A reminder from the last issue:
Dhyana Master Wu Fang heard him babbling Chan-talk without any real understanding, so he slapped him across the face, “Pow!” Thereupon, Dhyana Master Wen Dzai was enlightened.
Within the raging fire, lotuses blossomed. Originally he said, the lotus blossoms welled forth in the dead of winter. This can also be explained that because it was the dead of winter, the fire was raging. And so within that fire lotuses blossomed. Or it could be explained that the lotuses come forth from the mud but are not sullied by it. Rather, they are gorgous and luxuriant. Originally, lotuses cannot bloom in fire, but now the fire brings forth lotuses that will not be destroyed. Doesn't it say in Great Master Yung Jya's "Song of Enlightenment."
Practice Dhyana in the midst of desire,
through the power of knowledge and insight.
The lotus born in the fire is never destroyed.
A lotus that is born from the fire will never be destroyed. This refers to the vajra indestructible body. Where the mind's light penetrates forth, great wisdom has been opened. Enlightenment has been obtained.
The seas dry up and the mountains collapse. Sea refers to the sea of suffering we endure. Now it is dried up. The Mount Sumeru within us also topples. What is the sea of suffering? Our afflictions and ignorance are the sea of suffering. What mountains collapse? Our arrogance and haughtiness are Mount Sumeru. Now, that Mount Sumeru is collapsed, which means there is no more arrogance and haughtiness.
In investigating the Patriarchs' biographies, everyone has his/her own explanation. Everyone's interpretation is different. And everyone's explanation has its own insight. If you understand them, then everyone's wisdom will enter your mind. Then even if you don't want to become enlightened, you will anyway. Gradually, you will certainly become enlightened.
These lectures on the Patriarch's biographies are not simply for explaining the biographies. From this, everyone here must become enlightened. If you don't become enlightened, I will also slap you on the cheeks!
Another verse says:
Out of the blue a thunderbolt severed the root of doubts.
A slap on the cheek ended birth and death.
The lanterns laughed － an unprecedented event!
For a barren tree to sprout again is as a sun among stars.
In a blazing fire lotuses bloomed － no expedient way to explain it.
The boat passed through deep waters carrying Wen Zai.
Where the mind’s light penetrates, hindrances are left behind.
The seas dry up, and the mountains topple all the way to Guang Ning.
Out of the blue a thunderbolt severed the root of doubts. On sunny days there aren't any thunderbolts, but when a thunderbolt claps on a sunny day, it will break through your doubts and destroy your ignorance. A slap on the cheek ended birth and death. By slapping his cheek, he cut through the root of birth and death. And so birth and death were ended right at that moment because he became enlightened. The lanterns laughed--an unprecedented event! How can lanterns laugh? Impossible. That's to say originally there was not enlightenment, but now there is. Originally lanterns can't laugh, but now they have. This is an analogy refering to how people's wisdom appears. Just like a lantern's laugh. For a barren tree to sprout again is as rare as a sun among stars. A barren tree is useless, but now it has new life. What has dried and withered is now flourishing again. That's why it's as rare as the sun is among stars.
In a blazing fire lotuses bloomed--devoid of expedients. Fire is hot. Lotuses can only bloom from water. To have lotuses bloom in fire is a rare event. It's so rare that it's beyond all expedients. There is no expedient to speak of. The boat passed through deep waters carrying Wen Dzai.At first I thought of using "On a moonlit night" instead of "through deep waters" because the Master's name "Ywe Jou" literally means "Moon boat." But then I decided to match "through deep waters" with "In a blazing fire." This line contains the Master's name Ywe Jou Wen Dzai hidden in it. The water is deep so the boat can travel. It glides through and so where the mind's light penetrates, hindrances are left behind. The mind's light is penetrating and whatever hindrances there had been disappeared. At this time the seas dry up, the mountains topple all the way to Gwang Ning. The sea of ignorance and afflictions dries up and Mount Sumeru topples. And this happens all the way to Gwang Ning. Gwang Ning is Master Wen Dzai's birthplace. Therefore Dhyana Master Wen Dzai can also be called Dhyana Master Gwang Ning, because in the Chinese custom, a person can be referred to by the place name of the place he is from.