THE BODHI SEAL OF ALL PATRIARCHS
THE FOURTH PATRIARCH OF THE
COMPOSED BY TRIPITAKA MASTER
IT IS NOT KNOWN WHERE THE MASTER CAME FROM. HE DWELLED IN HANGCHOU AT YUN FENG MONASTERY. WHILE TASTING A BITE FROM HIS BOWL, HE SAW A FIVE-COLORED CLOUD WITHIN WHICH WAS A MOUNTAIN BROOK AND THE STONE GATE OF A MONASTERY. He looked into his eating bowl--an ordinary bowl, but since he recited the jeweled bowl hand, his eating bowl emitted light—and there appeared a five-colored cloud. In the cloud was a mountain stream and a monastery gate.
CARVED ON THE GATE IN GOLD LETTERS WAS THE INSCRIPTION "GREAT SAGE'S BAMBOO GROVE MONASTERY." HE RECOGNIZED IT AND SAID, "THE VIEW IS LIKE THAT AT WU T'AI." Everything that appeared within the cloud in his bowl looked just like Wu T'ai Mountain. HE IMMEDIATELY WENT TO WU T'AI AND EVERYTHING WAS EXACTLY AS HE HAD SEEN IT. It looked just like the scene he had seen in the cloud. THAT NIGHT HE SAW A RAY OF LIGHT. HE FOLLOWED THE LIGHT AND LO AND BEHOLD! THERE IT ALL WAS—THE MOUNTAIN BROOK AND THE STONE GATE. When he saw the light he followed it and it led him to a place identical to the one he had seen in the cloud in his bowl.
SITTING UPON THE LION'S SEATS, THEY SPOKE DHARMA. There were the two sages looking portentously at one another, and suddenly one of them spoke.
MANJUSRI SAID, "OF ALL METHODS OF CULTIVATION, NONE MATCHES MINDFULNESS OF THE BUDDHA. THE POWER OF AMITABHA BUDDHA'S VOWS IS DIFFICULT TO CONCEIVE OF. YOU SHOULD WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECITE AND YOU WILL CERTAINLY BE REBORN IN THE PURE LAND. Manjushri Bodhisattva told him that the best Dharma-door was recitation of the Buddha's name because of the power of Amitabha Buddha's vows.
THEN BOTH EXTENDED THEIR GOLDEN-COLORED ARMS, RUBBED HIS CROWN, AND GAVE HIM A PREDICTION. Both Bodhisattvas rubbed the crown of National Master Fa Chao's head saying, "Recite the Buddha's name and in the future you will become a Buddha..."
HE RECORDED THE EVENT ON A STONE TABLET. National Master Fa Chao wrote out an account of this on a stone tablet. AT THE PLACE HE HAD SEEN, HE BUILT BAMBOO GROVE MONASTERY. THEN HE SAID, "MY AFFAIRS ARE FINISHED," AND ACCORDINGLY SAT DOWN AND DEPARTED. "I've done what had to be done," he said and passed away.
A VERSE SAYS:
IN THE PAST THERE MUST HAVE BEEN A CAUSE
THE STATE WHICH NOW APPEARED.
"TAKE UP THIS ONE PATH IN A CONCENTRATED DOSE."
In the past he certainly cultivated good causes so that at that time this event was revealed. He went to Wu T'ai Mountain where he saw Manjusri Bodhisattva and was instructed by him to rely upon the Pure Land the expedient teaching for the Dharma Ending Age. In the Dharma Ending Age this is the best method. "Take up this one path," Manjushri Bodhisattva told him, "in a concentrated dose." This line of the poem is an allusion to Mencius, who said, "If you don't take a concentrated dose of medicine your disease will not be cured." He said to take this medicine—a strong dose of it. If the medicine isn't harsh and disagreeable, the disease won't be cured. If the medicine doesn't fight with the disease, the cure won't be effected.
ANOTHER VERSE IN HIS PRAISE SAYS:
IN PAST LIVES HE LONG BEFORE
In former ages he planted superior causes and conditions and so he had a preview of the Bamboo Grove platform at Wu T'ai mountain, a platform such as that at the Sixth Patriarch's monastery. Jeweled trees and pavilions adorned the grounds as did unusual birds and grasses. It was a heaven of Ultimate Bliss.
There was a small stream, which perpetually flowed with refreshing water. In a stone cave a spring poured forth a constant supply of sweet dew. When he had finished building his Way-place he cast off his body. The fourth patriarch of the Lotus Society was an enlightened sage of antiquity. He went to be reborn in the Pure Land.
FIVE PRIMARY PATHS TO ENLIGHTENMENT- SUMMER & AUTUMN 1976
In conjunction with the Bicentennial, beginning July 4, 1976, the Sino-American Buddhist Association will, sponsor an orthodox Transmission of percepts for those wishing to become Buddhist monks and nuns (bhikshus and bhikshus is). In addition to the transmission of these complete precepts, there will also be opportunities for receiving Bodhisattva precepts, the novice precepts and the five lay precepts. For more information and application forms, please contact Gold Mountain Monastery.
Programs, Sponsored by the Sino-American Buddhist Association
1. THE CH'AN PATH. A seven day meditation intensive. Walking & sitting meditation from 3am to 12 midnight. Instructional talks. June 19-26. $90.$20 deposit.
2. THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE. A two-week study of, Great Vehicle, scriptures & commentaries, concentrating on the Avatamsaka Sutra. Meditation instruction. June 27-July 9. $170. $35 deposit.
3. THE PURE LAND PATH. Seven days meditation on the mantric syllables of the syllables of the name. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Instruction in contemplation. July 10-17. $90. $20 deposit.
4. THE PATH OF DISCIPLINE. Three weeks of study & practice of the Vinaya &Rules of Deportment. July 18-Aug. 8. $240. $50 deposit.
5. THE CH'AN PATH. Same as 1. August 9-15. $90. $20 deposit.
6. THE SECRET PATH. Three weeks of, study & practice, of, the methods of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, one of the most important figures in Buddhism's esoteric lore. Aug.16-Sept.8. $240. $20 deposit.
7. THE PATH OF DISCIPLINE. A five week, day study of the Bodhisattva precepts. Also Sutra study & meditation. Sept.8-Oct. 9. $400. $80 deposit.
8. WORLD WIDE DHARMA PROPAGATION TOUR. Open to all serious adepts. Countries will probably include Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, India, Ceylon & Europe. Group leaves late October. Costs must be borne by individual participants.
PROGRAMS WILL BE HELP AT BOTH GOLD MOUNTAIN MONASTERY & WONDERFUL ENLIGHTENMENT MONASTERY.