Chapter VII – Temperament and Circumstances

(Instructions are given according to the disciples’ temperament and to the circumstances of the case).

Upon the Patriarch’s return to the village of Tso Hau in Shiu Chow from Wong Mui, where the Dharma had been transmitted to him, he was still an unknown figure, and it was a Confucian scholar named Liu Chi Luk who gave him a warm welcome and entertainment. Chi Luk happened to have an aunt named Wu Chung Chong who was a Bhikkhuni (a female member of the Order), and used to recite the Maha-Parinirvana Sutra. After hearing the recitation for only a short while the Patriarch grasped its profound meaning and began to explain it to her. Whereupon, she picked up the book and asked him the meaning of certain words.

“I am illiterate,” he replied, “but if you wish to know the purport of this work, please ask.” “How can you grasp the meaning of the text,” she rejoined, “when you do not even know the words?” To this, he replied, “The profundity of the teachings of the various Buddhas has nothing to do with the written language.”

This answer surprised her very much, and realizing that he was no ordinary Bhikkhu, she made it widely known to the pious elders of the village. “This is a holy man,” she said, “we should ask him to stay, and get his permission to supply him food and lodging.” Continue reading “Chapter VII – Temperament and Circumstances”

Chapter VI – On Repentance

Once there was a big gathering of scholars and commoners from Kwong Chow, Shiu Chow, and other places to wait upon the Patriarch to preach to them. Seeing this, the Patriarch mounted the pulpit and delivered the following address:

In Buddhism,

we should start from our
Essence of Mind
.
At all times let us
purify our own mind
from one Ksana (thought moment)
to another,
tread the Path by our own efforts,
realise our own Dharmakaya,
realise the Buddha in our own mind,
and deliver ourselves by a
personal observance of Silas;

then your visit will not have been in vain. Since all of you have come from afar, the fact of our meeting here shows that there is a good affinity between us. Now let us sit down in the Indian fashion, and I will give you the

“Formless” Repentance.

Continue reading “Chapter VI – On Repentance”