Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs
THE MASTER WAS FROM HSUN T’IEN, A SON OF THE YANG FAMILY, IN THE REIGN PERIOD CHIA CHING (1522-1566) HE TRAVELED TO SUNG MOUNTAIN IN I HSIU.
From HSUN T’IEN, which is the name of a place, DHYANA MASTER TING T'ANG PEN T'IEH traveled to I HSIU, the name of another place, to SUNG MOUNTAIN during the CHIA CHING REIGN of the MING DYNASTY.
UNDER THE HIGH MASTER PAI TSAI HE ABANDONED THE MORTAR.
He followed the High Master Pai Tsai in study and became enlightened. THE MORTAR refers to the stone vessel used in pounding rice. ABANDONED THE MORTAR means that the rice was ready. It had been pounded clean. It is like when the Fifth Patriarch asked the Sixth Patriarch, "Is the rice ready?"
The Sixth Patriarch replied, "The rice has long been ready; it only awaits the winnow." ABANDONED THE MORTAR means the rice had been thoroughly prepared; that is, he had become enlightened.
HE INVESTIGATED THE HUA T'OU, THE MYRIAD DHARMAS RETURN TO ONE trying to figure out what was meant by "the myriad dharmas return to one.
...AND DISCOVERED THE MIND GROUND. That is, he became enlightened and understood clearly the mind ground Dharma-door.
LATER HE DWELT AT CHI TSU Afterward he went to Yunnan to Chi Tsu (Chicken Foot) Mountain to live AT A PLACE CALLED CHIN LUNG (GOLDEN DRAGON) POOL. There HE FREQUENTLY SAW THE GOLDEN DRAGON APPEAR, flying out of the pool. HE ALSO NOTICED THAT THE PEPPER TREE GLOWED WITH LIGHT. THEREFORE HE FOUNDED A MONASTERY NAMED HUA CHIAO (WILD PEPPER).
ON THE VERGE OF DEPARTING HE WROTE A VERSE. When he was about to enter nirvana and go off to rebirth he wrote:
THE NATURE HAS NOTHING ADDED AND NOTHING TAKEN AWAY.
HOW COULD THERE BE ENLIGHTENMENT OR CONFUSION?
BASICALLY IT DOES NOT COME OR GO
IN ITS CLEVER AND STRANGE DISGUISE.
SEVERAL TIMES AT THE HEIGHT OF MY STRENGTH,
MY MIND IN A PERFECT PLACE,
SITTING, I SHED THE IRON SKIN OF THE FACE,
THE ONE THAT MY MOTHER BORE.
The self-nature is not more or less, and does not increase or decrease. How can it have confusion and enlightenment when basically there isn't any confusion or any enlightenment? The self-nature also does not come or go; how very clever and wonderful is the strange style it puts on! A lot of times when I apply my skill to its maximum, at the height of my strength, when I reach the ultimate point, my mind at that time is perfect. The perfection of the mind is also the perfection of the nature. When that state is reached, while sitting I toss aside the cast iron skin on my face; the skin of this cast iron face, which was borne by my mother, is destroyed. Although this skin is really tough, it is stripped off.
THE PRAISE SAYS:
THE MYRIAD DHARMAS RETURN TO ONE;
FORGET THE NET ONCE THE FISH ARE CAUGHT.
WHEN THE WHALE SWALLOWS UP THE SEA
THE CORAL IS EXPOSED.
THE PEPPER TREE EMITTED LIGHT;
THE GOLDEN DRAGON APPEARED AUSPICIOUSLY.
AT THE HEIGHT OF STRENGTH THE MINDS PERFECTION
ANOTHER VERSE IN HIS PRAISE SAYS:
IN A BOAT OF VOWS HE NAVIGATES
THE SEA OF SUFFERING.
HE UNIVERSALLY FERRIED BEINGS
TO THE OTHER SHORE.
AT CHICKEN FOOT HE HID AWAY
TO CULTIVATE SAMADHI.
THE APPEARANCE OF THE DRAGONS HEAD
REVEALED SIX PENETRATIONS.
THE PEPPER TREE EMITTED LIGHT,
A PROVEN LUCKY SIGN.
GRASS AND TREES RECEIVED THE MOISTURE
AS HE NURTURED UNUSUAL LEADERS.
THE SAGE EXPOUNDED THE TEACHING
AND GUIDED THE TEEMING MASSES.
APART FROM THE MARK OF THE SPOKEN WORD
HE DISPLAYED MYSTERIOUS LIGHT.
IN A BOAT OF VOWS HE NAVIGATES/THE SEA OF SUFFERING. He set out in a great boat of vows to come to the Saha world in the sea of suffering to take people across, and HE UNVERSALLY FERRIED BEINGS/TO THE OTHER SHORE. He wanted to carry beings across to the other shore.
AT CHICKEN FOOT HE HID AWAY/TO CULTIVATE SAMADHI, and while he was there THE APPEARANCE OF THE DRAGONS HEAD/REVEALED SIX PENETRATIONS. The dragon's head appeared quite often and this made clear that the Master had the six spiritual penetrations. The wild pepper tree glowed, and this was yet another auspicious portent.
AND TREES RECEIVED THE MOISTURE—the grass represents those of the Small
Vehicle, while the trees represent Bodhisattvas. HE NURTURED UNUSUAL
LEADERS. He created a lot of talent