我們這個氣，你看，這和虛空的氣都是通著。所以虛空的氣被染污，我們人也就會生病，因為我們儘是呼吸一些染污的東西。所以，現在發明這個、發明那個，發明的東西多了，就把這個世界染污的空氣充滿了。這個空氣怎麼被染污呢？就是裡頭有毒，有一股毒素。這股毒素在這空氣裡頭，所以我們人吸收這個空氣就有一種毒質，你看不見的，你聽不見的，你也聞不見的。視之不見、聽之不聞、嗅之無味。這種東西，這種毒，你說利害不利害？這可以說是一種慢性的毒。所以現在把空氣染污了，人就生出很多怪病，又是 cancer、又是 crazy、又是發狂、又是這個、那個的，喔！這個病簡直都是莫名其妙。從什麼地方來的？就從這染污的空氣裡頭來的。
The Master was a son of the Jin Family of Hongzhou. He went to all the different Chan assemblies of his time, and yet his craving for learning had not been satiated. Later he met Dhyana Master Fa Deng (Dharma Lamp), and there was an instant meshing of their causes and conditions. The Master composed a verse:
Greet living beings and benefit sentient ones with utmost mastery.
A son born outside does not resemble the father.
Other families also have their sons and grandsons.
In the future, they will serve their purposes most perfectly!
The Master told his room-entering disciples, “Patriarch Bodhidharma said that in this region, only the
Lankavatara Sutra can be used to seal and certify the mind. In reading this Sutra I have come upon the verse that says:
All dharmas are without a Dharma substance,
And so we say that all is made from mind alone.
Because of not seeing one’s own mind,
One gives rise to discrimination!
This is indeed the most true and utmost discourse of our greatly compassionate father!”
A monk asked, “What is the Buddha?”
The Master replied, “Well, who are you?”
The Master presided as abbot over three monasteries: Dongchan (Eastern Dhyana); Shuanglin (Twin Grove); and Yunju (Cloud Abode). His works include
Essential Sayings, Probing the Mysteries, and Selected Topics from Successive Generations of the Ancients, all of which are widely disseminated in the world.
This Dhyana Master was the forty-fourth Generational Patriarch of the Fayan (Dharma Eye) School. The Master was a native of Jiangxi Province, and he lived in Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi, where many great literary figures are from. Hongzhou was the old name; later it was changed to Nanchang.
The Master was a son of the Jin family of Hongzhou District.
He went to all the different Chan assemblies of his time. He had an innate fondness for investigating Chan, and so wherever there were Chan monasteries, he would go there to sit in meditation. He frequented places such as Jinshan (Gold Mountain), Gaomin Monastery, and others. The meditators in Jinshan Monastery were known for their legs. They could sit in full lotus for hours and not switch back and forth. Gaomin Monastery was known for the precision of its Chan sits, timed exactly by sticks of incense. The site were so well-timed that they were not off by a second. People at Haichao (Seatide) Monastery in Shanghai were known for their babbling and carousing. The cultivators there did not subscribe to rules. They talked and talked from morning to night. The monasteries of China each had their strong points. For example, Jinshan Monastery was known for its cultivators who could sit for a long time with legs crossed in lotus position; Gaomin Monastery was known for the precise timing of its incense sticks; and Haichao Monastery was notorious for its people who rambled nonsensically.
The Master went to all the different Chan assemblies of his time. He was very humble, “alert and fond of learning, not afraid to ask from those below him.” Not only was he eager to learn from those who knew more than he, he was willing to learn from those who did not know as much as he did. He was modest.
Later he met Dhyana Master Fa Deng (Dharma Lamp) in Jinling (Nanjing),
and there was an instant meshing of their causes and conditions. The two of them got along very well. There was good rapport. If people do not have affinities, they will not bother to exchange half a sentence with each other. However, if they have affinities, they can talk a lot, feeling as if they were old friends from the instant they meet. Here, “instant meshing of their causes and conditions” does not refer only to sentimental rapport, which worldly people feel for one another. It wasn’t as simple as that. Rather, it was a case of tallying, like water and milk blending together so you couldn’t tell the two apart. It was a case of the mind sealing the mind. Dhyana Master Fa Deng transmitted the Dharma to him, and so he became the forty-fourth Generational Patriarch, the successor.
Thereupon the Master composed a verse: “Greet living beings and benefit sentient ones with utmost mastery.” Greeting living beings means coming into contact with the myriad things and creatures of the world. Benefiting living beings means propagating the Buddhadharma. He could deal with the myriad affairs of the world in a masterful and most appropriate way. “Utmost mastery” means there was a true principle underlying all of his actions: welcoming guests and showing them around, coming in, going out, running back and forth; all the daily activities of rising, dwelling, drinking, and eating; in all aspects of walking, standing, sitting, and lying down – he would do all of these things in a wonderful way. Why is it “wonderful”? Because he had perceived the Way. Once you see the Way and understand principle, then everything becomes very natural and spontaneous, very supreme and wonderful.
The verse continues: A son born outside does not resemble the father. An adopted son will not be an exact replica of his father. In ancient China, Emperor Yao passed the throne to Shun, and Shun passed it to Yu. This was because the sons of both Emperor Yao and Shun were not like their fathers. They were not as worthy and virtuous as their fathers. Therefore Emperor Yao yielded the throne to someone worthy, to Shun. And Shun, in the same way, yielded the throne to Yu. Emperor Yu’s son Chi was a very fine man, so Emperor Yu was able to pass the throne on to his own son. “Not resembling” means that the son is not like the father. Although this is the case, in Buddhism
other families also have their sons and grandsons. Other monasteries also have descendents in their respective lineages.
In the future they will serve their purposes most perfectly! “In the future I will pick someone who will be very useful, very appropriate.”
The Master had a very transcendent manner. He was not attached to some traditional attitude that he had to pass the lineage on to his own sons and grandsons. He did not harbor that kind of selfish and self-seeking viewpoint.
The Master told his room-entering disciples. One day, he said to his disciples, “The First Patriarch
Bodhidharma said that in this region, among the Sutras in the Saha world,
only the Lankavatara Sutra can be used to seal and certify the mind.” That Sutra can be used for the mind sealing the mind. The
Lankavatara Sutra discusses this very clearly. Other Sutras do not have such extensive theories on sealing the mind. That’s what Patriarch Bodhidharma said.
In reading this Sutra, I have come upon the verse that says, ‘All dharmas are without a Dharma substance.’ All dharmas arise from causes and conditions; all dharmas go out of being from causes and conditions. It is recorded:
All dharmas arise from conditions.
All dharmas go out of being from conditions.
The Buddha, the great Shramana,
Often explains it this way.
That’s why the Sutra says, “All dharmas are without a Dharma substance.” The dharma is simply a method. It does not have its own substance. A method does not have an actual nature. It does not have its own set of cause and effect. Dharmas simply arise and go out of being due to causes and conditions. It is like people’s breath. If you breathe out, you might see some air; but once the breath is out, it disperses. When you inhale, there is still air, but you can’t see it. Why can’t you see it? Because it has no substance or nature. Whereas we people have bodies, the Dharma is without substance or nature. All dharmas are devoid of an inherent nature. Our breath is connected with the air in empty space. For this reason, when there is pollution in the air, we get sick. We breathe in defiled air. Now we have more and more inventions. But the more inventions we have, the more clogged up and polluted our atmosphere becomes. The atmosphere is filled with poison. When people breathe in the air, they inhale a poisonous element that cannot be seen, heard, or smelled. It’s a slow process, a chronic kind of poisoning. Therefore, due to the present pollution, people come down with all sorts of strange diseases such as cancer or insanity or various other diseases. They’re all inexplicable and strange. Where do they stem from? They come from pollution in the atmosphere.
To be continued