Zen is the Result of India Buddhism in China

发布日期:2017-10-19   字体大小:   


I have been to India and Nepal. There I paid homage to holy sites that are associated with the life of Sakyamuni. And I had the chances to peruse some Buddhist Scriptures in Sanskrit or Pali. And my impression is that Indian Buddhism is different from Chinese Buddhism. The traditional form of Dhyana meditation was emphasized in Indian Buddhism as of cardinal importance. The achievement in the field of Dhyana meditation secured by a great number of Indian Buddhist votaries was really astounding or, rather inconceivably subtle. In the historical period preceding the establishment of the Buddhist Chan Order in ancient China, there had been a considerable number of Buddhist votaries taking Dhyana meditation as the principal dharma-gate leading to the attainment of enlightenment. For example, An Shigao (nickname: the Parthian Marquis) came to China under the Han Dynasty in 147 AD for propagating Buddhism in general and Dhyana meditation in particular. He stayed in China for around thirty years. 
But after his arrival in China (between 502 AD and 557 AD), Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch of the Buddhist Chan Order, introduced into the Chan Order a new pattern of Chan self-cultivation which no longer lays emphasis on practicing the traditional Indian mode of Dhyana meditation. A practitioner practicing the traditional Indian mode of meditation lays stress on concentrating his self-cultivation practice on doing long sessions of seated meditation and isolates himself from the worldly life by living alone in seclusion. But Bodhidharma advocates the following principles 
♦that Chan should be practiced right in the context of everyday life either in monastic community or in secular community, 
♦that every minute in a day can be spent in practicing Chan, and 
♦that enlightenment can be achieved at any moment. 
Why did Bodhidharma introduce into the Chan Order such a change in the mode of practicing self-cultivation? It was due to the fact that he noticed the great difference in the way of thinking between the Indian people and the Chinese people and the glaring discrepancy between the two cultures. The conventional mentality of the Chinese people inclines them to think it is preferable that the realization of the ideal of “enlightenment and nirvana” be in the context of their everyday life, rather than in the context of afterlife. Such a conventional mentality of the Chinese population had been ignored since time immemorial until after Bodhidharma came to China, or until after the Buddhist Chan came into existence in China. That is why the general public in China is in the habit of referring to the Chan Order as a Sinicized version of Indian Buddhism, or as Sinicism-based Buddhism, or as a version of Buddhism that has stricken its roots deep into traditional Chinese culture. It is exactly for relieving mankind of his grievances that Sakyamuni created Buddhism. And it is exactly for enriching Gautama Buddha’s teachings and also for sharpening the Mahayanistic edge so that it can cleave a path in the midst of attachments and ignorance for the masses to grope along towards awakening that the Buddhist Chan Order came into being. In nature the Buddha is identical to a sentient being. And practicing Chan is in harmony with the Chinese population’s everyday life. So it is completely possible for a sentient being to be elevated to awakening and to become a Buddha within the span of his or her life.(From My Heart My Buddha