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Samurai

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...




The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs








Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being educated
from infancy, distinguished himself as the Abbot of the Hwang Mei
Monastery at Ki Cheu. The Fifth Patriarch, according to his
biographer, gathered about him seven hundred pupils, who came from
all quarters. Of these seven hundred pupils the venerable Shang Sin
(Jin-shu) was most noted for his learning and virtues, and he might
have become the legitimate successor of Hung Jan, had not the Kachaya
of Bodhidharma been carried away by a poor farmer's son of Sin Cheu.
Hwui Nang, the Sixth Patriarch, seems to have been born a Zen
teacher. The spiritual light of Buddha first flashed in his mind
when he happened to hear a monk reciting a sutra. On questioning the
monk, be learned that the book was
Vajracchedika-prajnya-paramita-sutra,[FN#42] and that Hung Jan, the
Abbot of the Hwang Mei Monastery, was used to make his disciples
recite the book that it might help them in their spiritual
discipline. Hereupon he made up his mind to practise Zen, and called
on Hung Jan at the Monastery. Who are you, demanded the Fifth
Patriarch, and whence have you come? I am a son of the farmer,
replied the man, of Sin Cheu in the South of Ta Yu Ling. What has
brought you here? asked the master again. I have no other purpose
than to attain to Buddhahood, answered the man. O, you, people of
the South, exclaimed the patriarch, you are not endowed with the
nature of Buddha. There may be some difference between the
Southern and the Northern people, objected the man, but how could
you distinguish one from the other as to the nature of Buddha? The
teacher recognized a genius in the man, but he did not admit the
promising newcomer into the order, so Hwui Nang had to stay in the
Monastery for eight months as a pounder of rice in order to qualify
himself to be a Zen teacher.


[FN#42] The book was translated into Chinese by Kumarajiva in A.D.
384. 417; also by Bodhiruci in A.D. 509, and by Paramartha in A.D.
592; then by Hiuen Tsang in A.D. 648. Many commentaries have been
written on it by the prominent Buddhist authors of China and Japan.






Next: The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch

Previous: The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)



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