他答不出來這個問題，這在佛教裡頭，是很沒有用的，就沒有開智慧、很愚癡的，very stupid。你又覺得他放不下，他又 stupid。他叫人說他有智慧、叫人給他戴高帽子，大約有這麼個妄想在裡面作怪！
Some years later, the Master passed an exam on the Sutras and was ordained a monk. In ancient times people had to pass an exam conducted by the government if they wanted to set forth from the home-life. Only if they passed were they allowed to be ordained. They were tested on several Sutras. You had to have committed several Sutras to memory, for example, the
Vajra Sutra, Dharma Flower Sutra, Shurangama Sutra, or Avatamsaka Sutra. You couldn’t be illiterate and still hope to pass the exam. It wasn’t so easy to leave the home-life in ancient times.
He knocked on Dhyana Master Dan Xia (Red Cloud)’s door. Master Dan Xia questioned him, “What was your self before the cosmos began?” From time without beginning, before the world or the Buddha appeared, who were you and where were you? The question was aimed at making the Master fathom his origin, to seek the answer within his inner self.
While the Master was trying to figure out an answer. Since he hadn’t truly put things to rest or cleared things up at that time, the Master attempted to come up with an answer. But as soon as you engage in thought, you fall into the secondary or third meaning. You have missed the foremost meaning. The foremost meaning is that which occurs before the first stirring of your mind. When someone asks you a question and you can answer without any conscious deliberation, then you will come up with the right answer. However, since the Master had fallen into the secondary meaning,
Master Dan Xia told him, “You’re behaving recklessly.” You’re engaging in confused thinking. You haven’t understood;
“Get out!” He drove him out.
The fact that Master Zhen Xie Qin Liao was not able to furnish the proper answer showed that he lacked true wisdom—he was stupid. But he didn’t want to be known as stupid; he wanted to be wise. He wanted others to put him on a pedestal. Such a thought was probably lurking in his mind.
One day, while he was on top of Bowl Summit, he suddenly awakened. Instantaneously he experienced an awakening:
The great-thousand-world systems are bubbles in the sea,
All the sages are like flashes of lightning.
He perceived the emptiness of all things—everything vanished. “Ah….that was my original face before the cosmos began!”
Having tallied with this principle of emptiness, he relaxed. He was no longer so frantic.
Then he went back to Master Dan Xia and stood attentively by his side. Without uttering a word, he stood by his teacher’s side. But Master Dan Xia was pretty severe. Seeing the Master standing there, he turned around and
slapped him and said, “This shows that you’ve got something!” I know what you’re up to.
The Master delightedly bowed and made obeisance and then left. Master Dan Xia realized the Master had become enlightened because there was nothing more he wanted. He didn’t go on and on, asking about this or that. He didn’t have any more questions.
After some time, Master Dan Xia yielded the abbotship to Master Zhen Xie Liao.
Some time later, the Master entered the hall to speak Dharma and remarked, “When my teacher slapped me, I lost all of my abilities. When my teacher struck me, I lost all of my skills. All of my false thoughts evaporated. That was truly putting matters to rest and completely clearing things up.
I couldn’t even find a way to open my mouth. Although I tried hard to come up with something to say to my teacher, I couldn’t think of anything to say.”
The path of language is cut off.
The place of the workings of the mind is gone.
When you arrive at the place of no seeking,
You will have no worries.
When you get to the point of not wanting anything, then you are a true cultivator. A true cultivator must not contend with people. If people don’t treat you well, you can’t glare at them or cock your neck or try to retaliate. That shows you have no true skill. In this case, although Dhyana Master Zhen Xie Qin Liao was struck, he was still happy, and he bowed to his teacher. He had truly put things down.
The Master passed away at Zhongxian Monastery,
Gaoning, on the islet to the west of the monastery. His posthumous title granted by the king
was Dhyana Master Wu Kong (Enlightened to Emptiness).
A verse in praise says:
As he was slapped,
All of his abilities were lost.
If you pretend you’ve become enlightened,
Onlookers will scoff at you.
Flowing brilliance from the moon;
A lucid pond devoid of shadows.
Neither cleverness nor stupidity could reach it—
The golden pin is secretly tucked away.
As he was struck, all of his abilities were lost. When his teacher slapped him, everything was cast out. The Master had no more seeking. He no longer had any fear. Why do we experience fear? Because we have a self that we cling to. When the ego is gone, what is there to fear? Why are you worried? Because you have an ego. If you look very lightly on your ego, you won’t have any worries. Your temper and afflictions will be gone. However, people are unable to see this. That’s the problem. They fight over things not worth fighting over. They are greedy for that which they should not be greedy for. They seek that which they should not seek. They are selfish with regard to things they should not be selfish about. They seek personal advantage where they shouldn’t be seeking personal advantage. And they lie even when they should not lie. Wouldn’t you say this is strange?
But as the Master was struck by Dan Xia, everything vanished.
If you pretend you’ve become enlightened, onlookers will scoff at you. You can’t make-believe that you’re enlightened. By slapping him, Master Dan Xia was testing him.
Flowing brilliance from the moon; a lucid pond devoid of shadows. It is like in the evening when the moon’s radiance shines upon the earth so that even the lucid ponds are devoid of shadows. There are none whatsoever: Everything is clear.
Neither cleverness nor stupidity could reach it. Cleverness and stupidity are both “abilities”. Your awareness of your being wise or stupid is also an “ability”. Both of these cannot reach it.
The golden pin is secretly tucked away. The golden pin is something very precious, somewhat like the wish-fulfilling pearl, unknown to ordinary people. If you have truly put everything to rest and are pure, you alone will know this state. Other people cannot fathom your state. Nobody can snatch away your wisdom, your mani gem. Nobody can rob you of the gems within the Treasury of the Thus Come One. Because it is secretly hidden in the Treasury of the Thus Come One, the golden pin is securely tucked away.
Okay, all of you teachers, please feel free to correct what I have said. Everyone here is a student, and everyone is a teacher. Anyone can teach, and anyone can learn. I am the first student, and also the first teacher, right?
Another verse says:
When the mad mind ceases,
Bodhi seeds awaken.
Undefiled by a single speck of dust,
The myriad thoughts are empty.
Dan Xia slapped him so as to discern
the true from the false.
All trace of words came to an end in
Qin Liao’s mouth.
Although he wished to speak, his tongue
could not move.
Delightedly he bowed to pay his respects.
Radiance from the moon pours forth and
covers the universe.
A lucid pond without shadows reflects both
east and west.
When the mad mind ceases, Bodhi seeds awaken. Why don’t we accomplish our Bodhi mind? Because our mad mind and wild thoughts do not stop. Since we are not able to control our errant thoughts, the farther away they wander, the more we stray from the true. Therefore we get caught up in the cycle of the six paths of rebirth. Sometimes we are born in the heavens, sometimes we are
asuras, people, hungry ghosts, animals or hell-beings. If your mad mind stops, your Bodhi fruit will ripen.
Undefiled by a single speck of dust, the myriad thoughts are empty. That’s truly putting things to rest and completely being pure. Only if you are undefiled by a speck of dust can your myriad thoughts be empty. Otherwise, they won’t be empty.
Dan Xia slapped him so as to discern the true from the false. By striking him, Master Dan Xia could tell whether Master Zhen Xie Qin Liao had truly become enlightened or not.
All trace of words came to an end in Qin Liao’s mouth. The tracks of words and language were obliterated.
Although he wished to speak, his tongue could not move. Nonetheless, he wasn’t mute.
Delightedly he bowed to pay his respects. He made obeisance.
Radiance from the moon pours forth and covers the universe. Light issuing from the moon illumines the entire universe.
A lucid pond without shadows reflects both east and west. No more shadows, not a single thing remains in this lucid, bright pond of the mind.