All of Patriarchs

2020-01-22 00:49 | Hits: 10

From: Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple Author: Office

The six Patriarchs of Zen were enshrined in the Hall of Patriarchs. Zen is one of the Buddhist sects with the most profound and widest influence as well as the most distinct national features. The core of the thought of Zen is the so-called “spreading the Buddhism by heart” which means it aims to dig out the intrinsic Buddha nature, but it will not spread itself outside of the believers and nothing would be written down. It needs people to comprehend themselves.


Dharma: one of the 28 patriarchs of the Western Paradise and the initial patriarch of the east. He came from South India and come to China during the reign of Emperor Liangwudi. He first arrived in Nanjing, then continued to go to the north China along the Yangtze River (with a reed). Later he spent nine years in interpreting the Buddhist thought in Shaolin Temple in the Songshan Mountain alone. The Zen idea then referred to the way in which Dharma was enlightened and abandoned the early thought.

Huike: originally named Shengguang. Because of his determination to learn Zen from Dharma by standing in the chilly snowy day and cutting off his own arm, Dharma accepted him as his follower and changed his name to “Huike”. Later Dharma even agreed to let him take over his mantle.

Later Sencan’s mantle fell on Daoxin and Daoxin’s fell on Hongren.

Hongren: one of the disciples of Daoxin since he was young. Later he set up Dongshan Temple in Fengmaoshan Mountain in Shandong Province and spread Zen for 40 years. His insect was called “Dongshan Means to Zen”. Hongren had many followers. The most outstanding two were Shenxiu and Huineng. The two initiated respectively “north Jian” and “South Dun” and were therefore called by people with respect as “south Neng and north Xiu”.

Huineng: born in Xinzhou in the south of the Five Ridges. He lost his father when he was very young. Due to the poverty, he had to raise his mother by selling the firewood. One day he heard Diamond Sutra recited by others and was enlightened. Then he visited Hongren in Fengmaoshan Mountain. You may have heard a funny story about their meeting, from which we can find although Huineng was almost illiterate at that time, he was brighter than most of the people. When Hongren saw huineng, he asked him, “Who are you and what do you want?”Huineng answered, “I am from the south of the five ridges and I came here to learn from you about the Buddhist thoughts.” Hongren tehn asked,” you are from the south of the Five Ridges and belong to the ignorant minority, how can you learn the Buddhist thoughts?” Huineng answered with wit, “people can be divided by their regions, but Buddhism is the same everywhere.” Huiren then asked him to processing rice with hammer. After a while, Hongren gathered his disciples and asked every one of them to compose a Buddhist verse. He would decide which one could take over his mantle. Shenxiu said, “The body is a linden tree, and the heart is as clear as a bright mirror. I will always clean them up to avoid any dusts fall on them.” Hongren thought it unsatisfactory. Huineng then said, “There is no linden tree or a bright mirror. There is no nothing at all. So where can the dusts fall onto?” Hongren thought he was enough intelligent so he gave his mantle to hum at night. After that, Huineng hurried back to the south in the midnight and lived in seclusion for a while. Later he initiated Nanhui Temple and spread the Buddhist thoughts for 30 years. Another story is worth mentioning. Once Huineng had a discussion with another monk streamer, he said, “It’s not the wind which is moving, nor the streamer. It is your mind that is moving.”(It is where the saying “you will not feel the discomfort the hot weather brings if only you calm yourself down.”)

All of the six patriarchs of Zen are carved into 6m-high sitting statues. The figures without being gilded thus display a more profound religious atmosphere with wisdom and intelligence.

Category: Travel Guide
Tags: Patriarchs
Editor: Apple 2020-01-22 00:51