15 Jul Passing the Enlightenment Torch
(Excerpt from the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, expounded by Master Shen-Long, Chapter 1 Cultivation Cause, pg. 77)
[Sutra Text] Hui-Ming said: “Although I studied at Huangmei, I had not yet awakened my true feature. Today I received instruction, and it was like how one drinks water and knows for oneself whether it is cold or warm. The cultivator at present is now my master.”
“If you truly feel that way,” said Hui-Neng, “then you and I have the same master, the Fifth Patriarch Hong-Ren of Huangmei. This teaching is transmitted by him, let us defend and maintain the Buddha Dharma well.”
Returning to the foot of the mountain, he [Hui-Ming] said to the pursuers: “Up above there is only rocky, immeasurable height. I did not see any tracks of Hui-Neng. We must find another path.” The pursuers all agreed and went to a different road.
Afterwards, Hui-Ming changed his name to ‘Dao-Ming’ to avoid using the same word ‘Hui’ belonging to the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng.
Explained by Master Sheng-Long
Hui-Ming stated himself: “I followed the teaching of the Fifth Patriarch at Huangmei, however I was not enlightened; now that I have been instructed by the Sixth Patriarch: The Buddha-nature needs to be examined personally, to be comprehended personally and to be attained personally. Just like how you drink a cup of water, after you drink you would know what it is. The Sixth Patriarch explains how to achieve supreme enlightenment and who is the teacher of Hui-Ming.” The Sixth Patriarch then said: “If you truly feel this way, then you are I are both the disciples of the Fifth Patriarch Venerable Monk Ren. This teaching was passed on from the Fifth Patriarch Ren, you should support and maintain this properly.”
Hui-Ming then returned back to the foot of Da-Yu mountain and told hundreds of the pursuers (who were trying to seize the cassock and alms bowl that the Fifth Patriarch passed on to the Sixth Patriarch) who waited there: “Up there is a dangerous field. The ground is high and also hard to pass, it is very difficult to do the search. I did not see the Sixth Patriarch there, we should look elsewhere.” All people there believed him.
Therefore, Hui-Neng survived and was unharmed from this. Hui-Ming later changed his name to Dao-Ming. Why? He avoided using his personal name of “Hui” belonging to the Great Master Sixth Patriarch out of respect.
惠明回到大庾嶺, 為數百要奪衣缽的人說: 「危險之地, 又高又難行, 很不好找的地方, 我沒有看到六祖。我們應走別的地方去找。」大眾都相信。所以避過一劫。惠明後改名為道名。為什麼呢? 是避諱六祖大師的「惠」字。