Updated 3/18/2012 8:31 am @ Union City, California – There are many great texts in written Chinese books. In modern Taiwan, over the last 50 year or so there are three popular groups of Buddhism organizations that emerged pretty much as the top 3. Out of the three, I think most people would agree Shen-Yen 聖嚴 is the most scholarly person and he is very very well respected in his knowledge and understanding of the written Buddhism texts. He passed away in 2009 and it was a pretty big deal. I actually don’t know a whole lot about him but based on this one text he wrote below, I think he is easily my favorite out of Taiwan’s top 3. The other two talks about themselves way too much. I mean, in their organization, they constantly talk about their leaders all day and all night long. Lame.
In Buddhism there is a lot of talk about ego. It is basically a conversation between an enlightened being 菩提達摩 Bodhidharma and a scholarly emperor. The emperor was asking the Bodhidharma to explain the highest level of noble truth and universal truth. Bodhidharma said there is no such thing. The emperor asked Bodhidharma who is this (saint) in front of me then? Bodhidharma replied, I don’t know him (trying to tell the emperor to let go of the idea of saint, there is no such thing).
Normal people distinguish heavily between saints and mere mortals. To realize the truth, one must let go of all values and comparisons. There is no difference at all.
Okay I realize I did a poor job at translation this heheh, but it’s not like most people read or care about this type of stuff on my blog anyway. 🙂 I just wanted to share it with my Chinese readers who can just read the original below. Enjoy.
ps, 菩提達摩 Bodhidharma is the person that walked/traveled from India and arrived at Shaolin temple! It’s a legendary true story. 🙂
文 / 聖嚴法師
- Sunya – The Worthless (maitreyabuddhistcentre.wordpress.com)
- Hotei, Santa Claus is a zen master (zendictive.wordpress.com)
- A Note on Chinese Buddhism (therabbitinthemoon.wordpress.com)
- Summer 2012 Buddhism Programs (warpweftandway.wordpress.com)