The Collected Lectures of Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua on
The Sixth Patriarch's Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra
--Translated by the Buddhist Text Translation Society
CONCENTRATION AND WISDOM:
Concentration comes from holding precepts. With concentration, one can produce wisdom. Precepts, concentration, and wisdom are the three studies, which have no outflows. If you wish to obtain concentration, you must begin by holding precepts, that is,
evil should be left undone,
all good respectfully practiced.
The Master instructed the assembly: "Good Knowing Advisors, this Dharma door of mine has concentration and wisdom as its foundation. Great assembly! Do not be confused and say that concentration and wisdom are different. Concentration and wisdom are one substance, not two. Concentration is the substance of wisdom, and wisdom is the function of concentration. Where there is wisdom, concentration is in the wisdom. Where there is concentration, wisdom is in the concentration. If you understand this principle, you understand the balanced study of concentration and wisdom."
The Sixth Patriarch said, "Although you are Good Knowing Advisors, don't be attached and say that concentration and wisdom differ. In this Sudden Teaching Dharma Door of mine, concentration is wisdom and wisdom is concentration; although there are two names, there is only one substance."
What is the function of concentration? Concentration produces wisdom. When wisdom is produced, concentration is certainly within it. If you understand that concentration and wisdom are one substance with two different functions, then you understand the balanced study of concentration and wisdom.
"Students of the Way, do not say that first there is concentration, which produces wisdom, or that first there is wisdom, which produces concentration, that the two are different. To hold this view implies a duality of dharma. If your speech is good, but your mind is not, then concentration and wisdom are useless because they are not equal. If mind and speech are both good, the inner and outer are alike, and concentration and wisdom are equal."
Do not say that concentration and wisdom are different.
you have wisdom, you have concentration.
you have concentration, you have wisdom.
you have no wisdom, you have no concentration.
you have no concentration, you have no wisdom*
and wisdom are one substance.
your speech is good but your mind
is not...If your mind is full of jealousy, obstruction,
insolence, conceit, deviant views, greed, hatred, and stupidity, concentration
and wisdom are useless; they are not
present, because they are not equal.
But if your mind and mouth both are
good, then your mouth says what is in your mind and concentration
and wisdom are equal.
"Self-enlightenment, cultivation and practice are not in debate. If you debate which comes first then you are like a confused man who does not cut off ideas of victory and defeat, but increases the notion of self and dharmas, and is not separated from the four states."
should understand and cultivate on your own. Do not argue with people in
order to show off your cultivation and advertise yourself. To debate as
to whether concentration or wisdom comes first is to be like a
confused man, not cutting off ideas
of victory and defeat:
debate, thoughts of victory and defeat
in contradiction to the Way;
rise to the four-mark mind
can one obtain samadhi?
Attached to the mark of self, others, living beings, and a life, how can you obtain samadhi? As soon as you argue, you have no concentration and consequently no wisdom. This is extremely stupid. When you argue, you produce the attachment to self and dharmas and then the four states arise. With attachment to self comes attachment to others; with attachment to others comes attachment to living beings; with attachment to living beings comes attachment to a life. Not separated from the four states refers to the production of these four attachments which become the four states.
"Good Knowing Advisors, what are concentration and wisdom like? They are like a lamp and its light. With the lamp, there is light. Without the lamp, there is darkness. The lamp is the substance of the light and the light is the function of the lamp. Although there are two names, there is one fundamental substance. The dharma of concentration and wisdom is also thus."
The analogy illustrates the identical substance of concentration and wisdom.
Although there are different names, there is one fundamental substance.
The Master instructed the assembly:
“Good Knowing Advisors, the Once Conduct Samadhi is the constant
practice of a direct straightforward mind in all places, whether
walking, standing, sitting or lying down. As the Vimalakirti Sutra says,
‘The direct mind is the Bodhimandala. The direct mind is the Pure Land.
“Do not, with a flattering
and crooked mind, only speak of directness with the mouth, speaking of
the One Conduct Samadhi but not practicing with a direct mind. You
should only practice with a direct mind and have no attachments with
regard to the dharmas.”
speak of directness, but you act dishonestly. You greet rich men with
smiles and compliments: "Welcome, welcome!" you say, when in
fact it is not the man you welcome, but his money and power instead.
This is flattery.
speak about the One Conduct Samadhi, but you act improperly. Such
hypocrisy betrays a crooked mind. But if you practice,
then the direct mind is the Bodhimandala. You should manage all your
affairs with a direct mind and have no attachment to dharmas.
man attaches to dharma marks, holds
to the One Conduct Samadhi, saying,
'I sit unmoving and falseness does not
arise in my mind.
This is the One Conduct Samadhi.'
Such an explanation renders one insensate
and obstructs the causes and conditions
of the Way.
“Good Knowing Advisors, the Way must penetrate and flow. How can it be impeded? If the mind does not dwell in dharmas, the Way will penetrate and flow. The mind dwelling in dharmas is the state of so-called self-bondage. To say that sitting unmoving is correct is to be like Sariputra who sat quietly in the forest but was scolded by Vimalakirti.”
A stupid man gives rise to a dharma attachment: "I sit here unmoving and I have no false thinking. This is the One Conduct Samadhi." He is completely wrong, because one who thinks like this turns into a vegetable. The Way should flow without obstruction. If you stop your thoughts, you turn into dead ashes and rotten wood—useless! You should "produce that thought which is nowhere supported," by attaching neither to emptiness, to existence, or to dharmas. Attachment to dharmas results in attachment to existence, and attachment to existence leads to perishing in emptiness. But when you are unsupported, the Way will circulate freely.
mind dwelling in dharmas is called self—bond-age. If you attach to the
meditation dharma and sit without moving, you tie yourself up and make
yourself a prisoner. Sariputra sat in the forest, quietly, meditating,
but Vimalakirti reprimanded him saying, "What are you doing! What
use are you, sitting there like a corpse!"
"Good Knowing Advisors, there are also those who teach people to sit looking at the mind and contemplating stillness, without moving or arising. They claim that this has merit. Confused men, not understanding, become easily attached and go insane. There are many such people. Therefore you should know that such a teaching is a great error."
deluded man does not understand the true principle. He thinks,
"I’ll just sit here and not get up. This is the way to attain
Dhyana skill." Such
people become attached and go insane. For example, many people have come
here saying that they are enlightened; they don't know how they did it,
but they really believe they are enlightened. This is insanity. There
are many, many such men.
teachers say, "If you certify my enlightenment, I will certify
yours." This is a big mistake. In China, in the T'ang dynasty there
were false Buddhist Patriarchs of the "head-mouth" zen
variety. It is not surprising that we find such people in America
today...But these impostors who falsely claim to be enlightened pave the
way for those of true enlightenment.
No one knew about enlightenment until the impostors said, "We are enlightened." Everyone then thought, "So that is enlightenment!" and they examined the impostors closely to see what enlightenment was like. Suddenly a truly enlightened person came and no one believed in him. They thought that the truly enlightened person was the same as the impostors.
who now cultivate to become enlightened will be forced to deal with the
widespread influence of such pretenders. This leads me to advise you
that when you become enlightened, you should not say that you are
enlightened. This is the
is the way of the world: true, true, false, false, false, true.
If you are true, they say you are false; if you are false, they
say you are true. Therefore you should not speak of true and false. Tell
people to see for themselves.
Unenlightened people will say that they are enlightened. If you who have already become enlightened claim to be enlightened, then you are just like those who are not. Why? People who are enlightened do not introduce themselves saying, "Don't you know me? I am enlightened! I am the same as so and so and he is enlightened. He is enlightened and I am just like him."
Enlightenment and non-enlightenment are the same, not different. Don't hang out a false name. Enlightened, you are a man. Unenlightened, you are still a man. The enlightened and the unenlightened both can realize Buddhahood. It's a question of time. Do not advertise yourself; no one knows you, that is the very best I When no one knows you, your "direct mind is the Bodhimandala."
The Master instructed the assembly: "Good Knowing Advisors, originally the right teaching is without sudden or gradual. Men's natures themselves are sharp or dull. When the confused man who gradually cultivates and the enlightened man who suddenly connects, recognize the original mind and see the original nature, they are not different."
Originally, real Buddhism has no sudden or gradual Dharma. Stupid people cultivate it bit by bit, whereas enlightened people immediately cut off false thinking, external objects, and bad habits and thus understand the mind and see their own nature.
The ‘three karmas’ are body, mouth, and mind. Watch’em!
" Therefore the terms sudden and gradual are established to be false names."
Knowing Advisors, this Dharma door of mine from the past onward has
first been established with no thought as its doctrine, no marks as its
substance, and no dwelling as its oasis. No mark means to be separate
from marks while in the very midst of them. No thought means to be
without thought while in the midst of thought. No dwelling is the basic
nature of man."
the time of Sakyamuni Buddha right up until the present, the Sudden
Teaching Dharma door which the Sixth Patriarch transmits established
no-thought, no-mark, and no—dwelling as its doctrine, substance, and
basis respectively. What is meant by no dwelling?
"In the world of good and evil, attractive and ugly, friendly and hostile, when faced with language which is offensive, critical, or argumentative. One should treat it all as empty and have no thought of revenge. In every thought, do not think of former states. If past, present, and future thoughts succeed one another without interruption, this is bondage. In every thought, not dwelling in dharmas is_non-bondage. This is to take no dwelling as the basis."
Thoughts of the past, present, and future are continuous like waves on water. This ties you up; you lock yourself up so that you cannot be free. You should not be attached to any dharmas.
Knowing Advisors, outwardly to separate from all marks is called
no—mark. The ability to be separate from all marks is the purity of
the substance of the Dharma and is to take no-mark as the substance.
"Good Knowing Advisors, the non-defilement of the mind in all states, is called no-thought. In your thoughts you should always be separate from the se states, not giving rise to any thought with regard to them."
In your own clear, pure thoughts, which are separate from the states, you should not constantly think about your external environment.
"If it is only the case that you do not think of the hundred things, and completely rid yourself of thought, then as the last thought ceases, you die and undergo rebirth in another place. This is a great mistake which students of the Way should take heed."
you should not produce thoughts with regard to external states, this
does not mean that you should completely rid yourself of thought.
to marks, whatever you do is wrong;
in non-activity you fall into emptiness.
"What should I do?" you ask. It is just at this point that the greatest difficulty arises, but if you handle it, just this is no-thought.
karma comes from killing, stealing and sensuality.
If you want to have no thought, you can die. This is having no thought, but if you die here, you will be reborn somewhere else. This is really wrong! If you want to cultivate the Way, pay special attention and take heed!
"To misinterpret the Dharma and make a mistake yourself might be acceptable, but to exhort others to do the same is not acceptable. In your own confusion you do not see and moreover slander the Buddha's Sutras. Therefore no-thought is established as the doctrine."
personally are stupid and do not understand your mind and nature, but
what is more you slander the Buddha's Sutras and say that they are
incorrect. For this reason no—thought is set up as the doctrine.
Knowing Advisors, why is no-thought established as the doctrine?
Because there are confused men who speak of seeing their own
nature and yet produce thought with regard to states of being. Their
thoughts cause deviant views to arise and it is from this that all
defilement and false thinking is created."
say they have seen the nature, they say they are enlightened, but they
have all kinds of thoughts about externals, deviant views, and
"In the self—nature there is originally not a single dharma which can be obtained."
Mouth Karma: lying, gossip, idle chatter, vulgarity.
own clear pure origin, the wondrous bright enlightenment nature, has not
one single dharma. It is the clear, pure, root source, the wondrous,
bright, true nature.
Originally there is not one thing.
"Something to attain, and false talk of misfortune and blessing are just defilement and deviant views. Therefore, this Dharma door establishes no-thought as its doctrine."
"Tomorrow you are going to die, unless, of course, you buy great merit today by giving me a million dollars." Hearing such talk, the victim immediately buys some merit and, naturally, he does not die. He claims that the prediction was certainly efficacious, but does not mention the fact that he was cheated out of a million dollars.
Or someone says, "You have great blessing, but you are off by just a little bit. If you do a million dollars worth of merit, next term you can be President}" "The Presidency is certainly cheap. If I buy it for a million, I'll still have several billion left," thinks the victim, and he buys the Presidency. This is false talk of misfortune and blessing. It is defilements and deviant views.
will speak to you more about no-thought, no-mark, and no-dwelling.
If you are capable of no-thought, then there is no-mark, and with
no-mark there is no-dwelling. Without a mark, where do you dwell?
Without thought, what mark do you have? Isn't this correct? No-thought,
no-mark, and no—dwelling: no-thought is no-production; no-mark is
no—extinction; no-dwelling is the fundamental absence of production
and extinction, of right and wrong.
no—mark, and no-dwelling are just no—right and no-wrong.
No-thought, no-mark, and no-dwelling are just no—good and
no-evil. No-thought, no—mark, and no-dwelling are just no-male and
no-female. Without deviant thought, how could there be male and female?
This is truly wonderful. If you
master this dharma there is no—mark. Without a mark of self, who has
sexual desire? Sexual desire is just thought; without thought there is
no sexual desire, no mark of self and no attachment. Is this anything
but true freedom? True liberation?
no-mark, and no-dwelling; no-movement, no-stillness; no—right,
no-wrong; no-male, no-female; no-good, no—evil; this is extremely
miraculous. You need only use no—thought, no-mark, and no-dwelling.
Without thought there is no-mark and consequently no-body. Without a
body, where do you dwell? Right? This is wonderful. You should
investigate it in detail.
"Good Knowing Advisors. 'No' refers to no what? 'Thought’ refers to thought of what? 'No' means 'not two marks', and 'no thoughts of defilement' 'Thought' means 'thought of the original nature of True Suchness."
Patriarch addressed the assembly: "Good Knowing Advisors, all of
you with wisdom, when I say 'no', what is negated? When I say 'thought',
what is the thought? 'No’ means not two marks; not only not two marks,
not even one mark! 'No' is no thoughts' of defilements; no defiled,
improper, deviant thoughts of sexual desire.
means thought of the True Suchness nature inherent in each of us. This
is the Tathagata Store nature, the Buddha nature."
Suchness is the substance of thought and thought is the function of True
You ask, “Then if there is no thought, is there no True
Suchness?” You...should know that 'no—thought means no two marks, and thought
of True Suchness. Think of True Suchness, your original nature; it is
clear and pure, pure, pure.
True Suchness self nature gives rise to thought. It is, not the eye,
ear, nose, or tongue which can think."
arising from the True Suchness self-nature is true thought.
The eye, ear, nose, and tongue cannot think.
"The True Suchness possesses a nature and therefore gives rise to thought. Without True Suchness, the eye, ear, forms and sounds immediately decay."
True Suchness is the "nature-king" spoken of in Chapter Three: "When your nature is present, the king is present; when your nature goes, there is no king."
"Good Knowing Advisors, the True Suchness self-nature gives rise to thought, and the six faculties, although they see, hear, feel, and know, are not defiled by the ten thousand states. Your true nature is eternally independent. Therefore the (Vimalakirti) Sutra says, ‘Well able to discriminate all dharma marks, in the primary meaning, do not move.'"
When making use of your True Suchness nature, although thought arises and there is seeing, hearing, feeling, and knowing at the gates of the six organs, there is no attachment because there are no deviant thoughts. The true nature is eternally independent. Because of the function of True Suchness, you are "well able to discriminate all dharma marks." Although you are well able to discriminate all dharma marks, you are not attached to any state and therefore, "in the primary meaning (you) do not, move."
52 T. 475. The first five characters are from the “Bodhisattva Chapter,” p. 542c:15, and the next five from the “The Buddha Result Chapter”, p. 538b:1.
SITTING IN DHYANA
The Master instructed the assembly:
“The door of sitting in Dhyana consists fundamentally of attaching
neither to the mind nor to purity, nor is it no-movement. You might
speak of attaching to the mind, and yet the mind is fundamentally false.
You should know that the mind is like an illusion and therefore there is
nothing to which you can attach.”
It is not necessarily just sitting in meditation which is Dhyana, one may practice Dhyana while walking, standing, sitting and lying down. In his “Song of Enlightenment”, the Great Master Yung Chia wrote:
“In Dhyana while walking and while sitting;
Speaking, silent moving, still:
His body is at peace.”
If you know how, you can practice at all times, not just while
sitting in meditation. But don’t become attached to the mind or to
purity. Attaching to the mind, you have two minds and attaching to
purity, you have two purities. Do not think, “I will sit here and not
Attaching to the mind, you have two false minds, neither
of which, is the true mind. The
mind is an illusion. Why
attach to it?
"You might say that Dhyana is attaching to purity, yet man's nature is basically pure. It is because of false thinking that the True Suchness is obscured. Simply have no false thinking and the nature itself is pure.”
The self-nature of all men is basically pure of itself, but when you cling to purity you add a head on top of a head and create two purities, a true purity and a false purity, thus straying from the original pure substance.
there arises in_ your mind an attachment to purity, this will bring
forth a_deluded idea of
purity. Falseness has no place. This attachment is delusory. Purity has
no form or mark and yet there are those who set up the mark of purity as
an achievement. Holding this view they obstruct their own original
nature and become bound by purity."
there is no form or mark, you postulate the mark of purity; you add a
head on top of a head, and call this skill, thus obstructing your own
original mind and nature. Cultivation is for the purpose of breaking
attachments! You should not be attached.
Knowing Advisors, one who cultivates no-movement. When seeing others
does not see whether they are right or wrong, good or bad, or whether
they have other faults. Just this is the no-movement of
cultivate no-movement? Not moving what? Don't just sit there and not
move. You should cultivate no-movement in the midst of movement; in the
midst of your daily activities, do not move. Do not insist on
criticizing others and pointing out their faults. Just this is
the no-movement of the self-nature. If you do nothing but censure and
browbeat others, this is not no-movement.
Knowing Advisors, although the body of the confused man may not move, as
soon as he opens his mouth he speaks of the right and wrong of others,
of their good points and shortcomings, thus turning his back on the Way.
Attachment to the mind and attachment to purity are obstructions to the
you wish to be confused or wise? If you wish to be confused, then go
ahead and talk about the right and wrong of others. If you wish to be
wise, do not speak of others' rights and wrongs, good points and
shortcomings, goodness or evil.
The Master instructed the assembly, “Good Knowing Advisors, what is meant by 'sitting in Dhyana'? In this unobstructed and unimpeded Dharma door, outwardly the mind's thought does not arise with respect to all good and evil states. This is called 'sitting'. Inwardly, to see the unmoving self-nature is called 'Dhyana.'"
in one place is not necessarily "sitting". You are said to be
"sitting" when your mind is no longer disturbed by external
conditions, be they good or bad. Inwardly, when you view the unmoving
self-nature, this is called "Dhyana".
Good Knowing Advisors, what is meant by 'Dhyana concentration'?
Outwardly to separate from marks is 'Dhyana'. Inwardly not being
confused is concentration'."
When outwardly you are not attached to marks, you have attained Dhyana; when inwardly you do not have illusions and scattered thoughts, you have attained concentration.
"If outwardly you become attached to marks, inwardly your mind will be confused. If outwardly you are separated from marks, inwardly your mind will not be confused. The original nature is naturally pure, naturally concentrated; there is confusion merely because the states are seen and considered. If in seeing all states the mind remains unconfused, this is true concentration."
Separate from external marks your efficacious, bright, enlightened nature is pure of itself. Thus you obtain concentration.
"Good Knowing Advisors, outwardly separate from all marks is Dhyana and inwardly not having confusion is concentration. Outward Dhyana and inward concentration is called Dhyana concentration. The Vimalakirti Sutra says, 'Just then, suddenly regain the original mind.' The Bodhisattva-sila Sutra says, 'Our basic nature is fundamentally clear and pure of itself.' Good Knowing Advisors, in every thought, see your own clear and pure original nature. Cultivate, practice, and realize the Buddha Way!”
--To be continued—
55 T. 475, p. 541a:8
Alternate reading results from reversal of characters in the
1972 CALENDAR OF BUDDHIST HOLIDAYS
All Buddhist holidays are recorded on the lunar calendar, a fact, which causes considerable difficulty to many Westerners trying to determine when to hold celebrations. The holidays listed below have been transposed from the lunar to the solar calendar. It should be noted that the dates listed are good only for the current year, since the lunar new year falls on a different day on the solar calendar each year.
29th Anniversary of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s
21st Birthday of Mahastama Bodhisattva.
23rd Ullambana, the Day of the Buddha’s Rejoicing.
7th Birthday of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.
7th Birthday of the Venerable Master Hsu Yun.
10th Birthday of the Great Master Hui Neng, the Sixth
September 29th Birthday of Dipankara Buddha.
of the Enlightenment of the Great
22nd Anniversary of the day Tripitaka Master To Lun left
23rd Anniversary of the day the Great Master Ch’ang Jen