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No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...




Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma








An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of China by
Bodhidharma's coming over from Southern India to that country in
about A.D. 520.[FN#23] It was the introduction, not of the dead
scriptures, as was repeatedly done before him, but of a living faith,
not of any theoretical doctrine, but of practical Enlightenment, not
of the relies of Buddha, but of the Spirit of Shakya Muni; so that
Bodhidharma's position as a representative of Zen was unique. He
was, however, not a missionary to be favourably received by the
public. He seems to have behaved in a way quite opposite to that in
which a modern pastor treats his flock. We imagine him to have been
a religious teacher entirely different in every point from a popular
Christian missionary of our age. The latter would smile or try to
smile at every face he happens to see and would talk sociably; while
the former would not smile at any face, but would stare at it with
the large glaring eyes that penetrated to the innermost soul. The
latter would keep himself scrupulously clean, shaving, combing,
brushing, polishing, oiling, perfuming, while the former would be
entirely indifferent to his apparel, being always clad in a faded
yellow robe. The latter would compose his sermon with a great care,
making use of rhetorical art, and speak with force and elegance;
while the former would sit as absolutely silent as the bear, and kick
one off, if one should approach him with idle questions.


[FN#23] Buddhist historians differ in opinion respecting the date of
Bodhidharma's appearance in China. Compare Chwen Fah Chan Tsung Lun
(Den bo sho ju ron) and Hwui Yuen (E-gen).






Next: Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu

Previous: Origin Of Zen In India



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