Chapter I – Autobiography

Once, when the Patriarch had arrived at Pao Lam Monastery, Prefect Wai of Shiu Chow and other officials went there to ask him to deliver public lectures on Buddhism in the hall of Tai Fan Temple in the City (of Canton).

In due course, there were assembled (in the lecture hall) Prefect Wai, government officials and Confucian scholars, about thirty each, and Bhikkhus, Bhikkhunis, Taoists and laymen, to the number of about one thousand. After the Patriarch had taken his seat, the congregation in a body paid him homage and asked him to preach on the fundamental laws of Buddhism. Whereupon, His Holiness delivered the following address:-

Learned Audience,

our Essence of Mind
(literally, self-nature)
which is the seed or
kernel of enlightenment (Bodhi)
is pure by nature, and
by making use of this mind alone
we can reach Buddhahood directly.

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