26 Mar Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch: Introduction (Part 1)
(Excerpt from the Introduction of Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch,expounded by Master Shen-Long)
Today I am going to talk about the sutra’s full title: Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, the Great Master.
This sutra is very well known and rated the highest in Chinese society. Of those who study Buddhism, there are none who do not know this Sutra. Its short name is known as the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. This sutra was personally expounded by the Sixth Patriarch with ten chapters in total. We all know about the Great Master, the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng, who opened up his intelligence and attained enlightenment at the age of 24. After his enlightenment, there were also 43 people who achieved supreme enlightenment under his guidance. These 43 people can all be collectively known as the most virtuous Patriarchs (a title of honor for Buddha). ‘Achieving supreme enlightenment’ is precisely when they have beheld their Buddha-nature and become Buddha, and they discover the true ‘mind’ and see the inherent pure ‘nature’.
What kind of mind? A mind that knows the truth of the universe.
What kind of nature? It is the Buddha-nature spread all around everywhere.
After they comprehend both of these personally, and behold the supreme enlightenment, only until then true cultivation begins. After beholding the supreme enlightenment starts the cultivation to completely put an end to all of their tainted unhealthy habits within this life-term. Only this way will a person not enter into the reincarnation cycle, not fall into the Three Realms (Triloka) and Six Realms of Reincarnation. If even one bit remains that has not been fully eradicated, a person will still create karma and receive the consequences.
Therefore, today we explain the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. It is also the gathering of our predestined connection, which is extraordinarily unique and superior. To publicly explain the enlightenment statement of the Sixth Patriarch ‘There is not a single thing originally, Where can there be any dust? ‘, especially during this period of degeneration and extinction of the Buddha Dharma, where numerous people practice cultivation and rarely one has attained enlightenment – only by relying on the method of chanting Amitabha can one be saved! Thus, this is extremely important.