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Buddhism

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

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

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

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

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

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

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

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

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...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...




Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch








As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius, and
may be justly called a born Zen teacher. He was a man of no
erudition, being a poor farmer, who had served under the Fifth
Patriarch as a rice-pounder only for eight months, but he could find
a new meaning in Buddhist terms, and show how to apply it to
practical life. On one occasion, for instance, Fah Tah (Ho-tatsu), a
monk who had read over the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra three
thousand times, visited him to be instructed in Zen. "Even if you
read the sutra ten thousand times," said the Sixth Patriarch, who
could never read the text, "it will do you no good, if you cannot
grasp the spirit of the sutra." "I have simply recited the book,"
confessed the monk, "as it is written in characters. How could such
a dull fellow as I grasp its spirit?" "Then recite it once,"
responded the master; "I shall explain its spirit." Hereupon Fah Tah
began to recite the sutra, and when he read it until the end of the
second chapter the teacher stopped him, saying: "You may stop there.
Now I know that this sutra was preached to show the so-called
greatest object of Shakya Muni's appearing on earth. That greatest
object was to have all sentient beings Enlightened just as He
Himself." In this way the Sixth Patriarch grasped the essentials of
the Mahayana sutras, and freely made use of them as the explanation
of the practical questions about Zen.


One of the most noted Mahayana sutras, translated by
Dharmaraksa (A.D. 286) and by Kumarajiva (A.D. 406). The reader has
to note that the author states the essential doctrine in the second
chapter. See " Sacred Books of the East," vol. xxi., pp. 30-59.






Next: The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch

Previous: The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen



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