Monday, 14 December 2015

Jianzhi Sengcan [W-G: Chien-chi Seng-ts’an / J: Sosan Kanchi]



After Bodhidharma’s death, Huike retired the mountains. While there, he was approach by a layman with leprosy.  The layman hoped that Huike could free him of the sins which he believed were the cause of his condition.  Echoing his own teacher, Huike told the man, “Bring your sins here, and I’ll rid you of them.”
                “When I reflect on my sins,” the man admitted, “I’m not sure what they are.”
                “Then you’re cleansed,” Huike told him.  “Now all that remains is for you to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.”
                “What are the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha?”
                “Mind is Buddha.  Mind is Dharma.  Dharma and Buddha are not two.  So it is with the Sangha.”
                The leper then made one of those intuitive leaps of understanding only possible when one has been considering a problem, as he had been considering the problem of sin, for a long time: “Now I understand that sins are neither within nor without,” he exclaimed.  “Just as the Mind is, so is Buddha, so is Dharma.  They aren’t two.”
                Huike recognized that here was the man who would be his successor, and the Third Patriarch of Chinese Zen, and he gave him the name Sengcan, which means “jewel monk.”    

[Jianzhi Sengcan – Zen Masters of China:  51-53]

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