前期提示：元賢禪師洋洋得意地走到方丈室裡，壽昌禪師「 啪！啪！ 」打了他三下，又說以後不得這麼冒失。
From last issue: Dhyana Master Yuanxian, feeling smug and pleased with himself, went to see the Abbot. The Abbot (Dhyana Master Shouchang) struck him three times with the staff and said, “From now on, don’t be so reckless.”
Then he gave him a verse, “Even if you have mounted the golden-furred beast, you still need to be struck before you can turn around.” The golden-furred beast refers to a lion, which represents the throne of the Dharma king. Ascending the throne of the Dharma king means becoming the Abbot. Even if you have ascended the throne of the Dharma king, you still need to be beaten before you will really understand. If I didn’t beat you up, you’d still cling to your old habits and faults and you wouldn’t wake up. Even if you were riding on the golden-haired lion, even if you’d become a Buddha, it wouldn’t do for you to have these residual habits. I’d still want to beat you up. “You still need to be struck before you can turn around.” You won’t make it unless you undergo the training.
If what I have said is not right, you can correct me. Don’t think that whatever I say is the law and is correct. Sometimes, when I get crazy, I speak recklessly, and even I myself don’t know what I’m talking about.
At that point, the Dhyana Master Yuanxian had a doubt in his mind. He wondered, “Why did he say that he would want to beat me up even if I’d become a Buddha and a Dharma king? Since I’m already enlightened, why do I need to be beaten? Why do I need to be struck before I can turn around?”
Later, when he passed through Jianjin in Fujian Province and heard a monk reciting, “A loud sound and a soft sound occur simultaneously,” and so forth... Although a loud sound and a soft sound are different, if they occur in the same instant, you can’t tell them apart unless you listen very carefully. If you don’t listen closely, you won’t be able to hear them clearly as separate sounds. For example, if two people cough at the same time, you won’t be able to hear the coughs distinctly. At that point, he thoroughly understood Master Shouchang’s painstaking efforts to teach him. He finally recognized the Dhyana Master’s compassion and care for him and his conscientious efforts to instruct him. Dhyana Master Shouchang’s profound application of the principles, his ingenuity in teaching, led him to give the Master such stunning head-on blows, both physically and figuratively. He knew that Dhyana Master Shouchang had been truly compassionate toward him. “Painstaking efforts” refers to his conscientiousness and thoughtfulness. I believe the Master may even have been moved to tears when he realized this.
In the year of jiaxu (1634) during the reign of Chongzhen, he served as the abbot of Gushan Monastery. Later he also served as the abbot at Kaiyuan Monastery, Baoshan Monastery, and Zhejiang Province’s Zhenji Monastery. In the year of dingxi (1657), he passed into stillness while in a seated position. A pagoda was erected for him at Gushan Monastery. The Master was well-versed in both Buddhist scriptures and non-Buddhist texts—the doctrines of externalist religions and all worldly literature. He was like Dhyana Master Huiyuan, who had also mastered the Buddhist scriptures and those of externalists in his time. Because of Dhyana Master Huiyuan’s great erudition, his teacher allowed him to study the scriptures of Taoism and of other religions as well.
Over a hundred volumes of his writings, including The Supplement to the Lamp, The Continuation of the Lamp, and Chan Conversations, remain in the world. Chan Conversations were probably fragments of casual conversations touching on Chan that occurred late at night or after meals. His works, totalling more than a hundred rolls, have been distributed in the world.
To be continue