Posted on: May 20, 2022 Posted by: admin Comments: 0


Through the work “Nhan Qua Truong Khong”, it has contributed to clarifying the position and role of Zen Master Huong Hai in the history of thought and literature of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism.

Ho Chi Minh once said: “Our people must know our history, for the original wall of the country of Vietnam”. Throughout history, our nation has always been proud of more than 4000 years of civilization, with a heroic tradition passed on from father to son, fighting against foreign invaders and preserving the country’s borders. Going back in time, our forefathers spent a lot of blood and blood to build the country, with their own abilities and wisdom, with a national culture full of self-control. Besides, Buddhism was introduced to Vietnam as in the book Vietnam Buddhist History of Nguyen Lang page 18 says: Tran Van Giap, author of Le Bouddhisme En Annam Des Originnes Au XIIIè Siècle, based on that fact said that because the earliest document we have about Vietnamese Buddhism is the event that Mau Tu studied Buddhism at Giao Chi in the end of the second century” [1]. Experiencing many historical events, ups and downs, but Buddhism always accompanies the nation. Buddhism in the Ly-Tran dynasties played a very important role, a golden age, the most glorious, the deepest in the hearts of the nation. In the history of Buddhism, the country is always proud of the Ly – Tran dynasties, these two dynasties have proved to each of us that; one of the most glorious history in the historical period at that time.

In which, the Ly dynasty is considered the most wordless dynasty in the history of the country. Besides, in the 13th century there was the Tran dynasty, the most heroic dynasty in history; defeated the Yuan – Mongol army three times (1258-1285-1287). During the reign of King Le Anh Tong in the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, there was an equally important Zen master, typically Zen Master Huong Hai. The monk is a man with diverse general talents, a great celebrity in the cultural history of our nation. He made many great contributions to the Vietnamese people in many fields such as: culture, philosophy, literature, education, military, politics, diplomacy, writers, poets; In particular, he knew all three religions (Confucianism – Buddha – Lao).

Before him, he studied Confucianism and worked as an official in the Le dynasty. He left behind a very famous work, which conveyed a very subtle historical value of Buddhist literature, which is clearly shown in the verse. “The Swallows Are Too Long”. It can be said that when this work was integrated into practical life, it became a non-verbal discourse, a Luc Luc version that to this day always has that resonance, still has a great imprint in the hearts of all people. Vietnamese people like that. To fuel the journey of building Vietnam, standing shoulder to shoulder with the powers of five continents and four seas, in the era of global integration. Therefore, when researching and understanding works; In terms of meaning, it can be said that this is a book of Luu Luc with historical significance about the historical value of Buddhist literature, having a very important influence on the country’s Buddhism. Through works “The Swallows Are Too Long”, has contributed to clarifying the position and role of Zen Master in the history of thought and literary history of Truc Lam Zen Buddhism. He was a Zen scholar of literature in the Middle Ages (1558-1571), later authors used that as the foundation to build the Dai Viet Zen school. People often respect Zen Master Huong Hai with the saying “To Cau”.

Zen master Huong Hai is the one who has contributed to the revival of Truc Lam Zen sect.

1. Brief introduction of Zen Master Huong Hai

Huong Hai was born in 1628, Binh An Thuong commune, Thang Hoa district, Quang Nam province. “He lived in the Late Le Dynasty, people used to call him To Cau” [2]. “The ancestors were from Ang Do village, Chan Phuc district, Nghe An province. The Master’s five-year-old grandfather worked as an official Quan Chu Tuong, taking care of boat builders for the court. He gave birth to two sons, the eldest son to take care of Lanh Doanh, Tuoc Hung, Duke, and the second son, Tuoc Trung Loc Hau. In the political era of King Le Anh Tong (1558-1571), Trung Loc Hau followed Nguyen Hoang to Quang Nam town. He was promoted by Nguyen Hoang to Chanh Cai Quan. Nguyen Hoang again presented a document to the dynasty stating his merits to King Le, King Le gave him the title Khoi Nghia Kiet Tiet Cong Than, and granted him thirty acres of field. When he was a child, he was very intelligent. At the age of 18, he passed the Huong exam and worked as a Van Chuc for the Nguyen government. After appointing the Master, he held the position of Tri Phu. At the age of 25, he studied Buddhism with Zen Master Vien Canh, giving him the dharma name Huyen Co Thien Giac and the dharma name Minh Chau Huong Hai. Three years later, the monk left home. He specialized in meditation and precepts for more than eight years. “The monk was famous for his ability to dispense medicine. Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan, or Lord Hien (1648-1687), invited a monk to return to Thuan Hoa, and the king established a Zen Monastery in Quy Kinh. [3]. The monk chanted sutras for seven days to treat his wife Thuan’s illness. About a year later, he set up the Dai penitentiary forum to cure the disease of the eunuch Hoa Le Hau in Quang Nam. He took refuge for his wife Quoc Thai and three sons (Phuc Hiep, Hiep Duc and Phuc To) at Quy Kinh mountain. At that time in the palace, there was an internal director named Gia Cong Cong who was arrested by Nguyen Phuc Tan, but the king kept him in and out to teach in the inner palace. This official often came to listen to the Master’s teachings, but a jealous one took this opportunity to slander him for conspiring with the enemy. Then the Master thought to himself that this place should not be. He and 50 disciples crossed the sea to Bac Ha, he was received by Lord Trinh Lieu and granted him 3 acres of land as a place to practice. In 1700, he founded Nguyet Duong Pagoda in Kim Dong, now in Hung Yen province. From there, there should be a story that the Master was a man in Cochinchina, but he served for Tonkin. Master passed away in 1715 [4].

Gate of Nguyet Duong Pagoda (Xich Dang Pagoda, Hung Yen).  Photo: St

Gate of Nguyet Duong Pagoda (Xich Dang Pagoda, Hung Yen). Photo: St

2. Summary of the work Huong Hai Ngu Luc

Huong Hai was an extensive Confucian scholar with profound morals, he commented on many Buddhist scriptures and works in Nom script. According to Le Quy Don, there are 30 works of Buddhist scriptures compiled and translated into Quoc Am by the Master. The monk passed away in 1717, but he has left us valuable and invaluable works, not only teaching Buddha’s children, but Zen master also teaching those who are predestined to understand what he is saying. sent brocade transmission through works such as: “Solution of Hoa Sutra, Solution of Diamond Sutra of Reasoning, Interpretation of Sa Di Precepts, Discipline of Buddha’s Patriarch Three Sutras, Interpretation of Amitabha Sutra, Interpretation of the Immeasurable Sutra, Interpretation of the Earth Store Sutra, Interpretation of the Heart Sutra of Great Madness, Explaining the Heart Sutra of Five Points, Solving Truthfulness-Compassionate Thoughts, Solutions to Bao Dan Sutra 6 volumes and Universal Encouragement for Cultivation 1 Book” [5]. Zen master Huong Hai wrote a lot of very important works, but the typical ones are clearly shown in his works “Huong Hai Zen Master Ngu Luc”. The work Huong Hai Zen Master Ngu Luc teaches that: “Every day meditate on your own place, the swallow flies in the air, the swallow doesn’t care to hide it, the lion in the lion’s cave, the lamb in the chien dan forest, getting more will from the dragon’s water, looking for the buffalo to follow, learning the precious No Mind, knowing where to go to call people to learn the Way, the original Three Teachings are in the same body, the Heart Fa has all forgotten.”. Thereby helping us to understand more clearly, the words he taught were very close to the people, from low to high, not just by words, but he himself practiced. He taught extremely well, no different from the teachings of the Patriarchs. But no matter what we want to achieve, we must first keep the precepts. Because morality is the foundation, the basis of enlightenment and liberation. No matter what method of practice we practice, the basic thing is to keep the precepts first. In the Discipline of Samaritan it is said that: “Because the human world gives birth to concentration, human concentration develops wisdom, and the second achieves the holy path”. The method of cultivation is different, but not outside “Precept – Concentration – Wisdom”. The Discourse on Liberation says: “Precepts, Concentration, and Wisdom are the way to liberation”. “Gender means majesty. Defining means not chaos. Wisdom means understanding. That is, using Precepts to eliminate evil, Concentration to eliminate transmission, and Tue to eliminate corruption, so it is necessary to use Precepts of Concentration to sow good seeds, sowing seeds of the Way.” “If he practices this Precepts of Concentration and Wisdom, the Buddha’s way is also very close.” [6]. These are the three key basic categories that follow us along the way. It was Zen Master Huong Hai who realized that profound meaning and taught it to others to achieve the same as him and beyond, which is clearly shown in the poem: “ 沉寒水雁,無遺跡之意,水無留影之心 ”.“The swallow is too long, the image is cold and cold, the swallow has no relic, and the water has no image of the heart”. “The swallow flies in the air, the ball sinks to the bottom of the water, the swallow doesn’t pay attention to it, the water doesn’t mind saving the ball”[7].

3. Zen Master Huong Hai’s Thoughts on Meditation

The poem “Nhan Qua Truong Khong” by Zen Master Huong Hai, is an extremely profound work, he borrowed images to illustrate his understanding of the teachings. According to the Sino-Vietnamese dictionary Thieu Chuu: “Nhan” means: Swallow bird, fly in order, autumn returns, spring goes. “Too”: pass, over, error, passed, passed. “School”: long, long, far, good, talented, big, up. “No”: void, void, vain, not transparent [8]. Just the title article alone can tell, his wisdom is extremely transcendent. Because through the verse “The Swallows Are Too Long” Because His disciples found their Master’s doctrinal mastery to be so wonderful, the meaning was extremely deep, that’s why His disciples recorded it for the latter to have a documentary basis. obviously, rely on it to practice. That said, you must be someone who has lived with a genuine mind that is always present in order to do so. Monks use art forms “Metaphor, Comparison, Tradition, Tradition” and the words of Confucianism are very subtle, very skillful, to describe that truth, not only in this body of the four elements, the natural scenes in this vast universe, it is always touching. Touch it right in front of your eyes, you don’t have to go anywhere to look for it, it’s clearly shown in the work “The swallow is too long”: “The swallow is too long, the image is cold and cold”. “The swallow flies in the air, the ball sinks to the bottom of the water”. It is the first two sentences that express the spirit of Prajna with bold Mahayana meaning of the Zen Master. He borrowed…

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