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MYSTIQUES BOUDDHISTES de la CHINE et du JAPON









«  Un bouddhisme Sino-japonais  »

The forty Transmission thas

Founders of the five Ch'an sects

Soutra de l’Estrade/Altar sûtra de HOUEI-NENG (638-713)

Sûtra of complete Enlightment

Entretiens de CHEN-HOUEI (668-760)

La Terre pure selon HONEN (1133-1212) & SHINRAN

Shôbôgenzô de DOGEN (1200-1253)

«  Brindilles  » du TCH’AN/ZEN

















Série «  Mystiques  du Monde »



I. Antiquité judéo-chrétienne et grecque

Des origines au troisième siècle

II. Antiquité chrétienne

Du cinquième au dixième siècle

III. Moyen Âge chrétien

Du douzième au quatorzième siècle

IV. Chrétiens à la Renaissance

Quinzième et seizièmes siècles

V. Chrétiens à l’âge classique

Dix-septième siècle

VI. Figures européennes

Du dix-huitième au vingtième siècle



VII. Sufis en terres d’Islam

Du neuvième au treizième siècle

VIII. Sufis en terres d’Islam

Du quatorzième au vingtième siècle



IX. Figures mystiques de l’Inde traditionnelle

X. Mystiques bouddhistes de l’Inde et du Tibet

XI. Mystiques bouddhistes de la Chine et du Japon

XII. Mystiques taoïstes et confucianistes de Chine



XIII. Poèmes de Chine, Corée, Japon

XIV-XVI Poèmes d’Occident



Après des florilèges chronologiques, je propose dans cette série une dizaine de figures mystiques par tome en livrant des textes majeurs non coupés.

Un bouddhisme Sino-japonais

Avant-propos

Outre les figures sino-japonaises regroupées dans le présent tome, un tome compagnon intitulé « Chine » présente des figures mystiques « parallèles », mais taoïstes en conformité avec la culture chinoise préexistante qui ensemença les civilisations coréenne, japonaise, du sud-est asiatique1 . Le versant bouddhiste repose sur le moine chinois Lu K’uan Yü qui voulait « sauver » aux heures sombres un essentiel du bouddhisme mahâyanâ en traduisant quelques sutrâs et d’indispensables commentaires. Elle est devenue « raisonnable » par la rencontre de Kenzo Yamamoto, homme de culture qui partage notre appréciation mystique. N’« exporte » t-il pas Madame Guyon (-1717) en la traduisant directement du français en japonais 2 ? il nous a fait connaître le Shôbôgenzô du moine fondateur japonais Dôgên.

L’idée originale de choisir quelques textes incontournables et d’oublier le reste permet une approche profonde sur le plan intérieur et de souligner une mystique commune, tandis que l’approche événementielle est bien couverte ailleurs 3: c’est le domaine des connaisseurs en langues et en histoire de sectes : ils doivent rester neutres.

Ici le nombre d’entrées est réduit à trois principales : deux sûtras de Chine et leur application par le moine japonais Dôgên. Et deux regroupements « de brindilles » témoignent de l’amidisme comme d’une pratique Zen moderne.

Vivant au sein de cultures du bassin méditerranéen traversé par trois religions du livre, outre les influences ce celles propres à l’Inde dont est issue la bouddhique, une mutation est due. Il s’agit pour le bouddhisme comme dans le compagnon sur la Chine taoïsante d’élargir ce que l’on caractérise ici comme « vécu mystique ».

Nul doute que ces deux Traditions taoïstes et bouddhiques puissent infléchir ce qui est arrivé dans leurs pays en moins de deux siècles par irruption brutale d’outils matériels souvent militaires puis conceptuels souvent idéologiques.

Un retour multiforme des traditions non européennes serait en cours tandis qu’une Europe affaiblie n’exporte plus, mais importe (difficilement) des hommes. Cette inversion de sens peut-elle rétablir l’équilibre disparu entre peuples dès le « siècle des Lumières » tout en préservant l’acquis du même siècle, mal exporté, vers plus de liberté ?

§



L’assemblage de ce tome conjugue trois influences : celle de Lilian Silburn dont on va lire un «  billet » (elle est par contre largement présente dans le tome premier du bouddhisme indo-tibétain — ici de façon souterraine) ; celle du moine chinois dont on va lire les extraits d’une « Préface » (conseillé par L.S., il figure ensuite comme traducteur préféré)  ; celle de Dôgên.

Je limite fortement le nombre d’entrées  AUTEURS ou Œuvres : seulement une dizaine pour cinq cents pages pleines. Les entrées respectent l’ordre chronologique ce qui pallie à l’absence de présentation historique. Une entrée « Terre pure » sera chère à de nombreux bouddhistes : elle tente de déborder le domaine du Tch’an4.

Les textes anciens proposés sont choisis parce qu’ils reflètent une expérience intérieure profonde, mais certains sont réputés difficile. Ils s’appuient ici sur des commentaires indispensables. Il s’agit de notes de Lu K’uan Yü né en 1898, déjà cité, de Han Shan né en 1546…

«  L. S., Un fil d’Ariane… »

Ce « billet » figure dans « Tch’an Zen racines et floraisons » publié comme n° 4 d’Hermès Nouvelle série 5 :



De l’expérience fondamentale à laquelle tous les maîtres semblent se référer il ne sera donné ici à dessein que quelques points de repère simples et clairs en liaison avec la conscience ordinaire.

Au départ le triple aspect de la vie instable et douloureuse des hommes :

— la conscience empirique, à double pôle (ou dualisante), citta englobant sentiments, impressions, idées et que marque l’intentionnalité,

— la connaissance conceptuelle discursive qui porte uniquement sur les signes distinctifs (laksana, nimitta) en ce sens qu’on ne définit (cerne) une chose que par ce qu’elle n’est pas, par ce qui la distingue des autres choses sans qu’on puisse la saisir en elle-même, en son être réel, ici présent,

— le flux perpétuel ou « devenir » — le samsâra — écoulement phénoménal auquel on ne peut échapper.

Qu’est-ce qui arrache à cette condition ?

— le dhyana, en apaisant la turbulence de la conscience empirique, puis en y mettant un terme ; ainsi s’obtient acitta, absence de pensée intentionnelle dualisante,

— la prajñâ, connaissance dont le jaillissement élimine les signes distinctifs et qui par une percée intuitive pénètre jusqu’à l’essence. Toutes les caractéristiques une fois disparues, se révèle l’animitta,

– le nirvâna, l’extinction, arrêt définitif de l’écoulement phénoménal (samsara), de la conscience empirique et des caractères distinctifs dont elle est inséparable.

La disparition soudaine de la conscience empirique et conceptuelle entraînant tout le devenir est un événement majeur que le Grand Véhicule décrira plus tard comme un « effondrement du support » (âsrayaparâvrtti).

Tout est accompli pour l’arhat, le saint qui a su éviter les pièges que sont la méditation stérile (celle qui sera inlassablement condamnée par le Tch'an) ainsi que toute spéculation aussi subtile soit-elle, sans tomber dans un vide inconscient.

Cette expérience, éminemment positive pour le saint du Petit Véhicule, est considérée plus tard par le Bodhisattva du Grand Véhicule comme incomplète par rapport à la Réalité totale, la dharmatâ (la « nature foncière » pour les maîtres chinois) qui embrasse tout sans rien rejeter. L’adepte du Mahâyâna cherche donc et obtient un retournement du support qui identifie nirvâna et samsâra. C’est le Grand Éveil.

Si déjà le nirvâna est inconcevable, que dire de ce paradoxe : la Réalité ou nature originelle se révélant en tout son éclat sans faire obstacle au fonctionnement des organes intellectuels et sensoriels !

Mais que se passe-t-il alors par rapport aux trois aspects qui ont été distingués plus haut ?

— Les phénomènes conscients propres à citta ne sont plus incompatibles avec acitta, d’où le thème citta-acitta et le célèbre wou nien du Tch'an, ce vide de pensées qui n’est autre que la plénitude de la nature foncière.

— Les signes distinctifs (laksana, nimitta) apparaissent et disparaissent sans laisser de traces, engloutis dans « le Tao [qui] coule librement »

Ces signes surgissent sans inconvénient sur le fond indifférencié (nimitta-animitta) tandis que la sapience (prajñâ) douée d’efficience fulgure à travers toutes les distinctions, toutes les expressions verbales. Houei-neng a un raccourci saisissant à propos de cette réalité :

« Nature réelle et signes distinctifs sont l’Ainsité. » 2

— Quant au nirvâna : il n’y a plus arrêt définitif dans une extinction totale, mais non-demeure, aniketa. « Le Tathâgata ne voit pas le samsâra et ne voit pas le nirvâna. »

En ceci consiste l’agir dans le non-agir, l’activité efficiente, spontanée et libre jaillissant d’une Réalité foncière paisible, impassible, sans allées ni venues, mais dans une extraordinaire simultanéité.

1. Houei-neng, ici p. 190.

2. Ici p. 192.





Une présentation par Lu K’uan Yü



[« Préface » que Lu K’uan Yü publia dans sa seconde série de « Ch’an and Zen teaching »6. J’ai hésité à les placer en fin de tome parmi les « brindilles », mais la profondeur d’une approche généraliste qui demeure très simple justifie cette entorse à l’ordre chronologique.]

§

We take refuge in the Buddha,
We take refuge in the Dharma,
We take refuge in the Sangha,
We take refuge in the Triple Gem within ourselves.

WE take pleasure in presenting in this Series Two the Forty Transmission Gâthâs and the Five Ch'an Sects of China. Our previous presentation, Series One, gave an outline of the Doctrine of the Mind as practised in China with the techniques devised by the ancient masters when giving instruction to adherents of this Dharma door to instantaneous enlightenment.
As the Buddha said in the Diamond Sûtra, he did not have any fixed Dharma to teach, for his doctrine consisted solely in wiping out all thoughts which stirred the rnind so that the latter could be still and that the wisdom, inherent in every man, could manifest itself and perceive the self-nature for attainment of Buddhahood. However, since men were of diffèrent aptitudes to absorb the truth, He was compelled to teach Hînayâna to those who were capable of digesting only the incomplete truth and Mahâyâna to disciples who were ready for the final teaching. This is what we call the expedient method of the teaching school by means of sûtras or discourses. It was, however, impossible to reveal the absolute reality by means of words and speeches for in spite of His revelation of the mind in the sûtras, His disciples did not understand it. Finally the World Honoured One picked up a flower and showed it to His disciples to probe their abilities to comprehend the ultimate aim of His teaching. Only Mahâkâyapa understood it and acknowledged it with a broad smile. Thereupon, the Buddha declared to him: 'I have the treasury of the right Dharma eye, Nirvâna's wonderful rnind and the immaterial reality which I now transmit to you.' This was the beginning of the Ch'an lineage of twenty-eight Indian and five Chinese Patriarchs,1 and if we add the seven Buddhas of antiquity who preceded them, the total number of known Buddhas and Patriarchs of the sect was forty,
1. If Bodhidharma is counted as the first Chinese Patriarch, there are twenty-seven Indian and six Chinese Patriarchs.					

THE TEACHING SCHOOL
What is known as the teaching school is instruction by means of sermons delivered by the Buddha to enlighten His disciples. As said above, it is very difficult to reveal the absolute truth to men of différent aptitudes and the World Honoured One was obliged to teach a simple method to beginners, urging them to disengage themselves from attachments to whatever they saw around them while reserving an advanced teaching to those who already realized the non-existence of the phenomenal world. For this reason, His teaching was divided into Hînayâna or ‘half word', that is incomplete truth, and Mahâyâna or ‘whole word', that is complete truth. For instance, when a man clung to his ego, or soul, that is âtman in Sanskrit, and its enjoyment of worldly pleasures, the Buddha revealed the non-existence of ego or anâtman to wipe out bis conception of ego. Unfortunately, adherents of Hinayina grasp this word anâtman in their argument to silence those clinging to ego, âtman or soul, and interminable discussions have been going on in the West since the introduction there of the term anâtman. If we examine both words closely, we come to the conclusion that âtman means the ' existing ego' and anâtman, the 'non-existent ego' ; in other words the two extremes 'is' and 'is not' of a dualism which has no independent nature of its own.
For this reason, in His Mahâyâna teaching, the Buddha taught His disciples to release their hold of not only 'is' but of 'is not', that is of both âtman and anâtman, in order not to be held in bondage by either of them. He said in the Diamond Sûtra : 'Even the Dharma should be cast aside, how much more so the Not-Dharma?' Thus we come to this:

(1) The worldly man grasps âtman, or ego, or soul,
(2) The Hînayâna man grasps anâtman, or non-existent ego, and
(3) The Mahâyâna man grasps neither âtman nor anâtman.

After the Buddha's Nirvâna His disciples scattered to spread the Dharma. Since there was no fixed Dharma to teach, and since the doctrine consisted solely in stripping every deluded man of his feelings and passions, they had to use everything at hand, including old customs, rites and beliefs prevailing in other places to enlighten those living there. In India, Brahmanic customs, rites, symbols, idioms, etc., were borrowed to teach and convert people to Buddhism. In Tibetan Lamaism, we find traces of the primitive Ban, a pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet. In China, where Taoism and Confucianism were already predorninant, many Taoist and Confucian idioms were borrowed to explain the Dharma to the Chinese. Therefore, it is misleading to identify Buddhism with any foreign religion. The Tibetan image of the Buddha embraced by a divine mother, which seems crude and shocking to most outsiders, symbolizes the integration of a pair of extremes, the male, or positive, and the female, or negative, aspects of all contraries in Sarmsâra, for the realization of the undivided whole on the plane of absolute reality. However, this way of representing the sameness of dualisms, although fundamentally genuine, did not appeal to the more refined Chinese scholars who interpreted the absolute, from all relativities, in their own way as described in our presentation of Ch'an texts.

THE BUDDHIST TERMINOLOGY
The Buddhist vocabulary is extensive and all terms which were coined either by the Buddha or His enlightened disciples, correspond very well with various stages of spiritual awakening. It is a matter for regret that only a very limited number of these terms has been translated into Western languages, and new Western equivalents should be produced to cope with this wide variety of Buddhist idiom if the serious study and translation of the Tripitaka are to be undertaken by Western scholars. The proneness of some modern translators to standardize Buddhist terms in English should not be encouraged for this work can be undertaken only by those who really understand Sanskrit and Chinese idioms.
In spite of the extensiveness of Buddhist terminology, it is impossible to describe the inconceivable and inexpressible reality in words, and Ch'an masters when revealing the absolute to their disciples, devised what upâsaka P'ang Yun called the language of the uncreate. There is no Chinese dictionary of these Ch'an idioms coined by the ancients, and only students who have made real progress in their Ch'an training can understand the meaning of each term. However, these Ch'an terms still fail to express the true reality, for as soon as it is expressed in our conditioned language, it will have only the 'second rate' meaning, as the masters put it. For this reason, Yun Men said to his disciples: 'The virtuous ancients who passed their lives to enlighten others, were compelled to use appropriate words and sentences to show them the way only. If you know that the real thing has been purposely put aside, you can use a little effort to discover it. Surely this is something that is closely associated with your own Self.' When Kuei Shan urged Tung Shan to call on Yun Yen, he said to him: 'If you can look at bending grass to find out the direction of [12] the wind, you will treasure his teaching.' Pai Chang said: 'If sûtras were interpreted literally according to the written word, a great injustice would be done indecd to all Buddhas of the past, present and future. Nevertheless, he who strays from a single word of the sûtras, speaks the language of the demon.'
Although there is a wide range of idioms, they were used by the Buddhas and masters at appropriate moments to enlighten men of different abilities. As men were prone to grasp names and terms instead of looking into their real meaning, the Buddha was compelled to use different idioms to wipe out their clingings in spite of the fact that the new terms had the same meaning as those previously used, His aim being to disentangle men from empty words so that they could perceive beyond them. Examples of grabbing at names and terms are abundant in the Ch'an texts presented in this book. Therefore the terms found in our Series, and in fact in all sûtras and sâstras, such as Tao, truth, reality, true reality, self, true self, true man of no fixed position, self-nature, Buddha-nature, etc., have the same meaning and should be interpreted as the absolute and the inexpressible. The  Mahâparinirvâna Sara says: 'You should abandon the half word (teaching) and correctly interpret the whole word (teaching).'
By	‘word' is meant the incomplete and temporary teaching, or the imperfect Hinayâna, and by 'whole word', the complete and final teaching, or the perfect Mahâyâna. In the temporary teaching, words used have their relative sense whereas in the final teaching, all words have their absolute significance. For instance, the Hinayâna word 'self' or ego, i.e. soul as it is called in the West, has a relative sense as contrasted with 'other', both being only an empty dualism, whereas the Mahâyâha word 'Self' is used in the absolute sense. The four transcendental realities expounded by the Buddha in the Mahâparinirvina Sûtra shortly before He passed away: ‘Eternity, Bliss, Self and Purity' have only their absolute meaning.
If sûtras are correctly interpreted, a great deal of confusion and unnecessary and wasteful discussion will be avoided and the whole teaching of the Buddha, from the beginning to the end, will be clear to the reader who will be able to gather up the thread and will realize the difficulty the World Honoured One encountered when converting deluded men, His great patience when dealing with stubborn disciples, His reluctance to reveal first the relative truth and then the absolute reality and His boundless compassion for all living beings whom He vowed to lead out of the ocean of suffering. If the lime wasted on the present arbitrary division of this unexcelled teaching into hostile schools [13] contradicting one another is devoted to a serious study of the whole Buddhist Canon (Tripitaka) with a view to resuming the thread that links all its parts, the Buddha Dharma which now seems to be in decline, will be revived and will flourish for the benefit of all mankind. Fortunately, the Ch'an Dharma provides an admirable medium to resolve all difficulties confronting the other schools, for it deals exclusively with personal experience of the truth, the unfolding of which is in perfect accord with all stages of realization as described by the Buddha's teaching in the Tripitaka.

THE CH'AN DHARMA
Before dealing with this subject, it is necessary to know that Ch'an is but mind and that Ch'an Dharma is Mind Dharma, or doctrine of the mind. It consists solely in realizing the self-mind, and when the mind is known, the self-nature will be perceived and enlightenment will be attained. The first question is, therefore, the realization of mind and in our first book, Ch'an and Zen Teaching, Series One, we have presented Master Hsu Yun's lectures which explain it in detail. That our mind is constantly disturbed by our thinking is well known, and in order to keep it quiet, it is necessary that we put an end to the flow of thoughts. This is the most difficult step, since for aeons we have contracted the bad habit of thinking which cannot now be stopped at one stroke. We 'live' because we think, and if we cease thinking, we will escape from this life in Samsâra. Therefore, thoughts create all illusions and beget life, and since life leads to death, we are just drifting in the ocean of birth and death with no end in sight. To get out of it, the first thing is to arrest all thoughts so that the mind can return to its still condition, before we can speak of awakening. Some people take only a week or so to achieve the stoppage of thinking whereas others pass long years before they can do so.
In olden times, when the ancients rose to work at sunrise and rested at sunset, life was very simple and did not involve the complexities from which we suffer today. Their needs were easily met and since they had few desires, their minds were in their still condition. For this reason, just a few words spoken by an enlightened master were sufficient to awaken a disciple. When the Second Patriarch asked Bodhidharma to quiet his mind which was not at ease, the latter said: 'Show me your mind so that I can calm it for you.' The Chinese pupil replied: cannot fend my mind,' and the Indian master declared: So have I calmed it.' Thereupon, the Second Patriarch realized the non-existence of mind and was instantly [14] enlightened. All this happened in a couple of minutes and was too easy to be believed.

THE PREREQUISITE OF CH'AN TRAINING
All devices used in the practice of Buddhism such as worship, prostration, circumambulation, music, chant, repetition of Buddha's name, recitation of sûtras, manual signs (mudrâ), mantras, controlled breathing, visualization, meditation, kung ans, hua t'ou, etc., have only one aim: the stoppage of all thinking for the realization of mind. Each school has its own way of meditation to control the wandering mind. As for the Ch'an Sect, Master Hsu Yun rightly said in one of his lectures presented in our Series One, the realization of mind leading to the perception of self-nature and attainment of Buddhahood has nothing to do with sitting in meditation or not sitting in meditation. Its method consists in putting an end to all thinking so that the mind can be calmed and the self-nature can be perceived. However, sitting in meditation is regarded as the orthodox way of controlling both body and mind in Ch'an practice. It is usually very difficult to arrest the flow of thoughts at the beginning of the practice for as soon as one succeeds in wiping out a thought, a new one will rise to take its place and the more one attempts to stop them, the more one will be assailed by them from all sides. The practiser should have, therefore, great patience in handling them. The moment in which he experiences the first difficulty in dealing with increasing thoughts gives him a clear indication that his efforts to control them are taking effect, for without his practice, he would continue to give way to them without being aware of it. His dogged determination to control bis thoughts will soon pay a dividend for whatever difficulty he may have at the start, will be of short duration and will crumble when opposed by his strong will w win the battle.
Books have been written on meditation and busy practisers who have not enough time to devote to long meditations, should manage to practise the control of thoughts at least once or twice a day, while walking, standing, sitting or reclining. Besides the orthodox way of sitting cross-legged in meditation, the best moment is that preceding one's sleep when one is already in bed. Without being bothered by the correct position of one's body, one can close one's eyes to watch effectively the rise of a thought and pick it up with the keenness of a cat ready to pounce on a mouse. As soon as one seizes it, one should closely examine where it arises and where it ends, and even before one realizes that it has neither [15] head nor tail, it has already vanished like an illusion or a bubble. After 'catching' two or three more thoughts in this manner, they will become so rare that the mind will automatically be calmed and one will fall into a deep sleep. If this practice is continued for several successive nights, it will ensure a rapid stoppage of the flow of thoughts, followed by a sound sleep free from dreams, a good sign that the mind is in its still condition. This method of nailing each rising thought was taught by Master Han Shan of the sixteenth century, and we strongly urge readers to try it while lying in bed before sleeping. It requires only fifteen to twenty minutes each night and can be practised every night without hindrance. Thus, little by little, one will be able to put an end to ever-flowing thoughts at will wherever one may happen to be. This is also the surent way to cure sleeplessness and to enjoy a real rest alter long office hours. Obviously everything calculated to excite the sense-organs, such as unhealthy food, intoxicating liquors, salacious literature, bad habits, questionable amusements, etc., should be given up to ensure a good state of mind.

DISCIPLINE AND MORALITY
A well-disciplined mind is of paramount importance for successful self-cultivation, for if it is allowed to wander outside in pursuit of externals, it can never be brought under control. The reading and correct interpretation of sûtras, especially the Diamond Sûtra and the Altar Sûtra of the Sixth Patriarch, and of Ch'an texts will enable a serious practiser to forsake many of the attachments which he may treasure, for when he understands the impermanent and illusory nature of the phenomenal world, he will turn his attention to the true reality which he can carry away at the end of his transmigration. Discipline must be very strict if one is to realize the Self for the slightest deviation from it will make all the difference between suffering and bliss, between delusion and enlightenment and between impermanence and eternity.
It is very regrettable that some modern commentators who do not understand the Ch'an discipline, have advanced the absurd theory that sûtras, sâstras, discipline and morality can be dispensed with in the quest of truth. Nothing is more misleading and harmful than such unwarranted talk if it is based solely on the premise that the absolute does not admit dualisms and that discipline and indiscipline as well as morality and immorality, being pairs of opposites, have no room in it. But are we already so completely enlightened that we no longer require further [16] spiritual training? If we are not, we still have to wipe out our delusion before we can speak of the absolute, and such talle makes no sense and can only confuse beginners. Yung Chia said in his Song of Enlightenment: 'If you want to avoid the hell-producing-(avici)-karma, do not vilify the Tathâgata's Wheel of the Law.'
It is truc that when a disciple undergoes his Ch'an training, his enlightened master usually forbids him to read sûtras so that his attention will not be divided and that he can achieve singleness of mind for the perception of self-nature and attainment of enlightenment. However, as soon as a pupil is enlightened, he immediately reads the whole Tripitaka before embarking upon his Bodhisattva work of spreading the Dharma. We can easily imagine the awkwardness of a master who knows nothing about the Buddha's teaching in the sûtras and who wishes to teach it to others. It is also true that Hui Neng was illiterate but he did not fail correctly to interpret a passage quoted from a sûtra by his disciples. But how many illiterate masters are there in the Ch'an lineage? Can we claim that we have achieved the Sixth Patriarch's attainment, if we now pretend that we can throw away all sûtras and sâstras? Even Hui Neng urged his disciples to recite the Diamond Sûtra.
As to morality, it is based on universal and uncaused compassion, and without practising morality, we will never have a chance of hearing the right Dharma expounded by the Buddha. The Diamond Sûtra says: Subhûti, do not speak like that. In the last soo year period after the final passing of the Tathâgata, there will be those who observe the "rules of morality" and perform good actions which will result in blessing. These people will be able to develop faith in these sentences which they will consider as embodying the Truth. You should know that they will not have planted good roots in just one, two, three, four or five Buddha lands. They will have planted them in countless thousands and tens of thousands of Buddha lands. Upon hearing these sentences, there will arise in them a single thought of pure faith. Subhûti, the Tathagata knows and secs all; these living beings will thus acquire immeasurable merits. Why? Because they will have wiped out false notions of an ego, a personality, a being, a life, of Dharma and of Not-Dharma.' Since a good cause leads to good effects and since an evil cause leads to evil effects, he who turns his back on morality will be bound to be immoral even if he is unaware of being so, and cases of practisers backsliding in their self-cultivation are numerous and are listed in detail in the Sûrarigama Sûtra. For this reason, Lin Chi (Rinzai) urged his disciples to interpret the Dharma correctly and not to allow themselves to be deceived by others. [17]
A practiser of Ch'an should know, at the start of bis training, if he really possesses compassion in his own nature. This is the most important question a serious student should ask himself, for without compassion, his will be vain practice. We know that, according to the Buddha and enlightened masters, every man has immanent in him a self-nature which is perfect and of which four characteristics are called the four immeasur-ables, kindness, compassion, joy and renunciation. Therefore, before we can honestly concede that the teaching is correct we should uncover this compassion inherent in us, and nothing is better than a careful investigation into it in our meditation, for whatever the sûtras say about it is just the meaning of a written word and has never been experienced by us personally. It will suffice to devote a meditation to discover this compassion and we should concentrate on it to the exclusion of all other thoughts, and try to find out if there is in Tact an iota of it in ourselves. We should wipe out all human feeling and first concentrate on those whom we dislike the most. We should ask ourselves why these people delight in harming others and we will conclude that since we are also selfish our-selves, we have no right to blame them for like us, they also are deluded, the only difference being perhaps that our ignorance is not as great as theirs. If they are given favourable surroundings and a chance to hear the Dharma, they will certainly change their habits and may be even better than ourselves. Finally we will fend that we are the only party deserving all the blame for our selfishness whereas they are just illusory men whom we disliked before and who exist only because of our own ignorance. Thus instead of fmding fault with others, we will feel sorry for ourselves and will shed tears for not understanding the Buddha's teaching. Hui Neng said: learned friends, your self-nature is great because it can contain all things. As all things are contained in it, if all good men and all bad men are viewed with neither like nor dislike, also without being con-taminated by them, the mind which is like space, is called great mind.' This is the universal mind which we will never achieve if we turn our back on discipline and morality.

THE CH'AN TECHNIQUES
Only after the mind has been brought under control can Ch'an training be undergone. The purification of the mind is to rouse men's dormant potentiality which no amount of teaching can reach because of the ineffectiveness of conditioned human language and -‘,vhich, when vitalized to the full, will be able to absorb the absolute truth. For this [18] reason, adherents of the Ch'an Sect are able to attain enlightenment even in a lifetime whereas followers of the teaching school take inany transmigrations to achieve the same result.

(1) The Direct Painting at the Mind in the Forty Transmission Gildas.
In ancient times, men lived a simple life and were not as ambitious as we are today. Consequently, their minds were always at ease and just a few words would suffice to awake their inner potentialities which could easily absorb the truth.
The Forty Gâthâs in this Series give us an idea of how the Dharma was taught, understood and transmitted. The ancients used very few technical terms to cause their disciples' awakening. They just pointed at the mind and the students immediately understood the ultimate aim without, like us, giving rise to discriminations and discernings, their faith in the teaching being also boundless. It was, therefore, not difficult for a teacher to wipe out his pupil's attachment not only to the phenomenal world seen around him but also to the latter's last and subtle views of ego and things (dharma) which were still concealed and not easily detectable. Even the most treasured terms: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, could be easily eradicated so that the student could perceive his undivided whole which would not be split again into subject and object, the cause of separateness which begets all the illusions and complications of life in
When we say that we worship the Buddha, practise the Dharma and revere the Sangha, we are already wrong because we inadvertently divide our perfect self-nature into the subject who worships, practises and reveres, and the objects, the Buddha worshipped, the Dharma practised and the Sangha revered, and because we already have inherent in ourselves our self-natured Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, the Triple Gem of our Self.
The word 'Dharma' has two meanings: (1) the truth, law or doctrine, and (2) a thing, all things, any thing great or small, visible or invisible, real or unreal, concrete things or abstract ideas. If we realize the sameness of the noumenal and the phenomenal, that is the oneness of all, this 'Dharma' is but an integral part of our perfect self-nature. On the other hand, if we regard it as something existing independently of our self-nature, it will be 'dharma' or a thing, that is a foreign matter, and we will thus divide our Self into subject and object at the same time. For this reason,	Buddha said in His gàthà when transmitting the Dharma to Mahâkâsyapa:
The Dharma's fundamental Dharma has no Dharma; 
The Dharma of No-Dharma is Dharma too.
Now that the Dharma of No-Dharma is transmitted, 
Has there ever been a Dharma?
Thus all traces of Dharma are eradicated to reveal the absolute which is neither Dharma nor Not-Dharma, that is beyond all dualisms. The graduai wiping out of all coarse and subtle views as taught by the World Honoured One is dealt with in Master Han Shan's 'The Diamond Cutter of Doubts' which we have presented in our first book of the present series of Ch'an and Zen teaching.
Each of the forty gâthâs was chanted, when the Mind Dharma was transmitted to a successor, successively by the Seven Buddhas of Antiquity and the twenty-eight Indian and Five Chinese Patriarchs of the Ch'an lineage. The Dharma taught by them was very simple for it directly pointed at the mind of the disciple who had no difficulty in realizing it. This is due to the simplicity of mind and of its surrounding, and nothing was heard about what later were known as kung ans and hua t'ous.

(2) The Kung An technique of the five Ch’an sects of China.
[…]7

Hongkong, 15 October 1959.	UPÂSAKA LU K'UAN YÛ



The forty Transmission Gâthas

(From the Transmission of the Lamp-Ching Te Chuan Teng Lu)

1. The Seven Buddhas of Antiquity

(A) The Three Buddhas of the Glorious Aeon (Alamkarakakalpa
1
Vipâsyin Buddha, the 998th of the Glorious Aeon
Gâtâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to Sikhin Buddha:

The body is created out of nothingl
A dream like product of illusion.2
Once illusory mind and thought were not,
So devoid of nature are both weal and woe.3

When the mind exists, it creates objects or the phenomenal and when it ceases to exist, it destroys the phenomenal. When mind and objects vanish, the essence of self-nature returns to its immaterial state.
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's method for attaining complete enlighten-ment is the most suitable for human beings. It consists in disentangling, first the faculty of hearing from its object, sound, and in turning inward the hearing to hear the self-nature, until both sense-organ and sense-data are completely wiped out, resulting in the meditator's incomplete awareness (subject) of relative voidness (object). Further meditation will cause this incomplete awareness to be disentangled from relative voidness and to become absolute and all embracing, merging into absolute voidness without further hindrance; hence a Bodhisattva's leap over both the mundane and supramundane in his complete enlightenment. 

1. Before one's birth, the essence of self-nature is immaterial and has neither foret nor shape; therefore, all bodily forms corne from the void.
2. One is not even aware of the arising of a false thought which brings about the empirical combinations of all (primary and secondary) causes, resulting in one's birth in the phenomenal world. All this is like appearances seen in a dream.
3. Mind and cognition are fundamentally non-existent in an illusory man; consequently weal and woe are also non-existent.

2
Buddha, the 999th of the Glorious Aeon
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to Visvabhû Buddha :

Good Dharmas arise and evil karmas too, 
Yet both are but illusions.1
The body is like foam, like wind the mind;
Illusion has no base and no reality.2

The self-nature is absolute and has no place for illusions; it is still (body) and shining (function) in its nirvânic condition which is inconceivable.
The Sixth Patriarch said: 'There are good and bad roots, but the Buddha nature is neither good nor bad, and is called the non-dual nature. The five aggregates and eightecn realm.s of senses are dual as seen by the worldly man, but for the enlightened man who has a clear understanding of them, their nature is non-dual and the non-dual nature is Buddha nature.'

3
Visvabha Buddha, the 1000th of the Glorious Aeon
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to Krakucchanda Buddha:

When uncreated mind is tied to body,
It works with things and so exists through them.3
When objects disappear, so does the mind.4
Weal and woe arise and vanish like illusions.5

1. Funclamentally. there is neither rise nor fall in the true nature, but a stirring thought will cause deviation from it. Therefore, both good Dharmas and evil karmas are nothing but illusion and falsehood, and have no place in the absolute which is free from all dualism.
2. The body is like foam and the mind like wind, both being non-existent, for illusion has neither basis nor real nature.
3. False sentience has no substance of its own but uses the combination of the four basic elements as its body. The mind, fundamentaily un-born, is deluded by illusory externals; as it strays from the self-nature self-inflicted distress, worry and trouble become the cause of human misery.
4. The direct realization of the non-existence of externals wipes out the mind.
5. Thus, the self-nature, free from defilement, becomes independent and comfort-able. Consequently, weal and woe, the two extremes, have no place in the self-nature which returns to its absolute condition.
Not only does mind exist because of illusory externals but also externals are created by mind; if the mind ccases to discriminate, everything will be in the absolute state.
Ch'an Master Yung Chia said in his Song of Enlightenment: 'Get at the root! Do not bother about twigs.' Therefore, seekers of' the truth should get at the root, that is the mind, in order to realize self-nature and attain Buddahood.

(B) 	The Four Buddhas of the Virtuous Aeon (Bhadrakalpa)

4
Krakucchanda Buddha, the first of the Virtuous Aeon
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to Kanakamuni Buddha :

To see the body as unreal is to see the Body of the Buddha.1
To know the mind as an illusion is to know the Illusion of the 					Buddha.2
If a man sees clearly that mind and body are not real
How does he differ from the Buddha?3

The illusory mind and body seem to split into subject and object the indivisible self-nature which can reveal itself only after the realization that this very illusion has no nature of its own.

1. The physical body is an empirical combination of four basic elements and is subject to annihilation for it has no place of abode. That which does not abide anywhere is identical with the pure, clean and liberated body of the Buddha. (See 'Diamond Sûtra', Series One.)
2. The realization that mind is only an illusion proves that it has no existence of its own. Although Buddhas liberate living beings, they do not cling to the conception of Dharma, and this is their incomparable wu wei (transcendental) illusion.
3. If body and mind are truly realized as non-existent, the immaterial self-nature manifests in its infinite brightness. How then does one who can achieve this differ from all Buddhas?

5
Kanakamuni Buddha, the second of the Virtuous Aeon
Gâthâ chanted by Kanakamuni Buddha when transmitting the Dharma to Kâgyapa Buddha :

The real Buddha has a body that no one can perceive 1, 
There is no other Buddha for him who knows himself.2 
The sage who knows that woe is devoid of nature 
Lives at ease and fears not birth nor death.3
One who realizes his nature is likened to a lion which scares away all other wild beasts, the reason being that an enlightened man can change his surroundings completely. This is why ancient masters could live in places infested with wild beasts and were not afraid of them. When the Thirty-First Patriarch Tao Hsin called on master Fa Yung of Niu T'ou mountain, both were surrounded by tigers. (See the story of Fa Yung, in the Transmission of the Lamp.)
During recent ordination ceremonies held at the monastery of the Sixth Patriarch, a tiger entered the compound. Armed guards sent by the provincial authorities to protect the assembly intended to shoot it but were stopped by Master Hsu Yun who approached and said a few words to the unwanted visitor. Thereupon, the tiger left the monastery to the astonishment of several hundred people who had assembled to receive the Bodhisattva-sîla.
The usual explanation is that when the mind has been stripped of all feelings of love and hate, it becomes still and sends out psychic waves of harmony which can tame wild beasts.

6
Keyapa Buddha, the third of the Virtuous Aeon
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to Sâkyamuni Buddha:
Pure and clean is the nature of all living beings.4 
Since it never was created, it cannot be destroyed.5

1. The Buddha is fundamentally immaterial and his body is imperceptible.
2. All living beings possess the nature of wisdom which is pure and clean and does not differ from that of all Buddhas. He who really perceives this nature, also knows that besides this wisdom nature, there is no other Buddha nature.
3. The outright cognizance of this wisdom nature in a flash of thought will wipe out all doubts about the true personality and will enable one to know that woe has no independent nature of its own. Therefore, one will remain indifferent to the rise and fall of phenomena and will be free from the fear of death.
4. The pure substance of self-nature is fundamentally immaterial; it is devoid of selfness and otherness, and is beyond names and phrases.
5. It is beyond birth and death.

Body and mind are born from an illusion.1
In this changing shadow there is neither weal nor woe.2

The above teaching is for men of high potentialities and not for deluded and arrogant people who daim that morality can be dispensed with, for without morality, or good cause, they can never have the chance of hearing the Buddha Dharma or of interpreting it correctly for their own benefit

7
Sâkyamuni Buddha, the fourth of the Virtuous Aeon
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Patriarch Mahâkâyapa:
The Dharma's fundamental Dharma has no Dharma,3 
The Dharma of No-Dharma is Dharma too.
Now that the Dharma of No-Dharma is transmitted,4 
Has there ever been a Dharma? 5

The transmission of Dharma from Buddha to Buddha is by the sealing of mind by mind. When one mind does not differ from another, even its purity is undiscoverable. Therefore, there is no real Dharma which is actually transmitted.
The Sixth Patriarch said to Hui Ming: 'Don't think of either good or evil; at this very instant, what is the Venerable Hui Ming's true face?' This means that the self-nature is absolute and does not contain anything, even that which is called Dharma.

1. Body and mind are like floating bubbles which suddenly rise and fall; they have no true nature of their own and are fundamentally created by illusion.
2. Illusion and transformation have no real existence, and within them, all the seeming, including blessedness and sinfulness, does not really exist.
3. Huang Po said: 'Dharma is mind.' Therefore, mind is the Dharma source of all Dharmas. That Dharma source is pure and clean, and does not contain even a thing called Dharma. However, one should not rely on the purity of mind to advocate the abolition of Dharma, for such a view is that of annihilation, absolute wisdom being free from the dual conception of creation and destruction. (See the Diamond Sùtra in Series One which says, 'He who develops the Annuttara-samyak-saMbodhi mind does not advocate the annihilation of things.')
4. The Dharma of no Dharma is also a Dharma which I now transmit to you.
S. Now that I am transmitting to you that which is pure and clean, and is exclusive of all Dharmas (which are in the nirv4ic or supramundane condition), have you really known a firm Dharma being handed down to you?

Each man should realize the nature of his self,' And then there is not (even) a No-Dharma.2
33

2. The Twenty-seven Indian Patriarchs

8
The First Indian Patriarch Mahâkâsapa
Gâthâ chanted when transtnitting the Dharma to the Second Patriarch Ânanda:

The fundamental Dharma of all DharmasT 1
Is beyond the Dharmas that are false and real. 2
Why in the one Dharma should
There be Dharma and Not-Dharma? 3

The mind is immaterial and is fundamentally devoid of good and evil. It is the self-nature in its absolute condition.
The undivided self-nature can manifcst itself only after all dualisms have been integrated into one undivided whole.

9
The Second Indian Patriarch Ânanda
Gâthâ, chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Third Patriarch Sânakavâsa:

At first there was a Dharma to transmit,4
Transmitted it became that of No-Dharma.5

1. The mind is the fondamental Dharma from which mundane and supramundane Dharmas are set up.
2. The pure mind is fundamentally the absolute, free from either real or false Dharma,
3. To an enlightened person, how can there exist real and false Dharmas in that which is fundamentally the one Dharma, or the indivisible absolute?
4. Before the transmission, I said I had a Dharma to transmit to you.
5. Now that the Dharma has been transmitted, there is in reality no Dharma at all.

Dharma seems to exist because of its opposite, 'no Dharma', both being a dualism having no reality. Transmission is just an expedient term used on the occasion, but in fact there is no Dharma which can be trans-mittcd. After the transmission, there should exist neither Dharma (existence) nor 'no Dharma' (non-existence).
Every man should realize his own self and then not only should Dharma, or existence, be cast away, but also its opposite, 'no Dharma', or non-existence, should not be clung to, so that his true Self can be maintained in its transcendantal state.

10
The Third Indian Patriarch Sânakavâsa
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the fourth Patriarch Upagupta:

Dharma and Mind have no (reality)
For there is neither Mind nor Dharma.3
When this Mind-Dharma is expounded,
This Dharma is not the Dharma of the Mind.4

The absolute reality is inconceivable and inexpressible, and this deep Mind-Dharma is beyond the twin conception of subject and object.
When Mind and Dharma are not clung to, both subject and object cease to exist. That which is expediently called Mind-Dharma will be in its absolute condition and will tally with the inconceivable.

1. In order correctly to interpret the above two lines, one should strive to realize one's self-mind.
2. After realizing one's self-mind, one will understand that even the 'no Dharma' is non-existent.
3. Absolute reality is neither Dharma nor Mind for in it, there exists neither Mind nor Dharma which are empty names having no real nature.
4. At the rime of the expedient teaching of the Mind-Dharma, this Dharma itself should not be conceived as Mind-Dharma.

11
The Fourth Indian Patriarch Upagupta
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Fifth Patriarch Dhrtaka :

Mind is the primal mind 1
Which is devoid of Dharma.2
If Dharma and primal mind exist,
Both mind and primal Dharma will be false.3

Mind is essentially all-pervading and does not contain even an atom of that which is called Dharma. If there be idea of Dharma, such a Dharma will simply be a sense-datum and not the true Dharma of the primal mind. Realization of this primal mind can only be achieved after the false idea of subject and object has vanished. In the Diamond Sûtra, this erroneous conception of ego and thing is referred to as the most subtle dualism which should be eliminated before one can attain complete enlightenment. (See Han-Shan's 'Diamond Cutter of Doubts' in Series One.)

12
The Fifth Indian Patriarch Dhrtaka
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Sixth Patriarch Miccaka :

When the Dharma of primal mind is really understood, 
Neither Dharma nor Not-Dharma can remain.4

1. Mind is the primal mind which is the uncreate in its absolute condition; it is undiscoverable but cannot be cast away.
2. Primal mind is like space in its extensiveness; it is completely transparent and pervasively shining Therefore, it does not possess a single Dharma or any foreign matter.
3. If there be Dharma (object) that can be acquired and Mind (subject) that can acquire it, this primal mind will be neither the real mind of all Buddhas nor the primal Dharma, for Mind and Dharma are not separate things.
4. The true Dharma is beyond existence and non-existence and when all contraries have been eliminated, one will thoroughly understand the Dharma of primal mind, and will realize the purity and cleanness of everything. One will thus leap over both the existing Dharma, or the transcendental and its opposite, the non-existent Dharma, or the worldly.

(After) enlightenment it is the same as it was (before), 
For there is neither mind nor Dharma.1

When one is awakened to the absolute, one's mind will be likened to unchanging space which is free from feelings and passions and will intuitively tally with the Dharmatâ, or Dharma nature.
Ch'an master Wei Hsin of Ch'ing Yuan mountain said to his disciples: 'Thirty years ago, before I underwent the training, I saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers. After I had called on enlightened persons, I managed to enter (Ch'an) and saw mountains were not mountains and rivers were not rivers. Now that I have stopped (my false thinking), I see mountains are mountains and rivers are rivers, as before.' This means : first, separateness of mind from externals; second, confusion between mind and externals, and third, intermerging of mind and externals, or enlightenment.


13
The Sixth Indian Patriarch Miccaka
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Seventh Patriarch Vasumitra:

There is neither mind nor realization,2
While that which can be realized is not Dharma.3
Only when mind is seen to be unreal
Can the Dharma of all minds be truly understood.4

This gâthâ reveals the identity of apparent contraries in the Dharma nature in which sense-organs and sense-data are in the absolute condition and wherein neither mind nor Dharma is discoverable.

1. After enlightenment, one adapts oneself to circumstances just as one did before, for enlightenment and unenlightenment are only two empty names.
2. The self-nature fundamentally is complete in itself; within it, there is neither mind nor gain derived from realization of mind.
3. The Dharma of reality is inexpressible and unattainable.
4. Only when mind is perceived as not real, can the crue Mind-Dharma be apprehended for mind and Dharma are not two separate things.

Only people like the 5,000 disciples who, in their Hinayâna superiority thought they had gained all wisdom and refused to hear the Lotus sutra, boasted of their acquisition of Dharma. Such a Dharma which could be expressed in words was not the real Dharma.
Mind and Dharma are just One which is beyond subject and object which split our undivided self-nature.

14
The Seventh Indian Patriarch Vasumitra
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Eighth Patriarch Buddhanandi :

Mind and the vault of space are just the same, 1
The Dharma, spanning space, is now expounded.2 
When space is realized as such,
There is no Dharma, whether false or real.3

Space is immaterial and free from all dualisms. Likewise, when mind is realized, it is also beyond all relativities.
Huang Po said: When the sun rises, its light pervades all the continents but space is mot light, and at sunset, darkness pervades all the continents but space is mot dark. Light and darkness alternate with each other but the nature of space throughout is unchanged. Mind, Buddha and living beings are also like space. If a man conceives of Buddha as being pure, clean and enjoying liberation and living beings as being unclean, obscure and suffering from birth and death, he will pass as many aeons as there are sand grains in a river without attaining enlightenment because of his clinging to forms, aspects and characteristics (laksana). There is only this One Mind; apart from it not even a mote of dust can be found, and this mind is Buddha.' (See 'Essentials of Huang Po's Doctrine of Transmission of Mind, Part I' — Huang Po Ch' uan Hsin Fa Yao).

1. Mind is pure and clean and is boundless as space.
2. I now expound to you this Dharma which is as extensive as space.
3. If the mind can be perceived to be boundless like space, there will be no trace of either Dharma which is equal, or Dharma which is mot equal, to space.

15
The Eighth Indian Patriarch Buddhanandi
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Ninth Patriarch Buddhamitra:

Space and Dharma of the Mind
Have naught within nor aught without.
If space is truly understood,
The principle of Suchness 1 will be learnt.

Space is immaterial and boundless. Likewise, Mind-Dharma is also immaterial and boundless. He who thoroughly understands immaterial and boundless space, will apprehend the ruling principles of Bhûtatathatâ.
This is the outright elimination of separateness resulting in the instantaneous realization of the immaterial and boundless Dharmakâya. Hence the attainment of Bhatatathatâ.


16
The Ninth Indian Patriarch Buddhamitra
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Tenth Patriarch Pârva:

Truth in essence has no name,2
Yet now because of name it can be known.3 
Whoever can receive the Dharma-truth 
Will know that it is neither truth nor lies.4

1. Apprehension of boundless space is also apprehension of the Mind-Dharma which is boundless as well. Absoluteness is the English equivalent of the Chinese Chen Ju, or Bhûtatathâ in Sanskrit, which means: bhûta, substance, that which exists, and Tathatâ, suchness, thusness, i.e. such is its nature.
2. Truth is the true principle, the principle of truth and the absolute apart from phenomena. Truth is inexpressible, and the first sentence of Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, 'The Tao which can be expressed in words is mot the eternal Tao' is somewhat similar to the first lime of this gâthâ. But the Taoist 'Tao' refers to the supramundane and the 'Truth' of the Buddhist Supreme Vehicle is beyond both the mundane and supramundane.
3. Truth can only be revealed to deluded men by the expedient use of names, which should, however, never be clung to.
4. He who is really qualified to receive the truth, will realize that it is inconceivable and is neither truth nor untruth.

Fundamentally mind is truth and any terme given to it is false, for the self-mind essentially being not false, what is the use of seeking the real? It is, therefore, clear that since both truth and untruth are undiscoverable, there exists neither truth nor untruth, both being only two extremes devoid of real nature.

17
The Tenth Indian Patriarch Pârsva
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Eleventh Patriarch Punyayasas:

The real body is reality existing by itself, 1
Because of it we can expound the fondamental law.2
The apprehension of the Dharma of reality
Is beyond all change and changelessness.3

The Dharma of the real is beyond words and expressions; even its substance is undiscoverable. How can it be regarded as in motion or motionless? The truth cannot be detected by the deluded mind and can only be realized intuitively.

18
The Eleventh Indian Patriarch Puniyayasas
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twelfth Patriarch Asvaghosa:

1. The real body, or true substance is reality that is so of itself.
2. Because there is this self-existing reality, the fundamental law (or ruling principle, intrinsicality, universal basic) is expounded to reveal it.
3. He who is awakened to that which is called Dharma of the real, acquires complete knowledge of the absolute which is simultaneously still and shining (i.e. in its state of Samâdhi-Prajñâ) and is beyond change and changelessness.

Delusion and enlightenment are concealing and revealing,1
(Like) light and darkness they depend upon each other.2 
This Dharma that I now transmit
Is neither one nor two.3

The substance of self-nature is permanently real and is beyond both concealment and revelation. When the mind is stirred by a thought, it becomes entangled with producing causes and strays from its real nature. When it is enlightened, all internals and externals merge perfectly into one another and it becomes all-embracing. Although there are concealment and revelation, these are like light and darkness which cannot be separated.
Now I transmit to you this Dharma of concealment and revelation which is neither one Dharma exclusive of concealment and revelation nor the dual Dharma of both concealment and revelation. The true nature is unchanging and delusion and enlightenment are but illusions. If there be neither delusion nor enlightenment, where are unity and duality?
The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sûtra says: 'It has no measure, is beyond all measures and cannot be counted.'

19
The Twelfth Indian Patriarch Asvaghosa
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Thirteenth Patriarch Kapimala:

Concealing and revealing are themselves the Dharma,4 
In essence light and darkness are non-dual.5

1. The self-nature is concealed when it is deluded and revealed when it is enlightened.
2. Concealment and revelation are like light and darkness which owe their existence only to their mutual dependence.
3. This Dharma of concealing and revealing which advocates the transmutation of delusion into enlightenment is now transmitted to you, but the truth is neither unity nor diversity, for it is one undivided truth or Buddha truth.
4. The true self-nature is unchanging, and, in spite of its concealment or delusion and its revelation or enlightenment, the fundamental Dharma is beyond all dualities.
5. Light and darkness owe their existence only to their mutual dependence, but the underlying law is absolute for it is non-dual.

The Dharma of enlightenment that I now transmit

Cannot be grasped nor can it be abandoned. 1

This gâthâ wipes out not only all dualisms but also ail notions of space and time, thus clearing away ail obstructions to the attainrnent of Buddhahood.



1. This non-dual Dharma of self-enlightenment which I now transmit to you, cannot be grasped for it does not belong to the present, or be abandoned for it does not belong to the past.



20

The Thirteenth Indian Patriarch Kapimala

Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Fourteenth Patriarch Nâgârjuna:



The Dharma which conceals not nor reveals

Expounds the region of reality.2

To realize this Dharma

Is neither ignorant nor wise.3



The Buddha Dharma deals with the immaterial and it is very difficult to understand its purport. Therefore, expedient words and phrases are used to enable students to apprehend it without any further doubt about their self-nature.



2. The self-nature is eternal and fundamentally is neither concealed nor revealed. He who is deluded does not recognize it and thinks it is concealed, and when he is awakened to it, he feels that it reveals itself to him. Likewise the Dharma deals with neither concealment nor revelation. I now expound this Dharma to you so that you can reach the realm of reality, or the absolute truth.

3. You are now awakened to this Dharma of neither concealment nor revelation and perceive your eternal nature. After your enlightenment, you do not feel that you were ignorant before or are enlightened now.



21

The Fourteenth Indian Patriarch Nâgârjuna

Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Fifteenth Patriarch Kânadeva:



To explain the Dharma of concealing and revealing

The principle of liberation is now taught.1

No mind is realized according to this Dharma

And so there is no (cause for) anger or for joy.2



The mind of a liberated man is likened to empty space, free from gain and loss as well as anger and joy, that is from all contraries which previously held him in bondage.



1. This Dharma is mot vainly transmitted and in order to make it plain so that people can thoroughly realize the mind and get beyond the concealed and the revealed (i.e. the changing) for their attainment of the unchanging, I now expound the law of liberation.

2. You must regard this Dharma as beyond gain and loss in order to be released from the idea of realizing the mind. Then comfortable independence from anger and joy can be realized.



22

The Fifteenth Indian Patriarch Kânadeva

Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Sixteenth Patriarch Râhulata:



To you who now receive the Dharma

Is taught the principle of liberation. 3

The Dharma does mot realize anything,

For « tis beyond the end and never had beginning. 4



Since the transmission from one Patriarch to another, not a single Dharma has been handed down to any one. The Dharma consists only in untying bonds so that the unenlightened cm become independent and comfortable.

The last two limes of the gâthâ wipe out both space and time.



3. In transmitting the Dharma to you, I speak of true emancipation.

4. In this emancipation, there is no gain whatever for there is mot even a mote of dust that can be acquired; also there is no such thing as the part, present, or future for there is neither beginning nor end.



23

The Sixteenth Indian Patriarch Râhulata

Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Seventeenth Patriarch Sañghânandi:

The Dharma does not realize a thing, 1 
Nor can it be grasped or thrown away. 2 
It is beyond what 'is' and what 'is not';
Within is nothing, nor is aught without. 3

The true Dharma is but the self-nature which is beyond all that can be conceived and is free from all contraries such as grasping and rejecting, existence and non-existence, within and without. The stirring of a single thought will cause a deviation from it and the best way to realize it is to lay down the load of thoughts with which body and mind are burdened and intuitively be at one with the Dharma or mind.

1. The self-nature essentially is complete in itself and does not require cultivation.
2. Within the self-nature, there is nothing that can be realised and there exists nothing that can be either grasped or rejected.
3. This Dharma is beyond existence and non-existence; if so, how can there be internal sense-organs and external sense-data?


24
The Seventeenth Indian Patriarch Satighânandi
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Eighteenth Patriarch Gayasâta:

The ground of mind was never once created, 
This primal ground results from a concurrent cause. 4 
Both cause and seed do not each other hinder, 5 
While flower and fruit do not obstruct each other. 6

The self-nature cannot enlighten itself and requires both primary and concurrent causes to become enlightened. Since time without beginning, your mind has always been self-possessed and has always been unborn. As I now expound this Mind-Dharma to you, your seed of Buddhahood avails itself of these primary and concurrent causes to sprout and your flower of wisdom blooms and clearly perceives everything without obstruction. You should know that within your mind-ground, both concurrent cause and seed do not obstruct each other. Neither do your wisdom and Buddhahood hinder each other.
Since the true mind is fundamentally in perfect harmony with all differences, instantaneous enlightenment clears away all obstructions caused by apparent contraries.

4. Mind-ground is a Buddhist term meaning the mind or mental ground from which all things spring. Mind-ground fundamentally is uncreated and is the primary cause which comes into being because of my expounding of Dharma which is a concurrent cause.
5. Neither concurrent cause nor seed hinder each other.
6. Neither do flowers (or wisdom) and fruit (or Buddhahood), obstruct each other, for if there be obstruction, no enlightenment is possible.

25
The Eighteenth Indian Patriarch Gayasâta
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Nineteenth Patriarch Kumârata:

The self-existing seed and ground of mind
Produce the sprout through a concurrent cause. 1
Concurrent cause and sprout do not each other hinder, 2
For that which is produced is not producible. 3

Your enlightenment does not occur of itself and can become an actuality only because of a concurrent cause. Fundamentally you possess the seed of wisdom and the pure mind, and I now expound the Dharma to you. Because of this Dharma which is a concurrent cause, your seed sprouts and you acquire wisdom in its radiant brightness which wisdom is unimpeded in any way by this cause. Therefore, this intervening cause also does not really exist, for it has no real nature of its own and is only an empty name. When you realize your self-nature, it is immaterial and absolute; how can there arise within it a foreign cause?

26
The Nineteenth Indian Patriarch Kumârata
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twentieth Patriarch Jayata:

1. The seed of Buddhahood and mental ground can unite to produce a sprout of enlightenment only because of a concurrent cause which is my expounding of this Dharma.
2. This concurrent cause and this sprout, or your enlightenment, do not obstruct each other.
3. At the time of your enlightenment, you will perceive that nothing has actually been produced.

Self nature in its essence never was created, 1 
Or so we teach to those who seek (the truth). 2 
Since Dharma does not lead to any gain, 3 
Why think one or another way about it. 4

This Dharma is expediently taught only to reveal the fundamental self-nature which has never been created and will never end, for it is absolute and is beyond all contraries including decisive and indecisive thoughts about it.

27
The Twentieth Indian Patriarch Jayata
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-first Patriarch Vasubandhu :

Instant union with the uncreate
Is how to realize the Dharma nature. 5
Those who are able to experience this
Understand the oneness of relative and absolute. 6

The Dharma cannot be conceived by means of sense-organs and sense-data. As I am now expounding it to you, if your mind is disentangled from both sense-organs and sense-data, and if you can, upon hearing it, realize intuitive union with that which is beyond creation and annihilation, you will realize the unimpeded nature underlying all things.
If you can do this, you will thoroughly apprehend the unimpeded interaction of noumenon and phenomenon which are of the same fundamental nature.
1. The self-nature is eternal and is free from creation and destruction.
2. I now expediently teach it to you so that you will no longer entertain any doubt about your own self.
3. This Dharma of the uncreate can neither be spoken of nor listened to, for there is no gain of anything in respect of it.
4. This Dharma is beyond decisiveness and indecisiveness for as soon as there arises a conception of dualism, the latter will split the undivided self-nature into subject and object.
5. Complete intuitive unison with that which is not born and does not the is nothing but the realization of the Dharma nature. Dharma nature (Dharmatâ in Sanskrit) is the nature underlying all things, the immaterial or the realm beyond thought.
6. He who can experience this will thoroughly apprehend the oneness of appearance and reality.

28
The Twenty-first Indian Patriarch Vasubandhu
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-second Patriarch Manorhita:

Bubbles and illusions are the omnipresent;
Why cannot this be understood? 1
The omnipresent Dharma in this world of change
Is not the present now and was not in the past. 2

The self-nature can only be realized by wiping out all feeling and discrimination so as to disentangle it from both body and mind (or space) and from past and present (or time).

29
The Twenty-second Indian Patriarch Manorhita
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-third Patriarch Haklena:

The mind follows externals in its changing, 3
While the real is dormant, hidden by these changes, 4 
1. Sense-organs and senne-data are likened to a bubble and an illusion. The Buddha nature is immaterial and enters all things including sense-organs, sense-data, bubble and illusion, without hindrance. Therefore, the unhindered and omni-present self-nature is everywhere in this nirvânic state. Why cannot students of the truth be awakened to this?
2. He who wishes to penetrate this all pervasive Dharma, should release himself from all limitations caused by differentiation, for this Dharma is neither present nor past, but is above all dual conceptions.
3. The self-mind is like a bright mirror reflecting all images in their endless succession.
4. The real is dormant, hidden by these appearances.

Yet through them one can find the nature of the self  1 
Which is beyond all joy and sorrow. 2

This gâthâ  teaches the best way to discover one's self-nature which cannot be sought outside the phenomenal. He who can remain indifferent to all appearances reflected in the mind and look into that which reflects them, is bound to discover his self-mind and realize his self-nature. This self-nature is immaterial and is beyond both subject and object, that is all relativities, including joy and sorrow.     
The Sixth (Chinese) Patriarch said:

The (first) five and the (next) three (consciousnesses)
turn endlessly as causes and effects,
But they are only names devoid of real nature.
If there be no grasping at the essence,
These myriad uprisings will be still and dragon-like.

He also said:

If in one's mind one can perceive the real,
The real therein will lead to Buddhahood.
He who cannot perceive the nature of bis self but looks
Elsewhere for Buddha, so thinking is the stupidest of men.

1. He who can look with indifference into the origin of these endless reflections, will fuially discover his self-nature.

2. The self-nature is pure and immaterial and has no place for dualisms, including joy and sorrow, which arise and fall but have no real nature of their own.

30
The Twenty-third Indian Patriarch Haklena
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-fourth Patriarch

(Only) when the nature of the mind is realized  3 
Can one say that it cannot be conceived. 4
Nothing, clearly, can be realized  1
For if it be, there' s no awareness of it. 2






This gâthâ was frequently quoted by Huang Po in his 'Transmission of Mind' (Huang Po Ch'uan Hsin Fa Yao).

3. The mind-nature is the immutable mind-body, the self-existing fundamental pure mind, the all, or the Tatiagata-garbha.
4. The mind-nature can only be known as inconceivable when it is realized.
1. The mind-nature is unattainable but one can get an intuitive glimpse of it, for if there be attainment, it will be split into a subject which attains it and an object, that is the mind-nature realized. This explains the true meaning of the Ch'an term 'mental sealing' or 'mental impression'.
2. Even when one realizes one's mind-nature, one is not aware of it, for if there be awareness, it will also be split into subject and object. This self-awareness was incomplete and was the primal cause of our sufferings in the six worlds of existence, caused only by our delusion, as described in the Sûrangama Sûtra. This is why Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva had to disentangle himself from this incomplete self-awareness before leaping over the mundane and supramundane in his realization of Complete Enlightenment. (See Master Hsu Yun's 'Daily Lectures at Two Ch'an Weeks' in Series One.)

31
The Twenty-fourth Indian Patriarch Aryasimha
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-fifth Patriarch Basiasita:

When speaking of awareness,
One finds it is but mind. 3
Since mind is but awareness, 4
Dharma is found by him who is aware. 5

Although expediencies used to expound the Dharma are many, there is only return to the One Reality which is the still but living Bhûtatathatâ or the Absolute, from which one will stray as soon as the mind is stirred by a single thought.

3. When I expound the Dharma to you and speak of your awareness of it, this awareness is nothing but your mind which is as extensive as, and is identical with the Dharmadhâtu, which is the underlying spiritual reality and the absolute from which all proceeds.
4. This mind which is identical with the Dharmadhâtu, is nothing but your awareness of the Dharma.
5. This awareness is that which realizes this Dharma and attains Complete Enlightenment.

32
The Twenty-fifth Indian Patriarch Basiasita
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-sixth Patriarch Punyamitra:

The saint speaks of awareness
Beyond both right and wrong. 1
I have realized the truc (self-)nature
Beyond all truth and that wich lies behind. 2

The Supreme Reality which is absolute and beyond all relativities, cannot be transmitted but can only be intuitivcly realized.
The Mantra (incantation) of the Heart Sûtra, 'Gate gate pâragate pârasarûgate Bodhi Sv'âhâ ('O Wisdom which has gone, gone, gone to the other shore, gone beyond the other shore — sv’âhâ') illustrates the Dharma which is beyond this shore or delusion and the other shore or enlightenment.

33
The Twenty-sixth Indian Patriarch Punyamitra
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-seventh Patriarch Prajñâtâra:

The true nature (of the self) lies in the ground of mind,
It has neither head nor tail.3
It manifests to meet the needs of living beings, 4
For want of better words we call it wisdom. 5

1. When I expound the Dharma to you and spcak of your awareness of it, this awarcncss is absolute and beyond both the mundane and supramundane, or all contraries.
2. Therefore, the self-nature which I realize is beyond both truth and principles, and is thc inconceivable.
3. The true nature is the fundamental nature of each individual or his Buddha nature. It is buried in the mental ground and is as extensive as empty space, having neither beginning nor end.
4. It manifests itsclf in response to thc needs of all living beings to bring them to the other shore of etcrnity.
5. This true nature is expediently called wisdom, which is boundless.

The mental ground fundamentally is pure and clean and has inherent in it the radiant Buddha nature which is boundless and inconceivable. It has neither form nor name, but in response to the needs of living beings, it manifests itself to guide them out of the ocean of sufferings. Since no one knew it, the Buddha expediently called it wisdom.

34
The Twenty-seventh Indian Patriarch Prajñâtâra
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-eighth Patriarch Bodhidharma:

The mind-ground is the bed in which all seeds are sown; 1
Things as they really are can be deduced from their 	appearances. 2 
When fruit is ripe enlightenment is won; 3 
When flower blooms the universe is seen. 4

The wise man deduces the real from the seeming, the basic nature of which is real, and thus understands the unimpeded interaction of noumenon and phenomenon.

1. The Mind-Dharma is now expounded so that you can plant the seed of enlightenment.
2. You can deduce the fundamental from the phenomenal, for the nature of the phenomenal is real. Thus you will attain enlightenment.
3. When one gathers the ripened fruit of self-cultivation, one's enlightenment will also be complete. This is the underlying principle.
4. When the flower blooms, that is when wisdom manifests, it pervades ail visible worlds without being conteminated by them. This is external activity.
 

3. The Six Chinese Patriarchs

35
The Twenty-eighth Indian Patriarch Bodhidharma
(The First Patriarch of China)
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Twenty-ninth Patriarch Hui K'o :

My aim in coming to this country
Was to transmit the Dharma and liberate all beings.1
A flower of five petals
Cannot fail to fruit. 2

Bodhidharma was an avatar of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva according to Master Chung Feng whose work, the ‘Sayings of Chung Feng', was read by Han Shan beforc undergoing Ch'an training. (See Han Shan's Autobiography.)


1. Bodhidharma foresaw the decadence in India of the Supreme Vehicle which had already degenerated into six different and contradictory philosophies. Seeing from afar the land of promise he went to China to transmit the Dharma.
2. After Bodhidharma's arrivai in China, the Dharma opened into a flower of five petals, representing the five Chinese Patriarchs who continued the transmission and whose teaching has been handed down until now.

36
The Twenty-ninth Patriarch Hui K'o 
(The Second Patriarch of China)
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Thirtieth Patriarch Seng Ts'an:

From the seed-bed (of your mind)
(The Dharma) raises flowers. 1
Yet there is no seed
Nor are there flowers. 2

The first two unes of the gâthâ show the expedient teaching of the doctrine of mind and its last two fines wipe out all traces of seed and flower which have no place in the pure and clean self-nature.

37
The Thirtieth Patriarch Seng Ts'an
(The Third Patriarch of China)
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Thirty-first Patriarch Tao Hsin:

The sowing of flower-seeds requires a causal ground
From which the flowers will grow? 3
If no one sows there will be
Neither ground nor flowers. 4

Enlightenment requires contributing causes to materialize. In spite of the perfect Dharma, if one refuses to listen to it and practise self-cultivation, one will never be enlightened.

1. From your mental ground, your seed of Buddhahood sprouts into the flower of wisdom because of my expounding of this Mind-Dharma.
2. Since your self-nature is fundamentally pure and clean, how can there be seed therein or any flowering?
3. I now expound this Mind-Dharma which will serve as a causal ground for your seed of Buddhahood to grow into the flower of wisdom.
4. If, in spite of my teaching the Dharma, no one sows the seed of Buddhahood, there will be neither the causal ground from which the seed will sprout nor any flower of wisdom to blossom.

38
The Thirty-first Patriarch Tao Hsin
(The Fourth Patriarch of China)
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Thirty-second Patriarch Hung Jen:
			
Growth is latent in the seed 1
Which sprouts when planted in the causal ground. 2
This Great Cause unîtes with nature
At the time of growth, yet nothing grows. 3

This great cause and productive nature unite to make one reality. Although I speak of the growth of wisdom, there is in fact neither growth nor production of anything.
The last line enhances the real meaning of Dharma and wipes out all traces of the expedients used in the first three lines, for if there be growth or production, there will also be destruction, the two extremes having no place in the absolute Bhûtatathatâ.

39
The Thirty-second Patriarch Hung Jen 
(The Fifth Patriarch of China)
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to the Thirty-third Patriarch Hui Neng:

The seed sown by a sentient being 
In causal ground will soon bear fruit. 4 
Without sentience there is no seed 
And no fruit without nature. 5

After his enlightenment, the Buddha exclaimed: ‘It is wonderful !
All sentient beings possess the meritorious nature of Tathâgata-wisdom.' And he took upon himself the task of enlightening people so that all of them would become as enlightened as Himself. In spite of His teaching handed down through the centuries, living beings are still deluded because of lack of concurrent causes without which their seeds of Buddhahood will remain dormant without a chance of being sown and of fruiting.

1. The seed of the flower of wisdom fundamentally is of an enlightenment-producing nature.
2. Through my exposition of this Mind-Dharma which is the causal ground (Mind-ground and Dharma-cause), this productive nature grows into the flower of wisdom.
3. The Buddha appeared in the world solely for a great cause, namely to teach the Buddha-nature inherent in every sentient being. (See the Lotus Sara.)
4. All sentient beings have inherent in them the seed of Buddhahood. I now expound the Dharma of Mind-ground and if they avail themselves of it as a cause, the sceds sown by them in this ground will sprout and bear fruit.
5. Inanimate objects which are devoid of sentience, do not possess the seed of Buddhahood. Since they have no nature of their own, they cannot attain enlighten-ment. They are in fact creatures of the mind.

40
The Thirty-third Patriarch Hui Neng
(The Sixth Patriarch of China)
Gâthâ chanted when transmitting the Dharma to his disciples:

The Mind-ground holds the (flower) seeds 1 
Which sprout when falls the all pervading rain. 2 
The wisdom flower of instantaneous awakening 
Cannot fail to bear the Bodhi-fruit. 3

Our Buddha-nature is self-possessed and is always complete; it is, however, hidden by the veil of illusions caused by our ignorance. Noi,v because of the expounding of Mind-Dharma, this veil will be tom as soon as we are disentangled from sense-organs, sense-data and consciousness. When this disentanglement is complete, our wisdom will manifest itself instantaneously, hence the 'instantaneous enlightenment' as taught by the Ch'an Sect.

1. Mind is self-provided with the seed of Buddhahood which will sprout when there exists a concurrent cause, that is the expounding of Dharma.
2. Dharma is likened to the pervading rain which causes the seed to grow.
3. When one instantaneously has an intuitive experience of the flower of wisdom, one is bound to attain the fruit of enlightenment, or Buddhahood.



The stories of the Founders of the five Ch'an sects

1. The Kuei Yang Sect (Ikyo Zen)

(The founders of this sect were Master Ling Yu of Kuei Shan mountain and his disciple Hui Chi of Yang Shan mountain. In deference to them they were called after their mountains.)

Master Ling Yu of Kuei Shan Mountain in T'an Chou District

(From The Transmission of the Lamp — Ching Te Ch'uan Teng Lu)

Master Ling Yu of Kuei Shan mountain in T'an Chou district was a native of Ch'ang Ch'i in Fu Chou (Foochow) district. His lay surname was Chao. At the age of fifteen, he bade farewell to his parents and left his home to follow Vinaya masterl Fa Ch'ang of Chien Shan monastery who shaved his head. Later he went to Hang Chou (Hangchow) where he was ordained at Lung Hsing monastery wherein he studied the Sans and Vinaya of the Hinayàna and Mahâyâna.

At twenty-three, he journeyed to Chiang Hsi (Kiangsi) where he called on Ch'an Master Ta Chih of Pai Chang mountain for instruction. Upon seeing Ling Yu, Pai Chang allowed him to enter his abbot's room. 2

Ling Yu therefore stayed at the monastery where he held special meetings (in the abbot's room). One day, he was waiting on Pai Chang when the latter asked him, 'Who are you?' He replied, ‘It is Ling Yu.' 3

Pai Chang said 'Poke and see if there is still some fire in the stove.' Ling Yu poked and said, 'No fire.' Pai Chang rose from his seat and went to

1. Teacher of rules of discipline.

2. Only advanced disciples are perrnitted to enter the abbot's room for examina-tion or instruction. Pai Chang had sharp eyes and allowed Ling Yu to enter his room for special guidance.

3. Ling Yu had undergone rigorous training and his potential capacity to absorb the truth, inherent in hirn but hitherto latent, was being roused to the full for instantaneous awakening. Seeing the time was ripe to enlighten his disciple, Pai Chang made full use of the great function of his wisdom to provoke the former's enlightenment. His question, 'Who are you?' was designed to cause the disciple's perception of 'that which asked it' and 'that which heard it'. Ling Yu's rnind was suddenly stirred by his thought of a reply to the question, and his inner potentiality was temporarily screened by it. Hence his stupid reply, 'It is Ling Yu.'

58

the stove; after much poking he succeeded in raising a small glow which he showed to Ling Yu, asking, 'Is this not fire?' Thereupon Ling Yu became enlightened; he bowed down upon his knees to thank the master. 1

As he spoke of his understanding to Pai Chang, the latter said, 'This is only a temporary by-road. The sûtra says, "The perception of Buddha-nature depends on the right moment, the direct cause and the intervening cause. 2 When the time is ripe, one is like a deluded man who is suddenly awakened and one who forgets all about something which he suddenly remembers. Only then can his be the self-possessed (nature) which does not corne from without." For this reason, the (Fifth Indian) Patriarch said:



"(After) enlightenment it is the same as it was (before),

For there is neither mind nor Dharma."3



It is only this with the absence of any thought of falsehood, the wordly, the saintly, and so on. Your essential Mind-Dharma is complete in itself. As you have attained it, you should take good care of it.'

When the ascetic (dhûta) Szu Mao came from Hu Nan, Pai Chang asked him, 'Can I go to Kuei Shan mountain?' He replied, 'Kuei Shan is a very wonderful mountain and is suitable for a community of fifteen hundred monks, but it is not the place for you.' Why? ' asked Pai Chang. He replied, 'Because you are a bony man and it is a fleshy mountain. Even if you go and stay there, you will not have more than a thousand followers.' Pai Chang asked, 'Is there someone in my community who can stay there?' He replied, 'Let me see them one by one.'

Thereupon Pai Chang ordered his attendant to summon the leader (of the Ch'an hall called Hua Lin) and asked the ascetic, 'How about this

1. Pai Chang again used his great function to press Ling Yu hard when ordering him to see. if there was still some fire in the stove. The master wanted him to perceive 'that which gave the order' and 'that which obeyed it'. Again, the stupid reply, 'No fire.' Pai Chang continued to perform his great function by again pressing the student hard insisting that the latter should perceive 'that' which arose from the scat, used the poker, raised a little fire, showed it to him and said, 'Is this not fire?' This time, the master's great function was successful and the student could actually adapt his aroused great potentiality to the teaching and thus perceive the reply by means of his self-nature which could now function normally. Hence his enlightenment.

2. Direct cause is the seed of Buddhahood inherent in the pupil and intervening cause is his master's direct pointing at the mind. (See The Forty Transmission Gàthàs.)

3. The last two limes of the Fifth Patriarch Dhrtaka's Transmission Gàthà. (See page 35.)

4. Szu Ma was well-versed not only in Ch'an but also in physiognomy and geomancy, and }lis advice was taken when monasteries were founded.



man?' The ascetic told the leader to cough and walk a few paces, and then said to Pai Chang, 'This man cannot stay there.' Pai Chang then ordered that the verger (Ling Yu) be brought in, and (upon seeing him), the ascetic said, 'He is the true owner of Kuei Shan mountain.'

That night, Pai Chang called Ling Yu (to the abbot's room) and said to him, 'This is the right place for me to convert people, but you should stay on the beautiful Kuei Shan mountain to succeed me and continue my sect by converting future students.'

When Hua Lin heard of the news, he asked Pai Chang, 'I am the leader (in the Ch'an hall) of this community; how can Ling Yu (be appointed) abbot there (instead of me)?' Pai Chang said, 'If, in the presence of the community, you can say something unusual, I shall appoint you abbot there.' Then pointing his finger at a water jug, he said to Hua Lin, ‘Without being permitted to call it a water jug, what do you call it?' 1 Hua Lin replied, ‘It cannot be called a wooden pivot.' 2 Pai Chang did not approve (this reply) and put the same question to Ling Yu who (immediately) kicked over the jug. 3 Pai Chang smiled and said, 'The leader of the Ch'an hall has lost the mountain.' He then sent Ling Yu to Kuei Shan mountain.

The mountain was steep, standing alone and uninhabited. After the master's arrivai there, he only had monkeys for companions and chestnuts for food. Little by little, the inhabitants at the foot discovered that he was living on it and climbed it to build a monastery there. Later, military commander Li Chang Jang petitioned (the emperor who named the temple) T'ung Ch'ing monastery. Chancellor P'ei Hsiu frequently came there to inquire about the deep and abstruse (truth). Since then students from all over the country came and gathered there.

In the Ch'an hall, Master Kuei Shan said to the assembly: 'The mind of one who has entered the Way is straightforward and free from falsehood; it has neither front nor rear and is neither deceitful nor erroneous.

1. In the absolute reality, there is not a thing; in other words, within the immaterial realm, there is no material thing even as small as a particle of dust. To call a water jug by name is to admit its existence in the absolute. Therefore, it should not be called a jug. Then, how to reveal the absolute when one sees a water jug and wants to call it by an appropriate narre.

2. Hua Lin presumably glanced at the door and noticed the pivot on which it swung. He was wrong because his reply failed to reveal the absolute.

3. Ling Yu's kick was an appropriate performance of his ‘great function' and was a 'wordless reply' wiping out all traces of the jug which did not exist in the absolute reality.



At all times, his secing and hearing arc normal and free from crookedness, also he does not shut his cycs or close his ears (when meditating).1 It is enough not to allow one's feelings to play on external objccts. In ancient times, the sages only talked about the evils of impurity2 but did not say anything about evil feelings, perverted vicws (produccd by passions) and habits of thought. His mind is likened to a still and limpid pond in the autumn; it is pure and clean, in the wu wei (inactive and supramundane) state, and is undisturbcd and unobstructcd. He is callcd a seekcr of truth and an unconcerned man.'

At the time, a monk asked Kuci Shan, ‘Should one who has attained instantaneous enlightenment continue the practices?' The master replied, ‘If one has truly realized the fundamental, one will know everything about it; practice and no practice are the two sides of a dualism. If, due to all intervening cause, one is instantly awakened to the truth in the time of a thought, there still exists since the time without beginning the force of habit which cannot be eliminated at a stroke. (In this case), one should be taught (by one's teacher) completely to cut the flow of discrimination caused by outstanding karmas; this is practice but it does not mean that there really is a definite method which one should be urged to follow and practise. When one succeeds in entering the truth after hearing the expounding of the mal and its wonderful abstruseness, one's mind will automatically be pure and all-embracing; (thus) one will be free from illusion, but in spite of hundreds and thousands of wonderful meanings bcing revealed to one simultaneously, this (only) means that one is qualified to take a seat,3 wcar the robe,3 and understand one's own self, in a life now free from delusion. To sum up, the intrinsicality of reality does not admit a single mole of dust but all modes of salvation do not discard a single Dharrna.4 However, in case of straight entry (into the real) by means of a single chopper,5 all feelings about the saintly and the profane are wiped out to expose the essence of true eternity in which the

1. Usually masters of other schools urge their students to shut their eyes when situng in meditation in order not to be attracted by external objects.

2. Evils and errors of an impure and discriminating mind.

3. Quotations from the Lotus Sûtra; the Tathâgata seat symbolizes the voidness of all things and the Tathâgatar obe symbolizes ksânti, or boundless patience and endurance.

4. The fundamental essence and its external activities, or function.

5. The short-cut Ch'an which casts away all methods of training and only relies on outright cognizance of the mind for the realization of self-nature and attainment of Buddhahood. Ch'an is referred to as tan tao chih ju, literally 'single chopper's direct entry', that is straight entry into reality equipped only with a sharp chopper that cuts through all obstructions.

absolute and relative 1 are not a dualism and which is just the Bhûtatathatâ Buddha.2

Yang Shan asked the master, 'What did the coming from the West mean?'3 The master replied, ‘A good big lantern.'4 Yang Shan asked, ‘ is it just that one?' The master asked back, 'What is that one?' Yang Shan replied, ‘good big lantern.' The master said, 'Really you do not know.'5

One day, the master said to the assembly, ‘So many people only realize great potentiality but fail to acquire great function.'6 (After hearing this), Yang Shan (went to) the monk owning a small temple at the foot of the mountain, and after repeating the master's saying to him, asked, ‘The master said so ; (do you know) what he meant?' The monk. said, ‘Repeat again what the master said.' Yang Shan was about to do so when the monk gave him a kick that knocked him down.7 After Yang Shan's retum to the monastery, he related the incident to the master who laughed loudly.8

(One day) while the master was sitting in the Dharma hall, the treasury

1. The absolute and relative perfectly merging into each other without hindrance; this is true enlightenment.

2. When all feelings, i.e. dualisms, have been wiped out by their integration into the one mind, the real body of true eternity will reveal itself and will be but the suchness of the Buddha.

3. Bodhidharma's object when he came to China was to point directly at the mind for the realization of self-nature and attainment of Buddhahood.

4. The function of Wisdom-light dispersing the darkness of ignorance. The Sixth Patriarch said: 'Samâdhi is the body of wisdom and wisdom is the function of samâdhi.' (See The Altar Sûtra.)

5. 'That one' is a Ch'an term meaning the enlightened self-nature which is inexpressible and cannot be named. Yang Shan was still unenlightened and wrongly confounded wisdom, the function, with self-nature, the body or substance. Hence Kuei Shan's remark, ‘Really you do not know.'

6. There is inherent in every man a latent potentiality which no amount of teaching and knowledge of Scriptures can reach and which should be aroused by an expert teacher or by means of rigorous Ch'an training so that it can intuitively realize the immaterial which is inexpressible and cannot be taught by means of words and phrases. At the time of enlightenment its great function will manifest itself simultaneously, commensurate with enlightenment, to train seekers of the truth for their benefit. Therefore those possessing great potentiality but lacking in great function are not completely enlightened.

7. The kick was the monk's best reply for it was nothing but the great function about which Yang Shan asked for elucidation. The monk also was an enlightened master whose kick revealed both his enlightened potentiality and its benefiting great function.

8. Yang Shan was still unenlightened and did not understand the monk's performance of his great function. Hence, the master's laughter which also revealed the great function of that which laughed.

monk beat the wooden fish l (for the midday meal). (Upon hearing the call), the cooking monk threw away the fire tongs, clapped his hands and laughed loudly. The Master (who heard the laugh) said, 'Is there such a man in the community? Can him in.' (When he saw the cook), the master asked, 'What are you doing?' The cook replied, 'I did not take my gruel 2 (this morning) ; now I feel hungry and that is why I am so joyful.' The master nodded (approvingly).3

When the monks were out picking tea leaves, the master said to Yang Shan, 'You have been picking tea leaves all day; only your voice is heard but your form is not seen, show yourself so that I can see it.' Yang Shan shook the tea plant and the master said, ‘You only realize the function but you do not realize its body.' Yang Shan said, 'I do not know what is the Venerable Monk's (realization).' After the master had remained silent for a long while,4 Yang Shan said, 'The Venerable Monk only realizes the body but does not realize the function.' The master said ‘I(should) give you twenty strokes of the staff.'5

(One day) as the master (was taking his seat) in the hall, a monk came forward, saying, 'Venerable Sir, I revcrently request you to expound the Dharma to the community.' The master said, 'I have removed (all)

1. There are two kinds of wooden fish, one round used to keep rime in chanting, the other for calling to meals.

2. Usually only two meals are served a day; gruel in the morning and rice at noon-time. Ascetics do not eat anything in the afternoon and evening.

3. The cook's activitated great potentiality caused his self-nature to hear the sound of the wooden fish. When he was awakened, he was seized with an irresistible desire to manifest his joy, hence his throwing down the fire tongs, clapping of hands and loud laugh. The master who knew all this, asked, 'Is there such a man here?' 'Such a man' means one who has realized the truth. The cook's reply means, 'I have succeeded in arousing my dormant potentiality and this morning I reached the top of the highest peak and was prepared to release the last hold linking me with the illusory world to make a leap forward; that is why I forgot all about my gruel. Upon hearing the wooden fish, my great potentiality now ripe caused my self-nature to manifest itself and feel hungry by means of its great function.'

4. The spiritual body is immaterial and speechless, and the Sixth Patriarch's words, 'When I came, I had no mouth' describe it well. The Vimalakirti Nirdda Sara says, 'Matijuri asked Vimalakirti about the non-dual Dharma and the latter remained silent and speechless.' Speechlessness is the characteristic of Dharmakàya.

5. The act of saying, 'I should give you twenty strokes of the staff' came from the great function of the master's spiritual body which was imperceptible. He did not actually beat his disciple, but the latter who would receive the beating, should also realize his own body which would feel the beating. Kuei Shan's aim was to teach Yang Shan that both body and function should be realized simultaneously, for a body without function is useless and a function without body is simply non-existent.



your restraints.' 1 (Thereupon), the monk prostrated himself before the master (to thank him for relieving him of them).2

The master said to Yang Shan, 'Hui Chi, speak quickly, but do not enter the dark realms.'3 Yang Shan replied, 'I do not even set up faith.' The master asked, '(Do you mean that) after you have had faith you do not set up faith, or that having none you do not set it up?' Yang Shan replied, « In whom should I have further faith? » The master said, 'If so, this is a Srâvaka of settled mind.'4 Yang Shan said, 'I do not even perceive the Buddha.'5 The master asked him, 'How many Buddha's words and how many demon's words are there in the forty rolls of the (Mahâpari)nirvâna Sûtra?'6 Yang Shan replied, 'They are all demon's words.' The master said, 'In future, no one will be able to contradict you.'7

Yang Shan asked Kuei Shan, 'In my present transmigration, what should be my common acts of daily life?' The master replied, 'I only

1 Attention should not be paid to the literal meaning of this phrase, for it is just 'a dead sentence' as the masters call it. One should activate one's great potentiality so that one can perceive 'that which spoke', i.e. the immaterial whose function consisted in uttering these words; this is what the masters call' a living sentence'.

2. After the master's revelation of his great function, the monk whose great potentiality made a quick response to it, prostrated himself before Kuei Shan to thank him for the performance and also to show his own immaterial body making these prostrations by means of its great function.

3. The realms of the five aggregates and eighteen realms of sense, i.e. the illusory realms.

4. A disciple of the Buddha, hearer of Dharma, whose mind is fixed on Arhatship and not on Buddhahood.

5. After Yang Shan's enlightenment, Kuei Shan verified his disciple's achieve-ments and set traps to see if he was completely awakened. Yang Shan cleared away all traces of faith, ràvaka and Buddha to assert his comfortable independence, saying, 'I have realized my independent nature and do not rely on anybody else; in whom should I believe further?'

6. Conditioned human language can never express the transcendental but the Buddha was reluctantly compelled to use it to convert and guide living beings. However, words and speeches cannot reach the latent potentiality which is inherent in men and can be aroused only by Ch'an training to realize intuitive union with absolute reality. If the Scriptures are grasped and clung to, the aim of the teaching will be missed and the fuie butter, or Buddha-truth will tum as rank and harmful as the demon's words. For this reason, some eminent masters forbade their disciples to read sûtras before their awakening to the truth. Naturally, after one's enlightenment, one will thoroughly understand all sûtras. Usually, after enlightenment, the ancient masters read the whole Tripitaka.

7. Lit. « In future, people will not be able to do anything against you. » The meaning is, 'You have attained enlightenment and now possess dialectic power which cannot be surpassed.' Thus Kuei Shan confirmed Yang Shan's achievement.



appreciate your right eye, I do not (care to) talk about your common acts of daily life.'1

As Yang Shan (was walking), he kicked the hem of his robe which he held up, asking the master, 'At this very moment, Venerable Sir, what would you do?'2 The master replied, 'At such a moment, I would refrain from doing anything.'3 Yang Shan said, 'Venerable Sir, you have (only) the body but are lacking in function.' After a long silence,4 the master asked (Yang Shan), 'At this very instant, what would you do? (i.e. what would be your function?)' Yang Shan asked back, 'At this very moment, do you, Venerable Sir, even perceive it?'5 The master said, 'You have the function but are bodyless.' (The dialogue took place in the second moon of the year.)

(One day) the master suddenly asked Yang Shan, 'What you said in the spring was incomplete; try to say something (now for me) to see.' Yang Shan replied, « At this very instant, one should avoid making a model of it. » The master said, 'This is imprisonment of the eternal wisdom.'6

One day, the master summoned the superintendent of the monastery, and when the latter came, said, called the superintendent, why do you come?' The superintendent could not reply. The master then ordered his attendant to call the leader of the assembly, and when the latter came, he said, 'I sent for the leader why do you come?' The leader could not reply.'

1. Right eye is correct view. After his enlightenment, the disciple asked for bis master's advice and guidance in respect of his common acts of daily life — sitting, eating, thinking, etc., but Kuei Shan said that so long as your views are correct, your wisdom will function in accordance with the truth. In his Song of Enlightenment, Yung Chia said, ‘Get at the root ! Do not worry about twigs !' Twigs here are the common acts of daily life. (See Series One, Master Hsu Yun's 'Daily Lectures at Two Ch'an Weeks'.)

2. A Ch'an term meaning, 'Under the same circumstances, what should one do to be in accord with one's enlightenment?'

3. I will refrain from mentally creating a thing; in other words, I will remain in a state of wu wei or unchanging.

4. A long silence means : return to the nirvànic state, i.e. the stillness of Dharmakâya.

5. here denotes the Dharmakâya which cannot be expressed in words. (A wrong answer.)

6. The master referred to the incomplete dialogue which Yang Shan discontinued in the second moon of the spring. As Yang Shan said that one should scrupulously avoid describing the immaterial nature, the master retorted that this was wisdom held in check, i.e. not allowed to enjoy full freedom. The dialogue proved that Yang Shan was not as completely enlightened as Kuei Shan.

7. The master's idea was to arouse the dormant potentialities inherent in the superintendent and leader so that they could perceive their real nature. Unfortunately, neither of them understood his questions. Here, superintendent and leader were two empty names of two illusory men. The question, 'Why do you come? means: 'Why does your nature come?' because the act of coming is its great function.



The master asked a monk who had just arrived (at the monastery), 'What is your name?' The monk replied, 'Yueh Lun' (Lunar Disk). The master drew a circle l in the air and asked the monk ‘Are you like that?' The monk said, 'How can you say so? There are (enlightened) people in other places who will not agree with you.' The master said, 'This poor monk 2 can only say so; what would you say?' The monk asked, 'Do you still see the lunar disk?' The master replied, 'If you say so, there are many people in this assembly who will not agree with those in the other places (just mentioned by you).'3

(One day) the master asked Yun Yen,4 'I heard that you stayed fora long time on Yo Shan mountain, is it true?' Yun Yen replied, 'Yes.' The master asked, 'How was the great personality of Yo Shan?'5 Yun Yen replied, 'It existed after Nirvâna.' The master asked, 'How was it after Nirvâna?' Yun Yen replied, Water sprinkled on it cannot wet it.' After saying this, Yun Yen asked the master, 'How was the great personality of Pai Chang?'6 The master replied, ‘It was imposingly dignified and radiantly bright. It was neither sound before the sound nor form after the form." (To attempt to describe it) is likened to a mosquito climbing the body of an iron ox to fend a spot to pierce.'8

Master Kuei Shan was passing the water jug to Yang Shan who was about to receive it when the master pulled back his band, asking, 'What is it?' Yang Shan asked back, What do you see?' The master said, 'If so, why come to me to search for it?' Yan Shan said, 'In spite of this, accord-

1. The perfect Dharmakâya, i.e. that which is beyond beginning and end.

2. Chinese idiom meaning ‘I’

3. The master was correct when he probed the visitor asking, 'Are you like that?' i.e. 'Is your nature as perfect as the circle, symbol of the eternal Dharmakâya.' The monk blundered when he gave a name (lunar disk) to that which was nameless. Here, the master's function consisted in arousing the visitor's latent potentiality so that he could perceive that which drew the circle in the air. The monk was stupid and criticized the enlightened master who was full of compassion for the ignorant and arrogant visitor.

4. Yun Yen was a disciple of Yo Shan and was a contemporary of Kuei Shan. (See Genealogical Chart, page 56.)

5. Great personality is Dharmakâya.

6. Pai Chang was Kuei Shan's teacher. (See Chart, page 56.)

7. Thus space (sound and form) and time (before and after) are completely wiped out.

8. Pai Chang's great personality, or Dharmakâya, is indescribable and lie who tries to talk about it is likened to a mosquito which cannot pierce the skin of an iron ox. This phrase was and is still widely quoted and discussed in Ch'an circles.



ing to the rules of conduct, it is my duty to carry the water jug for you.' Then the master passed the jug to Yang Shan. 1

The master went out with Yang Shan and pointed to a cypress, asking, 'What is it in front of us?' Yang Shan replied, « Just a cypress: The master then pointed to an old peasant behind them, saying, 'This old peasant will later have a community of five hundred people.'2

The master asked Yang Shan, 'Where have you been?' Yang Shan replied, « In the fields. » The master asked, 'Is the grain ripe for reaping?' Yang Shan replied, « Yes. » The master asked, ‘Did you see it green or yellow, or neither green nor yellow? » Yang Shan asked back, 'What is behind you?' The master continued, ‘Do you even see it?' Yang Shan held up an ear of grain and asked back, 'Have you ever asked about this?' The master said, 'This is the king goose distinguishing milk (from water).'3

On a winter's day, the master asked Yang Shan, 'Is the weather cold or the man?' Yang Shan replied, « All is within it. » The master said. Why do not you speak in a straightforward manner?' Yang Shan

1. The master was eager to see that his disciple was completely enlightened. The acts of passing the jug and of witholding it were to reveal that which was functioning. When Yang Shan was about to receive the jug, the master's question, 'What is it?' means, 'Who is that which asks this question and who is that which wants to receive the jug?' Yang Shan, now enlightened, asked back, 'What do you see?' i.e. 'Is the immaterial perceptible?' The master retorted, 'If you are really enlightened, why do you come here to learn my Dharma?' Yang Shan replied, « In spite of my enlightenment, I am really indebted to you for it and it is quite appropriate that I serve you now to repay my debt of gratitude. » The master accepted the plea and passed the jug to him.

2. That which pointed at the cypress and the old peasant and that which replied, 'Just a cypress', are the imperceptible spiritual bodies which revealed themselves by means of their functions. Front and rear show that an immaterial body is everywhere and all-embracing and reveals itself through the things seen. The old cultivator will have an imaginary community created by his inner five aggregates, for all living beings are non-existent according to the Buddha's teaching in the Diamond Sûtra. (See Series One - 'The Diamond Cutter Of Doubts'.)

3. The king goose, or râja-hamssa in Sanskrit, is the leader of the flight, i.e. Buddha. It is said to be able to absorb the milk from a mixture of milk and water, leaving the water behind, so with the Bodhisattva and truth. The master availed himself of Yang Shan's rcturn from the fields to teach him. He talked about the immaterial and asked whether it was green or yellow, or neither green nor yellow. Yang Shan talked about the material, and asked, ‘Don't you see the ears of grain behind you?' The master continued his teaching and asked if the disciple even saw that which was imperceptible. Yang Shan held up an ear of grain and said, 'If you ask about this, I can see it and say whether it is green or yellow, or neither green nor yellow, but you have not asked about it. You have asked me about the Dharmakâya which is imperceptible and inexpressible.' The last phrase of the dialogue means, 'In the midst of the illusory world, one should distinguish milk (truth) from water (untruth), like a king goose.'



replied, 'What I just said was not crooked, but what will the Venerable Sir say?' The master replied, ‘It is necessary to follow the current?'

A monk came and prostrated himself before the master who feigned to rise from his seat. The visitor implored him, ‘Venerable Sir, please do not rise.' The master said, 'This old monk has never been seated? The monk said, 'I too have not prostrated myself.' The master asked, 'Why are you so impolite?' The visitor could not reply.2

Two Ch'an monks came from the Shih Shuang 3 community and said, 'There is not a man here who can understand Ch'an.' Later, when all the monks went out to gather firewood, Yang Shan saw the two who were resting; he took a piece of firewood and asked them, 'Can you talk (about it)?' As both remained silent, Yang Shan said to them, 'Do not say that there is no one here who can understand Ch'an.'4

When he returned to the monastery, Yang Shan reported to the master, 'Today, two Ch'an monks were exposed by me.' The master asked, 'How did you expose them?' Yang Shan related the incident and the master said, 'I have now exposed you as well.'5

(One day) as the master was lying on his bed, Yang Shan (approached him), brought his two palms together and asked after him. The master turned his face to the wall and Yang Shan said, 'How can you act like that?' The master got up and said, 'I have just had a dream, please interpret it for me.' Thereupon, Yang Shan brought him a basin of water so that he could wash his face. A little later, Hsiang Yen also came, brought his

1. This dialogue reveals the two aspects of the absolute : the absolute in its immutability according to the disciple, and the absolute in its phenomenal relativity, according to the master, both aspects being likened to water and waves. Yang Shan was not incorrect but a Bodhisattva should avail himself of prevailing circumstances and follow the phenomenal to reveal the fundamental to living beings, the current is the unceasing phenomenal.

2. The master took advantage of the moment to enlighten the monk who, however, was ignorant and did not understand the teaching. When the master said, 'I have never been seated', he meant what the Buddha said in the Diamond Siitra : 'Subhuti, if someone says that the Tathâgata cornes or goes, sits or lies, he does not understand the meaning expounded by me. Why? Because the Tathâgata has neither whence (to come) nor whither (to go); therefore, He is called the Tathâgata.' The monk could not reply to the master's last question, because he was deluded and did not understand the absolute.

3. Shih Shuang was the Dharma successor of the Lin Chi Sect.

4. If the two monks had really understood Ch'an, they would have perceived that which took the piece of firewood and asked them the question, 'Can you talk about it?' Here it is the immaterial which is inexpressible. So Yang Shan succeeded in exposing their incornpetence.

5. i.e. I have exposed your Dharmakâya which I perceive through your talking and I have exposed your error because you still discriminate between yourself and the two monks.



two palms together and asked after the master who said, 'A moment ago, I had a dream and Hui Chi interpreted it for me; will you also explain. it?' Thereupon, Hsiang Yen brought him a bowl of tea. The master said, 'You two can interpret better than Sâriputra.' 1

A monk asked the master, 'He who does not carry a Kuei Shan bamboo rain-hat on his head will never reach the village exempt from conscription; what is a Kuei Shan hat?' The master gave him a kick. 2

In the hall, the master said to the assembly, 'Alter my death, I will take the form of a water buffalo on whose left flank will be written five characters Kuei Shan monk — So and So. It cannot be called a "Kuei Shan monk" because it is a buffalo; neither can it be called a "buffalo" because it is a Kuei Shan monk. What is its right name?' 3

The master spread the Ch'an teaching widely for over forty years (during which period) his disciples who succeeded in realizing the truth were so numerous that they could not be counted. Those disciples who were qualified to enter the abbot's room numbered forty-one.

On the ninth day of the first moon of the seventh year of the Ta Chung reign in the T'ang dynasty (20 February 853), after the master had washed and rinsed his mouth, he sat cross-legged and passed away happily at the age of eighty-three and at his Dharma age of sixty-four. 4

His stûpa was erected on the mountain (Kuei Shan) and the emperor bestowed upon him the posthumous title 'Ch'an Master Ta Yuan' (Great Perfection) and on the stûpa the epigraph 'Ch'ing Chin' (Purity-Cleanliness).

1. Hsiang Yen was a disciple of master Kuei Shan. (See Story of Master Chi Hsien of Hsiang Yen - Series One) - Sâriputra was one of the principal disciples of the Buddha and was noted for his wisdom (See Series One - The Heart Sûtra) The act of turning the face to the wall is the return of function to the still Dharmakâya. An enlightened master never dreams for the dream denotes a disturbed mind. The two disciples correctly interpreted the so-called dream by bringing him a round face-basin and a round bowl of tea, both symbolizing his Dharmakâya which was present at all times and in all places.

2. Monks staying on mountains wore bamboo rain-hats. The village exempt from conscription symbolizes freedom from delusion. The monk meant, 'If one does not undergo training under Master Kuei Shan (who was known all over the country), one will never be delivered. How is your teaching given?' The master's kick revealed that which acted, i.e. that which performed the great function mentioned earlier.

3. The master's idea was that the self-nature was the same either in a monk or in a buffalo, and could not be named for names have no nature of their own. This sentence is widely quoted and discussed in Ch'an circles throughout the country.

4. The number of years that he had been ordained.





2. The Kuei Yang Sect (Ikyo Zen)

Master Hui Chi of Yang Shan Mountain in Yuan Chou District

(From the Transmission of the Lamp — Ching Te Ch'uan Teng Lu)

Ch'an master Hui Chi of Yang Shan mountain in Yuan Chou district was a native of Huai Hai in Shao Chou district. His lay surname was Yeh. At the age of fifteen, he intended to leave home but was prevented by his parents. Two years later, he cut off two of his fingers and prostrated himself before his parents, swearing that he would go in search of the right Dharma to pay the debt of gratitude which he owed them.

Subsequently, he followed Ch'an Master Tung of Nan. Hua monastery l who shaved his head. Before his ordination, he started his travels (to study under other masters). First he called on (Ch'an master) Tan Yuan and was awakened to the profound doctrine. Later he went to Kuei Shan mountain where he succeeded in understanding the abstruse (truth). (Master) Ling Yu asked him, 'Are you a monk with or without an owner?' Hui Chi replied, « I have an owner. » Ling Yu asked him, Where is he?' Hui Chi crossed the hall from west to east and stood there. 2 Ling Yu saw that this disciple was not an ordinary man and subsequently gave him the appropriate teaching. Hui Chi asked, 'Where is the abode of the real Buddha?' Ling Yu replied, 'Turn inwards the subtlety of your thoughtless thinking to think of the boundless spiritual brightness until your thinking is exhausted, then return it to its source (where) the fundamental nature and its phenomenal expressions eternally abide, where activity and principle are not a dualism and where is the suchness of the real Buddha.' Upon hearing this, Hui Chi was instantaneously enlightened. He then (stayed at the monastery to) wait upon Ling Yu.

Later, he went to Chiang Ling for his ordination and spent the summer retreat studying the Vinaya Pitaka. 3 He then called on (Ch'an master)

1. The monastery of the Sixth Patriarch, formerly called Pao Lin monastery.

2. West is a symbol of imperturbability, or body and east of activity, its function. Hui Chi crossed the hall to show the owner who was free to come and go.

3. One of the three divisions of Buddhist canon, teaching discipline and monastic rides.

Yen T’ou. (On seeing him) Yen T'ou held up his dust-whisk and Hui Chi spread out his cloth mat. Yen T'ou hid his dust-whisk behind his back and Hui Chi picked up his mat, put it over his shoulder and went out. Yen T'ou said, 'I do not agrce with your spreading the mat, I only agree with your taking it back.' 1

Yang Shan asked (Ch'an master) Shih Shih, 'What is the difference between Buddha and Tao?'2 Shih Shih replied, 'Tao is like an open hand and Buddha like a fist.'3 When he left Shih Shih, the latter escorted him to the door, saying: 'Do not leave for ever this time as you will have to return to me later.'4

(A man named) Wei Chou asked Ling Yu to write a gâthâ for him. The master replied, reciprocal disclosure by two people when face to face immediately shows stupidity; how can it be expressed in ink on paper?' 5 The man then made the same request to Hui Chi who drew a circle on a sheet of paper and wrote, 'To know it after thinking of it is second rate; to know it without thinking of it is third rate.' 6 [71]

One day, as Hui Chih was following Kuei Shan to work in the fields, he said, ‘So low here and so high there !' Ling Yu replied, 'Water can level things.' He said, 'Even water cannot be relied upon, Venerable Sir; let the high level itself down and the low level itself up.' Ling Yu (nodded) his approval. 1

A patron 2 (of the monastery) sent a gift of thin material for making robes (to Kuei Shan). Yang Shan asked his master, 'The Venerable Sir is receiving so much from the almsgiver; how is he going to requite it all?' (To show him how to repay the gift), Ling Yu knocked the Ch'an (meditation) bed. 3 Yang Shan said, 'How can the Venerable Sir convert common property to his private use?'4

(One day), Ling Yu suddenly asked Yang Shan, 'Where are you from?' The latter replied, 'From the fields.' Ling Yu asked, 'How many people were there in the fields?' Yang Shan stuck his mattock into the ground and stood (still). Ling Yu said, 'Today, on Nan Shan (South Mountain) many people are cutting the grass.' Thereupon, Yang Shan took up his mattock and left.5

1. The dust-whisk consisted of a handle with a bundle of long horse-hair tied to one end and a ring at the other for hanging it on the wall. A cloth mat, or nisîdana in Sanscrit is a cloth for sitting on. Yen T'ou probed the visitor's understanding by raising his dust-whisk, thus showing the active function of his spiritual body. In response Yang Shan spread out his mat, also showing his own performance of his spiritual function. When Yen T'ou hid the dust-whisk behind his back, he meant that his activity or function had returned to rest in his spiritual body. Likewise Yang Shan's act of taking back the mat and putting it over his shoulder meant the same thing. Yen T'ou approved of Yang Shan picking up the mat, because immediately afterwards Yang Shan went out, this complementary act meaning the complete return of function to rest in the spiritual body. He did not approve of Yang Shan spreading out the mat because the act was incomplete. Had Yang Shan spread the cloth and then bowed upon his knees on it or advanced a step forward to stand on it, his performance of function would have been complete. In the present case, his function was only half performed.

2. Tao, or the Way, Truth, Doctrine.

3. An open hand represents activity or function while a closed fist is the still body.

4. This phrase should not be interpreted literally, as to do so would be to cling to what the masters call the 'dead meaning'. Its 'living meaning' is, 'Do not return to the stillness of your spiritual body for ever, because you will have to perform its function for the welfare of others, as I am now doing here.'

5. ’It’ here is the inexpressible immaterial body. To try to disclose the nameless body when one meets another man, is to show stupidity; how can the inexpressible reality be expressed in ink on a sheet of paper?

6. A circle symbolizes eternal body. The mere knowledge of it without experiential realization has no value, hence the second and third rates. Knowledge of it after prior thinking about it is better than knowledge without prior thinking of it, because in the former there is at least the act of thinking, which is function in its dimness whereas in the latter there are no traces of function.



1. This dialogue shows that Yang Shan had made rapid progress in dialectics. He compared the uneveness of body and function with that of the ground, and his master said that water, or self-nature, could equalize both. Yang Shan said that the self-nature could not be relied upon before one's enlightenment and that if one was already enlightened, there would be no need of evening up body and function; it would suffice to let one's body and function adjust themselves by means of Ch'an training.

2. Dânapati in Sanskrit, an almsgiver, a patron who supports a monastery.

3. The act of knocking the meditation bed was performance of Kuei Shan's great function of direct pointing at the mind so that the patron could realize his nature. This is the best way of repaying a debt, because the Buddha said that unsur-passed Dâna consisted in bestowing the Buddha Dharma upon others.

4. Yang Shan jokingly said that his master should not use the meditation bed which was common property to repay his private debt for the gift received. This is the Mead meaning' of the sentence, but its 'living meaning' is, 'You have performed your great function by knocking the bed; now let me perform mine by speaking these words.'

5. In spite of the presence of many people in the fields, there was no one really there since they were but illusions of the deluded mind. In reply to his master, Yang Shan stuck the mattock into the ground to show that all things were returnable to the one mind which stood still, symbolizing the Dharmakàya in its samàdhi or imperturbability; this was function returning to the eternal body. Kuei Shan's remark, 'Today, on South Mountain, many people are cutting grass' meant that the immaterial body is everywhere and all-embracing, including South Mountain, and is performing its great function. Yang Shan took up the mattock to show the great function, and left, to show his disappearance from the scene, or the return of function to body, thus discontinuing the dialogue which had served its useful purpose. Readers will see that Kuei Shan did not miss a single chance to train his disciple so that the latter could succeed him later.



Yang Shan was tending cattle on Kuei Shan mountain. The leader of the community (who was there also), said, 'There are hundreds of millions of hairs, with hundreds of millions of lions in them.' Yang Shan did not comment and when he returned (to the monastery), he waited on Kuei Shan. Later, the leader came in and paid obeisance to the latter. Yang Shan referred to what the leader had said outside and asked him, Was it not you who just said, "There are hundreds of millions of hairs, with hundreds of millions of lions in them”?' The leader replied, 'Yes.' Yang Shan asked, 'At the time of their appearance, did the lions come before or after the hairs?' The leader replied, 'Their appearance was neither before nor after (the hairs).' Thereupon, Yang Shan left (the room). Ling Yu remarked, 'The lion has broken its back." 1

(In the hall), after Kuei Shan had ascended his seat, he raised a dust-whisk and said, 'He who is able to act in accord with the truth, will be given this whisk.' Yang Shan asked, 'I can act in accord with the truth, will I get it?' The leader said, 'Just act according to the truth and you will surely have it.' Yang Shan snatched the whisk (from Kuei Shan's band) and took it away. 2

One day, as it was raining, the leader (of the community) said, 'Good rain, Venerable Sir.' Yang Shan asked, 'How is it good?' As the leader could not reply, Yang Shan said, 'I can answer the question.' The leader asked Yang Shan, 'How is it good?' Yang Shan pointed (with his figer) to the rain. 3

As Kuei Shan and Yang Shan were strolling together outside, a crow

1. At the sight of the cattle, the leader referred to their hairs. Hairs symbolize deluded men because they are light and thin and are blown in all directions by the wind, like men who blindly follow worldly currents. In spite of their delusion worldly men fundamentally do not differ from the Buddha who is symbolized by a fearless lion. So, by their fundamental nature, myriads of deluded men are but Buddhas. Yang Shan wanted to probe the spiritual capacity of the leader and asked him whether the eternal nature of men came before or after the hairs. The leader was correct because his reply wiped out all traces of time. When Yang Shan posed the question, he performed his great function by setting a trap to catch the leader, but since the latter was correct, Yang Shan left, his act of leaving meaning the return of function to the still body. Kuei Shan jokingly observed that Yang Shan, a lion, had broken his back that is he had been defeated by the leader.

2. To act is to function in accord with the truth, in other words, to reveal one's Dharmakàya by means of its great function. Yang Shan performed this great function when he snatched the dust-whisk to reveal his Dharmakàya which actually performed it. After this act, he went away, to show the stilling of function.

3. Raira is good because it causes the activated potentiality to perform its function of seeing. The leader was unenlightened and Yang Shan muer hin to perceive that which pointed to the min, i.e. that which performed its benefiting function to enlighten the questioner.



flying past with a red persimmon in its beak, dropped the fruit in front of them. Ling Yu picked it up and passed it to Yang Shan who, after washing the fruit in water, returned it to his master. Ling Yu asked, 'How do you get it?' Yang Shan replied, « This is the reward for your great virtues. » Ling Yu said, 'You should not be empty handed (and deprived of your share)'. He then gave half of the fruit to Yang Shan. 1

When Yang Shan was washing his robe, Tan Yuan asked him, 'At this moment, what should one do.' Yang Shan replied, « At this moment, where can it be seen? » 2

The master stayed on Kuei Shan mountain for fifteen years and his sayings were adrnired by all the students there. After receiving Kuei Shan's esoteric (mind-) sealing, he led his disciples to Wang Mang mountain where he stayed to convert all corners. Due to the absence of favourable conditions 3 there, he moved to Yang Shan mountain where pupils came in great numbers.

In the hall, the master said to the assembly, 'All of you should turn the light inwards on yourselves; do not memorize my words. Since time without beginning, you have turned your back on the light and have cast yourselves into darkness. Your false thinking is so deep-rooted that it cannot be dissipated in an instant. For this reason, expedient methods are used to strip you of your coarse conceptions. This is like giving yellow leaves to children 4 but is there any truth in all this? It is also like a man who opens a shop w sell all kinds of goods including gold and jade, and whose object is to determine the potentialities of lis customers. For this reason, Shih T'ou is said to be a shopkeeper selling real gold. But I sel all and sundry; if a buyer wants rat's excrement, I will sell him rat's excrement, and if he wants real gold, I will sell him real gold.' 5

A monk asked: 'I do not want rat's excrement; will the Venerable Sir

1. Master and disciple praised each other for their enlightenment. Readers will notice the great function performed by both Kuei Shan and Yang Shan when passing the fruit to each other.

2. Tan Yuan's question means, 'At this instant, how should one act to be in accord with reality?' Tan Yuan wanted to probe Yang Shan who replied that reality could not be seen.

3. Literally: due to the lack of a concurrent cause.

4. The Buddha compared the expedient teaching by means of sûtras to yellow leaves given to crying children to make them believe that they were being given real gold so that they would stop screaming, for reality cannot be taught by words and speeches.

S. Unlike Shih T'ou who received only people of high spirituality, Yang Shan received all corners of différent potentialities.



give me real gold.' The master replied, 'If you think (first) and then open your mouth to ask (about it), you will never understand it even if you wait until the year of the donkey.' 1 The monk remained silent and the master continued, 'There will be business if there is enquiry and there will be no business if there is no cnquiry. 2 If I have to expound Ch'an there will be no one to keep me company, still less a following of five hundred or seven hundred men. If I talk about east and west, people will struggle forward to catch (my words) ; I will be likened to one showing an empty fast to deceive children who will find nothing inside it. Now I tell you plainly; do not set your mind on the saintly; just direct it on your own immaterial nature,3 and cultivate reality. Do not look for the three insights and six powers.4 Why not? Because they are all saintly twigs. Now, just know (recognize or identify yourself with) your mind to attain the fun-damental. Get at the root but do not worry about twigs, and later on, one day, you will be self-provided with them all. If you do not get the fun-damental, you will simply fail (in your quest) in spite of your studies because of your feelings (and discriminations). Have you not heard the Venerable Kuei Shan's saying, "When all feelings about the saintly and the profane have been wiped out, there will be exposed the body of true eternity in which the absolute and relative will not be a dualism and which will be just the Bhatatathatâ Buddha"?'5

(When a monk) asked 'What was the Patriarch's idea?' the master, with his band, drew in the air a circle within which he wrote the character 'Fu' (Buddha). The monk kept silent.6

1. In China, an animal is chosen as a symbol for each lunar year; as a donkey is not one of them its year will never come round.

2. If anyone is keen to learn and ask questions, I will teach him, but if no one is keen to learn, there will be 'no business'.

3. Lit. ocean of the Bhûtatathatâ, the all-containing, immaterial nature of Dharmakâya.

4. The three insights are: (i) insight into the mortal conditions of self and others in previous lives, (2) spiritual insight into future mortal conditions and (3) nirvâna insight, i.e. into present mortal sufferings so as to overcome all passions or temptations. The six powers, or sadaabhijñâ in Sanskrit, are: (i) divyacaksus, deva-vision, instantaneous view of anything anywhere in the realm of form; (2) divyarotra, ability to hear any sound anywhere; (3) paracitta-jñâna, ability to know the thoughts of all other minds; (4) pûrvanivâsânusmrti-jñâna, knowledge of all former existences of self and others; (5) rddhi-sâtkriyâ, power to be anywhere or do anything at will, and (6) âsravaksaya-jana, supernatural consciousness of the waning of vicious propensities.

5. When all feelings, i.e. dualisms have been wiped out by their integration into the one mind, the real body of true eternity will reveal itself and will be but the suchness of Buddha.

6. A circle symbolises eternity, and 'fu' means 'enlightened one'. The monk was ignorant.



The master asked the leader (of the community), 'Do not think of either good or evil; at this very moment, how would you act?' The leader replied, 'This very moment is when my bodily life should be at rest.' The master said, Why do not you ask this old monk?' The monk said, 'At this very instant, (even) the Venerable Sir is not perceptible.' The master declared, 'You are not fit to carry on my teaching.'1

The master returned to Kuei Shan mountain to visit Ling Yu who asked him, 'You are now regarded as an enlightened teacher; when students corne from all quarters, how do you distinguish between those who know that 'there is' and those who do not know that 'there is' ; 2 between those who are inheritors (of Dharma)from (enlightened) masters and those who are not inheritors; and between (those who are of) the Teaching School and those of the Absolute Sect? 3 Try to say something (for me) to see.' Yang Shan replied, had (some) experience of this; when I saw monks coming from all quarters, I raised my dust-whisk and asked them, "In your places, is this one expounded or not?" I again asked them, "Apart from this one, what have the eider masters been doing in your

1. Yang Shan wanted to teach the leader but the latter did not understand him. The master's question was full of meaning and was, 'When you have put an end to good and evil, i.e. to all dual conceptions, how should you act to be in accord with the truth.' The leader wrongly replied that his present bodily life which he held dear, should rest in this stillness of mind. This is tantamount to sitting on the top of a hundred-foot pole as mentioned by Master Hsu Yun in his discourses or to the laziness of the monk who refused to leap forward after attaining the stillness of mind and whose hut, donated by an old lady, was burned down by the angry donor. (See Series One — The Ch'an Training.) The master continued to teach the monk and said to him, Why do not you ask me the same question?' In dialogues between master and disciple, a master often said to his pupil, 'Ask me the same question and I will reply to it.' This is direct pointing at the mind, because 'You ask' and 'I reply' invariably reveals that which asks and that which replies, i.e. 'you' and 'I', or your self-nature and my self-nature which actually do the talking, or perform their functions. Many a disciple attained enlightenment after this simple question and answer. The leader gave the silly reply, 'At this very instant, even the Venerable Sir is not seen', thus missing the point. Hence the master's declaration of the leader's inability to inherit his Dharma.

2. 'One who knows that there is' is Ch'an idiom meaning one who knows that the Buddha-nature is inherent in every being. All masters avoid the use of specific names, such as Buddha-nature, self-nature, etc., because they are apprehensive that their disciples will cling to empty names and will never realize the truth. The rendering of these Ch'an terms into English is a real headache for translators.

3. Lit. the teaching of meaning and of the absolute or abstruse, i.e. the sûtra Teaching School and the Ch'an Sect. Although Yang Shan was already an enlightened teacher, his old master still wanted to make sure that his successor in the Dharma was really competent to teach his Dharma to others. Kuei Shan was keen to assure the perpetuity of his Sect.

[j’omets la suite du chapitre]



3 The Lin Chi Sect (Rinzai Zen)

Ch'an Master I Hsuan of Lin Chi in Chen Chou District

(From The Five Lamps Meeting at the Source — Wu Teng Hui Yuan and the Finger Pointing at the Moon — Chih Yueh Lu.)

CH' AN master I Hsuan of Lin Chi in Chen Chou district, was born to a Hsing family at Nan Hua in Ts'ao Chou district. When he was young his ambition was to retire from the world. When his head had been shaved and he had been ordained, he began to study Ch'an which he greatly admired.

At first he joined the Huang Po community where he was a strict disciplinarian. At the time, Mu Chou' was leader of the community. (One day) Mu Chou asked I Hsuan: 'Venerable Friend, how long have you been here?' I Hsuan replied: 'Three years.' Mu Chou asked: 'Have you ever asked any questions at (special meetings)?' I Hsuan replied: 'Never, I do not even know what to ask.' Mu Chou said: 'Why do you not ask the Venerable Abbot: "What is the deep meaning of the Buddha Dharma?”?'

Thereupon, I Hsuan went to the abbot's room to ask the question, but before he finished it, Huang Po struck him (with a staff). When I Hsuan returned (to the hall), Mu Chou asked him: 'What was the Abbot's reply?' I Hsuan replied: Sefore I finished my question, the Venerable Abbot struck me; I really do not understand (why).' Mu Chou urged him : 'Go again and ask (the same question).' I Hsuan returned to put it and Huang Po again struck him. Thus thrice he asked and thrice he was beaten by Huang Po. Said he to Mu Chou: was urged by the Venerable Sir to ask about the Dharma but was beaten by the Venerable Abbot. I am sorry my own obstructing karma does not allow me to understand the profound doctrine; now I want to go away.' Mu Chou said: ‘If you really leave, you should first bid farewell to the Venerable Abbot.' I Hsuan paid obeisance to Mu Chou and withdrew.

1. Mu Chou was a disciple of Huang Po and an eminent Ch'an master.

(After interviewing I Hsuan), Mu Chou went direct to the abbot's room and said to Huang Po: 'In spite of his youth, the questioning monk is very remarkable and if he comes to bid you farewell, will you please receive him helpfully so that he can later become a large tree sheltering men all over the country.'

The following day, I Hsuan took leave of Huang Po who said: 'There is no need for you to go far; just go down to the river bank at Kao An and call on Ta Yu who will tell you (everything).' When I Hsuan arrived (at Kao An), Ta Yu asked him: 'Where do you come from?' I Hsuan replied: 'From Huang Po.' Ta Yu asked: 'What were Huang Po's words and sentences?' I Hsuan replied: thrice asked about the deep meaning of the Buddha Dharma and was beaten thrice; I do not know if I was wrong or not.' Ta Yu said: 'Huang Po had so great a compassionate heart and only wanted to release you from distress, yet you come here to ask me whether you were wrong or not!' Upon hearing this, I Hsuan was completely enlightened. He said: 'Huang Po's Buddha Dharma is mainly so little.' Thereupon, Ta Yu grasped I Hsuan, asking him: 'You, bed-wetting little devil! You just asked me if you were wrong or not and now you say that Huang Po's Buddha Dharma is mainly so little. What have you seen? Speak quickly!' (Immediately) I Hsuan punched Ta Yu thrice below the ribs. Pushing him away, Ta Yu said: 'This is your master Huang Po's business and does not concern me.' Then I Hsuan took leave of Ta Yu to return to Huang Po. 1

1. Lin Chi did not attain complete enlightenment by chance, and when studying his story, we should remember that he was, as said in the text, a strict disciplinarian in the monastery where he had undergone rigorous discipline during his three years' stay. By discipline in a Ch'an monastery, is meant discipline of thought, word and deed in accordante with the Sect's rules. In other words, he had realized his mind's disentanglement from the eighteen realms of sense and had successfully roused his dormant potentiality which was now ripe for absorbing the truth. In spite of Huang Po's performance of his great function by beating Lin Chi for no apparent reason, the latter's developed potentiality was not responsive to it for Lin Chi had only reached the top of a hundred-foot pole and was awaiting a concurrent cause to leap forward. However, this intervening cause did not obtain with Huang Po but existed with Ta Yu. Huang Po's beating was to point out to Lin Chi that the latter's self-nature was inherent in him and should not be sought in the abbot's room. Lin Chi was disappointed at the rough treatment but did not know that his master was more disappointed in his failure to enlighten his best disciple. Knowing that there was a causal affinity between his disciple and Ta Yu, Huang Po sent the young man to Kao An without giving a reason. Lin Chi had also a benefactor in Mu Chou who knew beforehand that the former would found one of the Pive Ch'an sects of China. So in the case of Lin Chi, it required three enlightened men to awake him to the truth. This is what is called a kung an (Jap. kôan), or concurrent cause. In spite of Mu

At the sight of I Hsuan returning to the monastery, Huang Po said: 'This fellow's going and coming will have no end.' I Hsuan replied:

'(I return) because of the Venerable Sir's compassionate heart which has given me great help.' After saying this, he stood beside Huang Po who asked Where do you come from?' I Hsuan replied: 'From Ta Yu where you so kindly ordered me to go yesterday.' Huang Po asked: 'What were Ta Yu's words and sentences?' I Hsuan related the interview he had with Ta Yu and Huang Po said: What a babbler that old man Ta Yu is! On his next visit, I must give him a painful beating.' I Hsuan retorted: Why wait until his next visit, why not now?' After saying this, he slapped Huang Po's face. Huang Po said: 'This mad fellow is stroking a tiger's whiskers.' Thereupon, I Hsuan gave a shout and Huang Po called the attendant: "Take this mad fellow to the meeting in the hall.’ 1

One day, Huang Po 'invited' the community to work in the fields; (on the way there) I Hsuan followed behind the monks. When Huang Po looked back, he saw that I Hsuan was empty-handed and asked him: Where is your mattock?' I Hsuan replied: Someone is carrying it.' Huang Po said: 'Come near, I have something to discuss with you.' When I Hsuan came close, Huang Po raised his mattock and said: 'All over the world no one can raise this one.' I Hsuan snatched the mattock



Chou's seniority in the assembly, he came second after Lin Chi in Huang Po's Dharma succession.

Ta Yu's words: 'Huang Po had so great a compassionate heart and only wanted to release you from distress' made a strong impact on Lin Chi's roused potentiality which could function without hindrance thus enabling his self-nature to hear the words by means of its great function, hence his complete enlightenment. After his great awakening, he found it so easily realizable that he said: 'Huang Po's Buddha Dharma is mainly so little !' Another enlightened master once said when referring to his own achievement: is not worth a coin but I would not sell it at any price.'

Ta Yu took hold of Lin Chi and told the 'bed-wetting little devil' to talk quicldy, to check if the latter was really enlightened. To talk quickly is to perform one's great function without searching for an answer in one's discriminating mind. When a disciple is really enlightened, his answer is always ready on his lips and is not the product of discrimination. 'Bed-wetting litde devil' means here an ignorant novice in a monastery. To show his enlightened Self, Lin Chi performed its great function by punching Ta Yu thrice, to reveal his newly realized threefold body. Immediately after one's great awakening, one is always seized with a desire to act in a strange manner such as in the present case or in that of the woman who overthrew a pan full of boiling oil. (See Series One, Part One, Master Hsu Yun's Daily Lectures at Two Ch'an Weeks.)

1. After I Hsuan's return to the monastery, Huang Po wanted to check his disciple's achievement and purposely said that he would give Ta Yu a painful beating for babbling so much. I Hsuan's reply : 'Why wait, why not now?' eliminated the time element and his slap and shout revealed the omnipresence of his enlightened self-nature. (See also page 96, footnotes 2 to 6 on Shouts.)



and held it up, asking: Why is it now in my hands?' Huang Po said: 'Today there is someone who is inviting the community to work in the fields.' He then returned to the monastery.'





[j’omets la suite]



HOUEI-NENG (638-713)

SOUTRA DE L’ESTRADE DU DON DE LA LOI

dispensé dans le temple bouddhique
Da Fan de Shao Zhou
par le grand maître
HUI NENG
sixième patriarche de l’école du Sud
sur l’enseignement subitiste le plus grand
du Grand Véhicule
LE SOUTRA DE LA MAHAPRAJNAPARAMITA
Recueil des notes prises par le disciple Fa Hai qui a reçu aussi l’enseignement immense des préceptes sans caractères

[Comment Hui Neng acquis le Dharma en devenant le sixième patriarche = Chapitre I de la version anglaise infra]

Section 1 [Hui Neng monta s’asseoir à la place d’honneur pour parler de la Doctrine8]

Le grand maître Hui Neng, dans la salle d’enseignement du monastère bouddhique Da Fan, monta s’asseoir à la place d’honneur pour parler de la Doctrine de la Mahaprajnaparamita et en transmettre les préceptes incomparables.
Là, avaient pris place, sur des sièges bas, plus de dix mille personnes, bonzes, bonzesses, et adeptes laïcs de la Grande Voie, ainsi que le préfet Wei Qu, du Shao Zhou, accompagné de plus d’une trentaine de hauts fonctionnaires et de plus d’une trentaine de lettrés confucéens. Tous prièrent le grand maître de leur exposer la doctrine de la Mahaprajnaparamita.
Le préfet ordonna au disciple Fa Hai de tout consigner par écrit afin que cet enseignement parvienne à la postérité et qu’ainsi les étudiants de la Grande Voie, ayant reçu cette Doctrine excellente, l’observent et en transmettent les points essentiels sans interruption ni altération, que tous puissent y prendre appui avec certitude et y obéir comme à un ordre venant d’un supérieur, enfin qu’on le nomme le Soutra de l’Estrade.

2 [Vendre des fagots au marché pour survivre ! être un Bouddha !]

Le grand maître Hui Neng dit :
Gens de bonne connaissance,
L’esprit pur médite la Doctrine de la Mahaprajnapara-mita.
Le grand maître se tut un long moment, faisant le vide en son esprit.
Enfin il dit :
Gens de bonne connaissance, écoutez attentivement !
Le bon et compatissant père de Hui Neng, fonctionnaire à Fan Yang, fut rétrogradé et envoyé au Ling Nan où il fit partie du petit peuple de Xin Zhou. Hui Neng était encore enfant quand son père mourut prématurément. Mère et orphelin partirent pour Nan Hai. Chagrin, souffrance, misère, épuisement ! Vendre des fagots au marché pour survivre ! Or, voici qu’un jour un client, ayant acheté du bois, ordonna à Hui Neng de le livrer à l’auberge des fonctionnaires. Le bois livré et payé, Hui Neng sortait, quand, à la porte, il entendit soudain quelqu’un dire à haute voix le Soutra du Diamant, et dès que Hui Neng l’entendit, son esprit se fit lumineux, et il en eut l’intelligence claire. Alors il demanda à l’homme d’où il tenait ce texte sacré et celui-ci lui répondit : « Dans le Qi Zhou, à l’est du district Huang Mei, au mont Feng Mu, je suis allé rendre hommage au vénérable Hong Ren, cinquième patriarche. Il y a là-bas, actuellement, plus de mille disciples. C’est là que j’ai entendu le grand maître exhorter les adeptes de la Grande 32 Voie ainsi que les laïcs à observer l’unique rouleau du Soutra du Diamant pour obtenir de voir la nature et, par sa compréhension directe, immédiatement être un Bouddha ! » Hui Neng, ayant entendu cela grâce à ses conditions karmiques, dit adieu à ses proches et partit pour le mont Feng Mu du Huang Mei afin de rendre hommage au vénérable Hong Ren, cinquième patriarche.

3 [Piler le riz pendant plus de huit mois]

Le vénérable Hong Ren interrogea Hui Neng :
D’où es-tu, toi qui viens dans cette montagne te prosterner devant moi, et qu’est-ce que tu peux bien venir chercher ici ?
Hui Neng répondit :
Votre humble disciple est un homme du Ling Nan et fait partie du petit peuple du Xin Zhou. C’est donc de fort loin qu’il vient rendre hommage au Vénérable. Il ne veut rien… sauf être un Bouddha !
Le grand maître tança alors vertement Hui Neng :
Toi, un type du Ling Nan ! Primitif ! Chasseur de chiens ! Tu as le culot de vouloir être un Bouddha !
Hui Neng répondit :
Il y a, en effet, des hommes du Nord, et des hommes du Sud, mais la nature de Bouddha n’est ni du Nord ni du Sud. La vie des chasseurs de chiens est, certes, bien différente de la vôtre, Vénérable, mais quelle différence pourrait-il y avoir en la nature de Bouddha ?
Le grand maître eût aimé continuer cet entretien, mais, voyant qu’ils n’étaient pas seuls, il se tut.
Hui Neng fut congédié pour aller accomplir, avec les autres, les tâches ordinaires de la vie quotidienne. Un novice l’emmena dans la salle où l’on décortiquait le riz.
Hui Neng allait y piler le riz pendant plus de huit mois.

4 [Que chacun de vous fasse une stance]

Un jour, le cinquième patriarche convoqua inopinément ses disciples et, quand ils furent tous rassemblés, il leur dit :
Je vous ai déjà, maintes fois, répété que, pour les êtres, en ce monde, la grande affaire, c’est la vie et la mort ! Et cependant, vous tous, disciples, passez vos journées entières à faire des offrandes, ne recherchant que champs de félicités, sans chercher à échapper à l’océan de souffrances que sont les naissances et les morts ! Si vous êtes dans l’illusion en ce qui concerne votre nature propre, comment des félicités pourraient-elles vous sauver ? Retournez dans vos cellules. Regardez en vous-même. Celui qui a la grande bonté et la sagesse parfaite obtient spontanément le Grand Savoir de Prajna sur la nature et ses fondements.
Que chacun de vous fasse une stance et me la présente. Je les lirai toutes. Si l’une d’entre elles révèle l’intelligence claire de la Grande Pensée, son auteur recevra la robe et le Dharma. Il sera le sixième patriarche.
Vite, dépêchez-vous !

5 [Pas un ne se risqua à présenter quoi que ce soit]

Les disciples, ayant reçu ces instructions, retournèrent dans leur cellule en se disant les uns aux autres :
À quoi bon clarifier notre esprit et nous casser la tête pour composer des stances à présenter au Vénérable ! Le supérieur Shen Xiu est notre instructeur, quand il aura obtenu le Dharma, nous pourrons compter sur lui. Inutile donc de faire de stance.
Ainsi se rassérénaient-ils et pas un ne se risqua à présenter quoi que ce soit.
En ce temps-là, il y avait, sur trois côtés de la salle d’audience, des galeries où l’on déposait des offrandes. Le grand maître projetait d’y faire peindre les « formes de transformations » du Lankavatarasoutra, ainsi que les transmissions successives de la robe et du Dharma aux cinq premiers patriarches afin que les générations suivantes en gardent le souvenir.
Le peintre Lu Shen avait déjà examiné les murs et devait se mettre au travail dès le lendemain.

6 [L’Instructeur écrit sa stance sur le mur]

Le supérieur Shen Xiu réfléchissait en soupirant :
Aucun ne présentera de stance sur l’esprit parce que je suis leur instructeur ! Mais si, moi, je n’en présente pas, comment le cinquième patriarche pourra-t-il évaluer ma compréhension intérieure ! Et donc, moi, il faut que je présente une stance au cinquième patriarche, dans laquelle il décèlera mes intentions ! Si c’est le Dharma que je cherche, bravo ! Mais si c’est le patriarcat, diable ! Un esprit ordinaire chercherait à usurper la place d’un sage éminent !... Mais si je ne présente pas de stance, alors je n’ai aucune chance d’obtenir le Dharma !
Il réfléchit longtemps et soupirait :
Difficile ! Sacrément difficile !... Cette nuit, quand arrivera la troisième veille, et que personne ne pourra me voir, j’irai inscrire, sur le mur de la galerie sud, une stance sur l’esprit, dans l’espoir d’obtenir le Dharma. Si le cinquième patriarche, ayant vu la stance, ordonne de la réciter, ou s’il demande à me voir, c’est que j’ai de grands empêchements dus à mon karma et qu’il ne convient pas que j’obtienne le Dharma. Que la pensée d’un sage est donc difficile à sonder ! Maintenant, que mon esprit s’apaise !
Shen Xiu, à la troisième veille, alla dans la galerie sud et, à la lueur d’une chandelle, inscrivit, sur le mur, la stance qu’il avait composée, et personne n’en savait rien !
Voici la stance :
Le corps est l’arbre de la Bodhi, 
L’esprit est comme un clair miroir, 
À nettoyer et essuyer sans cesse 
Que nulle poussière ne s’y pose.

7 [l’approbation n’est qu’apparente]

Shen Xiu, après avoir écrit sa stance, retourna dans sa cellule. Personne ne l’avait vu.
Le cinquième patriarche, de bon matin, fit venir l’artiste Lu dans la galerie sud pour y peindre les formes de transformations du Lankavatarasoutra. Soudain, le cinquième patriarche vit la stance, demanda qu’on la mémorise, puis dit au peintre :
Hong Ren va te faire remettre trente mille taels pour te dédommager des fatigues de cette longue route, mais il n’est plus question de peindre les formes de transformations.
Le Soutra du Diamant dit :
Tout ce qui, en ce monde, possède des caractères 
Est totalement vide et illusoire.
Mieux vaut donc laisser cette stance pour que les êtres dans l’illusion la récitent. Lui faire confiance et s’exercer à pratiquer comme elle l’indique évitera de tomber dans les trois mauvaises Voies. Les hommes qui s’exerceront avec confiance à pratiquer selon cette méthode en tireront grand profit.
Le grand maître réunit tous ses disciples et leur fit brûler de l’encens devant la stance afin que tous en prennent une connaissance sensible, et que naisse en eux un esprit attentif, vigilant et contrôlé, et il leur dit :
Vous tous, et tous ceux qui réciteront cette stance, obtiendrez certainement de voir la nature. Exercez-vous, pratiquez avec confiance, et vous ne déchoirez pas !
Et tous les disciples se mirent à réciter la stance de Shen Xiu afin que naisse en eux un esprit attentif, vigilant et contrôlé.
Ah ! s’écriaient-ils, que tout cela est bien et excellent ! Le cinquième patriarche convoqua Shen Xiu dans la grande salle d’enseignement, et lui dit :
C’est toi, n’est-ce pas, qui as composé cette stance ? Et si c’est toi qui l’as fait tu agis en Arhat, et en accord avec une doctrine de libération personnelle !
Le supérieur Shen Xiu dit :
C’est une faute grave ! En effet, c’est Xiu qui a composé cette stance, mais je n’ai pas l’audace de rechercher le patriarcat ! Je souhaite seulement que le Vénérable Maître, dans sa parfaite bienveillance et grande compassion, voie si son humble disciple a tant soit peu de bonté et de sagesse et s’il a, ou pas, conscience de la Grande Pensée.
Le cinquième patriarche dit :
Que tu aies fait cette stance montre que tu n’es pas arrivé. Tu es devant la porte, mais tu n’es pas entré. Tous les êtres qui prendront appui sur cette stance et s’exerceront à la mettre en pratique ne déchoiront pas, mais, si c’est de cette façon que l’on cherche l’insurpassable Bodhi, on ne pourra l’obtenir. Il faut franchir la porte, voir la nature et ses fondements. Va, médite un jour ou deux, fais une nouvelle stance et viens me la présenter. Si tu as franchi la porte, vu les fondements spontanés de la nature, il sera juste que je te remette la robe et le Dharma.
Le supérieur Shen Xiu se retira plusieurs jours, mais ne put rien faire !

8 [Hui Neng compose la sienne, un lettré l’inscrit]

Un jeune garçon, psalmodiant la stance, passa à côté de la salle où l’on pilait le riz. Dès que Hui Neng l’entendit, il sut que celui qui l’avait composée n’avait encore ni vu la nature ni pris conscience de la Grande Pensée. Hui Neng interpella le jeune garçon :
Hé, toi ! là-bas, le réciteur, qu’est-ce que c’est que cette stance ?
Le jeune homme répondit :
Eh quoi ! Tu ne sais donc pas que le grand maître a dit que la grande affaire, c’est la vie et la mort ! Et qu’il a l’intention de transmettre le Dharma ! Et qu’il a ordonné à tous les disciples de composer chacun une stance et de venir la lui présenter ! Et que celui qui aurait une intelligence claire de la Grande Pensée recevrait la robe et le Dharma ! Et que celui-là serait bon pour être le sixième patriarche ! Notre supérieur, nommé Shen Xiu, a écrit sur le mur de la galerie sud une stance incomparable que le cinquième patriarche a ordonné, à tous les disciples, de réciter. Ceux qui en auront une intelligence claire verront leur propre nature et, s’exerçant à la pratiquer, obtiendront d’échapper aux renaissances !
Hui Neng dit :
Je suis dans cette salle à piler le riz depuis plus de huit mois et ne suis encore jamais passé devant la grande salle. J’aimerais que quelqu’un de condition plus élevée me conduise dans la galerie sud voir cette stance. J’aimerais me prosterner devant elle, ayant le profond désir de la réciter et d’en saisir le sens, pour qu’ainsi se forment et croissent les conditions nécessaires à une renaissance dans les terres des Bouddhas.
Le jeune garçon conduisit Neng dans la galerie sud. Hui Neng se prosterna devant la stance, mais, ignorant des caractères, il demanda que quelqu’un veuille bien la lui lire à haute voix.
Hui Neng, par des connaissances acquises antérieurement, avait pris conscience de la Grande Pensée.
Il composa une stance sur les fondements naturels et spontanés de l’esprit et pria qu’un lettré compétent veuille bien l’inscrire sur le mur ouest.
Sans prise de conscience des fondements de l’esprit, l’étude du Dharma est inutile. Prendre conscience de l’esprit, voir la nature, c’est avoir l’intelligence claire de la Grande Pensée.

Voici la stance de Hui Neng :
Il n’y a pas d’arbre de la Bodhi
De clair miroir, pas plus.
La nature de Bouddha est toujours vide et pure
Comment, où, y aurait-il une quelconque poussière ?
Et encore une autre stance :
L’esprit est l’arbre de la Bodhi
Le corps est comme un clair miroir
Clair miroir fondamentalement vide et pur
Où y aurait-il de souillante poussière ?
Dans la cour se trouvaient de nombreux disciples qui, voyant la stance de Hui Neng, furent tout à fait stupéfaits. Hui Neng retourna dans la salle où l’on pilait le riz.
Tout à coup, le cinquième patriarche vit la stance. Elle excellait dans le savoir et la conscience de la Grande Pensée.
Craignant que tous ne s’en aperçoivent, le cinquième patriarche dit :
Celle-là non plus n’est pas entièrement satisfaisante !

9 [transmission secrète nocturne]

Le cinquième patriarche convoqua Hui Neng, à la troisième veille de la nuit, dans la grande salle, pour lui expliquer le Soutra du Diamant. À peine Hui Neng entendait-il les mots frapper ses oreilles qu’il en avait l’intelligence simple et claire.
Cette nuit-là, il reçut le Dharma, et personne ne sut que la Doctrine de l’illumination subite et la robe avaient été transmises.
Le cinquième patriarche lui dit :
Tu es maintenant le sixième patriarche. La robe, transmise de génération en génération, en est le témoignage.
Le Dharma, lui, se transmet d’esprit à esprit, au moment où l’intelligence se fait subitement claire par elle-même.
Le cinquième patriarche ajouta :
Hui Neng, depuis la plus haute antiquité, la transmission du Dharma est un souffle ténu comme filament de soie. Si tu demeurais ici, certains voudraient te nuire, aussi dois-tu très vite partir.

10 [Hui Neng part vers le sud]

Hui Neng, ayant reçu la robe et le Dharma, à la troisième veille, s’en alla. Le cinquième patriarche l’accompagna jusqu’à Jiu Jiang Yi.
À cet instant, tout ne fut que lumière !
Le patriarche lui fit ses dernières recommandations :
Pars, efforce-toi de répandre le Dharma dans le Sud. Toutefois, reste trois ans sans le propager. Quand toutes les difficultés seront écartées, enseigne, convertis et sois un guide parfait pour les êtres dans l’illusion. Puisque tu as obtenu l’ouverture de l’esprit, tu as l’intelligence claire du sans-différence.
Après qu’ils se furent dit adieu, Hui Neng partit vers le Sud.

11 [Plusieurs centaines d’hommes le poursuivaient]

En deux mois Hui Neng arriva au col des montagnes Da Yu. Il ne savait pas que plusieurs centaines d’hommes le poursuivaient dans l’intention de s’emparer du Dharma. Mais, arrivés à mi-chemin, ces hommes étaient, finalement, tous repartis à l’exception d’un moine de nom de famille Chen et de prénom Hui Shun, qui avait été auparavant général de troisième classe. Il était de nature commune et de comportement grossier. Arrivé au sommet du col, il allait commettre son forfait ! Hui Neng, alors, jeta la robe, symbole du Dharma, mais Shun ne voulut pas s’en saisir, et dit :
Tout ce long chemin ! C’est pour le Dharma que j’l’ai fait ! C’est pas pour la robe !
Et Hui Neng, au sommet de la montagne, transmit le Dharma à Hui Shun, et Hui Shun en avait une compréhension excellente, et chaque parole lui était ouverture de l’esprit.
Puis Hui Neng renvoya Hui Shun vers le Nord convertir les êtres.

Section 12 [Début de l’enseignement = Chapitre II, Prajñâ]

Les causes pour lesquelles Hui Neng est ici, avec vous, hauts fonctionnaires, adeptes de la Voie et laïcs, se sont accumulées durant de nombreux kalpas.
Cet enseignement est celui qu’ont transmis les anciens sages. Ce n’est pas un savoir personnel de Hui Neng. Ceux qui ont la volonté d’entendre l’enseignement des anciens sages doivent d’abord purifier leur esprit. Puis quand ils auront entendu, et compris, cet enseignement, et quand ils auront réalisé le vœu d’éliminer en eux-mêmes et par eux-mêmes toutes illusions, ils auront l’intelligence claire comme l’eurent les anciens sages des générations antérieures.
[…]



THE DHARMA TREASURE OF THE ALTAR SUTRA OF THE SIXTH PATRIARCH

(Lu Tsu Ta Shih Fa Pao T’an Ching)

Edited by his disciple Ch'an Master Fa Hai

Lu K’uan Yü [Charles Luk], Ch’an and Zen teaching, series III, Rider, 1962. « Part I/The Altar Sûtra of the Sixth Patriarch », 1-102.

Je cite l’Avant-propos d’une traduction française : Fa-Hai/Manifeste de l’Éveil/Le Soûtra de l’Estrade de Houei-neng (638-713), Patrick Carré, Seuil, 2011, traduction visant un lectorat élargi.

Avant-propos [par Patrick Carré]

« Le Soûtra de l’Estrade est probablement le texte fondateur du Tch'an du Sud, école bouddhiste de l’Illumination subite, de ce qu’en Occident, depuis quelques décennies, on appelle le zen. Il s’agit d’un texte bref, simple, humain, provocateur et décisif : le mode d’emploi, si l’on peut dire, de l’ouverture infinie reconnue par l’homme comme son essence et son site originaires ; un manuel de philosophie pratique à l’usage de ceux que dégoûtent enfin leur propre ignorance et leur propre égoïsme, et qui ont pressenti la nécessité de se tenir présents dans l’essentiel.

« Plus “techniquement”, le Soûtra de l’Estrade est un commentaire intensif de l’éblouissante et mystérieuse idée comme quoi l’homme qui parvient à “voir son essence” est Bouddha, c’est-à-dire libre et parfait. Le Sixième Patriarche, pour qui cette idée est un acte ininterrompu, s’évertuera à montrer que, extraordinaire, voire choquante, cette idée n’en demeure pas moins le cœur vivant du Mahâyâna, ou Grand Véhicule du bouddhisme, et qu’elle énonce la pratique même de l’impressionnante Mahâprajñâpâramitâ, cette “grande connaissance transcendante” qui connaît directement la claire vacuité de chaque phénomène matériel ou psychique. […] »

Mais je choisit la traduction de Lu K’uan Yü [Charles Luk] (1898-1978). Né à Canton, disciple de deux fameux maître du Ch’an ; il vécut à Hong-Kong, présenta et traduisit « as many Chinese Buddhist texts as possible so that Buddhism can be preserved at least in the West, should it be fated to disappear in the East as it seems to be  [rédigé en 1961]. »] Luk rend sa perception toute intérieure. Ici son « Foreword » mérite toute notre attention. Il sera de nouveau présent deux fois infra.

Foreword [by Upâsaka Lu K’uan Yü]9

We take refuge in the Buddha,

We take refuge in the Dharma,

We take refuge in the Satigha,

We take refuge in the Triple Gem within ourselves.

THE Altar Sûtra of the Sixth Patriarch is a résumé of Mahâyâna Buddhism and the Buddha's Transmission of Mind, called Ch'an (or Zen in japanese) which is outside of the teaching. Ch'an really began to flourish in China after the Patriarch expounded at Pao Lin monastery the doctrine which later was developed and divided by his Dharma descendants into five sects, namely Kuei Yang (Ikyo Zen), Lin Chi (Rinzai Zen), Ts'ao Tung (Soto Zen), Yun Men (Ummon Zen) and Fa Yen (Hogen Zen).

This sûtra is not a book of obscure dogmas and impracticable theories. It is essential for every student of Mahâyâna and especially for every adherent to the doctrine of mind. A serious Ch'an practiser will easily find that its teaching, if put into practice, can enable him to discover his errors and mistakes which seem imperceptible and are the first things to be uprooted before he can make real progress in his self-cultivation. A keen student of Mahâyâna will be able correctly to interpret all sûtras after he has well understood the Altar Sûtra.

All of us are accustomed to the deep-rooted habit of splitting our undivided whole into subject and object by clinging to the false ideas of the reality of an ego and of phenomena, which are responsible for our mental creation of all kinds of illusion with their accompanying pairs of opposites and all sorts of names and terms which are devoid of real nature. The Patriarch's doctrine consists in wiping out all these contraries which owe their seeming existence only to their mutual dependence. Consequently, if a practiser succeeds in stripping his mind of them and if he is firm in his determination not to stray from his absolute self-nature, as taught in the sûtra, the result will be that his self-natured Bodhi will manifest itself after all self-created obstructions have been removed.

The teaching is open to every man irrespective of his education or social standing. The Patriarch, as he himself related, was an illiterate [12] commoner of a border region, depending for his subsistence on the sale of firewood in the market-place; he was also called a barbarian at the monastery of the Fifth Patriarch. This shows that the self-natured Bodhi is immanent in every man, whether in the East or in the West, rich or poor, and superior or inferior, and will appear when all mental discriminations have ceased.

In order that prajñâ (wisdom) which is self-possessed can manifest itself, it is imperative that we make the 'thee studies' which are essential for our self-cultivation for realizing our minds. They are: Sila (morality-discipline), Samâdhi (mental imperturbability) and Prajñâ. (wisdom) and we should know that Sila begets Samâdhi and that Samâdhi begets prajñâ. They are like the legs of a tripod which cannot stand if one of them is lacking.

Repentance and reform are the pre-requisites of Sila because without repentance and reform, we shall never be able to practise Sila, which alone enables us to put an end to our feelings and passions and to realize singleness of mind, that is a mind free from disturbances, or pure mind. This imperturbable state of mind is called Samâdhi, which alone enables our self-natured Bodhi to manifest itself. Samâdhi is the state of an enlightened mind and wisdom is its perfect function. The Patriarch compared Samâdhi and Wisdom to a lamp and its light and to a body (substance) and its correct function.

When Samâdhi and Wisdom are attained, the practiser is liberated from all worries, anxieties, distresses, troubles and whatever causes them, and will attain the state of Nirvana. He should have a perfect knowledge of this state in ordet to be completely enlightened.

A serious practiser should seek his own enlightenment to teach and enlighten others before he can expect to realize his self-natured Buddha, since no selfish man can attain Buddhahood. For this end, the Patriarch taught us how to take the four Universal Vows that consist in saving the countless living beings of our minds, in putting an end to the boundless troubles (klesa) of our minds, in studying the endless Dharma doors to enlightenment which are immanent in our self-nature and in achieving the attainment of Buddhahood inherent in our self-nature.

The Patriarch never strayed from his self-nature when teaching his disciples in their quest of the truth, for either delusion or enlightenment comes only from the self-mind. His doctrine was later developed by his Dharma-descendants who also did not stray from their self-minds when teaching their own disciples. Even today an enlightened Ch'an master [13] will not stray from the self-mind when instructing his disciples, in spite of the fact that the technique now in use differs from the ancient methods, for if we stray from the mind, we shall be unable correctly to interpret the doctrine and understand all the sûtras expounded by the Buddha.

In our efforts to quiet our minds, we have to uproot all our old habits and in this respect nothing is more instructive and inspiring than the Altar Sûtra and the Diamond Sûtra because they teach us to wipe out the notion of the existence of an ego which is the source of all our troubles and the direct cause of our useless suffering in our transmigration through the six worlds of existence. Once ego is eradicated, there remains only the pure and clean mind, free from delusion and able to resume its normal function of perceiving the self-nature. Only then can enlightenment be realized.

This Altar Sûtra, as well as the Diamond and Heart Sûtras presented in our First Series10, are not for only one or a few readings but should serve as our daily lessons and permanent guide for our practice of self-cultivation. Even if our roots are really inferior and if we cannot expect an instantaneous enlighterment immediately, we can be certain that if we are ‘stubborn' in our practice and if we succeed in disentangling our minds from externals, we will make appreciable progress in the right direction, will at least enter 'the stream' and will set up a bridge-head for our transcendantal path. The Patriarch urged us not to lose sight of our fundamental thought for an instant and if we follow his teaching seriously and refuse to stray from this thought of our self-nature, we will achieve something that will surpass all our expectations.

The Sanskrit word 'Dharma', which readers will find in this sûtra and also in all sans, has two meanings: (1) law, truth, principle, method, doctrine, religion, Buddhism as the perfect religion, and (2) thing or things, anything great or small, visible or invisible, real or unreal, concrete things or abstract ideas. It has no equivalent in any other language and is used in this version in order not to stray from the original text.

The text is that compiled and edited by Fa Hai, a senior disciple of the Patriarch, rather than the Tun Huang or Pe Sung versions which, being much shorter, are therefore incomplete. The full title in Chinese is the Lu Tsu Ta Shih Fa Pao T'an Ching, or The Dharma Treasure of that Great Master the Sixth Patriarch's Altar Sûtra. It is called the Altar Sûtra after an altar erected in the Sung Dynasty (420-477) by the Indian Tripitaka Master Ganabhadra, who also set up a stone tablet with an inscription predicting that a flesh and blood Bodhisattva would be ordained there. [14]

In the first year of the T'icn Chien reign (A.D. 502) of the Liang dynasty, another Indian Tripitaka Master called ûiânabha4ajya planted a Bodhi tree by the altar and foretold that a Bodhisattva in flesh and blood later would expound the Supreme Vehicle under the tree, would liberate countless living beings and would be the Dharma lord of the Real Transmission of the Seal of Buddha Mind.

It is due to a mispronunciation of the Patriarch's name in Cantonese Wei Nang' by the late Mr Wong Mou Lam, who translated the Altar Sûtra some thirty years ago that it is now widely known in the West as the sûtra of Wei Lang. Wong Mou Lam was a Cantonese and there are in South China some people who cannot spell correctly a name beginning with the letter 'n'.

All brackets are mine.

UPÂSAKA Lu K'UAN YÛ

Hongkong, August 1958.

Preface / By Ch'an Master Fa Hai, disciple of the Sixth Patriarch

THE Patriarch's Dharma name was Hui Neng and his lay surname was Lu. His father was Lu Hsing T'ao and his mother was a Li. He was born at the hour Tsu (between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.) of the eighth day of the second lunar month (27 February) of the year Wu Hsu in the twelfth year of the Chen Kuan reign of the T'ang dynasty (A.D. 638).

At his birth fine rays of shining light rose in the air and the house was filled with a rare fragrance. At daybreak, two strange monks called on his father and said: 'We come especially to name the baby who has just been born and who should be called Hui Neng.' His father asked: 'What do these two characters mean?' The monks replied: 'Hui means bestowal of kindness and Dharma on living beings and Neng means ability to do the Buddha-work.' After saying this, they left and no one knew where they went.

As the baby refused to suck milk, every night a god (deva) gave him nectar (amrta)1 to drink. When he reached the age of twenty-four, he was awakened to the truth upon hearing the recitation of a sutra and went to Huang Mei to obtain the seal of his awakening. The Fifth Patriarch thought highly of him, transmitted the robe and Dharma to him and made him the successor to the Patriarchate in the year Hsin Yu which was the first year of the Lung Shuo reign (661).

He returned to the south, where he hid himself for sixteen years. On the eighth day of the first lunar month of the year Ping Tsu, which was the first year of the Yi Feng reign (676), he met Dharma Master Yin Tsung with whom he discussed the profound and subtle Dharma. Yin Tsung was awakened to and had a personal experience of the Patriarch's doctrine.

On the fifteenth of the same month, he met the four vargas2 and had his head shaved.3 On the eighth of the second lunar month, well-

1. Amrta: sweet dew, ambrosia, the nectar of immortality.

2. The four vargas: monks, nuns, male and female devotees.

3. Formally to join the Sangha order.

16 known and virtuous monks assembled to ordain him: vinaya master1 Chih Kuang Hsi Ching was in charge of the bestowal; vinaya master Hui Ching of Su Chou acted as karmadâna;2 vinaya master T'ung Ying of Ching Chou acted as (spiritual) teacher; the Indian vinaya master Ch'i To Lo3 of Central India read the precepts (sila) and the Indian tripitaka master 4 Mi Toi of West India acted as testifier.

The altar used for the ordination was built in the Sung dynasty by the Indian tripitaka master Guriabhadra 5 who also set up a stone tablet with an inscription predicting the ordination there of a Bodhisattva in flesh and blood.

In the first year of the T'ien Chien reign (A.D. 502) of the Liang dynasty, another Indian tripitaka master Jñânabhaisajya 6 came by sea from West India with a bodhi tree which he planted by the side of the altar. He also predicted that some 170 years later, a flesh-and-blood Bodhisattva, a true Dharma lord of the transmission of Buddha mind, would expound the Mahâyâna under the tree and would liberate an uncountable number of living beings.

Thus the Patriarch's head was shaved and he was ordained in fulfilment of the prophecies according to which he would expound the doctrine of transmission to the four vargas.

In the spring of the following year, the Patriarch took leave of the assembly and went to Pao Lin monastery. He was accompanied to Ts'ao Ch'i by Master Yin Tsung who led over a thousand monks and laymen. At the same time, vinaya master T'ung Ying of Ching Chou, together with a few hundred Buddhists, came to stay with the Patriarch.

After his arrivai at Pao Lin monastery at Ts'ao Ch'i, the Patriarch found that the monastic buildings were too small for the community. As he wanted to enlarge them, he called on (the landowner) Ch'en Ya Hsien and said: come to see you, the almsgiver, and wish to obtain a place for my seat; will you give me one?' Ch'en Ya Hsien asked the Patriarch: 'What is the size of your seat?' The Patriarch took out and showed him the cloth on which he sat (nisidana), and Ch'en Ya Hsien nodded assent. The Patriarch then unfolded the cloth which spread and

1. Vinaya master: teacher of the rules of discipline.

2. Karmadâna: director of the duties at the ordination.

3. The Sanskrit names of these two Indian masters are unknown.

4. Tripitaka master : a master who is well-versed in the three divisions of the Buddhist canon.

5. A.D. 394-468.

6. See illustration opposite p. 15.

17 covered the whole area of Ts'ao Ch'i; the four deva kingsi appeared on guard in the four directions of space, and because of this, the mountain range is now called the Deva King range.

Ch'en Ya Hsien said: 'The power of your Dharma is indeed wide and great, but the tomb of my great-great-grandfather is here and if you build a stûpa later, I beg you to reserve a site for it. As to the rest of the area, I am willing to present it to you for the monastery. This mountain is part of the "Living Dragon" and "White Elephant" (range);2 the sky can be flattened but the ground should not.'3 Monastic buildings were put up later on the landowner's instructions.

When the Patriarch strolled over the area, he used to halt at places noted for the view, and altogether thirteen monastic buildings were soon erected. The present Hua Kuo4 hall was one of them.

As to the Pao Lin monastery, its construction was decided upon long ago by the Indian tripitaka master Jñânabhaisajya who came from India and who, during his journey from Nan Hai (now Canton city), passed through Ts'ao Ch'i where he drank its water which he found pure and fragrant. He was surprised and told his followers: 'This water is exactly the same as that in West India, there must be at its source some place of scenic beauty on which to build a monastery.' Then he followed the stream and saw mountains and rivulets encircling one another with wonderfully beautiful peaks. He exclaimed: 'It is exactly like the "Precious Wood" on the mountains in West India.' Then he said to the villagers at Ts'ao Hou: 'You can build a monastery here; some 170 years later, the unsurpassed Dharma treasure will be expounded here and those who will be enlightened will be as many as the trees of these thickets. It should be called « Pao Lin monastery »5

At the time, magistrate Hou Ching Chung of Shao Chou reported the Indian master's prophecy to the emperor who then ordered the monastery to be built and conferred the epigraph 'Pao Lin' to it. Thus the building of the Pao Lin monastery began in the third year of the T'ien Chien reign of the Liang dynasty (A.D. 504).

In front of the main hall, there was a pond where a dragon used to come pushing and twisting the surrounding trees. One day, it appeared

1. Catur-mahàràja.

2. Lit. Bending dragon mountain and white elephant range.

3. The heights of monastic buildings should be so arranged as to be in harmony with the ground which could not be levelled.

4. Hua Kuo: flower-fruit.

5. Pao Lin: precious wood.

huger than ever, raising heavy waves and a thick mist which overshadowed the area. All the monks were scared but the Patriarch scolded the dragon, saying: 'You can make yourself very large but you cannot appear small. If you are a spirit dragon, you should be able to transform your small body into a big one, and vice versa.' Suddenly the dragon disappeared, returned a short while later as a very small one and jumped out of the water. The Patriarch held out his bowl and said: 'You dare not get in the old monk's bowl.' Thereupon, the dragon advanced towards the Patriarch who scooped it up with the bowl, inside which it could not move. Holding the bowl, the Patriarch returned to the hall where he expounded the Dharma to the dragon. Then the reptile went away, leaving behind its body which was (only) seven inches long, complete with head, tail, horns and legs. It was kept at the monastery. Later the Patriarch filled up the pond with (earth and) stones and erected a stûpa over it on the left side in front of the main hall.





The Altar Sûtra of the Sixth Patriarch

(Lu Tsu T’an Ching)

Chapitre I. How he Acquired the Dharma

WHEN the Patriarch arrived at Pao Lin monastery, magistrate Wei Ch'u of Shao Chou district and local officiais went to the mountain to invite him to (Ch'u Chiang) town to expound the Dharma in the hall of Ta Fan monastery for the benefit of allthose present.1

After the Patriarch had ascended to his seat, the assembly of over thirty officiais led by magistrate Wei, more than thirty Confucian scholars and over a thousand Buddhist monks and nuns, Taoists and laymen, bowed before him and expressed their desire to hear about the essentials of the Dharma. The Patriarch said to them:

'Learned friends, our self-natured Bodhi2 is fundamentally pure and clean. Use only this mind (of yours) for your direct understanding and attainment of Buddhahood.

'Learned friends, let me tell you (first) how I came to possess the Dharma. My father was a native of Fan Yang;3 he was dismissed from his official post and banished to be a commoner of Hsin Chou district in Ling Nan.4 I was very unlucky as my father thed when I was young, leaving behind my old mother and myself in poverty and distress. We moved to Nan Hai,5 where we sold firewood in the market-place. One day, a customer bought our wood and ordered me to carry it to his shop. After he had taken delivery and I had received the money, I left the shop where I saw at the door another man reciting a sûtra. When I heard the words, my mind was immediately awakened to their meaning. I asked the reciter for the name of the sûtra and was told it was the Diamond

1. Lit., for forming a cause beneficial to all those present.

2. Bodhi : illumination, enlightenment or awakening in regard to the real in contrant to the seeming.

3. Fan Yang: a town in Hopei province in North China.

4. Ling Nan: in Kuang Tung province, South China. S. Now Canton city.

5. Now Canton city.



[20] Sûtra. When I asked him where he came from and why he recited it, he replied: "I come from Tung Ch'an monastery in the Huang Mei district of Ch'i Chou prefecture. The abbot is Master Hung Jen, the Fifth Patriarch, who has more than a thousand disciples. I went there to pay my reverence to him and listened to and received the sutra. The master always exhorted monks and laymen to study only the Diamond Sûtra which would enable them to perceive their own nature for their direct understanding and attainment of Buddhahood."

'Due to a co-operating cause in a former life, another man gave me ten silver taels1 for my old mother's upkeep and urged me to go to Huang Mei to call on the Fifth Patriarch. As soon as my arrangements for my mother had been completed, I left her and over thirty days later reached Huang Mei, where I went to pay my reverence to the Fifth Patriarch, who asked me: "Where do you come from and what do you want?" I replied: "I am a commoner from Hsin Chou in Ling Nan and come from afar to pay reverence to you. I seek nothing but Buddhahood." The Patriarch said: "You are a Ling Nan man and are, therefore, a barbarian; how can you become a Buddha?" I replied: "Men can be recognized as northerners and southerners, but their Buddha nature is fundamentally the same everywhere. You and a barbarian may differ in physical features but what is the difference in your Buddha nature?" He was willing to say more, but as his disciples were on either side of him, he stopped and ordered me to join the other monks at work. I said: "I wish to tell you that my own mind always gives rise to wisdom; it does not stray from my own nature and should be a field of blessedness. I do not know what work you will give me to do." The Patriarch said: "This barbarian has a very sharp nature and character. Don't talk any more; now go to the backyard." I withdrew there and an attendant ordered me to split firewood and pound rice.

'Over eight months had elapsed when one day the Patriarch suddenly came to see me, saying: "Your knowledge has been found of use and I have been thinking about it. I have not spoken to you lest evil men might harm you. Do you know that?" I replied: "Yes, and it is to escape the notice of others that I dare not come near the hall."

'One day, the Patriarch summoned all his disciples and said: "The question of birth and death is a great one. All day long, you look only for blessings and do not try to get out of the bitter ocean of birth and death. If your own nature is .deluded, blessings will not save you. Now [21] go away and look into your own wisdom; use the prajñâ-wisdom of your own minds and each compose a gâtha1 for me to see. He who understands the great meaning,2 will inherit the robe and Dharma and will be the Sixth Patriarch. Go away quickly and don't linger over the gâthâ; thinking and reasoning will be of no use for he who can perceive his (own) nature, should do so at will. Such a person will perceive it even while brandishing a sword on the battlefield."

After receiving his order, the disciples withdrew and said to one another: "What is the use of our concentrating on writing a gâta to submit to the Patriarch? The head monk Shen Hsiu is our instructor and is certain to be the winner. It will only be a waste of effort if we write the gâthâ in a perfunctory manner." When the other disciples heard this, they allset their hearts at rest and said: "Henceforth we will follow Master Shen Hsiu. Why worry about writing the gâthâ?"

'As to Shen Hsiu, he thought: "The others do not submit their ghâtâs because I am their instructor. I should write mine and hand it to the Patriarch, for if I do not, how can he know whether my knowledge is superficial or profound? In submitting it, my object is good if I seek the Dharma, but it would be bad if I sought the Patriarchate for (in that case) my mind would be like that of a common man and by my act I would be usurping his holy rank. If I do not submit the gâthâ, I will never acquire the Dharma. How very difficult, how very difficuk !"

'In front of the Fifth Patriarch's hall, there were three corridors, the walls of which were to be frescoed by Lu Chen, a court artist, with pictures of transformations of the assembly as described in the Lankâvatâra sûtra and with genealogical tables of the five patriarchs for veneration in perpetuity.

1. Silver tael : Chinese money worth about 1.40 Hong Kong dollars, now abolished.

'Shen Hsiu had composed his gâthâ and had already made several attempts to submit it to the Patriarch, but as soon as he reached the door, his mind became so disturbed that his whole body was wet with perspiration. He dared not present it in spite of thirteen attempts in the course of four days. (Finally) he thought: "It will be better to write my gâthâ on the wall of the corridor so that the Patriarch can see it. If he approves, I will come out to make my obeisance and tell him that I wrote it. If he does not, I shall have wasted several years on the mountain to receive others' reverence; (in that case) how can I continue to practise the Dharma?" [22]

1. Gàthà: a stanza or poem.

2. Great meaning: the truth.

'That night, in the third watch,1 he took a lamp and went unnoticed to the south corridor, where he wrote on the wall the following gâthâ on his comprehension:

Like the Bodhi tree is body, like

A bright mirror (on a) chest the mind.2

Constantly and diligently rub it

Clean se that it cannot gather dust.

As soon as he had written this, Shen Hsiu returned to his room, thus escaping the notice of others. He then thought: "Tomorrow, if the Fifth Patriarch is delighted with my gâthâ, it will mean that I have a cooperating cause for the Dharma. If he says that it is unfit, it will mean that I am infatuated owing to karmic obstructions from my former lives and that I am not qualified for the Dharma. It is difficult to guess the holy opinion." In his room, he was thus absorbed in thoughts and could neither sit nor sleep at case until the fifth watch.

'The Patriarch knew already that Shen Hsiu had not entered the door3 and had not perceived his own nature. At dawn he called Lu Chen, the court artist, to frcsco the wall of the south corridor. Unexpectedly, he saw the gâthâ and said to the artist: "There is no nced to paint the pictures now and I am sorry for the trouble you have taken in coming from so far. The (Diamond) sûtra says: ‘All that have forms are unreal.' We will retain this gâthâ so that people can recite and observe it. If it is put into practice, evil worlds (destinies) can be avoided and great advantage will result." Then he ordered a monk to burn incense sticks and urged his disciples to revere and recite the gâthâ so that later they could perceive their own nature.4 The monks repeated it and exclaimed: "Excellent !"

'In the third watch of the night, the Patriarch called Shen Hsiu to the hall and asked: "Did you write the gâthâ?" Shen Hsiu replied: "Yes. I dare not seek your Patriarchate but I pope you will be compassionate

1. The five watches of the night are from 7 to 9 p.m., 9 to 11 p.m., 11 p.m. to I a.m., I to 3 a.m. and 3 to 5 a.m.

2. Lit. “mirror stand”. This consists of a small wooden box or chest with drawers having on the top a folding mirror as covering. Here the mirror symbolizes the mind and the chest or box represents the physical body. Hence the Sixth Patriarch's correction 'And the bright mirror has no chest'.

3. The Dharma door to enlightenment.

4. To practise the gâthâ only enables one to avoid miseries in the three lower worlds of existence but not to realize the self-nature; it can only be a contributorv cause in the quest of the truth.

[23] enough to see if I possess a little wisdom." The Patriarch said: "Your gâthâ shows that you have not perceived your own nature; you have only reached the outside door which you have not yet entered. Such knowledge will not help you to attain Supreme Bodhi, for one who realizes it should know his own mind and perceive his fundamcntal nature at will. The fundamcntal nature has neither birth nor death and should be self-perceived at all times; nothing can obstruct it. One reality is all reality 1 and all externals arc automatically in the state of suchness. The Bhûtatathatâ mind2 is reality. If perceived in this manner, it is self-natured supreme Bodhi. Go away and take one or two more days to think it over again and compose another gâthâ for me. If it shows that you have entered the door (to enlightenment), I will transmit to you the robe and Dharma."

'Shen Hsiu paid obeisance to the Patriarch and withdrew. A few days passed but he could not compose another gâthâ. His mind was uneasy and his intellect agitated as if he were in a dream; he found no comfort in walking or sitting.

‘Two days later, a boy who passed by the place where I was pounding rice, chanted the gâthâ. Upon hearing it, I immediately knew that the writer had not perceived his own nature. Although I was not taught about it, I already knew the great meaning. I then asked the boy: "What gâthâ are you chanting?" He replied: "You, a barbarian, know nothing. The Patriarch said that the question of birth and death was a great one and as he intended to transmit the robe and Dharma to a successor, he ordered each of his disciples to compose a gâthâ and submit it to him. He who comprehended the great meaning would inherit the robe and Dharma and would succeed him as the Sixth Patriarch. The head monk Shen Hsiu wrote this gâthâ of the Immaterial 3 on the wall of the south corridor and the Patriarch ordered us to chant it because if it was put into practice, evil worlds could be avoided and great advantage would derive therefrom." I said: "I must also chant the gâthâ so that I can form a coopérating cause in the next reincarnation. I have been pounding ricc for over eight months and have never been to the hall. Will you please take me there so that I can pay my reverence to the gâthâ."

'Led by the boy, I went to pay reverence, saying: "I am illiterate, will you please read it to me." A petty official of Chiang Chou district, called

1. When the self-nature is perceived, all the seeming will automatically be in the state of reality.

2. Bhûtatathatâ: Bhûta is substance, that which exists and tathatâ is suchness, thusness, i.e. such is its nature. The suchness of mind.

3. As contrasted with the material, or the worldly.

[24) Chang Jih Yung, who was there at the time, read it aloud to me. After hearing the gâthâ, I said to him: "I also have one, will you please write it for me?" The official said: "You also compose a gâthâ! How won-derful!" I said to him: "If you wish to learn the Supreme Bodhi, you should not slight a beginner for the lowest man sometimes possesses the highest wisdom which the highest man frequently ignores. If you despise others, you will commit immeasurable and unlimitable sins."' The official said: "Read me your gâthâ and I will write it for you. If you succeed in acquiring the Dharma, you must liberate me first. Don't forget." My gâtlhâ read as follows:

In essence Bodhi has no tree

And the bright mirror has no chest.

In essence there is not a thing;

On what then can dust gather? 2

'As soon as my gâthâ had been written, all those present were stunned and struck with admiration. They said to each other: "How wonderful! Certainly we cannot judge a man by his appearance. How is it possible that we have had at our service for so long a Bodhisattva in flesh and blood?"

Seeing that those present were taken aback, and being apprehensive that evil men might harm me, the Patriarch took his shoe and erased my gâthâ, saying: "This also does not show perception of the fundamental nature." They all subscribed to his opinion.

'The following day, the Patriarch secretly carne to the place where I was pounding rice and seeing that I was working with a stone attached to my waist,3 he said to me: "Should a seeker of the truth risk his life for the Dharma in such a manner?" Then he asked: "Is the rice ripe?" I replied: "Ripe long ago but still waiting for the sieve." He knocked the pestle thrice with his staff and left. I immcdiately grasped his idea and that night, in the third watch, I went to his room. He used his robe as a

1. If one despises others, one will cling to the idea of the reality of ego which is the cause of delusion. Moreover, others have also their Buddha nature and should never be slighted.

2. Shen Hsiu's gâthâ showed that he still clung to externals which obstructed his realization of his self-nature. The Sixth Patriarch's gâthâ was intended to wipe out all traces of bodhi tree and mirror on a chest which could not be used for comparison with the immaterial bodhi and mind. His method of destroying all discriminations is described in detail in Chapter 10 of this sûtra.

3. The stone was to add weight to the body of the worker using the foot pestle which was very heavy. This stonc was kept at Tung Ch'an monastery at Huang Mei.

[25] screen so that no one could see us from outside and expounded the Diamond sûtra to me. When he came to the sentence: "One should develop a mind which does not abide anywhere", suddenly I was completely enlightened and realized that nothing existed outside the self-nature. I then said to the Patriarch:

"Who would have expected that the self-nature is fundamentally pure and clean?

Who would have expected that the self-nature is fundamentally beyond birth and death?

Who would have expected that the self-nature is fundamentally complete in itself?

Who would have expected that the self-nature is fimdamentally immutable?

Who would have expected that the self-nature can create all things?"

'Knowing that I had realized my own nature, the Patriarch said to me: "He who does not know his fundamental mind, will not gain any advantage in his studies of the Dharma but he who knows it and perceives his self-nature, is called a master,1 a teacher of devas and men, a Buddha."

I received the Dharma in the third watch of the night, thus escaping the notice of the community. Then the Patriarch transmitted to me the doctrine of instantaneous enlightenment as well as the robe and bowl, saying: "You are now the Sixth Patriarch. Take good care of yourself, liberate as many living beings as you can and spread the teaching widely for its uninterrupted continuity in future generations. Now lister to my gâthâ:

"Seed sown by the sentient

In causal ground produces (Buddha) fruit.

If no sentience, then no seed,

If no nature, no production."

The Patriarch further said: "When the great Master Bodhidharma first came to this country, people did not believe him. Therefore, he transmitted this robe as a token of faith, to be handed clown from one patriarch to another. As to the Dharma, it was transmitted from mind to mind for self-awakening and self-interpretation. From ancient times, the Buddhas transmitted their own substance, from one Buddha to another

1. A master who brings all passions under control.

[26] and the masters esoterically passed down their fundamental minds from one master to another. This robe is the cause of dispute and you should not band it down. If you transmit it, your life will hang by a thread. You must leave this place quickly as I am apprehensive that bad people may harm you." I asked him: "Where should I go?" He replied: "Halt at Huai and hide yourself at Hui."1

‘In the third watch of the night, I received the robe and bowl, and said to the Patriarch: "I am a southerner and do not know the mountain tracks; will you please tell me how to get to the river?" He replied: "Don't worry, I will accompany you."

'The Patriarch accompanied me to the couriers' station at Chiu Chiang (Kiukiang). He ordered me to board a boat, took the oar and rowed. I said to him: "(Sir), please sit down, it is fitting that I take the oar." He replied: "It is appropriate that I ferry you across." I said: "When one is infatuated, one's master ferries one across, but when one is enlightened, one should ferry oneself. Although (the word) ferry has only one meaning, its use is different in each case. (Although) I was born in a frontier region and although my enunciation is incorrect, you have transmitted the Dharma to me. As I am now enlightened, it is only appropriate for my own nature to ferry itself across." The Patriarch said: "Exactly so, exactly so! Hereafter, the Buddha-dharma will prosper through you. Three years after you leave me, I will leave this world. Now start on your journey and go south as fast as possible. Do not expound the Dharma too soon as it will not flourish without difficulty."

'I bade farewell to the Patriarch, set out on foot to the south, and within two months, reached the Ta Yu mountains.'

The following note is inserted in the Text:

'The Patriarch returned to the rnonastery but did not come to the hall for several days. His disciples were suspicious and went to his room to ask him "(Sir) are you indisposed?" He replied: "I am not but the robe and Dharma have gone to the south." When asked who had received them, he replied: "The able one has got them." Thereupon, his disciples realized that upâsaka Hui Neng had received the robe and Dharma."2

‘Several hundred people were pursuing me with the intention of snatching the robe and bowl. A monk whose lay name was Ch'en Hui

1. Huai is Huai Chi and Hui is Szu Hui, two small towns in East Kwangsi and West Kwangtung respectively.

2. The Sixth Patriarch's name was Hui Neng, lit. 'Bestow-Able', hence the 'Able One'.

[27] Ming and who had been a military commander of the fourth rank, a man of harsh temper, was intent in his search for me and ahead of the others. When he was about to overtake me, I threw the robe and bowl on a rock, saying: "This robe is a token of faith; can it be taken by force?" Then I hid myself in the bushes. When Hui Ming carne to the rock, he tried to pick up the robe and bowl but could not moue them. Then he shouted: « Lay brother, lay brother ! I come for the Dharma and not for the robe. »

'I came out and sat with crossed legs on the rock. Hui Ming made obeisance to me and said: "Lay brother, please expound the Dharma to me." I replied: "Since you come for the Dharma, you should (first) banish all feelings and should not give rise to a single thought (in your mind); I will expound it to you." After a long while, I said: "Do not think of either good or evil, at the very moment (when there is no thought in your mind), what is the Venerable Hui Ming's fundamental face?" Instantaneously Hui Ming was enlightened. He asked me: "Is there any other hidden meaning beside the esoteric expression and teaching handed down by the Patriarchs?" I replied: "That which has been expounded to you is not esoteric, (and) if you look inward, that (which you call) esoteric is within yourself." Hui Ming said: "Although I was at Huang Mei, I did not realize my fundamental face. Now that you have taught me, I am like a drinker of water who alone knows whether it is cold or warm. Lay brother, you are now my master." I replied: "If this be so, then you and I are fellow disciples of Huang Mei. Take good care of yourself." Hui Ming asked again: "Where should I go now?" I replied: "Halt at Yuan and dwell at Meng."'

'Then Hui Ming descended from the mountain and at its foot said to the other pursuers: "Above there is only a rocky height; we are on the wrong track and must follow another one." They believed him. Afterwards, Hui Ming changed his naine to Tao Ming in deference to the Sixth Patriarch (whose name was Hui Neng).

'Afterwards, I proceeded to Ts'ao Ch'i and was again pursued by evil men. To avoid trouble I went to Szu Hui, where I mixed with a group of hunters. I stayed there fifteen -years and occasionally expounded the Dharma to them in a mariner suitable (to their understanding). They asked me to watch the nets for them but as soon as I saw living beings

1. Yuan is Yuan Chou and Meng is Meng Shan. Hui Ming was later abbot of a inonastery on Meng Shan Mountain in Yuan Chou district.

[28] caught therein, I set them free. For my meals I put vegetables in the same pan that the hunters used to cook meat and when asked, I said that I ate only vegetables cookcd next to meat in the pan. 1

'One day I thought the tune was ripe for spreading the Dharma and that I should not stay in hiding for ever. I went, therefore, to Fa Hsin monastery at Kuang Chou (now Canton city) where the Dharma master Yin Tsung was expounding the Mahâparinirvâna sûtra. One day, as a banner was streaming in the wind, a dispute arose between two monks, one insisting that the wind, the other that the banner, was moving. As they could not agree, I said: "Neither the wind nor the banner moves; the minds of the Venerable Sirs really move."

'All those present were startled. The Dharma master Yin Tsung invited me to take the seat of honour and asked me about the abstruse meaning (of the sûtras). Seeing that my doctrine was exactly to the point and that what I said was concise and did not come from the Scriptures, he said: "Lay brother, you are not an ordinary man. I heard long ago that the robe and Dharma of Huang Mei were brought to the south, are you not the holder of them?" I replied: "I dare not (claim to be)."2

'Upon hearing this, Yin Tsung made obeisance to me and requested me to show the robe and bowl to the community. He further asked: "How was the Huang Mei doctrine taught?" I replied: "There was no teaching but the Patriarch only discussed looking into the (self-) nature and did not postulats meditation and dcliverance." Yin Tsung asked: "Why were meditation and deliverance not postulated?" I replied: "Because that is a dual Dharma and is not Buddha-dharma. The Buddha-dharma is not a dual one." Yin Tsung again asked: "What is the non-dual Buddha-dharma?" I replied: "The realization of Buddha nature is the non-dual Buddha-dharma. The Mahâparinirvâna Sûtra which you are expounding, mentions a question put to the Buddha by Bodhisattva Kao Kuei Te Wang3 who asked: 'Does the commitment of four grave prohibitions,4 of five rebellious acts5 and of icchantika6 cut off the good roots of Buddha nature?' The Buddha replied: 'There are two kinds of good root, one permanent and one impermancnt, but the Buddha nature

1. Lit. « meat-fringing vegetable ».

2. A very polite term in Chinese, meaning, 'Yes, I am.'

3. The Sanskrit name of the Bodhisattva is unknown.

4. The four grave prohibitions or sins, pàràjikas in Sanskrit, are: killing, stealing, carnality and lying.

5. The five rebellious acts, or pañcânantarya in Sanskrit, are: parricide, matricide, killing an arhat, shedding the blond of a Buddha and destroying the harmony of the Samgha.

6. Icchantika : An unbeliever who has no desire for Buddha enlightenment.

29 is neither permanent nor impermanent, and cannot, therefore, be cut off.' This is called the non dual. There are good (roots) and bad (roots) but the Buddha nature is neither good nor bad and is called non dual. The five skandhas1 and (eighteen) dhâtus2 are dual as seen by the common man, but for the wise man who has a clear understanding of them, their nature is non dual and the non dual is Buddha nature."

'Yin Tsung, very delighted at what I said, brought his two palms together to salute me and said: "My way of expounding the sûtra is as worthless as a potsherd and your discourse on its mcaning is as valuable as real gold." Then he shaved my head and asked me to accept him as my disciple. Subsequently, under the Bodhi tree, I inaugurated the Tung Shan doctrine.3

'I acquired the Dharma at Tung Shan and suffered great hardship, my life hanging by a thread. Today, if I have the opportunity of meeting you, magistrate, officiais, monks, nuns, Taoists and laymen here in this assembly, it is due to co-operating causes of many former aeons and also to our past offerings to all Buddhas and to our having planted in common good roots in former incarnations, thus giving ourselves the chance of listening to the above instantaneous doctrine and providing a cause for the acquisition of Dharma. The teaching was handed down by former Patriarchs and does not come from my own knowledge. All of you who wish to hear about the teaching of past Patriarchs should purify your minds and after you have listened to it, you should cut off your doubts so that you will become exactly like the Patriarchs of past generations.'

After listening to the Dharma, the assembly was filled with joy, made obeisance to the Patriarch and dispersed.

1 Thc five skandhas, or aggrcgates, arc: rûpa, form; veda, reception, sensation, feeling, the functioning of mind and senses in connexion with affairs and things; sañjñâ, conception or discerning, the functioning of muid in discerning; samskâra, functioning of mind about like and dislike, good and evil, etc.; vijñana, mental faculty in regard to perception and cognition, discriminative of affairs and things.

2. The eighteen dhâtus: realms of sense, i.e. the six organs, their objects and their perceptions.

3. The Fifth Patriarch stayed on Huang Mei mountain in Huang Mei district. The mountain was to the east of the district and was called Tung Shan, lit. 'Eastern Mountain'. His doctrine was also called the Tung Shan doctrine.

Chapitre II. Prajñâ

The following day, at the invitation of magistrate Wei Ch' u, the Patriarch ascended to his seat and addressed the assembly: 'All of you should purify your minds and repeat: "Mahâprajñâpâramitâ.'

He continued: learned friends, all worldly men fundamentally possess the wisdom of Bodhi-prajñâ. If they cannot be awakened to it, it is because their minds are under delusion. They should call on enlightened persons who will guide and show them how to perceive their (self-) nature. You should know that the Buddha nature of the ignorant and of the enlightened are the same, the only difference being that the former are deluded whereas the latter are awakened to it. Today, I will expound the Mahâprajñàpâramitâ-dharma so that each of you will acquire wisdom. Please listen attentively to what I say.

‘Learned friends, all day long worldly men repeat aloud (the word) prajñâ but do not know their self-natured prajñâ. They are like one who cannot satisfy his hunger by only talking about eating. Just talking of voidness will not enable one to perceive one's nature for myriads of aeons, and there will be no advantage in the end.

’Learned friends, Mahâprajñâpâramitâ is a Sanskrit word which means, in our language, "the great wisdom (which enables one to) reach the other shore". This should be performed by the mind and has nothing to do with verbal repetition. Verbal repetition without using the mind is like an illusion, a transformation, dew and lightning; but verbal repetition, coupled with use of the mind, will ensure a union of mind and mouth. The fundamental nature is Buddha and apart from this nature, there is no other Buddha.

'What does Mahâ mean? Mahâ means great. The capacity of the mind is broad and great, like space; it has no boundaries; it is neither square nor round; neither great nor small; neither blue nor yellow; neither red nor white; neither above nor below; neither long nor short; neither anger nor joy; neither right nor wrong; neither good nor bad; and it has neither head nor tail. All Buddha lands are like space. The wondrous nature of (all) worldly men is fundamentally void and does not contain a single thing (dharma). The absolute voidness of the fundamental nature is also like it.

‘Leamed friends, when you hear me speaking of the void, please do not grasp the void. The first thing is not to grasp the void. If you sit in meditation with an empty mind, you will grasp the unrecordable voidness.1

'Learned friends, the voidness of the universe is capable of containing all things of various forms and shapes, such as the sun, moon, stars, mountains, rivers, the great earth, springs, streams, mountain torrents, plants, trees and woods, good and bad men, good and bad things (dharma), heavens and hells, all the great oceans and all the Sumeru mounts; all these are in the void. The voidness of worldly men's nature is also like it.

‘Leamed friends, one's own nature is great because it can contain all things (dharma). As all things (dharma) are contained in your (own) nature, if good and bad men are viewed with neither attachment nor repulsion, also without contamination, the mind which is like space, is called great. For this reason, it is called

'Learned friends, while the ignorant only talk, the wise apply their minds to practice. There are also ignorant people who sit in meditation with an empty mind and without thinking of anything and who call themselves great. It is useless to talk to them because of their heterodox views.

'Learned friends, the mind has a great and broad capacity and pervades the whole Dharmadhâtu. 2 Its function is to see through (all things) completely and clearly, and when at work, it readily knows everything. One is all and all is one. 3 It is free to come or go. The substance of mind is free from all obstructions. This is prajñâ.

'Learned friends, all prajñâ wisdoms come from one's own nature, not from outside. Make no mistake about this. This is called the true nature's own function. One reality is all reality. The capacity of the mind is for great affairs and not for small ways. Do not speak of voidness all day while the mind does not practise the same (great things). This is like a commoner who calls himself, but can never be, a king. Such people are not my disciples.

1. Avyâkrta, or avyâkhyâta; unrecordable either as good or bad; neutral, neither good nor bad; things that are innocent or cannot be classified under moral categories but cause a deviation from the self-nature.

2. Dharmadhâtu here means the physical universe. See its full meaning in the Glossary.

3. Mind and objects are not two different things; all things are identical with One Mind and One Mind is identical with all things. This is the essential unity of all things.

‘Learned friends, what is prajñâ? It is wisdom in Chinese. At all times and in all places, if all our thoughts are not stupid and if we act wisely, this is the performance of wisdom. A stupid thought will cut off prajñâ at once and a wise thought will beget it. Worldly men are ignorant and deluded and do not perceive prajñâ. They speak of it but their minds are always stupid. They always talk of their practice of prajñâ, and (although) they always speak of voidness, they do not know absolute voidness. Prajñâ has neither form nor shape. It is just the wise mind. Such an interpretation is called the wisdom of prajñâ.

'What does pâramità mean? It is an Indian word and means in Chinese "reaching the other shore". It is interpreted as freedom from birth and death. Attachment to externals produces birth and death, just as water rises in waves; this is called "this shore". Detachment from externals (ensures) freedom from birth and death, like water which flows freely and uninterruptedly ; this is called the "other shore". Hence the term « pâramitâ » .

'Learned friends, the ignorant repeat (Mahâprajñâpâramitâ) with their mouths and during their repetition, false and evil thoughts arise (in their minds). If thought after thought, (Mahâprajñâpâramitâ) is actually practised, this is called the true nature. Awakening to this Dharma is called prajñâ-dharma. Practice of this Dharma is prajñâ conduct. He who does not practise it is a common man. Its practice (even) in the time of a thought will put one's own body on an equality with the Buddha.

'Learned friends, the worldly man is Buddha (and) distress (klesa) 1 is Bodhi. If the preceding thought be under delusion, it is (that of) a worldly man (and) if the following thought be awakened, it is (that of) Buddha. The preceding thought clinging to objects is klesa (and) the following thought discarding objects is Bodhi.

'Learned friends, Mahâprajénâpâramitâ is the most honoured, the highest and the supreme. It neither stays nor comes nor goes. all Buddhas of the past, present and future come from it. One should use this great wisdom to destroy the klesa caused by the passions of the five aggregates. Such a practice will ensure the certain attainment of Buddhahood. The three poisons 2 will thereby be transmuted into discipline (sila), meditation (dyâna) and wisdom (prajñâ).

1. Klesa: distress, worry, anxiety, trouble and whatever causes them.

2. The three poisons are: (1) concupiscence, or desire; (2) anger, hate or resentment ; and (3) stupidity.

‘Learned friends, this Dharma door of mine begins with one prajñâ 84,000l wisdoms. Why? Because the worldly men have 84,000 1 passions (to cope with). If there are no passions, wisdom will constantly be apparent and will not stray from one's self-nature. Awakening to this doctrine is (realization of) the mind without a thought. The non-recollection, the non-attachment, the non-arising of deception and falsehood, the use of one's self-natured suchness to contemplate all things by means of its wisdom and the non-grasping and non-rejecting of allthings, all this is the perception of one's self-nature and attainment of Buddhahood.

‘Learned friends, if you wish to enter the very deep Dharmadhâtu and the prajñâ-Samâdhi, you should practise the prajñâ performance (and) keep and recite the Diamond Sûtra which will enable you to perceive your self-nature. You should know that the meritorious virtues of this sutra arc immeasurable and boundless and cannot, as clearly praised in the text, be fully discussed. This Dharma door is the Supreme Vehicle and is for expounding to men of great wisdom and superior roots. Those of small roots and shallow wisdom do not believe it when they hear about it. What is the reason? Take for example the rain which the heavenly dragons (nâga) shower on this world (Jambudvipa); it causes cities, towns and villages to be swept away in the flood like leaves of the date tree. If rain falls into the great ocean, it will neither increase nor decrease the latter. If men of the Mahâyâna and men of the Supreme Vehicle hear about the Diamond Sûtra, they will open their minds to it, and comprehend and interpret it (accordingly). So we know that the fundamental self-nature possesses the wisdom of its own prajûà and uses its own wisdom for constant contemplation without having recourse to Scriptures.

‘Trake for example rain water. It does not come from heaven but its downpour is caused by dragons (nâga) so that all living beings, plants and trees, the sentient as well as the insentient will all receive its refreshing benefit. Carried by rivers and streams, it flows into the great ocean wherc it merges into one body. The prajñâ wisdom of the fundamental nature of all living beings is also like it.

1. The digit 8 stands for the âlaya-vijñânâ, or the eighth consciousness and the digit 4, for the four elements, earth, water, fire and air, of the human body; they symbolize space. The three zeros stand for time. The whole number symbolizes space and time which should be eradicated before enlightenment can be attained. This is a Ch'an interpretation which differs from other explanations for men of inferior spirituality, which we do not mention in this sihra for men of great wisdom and superior roots.

‘Learned friends, when men of small roots hear about this instantaneous teaching, they are exactly like plants and trees which are not deeply rooted and are swept away by torrential rains without having a chance to grow. Men of small roots are also like these (plants and trees). The prajñâ wisdom which fundamentally they possess does not differ from that of people of great wisdom. Why do not they open up their minds to and understand the Dharma when they hear about it? It is because of the great obstacles caused by their perverted views and of their deep-rooted klesa, like thick clouds hiding the sun which appears only after the clouds have been dispersed by the wind.

'Prajñâ wisdom is also neither great nor small. All living beings differ from each other because of their minds which are either deluded or enlightened. Those of deluded mind see outwardly; they practise and seek the (external) Buddha. They are not awakened to their self-nature and are, therefore, of small roots. If one's self-mind is opened up and awakened to the instantaneous teaching, there will be no external practice but only the uprising of correct views in one's self-mind so that the passions of klesa cannot stain it. This is realization of (one's self-) nature.

‘Learned friends, non-abiding either within or without, freedom to come and to go, ability to relinquish the clinging mind and thorough and unimpeded comprehension (of the self-nature), if put into practice, do not differ fundamentally (in pattern) from the Diamond Sfitra.

'Learned friends, all sûtras and scriptures, the Mahâyâna and Hinayâna, and the twelve divisions 1 of the canon are all devised for men. (Dharmas) are established because there is the wisdom nature (which can absorb them). If there were no human beings, there would be no Dharmas which fundamentally do not exist. So we know that all Dharmas are set up for men and that all sûtras exist because they have been expounded by men. Since there are men who are ignorant and men who are enlightened, the ignorant are inferior and the enlightened are superior. At the request of inferior men, the superior expound the Dharma to them. Suddenly the latter wake up, comprehend and open up their minds, thus

1. The 12 divisions of the Mahâyâna canon are: (i) sûtras, the Buddha's serinons; (2) geya, metrical pieces; (3) gâthâ, poems or chants; (4) nidâna, sûtras written because of a request or query, because certain precepts were violated and because of certain events; (5) itivrttaka, narratives; (6) jâtaka, stories of former lives of Buddha; (7) adbhutadharma, miracles ; (8) avadâna, parables, metaphors, stories, illustrations; (9) upadda, discourses and discussions by question and answer; (ro) udâna, impromptu, or unsolicited addresses; (i i) vaipulya, expanded sûtras ; and (i2) vyà-karana, prophecies.

becoming equals of superior men, without any difference existing between the two.

'Learned friends, without enlightenment, even Buddha is a living being. If enlightened in the time of a thought, even a living being is Buddha. Therefore, we know that all Dharmas are inherent in our self-mind. Why do not we (try to) perceive instantly our fundamental Bhûtatathatâ mind which is immanent in our self-mind? The Bodhisattva-sila says: "Fundamentally our own nature is pure and clean; if we know our mind and perceive our self-nature, we will all attain Buddhahood." The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sûtra says: "Instantly (the Bhiksus) obtained a clear understanding and regained their fundamental minds." 2

‘Learned friends, when I was with (the Fifth Patriarch) Hung Jen and heard (his words) I ûnmediately became enlightened and instantly perceived my fundamental Bhûtatathatâ nature. This is why I am spreading this Dharma so that seekers of the truth will instantly be awakened to Bodhi and that each of them will (succeed in) looking into his self-mind and perceive his essential nature. If they are unable to be awakened, they should call on a learned person who is well versed in the interpretation of the Dharma of the Supreme Vehicle and will give them the direct pointing at the right way. This learned person possesses a great (co-operating) cause for instructing and guiding them to perceive their (fundamental) nature, because all good Dhartnas are established by men (like that learned person). All Buddhas of the three times and the twelve divisions of the Mahâyâna canon are immanent in men's own nature. If one cannot awaken to it, one should look for a learned person's teaching which will enable one to perceive (one's fundamental nature). (However), if one is able to enlighten oneself, no external help is required. It is incorrect to think that a learned person is indispensable so that one can attain liberation. Why? Because the self-enlightening knowledge is immanent in one's own mind. If erroneous, deluded, false and inverted thoughts arise (there), even the teaching of a learned person cannot save one. But if there arises the correct and true contemplation by prajñâ, all false thoughts will instantly disappear. If one's own nature be known, one's awakening will enable one to reach the Buddha stage (in one bound).



1. The tenth chapter of the Brahmajâla Sûtra was published in a special edition callcd the Bodhisattva-fila Sûtra.

2. The Buddha's disciple Pûnamaitrâyariputra was reprimanded for his wrong teaching by upâsaka Vimalakirti who used his supernatural power to enable the Bhiksus to perceive and recover their fundamental minds.

‘Learned friends, the contemplation of wisdom which thoroughly penetrates the internal (organs) and external (objects) ensures the know-ledge of one's fundamental mind. If the fundamental mind is known, this is fundamental liberation. If the fundamental liberation is realized, this is prajñâ-Samâdhi. Prajñâ-Samâdhi is (the mind) without a thought. 1 What is (the mind) without a thought? It is seeing all things without the mind being stained by and clinging to them. Its functicining pervades everywhere without attachment to anything. If one purifies one's mind so that the six consciousnesses come out through the six gates (sense organs) without being stained and infected by the six sense data so that one's coming and going are free without obstruction, this is unhindered liberation by prajñâ-Samâdhi. This is using (the mind) without a thought. If nothing is thought about in order to cut off all thinking, this is Dharma bondage and is an extreme view.

'Learned friends, he who is awakened to the Dharma of (the mind) without a thought thoroughly knows all Dharmas. He who is awakened to the Dharma of no thought perceives all Buddha realms. He who is awakened to the Dharma of no thought reaches the Buddha stage.

'Learned friends, in future generations those who acquire this Dharma of mine should, together with men sharing the sanie views and making the same observance, vow to receive and practise this instantaneous Dharma door as if serving the Buddha without backsliding during their whole lives; they are bound to attain the holy rank. They should transmit the esoteric teaching 2 handed down (by past Patriarchs) and should never bide the latter's correct doctrine. (However) they should on no account teach this doctrine to the followers of other schools holding different views and observances, for this will harm them and will after all be futile. I am apprehensive that ignorant people who cannot understand this Dharma door may make slanderous observations about it and thereby destroy their Buddha seeds for hundreds of aeons and thousands of reincarnations.

'Learned friends, I have a hymn of the Immaterial which laymen and monks should recite and practise, because the mere memorizing of my words without actual practice is useless. Now listen to my hymn:

'Real knowledge of the Teaching 3 and of the Mine 4 is like



1. Apart from thoughts, nothing exists.

2. From mind to mind without words or writing.

3. The expedient teaching as distinguished from 'direct pointing' of the mind, outside scriptures.

4. The Transmission of Mind which the Buddha handed down through Mahâkâsyapa.



The sun in space. To transmit the self-realizing Dharma

Is why (the Buddha) on earth appeared,

And to destroy all heresies. This Dharma is neither

Gradual nor instantaneous, for delusion and enlightenment

Are the cause why one is slow, the other sudden.

The ignorant can never comprehend

This door through which self-nature is perceived.

The myriad ways of teaching it are

Traced right back to the fundamental one.

The dark bouse of klesa should be lit

Constantly by the sun of wisdom.

Klesa leads to heresies,

But is destroyed by the orthodox;

If both be discarded there remain 1

Purity and cleanness absolute.

Self-natured Bodhi in itself will be

Deluded f the mind discriminates.

A pure mind in the midst of falsehood

When corrected meets not the three barriers. 2

Nothing can impede these worldly men

Who practise this (instantaneous) teaching:

If on their faults they keep a constant eye,

They with this doctrine ever will agree.

Since each living species has its nature 3

Why should one impede or irritate the other?

He who front his nature strays elsewhere to seek it

Will never in this life perceive that nature:

Restlessly will he pass his days

And in the end be disappointed. 4

If you would perceive your own self-nature (realize)

That it is but the right performance (of the mind). 5

If on it you do not set your mind,

1. Orthodoxy and heterodoxy are a duality which has no room in the pure and clean self-nature.

2. Desire, hate and stupidity.

3. As they are at one with the undivided whole, it is natural that there should be no interference and irritation.

4. At his death.

S. The Patriarch said to Ch'en Hui Ming: 'Do not think of either good or evil; at this very instant, what is the venerable Hui Ming's fundamental face?' This is the right use of the mind which should never be stirred.

Walking in the dark you see it not.

Whoe'er can truly practise it

Sees not others' errors.

If we find fault with others,

We too are in the wrong:

Though they not we be faulty,

We are wrong when we discrirninate

If we discard this erring mind

We destroy the trouble (klesa).

If from our minds we can dismiss both love

And hate, we can stretch our two feet to sleep.

Have expedient methods

If others you would teach:

Strip them of all doubts 1 and then

Their own nature can appear.

This (instantaneous) Dharma belongs to the (discriminating) world

Within which only can enlightenment be sought.

If we leave it in our search elsewhere for Bodhi

Tis as hopeless as searching for a hare with horns.

Right views are transcendental

But heresies mundane:

When both are eliminated 2

Bodhi nature is fulfilled.

This is the hymn of instantaneous teaching,

Known as the great ferry o'er the Dharma. 3

Tis aeons before the deluded hear of it,

(But) for the enlightened it happens in an instant (ksana).'

The Patriarch further said: 'I have now expounded the instantaneous teaching in this Ta Fan monastery. May all living beings in the dharma-dhâtu instantly comprehend the Dharma and attain Buddhahood after listening to my sermon.'

At the time, magistrats Wei Ch'u, the local officiais, monks and laymen were all awakened to the teaching and paid obeisance to the Patriarch, all exclaiming: 'Excellent ! Who would have thought that a Buddha has appeared in Ling Nan?'

1. Doubts about their self-nature and their abilities to attain Buddhahood.

2. The transcendental and the mundane are a pair of opposites which should be discarded so that the absolute self-nature can manifest itself.

3. Ferry of salvation.



Chapitre IV. Dyâna and Prajñâ

(ONE day) the Patriarch addressed the assembly as follows:

Learned friends, dyâna (meditation) and prajñâ (wisdom) 1 are the fundamentals of this Dharma door of mine. Make no mistake about this and do not say that dyâna and wisdom differ from each other. dyâna and wisdom are one and are not two (separate) things. dyâna is the substance of wisdom and wisdom is the function of dyâna. Whenever wisdom is at work, dyâna is within it, (and) when dyâna is at work, wisdom is within it. To understand this is to understand simultaneously (both) dyâna and wisdom. You students of this doctrine, should not say that dyâna comes first and then begets wisdom (or) that wisdom comes first and then begets dyâna. If this view were held, the Dharma would have two aspects, and while your mouths were uttering good words, your minds would be wrong. (In such a case), dyâna and wisdom would be useless, because they were not present

1. 'Ting' and 'hui' in Chinese. For avant of better Western equivalents, we arc compelled to use the Sanskrit words dyâna, or abstract meditation, and prajñâ, or wisdom. However, dyâna is not the exact equivalent of the Chinese ting which means 'dyâna-Samâdhi' or abstract meditation leading to a state of imperturbable mind free from disturbances. According to the Chinese Buddhist terminology, ting is an abbreviation of 'ch'an ting' which means: ch'an, the unstirred mind, and ting, its imperturbable condition which causes prajñâ, or wisdom, to manifest itself. In other words, one should practisc dyâna in order to attain Samâdhi, without which wisdom cannot appear. [… suite omise].

simultaneously. If both mouth and mind arc right, within and without there will be a true state of suchness, and dyâna and wisdom will be (present) in equal proportions. The practice of self-enlightenment does not depend on debating and the discussion as to whether dyâna or wisdom precede or follow (one another) denotes a deluded man. Such a debate will never be settled and will intensify the (false) notion of ego and dharma (things)1 and the clinging to the four (false) conceptions.2

‘Learned friends, what are dyâna and wisdom like? They are like a lamp and its light. Where there is a lamp, there is light and where there is no lamp, there is darkness. The lamp is the substance of light and light is the function of the lamp. Although there are two (different) names, fundamentally there is one body. dyâna wisdom is just like that.

§

(Another day) the Patriarch addressed the assembly as follows:

'Learned friends, the Samâdhi of universality3 is the unceasing state of one straightforward mind in all places, while walking, standing, sitting and lying. The Vimalakirti Nirdesa sûtra says: "The straightforward mind is the holy site4; the straightforward mind is the Pure Land." Your minds should not practise flattery and crookedness while your mouths speak of straightforwardness. Do not speak of the Samâdhi of universality when you do not act straightforwardly.

'Just be straightforward and do not cling to anything. Deluded men grasp the Dharma and hold on to the Samâdhi of universality. They daim that the Samâdhi of universality consists in sitting motionless all the time without any uprise in the mind. Such an interpretation makes the meditators inanimate and hinders the (realization of) self-nature.

‘Learned friends, the self-nature should pervade everywhere. How can it be obstructed? If the mind does not abide in Dharma, the self-nature will pervade everywhere. If the mind abides in Dharma, this is self-bondage. If it is claimed that continuous and motionless sitting (in meditation) is right, it is the sanie as when Sàriputra sat in meditation in the wood and was reprimanded by Vimalakirti.5

1. The two false conceptions of the reality of (1) an ego and of (2) dharma (things); both are illusions.

2. The four false conceptions of an ego, a man, a being and a life. (See Diamond Sùtra.)

3. Samâdhi of universality or Samâdhi of one act (of body, mouth and mind); holding to one course. A Samâdhi for realizing that the nature of all Buddhas is the same.

4. Holy site: bodhimandala, truth-plot; place of enlightenment ; a place for attainment to Buddha truth; a place for teaching, learning and practising religion.

5. See Vimalakirti Nirdda Sùtra, Chaptcr ûI, The disciples.

'Learned friends, there are also those who teach people to sit for the purpose of watching over the mind and of contemplating stillness, without motion and without any uprise in the mind, and who daim that this is real achievement. The deluded man who knows nothing about this, sticks to it and so becomes insane. There are cases like this. Such a teaching is a great mistake.

§

(On another occasion) the Patriarch addressed the asseinbly as follows:

‘Learned friends, fundamentally the correct teaching is neither instantaneous nor gradual, whereas the nature of each individual may be either sharp or dull. The deluded man practises the gradual method whereas the enlightened man realizes the instantaneous union (with reality). This is why the unreal names of instantaneous and gradual (methods) have been in use (but) there will be no difference between the two when their own minds are known and their fundamental nature is perceived.

‘Learned friends, this Dharma doot of mine was established by past Patriarchs with:

(1) Thoughtlessness (not-a-thought) as its doctrine;

(2) Immateriality as its substance, and

(3) Non-abiding as its fundamental.

"Immateriality is detachment from all forms, aspects and characteristics whilst in the midst of forms, aspects and characteristics.

'Thoughtlessness (not-a-thought) is the absence of all thoughts while in the process of thinking.

'Non-abiding is (the characteristic of) men's fundamental nature.

'In all worldly situations, whether good or evil, pleasant or ugly, friendly or hostile and when faced with provocative, critical, oppressive and quarrelsome language, all this should be treated as empty and all thoughts of retaliation should be dismissed. Instant after instant, one should not think of the past, because if past, present and future thoughts succeed one another without interruption, this is bondage. If there are no thoughts abiding in anything, this is freedom from bondage. Therefore, non-abiding is set up as the fundamental (of my Dharma door).

‘Learned friends, the riddance of all external forms, aspects and characteristics is called immateriality. If all forms, aspects and characteristics are discarded, the Dharma body 1 will be clean and pure. There-fore, immateriality is set up as the substance.

'Learned friends, if the mind is not stained by external objects, this is called thoughtlessness (not-a-thought). (This means that) while thinking

1. Dharma body: the nature of all mundane and supra-mundane things.

of our 'Self', all our thoughts are detached from the externals to which our mind does not cling. If one merely refrains from thinking so as to stop the thinking process, then when the last thought ceases, one will the and will transmigrate elsewhere. This is a great mistake and students of the Tao (Truth) should think about it. It is bad enough to make mistakes through not understanding the Dharma, but if one exhorts others to do the same, one will not only be unaware of one's own delusion, but will also vilify the Buddha's sutras. Therefore, thoughtlessness is set up as the doctrine (of my Dharma door).

‘Learned friends, why is thoughtlessness (not-a-thought) established as the doctrine (of my Dharma door)? Because there are deluded men who speak only of perceiving their own nature while their thoughts cling to external objects with the resultant rise of heterodox views. As a result all passions and erroneous thinking are generated. Our self-nature funda-mentally does not gain a single Dharma. The presumption that something is obtainable and false talk about weal and woe are nothing but passions and heterodox views. This is why this Dharma door sets up thoughtless-ness (not-a-thought) as its doctrine.

‘Learned friends, (when I say "not a thought", I mean this:) "not" is not a thing (of real concern to us) and "thought" is thought of nothing ; "not" is not dual, is not the passion-mind and "thought" is thought of the self-natured Bhûtatathatâ. Bhûtatathatâ is the body of thought and thought is the function of the self-natured Bhûtatathatâ.1 When the self-natured Bhûtatathatâ gives rise to a thought, it is not the eyes, cars, rose and tongue which can think. As Bhûtatathatâ has its own nature, it can give rise to thoughts. If Bhûtatathatâ does not exist, the eyes, ears, form and sound will decay immediately.

'Learned friends, when the self-natured Bhûtatathatâ gives rise to a thought, although the six sense organs sec, hear, Peel and know, there is no taint of myriad externals and the truc nature is always independent and comfortable. For this reason, the (Vimalakirti Nirdea) Sûtra says: "He who is versed in the skilful discerning of all phenomena remains immutable in the Supreme Reality."

1. Our self-nature possesses body, or substance, and function, or activity. A body without function is a useless body and function without body is bodilcss function which is non-existent.

Chapitre V. Sitting in Meditation

(ONE day) the Patriarch addressed the assembly as follows:

'According to this Dharma door, sitting in meditation does not primarily mean that the mind should be grasped, that the (idea of) purity should be clung to, nor that it should be motionless.

When you talk of grasping the mind, (remember that) the mind is fundamentally unreal and is known to be illusory. Therefore, there is nothing that can be grasped.

'When you talk of clinging to the (idea of) purity, (remember that) the self-nature is essentially pure. It is only due to false thoughts that the absolute is concealed. If there is no thinking, the self-nature will appear pure and clean. If the mind grasps the (idea of) purity, the illusion of purity will be created. As illusion itself is non-existent, it is an error to grasp it. Purity has neither form nor shape. If the (idea of) purity is nevertheless established, with the daim that such is an achievement, this view will screen the self-nature and will result in bondage to purity. 1

'Learned friends, if we practise imperturbability (Samâdhi), we should not, when meeting all kinds of people, see whether they are right or wrong and good or bad and whether they have other faults. This is self-natured imperturbability.

leamed friends, although deluded men do not move their bodies, as soon as they open their mouths, they immediately speak of other people's qualifies or defects, and of their being good or evil. They thus contradict their own nature. To grasp the mind and the (idea of) purity is to screen the self-nature.'

§

(Another day) the Patriarch addressed the assembly as follows:

‘Learned friends, what is sitting in meditation? According to this Dharma door, sitting means the non-rising of thoughts in the mind which is free from all obstructions and is beyond all states, good or evil, and meditation means insight into the immutable self-nature.

1. The practiser is kept in bondage by the idea of purity which is an illusion.

'Learned friends, what is dyâna-samâdhi? Outwardly (when) all forms are discarded, this is abstract meditation (dyâna). Inwardly (when) there is no disturbance, this is samâdhi. If there is clinging to forms without, the mind will be disturbed within. Without if all forms are discarded, immediately the mind (within) will be free from disturbances. One's fundamental nature is essentially pure and immutable; there is disturbance only when external objects are seen and clung to. If external objects are seen while the mind remains undisturbed, this is true samâdhi.

‘Learned friends, the discarding of all external objects without is dyâna and the freedom from disturbances within is samâdhi. dyâna without and Samâdhi within, this is dyâna-samâdhi. The Bodhisattva-fila Sûtra says: "Our own nature is fundamentally pure and clean."

'Learned friends, one should, thought after thought, realize the self-perception of one's own nature which is pure and clean, self-cultivation and self-performance for the self-attainment of Buddhahood.'

Chapitres VI to X [ omis].



A direct explanation of the Universal Doctrine which reveals the whole truth in the Sermon called:

The sutra of Complete Enlightenment

Ta Fang Kuang Yuan Chueh Hsiu To Lo Liao I Ching Chih Chiai)

Translated into Chinese by Master Buddhatrâta of Kabul (about A.D. 650) - Preface and Commentary by Sâkya Te Ch'ing, generally known as Ch'an Master Han Shan of Kuang Shan mountain (1546-1623). - Edited by Ch'eng Meng Yang (also known as Upâsaka Chueh O) of Hsin An in the Ming Dynasty. - Foreword and notes by Upâsaka Lu K'uan Yû.

[ Ce sûtra Tch’an est expliqué de manière traditionnelle — ce qui est nécessaire pour approfondir un texte sacré à mémoriser donc toujours elliptique, qui procède par allusions en citant des noms de bodhisattvas — des saints qui nous sont inconnus — plutôt que par longues explications. C’est le côté rébarbatif des écrits bouddhiques à fin « médicale » l’on recommande sans cesse la prise du même remède.

La longueur que j’accorde à cet exemple de texte « sacré » antérieur au septième siècle, commenté au dix-septième, présenté et traduit et annoté au vingtième, n’équivaut qu’à « une page » au regard d’une masse textuelle immense : la recension Taisho du canon chinois qui fut compilée au Japon de 1924 à 1935 assemble en cent volumes 3 360  sûtras. Eternelles et répétitions sacrées auxquelles le lecteur va échapper en n’en lisant courageusement qu’un exemplaire.

On retrouvera infra les notions bouddhistes du sûtra éclairées avec feu par l’expérience mystique du moine Dôgên, le génial ancêtre du Zen. Notre anthologie associe Chine à Japon, enseignement à sa pratique. ]

Foreword [by Upâsaka Lu K’uan Yü]

[...]11

The contents of this presentation

The Sûtra of Complete Enlightenment is a vaipulya or 'expanded' sermon, so-called because it is 'fully developed' for the benefit of men of all categories, from the highest to the lowest spiritualities, that is from students who can be awakened when merely given a hint of their inherent Buddha nature, to those clinging to all kinds of local customs, habit, tradition, belief and even superstition and requiring divine aid and divination to sustain their wavering faith in the Dharma and to support their indecisive minds set on the quest of bodhi.

Since our ignorance is self-inflicted, the Buddha taught us to begin our self-cultivation from the self-moving cause-ground, that is the self-nature stirring itself and giving rise to feelings and passions, the primal cause of our delusion and transmigration through the six worlds of existence. This self-moving cause-ground should be the starting point of the practice of self-cultivation in order to reach the fruit or effect-ground which is the stage of Buddhahood, for no other method can ensure complete enlightenment.

On behalf of deluded living beings such as ourselves in this period of the Dharma's termination, the great Bodhisattvas in the assembly asked the Buddha for expedients suitable for our diffèrent natures and pro-pensities. The Buddha successively taught us (1) to use our immanent wisdom to look into all illusions which are unreal; (2) to keep from illusions which are but non-existent flowers in the sky; (3) to perceive our non-existent body and mind which are created respectively by the four illusory elements and six illusory sense-data; (4) to abstain from using a discriminating mind to seek enlightenment; (5) to eliminate desire and love, the basic causes of the five satûsâric natures; (6) to realize the inherent Buddha nature which differs from these five saihsàric natures, by abstaining from giving rise to falsehood and from dwelling in the phenomenal; (7) to practise the three meditative studies called samatha, samâpatti and dyâna; (8) to practice either the single, combined or simultaneous methods of the twenty-five expedients developed from these three meditative studies, choosing the most suitable one by means of divination sirnilar to that in the selection of a patron Buddha or Bodhisattva of the Shingon sect; (9) to relinquish the wrong conception of the reality of an ego, a man, a being and a life (again dealt with later in the Diamond Stitra); (10) to rely on enlightened masters holding correct views and (11) to practise the meditative expedients for which monks and laymen should set time-limits for their achievements, to vow to liberate all living beings, to pay no attention to visions flot mentioned by the Tathâgata, sincerely to repent of past errors and faults and resolve to reform themselves, to practise (in case of those whose evil karmas are too obstructive) any one of the expedients and if they fail, to try another method with the fervent hope of graduai realization and finally to have faith in this sutra which is suitable for all natures and propensities.

Inspirations and guides for students of Mahdpina and Ch'an

The Sûtra of the Sixth Patriarch, the Song of Enlightenment and the sûtra of Complete Enlightenment are an inexhaustible source of inspiration for serious students of Mahâyâna and the Ch'an Transmission and are precious guides for correcting and adjusting their meditations according to the instructions given by the Buddha, a Patriarch and a great master. The Mahâyâna and Ch'an paths are very slippery for the inexperienced, who are apt to fall into the evil ways listed in the Sûrangama sûtra. No practice can be successful if it is not sustained by a great vow to enlighten all living beings before seeking Buddhahood for oneself. The vow of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, who resolved to empty all universel of deluded beings before aspiring to his own enlightenment, is a great inspiration for all Buddhists, for no achievernent is possible without a great deal of sacrifice according to the Bodhisattva principle. This is why all enlightened masters used to reprimand their disciples developing the Hinayâna mind in pursuit of self-enlightenment and disregarding the welfare of others.

How to read sûtras and Ch'an texts

A Mahâyâna sûtra or a Ch'an text should never be read in hurry once or twice and then placed in the book-case like a novel or ordinary book. h should be read again and again, as many times as required, until the reader understands its profound meaning. At each reading, he will discover new meanings hidden underneath words and phrases. The more he reads it the more he will comprehend its aim until he will forget all about the printed words and will confront only its deep meaning, which will loom before him to the exclusion of everything else. He will notice his graduai. embodiment of the doctrine taught in it, although he may be unprepared for the startling experience.

How to take up the Host position

Simultaneously, his 'truc man'1 will appear, watching him and criticizing him when he gives way to worldly habits contracted since the time without beginning. This inner battle may be short or long. If his 'truc man' is too weak and is flot sustained by continuous training and supported by the great vow he has taken, he will backslide and it will vanish. However, if the latter is well sustained, it will gain ground in the inner battle and will take the place of the 'worldly man' ; he will make rapid progress in his self-cultivation. His inner wisdom, hitherto unknown, will manifest itself and he will hear the Buddha's words addressed to him instead of to His disciple, His voice ringing in his ears long after reading the sutra. He will be ashamed of his ignorance, will be moved to tears and will realize his heavy responsibility as regards the liberation of his fellow men. Henceforth, he will be able to interpret correctly all sutras and Ch'an texts. In other words, he will be able to take up the ‘host’ position instead of his former 'guest’ stand which has caused him a great dcal of suffering. This is the beginning of the 'Resurgence of the Real', 'Host coming to Light' or 'Prince looking at Minister', the third of the five progressive stages of the Ts'ao Tung Sect (Sôtô Zen). His advance will be rapid and if he persists in it with more vigour and perseverance, he will succeed in stepping into this stage or the holy stream without much difficulty.

I. 'True man' is a Taoist term for which Ch'an has no equivalent. This 'double’ is not what is usually meant by the astral, subtle, imaginary, spiritual or causal body or bodies. h stands for a man's true self which at this stage is vcry dim to him.

All enlightened masters are loath to use those terms found in the sûtras because of the proneness of their disciples to cling to names and expressions, thus disregarding the aim of the Sect, which consists in pointing directly at the mind for the realization of self-nature and attainment of enlightenment. They develop a vocabulary which upâsaka P'an Yun called the language of the uncreate which ordinary men cannot understand and which is undertood only after we have taken the ‘host’ position. In order to understand this language of the absolute, which seems strange to beginners, we should cast away all relativities and contraries which screen its beauty and profundity. The extent of one's com-prehension of this vocabularly shows the extent of one's progressive advance on the Ch'an Path. [...]

We are living in this period of world tension caused by the last two world wars, the present cold war; threats of new wars, political disturbances, economic unrest and increasing symptoms of our spiritual degradation in spite of the giant strides made in the field of science with the invention of nuclear bombs, guided missiles and earth, moon and sun satellites. The advance of modern civilization is responsible for our present troubles, while the general feeling of insecurity is also the direct cause of the increase of such ailments as mental disorder, hypertension, etc. This state is created by our attachment to illusions and its only remedy is the practice of the Buddha Dharma. Mahâyâna practice and Ch'an training are the best means at our disposai to destroy our deadly eneiny who is but our illusory 'ego' by developing a passionless, still, imperturbable, universal and sublime mind which alone can effectively resist all the assaults of materialistic delirium created by our discriminating mind. If we only listen to the Buddha's word, this foui world in which we live will be turned into a Pure Land full of bliss.

All brackets are mine.

UPÂSAKA LU K'UAN YU Hongkong, 8 October 1960.



The Sûtra of Complete Enlightenment / With the Commentary of Han Shan12



THIS sûtra implies (a) as title a single Dharma, (b) as substance the self-existent mind in the Dharmadhâtu,1 (c) as principle perfect insight into enlightenment, (d) as application the forsaking of all falsehood for realizing the truth and (e) as teaching the instantaneous and complete enlightenment of the One Vehicle.2

(a) The title: One single Dharma

It is said: 'Dharma is so-called because it is only the mind of all living beings.' The two words 'Complete Enlightenment' directly point at the One Mind which is the substance of this Dharma. Complete Enlightement is also called 'Great complete and full enlightenment', 'Profound awareness of the enlightened mind', 'The Dharma realm of One Reality' and 'The pure and clean true mind of the Tathâgatagarbha'.3 It is the nirvânic One Mind4 according to the Lankâvatâra Sûtra and is the substance of Bhûtatathatâ as the totality of things in the Dharma realm according to the Awakening of Faith. Although its names are many, it is only the profound mind of Complete Enlightenment and it is only this One Mind which is the fundamental cause and effect on which depend the enlightenment of the saintly and delusion of the worldly in the ten dharmadhâtus. It is the main source of all Buddhas and is called the Dharmakâya5. It is the mind-ground of living beings and is (therefore) called Buddha nature. All things arise from this One Mind; hence single Dharma' is the title of this sûtra.

Mahâvaipulya (great doctrine of universalisam) means the greatness of the substance, characteristic and fonction of this mind.6

1. Dharmadhâtu: the Dharma realm, the unifying underlying spiritual reality, regarded as the ground or cause of all things, the absolute from which all proceeds. The ten dharmadhâtus or states of existence are the hells, hungry ghosts, animais, titans, men, gods, srâvakas, pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas.

2. See also footnote 1 of p. 165.

3. Tathâgatagarbha: Tathâgata womb or store, the absolute in the midst of delusion caused by passions and desires.

4. One Mind in the condition of nirvâna, i.e. calmness and extinction of all passions and reincarnations.

5. Body in its essential nature, or that of the Buddha as such. Only Buddhas can see it

6. This is the T'ien T'ai intcrpretation.

Great. This indicates greatness of substance, that is the One Mind which contains all the dharmadhâtu and includes the whole empty space, leaving nothing outside it. Its extensiveness in all directions has no limits, hence its greatness.

Doctrine. Its characteristic is its greatness and it is also the teaching Dharma. This means that this One Mind is the Buddha nature of living beings who are endowed with the law of their nature and, upon hearing about it, will be able to understand it. In spite of transmigrations through long aeons, it has never been lost. Therefore, it serves as a path to understanding the self-nature and provides a support for it. The true mind which is devoid of characteristics serves as a doctrine having this (teaching) characteristic; hence the greatness of its characteristic.

Universalism. Universalism implies greatness of function. As the substance of this mind pervades everywhere and is oninipresent in all places, it embraces all things; hence its great function.

Since this Dharma implies the completeness of the One Mind and since this sûtra directly points at this mind which is the basis upon which depend the delusion of living beings and the enlightenment of Buddhas as well as practice and realization, it is but a single Dharma.

Sûtra is a Sanskrit word which means a ‘harnessing' sermon, because all sûtras expounded by the Buddha are so called. This means that the teaching of this sûtra tallies with (the fundamental) law and with the potentiality (of man). Since there are great and small potentialities, when a sûtra is expounded to men of Hinayâna, it is called a Sûtra of partial revelation of the whole truth and when it is expounded to men of Mahâyâna, it is called a sûtra of complete revelation of the whole truth, or a sermon revealing the ultimate (reality) as indicated in the above title.

(b) The substance: The self-existent mind in the Dharmadhâtu of One Reality. The Buddha said: 'Entry into the supernatural bright store-house embodies the pure and clean self-existent minci which is undivided and universal.' Hence the One Reality.

The Buddha also said: 'The Dharma nature is wholly complete in its ultimateness.' Therefore, in the practice of Dharma from the cause-ground, the essential is absolute control (over good and evil passions and influences). In other words, it is the substance of Bhûtatathatâ as the totality of things which is the cause-ground of all Buddhas and the basic conduct of Bodhisattvas. Hence the substance (or body) as implied in this sùtra.

(c) The principle: Perfect insight into enlightenment

The self-moving cause-ground of all Tathâgatas relies on perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment for the permanent eradication of ignorance and attainment of Buddhahood. Hence the principle of this sûtra.

(d) The function: Forsaking all falsehood to realize the truth

The Buddha said: 'The cognition of a flower in the sky puts an end to Samsâra: He also said: 'When illusions are known as such, one should keep from them. When one does so, one is enlightened.' Hence the function.

(e) The teaching: Instantaneous and complete enlightenment of the One Vehicle

This sûtra teaches exclusively the nature of enlightenment, perfect practice of triple meditation and instantaneous awakening of the One Mind. In spite of the twenty-five ways of practising meditation, single or combined, there is only transmutation of One Mind for which there are no progressive stages. Hence the teaching of instantaneous enlightenment. The T'ien T'ai (Jap. Tendai) school's five-fold method of commenting on sûtras 1 is its own pattern, covering the whole aim of this sermon. If a student knows how to apply it here, he will already comprehend a major part of this sûtra.

Thus have I heard. Once the Bhagavân 2 was enjoying sadhi correctly, in the great supernatural effulgent store-houle which was the bright and glorious resting place upheld by all Tatgatas and (also) the pure and clean enlightened stage (attainable by) all living beings. 3

The T'icn T'ai School's fivefold method of commenting on a sûtra is: (a) explanation of its title, (b) definition of its body or substance; (c) deterrnining its principle; (d) considcration of its function or applicability; and (5) ascertaining its tcaching.

2. Bhagavân is one of the titles of the Buddha. It has no Chinesc équivalent and mcans: (i) independent; (2) glorious; (3) excellent ; (4) adorable ; (5) fortunate and (6) venerable.

3. This is thc place whcrc this sûtra was expounded. The Buddha has threc bodies: the Dharmakâya or cssential body; the Sambhogakâya or reward-body and the Nirmânakâya or transformation-body. These three bodies have three corre-sponding lands or regions: the still and illurninating land of the Dharmakâya Buddha (called Vairocana); the glorious reward land which is the lotus treasury where the Sambhogakâya Buddha (called Locana) dwells and where Bodhissattvas who have realized their immaterial bodies expounded the Avatamsaka tra ; and the incomplete expedient land where the Nirmânakâya Buddha, or Sàkyamuni expounded the Threc Vehicles to men and gods on the Vulture peak at Srâvasti (and in othcr places).

This sûtra was expounded from the great supernatural effulgent storehouse which is the calm and illuminating land of the Dharmakâya. Samâdhi is imperturbability and its correct use is the appropriate exercise of this undivided condition. In other words this sûtra was expounded by the Buddha in His Dharmakâya and Sambhogakâya. His correct use of samâdhi was His own exercise of Dharma joy.

The bright and glorious resting place upheld by all Tathâgatas l is the region of Dharma nature. 2 This region is the eternally calm and illuminating land realized by all Buddhas, its glorious ornament being its brightness to the exclusion of all other kinds of embellishment. Since this region is still and effulgent, it is the resting place of the Buddha in His Dharmakâya who upholds it, in other words it is the land of reality from which this sûtra was delivered. As it is an unusual place, the Dharma expounded there is unexcelled.

The pure and clean enlightened stage (attainable by) all living beings is (also) calm and illuminating, it is the region of reality where the living and the Buddhas are one. The resting place of all Buddhas is only the fundamentally existing enlightened ground, free from delusion, of all living beings. This reveals the region of reality where the real and the secming are one.

(This is where) both body and tnind are in (a state of) calmness and extinction of passions,3 the fundamental region is universal, the function is complete and all-embracing and non-duality prevails. (A) From this undivided land, He caused all pure lands to appear. (B)

(A) The calm and illuminating rcgion of reality is the real state in which all Buddhas and living beings as well as bodies and minds are in the universal condition of calmness and extinction of all passions. This is the profound substance. The complete and all-embracing function has no limits and contains all tcn directions of space. (This is the perfect function.)4 Where there is no duality, all the saintly and the worldly rcturn to the onencss of universality.

(B) The above non-duality is the state in which all Buddhas enjoy

1. Tathâgata: He who came as did all Buddhas; who took the absolute way of cause and effect and attained to perfect wisdom; one of the highest titles of a Buddha.

2. Dharma nature or Dharmatâ: the nature underlying all things, the Bhûtatathatâ.

3. Lit. 'both body and mind in the nirvânic condition of stillness and extinction of passions', Nirvâna as absolute without disunity or phenomena.

4. As the Dharmakâya is perceptible to Buddhas only, the Sambhogakâya to Bodhisattvas only and the Nirmânakâya to men and gods, the Buddha appeared in His Sambhogakâya to expound the Dharma to Bodhisattvas and in His Nirmânakâya to expound it to men and gods.

Dharma bliss. If body and mind are non-existent, there is no division between principal (expounder) and secondary (listeners). If there is neither principal nor secondary, it follows that there is also no speaking and teaching and there is complete absence of expounding of Dharma. (As said in the text) from this non-dual condition, the Buddha caused all pure lands to appear so as to turn the actual land where the Buddha was enjoying His own practice (of Dharma) to that where the spiritual benefit of others was possible. This is the reward land from which He could expound the Dharma of self-nature to Bodhisattvas who had attained the last stages of development, for it is from this land only that it is possible (for the Buddha) to expound and (for Bodhisattvas) to listen.

However, even in this reward-land where expounding and hearing were possible, how could this happen since the Tâthâgata was still in the condition of samâdhi and had not come out of it? This shows that this sûtra is a sermon delivered by the Tathâgata in His Dharmakâya, is beyond the sphere of mind and consciousness and (arose) from His unsurpassed pure and clean Ch'an (Zen).1. For this reason, no other sûtra can equal it.

The Lankâvatâra Sûtra is the sermon delivered by the Dharmakâya to bear witness to the Buddha by means of His Dharma, whereas the present sutra serves to bear witness to Him by means of His land. The joint study of botte sûtras reveals (His) profound aim which had not been explained before and which readers are now urged to look into carefully.

(The Buddha) was accompanied by great Bodhisattvas and Mahâsattvas 2 who with their followers numbered one hundred thousand. The chiefs among them were Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva of Universal Eyes, Vajragarbha Bodhisattva, Maitreya Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva of Pure and Clean Wisdom, the Respect Inspiring Sovereign Bodhisattva, the Sound Distinguishing Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva of Clean Karma, the Bodhisattva of Universal Enlightenment, the Bodhisattva of Complete Enlightenment and the Sage Leader Bodhisattva. They all entered into samâdhi and abode in the Tathagata's assembly of universal Dharma.

This shows that the assembly was headed by twelve great Bodhisattvas. They all entered into Samâdhi (to be in accord with) the Buddha in the reward aspect of His Dharmakâya dwelling in the reward aspect of His still and illuminating land. The Buddha entered into Samâdhi to expound the Dharma of self-nature and those whose minds were stirred

1. Ch'an is the name of mind, ch’an being name and mind being substance; it is wrongly interpreted as meditation, abstraction, or dyâna.

2. Mahâsattva: a perfect Bodhisattva about to become a Buddha.

could not enter it, which they had to do if they were to attend this meeting of the universal Dharma.

Question: If principal and secondaries were in samâdhi, there would be no listeners. Then how could the Dharma be revealed?

Answer: This is the inconceivable profound Dharma. Formerly when Subhûti sat in meditation in a grotto, Indra 1 made offerings of flowers and praised his excellent expoundings of wisdom (prajñâ). Subhûti said: 'Actually I am speechless.' The king of Heaven replied: 'The Honoured One expounds the Dharma by remaining speechless and I hear it by stopping my ears. Such expounding and hearing are really prajñâ itself.' If the student understands this dialogue, he will realize that those who are in Samâdhi are the best speakers and the best hearers. 2

Some former commentators said that since Mañjusri had requested the Buddha to expound the Dharma, he would have had to come out of samâdhi first and that this was probably omitted in the text. Such an inference is not proper for we know that the Nâga (a title of Buddha) always abides in samâdhi and is never out of it. Can it be assumed that the Buddha was always in samâdhi whereas the Bodhisattvas were not? Should Bodhisattvas of the eighth stage (of development) who enter samâdhi to take any appropriate form at will in order to convert and deliver living beings, come out of it for this purpose? Moreover, we know that they always remain in it while appearing with respect inspiring deportment. I mention this so that students will not be confused about it.

1. Indra or Sakra: king of Heaven, the god of the sky who fights demons (asura) with his vajra or thunderbolt. Buddhism adopted him as its defender, though like all the gods, he is considered inferior to Buddha or any who have attained enlightenment.

2. Because when the speechless self-nature expounds the Dharma or listens to it, it does so by means of its enlightened function without interference from the dis-criminating mind. — [NDE] communication mystique.

I Mañjusri Bodhisattva

Mañjusri Bodhisattva who was in the assembly rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha, circled Him thrice from the right, 1 bowed down upon his knees, brought together his two palms with crossed fingers and said: 'O World Honoured One of great compassion, may you expound to this assembly the Dharma of the Tathâgata's (self-awakening from) the self-moving pure and clean cause-ground and of a Bodhisattva's development of the pure and clean Malayâna mind for riddance of all impurities so that they can teach future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination how not to fall into perverted views in their search for the Great Vehicle.' After saying these words, he again made the same prostration and the same request for a second and a third time.

Manjusri's supplication implies two things: first, an elucidation of the practice and method which the Buddha first used from His cause-ground to attain enlightenment (as His fruit-ground) and second, about what method of mind cultivation Bodhisattvas of Mahâyâna who have taken the pure vow of attaining enlightenment for the welfare of all living beings, should start with so that they can have correct knowledge and will not fall into all kinds of heresies. The Buddha's instruction would enable those in the period of the Dharma's termination to develop the Mahâyâna mind and to follow the teaching in their practice so as to avoid falling into perverted views. Although the request was made at the time, it was clearly for the benefit of coming generations and showed Mañjusri’s great vow of compassion.

Thereupon theWorld Honoured One said to Mañjusri Bodhisattva: 'Excellent, excellent ! (It is good that) for the benefit of all Bodhisattvas you are able to ask about the Dharma of the Tathâgata' s (self-awakening) from the self-moving cause-ground and also for that of future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination about how to abide and what to hold on to in their quest

1. To circle the Buddha three times from the right is to return function to rest in the still substance, or body, so that the latter can contact the Dharmakâya Buddha.

of Mahâyâna in order not to fall into perverted views. Listen: attentively to what I now tell you.'

Matijuhi was filled with joy upon hearing this; he and the assembly kept silent to hear (the teaching).

(The Buddha said:) Virtuous man, the Supreme Dharmarâja 1 has the method of a Dhâranî door 2 called Complete Enlightment out of which stream all pure and clean Bhûtatathatâ,3 Bodhi and Nirvana as well as pâramitâs 4 to teach Bodhisattvas about all Tathâgatas' (self-awakening from) the self-moving cause-ground, by entire reliance on perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment for the permanent eradication of ignorance and ultimate attainment of Buddhahood.

This shows the self-moving cause-ground about which the Buddha taught only one Dharma: 'complete enlightenment' as the basic conduct in self-cultivation. This complete enlightenment is called Dhârani because this Sanskrit word means 'whole control', 'whole' being the universal characteristic of all things and 'control' the mastery of infinite meaning.5 This complete enlightenment is the substance of the universal characteristic of all phenomena,6 for the saintly and the worldly as well as enlightenment and delusion depend on the law of causality established on the complete enlightenment of the One Mind which (is self-sufficient and) does not lack a single thing; so it is 'whole'. As the law of causality can neither err nor decay, it is called 'control'. Since all the saintly and the worldly arise from it, it is called a 'door'. To 'stream out' of it is to come from it. However, the substance of this enlightenment is the Dharmakâya of all Buddhas and the primal cnlightenment inherent in the mind-ground of all living beings. Although it (seems) soiled, it has never been so (essentially) and is, therefore, pure and clean. As it has never been false or changing, it is called Bhûtatathatâ. It cannot manifest because it is screened by ignorance. From this cause-ground, all Buddhas relied on the truc mind of this dormant enlightenment to develop the wisdom of arouscd

1. Dharmarâja: King of the Law, i.e. the Buddha.

2. Dhârani door: dhârani is ability to lay hold of the good so that it cannot be lost and likewise of the evil so that it cannot arise, i.e. absolute control over good and evil passions and influence. Door here means a door to enlightenment.

3. Bhûtatathatâ: bhûta is substance, that which exists; tathatâ is suchness, thus-ness, i.e. such is its nature. It means the real, thus always, or eternally so; i.e. reality as contrasted with unreality, or appearance, and the unchanging or immutable as contrasted with form and phenoinena.

4. Pâramitâs: methods of perfection which enable practisers to reach the 'other shore' of enlightenment.

5. The meaning of infinity; the meaning of the all, or of all things.

6. As contrasted with the specific characteristic.

(or initiatcd) enlightenment to eradicate delusion.When both dormant and aroused enlightenment unite, this is ultimate enlightenment.1 The attainment of Bodhi fruit is only to return to the One Mind in its condition of calmness and eradication (of passions) which is also called perfect rest 2 and nirvâna. Therefore, we know that the resulting merits of the stage of attainment of all Buddhas are established upon the complete enlightenment of this One Mind; hence their streaming out of it. This is not only true of the Buddha fruit but also of the Bodhisattvas' methods of perfection (pâramitâ) which stream out of it as well. Since the cause-ground of all Buddhas is the fundamental course for Bodhisattvas, it was taught to them (as said in the text). Therefore, the attainment of Buddhahood by all Tathâgatas from their self-moving cause-ground bas no other method than complete reliance on the light of self-natured enlightenment shining upon its (own) pure, clean, still and passionless enlightened body, for its characteristic and substance will be thus in perfection. As this perfection is complete, it penetrates everywhere and permanently eradicates ignorance. This is the only method of perfect (realization) of the Dharrnakâya. Hence the words 'by reliance on perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment for the permanent eradication of ignorance and the ultimate attainment of Buddhahood'. However, this perfect insight is only the threefold meditation by the wisdom of the One Mind, while pure and clean enlightenment is but the substance of this One Mind in its three aspects. The aim of the whole sûtra lies in the words 'perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment'.

Question : Is there any difference in meaning between this sûtra's dhârani door called 'complete enlightenment out of which stream all things' and the Sûrangama Sûtra's Samâdhi called 'the Sûrangama-Samâdhi king', the words in both sûtras seeming to be much the sanie?

Answcr: Although the words seem to be much the saine, there is a slight difference in their meaning, this sutra pointing directly at the mind in the cause-ground as the substance of enlightenment whereas the Sûraligaina Sûtra deals with the S'ûraûgama-samâdhi as an expedient method for a mind newly developed to attain Buddhahood. The main difference is that this sûtra deals with substance, whereas the Sûrangama

1. There are three kinds of enlightenment : (i) the dormant (or primal) enlightenment inherent in every man; (2) aroused (or initiated) enlightenment, i.e. dormant enlightenment now developed into active enlightenment; and (3) final enlightenment, i.e. the integration of dormant and aroused enlightenment into ultimate enlightenment.

2. Perfect rest: the perfection of all good and eradication of all evil, freedom from the miseries of worldly existences and entry into complete bliss.

Sûtra deals with its function. The common point between them is that the Sûrangama sûtra first points out the uncreated and indestructible mind as the cause of self-cultivation and then sets up the Sûrangama-samâdhi upon that mind which is but the substance (or body) of enlightenment (in the sûtra of Complete Enlightenment). The Sûrangama-samâdhi is only perfect insight into the pure and clean enlightenment (of this sûtra). As this sûtra's perfect insight is identical with that sûtra's samâdhi, the former's enlightenment is identical with the latter's uncreated and indestructible mind, and when function returns to (the still spiritual) body, they are just one; thus both are fundamental in the attainment of Buddhahood.

Question: The Buddha said that the dhâranî door to complete enlightenment is the self-moving cause-ground of the Tathâgata. He also said that the pure and clean Bhûatathatâ is the disillusioned Buddha nature of living beings. He again spoke of entire reliance on perfect insight into enlightenment. It thus follows that fundamentally there should be no ignorance to eradicate but why does the sûtra suddenly say 'for permanent eradication of ignorance and ultimate attainment of Buddhahood'? What, then, is the aim of the teaching?

Answer: The meaning is very profound and cannot be understood by men of coarse minds. Let me explain this. The wondrous mind of complete enlightenment is but the absolute Dharmakâya of all Buddhas and living beings. When this Dharmakâya transmigrates through the five worlds of existence, it is called a 'living being'. However, the pure and clean Bhûtathatâ is the Dharmakâya of all Buddhas and the Buddha nature of all living beings. Because of the first stirring thought, the illusion of ignorance deludes this Dharmakâya which becomes the body and mind of the illusory and false five aggregates, but the inherent disillusioned Buddha nature which is fundamentally completely enlightened is still there. Since passion (klesa) cannot soil this Buddha nature, the latter remains pure and clean, and that which essentially is neither false nor changing is the Bhûtathatâ; hence the pure and clean Bhûtatathatâ which is the Buddha nature of all deluded living beings. all Buddhas from their cause-ground were not different from living beings but they were able to rely on the primal enlightenment of the Buddha nature to develop the wisdom of initial enlightenment permanently to eradicate ignorance. The union of primal enlightenment (dormant in men) and initial enlightenment (newly developed) is called bodhi (final or ultimate enlightenment) which is the experiential realization of the calm and passionless One Mind, hence nirvâna. Therefore, the resulting merits of all Buddhas' bodhi and nirvâna come from the return (or transmutation) of delusion to awakening which is made possible only by practice, hence the words 'for permanent eradication of ignorance and ultimate attainment of Buddhahood'. However, the method of practice for the eradication of ignorance relies solely on the wisdom light of the completely enlightened self-nature, turned back on the still, passionless, clean and pure substance of mind, hence the words 'perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment'. As the light of the self-nature shines, it instantly eradicates ignorance; hence 'permanent eradication'. This is the secret of the attainment of Buddhahood, the profound door to enlightenment by ineans of instantaneous awakening and experiencing and the Tathâgata's method of practice from the cause-ground.

As the aim of this sûtra is complete and instantaneous awakening to the One Mind, it is revealed in the above text and is the principle of the whole sermon. The meaning is very subtle and cannot be understood by a student of shallow knowledge; hence my elucidation of it.

What is ignorance? Virtuous man, since the time without beginning, all living beings holding inverted views are like wanderers who lose their way, they mistake the (union of) the four elements for their bodies and the shadows of the six conditioned sense data for their minds. They are like one who, by an optical illusion, sees a flower in the sky or a second moon.

This shows the cause of ignorance. Fundamentally all living beings possess the Dharmakâya which is essentially free from birth and death. Now, because of ignorance caused by the first (stirring) thought of which they are unaware, they do not recognize their fundamental Buddha nature and indulge in desire, hatred and stupidity, thus committing all kinds of karmic deeds which result in their births and deaths through the six realms of existence. Hence, their inverted views.

Throughout their successive transmigrations, their Dharmakâyas remain motionless (and unchanging). They are like a wanderer who loses his way, as if the direction had changed whereas it had not. Their delusion lies in their rejection of the Dharmakâya and their wrong recognition of the illusory union of the four elements as being the real body, and of the thinking mind that clings to the shadows of the six sensc data as being the truc mind. Thus they are like one who, because of an optical illusion secs a flower in the sky and a second moon. The optical illusion symbolizes ignorance, the flower in the sky symbolizes the illusory body and the second moon symbolizes the illusory mind. They reject the real and accept the unreal; therefore they are turned upside clown.

Virtuous man, actually there is no flower in the void but the man suffering (from optical illusion) wrongly clings to it. Because of his wrong clinging, he deceives himself not only as to the nature of the void but also as to where the flower really comes from. This false existence (to which lie clings) is the cause of the round of births and deaths; hence ignorance.'

This shows the essence of ignorance. Fundamentally the Dharmakâya has neither body nor mind, like the void which has no flower. Now the (union of) four elements is mistaken for body like the (illusory) flower in the sky is mistaken for a real flower. Because of this false clinging, one deceives oneself not only about one's own Dharmakâya which is the 'nature of the void' but also about the illusory body which exists only because of ignorance which is 'where the flower really comes from'. It is because of these inverted views that the wheel of births and deaths is turning. This is the essence of ignorance.

'Virtuous man, this ignorance actually has no real substance and is like a man seen in a dream; this man exists in the dream but not in the waking state. It is like an (illusory) flower in the sky; when it vanishes, it cannot be said that there is a fixed place in the void where it actually disappears. Why? Because there was no (fixed) place where it was created. In the uncreate, all living beings wrongly perceive creation and destruction. Hence the round of births and deaths.'

This teaches the non-existence of ignorance to reveal the fundamental non-existence of birth and death. For birth and death are illusions of ignorance, like things seen as existing in a dream but non-existent in the waking state. As birth fundamentally is not (actual) birth, it follows that death also fundamentally is not (actual) death, like the illusory flower in the sky which has no fixed place where to vanish.

'Virtuous man, the Tathâgata's cultivation of complete enlightenment from the cause-ground consisted in His cognition of an (illusory) flower in the sky, which cognition put an end to samsâra 1 (wherein) there is neither body nor mind that can be subject to birth and death. The non-existence (of body and inind) does not result from any (particular) deed for fundamentally they are not immanent in the self-nature.'

This shows the instantaneous awakening of the profound method to reveal the effectiveness of perfect insight, the efficiency of which lies in one word: 'cognition'. This means that all Buddhas' practice of self-cultivation from the cause-ground consists in directing the brightness of the perfectly enlightened self-nature to shine upon and contemplate the nirvânic substance of the self-mind resulting in a moment's thought in the complete understanding that body, mind and universe arc just an

1. Samsâra: the world of births and deaths.

(illusory) flower which fundamentally does not exist in the sky. Thus, instantaneously (the illusion of) birth and death is wiped out completely. Since body and mind are essentially non-existent, there is not a thing that is subject to birth and death. Their non-existence does not result from any (particular) action, for fundamentally they are not immanent in the self-nature.

'(Objective) enlightenment so cognized is also like space and (subjective) knowing of space is but an (illusory) flower in the sky. Even the nature of enlightenment and of knowing cannot be said to be non-existent, thus eliminating the duality of existence and non-existence to be in accord with pure enlightenment.'

This is elimination of both subject and object to reveal perfect insight by the wisdom of the pure enlightenment of the universal, nirvânic and ultimate One Mind.

The above word 'cognized' refers to the 'cognition of the illusory flower in the sky' in the preceding paragraph and is perfect insight which is the wisdom light inherent in the self-nature and comes from subjective wisdom. The object of this insight is the body of pure and clean space-like enlightenment, that is the pure and clean Dharmakâya which 'is also like space'. This means that this body of enlightenment, although self-existent, has always been screened by ignorance and has never been cognized. Now, due to insight by the wisdom light which destroys ignorance, the Dharmakâya is exposed. Therefore, the round of births and deaths in successive long acons is instantaneously wiped out. Hence 'the cognition of the illusory flower in the sky puts an end to Samsâra'. This shows effective insight by wisdom.

'(Subjective) knowing of space' refers to the wisdom that creates insight. This means that at first wisdom looks into delusion, and when delusion is wiped out, wisdom also is not dung to. However, if after the object has vanished, knowledge of it is retained, this is still ignorance. Therefore, this knowing should be wiped out as well. Hence the 'subjective knowing of space is but an illusory flower in the sky'. Thus both subject and object are eliminated and there remains non-dual quiet méditation. When this stage is reached, the body enjoys its independence while wisdom shines. Hence 'even the nature of enlightenment and of knowing cannot be said to be non-existent' until the mind and its object as well as all subjective and objective things vanish. Hence 'thus eliminating the duality of existence and non-existence'. Only then can (self-cultivation) unite with the nirvànic One Mind and be 'in accord with pure enlightenment'.

Why is it so ? Because it is of immaterial nature, it is always unmoving and, in the Tathâgata store, it is beyond creation and annihilation and is free from intellection. It is called Dharma nature for it is ultimate, wholly complete and all-embracing. Therefore, this is the method of practice from the cause-ground.'

This explains the still and passionless substance of mind (which is the object) of contemplation to show the absolute true mind and to reveal the pure and clean enlightenment (dealt with in this Sûtra). Why are subject and object repeatedly wiped out? Because the still and passionless substance of mind is essentially like the nature of the void which is permanently existent and unmoving. This reveals the voidness of all.

Although there are the seeming body, mind, birth and death, funda-mentally they are like (illusory) flowers in the sky because in the Tathâgata store, there is neither creation nor annihilation and there is no room for intellection. This reveals the unreality of all.

This Dharma nature is ultimate, wholly complete and all-embracing. This reveals the mean which is the reality of the bright mind of the wonderful enlightenment of Buddhahood. 1 The Tathâgata's cause-ground is just this.

'All Bodhisattvas, by reason (of this cause-ground), in their (practice of) Mahâyâna, develop a pure and clean mind. 2 In the period of the Dharma's termination, if future living beings practise their self-cultivation accordingly, they will not fall into perverted views.'

A Bodhisattva should develop his mind in accord with (this cause-ground) for it is a truc cause. All living beings who follow it in their self-cultivation, will practise correctly and will not fall into heretical views. This concludes the Buddha's answer to Mañjusrî’s question.

To repeat His instruction, the World Honoured One read the following gâthâ :

Mañjusrî you should know

That all Tathâgatas

Started from the causal-ground

With the wisdom of enlightenment

Ignorance to understand.

Once ignorance is known as a sky-flower,

Birth and death come to an end (at last):

They are like a man seen in a dream,

Who disappears when one awakes.

Enlightenment is like (empty) space

Universal and unmoving;

If it pervades the ten directions

Buddhahood is then attained.

Illusions have no place to vanish in;

Nothing is won when truth is realized

For the self-nature wholly is complete.

By reason of this (causal-ground)

Bodhisattvas develop Bodhi mind. Future

Living beings in the Dharma ending age

Should practise it and so avoid false views.'

1. The wonderful enlightenment of Buddhahood is the last of the 52 stages of a Bodhisattva's development into a Buddha, the 51st stage bcing samyak-sambodhi, or absolutc universal enlightenment.

2. Undisturbed mind, free from thoughts; singlencss of mind.



2 Samantabhadra Bodhisattva

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva who was in the assembly rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha, circled Him thrice from the right, bowed clown upon his knees, brought together his two palms tvith crossed fingers and said: 'O World Honoured One of great compassion, for the benefit of the Bodhisattvas in this assembly and of future living beings practising Mahâyanâ in the period of the Dharma's termination, may you explain what they should practise upon hearing about this pure and clean Complete Enlightenment. World Honoured One, if these living beings know that like illusory knowledge, both body and mind are also illusions, how will the illusory subject practise by means of the illusory object? If all is of an illusory nature, there is total annihilation of things. There will be no mind and (so) who will be the practiser? Why do you speak of practice which is like an illusion? If fundamentally there is no practice, all living beings would always abide in samsâric illusions without knowing them. In this illusory realm, how can their discriminating minds be liberated? May you teach the expedient method of gradual practice so that future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination can keep from all illusions for ever.' After saying these words, he again made the same prostration and the same request for a second and a third time.

After hearing the Buddha's teaching (in the preceding chapter), Samantabhadra Bodhisattva gave rise to doubts in his mind and asked about an expedient method of practice. The Buddha had said: 'The cognition of an illusory flower in the sky puts an end to samsâra (wherein) there is neither body nor mind that can be subjected to birth and death.' This is instantaneous awakening in a ksana. 1 If birth and death can be understood instantaneously in this manner, there will be no need to rely on self-cultivation, still less on expedients. This is a pathless method which men who are not of superior roots cannot understand and to which they can never be awakened. In the period of the Dharma's termination when men of superior roots will be rare, if they do not rely on practice, it will

1. Ksana: the shortest measure of time; 60 ksanas equal one fingcr-snap, 90 a thought, 4500 a minute.

be very difficult for them to be awakened. If there is no expedient method, they will be unable to practise self-cultivation. Therefore, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva asked about self-cultivation first and solicited an expedient method of gradual practice. If, as the Buddha had said, cognition of an illusory flower in the sky puts an end to samsâra, the flower in the sky is just an illusion. Even if there are living beings who can realize that body and mind are illusions, the objective being known as an illusion, it follows that the subjective body and mind are also illusions. If so, how can an illusory subject practise by means of an illusory object? This is Samantabhadra's first question.

If the illusory object vanishes when known as such, the illusory subject that knows it, also vanishes. Thus both subject and object vanish and it follows that there is no mind as well. If so, who is the practiser? Why did the Buddha speak of practice which is like an illusion? This is his second question.

If all living beings do not rely on practice, they will, while in samsâra, always abide in illusions and transformations without being aware of the realm of illusions. If so, how will their discriminating minds be liberated? This is his third question.

For these reasons, he asked the Tathâgata about the expedient method of practice so that living beings can keep from illusions for ever. Hence the Buddha's reply in the following text which says that the illusory minds of living beings should follow these illusions and vanish as they vanish; (thus) there is nothing wrong in the illusory subject practising by means of the illusory object. This is His answer to the first question.

After all illusions have completely vanished, the mind of enlightenment remains unchanging and indestructible. This is His answer to the second question.

When all illusions are known as such, one should keep from them and not use expedients. When one keeps frein illusions, one is enlightened and there are also no gradual stages. This is His answer to the third question.

This explains the meaning of the instantaneous awakening and practice taught in the preceding chapter.

The World Honoured One then said to Samantabhadra Bodhisattva: 'Excellent, excellent ! Virtuous man, (it is good that) for the benefit of Bodhisattvas and also of future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination you are able to ask for the expedient method of a Bodhisattva's gradual practice of the samâdhi (attained after cognition) of illusions 1 to enable them to keep from illusions. Listen attentively to what I now tell you.'

1. Samâdhi attained after realization of the illusory nature of all things.

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva was filled with joy upon hearing this; he and the assembly kept silent to hear (the teaching).

(The Buddha said:) 'Virtuous man, all kinds of illusions of living beings arise from the wondrous mind of the Tathâgata's Complete Enlightenment. They are like flowers in the sky which come from the void. When these illusory flowers vanish, the nature of the void is undamaged. The illusory minds of all living beings will disappear as their illusions vanish, and when all their illusions vanish completely, their enlightened minds remain immutable. (A) To speak of enlightenment while clinging to illusions is also (to create) an illusion. To say that enlightenment exists is to fail to keep from illusions. Likewise to say that there is no enlightenment (is also to create an illusion). Therefore, the dis-appearance of illusions means immutability (of mind). (B).'

(A) This shows that the disappearance of illusions does not mean their actual annihilation. 2

(B) This answers the question as to how the illusory subject should practise by means of the illusory object, so as to reveal the doctrine of the non-annihilation of things. The idea is that awareness of illusions is also an illusion, hence 'to speak of enlightenment while clinging to illusions is also (to create) an illusion'. To say that illusions are annihilated to preserve enlightenment is also (to create) an illusion. Hence 'to say that enlightenment exists is to fail to keep from illusion'. If the view is held that there is no enlightenment after all illusions have vanished this also is an illusion. Why? Because of the failure to comprehend ultimate reality, both existence and non-existence should be cast aside so that only the solitary shining substance remains. Hence 'the disappearance of illusions means immutability (of mind).' For all illusions are created in the wondrous mind of complete enlightenment. When all illusions vanish completely, the enlightened mind remains immutable.

Virtuous man, all Bodhisattvas and future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination should keep from all illusions. The realm of illusions (continues to exist) because the mind clings firmly to the idea of avoiding them. This mind is an illusion and should also be kept away.'

This is an expedient method of avoiding illusions, in reply to the question about 'the method of gradual practice to keep from illusions for ever', and consists in driving away the mind that avoids them. When (objective) illusions are known, there arises the subjective mind keeping

1. In the Mahâyâna teaching, the idea of annihilation implies that of creation, both being a dualism which should be wiped out in the interest of absolute reality. The Diamond Sûtra says: 'One who develops Supreme Enlightenment does not advocatc the annihilation of things.' (See Ch'an and Zen Teaching, First Series.)

from thcm, and if, after all illusions have been wiped out, this subjective mind remains, it is also an illusion and should be driven away. This is to drive away the first obstruction from the subjective mind that can avoid (illusions).

'(The idea of) keeping from (this mind) is an illusion and should also be avoided.'

This is to drive away the second obstruction from (the idea of) keeping from (the illusory) mind. At first, when illusions are known, they are wiped out and the subjective mind that knows them is (also) driven away. If the subjective mind is wiped out, (the idea of) keeping from that mind remains and this idea is also an illusion. Hence 'the idea of keeping from this mind is an illusion and should also be avoided'.

'The (new idea of) avoiding the (illusion of) keeping from the mind should also be avoided.'

This is to drive away the third obstruction from the new idea of avoiding the previous idea of keeping from the mind, that is to repel the repetitive idea of driving away (the mind).

When there is nothing further to avoid, all illusions vanish. By way of illustration, after a fire obtained from wood by friction has completely burned the two pieces of wood which produced it and when there is no more smoke, the ashes will scatter (in the tvind). Likewise, the practice by the illusory subject (by means of) the illusory object does not lead to the annihilation of anything after the disappearance of all illusions."

This is wiping out the idea of driving away until there remains nothing further to repel. Hence the first sentence: ‘When there is nothing further to avoid, all illusions will vanish.' The way of getting fire from wood by friction illustrates illusory wisdom and the vanishing smoke and scattering ashes illustrate the elimination of the idea of driving away (a preceding illusion). There will remain only the ground, hence the words 'this does not lead to the annihilation of anything'. This concludes the Buddha's answer to the question.

'Virtuous man, when illusions are known as such, one will keep from them without using any expedients. When one keeps from illusions, one is enlightened without passing through any gradual stages.'

This shows the sudden awakening and realization to reveal the teaching on the ultimate One Mind.

Question: The Buddha's previous answer that the illusory subject should practise by means of the illusory object and that the elimination of both, followed by further repetitive elimination of the eliminating subject, concerned an expedient method of gradual elimination. Did not the Buddha contradict himself here by saying in conclusion that no cxpedients are used and that there are no gradual stages?

Answer: The meaning is very profound and difficult to understand. Previously He had said that all kinds of illusions of living beings are created in the Tathâgata's wondrous mind of comnplete enlightenment and although He had spoken of the elimination both of illusions and then of the eliminating subject, all that which is to be eliminated is nothing but illusion. He meant that in the wondrous enlightened mind, whenever thought stirs without forsaking false views, there is but illusion. If the latter is cognized, all other illusions will vanish of themselves. (Therefore) the more cognition of illusions will suffice and no expedient methods are required. However, if a clinging mind remains, this shows the existence of knowing and seeing which are called 'the finest attachment to things (dharma)'. If all things are perceived as illusory, nothing will remain and enlightenment will appear in full. Hence 'when illusions are known as such, one will keep from them. When one keeps from illusions, one is enlightened'. This is just like the fragrant elephant which, when crossing a stream, plants its feet right on the bottom. 1 This is the meaning of 'no expedients are used and no graduai stages are passed through'.

'All Bodhisattvas and future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination should practise self-cultivation accordingly so that they can be rid of illusions for ever.'

This concludes the Buddha's answer to Samantabhadra's question laying stress on the importance of repeated elimination to keep from illusions for ever.

To repeat His instruction, the World Honoured One read the following gâthâ:

Samantabhadra, you should know

That since time without beginning

The dreamlike ignorance of living

Beings came from the Tathâgata's

Completely enlightened mind.

'Tis like a flower in the sky

Appearing in the void.

When in the sky it vanishes

Space actually does not change.

Illusions come from incomplete awareness

Which, when they vanish, become perfect,

For the enlightened mind ne'er changes.

Therefore all Bodhisattvas and those

Who live in the Dharma ending age

Should ahvays avoid illusions

Which vanish like a fine produced

By friction of (two sticks) of wood:

When these bure out, fine also vanishes.

There is no gradual enlightenment

And there are no expedients.'

All illusions arise frorn the enlightened mind. To make (the word) illusion more clear, the (word) ignorance is added in the gâthâ, for all illusions are but ignorance.

1. Fragrant elephant : gandhahastî, a blue elephant whose body gives off fragrant odours: the name of one of the sixteen honoured ones in the virtuous aeon (Bhadra-kalpa) ; the name of the third Chinese Patriarch of the Avatamsaka school; also of a Bodhisattva of whom Kumârajiva said: 'Like the blue elephant whose body gives off fragrant odours, Ghandhahasti Bodhisattva's body is also fragrant.' The Buddhist expression, 'a fragrant elephant crossing a stream', means a sage who is noted for the fragrance of his high virtues, and who cuts off all illusions at the root like the fragrant elephant which plants its feet right on the bottom of a stream when crossing it, in order not to be thrown off balance. This idiom therefore should be interpreted figuratively and not literally.



3 The Bodhisattva with Universal Eyes

Thereupon, the Bodhisattva tvith Universal Eyes, who was in the assetnbly, rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha, circled him thrice from the right, bowed down upon his knees, brought together his two palms tvith crossed fingers and said: 'O World Honoured One of great compassion, may you teach all Bodhisattvas of this assembly and also all future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination how a Bodhisattva should think (rightly), where (his mind) should abide when he practises gradual self-cultivation and what expedients an unenlightened living being should use to secure his awakening.'

This is a request for the gradual practice to dispel (any eventual misinterpretation of) perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment. Previously the Buddha had said to 'Cognition of an (illusory) flower in the sky puts an end to samsâra wherein there is neither body nor mind (that can be) subject to birth and death.' He had also said to Samantabhadra: 'When illusions are known as such, one should keep from them without using any expedients. When one keeps from illusions, one is enlightened without passing through any gradual stages.' This is instantaneous awakening to the One Mind and instantaneous realization thereof at a stroke, which are beyond path and practice and for which only the word 'cognition' suffices13. This teaching is for men of superior roots who can be awakened to it, but in the period of the Dharma's termination they are rare since men are mainly of medium or inferior roots. If the latter do flot practise self-cultivation, they will remain in samsâra for ever. If they have no correct expedient methods of practise, they will be unable to enter the door (to enlightenment). Without this gradual practice, it will also be impossible for them to be instantaneously awakened. And so this Bodhisattva asked how to think correctly; that is about samatha-vipasyanâ 1 which a beginner should practise at the start.

1. Samatha-vipasyanâ: chih and kuan in Chinese. Chih is silencing the active mind and getting rid of discrimination, and kuan is observing, examining, introspectifs. In practice there are three methods of attaining such abstraction: (1) by fixing the mind on the nose, navel, etc.; (2) by stopping every thought as it arises; (3) by dwelling on the thought that nothing exists of itself but front a preceding cause. When the physical organism is at rest, it is called chih and when the mind is seeing clearly it is kuan. The chief object is the concentration of mind by special methods for the purpose of clear insight into the truth and to be rid of illusion.

'Abiding' is the way to quiet the mind. All these are expedient methods for self-awakening.

World Honoured One, if these living beings do not know the correct expedient method and do not think rightly, they will be confused and stupefied when they hear about how the Buddha expounded this Samâdhi and will be unable to be awakened to complete enlightenment. Will you be compassionate enough expediently to expound a method for our benefit and for that of future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination?

This reiterated request means that expedients and right thought are essential. For it is imperative for beginners to follow a correct expedient method so that they can enter the door and then develop right thought. Since they are in urgent need of it, the questioner asked for it. 'Expediently to expound' is to set up an expedient method when in reality no such thing exists; hence the expedient expounding.

In His answer below, the Buddha first taught the practice of morality and discipline (sila) and meditation in accordance with samatha; this is the right expedient method. (Then He taught how to) 'constantly give rise to this thought' for the synchronous practice of samatha and vipasyanâ ; this is right thought. (When He said:) 'that which is flot illusory remains indestructible', He referred to 'where to abide', (i.e. how to quiet the mind). (When He said:) 'when all impurities vanish, there will be purity and cleanness in the ten directions of space', He meant awakening.

After saying this, he again made the same prostration and the same request for a second and third time.

Thereupon, the World Honoured One said to the Bodhisattva with Universal Eyes: 'Excellent, excellent ! Virtuous man, (it is good that) for the benefit of Bodhisattvas and future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination you are able to ask about the Tathâgata's (method of) gradual self-cultivation in how to think correctly and where to abide and about the expedient expounding of various inethods of practice. Lister : attentively to what I now tell you.'

The Bodhisattva with Universal Eyes was filled with joy upon hearing this; he and the assembly kept silent to hear (the teaching).

(The Buddha said:) Virtuous man, all newly initiated Bodhisattvas and future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination in quest of the Tathagâta's pure mind of complete enlightenment should hold the right thought in order to keep from illusions.

This is a complete answer to the question. Although the Bodhisattva with Universal Eyes asked about gradual practice, right thought and right (mental) abiding, his main purpose was to solicit an expedient method by which all beginners could keep from illusions. Therefore, the Buddha taught the correct thought which is the quickest way for them at the start of their practice. Hence, His words: 'They should hold the right thought'. By right thought, is meant absence of thoughts. For movement of the mind and the rise of thoughts are all illusions within the body of complete enlightenment. His idea was that if no single thought rises, all illusions will vanish. Hence He said 'to keep from illusions'. For previously He spoke of all illusions created in the wondrous mind of the Tathâgata's complete enlightenment, Therefore, they should forsake all thoughts to unite with it. The sâstra says: 'The realm of no thought can be realized only by personal awakening.' Consequently this is the first expedient.

'First, practise the Tathâgata's samatha by strictly observing the prohibitions of sila, providing accommodation for fellow practisers and sitting in meditation in a quiet hall.

This is an expedient method for keeping from illusions. The Sanskrit word samatha means: 'to stop' (or to tranquillize). The practice should begin with silencing (the active mind) as the first step, because all living beings have the bad habit of cognizing (only) the clinging mind wherein thoughts rise and fall without a moment’s respite. Is it, therefore, easy to stop all thoughts at one stroke? For this reason, samatha should be practised at the start as a first step in the expedient method for entering (the stream) of Ch'an. As to this stopping, there are three kinds of samatha according to the T'ien T'ai school, namely: rest in the real, the seerning and the mean. These three ways of tranquillization are necessary for the triple introspection (vipayanâ) into rcspectively the real, the seerning and the mean.

Now the samatha taught in the text is rest in the real. To practise it, one should lay down everything within and without both body and mind, again lay down and down until there remains nothing further to lay down, and only then will all thinking come to a stop. When there is only one voidness within and without, it is the real mind. When thinking has stopped, all thoughts automatically vanish. Therefore, this stoppage of thinking is right thought. When the right thought prevails, all false-hood instantaneously disappears. Hence 'keep from all illusions'. This is a pre-requisite for entering (the stream of) Ch'an and students should know it.

Strictly to observe the prohibitions of sila is to keep first the four grave prohibitions' of the three graduai steps listed in the Sûrangama Sûtra which teaches that the practiser's conduct should be as clean as ice and [187]

1. The four prohibitions are: killing, stealing, indulgence in the flesh and lying.

frost. Hence the Buddha said: 'observe strictly'. 'Sitting in meditation in a quiet hall' means that practisers who are accustomed to disturbance and confusion cannot control their minds unless they sit in quiet meditation. Since the text does not mention a moving state, it is clear that only samatha in the real is meant. 'Accommodation for fellow-practisers', is not for a great number of meditators but only for those sharing the same view and undergoing the same training so that they can meet easily to achieve the same result.

You should always think: "My body is a union of four elements: all impure things such as hair, nails, teeth, skin, fiesh, tendons, bones, marrow and brain conte from the element earth; all spittle, snot, pus, blood, saliva, sweat, water, phlegm, tears, semen, urine and excrenent come from the element water; all warmth (and heat) come from the element fire; and all motion comes from the element wind. When the four elements scatter, where is this false body of mine?" You will immediately realize that this physical body really has no substance and owes its form to the union of four elements. It is but an illusion created by the seerning union of four (conditioning) causes and is wrongly (regarded as) having six sense organs.

This is how to start introspection (vipayanâ) in answer to the Bodhisattva's question as to how to think rightly. The Buddha first taught meditation on the seeming.

This Bodhisattva asked for the gradual method of right thinking because the Buddha had said to Mañjusri : 'All living beings mistook the (union of) four elements for their bodies and the shadows of their six conditioned sense data for their minds' and 'His cognition of an illusory flower in the sky puts an end to samsâra' and had also said to Samantabhadra: 'When illusions are cognized as such, one will avoid them without using expedients.' He taught instantaneous awakening and realization but men of medium and inferior roots might not be able to understand this; hence the Bodhisattva's request.

The World Honoured One first taught the practice of stopping thoughts (samatha) which is the first expedient (of the gradual method). Now He taught insight (vipayanâ) answering the question about the right thought. He began by teaching the expedient method of meditation on the seerning, firstly contemplation of the physical body with an analysis of its constituents, and then of the mind (in the following text). This is His method of gradual practice. There is, however, the threefold vipayanâ, namely (insight into) the real, the seeming and the mean. He followed the pattern of samatha on illusions of the Sûrangama Sûtra and first taught the meditation on the seeming, thence on the real [188] and thence on the mean, to reveal the practice of gradual meditation on the mind.

In the above text, meditation on the illusory body is that on the seeming. The threefold vipasyanâ concerns only one mind and explains the word 'cognized' in the Buddha's previous answer to Samantabhadra: When illusions are cognized as such, one should keep from them.'

The complete union of the six inner sense organs and the four outer elements creates the false existence of causal conditions, the accumulation of which takes a seeming aspect called mind.'

This is an expedient method of contemplating the mind. The six inner sense organs and the four outer elements unite to create the six sense data. The union of sense organs and sense data creates consciousness. Hence 'complete union'. 'False existence' reveals the falsity of mind; the Buddha meant that the (so-called) existing mind is only (the product of) false thinking and is not the true mind. How can one know its falsity? Because the six consciousnesses grasp the first five sense data the shadows of which, by accumulation, become false conditions which culminate in the creation of a seeming aspect which is but a shadow of erroneous thinking and is wrongly called mind. In their daily activities, all living beings recognize only this unreal shadow as mind. Now in the meditation, this mind, if disentangled from sense data, immediately becomes bodiless (and non-existent). If the seeming is not recognized as real, all false thinking will vanish, and wherever all false thinking vanishes, the real, althought unsought, will appear of itself. This is the expedient method of meditation on the seeming.

Virtuous man, this unreal mind cannot exist in the absence of the six sense data. When the four elements scatter, the sense data no longer exist and when the conditioned sense data scatter and vanish, the clinging mind cannot be found.'

This shows successful meditation on the seeming. The Buddha had said to Mañjusrî : 'They mistake the conditioned shadows of the six sense data for their minds.' Although they knew now that they should keep from illusions when these were cognized as such, they still could not do so at once. For this reason, the Buddha taught them first to meditate on the falsity of this body of four elements. When these elements scatter and vanish, the inner sense organs become non-existent and there is nothing to match the outer sense data. As sense organs and sense data vanish, the conditioned mind also disappears. This shows the falsity of mind.

'Virtuous man, when the illusory bodies of these living beings disappear, their illusory minds also vanish. Because their illusory minds vanish, the illusory [189] disappearance (of illusions) also vanishes. Because this illusory disappearance vanishes, that which is not illusory does not disappear. For example, when a mirror is rubbed, afier all the dust has been wiped off its brightness appears.'

This is meditation on the unreal leading to that on the real. Contemplation of the sense organs, sense data and consciousnesses results in their total disappearance. Since the objective contemplated is now void, the contemplating subjective is also non-existent. Hence the Buddha's words: 'The illusory disappearance (of illusions) will also disappear.' When He previously said to Mañjusrî : 'The subjective knowing of space is but an (illusory) flower in the sky', He did not even set up the method of meditation. Now (in His present teaching to the Bodhisattva with Universai. Eyes), He wiped out both subject and object to eliminate all relativities in order to reveal the perfect, bright, pure and clean truc mind. Hence 'that which is not illusory does not disappear'; in other words the enlightened mind which does not moue. The two words 'purity' and 'cleanness' in the following sentence are characteristic of the real. The rubbing of the mirror illustrates meditation on the real.

'Virtuous man, you should know that body and mind are illusory impurities and Wwen these illusory impurities vanish for ever, there will remain (only) purity and cleanness in the ten directions of space.

This is meditation on the seeming and the real leading to that on the mean. The Buddha had said before to Malijufri that 'He relied entirely on perfect insight into pure and clean enlightenment' which is only the One Mind ; hence the mean now.1

'Virtuous man, (when) for instance the pure and clean mani crystal reflects the five colours as they appear before it, the ignorant hold to the view that this crystal really possesses these five colours. Virtuous man, likewise, when the pure nature of perfect enlightenment which is responsive to all appearances, reflects the body and mind, the ignorant say that it really possesses this body and mind; for this reason, they are unable to keep from illusions and transformations. Therefore, I say that body and mind are illusory impurities and that he who keeps from them is called a Bodhisattva. When (objective) impurities are eradicated and subjective (wisdom that avoids them) is eliminated, there are also neither (the Bodhisattva) confronting impurities nor the one calling (him by) that name.'2

This shows the absolute true mind to reveal the substance of pure and clean enlightenment, the perfect insight into which (was earlier mentioned by the Buddha when speaking to Mañjusrî). The mani crystal

1. The mean is the One Mind which is beyond both the real and the seeming.

2. The objective Bodhisattva and the subjective Buddha should be wiped out also to realize the absolute.

[190] symbolizes pure mind performing this perfect insight and the five colours indicate the five aggregates which constitute the body and mind. Fundamentally the wondrous mind of complete enlightenment does not possess the five aggregates which appear in it because of the illusory karmic activities caused by ignorance. These five aggregates appearing in the wondrous mind are like the five colours reflected in the mani crystal. Living beings who do not know the real mind, recognize only the illusions of the five aggregates and are thus like the ignorant clinging to the belief that the mani crystal really possesses five colours. They mistake the five aggregates for their egos, and thereby screen their real substance; hence their illusory impurities. He who uses his contemplating wisdom to look into and wipe out the five aggregates is called a Bodhisattva. However, a mutual dependence still romains and is but ignorance itself, obstructing the appearance of the real substance. If all relativities are wiped out with the elimination of both subject and object, the absolute true mind will manifest itself.

Virtuous man, this Bodhisattva and any living being in the period of the Dharma's termination who succeeds in awakening from all illusions and thereby in eliminating all appearances, will experience unlimited purity and cleanness as well as infinite voidness as revealed by his enlightentnent. As this enlightenment is complete and clear, it reveals the mind in its purity and cleanness.

This shows what perfect insight reveals. The substance of this perfect wondrous mind is by its nature spiritually clear, all-pervading, extensive, void and still; it is called absolute voidness. Originally (the rise of) an ignorant thought screened it and changed it into relative voidness in the ten directions of space. Now that ignorance has been eradicated, this (relative) voidness vanishes. Thus the (relative) voidness in the ten directions of space is exposed by the enlightened mind. As this voidness vanishes, the wondrous bright substance is exhibited. Hence the words: 'The mind is revealed in its purity and cleanness.' Once this mind has been purified, all the ten dharmadhûtus 1 are also pure and clean. The following passage deals with the pure and clean states of body and mind of the worldly and the saintly which are the "pure and clean enlightenment" mentioned in the Buddha's earlier answer to Mañjusrû Purity and cleanness are the characteristics of the (absolute) voidness.

In the next paragraph, the Buddha taught insight (vipasyanà) into the real. [191]

1. The ten dharmadhâtus, or states of existence, are: hells, hungry ghosts, animals, titans, men, the gods, srâvakas, pratyeka-buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas.

'Because the mind is pure and clean, the seeing (impurity (called) dust is pure and clean. Because the seeing is pure and clean, the organ of sight is pure and clean. Because the organ (of sight) is pure and clean, the sight perception is pure and clean. Because the sight perception is pure and clean, the organ of hearing is pure and clean. Because the organ of hearing is pure and clean, the ear perception is pure and clean. Because the ear-perception is pure and clean, the impure awareness is pure and clean. Likewise, the (other sense organs such as) nose, tongue, body and intellect are also (pure and clean).

This shows what the substance of the wondrous enlightened mind (looks like) as a result of perfect insight into it,2 to reveal the substance of (absolute) voidness. The 'seeing dust' (in the text) is the defiling seeing caused by ignorance, that is the discriminating3 function of âlaya-vijñana (or the eighth consciousness).

When the six senses arc perfectly introspected, the 'seeing' is a (defiling) dust in contrast with the form dust (of the organ of sight). The Buddha meant that the mind, whether or not enlightened, and its mental conditions in the ten dharmadhâtus owe their existence to this defiling dust. As ignorance is now wiped out, the wondrous enlightenment becomes clear and perfect. As the (subjective) mind and its (objective) conditions vanish and since all dualisms are eliminated, this (defiling) seeing also disappears. Hence the all embracing pure and clean ten dharmadhâtus. Because of this (all pervading) purity and cleanness, there is (in reality only) one all pervading, wondrous and illuminating dharmadhâtu.

In the following text, the Buddha listed in turn the mental conditions in the six worldly existences and the four saintly realms which are all pure, clean and all embracing. According to the underlying principle, when the One Mind is in its illuminating perfection, both the saintly and the worldly vanish. However, as the Buddha was teaching unenlightened men, he successively listed in the following passage the wondrous qualifies of this all embracing (One Mind) in its shining perfection. He first pointed out the purity and cleanness of the six worldly existences as follows:

Virtuous man, because the sense organs are pure and clean, all forms are

1. Dust: or rajas in Sanskrit, which means also dirt, minute, vapour.

2. We should know that the eightcen dhâtus, or six sense organs, six sense data and six consciousnesses arc not real but are created by the one mind under delusion.

3. According to the Dharmalaksana school or Vijñana-mâtra (vâda) doctrine, the function of cognition (vijñâna) is divided into four, i.e. (1) the mental phenomena, (a) discriminating such phenomena, (3) that which discriminates, and (4) the evidence, or proof, of that which discriminates. (Sec note 1.)

[192] pure and clean. Because all forms are pure and clean, all sounds are pure and clean. Likewise, smell, Caste, touch and thoughts are also (pure and clean).

This shows the purity and cleanness of the six sense data.

Virtuous man, because the six sense data are pure and clean, the element earth is pure and clean. Because the element earth is pure and clean, the element water is pure and clean. Likewise, the elements fire and wind are also (pure and clean).'

This shows the purity and cleanness of the four elements.

[…]

[ Omission des pages [192-193: suite du texte exposant les composantes « … all pure and clean » ; elles sont accompagnées de longues notes énumératives.]

[194]

This lists the four states of sainthood which are all pure and clean.

'Virtuous man, all things are in the absolute state of reality. Because their nature is pure and clean, so is a body. Because a body is pure and clean, so are all bodies. Because all bodies are pure and clean, all living beings in the ten directions of space are in the purity and cleanness of complete enlightenment.

This shows the physical body and universe in the purity and cleanness of complete enlightenment. A body, as direct retribution (for past karmas) is first pointed out, followed by all bodies (to reveal that) there are no living beings who are not pure and clean. As all living beings in the ten directions of space are in the purity and cleanness of complete enlighten-ment, they are all in the absolute condition of suchness.

'Virtuous man, because one universe is pure and clean, so are all universes. Because all universes are pure and clean, all things within them in the past, present and future are pure, clean and unchanging in their universal condition.

This is insight into the purity and cleanness of the universe, as an indirect retribution (for past karmas) to realize the voidness of all worlds of existence. As worldly and saintly existences vanish, there remains only one complete enlightened precious awareness in its purity and cleanness. The Strrarigama Sûtra says: 'As I am beyond birth and death, I unite with the Tathâgatagarbha.1 As the Tathàgata womb is neither mundane nor supramundane, all things are but the Tathàgatagarbha.' Hence the unchanging revealed in the following sentences:

'Virtuous man, since space is so universal and unchanging, you should know that the nature of knowing and feeling is universal and unchanging. Since the four elements are unchanging, you should know that the nature of knowing and feeling is universal and unchanging. Since all things (from the above) up to the 84, 000 dhârani doors (to absolute control of passions) are universal and unchanging, you should know that the nature of knowing and feeling is universal and unchanging.

Space, worlds and living beings exist because of the nature of enlightenment in delusion, but since all things accord with complete enlightenment

1. Tathâgatagarbha: the Tathâgata store, or womb, that gives birth to all things, whether pure or impure.

[195] now, they are all universal and in the non-dual nirvânic condition of calmness and extinction (of samsâra) hence unchanging. This is only the elimination of all things, that is meditation on the real. If the seeming returns to the real for their unimpeded interaction, the former will be as all-embracing as the latter is now. Hence the universality of everything in the following sentences:

'Virtuous man, as the nature of enlightenment is all-embracing, pure, clean, unchanging and boundless, you should know that the six sense organs are every-where in the dharmadhâtu. Because the sense organs are all-embracing, the six sense data are everywhere in the dharmadhritu. Because the sense data are all-embracing, the four elements are everywhere in the dharmadhûtu. Thus (all things from the above) up to the dhâranî doors are everywhere in the dharma-dhâtu.'

The text mentions the ten dharmadhâtus to reveal the seeming following the real to become all embracing and the unimpeded interaction of the absolute and the relative. This is meditation on the seeming.

Virtuous man, because the nature of wonderful enlightenment is all-embracing, the nature of the sense organs and sense data is indestructible and unmixable. Because of this indestructibility (and unmixability all things from the above) up to the dhâranî doors are indestructible and unmixable. They are like hundreds and thousands of lamps which light a room, the whole of which is filled with the light that is indestructible and unmixable.'

The ten dharmadhâtus are mentioned to reveal that all phenornena are not mutually exclusive (but in common harmony as parts of the whole). This all-embracing meditation exposes the mean of the One Mind. It shows that the dharmadhâtus are but One Mind wherein all phenomena are unmixable and do not spoil one another; hence the realization of the universal shining complete enlightenment.

Virtuous man, you should know that in bis realization of enlightenment, a Bodhisattva neither ties himself to nor frees himself from a doctrine (Dharma), neither dislikes birth and death nor litres nirvâna, neither respects those observing the precepts nor hates those breaking them and neither respects experienced practisers nor slights beginners. Why so? Because his complete enlightenment on all things is likened to the light of his eyes which is complete and does not like or dislike anything in front of him. What is the reason? Because this light is non-dual, neither liking nor disliking anything.'

This describes the nirvânic One Mind which is non-dual and universal to reveal pure and clean enlightenment because bondage and liberation, like and dislike, etc., are all dualisms. These dualisms exist through false views (caused by) ignorance, and now because of perfect insight, the [196] awareness of all things is complete and is, therefore, non-dual. The light of the eyes is the most revealing of all the senses, for it exposes the eighth consciousness (âlaya-vijñâna) by direct inference, and illustrates the non-dual, impartial and universal nature of complete enlightenment.

Virtuous man, this Bodhisattva or any living being in the period of the Dharma's termination who cultivates this mind and achieves this attainment, neither practises (any) cultivation nor achieves (any) attainment. In the Buddha realrns as uncountable as sand grains in the Ganges rivers which are as innumerable as hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of asankhyas,1 even universal illuminating complete enlightenment in its non-dual inirvânic condition is still like a flower in the sky, airnlessly rising and falling, because it is neither enlightenment itself nor something apart and is neither bound nor liberated. Therefore, fundamentally all living beings are in the condition of Buddhahood (wherein) samsâra and nirvâna are like (things seen in) yesterday's dream.'

This again describes the non-dual nirvânic aspect of universal illuminating complete enlightenment to reveal the ultimate realization of the One Mind. In the Tathâgatagarbha, fundamentally there is neither delusion nor awakening, neither birth nor death and neither coming nor going. Samsâra and nirvâna are but illusions seen in a dream and since ignorance is now destroyed, all past illusions are like things seen in yesterday's dream.

Virtuous man, as they are like (things seen in) yesterday's dream, you should know that samsâra and nirvâna neither rise nor fall and neither come nor go. The (objective) realization can be neither gained nor lost and neither grasped nor rejected. The (subjective) realizer neither makes nor unmakes it and neither bears nor drops it. Subject and object do not exist in this realization wherein ultimately nothing is realized and wherein there is not even a realizer, for all things are only nature (dharmatâ) which is universal and indestructible.'

This again reveals the non-dual ultimate body of the nirvânic One Mind. Previously the Buddha had said to Mañjusrî : 'Out of perfect enlightenment stream all pure and clean Bhûtatathatâ, bodhi, nirvâna and pâramitâs.' He meant that ignorance makes the pure and clean Bhûtatathatâ a living being of the five aggregates; this is the law of birth and death. Bodhi and nirvâna are the fruits realized. All pâramitâs are methods for realizing (it). Since fundamentally there is in the Tathâgatagarbha neither coming nor going, neither delusion nor awakening and neither birth nor death, samsâra and nirvâna are like (things seen in) yesterday's dream. Since they are so, how can there be such things as cultivation or [197]

1. Asankhya is an astronomical figure.

realization, gain or loss, and grasping or rejecting? Since there is neither cultivation nor realization, there is also neither subject nor object. Thus all forms and shadows are in the nirvânic condition of calmness and extinction. In this light, all things are real, exist eternally and are indestructible. This is the ultimate pattern of perfect insight into the pure and clean characteristic of enlightenment in the dharmadhâtu. This explains 'the perfect insight into the pure and clean enlightenment' previously taught by the Buddha in His answer to Mañjusri's question.

Virtuous man, if these Bodhisattvas so practise self-cultivation by gradual steps, so rightly think and so abide in these expedients, so open up (their tninds) for their awakening and so seek the Dharma, they will not be confused and stupefied.'

This concludes the Buddha's answer to the question of the Bodhisattva with Universal Eyes and teaches the correct line of conduct which consists in 'so' following His instruction.

To repeat His instruction, the World Honoured One read the following

Universal Eye, you should know

That the minds and bodies of all

Living beings are illusory.

(With) body made from the four elements

And mind reducible to six sense

Data, then the four elements disperse

Who is it that unites them? So by

Gradual cultivation, step by step,

All things will be pure and clean. Embracing

All dhartnadhâtu, the unchanging

Neither makes nor unmakes, bears nor drops;

Nor is there one to realize (it).

The realms of all the Buddhas

Are like flowers in the sky.

Since the three times are uniform,

There is no coming and no going. 1

Ail newly initiated Bodhisattvas

And beings in the Dharma ending age

Seeking the Buddha Way to enter

Should thus practise self-cultivation?

1. The first fourteen fines wipe out space, and the fifteenth and sixteenth eradicate time.



§



[j’omets les sections 4. Vajragarbha Bodhisattva – 5. Maitreya Bodhisattva — 6. The Bodhisattva of Pure and Clean Wisdom - 7. The Respect Inspiring Sovereign Bodhisattva – 8. The Sound Distinguishing Bodhisattva]



9. The Bodhisattva of Clean Karma

The Bodhisattva of Clean Karma who was in the assembly rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha, circled Him thrice from the right, bowed down upon his knees, brought together his two palms with crossed lingers and said: ‘O World Honoured One of great compassion, you have fully expounded to us the inconceivahle deeds of all Tathâgatas from the cause-ground so that the whole assembly can hear what they have never heard before and can see the tamer of passions 1 passing through aeons of arduous toil as many as the sandgrains of the river Ganges, with all his practices and achievements unfolded in an instant, thus rejoicing us, the Bodhisattvas in this assembly.'

In this way the Bodhisattvas rejoiced at hearing about all the meditative studies established on the One Mind, the cause-ground of all Tathâgatas' self-cultivation, and at seeing the Buddha's arduous toils (in countless aeons) revealed in an instant.

World Honoured One, if this nature of enlightenment was fundamentally pure and clean, why is it contaminated and soiled, thus causing all living beings to be deluded, perplexed and unable to enter it.'

This is the main question. The Buddha had said in the preceding chapter that fundamentally the pure and clean (nature of) all Tathâgatas' complete enlightenment is beyond all practice. If it was pure and clean before, why can it be now contaminated and soiled, thus requiring cultivation?

May the World Honoured One thoroughly awaken us to the Dharma nature. (Dharmatû) so that this assembly and future living beings in the period of the Dharma' s termination can use (your teaching) as our (guiding) eye in the future.'

After saying these words, he again made the same prostration and the same request for a second and third time.

The World Honoured One then said to the Bodhisattva of Clean Karma: 'Excellent, excellent ! Virtuous man, (it is good that) you are able to ask the Tathâgata for such an expedient explanation for the benefit of this assembly and

I. Purusadamya-sârathi, a title of the Buddha, meaning one who tames and controls as a master does a wild elephant or horse, or as the World Honoured One brings the passions of man under control.



[244] also that of future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination. Listen attentively to what I now say.'

The Bodhisattva of Clean Karma was filled with joy upon hearing this; he and the assembly kept silent to hear (the teaching).

(The Buddha said:) 'Virtuous man, since the time without beginning, all living beings have been clinging wrongly to the reality of an ego, of a man, of a being and of a life. They regard these four inverted (illusions) as their real bodies thereby giving rise to like and dislike. Because of this false body, they cling to further falsehood and the two falsities, by relying on each other, create false karmas. Because of these false karmas, they falsely perceive the turning (wheel of) samsâra. When they are bored with samsâra, they falsely perceive nirvâna.

This is why there are contamination and defilement. The above words : ‘Since the time without beginning, all living beings have been clinging to the reality of an ego, of a man, of a being and of a life', inean exactly what the Buddha had previously said to Mafijugri: 'They mistake the union of the four elements for their bodies and the shadows of the six conditioned sense data for their minds.' Because of their initial delusion 1 they did not recognize their Dharmakâyas but wrongly regarded the illusory body and mind of the five aggregates as their real substance, which they took as an ego. As this ego is subject to transmigration through different states, it is thought of as a man (of the human world). Since it is subject to prosperity and decline, misery and happiness and successive different transformations without interruption, it is regarded as a being. As it continues to exist fora period of time, it is considered as (having) a life.

Since they fail to understand the non-existence of an ego, they cling to the false and take it for the real; hence 'inverted illusions'. It is already an inverted view when the seeming is regarded as the I but this false ‘I’ in turn gives rise to like and dislike; hence 'because of this false body they cling to further falsehood'. This is the rise of illusions. As the illusory mind and its illusory objects rely on each other to create all kinds of karma, the text says : 'they create false karmas'. This is the creation of karmas. As false karmas are created, retribution follows with the consequent round of births and deaths. This is the bitter fruit (i.e. suffering). Therefore, illusion, karma and suffering exist because of the false conception of the reality of an ego which grasps the three samsâric worlds ; 2 hence 'the turning (wheel of) samsâra'. This is its mortal lot. 3

1. The first thought that stirred their minds, the cause of their basic ignorance.

2. Worlds of desire, of form and beyond fonn.

3. Bhâgya: lot, fatc, allotmcnt.

As to those of Hinayâna, they are disgusted with birth and death. When they (succeed in) eradicating the accumulated klesas and reach beyond the three samsâric worlds, they still wrongly perceive nirvâna. This is their condition and station beyond transmigration 1 caused by their grasping of an ego ; hence 'thereby giving rise to like and dislike'.

These four conceptions (of an ego, a man, a being and a life) have, however, their coarse and fine aspects. The coarse aspects are held because of deluded consciousness and the fine ones because of deluded wisdom.

The coarse concepts are held by wordly men who wrongly recognize thc five aggregates as their ego and falsely give rise to like and dislike; they are covered by the first half of the Diamond Sûtra. 2

The fine concepts are held by âryas and bhadras who still cling wrongly to the idea of realization and acquisition and who have not forsaken the duality of subject and object as expounded in this sûtra. They are covered by the second half of the Diamond Sutra.

Both the coarse and fine concepts of an ego are inborn. 3 As to the concept of a being, this sûtra means all the nine realms 4 still clinging to it, and begins by dealing with the four concepts held by worldly men giving rise to like and dislike, followed by those held by srâvakas, pratyeka-buddhas and Bodhisattvas caused by their idea of realization and acquisition (of Dharma), for realization and acquisition originate from the seeds of love. Hence both the worldly and the saintly are mentioned in the text.

Therefore, they are unable to enter the (state of) pure and clean enlightenment. It is not the latter that opposes and rejects them but it is because of (their clinging to) a subject that can enter it. Since they grasp this entering subject, no entry by their bodhi (nature) is possible. For this reason, both the stirring and stopping of thoughts cause delusion and perplexity.' 5

This answers why they are unable to enter (the state of) enlightemnent. It has been said that attachment to an ego soils the true self-nature and prevents the latter from entering the (state of) pure and clean enlightenment. (It is, therefore, clear that) it is not that state which opposes and

1. There are two kinds of condition: (a) that resulting from good or bad karma in the three realms of desire, of form and beyond form and in the six paths, i.e. the mortal lots (see footnote 3 page 244) and (b) that resulting from good karma in the realms beyond transmigration, i.e. those of Hînayâna.

2. See Clean and Zen Teaching, First Series, Part III, Han Shan's Diamond-cutter of Doubts.

3. Inborn as opposed to acquired.

4. The six worlds of existence in Samsâra and those of srâvakas, pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas.

5. Both the stirring and stopping of thoughts imply the existence of a subject that stirs and stops them, i.e. the splitting of the undivided self-nature into subject and objcct, the cause of ignorance.

[246] rejects their self-nature and does not allow it to enter. As they cling to the subjective ego that can enter (the state of) enlightenment, the text speaks of the (concept of) 'an entering subject' which replaces their bodhi nature (that alone can enter). If (instead of this subjective ego), their (own nature of) bodhi enters (the state of) enlightenment, it will be just like the void uniting with the void and there will be no rejection.

As ego is not forsaken, the worldly men who stir their minds and those of the three vehicles 1 who suppress their thoughts, are all deluded and perplexed.

The text now reveals the cause of delusion and perplexity.

'Why is it? Because since the time without beginning, there has been self-rising (basic) ignorance which (acts as) their master.'

This is the basic cause of delusion and perplexity. Self-rising ignorance is the first unenlightened thought, that is ignorance in the process of birth. 2 The Dharmakâya is egoless but is deluded by the first thought that transforms it into basic consciousness (âlaya-vijñâna), that is the basic ego. This first thought gives rise to all sorts of unenlightened activity; hence 'self-rising (basic) ignorance acts as their master'. This is the 'I'. Before attainment of absolute universal enlightenment (samyak-sambodhi) and so long as this basic ignorance is not destroyed and retribution is not eliminated, it is this 'I' (or ego) that holds the field. However, this ego in the text differs frein that in other sûtras, as shown below.

'All living beings are bora without the eyes of wisdom 3 and their bodies and minds are (the embodiment of) ignorance. For instance, no man wants to take his own life.'

This again explains why (basic) ignorance which has no beginning is difficult to wipe out. As all its substance is in delusion, it has been transmuted into body and mind with their five aggregates, and this basic ignorance cannot be destroyed if it is not lit and dissipated by fundamental wisdom. As living beings have not met enlightened people, they cannot open their wisdom eyes to shine upon and break it up. How can ignorance wipe out itself? Hence the words: 'for instance no man wants to take his own life'.4

1. Triyâna: the three vehicles of srâvakas, pratyekabuddhas and Bodhisattvas.

2. The four avasthâ, or states of all phenomena are: birth, stay, change and death. Self-rising ignorance is the first avasthâ state, or state of birth.

3. The eyes of wisdom see all things as unreal.

4. Ignorance will never agree to destroy itsclf, as no man wants to take his own lifc.

'Therefore, you see (the result is that) we agree with those liking us and we hate and resent those contradicting us. Because of like and dislike, ignorance is preserved. As this ignorance continues, it is impossible to realize anything in one's quest of the truth.'

This shows the continuity of ignorance that prolongs the aeon of transmigration. This continuous ignorance that lengthens the transmigratory aeon is difficult to dissipate because of the two illusions of like and dislike which sustain it. As ego is grasped, it is given undue partiality. If we are loved, this (false) view of love is strcngthened. If we are contradicted, we hate and resent (it). However, hate and resentment arise because of love for they exist when love is opposed. Thus these like and dislike influence, nourish the seed of ignorance and are (bound to be) followed by manifest activities. For this reason, like and dislike cannot be cut off in the successive acons of transmigrations with the result that ignorance becomes deeper day by day, causing the continuity of long kalpas of births and deaths. If the mind (set on) like and dislike is used to look for the Buddha path, how can the latter be found? Hence 'it is impossible to realize anything in one's quest of the truth'.

The (illusory) ego is described below.

'Virtuous man, what is the ego? It is what the mind of a living being experiences (as existing).'

This is the substance of the I. The four conceptions (of an ego a man, a being and a life) were classified into coarse and fine according to the ancient interpretation but in this sutra, the Buddha pointed out basic ignorance which, since the time without beginning, has been considered one's master. This is the substance of the I which, although personating the first of the four conceptions, is but (self-rising) ignorance in its state of birth.1 Now before all relativities arc completely eliminated, an exhaustive meditative study unfolds all (the ego's) four aspects in succession. Therefore, there is no question of dividing them into coarse and fine conceptions. How is this known? Fundamentally, the wondrous (self-) nature is perfect and bright, free from both subject and object. h was screened by the first (stirring) thought which hid its fundamental brightness. Hence the darkness of ignorance, so that ignorance has been acting as one's master and impersonating one's own substance.

Now in the process of introspection by means of aroused enlightenment to realize complete enlightenment, the former cannot unite with the latter solely because of hindrance from this basic ignorance and of the fact that all relativities are not completely eliminated. That which is confronted and (can be) experienced is ignorance and is not the nature of enlightenment. Therefore, the text says that that which can be experienced by the mind (as existing) is an ego.

The initially risen ignorance is ego and has nothing to do with its coarseness and fineness. Examples are given below.

'Virtuous man, for instance, when a man is healthy, he forgets all about the body of his ego. When his four limbs are not in a good state or when he is unwell, if he is cauterized with moxa, (the pain will cause) his ego to be felt as existing. Therefore the ego only manifests when it is experienced.'

The above describes the ego. As living beings pursue ignorance in all their activities, they do not notice the presence of their 'ego' and let it follow its own cause. Therefore, when a man is healthy, he forgets all about his body. Now, by means of an exhaustive meditative study, the substance of ignorance is exposed. It is like one who notices the existence of his body only when it is pricked with needles or cauterized with moxa. That which can be witnessed by the mind during meditation is ignorance, but not the nature of enlightenment. Hence the text says that the ego only inanifests when experienced.

Previously the Buddha had said that since the time without beginning ignorance had been one's master, thus pointing out that basic ignorance is the ego which should not be regarded as a coarse delusion. The following text concludes the description of the ego.

Wirtuous man, the mind which can realize even the Tatgata (state) and can perceive clearly pure and clean nirvana is but an ego.' 2

This concludes the description of the basic ego. It means not only that all realization by men of the three virtuous stages and the saints (ârya) of the ten Bodhisattva stages is (by means of their) ego, but that even the attainment of the Tathâgata's final nirvâna, if there remains a single thought of experiencing it, proves that basic ignorance in its state of birth is not yet destroyed and is but the basic ego (that still exists).

Yun. Men said: 'The Dharmakâya lias also two kinds of illness, of which one is that when reaching its borderline, one cannot forsake the

2. Because the undivided self-nature is split into subject and object, a dualisin created by ignorance.

concept of the reality of Dharma, thereby preserving the conception of an ego’ 1.

Question: According to the teaching of the three vehicles (triyâna), inborn attachment to the ego is wiped out in the seventh stage of Bodhisattva development and inborn attachment to the Dharma after the eighth stage.2 After this attachment to the Dharma has been eliminated, the practiser will enter the state of profound (or perfect) enlightenment (the fifty-second stage of Bodhisattva development). Why does this sûtra say that the ego still remains after the attainment of universal enlightenment (samyak sambhodi, or the fifty-first stage of Bodhisatta enlighten-ment)? Where does this discrepancy come from?

Answer: Both attachments to ego and Dharma come from an ego, being the ego's ego, and the ego's Dharma. Since inborn attachment to the Dharma means the I clinging to the Dharma, the latter belongs to the I. As retribution is still not eliminated, that which can be experienced is but the I. This sûtra differs from other sermons and since the four aspects belong to the same ego, the text says that they belong to the I.

The following paragraph deals with the concept of a man (or personality).

'Virtuous man, what is personality? It is the mind that is aware of such experience. Virtuous man, when it is awakened (to the presence of) an ego, it will no longer recognize it. Not only is the object thus evidenced not an ego but also the evidencing subject also ceases to be one. Thus all awareness that is beyond evidencing (at this stage) is personality.'

This describes personality (or a man). When the ego is perceived as such, as said in the preceding paragraph, it will (be cast aside and will) no longer be so recognized. If the perceiving mind is retained, it will be a man (or personality) as a counterpart of the ego but not another person.

'Vin : tous man, (even) when the mind is perfectly aware of nirvana as ifs own self, if a little bit of awareness is retained in the former, it will be but a personality in spite of a thorough understanding of the identity of nirvana with the (truc) self according fo the fondamental law.'3

This gives a further explanation of the term personality. It means that if nirvâna is realized as the self and even if such realization is not

1. See Ch'an and Zen Teaching, Series Two, The Yun Men Sect.

2. There are two kinds of attachment, to the ego (âtmagrâha) and to the dharma (darmagrâha); they are classified into (i) those which are inborn, or instinctive (sahaja) and (2) those which are acquired, i.e. arising from reasoning and discriminating (vikalpita).

3. Because of the existence of a perceiving mind, a subject, the counterpart of winch fs the object, nirvâna, both being a duality having no place in the absolute.

grasped, the mind that can be awakened to it is still a personality. This realization of nirvâna as the self according to its fundamental principle is called a personality if a little bit of the awakening mind is retained.

Virtuous man, what is a being? It is the mind which is beyond (the previous) experience and realization.'

This describes a being which is that which (now) knows that the previous realintion and awakening were false. The mind that thus knows is a being. The mind which is beyond the reach of the previous experience and realization and which understands that it should keep from both is called a being.

Virtuous man, if for example a man says: "I am a living being," we know that he who speaks of a living being is neither the "I" nor (another) man. Why is he not the I? Because he says: "I am a living being" and is, therefore, not the L Why is tee not (another) personality? Because he says: "I am a living being" and is, therefore, neither the self nor (another) man.'

The above example is used to explain the term ‘being. According to the worldly conception, the I is a being subject to happiness and misery and all other changes. Now if a holy man has wiped out the dual conception of subject and object in his experience and realization but still preserves the knowing mind, he is a being. As he is now beyond both subject and object, words used by worldly men are borrowed to elucidate the meaning which is: 'I am a living being and am, therefore, neither the I nor a personality.'

The text now concludes the explanation of being.

Virtuous man, (the states) that can be experienced and realized by the mind, belong to an ego and to a personality. That which is beyond the I and a man and retains the knowledge (of something) is called a being.'

This shows the characteristic of a being which clearly knows both the previous experience and realization and which neither an ego nor a personality can reach. This knowing mind, if preserved, is a being.

Virtuous man, what is a life? It is the mind (now) looking into (its) purity and cleanness. (Although) it is aware of its (three previous) objectives, its karmic awareness does not perceive itself and (lingers) like a root for life! 1

This is life. The (subjective) mind that 'knew' was a being. Now, as the meditating wisdom becomes brighter (or sharper), it looks into this knowing mind but instead of the latter, it finds the pure and clean

1. Jivitendriya is one of the elements not associated with mind. It means ‘a root for life' or a basic for reincarnation, the nexus between two life periods. The Mahâyâna accepts it as nominal but not real.

sub-stance of awareness, that is the source of the enlightened mind, called supreme enlightenment. When this stage is reached, both (subjective) wisdom and its object vanish, with all things disappearing. This is the result of insight by the mind's wisdom into its still and passionless substance and shows the absolute oneness of wisdom and its surroundings; it is now like the eye that cannot see itself. Hence 'its karmic awareness does not perceive itself'. As all falsehood (now) returns to reality, the complete pattern of the Dharmakâya is reached. However, if (wisdom) abides in this passionless stillness, it cannot achieve the transmutation of its position and potentiality (for a leap over all hindrances into complete enlightenment). This is a stage called 'sitting on the top of a pole' or 'immersion in stagnant water'. In Ch'an parlance, this is a 'noble fall'.1 If the mind cannot leap forward from where it falls, it will (linger) as a link with reincarnation and this is life. It is said:

'Sitting on a pole one hundred feet in height

One will still perceive (that) which is not real.

If from the pole top one then takes a step

One's body will appear throughout the universe.'

Therefore, he who abides in the abstruse cannot cut off the nexus of life. It is said that one should abide in neither samsâra nor nirvâna and the above is precisely the state of one abiding in nirvâna.

'Virtuous man, the introspecting mind that perceives all objects as defilements is (also impure) because it does not keep from them. When boiling water melts ice, the latter disappears (completely). The ice knowing its own melting is like (the mind) preserving the I and its awareness of it.'

This is direct pointing at the source of falsehood. 'Ail objects' of the mind are ego, personality and being (dealt with in the preceding paragraphs). The meditative mind now perceives a state of purity and cleanness and realizes the falsehood of the three previous aspects of an ego, a personality and a being which are all impurities. Even this knowing mind is also impure. However, if the real looks into the unreal (without discrimination), the latter will be identical with the former. Likewise, when boiling water melts ice, the latter is identical with the former. Now if there is preservation of the I and awareness of it, this is like ice that knows it is being melted. As the subject cannot eliminate itself, the nexus of life cannot be cut off: Hence, the state of a life.

1. See Ch'an and Zen Teaching, Series Two, the Story of Pen Chi of Ts'ao Shan.

The text now elucidates hindrance from the (idea of) ego and Dharma.

Virtuous man, future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination who do not understand the (above) four states, will fail to realize any of the stages of sainthood in spite nf their strenuous efforts in self-cultivation in many aeons. Hence the ending period of the right Dharma.'

This shows the (conception of an) ego which is the fundamental hindrance to the realization of the truth. If future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination do not understand the four states (of an ego, a man, a being and a life) they will vainly make strenuous efforts in self-cultivation in many aeons and will not attain sainthood, because of their clinging to the conception of an ego in their practice. The 'ending period of the right Dharma' means that future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination will be fortunate if they avail them-selves of this teaching of the whole truth which can be regarded as the right Dharma. But if it is wrongly practised, the result will be the same as if it is not practised and there will be no achievement; this will (really) be the Dharma's ending period.

There are three periods of the Buddha Dharma: (a) the period of right Dharma lasting 1,000 years when all the Dharma's four divisions, namely the teaching, its principle, its practice and its realization were predominanti (b) the semblante or image period lasting 1,000 years when the teaching, its principle and its practice were predominant whereas its realization was deficient; and (c) the period of decay lasting 10,000 years when only the teaching and its principle prevail whereas its practice and realization are deficient. At present, although the teaching and its principles are preserved, many are those whose practice is aimless and unprofitable.

The text now gives three explanations of why practisers fail in their long practice.

Why is it? Because they (wrongly) hold that (all aspects of) the I are nirvâna and they mistake their experiencing and realization for achievements. For example, when a man regards a thief as his own son, his own wealth and treasure cannot be preserved.' 1

This shows why their long practice (in many aeons) yields no profit. Non-awakening in spite of long self-cultivation comes from the (wrong) recognition of (all aspects of) the I as nirvâna and from the fact that experience and realization are grasped and that some little progress is taken for complete enlightenment. By recognition of (all aspects of) the

1. Lit. 'He cannot achicve the accumulation of his wealth and treasures.

I is meant practice from the standpoint of an ego 2 with the understanding of nirvâna from this viewpoint. Hence no result can be achieved. The recognition of a thief as one's own son illustrates the cause of their failure in self-cultivation.

Why is it? Where there is love of the ego, there is also love of nirvâna, for (this idea of) nirvâna is hidden in the love of the I. Where there is hate of the ego, there is also hate of samsâra. They do not know that love is the real cause of samsâra. If samsâra is singled out for their hate, they will not achieve liberation.'

This explains why recognition of the ego obstructs the realization of the truth for the ego is at the root of love and hate. He who clings to the ego must love it and because of his love of it, he seeks nirvâna (for it). This nirvâna which sustains his love is (certainly) not a true one. Hence 'this (idea of) nirvâna is hidden in the love of the I'. When this love of the I is contradicted, feelings of hate will arise in the mind.

There are also those who hate the ego and also hate samsâra. Basically the mind that hates comes from love. Living beings do not know that this love is the basic cause of birth and death; they do not cut off the root of love in their practice but single out samsâra for their hate. So their ignorance is very great indeed for they will not be liberated. Thereforc, recognition of the I obstructs the realization of truth for love sustains and intensifies itself.

How can they know why Dharma does not liberate (them)?'

How can one know why the love of nirvâna, a Dharma of liberation, does not ensure liberation?

Virtuous man, future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination who achieve sonne little progress in their practice of bodhi and regard it as (completely) pure and clean, have not yet entirely eradicated the basic ego.'

The nirvâna-dharma does not ensure their liberation because of their clinging to an ego in their quest (of enlightenment). When they make sonme little progress in their practice, they immediately regard it as pure and clean (or perfect) and mistake it for complete realization. As they do not completely eradicate the basic ego, they will not be liberated.

The text now points out that surrounding conditions can be used to prove why they are not liberated.

'If someone praises their Dharma, they will be happy and will immediately

2. The wrong interpretation of sûtras and Ch'an sayings comes from clinging to the 'guest' position which is discriminative. For this reason, a student should take up the 'host' position when interpreting the teaching of the Buddha and Patriarchs. In other words, he should never stray from his self-nature when learning the Dharma and practising self-cultivation.

want to liberate the praiser. If someone censures their achievements, they will be filled with anger and resentment. Thus you will know that the concept of an ego is firmly grasped, is still hidden in the storehouse of all knowledge (âlaya-vijñâna) and is wandering in the fields of all sense organs without interruption.'

These are favourable and adverse situations used to verify the presence of an ego which has not been forsaken. (Take for example) a practiser who daims that he has realized the nirvâna-dharma. If his Dharma is praised, he will be happy but if it is censured he will be angry and resentful. But nirvâna is an immaterial Dharma; how can there be joy and anger in it? If praise and censure can cause joy and anger respectively, this joy and anger come from the I but not from nirvâna. This way of checking his achievement proves that he still clings firmly to his ego, a seed that is hidden in the eighth consciousness and awaits an opportune situation to manifest itself. Therefore, it (the ego) is wandering in the fields of the sense organs without interruption, and if it is used in the quest of enlightenment, how can liberati.on be realized?

Wirtuous man, therefore, those practisers of the Tao who do not eliminate their conception of an ego cannot enter the (state of) pure and clean enlightenment.'

This concludes the teaching on the error of clinging to an ego in the quest of bodhi. The text now exposes the illnesses of all living beings. Virtuous man, if the ego is known as void, no one can slander the I. (However) if the I (is grasped as) the expounder of Dharma,' the ego is still not eliminated. In such a case, the conception of (a man), a being and a life are all present.'

This is the use of Dharma to expose the illness and to reveal the non-relinquishment of the I. Nirvana is an immaterial Dharma and if it is realized, the I will also be void. If the ego is non-existent, how can there be praise or censure? Now, because of praise and censure of the Dharma, if there are feelings of joy and anger, this proves that the I is not yet eliminated. If the ego is still present, the conceptions of a man, a being and a life are also all present. This is the root of the illnesses of all living beings. How can there be realization of nirvâna?

Virtuous man, future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination will expound their own illnesses (which they mistake) for the Dharma. They are, therefore, the most pitiable people. Although they are diligent in their practice, they will (only) aggravate their illnesses and will consequently be unable to enter the (state of) pure and clean bodhi.'

This shows the source of their illnesses. In the period of the Dharma's termination, practisers who do not eliminate the conception of an ego

1. i.e. the Dharma praised or censured as said in. the preceding paragraph.

and mistake it for the Dharma, will expound only the ill aspects of this ego but not the nirvâna-dharma. Hence 'they expound their own ill-nesses (which they mistake) for the Dharma'. For this reason, although they are diligent in their practice, they will (only) aggravate their illnesses and will be unable to enter (the state of) pure and clean bodhi. Hence they are the most pitiable people. The text now deals with their mistake in grasping illnesses.

Virtuous man, future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination who are not clear about these four conceptions' and who use the Tathâgata's interpretation and conduct in their self-cultivation, will fail to achieve it.'2

This is mistaking the (mind's) clinging illness for the Dharma. It means that practisers who are still not clear about the four conceptions (of an ego, a man, a being and a life) but use the Tathâgata's (right) interpretation and (correct) conduct which they regard as their own but which they have not experienced themselves, will noc succeed in their self-cultivation.

There are (also) living beings who daim they have realized and experienced what they really have not. They are jealous when they see others advancing satisfactorily in self-cultivation. Because of their failure to cut off their love of the I, they will not be able to enter (the state of) pure and clean enlightenment.'

This is the mistaken clinging illness, the cause of arrogance. There are people who claim that they have realized and experienced what they actually have not or who pretend that they have won an adequate realization whereas they have only made some little progress (in self-cultivation); they are arrogant because they have not relinquished their love of the I. How can one know this? They are jealous when they see others making good progress in self-cultivation and their jealousy is caused by their love of the I. Therefore, it (is easy) to know that they have not forsaken their love of the I; this is why they cannot enter the (state of pure and clean) bodhi. This shows that the love of the I is the root of illnesses. The text now teaches us how to avoid errors and faults.

Virtuous man, future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination who hope to realize the truth should not seek awakening for (which) they will want to increase their (knowledge by) hearing (about it) and will thereby strengthen their view of the I.'

This urges future practisers to be cautious. As previously said, those mistaking their illnesses for the Dharma, are those who have not forsaken

1. The four conceptions of an ego, a personality, a being and a life.

2. This is due to their minds being entangled with these four conceptions which obstruct their perfect insight. Therefore, their discriminating minds cannot unite with the absolute in spite of the Buddha's right teaching in the sûtras.

the four conceptions (of an ego, a man, a being and a life), that is these whose minds seek awakening. This is the root of their illnesses because if their minds are set on the quest of awakening, they will search for more knowledge of the teaching in the sûtras and will cling to what they think they have understood. This will only increase their (knowledge by) hearing and strengthen their view of the I for it is not true self-cultivation. Therefore, future seekers of the Tao in the period of the Dharma's termination should be very careful about this.

They should strive vigorously to advance (in self-cultivation) to overcome their klesa, to pluck up their dauntless courage, to attain what they have not attained, to cut off what they have failed to cut off to refrain from giving rise to desire, anger, love, arrogance, flattery, crookedness, envy and jealousy in all situations and to sink all love between (them) selves and others into the conditions of stillness and passionlessness. 1 The Buddha says they will thus achieve success gradually (and) will not fall into perverted views in their quest of learned masters.'

This urges the true practice of self-cultivation. Real practisers should never set their minds on (the quest of) awakening; neither should they seek to widen (their knowledge by) hearing. The first thing they should do is to overcome trouble (klesa); also they should not be content with some little (progress) achieved. So long as they have not attained klesa completely, they should resolve to attain it. So long as they have not cut off klesa completely, they should be determined to do so. They should check up their minds in the midst of the different situations which they will face and see if they are really free from desire, anger, love, arrogance and all other kinds of klesa, which should not arise in spite of (their) surroundings and if mutual love between (them)selves and others is in fact buried in the still and passionless condition. They should thus verify the state of their minds to see if they accord with the ancient saying: 'there is no need for practisers of Tao to apply their minds to awakening but if they can only pass through all the states of klesa, this is (true) achievement.' Therefore, the Buddha said these persons would gradually achieve successes. In addition, they should seek instruction from learned masters by discerning between good and evil in order not to fall into perverted views. By so practising, there will be some little measure of union with the truth. Students should exert themselves seriously

Where there is longing, like and dislike will follow and will prevent their entry into the (state of) the pure and clean bodhi ocean.'2

This urges again a true practice to avoid errors and faults. A true

1. The condition of still and passionless nirvâna. 2. Enlightement as boundlcss as an ocean.

practice should be made as taught in the preceding paragraph as otherwise, it will give rise to either pleasure or loathing, acceptance or rejection and like and dislike; all this will obstruct entry into the (state of) pure and clean bodhi.

To repeat His instruction, the Buddha read the following gâthâ :

'Clean Karma, you should know That all beings, because Of their self love, have been Transmigrating since the time without beginning. Non-eradication of the four conceptions Prevents thern from attaining bodhi. Rise of like and of dislike preserves Their flattering and crooked thoughts. And so Delusion and perplexity prevail, Preventing their entry into bodhi town. (a) To return to the awakening land (kyetra) (b) First pluck out desire, stupidity and anger. Getting rid of love of Dharma Makes gradual achievement easy. Our bodies being non-existent, How then can like and dislike rise? Such practisers when seeking learned

Masters, fall not into perverted views. Success can never be achieved While longing stirs the mind.'

(a) Bodhi town is nirvâna which no demons can enter. It is a place where a myriad virtues are accumulated, where all saints return and to which all perfect lines of conduct lead. Hence a bodhi town.

(b) Ksetra is a land and here is also used for nirvâna. As the mind is prone to love nirvâna, or the nirvâna-dharma, the gâthâ urges us to get rid of this love of Dharma.



10. The Bodhisattva of Universal Enlightenment [omis]

[...]

11 The Bodhisattva of Complete Enlightenment

The Bodhisattva of Complete Enlightenment who was in the assembly rose from his seat, prostrated himself with bis head at the feet of the Buddha, circled Him thrice from the right, bowed down upon bis knees, brought together bis two palms with crossed fingers and said: 'O World Honoured One of great compassion, you have fully expounded pure enlightenment by means of expedients so that future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination can derivc great profit. World Honoured One, we are now awakened (after hearing your teaching) but after the nirvana of the Buddha, how should living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination who are not yet awakened, quietly dwell for their cultivation of this pure and clean state of complete enlightenment? Which of the three methods of pure contemplation is the foremost (expedient)? May the great Compassionate One bestow great profit upon this assembly and future living beings in the period of the Dharma's termination.' After saying these words, he again made the same prostration and the same request for a second and third time.

The World Honoured One then said to the Bodhisattva of Complete Enlightenment: 'Excellent, excellent ! Virtuous man, (it is good that) you arc able to ask the Tathâgata about such an expedient for the great benefit of living beings. Listen attentively to what I now tell you.'

The Bodhisattva of Complete Enlightenment was filled with joy upon hearing this; he and the assembly kept silent to hear (the teaching).

(The Buddha said:) 'Virtuous man, whether during the time the Buddha appears in the world or after his nirvâna or in the period of the Dharma's termination, living beings endowed with the Mahâyâna nature, who believe in the Buddha's great profound mind of complete enlightenment and wish to cultivate it should, if they stay at a monastery, (do so after) providing accommodation for fellow-practisers and if they live outside, should practise meditative study according to prevailing circumstances as I have already taught.'

Complete enlightenment is the (state of) the profound mind and if practisers are not of superior roots, they are unable to cultivate it. Therefore, only those of Mahâyâna nature are qualified for its cultivation. If they arc not called upon to livc outside, they should stay in a monastery and train with fellow practisers. If they are obliged by sonne cause to stay outside, they should practise the meditative studies previously taught in the chapter of the Bodhisattva of Universal Eyes.

'If they are not prevented by hindering causes, they should establish themselves in a bodhimandala 1 and fix time limits for their dwelling in purity: 120 days for a long period, 100 for a medium and 80 for a short one.'

This teaches how to set up rules for the purpose. If they are not called upon to live outside, the best place is a tranquil stay in a monastery which makes the practice much easier. The three periods can be either shortened or lengthened as there is no fixed rule for this, the purpose being to set a time limit for achieving success.

Whenever the Buddha appears in the world, they should hold the right thought (of Him) and after His nirvâna they should worship His image and concentrate their minds and (faculty of) seeing on it in order always to hold the right thought, as if He was still on earth. (Then) they should make offerings of banners and flowers and within the first twenty-one days make obeisance to the Buddhas in the ten directions of space (calling) their names and sincerely repent of and confess to their sins. They will see auspicious states, will experience a lightness (of body and mind) and will feel at ease. After these twenty-one days, they should continue to control their thoughts.'

This teaches how to practise self-cultivation in a tranquil dwelling. If the Tathâgata is living, they should hold the right thought of Him. After His nirvâna (or death) they should use His image and contemplate His Dharmakàya; hence 'as if He was still on earth'. Banners and flowers suggest the majestic Great Sûrangama Bodhimandala 2 but here rituals are reduced to their strictest simplicity; hence only banners and flowers are mentioned in this sûtra. Auspicious states following upon true repentance and reform mean that perception of the bright light, appearance of auspicious signs and frequent pleasant dreams indicate the elimination of sins. By control of thoughts is meant the practice of right insight such as any one of the twenty-five methods of meditative study which are the main lins of conduct, as previously taught.

« If the time coincides with the beginning of a summer retreat, the latter » s

1. Bodhimandala: a circle, or place of enlightenment; the place where the Buddha or a master attained bodhi; a place for realizing the Buddha-truth; a place for teaching, or learning the Dharma; a place where a Bodhisattva appears and where devotees have glimpses of him, for instance, Mount O Mei which is the bodhimandala of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva; the Five Peaked Mountain (Wu Tai Shan), that of Mañjusri; P'u T'o Island, that of Avalokitesvara; and Ts'ao Ch'i, that of the Sixth Patriarch. A monastery where a monk attains enlightenment is a bodhimandala.

2. See Sûrangama Sûtra, Part II.

three months of tranquil dwelling should be used for the Bodhisattva-pure-abiding in which they should keep from sravakas and avoid being served by followers of Hînayâna.'

This shows the start of a Bodhisattva's tranquil retreat. Bodhisattvas here are those chosen among men of Hînayâna (who resolve to practise Mahâyâna).

According to monastic rules, the summer retreat begins with the holding of posadha rituals 1 before the tranquil dwelling of disciples, many of whorn are followers of Hînayâna. Now a Bodhisattva's tranquil retreat differs from that of Hînayâna men in that the former does not require a great number of men but only those practising one of the methods of meditative study. Therefore, there is no need to follow the Hînayâna's posadha rituals and to employ its adherents for performing them.

When the tranquil retreat begins, they should repeat before the Buddha: "I am a bhiksu (or bhiksuni, or upasaka or upâsikâ) called so-and-so, a rider in the Bodhisattva vehicle, a practiser of still and passionless conduct for entry into pure and clean reality wherein great complete enlightenment is my temple (samghârâma), my body and mind abide comfortably in samatâjñâna 2 and the nirvanic self-nature is free from all attachments. I now respectfully ask that, instead of relying on srâvakas, I be allowed to stay with all the Tathâgatas in the ten directions of space and with great Bodhisattvas during the next three months so that I can cultivate a Bodhisattva's unsurpassed wonderful (or profound) enlightenment; because of this great cause, I do not take my disciples (along with me).'

This teaches how to quiet the mind during the summer retreat. The preceding chapter urged practisers to keep from srâvakas and this chapter teaches a Bodhisattva's practice of the still and passionless immaterial conduct which differs from the practice of Hînayâna in that the latter clings to phenomena. By 'great complete enlightenment as samghârâma' is meant non-reliance on this world as a place of abode, abiding instead in the impartial nirvânic region where there is no place for the mind and its objects. 'Nirvânic self-nature' is beyond body, mind and universe because it is free from all attachments and is not the state of srâvakas; hence reliance on the reality of the Tathâgata's Dharmakâya instead of relying on srâvakas. Hence, a Bodhisattva's practice. The great

1. Posadha: fasting and the nurturing of vows by abiding in retreat for spiritual advancement.

2. Samatâjñâna: wisdom rising above such distinctions as I and thou, selfness and otherness, thus being rid of the conception of an ego; and wisdom in regard to all things impartially and universally.

cause of wonderful enlightenment is the self-enlightenment of saintly wisdom, which is self-realization. This is a state which a Bodhisattva alone can attain; hence: 'I do not take my disciples along with me.'

Virtuous man, this is a Bodhisattva's tranquil retreat; at the end of thc time limit set (for his self-cultivation), he is free to go unhindered.'

This concludes the summer retreat. After the Hînayâna's summer retreat, a novice wishing to go out should be accompanied by threc (seniors) to guide him so that he can avoid breaking the rules of discipline. As to a Bodhisattva, since he can control his mind, he does not require companions; hence is free to go unhindered'.

Virtuous man, in the period of the Dharma's termination, future living beings tvho practise (self-cultivation) in quest of Bodhisattvahood, should, during their tranquil retreat, be heedless of all states (i.e. visions) about which they have not heard (from the Buddha).'

This teaches how to avoid pitfalls. What they have heard (from thc Buddha) is the above-mentioned threefold meditative study, the twenty-five single and combined meditations and the purity and cleanness of thc eighteen dhâtus, all of which are pure contemplations. The states (or visions) about which they have not heard (from Him) should be avoided, like the fifty visions of demons produced by the five aggregates as mentioned in the Sûrangama sûtra and those listed in the 'Awakening of Faith'. They should be kept away in order to avoid pitfalls.

The question asks about two things: tranquil retreat and the fore-most of the three meditative studies. Tranquil retreat was dealt with in the preceding paragraph and the foremost expedient meditation is taught below.

'Virtuous man, in their practice of samatha, if they first concentrate on utmost stillness by stopping their thinking, the utter stillness will beget awareness (bodhi). In this stillness, the atvareness first realized in a body, will spread to a (whole) universe. Virtuous man, if it pervades one whole universe and if in this universe there is a living being tvho gives rise to a thought, they will all be aware of it. Likewise (when it spreads to) a hundred and a thousand universes, the same condition will prevail. (However) they should be heedless of all states about which they have not heard (front the Buddha).'

This answers the request for the foremost of the three meditative studies. First expedient meditation on the void, that is samatha. Concentration on the utmost stillness is by means of samatha which is the foremost expedient. By utter stillness is meant samatha of reality l which is

1. Called t'i chen chih in Chinese, that is the samatha which ensures the embodiment of thc absolute void.

the first stage of the threefold samatha (according to the T'ien T'ai school). As substance unites with the absolute void, the text speaks of utmost stillness. As not a thought arises, thinking is stopped. As utter stillness produces the bright light, the text says it begets awareness (bodhi). At first this state is realized in a body (that of the practiser) by means of disentanglement from the inner body and mind and the outer universe, resulting in a state of sameness within and without and a still imperturbability. As body, mind and universe are now completely void, all things are melted into the One Mind and all universes integrate into one universe. Therefore, when a living being stirs his mind and gives rise to a thought, this appears in the self-mind (of the meditator). For this reason, there is no thought of which the practiser is not aware. This state is described in the following lines:

'In utter serenity the bright light penetrates and reaches

Everywhere (while) shining stillness encloses the great void;

Then contemplating worldly things they all appear

As nothing but (illusions) seen in dreams.' 1

This is the complete pattern of meditative study of the void and a meditation in this manner is right. They should pay no attention to all states (or visions) about which they have not heard (from the Buddha).

Virtuous man, if living beings practise samâpatti, they should first think of and remember the Tathâgatas in the ten directions of space and the Bodhisattvas in all universes, and rely on all Dharma doors (to enlightenment) which they should pursue gradually; in their laborious toil te attain sanâdhi, they should take (and carry out) great vows, thus culminating in self-sublimation and crystallization of the (holy) seed. However, they should be heedless of all states about which they have not heard (from the Buddha).'

This teaches samâpatti which is the expedient meditative study of all as unreal. By samâpatti is meant looking into illusions. This means that they should think of the Tathâgatas in the ten directions and all Bodhisattvas who practised all methods of self-cultivation. Laborious toil to attain Samâdhi means that all Buddhas in their stages of Bodhisattva development from the cause ground, practised all kinds of toilsome work for the liberation of living beings, and in their state of samâdhi, looked into illusions and allowed their bodies and minds to roam to verify themselves while in this illusory realm. (Thus amidst illusions) they should take vows to liberate all living beings. As time goes on, this practice will

1. Quotation from Mañjusri's long gâthâ in the Sûrangama sûtra

result in self-sublimation and when this matures, they will be at ease due to a feeling of lightness (of body and mind caused by) their great compassion which pushes them to perform the Bodhisattva's wondrous deeds beneficial to all living beings.

This is meditation on illusions for the conversion of illusory living beings by the illusory performance of the Buddha work. This is practice of samâpatti which looks into illusions first. All states (or visions) about which they have not heard (from the Buddha) should be cast aside.

Wirtuous man, if living beings practise dhyâna, they should first follow the method of counting by means of which their minds will know clearly the exact order of the creation, existence and annihilation of each thought. They will thus preserve this clear knowledge of every thought while walking, standing, sitting and lying until, by advancing gradually further, they will discern clearly a drop of rain in a hundred and a thousand worlds as if they see distinctly with their own eyes an object used by them. (However) they should be heedless of all states about which they have not heard (from the Buddha).’

This is the contemplation of nirvâna as the foremost expedient. Dyâna befits the One Mind of the mean and is called insight into nirvâna. The method of counting is the first step in the practice of dyâna. Usually the minds of practisers are unsettled and it is very difficult for them to realize stillness. For this reason, they should use the method of counting to control their minds. They should begin from one breath, counting its inhalation or exhalation, and so from one to ten and then from ten (back) to one. By so counting forth and back, their breaths will be continuous and their minds will not be dull; the beginning and end of each counting will be clear to them. This counting from one to ten is to test their power of mind-control. 1 As time goes on and when they are familiar with this practice, they will be able to count until not a single thought will arise (in their minds) and at the same time their breath will automatically cease. The still One Mind will manifest itself; this is Samâdhi. 2 This state of Samâdhi should be maintained while walking, standing, sitting and reclining and the practisers' clear discernment will be continuous without interruption. As time goes on, they will realize

1. Samâdhibala or ability to overcome all disturbing thoughts.

2. The counting of breaths should either be of the inhaling or exhaling breath only because the counting of both simultaneously will divide the mind and not ensure correct concentration. This is also a secret of the Pure Land School whose adherents repeat only the name of Amitâbha Buddha until they realize singleness of mind which is bound to beget Samâdhi and prajnâ. In China many followers of the Pure Land School know in advance the exact date of their death. [NDE : utile seulement comme premier moyen, faute d’un maître]

that hundreds and thousands of worlds are but creations of the mind wherein even a drop of rain will be clearly discernible to them, like an object seen by their own eyes. This is the achievement of successful insight into stillness.

According to the treatise 'Awakening of Faith’ the practice of samatha and vipasyanâ does not rely on breathing for the essential is disentanglement from body and mind, but this sûtra teaches the reliance on breathing which is an expedient for beginners only as a means w control their minds, such reliance being not the ultimate one. If breathing is clung to as an achievement, this is a fall into heresies, because they have not heard about such an achievement (from the Buddha).14

These are the foremost expedients of the three meditative studies.

This concludes the answer to the question about the foremost expedients of the three methods of pure contemplation. The twenty-five previous methods of practice are main meditative studies and the three expedients now taught are the first steps of these practices, which first steps are comparable to those of the twenty-five holy ones mentioned in the Sûrangama sûtra. 1

If living beings practise all these three meditations energetically and diligently they will be Tathâgatas appearing in the world.'

This shows the benefit derived from the practice of these three meditations from the self-moving cause-ground of all Tathâgatas. Therefore, living beings of perfect roots who practise all the three are called Tatagatas appearing in the world. This means that they will achieve success without hindrance. As there is no such unsurpassed advantage, the Buddha urged them to practise the three meditations.

'In the period of the Dharma's tertnination, if living beings of dull roots fail in their quest of Tao, this is because of their karmic obstructions. They should earnestly repent of their errors and faults and resolve to reform themselves and always keep their hopes by first wiping out their love, hate, envy, jealousy, flattery and crookedness as well as the intention of seeking superiority. Thett they should practise either one of three meditations and if they fail, they should try another one and train with determination and (fervent) hope of graduailrealization.'15

This teaches living beings of dull roots who are hindered by their former karmas, to repent of their errors and faults and to reform themselves first. Because of their past karmas, the seeds of their former habits are now developing and hinder their present self-cultivation. This is the influence of former habits that handicaps their practice. Therefore, they

1. See Ch’an and Zen Teaching, First Series, page 91 — 'Explanatory Notes'.

should earnestly repent of their ignorance and resolve to reform themselves to remove these karmic obstructions. If the latter are eradicated, they will be able to practise the Dharma. By 'fervent hope' is meant their constant vow to eradicate their karmic obstructions. Therefore, the text says: ‘by first wiping out their love, hate, envy, jealousy, flattery and crookedness' which are but 'desire, angor and stupidity'. By 'the intention of seeking superiority' is meant the arrogance (which they previously cherished). When their basic klea has been cut off and their former habits uprooted, these meditative studies will be casier for them to practise. If one method is not successful, they should practise another one from the twenty-five methods of meditation. Hence the words hope of gradual realization'.

To repeat His instruction, the World Honoured One rend the following gâthâ:

'Complete Enlightenment, you should know

That all living beings

In search of the Path Supreme

Should choose one of three periods,

Repenting of their timeless karmas.

After the first three weeks

The right thought should they hold.

States of which they have not

Heard should not be grasped.

Samatha leads to stillness,

Samapatti is right remembrance,

Dyâna is achieved by counting,

These three are pure contemplations.

Those who practise them with diligence

Are Tathâgatas on earth.

Those of dull roots who in their practice fail

Should earnestly repent offaults (committed)

Silice tinte tvithout beginning. If ail

Obstructions are removed

The Budda stage appears.'

The Sage Leader Bodhisattva (chapitre omis)

[...]

CHEN-HOUEI (668-760)

ENTRETIENS DU MAÎTRE DU DYÂNA CHEN-HOUEI

Jacques Gernet, Entretiens du Maître du dyâna Chen-Houei (668-760), Hanoï Publications de l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient, vol. XXXI.

[Je reproduis le texte principal seul (sauf exception)]

Introduction

Ceci est une traduction annotée de quatre manuscrits de Touen — houang publiés en 1930 […] l’intérêt de ces conversations pour l’étude de l’École du dyâna est évident. […]

Cben-houei naquit à Siang-yang en 668. On ne sait rien de sa jeunesse sinon qu’“un maître lui enseigna les classiques” et qu’« il lut par la suite Tchouang-tseu et Lao tseu, chez lesquels son esprit se trouvait à l’aise ». Sa vocation se révéla sans doute dans son adolescence. Aux environs de 708, on le voit au Ts’ao-k’i parmi les disciples du maître Houei-neng, sixième patriarche de l’École du dyâna. Son nom figure dans les différentes versions du Tan king. Après la mort du patriarche (août 713), Chen-houei quitte le Ts’ao-k’i pour faire des pèlerinages. En 720, un décret impérial lui ordonne de résider au Long-hing sseu de Nan-yang. Il a, à cette époque, une conversation avec le grand ministre des T’ang, Tchang Yue. Hostile à l’École du Nord, héritière de Chen-sieou (condisciple de Houei-neng, mort plus que centenaire en avril 706), Chen-houei ne paraît s’être attaqué publiquement aux pratiques et aux prétentions de celle-ci qu’en février 734 : c’est la grande confé­rence de Houa-t’ai où, au risque de sa vie, il « fixe le vrai et le faux au sujet de l’École du Sud de Bodhidharma ». Il est âgé de 66 ans, sa renommée dès lors ne fait que croître. En 739, il a une entrevue avec le poète Wang Wei et, vers la fin de l’ère K'ai yuan (713-741), avec le président du ministère des Finances, Wang Kiu. Ce dernier entretien surtout le rend célèbre et, malgré l’opposition de l’École du Nord, il est appelé, en 745, au monastère Ho-tso de Lo-yang, où il déploie une activité de conversion étonnante. Âgé de 77 ans, jl institue chaque mois des conférences publiques où il expose les vrais principes du sixième patriarche et s’attaque au dyâna de pureté de ses adversaires. Mais il est, dit-on, la victime de calomnies : vers la fin de 752, Chen-houei est accusé de se constituer une troupe et de fomenter des troubles. Il est exilé au Hou-pei au début de l’année suivante. Mais la révolte de Ngan Lou-chan (755) et le changement de règne devaient profiter au maître du Ho-tsö. Le vice-généralissime Kouo Tseu-yi, pour se procu­rer l’argent nécessaire à la reconquête, fait vendre sur des autels spéciaux des certificats d’ordination et Chei-houei fait une recette telle qu’elle lui assure les bonnes grâces de l’empereur Sou-tsong.

Il est nommé au service de la chapelle Intérieure et meurt dans la gloire en 760. Selon Tsong-mi, en 796, Cben-houei fut établi septième patriarche à la suite d’une conférence de maîtres de dyâna réunie sur l’ordre de Tô-tsong.

[…]

Les principes doctrinaux,

[…] Le bouddhisme, avec ses degrés de sainteté bien définis, est né dans un pays où précisément les castes eurent de tout temps une importance extrême. Ce n’est, selon les textes, qu’après avoir cultivé les pratiques durant des périodes cosmiques incalculables que l’on peut devenir Buddha ou s’élever seulement d’un échelon. C’est dire toute la difficulté de ce passage. Tout au contraire, la doctrine bouddhique qui eut le plus de succès eu Chine, celle du dyâna, admet que l’on peut parvenir à la délivrance non seulement en une vie, mais dans l’espace d’une seule pensée. Une telle théorie, qui parut justement aux Indiens parfaitement hétérodoxe, ne s’explique-t-elle pas du point de vue chinois ? Il est admis, en l’occurrence, de faire appel à l’influence du taoïsme. On ne pourrait songer à la nier, mais il se peut que cette déviation du bouddhisme en Chine soit due aussi à une cause plus immédiate et plus générale que l’influence d’une philosophie particulière. Un fait caractérise la civilisation chinoise, c’est qu’il est possible — et cela se produit en fait — qu’un simple particulier, un homme du commun, de s’élever à la plus haute des positions sociales (la notion de caste est étrangère à la pensée chinoise). Il suffit pour cela qu’il ait une forte personnalité, une popularité éclatante et que des présages le désignent comme le bénéficiaire du mandat céleste. Lieou Pang, le premier des Han, ne fut d’abord qu’un simple chef de hameau. Ce rapprochement que nous suggérons entre un des aspects essentiels de la doctrine du dyâna16 et un des traits les plus nets de la civilisation chinoise, Chen-houei n’hésite pas à le faire dans l’un de ses entretiens ; « On trouve, dit-il, des faits impensables (acintya) dans 1e domaine supramondain qui, lorsqu’on en entend parler, provoquent l’étonnement et le doute. On trouve aussi des faits impensables dans le monde… Soit le cas du grand duc de Tcheou et de Fou Yue. L’un pêche et l’autre construit [des routes]. Leurs actes sont inscrits dans l’esprit de l’empereur et, de simples particuliers qu’ils étaient, ils sont élevés subitement à la dignité de Premiers ministres. N’est-ce pas là un fait impensable du domaine mondain ? Mais on dit aussi : “Les êtres, en voyant leur nature propre, accomplissent la bodhi”. De même, la Nâgî, en un instant, produit l’esprit de bodhi et accomplit alors L’Éveil correct. »

Comment et par quelles étapes le bouddhisme venu des Indes s’est-il transformé en Chine en une doctrine d’illumination subite et de délivrance immédiate ? C’est un problème bien mal connu : il nous aura suffi de souligner d’abord ce qui fait l’originalité fonda­mentale du dyâna chinois et, du même coup, de la doctrine prêchée par Chen-houei.

« Comment, demanda un interlocuteur, par des exercices qui durent l’instant d’un ksana, obtient-on de devenir Buddha ?...

Si l’on parle d’exercices, dit le maître, cela veut dite dharma fabriqués (samskrta), cela relève de l’impermanent (anitya) et l’impermanent ne se sépare pas de la production et destruction.

C’est en accumulant les bons fruits par des exercices que tous les Buddha obtiennent d’accomplir le Chemin. Or, vous dites qu’il

n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir recours aux exercices. Est-ce croyable ?

— Les exercices, [même] pratiqués avec foi, ne se séparent pas de la connaissance et de l’Éveil. Du moment qu’il y a connaissance et Éveil, même s’il y a activité de rayonnement de la sapience, de telles causes et fruits ne sont rien d’autre que production et destruc­tion : jls n’existent pas foncièrement. Pourquoi donc avoir recours aux exercices ?17

Il est impossible d’atteindre l’absolu et de saisir le nirvâna. Comment alors peut-on parvenir à la délivrance et sortir du cycle des renaissances et des morts ? Il faut pour cela avoir une illumination subite (touen wou). Le sens du mot touen est : abrupt, en un coup, soudain, total. C’est en effet d’une conversion totale et instantanée, d’un bouleversement complet de la conscience qu’il s’agit. S’attacher aux pratiques faire effort pour atteindre la bodhi, le nirvâna, la vacuité, c’est rester dans le domaine des notions et du fabriqué. Croire qu’il est possible et nécessaire de définir ce qui en fait est indicible (avaktavya), c’est esprit d’erreur (wang sin)18.

[…]

Pensée, ici, veut dire activité (yong) de l’absolu et l’absolu est la substance (t’i) de cette pensée. » «... Un miroir doit à sa seule clarté sa nature de rayonnement. De même, c’est à cause de la pureté foncière de l’esprit des êtres que ceux-ci possèdent naturellement la grande lumière de sapience qui projette ses rayons sur tous les mondes sans exception ».

« û en est [de l’absence de pensée] comme d’un miroir clair dans lequel toutes les images peuvent apparaître parce qu’il est lui-même sans mouvement (acala) ». Recevoir indistinctement tous les contacts, ne pas chercher à s’abstraire du monde qui nous entoure, voilà la véritable sainteté et c’est précisément parce qu’elle est absence de toute distinction (viçesa, vikalpa) que l’absence de pensée est omniscience (sarvajnatâ). « Lorsqu’on voit l’absence de pensée, on est maître de toutes choses, lorsqu’on voit l’absence de pensée, on embrasse toutes choses ». Voir l’absence de pensée foncière de « notre esprit » — c’est en somme, selon l’expression du Vimalakîrti, « obtenir le nirvâna sans quitter le monde ».



Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est, d’une part, pénétrer la substance insaisissable (anupalabhya) des dharma et, d’autre part, posséder l’activité inépuisable de l’absolu, car la vacuité de l’absolu n’est pas

une vacuité complète : « Lorsqu’on est capable de voir la substance insaisissable de l’absolu et qu’on est plongé dans la quiétude cons­tante [de notre esprit propre], on possède des activités nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange. C’est pourquoi on parle de non vacuité ». Ainsi, quand certains maîtres de dyâna consi­dèrent la concentration (Samâdhi) et la sapience (prajnâ) comme deux étapes différentes dans l’ascèse, Chen-houei ne veut y voir qne deux aspects complémentaires et indissociables de l’illumination totale : c’est la thèse de l’égalité entre la concentration et la sapience.. Il ne peut donc s’agir de passer de la concentration à la sapience ou inversement, ni de s’exercer à acquérir l’une indépendamment de l’autre, puisqu’elles coexistent naturellement chez ceux qui voient leur nature foncière. Dans l’absolu, il ne pourrait y avoir ni dualité, ni distinction, ni graduel. « Toute culture de la concentration est dès l’origine esprit d’erreur »

Tout, en fin de compte, dans la doctrine prêchée par Chen-houei se dispose autour d’une idée centrale qui est celle de la vue subite de notre nature propre. Résolution de toutes les oppositions au sein de l’absolu, permanence du dyâna au milieu de la vie profane, égalité entre concentration et sapience ne sont que des développements naturels de la thèse de l’absence de pensée fon­cière. Notre esprit est spontanément (tseu-jan) vacuité et quiétude. Il suffit, pour parvenir à la sainteté, de ne point mettre en branle nos pensées ». Ce qui est le plus immédiat, ce qui est le plus foncièrement en nous, c’est cela précisément que nous devons voir. Rien n’est plus simple et rien n’est plus ardu.



KIUAN I



i, 2



… le tch’ang-che (administrateur en chef) de la commanderie de Kiang-ling demanda au Maître :

«Wei-mo-kie (Vimalakîrti) blâmait Chô ti-fo (Çâriputra) [parce qu’il restait accroupi dans le calme…]

–... accroupir son corps, fixer son esprit pour saisir la con­centration, une telle concentration est une concentration à l’intérieur des trois dhâtu. C’est pourquoi Vimalakîrti blâmait Çâriputra…

-... Comment, sans produire la concentration de destruction (nirodhasamâpatti), manifester les quatre attitudes?

– Ceux qui étudient le Grand Véhicule, au sein même de la concentration, [ne quittent pas le monde (?)..,

-... ils manifestent] toutes les attitudes sans perdre ni altérer la concentration de leur esprit. Voilà qui est rester accroupi dans le calme.

… dans la couleur, ils sont capables de distinguer le bleu, le jaune, le rouge et le blanc. Lorsque l’esprit n’est pas mis en mouvement à la suite des distinctions (vikalpa), c’est [l’absence de distinction (?)]…

… si la faculté de l’œil obtient l’autonomie (vaçitâ) et s’il en est de même pour toutes les facultés, alors, au milieu de toutes les vues (drsti), [l’esprit] est immobile (acala) et…

-...Comment obtenir [l’autonomie]?

– Soyez seulement éveillés et vous l’obtiendrez. Si vous ne l’êtes pas, vous ne pourrez l’obtenir…

… vous obtiendrez la délivrance.

– Dans les sûtra du Grand Véhicule qu’en est-il?

– Le Buddha demanda…

… je contemple le Bnddba de la même façon exactement que je contemple moi-même l’aspect véritable de mon corps. Lorsque je contemple [ainsi] le Tathâgata, il ne viendra pas dans le futur, [il n’est pas venu dans le passé et ne demeure pas dans le présent]…

… étudiez dès aujourd’hui la prajnâpâramitâ. Que les hommes obtiennent seulement la non-demeure (asthâna, apratisthita) et ils auront une contemplation identique à celle de Vimalakîrti.



i, 3



“… Actuellement, moines et laïcs établissent que la nature de Buddha est le spontané19

— Comment l’ignorance (avidyâ) serait-elle [le spontané (?)],.. _

… si la nature de Buddha est le spontané, d’où naît l’ignorance? Absolument personne n’est capable de répondre à cette question. Qu’en est-il, ô Révérend?”

Lé Maître répondit :

«... c’est aussi le spontané.

— Comment l’ignorance serait-elle le spontané?

— L’ignorance et la nature de Buddha naissent toutes deux du spontané. L’ignorance repose sur la nature de Buddha et la nature de Buddha sur l’ignorance. Reposant l’une sur l’autre, si elles existent, c’est toutes deux simultanément. Être éveillé, c’est posséder la nature de Buddba, ne pas l’être, c’est avoir en soi l’ignorance. Le Nie-pan king dit : “û en est comme du rapport de l’or avec sa gangue, qui tous deux sont produits en même temps. S’il se trouve un fondeur d’or qui, dans un fourneau, fond le minerai et le purifie par la cuisson, l’or et sa gangue sont alors séparés l’un de l’autre. Si cet or est cent fois fondu, if sera cent fois plus raffiné; mais si la gangue est de nouveau fondue, elle se tranformera en cendre et en terre. À l’or est comparée la nature de Buddha, à la gangue sont comparées les passions (kleça).” Passions et nature de Buddha existent simultanément. Si les Buddha, les Bodhisattva et les véritables amis de bien (kalyânamitra) nous enseignent à produire l’esprit de bodhi, à cultiver et à étudier la prajnâpâramitâ, nous obtenons alors la délivrance.

— Si l’ignorance est le spontané, ce spontané n’est-il pas identique à celui des hérétiques?

- Le spontané des taoïstes est identique, mais leur interprétation

est différente..

— Comment cela?

— Si, dans la doctrine bouddhique, la nature de Buddha et l’ignorance sont toutes deux le spontané, quelle en est la raison? C’est parce que tous les dharma reposent sur la force de la nature de Buddha. Voilà pourquoi tous les dharma relèvent du spontané — quant au spontané des taoïstes [voici] : “Le Tao engendre l’un, l’un le deux, le deux le trois et le trois engendre tous les êtres particuliers”. Donc, à partir de l’un, tous les êtres relèvent du spontané. Par conséquent, l’interprétation des taoïstes n’est pas identique à à ia nôtre.

— Les Tathâgata des dix régions ont-ils en commun un même corps de loi (dharmakâya) ou bien ont-ils des corps différents? Je ne sais pas.

— Ils ont à la fois un même corps et des corps différents.

— Comment cela?

— Si, dans une chambre obscure, on allume dix lampes, leurs lumières n’en forment qu’une. C’est en ce sens qu’il y a identité. Si l’on parle de différence, c’est parce que chaque corps de lampe est différent et non pas leurs lumières. C’est en sens qu’il y a différence. Ainsi, les corps de loi des Buddha ne sont pas, dès l’origine, différents, mais ceux qui en ont Connaissance en reçoivent des actions diversifiées (prayojana) qui sont chacune différente.”



i, 4

Le Maître dit :

“On, trouve l’impensable (acintya) dans le monde et on le (trouve dans le domaine supramondain. L’impensable dans le monde (laukika), c’est, par exemple, qu’un homme du commun accède subitement à la dignité suprême. L’impensable dans le domai­ne supramondain (lokottara) c’est d’accomplir l’Éveil correct à partir de la production de l’esprit de bodhi initiale (prathamabodhicûtotpâda) [qui se définit par l’exercice] des dix pensées de foi dans une union (yoga) née d’une pensée instantanée. Que ce soit conforme à la raison, qu’y a-t-il là d’étonnant? Cela illustre l’impensable de 1’illumination subite. C’est pourquoi le sûtra dit :

Les Bodhisattva sans retour,

en nombre égal aux grains de sable du Gange,

uniraient-ils en un seul esprit leurs efforts de réflexion,

ils ne pourraient parvenir à la connaissance du Tathâgata.»

Comment alors les çrâvaka ot les pratyekabuddha en seraient-ils capables?»



i, 5



Compte-rendu de l’entretien du Maître du Ho-tsö avec le k’ai-fou [offlcier] T’o-pa.

Dans son entretien d’aujourd’hui avec le che-lang (vice-président), le Maître [demanda] si, en cultivant les pratiques au moyen de son propre corps et de son propre esprit, il fallait avoir un esprit qui fût en union avec celui des Buddha et Bodhisattva. S’il l’était, on obtenait alors une part de la loi du Buddha. S’il ne l’était pas, tous ces exercices demeuraient vains.

T’o-pa demanda :

‘Comment obtient-on la compréhension?

— Obtenez seulement l’absence de pensée20 et ce sera la compréhension.

— Qu’est-ce que l’absence de pensée?

— La non activité de l’esprit (manaskâra) c’est l’absence de pensée.

Dans la substance de l’absence de pensée se trouvent naturellement la sapience et la sapience foncière, c’est l’aspect véritable (tchen siang). Les Buddha et Bodhisattva se servent de l’absence de pensée pour parvenir au corps de loi (dharmakâya) de délivrance. Lorsqu’ils voient ce corps de Ioi, [chez eux] les Samâdhi nombreux comme les grains de sable du Gange et toutes les pâramitâ sont présents au complet. Si vous étudiez dès aujourd’hui avec moi la prajnâpâramitâ, vous obtiendrez un esprit identique à celui des Buddha et des Bodhisattva, dès aujourd’hui, dans l’océan des renaissances et morts, en une pensée instantanée, vous obtiendrez l’union (yoga) avec les Buddba et les Bodhisattva. Si, demeurant dans cette union née d’une pensée instantanée, vous cultivez les pratiques, vous connaîtrez le Chemin,; vous verrez le Chemin, vous obtiendrez le Chemin.

— Mais je suis un profane, j’ai une fonction. Comment pourrais — je étudier pour obtenir [le Chemin]? *

— Eh bien, dès aujourd’hui il vous est permis d’étudier la compréhension. Sans même avoir obtenu les pratiques, obtenez seulement la compréhension : grâce a elle, les imprégnations (vâsanâ), toutes les implications (paryavasthâna) et les pensées erronées, toutes les lourdes [fautes], tout cela, de soi-même s’allège et se réduit peu à peu, J’ai vu qu’il est dit dans le sûtra : ‘Les rois Kouang — ming (Raçmiprabhâsa), Yue-kouang (Candraprabha), Ting-cheng (Mûrdhaja), les saints rois Tch’ouan-louen (Cakravartin), Ti-che (Çakra devendra) et Fan (Brahmâ), tous les rois [épris] des désirs des cinq sens (panca-kâma) qui, si l’on compte jusqu’à nos jours, sont au nombre de mille myriades de koti, tous ces rois, dans la prajnâpâramitâ, se sont bornés à étudier la compréhension. Sur le point de comprendre leur esprit propre, ils ont interrogé le Buddha et le Buddha leur a fait recevoir l’approbation de son sceau (mudrâ). Ayant obtenu cette approbation, ils purent rejeter l’esprit des cinq désirs et devinrent des Bodhisattva à la position correcte. Ils accomplirent l’ornement (alamkâra) de la dânapâramitâ et le corps de loi de délivrance.’ Dans notre école, on indique tout de suite que c’est la compréhension qui est essen­tielle et qu’il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir recours à la multitude des textes. [On déclare] seulement [que] tous les êtres ont un esprit qui est foncièrement supra-phénoménal. Tout ce qu’on appelle phénoménal est également esprit d’erreur. Qu’est-ce que l’erreur (viparyâsa)? Fixer son esprit en ayant une activité de l’esprit (manaskâra), saisir la vacuité, saisir la pureté et enfin mettre son esprit en mouvement pour chercher à éprouver la bodhi et le nirvâna, tout cela est illusion et erreur. N’ayez seulement pas d’activité de l’esprit, votre esprit sera de lui-même dépourvu d’objets particuliers, vous aurez l’esprit qui consiste eu absence d’objets particuliers et votre nature propre sera vacuité et quiétude. Dans la substance de la vacuité et quiétude se trouve naturellement la sapience foncière, c’est-à-dire le savoir, si l’on considère son activité de rayonnement. C’est pourquoi le Pan-jo king dit : ‘Il faut produire l’esprit [de pureté] en ne demeurant nulle part.’ “Ne demeurer nulle part” s’applique à la substance de la quiétude foncière. “Produire l’esprit, de pureté” désigne l’activité de la sapience foncière. N’ayez seulement pas d’activité de l’esprit et de vous-même, vous serez aussitôt éveillé et pénétrerez [l’absolu]. Efforcez-vous, efforcez-vous!’



i, 6



‘Que veut dire :

«Ce qui est foncièrement n’est pas actuellement,

Ce qui n’est pas foncièrement est actuellement.

Que dans les trois temps il existe des dharma,

cela est faux’?

– Depuis que la loi bouddhique s’est propagée en Orient et qu’il y a chez nous des Révérends, ils ont tous tenu pour fondamental la destruction des passions (kleça).

– D’après quel principe la destruction des passions est-elIe fondamentale?

– D’après le Nie-p’an king qui dit; Wen-chou-che-li (Manjuçrî) dit que Chouen-t’o (Cunda) doute que le Tathâgata demeure d’une façon permanente parce que, en obtenant la force de connaître et de voir la nature de Buddha, on acquiert l’absence de doute. Si le Tathâgata apparaît comme permanent (nitya) lorsqu’on voit la nature de Buddha, il doit être, avant qu’on ne l’ait vue, impermanent (anitya). S’il est foncièrement impermanent, il faut qu’il le soit éga­lement après [qu’on a vu la nature de Buddha], pourquoi cela? Il en est alors comme des choses mondaines qui ne sont pas foncièrement, mais existent actuellement et qui, ayant fini d’être, retournent au non-être. De telles choses sont toutes impermanentes.” Si l’on examine ce sûtra, [on voit que les doutes de Chouen-t’o (Cunda) dont parle Wen-chou (Manjuçrî) portent sur la question de savoir si la nature de Buddha est une réalité permanente : il ne pose pas de question sur les passions [et ne demande pas] pourquoi les Révé­rends de tous les âges ont tenu pour fondamentale la destruction des passions. Voilà pourquoi il a des doutes.

– Quel est le sens du vers :

«Ce qui est foncièrement n’est pas actuellement»?

– Le Nie-p'an king dit : «Ce qui est foncièrement en nous, c’est la nature de Buddha. Ce qui n’y est pas actuellement, c’est la nature de Buddha.»

–  Puisqu’on dit que la nature de Buddha est foncièrement en nous, pourquoi dit-on d’autre part qu’elle n’y est pas actuellement?

– Si l’ou dit que la nature de Buddha n’est pas en nous, c’est parce que les hommes, étant obnubilés par les passions, ne peuvent la voir et, à cause de cela, disent qu’elle n’existe pas. D’autre part, dans la phrase «ce qui n’est pas foncièrement est actuellement», ce qui n’est pas foncièrement désigne les passions et ce qui est actuellement désigne [également] les passions qui. à supposer qu’on les expulse en aussi grand nombre que les grains de sable du Gange, seraient toujours actuellement.

«Que dans les trois temps il existe des dharma, cela est faux»

veut dire que la nature de Buddha ne se perpétue pas dans les trois temps.

– Pourquoi cela?

– La nature de Buddha est permanente dans sa substance. Aussi, n’est-elle pas un dharma de production et destruction.

– Qu’est-ce que la production et destruction?

– Les trois temps sont [le domaine de] la production et destruction.

– La nature de Buddha et les passions ne sont-elles pas coexistantes?

– Elles le sont et cependant la production et destruction comporte l’allée et venue alors que la nature de Buddha ne la comporte pas.

Le Buddha étant permanent, il est semblable à l’espace (âkâça). La clarté, et l’obscurité comportent l’allée et venue alors que l’espace ne la comporte pas. C’est à cause de l’absence d’allée et venue [dans les réalités permanentes] que, dans les trois temps, il n’y a pas de dharma qui ne soit de production et destruction.

– Puisque la nature de Buddha et les passions sont coexistantes, pourquoi les passions seules [à la différence de la nature de Buddha] ne sont-elles pas foncières?

– Il en est comme de l’or et de sa gangue qui sont produits en même temps. S’il se rencontre un fondeur d’or qui, dans un fourneau, fond le minerai et le purifie par la cuisson, l’or et sa gangue sont alors séparés l’un de l’autre. Si cet or est cent fois fondu, il sera cent fois plus raffiné, mais si la gangue est de nouveau fondue, elle se transformera en cendre et en terre. Dans le Nie-p’an king, à l’or est comparée la nature de Buddba et à la gangue sont com­parées les passions. Tous les sûtra et çâstra du Grand Véhicule montrent que les passions sont des poussières de passage |âgantukakleça). Aussi ne peut-on dire qu’elles sont foncières. Les passions sont obscurité. Comment pourrait-on obtenir la clarté [par leur moyen]? Le Nie-p’an king dit : «On parle seulement de détruire l’obscurité au moyen de la clarté, oa ne parle pas de détruire la clarté au moyen de l’obscurité.» S’il se pouvait que la clarté fût détruite par l’obscurité, sûtra et çâstra ne devraient pas être Iraasmis et si sûtra et çâstra n’existaient pas, sur quoi la loi bouddhique serait-elle fondée? Si les passions étaient tenues pour foncières, il ne faudrait pas chercher le nirvâna en détruisant les passions.



–  Pourquoi alors accède-t-on au nirvâna sans détruire les passions?

– Les passions; foncièrement et en elles-mêmes, ne comportent pas de destruction. Mais si l’on déclarait que les passions sont identiques au nirvâna, il ne faudrait pas inciter les êtres â cultiver les six pâramitâ, à détruire en eux le mal et à cultiver le bien. Si les passions étaient tenues pour foncières, il ne faudrait pas rejeter l’essentiel pour s’attacher à l’accessoire. Le Nie p’an king dit : «Chez tous les êtres, le nirvâna originel et la nature de sapience sans souillure sont foncièrement et d’eux-mêmes présents au complet. Il en est comme de la nature du bois et de celle du feu qui sont tous deux produits en même temps. S’il se trouve un maître du feu (souei jen) qui pratique le forage, le feu et le bois sont alors séparés l’un de l’autre.» Le sûtra dit : «Au bois sont comparées les passions, au feu, la nature de Buddha.» Le Nie-p'an king dit : «Par le feu de la sapience est brûlé le bois des passions.» Il dit aussi que la sapience c’est la nature de Buddha. Ainsi, sachant que dans tous les sûtra il y a de tels passages, vous saurez clairement que les passions ne sont pas foncières.

– Pourquoi le Nie p’an king dit-il : «Si l’on parle de ce qui est foncièrement, c’est des passions qu’il s’agit. Si l’on parle de ce qui n’est pas actuellement, c’est aussi des passions qu’il s’agit»?

Il dit également : «Ce qui n’est pas foncièrement, c’est la mahâprajnâ, ce qui est actuellement, c’est aussi la mahâprajnâ.»

– C’est par rapport au corps sensible (rûpakâya), composé des cinq agrégats (skandha) que l’on dit que les passions sont foncières. Le sûtra dit aussi : «C’est pour-convertir et sauver les êtres que je tiens ce propos.» C’est aussi pour les çrâvaka et les pratyekabuddha que je tiens ce propos.» Il dit également : «Le brahmacârin demanda au Buddha ce qui du corps ou des passions était antérieur. Le Buddha dit que le corps ne pouvait être antérieur, que les passions ne pouvaient être antérieures et que le corps et les passions ne pouvaient exister non plus simultanément, mais qu’il fallait partir des passions pour que le corps puisse exister.» Si vous examinez le texte de ce sûtra, vous saurez que si les passions sont considérées comme foncières, c’est rapport au corps et non pas à la nature de Buddha. Le sûtra dit également : «C’est à cause de la nature de Buddha que l’on peut parler de permanence. Ce qui est faux foncièrement est vrai actuelle­ment, ce qui n’est pas foncièrement est actuellement.» Il dit aussi : «La nature de Buddha est sans question (ou ne peut poser aucune question à son sujet) et sans naissance. Pour­quoi cela? C’est parce qu’elle n’est ni sensible ni suprasensible, ni longue ni courte, ni haute ni basse, ni produite ni détruite qu’on peut l’appeler permanente.» C’est à ce caractère de permanence qu’elle doit d’être foncière. Le sûtra dit : «Si dans une chambre obscure sont les sept joyaux, même si l’on sait qu’ils s’y trouvent, on ne les verrait pas à cause de l’obscurité. Mais si un homme doué de sagesse allume une lampe très claire et la promène dans cette chambre, il obtiendra de les voir tous. Cet homme, en voyant les sept joyaux, ne dira jamais qu’ils existent actuellement (c’est-à-dire à partir du moment où il les a vus). Il en est de même de la nature de Buddha qui n’existe pas seulement actuellement, mais que les passions nous empêchent de voir.» Dire que la nature de Buddha n’existe pas foncièrement, c’est ressembler à un aveugle qui ne voit ni le soleil ni la lune, mais qui, obtenant de rencontrer un bon médecin qui le guérisse et lui permette alors de voir, dirait que le soleil et la lune n’existent pas foncièrement, mais actuellement.» Cependant, c’est à cause de sa cécité qu’il ne voyait pas le soleil et la lune qui existent d’eux-mêmes foncièrement. Le sûtra dit : «Tous les êtres, dans une existence à venir, obtiendront sûrement l’arnuttarasamyaksambodhi», c’est-à-dire la nature de Buddha. C’est parce que tous les êtres ont actuellement le lieu des passions qu’ils ne voient pas la nature de Buddha [qui est en eux| et disent qu’elle n’existe pas foncièrement. Le sûtra dit : «Qu’il y ait ou qu’il n’y ait pas de Buddha [dans le monde], cette particularité qu’est la nature de Buddha est permanente. Les êtres, obnubilés — par les ­passions, ne voient pas le nirvâna et disent alors qu’il n’existe pas. Sachez que la nirvâna est une réalité permanente et que les réalités permanentes ne sont pas non existantes foncièrement et existantes actuellement.» «Le Buddha ne connaît ni agrégats (skandha), ni éléments (dhâtu), ni bases de la connaissance (âyatana), il n’est pas non existant foncièrement et existant actuellement ni qui, ayant fini d’être, retourne au non-être.» De causes et de conditions favorables naît en nous l’esprit de bodhi, nous obtenons de voir notre nature de Buddha et c’est en obtenant de la voir que nous savons qu’elle existe d’elle-même foncièrement.

– Puisque vous dites qu’elle existe d’elle-même foncièrement, pourquoi ne la voyons-nous pas de nous-mêmes et pourquoi est-il nécessaire d’avoir recours aux causes et conditions?

– Il en est de même que pour une eau souterraine : à moins de faire. l’effort de creuser, on ne pourra jamais l’atteindre21. De même, la pierre appelée mani, à moins qu’on ne la polisse, ne sera jamais claire et l’on dira qu’elle n’est pas une pierre précieuse

Le Ne-p'an king dit : «Les êtres, sans l’aide des Buddha, des Bodhisattva et des véritables amis de bien qui, par des moyens appropriés,» leur indiquent la voie et les instruisent, jamais ne pour­ront obteuir.de voir la nature de Buddha.» Si l’on dit que les êtres savent d’eux-mêmes, cela est faux. C’est parce qu’ils ne voient pas la nature de Buddha qu’ils disent qu’elle n’existe pas foncièrement. Mais la nature de Buddha, avant toute chose, n’est pas non existante foncièrement et existante actuellement.»



i, 7



La maître de la loi Tchen demanda : «Quel est le sens de permanent (nitya)?

– L’impermanent (anitya) a le sens de permanent.

– Je vous demande le sens de permanent, pourquoi me répondez-vous que c’est l’impermanent?

– C’est seulement parce que l’impermanent existe qu’on peut parler du permanent. Si l’impermanent n’existait pas, permanent aurait aussi le sens d’impermanent. C’est en ce sens qu’on peut le nommer permanent. Pourquoi cela? li en est de même que pour le long qui est produit grâce au court et que pour le court qui est établi grâce au long. Si le long n’existait pas, on ne pourrait pas établir le court. Puisque les choses reposent les unes sur les autres, comment en serait-il autrement pour les concepts (artha)? Le caractère insaisissable de la substance de la nature des choses et de même l’espace (âkâça) ont aussi le sens de permanent.

– Pourquoi l’espace a-t-il le sens de permanent?

– L’espace est sans grandeur ni petitesse, ni milieu ni extrêmes.

C’est pourquoi on dit qu’il a le sens de permanent. Le caractère insaisissable de la substance des choses n’est pas être (déterminé), mais si l’on est capable de voir cette substance insaisissable, on : est plongé dans une constante quiétude et il n’y a pas alors non-être.



C’est pourquoi on attribue au caractère insaisissable de la substance des choses le sens de permanent. C’est parce que le non-être existe qu’on peut parler de l’être, et si l’être n’existait pas, le non-être ne serait pas non-être. Mais, du point de vue particulier de la substance des choses, en fait de non-être, il n’y a pas de non-être et en fait d’être, il n’y a pas d’être. Les vertus nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange sont foncièrement acquises au complet : tel est le sens de permanent.

De même, ce qui n’est ni grand ni petit a le sens de permanent : l’espace est sans grandeur et l’on ne peut dire qu’il est grand, il est sans petitesse et l’on ne peut dire qu’il est petit. Car, si l’on disait qu’il est grand, ce serait d’une grandeur des partisans du petit et si l’on disait qu’il est petit, ce serait d’une petitesse des partisans du grand. Voilà la façon dont on discute du permanent et de l’impermanent avec les gens qui n’ont pas encore pénétré l’absolu. Mais, du point de vue de la nature des choses comme absolu transcendant (li), il n’y a plus de permanent ni d’impermanent. C’est pourquoi ou nomme cet absolu le permanent22.



i, 8

.

Le hou -pou-chang-chou (président du ministère des Finances) Wang, duc de Tchao, demanda dans une gâthâ le sens des «trois chars» :



“Dans la demeure ne sont pas les trois chars,

à l’air libre on n’en trouve qu’un.

Je ne sais quelle utilité il y a

à parler de trois chars.

– Les trois chars sont devant la porte :

dès qu’on en parle, ils sont dans la demeure.

Du moment qu’ils en ont entendu parler,

les enfants déjà les ont obtenus.

Si les enfants sont devant la porte,

c’est que d’abord ils sont montés sur les. chars pour sortir.



– Puisque dans la demeure ils les ont obtenus,

pourquoi faut-il que dehors ils les cherchent?

– Ils les ont sans doute obtenus,

mais ne savent pas ce qu’est un char.

C’est parce qu’ils n’en ont pas eu d’eux-mêmes l’expérience

qu’ils les cherchent au-dehors.



– Comment se peut-il qu’ayant acquis le fruit du Chemin (mâr-gaphala), on ne sache pas de soi-même [qu’on l’a acquis]?

– Le sûtra, plus bas, nous l’apprend :

‘Les mérites (punya) qui sont acquis ne sont pas connus de nous-mêmes.’

– C’est l’ignorance des enfants

qui rend possible leur recherche au-dehors.

Mais leur père doit savoir que les enfants ont obtenu les chars;

pourquoi faut-il qu’il leur en donne de nouveau?

– C’est parce que les enfants l’ignorent

et que, à cause de cela, ils cherchent au-dehors.

Mais les chars que leur donne le maître de maison,

sont encore ceux qu’il leur avait donnés d’abord.

Les trois chars sont foncièrement sans réalité,

ce qu’il en est dit n’est qu’un expédient,

Les chars donnés sont d’anciens chars

– Bien que ces chars aient des noms différents, c’est seulement comme moyen et expédient que l’on parle de trois.

Les trois chars dont il est d’abord parlé foncièrement n’en font qu’un.

– Un char peut en faire trois,

trois chars peuvent en faire un.

Pourquoi, dès le début, ne pas parler d’un seul

et se donner la peine de parler de trois?

– Si l’on parle pour les gens aveuglés,

les trois chars font trois chars.

Mais pour la compréhension des gens illuminés,

les trois chars foncièrement n’en font qu’un.



i, 9



Le duo Ts’ouei de Ts’i demanda : Lorsque vous vous êtes accroupi pour une concentration, au bout de combien de temps pouvez-vous sortir de concentration?

— Le dyâna ne connaît pas de localisation : comment y aurait-

il concentration?

— Puisque vous dites qu’il n’y a pas de concentration, qu’appelez-

vous exercices spirituels?

— Je n’ai déjà pas établi qu’il y eût de concentration. Qui parle

d’exercices spirituels?

— S’il n’y a ni esprit ni concentration; qu’est-ce que le Chemin?

— C’est le Chemin qui est ainsi par lui-même et il n’est pas question de savoir ce qu’est le Chemin.

— Puisqu’il n’en est pas question, comment peut-on parler du Chemin qui est ainsi par lui-même?

— Si je parle du Chemin qui est ainsi par lui-même, c’est à cause de votre question : « Qu’est-ce que le Chemin? » S’il n’y avait pas de comment, il n’y aurait pas non plus d’ainsi.’



i, 10



Le maître de la loi Kien du Lou-chan demanda :

‘Quel est le sens de Chemin du milieu (madhyamâ pratipad)?

— Les extrêmes (anta).

— Je vous demande le sens de Chemin du milieu. Pourquoi me répondez-vous que c’est les extrêmes?

— Si l’on parle de Chemin du milieu, il faut s’appuyer t sur la notion d’extrêmes [pour en rendre compte]…

… si l’ou ne s’appuie pas sur cette notion, on ne pourra pas non plus établir le Chemin du milieu’



i, 11



Le li-pou-che-lang (vice-président du minislère des rites) Sou Tsin demanda : Qu’est-ce que le Grand Véhicule (mahâyâna) et qu’est-ce que le Véhicule Suprême (çresthayâna)?

— Celui des Bodhisattva est le Grand Véhicule et celui des Buddha est le Véhicule Suprême.

— Quelle différence y a-t-il entre eux?

— Les Bodhisattva du Grand Véhicule, en pratiquant la dânaparamitâ, contemplent la vacuité de la substance des trois choses.

Ils font de même pour les cinq autres pâramitâ. C’est pourquoi leur véhicule s’appelle Grand Véhicule. Mais dans le Véhicule Suprême, il suffit [de voir] la vacuité et quiétude de la nature foncière et l’on sait alors que, dans leur nature propre et foncière, les trois choses sont vacuité. On ne produit plus de contemplation. Il en est ainsi jusqu’aux six objets des sens (rajas). C’est ce qu’on appelle le Véhicule Suprême.’

Il demanda si dans le Véhicule Suprême on avait recours à la théorie de la production des causes (pratityasamutpâda).

‘On ne l’établit pas.

— Si on ne l’établit pas, comment obtient-on de savoir?

— Dans la substance de la vacuité et de la quiétude foncière se trouve naturellement la connaissance de la prajnâ qui est capable de savoir. Voilà pourquoi on n’a pas recours à la production des causes. Si on établissait la production des causes, ce serait alors le graduel (ts’eu ti).

— Dans ces conditions, il n’est plus nécessaire d’avoir recours à la culture de toutes les pratiques?

— Si on obtient une telle vue, toutes les pratiques sont accomplies.

— Même s’ils produisent l’ignorance (avidyâ), ceux qui voient cette nature foncière, forment-ils le lien du karman?

-- S’ils produisent l’ignorance, ils ne forment pas le lien du karman.

-- Comment cela?

-- Il suffit de voir le caractère insaisissable de la substance de pureté de notre nature foncière pour que, de lui-même, le lien du karman ne se produise plus.’





Il demanda : J’ai vu deux moines des montagnes venir saluer le maître de dyâna Ngan du Song-chan. Le maître leur dit : «Religieux à I’affût du riz!». Un moine du monastère Cheou-ki (Vyâcarana) vint aussi saluer le maître. Il lui dit : «Religieux avare de riz!» Qu’en est-il dans ces deux cas?

– Dans ces deux cas, il les expulse.

– Ç’est une expulsion (pratiksepa) de quel genre?

– Elle consiste seulement en séparation (viyoga).

– Quelle sorte de séparation?

– Ç’est une séparation qui [est] ainsi par elle-même. Ce n’est pas telle ou telle sorte de séparation.

– Est-ce une séparation de l’esprit ou une séparation de l’œil?

– Quand je dis séparation qui est ainsi par elle-même, il n’est pas non plus question de séparation de l’œil ou de l’esprit.

– Si ni l’esprit ni l’œil ne voient, il faut donc qu’on soit aveugle?

– Il n’y a que les aveugles pour parler de cécité. Les autres, ceux qui voient, dès l’origine, ne sont pas aveugles. Le sûtra dit : C’est la faute des aveugles [s’ils ne voient pas le soleil et la lune] et non pas celle du soleil et de la lune.’



i, 12



Tchang, duc de Yen demanda : Vous parlez constamment, maître de dyâna, de l’absence de pensée, vous incitez les gens à la cultiver et à l’étudier. Je ne sais si l’absence de pensée existe ou n’existe pas.

— Je ne dis ni qu’elle existe ni quelle n’existe pas. Car si je disais qu’elle existe, ce serait d’une existence mondaine et si je disais qu’elle n’existe pas, ce serait d’une non-existence mondaine. C’est pourquoi l’absence de pensée n’est ni existante (sat) ni non existante (asat) [au sens mondain].

— Quel nom lui donnez-vous?

— Je ne lui en donne pas.

— Qu’est-ce donc?

— Ce n’est rien non plus [de particulier]. C’est pourquoi l’absence de pensée est indicible (avaktavya). Si on en parle, c’est pour répondre aux questions. Si aucune question n’était posée, jamais on n’en parlerait. Il en est comme d’un miroir clair dans lequel aucune image n’apparaît s’il ne se trouve pas d’objet devant lui. Si l’on dit qu’une image y apparaît, c’est [seulement] parce qu’un objet se trouve devant lui, qui est cause de l’apparition. S’il n’y a pas d’objet devant lui, le miroir rayonne-t-il?

— S’il est question de son rayonnement, peu importe ce qui est ou n’est pas devant lui; dans tous les cas, le miroir rayonne constamment.

— Puisque vous dites que l’absence de pensée est exempte de particularités empiriques et que, d’autre part, elle est indicible, il n’est donc rien, ni dans l’être (le déterminé) ni dans le non-être (l’indéterminé), que l’on puisse établir à son sujet. Si l’on parle de rayonnement, quel est alors ce rayonnement?23

— Si l’on parle de rayonnement, c’est que le miroir doit à sa [seule] clarté cette nature de rayonnement24; de même, c’est à cause de la pureté [foncière] de l’esprit des êtres que ceux-ci possèdent naturellement la grande lumière de sapience qui projette ses rayons sur tous les mondes sans exception.

— Comment obtient-on de voir l’absence de choses déterminées? Comment s’appelle la vue de l’absence de. çhoses déterminées?

— Elle n’a pas de nom.

— Si elle n’a pas de nom, qu’en est-il de la nature de Buddha?

— Voir que l’on ne voit pas l’absence de choses déterminées, c’est la vraie vue, c’est la vue permanente.’



i, 13



Le Maître demanda au maître de dyâna Tch’eng : Quelle  méthode faut-il cultiver pour obtenir de voir sa nature–propre?

— Il faut d’abord s’appliquer à cultiver accroupi la concentration. Une fois la concentration obtenue, il faut faire naître en soi la sapience en s’aidant de la concentration. Avec la sapience, on obtient de voir sa nature propre.

— Lorsqu’on cultive la concentration, n’y a-t-il pas obligatoirement. activité de l’esprit (manaskâra)?

— Oui.

— Puisqu’il y a activité de l’esprit, même si la connaissance (vijnâna) est concentrée, comment obtiendrait-on de voir sa nature propre?

— Si l’on parle de nature propre, il est nécessaire [pour voir cette nature] de cultiver la concentration. Sinon, comment pourrait-on la voir?

— Toute culture de la concentration est, dès l’origine, esprit d’erreur. Comment, en cultivant la concentration, pourrait-on obtenir la concentration?

— Dans la culture de la concentration, il y a naturellement un rayonnement intérieur (âdhyatmika) et extérieur (bâhya) qui fait qu’on obtient de voir sa nature'propre. :

— La nature propre est sans intérieur ni extérieur. Si l’on parle de rayonnement intérieur et extérieur, c’est dès l’origine esprit d’erreur. Comment pourrait-on voir sa nature propre? Le sûtra dit : “Étudier tous les Samâdhi, c’est mouvement et non dyâna accroupi.” L’esprit suit le courant des objets de la connaissance (visaya). Comment pourrait-on appeler : cela concentration? Si l’on déclare que cette concentration est la vraie; Wei-mo-kie (Vimalaklrti) n’aurait pas dû blâmer Chö-li-fo (Çâriputra) pour rester accroupi dans le calme.’



i, 14



Le Maître demanda à ceux qui étudiaient le Chemin : Si l’on parle d’exercices spirituels, ces exercices consistent-ils en activité de l’esprit (manaskâra) ou en non activité de l’esprit? S’ils consistent en non activité de l’esprit, il n’y aura pas de différence entre nous et les profanes sourds. Si l’on dit qu’ils consistent en activité de l’esprit, ils sont donc du domaine du saisissable et nous pommes liés par les passions. Par suite, quel moyen aurions-nous d’atteindre la délivrance? Les çrâvaka cultivent la vacuité, demeurent dans la vacuité et sont liés par elle. Ils cultivent la concentration, demeurent dans la concentration et sont liés par elle. Ils cultivent la tranquillité, demeurent dans la tranquillité et sont liés par elle ils cultivent la quiétude, demeurent dans la quiétude et sont liés par elle. C’est pourquoi le Pan-jo king dit : “Si on saisit les particularités des choses, on s’attache au moi, à l’autre, aux êtres et à l’âge.” Le Wei-mo king dit [aussi] : “Discipliner son esprit, c’est la méthode des çrâvaka. Ne pas le discipliner, c’est la méthode des ignorants.” Gens de bien, si les exercices spirituels consistent à discipliner son esprit, comment cela s’appellerait-il délivrance? Les siu-t’o-heng (srotaâpanna), les sseu-t’o-han (sakrdâgâmin) et les a -na-han (anâgâmin) disciplinent leur esprit. Les quatre Saints et les trois Sages disciplinent leur esprit. Comment déceler entre eux une différence? De telles concentrations ne sont pas non plus la méthode de la vraie délivrance.”



i, 15



Le maître Chen-tsiu demanda :

: Si la substance de l’absolu (tathatâ) est ce qui constitue notre esprit foncier et que, d’autre part, cet esprit est dépourvu des particularités du bleu et du jaune (c’est-à-dire du sensible, rûpa), comment peut-on en avoir connaissance?

— Lorsque notre esprit est quiétude et vacuité foncières, ni l’Éveil ni les pensées erronées ne se produisent et s’il y a en lui Éveil ou pensées erronées, tous deux disparaissent d’eux-mêmes : c’est à cela précisément que nous reconnaissons notre esprit propre.

— [Selon vous], même s’il y a en nous Éveil et rayonnement de la sapience, nous sommes ramenés au sein de la production et destruction (utpâdanirodha). Dites-moi alors par quelle méthode on atteint à la non-production et destruction?

— C’est parce que l’esprit est mis en mouvement (k'i) qu’il y a mise en mouvement de la production et destruction. Mais une fois que l’esprit [en tant qu’erreur] est de lui-même expulsé, il n’est rien dans le phénoménal auquel on puisse avoir recours pour parler [de notre esprit propre]. L’Éveil et le rayonnement de la sapience une fois disparus (notre esprit) est de lui-même non-être, et c’est alors la non-production et destruction.”



i, 16



Un des disciples, le bhiksu Wou-hing demanda : J’ai vu le maître de la loi Tsiun de Siang-yang et d’autres maîtres de la loi discuter ensemble dans votre salle sur ces thèses : Le sensible (rûpa) n’est pas différent de la vacuité (çûnyatâ) et la vacuité n’est pas différente du sensible. «Le sensible est la vacuité et la vacuité le sensible» et aussi : «La Nâgî, produit eu un ksana l’esprit de bodhi et accomplit alors l’Éveil correct». Moi, Wou-hing, j’ai des doutes sur ces points.

– Quelle conversation as-tu vu tenir â ces maîtres de la loi?

– J’ai vu les maîtres de la loi Yeu et Tsiun [demander] pourquoi le sensible n’était pas différent de la vacuité ni la vanité du sensible. Le maître, de la loi Tsiun, prenant alors son propre corps pour exemple, fut capable d’expliquer cette thèse. Comment, disait-t-il, était-ce là le maître de la loi tout en ne l’étant pas? En venant à [chaque partie de son corps], nez, oreilles, etc.. , il les examinait et les rejetait toutes comme n’étant pas le maître de la loi. Ce n’étaient, disait-il, que des dénominations fictives (prajapti) et dans cette recherche de son propre corps, il ne pouvait en fin de compte l’atteindre. Or, ce qu’on ne peut atteindre (anupalabhya), c’est la vacuité. C’est parce qu’existent le relatif et le causal, que le sensible existe. Telle fut l’explication que le maître de la loi Tsiun donna sur le sujet de mes doutes actuels. Veuillez, je vous prie, me révéler le sens principal de cette thèse.

– Le maître de la loi Tsiun, dans son argumentation, établit pour son compte un principe particulier. Mais si l’on examine le sens du sûtra, il n’est pas d’accord avec lui. En effet, le discours du maître de la loi Tsiun consiste à disséquer, les choses particulières afin de faire comprendre ce qu’est la vacuité. Il ignore que les objets de l’esprit (visaya) sont [dans leur amoncellement] plus élevés que le Sumeru. Écoute avec attention, je vais te révéler l’essentiel : c’est à cause de la production de l’esprit qu’existe le sensible, à cause de l’insaisissable qu’existe la vacuité. Il est dit aussi : «C’est à cause de l’être transcendant de la nature des choses qu’existe le sensible et c’est à cause du non-être transcendant du sensible qu’existe la vacuité.» Quand le sûtra dit : «Le sensible n’est pas différent de la vacuité, ni la vacuité du sensible», tel est le sens. Il est dit encore : La vue (c’est-à-dire les vues de toutes sortes), c’est le sensible. La vue de ce qui ne peut comporter aucune vue, c’est la vacuité.’ Le sûtra dit : Le sensible, c’est la vacuité, et la vacuité le sensible. Il en est de même pour la sensation, pour la conscience, pour les formations et pour la connaissance (vijnana).’



i, 17



Il demanda encore : Les passions (kleça) sont innombrables et infinies et Buddha et Bodhisattva cultivent les pratiques durant des kalpa sans pouvoir encore obtenir [la délivrance]. Pourquoi la Nâgî produit-elle en un ksana l’esprit de bodhi et accomplit-elle alors l’Éveil correct?

— La production de l’esprit de bodhi (bodhicittotpâda) est subite ou graduelle; dans l’aveuglement et l’illumination, il y a lenteur ou rapidité : dans l’aveuglement, on accumule les kalpa mais l’illumination a lieu en un instant. Cette thèse est difficile à comprendre : je vous ferai d’abord une comparaison avec une réalité matérielle, puis je vous en expliquerai le sens et peut-être, grâce à cela, pourrez-vous comprendre. Soit les fils d’un tissu de soie, dont le nombre est incalculable. Si on les réunit en un toron que l’on place sur une planche et que l’on tranche d’un coup d’épée aiguë, au même instant, tous les fils seront coupés. Si grand que soit leur nombre, ils ne résisteront pas à un seul coup d’épée. Il en est de même pour ceux qui produisent l’esprit de bodhi. S’il leur arrive de rencontrer de véritables amis de bien (kalyânamitra) qui, par toutes sortes de moyens (upâya), leur montrent directement l’absolu, au moyen de la sapience de diamant, ils tranchent les passions de tous les stades, ils s’éveillent brusquement, et voient d’eux-mêmes que la nature des choses est vacuité et quiétude. Leur sapience s’étant aiguisée, ils comprennent et pénètrent tout sans obstacle. Au moment où ils éprouvent cela, tout le causal est tranché en une fois. Leurs pensées erronées, nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange, au même instant sont subitement épuisées. Les vertus sans limites aussitôt sont présentes en eux au complet. La sapience de diamant une fois produite, comment pour­raient-ils ne pas accomplir [le Chemin]?

— J’ai vu ce que prétend le maître de la loi Tsiun, à savoir que [l’histoire de] la Nâgî n’est qu’un expédient et non pas un fait réel. Car si c’était un fait réel, comment, en produisant en un ksana l’esprit de bodhi, pourrait-on trancher les passions de tous les stades? Voyant que le maître de la loi Tsiun tient de tels propos, j’ai encore de doutes. Veuillez, Maître, m’instruire de nouveau.

— J’ai pris tout à l’heure la comparaison des fils de soie pour vous faire comprendre : vous devriez donc voir entièrement [la vérité]. Pourquoi faut-il que vous ayez encore des doutes? Le Houa yen king dit : “Les dix pensées de foi produisent d’abord en nous l’esprit de bodhi et la sapience de diamant accomplit alors l’Éveil correct.” Dans ce dharma qu’est la bodhi qu’y aurait-il.de graduel? Si l’on dit que [l’histoire de] la Nâgî n’est qu’un expédient, quelle autorité aura la thèse de l’impensable parfait et subit, du Fa houa king?’



i, 18



Wou-hing demanda encore quel était le sens des cinq yeux.

‘J’ai vu, dit-il, le maître de la loi Tsiun expliquer ainsi le Fa houa king : Les cinq yeux du Tathâgata sont constamment en Samâdhi. Lorsqu’ils voient toutes les terres de Buddha, ils sont dépourvus de dualité. Pourquoi alors son œil de sapience (prajnâcaksus) doit-il passer par le relatif pour pénétrer la vacuité? Pourquoi son œil de loi (dharmacaksus) doit-il passer par la vacuité pour pénétrer le relatif? S’il en est ainsi, ses yeux sont en relation mutuelle et il ne peut pénétrer la vacuité sans s’appuyer sur le relatif ni pénétrer le relatif sans s’appuyer sur la vacuité. Or, il faut savoir que, lorsqu’on pénètre la vacuité, il n’y a pins de relatif et que, lorsqu’on pénètre le relatif, il n’y a plus de vacuité. La vacuité et le relatif forment deux voies opposées [œil de] loi et [œil de] sapience sont absolument distincts. Puisque les Buddhavisaya sont parfaitement vrais, l’œil ne doit pas y voir de différences. Tels sont les doutes que je vous prie de bien vouloir trancher pour.moi.

— Parmi les hommes dit le maître, les uns ont des facultés (indriya) aiguës, les autres obtuses; l’enseignement est [selon leurs facultés] subit ou graduel. Or, ce que dit le maître de la loi est destiné aux gens aveugles. Quant aux cinq yeux du Tathâgata, il n’en est pas ainsi en vérité. Le Tathâgata n’est pas identique aux profanes. On dit qu’il a un œil de chair, mais sa vue n’est pas identique à celle des profanes.

— Veuillez, je vous prie, trancher pour moi cette question.

— Ce qui voit la pureté du sensible (rûpa), c’est l’œil de chair (mâmsacaksus). Ce qui voit la substance de cette pureté s’appelle œil divin (divyacaksus). Ce qui voit la substance de cette pureté, au milieu de l’activité concomitante à cette vue de tous les Samâdhi et des quatre-vingt-quatre mille rubriques de pâramitâ, s’appelle œil de sapience (prajnâcaksus). Ce qui voit la substance de cette pureté dans la non absence de vue (dans la vue complète de toutes choses) s’appelle œil de loi (dharmacaksus). Ce. dont la vue n’est ni quiétude ni absence de, rayonnement s’appelle œil de Buddha’



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Le Maître de la loi Yuan demanda : Qu’est-ce que la vacuité (çûnyatâ)? Si l’on dit que la vacuité existe, la vacuité relève alors du domaine des objets (pratibhû) et des obstacles (nîvarana). Si l’on dit que la vacuité n’existe pas, comment prendre refuge en elle?

— C’est pour ceux qui n’ont pas encore pénétré leur nature propre que l’on parle de vacuité. Si l’on voit sa nature foncière, la vacuité elle-même n’existe plus.’



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Le Maître dit : Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est avoir les six organes des sens sans souillure. Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est obtenir une connaissance orientée vers le Buddha. Voir l’absence de pensée a pour nom aspect véritable. Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est la vérité de sens ultime (paramârthasatya) du Chemin du milieu, (madhyamâ pratipad). Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est voir des mérites nombreux comme les grains de sable du Gange au même instant présents au complet. Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est être capable de maîtriser tous les dharma. Voir l’absence de pensée, c’est embrasser tous les dharma.’









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Le che-lang (vice-président) Miao demanda : Comment cultiver le Chemin pour obtenir la délivrance :

— Obtenez seulement l’esprit de non-demeure et vous obtiendrez la délivrance.

– Très bien, mais qu’est que la non-demeure? ,

– Dans le Kin kang king (Vajracchedikâ), il. y a un passage à

ce sujet.

– Que dit-il?

– Le sûtra dit : Secondement, Siu-p’ou-t’i (Subhûti), les Bodhisattva mahâsattva doivent produire de cette façon l’esprit de pureté : ils ne doivent pas, pour le produire, demeurer dans le sen­sible (rûpa). Ils ne doivent pas, pour le produire, demeurer dans les dharma de son (çabda), d’odeur (gandha), de saveur (rasa) et de contact (sparça). Ils doivent produire l’esprit de pureté en ne demeurant nulle part. Obtenez seulement l’esprit de non-demeure et vous obtiendrez la délivrance.

— Comment, dans la non-demeure, peut-on connaître et voir la

non-demeure?

— Dans la substance de la non-demeure se trouve la sapience foncière et cette sapience foncière est capable de savoir. Il faut produire l’esprit de pureté au sein de la sapience foncière (?).’



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Le Maître de lailoi K’ien-kouang demanda : Qu’est-ce que l’esprit de Buddha et qu’est-ce que l’esprit des êtres?

— L’esprit des êtres est celui de Buddha et celui de Buddba est

celui des êtres.

— Puisqu’entre eux il n’y a pas de différence, pourquoi ne dit-on pas que les êtres sont des Buddha?

— Du point de vue particulier de ceux qui n’ont pas encore pénétré l’absolu, on dira qu’il y a les êtres et qu’il y a le Buddha.

Mais pour ceux qui l’ont pénétré, les êtres et le Buddha ne sont pas dès l’origine différents.”







i, 23



«  J’entends toujours dire, maître de dyâna, que votre prédication est différente de celle de tout le monde. La loi bouddhique est une, pourquoi alors cette différence?

— Il est bien vrai que la loi bouddhique ne comporte pas en principe de différence, mais il en existe entre chacun de ceux qui de nos jours étudient le Chemin, selon que leur vue est superficielle ou profonde. C’est pourquoi l’on peut dire qu’au sein de la religion il y a désaccord.

—  Je vous prie de m’expliquer la raison de ce désaccord.

— Si l’on parle de désaccord, c’est qu’il y a des gens qui figent leur esprit pour saisir la concentration, d’autres qui fixent leur esprit pour regarder la pureté, d’autres qui mettent leur esprit en mouvement pour qu’il illumine à l’extérieur, d’autres qui ramassent leur esprit pour avoir l’expérience intérieure, d’autres qui, mettant en mouvement et contemplant leur esprit, saisissent la vacuité, d’autres qui, provoquant en eux l’Éveil et détruisant l’erreur, font une base définitive de la destruction de l’erreur et de la demeure dans l’Éveil, d’autres qui, mettant en mouvement leur esprit, s’iden­tifient à la vacuité, d’autres qui, l’Éveil et l’erreur une fois détruits l’un et l’autre, sans pénétrer leur nature ‘foncière, demeurent dans le non-être et se confient à la vacuité. La foule de ces gens (qui se livrent à des pratiques externes) ne peut être énumérée en entier. Le principe de vide non-être de notre nature foncière, nos contemporains ne comprennent pas qu’il se réalise en chacune de nos pensées. C’est pourquoi il y a désaccord. Sans tenir compte des profanes, le Tathâgata dit qu’entre le non fabriqué (asamskrta) et tous les Sages et les Saints il existe [encore] une différence. À plus forte raison, comment tous ceux qui étudient de nos jours de Chemin pourraient-ils être d’accord?’



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Il demanda : ‘Quel est le sens de la gâthâ de quatre vers dont il est question dans le Kin kang king?’

— J’ai vu les maîtres de la loi parler ainsi du sens de cette gâthâ : les uns, prenant des vers de huit caractères, faisaient une stance de trente-deux caractères. D’autres prenaient des vers de cinq caractères, d’autres de trois et obtenaient ainsi une stance de douze caractères. D’autres prenaient la stance sur ‘tous les dharma fabriqués’ qui se trouve à la fin du sûtra pour la gâthâ de quatre vers. D’autres enfin, prenant l’expression ‘absence des phénomènes du moi, de l’autre, des êtres et de l’âge’, lui don­naient le nom de gâthâ de quatre vers. Le Bodhisattva Wou tchou (Asanga) dit : ‘[Leur vertu est] immense et primordiale, leur esprit est toujours exempt d’erreur’, ces mots forment un des quatre vers.’ Eh bien! il n’en est pas ainsi. C’est seulement parce qu’il y a le phénomène du moi qu’on parle de son absence, parce qu’il y a le phénomène de l’autre qu’on parle de son absence, parce qu’il y a le phénomène des êtres qu’on parle de son absence, parce qu’il y a le phénomène de l’âge qu’on parle de son absence. Le sens n’est pas tel [que le prétendent les maîtres de la loi]. Pourquoi cela? C’est l’absence même de cette absence des phénomènes du moi, de l’autre, des êtres et de l’âge qui est le véritable sens de la gâthâ de quatre vers. On lit dans le Ta tche tou louen (Mahâprajnâpâramitâçâstra) : “La prajnâpâramitâ est comme une masse de feu qu’on ne peut saisir de nulle part. Son absence de prise et sa non-prise en sont la vraie prise.” Tel est le véritable sens de la gâtha de quatre vers.’



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Tcheng Tsiun demanda : Qu’est-ce que le Chemin?

– C’est ce qui n’a pas de nom (wou ming).

– Puisque c’est ce qui n’a pas de nom, pourquoi le nomme-t-on Chemin?

– De lui-même, le Chemin ne serait jamais nommé. Si on le nomme Chemin; c’est pour répondre aux questions.

– Puisque Chemin est une dénomination fictive, ce qui n’a pas de nom est-il l’absolu?

– Ce n’est pas non plus l’absolu.

– Puisque ce qui n’a pas de nom n’est pas non plus l’absolu, pourquoi dit-on que c’est ce qui n’a pas de nom?

– C’est seulement parce que des questions sont posées à son sujet qu’on en parle. Si aucune question n’était posée, jamais on n’en parlerait.



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Le Maître de la loi K‘ien kouang, de la préfecture de Wei, demanda : Le Kin kang king dit : “Si des fils et des filles de bonne famille retiennent, lisent et récitent ce sûtra et sont méprisés (pari-bhûta), eux qui, en raison de leur karman antérieur, devraient tomber dans les mauvaises destinées (durgati), à cause du mépris même de leurs contemporains, ils verront leur karman antérieur se réduire à néant.” Quel est le sens?

— Les lecteurs de ce sûtra obtiennent tous les honneurs (satkâra), hommages (pûjana) et respects (vandana), mais bien qu’ils aient acquis ce sûtra, qu’ils l’aient retenu, lu, récité, ils sont encore empêchés par le karman des graves fautes accumulées avant de l’avoir acquis. Cependant, lorsqu’ils le lisent, le pouvoir magique de ce texte prend force et ils obtiennent par un effet divin le mépris des gens de leur siècle, qui est capable de faire que, chez ces lecteurs, l’obstacle du karman des graves fautes qu’ils ont commi­ses soit complètement réduit à néant. Et, parce qu’ils obtiennent cet anéantissement de leur karman, iJs parviennent alors à l’Eveil parfait sans supérieur, (anuttarasamyaksambodhi) et au principe absolu. Le karman des existences antérieures est une métaphore pour exprimer les pensées erronées et la mise en mouvement de l’esprit [qui se produisaient chez eux] antérieurement. Le mépris de leurs contemporains est une métaphore pour exprimer les pensées qui ont succédé [c’est-à-dire] aussi bien l’Éveil que le remords. L’esprit d’erreur qui se produisait chez eux auparavant une fois détruit, le remords qui succède est détruit à son tour. Lorsque l’une et l’autre de ces pensées n’existent plus, les vertus [qui proviennent] de la lecture de ce sûtra sont présentes au complet et c’est alors l’Éveil parfait sans supérieur. Pourquoi l’Eveil est-il [comparé au] mépris et [rapproché des] pensées antérieures productrices d’erreurs? L’Éveil qui succède est encore mise en mouvement de l’esprit et, bien qu’il ait nom d’Éveil, il ne se sépare pas du profane. C’est pourquoi il est comparé au mépris des gens du siècle.’



i, 27



Le Maître de la loi Tche demanda : «Quel est le sens de l’égalité entre concentration et sapience?

— La non-production des pensées, la vacuité qui est absence d’être s’appelle concentration correcte. La capacité de voir la non-production des pensées et la vacuité qui est absence d’être s’appelle sapience correcte. Au moment même où l’on a la concentration, on possède la substance de la sapience et au moment même où l’on a la sapience, on possède l’activité, de la concentration. Dès que l’on a la con­centration, ou ne possède rien d’autre que la sapience et dès que l’on a la sapience, on ne possède rien d’autre que la concentration. Au moment môme où il y a concentration, c’est la sapience et au moment même où il y a sapience, c’est la concentration. Pourquoi cela? C’est parce que, par nature et d’elles-mêmes, concentration et sapience sont semblables. Telle est la doctrine de l’égalité entre la concentration et la sapience.»



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Le prince de Sseu-tao demanda : L’absence de pensée est-elle un objet de culture pour les profanes ou pour les Saints (ârya)? Si c’est une méthode à l’in­tention des Saints, pourquoi inciter les profanes à la cultiver?

— L’absence de pensée est une méthode à l’intention des Saints, mais si les profanes la cultivent, ils ne sont plus dès lors des profanes.

— Cette absence, de quoi est-elle l’absence et cette pensée, de quoi est-elle la pensée?

— Cette absence est, comme on l’entend d’habitude, l’absence

d’être (de déterminé) et cette pensée est l’unique pensée de l’absolu (tathatâ).

— Quelle différence y a-t-il véritablement entre cette pensée et l’absolu?

-- Il n’y en a pas.

— S’il n’y en a pas, pourquoi parler de la pensée de l’absolu?

-- Pensée, ici, veut dire activité de l’absolu et absolue substance de la pensée. C’est en ce sens qu’on établit l’absence de pensée comme [fondement de la] doctrine. Si on voit l’absence de pensée, même au milieu des impressions réunies de la vue, de l’ouïe, de la perception et de la connaissance, on reste dans une vacuité et une quiétude constantes.”



i, 29



Le maître de la loi Tche-tö demanda : Vous enseignez aux êtres; maître de dyâna, à ne chercher que l’illumination subite. Pourquoi ne pas leur enseigner à se cultiver graduellement au moyen du Petit Véhicule? Ayant à faire l’ascen­sion de la terrasse à neuf gradins comment serait-on capable d’y monter sans passer par les degrés successifs?

— Ce dont on fait l’ascension avec crainte (c’est-à-dire graduelle­ment), ce n’est pas la terrasse à neuf gradins. Ce dont on fait l’ascension avec crainte, ce ne peut être qu’un vilain tertre de terre accumulée. Si c’était véritablement la terrasse à neuf gradins, tel serait le sens de la nature subite. Si l’on garde sa pensée attachée au subit et que l’on fasse ainsi l’ascension de la terrasse à neuf gradins, s’il faut avoir recours aux degrés successifs, on ne touchera pas le but et l’on établira le principe du graduel. La joie (priti) que procurent ensemble |la vue du] principe absolu et la sapience, voilà l’illumination subite. Comprendre sans avoir recours au graduel, spontanément (svatah), voilà le sens de la nature subite. La vacuité et quiétude originelles de l’esprit propre, voilà l’illumination subite. L’absence de demeure de l’esprit propre, voilà l’illumination subite. La compréhension de son esprit propre au milieu de tous les dharma, l’impossibilité pour l’esprit de rien atteindre, voilà l’illumination subite. La connaissance de tous les dharma, voilà l’illumination subite. Entendre parler de la vacuité sans s’attacher à la vacuité et sans saisir non plus la non vacuité, voilà i’illumination subite. Entendre parler du moi sans s’attacher au moi et sans saisir non plus le non moi, voilà l’illumination subite. Accéder au nirvâna sans rejeter la renaissance et mort, voilà l’illumination subite. C’est pourquoi le sûtra dit : ‘Il y a une connaissance spontanée (svayambhûjnâna), une connaissance sans maître (anâcaryakajnâna)’. Ceux qui partent du principe absolu parviennent rapidement au Chemin. Ceux qui cultivent les pratiques externes parviennent lentement. On trouve des faits impensables (acintya) dans le domaine supramondain qui, lorsqu’on en entend parler, provoquent l’étonnement et le doute. Il est aussi des faits impensables dans le monde qui sont subits. Ne le croyez-vous pas?,

-- En quel sens?

— Soit le cas de T’ai-kong des Tcheou et de Fou Yue. L’un, pêche et l’autre construit [des routes], leurs actes sont inscrits dans l’esprit de l’empereur et, de simples particuliers qu’ils étaient, les voilà subitement élevés à la dignité de Premiers ministres. N’est — ce pas là un fait impensable du domaine mondain? Quant à l’im­pensable supramondain, voici : Les êtres ont un esprit naturellement plein, de concupiscence (lobha), d’attachement (râga) et d’ignorance (avidyâ), mais s’ils rencontrent de véritables amis de bien (kalyânamitra), dans une union (yoga) née d’une pensée instantanée, ils produiront alors l’Éveil correct. N’est-ce pas là un fait impensable du domaine supramondain? Il est dit aussi : “Les êtres, en voyant, leur nature propre, accomplissent la bodhi”. De même, la Nâgî, en un instant, produit l’esprit de bodhi et accomplit alors l’Éveil correct. Et, voulant faire que les êtres pénètrent la connaissance et la vue du Buddha — si lon n! admet pas [que ce fut par] l’illumination subite — le Tathâgata devait parler partout des cinq Véhicules. Mais, puisqu’il ne parle pas des cinq Véhicules et ne parle que d’accéder à la connaissance et à la vue du Buddha, ce sûtra (le Sdhp), pris dans son sens strict, ne met en lumière que la doctrine subite, ne retient que l’union née d’une pensée instantanée et n’a vraiment plus aucun recours au graduel. Union (yoga) veut dire de l’absence de pensée, pénétration de la nature propre, insaisissable (anupalabhya) et l’insaisissable, c’est le dyâna du Tathâgata. Wei-mo-kie (Vimalakîrti) dit :

“Je contemple le Tathâgata de la même façon exactement que je contemple l’aspect véritable de mon corps. Lorsque je contemple ainsi le Tathâgata, il ne viendra pas dans le futur, il n’est pas venu dans le passé et ne demeure pas dans le présent”. C’est parce qu’il y a non demeure (asthâna) qu’il y a dyâna du Tathâgata.

Le sûtra dit aussi : “Chez-tous les êtres, le nirvâna originel et la nature de sapience sans souillure, sont foncièrement et d’eux-mêmes présents au complet.”, Qui veut bien distinguer son esprit propre, manifester et promouvoir en lui l’union avec le principe absolu, doit quitter l’esprit (citta), le mental (manas), la connaissance (vijnâna), les cinq dharma, les trois natures propres, les huit connaissan­ces et les deux non moi. Il doit quitter la vue externe et la vue interne, l’être et le non-être et il parvient alors à l’égalité d’esprit (samatâ) finale, il est plongé dans une quiétude constante, il atteint l’immense, l’illimité, le permanent et l’immuable.

Pourquoi cela? À cause du caractère insaisissable de la substance de pureté de notre nature propre et foncière. Si l’on a une telle vue, on atteint sa nature foncière et si l’on voit sa nature foncière, on siège dans la terre (bhûmi) du Tathâgata. Si on a une telle vue, on quitte toutes les particularités et l’on a, de ce fait, le nom de Buddha. Si l’on a une telle vue, les pensées erronées, nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange, disparaissent toutes au même instant. Si l’on a une telle vue, les vertus pures et sublimes, nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange, au même instant sont présentes an complet. Si l’on a une telle vue, c’est ce qu’on appelle connaissance sans souillure (anâsravajnâna). Si l’on a une telle vue, c’est ce qu’on appelle porte de la loi à un caractère. Si l’on a une telle vue, les six pâramitâ sont parfaites et au complet. Si l’on a une telle vue, c’est ce qu’on appelle pureté de l’œil de loi (dharma-caksurviçuddhi). Si l’on a une telle vue, on atteint l’insaisissable, c’est-à-dire la délivrance véritable, la participation à la connaissance et à la vue du Tathâgata, immenses, profondes, éloignées et sans différenciation. La connaissance, c’est la connaissance correcte et totale du Tathâgata. Si l’on a une telle vue, c’est ce qu’on appelle émettre l’éclat de la grande sapience qui projette ses rayons sur tous les mondes sans exception. Pourquoi cela? Les mondes, c’est l’esprit.

Si l’on parle de vacuité et de quiétude, [cela veut dire] absence de toutes les pensées sans exception. C’est pourquoi on dit que l’éclat de la grande sapience projette ses rayons sur tous les mondes sans exception. Vous tous qui étudiez le Chemin, si votre esprit est dépourvu du bleu, du jaune, du rouge et du blanc (c’est-à-dire de tout caractère sensible), s’il est sans sortie ni entrée, sans allée ni venue, sans éloignement proximité, sans antériorité ni postérité, sans activité de l’esprit (manaskâra) et sans non activité de l’esprit, s’il est ainsi, c’est l’union (yoga). Mais s’il y a sortie de concentration, entrée en concentration; si votre esprit est pourvu de tous les objets de la connaissance (visaya), tout cela, bien on mal, ne se sépare pas de l’esprit d’erreur. S’il y a quelque chose que l’on peut atteindre, c’est encore du fabriqué (samskrta) et, ce n’est absolument pas l’union [avec le principe absolu].

Qui possède une expérience (saksalkriyâ) de son esprit propre bien établie (suniçcita), à l’approche de trois armées, sous les coups redoublés d’épées éclatantes, quand des sabres rapides comme le vent mettraient son corps en pièces, verrait toujours l’absence de pensée et, solide comme le diamant, ne serait pas le moins du monde ébranlé. Verrait-il venir à lui des Buddha nombreux comme les grains de sable du Gange, il n’en aurait pas la moindre pensée de joie. Verrait-il des êtres nombreux comme les grains de sable du Gange au même instant détruits, il n’en aurait pas la moindre pensée de tristesse. Tel est le grand homme (mahâpurusa) qui a obtenu l’esprit de vacuité (çûnyatâ) et, d’indifférence (samatâ).

S’il en est qui, accroupis, figent leur esprit pour entrer en concentration, fixent leur esprit pour regarder la pureté, mettent leur esprit, en mouvement pour qu’il illumine à l’extérieur, ramassent leur esprit pour avoir l’expérience intérieure, toutes ces pratiques font chez eux obstacle à la bodhi. Or, tant que l’on ne possède pas l’union avec la bodhi, d’où pourrait-on obtenir la déli­vrance? Ce n’est certes pas en restant accroupi! Si c’était vraiment en restant accroupi, Çâriputra gui s’accroupissait dans le calme au milieu des bois n’aurait pas dû être blâmé par Vimalakîrti qui le reprit en ces termes : “C’est le fait de ne pas contempler son corps et son esprit à l’intérieur des trois dhâtu qui est accroupissement dans le calme.” Ne voir, à tous moments, que l’absence de pensée, ne pas voir les particularités de son corps s’appelle concentration correcte. Ne pas voir les particularités de son esprit s’appelle sapience correcte.”



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Yuan Tchong — che sseu-hou (chargé du service des finances) de la préfecture de Tch’ang demanda : « Qu’est-ce que la vacuité et qu’est-ce que la non vacuité? »

– Le caractère insaisissable de la substance de l’absolu s’appelle vacuité. Mais lorsqu’on est capable de voir cette substance insaisissable et que l’on est alors plongé dans une quiétude constante, on possède des activités (prayojana) nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange. C’est pourquoi on parle de non vacuité.»



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Le maître de la loi Yi du Tsiang-chan demanda : «Tous les êtres possèdent une nature d’absolu, mais certains la voient et d’autres ne la voient pas. Pourquoi cette différence? »

– Bien que les êtres possèdent comme vous le dites, une nature d’absolu, il en est comme de la pierre appelée mani, qui, bien qu’elle porte, en elle une nature de clarté, n’est jamais claire à moins qu’on ne la polisse. Il en va de même pour le phénomène de la différence entre les êtres, «Les êtres, à moins de rencontrer des Buddha, des Bodhisattva ou de véritables amis de bien qui leur enseignent à produire l’esprit de bodhi, jamais ne pourront voir la nature de Buddha».



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Le maître de la loi Yi-yuan demanda : «Bien que vous disiez que l’absolu (tathatâ) est dépourvu de particularités empiriques, dites-moi, dans mon intérêt et dans celui des êtres, comment on obtient d’y pénétrer. »

— La particularité de l’absolu, c’est notre esprit foncier. Si, bien que pensant à l’absence d’être (de déterminé), nous sommes capables et il nous est possible d’y penser et, bien que parlant de l’absence d’être, nous sommes capables et il nous est possible d’en parler, cela s’appelle obtenir de pénétrer dans l’absolu.»







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Le maître de la loi Kien du Lou-chan demanda : «J’ai beau pratiquer la vue [de ma nature propre], je suis toujours ramené au sein de la production et destruction (utpâdanirodha). Quelle méthode faut-il donc cultiver pour obtenir la non-production et destruction? »

— Vue, cela veut dire absence foncière de production et destruction et production et destruction, cela veut dire naturellement vue (drsti) des gens encore soumis à la production et destruction. S’il y a absence de toute production et destruction [comme de son contraire], c’est alors la non-production et destruction.»



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Wang Yeou-lin sseu-ma (administrateur supérieur) de la préfecture de Jouen demanda : «Que veut dire : “L’absence de loi que l’on puisse prêcher est prédication” »

— Le caractère insaisissable de la substance de la prajnâpâramitâ, c’est l’absence de loi que l’on puisse prêcher. Dans la substance de la prajnâpâramitâ se trouve naturellement le rayonnement de la sapience. Lorsqu’on voit la substance invisible et insaisissable de la prajnâpâramitâ, on est plongé dans une quiétude constante et l’on possède des activités (prayojana) nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange : c’est ce qu’on appelle prédication.»



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Le maître de dyâna Tch’ong du Nieou-t’eou-chan demanda : « Les fautes (dosa) sont-elles détruites par le repentir? »

– Chez ceux qui voient l’absence de pensée, le karman cesse de lui-même de se produire. Pourquoi tenir compte alors de l’esprit d’erreur et se repentir par surcroît? Mais, si vous voulez vous re­pentir, le repentir est un maître

— Comment cela?

– C’est un maître pour la destruction des fautes!»



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Le maître Houai-ti du Lo-feou-chan demanda : «Tous les êtres possèdent une pureté foncière. Pourquoi, souillés par les dharma de renaissance et mort (cyutyupapatti), ne peuvent — ils sortir des trois dhâtu? »

— C’est qu’ils ne comprennent pas que la substance (de leur esprit) propre est originellement vacuité et quiétude. Ils s’attachent au contraire à la production de l’erreur, ils sont liés par leur karman et subissent la renaissance. Des adeptes du mal, nous ne saurions parler. Mais ceux mêmes qui cultivent le Chemin sont à son sujet dans l’aveuglement et ne plantent que des causes et conditions de renaissance parmi les hommes ou les theux, sans chercher la délivrance définitive. De plus, à moins de rencontrer des Buddha, des bodhisattva ou de véritables amis de bien (kalyânamitra), comment pourrait-on éviter le samSûtra et les autres maux?

– .… , n’est-ce pas pensée en mouvement?

— Les‘Bodhisattva sont orientés vers la bodhi [de telle sorte qu’aucune pensée de leur esprit ne demeure en place : il en est comme des flammes d’une lampe qui se succèdent sans que jamais d’elles-mêmes elles s’interrompent. Ce n’est pas la lampe qui crée la flamme. Pourquoi cette comparaison]? Parce que les Bodhisattva sont orientés vers la bodhi [de telle sorte que] toutes leurs pensées se succèdent sans interruption.»

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… dans la commanderie de Nan-yang. J’ai vu le che-yu-che (censeur de la cour des affaires générales) Wang Wei25 au relais de Lin-t’ouan prier le Maître et son compagnon de mo­nastère, le maître de dyâna Houei-tch’eng, de scruter arec lui plusieurs jours. Il demanda :

«La nature foncière est foncièrement et d’elle-même [pureté]. Pourquoi, Maître, cultiver le Chemin, pour obtenir la pureté de la délivrance? Pourquoi mettre encore l’esprit en mouvement,?

— Si les êtres ont [recours à] une culture, c’est esprit d’erreur : ils ne peuvent obtenir la délivrance.»

Le censeur Wang, très étonné, dit :

«Voilà qui est admirable! J’ai déjà entendu prêcher des Révérends, mais aucun n’avait cette méthode de prédication»

Il dit alors au t’ai cheou (préfet) un tel, au pie kia (fonctionnaire adjoint) Tchang, au sseu-ma (administrateur supérieur) Yuan et à d’autres [gens de sa suite] :

Il y a dans la commanderie de Nan-yang un excellent Révérend qui a une conception du bouddhisme extraordinaire.

– Les vues de ces deux Révérends (Chen-houei et le maître de dyâna Houei-tch’eng), dit le duc un tel, sont différentes.

–  Pourquoi cela, demanda le censeur Wang?

– Si l’on dit qu’elles sont différentes, répondit le Maître, c’est parce que le maître de dyâna Tch’eng veut qu’on cultive d’abord la concentration et qu’une fois la concentration obtenue, on produi­se la sapience. Je ne suis pas d’accord : en ce moment même où je vous parle, il y a chez moi égalité entre concentration et sapience. Le Nie-p’an king dit : «Beaucoup de concentration et peu de sapience accroissent l’ignorance (avidyâ) Beaucoup de sapience et peu de concentration accroissent l’hérésie (mithiâdrsti) L’éga­lité entre concentration et sapience s’appelle vue de la nature de Buddha. C’est pourquoi on dit que nos vues diffèrent.»

Le censeur Wang demanda :

«Qu’est-ce que l’égalité entre concentration et sapience?

— Concentration, cela veut dire caractère insaisissable de la substance et sapience, capacité de voir cette substance insaisissable, le fait d’être plongé [lorsqu’on la voit] dans une quiétude constante et d’avoir des activités nombreuses comme les grains de sable du Gange. Telle est la doctrine de l’égalité entre concentration et sapience.»

Des gens s’étant présentés devant la salle parlèrent avec le maître de dyâna Tch'eng. Le maître de dyâna dit au censeur Wang :

«Moi, Houei-tch’eng et le maître (âcârya) Chen-houei nous som­mes (?) semblables, mais nos vues sur la doctrine diffèrent.

-- Pourquoi cela? demanda le censeur Wang à Chen-houei.

— Elles diffèrent, répondit Chen-houei, parce que le maître de dyâna Tch’eng s’exerce d’abord à obtenir la concentration et produit ensuite la sapience. Je ne suis pas d’accord : au moment précis où je vous parle, il y a chez moi égalité entre concentration et sapience. Voilà pourquoi nos vues diffèrent.

— Maître, sont-ce là vos paroles?

— Je ne puis, le moins du monde, sacrifier à la politesse.

— Pourquoi cela? *

— Nous ne sommes pas d’accord en réalité. Si j’acceptais de dire que nous le somme, ce serait sacrifier à la politesse.»



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Le maître de dyâna Yuan du Nieou-t’eou-chan demanda : «La nature de Buddha s’étend à tous les êtres sensibles» (sattva), mais ne s’étend à aucun des êtres insensibles. J’ai appris que les anciennes générations de Révérends disaient :

«Les bambous verdoyants

tous sont des corps de loi.

Des chrysanthèmes touffus,

il n’est aucun qui ne soit la prajnâ!»

Or, pourquoi dit-on que la nature de Buddha s’étend seulement à tous les êtres sensibles et qu’elle ne s’étend à aucun des êtres in­sensibles? »

– Comment donner en partage aux bambous verts des vertus (yuan) et des corps de loi (dharmakâya), comment aux chrysanthèmes la connaissance de la prajnâ? Si l’on dit que les bambous verts et les chrysanthèmes ont en partage corps de loi et prajnâ, dars quel sûtra le Tathâgata leur donne-t-il une explication de la bodhi? Donner en partage aux bambous verts et aux chrysanthèmes corps de loi et prajnâ, c’est un propos d’hérétique. Pourquoi cela? Parce que le Nie-p'an king dit : «L’absence de nature de Buddba, c’est le fait des êtres dépourvus de sentiments.»



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T’ang Fa-t’ong, tch’ang-che, (administrateur en chef) de la préfecture de Sou, demanda : «La nature de Buddha chez les êtres est-elle identique à la nature de, Buddha chez les Buddha? »

— Elle est à la fois identique et différente.

— Pourquoi cela?

— Si on dit qu’elle est identique, c’est qu’elle l’est à la façon de l’or (qui est toujours semblable à lui-même). Si on dit qu’elle est différente (c’est-à-dire diversifiée), c’est qu’elle l’est à la façon des ustensiles tels que bols, lampes, etc.

-- À quoi rassemble-t-elle?

— Elle ne ressemble ù rien.

— Puisqu’elle ne ressemble à rien pourquoi l’appelle-t-on nature de Buddha?

– Ce qui ne ressemble à rien s’appelle nature de Buddha : si elle ressemblait à quelque chose, ou ne l’appellerait pas nature de Buddha.»



i, 40



Le maître de la loi Kien du Lou-chan demanda : «Que veut dire la phrase : “Une tour élevée munie de miroirs clairs est capable de rayonnement et toutes les images (c’est-à-dire tous les phénomènes, nimitta) paraissent en elle intégrale­ment”? »

— Cette phrase, les Révérends d’autrefois se la sont transmise et l’ont tous déclarée admirable. Mais, dans notre école, nous n’avons pas admis qu’elle le fût. Pourquoi cela? Qu’une tour de miroirs clairs soit capable de refléter tous les phénomènes sans que ces phénomènes y paraissent, voilà ce que nous estimons admirable. Pourquoi cela? C’est grâce à une connaissance sans distinctions (vikalpa, viçesa) que le Tathâgata est capable de distinguer toutes choses. Comment, s’il avait un esprit pourvu de distinction, les distinguerait-il?»



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Le tch’ang-che (administrateur en chef) de Yang-tcheou Wang Yi demanda : «Le Buddha est-il dans le monde ou n’y est-il pas ? »

– On ne peut décider qu’il y est, car le Wen — tchou pan jo king dit : «La prajnâpâramitâ ne peut être atteinte, la bodhi ni le nirvâna ne peuvent être atteints, le Buddha non plus ne peut être atteint.» C’est pourquoi je dis qu’on ne peut décider qu’il est dans le monde. On ne peut décider qu’il n’y est pas, car le Nie-p'an king dit : «Qu’il y ait ou qu’il n’y ait pas [actuellement] de Buddha dans le monde, cette particularité qu’est sa nature est permanente et les êtres, grâce à des moyens (upâya) appropriés et à des conditions (pratyaya) favorables, obtiennent de la voir. C’est pourquoi je dis qu’on ne peut décider que le Buddha n’est pas dans le monde.









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Le maître de vinaya Hing demanda  : Que veut dire : ‘La perception [passive] des contacts (sparça) est comme l’expérience de la sapience (prajnâ)’?”

-- Perception [passive] des contacts signifie absence foncière de mouvement [de l’esprit propre]. Il en est de même que dans un miroir où les images se reflètent intégralement : c’est parce que le miroir est [de lui-même] sans mouvement (acala) que les images de toutes sortes y agissent. La perception [passive] des contacts par un esprit semblable à un miroir clair est comme l’expérience de la sapience.

Le deuxième membre de la phrase s’applique à la sapience de l’Éveil foncier. La sapience foncière est capable de connaître la nature de sapience de l’Éveil foncier qui existe transcendalement. C’est pourquoi on parle de l’expérience de la sapience. Prenons I’exemple d’une corne de bœuf : nous établirons qu’au moment où c’est à proprement parler une corne, on ne peut l’appeler un jou yi et qu’au moment où c’est à proprement parler un jou yi, on ne peut l’appeler une corne. Bien que la corne recèle une nature de jou yi. tant que la corne n’a pas disparu, on ne peut l’appeler un jou yi. Bien que le jou yi soit fait de la même [matière] que la corne, on ne peut dire d’un jou yi au sens propre que c’est une corne.

C’est pourquoi le sûtra dit : “L’Éveil une fois détruit, le Chemin est accompli.” Il dit aussi : “Si la vue est totale, même l’Éveil et le rayonnement [de la sapience] n’existe plus.” Ainsi, si l’on conserve Éveil et rayonnement [de la sapience], c’est que l’on n’a pas encore la vue totale. De plus, au point de vue de la substance de la pureté, sur quoi y aurait-il Éveil, sur quoi rayonnement [de la sapience]?

Les gens considèrent les objets mondains comme être, je les tiens pour non-être. Ils considèrent l’espace (âkâça) comme non-être, je le tiens pour être. Les objets mondains sont unis par le hasard de la convergence, désunis par le hasard de la divergence, brûlés par le feu, engloutis par l’eau, éphémères et sujets à destruc­tion. C’est pourquoi je dis qu’ils sont non-être. L’espace ne peut être détruit ni dissocié : je lui donne donc le nom d’être et l’être a pour nom le permanent (nitya).»



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Ma Taö, pie-kia (fonctionnaire adjoint) de la préfecture de Siang, demanda à la cour (?) : «Aucun des moines bouddhistes ni des moines taoïstes du palais chargés de répondre à l’empereur ne parvient à trancher mes doutes. Je ne sais si vous, maître de dyâna, y parviendrez. »

-- j’ai déjà, à plusieurs reprises, tranché les doutes des gens sans rester à court. Je ne sais sur quoi portent les vôtres.

— Les moines bouddhistes du palais chargés de répondre à l’em­pereur parlent tous de la causalité (hetupratyaya), mais ne parlent pas du spontané. Tous les moines taoïstes ne parlent que du spontané, mais ne parlent pas de la causalité.

— Si les moines bouddhistes établissent la causalité sans établir le spontané, c’est là une faute d’ignorance qui leur est propre. Si les moines taoïstes n’établissent que le spontané sans établir la causa­lité, c’est la [également] une faute d’ignorance qui leur est propre.

— On peut savoir ce qu’est la causalité des bouddhistes, mais qu’est-ce que le spontané des bouddhistes? Ou peut savoir ce qu’est le spontané des taoïstes, mais qu’est-ce que la causalité des taoïstes?

— Le spontané des bouddhistes, c’est la nature foncière des êtres. De plus, le sûtra dit : « Les êtres possèdent une connaissance spontanée (svayambhûjnâna), une connaissance sans maître. » Voilà le spontané des bouddhistes. Quant à la causalité des taoïstes, voici « Le Tao est capable d’engendrer l’un, l’un le deux, le deux le trois et du trois naissent tous les êtres particuliers. » S’il n’y avait pas de Tao, les êtres particuliers ne naîtraient pas. Mais, puisqu’il est question des êtres particuliers, [un tel discours] relève également de causalité.»



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Le hien-ling (sous-préfet) de Nei-hiang Tchang Wan-k'ing, demanda : «A quoi ressemble l’absolu (tathatâ)? »

— Tous les Révérends du passé disaient que ce qui ne peut être changé est l’absolu. Pour moi, Chen-houei, il n’en est pas ainsi : c’est ce qui est dépourvu du changement qui est l’Absolu. Tous les Révérends du passé disaient que l’absolu est ce qui fait se res­sembler deux choses particulières. Pour moi, Chen-houei, c’est ce qui est dépourvu de toute ressemblance avec les choses particulières qui est l’absolu.

— La nature de Buddha est-elle être (sat) ou non-être (asat)?

— La nature de Buddha exclut la notion d’extrême (anta).,

— [Pourquoi cela?]

—  Elle n’est ni être ni non-être. C’est pourquoi elle exclut la notion, d’extrême.

— Qu’est-ce que ce qui n’est pas être et ce qui n’est pas non-être?

De ce qui n’est pas être, on ne peut rien dire et de ce qui n’est pas non-être, on ne peut rien dire [non plus]. Ainsi, l’un et l’autre sont insaisissables (anupalabhya). C’est pourquoi on dit que la nature de Buddha exclut la notion d’extrême.»



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Le disciple Ts’ai Hao demanda : «J’ai vu Wou Kiao interroger le maître de dyâna Tchong sur le sens du Chemin du milieu (madhyamâ pratipad) en demandant [ce que signifiait cette phrase :] Lorsque l’être et le non-être sont expulsés l’un et l’autre, le Chemin du milieu disparaît également”. Il lui posa cette question cinquante ou soixante fois. Le maître de dyâna Tchong lui répondit que c’était [à] la vacuité (çûnyatâ) [que cette phrase s’appliquait]. Il demanda encore; Qu’y a-t-il alors dans la vacuité? — Tant que subsistent le phénoménal et le non phénoménal, ils produisent ensemble la connaissance (vijnâna). Voilà ce que j’ai entendu répondre au maître de dyâna Tchong. Reprenant cette question, Kiao vous interroge, Maître, à votre tour,|

Wou Pa -lang n’a cessé, dit le Maître, de la troisième à la dixième lune, de demander quel était le sens [de cette phrase]. Eh bien, je répondrais autrement encore que le maître de dyâna Tchong.

— Comment cela? dit Wou Kiuo.

— La phrase : ‘Lorsque l’être et le non-être sont expulsés l’un et l’autre, le Chemin du milieu disparaît également’ s’applique à l’absence de pensée. L’absence de pensée, c’est la pensée instantanée; la pensée instantanée, c’est l’omniscience (sarvajnatâ); l’omniscience, c’est la très profonde prajnâpâramitâ et la très profonde prajnâpâramitâ, c’est le dyâna du Tathâgata. C’est pourquoi le sûtra dit : ‘Vous tous, jeunes gens de bonne famille, contemplez l’égalité (samatâ) [d’esprit] du Tathâgata’ Le Wei-mo king dit [aussi] : ‘Je contemple le Buddha de la même façon exactement que je contemple moi-même l’aspect véritable de mon corps. Lorsque je contemple ainsi le Tathâgata, il ne viendra pas dans le futur, il n’est pas venu dans le passé et ne demeure pas dans le présent.’ Or, la non-demeure (asthâna, apratistita), c’est le dyâna du Tathagata, c’est la vacuité de sens ultime (paramârtha-çûnyatâ). Si les Bodhisattva mahâsattva ont de telles pensées et une telle vue, ils progressent [tous], quel que soit leur degré de sainteté, et perçoivent d’eux-mêmes la sainte connaissance.”



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Le hien-ling (sous-préfet) de Lo-yang, Siu-Ngo demanda : Tous les Bouddha ainsi que la loi d’anuttarasamyaksambodhi des Buddha proviennent tous deux de ce sûtra”. Je ne sais si c’est le Buddha ou la loi qui est antérieure. Si c’est le Buddha, au moyen de quelle doctrine accomplirait-il la bodhi? Si c’est la loi, qui donc la prêcherait? »

— S’il est question de la loi en tant qu’écriture, le Buddha lui est antérieur. Mais s’il est question de la loi en tant qu’extinction (nirodha), le Buddha lui est postérieur. Le sûtra dit : «Le maître des Buddha, c’est la loi. C’est à cause de la permanence de la loi que les Buddha sont également permanents.» S’il est question de la doctrine intérieure (qui est innée en chacun), [rappelons] le sûtra [qui] dit : «Les êtres possèdent une connaissance spontanée, une connaissance sans maître.» Si les êtres éprouvent cette connais­sance spontanée, l’observation des pratiques chez eux est naturelle, ils éprouvent la loi d’extinction et obtiennent de devenir Buddha, puis, à leur tour, ils instruisent et convertissent les autres êtres qui, en recevant cet enseignement et cette influence de Buddha, obtiennent d’accomplir l’Éveil correct.»



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Wang Pi, t’ai-cheou (préfet) de [la commanderie de] Nan-yang, demanda quel était le sens de l’expression : «production (utpâda), durée (stithi), transformation (anyathâtva) et destruction (bhanga)» que l’on trouve dans le Leng-kia king (Lankâvatâra).

«Le sens est double », dit Chen-houei.

—­ Comment cela?

— Lorsque l’homme a reçu une existence embryonnaire, c’est la production. Quand il est parvenu à l’âge d’homme, c’est la durée. Lorsque ses cheveux blanchissent et que son visage se ride, c’est la transformation. Quand vient l’impermanent (la mort), c’est la destruction. Deuxièmement soit une graine plantée en terre. Elle contient un principe de production. Cette production implique transformation et durée. Tel est le sens de cette production : [puisqu’] après la production il y a transformation, avant même qu’il y ait eu production, il y a [dans cette graine] un principe de transformation et au moment même où il y a eu production, cette graine recèle déjà un principe de destruction. Quand les Bodhisattva mahâtsattva produisent l’esprit de la prajnâpâramitâ, ces quatre caractères (aimitta) se trouvent réunis chez eux.»

Il demanda aussi :

«Maître de dyâna, la compréhension discursive est-elle compré­hension doctrinale?

– S’il y a compréhension discursive [correcte], il y a également compréhension doctrinale.

– Qu’est-ce que la compréhension doctrinale et pourquoi dites — vous quelle est compréhension doctrinale?

– Si l’on parle de la bodhi et que l’esprit n’y demeure pas, si l’on parle du nirvâna et que l’esprit garde (encore des dharma de] pro­duction et destruction, si l’on parle de la délivrance (vîmukti) et que l’esprit est sujet aux implications (paryavasthâna), c’est une compréhension discursive dans laquelle il n’y a pas de compréhension doctrinale.

– Qu’est-ce que la compréhension doctrinale?

– C’est pénétrer seulement la vacuité et quiétude de notre esprit propre et ne plus produire de vues [d’aucune sorte].

– Au moment précis où l’on parle, comment n’y aurait-il pas production et destruction?

– Le sûtra dit : Les Boddisattva sont capables de bien distinguer les particularités des choses et [en même temps] ils restent immobiles (akuwpya) au sein de la vérité suprême (paramârthasatya).”



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“K'ang Tche-yuan, disciple du maître de Tripitaka Kâlamitra, moine de l’Inde centrale, demanda : «Lorsqu’en raison de conditions accumulées durant des kalpa on renaît homme, on rencontre ces grands événements que sont la vie et la mort. Plus je pense à l’impermanent et plus mes doutes s’approfondissent de jour eu jour. Je n’ose vous interroger. Veuillez cependant vous montrer assez pitoyable pour me permettre d’exposer le fond de mon esprit. »

—  Si vous avez des doutes, dit le Maître, il faut m’interroger à votre aise.

— Tous les Êtres doivent, dit-on, cultiver le Chemin. Je ne sais si, en le cultivant, on peut, en une vie, accomplir le Chemin de Buddha.

— On le peut.

— Comment cela?

— Selon la doctrine du Mâhâyâna, les obstacles du karman, nombreux comme les grains de sable du Gange, en une pensée instantanée, sont réduits à néant et la substance de la nature propre qui est non produite (anutpanna), en uu ksana, accomplit te Che­min. Comment, à plus forte raison, ne pourrait-on l’obtenir en une vie?

— Comment, par des exercices (bhâvanâ) qui durent l’instant d’un ksana, pourrait-on devenir buddha? Veuillez trancher mes doutes à ce sujet.

— Si l’on parle d’exercices, cela veut dire dharma fabriqués (samskrta), cela relève de l’impermanent (anitya) et l’impermanent ne se sépare pas de la production et destruction (utpâdanirodha).

— C’est en accumulant les bons fruits par des exercices que tous les buddha obtiennent d’accomplir le chemin, Or, vous dites qu’il n’est pas [nécessaire d’avoir] retours aux exercices. Est-ce croyable?

— Les exercices [même] pratiqués avec foi, ne se séparent pas de la connaissance et de l’Éveil. Du moment qu’il y a connaissance et Éveil, même s’il y a activité de rayonnement [de la sapience], de telles causes (hetu) et de tels fruits (phala) ne sont rien d’autre que production et destruction : ils n’existent pas foncièrement. Pourquoi donc avoir recours aux exercices?

— Si les Buddha accomplissent le Chemin, c’est au moyen de la connaissance et de l’Éveil. Si l’on s’écarte de la connaissance et de l’Éveil, comment serait-ce le Chemin?

— La substance du Chemin est absence d’objets particuliers, elle n’est comparable a rien, elle est dépourvue de connaissance, d’Éveil et d’activité de rayonnement, dépourvue de dharma de mouvement et d’immobilité. En elle, ni terre spirituelle (de citta), ni terre mentale (de manas) ne peuvent être établies. Elle est sans allée ni venue, sans intérieur ni extérieur ni milieu, sans localisation. Elle n’est pas quiétude. Elle est sans concentration (Samâdhi) ni distraction (viksepa). Elle est sans vacuité (çûnyatâ) et sans nom (nâman) (?). Elle est absence de phénoménal, absence de pensée, absence de réflexion. Ni la connaissance ni la vue ne peuvent l’atteindre. Elle ne peut être éprouvée (tch’eng). La nature du Chemin est absolument insaisissable. (anupalabhya).

— Si elle est insaisissable, si ni la connaissance ni la vue ne peuvent l’atteindre, comment peut-on obtenir la délivrance?

— Lorsque les trois actions ne sont pas produites, c’est la délivrance.

— Qu’est-re que la non-production des trois actions?

— Lorsque l’esprit n’est pas produit, c’est l’absence de pensée. Lorsque la connaissance n’est pas produite, c’est l’absence de connaissance. Lorsque la sapience n’est pas produite, c’est l’absence de vue. Si l’on pénètre ce principe, c’est, la délivrance.

— Du moment qu’il y a absence de connaissance, comment peut — on, sans produire de connaissance, voir l’absence de pensée?

— Je parle de la concentration de l’esprit et non pas de celle du moi [intéressé] : voilà ce qu’est l’absence de pensée. Lorsque, par suite de : cette concentration, il n’y a plus de distinctions (vikalpa), c’est l’absence de connaissance. Lorsque les vues qui résultent de la concentration et de la sapience ne se produisent plus, c’est l’absence de vue. Il n’y a plus alors de dharma de cause et de fruit; on pénètre le non-moi et l’on sait clairement que toute production est production de l’erreur et toute destruction, destruction de l’erreur.

— Les Buddha, dit-on, obtiennent d’accomplir le Chemin au moyen des causes et des fruits. Or vous dites qu’il n’y a plus de dharma de causes et de fruits : comment peut donc se faire la transmission de maître à maître?

— L’illumination sous la parole dans le Grand Véhicule consiste, après avoir produit l’esprit de bodhi initial, à accéder à la terre de Buddha. Il n’y a plus alors ni passé (atita), ni futur (anâgata), ni présent (pratyutpanna) et c’est la délivrance définitive.”



Il demanda : «Qu’est-ce que la concentration de dyâna dans le Grand Véhicule? »

— La concentration de dyâna dans le Grand Véhicule consiste à ne pas se livrer aux exercices spirituels, [à ne pas regarder son esprit], à ne pas regarder la pureté, à ne pas contempler la vacuité, à ne pas fixer son esprit, à ne pas se purifier, à ne pas regarder au loin, à ne pas regarder auprès. Elle consiste en absence de toute direction, en non-humiliation, en absence de peur, en absence de distinctions. Elle consiste à ne pas se plonger dans la vacuité et à ne pas demeurer dans la quiétude. Elle consiste en non-production de toutes les particularités, qui sont erreur.

— Pourquoi ne pas se livrer aux exercices spirituels?

— Les exercices spirituels relèvent de l’être et l’être est production et destruction. Absence d’exercices et d’esprit sont absence de production et absence de destruction.

-- Pourquoi ne pas regarder son esprit?

— Tout regard est erreur. Dans l’absence d’erreur, on ne regarde plus rien.

— Pourquoi ne pas regarder la pureté?

— Dans l’absence [absolue] de souillure, il y a aussi absence de pureté. La pureté est encore une particularité (nimitta). Voilà pour­quoi on ne regarde pas la pureté.

— Pourquoi ne pas fixer son esprit?

— Fixer son esprit, c’est avoir recours à un procédé. Voilà pourquoi on ne fixe pas sou esprit. L’esprit [d’absolu] est absence de localisation.

En s’aidant de vos questions [et de mes réponses], tous ceux qui étu­dient le Chemin doivent comprendre en même temps que vous-même.»



KIUAN II -

Traité fixant le vrai et le faux au sujet de l’École du Sud de Bodhidharma.

Un kiuan avec préface, composé par Tou-kou P’ei.

Placé en bas de la natte de loi du Maître Chen-houei, j’ai assisté à des discussions doctrinales entre mon maître et le maître de la loi Tch’ong-yuan. C’est à la suite, de ces discussions que j’ai composé ce traité. La dix-huitième, la dix-neuvième et la vingtième année K’ai-yuan, je n’ai pu établir de texte définitif, parce que, leurs propos ne concordant pas toujours, mon ouvrage ne pouvait être achevé. C’est en m’en tenant à [la discussion de] la vingt et unième année (733-734) que j’ai établi un texte définitif. Par la suite, il y eut les Traditions sur la biographie et la généalogie de la secte qui eurent cours aussi partout.



Je prends refuge dans la loi des trois joyaux,

dans le réceptacle de l’absolu de la nature de la loi,

Dans le corps d’absolu et le corps de transformation (nirmânakâya),

dans le Grand Compatissant sauveur du monde.

La compréhension discursive et la compréhension doctrinale

sont comme la lune qui se tient dans l’espace.

Je ne transmets que la loi de la doctrine subite,

cette thèse supramondaine et destructrice de l’hérésie.



On me demande pourquoi je compose ce traité. Je réponds que c’est parce que] j’ai en'endu dire que l’esprit une fois produit, les dharma de toutes sortes sont produits et que l’esprit une fois détruit, les dharma de toutes sortes sont détruits. Tout naît de ma propre erreur et le moi, c’est le profane.

.....

Notre Maître Chen-houei de Siang-yang a été illuminé sur la patience des choses non produites, il a obtenu la connaissance sans obstacle (nihsamçâyajnâna) il prêche la loi du Véhicule Suprême (çresthayâna), il attire les êtres, les instruit et les guidc. Il leur enseigne l’orientation de l’esprit [vers la bodhi), qui est comme le mouvement de tous les cours d’eau vers la mer.

Le quinze de la première lune de la vingt-deuxième année K'ai yuan (23 février 73l), il organisa en grand apparat, au Ta-yun sseu de Houa-tai, une «grande assemblée ouverte à tous». Il monta sur la chaire à lions et, pour tous ceux qui étudiaient le Chemin, il dit que le moine brahmane de la dynastie des Leang, Bodhidharma, était le troisième fils d’un roi d’un pays de l’Inde du Sud qui, tout jeune, entra en religion. Il avait une profonde intelligence et, dans les Samâdhi, il acquit le dyâna du Tathâgata. Muni de cette loi, il traversa les loin­tains océans et parvint auprès de l’empereur Wou des Leang. L’empereur demanda au maître de la loi : «J’ai fait construire des monastères pour sauver les hommes, j’ai fait faire des statues, copier des sûtra. Y a-t-il là quelque mérite? — Aucun, répondit Dharma.» L’empereur dans ses sentiments profanes, ne comprit pas cette parole de Dharma, qui fut exilé.

Dhaima se rendit dans le pays des Wei, où il rencontra ensuite Houei-ko, âgé alors de quarante ans. Il s’appelait Ki de son nom de famille et était originaire de Wou-lao. Il suivit Bodhidharma jus­qu’au Chao-lin sseu du Song-chan, où Dharma prêcha la loi impensable. Houei-k’o se tint dehors devant la salle de prédications et, cette nuit-là, la neige qui tombait parvint jusqu’à sa taille. Mais il resta debout sans bouger. Dharma lui dit : « Pourquoi restes-tu là debout? — Vous êtes venu, Maître, répondit Houei-k'o en pleurant et en gémissant, de bien loin, d’Occident, dans l’intention de prêcher la loi pour sauver les hommes. Eh bien, je ne craindrai pas d’exposer ma vie, dans ma volonté de trouver la loi excellente. Veuillez, Maître, me montrer une grande pitié, une grande compassion. — J’ai déjà vu, lui dit Dharma, des gens qui cherchaient la loi : aucun n’était semblable à toi.» Houei-k'o alors prit un couteau, se coupa le bras droit et le déposa devant son maître. Dharma l’ayant vu faire lui dit : «Tu peux (jou k'o).» C’est à la suite de cet événement que Houei-k’o, qui s’appelait auparavant Cben-kouang, reçut son nom. Sa foi profonde était inébranlable. Dans sa volonté de trouver la loi excellente, il était prêt à sacrifier sa vie comme le jeune garçon de l’Himâlaya qui, pour une demi gâthâ renonça à l’existence. Dharma lui révéla la connaissance et la vue du Bouddha en tant que compréhension secrète et lui transmit un kâsâya comme gage de la loi. Il les remit à Houei-k'o. Houei k’o les transmît à Sêng-tsan, Seng-ts’an à Tao-sin, Tao sîn à Hong-jen, Hong-jen à Houei-neng. Six générations se les transmirent sans aucune interruption.

J’ai vu aussi le Maître Chen-houei dire sur la chaire à lions : «Il n’est plus personne au monde qui comprenne la doctrine de l’École du Sud de Bodhidharma. S’il y avait quelqu’un qai la comprît, jamais je n’en parlerais et si aujourd’hui j’en parle, c’est dans l’intérêt de tous ceux qui étudient le Chemin, pour distinguer à son sujet le vrai et le faux et pour fixer ses principes.»

Il se produisit alors des événements extraordinaires et tout à fait étonnants. Le souverain en fut ému. Des présages de bon augure apparurent et la vraie loi reprit son essor. C’est afin que les gens en connaissent le texte que j’ai composé ce traité.

Il y avait alors le maître de la loi Tch’ong-yuan du dit monastère. Sa renommée, déjà, s’était répandue dans les deux capitales (Lo-yang et Tch’ang-ngan). Il était connu par delà les bornes du monde. Lorsqu’il était dans une assemblée de la loi, ses paroles étaient comme une source jaillissante et, dans toutes les questions qu’on lui posait, il savait vraiment découvrir la raison première. Après Ti-p’o (Aryadeva), il était bien le premier. Les gens de l’époque l’appelaient Yuan de l’Est des monts, et ce n’était pas pour rien.



[À ce moment?] des gens déroulèrent un paravent, alléguant la présence d’hôtes officiels qu’ils voulaient ainsi honorer.

Le Maître dit : « Il n’est pas d’usage de mettre ce [genre de] paravent devant la porte des maisons. Pourquoi alors, quand il s’agit de partager le lieu de la conférence, s’en servir en marque de respect pour nos hôtes?»

Tch’ong-yuan, élevant alors la main du Maître, le reprit en ces termes : «Maître de dyâna, appelez-vous ceci un ornement?

— Oui, répondit le Maître.

— Comme dit le Tathâgata, l’ornement (alamkâra), ce n’est pas un ornement.

Le sûtra dit : “[Il faut] ne pas détruire le fabriqué (samskrta) et ne pas demeurer dans le non fabriqué (asamskrta).”

-- Qu’est-ce, reprit le maître de la loi, que ne pas détruire le fabriqué et ne pas demeurer dans le non fabriqué?

-- Ne pas détruire le fabriqué, e’est, à partir de la production de l’esprit de bodhi initiale (prathama bodhicittotpâda), en passant par l’accroupissement sous l’arbre de bodhi, accomplir l’Éveil correct, arriver à la forêt aux arbres doubles (la forêt de sâla), accéder au nirvâna et c’est, au milieu même du nirvâna, ne rien rejeter du phénoménal. Voilà ce qu’est ne pas détruire le fabriqué. Ne pas demeurer dans le non fabriqué, c’est cultiver la vacuité sans se servir de la vacuité pour éprouver [le nirvâna]. C’est cultiver le non agir sans se servir du non agir pour éprouver [le nirvâna]. Voilà ce qu’est ne pas demeurer dans le non fabriqué.

— La luxure (kâmamithyâcâra) et la colère (krodha) sont le Chemin; il ne consiste pas en ornement, reprit le maître de la loi après un long silence.

— Dans ces conditions, les profanes (pthagjana) devraient actuellement obtenir le Chemin.

— Pourquoi dites-vous que les profanes devraient obtenir le Chemin?

— Vous dites que la luxure et la colère sont le Chemin. Or, les profanes sont tous gens qui s’adonnent à la luxure et au désir (kâma). Pourquoi n’obtiendraient-ils pas le Chemin?»



Le maître de la loi Yuan demanda : «Maître de dyâna, comprenez-vous?

-- Oui.

— Comprendre, c’est ne pas comprendre.

— Le Fa houa king dit : “Depuis que je suis devenu Buddha, se sont passés des kalpa incalculables, sans mesure et sans borne.” Selon vous, le Buddha n’est pas devenu Buddha et il ne s’est pas passé des kalpa incalculables, sans mesure et sans borne?

— Ce sont là paroles de Mâra..

— Écoutez tous, religieux et laïcs! Depuis Tch’ang-ngan. et Lo — yang jusque par delà les mers, tout le monde est d’accord pour reconnaître que le maître de la loi Yuan comprend toutes les thèses, qu’il est intelligent, qu’il sait expliquer sûtra et çâstra sans commettre la moindre faute. Aujourd’hui, le voici qui appelle le Fa houa king paroles de Mâra. Quelles sont donc les paroles du Buddha?»



Le maître de la loi comprit alors qu’il avait dépassé les bornes et, face à l’assemblée, û perdit contenance. Ce n’est qu’au bout d’un long moment qu’il voulut reprendre la parole.

«Quand la poutre faîtière est tombée, lui dit le Maître, pourquoi vouloir rebâtir l’édifice?»

Il dit [encore] au maître de la loi : «Si j ai aujourd’hui institué une grande assemblée ouverte à tous et si j’ai fait décorer le lieu de la conférence, ce n’est pas pour m’attirer des mérites. C’est pour fixer, dans l’intérêt de tous ceux qui étudient le Chemin, les principes de l’École et pour distinguer le vrai et le faux.»

Il reprit : « Si je voulais imiter vos débordements, comment ne serais-je pas le maître de la loi (c’est-à-dire semblable à vous)? Mais si vous vouliez m’imiter, même au bout de trois grands kalpa incalculables, vous ne pourriez y parvenir.»

Tandis, que Chen-houei parlait, de tous côtés on était honteux et troublé. On se regardait l’un l’autre, le visage blême. Cependant, ces deux grands personnages ne s’étaient pas encore assis (pour discuter d’une façon protocolaire) et ils étaient restés tous deux debout, bien qu’ils se fussent déjà questionnés. Leurs propos étaient admirables, mais ils me s’étaient pas encore expliqués entièrement. Alors, le maître de la loi K’ien-kouang et un des maîtres moines, voyant que Yuan avait le dessous, eurent l’idée de lui venir en aide. Ils ordonnèrent à des serviteurs de placer lits et escabeaux et prièrent les deux maîtres d’exposer leurs thèses et de reprendre la discussion. Ils invitèrent donc le Maître et le maître de la loi Yuan à s’asseoir. Le Maître, par principe, cultivait le dyâna pur et ne cherchait pas à lutter avec les êtres. Même lorsqu’il désirait engager un débat, il retardait le moment de la discussion par ses refus. À ce moment, un maître du monastère Fou-sien du fou [de Lo-yang], un maître de la loi du monastère Ho-tsö et plusieurs dizaines de maîtres de la loi d’autres endroits, d’une même voix, prièrent le maître de dyâna de s’asseoir, en disant : «Maître de dyâna, asseyez-vous!» Ce jour-là fut précisément celui, où Chen-houei distingua l’hérétique de l’orthodoxe et fixa le vrai et le faux Plus de quarante Révérends, maîtres de dyâna et maîtres de çâstra qui étaient présents servirent au maître de dyâna de «vérificateurs du sens».

Le Maître ne cessait de refuser obstinément [de s’asseoir], mais, à la longue, il s’assit. Le clair miroir n’est pas rayé par les reflets multipliés et le cours d’eau pur ne craint pas les assauts du vent. Bien que l’on sût déjà où étaient la victoire et la défaite, il était assurément difficile [pour le Maître] de ne pas tenir compte des sentiments de l’assemblée. Aussi, sans plus hésiter, accepta-t-il la discussion ce jour-là.

Le maître de la loi Yuan lui demanda de nouveau :

«Dans vos exercices spirituels, maîtres de dyâna, à quel stade vous trouvez-vous par rapport aux trois Sages et aux gens des quatre fruits?

— Je me trouve dans la dixième des dix bhûmi complète.

— Les Bodhisattva de la première bhûmi divisent leur corps en cent mondes de Buddha, ceux de la seconde bhûmi eu mille mondes de Buddha et enfin, ceux de la dixième en dix milliers de kotî infinis et illimités de mondes de Buddha. Puisque, maître de dyâna, vous êtes dans la dixième bhûmi complète, faites-nous paraître aujourd’hui quelque miracle…»



K’UAN III

… les paroles de mon grand maître, le sixième patriarche, pénétraient les auditeurs une à une, directement, comme des couteaux; elles leur faisaient comprendre et voir leur nature propre directement, sans qu’il eût à parler du graduel. Vous qui étudiez le Chemin, vous devez être éveillés subitement, [puis] vous cultiver graduellement et, sans quitter [le monde?] obtenir la délivrance. Il en est comme d’une mère qui met subitement son enfant au monde, lui donne le sein et le nourrit peu à peu : la sagesse de cet enfant s’accroît spontanément. De même, l’illumination subite, la Vue subite de la nature de Buddha [se produisent brusquement] et la sapience (prajnâ) s’accroît ensuite spontanément peu à peu. Voilà pourquoi [la théorie dont vous parlez] n’est pas admissible.»

Le maître Yuan demanda :

«Le maître de dyâna P’ou-tsi «du Song-chan et le maître de dyâna Hiang-mo du pic de l’Est, ces deux Révérends enseignent aux gens à figer leur esprit pour entrer en concentration, à fixer leur esprit pour regarder la pureté, à mettre en mouvement leur esprit pour qu’il illumine à l’extérieur, à ramasser leur esprit pour avoir l’expérience intérieure. Ils indiquent que c’est là leur doctrine. Or pourquoi, maître de dyâna, lorsque vous prêchez le dyâna, n’enseignez-vous pas aux gens cette méthode? Qu’appelez — vous dyâna accroupi?

— Si j’enseignai aux gens cette méthode, ce serait un obstacle à la bodhi. Accroupissement, cela veut dire non production des pensées. dyâna, cela veut dire vue de la nature foncière. Voilà pourquoi je n’enseigne pas aux gens à accroupir leur corps et à fixer leur esprit pour entrer eu concentration. Si j’indiquais…» “… J’ai vu à Chao-tcheou, chez le maître de dyâna Houei-neng. Le maître de dyâna Chen-sieou, de son vivant, déclarait que le sixième patriarche avait reçu le kâsâya de la loi à Chao-tcheou, mais il ne dit jamais que ce fût lui le sixième patriarche. Aujourd’hui, le maître de dyâna P’ou-tsi se donne le titre de septième patriarche et il établit faussement son maître comme sixième patriarche. Voilà pourquoi [ce dont il a été question précédemment] n’est pas admissible.”

Il dit alors au maître de la loi Yuan et à l’assemblée :

“Ne vous étonnez pas si je tiens de tels propos : les précepteurs de dyâna que l’on voit par le monde sont très nombreux et la confusion de ceux qui étudient le dyâna est extrême. J’ai peur que le Mâra du Ciel, Pâpîyân, et tous les hérétiques ne s’introduisent parmi eux pour jeter le trouble dans leur esprit et leur faire perdre la loi correcte. Voilà pourquoi je parle ainsi. Pendant l’ère Kieou — che (700), Tso-t’ien fit appeler le Maître Chen-sieou au palais. An moment où il allait partir, religieux et laïcs saluèrent le Maître jusqu’à terre et lui demandèrent commeat, après son départ pour la capi­tale, eux, ses disciples, cultiveraient le Chemin et sur quelle autorité ils s’appuieraient. Chen-sieou leur dit : «A Chao-tcheou est uu grand ami de bien. C’est lui qui, dès l’origine, reçut les instructions du grand maître Jen du Tong-chan. La loi bouddhique est tout entière dans ce lieu. Si vous avez quelque difficulté que vous ne pouvez résoudre de vous-mêmes, allez là-bas faire trancher vos doutes et ce sera certainement merveilleux, car il connaît les vrais principes du bouddhisme.» D’autre part, un condisciple du maître de dyâna P’ou-tsi, le moine Kouang-tsi du Ts'ing-tchan sseu de Tch’ang-ngan vint à Chao-tcbeou la onzième lune de la troisième année King-long (6 décembre 709 à 4 janvier 710). Au bout d’un peu plus de dix jours, il pénétra, au. milieu de la nuit, dans la cellule du Maître et déroba le kâsâya qui lui avait été transmis. Le Maître poussa des cris et çette nuit-là les maîtres Houei-yuan et Hiuan-wou entendant ses cris se levèrent pour voir ce qui se passait. Arrivés devant la cellule du Maître, ils aperçurent le maître Kouang-tsi qui saisit la mains du maître Hiuan-wou et, sans la lâcher, se mit à crier. Houei-yuan, Hian-wou et d’autres étant entrés dans la cellule du Maître, il leur dit : Quelqu’un a pénétré ici, a étendu la main et a pris le kâsâya. Cette nuit-là, religieux et laïcs, gens du Sud et du Nord, tous vinrent dans la cellule du Maître et lui demandèrent si la personne qui était entrée était un laïc on un moine. Le Maître leur dit : «J’ai seulement vu entrer quelqu’un. Je ne sais pas si c’était un moine ou un laïc.» Tout le monde demanda encore si c’était un homme du Sud ou un homme du Nord. En réalité, le Maître savait qui était entré, mais il leur fit cette réponse parce qu’il craignait d’être maltraité. Ce n’est pas la première fois, dit-il. Le kâsâya a été volé trois fois chez le grand maître Jen et le grand maître Jen a dit [lui-même] qu’il avait été volé une fois chez le grand maître Tao-sin. Aucun des vêtements qui furent dérobés n’a pu être retrouvé. À cause de ce kâsâya, chez les religieux et les laïcs du. Sud et du Nord, la dispute est à son comble : ils ne s’abordent que couteau et bâton en main.’



[... j’omets la fin du K’UAN]



K’UAN IV

Éloge de l’illumination subite et de la prajnâ sans naissance,

L’absence de pensée, c’est la doctrine et l’absence d’action (akarana), c’est le fondement (mûla). La vacuité absolue, c’est la substance et l’être transcendant, e’est l’activité (prayojana) [de l’absolu]. Dans l’absence de pensée de l’absolu (tathatâ), on est capable de savoir sans notions (samjnâ) et sans pensée (smrti). L’aspect véritable non produit (anutpanna), comment un esprit [lié par le] sensible serait-il capable de le voir? Dans l’absence de pensée, la pensée, c’est celle de l’absolu. Dans l’absence de production, la production, c’est celle de l’aspect véritable. La demeure qui est non demeure (asthâna), c’est la demeure constante dans le nirvâna. La pratique qui est absence de pratique, c’est le passage sur l’autre rive (pâramita). Dans l’immobilité de ce qui est ainsi par soi-même (yâthâ-bhûtatâ), il y a activité de mouvement inépuisable. Dans l’absence de recherche de chacune des pensées, il y a recherche de l’absence de pensée foncière. Dans l’absence d’obtention de la bodhi, il y a puri­fication des cinq yeux et pénétration des trois corps. Dans l’absence de connaissance de la prajnâ, il y mise en pratique des six abhijnâ et diffusion des quatre connaissances.

[Si l’on possède] cette connaissance, c’est la concentration (Samâdhi) sans concentration, la sapience (prajnâ) sans sapience, la pratique (caryû) sans pratique. La nature propre (svabhâva) est du même ordre que l’espace (âkâça) et sa substance se confond avec le dharmadhâtu. A partir de ce moment, les six pàramitâ sont toutes parfaites et au complet. Toutes les parties de la doctrine sont alors [possédées] sans défaut. On sait alors que la substance du moi et des choses est vacuité (çûnyatâ), l’être et le non-être disparaissent l’un et l’autre. L’esprit est absence foncière d’action et le Chemin absence de pensée constante. Il n’y a plus ni pensée ni réflexion, ni recherche, ni obtention, ni ceci ni cela, ni allée ni venue. [Au sein de] la substance, on comprend les trois connaissances supérieures, l’esprit pénètre les huit délivrances, par les mérites, on accomplit les dix forces (bala), on est riche des sept joyaux, on entre dans la porte de non-dualisme (advaya), on saisit le principe absolu du Véhicule Unique (ekayâna). Le transcendant d’entre les transcendants, c’est le corps de loi (dharmakâya) transcendantal. Le divin d’entre les divins, c’est la sapience de diamant.

Lorsqu’on est plongé dans la quiétude constante [de l’esprit propre], [on possède] une activité de réponse [aux sollicitations des êtres] qui est illimitée. L’activité avec vacuité constante, la vacuité avec activité constante, l’activité avec absence d’être, voilà la vacuité absolue. Dans la vacuité sans non être, [il y a] l’être transcendant que constitue le savoir mystique. [T. : L’être transcendant], c’est la mâhâprajnâ. La vacuité absolue, c’est le nirvâna de pureté. L’éclat de la prajnâ pénètre le secret et le sublime et, par [la vue de] l’aspect véritable, on pénètre le domaine (visaya) de l’absolu (?). La prajnâ sans rayonnement est capable d’illuminer le nirvâna et le nirvâna sans production est capable de produire la prajna.

Nirvâna et prajnâ diffèrent par le sens, mais sont identiques dans leur substance. C’est d’après les sens que sont établis les noms, [mais] la loi est dépourvue de particularités déterminées. Dans le nirvâna on est capable de voir la prajnâ et, à la fois, le Buddha, la loi et l’assemblée. La prajnâ illumine complètement le nirvana, c’est pourquoi on l’appelle connaissance et vue du Tathâgata. Cette connaissance est celle de la vacuité et de la quiétude constantes [de l’esprit propre] et cette vue, c’est la vue directe du non produit. Lorsque cette connaissance et cette vue sont parfaitement claires, il n’y a plus ni identité ni différence; mouvement et immobilité sont tous deux transcendants, principe absolu et choses mondaines sont semblables. Dans la pureté du principe absolu et au milieu des choses mondaines, on est capable de pénétrer [tous les dharma]; choses mondaines et principe absolu sont alors compris sns obstacle (?). Les six facultés étant sans souillures, on possède les vertus inhérentes à la concentration et à la sapience. Les pensées de phénoménal ne se produisant plus, la nature d’absolu est purifiée. L’Éveil détruit et l’esprit n’étant plus que vacuité, dans une union née d’une pensée instantanée, on transgresse subitement le profane et le sacré. On ne peut plus considérer le non-être comme non-être ni l’être comme être. Que l’on soit en marche, debout, assis, couché, l’esprit reste iné­branlable [acala, akampya] et il est, à tout instant, vacuité et insaisissable (anupalabhya). Les Buddha des trois temps (passé, présent, futur) enseignent [aux êtres] l’ainsité (yathâ-bhûtatâ) et les Boddhisattva, dans leur grande compassion (mahâkaruna), se sont transmis l’un à l’autre cette doctrine jusqu’à Ta-mo (Bodhidharma) qui vint ici, en Chine, pour être le premier [de notre lignée].

Cette transmission, qui s’est faite par générations successives, jusqu’à nos jours ne fut jamais inter­rompue. Si ce qui est [T. : transmis] est un enseignement ésotérique, c’est afin d’obtenir des hommes [de valeur]. Il en est comme des perles royales qui, jamais, ne sont données à tort. Si l’on obtient, par bonheur, la sapience (prajnâ), si ces deux sortes d’ornements (alamkâra) que constituent la compréhension et les pratiques sont en accord, on peut être établi [comme patriarche]. Le vêtement est la preuve de la loi et la loi est la doctrine [consacrée par la possession] du vêtement. Le vêtement et la loi sont transmis l’un par l’autre et il n’y a pas d’autre transmission. Sans le vêtement, il ne peut y avoir de diffusion de la loi et, sans la loi, il ne peut y avoir d’obtention du vêtement. Le vêtement, c’est le vêtement [qui fait preuve qu’on possède] la loi et la loi, c’est la loi du non produit (anutpanna). Puisque le non produit est absence d’illusion et d’erreur, la loi est le corps même de la vacuité et quiétude. En connaissant la vacuité et quiétude [de notre esprit foncier], on pénètre le corps de loi (dharmakâya) et c’est alors la délivrance véritable.



HOUANG-PO (- 850)

DE LA TRANSMISSION DE L’ESPRIT, EXTRAITS DU WAN LING LOU26

Réponses à des questions posées par des disciples

[Extrême simplicité et clarté. Lumineuse synthèse datant de la fin du support politique au bouddhisme en Chine]



Question. — Qu’est-ce que le Bouddha 1 ?

Réponse. — L’Esprit est le Bouddha. La cessation de toute pensée conceptuelle est la Voie. Si nous cessons de soulever des concepts et de penser en fonction d’être et de non-être, de long et de court, d’autrui et de soi, d’activité et de passivité, etc..., nous verrons que notre Esprit est intrinsèquement le Bouddha, que le Bouddha est intrinsèquement l’Esprit et que l’Esprit est semblable à un vide 2.

Q. — S’il est entendu que l’homme illuminé est celui qui a abandonné toute pensée « conceptuelle » et que cet homme est dès lors semblable à Bouddha, un ignorant ne pensant plus conceptuellement, ne s’oublie-t-il pas lui-même ?

R. — Il n’y a pas d’hommes illuminés et d’hommes ignorants, et il n’y a pas d’oubli. Bien que fondamentalement, tout soit sans existence objective, il ne faut pas en venir à penser en fonction de quoi que ce soit d’inexistant ; et, bien que les choses ne soient pas inexistantes, il ne faut pas se former un concept de rien d’existant. Car « existence » et « non-existence » sont tous deux des concepts [empiriques] qui ne valent pas mieux que des illusions. C’est pourquoi il est écrit : « Tout ce que perçoivent les sens ressemble à une illusion, y compris tout ce qui va des concepts mentaux aux êtres vivants. » Notre Fondateur 3 n’a rien prêché d’autre à ses disciples que l’« abstraction » totale menant à l’élimination

1 L’Absolu.

2 Entendant par là l’intangibilité et non pas une simple négation.

3 Bodhidharma.

de la perception des sens. C’est dans cette « abstraction » totale que prospère la Voie des Bouddhas ; alors que de la discrimination entre ceci et cela surgissent des armées de démons !

* *

L’illumination surgit de l’Esprit, sans égard pour votre pratique des six pâramitâs et du reste. Toutes pratiques de cet ordre ne sont que de simples expédients pour traiter les matières « concrètes » quand on a affaire aux problèmes de la vie quotidienne.

L’Esprit ÉTANT le Bouddha, il n’y a rien de mieux à faire que de cultiver cet Esprit de Bouddha. Évitez seulement les pensées conceptuelles qui mènent aux allées et venues [devenir et extinction], aux afflictions du monde sentant et à tout le reste ; vous n’aurez alors plus aucun besoin de méthodes d’Illumination et autres choses de ce genre. C’est pourquoi il est écrit :

Tous les enseignements du Bouddha n’ont que ce seul objet :

Nous porter au-delà du stade de la pensée.

Or, si je réalise la cessation de ma pensée,

A quoi me servent les Dharmas qu’enseigna le Bouddha ?

* *

Quand Bodhidharma vint en Chine et atteignit les Royaumes de Liang et de Wei, seul le vénérable Maître Ko acquit une pénétration silencieuse de notre propre Esprit ; aussitôt qu’il lui fut expliqué, il comprit que l’Esprit est le Bouddha, et que l’esprit et le corps individuels ne sont rien par eux-mêmes. On appelle cette doctrine la Grande Voie. La nature même de la Grande Voie est le vide (de l’opposition). Bodhidharma croyait pleinement au fait d’être un avec la « substance » réelle de l’univers en cette vie ! L’esprit et cette « substance » ne diffèrent pas d’un iota — cette « substance » EST l’Esprit. Il est impossible de les séparer. C’est pour cette révélation que lui fut décerné le titre de Patriarche de notre secte, et c’est pourquoi il est écrit : « On peut véritablement dire que le moment où se réalise l’unité de l’Esprit et de la « substance », qui constitue la Réalité, défie toute description.

* *

« Bouddha » et « êtres sentants » sont tous deux vos propres conceptions fausses. C’est parce que vous ne connaissez pas le véritable Esprit que vous vous abusez de tels concepts objectifs. Si vous voulez imaginer [conceptualiser] un Bouddha, vous serez entravé par ce Bouddha !!! Et si vous imaginez [conceptualisez] des êtres sentants, vous serez entravé par ces êtres. Tout concept dualiste de l’ordre de « ignorant » et « Illuminé », « pur » et « impur », est une entrave. C’est parce que votre esprit est gêné par de tels concepts que l’on doit faire tourner la Roue de la Loi 1. Il en va exactement de même de vous et de votre savoir que de ces singes qui passent leur temps à jeter des objets et à les ramasser sans relâche. Tout ce qu’il vous faut, c’est renoncer à votre « savoir », à vos idées d’« ignorant » et « Illuminé », de « pur » et « impur », de « grand » et « petit », d’« attachement » et d’« activité ». Pareilles choses ne sont que de simples ornements à l’intérieur de l’Esprit Unique. On me dit que vous avez appris les soutras des dix divisions des Trois Véhicules. Ce ne sont tous que de simples concepts empiriques. Il faut vraiment les abandonner !

Ainsi, mettez donc au rancart tout ce que vous avez acquis, comme ne valant pas plus qu’un lit quand vous étiez malade. Ce n’est que lorsque vous aurez abandonné toutes perceptions, puisqu’il n’y a rien d’objectif à percevoir ; que lorsque les phénomènes ne vous entraveront plus ; que lorsque vous vous serez débarrassé de toute la gamme des concepts dualistes de la catégorie « ignorant » et « Illuminé », ce n’est qu’alors que vous acquerrez enfin le titre de Bouddha Transcendantal. C’est pourquoi il est écrit : « Vos prosternements sont vains. Ne placez aucune confiance dans pareilles cérémonies. Fuyez de telles fausses croyances. » L’Esprit ne connaissant aucune division en entités séparées, les phénomènes ne doivent pas davantage être différenciés. L’Esprit étant au-dessus de toutes les activités, il doit en être de même des phénomènes. Tout phénomène est une création de la pensée ; il me suffit donc de vider mon esprit pour découvrir qu’ils sont tous vides. De même en est-il de tous les objets des sens, quelle que soit, parmi les innombrables catégories celle, à laquelle ils appartiennent. La totalité du vide qui s’étend dans toutes les directions ne fait qu’une seule substance avec l’Esprit ; et, l’Esprit étant fondamentalement dépourvu de toutes différences, ainsi doit-il en être de tout le reste. S’il vous apparaît des entités différentes, c’est uniquement en vertu de la différence de vos perceptions.

1 C’est-à-dire que les vérités relatives du Bouddhisme orthodoxe doivent être enseignées.

* *

Quand nous parlons de la connaissance que « je » puis acquérir, de la science à laquelle « je » puis atteindre, de « mon » entendement intuitif, de « ma » libération de la renaissance et de « ma » façon morale de vivre, ces concepts nous paraissent agréables selon nos succès, mais déplorables selon nos échecs. A quoi tout cela sert-il ? Je vous conseille de demeurer uniformément en repos, au-dessus de toute activité. Ne vous abusez pas par une pensée conceptuelle et ne cherchez nulle part la vérité, car la seule chose nécessaire est de se retenir de permettre la naissance des concepts. Il est manifeste que les concepts mentaux et les perceptions extérieures induisent également en erreur, et que la voie des Bouddhas 1 est pour vous aussi dangereuse que celle des démons. Ainsi, Mañjusrî 2 avait un entendement véritable, tandis que Samantabhadra 3 ne possédait qu’une connaissance éphémère. Toutefois, si l’entendement véritable et la connaissance éphémère sont convenablement intégrés, on constatera qu’ils disparaissent. Il n’y a qu’un Esprit Unique, un Esprit qui n’est ni Bouddha ni êtres sentants, car il exclut pareil dualisme.

1 Objectivement conçue.

2 Personnification de la Sagesse fondamentale.

3 Personnification de l’Amour et de l’Action.

* *

Quand tous les Bouddhas se manifestent dans le monde, ils ne proclament rien d’autre que l’Esprit Unique. Ainsi, le Bouddha Gautama transmit silencieusement à Mahâkâsyapa la doctrine de l’Esprit Unique, qui est la « substance » de toutes choses, qui est de même étendue que le Vide et qui remplit tout le monde des phénomènes. C’est ce que l’on appelle la Loi de Tous les Bouddhas. Qu’on la discute comme on voudra, comment pourrait-on espérer même approcher la vérité par les mots ? Elle ne peut non plus être perçue ni objectivement ni subjectivement. Ainsi, le plein entendement ne peut vous venir que par un mystère inexprimable. Son approche est dite Porte de la Tranquillité au-delà de Toute Activité. Si vous désirez comprendre, sachez qu’un soudain entendement vient quand l’esprit a été purgé de tout l’encombrement de l’activité de la pensée conceptuelle et discriminatoire. Ceux qui recherchent la vérité au moyen de l’intellect et du savoir ne font que s’en éloigner toujours davantage. Ce n’est que lorsque les pensées cessent de se ramifier constamment de côté et d’autre, que lorsqu’on abandonne toute idée de chercher quelque chose, que lorsque l’esprit a l’immobilité du bois ou de la pierre, que l’on se trouve sur le bon chemin de la Porte.

* *

Q. — En ce moment même, toutes sortes d’idées fausses ne cessent de nous passer par l’esprit. Comment pouvez-vous parler de n’en avoir aucune ?

R. — L’erreur n’a pas de substance ; elle est entièrement le produit de notre propre pensée. Si vous savez que l’Esprit est le Bouddha et que l’Esprit est fondamentalement pur de toute erreur, chaque fois que des pensées surgissent, vous serez pleinement convaincu que ce sont elles qui sont responsables des erreurs. Si vous pouviez empêcher tout mouvement conceptuel de la pensée et immobiliser le développement de vos pensées, il ne resterait naturellement en vous aucune erreur. C’est pourquoi il est dit : « Quand surgissent les pensées, surgissent toutes choses. Quand les pensées disparaissent, toutes choses disparaissent ! »

* *

Q. — Au moment de l’Illumination, où est le Bouddha ?

R. — D’où procède votre question ? D’où s’élève votre conscience ? Quand la parole est réduite au silence, quand tout mouvement est arrêté, quand toute vision et tout son ont disparu — c’est alors que l’œuvre de délivrance du Bouddha progresse véritablement ! Où, donc, chercherez-vous le Bouddha ? Vous ne pouvez placer une tête sur votre tête ou des lèvres sur vos lèvres ; vous devriez plutôt vous contenter d’éviter tout genre de distinction dualiste. Les montagnes sont des montagnes. L’eau est de l’eau. Les moines sont des moines. Les laïques sont des laïques. Mais de ces montagnes, de ces rivières, de tout le monde lui-même, avec le soleil, la lune et les étoiles — de tout cela, rien n’existe hors de nos esprits ! Le vaste univers n’existe qu’en vous ; où donc ailleurs serait-il possible de trouver les diverses catégories de phénomènes ? En dehors de l’Esprit, il n’y a rien. Les vertes collines sur lesquelles se posent de tous côtés vos regards et ce ciel vide que vous voyez briller au-dessus de la terre — il n’en existe pas la largeur d’un cheveu en dehors des concepts que vous vous êtes vous-même formés ! C’est ainsi que la moindre vision, le moindre son ne sont que l’Œil de la Sagesse du Bouddha 1.

Les phénomènes ne surgissent pas indépendamment, mais reposent sur l’environnement. Et c’est leur apparition comme objets qui nécessite



toutes les sortes de connaissance individualisée. Vous pouvez parler toute la journée, mais qu’a-t-il été dit ? Vous pouvez écouter du matin au soir, qu’aurez-vous entendu ? Ainsi, bien que le Bouddha Gautama ait prêché durant quarante-neuf années, en vérité, aucun mot ne fut prononcé 2.

1 L’Œil de la Sagesse du Bouddha signifie communément l’œil par lequel il perçoit la vérité unité de toutes choses. Huang Po ne dit toutefois pas « perçues par l’Oeil », mais il utilise la tournure « est l’Œil », identifiant ainsi celui qui voit et ce qui est vu.

2. La vérité est au-delà des mots, c’est une expérience silencieuse et profonde. Le Bouddha a parlé de moyens relatifs. D’un point de vue absolu, aucun mot ne fut prononcé.

* *

Q. — Comment « atteindre à l’Esprit de Bodhi » 1 ?

R. — La Bodhi n’est pas une chose à atteindre 2. Si, en ce moment même, vous pouviez vous convaincre de cette inaccessibilité, avec la certitude en fait que rien ne peut jamais être atteint, vous auriez déjà l’esprit de Bodhi. La Bodhi n’étant pas un état, ce n’est pas une chose à quoi vous puissiez atteindre. C’est pourquoi il a été écrit du Bouddha Gautama : « Tant que j’étais dans le royaume du Bouddha Dipamkara, il n’y avait pas une once de quoi que ce fût d’accessible pour moi. Alors seulement le Bouddha Dîpamkara prophétisa que, moi aussi, je deviendrais un Bouddha. » Si vous savez positivement que tous les êtres sentants sont déjà avec la Bodhi, vous cesseriez d’y penser comme étant quelque chose à atteindre. Il se peut que vous ayez récemment entendu d’autres personnes parler de cette « accession à l’Esprit de Bodhi », mais on peut dire de cela que c’est une manière intellectuelle de chasser le Bouddha ! En suivant cette méthode, vous paraissez seulement atteindre à l’état de Bouddha.

1 Illumination ou Sagesse Suprême.

2 Que l’on puisse percevoir, saisir, pénétrer, réaliser, concevoir, etc...

* *

R. — La substance essentielle du Bouddha est un tout parfait, sans superfluité comme sans lacune. Elle pénètre les six états de l’existence, sans cesser d’être partout absolument totale. Ainsi, chacun des phénomènes qui existent par myriades dans l’univers est le Bouddha 1. Cette substance est comparable à une masse de mercure qui, dispersée dans toutes les directions, se reforme partout en totalités parfaites. Tant qu’elle n’est pas dispersée, elle est d’une seule pièce, l’un comprenant le tout et le tout comprenant l’un. Les formes et apparences diverses sont, par ailleurs, comparables à des demeures.

1 L’Absolu.

* *

Q. — Comment un homme peut-il réaliser la compréhension de son propre Esprit ?

R. — Ce qui a posé cette question EST votre propre Esprit ; mais si vous restiez tranquille, vous abstenant de la plus petite action mentale, sa substance aurait l’aspect d’un vide — vous le trouveriez sans forme, n’occupant aucun point de l’espace et n’entrant dans la catégorie ni de l’être ni du non-être. Parce qu’il est imperceptible, Bodhidharma a dit : « L’Esprit, qui est notre véritable nature, est la matrice non engendrée et indestructible ; en réponse aux circonstances, il se transforme en phénomènes. Pour plus de commodité, nous parlons de l’Esprit comme étant l’intelligence ; mais quand il ne répond pas aux circonstances 1, on ne peut en parler en termes dualistes tels qu’être et non-être. D’ailleurs, même occupé à créer des objets en réponse à la causalité, il est toujours imperceptible. Si, sachant cela, vous demeurez tranquillement dans le « rien » — alors, vous suivez assurément la Voie des Bouddhas. C’est pourquoi les soutras disent : « Développez l’esprit qui ne repose sur aucune chose. »

1 Et se repose de créer des objets.

[…]

Abandonnez ces pensées erronées qui mènent aux distinctions fausses ! Il n’y a pas de « moi » et pas d’« autrui ». Il n’y a pas de « mauvais désir », pas de « colère », pas de « haine », pas d’« amour », pas de « victoire », pas d’« échec ». Renoncez à l’erreur de vous attacher aux processus de la pensée intellectuelle [conceptuelle], et votre nature montrera sa pureté première — car c’est là seulement qu’est la voie qui permet d’atteindre à l’Illumination, d’observer le Dharma [la Loi], de devenir un Bouddha, etc... Faute de comprendre cela, tout votre grand savoir, vos pénibles efforts en vue d’avancer, vos austérités de nourriture et de vêtement ne vous aideront en rien à connaître votre propre Esprit.

[…]

Les choses étant ainsi, tant que votre esprit sera sujet au plus léger mouvement de pensée, vous resterez enfoncé dans l’erreur de prendre l’« ignorance » et l’« illumination » pour des états séparés ; cette erreur persistera en dépit de votre vaste connaissance du Mahâyâna ou de votre capacité de passer par les « Quatre degrés de Sainteté » et les « Dix Étapes d’Avancement vers l’Illumination ». Car toutes ces recherches relèvent de l’éphémère ; même le plus acharné de vos efforts est voué à l’échec, tout comme une flèche doit inévitablement retomber sur le sol, son vol épuisé, à quelque hauteur qu’elle ait été lancée. Ainsi, en dépit de ces recherches, vous êtes sûrs de vous retrouver sur la roue de la vie et de la mort. Vous livrer à de telles pratiques implique que vous n’êtes pas parvenus à comprendre la véritable signification de Bouddha. L’endurance de tant de souffrances inutiles n’est assurément qu’une gigantesque erreur, n’est-il pas vrai ?

[…]

Or donc, si vous vous exerciez à maintenir votre esprit immobile en tout temps, que ce soit en marchant, en étant debout, assis ou couché ; vous concentrant entièrement sur le but de ne créer aucune pensée, aucune dualité, aucun appui sur autrui et aucun attachement ; laissant simplement les choses suivre leur train tout le long du jour comme si vous étiez trop malade pour vous en préoccuper ; inconnu du monde ; vierge de toute démangeaison d’être connu ou inconnu des autres ; l’esprit semblable à un bloc de pierre sans faille — alors, tous les Dhar-mas 1 pénétreraient de part en part votre entendement. En peu de temps, vous vous sentiriez foncièrement détaché. Ainsi, pour la première fois de votre vie, vous verriez décroître vos réactions aux phénomènes, et, en fin de compte, vous passeriez au-delà du Triple Monde ; on dirait alors qu’un Bouddha est apparu sur terre. Une connaissance pure et impassible implique de mettre fin à l’incessant courant de pensées et d’images, car, de cette façon, vous cessez de créer le karma qui mène à la re-naissance — comme theu, comme homme, ou comme patient de l’enfer.

1 Lois de l’Existence ou lois universelles.

[…]

L’Esprit est empli d’une clarté rayonnante ; aussi, rejetez les ténèbres de vos anciens concepts. Tch'ing Ming dit : « Débarrassez-vous de tout. » La phrase du Soûtra du Lotus au sujet d’une bonne vingtaine d’années passées à déblayer le fumier symbolise la nécessité de chasser de votre esprit tout ce qui tend à la formation de concepts inutiles. Dans un autre passage, le même soûtra identifie le tas de fumier qui doit être emporté avec la métaphysique et la sophistique. Ainsi, la « Matrice des Tathâgatas » est intrinsèquement un vide et un silence ne contenant aucun dharma individualisé de quelque sorte ou genre que ce soit. C’est pourquoi le soûtra dit : « Les royaumes entiers de tous les Bouddhas sont également vides. »

D’autres ont beau parler de la Voie des Bouddhas comme de quelque chose à atteindre par diverses pratiques pieuses et par l’étude des soûtras, vous ne devez avoir rien à faire avec pareilles idées. La perception, aussi soudaine qu’un battement de paupières, de ce que sujet et objet ne sont qu’un, mènera à un entendement profondément mystérieux et muet. Par cet entendement, vous prendrez conscience de la vérité du Tch'an. Quand vous vous trouverez devant une personne dénuée d’entendement, vous devez prétendre ne rien savoir. Peut-être sera-t-elle ravie de sa découverte de quelque « voie vers l’Illumination » ; cependant, si vous vous laissez persuader par elle, vous n’éprouverez pas le moindre ravissement, mais vous endurerez au contraire du chagrin et de la déception. Qu’ont-elles à voir des pensées comme les siennes avec l’étude du Tch'an ? Même si vous obtenez effectivement d’elle quelque « méthode » futile, ce ne sera jamais qu’un dharma à base de pensée qui n’aura rien de commun avec le Tch'an. Ainsi, Bodhidharma resta absorbé dans la méditation devant un mur ; il ne chercha pas à entraîner les gens à avoir des opinions. C’est pourquoi, il est écrit : « Le véritable enseignement des Bouddhas est de chasser de l’esprit le principe duquel jaillit l’action, tandis que le dualisme appartient au domaine des démons. »

Votre véritable nature n’est jamais perdue pour vous-même dans les moments d’illusion, et elle n’est pas davantage acquise au moment de l’Illumination. C’est la Nature de la Bhûtatathatâ. En elle, il n’y a ni illusion ni juste entendement. Elle emplit partout le Vide, et elle est intrinsèquement de la substance de l’Esprit Unique. Comment, donc, les objets — création de votre esprit — peuvent-ils exister hors du Vide ? Le Vide est fondamentalement dépourvu de dimensions spatiales de passions, d’activités, d’illusions ou de juste entendement. Vous devez clairement comprendre qu’en lui il n’y a pas de choses, pas d’hommes et pas de Bouddhas ; car ce Vide ne contient pas le plus petit iota de rien qui puisse être envisagé spécialement ; il ne dépend de rien et il n’est attaché à rien. Il est beauté pure, partout répandue ; c’est l’Absolu incréé, qui a une existence indépendante. Ainsi, comment peut-on même prendre pour thème de discussion que le véritable Bouddha n’ait pas de bouche et ne prêche aucun Dharma, ou que la véritable ouïe ne nécessite point d’oreilles, car qui pourrait l’entendre ? Ah, c’est un joyau sans prix !

**

Notre Maître 1 a dit : “Ceux qui désirent progresser le long de la Voie doivent d’abord se débarrasser des scories acquises au cours d’un enseignement hétérogène. Ils doivent par-dessus tout éviter de chercher quoi que ce soit d’objectif et ne se permettre aucune sorte d’attachement. Après avoir écouté les doctrines les plus profondes, ils doivent se conduire comme si une brise légère leur avait caressé les oreilles, comme si une bouffée avait passé en un clin d’œil. A aucun prix ils ne doivent essayer de suivre pareilles doctrines. Agir selon ces injonctions, c’est parvenir à la profondeur. […] Depuis l’époque où le Bouddhisme ne transmit rien d’autre que l’Esprit Unique, il n’y a pas d’autre Dharma valable. Faisant ressortir l’identité de l’Esprit et du Bouddha 2, il démontra de quelle façon pouvaient être surpassées les plus hautes formes de l’illumination. Il n’a assurément laissé aucune autre pensée que celle-là. Si vous désirez entrer par la porte de notre secte, cela doit être votre seul Dharma.

Si vous espérez acquérir quoi que ce soit auprès de maîtres d’autres doctrines, pourquoi venir ici ? Aussi est-il dit que si vous avez la moindre intention de vous abandonner à la pensée conceptuelle, notez-le bien, cette intention même vous placera dans les griffes des démons. Pareillement, l’absence consciente d’une telle intention ou même la conscience de n’avoir aucune intention de ce genre suffira à vous remettre au pouvoir des démons. Mais ce ne seront pas des démons extérieurs ; ce seront les créations de votre propre esprit. […] Si vous vous laissez aller à croire à l’existence plus que purement transitoire des phénomènes, vous auriez donné dans une grave erreur connue comme la croyance hérétique en la vie éternelle ; mais si, par contre, vous considérez que le vide intrinsèque des phénomènes implique le simple néant, vous serez tombé dans une autre erreur, l’hérésie de l’extinction totale 3.

1 Il s’agit probablement de Houai-Haï, à moins qu’il désigne Houei-Neng ?

2 L’Absolu.

3 Puisque nous sommes, en vérité, entièrement faits de l’Esprit éternel, la notion d’une âme individuelle permanente et celle d’une extinction totale sont sans fondement.

**

Comment se fait-il que le Bouddha Gautama, qui niait toutes idées du genre de celles que j’ai mentionnées, ait pu être à l’origine des conceptions actuelles de l’Illumination ? Mais, de la façon dont ces doctrines sont encore communément enseignées, les gens s’empêtrent dans la dualité qui consiste à rechercher la « lumière » et à éviter les « ténèbres ». Dans leur anxieux désir de chercher l’Illumination d’une part et d’échapper aux passions et à l’ignorance de l’existence corporelle d’autre part, ils imaginent un Bouddha Illuminé et des êtres sentants non-illuminés, comme des entités séparées. Un abandon continu à des concepts dualistes entraînera votre renaissance parmi les six ordres d’êtres, vie après vie, siècle après siècle, et à tout jamais ! Et pourquoi en est-il ainsi ? A cause de la falsification de la doctrine selon laquelle la source originale des Bouddhas est cette Nature à l’existence indépendante. Le Bouddha ne demeure pas dans la lumière ni les êtres sentants dans les ténèbres ; la Vérité n’autorise pas pareilles distinctions. Le Bouddha n’est pas plus puissant que les êtres sentants ne sont faibles, car la Vérité n’autorise pas pareilles distinctions. Le Bouddha n’est pas Illuminé et les êtres sentants ne sont pas ignorants, car la Vérité n’autorise pas pareilles distinctions. Tout cela vient de ce que vous parlez de votre propre chef d’expliquer le Tch'an !

Dès que vous ouvrez la bouche, les maux jaillissent. Ou les gens négligent la racine pour parler des branches, ou ils négligent la réalité du monde « illusoire » pour ne parler que de l’Illumination. Il n’y a jamais aucun avantage à discuter !

Encore une fois, tous les phénomènes sont fondamentalement dépourvus d’existence, bien qu’on ne puisse dire qu’ils sont inexistants. Le karma ayant surgi n’existe pas pour autant ; le karma détruit n’en cesse pas pour autant d’exister. Même sa racine n’existe pas, car cette racine n’en est pas une. Au reste, l’Esprit n’est pas l’Esprit, car, quelle que soit la signification de ce terme, elle est très éloignée de la réalité qu’il symbolise. La forme, elle non plus, n’est pas vraiment la forme. Dans ces conditions, si je déclare maintenant qu’il n’y a pas de phénomènes et pas d’Esprit Originel, vous commencerez à comprendre quelque chose du Dharma intuitif silencieusement transmis à l’Esprit avec l’Esprit. Phénomènes et non-phénomènes étant un, il n’y a ni phénomènes ni non-phénomènes, et la seule transmission est à l’Esprit avec l’Esprit.

Lorsqu’un soudain éclair de pensée se produit dans votre esprit et que vous le reconnaissez pour un rêve ou une illusion, vous pouvez alors entrer dans l’état atteint par les Bouddhas du passé — ce qui ne veut pas dire que les Bouddhas du passé existent réellement, ni que les Bouddhas de l’avenir ne sont pas encore parvenus à l’existence. Par-dessus tout, n’ayez aucune aspiration à devenir un futur Bouddha ; votre seul souci devrait être, tandis que les pensées se succèdent, d’éviter de vous accrocher à l’une quelconque d’entre elles. Et vous ne devez pas nourrir la moindre ambition d’être [sur le champ] un Bouddha. Même si un Bouddha surgit, ne le considérez pas comme « Illuminé » ou « illusionné », comme « bon » ou comme « mauvais ». Hâtez-vous de vous débarrasser de tout désir de vous accrocher à lui. Rejetez-le en un clin d’œil ! Sous aucun prétexte ne cherchez à le tenir solidement, car mille serrures ne pourraient le retenir, ni cent mille pieds de corde le lier. Cela étant, efforcez-vous vaillamment de le bannir et de l’anéantir.

Je vais maintenant vous montrer comment vous y prendre pour vous débarrasser de ce Bouddha. Voyez la lumière du soleil. Vous pouvez dire qu’elle est proche ; pourtant, vous aurez beau la suivre de monde en monde, vous ne la saisirez jamais dans vos mains. Vous pouvez donc la décrire comme étant loin, et voilà que vous la verrez juste devant vous. Suivez-la et elle vous échappera ; courez après elle et elle vous suivra de près. Vous ne pouvez ni la posséder, ni en avoir fini avec elle. Voilà qui vous permettra de comprendre ce qu’il en est de la véritable Nature de toutes choses. Vous n’aurez plus besoin de vous chagriner ou de vous tourmenter à leur propos.

Gardez-vous de poursuivre en disant que ma recommandation de rejeter le Bouddha était impie ou que ma comparaison avec le soleil était pieuse, comme si j’avais oscillé d’un extrême à l’autre ! Les adeptes des autres sectes s’accorderaient alors avec vous, mais le Tch'an n’admettra ni l’impiété de la première, ni la qualité pieuse de la seconde. Nous ne considérons pas non plus la première comme digne de Bouddha ou la seconde comme quelque chose à n’attendre que d’êtres sentants ignorants 1.

1 Tout ceci constitue une mise en garde contre l’un des types de dualisme les plus difficiles à éviter pour un Bouddhiste — celui qui consiste à imaginer le Bouddha ou le Nirvâna comme séparé de nous-même ainsi que du samsâra (devenir).

Ainsi, tout l’univers visible est le Bouddha ; de même tous les sons ; accrochez-vous fermement à un principe, et tous les autres sont identiques. En voyant une chose, vous voyez tout. En percevant l’esprit d’un individu quelconque, vous percevez tout Esprit. Obtenez un aperçu d’une voie, et votre vision embrassera toutes les voies, car il n’est aucun endroit où ne soit la Voie. Quand votre regard tombe sur un grain de poussière, ce que vous voyez est identique à tous les vastes systèmes du monde avec leurs grands fleuves et leurs puissantes montagnes. Observez une goutte d’eau, c’est voir la nature de toutes les eaux de l’univers. En outre, en contemplant ainsi la totalité des phénomènes, vous contemplez la totalité de l’Esprit. Tous ces phénomènes sont intrinsèquement vides, et pourtant cet Esprit auquel ils sont identiques n’est pas un simple néant. J’entends par là qu’il existe bien, mais d’une façon trop merveilleuse pour notre compréhension. C’est une existence qui n’est pas une existence, une non-existence qui est néanmoins une existence. Ainsi, ce Vide véritable « existe » en quelque merveilleuse façon.

Nous pouvons renfermer tous les systèmes du monde, aussi innombrables que des grains de sable, dans notre Esprit Unique. Pourquoi, alors, parler d’« intérieur » et d’« extérieur » ? Le miel ayant pour caractéristique invariable la douceur, il s’ensuit que tout miel est doux. Dire de tel miel qu’il est doux et que tel autre est amer serait absurde ! Comment cela pourrait-il être ? De là vient que l’on dise que le Vide n’a ni intérieur ni extérieur. Il n’y a que la Bhûtatathatâ (l’Absolu), qui existe spontanément. Et, pour la même raison, on dit qu’il n’a pas de centre. Il n’y a que le Bhûtatathâ, qui existe spontanément.

Ainsi, les êtres sentants sont le Bouddha. Le Bouddha est un avec eux. Tous deux se composent entièrement de l’unique « substance ». L’univers phénoménal et le Nirvâna, l’activité et l’immobile placidité, TOUS sont faits de l’unique « substance ». Ainsi également les mondes et avec l’état qui transcende les mondes. Oui, les êtres qui passent par les six stades de l’existence, ceux qui ont subi les quatre sortes de naissance, tous les vastes systèmes du monde avec leurs montagnes et leurs fleuves, la Nature de Bodhi et l’illusion — tous sont ainsi. En disant qu’ils sont tous d’une seule substance, nous entendons que leur nom et leur forme, leur existence ou non-existence, sont vides. Les grands systèmes du monde, aussi innombrables que les sables du Gange, sont compris dans le vide infini. Où, donc, peut-il y avoir des Bouddhas ou des êtres sentants à libérer ? Alors que la véritable nature de toutes choses qui « existent » est une « siccéité » identique, comment de pareilles distinctions peuvent-elles avoir une réalité ?

En supposant que les phénomènes surgissent d’eux-mêmes, vous tomberez dans l’hérésie de considérer que les choses ont une existence spontanée qui leur soit propre. D’autre part, si vous acceptez la doctrine de l’anâtman, le concept « anâtman » peut vous amener parmi les Theravâdins 1.

1 La doctrine de l’Anâtman a toujours été un centre de controverse bouddhiste. Il n’est pas douteux que le Bouddha Gautama en ait fait l’un des points principaux de son enseignement ; mais les interprétations en sont diverses. Les Théravâdins y voient non seulement « l’absence de moi », mais aussi « l’absence de Soi ». Les adeptes du Zen, comme leurs frères du Mahâyâna, considèrent que l’Anâtman n’implique « aucune entité que l’on puisse désigner sous le nom de moi, mais seulement l’Esprit Unique, qui englobe toutes chos es et leur confère leur seule réalité ».

Vous autres, vous cherchez à mesurer tout à l’intérieur du vide, pied à pied, pouce par pouce ; je vous répète que tous les phénomènes sont dénués des distinctions de la forme. Ils appartiennent intrinsèquement à cette tranquillité parfaite qui est au-delà de la sphère transitoire des activités productrices de formes, de sorte qu’ils sont tous coexistants avec l’espace et un avec la réalité. Aucun corps ne possédant de forme réelle, nous disons des phénomènes qu’ils sont vides ; et l’Esprit étant sans forme, nous disons de la nature de toutes choses qu’elle est vide. Tous deux sont sans forme, et tous deux sont qualifiés de vides. De plus, aucune des nombreuses doctrines n’a d’existence en dehors de votre Esprit original. Tous ces commentaires sur la Bodhi, le Nirvâna, la Nature de Bouddha, le Mahâyâna, le Theravâda, les Bodhisattvas, etc..., c’est prendre les feuilles d’automne pour de l’or. Prenons le symbole du poing fermé : quand il est ouvert, tant les theux que les hommes percevront qu’il n’y a pas la moindre chose à l’intérieur. C’est pourquoi il est écrit

Il n’y a jamais eu la moindre chose ;

Alors, où peut s’accrocher la poussière ?

S’il « n’y a jamais eu la moindre chose », passé, présent et futur sont dénués de sens. Aussi, ceux qui cherchent la Voie doivent-ils y entrer avec la soudaineté d’un coup de couteau. Une pleine compréhension de ce fait doit se produire avant qu’ils puissent pénétrer. De là vient que Bodhidharma, bien qu’il eût traversé maints pays en allant de l’Inde en Chine, ne rencontra qu’un seul homme, le vénérable Ko, à qui il pût transmettre en silence le Sceau de l’Esprit, le Sceau de votre propre Esprit réel. Les phénomènes sont le Sceau de l’Esprit, tout comme celui-ci est le Sceau des phénomènes. Quoi que soit l’Esprit, les phénomènes le sont aussi — tous deux sont également réels et participent également de la nature du Dharma, qui est suspendue dans le vide. Qui reçoit l’intuition de cette vérité est devenu un Bouddha et il a atteint le Dharma. Je vous répète que l’illumination ne peut être saisie [atteinte, perçue, etc...] corporellement, car le corps est sans forme ; elle ne peut non plus être saisie (etc...) mentalement, car l’esprit est sans forme ; ni saisie (etc...) à travers sa nature essentielle, puisque cette nature est la Source originale de toutes choses, la Nature réelle de toutes choses, la Réalité permanente de Bouddha ! Comment pourriez-vous vous servir du Bouddha pour saisir le Bouddha, de l’absence de forme pour saisir l’absence de forme, de l’esprit pour saisir l’esprit, du vide pour saisir le vide, de la Voie pour saisir la Voie ? En réalité, il n’y a rien à saisir [percevoir, atteindre, concevoir, etc...] — même la non-compréhension ne peut être saisie. Aussi est-il dit : « Il n’y a rien à saisir. » Nous vous apprenons seulement à comprendre votre Esprit original.

De plus, quand viendra la compréhension [illumination], ne pensez pas en fonction de la compréhension, de la non-compréhension ou de la non -non-compréhension, car rien de tout cela ne peut être saisi. Ce Dharma de la Siccéité 1, quand il est « saisi », est « saisi », mais celui qui le « saisit » n’est pas plus conscient de l’avoir fait que quelqu’un qui l’ignore n’est conscient de son échec. Ah ! ce Dharma de la Siccéité — jusqu’à présent si peu de gens sont parvenus à le comprendre qu’il est écrit : « Combien rares en ce monde sont ceux qui perdent leur moi ! » Quant aux gens qui cherchent à le saisir en appliquant quelque principe particulier ou en créant un environnement spécial, ou grâce à quelque écrit, doctrine, âge, époque, nom ou mot, ou encore au moyen de leurs six sens — en quoi diffèrent-ils de poupées de bois ? Mais si un homme devait apparaître inopinément, qui ne formerait nul concept fondé sur aucun nom ou aucune forme, je vous assure qu’on pourrait chercher celui-là dans les mondes successifs, et toujours en vain ! Son unicité lui garantirait de succéder à la place du Patriarche et d’acquérir le nom de véritable fils spirituel de Çakya-mouni : les agrégats opposés de son moi auraient disparu, et il serait en vérité l’Un ! C’est pourquoi il est écrit : « Quand le Roi atteint à l’état de Bouddha, les princes quittent leur demeure pour devenir moines. » Dure est la signification de cet aphorisme ! Il a pour but de vous enseigner à vous abstenir de rechercher l’état de Bouddha, puisque toute recherche est vouée à l’échec. Un fou qui crierait au sommet d’une montagne, entendant l’écho se répercuter en bas au loin, pourrait aller le chercher dans la vallée. Mais que sa recherche serait vaine ! Une fois dans la vallée, il crierait à nouveau et grimperait aussitôt chercher parmi les sommets. Il pourrait alors gâcher des milliers de renaissances ou dix mille siècles, à chercher la source de ces sons en suivant leur écho ! Combien vainement il fendra les eaux agitées de la vie et de la mort ! Il vaut infiniment mieux rie produire aucun son, car il n’y aura alors pas d’écho et c’est ainsi qu’il en va de ceux qui sont dans le Nirvâna ! Nulle écoute, nulle connaissance, nul son, nulle piste, nulle trace. Atteignez ce but, et vous ne serez guère moins que voisins de Bodhidharma !

* *

Dès l’origine 1 toutes choses ont été exemptes de servitude. Alors, pourquoi essayer de les expliquer ? Pourquoi essayer de purifier ce qui n’a jamais été souillé 2 ? C’est pourquoi il est écrit : « L’Absolu est la Siccéité » — comment pourrait-on en discuter ? Vous autres, vous imaginez l’Esprit comme existant ou n’existant pas, comme pur ou souillé, comme quelque chose qu’il convient d’étudier aussi bien qu’un objet de connaissance catégorique, ou comme un concept — n’importe laquelle de ces définitions suffit à vous rejeter dans la ronde sans fin de la naissance et de la mort. L’homme qui perçoit les choses veut toujours les identifier, s’assurer une prise sur elles. Ceux qui se servent ainsi de leur esprit comme d’yeux ne manqueront jamais de supposer que le progrès est une affaire d’étapes. Si vous êtes de ceux-là, vous êtes aussi loin de la vérité que la terre l’est du soleil.

1 C’est-à-dire qu’elles n’ont jamais perdu leur identité avec l’Absolu.

2 L’école tch'an du Nord, qui existait encore alors, enseignait la purification de l’esprit ; mais Houei Neng, que suit ici Houang Po, considérait que cette injonction impliquait un dualisme entre pur et impur.

* *

Un Maître a dit : « Ce n’est que lorsque vos esprits cesseront de s’attarder sur quoi que ce soit que vous parviendrez à comprendre la véritable voie du Tch'an ». Je puis l’exprimer ainsi : la voie des Bouddhas se développe dans un esprit entièrement libéré de tout cheminement de la pensée conceptuelle, tandis que la discrimination entre ceci et cela donne naissance à une légion de démons ! En fin de compte, rappelez-vous que, du début à la fin, pas le moindre grain de quoi que ce soit de perceptible n’a jamais existé ou n’existera jamais [ayant sa substance propre].

* *

Lorsque le lotus s’ouvrit et que l’univers fut révélé, s’éleva la dualité de l’Absolu et du monde sentant ; ou plutôt l’Absolu apparut sous deux aspects qui, pris ensemble, comprennent la perfection pure. Ces aspects sont la réalité immuable et la forme [potentielle]. Pour les êtres sentants, il y a des paires d’opposés tels que le devenir et la cessation, avec tous les autres. Aussi, prenez garde de vous attacher à une seule moitié d’une paire. Ceux qui, dans leur tentative sincère d’atteindre l’état de Bouddha, détestent le monde sentant, blasphèment ce faisant tous les Bouddhas de l’univers. Ceux-ci, en se manifestant dans le monde, ont saisi les pelles à fumier pour se débarrasser de tout le fatras tel que les livres de métaphysique et de sophistique 1.

Débarrassez-vous de toutes les idées que vous aviez jusqu’à présent d’étudier l’Esprit ou de le percevoir. Quand vous en serez débarrassés, vous ne vous perdrez plus dans les sophismes. Considérez le processus exactement comme un pelletage d’ordures.

Renoncez donc à toute pensée conceptuelle et à tous procédés intellectuels. Quand de telles choses ne vous soucieront plus, vous atteindrez immanquablement l’Illumination Suprême. Pour rien au monde, ne faites de distinction entre l’Absolu et le monde sentant. Comme véritable étudiant du Tch'an, vous ne devez faire aucune distinction d’aucune sorte. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, les Sages 2 enseignent que la porte d’entrée de leur Dharma est un minimum d’activité 3 ; que la porte de mon Dharma soit donc une activité nulle 4 ! Telle est la porte d’accès à l’Esprit Unique ; mais tous ceux qui atteignent cette porte craignent d’entrer. Ce n’est pas une doctrine d’anéantissement que j’enseigne ! Il en est peu qui le comprennent, mais seuls ceux-là deviennent des Bouddhas. Chérissez précieusement ce joyau !

(Traduit par L. Wang)



1 Le Bouddha historique avait adopté le même point de vue sur la métaphysique, car il refusa toujours de répondre à des questions de cet ordre, les considérant comme de vaines distractions.

2 Taoïstes.

3 wu-wei ou non agir (non-intervention), base du taoïsme.

4, Mais il ne s’agit nullement de quiétisme !







LA TERRE PURE 

Ce qu’il ne faut pas croire

Le bouddhisme de la terre pure n’est pas un « » mythe sans consistance », habit qui ne serait qu’une concession à la superstition de simples fidèles. C’est pourtant l’image défigurée répandue depuis qu’un jésuite savant, étrangement aveugle à l’intériorité mystique lorsqu’elle s’exprime hors de son christianisme, présenta jadis aux francophones27. Comme la caricature s’est imposée grâce à une qualité théologique et érudite reconnue à son auteur, voici des extraits de l’ouvrage daté (les empires n’étaient pas encore tous disloqués).

Nous avons aujourd’hui la chance de disposer de nombreuses sources présentant tous les textes fondateurs28. Voici donc qu’il ne faut plus croire :

« A l’Ouest il y a une Terre ! » C’est le cri de Christophe Colomb, s’embarquant sur une mer—inconnue pour aller y planter la croix. […] Aussi les plages qu’il annexe à la couronne d’Espagne ne lui peuvent-elles apporter que déception : ce monde nouveau n’est rien en lui-même, il n’est que « la Porte du Monde Éternel ».
Plus décevante, en réalité, que ces plages, la « Terre Heureuse », la « Terre Pure » que tous les dévots d’Amida saluent comme leur espoir en se tournant vers l’Ouest. Mythe sans consistance, que l’Orient du Christ fait évanouir. [7, Préface].
§

Amida rayonne sur la misère humaine comme un soleil matinal de pitié. Une force mystérieuse et calme s’apprête à saisir les pauvres réalités d’ici-bas pour les absorber dans sa joie. Un court poème, dû à un contemporain de Genshin, traduit bien l’impression éprouvée : [73]

Ah ! Pitié ! Nous ne pouvons voir le Bouddha face à face, 
Quoiqu’il soit toujours là, présent, partout.
Peut-être néanmoins, comme en une vision, vient-il à nous 
A l’heure calme du matin, quand nul n’est encore éveillé.29
De telles images, écrit M. H. Minamoto, exercent sur les âmes une très forte influence. Cela vient de ce qu’elles font saisir « le contact du monde réel avec le monde idéal. Les autres images bouddhiques représentent la Terre Pure ou les Enfers, sans essayer d’expliquer une « doctrine » qui laisse toujours au « moi » la simple attitude du spectateur. Au contraire, dans ces images de la Descente, le « moi » se trouve lié au monde représenté ; ce qu’elles manifestent n’est pas seulement un monde objectif : c’est en même temps un monde subjectif, où le « moi » joue aussi un rôle. D’où leur puissance de suggestion.
§
 « Il est à peu près impossible, estimait le Père Henri Doré, que le bouddhisme, surtout l’amidisme, vivant côte à côte avec le nestorianisme dans la capitale et ailleurs, n’ait pas subi quelque influence plus ou moins profonde de ce voisinage ». A cette influence M. Saeki attribue le fait que, à partir du vie siècle, on voit l’ancienne idée chinoise du « ciel » se changer graduellement, dans diverses écoles, en l’idée d’un theu personnel. C’est elle également qu’il voit à l’œuvre au VIIIe siècle, dans le rapide succès de la conception personnaliste du Bouddha Vairocana. Comment croire qu’elle ne se serait pas exercée plus encore dans le cas de l’amidisme ? Chan-t’ao vivait précisément au temps de la première expansion du christianisme dans l’empire ; l’empereur Kao-tsoung (650-683), dont il était l’intime, accordait sa faveur aux chrétiens ; il y avait dès lors entre chrétiens et bouddhistes des liens de collaboration et d’amitié. N’est-ce pas là plus qu’il n’en faut pour expliquer sa prédication d’un « sauveur de lumière infinie » et d’une « vie éternelle par la foi en Amitabha » ? [228]
§

Nulle part, il est vrai, dans aucune civilisation, dans aucun système religieux, nous ne trouvons, hors du christianisme, une croyance dont il nous soit possible d’affirmer qu’elle est en pleine harmonie avec le theu de notre Foi. Nous ne nous résignons pas pour autant — nous n’avons pas le droit de nous résigner — à penser que theu se serait partout, hors du christianisme, laissé sans témoignage. Or ce n’est pas nécessairement là où les répugnances logiques sont les plus fortes que ce témoignage nous apparaîtra le plus absent ou le plus effacé, et de tous les signes qui nous en sont offerts ceux qu’implique la vie spirituelle sont sans doute les plus dignes d’être retenus.

C’est pourquoi, malgrédes doctrines dont l’orientation objective ne paraît pes douteuse, malgré des déclarations de disciples authentiques, malgré les protestations que notre appréciation pourrait même soulever de leur part, sachant que pour juger concrètement d’une pensée humaine il importe de tenir compte aussi bien de la manière dont elle vit dans une conscience que de la manière dont elle s’explicite en formules (ce qui ne signifie pas que l’on confonde les idées d’un homme avec ses intentions), sachant aussi que « les rayons du Verbe sont éternellement prêts à luire là où, simplement, s’ouvrent les fenêtres de l’âme », nous souvenant d’ailleurs que nous n’attachons pas de part et d’autre exactement le même sens à des expressions telles que celle de « theu personnel », et sans prétendre aller plus loin que ne le permet l’examen des documents qui nous sont accessibles, nous ne nous résignerons pas à traiter simplement un Honen, par exemple, ou un Shinran d’athées.. [307]

L’appel à la Terre pure par HONEN (1133-1212)

Honen the Buddhist Saint / Essential Writings ant Official Biography from the 14th Century manuscript Comiled by Imperial Order, edited and adapted by Joseph A. Fitzgerald, 2006 World Wisdom inc.

L’ensemble déconcerte à prime abord. Il propose en une structure solide un « catéchisme » de la Terre pure construit à partir de multiples citations, parfois d’extraits plus longs.

J’omet leurs titres : ils les résument. Je les sépare par le numéro de page de la citation précédente.


Things Hônen was always saying

"We must not think that the expression Namu Amida Butsu Amida means anything but simply 'Save me, oh! Amida Buddha.

29

"While believing that even a man guilty of the ten evil deeds and the five deadly sins may be born into the Pure Land, let us, as far as we are concerned, not commit even the smallest sins. If this is true of the wicked, how much more of the good. We ought to continue the practice of the Nembutsu uninterruptedly, in the belief that ten repetitions, or even one, will not be in vain.' If this is true of merely one repetition, how much more of many!"

30

"The peculiarity of the Nembutsu is absence of peculiarity, and the only thing is to believe the Buddha's word, and practice the Nembutsu, and you will surely be born into the Pure Land."

31

"I am a man who wears no official head-dress. I am nothing but the foolish Hônen, weighed down by the ten evils, and I say that the only way for me to attain Ôjô is by calling upon the sacred name. »

32

"when a deer is being pursued by the hunters, it does not stop even to look around for its fellows or look back at its pursuers, but with ail eagerness, hastens straight forward, and no matter how many may be following, it escapes in safety. It is with the same determination that a man fully entrusts himself to the Buddha's power, and without regard to anything else, steadfastly sets his mind upon being born into the Pure Land. »

35

When someone once said to Hônen that his repetition of the Nembutsu must be very acceptable to the Buddha, he asked "Why?" "Because you are a wise man, and know in detail what merit there is in the repetition of the sacred name, clearly understanding the meaning of the Buddha’s Original Vow." At this Hônen replied, "You have not really come to believe in the Original Vow at all. As to calling upon the sacred name of the Original Vow of the Buddha Amida, it takes no ditference whether the man be a wood-cutter, a gatherer of grass or greens. or a drawer of water or the like, whether he be utterly unlettered in Buddhism or other religions, it makes no difference, I say, so long as he calls upon the sacred name. lf he believes his Ojo is certain, and with all sinceritv makes his petition, and keeps repeating the Nembutsu, he is the very best kind of believer. If it is possible by wisdom to get free from the bondage of life and death, whv indeed should I, Genkù, have given up the holv path and devoted myself exclusively to this Pure Land doctrine ?"

36

If indeed it were really so that I am thus superior, and all my sin destroyed by my own exertions, and I fit to go to the Pure Land, it would be all right. But the fact is that it is only through the power and merit of Amida's Vow, that I escape from evil passion and throw off my sins, and it is only because He Himself comes for us, to bring us to that Pure Land, that we are able to get there at all. If indeed, it were by my own power that I attained it, there might be some excuse for my pride. But wherever pride arises within the heart, it shows positively that we are in the wrong, both in our faith and practice, and are utterly out of harmony with the Vow of Amida Buddha, and neither He nor any of the Buddhas will extend us their protection. Yes, indeed beware!"

41 [= grâce]

"We have many cases of this ‘Other-Power' principle even in ordinary worldly matters. For example, if a man without feet, or with broken thighs, wishes to go on a long journey, seeing that he cannot do it himself, he rides in a boat or some vehicle and does it easily. This is not by his own power, but by the power of another. If this is true of vehicles made by crooked-hearted people, who form the mass of the inhabitants of this wicked world, how much the less should we have any doubts about our being able to pass safely over the sea of birth and death, if we only get aboard that ‘Other-Power' ship of the Original Vow, which Amida took five kalpas to make. Again there is a mysterious power in herbs to heal disease, in the magnet to attract iron, in the musk to produce a fragrant odor, and in the horn of the rhinoceros to keep water from sticking to its surface. This is ail true of vegetables and animals that are without minds, and that make no vows, which nevertheless possess such wonderful power. Must there not then be a still more mysterious and mighty power in the Law of the Buddhas? There is power enough in the Nembutsu, even if pronounced but once, to destroy ail the sins whose effects have persisted through eighty billions of kalpas. And so you ought to bear in mind that Amida has the power to come forth to welcome to His land those oppressed by the very worst karma, and you ought to believe that by simply calling upon His name you will be born there, quite irrespective of whether you have merit inherited from former lives or not, and no matter whether your sins be light or heavy. It is His promise that He will come forth from His paradise to welcome thither ail, no matter whether they have broken the Law or kept it, whether they be rich or poor, high or low, if only they but call upon His name, and thus have their natures changed as if from tiles or stones into gold."

45-46

"Do not be troubled about whether your heart is good or bad, or your sin light or grievous. Only determine in your heart that you will be born into the Pure Land... »

49

"It is said by some, and there seems some force in it, that even though one is in the habit of saying the Nembutsu, if, when he draws near the end of life, he is unable to converse with his religious teacher, it would be hard for him to attain Ôjô. And again when one is very sick and his mind disturbed, it would be similarly hard. But according to Zendô [Shan-tao 613-681], when a man who has made up his mind to go to the Land of Bliss and repeats the Nembutsu, whether many times or few, comes to the, the Amida Buddha with His retinue does come forth to meet him. So in the case of one who makes this his daily practice, even if there be no religious teacher near when he is on his death-bed, the Buddha will welcome him to that Land:'

"It is a good thing for a man to pray that his last sickness may be as free from pain as possible. There are cases of men's dying without any sickness at all, and such are indeed beautiful. But the human body, made up of some eighty thousand particles of sinful dust, from which issue innumerable disorders, is liable to suffer the pains of a death-agony, as ex-cruciating as if one were pierced through and through by hundreds of thousahds of swords and spears. Having eyes, he is like one having none, trying in vain to see; and his longue stiffens so that he cannot say what he would. This is one of the eight pains mortals suffer, the bitter pain of death. And so even the devotee who believes in the Original Vow and prays for Ôjô is unable to escape it. And yet even though he becomes insensible through his agony, when he cornes 10 draw bis last breath, he is, by the power of the Amida Buddlia, kept in his right mind and attains Ôjô. The moment of death is no longer than the time it would take to cut a hair, and bystanders are unable to tell the exact frame of mind he is in, but it is known to the Buddha and to the dying man himself. »

51-52

On the three mental states

"The so-called three mental attitudes are nothing else than a deep desire for Ôjô. We call that a ‘truly sincere heart' which prays without dissimulation or outward display. We call that a 'deep heart' which has not the least particle of doubt of being welcomed into that Land at death, if we but say the Nembutsu from our inmost souls. We say a man has 'an earnestly desiring heart' when he desires for himself birth into that Land, and regards all his actions as contributing to the promotion of his Ôjô. So he is possessed of these three mental states if he prays without dissimulation, in the conviction that he shall truly attain Ôjô."

59

"In the second place, in regard to a deep heart, Zendô says in his Commentary, 'A deep heart is one which believes deeply, and may be said to be of two kinds. First of all, we must deeply believe that we are just common mortals possessed of exil passions and sins, and subject to the law of birth and death, and that we have but a small and meager root of goodness within us. Also that we have always from the most remote kalpas of past time been subject to transmigration from one state to another, with no relationship to or hope of deliverance therefrom. Then secondly we ought to believe that the Buddha Amida by His Forty-eight Vows' can deliver ail sentient beings, and that if they call upon His sacred name at least ten times, depending upon His Vow, they shall be certain of birth into the Pure Land, so long as they do not indulge a single thought of doubt. Again a deep heart is one which makes a strong determination to practice the Law according to the teaching of the Buddha, and never to give place to doubt. Do not draw back, nor be moved by any other religious teaching or practice, or any contrary opinion or worldly attachment."

60

Literary works

Hônen further says, "In the next place, if we look at it from the standpoint of difficulty and ease, the Nembutsu is easily practiced, while it is very hard to practice all the other disciplines. For the above reasons thus briefly stated, we may say that the Nembutsu, being so easily practiced, is of universal application, while the others being hard to practice, do not suit all cases. And so Amida seemed to have made His Original Vow the rejection of the hard and the choice of the easy way, in order to enable all sentient beings, without distinction, to attain birth into the Pure Land. If the Original Vow required the making of images and the building of pagodas, then the poor and destitute could have no hope of attaining it. But the fact is that the wealthy and noble are few in number, whereas the number of the poor and ignoble is extremely large. If the Original Vow required wisdom and great talents, there would be no hope of that birth for the foolish and ignorant at all; but the wise are few in number, while the foolish are very many. If the Original Vow required the hearing and seeing of a great many things, then people who heard and saw little could have no hope of that birth; but few are they who have heard much, and very many are they who have heard little. If the Original Vow required obedience to the commandments and the Law, then there would be no hope of that birth for those who break the commandments or have not received them; but few are they who keep the commandments and very many are they who break them. The same reasoning applies to all other cases. If, then, we make the Original Vow to consist in the practice of these many forms of discipline, it follows that those who attain birth into Paradise will be few, while the many will fail. We conclude therefore, that Amida Nyorai, when He was a priest by the name of Hôzô ages ago, in His compassion for all sentient beings alike, and in His effort for the salvation ofall, did not vow to require the making of images or the building of pagodas conditions for birth into the Pure Land, but only the one act of calling upon His sacred name."

66

Some expound the principle of the utter emptiness of all things. Some bring us to the very heart of reality, while others set up the theory that there are five fundamental distinctions in the natures of sentient beings, and still others reason that the Buddha-nature is found in them all. Every one of these sects claims that it has reached finality in its world view, and so they keep contending with one another, each persisting in saying that its own is the most profound and is absolutely right. Now the fact is that what they all say is exactly what the Sûtras and Sâstras say, and corresponds with the golden words of Nyorai himself, who, according to men's varying capacity, taught them at one time one thing and at another time another, as circumstances required. So it is hard now to say which is profound and which is shallow, or to distinguish their comparative value, for they are all equally taught, and we must not go to either extreme in our interpretation. If we but attend to our religious practices as the Sûtras teach, they will all help us to pass safely over the sea of birth and death to the other shore. If we act according to the Law, we shall attain enlightenment. Those who go on vainly disputing as to whether a color has a light or dark shade, are like deaf men talking about the quality of a man's voice whether it is good or bad. The one thing to do is to put the principles into practice, because they all teach the way of deliverance from the dread bondage."

71

"When we say that the Jôdo is superior to all other sects, and that the Nembutsu is superior to all other religious disciplines, we mean that it provides salvation for all classes of sentient beings. Of course meditation upon the Absolute, heart longing for perfect knowledge (bodhi), the reading and reciting of the Mahâyâna Sûtras, the mystic practices of the Shingon, the meditation of the Tendai, and so on, all belong to the Law of the Buddhas, reveal their superiority, and tell us how to cross over the sea of birth and death. And yet on the other hand, they are quite beyond the capacity of people living in these latter degenerate times. After the ten thousand years of these latter evil days have passed, the average length of human life is to be shortened to ten years, and many will degenerate so that they will be guilty of the ten evil deeds and the five deadly sins, and yet the whole of them, old and young, male and female, all without exception, are included within the scope of that Original Vow, and are given the assurance that they will be cared for and never forsaken, if they will but repeat the Nembutsu ten times, or even once. This is why we insist that the Nembutsu quite outrivals all the other sects and disciplines."

74-75

"If we only put our trust in Amida's Original Vow, there is no doubt whatever about our future destiny, but what are we to do with the present world? Well, the thing to do is to make the Nembutsu practice the chief thing in life, and to lay aside everything that you think may interfere with it. If you cannot stay in one spot and do it, then do it when you are walking. If you cannot do it as a priest, then do it as a layman.

75

Hônen’s Letter to the dying nun Shônyobô

A nun by the name of Shônyobô became deeply attached to the teaching of Hônen, and earnestly practiced the Nembutsu. She was taken sick, and sent word to Hônen that as she was nearing the end, she would very much like to see him once more. When this word reached him, it happened that he was just then engaged in the so-called special Nembutsu practice, so he sent his answer by letter, going into much detail. It ran as follows: "I am very sorry indeed to hear of Shônyobô's illness. Having heard that she is ill, in fact seriously so, I should like to go and see her, and make sure whether she is going right on with the practice of the Nembutsu up to the very end; but especially so, when I remember how often she used to call upon me to ask questions about the way of salvation. So as soon as word reached me, I at once wanted to go and see her. But I had just before that decided upon the special Nembutsu practice for some days, and not to go out of my chamber for anything whatsoever."

"Now circumstances have so changed, that I am tempted to reverse my decision and go at once to see her. But on further reflection I have come to feel that, alter all, it does not matter one way or the other about such interchanges of courtesy in this world, for the fact is that we are in danger anyway of becoming foolishly attached to these earthly bodies of ours. No matter who it is, no one stays forever here in this fleshly body. The only difference is that either I myself or someone else must be left behind and the other go first. Then if we think of the interval of time that will separate us, that too is uncertain. And even though they may call it long, at the longest it is only like a short dream or vision!'

"So no matter how many times I think it over, the more I am convinced that the thing to do is to think only of our meeting in the land of Amida Buddha, where, as we sit upon our lotus flowers, the cares of this world will have all deared away, and we shall converse together about the scenes and events of our past lives. We shall then take counsel together as to how we may help each other in promoting the salvation of men down through the long future. This is the same as I have always told her from the beginning, that she should take firm hold upon the Buddha's Original Vow, not allowing one thought of doubt to enter her heart. And even though she can only repeat the Nembutsu but once, to remember that, however sinful she feels herself to be, she shall, by the power of the Buddha's Vow, without question be born into the Pure Land. So tell her to apply herself with undivided mind to the repetition of the sacred name."

"Our birth into the Pure Land is not in the least related to our goodness, or badness, but solely depends upon the Buddha's power. It matters not how high one's rank may be, in these latter exil days, birth into the Pure Land by one's own power is extremely difficult. As it is all by the Buddha's power, however sinful, foolish, or unclean we may be, everything hangs solely upon our trusting in the power of his Original Vow. There are indeed, I am very sorry to say, those who persist in saying that it is quite impossible to attain birth into the Pure Land. But however learned or noble in rank such persons may be, tell her not to pay any attention to what they say. They may indeed be excellent in their own way of thinking, but they have not yet reached enlightenment; and so we may say that the words of people who are trying to save themselves by their own efforts are very great hindrances to those seeking Ôjô. Let us not therefore adopt the methods of the unenlightened, but entrust ourselves to the Buddha's Vow and that only. The good father Zendô used to say, that we should not tolerate a single thought of doubt, on account of the opposition offered by those of another religious school to the Pure Land doctrine. It is better not to call in people of a different faith, but whoever they are, whether nuns or other ladies, tell her to have them always at her side repeating the Nembutsu. She should with one heart and mind lay aside all the religious counsel of the unenlightened, and trust only in the wise counsel of the Buddha."

"The fact is that in my own case, the decision I made to shut myself up in my chamber for the Nembutsu practice is by no means intended for myself clone. And since I have heard of her illness, I shall direct all my prayers without exception toward the one object of promoting her el& So tel her that I am praying for her, that her deepest desires for Ôjô may be fuLfilled. How can it be otherwise than that this will be helpful to her, if indeed My own purpose in it be genuine? Believe me, it will surely be effectuai. That she has listened with such attention to my words, shows a karma relationship extending beyond the limits of the present world, and is deeply rooted in a preexistent state. Now from what I hear, whether she precedes me into the other world or I unexpectedly precede her, there is no doubt whatever that we shah meet again at last in the same Pure Buddha Land. It matters not whether we meet again in this world, which is but a fleeting dream and vision. So let her not worry about that at all, but lay aside all such thoughts, and give every attention to the deepening and strengthening of her faith, and to the practice of the Nembutsu, and wait for the time when we shall meet in that Land. If she is now very weak, I am afraid that what I have said may be too long for her to take in fully, and in that case please just tell her the substance of what I have written. The news of her illness has stirred within me a strange sense of sorrow, which has impelled me to write."

94-96

"In short, what I mean by a heart that longs for certain birth into the Pure Land, and in all sincerity calls upon the sacred name, may be likened to the heart of a thief who is purposing to steal another's property. Down deep in his heart he means to steal, but as far as his outward appearance is concerned, he gives not the slightest indication to others of his purpose by look or gesture. As others know absolutely nothing about the purpose to steal that is in his heart, we may say that the purpose is for himself alone, without any reference whatever to outward appearances. Such an undivided heart as this is necessary in the man who would make sure of birth into the Pure Land. He must never for a moment allow himself to forget what he is about, by letting others know even by the slightest facial expression that he is calling upon the sacred name, even though he be in the midst of a crowd of people. At such a time, who but the Buddha should know anything about his practicing the Nembutsu? If only the Buddha knows, why have any doubts about birth into the Pure Land?"

99 [= mystique]

Then Kyô Amidabutsu [the robber] asked him again, "When one practices the Nembutsu at night as you were saying, should he always get up out of bed and do it? And should he always have his rosary and sacred scarf on?" To this Hônen replied, "The Nembutsu may be practiced whether one is walking, standing, sitting, or lying, and so it may be left with everyone, according to circumstances, to do it either reclining or sitting or in any way he chooses. And as to holding the rosary or putting on the sacred scarf, this too must be decid-ed according to circumstances. The main point is not the outward manner at all, but the fixing of one's mind on the one thing, firmly determining to have Ôjô, and with all seriousness to call upon the sacred name. This is the all-important thing." At this Kyô Amidabutsu fairly danced for joy, and put his hands together in worship as he went away.

100-101

Samurai believers

In the province of Musashi there lived a samurai called Tarô Tadatsuna Amakasu, belonging to the Inomata clan, who was in the service of the Minamoto family, and he became a follower of Hônen and very assiduous in the practice of the Nembutsu. Now at this lime the priestly soldiers of the Enryakuji Temple were so unruly that, in defiance of the better element in the priesthood, they made a plot for an armed resistance against the authorities. They took their stand at the Hiyoshi Hachiôji shrine, and Tadatsuna was by Imperial order put in command of a body of troops which the Government dispatched thither to suppress the rising. As he was starting for the front on the fifteenth day in the eleventh month in the third year of Kenkyù (1192), he paid a visit to Hônen and said to him, "I have often heard you say that even sinners like us, if they will only say the Nembutsu, and put their whole trust in Amida's Original Vow, will undoubtedly attain Ôjô. This has made a deep impression upon me, but I suppose it is the case only with those who are lying on a sick bed and calmly waiting for the end to come. But as for myself, being a samurai, I cannot do just as I would like, and now in obedience to an Imperial order, I am setting out for the castle at Hachiôji to chastise those obstreperous priests of Sammon. I was born in a soldier's family and trained in the use of the bow and arrow, being on the one hand under obligation not to fail in carrying out at least in some measure the will of my ancestors, and on the other responsible for handing down something of glory to my posterity. And yet if, as a soldier, I abandon myself to the driving back of the enemy, all sorts of wicked and furious passions are likely to be stirred within me, and it becomes very hard to awaken any pious feeling in my heart. If, indeed, I should allow myself to keep thinking all the time about the tran-sitoriness of life, and trying rot to forget the truth about attaining Ôjô by the Nembutsu, I should be in danger of being taken captive by my enemies, and thereby be eternally branded as a coward, straightway have all my pat-rimony confiscated, and so for a fool like me it is very hard to decide which of these courses to choose. Will you rot tell me how I may accompûsh my cherished desire for Ôjô, without on the other hand sacrificing the honor of my family as an archer?"

To this Hônen made the following reply: "Amida's Original Vow says nothing about whether a man is good or bad, nor does it discuss whether a man's religious practices are many or few. It makes no discrimination between the pure and the impure, and takes no account of time, space, or any other diverse circumstances in men's lives. It matters not how a man thes. The wicked man, just as he is, will attain Ôjô if he calls on the sacred name. This is the wonderful thing about Amida's Original Vow. And so, though a man born in an archer's family goes to war, and loses his life, if he only repeats the sacred name and relies upon Amida's Original Vow, there is not the slightest doubt whatever that Amida will come to welcome him to His Paradise" Under these gentle instructions his doubts left him, and with a glad heart he exclaimed, "Tadatsuna's Ôjô will verily take place today." Hônen handed him a sacred scarf which he put on under his armor, and he finally set out for the castle at Hachiôji, where he abandoned himself to battle with the rioters. In the midst of the struggle his sword was broken, and he received a deep wound. Seeing it was quite hopeless, he flung down his sword, and clasping his hands, with a loud voice he called upon the sacred name, and gave himself over into the hands of the enemy.

102-103

Humble converts at Takasago

When he reached the coast of Takasago, the province of Converts at Harima, many came with like purpose, among whom was an old couple, a man over seventy, and his wife over sixty

years of age, who said to him, "We are fisher folk who live in these parts. From childhood it has been our business day and night to take the lives of fish for our living. Now as we are told that people who kill living things must go down to hell and suffer there, we want to know if there isn't some way of escaping this?" Thus saying, they folded their hands before him and wept. Hônen looked pityingly upon them, spoke kindly to them, and said, "If you but repeat the 'Namu Amida Butsu: you will, by virtue of Amida's merciful Vow, be born into the Pure Land:' On hearing this, they wept for very joy. Thereafter, though they continued their fishing by day, they kept repeating the sacred name all the time, and at nightfall on coming home, to the great astonishment of their neighbors, their voices could be heard all night saying the Nembutsu. Finally when they came to the, it was with much composure that they realized their longing for Ôjô. Hônen afterwards hearing of it said, "This proves that anyone may attain Ôjô by practicing the Nembutsu ».

122-123

The harlot converted

When he arrived at Muro-no-tomari in the same province, a small boat drew near carrying a woman of ill-fame, who said to Hônen, "I heard that this was your boat, and I have come to meet you. There are many ways of getting on in the world, but what sin could have been committed in a former life of mine, to bring me into such an evil life as this, which I seem fated to lead. What can a woman who carries a load of sin like mine do to escape, and be saved in the world to corne?" Hônen compassionately replied, "Your guilt in living such a life is surely great, and the penalty indeed incalculable. If you can find another means of livelihood, give this up at once, but if you cannot, or if you are not yet ready to sacrifice your very life for the true way, begin just as you are, and call on the sacred name; for it is for just such sinners as you, that Amida Nyorai made that wonderfully comprehensive Vow of His. So put your sole trust in it, without the least misgiving. If you rely upon His Original Vow and repeat the Nembutsu, your Ôjô is an absolute certainty." Thus kindly taught, the woman wept for joy, and later Hônen said of her, "She is a woman of strong faith. She is sure to attain Ôjô." When afterwards he was on his way back to the capital, he called at this place and inquired about her. He found that from the time he had instructed her, she had retired to a village near the mountains in the neighborhood, and had been living there, devoting herself assiduously to the practice of the Nembutsu. A short time alter, as death drew near, it was with great mental composure that she safely accomplished her Ôjô. On being told this, he said, "Yes, it is just as I had expected."

123

The end approaching

From the second of the first month in the second year of Kenryaku (1212), Hônen was so poorly for several days that he could hardly eat anything. For three or four years his sight and hearing had become so dull, that he could neither clearly distinguish color nor recognize voices. But now as the end approached, both senses became as keen as of yore, and everyone who saw him was filled with delight and surprise. On the second of the month he talked of nothing but birth into the Pure Land, repeating the sacred name without ceasing in a loud voice, and even in his sleep his lips continued to move. On the third of the month, one of his disciples said to him, "Do you think it means birth into the Pure Land this time for sure?" To which he replied, "I came from the Land of Bliss, and I am sure I am going back there." Then Hôrembô, another disciple, said to him, "All famous priests from ancient times have left memorial temples behind them, but none such has yet been built for you. Where then, shall we build yours?" His answer was, "If you erect a memorial to me over my grave, the influence of my teaching will be confined to one place, and not widely disseminated. But I assure you my memorial shall fill the land. The one purpose of my life has been the universal spread of the Nembutsu. So wherever among high or low the Nembutsu cult is found, there is my memorial temple, though it be but in a thatched cottage of a humble fisherman.

130-131

Hônen’s vision

At the hour of the serpent (10 h), on the same day, his disciples brought him an image of Amida three feet high, and, as they put it on the right side of his bed, asked him if he could see it. With his finger pointing to the sky, he said, "There is another Buddha here besides this one. Do you not see him?" Then he went on to say, "As a result of the merit of repeating the sacred name, I have, for over ten years past, continually been gazing upon the glory of the Pure Land, and the very forms of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but I have kept it secret and said nothing about it. Now however, as I draw near the end, I disclose it to you." The disciples then took a piece of cord made of five-colored strands, fastened it to the hand of the Buddha's image, and told Hônen to take hold of it. Declining, he said, "This is the ceremony for most men, but hardly necessary for me."

131-132

Hônen’s parting message

As Hônen was drawing to the end, Seikwambô said to him, "I have for many years been indebted to you for instruction and counsel in the way of faith in the Nembutsu. But now will you not write me something with your own hand, that you think will be good for me, that I may preserve it as a memento." At this he took up his pen and wrote as follows: "The method of final salvation that I have propounded is neither a sort of meditation, such as has been practiced by many scholars in China and Japan, nor is it a repetition of the Buddha's name by those who have studied and understood the deep meaning of it. It is nothing but the mere repetition of the 'Namu Amida Butsu; without a doubt of His mercy, whereby one may be born into the Land of Perfect Bliss. The mere repetition with firm faith includes all the practical details, such as the threefold preparation of mind and the four practical rules. [note] If I as an individual have any doctrine more profound than this, I should miss the mercy of the two Honorable Ones, Amida and Shaka, and be left out of the Vow of the Amida Buddha. glose who believe this, though they clearly understand all the teachings Shaka taught throughout his whole life, should behave themselves like simple-minded folk, who know not a single letter, or like ignorant nuns or monks whose faith is implicitly simple. Thus without pedantic airs, they should fervently practice the repetition of the name of Amida, and that alone."

[note] The "threefold preparation of mind" refers to the three "mental states" described in Chapter 9 intra; the "four practical rules" as prescribed by Zendô are 1) treating with profound reverence and respect all sacred objects, 2) practicing nothing but the Nembutsu, 3) leaving no intervals of time between the Nembutsu repetitions, but keeping them up continuously, and 4) the continued practice throughout one's whole life of the foregoing three.

135

Glossary (extracts)

Holy Path (Shôdô)—Hônen uses Shôdô (Holy Path) to refer to the forms of Buddhism that came before him and which do not recognize the centrality of Amida Buddha. According to Hônen, the practice of the so-called Holy Path (Shôdô) properly belongs to an earlier, more perfect, period, when men were of superior capacity and wisdom. The practice of the so-called Pure Land (Jôdo) belongs to the current degenerate age, and offers a way by which those who are lacking in intelligence and virtue may attain salvation.

Ôjô—Birth into Amida's Pure Land, at the moment of one's bodily death.

Original Vow—Before he attained perfect Enlightenment and became the Buddha Amida, the Bodhisattva Hôzô Biku made Forty-eight Vows (collectively known as the Original Vow), including the all-important vow that he would accept Enlightenment only on condition that each person who calls upon bis name with faith but ten times, or even once, shall be born into his Pure Land of Bliss.

The Essential SHINRAN (1173-1262)

The Essential Shinran, A Buddhist Path of True Entrusting, Compiled and Edited by Alfred Bloom, 2007 World Wisdom, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana.

L’ensemble déconcerte comme précédemment. Il propose en une structure solide un « catéchisme » de la Terre pure construit à partir d’extraits sélectionnés au sein d’une œuvre abondante.


§

[…] The Shônin Zenshin once said to his Teacher: "Since my abandonment of the Path of Difficult Practice for that of Easy Practice and my entrance into the Gate of the Pure Land away from that of Holy Path, I have ever been under your wise guidance whereby I was made to hoard up the good seeds of release and emancipation. If not for you, what would become of me? For that reason, I know not how to [38] give vent to my feeling of happiness and gratitude. There are, however, many fellow-believers of mine, all of whom are enjoying the friendship of belonging to the same company under one director, and yet we know not one another well as regards our inner faith, whether it is such as to enable us to be born in the country of Amida or not. Besides, I have a desire to know who among us could be real spiritual friends in our coming lives, and also to have a sort of meeting to test our faith while still living here. Will you kindly permit me to say a few words to my fellow-believers on such an occasion as seems proper?"
To this the Teacher replied, "Your request is most reasonable. You shall speak to them when they all corne here tomorrow."
The next day when they were assembled, the Shônin requested them to arrange themselves into two groups according to their views on what constitutes the stage of steadfastness, that is, whether it is attained by faith or by work. Some three hundred fellow-believers of his, who were present at this meeting, seemed not to comprehend fully the sense of this request. There were two, however, who declared themselves as belonging to the group of those who believed in the all-importance of faith: they were Seikaku who was a Hôin, Daikwashô-i, and Shaku Hôren called Shinkû Shônin.
Later came in Hôriki, Kumagai Naozane, a lay-disciple of the Teacher and asked, "My venerable Zenshin, what are you engaged in?" Replied the Shônin, "Sir, we are trying to make a distinction between those who believe in the all-importance of faith and those who believe in work as most essential." Said Hôriki, "If this be the case, I must not be left out, for I will join the rank of those who believe in the all-importance of faith." Thereby, Zenshin took down his name as requested, while the rest of those present numbering several hundreds had not a word to say concerning the matter in question. Perhaps this silence was due to their inability to free themselves from the bondage of "self salvation" and to their minds still being dark as regards the true diamond-like faith. Thus, as they remained silent, the Shônin who was acting as recorder, put his own name down. After a while, the Venerable Teacher said, "I also will take a seat with those who believe in the all-importance of faith." Then among his disciples, some humbly and devoutly expressed their willingness to follow his example while others felt dejected over their weakness of faith.
7
Said the Shônin, "When we were once gathered in the presence of the Teacher, the Venerable Genkû, including such personages as Shôshimbô, Seikwambô Nembutsubô, and many others, we entered [39] unexpectedly into a heated discussion. This was raised by my remark to the effect that the faith entertained by the Teacher and myself so completely coincided that there could not be any distinction whatever between his and mine. The others present did not agree with me and raised an objection, saying, ‘We cannot see any reason in your remark that the faith of the Teacher and your own are one and the same. How could they be one?' I then said, 'Why should I not say that they are one? Of course, I am not so presumptuous as to imagine for a moment that I am equal to the Teacher in deep wisdom and wide learning; but as far as my faith in the Pure Land of Amida is concerned, it has been firmly established since my listening to the doctrine of salvation by "Other-Power" and I have been free from the notion of "by myself." Now, the faith of the Teacher is based upon a power other than the Self, and so is mine. Hence my declaration that they are both one and the same.'
"Thereupon, the Venerable Teacher truly observed : ‘Faith varies so long as it is based on "Self-Power," for we all have different intellectual capacities, and the faith based upon them cannot be identical; whereas the faith based upon a power other than the Self is one that is given by the Buddha to us, ignorant beings, regardless of our moral attainments; and therefore, what makes up my faith cannot in any way differ from the faith embraced by Zenshin, they are identical. My faith is not the outcome of my ingenuity. Those who entertain a faith other than that which has just been referred to, may not go to the same Pure Land where I am bound for. Let this be thoroughly understood by all.’
"With this, they held their tongues and did not speak a word."

§


105. Uncalculating-430
In entrusting ourselves to the Tathâgata's Primal Vow and saying the Name once, necessarily, without seeking it, we are made to receive the supreme virtues, and without knowing it, we acquire the great and vast benefit. This is dharmicness, by which one will immediately realize the various facets of enlightenment naturally. "Dharmicness" means not brought about in any way by the practicer's calculation; from the very beginning one shares in the benefit that surpasses conception. h indicates the nature of jinen. "Dharmicness" expresses the natural working (jinen) in the life of the person who realizes shinjin and says the Name once [Notes on Once-Calling and Many-Calling, I, p. 481].

106. Uncalculating-5
[The Vow and the Name are One]
I have read your letter very carefully.
I fail to understand why your question should arise, for although we speak of Vow and of Name, these are not two dif-ferent things. There is no Name separate from the Vow; there is no Vow separate from the Name. Even to say this, however, is to impose one's own calculation. Once you simply realize that the Vow surpasses conceptual understanding and with singleness of heart realize that the Name surpasses conceptual understanding and pronounce it, why should you labor in your own calculation?
h seems to me that with all your attempts to understand by reasoning and by learning you have fallen into confusion. It is completely in error. Once you have simply come to realize that Vow and Name surpass conceptual understanding, you should not calculate in this way or that. There must be nothing of your calculation in the act that leads to birth.
Respectfully,
You must simply entrust yourself to Tathàgata.
Respectfully.
Fifth month, 5th day 
[Lamp for the Latter Ages, Letter #9, I, p. 536].

§

d. No-working is True-working
Note31 : This paradoxical statement is attributed by Shinran to Hônen, his teacher. In context it suggests that the devotee should not involve in calculations of benefit and result in adopting the nembutsu nor deal in complicated speculations and theorizing. He calls for a simple faith which recognizes the depravity of human nature and the unconditional compassion of Amida Buddha. [...]

110. No-working-1
Further, Other Power means that no working is true working. "Working" [that is negated] is the practicer's calculating and designing. Tathàgata's Primat Vow surpasses conceptual under-standing; it is a design of the wisdom of Buddhas. It is not the design of foolish beings. No one can fathom the wisdom of Bud-dhas, which surpasses conceptual understanding. This includes Maitreya Bodhisattva, who is in [the rank of] succession to Buddhahood. Thus, the great teacher Hônen said, "No working is true working." My understanding has been that nothing apart from this realization is necessary for the attainment of birth into the Pure Land; therefore, what others may say is of no concern to me [Letters: Lamp for the Latter Ages, Letter 7, I, p. 533; See also Notes on the Inscriptions on Sacred Scrolls, I, p. 520]. [92]

111. No-working-2
If it is understood that the person of shinjin dwells in the stage of the truly settled, there is no calculation on the part of the practicer, hence, we speak of Other Power, in which no working is truc working. Since practicers have become free of calculation as to whether they are good or evil, pure or defiled, it is said that no working is true working. . . . Because persons of shinjin dwell in the same stage as Maitreya, who will attain Buddhahood alter one lifetime, it is certain that they are grasped, never to be abandoned. Hence, what we call Other Power means that there is no room for the slightest particle of calculation on the part of the practicer. For this reason, it is said that no working is truc working. The great master [Hônen] said, "Beyond this, nothing needs to be said. Simply entrust yourself to the Buddha" [Letters of the Tradition (Zensho Text), I, pp. 573-574].
[...]
§

e. Shinran's Ranking of Buddhist Teachings (Critical Classification of Teachings)

Note : Classifying or organizing Buddhist teachings was a feature of Chinese Buddhism. It resulted from the fact that Buddhist Sûtras and teachings entered China in an unsystematic way, giving rise to confusion about the order and relationship of the various teachings. Though it was believed that Sâkyamuni had taught all these teachings, offered in the Sûtras, there were many contradictions and ambiguities among the very diverse texts. Consequently, Buddhist teachers attempted to organize the texts and teachings based on a principle of progression from simpler to more complex, tracing from the Hinayâna through the Mahâyâna and within Mahâyâna. Several systems grew up based on the Hua Yen Sûtra, the Lotus Sûtra of T'ien-t'ai (Tendai), Shan-tao in the Pure Land tradition, Kôbô Daishi in the Shingon sert in Japan, and Shinran.
The Pure Land system grew gradually from the distinctions developed among the early teachers from Nâgârjuna to Shan-tao. Shan-tao set forth the most comprehensive outline, which we have termed here the traditional view. Shinran formulated his own system to highlight absolute Other-Power, though he also employed the traditional system.
In the traditional system there is a basic distinction between the Sage or Saintly Path, which is self power and the Pure Land gate, which is Other-Power. The Sage Path is the way of difficult practices of meditation and morality, while the Pure Land is the easy path of nembutsu which came to mean vocal recitation of the Buddha's [95] name. The Sage Path practices may be directed to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as well as Amida, but the easy path of nembutsu is directed to Amida. The Sage Path within Pure Land teaching, based on Vasubandhu, employs a variety of practices for birth into the Pure Land such as worship, praise-adoration, aspiration, meditation, and directing merit. Later, with Shan-tao, the system of five right practices was set forth: chanting Sûtras, meditation, worship, reciting nembutsu, making offerings. Within this group, reciting nembutsu was called correct practice, while the other four were assisting practices. Those devoted to other Buddhas were called sundry practice, while those directed to Amida were correct or true practice. Hônen later determined that the recitation of the nembutsu was the sole practice provided by Amida for the salvation of ordinary people. He set forth the "sole practice of nembutsu." His successors varied in emphasis on the use of the supplementary, assisting practices.
Shinran followed Hônen in stressing the sole practice of nembutsu, rejecting completely the assisting practices while focusing on the issue of true entrusting that motivates the nembutsu. He shifted attention from the externat practice to the inner mind and attitude of trust.
Shinran's system of two pairs and four levels highlights the issue in Mahâyâna of sudden and gradual approaches to Enlightenment. The Sage Path is symbolized by vertical-graduai, while the Pure Land is horizontal-sidewise-sudden. "Going out" by various compassionate means denotes the various practices, and true "transcending" is the way of shinjin-nembutsu. Combining the four characteristics make two pairs that include ail the many practices of Buddhism.
The distinctions "two pair and four levels" are an important facet of Shinran's classification of teachings. They position Shinran's teaching in relation to the principles of Other-Power and "suddenness" which reflect the inward nature of Shinran's perspective. He goes a step beyond the understanding of Hônen's successors by rejecting the gradual accumulation of merit through self-striving, while establishing the position of absolute Other-Power marked by the sudden arising of true entrusting in the Vow. Also, he sees a self-power nembutsu within Other-Power when the practice of nembutsu is used as a source of merit.
Though Shinran is clear that self-power faith and practice does not bring birth into the Pure Land on an equal level with true entrusting, he indicates that those who are of mixed mind or mixed practice are born in an outer region of the Pure Land, termed borderland, womb-palace, or realm of indolence. After a period of time, they will finally enter the Pure Land. Shinran's view is one of universal, positive hope of the attainment for all persons, despite the spiritual limitations he sees in general religious practice.
The four levels and two pairs system that Shinran created may be understood through a set of images. Vertical is self-power, going out is gradual, crosswise is Other-power, and transcending is sudden or instantaneous. The four sets of pairs are: vertical-going out, vertical-transcending, crosswise-going out, and crosswise-transcending. The vertical-going out includes the Hinayâna and early Mahâyâna such as the Consciousness-only school and Three Treatise school. They illustrate a swimmer going across a stream by his own strength. The vertical-transcending is self-power with direct, immediate attainment and is depicted by Zen with a runner pole-vaulting across a stream. The crosswise-going out compares to Pure Land teaching [97] and meritorious recitation of the Name. It is like a person grasping a life preserver and being hauled to shore. Crosswise-transcending is absolute Other-Power, the instantaneous embrace by the Buddha, and may be likened to a drowning person snatched from the water by a rescuer. Only the last represents Shinran's teaching; all others are provisional and while partially true may lead finally to the experience of true entrusting as devotees become aware of their spiritual incapacity and realize trust in Amida's Vow.	

i. The Traditional Pure Land View
115. Classification-1
Among all the teachings that Shakyamuni Buddha taught during his lifetime, those that teach attaining sacred wisdom and realizing the fruit in this world are called the Path of Sages. They are termed the path of difficult practice. Within this path there are Mahayana and Hinayana; gradual attainment and sudden attainment; the One Vehicle, two vehicles, and three vehicles; accommodated and true; exoteric and esoteric; departing lengthwise and transcending lengthwise. These are self-power teachings, the path of the accommodated gate of provisional means recommended [by those] in the state of benefiting and guiding others.
Attaining sacred wisdom and realizing the fruit in the Pure Land of peace is called the Pure Land path. It is termed the path of easy practice. Within this path there are departing crosswise and transcending crosswise; temporary and true; graduai attainment and sudden attainment; auxiliary, right, and sundry practices; mixed praxis and single praxis.
[...]
"Transcending crosswise" refers to being mindful of the Primal Vow and becoming free of the mind of self-power; this is termed "Other Power of transcending crosswise." It is the single within the single, the sudden within the sudden, the true [98] within the true, the One Vehicle within the [One] Vehicle. It is the truc essence [of the Pure Land way] [KGSS, VI. I, pp. 222-223. # 35].
[…]
§

ii. True Entrusting and Buddha-Nature
173. Entrusting-10
The Nirvana Sutra states:
Good sons! Great love and great compassion are called Buddha-nature. Why? Because great love and great compassion always accompany the bodhisattva, just as shadows accompany things. All sentient beings will without fail ultimately realize great love and great compassion. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient beings are possessed of Buddha-nature." Great love and great compassion are Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature is Tathâgata.
Great joy and great even-mindedness are called Buddha-nature. Why? Because if a bodhisattva-mahasattva were incapable of the twenty-five forms of existence, he could not attain the supreme, perfect enlightenment. All sentient beings will ultimately attain great joy and great even-mindedness. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient beings are possessed of Buddha-nature." Great joy and great even-mindedness are none other than Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature is Tathâgata.
Buddha-nature is great shinjin. Why? Because through shinjin the bodhisattva-mahasattva has acquired ail the paramitas from charity to wisdom. All sentient beings will without fail ultimately realize great shinjin. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient beings are possessed of Buddha-nature." Great shinjin is none other than Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature is Tathâgata.
Buddha-nature is called "the state of regarding each being as one's only child." Why? Because through the conditions of the state of regarding each being as one's only child, the bodhisattva has realized the mind of equality concerning ail sentient beings. All sentient beings will without fail ultimately attain the state of regarding each being as one's only child. Therefore it is taught, "All sentient beings are possessed of Buddha-nature." The state of regarding each being as one's only child is none other than Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature is Tathâgata [Nirvana sûtra ; KGSS, III.I, p.99, #31].
§

c. The Mind of True Entrusting
192. Entrusting-29
...There is no nembutsu separate from shinjin, nor is one moment of shinjin separate from the one moment of nembutsu [… 151…] To hear this Vow and be completely without doubt is the one moment of shinjin...
Note : In the background of Shinran's statement of the inseparability of true entrusting and the recitation of the name, or nembutsu, is the use in general Buddhism of the recitation of the name as a mantra, a specially charged word. People believe in the power of such words and recite it for benefits and protection, as well as to gain merit for birth in the Pure Land. For Shinran the fundamental issue is the turnabout, the transformation of the mind through the arising of true entrusting in Amida's Vow. The exclamation Namu amida butsu spontaneously arises from this inner movement of the heart-mind. The first evocation indicates that one has been grasped never to be abandoned by the Buddha. All other evocations are responses of gratitude to this wondrous experience. Therefore, they are inseparable, both entrusting and recitation being expressions of the Vow and not a contrivance of the devotee.
§

204. Entrusting-41
With these words we know that the pure aspiration that one awakens is not the mind of self-power of foolish beings. It is the mind directed to beings out of great compassion. Hence it is called "pure aspiration." Concerning the words, "With the mind that is single, with right-mindedness," then, "right-mindedness" refers to saying the Name. Saying the Name is the nembutsu. "The mind that is single" is deep mind. Deep mind is profound shinjin, which is steadfast. Steadfast, profound shinjin is the true mind. The true mind is the diamond-like mind. The diamond-like mind is the supreme mind. The supreme mind is the mind that is genuine, single, and enduring. The mind that is genuine, single, and enduring is the mind of great joy. When the mind of great joy is realized, this mind negates the three characteristics of non-entrusting; it accords with the three characteristics of entrusting. This mind is the mind of great enlightenment. The mind of great enlightenment is true and real shinjin. True and real shinjin is the aspiration for Buddhahood. The aspiration for Buddhahood is the aspiration to save all beings. The aspiration to save all beings is the mind that grasps sentient beings and [157] brings them to birth in the Pure Land of happiness. This mind is the mind of ultimate equality. It is great compassion. This mind attains Buddhahood. This mind is Buddha. It is "practicing in accord with reality, being in correspondence with the Name." Let this be known. Here ends the explanation that the three minds are the mind that is single [Passages on the Pure Land Way, I, pp. 313-314].

§

j. True Entrusting and Doubt
Note We may note in Shinran's writings that he refers frequently to the absence of doubt as a mark of true entrusting. Religious leaders often urge their followers not to [168] doubt or otherwise question their beliefs. If one questions, one's salvation is in doubt It is the opinion of this author that that is not the doubt that Shinran is referring to.
He entertained many questions from his disciples and never tried to suppress them.
It is a deeper form of doubt that the focus is on here, the doubt concerning the possibility of such a salvation. It is doubt about the principle of salvation, not merely certain so-called "facts" relating to its history. It is doubt concerning the truth of one's own life and the awareness of being embraced by the Buddha's compassion. It is doubt of one's own perception that calls into question one's very being itself. For those who experience true entrusting, the reality symbolized by Amida Buddha becomes self-evident; one identifies his/her life with that world and reality. To doubt that is to doubt one's own experience.
Therefore Shinran indicates that pursuing salvation through self power is an expression of doubt, because the devotee does not trust the Vow, the ground of the nembutsu, as sufficient in itself to save people.

231. Doubt-2
Pure shinjin is shinjin that actualizes Amida's profound and vast benefiting of others. It arises from the Vow of birth through the nembutsu, also known as "the Vow of sincere mind and entrusting." It may further be called "the Vow of shinjin, which is Amida's directing of virtue for our going forth." However, for the shallowest of foolish beings—we multitudes of the basent level—it is impossible to realize pure shinjin, impossible to attain the highest end. This is because we do not depend on Amida's directing of virtue for our going forth and because we are entangled in a net of doubt. It is through the Tathâgata's supportive power, and through the vast power of great compassion and all-embracing wisdom, that a person realizes pure, true, and real shinjin. Therefore, that mind will not be inverted; that mind will not be vain or false. Truly we know that the supreme, perfect fruit of enlightenment is not difficult to attain; it is pure shinjin, true and real, that is indeed difficult to realize [Passages on the Pure Land Way, I, p. 299].

§

7. True Entrusting and Nembutsu Practice
Note : As Shinran notes in his writings, the name Namu-amida-butsu or nembutsu is the fruit of the Bodhisattva Dharmàkara's Enlightenment, providing a way of salva-tion for all beings. This name, praised by all Buddhas, according to the Seventeenth
Shinran Interprets Pure Land Teaching
Vow, embodies Amida's compassion-wisdom. It is "incarnation" in a name, that is, the Buddha is fully present in his name.
The name gains its significance among all names because Shinran taught that in true entrusting the name embodies the essence of Amida. When it is recited with
trust, one's ultimate enlightenment becomes assure& In a sense, as Christians believe
that Jesus was an incarnation of God, Shinran taught that through the fulfillment of his Vows, Amida Buddha became embodied, or "incarnated" (a metaphor), that
is, spiritually present, in the name. Thereby he is continually available to us. When Amida is represented in art the name is written placed on a lotus blossom, signi-fying that it is a Buddha. It is highly symbolic. Rennyo, the 8th Abbot, declared that a picture of Amida is better than an image, and the written name is better than a picture.
As he states, this name is not simply a name like any other name. We may under-stand this in comparison to other names of people and things. Other names are des-ignations and signs, distinguishing one thing from another, like a label or street sign. In the case of Amida, the name is popularly used in the manner of a label of one Buddha among many, misleading people to consider it a theism.
However, the name stands for reality itself, the Infinite, not as one thing among many, but as that which is totally inclusive. Properly understanding the name of Amida, we do not think of a specific being, but inconceivable reality. Thus Shinran emphasized the aspect of light Amida is the form of light, the form of no-form. However, because of the limits of human understanding, he manifests as form and the direct expression of the Dharma body of suchness.
In the Namu-amida-butsu the Namu (in some forms Kimy(5) refers to the trusting person and means "to take refuge (in Amida Buddha)," while Amida embraces the person never to abandon. Amida Buddha is not a god standing outside, apart from us, but is our inner aspiration and inspiration as the reality revealed through the experi-ence of entrusting. The Infinite embraces the finite, enabling spiritual transformation. Through hearing and reciting the name, we encounter reality itself which frees and transforma the reality of our own being.
a. The Name
238. Name-1
The Name of the Tathàgata of unhindered light And the light that is the embodiment of wisdom Dispel the darkness of the long Wight of ignorance And fulfill the aspirations of sentient beings [Hymns of the Pure Land Masters, l, p. 373, # 471.

§

2. Shinran's Non-discriminating Dharma: Equal Companions on the way
Note : Based on the Mahâyâna Buddhist principles that all beings have Buddha-nature, all sentient beings are essentially equal in principle and to be treated with respect, despite the differences and limitations resulting from karma. Shinran gave concrete expression to this understanding by regarding his disciples as equal companions in the Dharma and not assuming superiority as a teacher. He declared that everyone received their trust equally from Amida, and that he did not have even one disciple. His effort was to communicate with the lowliest person, though many might consider it futile.
In the passage below on the Great Sea of Entrusting we peer directly into Shinran's mind, which sought to remove all barriers between people and saw everyone in Amida's embrace, no matter what their status. This passage is perhaps one of the most radical in declaring that the trust endowed by Amida can corne to even the most desperate, as well as the most righteous. No socially imposed distinction that people may use to function in society or judge another offers any basis to daim one's own spiritual superiority. In the section on Shôtoku we see that Shinran was aware of the problem of justice in society.
[...]
281. Non-discrimination-2
In reflecting on the great ocean of shinjin, I realize that there is no discrimination between noble and humble or black-robed monks and white-clothed laity, no differentiation between man and woman, old and young. The amount of evil one has committed is not considered; the duration of any performance of religious practices is of no concern. It is a matter of neither practice nor good acts, neither sudden attainment nor graduai attainment, neither meditative practice nor non-meditative practice, neither right contemplation nor wrong contemplation, neither thought nor no-thought, neither daily life nor the moment of death, neither many-calling nor once-calling. It is simply shinjin that is inconceivable, inexplicable, and inde-scribable. It is like the medicine that eradicates all poisons. The medicine of the Tathâgata's Vow destroys the poisons of our wisdom and foolishness [KGGS, III. I, p. 107].
[…]
§
						
F. Life Fulfillment
1. The Pure Land
Note. All major world religions have to account for human fulfillment and the after-life. One of the first questions teachers of religion encounter is: "What happens to me when I the?" The loss of loved ones and close friends and the prospect of one's own demise, as we advance in age and the end of life draws near, prompts this question. In our contemporary age end of life issues also raise the question of human fulfillment in this world and beyond.
The concept of the Pure Land is often compared with the concept of Heaven or Paradise in other religions, such as Christianity and Islam. Because of oppression and despotism in society, the Pure Land, like a heaven, often appears as an alternative to suffering in this world. 1t is depicted as "Otherworldly." In popular Pure Land [203] teaching emphasis was placed on the aspect of "going to" the Pure Land so many millions of miles to the West, reinforcing its otherworldly character.
While there are afterlife dimensions, the Pure Land, in some interpretations, is also an aspect of this world. When the Buddhist concept is fully presented, there are considerable differences from the concept of Heaven in other faiths.
We may note, first of all, that in the early tradition, now known as Theravâda, there is no conception of the Pure Land. When the Buddha completed his course in this world, he achieved Nirvâna without residue in contrast to Nirvâna with residue, which he attained with his enlightenment. Gautama Buddha had chosen, according to Theravâda Buddhist understanding, to remain in this world to share the Dharma, even though he had done everything required to enter Nirvâna. Nirvâna was an ineffable, inconceivable state where karma was exhausted and the conditions that create new life forms were dissolved. When the Buddha left this world, his state was indescribable. Consequently, early representations of the Buddha show him as an empty seat. He was the trackless one.
However, as Buddhist thought continued to evolve, it eventually gave rise to the Mahâyâna teaching. In Mahâyâna thought each Buddha purified a land where he taught the beings who were born there. Basing itself on an idealized understanding of Gautama Buddha, people during his time gained enlightenment through the influence of his presence. Therefore, people could attain Buddhahood in a Buddha land that was absolutely pure, because a Buddha was present in that land. As Mahâyâna mythology unfolded, innumerable Buddha lands are depicted in every sector of the universe, termed the ten directions (four cardinal points, four intermediate directions, the nadir, and zenith). They are the great universe of three thousand great chiliocosms. Initially the Western Pure Land of Amida was one of these lands. In the course of history the cuit of Amida grew, becoming the supreme goal of fulfillment within the Pure Land movement, which reached its peak with Shinran and other successors of Hônen in Japan.
For some people the Pure Land of Amida became an object of meditation and visualization promoted by the dissemination of the Samâdhi of Direct Encounter with the Buddhas of the Present Sûtra (Pratyutpanna Samâdhi Sûtra [abbreviated name]) and the Contemplation Sûtra. Gradually the recitation of the name of Amida also became a means for entering the samâdhi-trace state aimed at visualizing Amida and the Pure Land. Through such "mystical" or spiritual experiences, a practitioner gained union with Amida Buddha and an assurance of birth in that land.
The recitation of the name gradually became an independent practice and source of merit toward birth into the Pure Land for ordinary people who could not engage in the rigorous monastic discipline. This development reached its culmination in Hônen, who made it the sole practice whereby monks and lay people could attain birth in the Pure Land during the Last Age. The Pure Land, from one perspective, is a symbolic expression for Nirvâna. The bliss, joy, and freedom of that land embody the conditions that attend the realization of Nirvâna itself. However, it is given mythic, symbolic expression as the object of meditation. Visualization of the Pure Land brings union with Amida.
On the popular level, the ordinary person viewed the Pure Land as liberation from the bondage to life and its sufferings in this world. In this aspect, it would appear as a heaven. Shinran, in some of his letters, affirms the belief of his followers that they [204] will meet in the Pure Land and there will be reunion there with those we lose by separation in this world. This is the natural yearning of the heart in the face of great loss. It is also a response to the human desire for continuity and survival. However, it is to be noted that the Pure Land is a world of non-ego and not a sphere for the satisfaction of personal desire. Therefore, T'an-luan, an early Chinese teacher declared: "A person who, without awakening the mind aspiring for supreme enlightenment, simply hears that bliss is enjoyed in that land without interruption and desires to be born there for the sake of the bliss; such a person will not be able to attain birth. Thus it is said, They do not seek the sustained bliss for their own sake, but think only of freeing all sentient beings from pain" (KGSS, III. I, pp. 108-109).
The popular belief also supports the belief in the existence of the Pure Land beyond this world. However, in line with Mahâyâna teaching, the existence of the Pure Land cannot be substantial or objective. Substantiality (the belief that things have independent, self-standing existence) and objectivity (the belief that things exist outside or apart from our minds and consciousness) are considered delusions of the unenlightened mind. While at a certain level of spiritual development the disciple may entertain such beliefs, through their spiritual growth they corne to know the true status of such beliefs. They are upâya or compassionate means taught to encourage hope and commitment while educating the disciple to the deeper understanding.
The Pure Land Sûtras, supporting the popular tradition, depict the Pure Land dualistically as a world at great distance from this world. However, traditions which stress forms of meditation striving for non-dual experience, such as Zen, teach that through spiritual discipline and spiritual purification, one may see that this world is already the Pure Land. However, Shinran appears to dispute the idea that the Pure Land is only a matter of one's condition of mind, which he associates with self power practice (See 316. Polemics-1).
A major point concerning the Pure Land in Mahâyâna tradition is that the devotee does not remain in the Pure Land enjoying the paradisiacal existence for itself. Rather, the Mahâyâna Bodhisattva teaching follows the example of Gautama: After achieving Nirvâna by his Enlightenment, the Buddha remained in the world to teach others and open the door to Enlightenment for all. Likewise the devotee, on birth into the Pure Land, achieves Enlightenment under optimum conditions and as a Bodhisattva, devotes himself to bringing others to Enlightenment before entering Nirvâna. The principle of retuming from the Pure Land, based on the twenty-second Vow (See 59. Vows-1), is the other side of seeking to go to the Pure Land and has not received as much emphasis in the popular view. Amida's Vows indicate that the Bodhisattva will not accept final Enlightenment until all can attain it with him.
The principle of the solidarity of Enlightenment, putting the Enlightenment of others before one's own, is an expression of the self-giving aspect of Mahâyâna teaching and contrast with the belief that entry into heaven is an individual, personal salvation from this world, unrelated to the salvation of others left behind.
Shinran distinguishes the True Buddha Land and the Transformed Buddha Land. In the firth volume of the Kyôgyôshinshô, he presents the True Buddha Land which is Nirvâna, where the devotee immediately becomes Buddha with no elapse of time. It is the realm realized by true entrusting. The Transformed Buddha Land, taken up in the sixth volume is the traditional Pure Land where one goes as a result of meritorious [205] practice and karma. It represents the fulfillment of self-power practice. Shinran employed the symbolism derived from the Sûtras, such as birth in the Border Land which is also called Embryonic birth, Land of Sloth and Pride, or Transformed Land, where they spend time before entering the True Pure Land. A point of concern for Shinran and Pure Land teachers who proclaimed the unconditional compassion of Amida Buddha was the exclusionary clause of the Eighteenth Vow. The Vow declared that those people who committed the Pive grave offenses or slandered the Dharma could not enter the Pure Land. Shan-tao interpreted the clause as a cautionary statement to prevent people from committing those deeds. Shinran followed him in that view and simply quoted his text. Ultimately, all people, despite their evil, will be born in the Pure Land, undergoing a transformation through true entrusting.
[...]
322. Pure Land-3
Contemplating the features of that world, I see that it transcends the three realms: He sees that world of happiness to be boundless, like empty space; its breadth and vastness are likened to empty space [Notes on the Inscription on Sacred Scrolls, I, p. 502].
[...]
326. Pure Land-7
Come also means to return. To return is to attain the supreme nirvana without fail because one has already entered the ocean of the Vow; this is called "returning to the city of dharma-nature." The city of dharma-nature is none other than the enlightenment of Tathâgata, called dharma-body, unfolded naturally. When persons become enlightened, we say they "return to the city of dharma-nature." It is also called realizing truc reality or suchness, realizing the uncreated or dharma-body, attaining [207] emancipation, realizing the eternal bliss of dharma-nature, and attaining the supreme enlightenment. When persons attain this enlightenment, with great love and great compassion immediately reaching their fullness in them, they return to the ocean of birth-and-death to save all sentient beings; this is known as attaining the virtue of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra. To attain this benefit is come; that is, "to return to the city of dharma-nature" [Notes on « Essentials of Faith Alone, » I, p. 454].
§

2. Assurance of Fulfillment

Note : Shinran assured his followers that in the moment of reception of true entrusting, our birth becomes determined and secure. This could be because true entrusting was grounded in Buddha's Vow of the embrace that never abandons and not on the vagaries of individual believing. In the experience of true entrusting, the person experiences the conviction of the truth of the Vow as something given, not something generated by one's own will. In the interplay between the awareness of one's passion-ridden condition and hearing about Amida's Vow, true entrusting emerges that this is the truth of one's Life. It is not a fact for intellectual assent, but a self-evident truth in one's consciousness.
On the background of Japanese Buddhist tradition, it was a major shift in religious orientation. Till Shinran, the focus of religion was on practice, meditation, morality, etc. It was cumulative and meritorious. In Pure Land tradition there was emphasis on counting the number of nembutsu. But the question was always: "Am I pure enough?", "Have I done enough?" From the human side of the equation there is always anxiety, present in the belief in the potency of the lest thought at the moment of death and requiring the deathbed rites picturing the belief in the descent of the Buddha to welcome the devotee to the Pure Land.
From the standpoint of Buddhist teaching in Shinran's background, the devotee would attain the status of non-retrogression in the Pure Land. In translation it is cailed the Rightly Established State, Stage of the Truly Settled, or Company of the Truly Assured. According to the Eleventh Vow, it is in the Pure Land where this [212] status is attained (See 59. Vows-1). There one received assurance of final enlightenment. Shinran shifted the time from the future in the Pure Land to the present life, here and now. There is an emphasis on immediacy. The moment of the turning of the mind and reception of truc entrusting is the moment, in effect, when one is born into the Pure Land. One's actual death is to become Buddha immediately without elapse of time as in the traditional Pure Land teaching.

335. Assurance-1
Persons who truly realize shinjin,
Which is directed to them through Amida's Vow of wisdom,
Receive the benefit of being grasped, never to be abandoned;
Hence they attain the stage equal to perfect enlightenment [Hymns of the Dharma-Ages, I, p. 405, #25].

§


344. Equality-2

To welcome means that Amida receives us, awaits us. Hearing the inconceivable selected Primal Vow and the holy Name of supreme wisdom without a single doubt is called true and real shinjin; it is also called the diamond-like mind. When sentient beings realize this shinjin, they attain the equal of perfect enlightenment and will ultimately attain the supreme enlightenment, heing of the same stage as Maitreya, the future Buddha. That is, they become established in the stage of the truly settled. Hence shinjin is like a diamond, never breaking, or degenerating, or becoming fragmented; thus, we speak of "diamond-like shinjin." This is the meaning of to welcome [Notes on "Essentials of Faith Alone," 1, pp. 454-455].

345. Equality-3 Shinran Interprets Pure Land Teaching
They then attain birth means that when a person realizes shinjin, he or she is born immediately. "To be born immediately" is to [217] dwell	in the stage of non-retrogression. To dwell in the stage of non-retrogression is to become established in the stage of the truly settled. This is also called the attainment of the equal of perfect enlightenment. Such is the meaning of they then attain birth.
Then means immediately; "immediately" means without any passage of time and without any passage of days.
[Notes on "Essentials of Faith Alone, » 1, p. 455].

369. Nirvâna- 1 1
When a person has entered completely into the Pure Land of happiness, he or she immediately realizes the supreme nirvana; he realizes the supreme enlightenment. Although the terms differ, they both mean to realize the enlightenment of the Buddha who is dharma-body. As the true cause for this realization, Bodhisattva Dharmâkara gave us the Vow of Amida Buddha; this is known as directing virtue for the sake of our going forth in birth. This Vow of directing virtue is the Vow of birth through the nembutsu. To entrust oneself wholeheartedly to the Vow of birth through the nembutsu and be single-hearted is called wholehearted single practice. In terms of the Tathâgata's two forms of giving, true shinjin is to entrust oneself to the Vow of giving and be single-hearted; this shinjin arises from the working of the honored ones, Sâkyamuni and Amida . [Lamp for the Latter Ages, Letter 21. 1, p. 555].



DOGEN (1200-1253)

La vie de Dôgen32

C'est au début de l'époque Kamakura (1185-1333) que naît Dôgen à Kyôto, au premier mois de la deuxième année de l'ère Shôji (1200), dans un contexte religieux et socio-politique marqué par de profondes mutations. Contrairement à l'époque Heian (794-1184), couronnée par l'épanouissement de la grande littérature féminine avec son goût de grâce, de raffinement et d'élégance courtisane, celle de Kamakura, guerrière, se caractérise plutôt par une mentalité virile encourageant la simplicité et la frugalité. Portées par ce nouvel état d'esprit, la littérature et la religion bouddhiques connaîtront alors une véritable renaissance. Jusque-là monopolisé par les classes sociales privilégiées, le bouddhisme commence en effet à se diffuser et à connaître un réel engouement auprès des masses populaires. De ce mouvement de fond jailliront également les trois grandes figures réformatrices du bouddhisme japonais que sont Shinran (1173-1262), Dôgen (1200-1253) et Nichiren (1222-



1282). Même si aucun document d'époque ne permet de supposer l'existence de contacts directs entre ces grands réformateurs, il est aisé de trouver un trait commun à leur doctrine. Au lieu de privilégier, à l'instar des maîtres de l'époque Heian, les études théoriques, voire scolastiques, des textes bouddhiques de la tradition pour les fins d'un salut lointain, les trois réformateurs insistent désormais sur l'importance d'une pratique active du bouddhisme et sur la possibilité, pour l'homme, de connaître son salut dès cette vie. L'originalité et la grande popularité de ces doctrines permettront au bouddhisme japonais d'atteindre, à l'époque Kamakura, sa véritable apogée.
Par sa naissance, Dôgen appartient à la grande aristocratie du Japon médiéval. Il eut pour père un Tiers ministre [Nai.daijin 11)], Koga Michichika (mort en 1202), et pour mère, une fille du régent Matsudono Motofusa, Ishi (morte en 1207). Une biographie compilée vers 1472, le Kenzei-e, permet de nous faire une idée de la vie de Dôgen. Des indices nous laissent imaginer son intelligence précoce. Ainsi, dès l'âge de trois ans, il aurait lu le Rikyô-hya-kuei et, à six ans, le Saden et le Moshi. C'est sa mère, dit-on, qui, au moment où elle allait mourir (le laissant orphelin à l'âge de sept ans), lui aurait inspiré le désir de se faire moine. C'est ainsi que cinq ans plus tard, renonçant aux grands projets que son père adoptif avait conçus pour lui, il va profiter d'une nuit de printemps de la deuxième année de l'ère Kenreki (1212) pour s'enfuir chez son oncle maternel, Ryôkan Hôgen, à qui il demandera de l'introduire au
monastère Enryaku-ji (situé sur le mont Hi.ei au nord-est de Kyôto, la capitale). Le monastère Enryaku-ji jouissait à cette époque d'une grande renommée. C'était le siège principal de l'école japonaise Tendai fondée par Saichô (767-822) au début du IXe siècle, et le haut lieu des études bouddhiques au Japon. Toutes les grandes figures du bouddhisme japonais (dont Shinran et Nichiren) y ont fait leurs premières études. Sur les conseils de Ryôkan, Dôgen choisit finalement d'intégrer le pavillon Senkôbô de Yokawa, dans la région de Hannya-dai.
Au quatrième mois de la première année de l'ère Kenpô (1213), il reçoit la tonsure de la main de Kôen, supérieur du mont Hi.ei, puis les préceptes de l'être d'Éveil (<s>bodhisattva) dans le pavillon d'ordination Kaidan-in. Si l'on se fie à ce que rapporte le Kenzei-ki, Dôgen partira un an plus tard pour le Kennin-ji, un monastère fondé par Yôsai	(1141-1215) en 1202, où il entendra pour la première fois l'enseignement Zen de l'école Rinzai (Linji) de
la bouche même de ce maître. Au printemps de la cinquième année de l'ère Kenpô (1217) — ou la deuxième année de la même ère (1214) —, Dôgen fait l'expérience de son « grand doute ». Ce fameux grand doute [Taigi], sur lequel il reviendra plus tard dans ses écrits, résulte de la doctrine de l'éveil foncier [hongaku], doctrine emblématique de l'école japonaise Tendai. « S'il est dit dans les écritures que tous les êtres sont originellement munis de la nature de l'Éveillé [Busshô <s>buddhatâ], pourquoi faut-il se faire moine et s'adonner à la pratique pour devenir éveillé [Butsu s>buddha] ? » L'expérience de ce grand doute va inciter le jeune Dôgen à quitter le mont Hi.ei pour rejoindre, en 1217, le maître Myôzen (1184-1225), qui venait de remplacer Yôsai, décédé entre-temps, à la tête du monastère Ken.nin-ji. C'est avec Myôzen qu'au troisième mois de la deuxième année de l'ère Teiô (1223), Dôgen entreprend son voyage en direction de la Chine.
Au début du quatrième mois, ils atteignent les rives de Minshû, dans la province de Keigen-fu, alors gouvernée par la dynastie des Song. Mais pour des raisons administratives, Dôgen devra rester à bord du bateau quelque temps. C'est à ce moment qu'il fait la connaissance d'un vieux moine cuisinier du mont Aikuô, qui venait sur le bateau s'approvisionner en champignons japonais pour préparer une soupe à ses convives. Cet épisode marque profondément Dôgen qui, en jeune intellectuel impatient d'acquérir la connaissance de la pensée bouddhique, s'étonne devant l'apparente désinvolture du vieux moine. « Pourquoi un bouddhiste de votre rang, lui aurait-il demandé, s'occupe-t-il de la cuisine au lieu de s'adonner à la méditation assise et à la pratique de la Voie ? » C'est bien plus tard que Dôgen comprendra l'importance d'harmoniser, à l'exemple de ce moine cuisinier, les gestes de la vie courante avec la pensée, le quotidien avec l'absolu. En 1237, en mémoire de cette rencontre, il rédigera son célèbre texte Tenzo-kyôkun, L’enseignement au moine cuisinier ».
À son arrivée définitive en Chine, au septième mois de la deuxième année de l'ère Teiô (1223), Dôgen est accueilli au monastère Keitoku-ji du mont Tendô, où il fait la rencontre de l'abbé Musai Ryôha de l'école Rinzai. Mais ce premier contact avec l'école Zen chinoise s'avérera pour lui décevant. En hiver de la première année de l'ère Gennin (1224), il se résout donc à quitter le mont Tendô pour visiter d'autres monastères chinois de la province. Au cinquième mois de la première année de l'ère Karoku (1225) — la première année de l'ère Hôkyô en Chine —, après plusieurs mois de vaines pérégrinations, il retourne finalement au monastère du mont Tendô, où l'attendait une agréable surprise. Le maître Nyojô (1163-1228), de l'école Sôtô (CaoDong), venait en effet de s'y installer comme nouvel abbé. C'est alors que se produit l'« Événement » : « Voir ce maître (Nyojô) face à face, écrira Dôgen plus tard, c'est précisément rencontrer l'homme. » L'entente entre les deux hommes est totale dès leur premier entretien. Le maître remarque immédiatement l'exceptionnelle qualité de son nouveau disciple, de même que ce dernier découvre en Nyojô le maître de sa vie. C'est à cette époque, auprès de Nyojô, que Dôgen s'engage résolument dans l'étude du Zen — de la tradition Sôtô —, et dès l'été de la première année de l'ère Karoku (1225), il réalise l'Éveil au cours d'une retraite. Peu après, le 18 du neuvième mois de la même année, Nyojô lui transmet le Busso-shôden-bosatsu-kai « Les préceptes de l'être d'Éveil transmis avec justesse par les éveillés et les patriarches ».
Au huitième mois de la première année de l'ère Antei (1227), Dôgen retourne au Japon avec la lourde responsabilité d'y fonder à son tour un lieu d'Éveil dans la lignée de l'école Sôtô. Tâche dont il ne pourra s'acquitter sans mener d'abord, bien malgré lui et pendant quelques années, comme il le dira lui-même, « une vie errante tout comme les nuages éphémères et les herbes flottantes ». C'est au cours de ces années, et plus précisément au début de la deuxième année de l'ère Antei (1228), qu'il retourne au monastère Ken.nin-ji à Kyôto.

Mais deux années plus tard, sous la pression des autres moines, il est contraint de partir. Il ira alors s'installer au temple Anyô.in à Fukakusa (banlieue sud de Kyôto). Cinq ans après son retour en terre natale, Dôgen réussit finalement, au cours de la première année de l'ère Tenpuku (1233), à fonder à Fukakusa son premier monastère, le Kan.nondôri-kôshô-hôrin-ji (ou
Kôshô-ji) C'est à partir de cette époque qu'il s'engage à fond dans la rédaction du Shôbôgenzô, «La vraie Loi, Trésor de l'OEil ». Pendant l'hiver suivant, Ejô (1198-1280), qui jusque-là comptait au nombre des disciples du maître Kakuan et qui allait bientôt jouer un rôle important dans la compilation du recueil, rejoint Dôgen au Kôshô-ji afin de devenir son disciple. Deux ans plus tard, en 1236, Dôgen le nomme au poste de premier disciple [shuso] du monastère. Ejô, de deux ans plus âgé que son nouveau maître, lui témoignera toujours une grande fidélité. Au printemps de la deuxième année de l'ère Ninji (1241), plusieurs anciens condisciples d'Ejô (tels qu'Ekan, Gikai, Gi.in, Gi.en et Gi.un) qui, comme lui autrefois, étudiaient la doctrine du Darumashû auprès de Kakuan, vont suivre son exemple et rejoindre les rangs des disciples de Dôgen. L'arrivée de ces nouveaux disciples va permettre au monastère Kôshô-ji de se consolider, tandis que la réputation et l'influence de maître Dôgen ne cesseront de s'accroître dans la capitale.
Pour des raisons encore inconnues, Dôgen quittera soudainement Kyôto au septième mois de la première année de l'ère Kangen (1243) afin de s'installer définitivement dans la lointaine province d'Echizen (actuelle préfecture de Fukui) enfouie au sein des montagnes. C'est là, sur le domaine d'un de ses disciples laïcs, Hatano Yoshishige, que Dôgen fonde au septième mois de la deuxième année de l'ère Kangen (1244) son second monastère, le Daibutsu-ji « temple du grand Éveillé ». Celui-ci, qu'on renommera Eihei-ji « temple de la Paix éternelle », au sixième mois de la quatrième année de l'ère Kangen (1246), deviendra le quartier général de l'école Sôtô au Japon. À partir de cette époque, Dôgen consacre tous ses efforts à la consolidation du nouveau monastère. Toutefois, au huitième mois de la première année de l'ère Hôji (1247), sur la demande du Shôgun Tokiyori, il est contraint de se rendre à Kamakura. Après un séjour de quelques mois dans cette ville, il pourra finalement retourner au temple de la Paix éternelle [Eihei-ji], au troisième mois de la deuxième année de l'ère Hôji (1248). C'est avec un sentiment d'amour profond qu'il retrouve les montagnes d'Echizen, au point que l'année suivante, il déclare qu'il ne quittera plus le monastère Eihei-ji.
Les premiers symptômes de la maladie qui allait l'emporter se manifestent au cours de l'été de la quatrième année de l'ère Kenchô (1252). L'année suivante, le 6 du premier mois de la cinquième année de l'ère Kenchô (1253), Dôgen rédige Les huit préceptes de l'homme éveillé [Hachi-dainingaku] — ce sera le dernier texte de La vraie Loi, Trésor de l'OEil [Shôbôgenzô], - et il avoue à Ejô son désir de compiler à nouveau, à sa guérison, le recueil qui devait comporter 100 textes au total. Le 14 du septième mois, sa maladie continuant de s'aggraver, il décide de léguer le temple de la Paix éternelle [Eihei-ji] à Ejô. Le 5 du huitième mois, à la demande de Hatano Yoshishige, Dôgen quitte les montagnes et se rend à Kyôto pour se faire soigner. Le 15 du huitième mois, il compose son poème d'adieu : « Même dans cet automne que j'ai tant désiré voir, la clarté de la lune de cette nuit-ci me prive du sommeil. » Il passe ses derniers jours dans la résidence particulière de son disciple laïc Kakunen, et en signe de reconnaissance envers son hôte, il grave sur un des piliers de la résidence l'enseigne suivante : « l'ermitage du Sublime Sûtra du Lotus » [Myôhôrenge-kyô-an]. Le 28 du huitième mois de la cinquième année de l'ère Kenchô (1253), à l'heure du Tigre (vers quatre heures du matin), Dôgen s'éteint à l'âge de 53 ans, laissant son maître-ouvrage, La vraie Loi, Trésor de l'OEil [Shôbôgenzô], inachevé.



1. Le kôan qui se réalise comme présence (Genjô-kôan)

1. Au moment favorable* où la multitude des entités est la Loi* de l'Éveillé, il y a, alors, l'Éveil et l'égarement, il y a la pratique, il y a les naissances et les morts, il y a la multitude des éveillés et la foule des êtres*.
Au moment favorable où les dix mille existants ne sont plus à moi [pas de moi – plus en moi - etc], il n'y a ni l'Éveil ni l'égarement, il n'y a ni la multitude des éveillés ni la foule des êtres, il n'y a ni l'apparaître ni le disparaître.
Puisque, dès l'origine, la Voie de l'Éveillé outrepasse la plénitude et le manque, il y a l'apparaître et le disparaître, il y a l'Éveil et l'égarement, il y a les êtres et les éveillés.
Et bien que ce soit ainsi, les fleurs ne font que s'effeuiller dans l'amour et le regret, et les herbes folles ne font que proliférer dans la haine et le rejet.
2. L'égarement, c'est mettre en avant le Soi* pour pratiquer et atteste? les dix mille existants ; l'Éveil, c'est laisser pratiquer les dix mille existants et attester le Soi. La multitude des éveillés fait un grand Éveil avec l'égarement ; la foule des êtres fait un grand égarement à l'endroit de l'Éveil. Il y a encore des gaillards qui s'éveillent dans l'Éveil, et il y en a qui s'égarent dans l'égarement.
3. Lorsque la multitude des éveillés est réellement la multitude des éveillés, nul besoin de savoir ni de percevoir que le Soi est la multitude des éveillés. Et pourtant, elle atteste l'Éveillé ; elle avance en attestant l'Éveillé.
4. En relevant le corps et le coeur, on perçoit les formes-couleurs, et on écoute la voix. Quoiqu'on les appréhende intimement, ce n'est pas comme le miroir qui loge une image, ce n'est pas comme la lune et l'eau. Lorsqu'on atteste un côté, l'autre reste sombre.
5. Apprendre la Voie de l'Éveillé, c'est apprendre le Soi. Apprendre le Soi, c'est oublier le Soi. Oublier le Soi, c'est se laisser attester par les dix mille existants. Se laisser attester par les dix mille existants, c'est laisser le Soi se dépouiller du corps et du coeur ainsi que du corps et du coeur du Soi de l'autre. Il y a l'empreinte de l'Éveil qui demeure en repos, et c'est de ce repos qu'on fait rejaillir au loin l'empreinte de l'Éveil.
6. Lorsque l'homme recherche la Loi pour la première fois, il s'en trouve éloigné de mille lieues. Lorsque la Loi est déjà transmise en lui avec justesse, aussitôt est-il la personne dans son état originel sans souillure.
7. Lorsque l'homme voyage en bateau et perçoit au loin la rive, il s'imagine la voir avancer. Si, en revanche, il attache intimement son regard au bateau, il voit bien que c'est lui qui avance. De même, lorsqu'il discerne et affirme les dix mille existants à partir des facultés confuses du corps et du coeur, il s'imagine à tort que son coeur et sa nature demeurent permanents. S'il suit intimement sa pratique quotidienne et retourne à l'ici-même, il voit clairement le principe de la Voie selon lequel les dix mille existants ne lui appartiennent pas.
8. La bûche, une fois devenue cendre, n'a plus à redevenir une bûche. Et pourtant, ne considérez pas que la cendre soit l'après et la bûche l'avant. Sachez-le, la bûche demeure dans son niveau de la Loi*, dotée en elle-même de l'avant et de l'après. Quoiqu'il y ait l'avant et l'après, il y a une coupure entre l'avant et l'après [les êtres soumis à l’écoulement du temps peuvent ... accéder à la sphère de ce Présent … dans lequel le temporel et l’atemporel ainsi que le passé, le présent et le futur ne font qu’un]. La cendre demeure dans son niveau de la Loi, dotée en elle-même de l'après et de l'avant. Comme cette bûche, une fois devenue cendres, ne redevient plus bûche, l'homme une fois mort ne revient plus à la naissance. Aussi apprend-on selon la Loi de l'Éveillé à ne pas dire que la naissance devienne mort. C'est pourquoi on parle de la « non-naissance ». Que la mort ne devienne pas naissance, telle est la roue de la Loi* que met en mouvement l'Éveillé conformément à son enseignement. C'est pourquoi on parle de la « non-disparition ». La naissance aussi est un niveau (de l'existence) pour un temps ; la mort aussi est un niveau (de l'existence) pour un temps. Par exemple, c'est comme l'hiver et le printemps. On ne considère pas que l'hiver devienne le printemps ; on ne dit pas non plus que le printemps devienne l'été.
9. L'homme obtient l'Éveil comme la lune demeure au milieu de l'eau. La lune n'est pas mouillée, l'eau n'est pas brisée. Aussi large et vaste que soit sa clarté, elle demeure dans une toute petite nappe d'eau. La lune entière et le ciel entier demeurent aussi bien dans la rosée sur un brin d'herbe que dans une goutte d'eau. Que l'Éveil ne brise pas l'homme est comme la lune qui ne perce pas l'eau. Que l'homme n'entrave pas l'Éveil est comme une goutte de rosée qui n'entrave pas la lune dans le ciel. La profondeur doit être à la mesure de la hauteur [Plus on avance eet approfondit la connaissance de la Voie de l’Eveillé, plus on découvre la hauteur et la vaste étendue de celle-ci. La quête de la Voie est ainsi sans limites]. Pour connaître la longueur et la brièveté d'un moment favorable, examinez et pointez la grandeur et la petitesse d'une étendue d'eau, puis discernez et appréhendez la largeur et l'étroitesse de la lune dans le ciel.
10. Tant que la Loi n'a pas encore comblé le corps et le coeur, on la trouve déjà suffisante. Si la Loi remplit le corps et le coeur en plénitude, on y trouve quelque manque [A l’encontre de l’idée reçue ...seuls ceux qui ont atteint le stade de la plénitude éprouvent-ils le manque et s’éveillent-ils au « secret » qui habite au tréfonds de leur être]. Par exemple, lorsque, monté dans un bateau, on prend le large sur une mer sans montagnes autour et qu'on regarde les quatre orients, la mer paraît seulement ronde, et d'autres aspects n'apparaissent point. Cependant, cette grande mer n'est ni ronde ni carrée ; on ne saurait jamais épuiser ses vertus qui demeurent. Elle paraît comme un palais, comme un joyau. C'est seulement là où parviennent nos yeux qu'elle paraît provisoirement ronde. Il en va de même pour les dix mille existants. Bien que ce monde de poussière ainsi que ce qui est en dehors de ce monde soient revêtus de nombreux aspects, on perçoit et appréhende seulement jusqu'où parvient la puissance de l'OEil de nos études. Pour écouter le vent de la maison qui souffle depuis les dix mille existants, sachez-le, outre les aspects ronds ou carrés, il reste encore d'inépuisables vertus de la mer et de la montagne, et il existe les mondes des quatre orients. Sachez-le, il en va de même non seulement pour ce qu'il y a devant nos yeux, mais aussi pour ce qu'il y a sous nos pieds et pour une goutte d'eau.
11. Les poissons nagent dans l'eau et, aussi loin qu'ils aillent, l'eau n'a point de limites. Les oiseaux volent dans le ciel et, aussi loin qu'ils volent, le ciel n'a point de limites. Et pourtant, depuis le lointain passé, ni les poissons ni les oiseaux n'ont jamais quitté l'eau et le ciel. Seulement, quand l'application est grande, l'usage est grand ; quand le besoin est petit, l'usage est petit. C'est ainsi que chacun parcourt son espace tout entier et le traverse de part en part librement. Cependant, si les oiseaux quittaient le ciel, ils mourraient aussitôt ; si les poissons sortaient de l'eau, ils mourraient aussitôt. Sachez-le, l'eau se fait vie (pour les poissons) ; le ciel se fait vie (pour les oiseaux). Il y a les oiseaux qui se font vie ; il y a les poissons qui se font vie. La vie doit se faire oiseau ; la vie doit se faire poisson. Outre cela, il doit y avoir encore à progresser. C'est ainsi qu'il y a la pratique et l'Éveil et qu'il y a la longévité et les êtres vivants.
12. Cependant, s'il y avait des poissons ou des oiseaux qui tentent d'aller dans l'eau et dans le ciel après en avoir parcouru toute l'étendue, ceux-ci ne sauraient obtenir ni chemin ni lieu dans l'eau et le ciel. S'ils obtiennent ce lieu, cette pratique quotidienne va de pair avec eux et le kôan se réalise comme présence ! S'ils obtiennent ce chemin, cette pratique quotidienne va de pair avec eux, et voilà le kôan qui se réalise comme présence ! Puisque ce chemin-ci et ce lieu-ci ne sont ni grands ni petits, ni du moi ni de l'autre, et qu'ils n'existaient pas avant, ni qu'ils n'apparaissent maintenant, ils sont comme ils sont.
13. Il en va de même pour l'homme qui pratique et atteste la Voie de l'Éveillé : à obtenir un existant, il pénètre un existant ; à rencontrer une pratique, il met en oeuvre une pratique. Puisqu'il y a le lieu où cela se produit et que le chemin pénètre et accède là où il veut, les limites de nos connaissances ne sauraient être connues car nos connaissances naissent ensemble et vont ensemble avec la Voie de l'Éveillé qui pénètre jusqu'au fond de celles-ci. Ne croyez pas que ce que vous avez obtenu devienne toujours un savoir et une vision qui vous appartiennent et que ce soit perçu par l'entendement. Quoique l'Éveil attesté à fond se réalise aussitôt comme présence, ce qu'il y a en secret ne se réalise pas toujours comme vision [‘la réalisation comme présence’ … expression de ce quji est intérieurement acquis]. Pourquoi la réalisation comme vision serait-elle toujours nécessaire ?
14. Le maître zen Hôtetsu du mont Mayoku se servait d'un éventail lorsqu'un moine vint lui demander : « La nature du vent demeure permanente et il n'est aucun lieu qu'elle ne remplisse ; pourquoi donc, Maître, vous servez-vous d'un éventail ? »
Le maître dit : « Tu sais seulement que la nature du vent demeure permanente, mais tu ne sais pas encore le principe de la Voie selon lequel il n'est aucun lieu qu'elle ne remplisse. »
Le moine dit : « Quel est donc ce principe de la Voie selon lequel il n'est aucun lieu que la nature du vent ne remplisse ? »
Alors le maître continua seulement à s'éventer Le moine se prosterna.
15. Voilà le signe de l'Éveil attesté et le chemin vital de la transmission juste ! Dire qu'il ne faut pas se servir d'éventail puisque la nature du vent demeure permanente et qu'il faut aussi écouter le vent lorsqu'on ne s'évente pas, c'est ne connaître ni la permanence ni la nature du vent. Puisque la nature du vent demeure permanente, le vent qui souffle depuis la maison des éveillés fait se réaliser comme présence la grande terre d'or, et il fait fermenter le lait et la crème [l’enseignement mûrit et s’approfondit à l’image du processus de la fabrication des produits laitiers] des longs fleuves.

« Le kôan qui se réalise comme présence » [Genjô kôan]
Texte n° 1 de La vraie Loi, Trésor de l'Œil [Shôbôgenzô]
Le présent texte fut rédigé vers la mi-automne de la première année de l'ère Tempuku (1233), et offert au disciple laïc Yôkôshû de la province de Chinzei.
Retranscrit la quatrième année de l'ère Kenchô (1252), année du rat.



28. Obtenir la moelle en vénérant (Raihai-tokuzui)

1. Au moment favorable où l'on pratique l'Éveil parfait et complet sans au-delà, le plus difficile est d'obtenir un maître-guide. Ce maître-guide ne repose point sur l'aspect, que ce soit d'homme ou de femme, mais il doit être une personne sûre, digne de confiance33 ; il doit être une personne telle quelle34. Celle-ci ne doit appartenir ni au passé ni au présent, mais être un ami de bien doté de l'esprit du renard sauvage35. Tel est le visage originel de celui qui a obtenu la moelle et qui doit guider les êtres à leur profit. Il est bien éclairé sur la loi de cause à fruit ; il ne doit pas faire la distinction entre toi et moi.

2. Du moment que vous avez déjà rencontré votre maître-guide, abandonnez les dix mille liens de ce monde et appliquez-vous à la pratique de la Voie sans laisser un instant s'écouler futilement. Pratiquez aussi bien avec coeur que sans coeur ; pratiquez aussi avec un demi-coeur. C'est ainsi que vous devez éteindre le feu se consumant sur votre tête et apprendre à chanter un hymne de joie en vous dressant sur la pointe des pieds36. A agir ainsi, vous ne serez pas importunés par le clan des diables calomniateurs. Le patriarche qui se coupa le bras et obtint la moelle du maître37 n'est nullement quelqu'un d'autre que vous-même ; le maître qui s'est dépouillé du corps et du coeur est déjà vous-même.

3. Obtenir la moelle et obtenir la Loi dépend sûrement et nécessairement de la loyauté sans artifice et du coeur de la foi. Pas de trace qui montre que le coeur loyal sans artifice provienne d'ailleurs. Celui-ci n'a pas non plus le moyen de surgir de l'intérieur. 11 s'agit tout simplement et justement de faire grand cas de la Loi, faisant peu de cas de soi-même. Il s'agit de se mettre à l'écart du monde pour trouver sa demeure dans la Voie. Tant que la considération de vous-même vous importera plus que la Loi, la Loi ne se transmettra point, et vous n'obtiendrez pas la Voie. Ce souffle et cette détermination faisant grand cas de la Loi ne sont pas tous semblables. Bien que vous n'attendiez pas de leçons données par les autres, relevez et triturez pour l'instant un ou deux exemples.

4. Voici ce que veut dire faire grand cas de la Loi : s'ils arrivent à garder et à maintenir la grande Loi et à obtenir la moelle du maître, même les colonnes nues et les lanternes, même la multitude des éveillés et le renard sauvage, même les démons, même les hommes et les femmes, serviront (la Loi) pour des éons incommensurables en faisant de leurs corps et de leurs coeurs le socle (de la Loi). Il est aisé d'obtenir le corps et le coeur ; ceux-ci prolifèrent dans le monde comme le riz, le chanvre, les bambous et les roseaux. Il est rare de rencontrer la Loi.

5. L'Éveillé-Shâkyamuni dit : « Pour rencontrer le maître qui expose et enseigne l'Éveil suprême sans au-delà, ne faites attention ni à sa naissance ni à son rang social ; ne regardez pas non plus son apparence. Ne haïssez pas ses défauts ; ne vous souciez pas non plus de sa conduite. Puisque c'est seulement la Sagesse que vous respectez, faites-lui chaque jour l'offrande d'une centaine et d'un millier d'once d'or ; faites-lui offrande en lui envoyant de la nourriture céleste ; faites-lui offrande en répandant des fleurs célestes. Vénérez-le chaque jour, matin, midi et soir en vous prosternant sans laisser apparaître le moindre souci, le moindre tourment dans votre coeur. Si vous faites ainsi, la Voie de l'Éveil suprême s'ouvrira toujours pour vous. Depuis que j 'ai déployé le coeur de l'Éveil, j'ai ainsi pratiqué la Voie et, aujourd'hui, j'ai obtenu l'Éveil parfait et complet sans au-delà38. »

6. S'il en est ainsi, souhaitez que même l'arbre et la pierre vous enseignent la Loi ; demandez même à la rizière et à la campagne de vous enseigner la Loi. Posez la question à la colonne nue ; étudiez à fond même auprès des haies et des murs. Jadis, il y avait un Indra39 qui, ayant eu pour maître un renard sauvage, vénérait celui-ci et l'interrogeait sur la Loi. Il fut appelé un grand être d'Éveil. Peu importe les actes de la vie antérieure, qu'ils soient nobles ou vils.

7. Et pourtant, les gens stupides et peu éclairés qui n'ont jamais entendu la Loi de l'Éveillé disent comme suit : « Moi, je suis un grand moine. Il ne faut pas que je salue les jeunes moines qui ont obtenu la Loi. » « Moi, je suis un vétéran qui pratique la Voie depuis longtemps. Il ne faut pas que je salue ceux qui ont commencé tard et qui ont obtenu la Loi. » « Moi, je suis un moine qui a reçu le titre officiel d'État. Il ne faut pas que je salue ceux qui sont sans titre. » « Moi, je suis un moine administrateur. Il ne faut pas que je salue les moines de base qui ont obtenu la Loi. » « Moi, je suis un moine de haut rang. Il ne faut pas que je salue les laïcs, qu'ils soient hommes ou femmes, qui ont obtenu la Loi. » « Moi, j'appartiens à la catégorie des trois sages et des dix saints. Il ne faut pas que je salue les nonnes, etc., même si elles ont obtenu la Loi. » « Moi, je suis un moine de haute naissance. Il ne faut pas que je salue mes confrères, issus du rang des sujets, même s'ils ont obtenu la Loi. » De tels idiots ont en vain quitté le pays de leur père et mendient sur les routes de pays étrangers40 sans voir ni entendre la Voie de l'Éveillé.

8. Jadis, le grand maître Jôshû Shinzai (Jûshin) sous la grande dynastie des Tang ayant déployé le coeur de l'Éveil allait partir en pérégrinations à la recherche de la Loi. C'est alors qu'il dit : « Même si c'est un enfant de sept ans, s'il m'est supérieur, je dois lui demander l'enseignement. Même si c'est un vieillard de cent ans, s'il m'est inférieur, je dois lui donner l'enseignement. »

9. Quand il demande la Loi à l'enfant de sept ans, le vieux gaillard doit vénérer celui-ci. Tels sont un voeu et une détermination rarissimes ; telle est la science du coeur de l'ancien éveillé. Quand une nonne, qui a obtenu la Voie et la Loi, devient abbesse, les moines qui étudient à la recherche de la Loi se rendent à la cérémonie de son intronisation afin de la vénérer et de lui demander la Loi. Voilà une excellente coutume de ceux qui étudient la Voie ! C'est par exemple comme si, quand on a soif, on trouvait à boire.

10. Le maître zen (Kankei) Shikan en Chine est un ancien de l'école de Rinzai. Un jour, le voyant s'approcher de chez lui, Rinzai l'attrapa. Le maître (Shikan) dit : « C'est entendu. » En le lâchant, Rinzai dit : « Pour l'instant, je te permets de faire halte. » À partir de ce moment-là, (Shikan) devint un enfant de Rinzai. Lorsqu'il eut prit congé de Rinzai et se rendit auprès de la nonne Massan (Ryônen), celle-ci s'enquit : « D'où venez-vous ? » Le maître dit : « Par la bouche de ce chemin. » Massan dit : « Pourquoi ne pas la fermer ? » Le maître resta sans un mot. Aussitôt la vénéra-t-il et la considération s'instaura entre eux. Le maître demanda à son tour à Massan : « Qu'est-ce que "Massan41 ? » Massan dit : « Elle ne montre pas sa cime. » Le maître dit : « Quelle est la personne qui habite au sein de la montagne ? » Massan dit : « Elle n'a l'aspect ni d'un homme ni d'une femme. » Le maître dit : « Pourquoi alors ne vous métamorphosez-vous pas ? » Massan dit : « Je ne suis pas l'esprit du renard sauvage. Pourquoi faudrait-il que je me métamorphose ? » Le maître se prosterna. Finalement, déployant son coeur de l'Éveil, il travailla au jardin potager et y resta trois années au total. Plus tard, quand il devint abbé, il dit lors d'une instruction collective : « Chez le vieux Rinzai, j'ai eu une demi-louche, et chez la vieille Massan, j'ai eu une demi-louche. Cela fait une louche pleine que j'ai bue, si bien que parvenu directement à ce Présent tel quel, rassasié, je n'ai plus faim42 »

11. À entendre cette histoire, nous regrettons avec amour la trace des jours d'antan. Massan est un pied divin43 de Kôan Daigu. Étant donné sa veine vitale fort puissante, elle devint la vieille pour Shikan. Rinzai est l'héritier direct du maître Ôbaku Ki.un. Étant donné la force de sa pratique ingénieuse, il devint le vieux pour Shikan. Le « vieux » veut dire le père, et la « vieille » la mère. Le maître zen Shikan vénéra la nonne Massan Ryônen à la recherche de la Loi. Voilà une excellente trace du souffle et de la détermination ; voilà un modèle pour les jeunes générations. 11 faudrait dire que cela fait franchir le seuil et briser le noeud.

12. La nonne Myôshin est une disciple de Kyôzan (Ejaku). Un jour, afin de choisir le chef du secrétariat du monastère, Kyôzan demanda à tous les anciens administrateurs : « Qui peut être digne de ce poste ? » La discussion s'anima en tous sens. Kyôzan prit enfin la parole : « Bien qu'elle soit une femme, la nonne Myôshin a le souffle et la détermination d'une personne sûre, digne de confiance. Elle est tout à fait apte à être le chef de ce secrétariat. » L'assemblée acquiesça à l'unanimité. Finalement, Myôshin s'y fit affecter. Aucun des dragons et des éléphants44 de l'école de Kyôzan n'en fut froissé. La fonction (du chef de secrétariat) est vraiment loin d'être subalterne ; la personne choisie en tant que Soi doit avoir l'estime de soi-même.

13. Quand (la nonne Myôshin) était chef du secrétariat du monastère, un groupe de dix-sept moines de Chou, qui montaient au mont Kyôzan à la recherche du maître et de la Voie, arriva au crépuscule. La nuit où ils prenaient du repos, les dix-sept moines se disputèrent en relevant le propos énoncé par le patriarche Sôkei (Daikan Enô) sur le vent et la bannière45. Tout ce qu'ils disaient les uns les autres à ce sujet était faux. En écoutant cette discussion qui se faisait entendre depuis la salle voisine, le chef du secrétariat (Myôshin) dit : « Lamentables sont ces dix-sept ânes borgnes ! Combien de sandales de pailles ont-ils usées en vain ? Ils n'ont jamais vu la Loi de l'Éveillé, même en rêve. » Un convers, qui avait entendu le chef du secrétariat critiquer les moines, rapporta cela à ces derniers. Aucun d'eux ne lui en voulut. Confus d'être incapables de prononcer des mots justes, ils rectifièrent leur habit et leur attitude, puis allèrent lui offrir de l'encens et, en se prosternant devant (Myôshin), lui demandèrent de les instruire. Le chef du secrétariat dit : « Approchez-vous de moi. » Avant même que les dix-sept moines eussent fait un pas, elle dit : « Ce n'est ni le vent, ni la bannière, ni le coeur qui bougent. » À ces mots, les dix-sept moines réfléchirent. Ils la remercièrent en manifestant le respect que les disciples expriment à l'égard de leur maître. Aussitôt ils retournèrent dans la province de Chou sans monter finalement au mont Kyôzan. En vérité, cela est loin d'être à la portée des trois sages et des dix saints ; il s'agit des actes de la Voie transmis de génération en génération chez les éveillés et les patriarches.

14. S'il en est ainsi, aujourd'hui encore, quand le poste d'abbé ou celui d'abbé adjoint est vacant, il faut faire appel à une nonne qui a obtenu la Loi. Même un moine âgé et de longue expérience, s'il n'a pas obtenu la Loi, à quoi serait-il bon ? Le maître d'assemblée doit toujours l'être en raison de son Œil clairvoyant.

15. Cependant, chez ceux qui se confondent corps et coeur avec les gens du t illage. il y a bien des choses risibles même aux yeux du monde. À plus forte raison. en matière de la Loi de l'Éveillé, cela ne vaut même pas la peine d'en parler. Par ailleurs. il doit y en avoir qui prétendent que les femmes et les nonnes n'ont pas le droit de vénérer le moine maître qui transmet la Loi. Puisque ces gens-là sont ignorants et qu'ils n'ont pas fait l'étude (de la Loi), ils sont semblables au bétail, loin d'être éveillés et patriarches.

16. S'il y a quelqu'un qui a le coeur profond pour se donner corps et coeur à la Loi de l'Éveillé, celle-ci lui manifeste toujours de la compassion. Les humains et les divinités, bien que stupides, peuvent être touchés par la vérité du coeur. Comment la vraie Loi appartenant à la multitude des éveillés ne pourrait-elle pas avoir de la compassion en étant touchée par cette vérité du cœur ? Même la terre, la pierre et le caillou sont pourvus d'un esprit sensible à la vérité du coeur.

17. S'il y a, dans un monastère sous la grande dynastie actuelle des Song, une nonne en formation à qui on déclare qu'elle a obtenu la Loi, celle-ci reçoit d'un bureau d'État la nomination officielle au poste d'abbesse d'un temple de nonnes. Elle monte alors à la chaire dudit temple, et l'abbé et l'assemblée des moines viennent écouter sa prédication de la Loi, se tenant debout sur le sol46. Ceux qui lui posent des questions sont également des moines. Telle est la règle qui se pratique depuis longtemps.

18. Puisque celui ou celle qui a obtenu la Loi est un ancien éveillé en vérité et en personne, il ne faut pas le considérer comme quelqu'un d'autrefois. Quand il me voit, c'est sur une nouvelle terre spécifique que je le côtoie. Quand je le vois, cette relation doit être celle d'aujourd'hui correspondant à la situation d'aujourd'hui. S'agissant par exemple de la nonne qui garde et transmet la vraie Loi, Trésor de l'OEil, elle doit accepter la vénération du saint du Petit Véhicule ayant obtenu les quatre fruits de la méditation, de l'éveillé pour soi ainsi que des trois sages et des dix saints qui viennent la vénérer et lui demander la Loi. Pourquoi l'homme pourrait-il être respectable (plus que la femme)? Le méta-espace est le méta-espace, les quatre grands éléments sont les quatre grands éléments, les cinq agrégats sont les cinq agrégats. Il en va de même pour les femmes. Ceux qui ont obtenu la Voie ont tous obtenu la Voie. Seulement, dans tous les cas, c'est la Loi obtenue qui est à respecter et à estimer. Ne discutez pas (de la différence entre) l'homme et la femme. Telle sont la loi et la norme suprêmes de la Voie de l'Éveillé.

19. Par ailleurs, ceux qui sont appelés « laïcs » sous la dynastie des Song désignent les hommes qui n'ont pas encore quitté leur maison (pour se faire moine). Certains vivent dans un ermitage avec leur femme, et d'autres vivent tout seuls dans la chasteté. Il faudrait dire que, chez eux, le tracas des passions se multiplie encore comme la forêt touffue. Cela dit, s'il y en a qui ont clarifié (la Loi), les moines itinérants vêtus de nuages et de brouillard les vénèrent et leur demandent l'enseignement au même titre que le maître qui a quitté la maison pour se faire moine. Même s'il s'agit des femmes et du bétail, il doit en aller de même.

20. Quant à ceux qui n'ont pas vu, même dans un rêve, le principe de la Loi de l'Éveillé, même s'il s'agit d'un vieux moine âgé de cent ans, il doit être inférieur aux laïcs, hommes et femmes, qui ont obtenu la Loi. Ne le respectez pas ; faites-lui seulement un salut protocolaire. Quant à ceux qui pratiquent la Loi de l'Éveillé et expriment celle-ci, même s'il s'agit d'une fillette âgée de sept ans, elle n'est autre que le maître guide des quatre congrégations, le père compatissant de la foule des êtres. C'est par exemple comme la fillette dragonne47 qui réalisa l'état de l'Éveillé. Il faut lui faire offrande, l'estimer et la respecter au même titre que la multitude des éveillés et l'Ainsi-Venu. Telle est la manière ancienne de la Voie de l'Éveillé. Lamentables sont ceux qui l'ignorent et ne la transmettent pas sans mélange.

« Obtenir la moelle en vénérant » [Raihai-tokuzui]

Texte n° 28 de La vraie Loi, Trésor de [Shôbôgenzô]

Rédigé le jour de la « clarté pure25» [seimei] de l'année du rat (1240) de l'ère En.ô au monastère de Kannon-dôri-kôshô-hôrin-ji.



(Deuxième partie48)

21. Par ailleurs, au Japon et en Chine, dans le passé et dans le présent, il existe des impératrices. Tout le territoire du pays leur appartient ; le peuple tout entier devient leur sujet. Ce n'est pas la personne, mais le trône que l'on respecte. Il en va de même pour la nonne. Depuis le passé, ce n'est jamais la personne, mais seulement la Loi qu'elle a obtenue que l'on respecte.

22. Par ailleurs, s'il y a une nonne qui devient arhat, toutes les vertus acquises qui découlent des quatre fruits viennent à elle pour la suivre. Quel humain, quelle divinité pourraient-ils alors être supérieurs aux vertus provenant des quatre fruits ? [...]



29. Sûtra de la montagne et de l'eau (Sansui - kyô).

1. La montagne et l'eau de ce Présent sont la Parole [la Voie] des anciens éveillés qui se réalise comme présence. Demeurant à leur niveau de la Loi, elles réalisent toutes deux leur ultime vertu acquise. Antérieurs à l'éon de la Vacuité [4e éon bouddhique, état indifférencié qui précède l’pparition du monde phénoménal) , leurs souffles ininterrompus* constituent la pleine activité quotidienne de ce Présent. Antérieur au tout paraître du monde phénoménal, le Soi* transparaît en se dépouillant et se réalise comme présence. La multitude des vertus acquises de la montagne est si haute, si vaste que, montée sur les nuages, la vertu de la Voie [sens courant du terme la « morale »] pénètre toujours et partout depuis la montagne. Le merveilleux acquis[la « vertu acquise »] du bon vent transparaît toujours depuis la montagne en se dépouillant.
2. Lors d'une instruction collective, l'abbé Kai (Fuyô Dôkai) du mont Taiyô dit : « La montagne bleue'[le vert, la verdure en sino-japonais] marche constamment ; la femme de pierre [la femme stérile] enfante dans la nuit. »
3. La montagne ne manque jamais de la vertu acquise dont elle doit être pourvue. C'est pourquoi elle demeure constamment au repos et constamment en marche. Étudiez justement et avec minutie la vertu acquise de cette marche. Puisque la marche de la montagne doit être comme la marche de l'homme, ne doutez pas de celle-là, même si elle ne paraît pas semblable au pas de l'homme. La prédication de l'éveillé-patriarche que vous venez d'entendre indique déjà la marche de la montagne et obtient l'essentiel. Pratiquez et méditez à fond cette instruction collective sur la marche constante.
4. C'est grâce à sa marche que la montagne reste constante. Bien que la marche de la montagne bleue soit plus rapide que le vent, ceux qui habitent au sein de la montagne ne la perçoivent point ni ne la connaissent. Le sein de la montagne désigne les fleurs qui éclosent au sein du monde [poème d’adieu du  vingt-septième patriarche indien : « Une fleu éclôt, et le monde se lève »]. Ceux qui vivent hors de la montagne ne la perçoivent point ni ne la connaissent. Ceux qui n'ont pas l'OEil pour voir la montagne ne la perçoivent point ni ne la Connaissent, ni ne la voient, ni ne l'entendent ; tel est le principe de la Voie.
5. Si vous mettez en doute la marche de la montagne, c'est que vous ne connaissez même pas la marche du Soi qui est la vôtre. Cela ne veut pas dire que vous soyez dépourvus de la marche du Soi, mais celle-ci n'est pas encore connue, ni clarifiée. Qui connaît la marche du Soi doit justement connaître aussi la marche de la montagne bleue. Déjà, la montagne bleue n'est ni l'animé ni l'inanimé. Déjà, le Soi n'est ni l'animé ni l'inanimé. Maintenant, il est impossible de mettre en doute la marche de la montagne bleue. Vous ne savez pas combien de plans de la Loi il faudrait prendre pour mesures et cloisonnages afin d'éclairer et réfléchir la montagne bleue ! Examinez avec clarté la marche de la montagne bleue et la marche du Soi qui est la vôtre. Examinez également la marche en arrière et l'arrière en marche. Il faut examiner le fait que, à ce-juste-moment précédant le tout paraître du monde phénoménal ainsi que depuis le règne du roi de la Vacuité, il n'y a jamais eu d'arrêt dans cette marche ni en avant ni en arrière.
6. Si la marche connaissait le moindre arrêt, ni les éveillé ni les patriarches ne se manifesteraient. Si la marche avait connu ses limites, la Loi de l'Éveillé n'aurait pas atteint nos jours. Ni la marche en avant ni la marche en arrière ne se sont interrompues. Le moment de la marche en avant ne contrarie guère la marche en arrière ; le moment de la marche en arrière ne contrarie guère la marche en avant. C'est cette vertu acquise qu'on appelle l'écoulement de la montagne et la montagne en écoulement. Puisque la montagne bleue aussi étudie à fond sa marche et que la Montagne de l'est[métaphore de toutes les montagnes] aussi étudie son aller sur l'eau, cette étude est l'étude de la montagne. Sans changer ni son coeur ni son corps, et tout en gardant son visage originel*, la montagne n'a jamais cessé d'étudier la montagne, faisant des tours et des détours. Ne la critiquez pas ni ne la calomniez en disant que la montagne bleue ne saurait marcher et que la Montagne de l'est ne saurait aller sur l'eau. C'est à cause de son point de vue peu élevé que la personne grossière met en doute la proposition « la montagne bleue marche ». Faute d'expérience, la personne bornée s'étonne du mot « montagne en écoulement ». Bien que le terme « eau en écoulement » passe partout sans difficulté, ces personnes-là ne restent que submergées dans la petitesse de ce qu'elles voient et dans la petitesse de ce qu'elles entendent.
7. C'est en relevant sa vertu acquise ainsi accumulée que la montagne constitue sa forme, son nom et sa veine vitale*. Il y a la marche et la pratique de l'écoulement. Il y a le moment favorable où la montagne enfante une montagne. Grâce au principe de la Voie selon lequel la montagne devient éveillé et patriarche, ces derniers se sont ainsi manifestés. Même si, par moment, il n'y a que des herbes, des arbres, de la terre, des cailloux, des haies et des murs qui se réalisent comme vision dans votre prunelle de l'OEil, n'en doutez pas, ne soyez pas troublés, car ce n'est pas la totalité qui se réalise comme présence. Même si le moment favorable se réalise comme présence avec la montagne qui vous paraît comme la splendeur des sept joyaux, ce n'est pas pour autant le retour à la source réelle de la montagne. Même si votre vision se réalise comme présence de telle sorte que la montagne vous paraît comme le domaine où la multitude des éveillés pratique la Voie, ce n'est pas pour autant le lieu auquel vous devriez vous attacher avec amour. Même si vous atteignez le sommet où se réalise comme vision l'insondable vertu acquise de la multitude des éveillés, la Réalité telle quelle de la montagne ne s'épuise pas pour autant.
8. Chacune de ces réalisations comme vision dépend des rétributions directe et indirecte de chacun. Elles ne sont pas à considérer comme actes de la Voie chez les éveillés et les patriarches ; ce ne sont que des vues étroites d'un recoin. Changer d'objet, changer de coeur est ce que reprochent les grands saints. Discourir du coeur, discourir de la nature est ce que désapprouvent les éveillés et les patriarches. Voir le coeur, voir la nature est la pleine activité quotidienne des personnes hors de la Voie. S'attarder sur le langage, s'attarder sur l'énoncé n'est pas une expression de la délivrance. Et pourtant, il existe ce qui transparaît d'un tel domaine en se dépouillant ; je veux dire : « la montagne bleue marche constamment » ; « la montagne de l'Est va sur l'eau ». Étudiez-les à fond avec minutie.
9. « La femme de pierre enfante dans la nuit » veut dire que c'est le moment où la femme de pierre enfante qu'on appelle la nuit. Il existe les pierres masculines et les pierres féminines ainsi que les pierres qui ne sont ni masculines ni féminines. Elles soutiennent le ciel ; elles soutiennent la terre. Il existe les pierres célestes et les pierres terrestres. Bien que ce soit dit par les profanes, peu de personnes le connaissent. Sachez le principe de la Voie de l'enfantement. Au moment de l'enfantement, la transformation s'opère-t-elle également et du côté du parent et du côté de l'enfant ? N'apprenez pas seulement que l'enfantement se réalise comme présence au moment où l'enfant devient parent, mais apprenez aussi que le moment où le parent devient enfant est la réalisation comme présence de l'enfantement, enfantement qui pratique la Voie et atteste l'Éveil. Étudiez-le et pénétrez-le à fond.
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10. Le grand maître Unmon Kyôshin dit : « La montagne de l'est va sur l'eau.10 » [« un moine demanda : »Quel est le lieu d’où apparaît la multitude des éveillés ? » Le maître [Unmon] dit : « La montagne de l’est va sur l’eau ; » Le moine demanda : « voulez-vous m’indiquer la route pour y accéder ? » Le maître dit : « Manger de la bouillie et manger du riz »] Voici l'enseignement essentiel de cette parole qui s'est réalisée comme présence : la multitude des montagnes est « la Montagne de l'est » ; toutes les montagnes de l'est vont sur l'eau. C'est pourquoi les neuf montagnes, le mont Sumeru, etc. se sont réalisés comme présence, et ils pratiquent la Voie et attestent l'Éveil. C'est ce qui est appelé « la Montagne de l'est ». Cependant, comment Unmon pourrait-il transparaître, en se dépouillant, de la peau, de la chair, des os et de la moelle de la Montagne de l'est qui pratique la Voie, atteste l'Éveil et mène sa pleine activité quotidienne ?
11. De nos jours, il existe en Chine sous la dynastie des Song une espèce de moines fautifs11.[[position singulière de Dogen qui englobe à la fois l’amour et le respect des écritures et celle du zen, la primauté de la méditation assise ; certains courants sous les Song finirent par édicter leur ‘doctrine’ - non rationnelle – dans le mépris total du langage et des écritures]  qui sont maintenant légion. Une méchante dose de vérité ne saurait les frapper. D'après eux, des propos tels que « la montagne de l'est va sur l'eau » ainsi que « la faucille de Nansen. » [un dialogue : « maintenant que je m’en sers, elle tranche à merveille »] » sont impossibles à comprendre. Ils entendent par là que les propos qui relèvent de la pensée et de l'entendement ne sont pas les propos du zen chez les éveillés et les patriarches et que seuls les propos impossibles à comprendre sont les leurs. C'est pourquoi le coup de bâton d'Ôbaku ainsi que le hurlement de Rinzai sont inaccessibles à la compréhension, et ils ne relèvent ni de la pensée ni de l'entendement. C'est ce qu'on appelle le grand Éveil qui précède le tout paraître du monde phénoménal. S'il est dit que les anciens vénérables utilisent souvent, à titre d'expédients salvifiques, des propos tranchant l'entrelacement des lianes, c'est parce que (ces propos-là) sont impossibles à comprendre.
12. Ceux qui disent ainsi n'ont jamais vu de vrai maître ; ils sont démunis
de l’Oeil de l'étude. Ce sont des petits chiens qui ne méritent aucune attention. Sur le sol des Song, depuis presque deux ou trois cents ans, prolifèrent des diables, les six religieux hérétiques [six disciples dont les mauvaises conduites donnèrent l’occasion d’instituer les disciplines monastiques] et des chauves de la sorte. Que c'est lamentable ! La grande Voie des éveillés et des patriarches est tombée en ruine. Ce qu'ils croient comprendre vaut encore moins que la compréhension des Auditeurs du Petit Véhicule, et ils sont plus stupides que les personnes hors de la Voie. Ils ne sont ni laïcs ni religieux, ni humains ni divinités, et encore plus stupides que les animaux qui apprennent la Voie de l'Éveillé. Les propos impossibles à comprendre dont vous, les chauves, parlez, ne sont impossibles à comprendre que pour vous ! Il en va tout autrement pour les éveillés et les patriarches. Sous prétexte que ces propos vous restent impossibles à comprendre, ne refusez pas pour autant d'apprendre les chemins de la compréhension chez les éveillés et les patriarches. Si les propos en question s'avèrent finalement impossibles à comprendre, la compréhension dont vous parlez maintenant ne tiendra pas non plus debout !
13. Les personnes de ce genre sont nombreuses dans toutes les régions sous la dynastie des Song, c'est ce que j'ai vu et entendu par moi-même. Que c'est lamentable ! Ils ne savent pas que la pensée et l'entendement ne sont autres que le langage et que le langage transparaît de ceux-ci en se dépouillant. Lors de mon séjour sous la dynastie des Song, quand je me riais d'eux, ils restaient sans un mot, n'ayant rien à répondre. La non-compréhension qu'ils prônent maintenant ne relève que de supputations tordues. Qui aurait pu leur donner un tel enseignement ? Bien que ce soit le sort qui ne leur a pas permis de rencontrer des maîtres authentiques, ce sont des fils naturels des personnes hors de la Voie.
14. Sachez-le, « la montagne de l'est va sur l'eau », cet énoncé est les os et la moelle des éveillés et des patriarches. La multitude des eaux se réalise comme présence aux pieds de la Montagne de l'est. C'est pourquoi la multitude des montagnes, montée sur les nuages, marche dans les cieux. Le sommet de la multitude des eaux est la multitude des montagnes ! Leurs pas allant vers le haut et vers le bas se font tous sur les eaux. Les orteils de la multitude des montagnes se posent si bien sur la multitude des eaux qu'ils font jaillir la multitude des eaux en cascade. La marche des montagnes s'étend ainsi sur sept traversées verticales et huit traversées horizontales [marche en pleine liberté], si bien que leur pratique de l'Éveil attesté s'effectue comme si celle-ci était inexistante.
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15. L'eau15 [coule et pénètre là où elle veut, épousant toute forme-couleur. Souvent associé an Dao et à l’idéal taoïste du non-agir] qu’elle rencontre n'est ni force ni faiblesse, ni humidité ni sécheresse, ni mouvement ni repos, ni fraîcheur ni douceur, ni existante ni inexistante, ni égarement ni Éveil. Coagulée, elle est plus dure que le diamant ; qui pourrait la briser ? Fondue, elle est plus tendre que le lait ; qui pourrait la briser ? S'il en est ainsi, il est impossible de mettre en doute toutes les vertus acquises de l'eau qui se réalisent comme présence. Étudiez pour l'instant le moment favorable où l'eau des dix directions doit être perçue et observée depuis les dix directions. Il ne s'agit pas seulement de l'étude du moment où les humains et les divinités perçoivent l'eau, mais aussi de l'étude de l'eau qui se perçoit elle-même. Puisque l'eau pratique l'eau et atteste l'eau, il y a une étude de l'eau menée à fond qui s'exprime elle-même. Faites se réaliser comme présence le passage où le Soi rencontre le Soi ; avancez et reculez sur le chemin vital où l'autre pénètre l'autre jusqu'au fond, puis outrepassez-le !
16. En général, la manière de percevoir la montagne et l'eau diffère selon les espèces. Je veux dire qu'une espèce perçoit l'eau comme joyau. Cependant, elle ne perçoit pas le joyau comme eau. Sous quelle forme percevons-nous ce qu'elle perçoit comme eau ? Nous percevons comme eau ce qu'elle perçoit comme joyau. Une autre espèce perçoit l'eau comme fleurs merveilleuses. Cependant elle n'utilise pas les fleurs comme eau. L'ogre perçoit l'eau comme feu dévorant, il la perçoit comme pus et sang. Le poisson et le dragon perçoivent l'eau comme palais, ils la perçoivent comme belvédères. Une autre espèce la perçoit comme les sept pierres précieuses et le joyau mani 16.[qui exerce un pouvoir magique pour effacer le mal, écarter le malheur] Une autre la perçoit comme forêts, bois, haies et murs. Une autre espèce la perçoit comme la nature de la Loi qui la purifie et la délivre. Certaine la perçoit comme corps humain réel. Une autre la perçoit comme aspect du corps et nature du coeur. L'homme la perçoit comme eau. Voilà les relations circonstancielles où il y va de la vie et de la mort !
17. Les perceptions diffèrent déjà selon les espèces. Mettez celles-là en doute pour l'instant. Faudrait-il considérer que les espèces forment une multitude de perceptions différentes à partir d'un seul objet ou bien qu'elles prennent à tort divers phénomènes pour un seul objet ? Sur le crâne de votre méditation ingénieuse, poursuivez encore votre méditation ingénieuse. S'il en est ainsi, il ne doit pas y avoir seulement une ou deux manières de pratiquer la Voie et d'attester l'Éveil ; il doit y avoir aussi mille et dix mille facettes différentes dans l'ultime état parachevé de l'Éveil.
18. Si nous investiguons encore cet enseignement essentiel, c'est comme s'il n'existait ni l'eau originelle ni la multitude des eaux, bien qu'il existe beaucoup d'eaux différentes. Et pourtant, la multitude des eaux qui diffère selon les espèces ne dépend ni du coeur ni du corps ; elle n'apparaît pas non plus à partir des actes. Elle ne dépend ni de moi ni de l'autre. C'est l'eau qui transparaît de l'eau en se dépouillant. S'il en est ainsi, bien que l'eau ne soit ni terre, ni eau, ni feu, ni vent, ni espace, ni conscience, qu'elle ne soit ni bleue, ni jaune, ni rouge, ni blanche, ni noire et qu'elle ne soit ni forme-couleur, ni son, ni parfum, ni saveur, ni contact, ni entité, l'eau s'est réalisée d'elle-même comme présence comme eau de terre, eau d'eau, eau de feu, eau de vent et eau d'espace. Il serait donc difficile de clarifier et de dire qui aurait réalisé la terre du royaume et les palais de ce Présent et de quoi sont-ils faits. Dire qu'ils reposent sur l'anneau de l'espace et l'anneau du vent18 [deux niveaux inférieurs sur quatre de la cosmologie bouddhique] n'est vrai ni pour celui qui dit ni pour celui qui écoute ; ce n'est que s'en tenir à la mesure et à l'évaluation d'esprits bornés. Ceux qui disent ainsi s'imaginent que rien ne saurait demeurer s'il n'y avait pas ce sur quoi se reposer.
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19. L'Éveillé dit : « Chacune et la multitude des entités sont en dernier lieu la délivrance de soi ; elles n'ont pas de lieu où demeurer19.[citation d’un sûtra] »
20. Sachez-le, bien qu'elle soit délivrée et affranchie de toute attache, la multitude des entités demeure à son niveau de la Loi. Et pourtant, quand l'homme voit l'eau, il s'obstine à voir seulement que l'eau coule et se déverse sans demeurer. L'eau a de nombreuses manières de couler, et ce que l'homme voit n'en est qu'une partie. C'est-à-dire que l'eau coule et pénètre partout dans la terre, qu'elle coule et pénètre partout dans les cieux, qu'elle coule et pénètre partout vers le haut et qu'elle coule et pénètre partout vers le bas. Elle s'écoule aussi bien dans un méandre que dans les neuf abîmes20 [neuf océans qui entourent le mont Suméru]. Ascendante, elle fait des nuages ; descendante, elle fait des gouffres.
21. Dans le Monshi 21 [un corpus taoïste], il est écrit : « Montée aux cieux, la voie de l'eau fait pluies et rosées ; descendue sur la terre, elle fait fleuves et rivières. »
22. Même ce qui est dit par le profane est ainsi. Ce serait le comble de la honte, si les prétendus enfants et petits-enfants des éveillés et des patriarches étaient moins éclairés que le profane. Voici le sens de l'énoncé : bien que la voie de l'eau ne soit pas objet de perception pour l'eau, celle-ci pratique la voie de l'eau pour se rendre présente. Bien que (la voie de l'eau) ne reste pas sans être perçue par l'eau, celle-ci pratique la voie de l'eau pour se rendre présente.
23. Il est dit : « Montée aux cieux, la voie de l'eau fait pluies et rosées. » Sachez-le, c'est vers on ne sait combien de hauts cieux et de directions ascendantes que l'eau monte pour faire pluies et rosées. Les pluies et les rosées diffèrent selon les mondes. Dire qu'il y a des endroits que l'eau ne saurait atteindre relève de l'enseignement du Petit Véhicule et des Auditeurs ou bien d'une doctrine tordue hors de la Voie. L'eau atteint même le sein des flammes ; elle atteint même le fond du coeur, de la mémoire, de la pensée et de l'entendement ; elle atteint même le sein de l'Éveil, de la Sagesse et de la nature de l'Éveillé.
24. « Descendue sur la terre, la voie de l'eau fait fleuves et rivières. » Sachez-le, c'est lorsque l'eau descend sur la terre qu'elle fait fleuves et rivières. L'esprit des fleuves et des rivières sait bien devenir sage. Maintenant, le commun des mortels stupide et les courants secondaires de s'imaginer que l'eau se trouve toujours dans les rivières, les fleuves, les mers et les ruisseaux. Tel n'est pas le cas : c'est dans l'eau que se forment les rivières et les mers. S'il en est ainsi, l'eau existe là où il n'y a ni rivières ni mers. Ce n'est que lorsque l'eau descend sur la terre qu'elle se revêt de l'acquis de la rivière et de la mer. N'apprenez pas non plus que, là où l'eau a formé rivières et mers, il ne doive exister ni le monde ni la terre de l'Éveillé. Même dans une seule goutte d'eau se réalisent comme présence d'innombrables terres du royaume de l'Éveillé. S'il en est ainsi, ce n'est pas sur la terre de l'Éveillé qu'existe l'eau ; ce n'est pas non plus au sein de l'eau qu'existe la terre de l'Éveillé. Déjà, la demeure de l'eau ne concerne ni les trois temps (le passé, le présent et le futur) ni le plan de la Loi. Et, bien que ce soit ainsi, voilà le kôan de l'eau qui se réalise comme présence !
25. Là où parviennent les éveillés et les patriarches, l'eau parvient toujours. Là où parvient l'eau, les éveillés et les patriarches se réalisent toujours comme présence. C'est pourquoi ces derniers font toujours de l'eau, en la triturant, leur corps, leur coeur et leurs pensées. Il n'est donc dit ni dans les écritures bouddhiques ni dans les écritures non bouddhiques que l'eau ne monte pas vers le haut. La voie de l'eau pénètre partout en haut et en bas, aussi bien verticalement qu'horizontalement.
26. Il est pourtant écrit dans un sûtra bouddhique : « Le feu et le vent montent vers le haut ; la terre et l'eau descendent vers le bas. » Ce haut et ce bas donnent à réfléchir. C'est-à-dire qu'il faut étudier le haut et le bas de la Voie de l'Éveillé. On appelle le bas l'endroit vers lequel se dirigent la terre et l'eau ; ce n'est pas vers le bas que se dirigent la terre et l'eau. L'endroit vers lequel se dirigent le feu et le vent est le haut. Bien que le plan de la Loi ne concerne pas toujours la mesure du haut et du bas, ni celle des quatre directions, s'établit provisoirement le plan de la Loi orienté suivant les mouvements des quatre éléments, des cinq ou des six, etc. N'imaginez pas que le Ciel d'ataraxie 23 [&quivaut au Nirvâna  chez les personnes hos de la Voie] soit en haut, et l'Enfer des souffrances sans intermittence* en bas. L'Enfer est aussi sur tout le plan de la Loi ; le Ciel est aussi sur tout le plan de la Loi.
27. Cela étant, ne l'imaginez pas ; lorsque le dragon et le poisson perçoivent l'eau comme palais, cela doit être comme si l'homme percevait un palais, palais d'eau qui ne cesse de couler. S'il y avait une tierce personne qui leur expliquait : « Votre palais est de l'eau qui coule », ce serait comme si nous entendions parler des montagnes qui s'écoulent. Ils seraient aussitôt frappés de stupeur et de doute, ou bien ils pourraient s'entêter à raconter comment se présentent les rampes, les escaliers et les colonnes de leurs palais et belvédères. Méditez à tête reposée, sans vous lasser, ce principe du dosage*. Si vous n'apprenez pas à transparaître, en vous dépouillant, de ces confins de la surface, vous n'êtes pas encore délivrés du corps et du coeur du commun des mortels ; vous n'avez pas encore pénétré à fond la terre des éveillés et des patriarches ; vous n'avez pas encore pénétré à fond la terre du pays du commun des mortels ; vous n'avez pas encore pénétré à fond le palais du commun des mortels.
28. Maintenant, si l'homme perçoit et appréhende en profondeur comme eau le coeur de la mer et le coeur de la rivière, il ignore encore ce que les autres espèces, telles que le dragon, le poisson, etc., perçoivent, appréhendent et utilisent comme eau. Ne considérez pas stupidement que l'eau telle que vous la percevez et l'appréhendez soit utilisée comme eau par toutes les espèces. Maintenant, vous, les étudiants de l'Éveillé, quand vous étudiez l'eau, ne vous attardez pas uniquement aux humains, mais étudiez volontiers l'eau [en alphabet japonais, non en caractère chinois] de la Voie de l'Éveillé. Étudiez sous quelle forme nous percevons l'eau telle qu'elle est utilisée par les éveillés et les patriarches ; étudiez également si l'eau existe ou non au sein de la maison des éveillés et des patriarches.
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29. La montagne est la demeure des grands saints depuis le temps qui transcende tous les passés et tous les présents. Les sages et les saints font de la montagne leur demeure intérieure. Ils font de la montagne leurs corps et coeur. C'est grâce aux saints et aux sages que la montagne se réalise comme présence. En un mot, bien qu'il nous paraisse qu'on ne sait oh combien de grands saints et de grands sages se sont rassemblés dans la montagne, une fois entré dans la montagne, personne ne rencontre personne. C'est seulement la pleine activité quotidienne de la montagne qui se réalise comme présence. Il ne reste aucune trace de ceux qui sont entrés dans la montagne.
30. Le crâne et la prunelle de l’Oeil de la montagne se montrent tout autres
au moment favorable où on la voit au loin depuis le monde et au moment favorable où on la rencontre dans son sein. Ni notre conjecture sur le non-écoulement (de la montagne) ni notre perception du non-écoulement (de la montagne) ne doivent être les mêmes que la perception du dragon et du poisson. Que les humains et les divinités trouvent leur demeure sur leur propre plan est mis en doute par les autres espèces, ou bien cela ne mérite même pas le doute de celles-ci. Étudiez donc, auprès des éveillés et des patriarches, le mot « écoulement de la montagne ». Ne vous abandonnez ni à la stupeur ni au doute. Une trituration, voilà l'écoulement ; une autre trituration, voilà le non-écoulement. Un tour, voilà l'écoulement ; un autre tour, voilà le non-écoulement. Sans cette étude à fond, il ne s'agirait pas là de la roue de la vraie Loi de l'Ainsi-Venu.
31. Un ancien éveillé dit : « Si vous ne voulez pas vous attirer les actes vous conduisant à l'Enfer des souffrances sans intermittences, ne calomniez pas la roue de la vraie Loi de l'Ainsi-Venu. »
32. Gravez cette parole dans la peau, la chair, les os et la moelle ; gravez-la dans le corps, le coeur, les rétributions directe et indirecte ; gravez-la dans la Vacuité ; gravez-la dans les formes-couleurs. Cette pa