Seal of the Patriarchs
DYNASTY DHYANA MASTER WEN KU
by Tripitaka Master Hua
|This DHYANA MASTER lived
during the MING DYNASTY. His name was WEN KUI "Listening in the
Valley," because he sat in a mountain valley listening to the sounds.
KUANG YIN, his other name, means "Vast Seal," because many
people gave him the seal of certification.
THE MASTER WAS A NATIVE OF CHIA SHAN, THE SON OF THE CHOU FAMILY.
CHIA SHAN is near Nanking. The Master's father's name was Chou.
HIS MOTHER DREAMED THAT A SPIRIT CRADLING A BUNDLE ENTERED THE ROOM, AND THEN THE MASTER WAS BORN.
In those days they used to believe in dreams, and today some still believe in them. HIS MOTHER DREAMED THAT A SPIRIT CRADLING A BUNDLE, an infant, ENTERED THE ROOM. THEN THE MASTER Wen Ku WAS BORN.
...WHEN HE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD HE WAS SENT TO K'AI YUAN MONASTERY WHERE HIS HEAD WAS SHAVED.
WHEN HE WAS SEVEN YEARS OLD...When young children leave the home-life, if they meet a genuine good knowing advisor, it is very easy for them to become enlightened, because it is easiest for children to cultivate. HE WAS SENT TO K'AI YUAN MONASTERY WHERE HIS HEAD WAS SHAVED. He was sent to a temple in Fukien called K'ai Yuan Monastery, where his head was shaved and he became a novice.
HE PAID A VISIT TO I FENG, AND FENG LED HIM TO LOOK AT THE YUNMEN METHOD OF INVESTIGATING THE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS OF THE WORD "LOU," WHICH HE DID SO DEEPLY THAT HE FORGOT TO SLEEP AND EAT.
The Master PAID A VISIT, he went to bow and draw near to Dhyana Master I FENG, a Ch'an Master. Dhyana Master I Feng LED HIM TO LOOK AT THE YUNMEN METHOD OF INVESTIGATING THE CAUSES AND CONDITIONS OF THE WORD “LOU.” At Yunmen there were many Dharma-doors. One of them was to investigate and awaken to the word "lou."
"What is the word 'lou'? What is the word 'lou'? What are the causes and conditions underlying 'lou'?" This word alone is investigated until there is awakening. ...WHICH HE DID SO DEEPLY THAT HE FORGOT TO SLEEP AND EAT. How hard do you think he worked? When it came time to eat, he couldn't remember whether or not he had eaten. When it came time to sleep, he didn't know whether he had slept or not. He forgot everything, investigating to a state where he even forgot about food and sleep.
You should all think it over; compare yourselves to the Master Wen Ku. Have you ever worked so hard that you completely forgot to eat or sleep? Have you? Speak up. If you have, say so. (Silence.) Or is it the case that at eleven o'clock you're thinking, "It's nearly lunchtime, my stomach is really acting up. It's being rebellious." Right? Have you ever forgotten about food and sleep? Is there one/person among you? Well? (Silence.) You're all old-timers; you've all obtained the liberation doors and so you cannot forget to eat or sleep.
HE BUILT A HUT AT SHUANG CHING WHERE HE READ THE LIANG TSO CHU AND INVESTIGATED THE SAYINGS OF MA TSU.
The: Master Wen Ku BUILT himself a HUT AT SHUANG CHING Mountain. There he READ the works of a contemporary Dhyana Master named Liang entitled the LIANG TSO CHU. He also delved into the RECORDED SAYINGS OF MA TSU, his witty remarks and verbal repartee. If you want to know the details, read the Recorded Sayings of Ma Tea.
SUDDENLY HE GAVE RISE TO THE FEELING OF DOUBT.
In investigating dhyana, one must give rise to the feeling of doubt. Once it arises, you may try to put it aside, but you won't be able to. You may want to stop it, but it will persist.
ONE DAY HE PERCEIVED AN AUSPICIOUS FRAGRANCE AND FLOWERS, AND EXPERIENCED A GREAT AWAKENING.
ONE DAY...He investigated dhyana with great intensity. Those who truly apply effort, who truly want to end birth and death, don't just fool around and waste their time. They don't just follow the crowd, eating when others eat, sleeping when others sleep, performing the meal offering when others do, and so forth. People who work hard reach the point where they are oblivious to the sky above and of the earth below and in between they are unaware of people. Those who truly apply effort work to the point that they don't know anything at all. As was said above, they forget about sleep and food. At that time the feeling of doubt suddenly arises. Just at that time--Ah!—the Master suddenly PERCEIVED AN AUSPICIOUS FRAGRANCE AND FLOWERS, auspicious, five-colored clouds, fragrances, flowers of a very rare fragrance...and at that time he EXPERIENCED A GREAT AWAKENING, he became enlightened--"Oh! So that's what it's all about!"--and obtained the liberation door.
THEN HE VISITED YUN CH'I AND LUNG CH'IH WHO BOTH GAVE HIM THE APPROVING SEAL.
He VISITED YIN CH'I, the Great Master Lien Ch'ih, and also LUNG CHIH, who was a great good knowing advisor at that time, and BOTH GAVE HIM THE APPROVING SEAL. Great Master Lien Ch'ih said "Fine. Not bad. You'll do. I grant that you have become enlightened." They both gave him certification in recognition of his enlightenment. However...
(MASTER) LUNG ESCORTED HIM TO THE DOOR, PATTING THE MASTER ON THE BACK, AND SAID, "OLD NEPHEW, I STILL HAVE MY DOUBTS ABOUT WHERE YOU’RE AT."
He patted the Master on the back and called him OLD NEPHEW because Master Lung was very old and Master Yun was about half his age, like a nephew. An OLD NEPHEW isn't necessarily very young, and may have great status, but he is still a generation younger, "I STILL HAVE MY DOUBTS ABOUT WHERE YOU'RE AT, said Lung Ch'ih, "and don't totally believe you, and therefore I can't truly grant that you are enlightened. I still have my doubts and reservations about you, I don't know whether or not what you say is correct."
THE MASTER SAID, "ON WHICH POINTS DO YOU DOUBT THIS ONE?
He said, "What are your doubts about me. Wen Ku?" "THIS ONE" is the way he referred to himself.
(MASTER) LUNG SAID, "WH~T IS MEANT BY 'SECRET INFORMATION ABOUT THE MIND'?
SECRET means that two parties do not share knowledge or know of each other. However, INFORMATION is that which is known. "SECRET INFORMATION ABOUT THE MIND means that secretly you know, and you know that I know. In other words, it's the realm of the Penetration of Other's Thoughts.
THE MASTER REPLIED, "TODAY I DID NOT COME AROUND BY WAY OF THE I HSING.
He said, "Today I didn't make my return by means of the I Hsing." This is a sentence of repartee. It means, "I didn't take the old road. I've already taken the old road; I'm finished with it."
(MASTER) LUNG BURST OUT IN GALES OF LAUGHTER.
The Chinese say "k'o k'o" which is the same as "ha ha." When he heard what the Master said he laughed.
THE MASTER PUT ON HIS BAMBOO HAT AND WALKED AWAY.
Dhyana Master Wen Ku set his bamboo hat on his head and left; he didn't say another word. What's that all about? It's entering the liberation door-
LATER, HE WAS THE ABBOT OF CHEN CHI (MONASTERY.)
He was the chairman there, so to speak.
AND HIS REPUTATION WAS KNOWN TO ALL UNDER HEAVEN.
While he was Abbot there all of the people in the Empire who had left the home-life went to draw near to him and study under him. HIS REPUTATION spread because everyone thought he was enlightened.
A VERSE IN HIS PRAISE RUNS:
HE ARRIVED IN A SPECIAL WAY,
ESCORTED BY A SPIRIT.
HE PUT ON HIS STRAW HAT AND WALKED AWAY,
THERE WAS NO WAY TO FOIL HIM.
IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS GO INVESTIGATE ELSEWHERE,
COMMON FOLK AND SAGES CAN’T BE TOGETHER.
ONE DROP FROM TSAO HSI, AGAINST THE CURRENT,
WILL LET YOU KNOW IF IT’S CHI OR TUNG.
A verse in praise of Dhyana Master Wen Ku goes like this:
HE ARRIVED IN A SPECIAL WAY because he had a good reason for coming and was no ordinary person. That is why he was ESCORTED BY A SPIRIT. A spirit brought him.
HE PUT ON HIS STRAW HAT AND WALKED AWAY. He was liberated with no attachments at all. He just put on his hat and left. THERE WAS NO WAY TO FOIL HIM. No matter how you tried, you couldn't obstruct him.
IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS 60 INVESTIGATE ELSEWHERE. If you don't believe him, go somewhere else to investigate. COMMON FOLK AND SAGES CAN'T BE TOGETHER. Common people and sages cannot be together because their viewpoints differ. So whoever wants to be a sage should hurry up and leave, and don't stay here around a common person like me.
ONE DROP FROM TS'AO HSI AGAINST THE CURRENT...One drop of water at Ts'ao Hsi Stream, going upstream WILL LET YOU KNOW WHETHER HE IS CHI OR TUNG. Who knows what CHI and TUNG mean? Does anyone know? Let's see how good your Chinese is. There's nothing profound about it; it's very ordinary, very shallow. Who knows what they mean? WILL LET YOU KNOW IF IT'S CHI OR TUNG. No one knows? Kuo Hsiu? No. Kuo I? No. Kuo Tao? Huh? You're really liberated.
CHI is Lin Chi (Rinzai). TUNG is Tsao Tung (Soto). You'll know if he is of the Lin Chi or Tsao Tung Sect, here he came from and what he's like. This is how you explain it on the surface. The underlying meaning is that with one look you know whether or not he's one with experience (one who has "been through" it), whether or not he is an enlightened person.
ANOTHER VERSE IN HIS PRAISE RUNS:
GUARDED BY A SPIRIT
HE DESCENDED INTO THE COMMON WORLD;
HE LEFT HIS HOME AND SHAVED HIS HEAD
AT THE MONASTERY CALLED KAI YUAY
INVESTIGATING AND BREAKING THE HUA TOU
"LOU" WAS THE CLUEJ
SMASHING THE BLACK BARREL,
THE BASIC SOURCE APPEARED.
HE VISITED KNOWING ONES EVERYWHERE
AND OBTAINED THE CERTIFYING SEAL;
HE VASTLY MINGLED WITH THE WEARISOME DUST
SAVING THOSE IN A THOUSAND WORLDS.
ABIDING INANDMAINTAININGTHE BUDDHADHARMA,
HIS MERIT REACHED EVERYWHERE;
HE’S LOOKED UP TO LIKE A LOFTY MOUNTAIN,
AND ADMIRED AS A FORMER SAGE.
GUARDED BY A SPIRIT, HE DESCENDED INTO THE COMMON WORLD. "Descended" means that he came down, perhaps from the Tusita Heaven, or some other heaven, to the realm of ordinary mortals.
INVESTIGATING AND BREAKING THROUGH THE HUA T'OU, LOU WAS THE CLUE. He investigated until he smashed through his Hua T’ou. "Lou" was the clue. A clue is like seeing just a part of something in the beginning. He got a bit of news, a clue, and SMASHING THE BLACK BARREL, THE BASIC SOURCE APPEARED. When you have destroyed the black energy barrel, you will no longer be selfish or jealous; none of that remains. Your jealousy and selfishness and all other such things, such as hatred, are just your black energy barrel. If you cannot break through your black energy barrel, your original face won't show itself. Breaking through it, the basic source, your original face, appears.
HE VISITED KNOWING ONES EVERYWHERE AND OBTAINED THE CERTIFYING SEAL, Dhyana Master Kuang Yin traveled around paying calls on good knowing advisors, and all of the good knowing advisors certified him.
HE VASTLY MINGLED WITH THE WEARISOME DUST, SAVING THOSE IN A THOUSAND WORLDS. As the Abbot of Chen Chi Monastery he had a lot of work to do. For example, we are putting out magazines, printing books, typing, investigating dhyana--this is all called "vastly mingling with the wearisome dust." If you do not do such work while you are cultivating the Way, you will not be able to teach others. If you say, "We don't want any lay people here. We don't want any Bhiksunis here. Just me!" If just you were left, you would soon be slapping yourself in the face feeling that you yourself were also wrong, saying to yourself, "You're detestable Really!" and acting out of ignorance towards yourself. He "vastly mingled with the wearisome dust” to teach and transform living beings.
IN AND MAINTAINING THE BUDDHADHARMA, HIS MERIT REACHED EVERYWHERE. He
dwelt in and upheld the Buddhadharma. He knew how to cause the
Buddhadharma to abide in the world. His meritorious efforts reached a
great distance, they were very great, and so he is LOOKED UP TO LIKE A
LOFTY MOUNTAIN AND ADMIRED AS A FORMER SAGE. He's looked up to as one
would gaze upward at a high peak. In the future I am most certainly going
to imitate this Dhyana Master; I am most certainly going to become
enlightened and perfect my karma of the Way." That is how the former
sagely one is admired.