00266 The Story of the 32nd Zen Patriarch—Hongren
00266 The Story of the 32nd Zen Patriarch—Hongren
No. 00266
Category / Between Master and Disciples-story
Event date / 1987.08.10 & 11
Place / (Formosa/Taiwan) Hsintien
Language / Chinese
Time (mins) / 1h02m22s
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  • Summary
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Do you want to know how the Thirty-Second Zen Patriarch—Hongren chose his successor? Why didn't he choose Shenxiu who was knowledgeable about the scriptures and why did he pass the legacy to Huineng who could not read even a word? Why did Supreme Master Ching Hai believe Huineng is the truly worthy one and that Master Hongren was fair not to pass the legacy to Shenxiu even though Shenxiu had followed and learned from him for 30 years? Please listen to Supreme Master Ching Hai's indepth analysis of the reason behind all this.

Supreme Master says: passing the Dharma is something within, and attaining the Tao is also inward attainment. The Tao is attained not because one has learned a lot; Master did not pass the legacy to him because he helped Master with a lot of work. The important thing is our inner spiritual experience, not the exploration of many scriptures. If we ourselves do not understand, it would be useless to read them; if we ourselves do not understand, it would be even more useless to explain to others.

  1. How many good appearances did Master Hongren have when he was a child? Why could he meet Master Daoxin and become a monk at the age of seven?
  2. When Master Hongren asked how the southerners could become Buddha, how did Huineng reply to him?
  3. Why did people encourage Shenxiu to write poems but he dared not to write publicly? Master Hongren praised Shenxiu's poem publicly, but why did he erase Huineng's poem with his feet?
  4. Master Hongren recited a poem when he passed the Proper Dharma of Eye Treasury to Huineng. What is the content and the implication of this poem?
  5. Why could emotions bind us in the circle of life and death? Where does the cause and effect come from?
  6. When Master Bodhidharma passed the Dharma to Master Huike, did he need to use the cassock and alms bowl as a proof? Why, however, did Master Hongren tell Huineng no need to pass the cassock and alms bowl anymore?
  7. Why did the Supreme Master say that the one who passes the Dharma is in great danger, and for those who has attained the Tao, even though they do not pass the Dharma, their life was also threatened?
  8. What is the difference between the way Zen Masters and ordinary people in expressing their feelings?
  9. Why was Supreme Master moved to tears by Huineng's story? What should we learn from the spirit of Tao-searching of the ancient people?
  10. Why can arrogant people never attain the Tao? Where does the sense of inferiority come from? Why did the Supreme Master say that we only feel Master dose not treat us well when we have no self-confidence?
  11. What is the meaning of "originally there is no karma"? Where do our short-comings come from?
  12. What is the true meaning of the verse in the Vajra Sutra—You should produce the thought which abides nowhere?
  13. Shenxiu didn't get the legacy from Master Hongren, then why did many people like him still and even the king wanted to invite him to be the national teacher?