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Buddhism

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

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

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

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

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

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

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

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

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

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




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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