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Buddhism

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

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

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

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...




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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