00262 The Story of the 29th Zen Patriarch—Huike
00262 The Story of the 29th Zen Patriarch—Huike
No. 00262
Category / Between Master and Disciples-story
Event date / 1987.08.01 & 02
Place / (Formosa/Taiwan) Hsintien
Language / Chinese
Time (mins) / 1h29m09s
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  • Summary
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In order to search for the Truth, the Twenty-ninth Zen Patriarch Huike read all the Scriptures and looked for Masters everywhere when he was young. Later, he was guided by a celestial being to go south to the Shaolin Temple to get initiated into Bodhidharma’s lineage. At the Temple he disguised himself as an ordinary person and did all kinds of hard labor in order to teach sentient beings who had an affinity with him until he was executed after being falsely accused by an abbot. Why did Zen Master Huike suffer such karmic retribution even after he had attained the Tao? Why are enlightened Masters able to save other people but not themselves?

Of course, the Zen Patriarchs themselves had no karma, but they assumed the karma of other sentient beings. They transformed many beings and so had to bear their karma. It would be good if a Master could stay in this world life after life, but they cannot. This is the strict law of the mundane world. Therefore, when great Masters come here they have to pay for karma when it comes, just as Huike and Simhabodhi did. They accept whatever comes, good or bad, and never complain, care, or worry about it; they just let it be. They transform as many sentient beings as possible, without feeling proud and thinking, "I have come here to transform sentient beings." They never think like that.

  1. Why did Zen Patriarch Huike disguise himself as an ordinary person and do all kinds of hard work? When he passed on the lineage to Sengcan, why did he tell him not to spread the Dharma at that time?
  2. Why do we sometimes have headaches when we meditate? Why could Patriarch Huike's headache not be cured with medicine?
  3. How can we recognize the Master power and pass its tests? Supreme Master Ching Hai tells us about a test her Aulacese master experienced after a retreat.
  4. After practicing spiritually we get better and better inside, but why do we still experience many difficulties?
  5. Why did Patriarch Huike say that the body is Buddha and there is no need to desperately search for Nirvana?
  6. Why did the knowledgeable lay person Xiang ask for testimony from Patriarch Huike?
  7. Why is it that the practice of asceticism only leads us further away from the Tao if we are ignorant of our real Self?
  8. There is no karma after enlightenment so why do we still need to pay for karma?
  9. Why is it that a religion or teaching cannot exist for long if it attracts people through the use of magical power?
  10. What is real compassion? What is the difference between human emotion and compassion?
  11. What three Buddhist qualities do Amitabha, Avalokiteshvara, and Mahastamaprapta represent? How can we gain the power to save all sentient beings?