家產藉沒 擊碎明珠 輝天鑑地 無欠無餘
縱橫妙用 通宗通途 月船蘆岸 海島珊瑚
The Master was born in the city of Yang in the Fen District. He was a son of the Wei family. First he went to study under Master Heng of Sywe Feng. Next he went to study under Master Shen of Tai Ywan. He learned something from both teachers, but he still did not become liberated. He further went to study under Sywe Ting. Ting requested, "Say something spontaneous right now and we'll see." The Master deliberated, so Ting suddenly said, "Your personal wealth has been confiscated, and you're still here crying about injustice." The Master had a great enlightenment and said, "Who can do anything about me?" Ting replied, "Get out, you crazy man!" The Master said, "For humaneness and righteousness I bow." He attended him for ten years. Later he was made Abbot of Shau Lin Monastery by Imperial edict. In January of the year Ji Chou in the Dz Ywan reign of Emperor Sz Ju of the Ywan Dynasty, he appeared to have a slight illness and said to the Cantor, "Some have passed away sitting up, or left standing up. It's not that there's no precedent for it, but for sanghans it's unnecessary. This mountain monk won't do it that way." After he finished saying this, he passed away. After cremation his disciples divided the bones and sarira. Pagodas were built for them at both Shau Lin and Bau Ying Monasteries.
A verse in praise says:
Personal wealth confiscated, bright pearl shattered,
The brilliance shone in heaven, mirrored on earth.
Not deficient, not surplus, the wonderful function works vertically and horizontally, penetrating all the teachings and paths.
The moon follows the boat to the reedy shore, a coral reef in the sea.
Another verse says:
Drawing near people who have the Way and staying away from deceitful people,
Industriously working at investigating the inherent truth,
"Spontaneously pick it up without deliberation."
Intuitively he caught the old thieves.
His personal wealth had been confiscated, but he cried out in vain.
Recovering the precious treasury, he breathed a sigh of relief.
Horizontally or vertically, the wonderful function is inexhaustible.
The brilliance illumines ten thousand eons, shining from ancient times until today.
Dhyana Master Wen Tai of Ling Yin was the Abbot of Ling Yin Monastery. He was the Fifty-eighth Patriarch. This Patriarch came from Shan Syi Province. He was born in Yang Cheng County, Fen District. His lay surname was Wei.
First he went to study under Master Heng of Sywe Feng. Soon after leaving the home life, he heard people say that Dhyana Master Sywe Feng had Way Virtue, so he went to bow to him and study under him. When you're in search of a teacher and the Way, wherever you go you should be very respectful. You cannot be careless and ill-mannered. "Study under" means to draw near to him. From the very beginning when he drew near to Dhyana Master Sywe Feng, he made obeisance and bowed to him, requesting the Dhyana Master to teach him.
Next he went to study under Master Shen of Tai Ywan. Later he went to study with a Dhyana Master named Shen in Tai Ywan who was also a Good Knowing Advisor of the time.
He learned something from both teachers. He studied under these two Good Knowing Advisors of the time and he gained benefit and made progress under both of them, he "got somewhere" with them, so to speak.
But he still did not become liberated. Since there was still a little bit he had not cut off, that he hadn't completely put down, a tiny bit remained to hold him back, and he could not break it off. It's like the stickiness that remains to connect the pieces of a lotus root when you break it in two. It was as if he were enlightened, yet not quite enlightened. This isn't something that can be faked.
He further went to study under Sywe Ting. Later he went to study under Dhyana Master Fu Yu of Sywe Ting.
Ting requested, "Say something spontaneous right now and we'll see." What is "spontaneous?" It's facing reality, face to face, just like you and me. You have to say something for me to hear.
The Master deliberated. At this moment if he had spoken without thinking, then he would have been right. But he was not enlightened yet, so without thinking first, he wouldn't have had anything to say. What could he have said? This is called "deliberation." He was trying to think of a suitable line to answer Dhyana Master Sywe Ting, but as soon as he deliberated, it wasn't the first meaning. Rather, it had fallen into the second or third meaning, instead of the one thought that's without discrimination. If you want the one thought without discrimination you have to make an immediate decision. It's just like in gung-fu, wherein if someone deals you a blow, however you respond, it must be im-mediate, without thinking about it. If you take time to think, then you'll be hit. Thinking about it is out of the question. If someone with a knife came to cut your head off, you'd find a way to prevent it. You'd know immediately that you shouldn't take time to think. This is the state where "the whole substance manifests before the creation of a single thought." While he was deliberating,
Ting suddenly said, Sywe Ting, seeing that it wasn't going to work, suddenly said,
"your personal wealth has been confiscated." Your own "wealth" does not mean your original nature or Buddha nature, et cetera. The "wealth" here refers to your fundamental wisdom. Now you don't know how to use it, so it's as if it had been confiscated.
"...and you're still here crying about injustice." "You are still here saying that you've been wronged. How have you been wronged? You can't be your own master." Sywe Ting scolded him just like that. Because the first sentence was a test for him, he couldn't come up with the answer. This Dhyana Master Sywe Ting knew how to contemplate the opportunities. He knew what to say in order to make him enlightened, so he came up with this line. It's not too coarse, too fine, too elegant or too vulgar, that line, "your personal wealth has been confiscated." The personal wealth refers to his wisdom. Basically wisdom can't be robbed away, but since you don't know how to use it, it's like it's been confiscated. And yet you cry "injustice." What are you looking for here? "Crying about injustice" means, what are you thinking here?
After these words, the Master had a great enlightenment. He finally realized, "This is my own possession, yet I've lost it and don't know how to use it." Then he went mad. He let out a yell to Dhyana Master Sywe Ting
and said, "Who can do anything about me?" He started screaming like crazy. When Sywe Ting heard him shouting like this, he realized he finally understood, and told him,
"Get out, you crazy man!" Sywe Ting also screamed back at him. "Get out, crazy man!" They yelled back and forth. You roar like a lion, I also roar like a lion, on and on like this.
Later the Master said, "For humaneness and righteousness I bow." "You were so good to me;" he thought. He felt that Sywe Ting's one line had "uncorked his bottle;" causing him to suddenly understand. He thought, "Now I understand everything. I should not go seeking outside, neither should I seek inside. I'm originally thus. 'Basically there's not one thing, so where can the dust alight?' So who can do anything about me? Who could manage me? I'll do whatever I want. I'm old Lord God himself, so how could you tell me what to do?" If this isn't insane talk, what is it? It is madness. This kind of madness requires confidence. You cannot be mad if you don't have the confidence. He dared to be mad because he truly understood. Just like before, when Lin Ji was struck by Hwang Bai.
After he became enlightened, he exchanged blows with Hwang Bai. When the blows were exchanged, Hwang Bai knew he'd become enlightened. Da Yu had said, "This is none of my business;" and had told him to look for Hwang Bai. Superficially this looked like exchanging blows, but in fact it was Using the Mind to Seal the Mind. And it was also "an expert gauging your skill by watching a few of your moves." One look at you and he'd know. So he said, 'Who can do anything about me? Who can manage me?" And that's why Sywe Ting called him a crazy man. He also bowed to Sywe Ting once, to show gratitude for the favor of his Dharma-milk. After he thanked him,
he attended him for ten years. He stayed there and worked for him, offered his services to him, washed his laundry, cleaned the place, tended to him in the Buddha Hall and in the dining hall, took care of him for ten years.
Later he was made Abbot of Shau Lin Monastery by Imperial edict. Afterwards at the Emperor's command he went to Shau Lin Monastery and became the Abbot.
In January of the year Ji Chou in the Dz Ywan reign of Emperor Sz Ju of the Ywan Dynasty, he appeared to have a slight illness. He deliberately appeared to be ill. Probably the tips of his body-hairs were in pain, even his hair was uncomfortable. He
said to the Cantor (wei nwo), "some have passed away sitting up, or left standing up. It's not that there's no precedent for it." When ancient people (sages) completed the stillness, some did it while sitting down, others while standing. These things are actually true, not false. It's not the case that they're legends and myths handed down, like talk devoid of any basis. It's not the case. All these things truly exist.
But for sanghans it's unnecessary. For ordinary ragged monks, this is too much, it's acting excessively. It's just deliberately showing off. They're still attached to appearances. It's like they're saying, "I'm completing the stillness while sitting, so, see, I have skill." Or, "I went to rebirth while standing up, so I also have some gung-fu." Or else all kinds of other styles: completing stillness with one hand grabbing a tree-branch; or upside-down; or with one arm stretched out; or with one leg pulled up; or in the process of reclining. These are still attachments to appearances. They were just joking around. Near to dying, they still wanted to show off. They were still attached to the idea of birth and death. That's why "it's unnecessary."
This mountain monk won't do it that way. I, this mountain monk, won't be following that pattern.
After he finished saying this, he passed away. Right after he said this, he completed the stillness, without any traces, without any "style" at all. In the end, we don't know if he said this while he was sitting, reclining, or standing, and there's no way to know. In short, he had criticized others as being all wrong. But is it the case that he was definitely right? It's not for sure.
After cremation, after burning with fire,
his disciples divided the bones and sarira. The disciples divided his holy remains into several portions.
Pagodas were built for them at both Shau Lin and Bau Ying Monasteries.
A verse in praise says:
Personal wealth confiscated, his own valuables had been taken away.
Bright pearl shattered, because he had nothing left, his own precious jewel was shattered. His "home was broken up, his people gone." He wanted nothing.
The brilliance shone in heaven, mirrored on earth. At the time, because he wanted nothing more, the light of self-nature appeared. The brightness illumined the sky, the earth, the realm of humans.
Not deficient, not surplus, thereupon he wasn't short of anything, and he wasn't excessive in anything, and he became the same substance as the Dharma Realm. So it's not too much, not too little, just the right amount. He didn't have anything, but he had everything. There's wonderful existence naturally in true emptiness. There's true emptiness naturally within wonderful existence. There's neither deficiency nor surplus.
The wonderful function works vertically and horizontally. At this time he recovered all his personal wealth and it became his own again. After he obtained everything, up and down were casual, four directions were leisurely, vertically and horizontally there was no obstruction. No matter what he wanted to do, it was consistent with the wonderful function.
Penetrating all the teachings and paths. All the teachings of all the schools are penetrated. All the principles are penetrated. All the paths are reached. No matter what, whether to the left or right, you are in accord with the Origin. No matter what you do, it's right. Scolding people is Buddhadharma, hitting people is also Bodhi. Let me tell you something: because I haven't become enlightened, you hurt when I strike you. If I scold you, you are unhappy in your heart. If I were like those people who are truly enlightened, then when they scold people, they wouldn't know they'd been scolded, or when they hit people, they wouldn't know they'd been hit. The power of their charm is just this great.
The moon follows the boat to the reedy shore. The color of the white crane is different from the color of the reeds. The reflection of the moon in the water, following the boat, is also not the same.
A coral reef in the sea. To discover a reef of coral near an island in the sea is rare. This symbolizes that in Buddhism such an enlightened person has emerged. It's unusual and rare, just like a coral reef near an island in the sea. Coral is one of the seven kinds of jewels. Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, crystal, mother of pearl, red pearl, carnelian, amber, and coral are all precious. Therefore this Dhyana Master is a precious treasure in the world.
Another verse says:
Drawing near people who have the Way and staying away from deceitful people. This Dhyana Master Wen Tai, why did he first study under Sywe Feng and then go to study under Shen of Tai Ywan, then later went back to study under Sywe Ting again? This is because he wanted to draw near to people who have the Way. "Staying away from deceitful people" means he stayed away from improper people who had deviant knowledge and deviant views. "Deceitful people" are those who like to flatter, butter people up, tell lies and cater to other people's feelings and speak falsely.
Industriously working at investigating the inherent truth. He didn't fear any difficulties and hardships in investigating and learning the supreme Dharma, the basic inherent true wisdom, the inherent jewel, the unsurpassed treasure.
"Spontaneously pick it up without deliberation." This Dhyana Master Sywe Ting told him to "say something spontaneous and we'll see." That means, speak and we'll evaluate it. But there he was, trying to think. Each of you should know that if you wait until you have thought it over, everything will be wrong. Before you have thought, whatever rushes from your mouth without contemplation, that then is true. A few days ago a letter from Mainland China came saying that a certain Dharma Master regretted that he didn't answer when Syu Lau had asked him to go to Jyang Syi. Actually, for this Dharma Master to say this now is wrong. Why? At the time he couldn't answer. Maybe it was that way or maybe it wasn't that way. Maybe Syu Lau was casually talking to him. He was imagining things, thinking he was being tested. Actually it's not for certain. Even if it were a test for him, if he truly understood then he should not have brought this up now to give himself status, like a travelling salesman giving his pitch, promoting himself, gold-plating his own face. Since at the time he didn't come up with an answer, he missed the opportunity. If he missed it, he missed it. But he's not enlightened now. If he were enlightened now and felt he would have missed it at the time, that would have been alright. Whom is he trying to imitate? He is trying to imitate Syu Lau's style, "monkey see, monkey do." Because in Syu Lau's journal, there's a section that says, "At the time, this beggar Wen Ji by the banks of the Yellow River asked me whether or not there was 'this' in the South Sea. But then I kicked his cup over. All questions disappeared." However, he isn't aware that he copied from there. He followed the pattern, traced it. These modern young lads don't know whether three times seven is twenty eight, or what four, five, and six are about. They "traced the drawing of a gourd" and wrote this letter to me. It's completely meaningless. All of you think about it. Why did he do this? It's like calling himself the mystery within the mysterious, or like he had wings and could fly. Because his public case is an imitation, it doesn't count. It has to be something without deliberation, then it will count. It doesn't come from the conscious discriminating mind. "Spontaneously pick it up without deliberation." You cannot think. If you think of an answer then it's all wrong. "As soon as you open your mouth, it's wrong. As soon as you give rise to a thought, it's off. If you don't really understand, if you open your mouth, it's in error. As soon as you think, it's wrong.
Intuitively he caught the old thieves. As soon as you reach out your hand you catch the root of the old thieves. You've caught the bases of these old thieves, they can't run away anymore. The roots of the old thieves are the six thieves: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind. If you can catch them, then you will not be turned by the formdust when your eyes look at form, you will not be turned by sound-dust when your ears hear sound, you will not be turned by odors when your nose smells odors, or by flavors when your tongue tastes flavors, or by sensations when your body feels touch, or ideas when your mind conditions ideas. You're not turned by the various states of the dust (of the world), and this is to have caught the old thieves.
His personal wealth had been confiscated, but he cried out in vain. Dhyana Master Sywe Ting said, "Your personal wealth has been confiscated and you're still here crying about injustice?"
Recovering the precious treasury, he breathed a sigh of relief. When he heard what Sywe Ting said, this time Dhyana Master Wen Tai had recovered the treasury. He forcefully cried out loud, "Who can do anything about me?" with a commanding air, in exultation.
Horizontally or vertically, the wonderful function was inexhaustible. After he'd recovered his original face, then vertically, horizontally, any which way, it was inexhaustible.
The brilliance illumines ten thousand eons, shining from ancient times until today. For ten thousand kalpas it shines, shines on antiquity, shines on the present, shines throughout the three thousand great-thousand worlds.