The ultimate principle of the Way cannot be revealed by theorising or controversy, and it is not by quarrelling loudly that other Ways are refuted. There is no special meaning in the transmission of Buddha and patriarchs. Though there is a verbal teaching, it falls into the temporary explanation of the Three Vehicles, the Five Natures, and the cause and effect of men and Devas. But this does not apply to the teaching for complete and sudden enlightenment. The young Sudhana did not go to look for 53 enlightened teachers.
The ultimate principle of the Way can neither be better revealed by theorising or controversy nor be hidden or covered by silence or speechlessness, both because theorising and controversy are not different from silence or speechlessness in the Way and because the former and the latter are the functions of the Way. ‘There is no special meaning in the transmission of Buddha and patriarchs’ means that there is on other meaning than what is seen and heard clearly at this moment since there is nothing but it. All verbal teachings such as the Three Vehicles, the Five Natures, and the cause and effect of men and Devas are no better than temporary expedients. Ending up in intellectual understanding by clinging to words is not the essence of the teaching for enlightenment. Although the Avatamsaka Sutra says that the young Sudhana went to visit 53 enlightened teachers for enlightenment, it is just a fictional story produced as an expedient, not an historical fact.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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