Hui-neng: Words and Letters

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 When asked how he could understand the Sutras even though he was illiterate, didn’t have a proper teacher and could not even know the meanings of the [Mahayana Sanskrit] words, young Huineng replied, “The profound meaning of all the Buddhas has no connection with words and letters.”

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3 thoughts on “Hui-neng: Words and Letters

    • Extra points for mischief! 😉

      Words are fickle, but they can be useful. (“Look out behind you!”) Problems arise when the map (sutras, scriptures, etc.) is clung to after the destination has been reached. Then the map becomes a crutch. It was quite a big deal that the unschooled yokel Huineng exhibited a far deeper understanding of Buddhist non-thought than the scholarly know-it-alls of his day. Even moreso when he became the recognized leader of the school in China and founded the Ch’an (Zen) movement, lol.

      shorter answer: * .

      • perhaps problems arise when you “believe” there is a map to a destination, or not. Any map IS a crutch and it is, of course, perfect to have crutches. Personally, I like Dzogchen, just another take on being the most here you can be.

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