Dharma Ceremony Commemorating the One Thousand Three Hundred and Tenth Anniversary of the Parinirvana of Grand Master Da-Jian Hui-Neng, SixthPatriarch of Zen Liturgy of Praise and Aspiration
Homage to the One-Reality All-Pervasive Oceanic Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!
Homage to the One-Reality All-Pervasive Boundless Holy Dharma!
Homage to the One-Reality All-Pervasive Liberate-Accordingly Holy Sangha! (3 times)
Tathagata Samantabhadra liberates boundless beings according to their dispositions. For all realms of the Three Times and Ten Directions, he taught under a myriad of circumstances for the benefits of all beings bound by delusion. Tathagata Sakyamuni had long perfected the state of Buddhahood before the current eon. But through compassion arising from the recognition of the essential nature and the ignorance of all beings, he took birth in the present Saha World, in the southern continent of Jambudvipa under the Bodhi Tree, and attained awakening while gazing the stars. He began the first Three-Fold Turning of the Dharma Wheel at Sarnath, freed the first Five Bikkhus, and continued to teach over three hundred dharma gathering through which the holy teaching spread far and wide, planting the seeds of awakening.Through the Dharma Flower and the Parinirvana Sutras, the Ultimate Truth is expounded; through the teachings of the Vairocana and Flower Treasury, the Ultimate Mantra is revealed. The realm of the One-Reality Oceanic-Essential-Nature is free of obstructions; the jeweled light of the Three Saints and Ten Bhumis manifest as different realms of the Greater and Lesser Vehicles and the Sutrayana and Vajrayana schools. The brilliant golden light of Compassion-Wisdom extinguishes the dark purgatory of sentient beings’ ignorance.
The Zen lineage began when the Buddha showed a flower to the assembly on the Voucher’s Peak and
Mahakasyapa’s smile that earned him the Mind Seal, which was passed down unbroken to Bodhidharma who
brought the Essence across the sea to China. In the China, the Second Patriarch who sought the mind finally found refuge in silence. Thus, the treasury of the true dharma eye, the unborn, deathless,marvelous Mind Seal was silently affirmed from patriarch to patriarch, never stray from the primordial essence. Lights of the West and the East mutually illuminate one another and transmit their wisdom unceasingly. The Sixth Patriarch, Zen Master Da-Jian, upheld the wisdom torch of the Tathagata and bridging the gaps between ancient sages and the late comers, cut through all distractions and illusion sand directly revealed the Source of the mind. He is the excavator of the spring of the Five Schools and Seven Lineages that produced generations after generations of master teachers, widely benefiting both human and gods.
As late learners with dimmed inner light, we lack the insights into the holy meaning. Due to weak merit and heavy defilements, we were not able to join the holy assembly, ending up as mere monastics, barely able to carry on the role of dharma supporters. On this occasion of the One thousand three hundred and tenth anniversary of the Parivirvana of Da-Jian Wisdom-Light Zen Master, with a mixture of sadness and reflection, we recognize our lack of merit to repay the favor of receiving the Buddha’s teaching.Yet we also recognize that which is immanent in us will always remain, therefore we shall aspire to follow the example of the patriarchs and tirelessly cultivate the Path, encourage our fellow practitioners and uphold the wisdom torch according to our ability. With crushed bones and dried blood,we persevere for the benefit of all sentient beings, in gratitude toward the profound kindness of the Buddha and the Patriarchs.
Now is the perfect time to reflect and contemplate, to praise the aspiration of the Sixth Patriarch!
With compassion like the elixir of Avalokitesvara, the fire of Three Poisons is extinguished!
With wisdom as sharp as the sword of Manjushri, the defilements of all practitioners are severed!
With aspiration as profound the vows of the Ksitigarbha, boundless sentient beings are liberated!
With actions as vast as the responsibility of Samantabhadra, infinite dharma doors of the Mind teachings
We the practitioners with sincere gratitude now aspire not to let down the Tathagata, the blessings of the patriarchs, and our own essential nature. With the sound of my recitation, my vows reach their utmost sincerity. May today’s vows lead to the ultimate entrance into the oceanic essence of Vairocana and the return to the Saha world for the benefit of sentient beings and the perfection of the Buddhahood.
Practitioner _______ (say one’s own name), till the end of my life, take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. Today I vow to practice in the footsteps of the Buddha and uphold the teaching of the patriarchs.
I shall firmly set my focus upon the One Truth without regret and never regress. The Tathagata’s true, unsurpassed ultimate awakening is the object of my veneration, for the sake of compassion. (Repeat three
times, three prostrations, last repetition add “for the sake of great compassion.”)
Practitioner ________ (say one’s own name)
Sentient beings, boundless, I vow to liberate
Vexations, endless, I vow to sever
Skillful means, infinite, I vow to learn
Buddhahood, unsurpassed, I vow to attain
Practitioner ________(say one’s own name)
Sentient beings arising from self-nature I vow to liberate
Vexations arising from self-nature I vow to sever
Skillful means arising from self-nature I vow to learn
Buddhahood, immanent in self-nature, I vow to attain
Having made these vows, from now on I focus firmly upon the Buddha Path, toward the Buddha-Wisdom
Having made these vows, from now on I focus firmly upon the Right Path, toward the Awakening-Wisdom
Having made these vows, from now on I focus firmly upon the Pure Path, toward the Pure-Wisdom
Practitioner _______ dedicate the merit of this aspiration to all sentient beings. Repay the Four Kindness
and help all beings of the Three Realms. May beings of all dharma realms, complete and perfect the wisdom
of essence and manifestation.