MASTER SHEN-LONG | The Second Patriarch (Hui-Ke) of Chinese Zen Buddhism
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The Second Patriarch (Hui-Ke) of Chinese Zen Buddhism

The Second Patriarch (Hui-Ke) of Chinese Zen Buddhism

(Excerpt from the Prajna (Volume II) —Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna-Paramita), expounded by Master Shen-Long, Chapter 11)

 

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Master Shen-Long, Zen Master, 1998, ink on rice paper, 3ft x 6ft, copyright Master Shen-Long.

The Second Patriarch was a soldier. He had killed many people during battle, his mind was not at peace with this; so he went around seeking ways to set his mind at rest. While Bodhidharma sat in the cave and faced the wall, on a heavy snow day the 2nd Patriarch went to meet with Bodhidharma; he knelt in snow outside the cave for many days, and Bodhidharma had shown no indication to meet with him. So, the 2nd Patriarch thought out a way, he cut off one of his arms to indicate: I am here for Dharma (teaching) and I would let go my life for it; I am not here to ask a couple casual questions and then go home, I am with full sincerity and willing to let go of my life. His action eventually got a response from Bodhidharma.

Bodhidharma finally turned his head and asked him: “What do you want?”

The 2nd Patriarch said: “My mind is not at peace; I need to put my mind at rest”.

Bodhidharma said: “In that case, take out your mind and show it to me”

Suddenly, the 2nd Patriarch with an unexpected spurt of reflection from his self-nature stated: “Searching all over for the mind and it is entirely unobtainable,  how can there be a mind.”

Bodhidharma replied: “I have already rested your mind for you”.

The 2nd Patriarch instantly achieved  supreme enlightenment, self-verification of the truth as:

Originally there is not a single thing, where can there be any dust (affliction).

That is it.

When studying the gong-an (study case) of many Patriarchs, you need to know how to study it; at the moment of studying, your mind is unmoved by any phenomena, purified of defiling illusion and without wave motions, then you will understand the gong-an as how they are stated in full comprehension. So, Bodhidharma transmitted the teaching to the 2nd Patriarch (Hui-Ke).

How did he transmit this?

Exactly how the 2nd Patriarch saw it, he witnessed it not through the lay-man’s vision; he saw it from the vision of the mind as the vision of Prajna (wisdom). In that split second he let go of all delusional thoughts, attachments and afflictions of infinite kalpas. After letting go of it all, his Six Supernatural Powers recovered. This is inconceivable; the six capabilities of the fundamental essence with pureness and brightness are recovered—as divine vision, divine hearing, miraculous and unimpeded bodily function, or the insight of previous lifetimes—all are recovered. The most important one is the ‘insight of ending all of the afflictions that arise from things seen and thought in the stream of transmigration’; after putting an end to all afflictions, then this person recovers to normality.

 

二祖是個軍人,殺生殺很多,心都很不安,到處求安心的方法。達摩祖師在山洞裡面壁。當天大下雪天,二祖去見他,跪在雪裡好幾天,達摩理都不理他。最後二祖想了一個方法,自己手臂一斷,表示我求法,是放下生命來求法的,不是隨隨便便來這裡問個兩句就回家了,是放下生命了。

達摩回過頭來問他:「你要幹什麼?」

他說:「我心不安,要安心。」

達摩說:「這樣子,你把心拿出來給我看一看。」

這一下二祖迴光返照,他說:「覓心了不可得,那有心!」

達摩說:「我替你把心安好了。」

這樣他才大徹大悟,原來「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」,是這樣的。

看祖師公案要會看。看的時候,你的心是定的、是清淨的、沒有波動的,他講的公案你就懂。法,就傳給他了。

怎麼傳的?

就是他看到,親眼看到不是肉眼;是「心眼」,「般若」之眼看到了。在那一剎那,無量劫來,妄想、執著、煩惱全部放了。放下了,六神通恢復了。這妙了,清淨光明本體中六種能力恢復,天眼、天耳、神足、他心、宿命,全部恢復了。最重要一通,漏盡通,就是煩惱沒有了,這東西斷掉了,漏盡煩惱斷了,這人恢復正常。

 

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