Hui Neng

 

He is the incarnation of Bodhisattva Ti-Tsang ( the Deliverer from Hell )
 
Hui Neng was born in Canton and two days after he was born, two monks came to his home and said: ‘Your son has great affinity with Buddha, therefore we come to give him a name. Hui means in the future he will be able to use the wisdom of Buddhist teachings to help the mortals; Neng means he will be able to illuminate the Dharma of the Buddha.’
 
Hui Neng’s father died when he was only three and his childhood was poor and difficult.
 
When he was twenty-four, while delivering a batch of fire wood to a store, he heard a guest reciting the Diamond Sutra, he was enlightened. He asked the guest where he obtained the sutra and the guest told him from a temple in Huang Mei. The guest with generosity gave him ten ounces so that he will be able to leave for Huang Mei to pay the fifth Patriarch a visit and be his disciple.
 
Even though he did not become a monk under the fifth Patriarch Hong Yen at that time, with his true wisdom, he was chosen to become the sixth Patriarch to carry on the lineage of Tao.
 
The Sutra of Hui Neng on Prajna ( wisdom ) :
 
"In the future, if an initiate of my dharma should make a vow in company with his fellow disciples to devote his whole life without retrogression to the practice of the teaching of this ‘Sudden’ dharma, in the same spirit and dedication as that for serving Buddha, he would reach without failure the Path of Holiness. But this righteous person must be transmitted confidentially from heart to heart the instruction handed down from the past Patriarchs; and yet no attempt should be made to conceal this method of immediacy. To those whose views and objectives are different from ours, the dharma should not be transmitted, since it will be anything but good for them. This step is taken lest ignorant persons who cannot understand this dharma should make slanderous remarks about it and thereby annihilate their seed of Buddha nature for hundreds of Kalpas and thousands of incarnations."   
  
This ‘sudden’ dharma is the Three Heavenly Treasures we have received during the Tao ceremony. In this ceremony we made the Ten Great Vows before God and received the transmission of Tao.
 
"To those whose views and objectives are different from ours, the dharma should not be transmitted."
 
This implies the responsibilities of the introducer and guarantor. To those whose views and objectives are different, not only will it create problems and obstructions in the temple but it may also have no benefit to the person who received Tao.
 
 
Hui Neng asked to take note of his stanza:
 
"Sentient beings who sow the seeds of enlightenment
In the field of causation will reap the fruit of Buddhahood.
Inanimate objects void of Buddha-nature
Sow not and reap not."
 
This implies that for those who received Tao, which is the seed of enlightenment, the fruit is attainment of Tao that is to become an immortal of eternal peace or Buddha.

 


Bodhisattva Ti-Tsang ( The Deliverer from Hell)

 

 

The body of Hui Neng at Nan Hua Temple, Canton, China. Hui Neng is the reincarnation of Bodhisattva Ti-Tsang.