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

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

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

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

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

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

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




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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