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Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...




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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