Patriarch, Dhyana Master Huai Jang of
The Seventh Patriarch, Dhyana Master Huai Jang（懷讓）
of Nan Yao（南嶽）China, was from Chin Chou（金州）. His lay name was Tu（杜）. When he
went to bow to and serve the Sixth Patriarch, the Patriarch asked,
"Where do you come from?"
"From Sung Mountain（嵩山）," he replied.
The Patriarch asked, "What thing; how does it come?"
Jang did not reply. Eight years passed before
he awoke. He then said to the Patriarch, "Huai Jang has a place of understanding."
The Patriarch asked, "How is 'understanding' produced?"
"To say it is like a thing is not on target," he replied,
The Patriarch said, "Is it still necessary to cultivate and attain?"
He replied, "Cultivation and certification are
not absent; defilement is not obtained."
The Patriarch said, "This very non-defilement
is that of which all Buddhas are mindful and protective. You are
thus; I, too, am thus." Thereupon he transmitted the Dharma, making
him the Seventh Patriarch.
Afterwards Jang dwelt at Heng Yao（衡嶽）where he
widely spread the reputation of the Ch'an School. On the eleventh
day of the eighth month, in the third year of the Reign Period T'ien
Pao（天寶）of the T'ang（唐）Dynasty (about 745 AD.), he manifested the
stillness. He posthumously received the Imperial title
"Dhyana Master of Great Wisdom".
His pagoda is called Victorious Wheel Pagoda. A verse in praise of him says:
"A thing blocks the chest; after eight
years it is released.
Defilement-not-obtained is like horns on the
head of a hare.
Blazing, majestic, seated at Nan Yao,
From beneath his feet a colt
tramples to death all under heaven."
-- Written by Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua
Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Ching
Vinaya Master Chih Kuang
of Hsi Ching was the Precept Transmitting Master. Vinaya Master Hui
Ching of Su Chou was the Karmadana. Vinaya Master T'ung Ying of
Ching Chou was the Teaching Transmitter. Vinaya Master Ch'i To Lo of
Central India spoke the Precepts. Tripitaka Master Mi To of India
was the Precept Certifier.
Vinaya Master Chih Kuang（智光）of Hsi Chinq（西京）was
the Precept Transmitting Master. Hsi Ching is another name for
Ch'ang An（長安）. Dharma Master Yin Tsung invited
Dharma Master Chih Kuang to give the Sixth Patriarch the complete
The person who administers precepts is called
the "Precept Transmitting
Master". Precepts received from such a one
have the "precept substance", the "precept
Dharma", and the "precept
mark". If you wish to further discriminate, even finer distinctions
than this may be made.
I don't use one particular commentary to
The Sixth Patriarch's Sutra. Ting Fu Pao（丁福保）often
comments incorrectly. In this case, he says that three people are
required to administer precepts. That's not bad. In fact, there were
three masters, along with seven certifiers. But, Ting Fu Pao says that three "Precept
Transmitting Masters" are
needed, though in actually it is necessary to have only one. At this
time, Dharma Master Chih Kuang was Precept Transmitting Master.
Chih Kuang was also a "Vinaya Master".
What does this mean? A Vinaya
Master diligently and purely maintains
precepts and specializes in a thorough study of the rules. This is
particularly important. In walking, standing, sitting, and lying
down, in each of these four great comportments, there is a proper
mode of conduct by which a Vinaya
Master cultivates the awesome manner.
People who cultivate precepts can't deviate for the space of even a
single step. Every step which one takes must accord with the rules.
This explains "Vinaya Master".
In The Shurangama Sutra it says, "Those
awesome and pure in Vinaya are great models for the three realms."
Throughout the three realms, the Vinaya
Master is a great model and therefore, a great help.
Vinaya Master Hui Ching（慧靜）of Su Chou（蘇州）was the
Karmadana. Ting Fu Pao's commentary indicates that there should
be four Karmadanas, but the Sutra mentions
only one. The commentator says that the Karmadana
mentioned was the most famous among the four. This is incorrect.
There was but one Karmadana. Because the
author didn't understand precepts, his explanation is confused.
"Karmadana" is a Sanskrit word which means "to
arrange events" or "to explain rules". A Karmadana
is a master whose duty it is to make certain that all affairs are
done in accord with Dharma, in accord with the rules established by
Sakyamuni Buddha. Affairs which are not performed in accordance with
the Buddha's rules, are not up to the standards of a
When conferring precepts, the precept
transmitting Bhiksu asks the
Karmadana, "May the precepts be
transmitted to this person?" The Karmadana
Master will usually reply, "Yes." The
Karmadana must be asked three times and he
must answer three times.
On the precept platform, the Karmadana Master and the
Teaching Transmitter Master sit to the immediate left and right of the Precept
The remaining seven certifiers sit on either side. This is the
arrangement of the three masters and seven certifiers. They
represent all the Buddhas of the ten directions in speaking Dharma
and transmitting precepts. Therefore, in leaving home, receiving
precepts is especially important.
Vinaya Master Hui Ching lived in Su Chou, a
place not far from Shang Hai（上海）. He came to be the Karmadana Master for
the Sixth Patriarch.
Vinaya Master T'unq Ying（通應）of Ching Chou（荊州）was the Teaching Transmitter. Ching Chou is in Hu
Pei（湖北）Province. The "Teaching Transmitter" is the one who teaches the Sutras.
Vinaya Master Ch'i To Lo1 （耆多羅）of Central India
spoke the precepts. "Ch'i To Lo", transliterated from Sanskrit,
means "merit and virtue flower". This Vinaya Master spoke the precepts.
Tripitaka Master Mi To1 of India was the
Precept Certifier. Dharma Master Mi To specialized in
investigating precepts and rules of conduct, and has an extremely
important relationship with the Chinese Vinaya because he translated
the Dharmagupta, the Four Divisions of the Precepts, from Sanskrit.
He was a Vinaya Master of supreme intelligence who was protected by
all the precept spirits, and whose instances of spiritually
efficacious response were many.
The words "Mi To", transliterated from
Sanskrit, mean "flourishing". Originally, his name was "Ta Mo Mi To"
which means "flourishing Dharma". Tripitaka Master Mi To came to
certify the administering of precepts to the Sixth Patriarch.
The construction of the
precept platform was begun in the former Sung Dynasty by Tripitaka
Master Gunabhadra. He erected a stone tablet which
said, "In the future, a flesh-body Bodhisattva will receive the
Further, in the first
year of the T'ien Chien Reign of the Liang Dynasty, Tripitaka Master
Chih Yao came from India by sea carrying with him a Bodhi tree
branch which he planted by the side of the platform. He, too, made a
prophecy saying, "After one hundred seventy years there will be a
flesh-body Bodhisattva, who beneath this tree, will proclaim the
supreme vehicle; crossing over measureless multitudes, a true
transmitter of the Buddha's mind seal, a Dharma host."
In accord with these
former predictions, the Master arrived to have his hair cut, to
receive the precepts, and to instruct the Four Assemblies on the
essentials of the singly-transmitted Dharma.
The construction of the precept platform was
begun in the Former Sung（宋） Dynasty by Tripitaka Master Gunabhadra.
"Before the Sui（齊） there came a Sung Dynasty which was not the
well-known Sung Dynasty（宋朝）of Sung T'ai Tsu（宋太祖）. At that time, Dharma
Master Gunabhadra came from India. "Gunabhadra" is a Sanskrit word,
which means "a worthy of merit and virtue". He was a "Tripitaka
Master" which means he had penetrated the three divisions of the
Tripitaka: the Sutras, the Vinaya, and the Sastras. He established a
precept platform in Kuang Chou（廣州）at what is now called Kuang Hsiao Monastery（廣孝寺）.
He erected a stone tablet which said, "In the
future, a flesh-body Bodhisattva will receive the precepts here."
Engraved on the stone tablet was the prediction of Tripitaka Master
Gunabhadra, which foretold the coming of a flesh-body Bodhisattva,
not a Bodhisattva who has gone to Nirvana, but a living Bodhisattva
who would come to that platform to receive the complete precepts.
Further, in the first year of the T'ien Chien（天監）Reign of the Liang Dynasty (梁 502 AD), Tripitaka Master Chih Yao（智藥）came
from India by sea. The Venerable Chih Yao also understood the three
divisions of the Tripitaka. During the reign of Emperor Wu of the
Liang Dynasty, he sailed the sea route from India to China.
Carrying with him a Bodhi tree branch which he
planted by the side of the platform. He brought a Bodhi tree branch
from India. It was not a whole tree, but merely a cutting. A Bodhi
tree cutting will grow very easily almost anywhere it is planted.
Because he brought this tree cutting to China, there are now many
Bodhi trees like the one he planted next to the precept platform.
He, too, made a prophecy saying, "After one
hundred seventy years, there will be a flesh-body Bodhisattva who,
beneath this tree, will proclaim the supreme vehicle." He predicted
that one hundred and seventy years hence, a flesh-body Bodhisattva,
a living Bodhisattva, would proclaim the supreme vehicle Buddhadharma from the base of that Bodhi tree and teach the
of "a straight pointing to man's mind to see the nature and realize Buddhahood", the
Dharma door of the supreme vehicle.
Crossing over measureless multitudes, a true
transmitter of the Buddha's mind seal, a Dharma host. What is meant
by "transmitting the Buddha's mind seal"? It means using the mind to
seal the mind. Sakyamuni Buddha held a blossom in his fingers and
smiling, subtly transmitted the mind seal of all Buddhas. Those who
transmit the Buddha's mind seal are Patriarchs. The Tripitaka Master
Chih Yao predicted the arrival of just such a Patriarch.
The Venerable Tripitaka Master Chih Yao also
has a flesh-body which to this day has not decayed. That true body
rests at Yueh Hua（月華）Monastery, about five miles from Nan Hua
Monastery. There offerings are made before it. Only one person, who
has left home, and does not feed visitors, lives at that temple, so
if you wish to go and bow to the Venerable Chih Yao and see his
flesh-body, you must bring along your own food. Once, when I was
living at Nan Hua Temple, I went to see that flesh-body and found it
very complete and perfect.
A Dharma Master who lectures Sutras and speaks Dharma is a "Dharma host".
In accord with these former predictions, the
Master arrived to have his hair cut, to receive the precepts, and to instruct the
Four Assemblies on the essentials of the singly-transmitted Dharma. "The Master"
refers to the Great Master, the Sixth Patriarch, who had his head
shaved and received the complete precepts. Then he spoke Dharma to
the "Four Assemblies", the Bhiksus, Bhiksunis, Upasakas,
and Upasikas. He spoke clearly,
instructing them in "the singly-transmitted Dharma", the Dharma
which has been passed from person to person through every generation
since the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. "Singly-transmitted" means
passed from one person of one generation to another person of the
succeeding generation. The Sixth Patriarch taught this principle, in
perfect accord with the earlier predictions of the Venerable Masters
Chih Yao and Gunabhadra.
In the spring of the following year, the Master took
leave of the Assembly and returned to Pao Lin. Yin Tsung,
together with the black-robed and white, more than one thousand
people, accompanied him straight to Ts'ao Hsi.
At that time, Vinaya Master T'ung Ying of
Ching Chou and several hundred students followed the Master to dwell there.
When the Master arrived at Pao Lin, Ts'ao Hsi, he saw that the hall and
buildings were bleak and small, insufficient to contain the Assembly.
Wishing to enlarge them, he paid a visit to the villager,Ch'en Ya Hsien,
and said, "The old Sangha comes to the donor seeking a sitting cloth's
worth of ground. Is this agreeable?"
Hsien said, "How big is
the High Master's sitting cloth?"
The Master took out his
sitting cloth and showed it to Ya Hsien, who thereupon agreed.
But when the Patriarch unfolded and spread out
his sitting cloth it completely covered the four borders of Ts'ao
Hsi. The Four Heavenly Kings manifested bodies and sat as protectors
in each of the four directions. It is due to this occurrence that
the mountain range bordering the Monastery is called "The Range of
the Heavenly Kings".
In the spring of the following year, the
Master took leave of the assembly and returned to Pao Lin（寶林）. In
the spring of the second year, the Sixth Patriarch left Kuang Chou,
and returned to Ts'ao Hsi, the place of Nan Hua Monastery, which is
also called Pao Lin Mountain.
Why is the area around Nan Hua Monastery called
"Pao Lin Mountain"? When the Venerable Tripitaka Master Chih Yao
arrived at the place of Ts'ao Hsi, he cupped up a handful of water
and drank, and said, "This water is
identical to that of a place in India. Its source is certainly a
superior place." "A superior place" is
one of excellent "wind and water", a place with "spiritually attuned
energy", a place where one may build a temple.
At dusk, as he proceeded to the present sight
of Nan Hua Monastery, Master Chih Yao gazed at the mountain and
said, "Ahhh, this mountain is identical to the Jeweled Wood
Mountain of India, Perhaps we can change its name to Pao Lin
Mountain Bodhimandala.” An official
heard him speak, and promptly petitioned the Emperor who changed the
name of the area to Pao Lin Bodhimandala.
Yin Tsung, together with the black-robed and white, more than one thousand
people, accompanied him straight to Ts'ao Hsi（曹溪）.
"The black-robed and the white" refers both to members of the Sangha
and to laymen. People who have left home wear "black" robes, whereas
ordinary lay people wore white. Together, more than one thousand
people escorted the Sixth Patriarch to the Pao Lin Bodhimandala.
They went "straight to Ts'ao Hsi". There are
those now who say they've gone to Ts'ao Hsi, yet haven't gone there.
They say they've seen Ts'ao Hsi, yet
haven't seen it. Nonetheless, they pretend to transmit the Ts'ao Hsi
Dharma, the Ts'ao Hsi Dhyana source. The Dharma-ending age is just
the Dharma-ending age. Now, even in Buddhism, there are frauds with
At that time,
Vinaya Master T'ung Ying of Ching Chou and several hundred students
followed the Master to dwell there. As soon as he knew that the
Great Master was the Sixth Patriarch, a transmitter of the mind seal
of all Buddhas, Vinaya Master T'ung Ying followed him, leading
several hundred of his disciples to study Dharma with the Great
When the Master arrived at Pao Lin at Ts'ao Hsi, he saw that the hall
and buildings were bleak and small, insufficient to contain the
assembly. Wishing to enlarge them, he paid a visit to the villager, Ch'en Ya Hsien,
and said... The Sixth Patriarch saw that the buildings at Pao
Lin were very small, and that they wouldn't hold very many
people. He wished to build additional buildings in order to enlarge
the monastery's capacity, and so he paid a
visit to the country village of Ts'ao Hou（曹後）to speak to the wealthy
landowner, Ch'en Ya Hsien（陳亞仙）.
"The Old Sangha comes to the donor seeking a
sitting cloth's worth of ground. Is this
agreeable?" The Sixth Patriarch called
himself "Old Sangha". At the age of twenty-four, he had gone to see
Huang Mei and then hid for an additional sixteen years. By this
time, he was at least forty years old and called himself "Old Sangha".
So now, I too may certainly call myself "Old Sangha". The Sixth
Patriarch advised the landowner, Ch'en Ya
Hsien, that if he gave alms, he would then
be able to transcend birth and death.
Hsien said. "How big is the High Master's
The Master took out his sitting cloth and
showed it to Ya Hsien, who thereupon
agreed. When Ch'en Ya Hsien
inquired about the size of the sitting cloth, the Great Master got
it out and handed it over for inspection. Ch'en Ya Hsien approved of
its size, and said, "Okay. If you only want that large a piece of
land, that's just fine."
But when the Patriarch unfolded and spread
out his sitting cloth, it completely covered the four borders of
Ts'ao Hsi. The four heavenly kings
manifested bodies and sat as protectors in each of the four
directions. When the Great Master opened up his sitting cloth,
it covered not only the area of Nan Hua Monastery, but everything
within ten miles of where they stood as well. When the cloth reached
the four borders of the area, each of the Four Great Heavenly
Kings manifested a body, which sat in one
of the four directions.
It is due to this occurrence that the
mountain range bordering the Monastery is called "The Range of the
Heavenly Kings". In front of Nan Hua Monastery is "The Mountain
Range of the Four Great Heavenly Kings", named after the occasion
when the Four Great Heavenly Kings appeared.
Hsien said, "I know that
the High Master's Dharma power is vast and great. However, the
burial ground of my great-great grandfather rests on this land. In
the future, if you build a stupa, I hope that this area might remain
undisturbed. As for the rest, I wish to give it all to be forever a
treasured place. This ground has the flowing pulse of a living
dragon and a white elephant. Level only heaven; do not level earth."
Later the Monastery was
constructed according to his words. The Master roamed within these
boundaries, and at places where the mountains and water were
superior, he stopped to rest.
Hsien said. "I know that the High Master's
Dharma power is vast and great. However, the burial ground of my
great-great grandfather rests on this land." Ch'en Ya Hsien
said, "High Master, I recognize that your Dharma power is
particularly vast and great, but my ancestors' graves are on this
piece of land. What can I do?"
In the future, if you build a stupa. I hope
that this area might remain undisturbed. As for the rest, I wish to
give it all to be forever a treasured place. The wealthy
villager continued, "In the future, when you build temples and
monasteries, you should protect my ancestors' graves. The remaining
land is a gift, a site for the establishment of a treasured place."
A treasured place is a Bodhimandala, a place to build a temple.
"This ground has the flowing pulse of a
living dragon and a white elephant. Level only heaven;
do not level earth." That is to say, this place belongs
to a living dragon, there is a "flowing pulse". The mountain is like
"Level only heaven; do not level earth." Ch'en
Ya Hsien said. The tops of buildings may
be made level, but the ground should not be altered when making
foundations. Where the land is high, the buildings may be made
lower, and where the ground is low, then the buildings may rise a
little higher. He gave them instructions because he feared that
leveling the earth would upset the "wind and water（風水）" of the area. If
this were to happen, the land would no longer possess such
Later the Monastery was constructed
according to his words. The Master roamed within these boundaries,
and at places where the mountains and water were superior,
he stopped to rest. Later, when a monastery was built on
the land, it was carefully constructed according to the directions
of the former landowner Ch'en Ya Hsien.
The Sixth Patriarch often roamed about the
countryside and stopped to rest where mountains and water were
- The Sanskrit names of these two Indian Masters have been lost.
...Thomas returned four days later with his box
of books, prepared to move in. He put his box in a corner, turned
around, and immediately confronted Master Hsuan Hua.
"Well Thomas, have you put it all down?" asked the Master.
"Yes, yes Reverend. Yes I have," Thomas quickly replied.
"Then you can go jump off the balcony," said the Master.