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The Last Stanza of Hui-Neng

Before his Mahaparinirvana, the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng said:
The Essence of Mind or Tathata (Suchness) is the real Buddha,
While heretical views and the three poisonous elements are Mara.
Enlightened by Right Views, we call forth the Buddha within us.
When our nature is dominated by the three poisonous elements,
We are said to be possessed by Mara;
But when Right Views eliminate from our mind these poisonous elements,
Mara will be transformed into a real Buddha.
The Dharmakaya, the Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya --
These three Bodies emanate from one — the Essence of Mind.
He who is able to realize this fact intuitively
Has sown the seed, and will reap the fruit of Enlightenment.
It is from the Nirmanakaya that our 'Pure Nature' emanates;
Within the former the latter is to be found.
Guided by 'Pure Nature,' the Nirmanakaya treads the Right Path,
And will some day attain to the Sambhogakaya, perfect and infinite.
'Pure Nature' is an outgrowth of our sensual instincts;
By getting rid of sensuality, we attain the Pure Dharmakaya.
When our temperament is such that we are no longer the slaves of the five sense-objects,
And when we have realized the Essence of Mind even for one moment only, then Truth is known to us.
Should we be so fortunate as to be the followers of the Sudden School in this life,
In a sudden we shall see the Bhagavat of our Essence of Mind.
He who seeks the Buddha (from without) by practicing certain doctrines
Knows not where the real Buddha is to be found.
He who is able to realize the Truth within his own mind
Has sown the seed of Buddhahood.
He who has not realized the Essence of Mind and seeks the Buddha from without
Is a fool motivated by wrong desires.
I have hereby left to posterity the teaching of the Sudden School
For the salvation of all sentient beings who care to practice it.
Hear me, ye future disciples!
Your time will have been badly wasted if you neglect to put this teaching into practice.


Last Stanza of Hui Neng:

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