Seongcheol's parinirvana gatha reads:

Deceiving people all my life, my sins outweigh Mount Sumeru.

Falling into hell alive, my grief divides into ten thousand pieces.

Spouting forth a red wheel,

It hangs on the blue mountain.

Has anyone written about what this means? I see that Seongcheol had this explanation

I've lived my entire life as a practitioner, and people have always asked me for something. Everyone is already a Buddha, but they do not try to realize that fact and only look towards me. So, in a way, you could say I've deceived people all my life. I've failed to get this message across to everyone so I'm suffering in a kind of hell.

But I wonder if it is definitive?

You read people who think it's an admission that he's wasted his "entire life", whereas I thought it could be a statement about "saving all sentient beings".

  • gah i didn't see his explanation in that article, but worth IMHO keeping the question for elaboration...
    – user2512
    Feb 1, 2017 at 17:29
  • 1
    You might want to edit the question content to reflect that.
    – user2424
    Feb 2, 2017 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


My understanding of this is as follows;

Illusion is impure, but a water wave is beyond purity and impurity;

May I be reborn in a hell to purify it and save the living beings there.


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