00256-1 The Story of the 20th Zen Patriarch--Jayata
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When the twentieth Patriarch Jayata met the diligent ascetic Vasubandhu during his world travel while transforming sentient beings, Vasubandu was already very famous in that local area and had many followers. Why did the twentieth Patriarch say that Vasubandu was still far away from attaining the Tao even if he practiced ascetic? Hearing that, why did Vasubandu felt happy instead of angry?
Supreme Master Ching Hai explains that practicing ascetic doesn’t necessarily mean one can attain the Tao, because it requires many factors occurring together. If we practice ascetic but become too attached to it, we will easily become arrogant and attached, getting used to it after long time of practice and unable to change the habit. Therefore, we should be flexible in doing everything, without being too attached and hasty; we shouldn’t stick to any place too much. Only in this way can we attain the level of nonattachment. Otherwise we will make trouble for ourselves.
Vasubandu didn't get angry because he was already a great saint and nearly became Bodhisattva at that time. Others may get angry. He had been practicing so long, had so many disciples, and was respected by everybody, but he was not arrogant at all. I’m glad about this. Our fellow initiates should learn from his example. Why could he become so humble? Because he had great faith in his Master. There’s only one proof. He believed in his Master so much that his faith was still not shaken till this time.