2015-11-02

Book of Serenity 3

13
Book of Serenity (Shoyoroku, Congrong Lu) #3
The Indian King Invites the Patriarch

Case
A king of Eastern India invited the twenty-seventh patriarch, Prajnatara, for a meal.
The king asked, "Why don't you recite sutras?"
Prajnatara said, "The poor way [This poor follower of the way; i.e., "I"] does not stay in the world of subject [the realm of the skandhas; the realms of the body or mind] when breathing in, and has nothing to do with the world of objects [is not caught up in the many externals; doesn't get involved in myriad circumstances] when breathing out. I am always reciting the suchness-sutra in millions and millions of volumes."

Wansong's Preface
By the activity existing before even a hint of this kalpa, a blind turtle faces the fire. By the phrase that's transmitted outside the scriptures, a mortar's rim spouts a flower. Tell me: is there something to receive, maintain, read, and recite?

Shishin Wick's Comment
Prajnatara, Bodhidharma's teacher and the 27th Ancestor in our lineage, doesn't dwell in the realm of form, sensation, perception, conception, and consciousness -- the skandhas -- and so he doesn't get caught in a notion of a fixed separate self. Inhaling and exhaling, there is no inside or outside. Each breath reveals the sutra. To be poor is to have nothing and to hold onto nothing. Being poor in that way gives us the richness of not being constrained by external conditions. If you realize "the poor way" you are free to come and go. But if you don't, you're using counterfeit money to buy stock in a corrupt corporation.

Wansong's Notes
"A king of Eastern India invited the twenty-seventh patriarch, Prajnatara, for a meal."
Over and over again he'll be paying back the debt of his mouth.
"The king asked, 'Why don't you recite sutras?'"
Whoever receives a salary without service is uneasy in sleeping and eating.
"The patriarch said, 'The poor way [i.e., "I"] does not stay in the world of subject when breathing in, and has nothing to do with the world of objects when breathing out. I am always reciting the suchness-sutra in millions and millions of volumes.'"
The preceding lecture and eulogy was an unlimited excellent cause.

Hongzhi's Verse
Cloud rhino sports with the moon and glows embracing its beams;
wooden horse plays in the spring, unfettered and fleet.
Beneath his brows, two chill blue eyes --
what need to read sutras as though piercing oxhide!
Bright white mind transcends vast kalpas,
a hero's strength tears through nested enclosures.
The subtle round hub-hole turns marvelous activities.
When Kanzan forgets the road when he came,
Jittoku will lead him by hand to return.

Hotetsu's Verse
Every dharma is dharma.
Realizing realizes.
He can recite the suchness-sutra
But can he shut up?

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