITHIN IT.
AS A KOREAN HE DESCENDED
AMONG HUMANS A SAGE.
JAPAN CONTINUED THE TRANSMISSION
OF THE DHARMA DOORS' LAMP.
IN CHINA THE MAHAYANA FLOURISHED AGAIN.
IN THE WESTERN REGION PRACTICE GREW THE ARHAT-EVERGREEN.
EMPTY SPACE CONTAINS ALL THE MYRIAD THINGS THERE ARE.
ALL WATERS RACE TOWARDS THE SEA,
PUTTING AN END TO EAST AND WEST.
The Buddhism I explain is a little different from that which others talk about. I say that Buddhism is not Indian. Why? If it were Indian, then why is it that at this point in time there isn't any Buddhism to speak of in India? That country now takes Hinduism as its national religion. If Buddhism was India's then why wouldn't it be the religion of the people there? So this proves that Buddhism is not India's. Is it Ceylon's, Japan's, Burma's, or China's? No, it is not any of these countries' either. No one country has the right to claim Buddhism exclusively as its own. Why? Because Buddhism is universal, not marked by national distinctions. Buddhism does nor divide into clans. Buddhism does not have a view of self and others. Buddhism is the teaching within the minds of a11 living beings. So Buddhism can be called the Buddha's teaching or it can be called no teaching at a11. Buddhism simply records the practices toward enlightenment that the Buddha practiced. The Buddha didn't have the idea that he wanted to transmit a religion. He is fundamentally one with all living beings. If he had wanted to set up a "Buddhism," wouldn't that have been setting himself apart from living beings? The Buddha said the mind, the Buddha, and living beings are one without differentiation. If he professed to transmit a "Buddhism" then there would be "non-Buddhism" which would separate it from other religions. But Buddhism includes a11 things. Every religion is in Buddhism--Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam. Why? The Buddha said it, "A11 living beings have the Buddha-nature, a11 can become Buddhas." No matter what religion you are, aren't you a living being? Even if you protest that you are a heavenly spirit, heavenly lord, or heavenly demon, that still counts as being a living being. So I say whether you are Buddhist or not I count you within Buddhism. You say, "But I don't admit that I am." That's your problem, your confusion. You're like a child that gets adopted as soon as it's born and never knows its original parents. If later in life someone says to that person, "Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so are really your parents." Even though it really is true, failing to recognize it, he denies the fact.
The circumstance is the same with Buddhism, and other religions. One may not admit one is a Buddhist, but Buddhism does not exclude one from it. Why not? Because
All living beings have the Buddha-nature.
A11 can become Buddhas.
"All living beings" includes creatures that f1y, crawl, swim--from the largest to the smallest-- they are a11 part of it. That is why Buddhists should include a11 religions, and not slander them. A Buddhist should never scold those of other religions or say that they are demonic ghosts. Seeing others as that way, just means you are part demon yourself. If you see everyone as a Buddha, then there is only the Buddha in your heart, so how could there be anything demonic? It's a11 in a single thought. With one thought you are together with demons, with another kind of thought you are one with Buddhas.
Heaven and he11 are but a thought apart. The same is true of Buddhas and demons. So the Buddhism I explain is this way, and it doesn't matter to me if you agree or not. Say what you like about me, I'm not moved.
ALL RACES AND NATIONALITIES INTERPENETRATE WITHIN IT. Races are composed of people and nations are just made up of living beings. So they are a11 perfectly fused and unobstructed. There is no need for so many distinctions. AS A KOREAN HE DESCENDED, AMONG PEOPLE A SAGE. The transformation of Earth Store Bodhisattva who came to China was a Korean and the Fifteenth Patriarch was also Korean. Probably there wasn't enough talent in China. JAPAN CONTINUED THE TRANSMISSION OF THE DHARMA DOORS' LAMP. The five sects--Lin Chi, Ts'ao Tung, etc., as well as the heavenly sect, the earthly sect, the southern, northern, eastern and western sects, a11 came out of China, as the Dharma was propagated and spread in Japan. IN CHINA THE MAHAYANA FLOURISHED AGAIN. The Mahayana is the Great Vehicle. IN THE WESTERN REGION THE PRACTICE GREW THE ARHAT-EVERGREEN. "The Arhat-Evergreen" stands for the Theravada which flourished in Ceylon, Burman, Thailand, etc. They isolate themselves--like the solitary pine--and are not even polite about it. But there are no Bhikshunis there. The Bhikshunis a11 had to hold to the Eight Dharmas of Respect and were severely oppressed. In that sense it's not tike the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas where women are treated equally. You women enjoy that status here and don't recognize how fortunate you are.
EMPTY SPACE CONTAINS ALL THE MYRIAD THINGS THERE ARE. Buddhism is like emptiness itself which contains absolutely everything within it. There is nothing excluded from it. ALL THE WATERS RACE TOWARDS THE SEA PUTTING AND END TO THE EAST AND WEST. Buddhism is also like the sea which accepts the myriad streams. The sea never says, "I'll take those from the East but I don't want those from the West." It makes no difference if the streams are big or little, long or short, rough or smooth, they all return to the sea. Nowadays even the poisons enter the sea and kill off the fish. It's disastrous. It's called the age of progress but it's progressed the fish to death. Then when people eat the fish, they die too, and all come to an end. Reflect on it: is this a good situation?