Mahakasyapa, the first Patriarch of Zen Zong

Ngày đăng: 04-10-2018


1- The First Patriarch of Zen Zong
– Mahakasyapa, was older than Buddha by 1 year, he was 1 of 10 great disciples of the Buddha.  He was son of Kosiyagotta (Ẩm Trạch) and Sumana Devilady (Hương Chí), in Maha Tittha (Ma Kiệt Đà) country.  When his mother gave birth to him, he had gold shining skin.  When he was 22 years old, his parent told him to get married, but he didn’t want to.  His parent forced him to get married, so he set the condition with his parent as follows:
– “If his parents found 1 girl who has the same type of skin like mine, I am willing to get married.”
His parents ordered a famous sculptor to sculpt a statue of a beautiful girl made out of gold.  They took it to every places to find a girl who had gold shining skin look like the statue.  When the statue was taken to Hàn Thuật Trung municipality, there was a family of Phương Thủy Ái and his wife was Liễu Ánh Phương.  They had a daughter who just turned 20 years old, her name is Hàn Phương Nga (Subhadra).  She had the type of skin that looked exactly like the statue, and therefore Mahakasyapa would have to accept to marry her.
When the two of them married, he has talked to his wife: “The truth is I don’t want to get married, hence I set this difficult condition, unsuspecting I’d meet you.  So, I beg you just be my best friend, not following sexuality as banality.”  Hàn Phương Nga (Subhadra) agreed.  They lived together for 2 years, then he ask his parents for him and Hàn Phương Nga (Subhadra) to leave home and become a monk and nun.  His parents agreed, and the two of them enter a mountain cave to practice ascetism.
He had left home for 1 year. One night, he dreamed seeing an old man with white hair who said: “Shakyamuni Buddha existed and was currently at Trúc Lâm (Venuvana) monastery, and he told him, “You should go there to ask the Buddha to teach a liberation dharma.” The next day, he went to Trúc Lâm monastery, to sincerely bow to Shakyamuni Buddha. Shakyamuni Buddha told:
– Very well! Bhikkhus Mahakasyapa, came here, Buddha ask others to shave off your beard and hair for you.  When he was done being shaved by people from the Sanga, Buddha let him take Bhikkhus’s precepts, and wear a robe, and it wasn’t too long before he cultivated the way and attained the realization as Arhat.  Because he practiced as an ascetic, his body became nothing but skin and bone.  He wore tattered and torn cloth, hence in the Sanga, everybody ridiculed him.
When Buddha was done teaching the Dharma Flower Sutra, Buddha was already 78 years old, and Mahakasyapa was 79 years old.   It’s time to transmit “The Top Secret of Zen Zong” for the first patriarch, therefore, one morning in Spring, on the vast flat ground on the top of Linh Sơn (Vulture Peak) Mountain, Buddha gather all of his disciples, on Buddha’s right hand a lotus was raised up, Buddha looked from the right side to the left, from near to far away, everyone was bewildered, only Mahakasyapa smiled, Buddha asked Mahakasyapa:
– Everyone didn’t smile, why do you smile?
Mahakasyapa presented to the Buddha:
-Dear World Honored One, the World Honored One hand held a lotus flower raised up, so I have recognized my seeing nature true and clear, therefore, I smile.
Buddha asked Mahakasyapa:
–How did you see?
Mahakasyapa didn’t answer how he sees, but he presented this to the Buddha by a 44-sentence verse as follows:
Spring lotus bloom at Vulture Peak Mountain
Purity Flower Zen gratitude on the Buddha
Mind of Buddha I have recognized
Seeing nature, mind see, has passed Samsara.
All these years I practiced ascetism, I stop
Live with seeing nature, don’t care about Samsara
Lotus flower I immediately perceived
Purity Nirvana why search and tired oneself.
Buddha dear, I have already attained
Seeing in Purity, it’s origin home
Buddha nature, I have recognized
When seeing, mind sees pass far myriad.
Seeing nature is very wonderful
Perpetually for a thousand kalpas, wonderful that prove
Buddha have taught Purity Zen
The truth today, receives my nature.
Received, I am just mute
Be smiling so happy, Dear Buddha!
Buddha used to teach me “Cease”
But I couldn’t cease, through Samsara I go.
Lotus flower, I’m immediately seeing
Naturally Leave all, no word to say
Smiling replace a word “Cease”
Present to Buddha, both lips instead.
Vulture Peak, I have clear word
Purity Zen I’m aware, Samsara I quickly leave
Face brothers, I presented
Purity Zen Dharma, for anyone difficult to receive.
Thousands of people revoke practice
Cultivate to search all over the forest mountain
I am silently mute
Suddenly receive it, no wrong in reincarnate.
Today, I am truly happy
Happy for born to die has stopped with me
Vulture Peak, I set my mind faithfulness
Hold Zen Dharma everlasting in the world.
If one wants difficulty to be over,
Just needed Purity, will pass to home
My mind speak all out
Thank you Buddha! I’m far from Samsara.
Purity Zen so marvelous, dear Buddha
Just needed Purity, Samsara leave me
I vow my mind faithfulness
Transmit Zen dharma, still in the future.
Mahakasyapa presented to The World Honored One a verse with 44 lines that he had achieved the “Top Secret of Zen Zong” level when he saw the bough of lotus flower on Buddha’s hand.
Buddha spoke to all Bhikkhus and the great assembly:
-Dear Bhikkhus and great assembly, today Buddha verify Purity Zen by a bough of lotus, 1,250 of you, unique only Mahakasyapa has received the true Dharma eye treasury of the wondrous mind of Nirvana, this is a miraculous dharma that Buddha taught in this world.
Buddha taught clearly that this Purity Zen Dharma transmitted as follows:
1-Transmission of this Purity Zen: In exactly 15 more days, Buddha will perform a ceremony transmitting this Purity Zen to Mahakasyapa, to replace Buddha to teach this Purity Zen Dharma, after Buddha enters Parinirvana.
2-Ananda and all great disciples of the Buddha as the great assembly, established a table with flowers and yield for Buddha to perform a transmission of Purity Zen, in approbate by Ten Direction Buddhas, all of you gather become a full assembly.
Why do you all have to gather together?
-Thus this is the first transmitted Purity Zen, as synonymous flows in channels of “the course of the stream of Purity Zen” that the teaching of Buddha has started here.  This course of stream of Purity Zen, continues 35 more generation of Patriarchs, with sharing as follows:
-In India there are 28 generations of Patriarchs
-A big country in the East (China) has 5 generations of Patriarchs
-A small country in the East (Vietnam), also called the Dragon Country has 3 generations of Patriarchs.
Thus, the course of the stream of Purity Zen was forgotten, until the period of High Pascimadharma (the degeneration and extinction of the Buddha’s law), in the Dragon Land will have a person receive it, this person will lead this Purity Zen to popularize over five continents.
3- Mahakasyapa, when you are about to enter Nirvana, you transmitted this Purity Zen Dharma to Ananda to be the second Patriarch.  Buddha teaches all of you as follows: When Ananda received the second Patriarch, the Purity Zen Dharma had to change the name as Zen Zong.
Do you know why we have to change name?
Because This Purity Zen Dharma is beginning to start the course of the stream of its’ Zen, that is transmitting follow “Zen dharma sect” clearly.  The first time, Buddha performed the transmission of Purity Zen, people attended as many as possible but when Mahakasyapa transmitted the Zen Zong to Ananda, only Ananda, Sariputta, and great disciples of Buddha attended.
Why would only Sariputta and great disciples and also lay Buddhist who perceived the Purity Zen attend?
Because Sariputta had achieved “fall into the Ocean Purity Nature of Buddha Nature”, synonymous that he had already passed over the “Top Secret of Zen Zong”  level, but Sariputta didn’t faster than Mahakasyapa, likewise, the date Ananda received the second patriarch, Sariputta was already over 90 years old, and all great disciples and lay Buddhists who already understood the basic of Purity Zen. They just only enlightened “The basic of Zen Zong”.
So, this full moon date of February, morning time, the shining bright of the Sun was burning hot, when the sun was just raised halfway up the mountain, at the same time Buddha and his disciples and all Upasaka (Layman Buddhists) and Upasika (Female Lay Buddhists) get together as a full assembly.  Suddenly, up the sky five proper bliss color clouds around the Vulture Peak Mountain made the sky so brilliant bright and marvelous cool.
Shakyamuni Buddha’s robes glitter bright as a halo, as he slowly walks up the rostrum and speaks:
“Reverence bowing Kassapa Buddha (Ancient Buddha) and Buddhas of the ten directions have been Buddhas before me.  Today, at the vast flatform on the top of Vulture Peak Mountain of this Samsara.  I Prabhapala Budhisattva, from Tushita heaven, went down this world as son of King Suddhodana and Queen Maya.  King and Queen named me Prince Siddhartha, I have achieved the supreme and perfect enlightenment, aware of 6 dharma methods in this Samsara.  In that, there are 5 dharma methods cultivate with physical realm and will have result with physical achievement.  One dharma method practices without physical involvement.  It’s practice will enlighten and liberate from this Samsara.
Mahakasyapa is one of my ten great disciples. When I verified Zen, he had achieved “the Top Secret of Purity Zen”. Therefore, today at this ceremony on top of Vulture Peak Mountain of this Jambudvipa (the realm where ordinary human beings live), that approbated by Kassapa Buddha who was my master that had conferred predicting for me that I will become a Buddha named Shakyamuni, same as countless of Buddhas in ten directions that is Buddhas who had become Buddha before me from aeons of time.
Today, I have accomplished teaching 6 dharmas which all Buddhas in the past have also taught.  Still in a short of time, I will enter the Parinirvana to return back to my original home same as all prior Buddhas.  As usually, Before Buddha left this physical world, he will transmit the Purity Zen to his disciple who has achieved “The Top Secret of Purity Zen” to let him become a first patriarch.
Today, at this Jambudvipa, when I verified Zen, Mahakasyapa was the first one who received “the true Dharma eye treasury of the wondrous mind of Nirvana”, this is a miraculous dharma that wouldn’t transmit through sutra, but have to transmit through the course of the stream of its’ sect Zen.  Therefore, today I present to Kassapa Buddha same as all Buddhas in the past of ten directions.  Mahakasyapa was the one who achieved “the Top Secret of Purity Zen”, he has made a verse which spoke out the truth of the ocean nature of Buddha nature.  Therefore, Today I perform transmitting this Purity Zen.  So, the Kassapa Buddha and the Buddhas in ten directions please approbate for me.
Before performing the transmission of purity Zen, I and all people present at this moment together
To Thurify:
Incense smoke fly all over the blue sky
Perfectly our origin vow of auspicious
On this incense smoke Buddha seat
I am performing this transmission of Zen.
Beginning the ceremony of Zen transmission:
Zen flowers bloom at Vulture Peak Mountain
Purity Zen extremely noble, more than jade gold
Passed through every place of difficulty
Went throughout nation, now appear this place.
You have to pay attention to the master’s teaching
Find more procedures to transmit this Zen
Today the Ma family has cause
Perceived the stream of Zen, just him alone.
Syapa, he is awareness in purity
Just smile instead of word to present
Buddha, verified just like that
Not following reincarnation physic must separate
Total those who enlightened
Exactly purity mind I am transmitting
Today, you have great condition
Perceived the stream of Zen in my truth dharma.
Conformation of my teaching
Whoever perceived my mind teaching Zen
That one is a full condition person
Must be transmitted through Zen to be faithful
Today, at the mountain miraculous
Officially transmitted Zen certify to you
You should keep it in your heart
Transmit to Ananda be the next Patriarch.
Passed through the Ocean of dangerous sufferings
Just needed in purity, rich poor don’t care
You have to try to transmit
Ananda perceived will transmit infinite.
Purity Zen doesn’t need to praise
Just needed in purity, vicissitudes don’t care
Our mind is in purity and peace
Passed through the ocean of sufferings to return home.
Purity Zen don’t need morning to noon
Just needed in purity, don’t favor Nirvana
Be like this, is in peace
I point out clear, this is the only path.
You now have fully understand
I issue certificate, enlightened Purity Zen
You all don’t have to rival
Purity Zen Dharma for people enlightened.
Today, I’m Shakyamuni Buddha
Officially transmitted Zen, Maha perceived Zen
You must try keeping private
Your purity mind show to each person.
The ceremony of Today is cheerful
Ten direction of Buddhas are congratulating cheerful
The physical world is in peace
Being happy, count on Purity Zen Dharma.
Buddhas of ten directions are around
Congratulate to Kasyapa who is enlightened Zen
Purity Zen, I just transmit separately
Officially transmit Zen certificated to you.
Buddha just finished read 52 sentences of verse of the Transmission Purity Zen for Mahakasyapa.  Up the vast of pace, music of the Heaven at the same time plays.  At the same time, the dharma voice of Buddhas of ten directions together speak sound embrace all over:
-“We are the past Buddhas, congratulation to Shakyamuni Buddha today have accomplish transmitting the Purity Zen Dharma for Mahakasyapa.”
And All Buddha together speaks:
–Utmost happy! This Jambudvipa have people perceived the truth dharma Purity Zen!
–Utmost happy! The Purity Zen Dharma begins to transmit in this Jambudvipa.
–Utmost happy! Shakyamuni Buddha has finished transmitting Purity Zen Dharma in this Samsara world.
Tổ 1 - Ma Ha Ca Diếp
Portrait of Patriarch Mahakasyapa
Translator: V.Đ.H(Eric)
Editor: DG.