Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng is a shining example for both monastic and lay disciples of the will of a monk, overcoming all obstacles and difficulties to resolve towards the path of Supreme Bodhi.
Who is the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng?
The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng is a famous Zen master in the history of Zen Buddhism in China. He is the successor of the Fifth Patriarch Hoang Nhan, becoming the 6th Patriarch of Zen Buddhism in China.
The life of the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng and the story of the tradition of robes and bowls
The Sixth Patriarch Hue Neng was born on February 8, the year of the Dog (638) in a poor family in Tan Chau, Lanh Nam, China. Father got sick and died early when he was three years old. Although he could not read, but with a filial heart and intelligent nature, every day he went to the forest to cut firewood and bring it to the market to exchange for rice to feed his mother.
One day, when he was bringing firewood to a guest’s house, he heard a sutra resounding from within. After asking and being told by the host that it was the Diamond Sutra recommended by the Fifth Patriarch Hoang Nhan to recite. After listening, he asked his mother to let him go to the Five Patriarchs to study the Way and his mother agreed.
After more than a month, the new Luc To came to Huynh Mai district, in front of Ngu To Hoang Nhan, he expressed his only wish to become a Buddha. However, the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng was assigned to the kitchen by the Five Patriarchs to do meritorious deeds; Here, Luc To concentrates on chopping firewood and pounding rice. The rice mill is big, the pestle is big; the man was thin and thin, unable to bear the weight of the pestle, he had to tie more stones to his back to be strong enough to pound rice. However, he is still diligent, hard-working, never late, lazy.
During a long period of wearing a stone on his back to pound rice, the rope cut into his skin, causing the skin to be scratched, peeled and bleeding, even rotted and maggots appeared. However, when he saw the maggots falling to the ground, the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng calmly picked it up and put it back in its original position on the skin, continuing to focus on the assigned work.
One day, the Five Patriarchs went down to the kitchen, passed where he was carrying stones to pound rice, and the Five Patriarchs said: “Do you forget yourself like that for the sake of religion? I know you have a smart nature, but I’m afraid of others harming you, so I don’t talk to you, do you know?”
He said: “I knew that.”
The Fifth Patriarch Hoang Nhan knew that the time to propagate the Fa had come, and immediately ordered all his disciples to present a verse of practice experience. Among the seven hundred people, only Venerable Than Tu wrote a verse:
“The body is the Bodhi tree
The mind is like a shining mirror
Always diligent in cleaning
Let the dust cling to you.”
Mr. Than Tu finished writing the verse, and everyone praised him, thinking that he deserved to receive robes and bowls. Mr. Hue Neng listened to Mr. Than Tu’s verse and asked the writer to help write a verse:
“Bodhi is not a tree
Even the bright mirror is not radio
There has never been an object before
Where to cling to the ceiling?”
At that time, Patriarch Hoang Nhan passed by and read the verses of Mr. Hui Neng, but did not want to move them, so he sent someone to delete the verse. A few days later, in the night, the Five Patriarchs went down to the kitchen, went to the place where Mr. Hue Neng pounded rice and asked: “Is the rice white?”. He replied: “Rice is white but not sieved”. The Five Patriarchs then took a stick and knocked on the hand of the mortar three times, then returned. In the three-night watch, the Five Patriarchs Hoang Nhan propagated the Fa and gave the robes and bowls to Hui Neng.
Since then, the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng became the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism in China. Then he took the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng across the river back to the South. On the boat, the Five Patriarchs said: “Let me save you”. In response to the Master, the Sixth Patriarch said: “When I fall in love with the Master, when I am enlightened, I save myself”. When they reached the shore, the Five Patriarchs also advised: “You must not only save yourself, but also save sentient beings.”
The Five Patriarchs taught about saving birth for the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng
After receiving the robes and bowls from the Five Patriarchs, Mr. Hui Neng was met with a strong reaction from the supporters of Mr. Than Tu. They pursued to take back the robes and bowls because they thought that he was not worthy to be given the robes and bowls, continuing the line of meditation that the Patriarch handed down.
On the way to travel, he experienced countless difficulties and obstacles. The special thing of the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng is his great will to practice. From childhood to time in Huynh Mai; After the years of living in seclusion, there were times when it was difficult to apply to join the hunters. Not only that, when it comes to meals, he picks boiled vegetables in a pot of meat, then eats only vegetables, not meat. Even though he did not have a pagoda, he was not in the form of a monastic, but his mind was always solid, not a bit moved.
Following the example of the Sixth Patriarch Hue Neng – The monks and nuns of Ba Vang Pagoda strive to practice and propagate the Dharma. enlightenment enlightenment. Dressed in a robe of liberation, under the tutelage of Venerable Abbot Thich Truc Thai Minh, the monks of Ba Vang Pagoda always remember their lofty ordination vows on the bridge to become a Buddha under the help of sentient beings. The monks practice day and night in the forest, practice eating one meal a day (unless they work hard and hard, drink more flour). This is the method of practice of the Sangha from the time of the Buddha in the world; Monks eat one meal a day, a bowl of three robes, often in the forest, sleeping under a tree because the forest is a very good environment for practitioners to practice.
Regardless of day or night, hot weather or stormy weather, the monks of Ba Vang Pagoda still strictly practice the Dharma, continuing the Dharma circuit left by the Buddha and the Patriarchs. With a long-term mind, enlightened by the Buddha’s Dharma, the monks practicing in the forest not only “fight” with the defilements and defilements in their minds, but also have to “fight” with the external environment of rain, wind, storms, snakes and snakes. … to resolve to seek Supreme Bodhi, to benefit sentient beings.
Besides, Buddhists who study at pagodas as well as Buddhists at home always try to practice precepts according to the instruction on Venerable Abbot Thich Truc Thai Minh and the great Sangha. Keeping the five precepts, practicing the three minds: Respect – Obedience – Gratitude; know how to give, make offerings, protect the Three Jewels, … This is also a practical job to propagate the Buddhadharma, repay the four great favors, and contribute to the construction of a prosperous country and a safe world. heal.