Shastra – Door to understanding the 100 Dharmas
It was only when I met a Buddhist monk in China, and he introduced me to the “Shastra – Door to understanding the 100 Dharmas” that I became interested in studying the basics of Buddhism, and the early books that were brought back from India, and translated into Chinese….. then I gathered a whole raft of them!….. But actually at first, I thought it was not important, it was partially due to what Bodhidharma is said to have stated…… but have gleaned MUCH from reading them…. but it is really repetitive, and overly detailed to my Western mind (I understand it is the Indian way of stating things??) …. anyways, i find myself referring back to it often, when “clues” of practice pop open to me…. the ‘over the top’ detail is, I suspect this is why they aren’t referred to much….. ??
But western Zen holds to the following pretty steadfastly, (I think??)
Stanza attributed to Bodhidharma:
“A special transmission outside the scriptures,
Not depending on words and letters;
Directly pointing to the mind
Seeing into one’s true nature and attaining Buddhahood.”
So, “the mind-to-mind transmission said to have begun with Shakyamuni Buddha and Mahakashyapa, lies at the core of Chan and Zen.” And might be why original scriptures are held the way they are in Western Zen???
Here is my humble logic on the subject though….
If Buddha-nature is equal to the Whole Enchilada, and we are all participators in it, then through our individual practice, we should be participators in the wisdom which Shakyamuni participated in directly.
With the help of a trustable teacher to guide us, we should each one be able to participate in first hand experience of it (although certainly not to the extent which Buddha is said to have reached) , so some teachings which were passed down, and possibly misunderstood by those who handed it down, would seem to be ‘second-hand” news??
i am a believer in the Buddha-nature GPS system……. 🙂