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Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

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




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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