If, therefore, sentient beings in this world give up the hope of obtaining buddha-knowledge, it will not make any difference to them what dharma they practiseZen Master Hakuin
All the tathagatas who have entered this world have expounded the inestimable and eternal dharma, and in every case their purpose has been to open up the understanding of all sentient beings to the knowledge of the Buddha.
If, therefore, sentient beings in this world give up the hope of obtaining buddha-knowledge, it will not make any difference to them what dharma they practise, for there will be no possibility of being united with the real purpose of the Buddha. The beginning of this buddha-knowledge is the discovery of the wondrous law of the one mind. But, unfortunately, in this final world age, which is the age of dissolution, this very dharma — the wondrous law of the one mind — is being discarded everywhere, and each per- son is now thinking just as he individually wishes to think. Sometimes it seems as if the real desire to know the truth is there — almost as it were by chance — but it soon turns out to be nothing but a sort of philosophical discussion or an elegant fashion of talk; and it is not worth thinking about such talk at all.
In the Mahavairocana-abhisambodhi Sutra (Dainichi Sutra) it says: ‘For the absolute truth one must know one’s own self.’ But no one today pays any attention to that.
From The Embossed Tea Kettle: Orate Gama and other works of Hakuin Zenji, ISBN 9780946672332, 2021 (new edition), with thanks to Buddhist Publishing Group.
Image: Buddha mid-6th century.
With thanks © The Metropolitan Museum of Art