SONG OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Great Master Yung Chia of The T'ang Dynasty
Translated by Buddhist Text Translation Society
Have you not seen!
People whose study has ended, who do nothing, who abide in the Way at ease?
They do not banish false thoughts; they do not seek the truth.
The true nature of ignorance is the Buddha-nature;
This empty body, an illusory transformation, is the Dharma-body.
In the Dharma-body’s enlightenment, there is not a single thing;
At its source the inherent nature is the Buddha of divine innocence.
The five skandhas, like floating clouds, emptily come and go;
The three poisons, like bubbles of water, rise and sink, unreal.
When one is certified to the characteristic of reality, there are no people or dharmas.
The karma of the Avichi is cancelled in a kshana.
If I were deceiving living beings with untrue words,
I’d invite upon myself the ripping out of tongues for eons as many as dust and sand.
With sudden enlightened understanding of the dhyana of the Thus Come Ones,
The six crossing-over and ten thousand practices are complete in substance.
In a dream, very clearly, there are six destinies;
After enlightenment, completely empty, there is no universe.
No offenses or blessings, no benefit or loss,
In the still, extinct nature no questions or seeking.
Recently the dusty mirror has not been polished.
Today we must analyze and make clear distinctions.
Who is without thought? Who is without birth?
If there is really no production, there is nothing not produced.
Summon a wooden statue and inquire of it.
Apply yourself t seeking Buddhahood; sooner or later you will accomplish it.
Let the four elements go. Do not grasp at them.
The nature of still quiescence accords with drinking and eating
All activities are impermanent; everything is empty.
That is the great and perfect Come One.
It is certain that these words express the True Vehicle.
Whoever does not accept them may inquire as they wish.
It cuts directly through to the source; it is sealed by all Buddhas.
I cannot pluck leaves and seek out branches.
People do not recognize the Mani-pearl.
They may receive it in person in the treasury of the Thus Come One.
The six kinds of spiritual functionings are empty, yet not empty.
This pearl of perfect brightness has form, yet has no form.
Purify the five eyes; attain the five powers.
Simply accomplish them and know what’s hard to fathom.
Shapes in a mirror are not hard to see,
But the moon in the water–how can one pluck it out?
Ever practicing in solitude, ever walking alone,
Those who have penetrated, roam Nirvana’s road together.
Their tune is ancient, their expression pure, their bearing naturally lofty.
Their appearance is haggard, their integrity unshakeable. People ignore them.
The Shakyan disciples say that they are poor;
They are indeed poor in body, but not poor in the Way.
As to poverty, their bodies are ever wrapped in coarse rags.
As to the Way, a priceless jewel is stored in their hearts.
A priceless jewel, its uses inexhaustible,
For benefiting beings, responding to potentials always generously.
Three bodies, four wisdoms are complete in the substance.
Eight liberations, six spiritual powers are in the mind-ground seal.
Certain about one thing, superior people understand everything.
Middling and inferior people learn much, yet doubt much
Simply cast off your own cherished dirty clothes.
Who could go out and boast about his vigor?
Let others slander me; I bear their condemnation.
Those who try to burn the sky only exhaust themselves.
When I hear it, it’s just like drinking sweet dew.
Thus smelted and refined, suddenly one enters the inconceivable.
Contemplate vicious words as merit and virtue.
Then vicious words become one’s Wise and Good Advisors.
Do not let abuse and slander arouse enmity or liking.
How else can the power of compassion and patience with non-production be manifest?
The school penetrated and the words penetrated.
Concentration and wisdom are completely clear; I do not stagnate in emptiness.
But I am not the only one who has got through to comprehension.
All the Buddhas, myriad as Ganges" sands, are of the very same substance.
The roar of the lion is fearless proclamation,
When the hundred wild beasts hear it, their brains split,
And the musk-elephant flees in confusion, losing his awesomeness.
The gods and dragons listen in stillness and in great joy.
Roaming the rivers and oceans, crossing mountains and streams;
Searching for a Master to ask about the Way of investigating dhyana.
Since I came to know the Ts’Ao Creek road,
I understand birth and death and have no connection with them.
Walking is dhyana, sitting is also dhyana.
In speech or silence, in movement or stillness, my substance is at peace.
Even if I meet with a knife’s point, I am always completely tranquil.
If I am given a poisonous drug, I am still totally at ease.
Our Master met Burning-Lamp Buddha
After many aeons as a patient immoral.
How many births? How many deaths?
Births and deaths stretch far into the distance, with no fixed end.
Since I suddenly awakened and understood non-production,
How can I be grieved by insult, or pleased by glory?
Deep in the mountains dwelling in an Aranya,
Secluded far on a lonely peak beneath the tall pines,
Carefree, I sit in meditation, a rustic monk at home.
In quietude I live at ease in true lightheartedness.
Enlightenment is completion. There is no further effort.
It is not the same as any conditioned dharmas.
To dwell in characteristics while giving is to create the blessings of the heavens;
It is like looking up and loosing an arrow into the sky.
When its force is exhausted, an arrow falls back down;
Which is to say, future lives will not be as one wishes–
Unlike the door to the real characteristic of the unconditioned:
A single leap’s straight entry to the ground of the Thus Come Ones.
Only get the root; have no concern for the branch-tips,
Like a pure crystal containing a jeweled moon,
When this wish-granting pearl can be understood,
Self-benefit and the benefit of others are forever unending.
In the river the moon shines; in the pines the wind sighs.
What needs to be done in the clear, long night?
The Buddha-nature’s precept-pearl is the mind-ground seal.
Fog and dew, clouds and mists are the body’s clothing.
The alms-bowl subdues the dragons; the tin staff vanquishes tigers,
And the golden rings of its two parts sound in clear succession.
It is no symbolic form unsupported by real events;
It is the jeweled staff of the Thus Come One, which he himself passed down.
Do not seek the true, do not cut off the false.
Comprehend that both dharmas are empty; they have no characteristics.
Without characteristics, there is no emptiness and no non-emptiness,
Just that is the true characteristic of The Thus Come One.
A pearl of perfect light, neither within nor without.
If one passes into emptiness and denies cause and effect,
Then gross and reckless, one invites calamities.
This is the mistake of abandoning existence and being attached to emptiness–
Just as if, to escape drowning, one were to leap into a fire.
Some reject the false mind to grasp true principle.
But the mind that grasps and rejects is ingenious and fraudulent.
Students who do not understand and use it in cultivation,
Really are mistaking a thief for their own son.
Dharma wealth is lost, and merit and virtue destroyed,
Due to nothing else than the conscious mind.
Through the door of dhyana the mind is ended,
And one suddenly enters the powerful, unproduced knowledge and insight.
The great hero wields the wisdom sword.
From its Prajna point, a Vajra blaze!
It not only destroys the mind of external paths,
It also has long since terrified the heavenly demons!
Roll the dharma thunder, beat the dharma drum.
Clouds of kindness gather. Sweet dew is dispersed;
Dragons and elephants tread upon it, moistening everything.
The three vehicles and five natures are all roused awake.
The Himalaya Pinodhni grass is unalloyed indeed;
Pure Gee produced from it I have often partaken of.
One nature completely pervades all natures.
One dharma everywhere contains all dharmas.
One moon universally appears in all waters.
The moons in all waters are by one moon gathered in.
The dharma body of all Buddhas enters my nature;
My nature also meshes with the Thus Come Ones.
On a single level, every level is complete.
It is neither form, nor mind, nor the karma of action–
In a finger-snap, eighty thousand doors are fully realized.
In a kshana, three asamkhyeya quakes are extinguished.
No number or phrase can describe it.
What reelation could they have to our spiritual awakening?
It cannot be slandered and cannot be praised.
Its substance is like space; it has no shore.
It does not leave where it is; it is always clear.
If you search for it, know that you will not see it.
I cannot be grasped; I cannot be rejected.
Just what can be obtained within the unobtainable?
When silent, there is speech; when speaking, there is silence.
The great gate of giving is open and unblocked.
Should someone ask what the principle of my explanations is,
I inform him that it is the power of Mahaprajna.
People do not know what it is and what it is not.
One may oppose the flow or comply, but the gods do not fathom it.
I have already cultivated it through many aeons.
This is not the ordinary case of mutual lies and deceit.
The dharma banner is raised; the school’s purport is established.
The Buddha very clearly directed that it was to be at Ts’Ao Creek.
With Kashyapa, the first, began the transmission of the Lamp.
Twenty-eight generations were recorded in India.
The Dharma flowed east and entered this land.
Bodhidharma was the First Patriarch.
The robe was transmitted to the six generation, as all the world has heard.
How could one count the people who since then have realized the Way?
The true is not established; the false is fundamentally empty.
Both existence and non-existence are banished, and non-emptiness is emptied.
The twenty doors to emptiness are basically in order to be not-attached.
The single characteristic of the Thus Come One is basic identity of self.
The mind is the root; dharmas are the dust.
The two are like streaks on a mirror.
When the steaks are entirely removed, light begins to appear.
When mind and dharmas are both forgotten, then the nature is true.
Alas! In the evil time of the Dharma-Ending Age,
Living beings" blessing are slight; it is difficult to train them.
Far indeed from the Sages of the past! Their deviant views are deep.
Demons are strong, the dharma is weak; many are the wrongs and injuries.
Hearing of the door of the Thus Come One’s sudden teaching,
They hate not destroying it as they would smash a title.
The doing is in the mind; the body suffers the calamities.
There’s no need for unjust accusations that shift the blame to others.
If you don’t wish to invite the karma of the unintermittent,
Do not slander the Thus Come One’s roper Dharma Wheel.
In the Chandana forest there are no other trees.
Deep in the dense and luxuriant vegetation the lion dwells.
In the quietude of the forest he roams alone.
Beasts that walk and birds that fly all go far away.
The lion’s cubs together follow along.
Three years, and then the too can loudly roar.
Should jackals pursue the Dharma King
They are hundred year-old goblins who open their mouths in vain.
The complete and sudden teaching is without sentiment.
If there is doubt and indecision, you should confront it direct.
It is not that the mountain Sanghan indulges in self and others;
It’s only to be feared cultivators might fall into the pit of nihilism or eternalism.
"Wrong" is not wrong; "Right" is not right.
Erring by a hair’s breadth, one misses by a thousand miles.
"Right" was the Dragon-maiden’s suddenly achieving Buddhahood;
"Wrong" was Good Star’s sinking and falling while alive.
In my early years, I set out to acquire learning,
And I studied commentaries and inquired into Sutras and Shastras.
Distinguishing among terms and characteristics, I didn’t know how to stop.
Entering the sea to count the sands I exhausted myself in vain.
But the Thus Come One reprimanded this folly:
What benefit is there in counting other’s treasures?
Unsuccessful all along, I felt I had practiced in vain.
Many years I wasted as a transient, like dust in the wind.
When the nature of the seed is deviant, one’s knowledge and understanding will be wrong.
One will not attain the Thus Come One’s complete and sudden measure.
Those of the Two Vehicles are vigorous, but lack the heart of the Way.
Those of external paths may be intelligent, but they lack wisdom.
They are stupid, petty, and foolish.
They mistake the empty first and pointing finger as producing genuine knowledge;
But becoming attached to the finger as being the moon is a waste of effort.
Amidst the dharmas of sense organs" states, it is blameworthy to make empty fabrications.
Not to perceive a single dharma: This is the Thus Come One.
Then one may be called "One Who Contemplates at Ease."
Once one has understood, karmic obstructions are basically empty.
eBefore one has understood, debts from the past must be repaid.
The famished encounter the royal banquet, yet cannot eat.
The sick meet the physician king, yet how can they be cured?
Practice dhyana in the midst of desire, through the power of knowledge and insight.
The lotus born in the fire is never destroyed.
Courageous donor’s offense was serious; he awakened to non-production.
He realized Buddhahood early, and is here now.
The lion’s roar is fearless proclamation.
I sigh deeply that confused, barbaric fools
Know only how to transgress seriously and obstruct Bodhi.
They do not perceive the mysteries revealed by the Thus Come One.
There were two Bhikshus who transgressed in sexual misconduct and killing.
Upali's firefly-light exaggerated the offense.
The Bodhisattva Vimilakirti immediately dispelled their doubts,
Just as the burning sun melts the frost and snow.
The power of liberation is inconceivable.
Its miraculous functions are as numerous as the Ganges’ sands, and without end.
Does one dare shirk the toil in an offering of the four necessities?
Ten thousand ounce of gold may also be received.
One’s bones may be powdered, one’s body in fragments; still one can’t repay the debt in full.
Understand one sentence, and transcend the hundred million.
The King among dharmas is the highest, the most supreme.
Thus Come Ones as numerous as Ganges’ sand have attained it equally.
I now understand this wish-fulfilling pearl.
All who receive it in faith will evoke a response.
It is clearly seen: There is not a single thing.
Nor are there any people; nor are there any Buddhas.
The great thousand worlds are bubbles in the sea.
All the worthy Sages are like flashes of lightning.
Even if an iron wheel were rolled over one’s head,
Samadhi and wisdom would be fully bright and never lost.
The sun may grow cold, the moon may grow hot;
The multitude of demons cannot destroy true speech.
The elephant’s carriage slowly and with dignity advances along the road.
Who has seen a mantis that could deflect it from its course?
The great elephant does not travel in the rabbit’s path.
The great awakening is not confined to a small space.
Do not detract from the azure sky by looking at it through a reed.
For those of you who have not understood, I now impart the secret.