One day, Governor Wei holds a grand vegetarian banquet in honor of the Guru. After the banquet, the Governor implores the Guru to ascend the throne. The Governor, along with the dignitaries and commoners, all respectfully bow down and said, 㜁e hear your exposition on dharma is incredible. There are a few doubts we hope you would compassionately clarify.?The Guru answers, 𡥼uestions you have, I shall answer.?
This verse is made up of simple words. The Governor offered a great vegetarian banquet to the Sixth Patriarch. After the banquet, the Governor together with all the guests paid their respect to the Sixth Patriarch and asked him to take the dharma seat. The Governor then asked the Sixth Patriarch for permission to ask questions. The Patriarch told him to go ahead. Why did the Governor have questions? One reason could be the lack of understanding. Another could be some things are still vague to him and he needed clarification. A third reason may be he wanted more in depth knowledge of Buddhism. Or lastly, he wanted to ask the questions for the benefit for all those present. The purpose of Chapter 3, Doubts and Questions, is actually more for the propagation of Buddhism; explaining to those who seek answers on the subject.
In reality, there are indeed a lot of uncertainties and doubts. There are endless questions that do not even have answers to. Changes are constant in this world. Nothing stays the same forever. That is why we say the world is impermanent. I spoke about this previously. One may be healthy this second, but that may change in the next. Just like the recent airplane crash that killed all one hundred thirty two passengers on board; it is impermanence.
Cultivation and enlightenment are no easy feat. Those who have enlightened would have no doubts. Those who still have uncertainties are not yet enlightened. Unless, of course, one asks the questions on purpose for the sake of others ?in doing so benefiting the sentient beings through the guru𠏋 answers.
Things I say are usually interpreted differently by people who hear them. How will one attain Buddha𠏋 wisdom? When one can reach the stage of No-Self and No-Thought. Then one will realize that there are actually no problems and hence no need for questions in this world. As for Governor Wei, I can㦙 say if he is enlightened. If he is not, then it is understandable to ask for clarification. However if he is an enlightened being, then his questions were asked on purpose to benefit the mass to hear the explanation from the guru, the Sixth Patriarch himself
Translated by: TBTTs
Summarized by Peggie Ng, edited by Morgan Chiu, proofread by Angela Yeh