Dharma Talks

 Bodhidharma: On Mind-Watching


XXI. What Is Bathing?

Hye Ka: As was mentioned in the Hot-House Sutra,

If one helps the monks bathe,

Then he will receive immeasurable fortune.27

Can it be accomplished by just mind-watching?

Bodhidharma: Bathing the monks does not mean the ordinary form of doing with physical functioning.28

It was presented as a metaphor to explain the fundamental truth, including seven things;29

First, clean water;

Second, lighting the fire;

Third, soap;

Fourth, tooth brush;

Fifth, cleaning powder;

Sixth, oil; and

Seventh, under clothes.

If one uses these seven dharmas30 to wash and freshen the body, by what can he eliminate dirt from the three poisonous darknesses.

What are the seven dharmas?

First, truthful precepts; warm the moral flaw and cleanse it like clear water washing off all the dirt.

Second, wisdom; Be watchful both inside and outside; just like the flame of fire warms water.

Third, distinction; identify and separate sins; just like soap eliminates all dirt.

Forth, truthfulness; eliminate all untruthful talk; like a tooth brush eliminates stenches from the mouth.

Fifth, right faith: after right determination there is no other secondary thinking; like washing powder rubbed on the body clears up an infection.

Sixth, breath control; control all heavy inclinations; like the oil makes skin soft and lustrous.

Seventh, knowing shame; neglect all bad karmas; like underclothes cover up a naked body.

These seven things are all the hidden dharma inside the sutra. People today just do not know this.

What is the Hot-House? Hot-house implies the physical body. With the fire of wisdom, clean and warm the bathtub of the precepts. Wash the truth-as-it-is and the Buddhahood inside of body; adorn the self with the seven dharmas

All the monks at that time were very bright and wise; they understood what Buddha tried to say and practiced as it was said. And finally they attained the virtues and reached the holy stages. But today's indigent-being is ignorant, dull, and without understanding of this and only says, 'ordinary water will wash these bodies', while saying, 'we sincerely take refuge in Buddha's teaching'.

Is that not wrong?

And furthermore, true Buddha-nature-as-it-is has no mark of ordinary-being and, dirt of the bewilderment originally has no form; how can corporeal water wash the body of unenlightened darkness? It does not make any sense, so how can Tao be understood?

So, contemplate it like this;

This body originally came from an impure greed, where it stinks and excretions are mixed and full, inside and outside.

Although you want to be clean by washing the the body, like trying to wash dirty soil; it can never be purified. So you should know that washing outside, naturally, has nothing to do with what Buddha has to say.

XXII. What Is Chanting?

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