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Huike 慧可 (487-593)
aka 神光慧可 Shenguang Huike; 大祖慧可 Dazu Huike; 慧可大师 Huike dashi
(Rōmaji:) Shinko Eka; Taiso Eka; Eka daishi
(Magyar átírás:) Sen-kuang Huj-ko; Ta-cu Huj-ko
; Huj-ko tasi



Huike levágja karját
Terebess Gábor fordítása

Huike zen tanításai
Fordította: Hadházi Zsolt

【Niso (the 2nd patriarch 二祖) Eka】

Encounter Dialogues of Dazu Huike
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha

Two Poems of Hui K'o

Huike: The Buddha Within
by Sam van Schaik

【Niso (the 2nd patriarch 二祖) Eka】

Bodhidharma established the foundation of Zen by practicing zazen wholeheartedly as known as “Mempeki Kunen (Bodhidharma's zazen for 9 years facing the wall.). He is the first patriarch of Zen. And the Dharma successor of Bodhidarma is Eka (Hui-ke; 487-593). Eka is sometimes called “Niso Eka” (niso means the 2nd patriarch of Zen). They say that Eka was from near Raku-yo (Luo-yang 洛陽 ), Kanan-sho (Henan-sheng 河南省, country in China, and called “Shinko (Shen-guang 神光 - literally, god's light)” in his childhood. After learning the ideology of “Roshi and Soshi (Lao-zi and zhuang-zi 老子・荘子 - Taoism) and Buddhism, he moved to Kozan (Xiang-shan 香山) near Raku-yo, and there he became monk under Hojyo (Bao-jing 宝静). He continued necessary practices in various places. When he was 32 years old, he came back to Kozan and practiced for 8 years. After then, he visited Bodhidharma at the Shorin-ji (Shaolin-si 少林寺), at the age of 40, and became Bodhidharma's disciple. After several years' hard practice, he received from Bodhidharma the Dharma transmission. After Bodhidharma's death, his teachings were regarded as ”Mago (魔語 - literally, devilish words) and believers in Buddhism suffered persecutions. And during Eka's life time, Buddhist experienced “Haibutsu (廃仏 - Buddhism suppression laws).” In spite of a difficult situation, Eka continued preaching for 40 years, devoting himself to training up his successors, until he died at the age of 107.

C. Huike. Eka is regarded as the leading dharma heir of Bodaidaruma, founder of the Zen lineage in China, who became the second ancestor (niso 二祖 ) of the lineage. He is variously referred to as: the Second Ancestor in China (Shintan niso 震旦二祖); Great Master Eka (Eka daishi, C. Huike dashi 慧可大師); Most Reverend Eka (Eka daioshō, C. Huike da heshang 慧可大和尚); and Great Master Shōshū Fukaku (Shōshū Fukaku daishi, C. Zhengzong Pujue dashi 正宗普覺大師).



The story of Eka cutting off his elbow comes in various versions. In the Annals of the Transmission of the Dharma Treasure (Chuán fǎbǎojì 傳法寶記 ; Jp. = Denpō Hōki 伝法宝記) , an early 8th-century Chinese text attributed to Dharma-master Dù Fěi 杜朏 (Jp. = Tohi), we are told that Eka travels to Shaolin Temple 少林寺 (Jp. = Shōrinji ) in modern-day Henan Province (China) to ask Bodhidharma to teach him zazen 坐禅 (sitting meditation). But when he arrives, he finds Bodhidharma immersed in a meditation technique called ”wall-gazing” 壁観 (Chn. = Bìguān, Jp. = Hekikan) or "wall facing" (Chn. = Miànbì, Jp. = Menpeki 面壁). Eka waits patiently in the snow for a long time (in some versions, for one week), until Bodhidharma informs him that Zen study requires discipline and hardship. Eka subsequently cuts off his arm and presents it to Bodhidharma as a sign of his sincerity and determination, as a sign of his willingness to undergo any sacrifice for the privilege of being Bodhidharma's pupil.

Ch: Huike duanbi. Lit. Eka cutting (his) elbow. A painting subject based on the legend of Eka (Ch: Huike; dates traditionally given as 487-593) who was the second Zen (Ch: chan) patriarch to present his severed arm to Daruma 達磨 as a sign of his sincerity and willingness to undergo the rigors of training under the first patriarch. Although variations of the story exist, the texts DENPOU HOUKI 伝法宝記 (Ch: Chuanfabaoji) and RYOUGA SHISHIKI 楞枷師子記 (Ch: Lengjiashiziji) tell how Eka traveled to Shaolinsi (Jp: Shourinji 少林寺 ) in North China to ask Daruma to instruct him in sitting meditation zazen 坐禅 . Eka arrived to find Daruma practicing a type of meditation known as wall gazing hekikan 壁観 (Ch: biguan), or wall facing menpeki 面壁 (Ch: mianbi), and waited patiently in the snow for the master's attention. After a long while, Daruma gave a brief sermon on the discipline and hardship necessary for the study of Zen. Eka reacted by cutting off his arm at the elbow in a dramatic gesture of his sincerity. Although the Eka danpi story was not illustrated frequently, handscrolls by Dai Jin 戴進 (1388-1462; 遼寧省博物館 The Liaoning Provincial Museum) and Yan Ciping 閻次平 (active ca. 1164-81; Cleveland Museum of Art) and a hanging scroll by Sesshuu 雪舟 (1496; Sainenji 斎年寺, Aichi prefecture.), illustrate this theme.

梁楷 Liang Kai (c. 1140 - c. 1210): 高清大图【梁楷-八高僧图卷详解】上海博物馆藏--南宋 Bagaoseng gushi tu
Eight Eminent Monks, The Shanghai Museum of Art
图一《达摩面壁 · 神光参 问》 绢本设色   尺寸: 26.6 × 64.1 cm


雪中断臂 xuě zhōng duàn bì - cutting off the left arm in the snow;

by Dai Jin 戴進 (1388-1462), 遼寧省博物館 The Liaoning Provincial Museum


Bodhidharma and Shenguang 達摩與神光圖 [aka Huike 慧可]
Formerly attributed to Yan Ciping 閻次平 (act. 1164-1181)
Late 13th century, Southern Song (1127-1279)
Hanging scroll, ink on silk, 116.2 x 46.3 cm
Cleveland Museum of Art, 1972.41


Eka's earnest “Gudoshin (求道心 - seeking for the Way)” is symbolized with the episode of “Setchudampi (雪中断臂 - cutting off the left arm in the snow).” When Eka visited Bodhidharma at the Shao-lin Temple, he was not allowed to enter Bodhidharma's room. Bodhidharma said “If you seek the Dharma, you must risk your life for the Way.” Eka stood in the snow for a long time, waiting for Bodhidharma's permission to become his disciple. At last he cut off his left hand to prove his resolution to Bodhidharma.

The picture below on the left side of this page is drawn by “Sesshu (雪舟 1420-1506, Japan).” This is called “Eka-danpi-zu (慧可断臂図 - The picture showing Eka's arm cutting).” Those who take a close look at the scene on this picture must be overwhelmed with the most strained situation that grows between Bodhidharma and Eka.

Eka Danpi 慧可断臂 (Lit. = Eka cutting off his elbow).
Hanging scroll, 1498. By Sesshū 雪舟 (1420-1506).
Sainenji Temple 斎年寺, Aichi Pref., Japan


by 白隠慧鶴 Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769)


Modern Korean painting


Huike (慧可) thinking; by Shi Ke (石恪), 10th century, Tokyo National Museum

Encounter Dialogues of Dazu Huike
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha

Master Huike was from Wulao City in northern Henan Province. He entered monastic life at Dragon Gate Monastery on Fragrant Mountain in Luoyang. There he studied under a Zen Master named Baojing. When he learned about Master Bodhidharma, he went to meet him on Mt. Song, and stayed as his disciple for six years. After leaving the Luoyang region with his teacher and heading southeast toward the lower Yangtse, Huike settled on his own on Priest of the Sky (Sikong) Mountain (in modern Anhui province) and practiced there for many years.

One day on the mountain Master Huike met a lay practitioner who had a skin disease. The layman asked the master, “This disciple's body is is bound up in illness. Master, please help me repent for my sins.”
The master said, “Bring me your sins and I will absolve them for you.”
After a pause the layman said, “Looking for my sins, I can't find them anywhere.”
The ancestor said, “There, I have absolved your sins. From now on live in reliance on your true nature, on practice, and on spiritual community.”
Master Huike ordained the layman and gave him the name Sengcan. His illness subsided, and he later became the master's most famous disciple.

Master Huike eventually traveled north and west to the new capital of the Eastern Wei Dynasty called Ye (in modern Hebei Province). There he taught publicly and gained a circle of devoted followers. He also intermingled with lay society, including visits to wine-houses and brothels. He was sometimes seen living as a household servant. Once he gave a talk before the front gate of a temple while another lecture was going on inside, and a large crowd was drawn to hear him. He soon found himself resented and criticized by other religious teachers, and near the end of his life was condemned and persecuted by the local government. Later masters called it the “payment of a karmic debt” and Master Huike was said to bear his adversity with profound equanimity.


Poems of Hui K'o
In: A Drifting Boat: An Anthology of Chinese Zen Poetry edited by Jerome P. Seaton & Dennis Maloney, White Pine Press, Fredonia, New York, 1994, p. 21.

No me: Dharmas all

Death, Life, small
Heart of mystery's
know, and see.

The Truth cries out
where the arrow strikes the target.

Translated by JEROME P. SEATON


The Absolute

selfless dharmas are all empty
life and death about alike
the transformed heart knows it all at a glance
truth is in the middle of things.

Translated by JAMES H. SANFORD



The Spirit of Zen
by Sam van Schaik
Yale University Press, 2018, 272 p.

Leading Buddhist scholar Sam van Schaik explores the history and essence of Zen, based on a new translation of one of the earliest surviving collections of teachings by Zen masters. These teachings, titled The Masters and Students of the Lanka, were discovered in a sealed cave on the old Silk Road, in modern Gansu, China, in the early twentieth century. All more than a thousand years old, the manuscripts have sometimes been called the Buddhist Dead Sea Scrolls, and their translation has opened a new window onto the history of Buddhism.


Preface viii
PART I Introducing Zen 1
1 The Practice of Zen 3

2 Zen and the West 19
3 The History of Zen 31
4 The Lost Texts of Zen 47
5 Early Zen Meditation 63

PART II The Masters of the Lanka 83
6 Manuscripts and Translation 85
7 Jingjue: Student of Emptiness 88
8 Gunabhadra: Introducing the Lankāvatāra 102
9 Bodhidharma: Sudden and Gradual 114
10 Huike: The Buddha Within 129
11 Sengcan: Heaven in a Grain of Sand 141
12 Daoxin I: How to Sit 150
13 Daoxin II: Teachings for Beginners 168
14 Hongren: The Buddha in Everything 181
15 Shenxiu: Zen in the World 194

Notes 209
References 244
Index 000


Little is said about actual practice in the chapter on Huike. But, more than Bodhidharma, he emphasizes the role of sitting meditation above any other kind of practice. In Huike's teaching here, sitting meditation is a way of recognizing the buddha nature which has always been present in oneself. The only difference between ordinary people and buddhas is that the latter have recognized their own nature in meditation. The other main thrust of Huike's teachings here is a negative one: not to get distracted by books and ideas. A picture of food, he says, will not assuage your hunger, and always talking about food leaves no time for eating. The main thing is to realize that the enlightened state is already present in one's own body and mind.



The Buddha Within

In Zen, Bodhidharma's student Huike is the great example of the devotion of a student to a teacher, and the determination required to follow the path. This is expressed in an extreme form in the story of Huike cutting off his own arm to show Bodhidharma his determination. In the Masters of the Lanka, this is reported in Huike's own words:

When I first generated the aspiration for enlightenment, I cut off one of my arms, and stood up straight in the snow from dusk till the third watch of the night, not noticing as the snow piled up around my knees. 1

The ‘aspiration for enlightenment' is bodhicitta, an important concept in Mahayana Buddhism, meaning aspiring not just towards one's own enlightenment, but for the enlightenment of all sentient beings. Thus bodhicitta is the firmly held wish to enter the path of the bodhisattva. Huike's act of cutting off his arm is not intended as an example to be followed, but its extreme nature conveys the extreme seriousness of the bodhisattva vow: to personally undertake to liberate all living beings from samsara.

For a reader familiar with the world of Buddhism, Huike's sacrifice recalls the many self-sacrificing actions of the bodhisattva who eventually was born as Prince Gautama and became the Buddha Śākyamuni. In the stories known as jātaka , the previous lives of the Buddha include many accounts of sacrifice, some of them extreme, such as that of the Prince Sudana, who gave away everything, including his wife and children, or the unnamed bodhisattva who gave his body to a starving tigress and her cubs.

In Buddhist traditions around the world, these stories have elicited debates about the limits of self-sacrifice. Though rare, the cutting off of an extremity (usually fingers or toes) and self-immolation have been practised by Buddhist monks and nuns, yet these are not the way jātaka stories, or Huike's sacrifice, are usually understood. Rather than encouraging imitation, they are taken as the strongest possible way of communicating the seriousness of the bodhisattva's vow.

Much of the teaching contained in this chapter of the Masters of the Lanka is about the buddha nature (tathāgatagarbha in Sanskrit, fóxìng in Chinese). The common English translation ‘buddha nature', which I am using here, is a direct translation of the Chinese. The Sanskrit ‘tathāgatagarbha' is a little more difficult to translate: a ‘tathāgata' is a buddha, which is straightforward enough, but ‘garbha' means literally ‘womb' and as an extension, anything interior. Thus it might equally be translated as ‘the buddha within'. This is exactly how the buddha nature is often presented; a quotation from a sutra in this chapter states that, ‘In the body of every sentient being there is a vajra buddha.'

Huike uses a series of metaphors to further illustrate the idea of the buddha nature. It is like a lamp placed in a vase – its light is undiminished, but cannot be seen in this state. Equally, the buddha nature can be compared to the sun temporarily obscured by clouds:

The sun's light has not been diminished; it is just obscured by the hazy clouds and not seen by sentient beings. When the clouds part and are cleared away, the sunlight shines everywhere, its radiance pure and unobscured.

These metaphors for the buddha nature are drawn from the sutras, but Huike uses one further metaphor said to come from ‘a secular book' – meaning a non-Buddhist source. He quotes two brief sayings: ‘Though ice appears in water, it is able to stop water', and ‘When ice melts, water flows.' Though I have not found these exact words in Chinese literary sources, some very similar sayings are found in the Anthology of Literary Texts , a compendium of Chinese literary quotations taken from earlier works, which was compiled in the early seventh century. 2

The analogy of ice and water continued through the centuries in both Buddhist and Daoist traditions. 3 It is central to the thinking of the neo-Confucian Zhang Zai (1020–77), who argued that the basis of all existence, called , is formless, but manifests as everything in the world through a transformation akin to water freezing into ice. 4 An eighteenth-century Daoist writer used the same analogy, with even more Buddhist leanings:

Water freezes into ice when it is cold, ice melts into water when it is warm. What I realize as I observe this is the Tao of becoming either a sage or an ordinary person. At first, human nature is basically good. There is originally no distinction between the sage and the ordinary person. It is because of the energy of accumulated habits that there comes to be a difference between sages and ordinary people. 5

Back in the Buddhist tradition, the influential Japanese Zen reformer Hakuin Ekaku (1686–1768) began one of his most popular poems with the same analogy:

Sentient beings are in essence buddhas.
It is like water and ice.
There is no ice without water;
There are no buddhas outside of sentient beings. 6

Here, the difference between ice and water is the difference between the ordinary person and the Buddha, much as in Huike's teaching. The analogy has also carried through to the present in Zen; in one of her talks the American Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck compared the nature of ordinary human beings to ice cubes, giving the metaphor a psychological reading:

To protect ourselves we freeze as hard as we can and hope that when we collide with others, they will shatter before we do. We freeze because we're afraid. Our fear makes us rigid, fixed, and hard, and we create mayhem as we bump into others. Any obstacle or unexpected difficulty is likely to shatter us.

The positive side of this is that ice can melt, through the practice of meditation.

Eventually what we are as ice cubes is destroyed. But if the ice cube has become a puddle, is it truly destroyed? We could say that it's no longer an ice cube, but its essential self is realized. 7

The metaphor has continued outside Buddhism, in the way Bruce Lee described his system of martial arts, Jeet Kune Do. Here, while the aim might be different, the sense of the metaphor is very much akin to the way Charlotte Joko Beck uses it in her talk:

When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like the dissolving or thawing of ice into water that can shape itself into any structure. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, one can fit in with any style. 8

Returning to Huike, we can see why the Daoist metaphor of ice and water is brought into dialogue with the idea of the buddha nature. It makes it clear that the buddha nature is not something separate from ourselves, or contained within ourselves, but something that is inseparable; it is what we are. 9

* * *

In Huike's teachings, the idea that we are all buddhas as part of our very nature leads on to his insistence that we do not need to rely on other people's accounts of the path. Everything we need is here in our very nature. Huike presents his own experience as an example to follow: ‘Once I had verified for myself the benefits of sitting meditation, I dispensed with the attitude of looking for the principle in books of written dharma, and strove to accomplish buddhahood.'

If we have the buddha nature – if we are ice that simply needs to melt – then reading about this will not get us very far. Huike advises his students to stay away from books, or at least not to spend too much time with them: ‘those who read books should look into them for a while, then promptly set them aside'. And he quotes a verse from a sutra that stands as a sharp rebuke to those who spend most of their time reading or writing books:

There is a story of a very poor person
Who spent day and night counting the wealth of others
Without a penny of his own.
Scholarship is very much like this.

This is an uncomfortable message for scholars, both ancient and modern, but it is also addressed to anyone for whom the collecting and reading of texts takes the place of practice. Huike's chapter ends with a long quotation from the Avataṃsaka sūtra , with the message that realization about any aspect of reality is equivalent to total realization. This is because even the distinction between ‘one' and ‘many' is false, a theme that is continued in the next chapter, in the teachings of Sengcan.


Chapter Three

The monk Huike became the successor of the meditation master Bodhidharma in Ye, during the Qi dynasty. 10 The meditation master Huike's family name was Ji, and he came from Wulao. 11 He met Bodhidharma at the age of fourteen, when the master was travelling and teaching in Songshan and Luoyang. Huike served him for six years, mastering all aspects of the single vehicle while adhering to the profound principle. 12 He composed some brief teachings on the path of cultivation, the key dharma points regarding the luminous mind and completing the ascent to buddhahood. 13

The Laṅkāvatāra sūtra says:

Observe the Sage in peace,
Beyond birth and death.
This is called ‘not clinging'
Pure now and ever after. 14

If there is a single one of all the buddhas of the ten directions who did not achieve this through sitting meditation, then there is no such thing as complete buddhahood. 15

The Daśabhūmika sūtra says:

In the body of every sentient being
There is the vajra buddha.
This is just like the sun,
Luminous, perfect and complete.
It is vast and unlimited,
Yet covered by the dark clouds of the five aggregates,
So sentient beings cannot see it. 16

When they meet with the winds of wisdom, the dark clouds of the five aggregates are blown away. Once they are gone, the buddha nature shines out, bright, luminous and pure.

The Avataṃsaka sūtra says:

Vast as the reality itself,
Endless as space. 17

It is also like the light of a lamp inside a vase that cannot shine out. Or like when hazy clouds come across the land all at once from all directions, plunging the land into darkness. How can the sunlight be pure and clear? The sun's light has not been diminished; it is just obscured by the hazy clouds and not seen by sentient beings. When the clouds part and are cleared away, the sunlight shines everywhere, its radiance pure and unobscured. 18

The pure nature of all sentient beings is like this; it is just that grasping, deluded thought, wrong views and dark clouds of the afflictions obscure the noble path so that it is unable to fully manifest. 19 On the other hand, if deluded thoughts do not arise, and you sit in pure stillness, then the pure luminosity of the sun of great nirvana arises spontaneously. 20

A secular book says: ‘Though ice comes from water, it is able to stop water', and ‘When ice melts, water can flow again.' 21 Similarly, though delusion arises from reality, reality can get lost in delusion. But when delusion comes to an end, reality is revealed. The ocean of the mind becomes instantly and perfectly clear; this is the dharmakaya, empty and pure. 22

Thus a student who takes written words and spoken teachings as the path is like a candle in the wind, unable to dispel the darkness when its flame blows out. 23 If they sit in purity, doing nothing, this is like a lamp kept inside a sealed house, which can thus dispel the darkness and illuminate objects so that they can be clearly seen. If they understand that the source of the mind is pure, then all desires will be satisfied, all activities accomplished. With absolutely everything achieved, they will not have to go through further rebirths. 24

Among sentient beings as numerous as the sands on the banks of the Ganges, barely a single person exists who will attain this dharmakaya. In a billion aeons there may be no more than a single person who fulfils these criteria. If true sincerity has not arisen within you, then not even all the buddhas of the three times, who are as numerous as the sands on the banks of the Ganges, can help you. 25

Know this: sentient beings who recognize the nature of mind liberate themselves. It is not buddhas who liberate sentient beings. If buddhas were able to liberate sentient beings, then since we have already met buddhas countless as the sand on the banks of the Ganges, why have we not accomplished buddhahood yet? 26 It is only because genuine sincerity has not arisen within us. We say we get it, but our minds do not get it.

As the dharma scriptures say, those who teach emptiness while keeping to worldly practices are imitating the ultimate path, and in the end they will not avoid being reborn in accord with their past actions. 27 Thus the buddha nature is like the sun and moon in the world or the potential for fire within wood. 28

This buddha nature, which exists in everyone, is also known as ‘the lamp of the buddha nature' and ‘the mirror of nirvana'. This mirror of vast nirvana is brighter than the sun and moon, completely pure inside and out, unbound and unlimited. It is also like smelting gold: after the gold has taken shape and the fire has gone out, the nature of the gold remains unspoilt. Just so, after the succession of lives and deaths of sentient beings has come to an end, the dharmakaya remains unspoilt.

It is also like when a ball or lump of dirt is broken up – the individual particles are not destroyed. 29 When rough waves cease, the nature of the water is not affected; just so, after the succession of lives and deaths of sentient beings has come to an end, the dharmakaya remains unspoilt. 30

Once I had verified for myself the benefits of sitting meditation, I dispensed with the attitude of looking for the principle in books of written dharma, and strove to accomplish buddhahood. There is not one person in ten thousand who does this. 31 As an old book says, drawing food does not make a meal. 32 If you just talk about food with people, how will you eat? When you try to remove a stopper, paradoxically, you often push it in more tightly. 33

The Avataṃsaka sūtra says:

There is a story of a very poor person
Who spent day and night counting the wealth of others
Without a penny of his own.
Scholarship is very much like this. 34

So those who read books should look into them briefly, then promptly set them aside. If they do not put them away again, how is this study of words different from looking for ice in hot water? Or boiling water but hoping to find snow? Thus the buddhas may teach the teachings, or teach the teachings by not teaching. In the true nature of things, there is neither teaching nor not teaching. 35 If you realize this, everything else follows. 36

The Lotus Sutra says:

Not true, not false,
Not the same, not different. 37

* * *

The great master said –

In this teaching of the real dharma, everything is in accord with the truth,
And is ultimately no different from the profound principle itself.
At first, deluded people see the precious stone and call it a rock;
Then they suddenly realize that it is a genuine jewel.
There is no difference between ignorance and wisdom;
Just know that all phenomena are like this.
Out of compassion for those who spend their lives seeing them as different,
I speak these words, and write them down with my brush.
When you see yourself as no different from the Buddha,
Why would you continue to search elsewhere?

* * *

He also said – When I first generated the aspiration for enlightenment, I cut off one of my arms, and stood up straight in the snow from dusk till the third watch of the night, not noticing as the snow piled up around my knees, in order to seek the unsurpassable path.

As it is taught in the seventh volume of the Avataṃsaka sūtra :

When you enter a state of absorption in the east,
Samadhi arises in the west. 38
When you enter a state of absorption in the west,
Samadhi arises in the east.
When you enter a state of absorption based on the eyes,
Samadhi arises in forms. 39
Showing that the manifestation of forms is non-conceptual,
Something that gods and humans are unable to comprehend.
When you enter a state of absorption in forms,
Concentration arises in the eyes, and you are freed from confusion. 40
The eye that sees is not produced, nor does it have an intrinsic nature;
I teach that emptiness is stillness which abides nowhere.
The ear, nose, tongue, body and intellect,
Are also like this.
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a child,
Samadhi arises in the body of an adult.
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of an adult,
Samadhi arises in the body of an aged person.
When you enter samadhi in the body of an aged person,
Samadhi arises in the body of a virtuous woman.
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a virtuous woman,
Samadhi appears in the body of a virtuous man.
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a virtuous man,
Samadhi appears in the body of a nun.
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a nun,
Samadhi appears in the body of a monk.
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a monk,
Samadhi appears in the body of a hearer. 41
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a hearer,
Samadhi appears in the body of a solitary budda. 42
When you enter the state of absorption in the body of a solitary buddha,
Samadhi appears in the body of a tathāgata.
When you enter the state of absorption in a single pore,
Samadhi appears in all of your pores.
When you enter the state of absorption in all of your pores,
Samadhi arises on the tip of a single hair.
When you enter the state of absorption on the tip of a single hair,
Samadhi arises in all of your hairs.
When you enter the state of absorption in all of your hairs,
Samadhi arises in a single mote of dust.
When you enter the state of absorption in a single mote of dust,
Samadhi arises in all motes of dust.
When you enter the state of absorption in a vast ocean of water,
Samadhi arises in a great blaze of fire.
One body can give rise to countless bodies,
And countless bodies can be one body. 43

If you attain realization of this one thing, everything else follows. Everything is just this – the dharmakaya, the guiding principle. 44




1. This appears towards the end of the chapter, just before the long quote from the Avataṃsaka sūtra , rather than in the biographical note at the beginning.

2. The Anthology of Literary Texts (Yiwen leiju) is one of the earliest examples of Chinese anthologies which present excerpts from texts arranged by subject matter. It was compiled over three years after a commission from the emperor Gaozu in 622 (Choo 2015: 454); though Endymion Wilkinson (2000: 602–3) gives the date of publication as either 604 or 624. The first phrase – ‘though ice appears in water, it is able to stop water' – is very similar to one in the Yiwen leiju (vol. 9, shuǐ bù xià, bīng 6): ‘Though ice appears in water, it is colder than water.' The original source of this phrase is a work attributed to the sage Xunzi (third century BC), which contains the line, ‘Blue is taken from dark blue but it is bluer than dark blue; as for ice, it is water that produces it, yet it is colder than water.' The second phrase – ‘When ice melts, water flows' – is similar to another line quoted in the Yiwen leiju (vol. 3, shí shàng, chūn 46): ‘The ice melts, causing a subtle flow.' The phrase could also be an allusion to the words in the Daodejing (15) on the nature of the ancient sages: ‘Loose like ice about to melt.'

3. The metaphor is also known in the Tibetan tradition, coming via the songs of the mahāsiddha Saraha; my thanks to Lama Jampa Thaye for this information. See the ‘Royal Song' (Do ha mdzod ces bya ba spyod pa'i glu), v.17, my translation:

When water is struck and stirred by the wind,
Though water is soft, it takes the form of stone.
When concepts stir up confusion, though it has no form,
It becomes very hard and solid.

In the Dzogchen tradition, the metaphor appears in a popular text by Jigme Lingpa (1730–98), in which the basis of consciousness (ālaya) is likened to water, and the emergence of grasping consciousness (ālaya-vijñāna) is similar to ice on water (van Schaik 2004: 163).

4. See Wang and Ding 2010: 47–50. They write (p. 47): ‘Zhang zai illustrates the interlocking of taixu and qi by again using the comparison of water and ice. Ice is solid or coalesced water just as taixu is coalesced qi.'

5. The passage is by Liu Yiming (1734–1821), translated in Cleary 2006: 13.

6. Translation in Tanahashi 2015: 96.

7. Beck 1995: 32.

8. This passage, like most Bruce Lee quotes, can be found in different forms in many places, especially on the internet. The quote in its original context, an essay on Jeet Kune Do, can be found in Little 2001: 121.

9. Though the influence of Daoism on Chinese Buddhism, and Zen in particular, is often mentioned, the picture was more complex. Daoism and Buddhism developed alongside each other in China, and the influence of Buddhism on organized Daoism was considerable, as scholars such as Christine Mollier (2008: 7) have shown:

Buddhism not only deeply affected traditional Chinese religious life and mentality, but it also operated as a trigger for the native religion. Taoism owes part of the formation of its identity, as a fully structured and organized religion, to its face-to-face encounter with Mahāyāna Buddhism. In response to the sophisticated eschatological and soteriological concepts imported by its foreign rival, Taoist theologians had to formulate and define their own ideas of the after-life and human destiny, of moral precepts and ethical principles.

10. The city of Ye is near Lingzhang, Henan, and was important in this period (see Zürcher 2007: 181). Instead of Ye, the Tibetan states that Huike travelled to Tsang chu. The (Northern) Qi dynasty ruled from 550 to 577.

11. This sentence is not in the Tibetan translation.

12. The single vehicle (Ch. yīshèng 一乘 , Skt ekayāna), as taught in several Mahayana sutras, is a way of condensing all the teachings of the Buddha, usually categorized in three vehicles, into a single path. In the Laṅkāvatāra sūtra LVI, the Buddha says that he teaches three vehicles because beings are different, but ultimately there is only a single vehicle, which is thusness:

When I speak of the one path, I mean the one path to realization. And what does the one path to realization mean? Projections, such as projections of what grasps or what is grasped, do not arise in suchness. This is what the one path to realization means.

Translation in Red Pine 2013: 163.

13. The path of cultivation is the fourth of the five paths. This sentence can be read as referring to Huike's achievements or his teachings. The Tibetan translator (van Schaik 2015: 88) and Faure (1989: 124) take them as referring to Huike's achievements; however, it seems to me to make more sense to read them as introducing the following teaching by Huike that takes up the bulk of this chapter, as Cleary (1986: 38) does.

14. T.16, no. 670, p. 480b9–10. The line is from Mahāmāti's verses of praise to Śākyamuni at the beginning of chapter II.

15. ‘Sitting meditation' (Ch. zuòchán 坐禪) is the usual way of referring to meditation practice in most later Zen traditions (Japanese Zen uses the same characters, pronounced ‘zazen'). It does not feature prominently elsewhere in the Masters of the Lanka , except in Daoxin's teachings for beginners, which starts, ‘When you are beginning the practice of sitting meditation . . .' (see chapter 13 above). In the present case, the Tibetan translator simply translates zuòchán the same way as chán, i.e. with bsam gtan, ‘meditation'.

16. Only the first line is found in the Avataṃsaka sūtra : T.9, no. 278, p. 624a14 and T.10, no. 279, p. 272c24. As Faure points out, the first six lines are similar to T.48, no. 2011, p. 377a24–26, which is also ostensibly a quotation from the Daśabhūmika sūtra. The last line of the quote (‘So sentient beings cannot see it') is actually from the Mahāparinirvāna sūtra (T.12, no. 374, p. 523c20). The phrase ‘vajra buddha' (jīngāng fó 金剛佛) is not in any of these texts, and is more associated with esoteric Buddhism. However, it can be an epithet of the buddha Vairocana, which is probably the case here.

17. T.9, no. 278, p. 542c21.

18. The passage from ‘and not seen' to ‘pure and unobscured' is in the Tibetan translation, but missing from both Chinese manuscripts which contain the text of this section (Or.8210/S.2054 and Pelliot chinois 3536). It seems to have been lost as a scribal error, skipping from one instance of the phrase ‘sentient beings' to the next.

19. ‘Wrong views' is literally ‘all views' (zhū jiàn 諸見, Skt sarvadṛṣṭi); this phrase refers to the various non-Buddhist philosophical schools. The ‘noble path' (shèng dào 聖道, Skt āryamārga) is the path followed by the bodhisattva. According to Muller (DDB), it is also a synonym for enlightenment and undefiled wisdom, which seems to be the case here.

20. The Tibetan has ‘great wisdom' rather than ‘great nirvana', and adds ‘in harmony with stillness' at the end of the sentence; see van Schaik 2015: 89.

21. The sources of these two statements are not given here, but they are similar to two texts quoted in the the Yiwen leiju. See the introduction to this chapter for further details.

22. The passage from ‘But when delusion' to ‘empty and pure' is not present in the Tibetan.

23. The character dēng 燈 is usually translated as ‘lamp' but here is better translated as ‘candle' or ‘flame', as the word ‘lamp' may bring to mind a covered lantern, which would not be affected by the wind. In fact, the lamp in this analogy, and in the image of the ‘transmission of the lamp', would have been an ancient open lamp, i.e. a bowl filled with oil with a wick in the middle. See Needham 1962: 78–80.

24. The Tibetan translation has a longer passage in place of ‘then all desires' to ‘further rebirths', as follows (van Schaik 2015: 89–90):

Thus, when sentient beings are aware of the radiant purity of mind, they will be constantly merged with meditation. The blockages at the six gates will all flow, without being caught in the winds of error. Then the lamp of insight will be radiantly pure and will distinguish one thing from another. Thus buddhahood will be accomplished of itself, and the aspirations of your previous practice will be fully realized. Henceforth, you do not see the states of existence.

25. ‘All the buddhas of the three times' refers to the buddhas of the past, present and future, i.e. all buddhas that have ever existed, exist now or will exist in the future.

26. The context of this statement is that every sentient being has already existed in the cycle of rebirth for an infinite amount of time, and therefore must already have met countless buddhas.

27. The lines from ‘As the dharma scriptures say' to ‘the ultimate path' are only found in the Tibetan translation; see van Schaik 2015: 90.

28. The phrase ‘the sun and moon in the world' is from the Sutra of the Great Conflagration (Daloutan jing, T.1, no. 23) translated by Fali and Faju during the Western Jin dynasty. The sutra, which deals with cosmology, states that a very long time after the destruction of the world, a black wind arose and blew deep inside the ocean and took out the sun and moon and placed them on their current path, which is how there is ‘the sun and moon in the world'. Thanks to Imre Galambos for clarifying this.

29. The second part of the sentence is missing in the Chinese manuscripts; taken from the Tibetan.

30. The lines from ‘It is also like when' to ‘remains unspoilt' are missing in Pelliot chinois 3436, and thus are found only in Or.8210/S.2054. The last statement (‘just so, after the succession of lives and deaths of sentient beings has come to an end, the dharmakaya remains unspoilt') appears twice, which may have been the cause of eye-skip in the scribe of P.3436. This statement is not repeated in the Tibetan translation.

31. From ‘I dispensed with' to ‘who does this' is only in the Tibetan translation; see van Schaik 2015: 90–1.

32. The words ‘As an old book says' appear only in the Tibetan translation; see van Schaik 2015: 91. The phrase may have been accidentally omitted from the Chinese texts because 古書曰 (‘an old book says') is graphically similar to what appears in the text (in S.2054), i.e. 故晝日 (‘because all day'). Thanks to Imre Galambos for pointing this out.

33. This line is difficult to interpret, and though my translation is different from both Cleary's (1986: 40–1) and Faure's (1989: 127) interpretation, it accords with both the Chinese and the Tibetan. The intended meaning seems to be that the wrong kind of effort (i.e. in reading and study) only makes things worse.

34. T.9, no. 278, p. 429a3–4. Cleary (1986: 41) and Faure (1989: 128) do not include the fourth line within the quote, though it is in the Avataṃsaka sūtra.

35. The statement about the buddhas' teaching is similar to T.30, no. 1564, p. 24a1–2.

36. Literally, ‘a thousand follow from this one'.

37. T.9, no. 262, p. 42c14–15.

38. In this and the following lines, ‘absorption' translates zhèngshòu 正受 and ‘samadhi' translates sānmèi 三昧 (which is the Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit samādhi ). The Tibetan translator uses drang po tshor (‘direct attention') for zhèngshòu and ting nge 'dzin, (which is the usual equivalent for Skt samādhi) for sānmèi.

39. Literally, ‘the dharma of form', which means the form aggregate (Skt skāndha). On the other hand, the Tibetan translation has ‘colour'.

40. ‘Concentration' translates dìng 定. The Tibetan translator uses an early term, thub pa.

41. Literally, ‘the stages of learning and beyond learning'.

42. Literally, ‘one enlightened by contemplation of dependent arising'.

43. This long passage is from T.9, no. 278, p. 438b27–p. 439b3, with some omissions. See also T.10, no. 279, p. 77c15–p. 78b29. Faure (1989: p. 130, n.32) points out that this was a popular passage in Chinese Buddhism. The general message is that meditation on one object is the same as meditation on all objects, exemplified in the line: ‘When you enter the state of absorption in a single mote of dust, / Samadhi arises in all motes of dust.'

44. The final words, ‘the dharmakaya, the guiding principle' are only in the Tibetan translation; see van Schaik 2015: 92.




Huike levágja karját
Terebess Gábor fordítása

Bódhidharma a barlang falának fordulva ült és hallgatott. Kint Huj-ko a magas hóban térdelt hiába, végül levágta és felmutatta egyik karját, hogy szóra bírja mesterét:
– Tanítványod szelleme nem ismer nyugalmat – mondta kétségbeesetten. – Könyörgök, békítsd meg!
– Hozd ide azt a nyughatatlan szellemed – szólt a pátriárka. – Megbékítem.
– Mihelyt keresem, megtalálhatatlan.
– Akkor meg is békült.

Az anekdota egyik legkorábbi ábrázolása.
12. századi másolat egy 1054-es kínai nyomatról, Kōzan-ji (高山寺) templom, Kiotó.
A jobb felső sarokban látható a templom keretes pecsétje.

Six Patriarchs in the Transmission from Bodhidharma 達摩宗六祖像
Japanese 12th century copy from a Northern Song Chinese woodblock dated 1054
Hanging scroll, ink on paper, 102 x 58 cm
Kōzanji, Kyoto 高山寺
Important Cultural Property
Inscriptions translated into English (PDF)


Huike zen tanításai
Rövid részletek a második pátriárkától
Angolból fordította: Hadházi Zsolt

A Lankávatára szútra mondja: "Sákjamuni nyugalomban szemlélődött, és ezért elhagyta teljesen a születést és halált. Ezt nevezik nem ragaszkodásnak." A tíz irány összes felébredetje közül, múltban és jelenben egy sem érte el a buddhaságot az ülő meditáció gyakorlása nélkül.

A Tíz Szint szútra mondja: "Az érző lények testében van egy elpusztíthatatlan felébredett természet. Hasonló a naphoz: teste ragyogó, kerek és teljes, [fénye] tág és határtalan. Mert az öt halmaz felhőrétegei befedik, az érző lények nem látják. Ha találkozol a pradnyá szelével, elfújja az öt halmazt. Mikor a felhőrétegek teljesen eltűntek, a megvilágosodott természet tökéletesen ragyogón és tisztán világít."

Az Avatamszaka szútra mondja: "Tág mint a világegyetem, végső mint az üresség. De hasonló a vázában levő fényhez is, mi nem képes semmit sem megvilágítani odakint." Itt egy másik hasonlat: Mikor a felhők minden oldalról összezárulnak és a világ elsötétedett, hogyan lehetne a napfény ragyogó és tiszta? A napfény nem semmisült meg, csupán befedték és eltakarták a felhők. A tiszta valóság természete az érző lényeknek ugyanilyen. Nem képes teljesen megjeleni pontosan mert újabb és újabb rétegei a felhőknek - a szennyeződéseknek, a tárgyakat megragadó hamis gondolatok észlelésének - befedik és elhomályosítják a bölcsek útját. Ha nem hozol létre hamis gondolatokat, csendes tisztaságban ülsz, a nagy nirvána napja önmagától ragyogó és tiszta.

Egy világi könyv mondja: "A jég vízből keletkezik, de a jég megállíthatja a vizet. A jég szilárd, míg a víz folyékony." [Hasonlóképpen,] a hamisság az igaziból jön létre, a hamisság elveszítheti az igazit a megtévesztettségben. Mikor a hamisság megszűnik az igazi megjelenik; a tudat tengere teljesen tiszta, a dharmakája üres és tiszta.

Ezért mikor a hallgatók írott és mondott szavakra támaszkodnak, mintha az lenne az út, olyan az, mint a lámpás a szélben: nem tudja elűzni a sötétséget, mert lángját eloltják. De ha a hallgatók tisztaságban ülnek aggodalmak nélkül, olyan mint a lámpás a zárt szobában: elűzi a sötétséget és tisztán világítja meg a dolgokat.

Ha teljesen meglátod a tudat lényegének tisztaságát, akkor minden fogadalmat beteljesítesz, minden gyakorlatot végig viszel, mindent megvalósítasz. Nem vagy többé a létállapotokhoz kötött. Azok akik megtalálják ezt a dharmakáját, a számtalan érző lény csupán egyetlen jó ember, az egy ember aki mindig összhangban volt azzal számtalan korszakokon át.

Ha nem műveled magadban a tiszta eltökéltséget és az igazi erényt, akkor még az sem jelent semmit, ha a múlt, jelen és jövő számtalan buddháival találkozol. Ezért tudjuk, hogy az érző lények önmagukat szabadítják meg a tudat felismerésével, a buddhák nem mentik meg az érző lényeket. Ha a buddhák meg tudnák menteni az érző lényeket, miért nem váltunk már megvilágosodottakká? Csupán azért, mert nem hoztunk létre magunkban még tiszta eltökéltséget és igazi erényt. Hacsak a tudat nem teljesíti be amiről a nyelv beszél, sosem kerülöd el, hogy tetteid következtében ölts alakot.

Így a megvilágosodott természet olyan, mint a nap és a hold a világnak. A fában megvan a tűz [lehetősége]. Az emberekben van egy megvilágosodott igaz természet; nevezik a buddha-természet lámpásának és a nirvána tükrének is. A nagy nirvána tükör ragyogóbb napnál és holdnál: belül és kívül tökéletesen tiszta, határtalan és végtelen.

Másik hasonlat az arany olvasztása. Mikor a salakot elpusztították, a tiszta arany sértetlen. Mikor az érző lények és a születés és halál formáit elpusztították, a dharmakája sértetlen.

Az ülő meditációban történő elérést az ember maga tapasztalja meg saját testében. Mert egy festet rizs sütemény nem csillapítja az éhséget, ha arról beszélsz, megy megetetsz vele más emebreket, hogyan elégíthetnéd ki őket? Bár el szeretnéd tüntetni a múlt szennyeződéseit, helyette a jövő ágait teszed erősebbé. Az Avatamszaka szútra mondja: "Olyan ez, mintha koldus lennél, aki éjjel és nappal mások kincseit számolja anélkül, hogy egyetlen filléred is lenne."

Az út is ilyen. Továbbá azok, akik olvasnak, egy darabig tanuljanak, majd siessenek félre tenni az iratokat. Ha nem adod fel őket, ugyanolyan, mint a szóban tanulás, nem különbözik attól, mintha jeget keresnél a forrásban levő vízben.

Ezért minden szóbeli magyarázat amit a buddhák mondtak a kimondhatatanról szól. Az összes jelenség valósága közt szótlanok, de semmi sem marad kimondatlanul. Ha megérted ezt, mikor egy megjelenik, ezer követi. A Lótusz szútra mondja: "Nem valós, nem hamis, nem ilyen, nem más."


Huike nagy tanító mondta:
- Úgy magyarázok az Igaz Dharmát ahogyan valóban van: végső soron nem különbözik a valódi, mély belső igazságtól. [Az érző lények] összetévesztik a kívánságteljesítő ékkövet a kövekkel és kavicsokkal. Mikor kiüresítik magukat és saját maguk tapasztalják, hogy az egy valódi ékkő, akkor tudatlanság és bölcsesség egyenlő és nem különböző. Meg kell látod, hogy a tízezer jelenség mind olyan.

Együttérzésből azok iránt, akik nézetei kettősek, felveszem az ecsetet és ezeket írom. Mikor megfigyeled, hogy tested nem különböző a buddháétól, nincs szükség a parinirvána további keresésére.

Azt is mondta:
- Mikor először létrehoztam a bódhicsittát, levágtam karomat és alkonytól éjfélig álltam a hóban, miközben észre sem vettem, hogy térdemig tornyosult a hó, mert a Legfőbb Járművet kerestem.

Az Avatamszaka szútra hetedik tekercsében ezt mondja: "Keleten belép a helyes összeszedettségbe, nyugaton megjelenik a szamádhi. Nyugaton belép a helyes összeszedettségbe, keleten megjelenik a szamádhi. A szemben belép a helyes összeszedettségbe, a forma jelenségében megjelenik a szamádhi: megmutatja, hogy a forma jelensége felfoghatatlan és túl van az istenek és emberek megértésén. A forma jelenségében belép a helyes összeszedettségbe, a szemben megjelenik a szamádhi, úgy, hogy az éberséget nem zavarja meg. Megfigyeljük, hogy a szem születetlen és nincs belső azonossága, megfigyeljük az ürességet, nyugodt kialvás minden [dolog] nélkül. Ugyanígy van ez a füllel, orral, nyelvvel, testtel és a fogalmi tudattal is.

Egy fiú testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy felnőtt férfi testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy felnőtt férfi testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy öreg férfi testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy öreg férfi testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy jó asszony testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy jó asszony testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy jó férfi testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy jó férfi testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy apáca testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy apáca testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy szerzetes testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy szerzetes testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, a tanulás és a tanuláson túli szinten felkél a szamádhi. A tanulás és a tanuláson túli szinten helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy pratjékabuddha testében felkél a szamádhi. Egy pratjékabuddha testében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, egy tathágata testében felkél a szamádhi. Egyetlen pórusban helyes összeszedettségbe lép, az összes pórusban felkél a szamádhi. Az összes pórusban helyes összeszedettségbe lép, a hajszál hegyén felkél a szamádhi. A hajszál hegyén helyes összeszedettségbe lép, Az összes hajszál hegyén felkél a szamádhi. Az összes hajszál hegyén helyes összeszedettségbe lép, a porszem egyetlen részecskéjében felkél a szamádhi. A porszem egyetlen részecskéjében helyes összeszedettségbe lép, a porszem összes részecskéjében felkél a szamádhi. A nagy óceánban helyes összeszedettségbe lép, a nagy égésben felkél a szamádhi. Egyetlen test lehet számtalan test, és számtalan test lehet egyetlen test.

Ha ezt megérted, mikor egy megjelenik, ezer követi. A tízezer dolog mind olyan.