han shan and she te
by disciple Sramanera Kuo Tao
One day, Han Shan said the She Te, “The world slanders me, cheats me, insults me, laughs at me, slights me, degrades me, deludes me, and hates me. What can I do?”
She Te answered, “Just endure it: yield a bit, follow and elude it, tolerate and respect it. Ignore it. See what happens after a few years.”
“How can you get anything by withdrawing like that,” said Han Shan. “What’s so special about staying out of trouble, anyway?”
She Te answered, “Once I read Maitreya Bodhisattva’s song, now listen while I sing it for you.
old fool in tattered robes
his stomach with plain rice;
rags to keep his body warm,
lets everything trace its own course.
scolded, he simply says 'good,'
beaten, he falls over into sleep.
someone spits in his face,
old fool just lets it dry,
saves strength and energy,
are not provoked.
can he lament losing the Way since
has acquired, this Paramita, the jewel
In the wonderful.
man may be weak, but the mind is not;
man may be poor, but the Way is not.
always handles the Way
in the world cherish glory and splendor,
he does not wait for them,
fame and profit always empty.
mind is without satisfaction or disgust
even mountains of gold
buy off impermanence.
Tze Kung's eloquence,
Duke of Chou's divining ability
Kung Ming's wise plan,
Fan K'uei's rescuing his lord from difficulty,
And Han Hsin's superior efforts (for it was merely one sword which
of these ancients and contemporaries
for a thousand years?
one becomes a hero, that one's valor is stout,
every year their appearances change,
temples turn to white.
A weave of days and months—
Time passing like arrows in flight—
Not long till the head droops
the hands of illness, a dismal sigh...
do not think themselves old.
ill they have not managed to cultivate;
time did not impede, King Yama's turn,
would reform, but...
breath's cut off and energy's exhausted.
old fool does not discuss
doesn't manage domestic affairs,
wrangle with you or me.
does not act bravely, and
he does not speak.
he is a mute.
pays no heed if assaulted,
be rolls over if pushed into filthy water
does not fear people's laughter.
does not dress for appearances;
children may cry and howl,
does not hear them.
fond of competing for fame and profit
but a barren grave.
look at those in the world
are versed in tastelessness:
can persuade a ruler to turn his head.
cultivate, become an elder and
one knife cut off dualistic judgement;
over the blazing pit of suffering
you are fresh and pure.
you enlighten to the principle of immortality
The days and months become your neighbors and companions.
The biography of Sramanera Kuo Tao, who translated “Han Shan and She Te”, will appear in the next issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea.
COMING SOON...The sequel to This Is Something You Won’t Believe; The Lotus Sutra; The Heart Sutra; Records of the High Masters; Mara, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas; and other articles essential to the study of the Way.