The Principal Book of Won-Buddhism

Part Three : Practice

Chapter Five: Essential Cases for Questioning

1. It is said that the World Honored One descended into his royal family without leaving Tusita Heaven and delivered all sentient beings while still in his mother’s womb. What does this mean?
2. At the moment the World Honored One was born, he said, “In heaven above and on earth below, I alone am honored.” What does this mean?
3. In an assembly on Vulture Peak, the World Honored One held up a flower and showed it to the congregation. The congregation was silent, except for Venerable Mahākāśyapa, whose face broke into a subtle smile. The World Honored One said, “I entrust the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye to Mahākāśyapa.” What does this mean?
4. When the World Honored One was about to pass into nirvana, he said, “All the while since I first started at Deer Park up until now when I have reached this river at Hiranyavati, I have not spoken a single dharma.” What does this mean?
5. The myriad dharmas return to one; to what does the one return?
6. What is that thing which is not associated with the myriad dharmas?
7. “Illuminate the one mind by penetrating the myriad dharmas.” What does this mean?
8. “Before the buddhas of antiquity appeared, this one shape was perfectly round.” What does this mean?
9. What body did you have before your parents conceived you?
10. When a person is in deep, dreamless sleep, where is the numinous awareness that makes one sentient?
11. “All things are created by the mind.” What does this mean?
12. “Mind is Buddha.” What does this mean?
13. Why is it that there is samsara for sentient beings but liberation for all the buddhas?
14. “A person who practices well is not separate from the self-nature.” What is this practice which is not separate from the self-nature?
15. How are mind, nature, principle, and energy the same? How are they different?
16. Are all things in the universe subject to arising and ceasing or free from arising and ceasing?
17. The karmic retributions of cause and effect among all things in the present life occur by knowing one another. But how do the retributions of later lives occur, when they have forgotten their past lives and no longer recognize one another?
18. “Heaven and earth know without knowing anything.”  What does this mean?
19. The numinous awareness of people who attain nirvana is merged with the dharmakāya. How, then, do individual spirits become divided again and the standard for distinguishing past and future lives come into existence?
20. “I have a volume of scripture that is written without paper or ink. It does not contain a single word yet always radiates light.” What does this mean?