SUTRA SPOKEN BY THE SIXTH PATRIARCH ON THE HIGH SEAT OF "THE TREASURE OF THE LAW"

Appendix by Ling Tao, the Stupa Keeper

At midnight of the 3rd day of the 8th Moon of the Year of Ren Xu, in the 10th year of the Kai Yuan Era, noises similar to those made by the dragging of an iron chain were heard within the stupa in which the Patriarch's remains were enshrined. Awakened by the alarm, the Bhikkhus saw a man in mourning run out from the pagoda. Subsequently, they found that injuries had been inflicted on the Patriarch's neck. Reports were duly made to Prefect Liu Wu Tian and Magistrate Yang Kan. Upon receiving the complaint they made a vigilant search for the culprit, who five days after was arrested in Shi Jiao Village and sent to Shao Zhou for trial.

He stated that his name was Zhang Jing Man, a native of Liang of Ru Zhou, and that in Kai Yuan Monastery of Hong Zhou he had received two thousand cash from a Xin Lo (a state in Korea) Bhikkhu named Jin Da Bei, who ordered him to steal the Patriarch's head to be sent back to Korea for veneration.

Having taken this statement Prefect Liu reserved judgement and went personnaly to Cao Xi to consult the Patriarch's senior disciple, Ling Tao, as to the adequate sentence to be passed. Ling Tao said, "According to the law of the state, the death sentence should be passed. But as mercy is the keynote of Buddhism, which teaches that kindred and enemies should be treated alike, coupled with the fact that religious veneration is the motive of the crime, the offender may be pardoned." Much impressed, Prefect Liu exclaimed, "Now I begin to realize how liberal and broad-minded the Buddhists are!" The prisoner was accordingly set free.

Emperor Su Zong, who wished to do veneration to the Patriarch's robe and bowl, sent an ambassador to Cao Xi to escort them with due respect to the royal palace. They were kept there until the 1st year of Yong Tai, when emperor Dai Zong had a dream in the night of the 5th day of the 5th Moon that the Patriarch asked him to return the relics. On the 7th day of the same moon, the following edict addressed to Yang Jian was issued:

"Whereas His Majesty dreamt that Dhyana Master Hui Neng asked for the restitution of the inherited robe and bowl, Marshal Zhen Guo ('Pillar of State', a title of honor) Liu Chong Jing is hereby detailed to convey them with due reverence to Cao Xi. These relics are regarded by His Majesty as state valuables, and you are directed to store them properly in Bao Lin Monastery and give express orders to the Bhikkhus, who had received personal instructions from the Patriarch, to exercise special care for their protection, so that no loss or breakage may be suffered."

Thereafter, the relics were stolen several times, but on each occasion they were recovered before the thief could run away far.

Emperor Xian Zong conferred on the Patriarch the Posthumous title 'Da Jian' (the great mirror, ot the great seer) and wrote the epigraph 'Yuan He Ling Zhao' (Harmonious spirit shines forth divinely) for the stupa.

Other biographical materials are to be found in the tablets recording the life of the Patriarch written by Chancellor Wang Wei, Prefect Liu Zong Yuan, Prefect Liu Yu Xi, and others, all of the Tang Dynasty.


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