When the Sixth Patriarch went to see the Fifth Patriarch, as you may have read in the
Sixth Patriarch's Platform Sutra, the Fifth Patriarch sent him to thresh rice in the threshing room. Later, the Fifth Patriarch visited him there and tapped the stone three times with his cane, then departed with his hands behind his back. The Sixth Patriarch got the message and knew the Fifth Patriarch was telling him to come to his room. When was he to go? After the moon had set. Hence the line, "After the moon has set, come and see me." Seeing the Fifth Patriarch tap the stone three times, he knew it meant to go to his room in the third watch of the night, which was also when the moon would have set. The Fifth Patriarch's putting his hands behind his back was a signal for him to go through the back door, not the front. And so, at the third watch, the Sixth Patriarch went into the Fifth Patriarch's room through the back door, which was unlocked. The Fifth Patriarch asked, "What on earth are you doing here? Why have you come to my room in the middle of the night?" The Sixth Patriarch replied, "Patriarch, you told me to come in the third watch, and so here I am."
"Who told you that?" asked the Fifth Patriarch.
"Well, you hit the stone three times, telling me to come at the third watch. Then you left with your hands behind your back, ignalling me to come in through the back door."
Hearing his words, the Fifth Patriarch said, "You understood my meaning." Then he transmitted the Mind-Ground Dharma door to him. The Elder Sanyi said,
"Tell me how there could be a meeting after the moon has set." The Master took out a box of incense and said, "I thank the Teacher for certifying me. Thank you for certifying my enlightenment."
Master Yi said, "No matter what you say--you can say whatever you want, but no matter what—you have only spoken eighty percent. It's not yet perfect enough."
The Master said, "Branches on the same tree all undergo the same early morning chill." Whether it's eighty percent or a hundred percent, it's all branches of the same tree and so when it's hot, it's hot all the same; and when it's cold, it's cold all the same.
Master Yi accepted it. Venerable Master Sanyi certified him, saying, "That's right."
The Master dwelt in seclusion for over twenty years on Feng Mountain. This Dhyana Master did not want to leave the mountain, so he stayed in seclusion there for over twenty years, living quietly and unobstrusively.
His virtue was exceptionally lofty and exceptionally
ancient, and his place was cold and lonely. He had very few disciples; there were not many people at his place.
He did not descend in order to cause the Dharma to prosper. He did not wish to go down the mountain to propagate the Buddhadharma and make it flourish.
On the sixteenth day of the ninth month of the year
jiayin (1674) in the Kangxi reign period, he manifested perfecting
the stillness. His stupa is on the left shoulder of Feng Mountain, in a spot facing the sun. It is on what looks like a shoulder, in an area that faces the sun.
A verse in praise says:
What is it that cannot be cut by knives or scissors?
What is spoken is only eighty percent;
Life was indeed conferred upon him.
He went into seclusion at Feng Mountain.
The Master's virtue was extraordinarily far-reaching.
The rain and dew provided moisture,
Universally nourishing the three levels of faculties.
What is it that cannot be cut by knives or scissors? This is the Buddha nature inherent in all of us.
What is spoken is only eighty percent; life was indeed conferred upon him. No matter what you say, you can only express eighty percent. And the Master really was certified.
He went into seclusion at Feng Mountain, hiding his light and living quietly on the top of that hill.
The Master's virtue was extraordinarily far-reaching. This Dhyana Master's virtue was not like that of ordinary people. He was exceptionally noble, and from ancient times till now, there has been no one who can match him.
The rain and dew provided moisture. He taught and transformed people in both apparent and imperceptible ways,
nurturing the dispositions of all living beings, universally nourishing the three levels of faculties.
Another verse says:
Hangzhou, the land of Buddhas, has Many Blessings (Duofu).
Heaven sent one of great virtue to rescue beings from suffering.
The moon set and there was a meeting to transmit the Mind Seal.
The sun came out and shined everywhere, beating the Dharma drum.
Branches on the same tree suffered the same early morning chill.
Clans of different names in the ten directions were all influenced.
Dhyana Master Jingqi's character was lofty indeed.
Beings in the Three Realms all honor him as the eye of humans.
Hangzhou, the land of has Many Blessings(Duofu). Hangzhou is a land of Buddhas; the seven past Buddhas were born there. For that reason, the people there have a very honest and simple nature.
Heaven sent one of great virtue to rescue beings from suffering. Heaven sent a High Master of great virtue to be born, so that he could save living beings.
The moon set and there was a meeting to transmit the Mind Seal. What happened when the moon had set? The Buddha's Mind Seal was transmitted.
The sun came out and shined everywhere, beating the Dharma drum. The sun's illumination of the entire land is like the Dharma drum being struck to cause all living beings to awaken.
Branches on the same tree suffered the same early morning chill. It's just as cold in the morning for all of them.
Clans of different names in the ten directions were all influenced. Although the text says that "his place was cold and lonely," I believe that many different ethnic groups were taught and transformed by him.
Dhyana Master Jingqi's character was lofty indeed. His virtue was very lofty.
Beings in the Three Realms all honor him as the eye of humans. He is venerated by those in the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm, as the eye of humans and gods.