THE SEVENTH PATRIARCH, THE VENERABLE VASUMITRA
Composed by the
Venerable Master Hua
The Venerable One was a native of Northern India. While the Sixth Patriarch was traveling and teaching, upon seeing him, the Venerable One, holding a wine jug in his hand, stopped him and asked, "Where has the Master come from, and where does he wish to go?" The Patriarch replied, "I've come from the self-nature, and wish to go nowhere." The Venerable One said, "Do you recognize the object I have in my hand?" The Patriarch said, "It is an offensive vessel carried by a pure person." The Venerable One said, "Does the Master recognize me?" The Patriarch replied, "I do not recognize, and what recognizes is not me."
Afterwards he had him put on robes, shaved his head, transmitted to him the complete precepts, and handed the Great Dharma on to him. After the Venerable One had obtained the Dharma, he traveled and taught, arriving at the country of Kamalanka, where he carried out Buddhist activities on a large scale. He handed the Dharma on to Buddhanandi, and then entered the Compassionate Mind Samadhi. Next he came out of samadhi and instructed the assembly saying, "The Dharma I've obtained is non-existent; for if one recognizes the Buddha Ground, one leaves existence and non-existence behind." After saying that, he re-entered samadhi, and showed forth Nirvana.
A verse in praise of him goes:
The clouds revealed auspicious signs,
The golden light was dazzling.
He held in hand an offensive vessel,
Yet returned to the source by the straight road.
Displaying the Compassionate Mind’s monks
Picked from a sticky basin,
He spoke Dharma of instruction to the assembly:
Gooey pastry, gulps of juice!
Another verse in praise of him says:
In the Northern part of India,
There was born a Sage.
Offensive vessel held in hand,
He asked the former causes;
"From the self-nature have I come,
and am going nowhere.
What recognizes is not me,
How can there be a person?"
With kindness, right samadhi,
He complied with exits, entries.
His Compassion Light shone everywhere,
Filling heaven and earth.
A golden-colored lotus bloom
Received the One of Learning.
His sweet, efficacious writings
Were of Maha Prajna!