Forty-seventh Patriarch
Dhyana Master
Hwai Shen

Commentary - Verse in Praise

A verse in praise says: The three enlightenments have reached ultimate perfection. The three enlightenments are

  1. enlightenment of self, which is different from common people who are unenlightened;
  2. enlightenment of others, which is different from those of the Two Vehicles who do not wish to enlighten others. Arhats only want to finish their own business and do not want to bother with other people's business; but Bodhisattvas benefit themselves and benefit others. They enlighten themselves and enlighten others; they save themselves and save others. And
  3. perfection of enlightened practices, which is not the same as Bodhisattvas. This is the position of Buddhahood, in which enlightened practices are complete and full. Although the Bodhisattvas enlighten themselves and others, they have not perfected their enlightened practices. In this case, all three enlightenments are perfected; they have reached their ultimate point.

Assign him a job according to his capacity. / The staff at Tyan Tai, the Chan staff at Tyan Tai Mountain. Travel and eat while complying with conditions. Accord with conditions as they arise. Today it's very cold. This was the Master's reply to the monk's question, "What is the true and actual substance?" And when the question was further pursued, the Master answered, "Mountains shrouded in snow." All the mountains are covered with snow.

The true and actual substance: what is it? It is to be reminisced over a thousand ages. In a thousand years, people should think it over. There will be someone who will be able to understand this principle.