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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

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

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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 ...




The Second And The Third Patriarchs








After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko did his
best to propagate the new faith over sixty years. On one occasion a
man suffering from some chronic disease called on him, and requested
him in earnest: Pray, Reverend Sir, be my confessor and grant me
absolution, for I suffer long from an incurable disease. Bring out
your sin (if there be such a thing as sin), replied the Second
Patriarch, here before me. I shall grant you absolution. It is
impossible, said the man after a short consideration, to seek out
my sin. Then, exclaimed the master, I have absolved you.
Henceforth live up to Buddha, Dharma, and Samgha.[FN#37] I know,
your reverence, said the man, that you belong to Samgha; but what
are Buddha and Dharma? Buddha is Mind itself. Mind itself is
Dharma. Buddha is identical with Dharma. So is Samgha. Then I
understand, replied the man, there is no such thing as sin within
my body nor without it, nor anywhere else. Mind is beyond and above
sin. It is no other than Buddha and Dharma. Thereupon the Second
Patriarch saw the man was well qualified to be taught in the new
faith, and converted him, giving him the name of Sang Tsung (So-san).
After two years' instruction and discipline, he[FN#38] bestowed on
Sang Tsung the Kachaya handed down from Bodhidharma, and authorized
him as the Third Patriarch. It is by Sang Tsung that the doctrine of
Zen was first reduced to writing by his composition of Sin Sin[FN#39]
Ming (Sin zin-mei, On Faith and Mind), a metrical exposition of the
faith.


[FN#37] The so-called Three Treasures of the Buddha, the Law, and
the Order.

[FN#38] The Second Patriarch died in A.D. 593--that is, sixty-five
years after the departure of the First Patriarch.

[FN#39] A good many commentaries were written on the book, and it is
considered as one of the best books on Zen.






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

Previous: Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]



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