「松庭月冷夜寒涼」：就說這個松庭月冷，松庭禪師他這個規矩很森嚴的，一般人認為他，英文叫 really cold （很冷），那麼夜寒涼，就好像那個晚間很寒冷的。
(continued from last issue)
The Master was at loss. When Dharma Master Lyau Gai heard this, he was in a dilemma and did not know what to do. He didn't know where to place his hands and feet. He was uncertain whether it would be better to walk, stand or sit. He could neither sit nor recline at ease, and he didn't know if it was right to walk, stand, sit, or recline. So the more Dhyana Master Sung Ting talked, the more confused and uneasy Dhyana Master Lyau Gai felt. He was so unsettled that he wondered what was wrong with himself - how come he didn't understand anything?
The Master was even more disconcerted. He felt very embarrassed.
One day, Sung Ting entered the hall to speak the Dharma. It is a very important Buddhist affair when the Dharma Host enters the hall to speak Dharma, and everyone at the temple has to go listen to the Dharma. He said,
"One word brings radical liberation and solitary excellence." Here, to attain radical liberation means to become quite different, to cast off worldly habits, give up old haunts, abandon the old way of doing things, and renounce the new as well. Neither the new nor the old
exist. Radical liberation is liberation from both transcendental and worldly truth. "Solitary excellence" means rising above ordinary people, being an outstanding individual who alone transcends what is common.
At that moment, the Master became greatly enlightened. When Dhyana Master Lyau Gai heard these words, he put everything down. He had been weighed down by so much baggage before that he could not escape the six sense organs and six sense objects. Instead, he continued to be involved with them. But now he has escaped them and is no longer stuck in existence or emptiness. At the moment when he united with the essence of 'the Middle Way, he became greatly enlightened.
In the Geng Wu year of the Hung Wu reign, he became the Abbot in Ju Ting (Patriarch's Court). This was probably in Yung Chyou District on Yun-jyu (Cloud Abode) Mountain in Jyang-nan (South of the River) Province. He was the Abbot at Cloud Abode Mountain.
In the year of Syin Chou in the reign of Yung Le, without experiencing any illness or pain, he suddenly gathered the great assembly together to bid farewell. Unexpectedly, he said, "All of you come quickly. I want to say good-bye to you, for I'm leaving! Hurry and come!" The bell tolled and the drums rolled, summoning everyone to convene. He told them, "Farewell, and hope we meet again." Then
he spoke a verse, "I will part from you this evening, at the age of eighty-seven. I am eighty-seven years old this year." In Chinese, the words "seven", "evening" and "blue" all rhyme, so this is a rhymed verse. He told everyone, "I will take leave of you tonight.
I put it all down before the time of Awesome Sound." That is, he let go, no longer wanting anything at all, and went off to rebirth without hindrance. "I had already put it all down before the time of Awesome Sound King Buddha. I had already seen through everything then, and put everything down." Therefore,
a golden rooster crows at dawn. The golden rooster is the sun, and the jade rabbit is the moon. The golden rooster crows at dawn, when the sky starts to turn blue. This has the same meaning as "Although the wild cranes are not fed, they have boundless freedom." It also means being free of obstructions, of the disintinctions of self and others, and having total independence. This is also the meaning of "A thousand lakes, a thousand reflections of the moon. Ten thousand miles without clouds, ten thousand miles of sky."
After finishing the verse, he composed himself and entered Nirvana. With solemn dignity, he entered the ultimate quiescence.
A verse in praise says:
Direct and indirect, both are wrong. Whether you speak Dharma indirectly by saying the opposite, or you say one point directly so the rest can be inferred, it is wrong.
The Buddha turned around and came back. The Buddha turned back the boat of kindness to come teach and transform living beings.
Right here and now, try to comprehend. You have to understand it right in this instant. If you wait and think about what you should say, then
you're already embroiled in complications. You've already fallen into the second or third position. "Complications" are troublesome and wrong. Dhyana Master Lyau Gai was flustered as he tried to think, so Dhyana Master Sung Ting scolded, "What are you begging for in the ghosts' grotto?" That made Dhyana Master Lyau Gai even more disconcerted. Whether he approached it directly or from behind, it was wrong. The Buddha turned back the boat of compassion to teach living beings. This probably refers to Dhyana Master Lyau Gai, who is worthy of this role.
Right here and now, try to comprehend. You must understand immediately. But here it implies that there is room for discussion and deliberation -- that's wrong, so
you're already embroiled in complications, you've long fallen into second or third place.
The cold moon at Sung Ting's place. Sung Ting is Dhyana Master Dz Yen. The gate to his place was high and stern, with a chilly air to it. The spirit of his cultivation and teaching was lofty, profound, dignified and solemn.
The claws and fangs of a lion. This is metaphor of the power of a lion's claws and fangs. The lion is Dharma Master Sung Ting, whose methods for teaching and transforming people were very powerful.
Proper and partial are meshed together. Proper means right, and partial means wrong. But right also contains wrong, and wrong also contains right. They mesh and intermingle together. If you've read the Shurangama Sutra, you will understand the meaning of this intermingling. Right dharmas come from wrong dharmas, and wrong dharmas come from right dharmas. Once you understand them, there are no more problems. Whether a person is right or wrong, he is able to teach and transform him. Right and wrong are meshed together.
Crows are hidden in the snow. Among the people he taught, perhaps there were some who were not so pure and wholesome. Some may have been trouble-makers, who refused to abide by the rules. I don't know about others, but just consider the people in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I know that some of the people here are very well-behaved and follow the rules, but there are also mischief-makers here. At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there are some people who truly cultivate. In the past, they may have done all sorts of illegal things such as selling drugs, but they have reformed now. After coming to the City, they reformed and became good. The black ones are not black anymore, and the white ones are not white anymore.
Therefore, "crows are hidden in the snow." Sometimes the dragons and snakes mingle together and you cannot tell them apart. That's the way it is; not everyone is good, even among Buddhists. Don't think just because a person studies the Buddhadharma, he has to be a truly good person. Some people have greed which is like a bottomless basket. Such a basket is so deep that you could never fill it up. There are such people (in Buddhism). There are also people without greed who have not studied Buddhism. So we should understand that all dharmas are Buddhadharma, and as such they are ineffable, beyond words. There is nothing there; there's no right and no wrong. You cannot see the blackness of the crows until the snow melts and reveals them. Thus, ignorance and affliction are right within Bodhi. Originally there was a lot of Bodhi and only a bit of affliction. But that small bit of dark ignorance within the great radiance of wisdom is as potent as poison. Even a tiny bit will kill you. Ignorance is just like that.
Hsuan Hua's verse says:
The moon at Sung Ting's was cold, and the nights were chilly. The regulations at Dhyana Master Sung Ting's place were very strict, and people thought he was really cold. It was very cold at night.
The gate and wall were high and stern, uncompromising. He had a reputation for being especially stern and especially well-disciplined. He was uncompromising. You could not bring up any matter to discuss with him, to work out a good solution. He left no room for discussion and just had his own way. So he scolded Dhyana Master Lyau Gai and asked him why he was begging in the ghosts' cave.
The two methods of subduing and attracting were expediently used. He used the dharma of subduing to overcome arrogant people. If a person wasn't arrogant, he used the dharma of attracting to gather him in. He used these Dharma-doors of expedient means and clever techniques to teach and transform living beings.
Kindness and awesomeness functioned together - skillful, wonderful, and all-pervasive. He treated people with both kindness and awesomeness; the two qualities functioned together. "Skillful, wonderful, and all-pervasive": He was very clever and wonderful, and very attentive to all the details when he taught and transformed people.
Seeking treasure in the cave of ghosts, he wasted his efforts. He said to Dhyana Master Lyau Gai, "So you want to look for treasures in the ghost's cave, and search for goodies! You won't find any, and you'll waste a lot of effort."
In the burning house, he enjoyed a fool's paradise, but it was all unreal. The Triple Realm is like a burning house, with no peace. Although the house is on fire, you still think it's secure and happy there. This is all unreal. It is unreasonable.
Completely liberated from the sense organs and objects, he dwelt nowhere. He was not stuck in existence or emptiness. Nor was he attached to the six sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind) and the six sense objects (sights, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, and dharmas). The
Vajra Sutra says, "Produce the thought which dwells nowhere." He did not abide in any place.
Free and at ease, lie returned to his native village. Suddenly Dhyana Master Lyau Gai was greatly enlightened, so he was happy-go-lucky, without a care, and could return to his own true, inherent hometown.
to be continued