Saturday, June 10, 2006

What do people do after they're enlightened?

The best way to answer this question is through a story. During WW2 in China, the revered Chan master, Ven Xuyun (seen above) held a Mass Prayer Ceremony for Peace in Chongqing city. The neighbouring city Chengdu's Buddhist council recommended that Ven Changyuan & Upasaka Yuan Huanxian (a respected lay teacher) to travel to Chongqing & invite Ven Xuyun over to give a sermon. Ven Changyuan could not make it, so eventually only Mr Yuan went over to Chongqing. At that time, the official in charge of such Buddhist matters was Mr Dai Jitao. Yuan asked Dai to make the request for him, but he replied that Ven Xuyun maybe too old to travel long distances. At this, Yuan, who was known for his sharp wisdom, remarked:

"Whether the Ven comes or not is up to him; whether or not I invite him or not is up to me. Since he has opened a shop, I have the freedom to go buy something from it. If the price is right, I'll pay; otherwise we'll each go our own ways."

So Yuan got to speak to Ven Xuyuan directly. He made the necessary salutation and asked:

"There are 3 kinds of people in Chengdu that needed to be saved. The 1st kind thinks that one needs to continue cultivating after enlightenment. The 2nd kind thinks that once you are enlightened, that's it. The 3rd kind thinks that to cultivate is not to cultivate, not to cultivate is to cultivate. Will the Ven master please enlighten them with your teachings?"

Ven Xuyun replied with a Chinese saying:

"All the crows in the world are black!"

But there was no further explanation of this as they both started to talk about other topics. Later Yuan wrote a letter to his friend Mr Jia Titao relating the incident. Ven Dayu, another Chan master with great insights from Hubei province was also there with Jia. He had this comment to make after learning what happened:

"Upasaka Yuan asked a very good question & Ven Xuyun gave a good answer. But as a leading master of his time, this answer is not as sharp as we would expect of him. If I were him, I would ask Yuan, which of the 3 kinds of people did HE belong to? Only in that way will they collide into each other on a narrow path & forced to present their naked minds!"

That ends my story. But what's the moral of the story? What do enlightened people do after enlightenment?

I can provide you with the answer but that wouldn't be fun. Instead I'm going to ask:

Which of the 3 kinds of people do YOU belong to? Yup, contemplate on that!


Anonymous said...

if u ask me, there is no fix direction.

master xu-yun chose to reside with buddha maitreya. there is still this going n coming again later.

leetahsar said...

you are what u are...u r not..then u r not....ornitoufo....

Anonymous said...

What makes you "think" there is something called enlightenment?

Anonymous said...

The person can only qualify as buddha/bodhisattva if he put his dharma into action ( courage, determination, wisdom, compassion ), else is only mere words to deceive

Anonymous said...

Well... Simplicity is the route to happiness. Why make once thinking so complex? At the end of the day, As long as one live their day with the right actions, thoughts and mind. you certainly will have a sense of Peace Profound.

hoangkybactien said...

Again, there is no complacency in buddhahood!