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The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...




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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