Chapter 196: Zhang Ye’s one gatha after Another!
This person even knew Zen verses?
When living, sit, don’t lie. When dead, lie down, don’t sit.
How can a set of stinking bones, be used for training?
Those who did not know could not understand at all, but those who really knew could tell the profoundness of the Zen verse. Even Buddhist masters might not be able to freely say such verses!
Zhang Ye’s Zen phrase meant: A pile of stinking bones will rot, but if it stubbornly insisted on doing the actions of meditation without understanding the verses, then they were demonstrating “When living, sit, don’t lie. When dead, lie down, don’t sit”. By the time you had such thoughts, your senses and character would only be fake inside out. How was there any merit established? How was one to gain enlightenment? Or if it was put simply, Zhang Ye was telling them: Are you learning to meditate or learning to be a seated Buddha? If you were meditating, then that was not something you could do just sitting there. If they were learning to be a seated Buddha, Buddha was not a fixed state, so how was one to accomplish it by sitting? To gain Buddhist enlightenment from meditation was not a feasible route!
In Buddhism, there were gatha and Zen verses. They were given such names and not called poems. But to Zhang Ye, they were no different from poems!
“You…” a young monk said in disbelief.
Not only him, even the abbot could not accept that such a profound Zen verse came from the mouth of a “martial monger” who had beaten his four disciples!
The abbot looked into Zhang Ye’s eyes, “Almsgiver, you know Zen verses?”
Many people in the filming crew did not understand Zhang Ye’s gatha, but from the monks’ faces of shock, they knew Zhang Ye had said something awesome.
Yao Jiancai laughed.
The Deputy Director laughed.
Many people in the filming crew were also laughing.
They knew that for acting, Zhang Ye was a complete layman. He was inferior to even a typical rookie, or they would not have wasted so much of the film footage without succeeding in filming his motions. However, when it came to poems and literature, this Teacher Zhang Ye was an expert amongst experts. All the members of the filming crew combined together could not even amount to a finger of Zhang Ye. It could be said that this was his true trade! Everyone laughed knowing that these monks had encountered a hard problem! When some people live, they are already dead. When some people die, they are still alive. Some of them knew that Zhang Ye had previously used a short poem like this. This short line made it evident that Zhang Ye’s literary skill was not to be underestimated!
Zhang Ye smiled. “I can’t say I know.”
“You don’t have to be humble. Just that gatha you said might not even be produced by an esteemed monk who has meditated for decades. Hur Hur. Since I happen to meet you, let us exchange our knowledge on verses?” His disciples had been beaten, so the abbot probably was suppressing his anger. Compete in martial arts? Since he couldn’t beat others, he changed to competing through words!
Xiaoyan could not help but laugh. Compare your literary attainment with Teacher Zhang? This was shooting themselves in the foot, and immediately cheered on Zhang Ye, “Teacher Zhang, compete with him!”
“Let them broaden their horizons!”
“Haha, there are still people these days that want to compete with Zhang Ye in literature?”
“Eh, this is Zen studies, right?” Does Teacher Zhang know?”
“Isn’t Zen studies also a form a literature? It’s not much different.”
Everyone started to shout, urging Zhang Ye to have a literary battle with the monk. Many of them were confident of Zhang Ye. Only a small number of them did not know Zhang Ye well, and were not as optimistic.
An old monk sneered, “To have an exchange in verses with the abbot?”
Another monk said, “If your senses are dirty, what verses are there to talk about?”
“A layman dares to have an exchange in verses with our abbot? He doesn’t know his strength.” A young monk scoffed. Yes, he said that although he was previously shocked by Zhang Ye’s verse.
This bunch of monks did not watch television, so they did not know anything about Zhang Ye.
It was obvious that neither side was willing to step down. They could not fight, nor could they afford to fight, but they had to decide who was better. They had to vent this anger!
Zhang Ye said nonchalantly, “Alright, please go ahead.”
Taking advantage of the moment, Zhang Ye did a few actions with his hands and bought a Memory Search Capsule from the game ring’s Merchant Shop. After eating it, he very quickly remembered the gatha and Zen verses from his world. These text-based things were recalled quickly. With a blink of an eye, Zhang Ye was ready. People fought for their anger, while Buddha fought for incense. The past two days of accumulation had slightly increased his Reputation, so it was still enough to buy a Memory Search Capsule. It was not for anything but to act almighty!
He could see that a female stage management crew member had begun recording with a cellphone a long while ago!
Look at how smart she was. Zhang Ye wanted to give her a Like. She had such great foresight!
What were the conditions to reach the highest realm of acting almighty? Firstly, one needed an inhuman opponent. Secondly, one needed a bunch of fussing audience. Thirdly, one needed recording equipment, so as to broadcast Zhang Ye’s literary excellence to its fullest extent. It couldn’t be privately admired!
These three conditions had been fulfilled!
The abbot said softly, “The gatha said by Almsgiver previously meant that meditating was useless. On this point, I do not agree. I am not attempting to gain enlightenment from simply meditating. Meditating is just a method and a way of training one’s mind. Since you are a martial arts practitioner, you should know the importance of methods in martial studies. I’m dedicated to Buddhism, while you are dedicated to martial arts. They all have the same principles. Didn’t you use methods while being a bully to beat my disciples?”
At this moment, when the highest authority, Director Jiang, heard this, the anger he had suppressed flared up once again. He was so angry that he cried out!
“What unreasonable words!”
“Teacher Zhang was being a bully?”
“Beat your disciples?”
“Why didn’t you mention that your disciples were the first to attack!?”
“This old bald donkey sure can beat about the bush!”
The film crew began to shout in unison. They were very unhappy with the abbot’s words.
Zhang Ye laughed and looked at him, “Was I the one who injured your disciples?”
“If it wasn’t you, then who was it?” The abbot answered. It seemed like he was relying back on Zen studies to come back at Zhang Ye. In this field, the abbot was a “specialized major”.
However, Zhang Ye did not give him a chance. He immediately took a Buddhist story from his world. He then pointed at a flag at the corner of the monastery. The flag was flapping in the wind, “With the wind blowing, the flag flaps. Do you say the wind is moving or the flag is moving?”
A young monk was the first to answer, “Of course the wind is moving!”
Zhang Ye shook his head.
An old monk said, “The flag is moving?”
Zhang Ye carried on shaking his head.
A monk said, “Then what is moving? The world is moving?”
Zhang Ye looked up and said, “It’s your heart that is moving!”
This Buddhist story was quite well known in Zhang Ye’s world. Things changed because of one’s will to change. This was not talking about the physical change in things, but the way things were approached. We would always first subjectively decide if a thing was good or bad. Zhang Ye was using this verse to tell this bunch of people. I was being a bully? I beat you up? That was just your own subjective opinion!
Director Jiang applauded, “Well said!”
The actress, Xiaoyan laughed out loud, “Teacher Zhang is awesome!”
The filming crew was also highly spirited as they clapped and cheered Zhang Ye!
The monks did not look good. With that verse said, it showed how petty they were.
However, the abbot remained poised. He quietly said, “Buddha said, evil words that harm others would descend to Hell after death, what more those who beat others? I wonder if Almsgiver believes in Heaven and Hell.”
As a superstitious person, Zhang Ye answered without thinking, “I believe.”
The abbot said, “Then where is Heaven? And where is Hell?”
Zhang Ye glanced at him, “It’s in your heart and also everywhere.”
“Oh? In my heart? Why can’t I see that?” The abbot said peacefully.
Zhang Ye chuckled, and immediately scolded him, “You old bald donkey!”
An old monk immediately turned angry. A few younger monks also picked up their sticks, wanting to fight it out with Zhang Ye.
Zhang Ye said without any hurry and pointed at them, “See, the gates of Hell has opened.”
When the few monks heard it, they immediately understood and quickly put down their sticks.
Zhang Ye chuckled once again, “Look, the gates to Heaven has also opened.”
The monks looked at each other. So this was what it meant with Heaven and Hell being in the heart!
The abbot asked, “Then what does it mean that Heaven and Hell is everywhere?”
Zhang Ye answered him with his world’s gatha, “To see a world in a grain of sand. And a heaven in a wild flower. Hold infinity in the palm of your hand. And eternity in an hour.”
About ten monks were stunned hearing this.
Yao Jiancai slapped his thigh and applauded, “What finesse! Too much finesse!”
“Teacher Zhang is so impressive! Hahaha! That was said so beautifully!” Someone in the filming crew sent his kudos.
The abbot was also slightly lost in thought, “Since Almsgiver believes in Heaven and knows about Hell, then why did you have to do actions that harm others?” He kept insisting on this issue.
Xiaoyan said angrily, “Do you have anything else?”
Yao Jiancai said, “You can’t beat Little Zhang in Zen studies, so you begin clinging on this?”
“Who was the one who harmed others? It was the bunch of you who harmed others first, alright!? F**k!” An actor cursed.
The abbot ignored the surrounding people and only looked at Zhang Ye, “Indifferent towards karma, since you believe in Hell, aren’t you afraid of descending into Hell?”
Zhang Ye was not pulled in by him, and did not accept his verse that was filled with hidden tricks. With a laugh, he said heroically, “If I don’t descend into Hell, who will?” This gatha could be said to be one of the most famous Buddhist verses in Zhang Ye’s world. It could be said to be peerless!
The deputy director immediately shouted, “Awesome!”
The other members of the filming crew also shouted excitedly, “What a good ‘if I don’t descend into Hell, who will!?”
However, this sentence did not only have the literal meaning they understood. In fact, they did not understand either, but the abbot understood. Another old monk also understood it. Momentarily, the two of them looked at Zhang Ye with their gazes changed!
If I don’t descend into Hell, who will?
These words were not that of anger but a Zen verse that was filled with compassion. By descending into Hell, without wishing for an end, experiencing extreme torture, to the point of leading a living death. At this moment, if I didn’t enter and save them, who would?
The abbot said with his palms flat against each other, “Amitabha.”
An old monk behind also said with his palms flat, “Amitabha.”
The young monks were still unconvinced. They did not believe that their abbot’s Buddhist studies were incomparable to a layman!
At this moment, it was Zhang Ye’s turn to ask. He pointed at a stone tablet in the yard. There were words inscribed on it. It was a line that made him very interested as well as one that was very familiar. “When I came in, I saw this. I wonder from whom did this gatha come from?”
The abbot gave a glance, “It was written by me a few days ago.”
The carving looked new, so it was clear that it had been recently carved.
The abbot chanted, “The body is a Bodhi tree, the mind is a mirror bright, never stop dusting and wiping, lest dust alight. This is my pursuit of the path of Buddha.”
The filming crew also looked over. They were momentarily awed and felt that the gatha was indeed very good. With his body like a Bodhi tree that let people of the past gain enlightenment, with a heart like a dustless and bright mirror, by constantly reflecting on oneself, it would not let dust settle on the mirror to mar one’s nature! Well written! This was really written by the abbot? The film crew also had a sudden change of attitude towards the abbot. They now understood why the Qingshan Monastery did not welcome filming crews. Them harshly sending people down the mountain and not permitting them entry was because of this gatha of the new abbot. They did not want to tarnish their monastery, and was also the meaning of “never stop dusting and wiping, lest dust alight”.
Someone from the filming crew gave a slight nod.
The abbot also looked towards Zhang Ye, waiting for his reaction.
Who knew that Zhang Ye did not take it seriously and laughed. What a coincidence that this world also had such a gatha. However, the difference was it did not have the second half of the gatha from Zhang Ye’s world.
The abbot said, “Almsgiver, why do you laugh?”
A young monk said angrily, “What are you laughing about?”
“That’s right. If you have the ability, write one!” Another monk was also displeased.
Zhang Ye found it both funny and annoying, “The reason why you don’t let us on the mountain, beat us up, and destroyed our equipment, was all because of this gatha?”
The abbot looked at him, “Does Almsgiver think my gatha is inappropriate?”
“It’s far from inappropriate.” Zhang Ye said impolitely, “It’s completely misleading!”
“What are you saying!” A young monk angrily picked up a pole. However, having just recalled the verse about Heaven and Hell that Zhang Ye just mentioned, he angrily put down his pole. Of course, he knew a large part of it had to do with him not being able to beat Zhang Ye even with a pole.
“What do you mean misleading?” An old monk asked.
Another young monk said exasperatedly, “Don’t speak blindly if you do not know!”
The filming crew did not know why Zhang Ye despised this gatha so much. To them, the gatha was very well-written. There wasn’t a problem to it?
However, Zhang Ye said, “I have a story here. Listen to it first. In the past, there were two reverend monks in debate. The first monk said, ‘I have a mirror in my heart, that I polish everyday, so that it can be used as a reflection, so as to scrutinize myself.’ However, the second monk said, ‘I have no mirror in my heart, what is there to polish?'”
What is there to polish?
When everyone present heard this, they were stunned. Some seemed to be confused, but there were some who seemed to immediately understand a thing!
Then Zhang Ye said, “Today, I’ll give you another gatha.” Saying that, Zhang Ye looked towards each and everyone of those monks, “The body is a Bodhi tree? The mind is a mirror bright? Never stop dusting and wiping? Lest dust alight?” Zhang Ye’s eyes narrowed. He retorted every word of the abbot. Every word was a strike in the monks’ hearts. With every line, the expressions on the monks changed once!
“By origin, there is no Bodhi tree!”
“Nor is there a mirror bright!”
“Originally there is not a single thing!”
All the monks turned silent!
Zhang Ye smiled and asked the monks, “Where does dust alight?”