「關是非門慶昇平」：什麼叫是非門呢？我們這個口就是是非門；你 close your mouth （閉上嘴），那麼你沒是也沒非了，沒有是非門了。你開口便錯，舉念即乖；你一開口已經錯了，你一動念頭已經就離道很遠了。所以若關上是非門，這時候天下就太平了；都誰和誰也不爭，也不吵，也不發脾氣了，所以慶這個昇平盛世。
The Master was the Dharma heir of Dhyana Master Zhi Zhe (Greatly Wise) Si Ru at Wuzhou. There are no records of his sayings or writings. Dhyana Master Liang Du of Xiangfu Monastery and Dhyana Master Xuan Hua De Ji were both Dharma heirs of this master.
Patriarchs of the Forty-seventh Generation: Dhyana Master Wen Hui was the abbot of Nanhua Monastery of Baolin Mountain at Daoguan (in Canton Province now). Why is that area called Baolin (Jeweled Grove)? When the Venerable Jnanabhaisajya arrived this place and drank the water at Cao Creek, he found that its taste was identical to that of the water of Baolin (Jeweled Grove) in India. So he named the mountain around this site Jeweled Grove Mountain. He also made the prediction that in 170 years, a flesh-body Bodhisattva would establish a monastery there and cause the Buddhadharma to flourish extensively in China.
One hundred and seventy years later, the Sixth Patriarch founded a monastery here and named it Nanhua Monastery of Baolin Mountain, just as Tripitaka Master Jnanabhaisajya had predicted. So the Sixth Patriarch’s appearance in this world was actually pre-arranged in Buddhism. Master Jnanabhaisajya chose this site and knew in advance that the Sixth Patriarch would teach living beings here, and he referred to him as a “flesh-body Bodhisattva.” To this day, the flesh-body of the Sixth Patriarch can still be seen at Nanhua Monastery. And so Master Jnanabhaisajya knew of these events in advance and made his prediction. The river that runs in front of this area is called Cao Creek.
The Master Wen Hui
was the Dharma-heir of Dhyana Master Zhi Zhe (Greatly Wise)
Si Ru at Wuzhou (in today’s Zhejiang Province). He was a room-entering disciple who received the mind-seal transmission from Master Zhi Zhe Si Ru.
There are no records of his sayings or writings. He must have been quite taciturn, like a mute. He very seldom conversed with people. He practiced the effortless Path and taught without using words. Nobody could do what he could do, because he no longer had any attachment. Since he disliked talking, his teachings were wordless teachings. And he did not leave any books of his teachings.
Dhyana Master Liang Du of Xiangfu Monastery was very famous at that time. He
and Dhyana Master Xuan Hua De Ji were both Dharma heirs of this master.
A verse in praise says:
Ultimate words cannot be spoken;
Ultimate virtue does not boast of any merit.
Hear the hearing that cannot be heard.
Mouths talk on and on, but the ears are already full.
Quiet and eternally illuminating,
The Dharma eye completely penetrates.
The leaves have fallen at Jeweled Grove Mountain,
Among the dry bushes, the burnt firmiana tree still thrives.
Ultimate words cannot be spoken. Ultimate principles are beyond words and language, beyond cognitive activity, and beyond speech. “Not a single dharma is established; the myriad thoughts are all empty.” The ultimate words are wordless. He engaged in the effortless Path and imparted a wordless teaching. But people still came to study with him and many of them made the resolve to seek enlightenment.
Ultimate virtue does not boast of any merit. When virtue reaches its highest point, there is no way to describe its merit; there’s no way it can be expressed.
Hear the hearing that cannot be heard. This refers to: “return the hearing to hear your own nature, and with the nature accomplish the unsurpassed Path.” “Hear” means to hear with one’s inherent nature. “Hearing” refers to the external states that one can hear. If one’s inherent hearing nature is free of any external sensory impressions, then one’s hearing has gone and there’s nothing to be heard. In this case, the mind has smashed through all attachment.
Mouths talk on and on, but the ears are already full. Although people’s mouths talk on and on, like flowing water, speaking whatever they want, the Master’s ears were not receptive. His ears were already full with the sounds of his inherent nature. Therefore, no matter what people said, the Master’s mind was impertable and he was no longer influenced by words.
Quiet and eternally illuminating. This is a type of cultivation skill in the Chan School. Although he was quiet, he illumined everything. He was not muddled or sleepy; he was always awake and alert in this illumination.
The Dharma eye completely penetrates. How did he illuminate? It is the eye which illuminates. Which eye? The Dharma eye, which is perfectly fused and unobstructed.
The leaves have fallen at Jeweled Grove Mountain. This is an analogy for the decline of Buddhism, not for the flourishing of Dharma. But what happened then?
Among the dry bushes, the burnt firmiana tree still thrives.
After all trees dried up, this burnt firmiana tree sprouted new twigs. This analogy means that right in the midst of the decay in Buddhism, Dhyana Master Wen Hui emerged, lofty and excellent, and shed new light on Buddhism, causing Buddhism to become totally different. Although most of the trees had dried up, this burnt firmiana tree still managed to grow. Baolin Monastery had declined, but now there was new blood, a new wise teacher to bring about a resurgence of the Buddhadharma.
Another verse says:
Coming into being, stasis, destruction, and emptiness complete the cycle of revival and decay.
A sage responds to the needs of the world and enlightens sentient beings.
When one gets beyond language, the true reality appears.
Close the door to right and wrong, and celebrate in peace.
Master Liang Du of Xiangfu traces his source from afar;
Master Xuan Hua De Ji draws sweet dew from profound depths.
The branches at Jeweled Grove thrive and are rejuvenated;
Nanhua Monastery at Cao Creek shines on throughout past and present.
Coming into being, stasis, destruction, and emptiness complete the cycle of revival and decay. All things undergo those four stages in a rotating schedule, with each stage replacing the previous one. The seasons pass in succession through spring, summer, fall and winter. After winter, spring comes again. In the world, the period of coming into being takes twenty small eons; the period of stasis lasts twenty small eons, the period of destruction lasts twenty small eons, and the period of emptiness also lasts twenty small eons. The Buddhadharma also goes through times of revival and decay.
There were times when Nanhua Monastery flourished and was patronized by many pilgrims; many people came to visit the Sixth Patriarch. There were also times when everything was so quiet that you couldn’t even find a fly. It’s a matter of destiny.
Actually, the cyclical patterns of flourishing and decay are all speaking the Dharma. What kind of Dharma is being spoken? People are born, then progress from their youth to the prime of their life, and from the prime of their life to old age, and finally to death. Just as people undergo birth, old age, sickness, and death, so too, all monasteries undergo the phases of coming into being, stasis, destruction, and emptiness. They reach a state of extreme decay. Monasteries go through the same cycle of flourishing and decay.
For example, when the Venerable Master Xu Yun first went to Nanhua Monastery in Canton, there were vendors selling meat and wine and butchers slaying ducks and pigs right in front of the monastery. Venerable Master Xu Yun exerted a great deal of effort in driving out the meat and wine vendors, who were extremely displeased and they scolded and struck the elder master. Some even attempted to murder him—they were that fierce!
A sage responds to the needs of the world and enlightens sentient beings. A sage comes into the world to teach beings. He wants to awaken all beings so they can turn away from confusion and return to enlightenment, renounce evil and return to the proper. If living beings go down the wrong path, he points it out to them and tells them to come back.
When one gets beyond language, the true reality appears. This Dhyana Master left no records of his sayings or writings. He did not like to talk and always kept silence. Although he did not use language and words, he was, nonetheless, speaking the Dharma. In fact, he was speaking the true Dharma. Acting as a model by his personal example, he was revealing the Dharma’s true and actual nature, its basic essence.
Close the door to right and wrong, and celebrate in peace. What is the door to right and wrong? It’s your mouth. Therefore, if you close your mouth, there won’t be any more gossip. “Open your mouth, and you’ve made a mistake. At the stirring of the first thought, you’ve already gone astray.” As soon as you say something, you are wrong. The moment you give rise to a thought, you stray far from the Path. If you close the door to right and wrong, there will be true peace. Nobody will fight or bicker or get mad. There will be peace on earth.
Master Liang Du of Xiangfu traces his source from afar; Dhyana Master Liang Du spread the lineage broadly and deeply. He helped Dhyana Master Wen Hui to propagate his essential teachings and cultivation in the same way.
Master Xuan Hua De Ji draws sweet dew from profound depths. Afterwards, Master Xuan Hua obtained the transmission and used the profound sweet dew of Dharma to teach and transform many people.
The branches at Jeweled Grove thrive and are rejuvenated. Although the trees at Jeweled Grove Monastery had dried up, now they sprang back to life; and with great exuberance and energy, a new era dawned.
Nanhua Monastery at Cao Creek shines on throughout past and present. The waters from Cao Creek flow on and on, from past to present, never changing. The light from this place shines throughout all times in glorious splendor.