By John McRae (Translator)

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Additional resources for The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch

Example text

The Great Master told the assembly, “Good friends,35 bodhi is fundamentally pure in its self-nature. You must simply use this mind [that you already have], and you will achieve buddhahood directly and completely. Good friends, listen well! This is the story of how I36 practiced and attained the Dharma. “My father was a native of Fanyang (Zhuo Xian, Hebei), but he was banished to Lingnan and became a commoner in Xinzhou (Xinxing Xian, Guangdong). 37 Miserably poor, I sold firewood in the marketplace.

You should go quickly! ’ The patriarch said, ‘When you encounter destruction (huai), you should stop. ’ “In the third watch I took the robe and bowl and said, ‘I am from south China and do not know the mountainous roads around here. ’ The patriarch accompanied me as far as Jiujiang station, where he had us get on a boat. The Fifth Patriarch took the oar and rowed [the boat] himself. I said, ‘Your Reverence, please sit. ’ I said, ‘When one is deluded, one thinks teachers take [sentient beings over to the other shore], but when one is enlightened, one realizes one crosses over by oneself.

Since [the Buddha said] “you should realize them [as such],” the Perfected Man [Huineng] extrapolated from the fundamental to correct the derivative. Because [Kāśyapa said] “My preaching is the same as [the Buddha’s in] the sutra,” the Perfected Man’s preaching of a sutra is identical to a sutra. Because [the Nirvana Sutra says] “Rely on meanings” and “rely on sutras that are comprehensive in meaning,” the Perfected Man has preached openly and was in accord with the meanings and in accord with the sutras [of the Buddha].

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