Transmitting the Light

‘The twenty-sixth patriarch was the Venerable Punyamitra. When he was a crown prince, the twenty-fifth patriarch asked him, “You wish to make your home departure (monk ordination). What thing must you do?” Punyamitra replied, “When I make my home departure, I will not do any particular thing.”
The patriarch asked, “What thing will you not do?”
“I will not do any ordinary thing.”
“What thing must you do?”
“I must do Buddha’s work.”
The patriarch said, “The crown prince’s wisdom is naturally excellent; you must become a successor of various sages.” Then the patriarch permitted him to make his home departure.

From Keizan’s commentary: ‘When you are able to understand the original Mind, there are no signs of origination, no signs of extinction. How much less are there deluded people and awakened! when you are able to experience it in this way, the four great elements and five aggregates do not exist. How can the three realms and six destinies be established? Therefore there is no home to leave, no body to be lodged somewhere. That is why it is called “home departure”…
It is like the sky being without inside or outside in its vastness, like water having no inside or outside. The original Mind of all beings is like this. Thus, one should not be afraid of being a lay person, not should one be proud of making one’s home departure. Just stop looking externally and discern it within.
People, try for a moment to look carefully without scattering your mind all over the place or directing your gaze in front or behind. At such a time, what can you call “self”? What can you call “other”? Since there are no signs of self and other, then what do you mean by “good” and “bad”? If you are thus, then the original Mind has been revealed from the beginning, as bright as the sun and moon. There is no dark place it does not illuminate.”

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