The Shurangama Sutra is the sutra which opens great wisdom.
Whoever wants to obtain true wisdom
should read this Sutra
until he becomes so familiar with it that he can recite it from memory.
A reminder from last issue:
Dhyana Master Changren had an awakening upon reading the Shurangama Sutra. Later he studied under Dhyana Master Xiaoshan, and was certified by him after two years.
In the fourth month of the year Yi You of the Wanli reign in the Ming Dynasty,the Master bid farewell to everyone and entered the stillness.The story of the Master's life was recorded.The stories of the Master's practicing the Way throughout his life were recorded. Da Zongbo, an official of that time, established the Master's fame and glorified him. Layman Lu wrote an epitaph and carved it onto a stone monument. At that time there must have been a layperson named Lu who had a good understanding of Buddhism and was very learned. He wrote an epitaph praising the Master and carved it in stone.
A Verse in Praise Says:
This perfect and bright understanding
Does not come from the conscious mind.
The beautiful phoenix flies in the sky,
The leopard is transformed from fog.
The jeweled mirror is pure and brilliant,
The magic sword is bright as fire.
One person received it,
And transmitted it to as many people as arrows and as artemisia plants on Five Breasts Peak.
This perfect and bright understanding, the mind of perfect and bright understanding, which is the great perfect mirror wisdom, does not come from the conscious mind. It is not attainable with the mind of delusive thoughts. The beautiful phoenix flies in the sky. This beautiful phoenix always flies freely through the skies. The leopard is transformed from fog. If you see the leopard in the fog, you cannot see it clearly, and it transforms into many different shapes.
The jeweled mirror is pure and brilliant. This jeweled mirror, the great perfect mirror of bright wisdom, shines its brilliant light everywhere at all times. The magic sword is bright as fire. The magic sword of wisdom is just like fire, bright as blazing flames. Blazing flames are produced from the jeweled sword, the sword of wisdom. Blazing means flourishing. This dazzling radiance is a strong light. One person received it. In Buddhism, one person was saved. Although only one person was crossed over, he transmitted it to as many people as arrows and as artemisia plants on Five Breasts Peak. Under Five Breasts Peak grow artemisia plants, which resemble arrows. There are as many arrows shot as there are artemisia plants. That is to say, after he received the robe and bowl, he transmitted the teaching to many disciples. These disciples were as many as artemisia plants, and each artemisia became an arrow. These are all analogies. This means that all his disciples were very smart and expeditious. They did not procrastinate, and they were not indecisive. They were as swift as arrows.
Hsuan Hua's Verse Says:
The Shurangama Sutra is the source of wisdom;
Myriad rays of dazzling light shine throughout heaven and earth.
The perfect bright understanding is apart from the conscious mind;
Asking about the appearance of something which doesn't exist is really pathetic.
Raising his palm to indicate the seeing, he pretended to be an iron hero;
Lowering his head, he admitted that he was a weak man.
That which has no appearance pervades the realm of space;
Seated on the jeweled lotus, he roams freely through the universe.
The Shurangama Sutra is the sutra which opens great wisdom. Whoever wants to obtain true wisdom should study this Sutra until he becomes so familiar with it that he can recite it from memory. At that time, the wisdom will come in an endless flow. Therefore, the myriad rays of dazzling light of the Shurangama Sutra shine throughout heaven and earth.
The perfect bright understanding is apart from the conscious mind. The great perfect mirror wisdom is apart from the mind, thought, and consciousness. Asking about the appearance of something which doesn't exist is really pathetic. If you don't have any response and you ask what it's like, that's a very stupid question.
Raising his palm to indicate the seeing, he pretended to be an iron hero. He raised his palm and revealed this seeing nature. He pretended to be an iron hero. Although he didn't understand, he pretended that he understood. Lowering his head, he admitted that he was a weak man. He lowered his head to examine himself. This does not necessarily mean that he really lowered his head. It could mean sitting in meditation and reflecting within, investigating to see if that was really how it was. He admitted that he was a weak person, not an iron hero.
That which has no appearance pervades the realm of space. He later presented the verse which said, "If you want to know this person, here is some real news: that which has no appearance fills all of space. Things with form do not leave any trace." This showed that he truly understood and was not faking it. Seated on the jeweled lotus, he roams freely through the universe. He was free and at ease in the universe. Since he had accomplished the Way, of course he had his share in sitting on the jeweled lotus.
To be continued
This journal has been printed voluntarily by Fong Brothers Printing Co. for over ten years. Their spirit to protect the Buddhadharma and forsake personal profit is surely an example for people to follow. We hereby inform all our readers about their volunteer work.
The Buddhist Monthly-- Vajra Bodhi Sea
Volunteer Teachers Wanted
he City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) needs long-term volunteer teachers to teach a variety of courses at elementary, high school and university level. We welcome capable individuals who have a firm resolve, do not crave benefits, and will follow the Six Guidelines of CTTB: not contending, not being greedy, not seeking, not being selfish, not pursuing personal gain, and not lying. People who are ready to leave an urban life-style and want to lead a simple but fulfilling spiritual life are welcome to apply for a voluntary teaching position. We are also looking for people with backgrounds in physical education, gardening, handicrafts, and dormitory counseling. There are no restrictions of age, gender or nationality. Please contact Prof. Chiang Chi-fu at CTTB, Talmage, CA 95481-0217, U.S.A., Tel: (707) 462-0939. Other volunteers are also welcome to join in the work at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, regardless of their educational backgrounds.