THIRTY-SIXTH PATRIARCH, AND THE NINTH PATRIARCH IN CHINA,
The Master was born into the Wang family of the Ch'ang Le District of Foochow. After he left home he attended upon Patriarch Ma. On one occasion while going for a walk, he saw a flock of ducks, fly by and was greatly enlightened. The next day, when the assembly had gathered and the Patriarch had just ascended to his seat, the Master took away the Patriarch's sitting mat and rolled it up. The Patriarch descended from his seat and was followed by the Master to the Abbot's quarters.
Patriarch Ma said, "I had just arrived and had not yet spoken. What excuse do you have for rolling up my mat?"
The Master said, "Yesterday the tip of my nose hurt from the High Master's beating."
The Patriarch said, "Yesterday, what did you pay attention to?"
The Master said, "Today the tip of my nose doesn't hurt anymore."
The Patriarch said, "You deeply understand the events of yesterday.
Later the Master planted his tin staff on Pai Chang Ta Hsiung Mountain in Hangchou and taught the vehicle of the Dhyana School. He crossed over vast numbers of living beings and established rules for the Sangha.
On the 17th day of the first month in the ninth year of Yuan Ho (ca. 815 A.D.) he showed the stillness (i.e. entered nirvana). His imperial posthumous title was Dhyana Master Ta Chih. His pagoda was called 'Great Jeweled Victory Wheel". The epitaph says:
wild ducks flew by
The tip of his nose suddenly hurt.
Yesterday and today,
Speaking a dream in a dream,
Come to roll up and acquire the mat,
Two ears, yet nothing heard.
Before the Peak of the Great Hero,
Auspicious unicorn, awesome phoenix.
Written by Venerable Master Hua
Translated by Upasaka I Kuo Jung
translations of the SIXTH PATRIARCH'S SUTRA, in spite of their
eloquence, have occasionally missed the original intention and have not
penetrated the meaning. As a
remedy for these failings, members of the Buddhist Text Translation
Society are working together to make a complete and accurate
translation. The cultivating Bhiksus and Bhiksunis, laymen, and students
and scholars of Chinese are carefully editing the work and its detailed
commentary. If you want to
investigate the genuine Buddhadharma. this is the Sutra to study.
Even though others may have lectured this Sutra, this is the first time the mind seal dharma-door of the Great Master, the Sixth Patriarch, has been opened and spoken clearly for the benefit of all who hear. Those who wish to cultivate, to actually do the work, do not want to miss this publication of the best translation and commentary ever compiled. Those who have not digested it have not adequately investigated the Buddhadharma.
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Collected Lectures of Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
ACCORDINGLY, THIRTEEN ARANYA WERE ERECTED, AMONG THEM THE PRESENT HUA KUO HALL. THE SITE OF THE PAO LIN BODHIMANDALA WAS DECIDED UPON LONG AGO BY INDIAN TRIPITAKA MASTER CHIH YAO. DURING HIS JOURNEY FROM NAN Hai, HE PASSED THROUGH TS'AO HSI, WHERE HE CUPPED UP THE WATER WITH HIS HANDS AND FOUND IT TO BE DELICIOUS. SURPRISED, HE TOLD HIS DISCIPLES, "THIS WATER IS NO DIFFERENT FROM THAT IN INDIA. AT ITS SOURCE THERE MUST BE AN EXCELLENT PLACE AT WHICH TO BUILD A MONASTERY.
The Sixth Patriarch often walked on Pao Lin Mountain, observing the scenery. At particularly beautiful places, when he did not feel like walking further, he stopped to rest.
Accordingly, thirteen Aranya were erected, among them the present Hua Kuo Hall. Monastic buildings are called "LAN jao in Chinese, from the Sanskrit word Aranya, meaning "silent place", and are so called because they are pure, quiet places for cultivation. When Master Fa Hai compiled this text, one of the buildings was Hua Kuo Hall. It is now Nan Hua Temple.
The site of the Pao Lin Bodhimandala was decided upon long aero by Indian Tripitaka Master Chih Yao. During his journey from Nan Hai, he passed through Ts'ao Hsi. Where he cupped up the water with his hands and found it to be delicious, When he drank the water it tasted sweet.
Surprised, he told his disciples. "This water is no different from that in India. At its source there, must be an excellent place at which to build a monastery. The Master was not alone; many of his disciples were traveling with him. He said to them, "The source of this stream must certainly be a superior place. There a temple can be built, a "silent place" for cultivation.
HE FOLLOWED THE WATER AND AT ITS SOURCE LOOKED IN THE FOUR DIRECTIONS. THE MOUNTAINS AND WATERS ENCIRCLED ONE ANOTHER AND THE PEAKS WERE WONDERFULLY FINE. HE SIGHED AND SAID, "THIS IS JUST LIKE JEWELED WOOD MOUNTAIN IN INDIA!"
Tripitaka Master Chih Yao had said that a temple could be built at the source of the water. He followed the water and at its source looked in the four directions. The mountains and waters encircled one another and the peaks were wonderfully fine. The bright shining mountain peaks and the pure blue waters were mutually in harmony and the area was particularly beautiful.
He sighed and said. "This is just like Jeweled Wood Mountain in India!"
HE SAID TO THE VILLAGERS OF TS'AO HOU,"A PURE ' DWELLING CAN BE BUILT ON THIS MOUNTAIN. AFTER ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY YEARS THE UNSURPASSED DHARMA JEWEL WILL TEACH HERE. THOSE WHO ATTAIN THE WAY WILL BE AS MANY AS THE TREES OF THIS FOREST. IT SHOULD, THEREFORE, BE CALLED PAO LIN."
After he observed this, he said to the villagers of Ts'ao Hou. "A pure dwelling can be built here. After one hundred and seventy years the Unsurpassed Dharma Jewel will teach here. The villagers were descendents of Ts'ao of the period of the Three Kingdoms, and therefore the village was called Ts'ao Hou, "Descendents of Ts'ao". One hundred seventy years passed after Chih Yao spoke these words before the Sixth Patriarch received the precepts. The "Unsurpassed Dharma Jewel" refers to the Sixth Patriarch who taught and transformed living beings at that place.
"Those who attain the Way will be as many as the trees of this forest. It should, therefore, be called Pao Lin." Here, at this place, those of the Triple Jewel, sangha, and laymen who will attain enlightenment, will be very, very many—like a forest. It should, therefore, be called Pao Lin, "Jeweled Wood".
AT THAT TIME MAGISTRATE HOU CHING CHUNG OF SHAO CHOU REPORTED THESE WORDS TO THE EMPEROR WHO THEN ASSENTED TO THE REQUEST, CONFERRING UPON IT THE EPIGRAPH, "PAO LIN BODHIMANDALA". THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE HALLS BEGAN IN THE THIRD YEAR OF THE T’ien CHIEN REIGN OF THE LIANG DYNASTY.
At that time Magistrate Hou China Chung of Shao Chou reported these words to the Emperor who then assented to the request, Hearing this request the Emperor agreed, conferring upon it the epigraph. "Pao Lin Bodhimandala". He took his brush and wrote the characters, which said "Jeweled Wood Bodhimandala". Thus the construction of the temple halls began in the third year of the T'ien Chien Reign of the Liang Dynasty (502 AD).
IN FRONT OF THE HALL WAS A POND IN WHICH A DRAGON OFTEN SWAM UP AND DOWN, BUMPING AND SCRAPING THE TREES OF THE FOREST.
In the front of the hall was a pond. Ting Fu Pao says in his commentary that this pond was off to the left of the temple. Viewing the temple from beyond the gate it is on the left, but from the (host) position of the Sixth Patriarch's seat in the hall, the pond is on the right. The Sixth Patriarch built a stupa beside the dragon pond, but now the pond is no longer there. It has been filled in and on top has been built a meditation hall, which can hold approximately two thousand people. When precepts are administered, this hall becomes the precept hall for the occasion, in order to hold the one or two thousand people often present when the precepts are administered to new precept holders.
In which a dragon often swam up and down, bumping and scraping the trees of the forest. This dragon bounded in and out of the water, sometimes rising high out of the pond and crashing into the limbs of trees, or, swishing his tail, knocking over several trees at once. He showed off his powers in this way.
ONE DAY HE APPEARED LARGER THAN EVER IN A TORRENT OF GREAT WAVES. CLOUDS AND MIST DARKLY SCREENED THE AREA. ALL THE FOLLOWERS WERE AFRAID, BUT THE PATRIARCH SHOUTED AT HIM, "HAH! YOU CAN ONLY MAKE YOURSELF APPEAR LARGE; YOU CANNOT APPEAR IN A SMALL BODY. IF YOU ARE A SPIRIT DRAGON, YOU OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO TRANSFORM AND BY MEANS OF THE SMALL MANIFEST THE GREAT; BY MEANS OF THE GREAT MANIFEST THE SMALL."
One day he appeared larger than ever. How big was the dragon? He filled the pond; he was so big that you could only see the dragon, and could not see the pond at all! Then he danced around on the water, splashing it everywhere, in a torrent of great waves. Oh, the water mounted to ten, twenty and even thirty feet in the air I He was showing off the power of his spiritual penetrations by making great gushes of water well up all over.
Clouds and mist darkly screened the area. The day was overcast and misty when the dragon came out to display his talents and abilities*
All the followers were afraid. When this dragon manifested his power, the followers of the Sixth Patriarch were terrified. "Incredible!" they gasped, "this dragon certainly intends to harm us."
But the Patriarch shouted at him. He scolded and admonished him saying, "Haht You can only make yourself appear larq-e: you cannot appear in a small body. If you were a spirit dragon, you ought to be able to transform and by means of the small, manifest the great; by means of the great, manifest the small. The Patriarch said to the dragon, "If you were a dragon with any spiritual penetration whatsoever, you could transform. Where there was nothing, you could transform into something, and where there was something, you could transform into nothing. If you wished to transform you could transform, and if you didn't, you would not. It would be just as you wish. Within the small you could make the great appear and within the great you could make the small appear.
THE DRAGON SUDDENLY SANK AWAY, BUT RETURNED IN AN INSTANT IN A SMALL BODY, SKIPPING ABOUT THE SURFACE OF THE POND. THE MASTER HELD OUT HIS BOWL TO TEST HIM SAYING, "YOU DARE NOT GET INTO THE OLD BHIKSU'S BOWL!" JUST THEN THE DRAGON SWAM UP BEFORE HIM AND'THE MASTER SCOOPED HIM OUT OF THE WATER WITH HIS BOWL. THE DRAGON • WAS PARALYZED. HOLDING THE BOWL, THE MASTER RETURNED TO THE HALL AND SPOKE DHARMA TO THE DRAGON. AFTER WHICH THE DRAGON SHED HIS SKIN AMD BONES AND LEFT. HIS BONES, ONLY SEVEN INCHES LONG, COMPLETE WITH HEAD, TAIL, HORNS AND CLAWS WERE PRESERVED IN THE TEMPLE. LATER. THE MASTER PILLED IN THE POND WITH EARTH AND STONES, AND NOW. IN FRONT OF THE HALL, ON THE RIGHT SIDE. IS AN IRON STUPA. THAT IS THE PLACE.
The dragon suddenly sank away. but returned in an instant in a small body. skipping about the surface of the pond. When the dragon heard the Sixth Patriarch dare him to manifest a small body, he disappeared. Strange? Think about it; suddenly he wasn't there. Then in the time it takes to feel a hunger pang, there appeared a little dragon, skipping about on the surface of the water. There was no longer a big dragon, just a little one.
Master held out his bowl to test him saying "You dare not get into
the Old Bhiksu's bowl"
He held out his empty food bowl and said, "Although you have a
little body now, you still will not dare come into my bowl I
You don't dare*••I dare you to get into my bowl!"
then the dragon swam up before him and the Master scooped him out of the
water with his bowl.
When the dragon heard the Master's words, he was delighted.
Hippity-hoppity plip plop splash he raced across the water and swam up
before the Sixth Patriarch. The
Great Master did not wait for the dragon to jump into his bowl, but
reached right down and dipped him out of the water.
Now this word "scooped"—in Tung Pei where I am from, there is a saying: "Before there were people in Tung Pei, you could dip up the fish with a bucket." There were so many fish; you did not have to use a pole. "Chickens fell into the cooking pot." And as for rabbits, you could just step outside, swing a stick, and knock over a few!" This is what is meant by "scooped". 'It was as easy as scooping for fish in Tung Pei.'
The dragon was paralyzed. Once in the Master's bowl, he couldn't move.
Holding the bowl. the Master returned to the hall and spoke Dharma to the dragon. The Sixth Patriarch ascended the Dharma seat with bowl in hand, placed the bowl in front of him on the platform, and spoke Dharma for the dragon's sake.
The dragon then shed his skin and bones and left. His bones, only seven inches long and complete with head. tail. horns, and claws were preserved in the temple. Later the Master filled in the pond with earth and stones, and now. in front of the hall, on the right side, is an iron stupa. That is the place. Although Dharma Master Fa Hai's introduction says that the pond was on the left, it was actually on the right. The commentator. Ting Fu Pao, had never been to that place and didn't understand that the direction of the pond should be determined from the Patriarch's position, which would place it on the right of the Great Hall. He stated that it was off to the left, but in fact the pond was off to the right of the Great Hall.
The passage just explained was written by Dhyana Master Fa Hai as a general introduction, and is not part of the actual Sutra text. But because it presents some very important events in the life of the Sixth Patriarch, I have explained it a little for you.
explain a sutra correctly, the sutra should first be outlined according to
the Five Esoteric Meanings of the T'ien T'ai School:
Explanation of the name;
The first of these, explanation of the name. Has been done above. According to the Seven Classifications of Sutra Titles, the title of this Sutra is established by means of "person", "dharma", "analogy", and "place".
This Sutra has "real mark" as its substance. "Real mark" is without a mark, and yet there is nothing, which is not marked. In the discrimination of the substance of this Sutra, "real mark" is taken as the substance.
In making understood the principle, you should know that the principle is the accomplishment of Buddhahood. If you encounter this Sutra and rely on it to cultivate, then you can accomplish Buddhahood.
Discussion of the function. The function, or use, is to "understand the mind and see the nature". If you understand your mind, there are no difficulties; if you see your nature, there are no worries. From morning to night you are happy. There is no "Oh...I am so worried about this, so concerned about that!” You finish worrying about one thing, and start to worry about something else. Then, when that problem is solved, another comes to take its place. It is not like this. When you understand your mind and see your nature, there is no trouble, everything is easy.
in the determination of the teaching mark, this Sutra is analogous
to "sweet dew", the heavenly elixir
of immortality. Drink
it once and you cannot die. The
Sutra is also like "Ghee", a highly refined milk product with
the most miraculous and subtle of tastes. "Ghee"
is also used to describe the sutras spoken by Sakyamuni Buddha during the
Dharma Flower and Nirvana Period of his teaching.
CHAPTER I: CONDUCT AND ORIGIN
Chapter I: Conduct and Origin. "Conduct" refers to the Sixth Patriarch's activities; "Origin" is both the place from which he came and that on which he based his cultivation. "Conduct and Origin" is the source where it all began.
ONE TIME THE GREAT MASTER ARRIVED AT PAO LIN. MAGISTRATE WEI CHU OF SHAO
CHOU, ALONG WITH LOCAL
OFFICIALS, ASCENDED THE MOUNTAIN AND INVITED THE MASTER TO COME INTO THE
CITY TO THE LECTURE HALL OF TA FAN TEMPLE, AND FOR THE SAKE OF THE
ASSEMBLY OPEN CONDITIONS AND SPEAK THE DHARMA.
WHEN THE MASTER HAD ASCENDED THE SEAT, THE MAGISTRATE AND OVER THIRTY OTHER OFFICIALS, MORE THAN THIRTY CONFUCIANS AND SCHOLARS, AND MORE THAN ONE THOUSAND BHIKSUS, BHIKSUNIS, TAOISTS AND LAYMEN, ALL MADE OBEISANCE AT ONE TIME, WISHING TO HEAR THE ESSENTIALS OF DHARMA.
every sutra the Six Realizations must be fulfilled.
They are commonly established in the opening lines of the sutra.
The Six Realizations are: 1) Faith; 2) Hearing; 3) Time; 4) Host;
5) Place; 6) Assembly.
Only when these six are fulfilled is the proper Dharma being spoken. For instance, to conduct a sutra session here we first must have an
assembly. This is the Assembly
Realization. Then there
must be a hall. This is the Place
Realization. Then there must be
a Dharma Master who thoroughly understands the Dharma.
If there is not a Master then there is no Dharma session.
This is the Host Realization. Even if these conditions are
met there must still be a time, in this case from seven to nine o'clock.
If the Time Realization is not fulfilled, none of the others
would be realized. In addition, the
assembly must listen or no sutras are being taught.
This is the Hearing Realization.
If those who listen do not have faith in the sutra the Dharma
Master lectures, there is no sutra session.
If they have faith then they are hungry for the teaching.
This is the Faith Realization.
If any one of these conditions is not met, there can be no sutra
At one time means at a time, at this time. This is the "Time Realization".
The Great Master is
the "Host Realization".
Arrived at Pao Lin is
the "Place Realization".
Wei Chu of Shao Chou along with local officials ascended the mountain and
invited the Master to come into the city to the lecture hall of the Ta Fan
Temple and for the sake of the assembly open conditions and speak the
the Master had ascended the seat.
Again, the Master is the Sixth Patriarch, the "Host
Magistrate and over thirty other officials more than thirty Confucians and
scholars, and more than one thousand bhiksus, bhiksunis. taoists, and
constitute the "Assembly Realization".
made obeisance at one time wishing...represents the
To hear the essentials of Dharma is the "Hearing Realization".
Wei Chu and the officials climbed Pao Lin Mountain, which is about ten miles from Shao Chou, where Ta Fan Temple, now called Ta Chien Temple, is located. I lived there for a while. It is where the Sixth Patriarch spoke this DHARMA JEWEL PLATFORM SUTRA.