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Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

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

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...




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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