Dharma-Seal of the Unborn, by Kusan Sumin

Korean pagodaMaster Kusan ascended the Dharma seat and said, “Everyone originally possesses the Dharma-Seal of the Unborn; so why do you still search for it? Have you realized it yet? Any monk possessing the Dharma-Eye, speak! What is it?”

After a pause the Master shouted and said, “The sun crosses this deluded world; its golden colour shines everywhere. Do you understand this?”

Birth-and-death is an important matter; impermanence is swift. Why not experience the Unborn? Although we speak of impermanence, if we look for life we must die; but if we are decided upon death we will live. This assembly present here now must make efforts with a spirit decided upon death. With one stroke, cut the doubt-mass in two, and transcend the Buddhas and Patriarchs. Is such a one not an extraordinary man? A poem says:

“We are originally outstanding men, but for vast numbers of kalpas we have followed conditions, and have fallen into the stream of craving. If in one morning we can completely extinguish our karma produced by ignorance, in the middle of the night the golden crow will fly across the sky.”

I will again give some superfluous explanations (literally, add feet to a snake). Hsueh Feng once explained to his disciples, ‘Sitting next to a rice basket are innumerable starving people. Sitting on the seashore are innumerable people dying of thirst.’ Hsuan Sha said, ‘Sitting inside a rice basket are innumerable starving people. There are innumerable people dying of thirst even though their heads are dunked in the sea.’ Yun-men said, “The whole body is rice and the whole body is water.” Chih Fei Tzu’s poem says:

“In the sea you ask others where to find drinking water; to die of thirst ignorantly: is this not pitiful? If you still do not know your Original-face, after you’ve worn out your straw sandals, where are you going to search?”

Today this mountain monk is not of the same opinion. My verse says:

“The rice basket and sea water are our whole body. When dying of hunger or thirst ? what is the reason for it? We turned our backs (on our Original-nature), so do not advocate searching outside for it. Having fully exposed the precious jewel, we do not know it as precious.”

“Reflect on this!”

Master Kusan then descended from his seat.

Kusan Sunim

With thanks Korean Buddhism




Categories: Buddhism, Chan / Seon / Zen, Kusan Sunim, Mahayana

Tags: , , , , ,

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