"By oneself is evil done; by oneself is one defiled. By oneself is evil left undone; by oneself is one made pure. Purity and impurity depend on oneself; no one can purify another."
boda wrote:"No buddha can make people enlightened. Everyone has to do it oneself."
If I may ask, how exactly do you know this?
"You yourselves must strive; the Buddhas only point the way. Those meditative ones who tread the path are released from the bonds of Mara."
Question: "Does the Buddha really save or rescue all sentient beings?"
The master said: "There are really no sentient beings to be saved by Tathagata. Since there is, in reality, neither self nor non-self, how then can there be a Buddha to save or sentient beings to be saved?
(Huangbo, The Wan-Ling Record
"Outside mind there’s no dharma, nor is there anything to be gained within it. What are you seeking? Everywhere you say, ‘Th ere’s something to practice, something to obtain.’ Make no mistake! Even if there were something to be gained by practice, it would be nothing but birth-and-death karma."
(Record of Linji, p 17, tr Sasaki)
One day, Guishan said to Xiangyan, “I’m not asking you about what’s recorded in or what can be learned from the scriptures! You must say something from the time before you were born and before you could distinguish objects. I want to record what you say.”
Xiangyan was confused and unable to answer. He sat in deep thought for a some time and then mumbled a few words to explain his understanding. But Guishan wouldn’t accept this.
Xiangyan said, “Then would the master please explain it?”
Guishan said, “What I might say would merely be my own understanding. How could it benefit your own view?”
Xiangyan returned to the monks’ hall and searched through the books he had collected, but he couldn’t find a single phrase that could be used to answer Guishan’s question.
Xiangyan then sighed and said, “A picture of a cake can’t satisfy hunger.”
He then burned all his books and said, “During this lifetime I won’t study the essential doctrine. I’ll just become a common mendicant monk, and I won’t apply my mind to this any more.”
Xiangyan tearfully left Guishan. He then went traveling and eventually resided at Nanyang, the site of the grave of National Teacher Nanyang Huizhong.
One day as Xiangyan was scything grass, a small piece of tile was knocked through the air and struck a stalk of bamboo. Upon hearing the sound of the tile hitting the bamboo, Xiangyan instantly experienced vast enlightenment.
(Zen's Chinese Heritage, p 191-192)